Total Score: 81.0, B- Reviewed 11/14/2011
As countless holiday beers begin to inundate the shelves (in some cases even multiple offerings from a single brewery) I find myself grasping at the last wisps of fall. In a desperate attempt to hold on I’ll be reviewing a series of Oktoberfest style beers over the next week. In addition to today’s review I’ll also be trying Hofbräu Oktoberfest, Great Lakes Oktoberfest, Brooklyn Oktoberfest, Elevator Oktoberfest 1810, Victory Festbier, and Beck’s Oktoberfest…7 days, 7 Oktoberfests!
From what I can tell, there isn’t a whole lot out there on this beer, and even the brewery’s website offers but a mere blurb: A full rich bodied, hoppy, seasonal lager. Especially brewed for the Festbier season. This beer truly represents the Bavarian way of celebrating. Deep gold color, great mouthfeel and lots of flavor. Prost! The brewery itself is again where the history lies. One of at least two breweries claiming to be the oldest in the world, it’s undeniable that Weihenstephaner (officially The Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan) has been around for a shockingly long time. There is evidence of a hop garden at the Weihenstephan Monastery as far back as 768 AD, while official brewing records start in 1040 when the monastery was licensed to brew by the City of Freising. Throughout its long history the monastery has been destroyed multiple times in multiple ways, including several fires and plagues, an earthquake, and by plunderers. It endures today as not only the world’s oldest brewery, but also a world-renowned brewing school operating in conjunction with the Technical University of Munich.
Now, time to drink!
Bottle of course proclaims their status as the world’s oldest brewery, as well as their adherence to the Purity Law of 1516. Not much else on the label, including any sort of date. Pours 11.2 ounces of surprisingly pale, crystal clear gold with a large fluffy head that slowly settles to a thin but consistent film. Definitely much lighter in color than your standard Oktoberfest. The grassy/lemony smell of noble hops dominate the aroma and actually reminds me more of a pilsner than an Oktoberfest. Certainly pleasant though. A touch of grainy/cereal undertones sneaks in, but the hops are foremost here. The taste features sweet maltiness more than the smell with a soft bitterness and soapy and citrusy hop taste in support. Not huge on flavor, but what’s there is good. Light-medium body and super slick and syrupy going down. Leaves a sugary coat on the tongue. A bit light on the carbonation.
Overall, it’s not bad a bad beer, but definitely not an Oktoberfest. Really enjoyed the smell (even it is uncharacteristic of the style) but the taste fell short. A good beer, but if you’re looking for an Oktoberfest you’re looking in the wrong place. Enjoyable nonetheless. Prost!
Looks: 8/10 Smell: 8.5/10 Taste: 8/10 All-Around: 8/10