Tonight, I'm going to do a little roundup for a variety of beer I've never tried before: Maibocks. I picked up three, one from Einbecker, the German brewery that I believe invented the Bock style of beer. The second is from Munich's famous Hofbraeu Haus, and the third is an American imitation from Flying Dog. I'm not really sure what to expect from this style of beer. I just know its brewed similar to a Bock, and it traditionally comes out in May (Mai auf Deutsch). Yes, I'm a little out of season, but I forgot about this one when I was out shopping last at BotW. I paid $2.29 for the 11.2 oz bottle from Einbecker. It's a nice 6.5%, a little on the strong side, which is common for bocks.
The beer pours a clear orange color without much persistent carbonation.
The beer smells, well, not all that strongly. It smells like it's malt is a little on the light side, and the hopping is similar to a decent pilsner. There's just a hint of sweetness and of apples. Taking a sip, it's about what I expected based on the smell, which isn't really an inspiring variety of beer. It's a little sweeter with a caramel-ish flavor and a hair maltier than the average pilsner, and it does have that hint of apples. All in all, though, I'm not really impressed. I'm going to give it
and a half
, and I considered giving it a lowly 2 hearts.
I'll do the offering from Hofbraeu next. Theirs was a little more expensive, $2.65 for a 12 oz bottle. They don't specify the ABV.
The appearance is almost identical to the Einbecker - orange w/o much head at all.
The aroma is similar, too. It smells a little bit hoppier. The flavor is a little hoppier, too. It's also a little drier. I like the hops in this better, but I miss the hint of sweetness. I think I like this one a shade better, but not enough for a higher rating. I give it the same
and a half
Alright, the last beer up to try and save the variety is the American offering from Flying Dog, which they call their Heller Hound Anti-Spring. It weighs in at a comparable 6.2% ABV, and it was a little cheaper, at $1.99 for a 12 oz bottle.
The Flying Dog pours a shade lighter than the German Maibocks, and it has a little more head. It's still not all that persistent, but it hangs out at least a little longer.
The aroma of this beer doesn't seem to be as hoppy, but I smell a richer malt. Taking a sip, and it's clear that this is my favorite of the bunch. The malt comes through better, and I like the hop make up more, too. There's more of the citrus flavor to the hops that I like, along with a little bit of woodiness and sweetness in the malt. I'm going to give this beer
, which might be a little generous. I think that Maibocks are just not my style of beer. Maybe someone out there likes them better than I do, but if this was all I had to drink during the spring, I'd be lamenting the end of the bocks and eisbocks from the winter and longing for the hefeweizens of the summer. If I was going to reach for a lightly hopped, light malt beer, I'd reach for an APA, say, from Flying Dog or DFH, over one of these every time.
One thing I should note, though, is that the German Maibocks were in green bottles. These generally aren't as good to the beer as brown ones due to damage from light. It's not a big deal in the very short term, but I couldn't tell you when exactly they were bottled. If it was a long time ago, they might have deteriorated. Still, given the quality of the Flying Dog Maibock, which was better, but featured similar flavors, I wouldn't expect the German ones to be that much better. Beer lovers reading this might pick up one or two bottles of these if they're curious, but people just looking for a good beer to drink probably shouldn't bother.