Review of Bell’s Octoberfest

31 Oct
For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the last Octoberfest styled brew in my possession.  It’s the Bell’s Octoberfest brewed by Bell’s Brewery, Inc. located in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Fortunately, I have access to most all of the products that Bell’s releases, but for some reason I have yet to try the Octoberfest, so I figured I better do so before the season ended.

Here’s the description from the website,

Crafted as a flavorful session beer, Bell’s Octoberfest Beer is perfect for a week-long wedding celebration in Germany or the start of the Michigan autumn.  As with Bell’s Lager Beer, Octoberfest spends a full six weeks maturing in the fermentation vessels.  Unlike its cousin, Octoberfest trades in the assertive hop presence for a focus on a light caramel malt note, lending body without too much sweetness.  

In order to best preserve the flavor & shelf life of the beer, it is recommended Bell’s Octoberfest Beer be kept refrigerated.  

Bottoms up!!!

Bell’s Octoberfest comes in a 12 oz. bottle and has an ABV of 5.8%.

The beer poured a clear amber to dark orange color.  Plenty of burnt orange and yellow highlights swirl around all of the edges of the glass.  The cap was decently sized, off white, soft and mostly creamy in texture.  The retention time was adequate and the lacing was “so-so.”

The aroma consisted of a prevalent caramel malt.  Lightly toasted notes of wheat and grain combined with a hint of leafy goodness helped create a very round and “earthy” fragrance.  Deep within the smell I began to detect hints of very relaxed spices that seemed to add a touch more complexity than initially thought.

The taste delivered more of the caramel malt along with a bit more of the spice.  Nutmeg and maybe cinnamon.  A very mild hop bite was felt, which lent to a minute bitterness.  Some toasted biscuits were welcomed and I also discerned a very, very light, dried apple chip type of flavor.  Again, very earthy and round with the taste.

The mouthfeel was medium, smooth, clean, crisp, refreshing, dry and somewhat thirst quenching.  Not a whole lot of flavor was left behind on the palate.  It vanished relatively quickly.

Well, I thought that this was primarily an average Octoberfest.  It wasn’t anything bad or horrible, but more or less straight forward I thought.  It’s definitely worth a try as you make your way through the seasonals, but don’t expect a world class beer.  The Bell’s Octoberfest is easily drinkable and has plenty of flavor and appeal, but I’ll tell ya, I’m glad this is my last Octoberfest of the season.  They are all starting to taste the same to me.  So with that being said, pick up a bottle before the season is over, give it a try and let me know what you thought of it.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  Remember to look me up on Twitter and Google+ if you would like to discuss craft beer a little further.  Until next time.


Score:  3.5 out of 5
Grade:  B- 

On a side note, I thought I would give a run down of the Octoberfest/Oktoberfest beers that I tried this year.  All in all, I tried eleven different ones.

1.    Great Lakes Oktoberfest – 4.0 out of 5 (B+)
2.    Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest – 3.85 out of 5 (B+)
3.    Paulaner Oktoberfest – 3.75 out of 5 (B)
4.    Hudepohl Oktoberfest – 3.7 out of 5 (B)
5.    Samuel Adams Octoberfest – 3.6 out of 5 (B)
6.    Magic Hat “Hex” Ourtoberfest – 3.6 out of 5 (B)
7.    Bell’s Octoberfest – 3.5 out of 5 (B-)
8.    Spaten Oktoberfest – 3.5 out of 5 (B-)
9.    Schlafly Oktoberfest – 3.4 out of 5 (B-)
10.  Brooklyn Oktoberfest – 3.35 out of 5 (B-)
11.  Hofbrau Oktoberfest – 3.25 out of 5 (C+)

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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Bell's, Country: USA


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