breweries make exactly-to-specification Oktoberfest/Marzen brews, they
tend to still be pretty boring. I would say Port City Oktoberfest is
definitely to-spec all the way, however, it is not boring. That’s not to
say it’s exciting, either. I do get genuine characteristics of the
style, which I appreciate, and no off-flavors, which is also quite nice.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a mug. It was bottled on 8/26/14 and cost $2.80 ($0.23 per ounce).
Appearance: Pretty shade of copper, nearly crystal clear with visible
carbonation. Pours to a two-finger, white, foamy head which retains and
laces fairly well.
Smell: Mild overall, though there is distinct maltiness in the nose. Slightly sweet and a hint of spice.
Taste: This beer is made with all-German ingredients and they’re
definitely noticeable. Vienna, Munich, Pilsner and Caramunich malts are
noticeable – if you’ve got a discerning palate. Probably not as sweet
and complex as I’d prefer, though it definitely has an authentic taste
all around. Less toffee and caramel and more biscuits and toast. Dry,
slightly spicy bitterness through the middle due to the Noble hops with a
clean aftertaste. For a 3-month-old bottle, Port City Oktoberfest has
held up pretty well since most brews of this caliber would be quite
tangy by now.
Drinkability: The mouthfeel is exactly what I expect (and want) in an
Oktoberfest. Crisp for sure, but in no way watery or thin. Smooth going
down with just a slightly residual hop aftertaste (otherwise it’s pretty
much completely clean). Pretty efficient at 5.5% ABV, which is the
ideal weight for the style. An even lighter body would be nice, but I’m