Oaktober - Karben4 Brewing

Not Rated.
Oaktober
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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

28 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 28
Reviews: 7
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 4
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karben4 Brewing visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
This ale, fermented at near-lager temperatures, is an attempt to capture that magic in a glass. Soft toffee notes are wrapped up in a blanket of flavors of fresh baked bread. The whole experience is accented with a pleasant and subtle woodsy experience provided by a whiskey-soaked blend of French and American oak.

(Beer added by: Ri0 on 09-24-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 | Reviews: 7 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cheesy26
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of bpfrush
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Duff27
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of egrace84
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of WiscoTerr
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of crobinso
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives looking very much like a glass of whiskey in a snifter once the modest head fades and the few streaks of lacing disappear

Smell: Toffee and woody tones

Taste: Toffee and woody tones lead, with earthy elements adding some complexity; a hint of the whiskey appears in the finish along with the grainy tones and a bit of lager twang

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Extra points for creativity here as this is a malty, woody treat; certainly not your father's Oktoberfest

Photo of deuceduce
4.92/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Stevedore
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%

On tap at Karben4's taproom. Full pint poured into a Karben4 snifter 9/14/2014.

A- Dark orange-brown body, as expected of an Oktoberfest style beer. Half finger white head with short retention time, not a lot of lacing to speak of. [3.75]

S- Whoa. Whiskey, oak dominates on the nose. There isn't a lot of underlying malt sweetness to be had in the nose- very oak-forward with whiskey. It's like smelling a shot of Scotch. Not bad, but it's not what I expected. [3.75]

F- This is quite good. The toasted amber malt sweetness comes forward quite well and plays well with the oak, vanilla and the whiskey. There is a nice overall breadiness that makes the whiskey flavours seem unreal, like they don't belong in this beer. At the same time, it's really quite different. [4.25]

M- Medium bodied, very dry with a strong whiskey finish. Reminds me a good bit of sipping on a single malt scotch. Surprisingly for a 5.7% ABV beer, this is damn whiskey-forward, but in a good way- all the flavours of whiskey but without the ABV. Very nice. [4.25]

O- Very interesting beer, never had anything like it before. If you like your scotch with a bit of carbonation, this could very well be the beer for you. [4]

Final score: 4.075

Photo of erin22
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of JeffOlson
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of budsandsuds8
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of BearEssentials
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Sweeter than the breast milk of a Cambodian immigrant;)

Photo of marquette3693
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Great Beer!

Photo of se128
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of blairb366
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of baderr
3.5/5  rDev -19.5%

Photo of robear
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of pschul4
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of NooseJustice
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of sisterthelonious
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of twbeecher
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of lunarbrew
3.88/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As one might expect, enjoyed this on premise. Beer poured clear (dark) amber. Fine to no lacing. Not much head.

It smells malty and rich. Although the oak is not prominent, it adds some complexity to the beer. There is definitely some vanilla and caramel/toffee in the nose. I notice a muted noble hop presence. The hop character is a little weak and hard to define.

This is a sweet beer with a decent amount of complexity for an oktoberfest. However, I feel like the oak, instead of complementing and homogenizing, is simply layering onto beer's profile. Additionally, the layers of complexity are all overly-mellowed by the oak. Nothing is jumping out of my glass here--maybe that's the point? Flavor-wise, I get some caramel/toffee, vanilla, maltose, faint red-berry, soft oak, and mild hop flavor. Little to no bitterness. No whiskey flavor or smell, so I'm pretty sure this is just oak-aged (unlike Ri0 mentioned below). EDIT: Ri0 pointed out that the beer was fermented with bourbon soaked oak chips suspended in the tank with climbing gear. Interesting approach, but unfortunately it didn't seem to come through much in the final product.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Silky smooth and medium carbonation.

I feel like this beer is getting a little local hype. I appreciate the unique approach to the oktoberfest and I think there is a pretty solid execution here, but I wasn't wowed by anything in the beer. It drank pretty average to me. I'm a huge fan of oaked beers, so I would like to see the oak character more prominent. I understand that's likely not what K4 was trying to do, though, so no points deducted in this respect.

Photo of equinox1
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

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Oaktober from Karben4 Brewing
93 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.