I’ve tried all the mainstream German Oktoberfestbiers I can get and one
thing I’ve noticed is that none of them have any real hop presence.
Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest seems to be the exception as there is a
noticeable, but reserved, amount of spicy hops and a fairly clean palate
with subtle sweetness. Not a delicious beer by any means, but probably
the best of the mediocre bunch.
I poured an 11.2oz bottle into my OktoBEERfest mug.
Appearance: Very dark amber color, almost straight up brown. Clear with
some calm carbonation visible. Forms a rather small, off-white, soapy
head which dissipates rather quickly and leaves no lacing on the glass.
Smell: A noticeable skunky aroma at first (likely due to the dark
olive-green bottle color), it’s easily tolerable and ignored. Otherwise
it’s a mild aroma that’s generic lager at the core.
Taste: Upon my first swig of Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest I noticed
something I hadn’t in any other German brews of the style: hops. Or to
be more precise: bitterness. It’s not this is a high IBU beer full of
citrus or pine flavor, just that there’s more kick to this palate than
most. The palate is mostly clean - like a dark lager with all the
off-flavors and undesirable qualities removed. You can tell it’s a lager
but it doesn’t scream "lager" on the tongue. A consistent bitterness
throughout with mild toffee sweetness on the second half. Just as it
finishes the bitterness reemerges for a swift kick of spice before
fading away cleanly. It’s only a degree or two better than most beers of
this sort, but enough to warrant a genuine thumbs up from me (don’t
expect me to jump for joy about it, though).
Drinkability: Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest seems to be a bit more crisp
than most, but the mouthfeel is still comfortable and the finish is just
as smooth as the rest - if not more so. It’s a little bit refreshing,
too. The 5.8% ABV weight is about the same as most, but at least this
one has a little more body to it.