Thursday, November 10, 2011

Otter Creek Oktoberfest (2011 re-review)


Okay, so we're well into November and I'm still reviewing Oktoberfests!? Yeah, but this is the last American entry into the style for 2011. You might remember I actually had this on tap about 2 months ago at the "Oktobeerfest" I went to with my friend Shaun. The bottled version was much different from the tap version. Better different or worse different or just different different? Watch the review and find out.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (567) - Albany, USA - NOV 9, 2011
I poured a 12oz bottle into an Oktoberfest mug.

Appearance: Pure orange/copper color. Mostly clear, but with a distinct fogginess to the complexion. Forms a large, white, soapy head which mostly dissipates but does leave minor lacing.

Smell: Noticeably malty, lightly sweet on the surface, with a distinct generic lager aroma at the core.

Taste: It’s really difficult to make an Oktoberfest truly tasty and unique without going to extreme lengths or resorting to gimmicks. Frankly, I think it’s all American breweries can do to make a beer that simply doesn’t suck to garner a thumbs up from more refined beer drinkers like me. Otter Creek Oktoberfest is a perfect example of that. It’s the above average generic American Oktoberfest.

It starts out noticeably sweet and malty. Light toffee and other hard candy flavors are prominent right away. They give way to a light, dry, but inoffensive bitterness on the second half with a slightly pasty, dry aftertaste. There is a very noticeable clean lager flavor undermining the entire palate. But it’s a clean, authentic lager taste - nothing that indicates adjuncts or cheapness. I’d definitely prefer more flavor overall, but what’s here is definitely decent. The sweetness is enough to make it enjoyable, but light enough to keep it from being cloying. The light bitterness tells you it’s a beer, but light enough to be drinker-friendly.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thick, soft, almost creamy, but not sticky. Doesn’t quite feel tepid, but it’s not as heavy as a stout or any kind of imperial brew.

Drinkability: What sells me on Otter Creek Oktoberfest is just how comfortable it is in the mouth and how easy it is to drink. I found myself taking huge gulps even though it isn’t a particularly refreshing beer and I wasn’t even that thirsty. At only 4.5% ABV it’s definitely sessionable and would make an ideal starter beer for Joe and Jane Six Pack looking to get out of their fizzy yellow beer rut.
Grade: 6/10