For this first official day of Oktoberfest I’m reviewing the Widmer seasonal offering, Okto. It’s an easy drinking, malty, rich beer that is 5.5% alcohol by volume. This is an ale, and not a true Oktoberfest-style lager (both the review sites say Amber Ale specifically).
The Oktoberfest (Märzen) style is one of my absolute favorites and this generally applies to similarly styled (and well done) Amber Ales—the big malt sweetness and low hopping just tastes good and is a nice break from the super-hopped extreme beers. Don’t get me wrong, I love lots of hops and the experimental stuff and all that—but every now and again it’s just nice to get back to basics.
Appearance: Clear amber orange with a slight off-white head—very nice.
Smell: Buttery, caramel, toffee-sweet, nutty, bready, very nicely malty—the aroma is mouth watering, actually!
Taste: Malty sweet without being cloying, a hint of an indefinable tang (alcohol?), rich with a hint of maple and just tastes really good.
Mouthfeel: Nice firm medium body, you can get your mouth around it, a little bit of lingering bitterness.
Overall: Really tasty, a solid hit from Widmer. It may not be a true Oktoberfest—but this is what I’m looking for in an American Amber Ale. I’ll probably be stocking up on this before it’s gone from the shelves.