88 Beck’s Oktoberfest Lager, Brauerei Beck & Co. (Germany). 5.2% ABV (11/07)
Pretty, deep copper color with a lacy head. Praline and raisin toast aromas follow through to a soft, frothy and dryish medium body with nice baked citrus, orange honey and roasted nut flavors with a crisp refreshing bittering hop fade. Well done and quite quaffable.
88 Baltika #4 Original Dark, Baltika Brewery (Russia). 5.6% ABV (10/08)
Deep reddish copper color with a taupe mousse. Haystack, fennel, melted brown sugar and dark roasted almond aromas follow through on a vigorously froth and round entry to a fruity sweet medium-to-full body with candied apricot and honeyed cinnamon raisin toast notes. Finishes with a caramelized orange, maple sugar and woodsy nutshell fade. A confected, chewy lager; try with Korean BBQ.
86 Point Oktoberfest, Stevens Point Brewery (WI). 5.1% ABV (10/08)
Bright, light copper color. Light toast and lemon yogurt aromas follow through on a crisp entry to a tangy, light-to-medium body with a touch of praline and citrus rind. Finishes with a tangy green apple, nut bread and orange marmalade fade. Light and refreshing.
86 Michelob Märzen, Michelob Brewing Co. (MO). 5.1% ABV (10/08)
Amber color with a blanket of mousse. Mild aromas of orange rind, nut and chocolate croissant follow through on a smooth, silky entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium body with velvety carbonation and excellent integration of flavors. Finishes with a crisp, slightly fruity candied grapefruit peel, mossy hop, hard bread crust and dried peach fade. A tasty and easy drinking märzen that is sure to please the crowd.
86 Balto MärzHon Lager, Clipper City Brewing Co. (MD). 5.9% ABV (10/07)
Hazy amber color. Sweet and somewhat pungent baking spice and lemon curd aromas have a soapy edge and follow through to a dryish medium body of lemon custard, raisin bread and sweet salt water taffy flavors and a candied citrus fade.
85 Oktoberfest, Lancaster Brewing Co. (PA). 5.2% ABV (11/09)
Deep amber color. Aromas of cooked honey, baked peach, nut skin and buttermilk biscuit follow through on a round, supple entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium body with molasses and roasted root vegetable and okra notes. Finishes with a crisp, mossy mineral and hay-like hop fade. An earthy, rustic take on an Oktoberfest; pair with pot roasts.
85 Brooklyn Lager, The Brooklyn Brewery (NY). 5.2% ABV (11/09)
Aromas of fresh, baled hay, pasta dough and dusty oregano-like hops follow through on round entry to a dryish medium body with roasted root vegetables and kale notes. Finishes with a buttermilk, fresh cut grass, pine cone and dried grapefruit peel fade. A bit unusual for a märzen style, but interesting, particularly for hopheads. Drink with food.
84 Oktoberfest Lager, Karl Strauss Brewing Co. (CA). 5% ABV (10/07)
Slightly hazy, deep amber color. Fermenting cocoa nib, horse mane and dried tangerine aromas are unusual. A round entry leads to a mercurial, fruity medium body of slightly sour dried fruit, malted chocolate, yogurt and raw honey flavors with a quick old cream and toffee fade. Interesting, but somewhat off the mark; try with stinky triple cream cheeses.
84 Oktoberfest Bavarian-Style Lager, Upland Brewing (IN). 6.8% ABV (10/08)
Medium amber color with a slight haze. Orange soufflé, wheat grass and peppery spice aromas follow through on a rich, lightly prickly entry to a chewy, dryish medium-full body with caramel fudge, clay and wet grain notes. Finishes with a clanging wave of pine needle, grapefruit rind and pepper dust. A potent, almost imperial version of the style.