it comes to an Oktoberfest beer I pretty much expect mediocrity, since
so few brewers do anything exciting or original with the style. Thirsty
Dog Barktoberfest is a good example of what I mean. Sure, it’s a
by-the-book Marzen, but it’s not particularly memorable. You want an
Oktoberfest, you get one here.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a mug. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.49 ($0.21 per ounce).
Appearance: Pretty shade of copper; crystal clear though not much
carbonation is visible. Pours to a one-finger, white, soapy head which
mostly dissipates and leaves minor amount of lacing.
Smell: Virtually non-aromatic. A faint trace of amber malt, but otherwise has a standard lager smell.
Taste: The palette here has all the standard makings of an amber
European lager. A light sweetness of dark malt with a mild caramel and
toffee flavor on the finish and light, dry spiciness through the middle
(probably due to Noble hop varieties). I also detect a slight peanut
brittle-like astringency in the aftertaste as well as a slight
tanginess. It’s not bad, it’s not off-putting, but does it serve any
purpose? Overall, this is a fine-tasting beer, but nothing more.
Drinkability: I was surprised to see that Thirsty Dog Barktoberfest
weighs in at 6% ABV, since it drinks like something much lighter and
sessionable. The mouthfeel is rather light and short-lived. Crisp with a
dry finish and some tang on the aftertaste. It goes down smooth and
it’s refreshing while in the mouth, but it’s quite inefficient for its
weight. One bottle is all you need.