Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest (2012 re-review)

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.

NOTE: Read (and watch) my 2009 Review here:

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (742) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 20, 2012
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. 
 Grade: 6/10

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