I started out with such high hopes, I really did. I intended on reviewing the Nashoba Valley Brewery Oktoberfest. I had two bottles, and both were flat. Flat as can be. You have no idea the level of frustration I felt, as I was really looking forward to reviewing it.
Luckily, I bought a mix six pack and had a couple other brews to choose from, so I went with the Bolt 117.
The Bolt 117 is essentially a better version of Coors. It poured a golden color with a slight cloudiness to it, with able head. The first thing you taste is the malt, with a secondary taste of a hint of fruit. Like I said, it's a slightly better version of Coors.
At 5.2%abv it doesn't have much kick to it, but it gets the job done. I'm going to give this beer a 2.5. Middle of the road really. Not all that great, but not horrible either. I'll probably try it again, as I'll probably make another trip out to the brewery to buy more non flat Oktoberfest. We'll see about that though...
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
The Octoberfest from Samuel Adams is one of my favorite fall beers. It has an excellent brownish-orange color, a full, malty aroma, and a smooth, rich taste. It is easy-drinking and definitely reminds me that autumn is on the way.
However, when compared to other Octoberfest offerings, some of the lesser qualities of this beer are revealed. First, it is a bit too sweet, almost to the point of being sugar-syrupy. Second, the malts lean towards a toasted flavor, helping to give the beer its brown-bottle color. But the toasted malt flavor is somewhat overpowering, drowning out the hop flavors almost completely. Lastly, the ABV of 5.4% is fine, but I wonder if a higher ABV would help to cut into the sweetness. You almost want to drink something hoppy to chase away the sweet-malt taste.
Despite the noted deficiencies, this beer is a classic American Octoberfest beer. It holds up well in comparison to Octoberfest beers from Germany, which is the highest compliment.
Rating = 4.0
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Now, if you have spent any time in the Mid Atlantic states, you will have heard of a little beer called Yuengling. Their distribution is limited, their reputation is not. Yuenling lays claim to an all important title, America's Oldest Brewery, since 1829. And people rave throughout the land to this beer's awesomeness. When poured into a standard pint glass, the lager has a light amber hue, and is populated with carbonation bubbles throughout. The ABV is a modest 4.9%. The taste is brief as you can grasp the amber malt but you're left smacking your lips looking for more flavor. The beer's reputation is bigger than its taste. Of course my friends will think this review is blasphemous, but it is they who are not true to themselves. Now, Pale Ale Guy skewed his review of Corona, more favorably due to the beer's reputation as a summer good time beer. I, however, feel that Yuengling needs to do more than just sell Americana. The Yuengling gets a 2.0.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Left Hand Brewing Company out of Colorado makes a bunch of very good beers, like their Sawtooth Ale and the Milk Stout, so I had fairly high expectations when trying their Oktoberfest beer. Unfortunately, disappointment awaited...
Right out of the bottle, it appears that this is going to be a good beer. It has a nice copper color and a bit of a white foam head. But, an odd metallic scent presents itself in the aroma. Not a good sign, and even worse, this metallic sensation continues into the flavor of the beer. It definitely has the characteristic malt flavor of an Octoberfest beer, but there is also the unwelcome metallic taste. The negative aspects are almost all in the aftertaste, and you can really get a feel for it as you swallow the beer. Maybe there is something wrong with the malt?
At any rate, the aroma/taste issues definitely outweighed the positive aspects of this beer.
Rating = 2.0
"You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it." - On the Waterfront
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
The Brown Shugga’ comes out of the bottle a shade of cherry and brown. The viscosity of the beer is silky, a sure sign to me that this beer is packing an alcoholic punch. While the alcohol is not overpowering, you can sense its presence in each sip you take. There is also a tang of bitterness, but once again not much. The malt flavor is a brown sugary delight, combined with the hops it is reminiscent of a caramel apple you’d get at a county fair. I found the Brown Shugga’ to be quite addicting, much like its heroin counterpart, I blame this on the sugary base of the beer. In fact I liked it so much I had another right away. Of course with the aforementioned 9.5% ABV, it knocks you down pretty quick.
Now for those unfamiliar with my rating style, it can be found here. This is a little important because as you see from the Lagunitas website, this beer is not available until October 2009. So how did I get a bottle of it early? I didn’t. I loved this beer so much last winter, I stocked up on it so I’d never run out. How I avoided reviewing it so far, I am not sure. So as far as a rating goes, I am gonna have to give it the illustrious 5.0. If I were you, I’d keep an eye out this October when this beer arrives on shelves, a good indicator whether your store will carry it or not is if they carry any of the year round beers from Lagunitas.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Thomas Hooker, Connecticut's Beer. That is a great tagline. The good news is that there are a lot of other things to like about this beer. It tastes fantastic and has the perfect color for an Octoberfest. It is pleasant to drink, with just the right amount of hops to add a touch of bitterness to the complex malt flavors. Drink one and you'll be looking for a second, and at 5.8% ABV, that's not a bad idea. This is a great American-produced Octoberfest beer. I had it in a bottle, and from what I hear, it is even better on tap.
Thomas Hooker easily has the best domain name ever for a brewery: hookerbeer.com. On the site, you can buy your brewery t-shirts and stuff in the "Hooker Store". That's just fantastic marketing... I'm also really impressed with the label. Seriously, it is a great looking label, and not because it says "hooker" on it.
Rating = 4.5
While researching this beer, I discovered that there is a beer competition in Providence, RI called the Great International Beer Festival. Next time it will be held is November 19, 2009. Anyone interested?
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Octoberfest beers are lagers that are brewed in a traditional German style, or at least in a way that mimics the traditional brewing techniques. Most Octoberfest beers have a prominent and usually sweet malt flavor with very little hop presence (i.e., neither the aroma nor taste of hops). The color is usually copper/amber brown, though some are more like a golden yellow.
There are many, many Octoberfest beers available, and I'm going to review what I can between now and November. (Note: all of the Octoberfest reviews on Beer Crusade can be found here.) If you have a favorite brewer, check to see if they make an Octoberfest beer. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Festbier from Victory Brewing Co. won a gold medal at the 2007 Great American Beer Festival in the "German Style Octoberfest" category, so we are starting the reviews off with a strong candidate. Victory brews this beer with European malts and hops, probably trying to capture the essence of the original Octoberfest ingredients. The rich amber color and sweet malt aroma are terrific and inviting, and the first taste does not disappoint. However, as you swallow the beer, there is an interesting flavor, like toasted malt, which gives this beer a decidedly different finish. It could be from whatever yeast they are using, or they could be lightly toasting some of their grains, or it could be something else. Either way, it is a bit unexpected.
Like most Octoberfest beers, this one is very easy on the palate, and the ABV of 5.6% makes it pretty easy to drink. Grab a six pack, as you will probably want more than one.
Rating = 3.5
Next week: Thomas Hooker Oktoberfest Lager
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Are you getting what you pay for? Apparently not, according to this website, bartenders are screwing you out of 25% of your draught beers because they don't fill it to the top. Outrageous I say.
So checkout http://thebeergauge.com/ and read up on this travesty.
Thanks to Mike F for passing this along.