Thanks to Joe Wietlispach for giving me this beer last weekend prior to our Oktoberfest house party, which was inclusive of a pumpkin keg and two pale ale kegs, along with on tap mead, and Red, Pale and Redband cans in the fridge. It went well, by the way...
Appearance: Ambered orange with a specked white film across the top. Carbonation is occasional, against the quite clear. background of the beer. Lacing is spotted and wet.
Aroma: Sweet and malted. Toasted malt dominates. Hops help finish the beer out with a crisp, notable earthiness. Big Oktoberfest-esk scent. Some yeastiness as well as prominent bready smell.
Taste: Sweetness in the foretaste is masked by the large carbonation, but then re-appears a the middle with a rich malted bready sweetness, common to the style. Some hotness present, but hardly impressionable. However, there is a large lignin/grain husk bitterness that doesn't really help the beer. Over-drying. As the beer warms, more toasted malt permeates, but the strange woodsy dryness remains. Interestingly, a hint of hops emerges as well.
Mouthfeel: Relatively light, if you don't consider the huge blast of carbonation at the front of the beer, which takes a lot away from the foretaste. After this dissipates, the body toughs up again to a medium status. Dryness presides.
Overall Impression: Not the greatest Oktoberfest I've come across this season, but it still maintained a substantial malt bill that was perfect, but the finish was anything but.