10 October, 2009

Oktoberfest tasting synopsis....

Finally, Oktoberfest arrived in Dundrum.
The turn-out was impressive despite a couple of false starts. Although the stock was ordered well in advance, delivery was about 2 weeks off schedule. They arrived, you arrived and the tasting was a success. Loads of new faces and a couple of girls, so thanks to everyone for making the effort. For those who no-showed here are the tasting notes and general opinions of the spread.
Erdinger Oktoberfest: Malt and grain quite evident on the palate teemed with caramel and almost a cake mix flavour. Really balanced sweet and malt finish, a really approachable, crowd pleasing style. I threw in a couple of commercial Oktoberfest brews, this being one of them, just to get an overall look at styles. Surprisingly enough this came out on top as close to favourite.
Augustiner Oktoberfest: I'm a solid fan of this brewery. This was not an a-typical Oktoberfest style. It lacked the honeyed layers and caramel flavours that I always associate with these brews. Hops and bready flavours on the palate with some mineralities and a yeasty finish.
Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest: These guys make a gold which I sell and it's delicious. I found their Oktoberfest a little too dry for me. Yeast, malt and some round fruit character on the palate. Finishing with a creaminess but lacking something.........
Lowenbrau Oktoberfest: This pours like a Kolsch, surprisingly light in colour. The palate is malt and bready flavours and kinda floral. Sweet malt and a citrus finish.
Paulaner Oktoberfest: When I closed the shop at 10pm on Thursday night I went straight in to the Oktoberfest tent at Georges Dock for the trade night. When I tasted the beer in a stein I realised that my serving temperatures at our own tasting may have been a little extreme. The bottled Oktoberfest had a ripe fruit, cake and malty palate but not overly full-bodied. The tap version that had warmed up to room temperature in the heaving tent was a big round style, loads of fruit flavours, creamy, caramel and honeyed notes. A really good beer and a plate of traditional German stodge - smoked ham, fried potatoes and Saar-kraut. Definitely worth the epic trek from Dundrum. I was too far behind to partake in the table dancing and general sing-a-long with the incredibly bad German pop band. Well worth a visit over the next 10 days if you find yourself at a thirsty loose end.
The last German beer of the night was Georg Schneider's Weisen Edel Weisse. A Munich brewery until the fire in '52 where it now lies outside the Munich boundaries. He brews this for the Oktoberfest but it can't be classed as an Oktoberfest beer. Cloves and floral notes on the nose with banana, white pepper and some fresh honey on the palate. The most complex of the 6 we tried and maybe more of a food beer. Really big and loads of flavour.
That concludes the much anticipated Oktoberfest tasting. I'll be in touch with theme and date for October/November meeting.
See you all soon,

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