Let’s see… last night at the Geek Dinner, I drank the Redhook ESB, which wasn’t anything special. Not too bitter, lacked any sort of hops flavor to it and wasn’t even the same color as most ESB’s. It wasn’t bad, but not what I had hoped for. Upon my return, I drank one of my Oktoberfests, this time it was Otter Creek’s Oktoberfest. Again, I was a bit disappointed. It wasn’t very flavorful, and it was another (like the Harpoon Oktoberfest) that isn’t actually a Marzen, but an American Amber/Red Ale. I wasn’t a big fan of it. It was kind of thin and watery and just plain not that good. Again, it wasn’t awful, but it just wasn’t what I was hoping for (and I’ve had some good Otter Creek beers). It didn’t taste ale-like like the Harpoon one did, it actually tasted somewhat like a lager, but more like a regular old lager, just not full of flavor (though not like a macro lager).
So tonight’s beer is making up for last night. Victory’s Festbier is a great Oktoberfest/Marzen and is exactly what I was hoping for. It’s a bit lighter, but it has a very clean taste. It’s crystal clear amber in color has good carbonation and a nice amount of flavor. There’s a slight hops bite to it, but it’s almost all malt flavor. There’s a slight nut flavor to it and a slight caramel flavor as well. This is another highly recommended Oktoberfest (along with the Harpoon).
I also decided to have a second beer tonight… Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale. This is a great beer, though the spices and flavors could be a bit more subtle. Anyways, the beer pours like a regular ale with a dark amber color and moderate carbonation. The smell of it is fantastic with scents of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The flavor is very up front with the spices, again cinnamon and nutmeg and the pumpkin flavor. In my opinion the flavors could be a bit more subtle as it’s almost too much. However, I still recommend this beer and it makes a great fall brew (and yes, I know this isn’t an Oktoberfest, but the first of the Pumpkin Ales, though the only one left is the Smuttynose).