Wednesday, November 12, 2008
And a way we go! The aptly named Oktoberfest celebration occurs in september, so there is no reason we can't review this Marzen styled beer in november. I bought this 12 pack from my local "tobacco market" grocery for $13.99, an affordable buck sixteen each. The bottle neck label is abundantly informative with the following message; "In 1878 our grandfather came to America from Germany where he apprenticed at the Duke of Baden's Brewery. Brewed to the standards established over a century ago, Saranac Octoberfest is a rich flavorful lager. We use imported two-row and crystal malt and balance it with the pleasant bitterness of saaz and tettang hops." You think with all that information they could have included the alcohol content like most other brewers are practicing these days, but no.
At first pour, it has a wonderful clear-copper color with a good 2 inch head that dissipates rather quickly. I didn't get much from the aroma, a faint metallic hint of a caramel and maybe some baked goods but not yeasty (though I am a notoriously horrible smeller). The first taste is a sweet caramel (are we seeing a pattern) with a wisp of hops. Its light bodied but fairly complex, with a good nutty finish and an unfortunate tinniness. As the brew warmed, the tin escaped from the taste and a better balance of breadiness with a more herbal nut flavor came to the forefront. If I could do this tasting again, I would definitely pull it out of the fridge early and let it warm up considerably (as it was i took pictures of the damn thing for a half hour and was still too cold for optimal tasting).
This beer is no slouch, with good taste, color and "drinkability" (the new buzz word of the miller herd). As for Oktoberfest's; there are better one's out there, but this is a great change of pace beer that should keep everyone not looking for light beer happy.