Eric's Beer Blog

My online journal for beer (and other drinks) tasting, brewing, tourism, and general musings.

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Location: St. Paul, Minnesota, United States

Friday, September 05, 2008

Oktoberfest reviews, part 1

So I picked up a sampler 6-pack of Oktoberfest beers from my favorite local liquor store.  

I really love Oktoberfest beers, so I've managed to drink all of them in a couple of days.  Here's the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The good: Hacker-Pschorr.  Always a favorite.  Wonderfully malty and sweet, but clean and dry-finishing.

So-so: Paulaner.  I was a bit disappointed in this one, since it's a classic example of the style.  But it left me underwhelmed-- too little malt on the aroma, and too little in the flavor as well.  Just not enough there there.

The surprisingly good: Schell's.  A local brewery, most of whose beers tend toward the mass-market American light lager, or the mass market pseudo-microbrew.  But this was very good.  The best of the locals (in this batch).

The just-OK: Redhook?  I think that's what it was.  It was so forgettable, I've actually forgotten what brewery it was from (and I've already recycled the bottle).  Just not great.

The boring: Leinenkugel.  See comments under Paulaner, but even more so.  This tasted like a regular light lager with a dash of Oktoberfest....

The bad: Really, really bad, that is.  Lakefront.  A Wisconsin brewery, so you'd think they might know a thing or two about German style beers.  Yikes-- a big blast of diacetyl (fake movie popcorn butter) right up front in the aroma, and unfortunately, persisting all the way through the bottle.  Also, the malt profile is all wrong: more biscuit than toasty.  I probably should have poured this one out, but I kept hoping it might get better (and I've only poured out a couple of beers in my lifetime..).

More to come!