get confused by European beer sometimes. Some breweries makes different
brews of the same style but don’t differentiate them in the marketing
so I sometimes never know which beers I’ve had and which I haven’t. Case
in point: Paulaner Oktoberfest Wiesn – which, despite the name is not a
wheat beer (“wiesn” apparently means fair – the event, not the sense of
justice). This has been around for years and apparently I’ve never had
it before. Not that I was missing much as this is a pretty standard pale
lager with no frills.
I poured an 11.2oz bottle into a mug. It had a best before date of 6/16.
Appearance: Dark golden color with crystal clarity. Some carbonation
bubbles can be seen trickling up. Pours to a two-finger, off-white,
soapy head which mostly evaporates and leaves little lacing.
Smell: Not much of anything other than the generic pale lager scent. I do detect a faint green apple character.
Taste: People tend to like Oktoberfestbiers better than regular pale
lagers since they tend to have a little bit of actual flavor to them,
but not so much that it’s overwhelming. In the case of this one I’m
surprised it bears the Oktoberfest name because it seems like any other
pale lager. I don’t detect any adjunct presence, but I don’t get any
discernible malt or hop character, either. This seems like a rather
boring lager to me. I will say it’s sweeter than the average lager,
though; I notice a mild caramel sweetness, but that’s about it. Just a
faint dry bitterness on the backend. It finishes clean, which is nice.
That’s about it.
Drinkability: I’m surprised to see the label on the bottle mentions a
potency of 6% ABV. I thought Oktoberfest biers were supposed to be
fairly nominal in weight since they’re intended for sessioning? This
beer does not seem to be nearly that strong as the palette is mild and
direct. The actual deliver of Paulaner Oktoberfest Wiesn is a little
boring, too. The mouthfeel is not as crisp and bubbly as most pale
lagers. I would not consider it refreshing, either. At least it goes
down smooth and leaves almost no aftertaste.