Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest

Reviewed by on September 4, 2015 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

  • Origin: Chico, CA, USA

  • Rated On: September 4, 2015

  • Best Before: packaged July 16, 2015

  • ABV: 6.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Oktoberfest/Märzen

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Sierra Nevada has partnered with the Bavarian brewery Brauhaus Riegele (situated northwest of Munich), an independent family-owned operation that goes back 5 generations, to create their version of an Oktoberfest this year.  I can feel September in the way that the sunshine is looking at me right now, so I guess it’s time to carry on with the autumn beer season.

This 12oz bottle pours a clear, bright medium golden amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and mildly bubbly ecru head, which leaves some decent melting frozen windshield lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of bready, slightly doughy, and toasted caramel malt, a subtle oily nuttiness, muddled pale orchard fruit, a further earthy honey sweetness, and tame leafy, weedy, and floral noble hops. The taste is biscuity, bready caramel malt, a hint of wet ash, a still separate nutty character, ethereal hints of honeyed and dried fruit, and a pleasantly off-setting grassy, leafy, and somewhat perfumed hop bitterness. The carbonation is fairly active, what with its nicely supportive and at times tingly frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and generally smooth, a wee bit of alcohol choosing this juncture to show how it rolls. It finishes well off-dry, but moderated at the same time – by nut, by hop, and by understated booze.

A pretty engaging and bang-on version of the style, the robust maltiness alone making me wistful for the summer that will soon be disappearing in the rear-view mirror. Add in a host of sundry and capable backup flavours, and we have ourselves a cross-continental, New and Old World, collaborative winner here.

Brady White

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