Hops aren’t something you tend to find a lot of in Oktoberfestbiers,
which makes an even remotely hoppy brew of the style stand out. That’s
certainly the case with Ellicottville Oktoberfest - an otherwise
by-the-book marzen with real hop character.
Appearance: Attractive clear shade of dark amber/copper. Forms a small,
beige, sudsy head which evaporates quickly and almost completely.
Smell: Typical American lager aroma but with a subtle floral scent.
Taste: I would not describe Ellicottville Oktoberfest as robust and
complex, but I would say it has a rather unique palate for an American
Oktoberfest. Mild sweetness throughout the entire first half of the
palate - mostly amber grain but nothing particularly confectionary.
Right as it starts to finish there’s a crackle of sharp hoppy
bitterness. More dry than a spicy, with even the faintest trace of
citrus. It’s really quite prominent consider the beer is only 28 IBUs
(according to the brewery’s website). This drinks more like an amber ale
as it has no generic lager taste at all. Though not absolutely
delicious, there’s nothing boring about this palate at all. It’s a nice
change of pace for sure.
Drinkability: This is exactly what you want out of an Oktoberfest:
plenty of flavor but no massive girth. Ellicottville Oktoberfest has an
energetic, but comfortable mouthfeel. It goes down smooth and is fairly
clean, though the hops do create for a slightly dry aftertaste. The 5.6%
ABV is perfect for the size.