Friday, September 10, 2010

Beer of the Week (Vol. LXX)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the jolly folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can have the wine, whisky, and beer to help put the two step into your polka.

In the fall a drinking man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of beer. At least they do for Larry Bell, founder of Michigan's renowned Bell's Brewery. Bell describes fall as his favorite time to drink beer. While I'm more of a man for all seasons when it comes to the question of when consuming beer is most appropriate, I can appreciate Bell's insights on why the advent of autumn increases one's yearning for a brew enjoy the changing conditions with.

So we continue our look at the beers of fall with Bell's Octoberfest:

Crafted as a flavorful session beer, Bell's Octoberfest Beer is perfect for a week-long wedding celebration in Germany or the start of the Michigan autumn.

As with Bell's Lager Beer, Octoberfest spends a full six weeks maturing in the fermentation vessels. Unlike its cousin, Octoberfest trades in the assertive hop presence for a focus on a light caramel malt note, lending body without too much sweetness.

Brown bottle. Attention getting blaze orange label screams fall with a leafy background at the peak of its color transformation and a Germanic font. Beautiful design.

Beer Style: Oktoberfest Marzen

Alcohol by Volume: 5.5 %

COLOR (0-2): Golden brown and clear. 2

AROMA (0-2): Mostly malty. 1

HEAD (0-2): White with good volume and retention. 2

TASTE (0-5): Mostly caramel malt flavors. Not overly sweet and has more bitterness than most Oktoberfests. You can also slightly taste the heat which is surprising given the relatively low ABV. Smooth and somewhat creamy mouthfeel. Sharp finish, medium-bodied, and definitely drinkable. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Somewhat subdued with lingering malt flavor. 2

OVERALL (0-6): Oktoberfests are not one of my favorite styles of beer and the American varieties often go overboard with sweet malts. Bell's version however is a better rounded beer and while not overly complex has a nice balance of flavors. A solid fall offering. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 13