I’m getting to the point where I’m starting to feel bad that I don’t
like authentic German Oktoberfestbiers. Most likely this is due to the
fact that by the time they arrive here they’re skunky, but also due to
the fact they’re just not exciting beers. I really wanted to like Spaten
Oktoberfest Ur-Märzen, but I couldn’t find any genuine redeeming
qualities in it. Not that it’s bad (I’ve had worse), it just has an
overt lack of goodness.
I poured a 12oz green bottle into my OktoBEERfest mug.
Appearance: By far the darkest Oktoberfest I’ve ever seen. Dark
amber/brown color; crystal clear; not much visible carbonation.
Initially forms a large, beige, soapy head, but it quickly fizzles away
leaving next to no lacing on the glass.
Smell: Since this is a green bottle it’s no surprise it emits a skunky
smell as soon as the cap is removed. It’s not as bad as some others but
it’s noticeable. There isn’t much else to it, though, just a generic
dark lager aroma with a trace of sweet grain.
Taste: Spaten Oktoberfest Ur-Märzen doesn’t do anything none of the
other German Oktoberfestbiers don’t do. It’s mild, it’s straightforward,
it’s only slightly sweet and slightly bitter. The palate is at least
noticeably clean here. This is impressive considering how pungent the
nose is. Still, I need more than a lack of overt flaws to truly
As for the actual taste, again, there’s not much to say. A clean, mild,
familiar dark lager flavor pitches the palate. There’s a quick burst of
typical German hop spice in the middle, but if you blink you’ll miss it.
The finish is essentially the same as the beginning but with just a tad
more sweetness. A hint of toffee I suppose, but nothing as robust as
many American Octoberfest beers with toasty malts or nutty flavors.
Drinkability: A thin, calm, wet mouthfeel with a clean aftertaste makes
Spaten Oktoberfest Ur-Märzen rather refreshing while it’s in the mouth.
I’m actually quite surprised it’s 5.9% ABV as it does not seem to have
the weight or body of a beer that big. Not that it’s a challenge to
drink, but I don’t see much reason to throw back another.