Ballast Point Dead Ringer Oktoberfest

The first two Ballast Point beers that I reviewed demonstrated a clear ability to get things done in an orderly fashion that brings out what the type of beer is supposed to be. So, when I went back to the beer store, I got another one. Should I have gotten more? Possibly, but I didn't. Maybe next time - if this one works out.

The beer is a rich mahogany-burgundy with quite a bit of carbonation sending bubbles to the top to die a peaceful death. The patchy head of dying bubbles valiantly struggles to hang onto life as long as they can. The aroma is spices, dark fruits, and malt - pretty much the template for an Oktoberfest, if my past experience is anything to go by.

First sip is not as heavy on the front-end as I'm used to with these types of beers. That said, there is a lot of complexity, and that is totally what I was expecting. Still, it's all rear-loaded - that front end is almost lager simple with sweet malt, but that finish has the dark fruits and spices to really make the whole thing more of a mouthful. Speaking of mouthfuls... I'm gonna swig.

Tip-in is carbonation tingle with a kind of oak-dark fruit zest. I say zest, as it is really light right here at the start. When the middle comes, the beer spreads out with caramel that leads to the sweet bready malt. The dark fruits are heightened a bit with figs and plums and such. The finish is where complexity lies with its spices, yeast, and wheat. While the tip-in and middle were sweet and smooth, the finish is bitter and grainy.

Bottom Line: An excellent example of an Oktoberfest.



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