Bearded Iris Overcast Festbier

I'm generally not a fan of Octoberfest/Oktoberfest/Märzen/Festbier (could some international authority standardize the name of these beers, please? What to we pay the UN for?) beers, but this is a Bearded Iris brew, so I expect a cut above. That said, this has a pretty pedestrian 4.6% ABV, so I don't know that there will be a whole lot of "fest" really going on here.

The clear pale gold beer has a healthy head that is like a giant pillow. It eventually dies down to a nice, uneven layer that flows into the lacing strewn haphazardly around the sides. The aroma is almost stifling with yeast, vanilla, and some hops that almost seem soured. It's a strange aroma, but Bearded Iris doesn't normally lead me astray.

First sip is MUCH better than I had thought. The vanilla adds quite a bit to the citrus hops and cracker malt. The yeast is still stronger than I usually like, but the light spiciness is making the whole thing seem very harmonious. I think I would sip this all day long (and with that ABV, I probably could) but it's time to really taste this beer.

Tip-in is sweet like honey, and a carbonation sting attacks the tongue while oranges and lemons dance in the middle of the mouth. The middle swings by with its vanilla, citrus, crackers, and spices. The finish is dry, and the vague sourness lingers behind a shield of sweet citrus, but it's still there.

Bottom Line: Bearded Iris, it seems, could make any style pretty good.

2.75/5

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