Oct 4, 2017

Schlafly Imperial Oktoberfest

Last week we took a look at Schlafly Oktoberfest, a darn tasty example of what a Marzen should be. This time around, we’re amping things up a bit with the brewery’s Imperial Oktoberfest. This bigger brother to their Marzen weighs in at 8% ABV manages to present, not just a warmer overall experience, but also one that is superbly well-rounded and even. The malts are bigger, the hop tingle increased to help balance — everything is more full-flavored yet still even keeled.

I love an imperial version of a beer I’ve already enjoyed previously — even more so if that base beer’s flavors and personality still shine through. Schlafly have crafted an excellent example of just that experience with their Imperial Oktoberfrest. This big beer keeps the malt backbone as the shining star with a rich character that also brings in caramel and distant fruit notes. They’ve also been wise to amp up the gentle hop tingle to keep pace with the bready malt, making sure that the brew isn’t completely one-sided. The larger alcohol footprint really doesn’t play too much of a part in the flavor, eventually spreading across the chest with a hugging warmth.

This is the kind of beer that I would have loved to sip on after a long day of raking leaves, clouds of my breath hanging in the chilly air. Unfortunately, the Virginia Summer is holding on strong as temperatures are still in the 80s this week. So, I had to suck it up and enjoy this well-rounded and big beer on a fairly warm afternoon this weekend. That certainly didn’t hurt the overall experience as this beer was still downright tasty.

This is a review of a promotional sample.