Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest - Highland Brewing
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Ratings: 196 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev +9.9%
Though astute at making well crafted Scottish and Irish ales, it seems that Highland Brewing has no problem stepping out of their comfort zone in creating lager beer with spot-on festival-type taste with great finesse and understated complexity.
Opening with a light golden appearance, there's a tinge of orange highlights that peak through the very light haze. A bright white head billows up from the beer's body and tops the beer with a cottony froth. Great withstanding foam and well-defined lacing brings the beer's appearance to a very classy close.
Its distinctive aroma is of toasted barley, bread crust and a sweetness that's just shy of caramel. Lightly nutty and savory- the malt character is simple yet refined. Swirling about the malts are a delicate floral scent from noble German hops to give the rounded nose a sense of honeysuckle.
Certainly more robust than your typical German lager, its lightly toasted character delivers delicate savoriness straight to the taste buds. Delicate malted milk character is pleasantly starchy, while light bread crust, soft cashew and an elegant sweetness that never reaches caramel. Lightly spicy in its finish, there's just enough hop bitterness to balance the malts and to keep its finish crisp. Surprisingly, the floral upstart gives the initial taste a slim fruit note to ride along side of the malt.
Mid-light on the palate, the beer is creamy as soft carbonation emerges from starchy malt structures. The lager remains that way through early and middle palate but finishes crisp, clean and almost minty.
Clawhammer is a surprisingly convincing Oktoberfest. Highlands smartly avoids caramel flavor or over-hopping for balance. The fest beer is effortless in its drinkability but is also full of character and charm.
09-16-2013 16:34:41 | More by BEERchitect
3.63/5 rDev -0.3%
Another one I had yet to try from Highland on tap. As I made my way through the fest I stopped to grab a couple of these as the copper colored liquid was about what I needed at that point in time. Nice head of white and ample carbonation rounded it out quite nicely.
Aroma is light, lots of caramel and muted grains, a touch of an herbal essence to it and a nice and laid back bready aroma. As I take a sip it is very clean, with a light to medium body that is more then amply carbonated. Small touch of bitter in the finish but mostly just a really nice bready and caramel heavy fest.
Overall a very solid example and something you could put down a few of with ease.
09-21-2010 00:28:27 | More by mikesgroove
3.4/5 rDev -6.6%
Appearance: Pours a clear, orange-amber body with a thin, white head and a few steady streams of carbonation.
Smell: Soft, light nose with only mild notes of bread malts, caramel, apple, florals, and spice.
Taste: Mild-tasting mixture of crisp grains and bread with a lightly sweet-tasting touch of caramel. Spicy, floral-toned Noble hops with a moderate amount of bitterness. Small hint of fresh orchard fruit arrives late. Dry, lightly bitter finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-plus carbonation providing for a carbonic bite.
Drinkability: It's an adequate, American-born Oktoberfest. Clawhammer will do in an O-fest pinch, but there're definitely better to have out there.
12-25-2009 19:48:13 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.93/5 rDev +8%
Officialy called the Clawhammer Oktoberfest, this beer poured into a .5 liter stein a near perfect clear rich copper with a large fluffy white head that a nice creaminess to it.Very toasted in the nose maybe even to much if posible,some caramel sweetness with a touch of peppery spice as well.Full rich malty flavors,caramel is predominant along with some doughy aspects,the finish ais a mix of peppery spice and rum-like alcohol.A full flavored and bodied O-fest,this along with Great Lakes are my two favorites of the style,very nice.
10-01-2008 23:48:32 | More by oberon
3.61/5 rDev -0.8%
12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.
Deep golden hue, great clarity. Ample froth. Fresh grassy nose, crackers, bready, herbal, earthy, ghost-like sulphur. Thinnish body, beautiful smoothness, fresh grass, grainy throughout, sufficient hopping, mild hop bitterness, faint broth, yeast, dry finish.
Enjoyable even if it is not at the top of its style, quaffable and tasty but was expecting a cleaner brew. Regardless it is an O-fest I'd love to revisit year to year.
09-22-2013 02:07:15 | More by Jason
3.7/5 rDev +1.6%
12 oz bottle into a mug.
Pours a clear coppery amber, with 3 big fingers of off-white foamy head. Retains with a rigid finger, leaving back some thick swathes of lacing. The aroma is floral spicy hops, some citrus, and toffee and bread giving this a deep backing tang in the nose.
The taste is toasty and sweet, with a firm spicy bitterness to it. Finishes with some leftover tang, before a dry and spicy lingering feel takes over. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a crisp feel on top, but seems a bit too flat underneath to keep things moving readily. I'm also picking up the tiniest bit of an alcohol zing on the back of the palate after each sip. While not overly distracting, it is noticable.
This was a decent American O-Fest. Aroma and taste were fine but the body on this held the drinkbility back some. I'm willing to investigate another bottle...
10-01-2009 16:52:07 | More by Kegatron
2.98/5 rDev -18.1%
Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing this back from N.C. for me!
Pours light orange amber with a thin, disappearing head. More hazy than a lager should be, I'm thinking.
The smell is bready/yeasty - almost medicinal/ herbal.
The taste is of light/thin caramel with floral/herbal notes, slightly metallic. It has a bitterish, dry finish.
It is on the light side of medium bodied.
This is an herbal/spicy O-fest. Different. Even out of style a bit, it is somewhat clumsy. Hoppy, but not quite in the right direction for what I'm thinking it should be. Maltiness is a bit light. Interestingly, I thought the Shining Rock Lager, though it fits bock well enough, could pass itself off as a better "O-fest" than this one.
01-07-2009 05:25:43 | More by jwc215
3.56/5 rDev -2.2%
A: Pours a clear copper in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and some burnt orange + amber highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy beige head that reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.
S: Light to moderate aromas of bready malts with some hints of light fruit sweetness (apple) and caramel. Light amounts of floral hops are present as well.
T: Light to moderate flavors of cereal grain malts with some additional bready malt flavors as well. There are light hints of caramel and light fruit sweetness (apple). Light hints of floral and earthy hops that impart a light but lingering bitterness.
M: Just shy of medium bodied with slightly more than moderate amounts of carbonation.
O: Easy to drink and enjoyable but certainly not one of the best American examples of the Oktoberfest style that I have come across. I could have a couple of these but would generally choose another Oktoberfest if I had the opportunity.
09-29-2013 23:04:41 | More by dbrauneis
3.75/5 rDev +3%
Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Sam Adams pint glass. It poured a crystal clear copper color with a thin white head to it. The head had faded to a thin dusting after a minute or so and it didn't leave much for lacing on the glass either. Nice color though.
The aroma has a toasted malt and caramel flavor to it with just a touch of hop bitterness. Pretty good aroma for the style, it's pretty balanced and also flavorful.
The taste is similar to the aroma in that toasted malts and caramel make up the bulk of the flavors. A little of the caramel sweetness starts to come through towards the finish. Some hop bitterness helps balance it out overall. Pretty good tasting beer for the style.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it was a good beer of the style and quite drinkable. It had some nice flavors to it and was pretty well balanced. A pretty good drinking beer overall.
11-12-2010 21:45:17 | More by billab914
3.68/5 rDev +1.1%
12 oz bottle served in a Highland Brewing pint glass.
A wee bit different, with a slight darker orange-gold body and more flavor from noble hops. Crystal clear with a proper looking level of carbonation. The medium-ligh carbonation is well-chosen, and gives this beer a light crispness. The smallish off-white head has limited duration and leaves little lacing. The aroma features bready German malts with some spicy and herbal notes from the hops. The hops come more to the fore in the near semi-dry and lasting finish.
O - refreshing and very good for style. Now, if only someone would hand me a large Bavarian pretzel.
10-15-2011 20:52:04 | More by chinchill
3.93/5 rDev +8%
A: Poured from a bottle to a mug. Had a brown color and a mostly clear texture. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Average lacing.
S: A nicely spicy, malty aroma.
T: Tasted of malt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and some other spices. Generally pretty tasty. Not exactly what you think of when think of an oktoberfest beer, but that's not a bad thing.
M: A decent amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.
D: This beer needs smoothing out in spots, but it is still drinkable.
09-08-2010 12:22:35 | More by avalon07
3.58/5 rDev -1.6%
Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured yellow-orange with a half finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of malt, coriander, slight clove, and a very light hop note. The flavor was of malt, very subtle hop, with an increasing maltiness upon swallowing. It had a light feel on the palate with no carbonation. Overall this was an okay Oktoberfest. None of the flavors were very pronounced unfortunately. It did however go down really smooth. Decent beer, just not for its style.
10-27-2010 12:06:22 | More by thagr81us
3.95/5 rDev +8.5%
Pours a clear coppery-reddish with a decent slightly off-white head. Aroma is malty and just a little spicy, mainly cinnamon and cloves. Flavor is rather strong and malty with an undertone of cloves and cinnamon and just a hint of caramel. Smooth, tingly, fizzy texture leaves a spicy and fizzy finish.
10-08-2009 21:52:18 | More by Cyberkedi
Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest from Highland Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 196 ratings.