Bidding Farewell to the Holiest of Beer Seasons
A Review of Spaten Oktoberfest Beer by Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Posted on 10/26/2012 by Chops
                   
Great
If you ever want to see what denial looks like, talk to a beer geek at the end of Oktoberfest. It's the holiest of holidays in the beer world and beer fans are inconsolable when it ends. Not to sound overly dramatic or anything, but it really is a depressing time. The season bestows upon us that most magical of beer styles: the Oktoberfest amber lager. It's the one beer style that we all wish was available on a year round basis. With the festival at its end, many pubs are emptying their remaining supplies to make room for the winter stouts and warmers. I was lucky enough to score one of the last few mugs of the Spaten Oktoberfest post-season. It seems only fitting that I bid farewell to the festival with a respected German staple.

In the glass, this beer has that signature deep rich amber coloration of a good Oktoberfest. It comes with a frothy white head that likes to stick around for a while. On the nose, I immediately latched onto a strong toasted bready malt with a sweet caramel infusion. This version has some toasted graininess akin to roasted nuts as well as a nondescript spiciness.

At this point I have to pause because based on intro alone, I can easily denote Spaten as my new baseline Oktoberfest. After all, Spaten is the German equivalent of Samuel Adams here in the states, so you know their beers are going to be tasty and reliable at the very least. Couple that with the fact that the Oktoberfest style is a German tradition and you have one hell of a solid brew.

The flavor ended up closely matching the aroma. Grainy toasted bready goodness with hints of caramel, mild spices, and a well balanced hop profile. I also found a slight candied vibe as well as an herbal quality. The mouthfeel is quite smooth and welcoming. It's an easy drinking brew with a savory character. The finish is very clean and exits with a malty and lightly bitter aftertaste.

Overall, the Spaten Oktoberfest is a solid version of a time honored beer style. It's an easy drinking brew with great character that I can recommend to any and all beer fans. Seasoned drinkers will appreciate this brew as one of the best session versions on the market. Novices can utilize this brew as a fantastic introduction to the style.

This beer in particular brings up a very interesting disconnect that I see in the international beer scene. If I were reviewing this beer as a German resident, I would probably rate it as mediocre at best. It's acceptable. But this is only because Germans have access to the finest Oktoberfest brews on the planet. From an American perspective, the Spaten version is really damn tasty. Any beer fan that has ever experience an exquisite German version of the Oktoberfest style will understand the following statement: the Spaten Oktoberfest is a fantastic stateside option where authenticity matters. The only reason I have to rate this beer as merely ''great'' is because I have to compare it to its mind-blowing German counterparts. But regardless, if you are lucky enough to score a pint of this nectar, drink up and enjoy, because I doubt you'll find a better version.

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Spaten Oktoberfest Beer by Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
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