Altoberfest - Element Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AltoberfestAltoberfest

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

50 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 50
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 18
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Element Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  8.35% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: rudzud on 09-22-2010)
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Ratings: 50 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of VelvetExtract
2.95/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

A-Mostly clear, darker orange color. Medium sized tan, foamy head. Relatively light lacing.

S-A bit of an acrid aroma. Slightly vegetal 'off' aroma. Besides that, I get a beefed up Marzen with lots of toasty and caramelly maltiness.

T-The flavor is worse than the aroma. It tastes almost tart in a very unpleasant manner. Vegetal hops. A fruity yeast and again some stronger, thick toast and caramel. There is just an undesirable element (no pun intended) to this brew.

M-Light heat. Not too sticky. Soft bubbles. Actually one of the better aspects of this beer.

O/D-A double Marzen sounds cool but this one does not deliver. Also, coming in at about $16.50 for a 750ml is no good either. Have not been impressed with Element.

Photo of laituegonflable
3.45/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown red, scorched earth colour. Bit cloudy. Head is beige, small bubbles but retaining well. Looks pretty nice.

Smells malty; fairly English base but light fruity hops. Somewhat citric, touch of sherbet falls short of piney. Pretty light, nice base though.

Taste is a bit more hoppy. Still very English-seeming malt base, hint of toffee with lightly toasted cereal grain, then some resiny, slightly spicy hops. Dry and peppery with a touch of lemon pith. Falls disappointingly short as there's a potency in the midway that you would expect to last. Dry, bitter, quite malty. Pleasant enough.

Decent body, quite bitty at the back. Silty, even.

Nice sessionable brew. Decent balance.

Photo of Prost76
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of tneenan1
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of Alex93
3.64/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of rudzud
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had heard that Element Brewing was going to be releasing rather limited seasonal brews. I didnt realize just how limited, only 530 bottles brewed.

Each bottle comes wrapped in all that paper and an orange tag which reads "Element Altoberfest blends the assertive hop character of a classic ALT with the smooth malty qualities of an Octoberfest" as well as a bottled on date (8/18/10), hand numbered (mine was 250/530), and hand signed by owners Ben Anhalt, Tom Fields, and Dan Kramer. On the top of the tag is the most excellent phrase "Interval Ales are like virtual particles. They exist for a limited time and space". Anyways, enough with the backstory and on with the review.

A - Pour was a typical dark crystal clear copper with a fizzy two finger head that rapidly faded away to a light lacing along the rim, only to quickly disappear to nothing at all. There are quite a bit of carbonation bubbles throughout the body.

S - Roasty, sweet malts. Not picking up much in the way of typical hop aroma, which is fairly dissapointing.

T - More of the nose, a nice roasty toasty malt flavor washes over the tongue from the get go. On the back though...whats that?? Its the telltale bitterness from hops! Really nice finish to the malt start is this great assertive hop character.

M - Shokingly low carbonation considering the amount of bubbles in the glass. I know this is supposed to be smooth, and it is, but its really too smooth.

D - Its drinkable and nice, sure, but I would pass on this again. The taste is really the only aspect of this merger that has come through successfully. Failed on the nose and was confusing in the mouth. As someone who has been drinking and enjoying Element's offerings since they first began to bottle them I feel this one just isnt as good as the three mainstays, especially at the price I paid ($16.99/bottle). A nice experiment, but not a repeat venture for me.

Photo of pisano
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of beer4colin
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of RRC03
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of Kinger86
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of Rshersnow
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of DrJay
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 750, #140 of 530. Wrapped in paper with tag indicating bottling date of 8/18/2010.
Mostly clear, deep coppery reddish colour with a yellow/beige cap. Tons of clumpy lacing, decent head retention. Malty aroma, toasted and bready, light fruitiness, bit of apple and light grassiness. Medium bitterness, more toasted malt and grassy hops, light caramel, apples. Bitterness really took over in the finish, giving it a sharp edge. Quite dry, lots of airy carbonation, medium to light bodied, a bit of spicy alcohol and warmth. Overall I liked it. There are some slightly odd flavour combinations, but everything held together nicely.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle number #520, purchased somewhere in Massachusetts by my mum, who brought it back to Australia. Shared with @LaitueGonflable. It's an odd-sized bottle, 25oz, not quite the full three-quarter litre. Caged and corked, and only identified by its accompanying card: the bottle was entirely wrapped in paper. Anyway...

Pours a cloudy amber hue, with a big rocky head of yellowed-white that settles down into a firm crest. Minimal lacing, but the body is pleasantly solid. Very little visible carbonation: it looks as though it's worn itself out just getting that aerated head together in the first place.

Pleasant, slightly earthy hop characters on the nose, balanced with some pleasantly rounded malt notes. These are a bit flat, and not as expressive as they might have been, but they provide a broad sweetness at least. Faint estery tones add a little brightness and a touch of pear. It's all pretty nice stuff, perhaps just a little muted.

Taste is very nice: clean and nutty, with a pleasant sweet-savoury malt providing the bulk of the flavour. Faint, restrained bitterness gives some balance. There are soda tones to it, perhaps cola and a slightly savoury stonefruit note, almost gamey but sweet. There's a hint of a medicinal character on the back; perhaps as the cola character picks up more of the bitterness. Finish has some husky, earthy grain. It's all rather pleasant though.

Feel is very smooth, and very pleasant.

Overall, this is very drinkable and really nicely balanced even as the flavours bounce around off each other. There certainly is plenty of flavour in any case. I liked it a lot.

Photo of ncelauro
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of nkelley77
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of jmmy3
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of richkrull
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from caged bottle onto pint. Pours a deep amber with nice foamy off white head. Nice toasted boozey malt and dried fruit aromas. Really sweet malted booze. Some slight apple and peppery notes with a chocolate aftertaste. Really dry and boozey but easy to drink for the abv. Spectacular marzen/october. Really wish this was available in smaller and less pricey bottles.

Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light fizzy head over an auburn orange brown color.

Nose of sweet malts, toasty, brown malts, light hops, spicy hops and light grassy, light sweet syrupy nose.

Semi sweet taste, nice alt beer flavors, some spicy earthy hops, fairly bitter, light syrupy sweet flavors, a little gritty.

Mouth is medium bodied with light carbonation.

Overall decent, nothing special but a decent drinking Alt beer.

Photo of DIM
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to the Sweidlers for bringing this back for me. Number deucedeucedeuce, sweet.

a: This was a clear, ruby tinted chestnut brown. it poured with a thick, sticky, long lasting head.

s: Leafy hops aromas are surprisingly strong. I also found sweet bread and, more faintly, grape juice and apples. Clean overall with absolutely no trace of the 8.3% abv (according to their website). Very enticing.

t: Starts off lightly sweet with bready malts, a little toffee, and hints of grape juice. A leafy hop tingle asserts itself towards the middle becoming pretty potent by the finish. They did a great job of completely masking the alcohol.

m: Rich, creamy carbonation and a lighter body that fits the style, but belies the higher abv.

d: Probably the hoppiest fest I've tried. I really enjoyed this guys, thank you very much.

Photo of mrcotter
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have tried most of the Marzen/Octoberfest type beers available in my area. My previous favorite was Harpoon's.

This Element Altoberfest is a Marzen with the flavor turned up to a 10. I found it to be comparable to some Belgian ales I have tried.

On first pour it created a thick head which subsided somewhat quickly.

The first taste I noted was orange. That subsided as I drank it.

The high ABV was apparent but it did not reduce my enjoyment of the beer.

It was very sweet and malty. No discernible hops at all.

The aroma was a little sour.

As others have noted, the carbonation was light.

I like this a lot and would recommend this beer to others with the caveat that it is $18 per bottle. It is worth a try.

Photo of Dope
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 046 of 1329. Bottled on July 20th, 2012.

A: Pours a deep orange-red. Huge fluffy tan head. Specks of fluffy lacing left behind. Which is more than most element beers, at least. Decent retention.

S: Has a nice toasty aroma and nutty aroma, similar to a lot of brown ales. Some toffee and brown sugar to boot. Mild hoppiness, mostly herbal or grassy I would say.

T: Hops are a lot more prominent here. Grassy and herbal up front. Lots of toasted bread and caramel melds with it nicely. Sweetness fades a bit and the toasted bread gets a little bitter, borderline burnt. Grainy with touches of nuts. Finishes with more herbal, grassy hops.

M: Medium bodied, smooth and a bit grainy.

O: A really intriguing marzen for sure. Much stronger than any I've ever had. This basically craps on any other marzen I've had. Quite complex, nice hoppiness (but not overpowering, don't mistake it for an IPA or anything). Sharp, strong flavors that meld together nicely. Obviously not quite as drinkable at 8.35% but it's still plenty smooth.

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Altoberfest from Element Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.