ThisWangsChung (836) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - SEP 17, 2013
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
A: Pours a golden amber color. About two fingers of a fluffy, barely off-white head is featured. Retention is surprisingly good for a lager, and there’s plenty of lacing left behind, too.
S: I’ve never had a marzen that seemed this juicy before. The aroma is more reminiscent of fruit punch (or perhaps a good apple cider) than it is the bready caramel sweetness typical of the style. The hops give off nice notes of grass, apricot, and peach. Aromatically, it’s probably as good as a marzen gets.
T: A touch of the caramel-y sweetness does appear initially, but the real star of the show is how juicy it seems to be - and how much of that juiciness seems to come from the hop profile. Apricot, apple, peach, and pineapple make up the bulk of the flavors around the middle, with some bitter hoppiness finishing it off.
M: It has a fairly light body, with a rather wet finish. Normally, I’d prefer a drier beer, but since the flavors are so good, I don’t care. Carbonation is middling, which I like.
O: This is unusual. Why? Because it’s not a marzen I want to chug - it’s a marzen I want to savor. How Great Lakes crams so much fruity flavor into their lagers, I’ll never know. I’d put this up near the top of all the oktoberfest beers I’ve ever sampled. If my last review said I wouldn’t have minded getting a six pack of the beer in question (ST’s 2XRYE), then I’ll state in this I kind of wish I got a six pack instead of a single.
monkeychugg55 (1043) - Joliet, Illinois, USA - SEP 30, 2016
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark reddish amber with a small white head. Nice aroma of toffee, caramel, toast, a bit of roast, with a hint of spicy noble hops and a mild yeast ester. The flavor has a nice balance of toast and caramel, with a hint of noble hops. A bold yet balanced octoberfest, that is somewhat more assertive than most German examples, Pretty good.
TAR (2708) - Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina, USA - SEP 28, 2016
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Best by 11/23/16. Rusty orange. Fragmented, off-white foam. Decent aroma of breadcrust, molasses, almond, orange, chocolate-drizzled toffee (Munich), licorice, cedar and tobacco. Light notes of paper, soured fruit, apple jelly and corn starch. Opens with a full fruitiness tempered by sharp sassafras notes. Fruity acidity sneaks in with a borderline overripe quality, and a stewed peach note taints things by adding weight to the body which greatly interferes with the subtler malt textures. Bouncy pale malt throws bouncy grass and uncured hay suggestions about, although it flirts at husky with its stale popcorn dimensions. Dabs of wet paper and apple jelly also bring in some flabbiness which tarnishes the otherwise clean and well-structured malt. Rich breadcrust signature restores the malty fullness, as notes of fallen leaves and nut skins augment the earthiness and aid the structure with a multilayered yet pleasingly dry quality. Malt is not exactly bursting with texture or detail, however. Licoricey hops prolong the malt with an assertive punch in the toasty, chewy-nutty and slightly raisiny, but well-attenuated, finish. Saccharine notes plague the finish as they linger amid hints of cedar. There’s a lot to like about this serviceable marzenbier, such as the balance and the earthcentric malt character. However, it would be markedly improved with some simple tweaks. I can’t help but wonder if the generic malt bill were simplified and decoction-mashed, exchanging those dreaded wet-paper defects for some melanoidins and finer textures. Decent...just not quite there yet.
ESPh (132) - Branchburg, New Jersey, USA - SEP 25, 2016
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours nice caramel color with a white head that dissipated leaving white lacing. Nice malty aroma. Tastes of toasted caramel malt with a hint of dark cherry. Nice medium carbonation. Right up there with anything done in Germany; this is a classic Oktoberfest.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Pumpkin87 (238) - - SEP 21, 2016
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a beautiful clear amber with smallish off-white head, which goes fast but leaves some lacing.
Aroma of malt, toast, nuts. Palate adds nice caramel, dark fruit and earth. Just a tang of bitterness, but it is under control and blends well into the mild carbonation. A clean American take that may lack some depth of the German classics, but a crisp and refreshing brew. Good for a session or a season.
Maddog (524) - Kettering, Ohio, USA - SEP 20, 2016
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Very tasty Octoberfest. Pours a copper Amber color with a beautiful aroma of malt. Flavors of malty sweetness and fruit. Slight hop finish. Great beer.
HourGlass13 (671) - North Carolina, USA - SEP 17, 2016
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
A beautiful beer in the glass, pouring a rich caramel amber color, perfectly white head with great lacing. Aroma is malty and fruity. Flavor is big and fruity up front, with a good balance of malty sweetness and slightest bitterness at the end. Finishes smooth with the slightest bitterness lingering. Extremely well done.
jeremyh70 (1070) - Missouri, USA - SEP 4, 2016
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Aroma of malt, toast, earth, caramel and slight nut. Taste is much the same with malt, toast, nut, and earth flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. Moderate carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with lots of malt and earth forward characteristics.
JFGrind (2011) - Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 28, 2016
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sweet malt O-Fest with some caramel malt and citrus bitterness. Blended very well, surprised it took me this long to sample Great Lakes Oktoberfest.
bigcat03 (284) - Columbus, Nebraska, USA - AUG 11, 2016
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Drank this one straight from the bottle. Caramel, toasty, nutty taste. Has a little bite on the aftertaste. Fairly full mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Nicely done!
oldrtybastrd (5002) - Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA - MAY 8, 2016
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours a clear golden yellow color. Aromas of grass, cheerios, and a touch of flowers. Flavor is kinda sweet to start, citrusy finish with some hop notes.