This week as part of Oktoberfest Week I’ll actually be re-running some past reviews of various Oktoberfest-style beers—it turns out I’ve written reviews on at least seven beers in the style already. I know, I know, it feels a bit like cheating, but I figure, it’s a good, available resource, and there are probably a bunch of readers who haven’t gone and read through all my archives. So where I’m posting a rerun, I’ll note that.
It turns out I’ve reviewed one of the world class examples of the style, Paulaner Oktoberfest-Märzen, twice already: in 2006 and in 2007. From my 2007 review, my "Overall" note reads: "Like I said, it exemplifies the style. One of the best."
I’m not sure if I was aware of my 2006 review when I wrote the 2007 one, so it’s interesting to compare the two separated by a year to see the similarities and differences. So here’s a geeky thing; I’ll run the reviews in a side-by-side to compare. (I’ve edited down for brevity; you can read the full reviews at the links.)
|Appearance:||Perfectly clear amber-orange topped with smooth and creamy off-white head.||Very clear, darkish red-orange. Fluffy white head.|
|Smell:||Caramel maltiness. The malt dominates the nose, not much in the way of hops.||Very mild profile, but sweet with a very light hint of roasted malts….|
|Taste:||Rich and malty… wheat/grain, grass; earthy. Light hops—very crisp and clean of the Noble variety….||Malty and clean—mild caramel, crystallized sugars. Some caramelized sugars too….|
|Mouthfeel:||Smooth, medium-bodied. Creamy rich.||Smooth, a tad light, very well balanced, very drinkable.|
It seems fairly consistent to me, which really should be no surprise—this truly is one of the world classics.
On BeerAdvocate, the up-to-date overall grade it receives is B+, and it’s on their Top 10 beers for the Oktoberfest style. On RateBeer, well, I can’t give you their current rating because as of this writing, the page is down and Google has the site red-flagged as a "site that may harm your computer." Uh-oh.