Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Victory Festbier

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1010) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 19, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into my Oktobeerfest mug. There was no freshness date. It cost $2.79 ($0.23 per ounce).

Appearance: Beautiful, clear shade of copper/magenta. Some carbonation visible. Pours to a small, off white soapy head which fizzles away almost completely.

Smell: Combination of sweet and nutty amber malts with a distinct lager aroma.

Taste: I’m not usually a fan of the Oktoberfest/Marzen style, so for me to genuinely enjoy a beer of the variety is quite a compliment coming from me. That being said, I’d probably consider Victory Festbier to be one of the better American offerings of the style I can recall. Though I wouldn’t say it’s an amazing per se.

Going by the account on Victory’s website, this beer appears to have a simple recipe of only two types of malts, though the hop description of "whole flower German hops" is rather vague. But you don’t have to have a complicated recipe to make for a good-tasting beer. There’s still plenty of caramel and toffee sweetness to be found here as well a subtle nut-like rustic character and some spicy -but subtle - German hop presence. It’s well balanced to be sure, though I could always use a bit more of the confectionery sweetness. At least it doesn’t have any generic lager taste to it that so many seem to have.

Drinkability: This is exactly what an Oktoberfestbier should drink like - a more-than-medium body with a comfortable mouthfeel and crisp finish. There’s little aftertaste and the beer is refreshing while in the mouth. It would be ideal to pair with German food, though it would pair with pretty much anything that’s not too intense and at only 5.6% ABV won’t be overwhelming, either. 
Grade: 7/10