Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Oktobock (Wild Oats Series #24) - Beau's All Natural Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Vankleek Hill)

Oktobock (Wild Oats Series #24) - Beau's All Natural Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Vankleek Hill) 7.0%

A deep gold in a glass, crystal clear with a head of white foam. The aroma is sweet, lightly malty with a distinctly lager yeast touch as well as that dry, lightly spicy hoppiness of Czech or German hops.

Drily bitter and spicy hops continue in the taste but are rounded out beautifully by a robust malty body and also have a slight herbal touch. Touches of caramel, a roast glaze and grain are highlights of a malt character that suits the style perfectly to my taste. Ocktobock's has a bitter finish (again, entirely appropriate) and a malty, roasty aftertaste.

Oktobock is just about exactly what I expect when I drink a Bock: that ineffable lager taste, drily bitter and barely spicy European hops, malty sweetness (an emphasis on roasty, sugary or caramel tasting malt as the brewmaster chooses), a refreshing feel even though the mouthfeel is thicker than a lager and marginally syrupy.

In a way my expectations are a little coloured by the travel time it takes for German bocks to arrive in Canada which can cause the hops to become a bit attenuated. With a beer brewed just outside of Ottawa the blush isn't off the rose, so to speak: the beer is fresh and the hops flavours have more depth and variety. Also since Oktobock is a Maibock interpretation, it is expected to be somewhat more bitter than a Bock or a Helles Bock.

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