Friday, October 26, 2012

Schlafly Oktoberfest

Late this past summer, as I usually do, I bought a number of different Oktoberfests (aka Marzens) for the fall. It's not that they were bad. But it just seemed like quite a few of them were at best slightly above average. Luckily I did find one new Oktoberfest that really hit the spot. Schlafly Oktoberfest is very much a traditional Bavarian Marzen. It's nothing earth-shattering, but it's smooth and malty like a good Oktoberfest should be. Overall, notes of sweet malts (especially caramel) prevail, along with the classic bready/nutty flavors you expect from this style of lager. If there's an extra edge this particular version of the Oktoberfest has on some of its competitors, it would be that the hops (Tettnang, Mittelfruh, Marynka) are not just an afterthought. While far from a "hoppy" Marzen, this one's got a balancing bitterness that works very nicely with all those sweet malts. Here we have a perfect example of a brewer not messing with a winning formula. Maybe this won't send you into a state of bliss like some of the A-level German Marzens, but all in all this is one of the better American versions of the style that I've come across. We're running out of time to enjoy Oktoberfests (man, it's almost November!). Whether you're tackling a huge plate of brats or just chilling on the couch watching football, this beer will enhance your enjoyment of the season.

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