Drake (8617) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - SEP 21, 2008
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
22 oz. bottle from Wine Warehouse. Clear deep red pour with an, um, red head. Hoppy aroma with some grain characteristics. Very grainy taste with an odd fruity hop character. Medium body.
HomeBrewHawk (464) - De Soto, Kansas, USA - SEP 21, 2008
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
22oz. bomber served in a pilsner glass. Poured an unnatural looking deep red with a finger of pink head. Fairly hoppy aroma, with a little fruit and a fair amount of caramel malt. Nice malty base. Medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel. Bit of a hop bite. I didn’t taste any red fruit, so the color must be artificial. Kind of fun to drink, but nothing earth shattering. I wouldn’t call it an Oktoberfest.
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - SEP 20, 2008
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Wow, what an insane red color this beer is; this is a bright, freakishly artificial read color. The head is a red stained, dark tan color and is initially a fat-two-fingers in height. The beer looks like cranberry juice. The beer smells like a malty lager though with toasted grain notes, ample biscuit character some caramelized malt notes and pretty much no hop character at all.
Lightly sweet tasting up front with a noticeable, clean bitterness that tends to linger on the palate after a sip. There is also a slightly herbal, astringent hop character that accentuates the perceived bitterness profile of this beer. This is malt focused though, it is just that the hop character stands out at first because I got no sense of it in the nose. Lots of toasted malt notes produce flavors of lightly browned saltine crackers, toasty biscuit flavors as well as some hearty, whole grain bread notes. Caramelized malt flavors add a touch of sweetness and accentuate something that is touch berry tasting.
As the beer warms up some light citrus hop notes become noticeable in the aroma; actually ruby-red grapefruit aromatics begin to play a fairly significant role in the nose. Now that I noticed those in the aroma the flavor starts to open up as well with some orange-zest flavors become noticeable. The hop character seems to switch roles with the malt and play the slightly more dominant role as this gets towards 60°F / 15.6°C.
Other than the freakish red color (their website would have you believe the color all comes from the malt choices), this is a good example of a malt focused Oktoberfest when drunk at 50°F / 10°C. Nothing particularly jumps out at in you in either the flavor or the aroma, but this is a pretty well balanced and put together beer. Very clean with lots of toasty, slightly caramelized malt notes make for a quaffable beer. Once the beer opens up it becomes a bit more interesting, but definitely starts to depart from the traditional Oktoberfest model. Though it can be a touch to astringent in its hop character at times. I would have loved to have seen the astringent hop character toned back a bit with more of a spicy / floral noble hop flavor (as opposed to the citrus character that does become noticeable) and aroma takings its place.
Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ
sneagrams3 (2337) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - SEP 20, 2008
2.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Tasted 9/18/08. 22oz bomber. Creepy reddish hue. Looks fake. Pink head, which is equally creepy. Citrus orange aromas with a touch caramel malts. Medium bodied and bitter. Sticky finish. Fall seasonal? Yes. Oktoberfest? No. Big, red muddled mess.
highibus (733) - Vail, Arizona, USA - SEP 20, 2008
2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
interesting color but I just don’t get this beer. it really tastes aweful. No beer flavor anywhere. it all seems to be masked by whatever they used to give it that color.
mfaulke (92) - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 19, 2008
2.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
I give them credit on cranking out a funky looking brew, but can’t really go much further than that. I knew from the name that it would be nothing close to a typical marzen, and was OK with that. I could not get by the finish though. The bitterness in the finish just didn’t come out right, and it tasted artificial. Plain and simple it’s just not that good. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
mcbackus (758) - Merritt Island, Florida, USA - SEP 19, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
bottle: pours a great looking red colour with a huge bright pink head, with small lacing and good retention. aroma is a nice sweet malt touches of caramel and bready grains. flavour is a bitter to start then goes into a decent malt, not a lot of flavours come out a bit sticky and k to drink, love the colour though.
Cornfield (5497) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - SEP 19, 2008
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
I picked up a bottle of this at the Binny’s in Orland Park, IL. I was tired. I was tired a few hours later when I pulled the bomber out of my fridge and poured - a RED OKTOBERFEST!?! With a tall, rocky pink head to boot!?! Egads, folk, don’t do that to a weary ol’ fart. I have nightmares about my urine looking like this some upcoming morning. Anywhat - The smell was sugary sweet - candy like - with grainy malt. A sharp herbal/grassy bitterness joins in on the flavor, probably just after the midpoint. It turns into a rather metallic aftertaste. Not a very noteworthy brew, but after my initial befuddlement, I began to appreciate the presentation.
badgerben (4479) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - SEP 19, 2008
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Light blood red color with a thin head. Light grain and marshmallow aroma. Very weak grain flavor. Nothing going on, other than looking bloody.
sthlm (1231) - Minnesota, USA - SEP 19, 2008
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
[Bottle] Pours...red? Weird. Has a small pink head as well. Aroma is sugary sweet with a lot of malt. Taste is very malt dominant as well with not very much going on, aside from quite a bit of bitterness in the finish. Pretty good mouthfeel with a slightly dry finish. Really not very good...pretty much a novelty beer that didn’t work out.