Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Spaten Oktoberfest Ur-Märzen (2012 re-review)

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.

NOTE: Read (and watch) my 2009 review of this beer here:

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Chad9976 (742) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 17, 2012
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 compliment it.

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.
 Grade: 5/10

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