never been a big fan of the Oktoberfest style since most of the beers I
try tend to be mild and forgettable. I would offer up Chatham
Oktoberfest as a good example of what I mean. It does have some genuine
flavor and it’s not just a dark lager, but it seems like so much more
could be done. I guess I’m just disappointed.
I poured a 16oz can into a nonic pint glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $3.90 ($0.24 per ounce).
Appearance: Light copper/orange hue; very clear with carbonation always
visible. Pours to a small, off-white, foamy head which mostly evaporates
and leaves no lacing.
Smell: Slight toasty malt character; a hint of orange citrus. Otherwise, an overtly mild, unremarkable nose.
Taste: I hate it when a beer tastes good on the first half, but then
fails to deliver on the second half. On my first swig of this beer I got
a pretty decent malty flavor, followed by a rather strong vegetal
sensation akin to green beans. Clearly, there’s something flawed here,
which is a shame because 50% of the palette is fine. Not that that first
half is amazing, though. It’s a fairly standard palette for the style –
genera, nondeScript amber malt with a hint of orange marmalade and a
light dry bitterness. There seems to be a good here – I’m just not
picking it up.
Drinkability: One thing that surprised me about Chatham Oktoberfest was
how much the delivery reminded me of an ale. The mouthfeel is thicker
and less carbonated than a lager. Soft and smooth on the edge, but
missing the crisp bite the style should have. For a 5.5% ABV beer it’s a
bit lacking on flavor intensity and complexity. A single pint – if that
much – is satisfactory.