Firestone Walker Oaktoberfest

Reviewed by on September 26, 2016 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

  • Origin: Paso Robles, CA, US

  • Rated On: September 26, 2016

  • Best Before: canned August 22, 2016

  • ABV: 5.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Oktoberfest/Marzen

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

California’s Firestone Walker release this Oktoberfest-style brew with a curious moniker – is it really oaked?  And what’s with the standard 5% ABV? Aren’t Oktoberfest/Marzens typically a bit stronger, what with the approaching cold weather, and all?

This 16oz can pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with four fingers of puffy, rocky, and bubbly ecru head, which leaves some defrosting windshield lace around the glass as it slowly but evenly sinks away.

It smells of lightly toasted bready and doughy caramel malt, a twinge of biscuity toffee, teeny mineral notes, and some edgy and spicy, leafy and grassy noble hoppiness.  The taste is gritty and grainy caramel malt, a touch of free-range ashiness, some subtle red apple and generic citrus rind fruitiness, a hint of flinty hard water, and more testy and assertive leafy, weedy, and floral old-school hop bitters.  The carbonation is quite active in its probing and swirling frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and mostly smooth, just a bit of that surprisingly zingy hoppiness taking a minor tithe here.  It finishes off-dry, the big and brash malt doing well to reclaim its position at the head of the table.

Overall, this comes across as a very well-made version of the style, nice and complex in its malt bill, and agreeably hoppy – all done, not so surprisingly, with ingredients from Der Vaterland.  Oh, and yeah, it appears that the ‘oak’ in this one’s moniker refers to the brewery’s hometown, as translated from Spanish – no wood was thus harmed in the making of Oaktoberfest.

Brady White

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