[Volume Five in the recently expanded beer tasting series. Once again, today's post is made possible by the fine folks at Glen Lake Wine and Spirits. That establishment has generously agreed to provide beer for weekly reviews and every brew featured here is available at Glen Lake Wine and Spirits. These reviews will be an expansion of the beer rating that I've been doing for years and will be more in-depth look at particular beers using the same rating criteria. And in addition to the just the beer itself, I'll be examining the whole aesthetic package; the bottle, the label, the name.]
August Schell's Brewery is a treasure on the local brewing scene. Tucked in to a wooded hillside outside New Ulm, the picturesque brewery has been in business since 1860 and the Schell's name is familiar with beer drinkers throughout the Upper Midwest. If you ever get a chance to visit Schell's--especially during their annual Bock Fest--you definitely should take it.
Over the years, I've been to the brewery a number of times and have quaffed a number of their offerings. In fact, I've rated twelve different Schell's beers. Few are outstanding, but most are solid, brewed consistently with quality and pride.
It just so happens that I already rated today's featured beer some years ago. And the score that I came up with then is the same one that I arrived at today. Perhaps tastes aren't as variable over time as I once imagined.
Before we get to today's review, I should confess that I'm not much of a fan of the Maibock style. Of all the offerings that Summit puts out, their Maibock is by far my least favorite. It's a little strange since usually I like Bock beers. Perhaps it's the combination of the Bock and the blonde that doesn't sit well on my palate.
On to Schell's Maifest. The beer comes in a non-descript brown bottle. The label follows the traditional Schell's style with the green providing the connection to the spring season when Maibocks appear.
Beer Style: Maibock, a blonde double bock
Alcohol by Volume: 7.2%
COLOR (0-2): Golden brown hues. 2
AROMA (0-2): Sharp and biting. 1
HEAD (0-2): Full and foamy. 2
TASTE (0-5): Good malty flavor with slight hints of hoppiness. 3
AFTERTASTE (0-2): A touch too harsh. 1
OVERALL (0-6): A decent offering that's better than most other Maibocks I've tried. 3
TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 12