Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sly Fox Oktoberfest

I don’t usually associate Oktoberfest beers with being sweet, but since I’m not a huge fan of the style to begin with, it’s nice to find something that deviates from the style. Sly Fox Oktoberfest definitely is sweeter than most of the marzen style, but that’s okay because it’s tasty without being cloying and still an easy beer to drink. I wish more were like this.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (740) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 14, 2012
I poured a 12oz can into a lager glass.

Appearance: Surprisingly bright orange hue, but very cloudy. Micro carbonation bubbles still visible, though. Forms a large, ivory, foamy head at first, but is dissipates somewhat quickly and doesn’t leave much lacing on the glass.

Smell: Sweet maltiness for sure - caramel mostly and a hint of butterscotch. A hint of earthiness, too.

Taste: Prominent caramel sweetness up front, not unlike a lollipop or some kind of candy flavor. Usually I hate this type of taste in a beer but it works very well in this instance. There’s a subtle hoppy spice through the middle, followed with a mild toffee or butterscotch sweetness on the finish. The dry hoppy bitterness lingers momentarily, but fades away almost completely clean.

This is what I would consider a favorable palate. Rather complex and robust for a lager, but nothing gimmicky or over the top. Sweeter than your average Oktoberfest, which is fine by me, as that makes it quite versatile. A good beer to pair with food or to drink on its own.

Drinkability: Though the can says "lager" in fairly big letters, I’d probably think Sly Fox Oktoberfest was an ale were I drinking it blind. It’s not crisp and clean like your usual brew of the style, but rather richer, smoother, and bigger in body. Soft, comfortable texture and refreshing while it’s in the mouth, so it’s hard not to drink this quickly. I can understand why it’s 5.8% ABV as it has more flavor and energy than your average lager. Too big to session, but back-to-back servings are understandable.

Grade: 8/10

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