3.94/5 rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Appear : This beer has one of the most gloriously awesome heads I've ever seen. It's not just huge, it's stable, sticky, gelatinous, and moves with the beer. It's stable at 2 fingers tall (starts at 3), fluffy like car wash foam, and leaves rings of lace on the glass as it recedes. The body is 90% transparent, straw colored, and has tons of effervescent bubbles spiraling up to the top from the bottom.
Smell : VERY German/Bavarian in its smell. Dead-ringer Pilsner aromas, with a near perfect balance of baked malt and Opal hops, with some allspice and black peppercorn. At deeper smells, clove finishes out the aroma.
Taste : It starts out like a typical Euro lager (light bodied, high grain bill, straw), and then the spices roll in mid-palate - clove, allspice, old cinnamon powder. It finishes out with a very distinct dusty flavor...a mix between gourd (flesh, rind, stem), potato skin, fresh sawdust, and grain hull. Unique and bright with minimal off-flavors.
Feel : Light bodied, morphing into an appreciable creaminess (the quasi-creaminess only a cold-fermented lager can emulate), and a rather drying finish. Carbonation is kept mild.
Overall : As a rule, I'm not really a big fan of Oktoberfest LAGERS, but this one isn't bad at all. The potato skin/gourd lays on the palate relentlessly after the swallow, with a dusty grain flavor that seems to be ever present and yet still interesting. I've never had a Marzen like this, and I like unique things. I'd probably try this again.