Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Narragansett Fest Lager

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (627) - Albany, USA - APR 26, 2011
I poured a 16oz can into a tumbler. No freshness date, but I’m inclined to believe this was brewed in the late summer or early fall of 2010 - making it well over 6 months old by now.

Appearance: Bright, hazy orange hue - similar to the can. Plenty of visible carbonation. Forms a large, foamy/soapy yellowish head which fizzles away and leaves no lacing on the glass.

Smell: Typical Oktoberfest brew with notes of toffee, although it smells more like burnt toffee in this instance. Butterscotch or caramel lollipop notes too. Slight sourness underneath it all.

Taste: The first few sips are very tangy with some underlying sweet flavors. The first sip itself was particularly sour and almost garnered an immediate dumping (which is why I immediately pulled the plug on my video review of this at the time). However, I decided to see what happens and thankfully the palate managed to redeem itself.

I can tell this was brewed as a very robust marzen-style lager. The toffee, caramel, butterscotch and heavy bready malts are all evident. But since mine was an older can they have all soured a bit. What’s interesting is the palate still seems very robust as this drinks more like an ale than a lager. It does have that lollipop-like taste many cheaper amber ales and psuedo dark lagers tend to have, which I never acquired a taste for. Still, it’s not repulsive and I do enjoy the syrup-like sweetness (I’d love to pour this over vanilla ice cream), but not enough to redeem the brew.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy at first, but flatter and heavier once it becomes tepid. Sour aftertaste.

Drinkability: Quite a hearty palate for a lager and the heavier, thicker body detracts from what should be a quaffable brew. The 5.5% ABV seems totally accurate for this beer. A fresh six pack in September would be somewhat sessionable I think.

Overall, it’s probably one of the better American Oktoberfest brews out there, but it doesn’t age well. If I can get a fresh can next season I’ll re-review it.

Grade: 5/10

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