Monday, October 3, 2011

Widmer Brothers Brewing Company - Okto Festival Ale

Purchased From: Harvest Fine Wines & Spirits
Serving Type: 12 oz. bottle, poured into a pint glass

This Oktoberfest märzen from Oregon-based Widmer Brothers pours a full-bodied amber with a ruby glow to back it up. The yellowed-tan head is thick and creamy with solid retention and layers of thin lace. The nose is dry and dusty, but feint overall. It is slightly spicy, but quite mild with a reserved sweetness. The malts seem light and very light on the aroma.

Initially, the beer's hops are center stage and dominate the palate. It's not so hoppy that the beer pushes an IPA, but seems more like a hoppy amber ale than a traditional märzen. Overall the hops are piny with a complex bitterness. Toasted malts have a mild biscuity edge and a pleasing caramel sweetness, but are up staged all along. The finish is dry and tight with lingering pine notes. I don't know if this is a misguided attempt or a "West Coast interpretation," but I think this one misses the Oktoberfest boat. What I do know, is that this is a solid brew.

Final Verdict: B

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