Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Continuing my quest to have many Octoberfest beers this month...

Things have been crazy busy this last weekend, between me getting Migraine From Hell (TM) and work stuff I have not been keeping up with my writing.  So here is a quick update that should catch me up on my daily Octoberfest experiment.

Beer #8:  Erdinger Octoberfest.   
This one was not what I expected at all!  From the print on the label this one is actually a wheat beer, so it really isn't a true Octoberfest style beer.  With all the strange takes on the style available nowadays, I'll count it.
Appearance: Slightly cloudy, light gold in color with a huge white head that lasts for days.
Aroma: Malty sweetness, spicy hop or even wheat character, some hints of lemon.
Flavor: A medium mouthfeel, ends fairly dry and lager-like.  Some malty sweetness with a bit of spiciness.  Not a lot going on here.  Not a clean lager, not a clovey wheat beer.
Overall:  Not a fantastic beer.  Sj and I thought it was bleh.
Rating: 2 of 5

Beer #9:  Shiner Oktoberfest.
Appearance:  A very classic looking label with, unfortunately, a twist-off top.  Pours deep amber with excellent clarity.  Thick white head lasts for a very long time.
Aroma: Strong malt aroma with a crisp lager character and a note of German hop.
Flavor:  Sweet malt, but layers of flavor here that taste of warm baking bread and sticky-rolls.  Some bitterness present to balance the sweet, but not overwhelming.  Balance much more to the malty.  Ends with an almost doughy dryness.
Overall: Quite a surprise for me!  Based on Shiner's Bock not really being a bock, I didn't have high hopes for this one, but was shocked by how good it was.  The complexity of flavor and mouthfeel on this was great.  So far this is my favorite O-Fest this year.
Rating: 4.5 of 5

Beer #10: Two Brothers Atom Smasher.
Appearance: Nearly orange in color with a thick off-white head made of fine bubbles.
Aroma: Malty and sugary sweet.  Almost like a cinnamon bun rolled around with vanilla and Smarties candies.  Very subtle hop aroma.
Flavor: Like most of these beers, malty sweetness up front with a fairly full mouthfeel.  Flavors of vanilla, pear and cherry pit.  The malty flavor is fairly one-dimensional, lacking the layers of toast and bread I like in the best of these beers.  Ends dry and nearly tannic and astringent.
Overall:  This one is actually aged in large oak barrels.  This technique certainly adds some interesting flavors, but I think the oak hurts the finish of this beer.  Not a classic, but an unusual version of the style.
Rating: 3 of 5

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