Barktoberfest | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

very good
88 Reviews

Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierguy5 on 09-26-2004

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Reviews: 88 | Ratings: 315
Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is crystal clear light copper in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin layer of lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of toasted malts are present in the nose along with some hints of earthiness.
T: The taste follows the smell, having flavors of toasted malts and some slight hints of toffee. No bitterness is perceptible, but there are enough underlying hops to mask malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a good American representation of a German Oktoberfest style. While rather malty, it's still quite drinkable because the body isn't that heavy.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A safe and tasty Oktoberfest beer that exhibits the caramel-rich sweetness over malty elegance of traditional Marzens.

The pour brings a brilliantly clear copper/amber hue with solid head formation initially, but the retention fades quickly with low levels of lace or life left behind.

Aromas of lighly baked barley, medium caramel and grain dominates the nose, but with a backup note of true malt and tea-like herbs.

Dominant caramel and grainy-sweetness continue in flavor with lighter malt taste, mild breadiness, and light grassy hops. Bitterness keeps the beer from one-dimentional sweetness but is still a far cry from balance.

Creamy and sweet early, the beer retians its maltiness through the first half of the session but the sweetness and grain flavors wear on the palate later.

The heavy sweetness is never balanced with malt complexity or hop bitterness thus the sweetness causes early fatigue of the palate.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into dimpled mug, 2014 release. Pours fairly hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toast, biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and light earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, toast, toffee, biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Minimal earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toast, toffee, biscuit, light nuttiness, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice robustness, balance, and complexity of dark/bready malt and light earthy hop flavors; with no cloying sweetness after the finish. Very clean malt flavors with minimal yeast esters present. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly slick/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Oktoberfest style. All around great robustness, balance, and complexity of clean dark/bready malt and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pokal a deep bronze with a half finger white head,the color was quite deep for the style.Aromas of caramel,sweet dough,and light splash of herbal/spicy hop,pretty standard palate with caramel and toasted grain the main components,light herb in the finish.Not a bad O-fest lager but pretty mainstream compared to alot of better ones out there.

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Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to beerhan for this guy.

Pours a fizzy almost 1 finger head that fades at a med pace, over mostly clear copper orange colored beer, with a bit of lacing.

Nose has some toasty reddish malts, a bit of caramel, some reddish copper malts, some light lager crisp like aromas, sweet malts, and a bit of floral hops. More American style marzen.

Taste comes malty as well, reddish copper malts, semi sweet malts and a bit toasty, sweet syrupy caramel flavors. Then some fruity lager flavors, a bit too fruity though. The syrupy malt flavors really take over, typical American Oktoberfest though. Some light earthy hops, but not a lot. Finishes semi sweet and a bit more bitter, caramel and syrupy malt flavors lingering.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall not bad, typical American Oktoberfest with reddish caramel malts and syrupy flavors, a bit of a decent lager flavor and just a hint of hops that could use more of.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 11/05/08 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, some spice, some fruit and a little bit hops.

T: The taste is malty but a little sweeter than most O-Fests with flavors of caramel, fruit, a little spice, decent hops presence provides some balance. The after-taste is a little sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, not quite the best Oktoberfest that I've had but it's worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear deep copper in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and faint amber highlights. The beer has a three finger tall foamy beige head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thin film surrounded by a very thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted and bready malts with a light to moderate amount of earthy hops.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted and bready malts with minimal amounts of toffee sweetness. That is followed by a moderate flavor of earthy hops which imparts minimal amounts of bitterness which fades away almost instantly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink as this one is very well balanced with malt and hops flavors/aromas without either really dominating the overall sweetness/bitterness. Enjoyable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Barking dogs occasionally bite, but laughing men hardly ever shoot."

--Konrad Lorenz

Blazing bonfire orange with amber borders and a wealth of carbonation that is sustaining barely one finger of skinned almond colored foam. The lid is creamy, though, and hangs around for a bit. Lace isn't abundant early, but comes through in the end with fat rings connected by thick sheets.

The aroma is classic for the style and includes no bells or whistles. That makes sense since most brewers stick with tradition in their Oktoberfests. Well-toasted and nutty grains are pleasing to the nose.

Barktoberfest Lager is just as solid on the taste buds. There's still plenty of countering bitterness left, despite the fact that this is an autumn seasonal and there were only 15 IBUs to start. Can that be accurate?

Flavors include lightly sugar-crusted toasted grains, baked nuts and a tea leaf bitterness that keeps the finish quasi-crisp and tight. Hop flavor is not lost in the mix either. This is surprisingly well-brewed beer in a style that struggles to float my boat on most occasions.

The mouthfeel has everything that it needs in terms of size and bubbles. Warming firms it up and smooths it out, although the carbonation still has plenty of energy. Well done.

Thirsty Dog Barktoberfest is yet another impressive offering from an Ohio brewery that tends to get lost in the mix. Great Lakes in clearly the class of the state, but these guys deliver the goods as well.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A holdover from the fall if you will, it has been sitting in the back of the fridge and as I have promised my wife I would clean all this out, I am almost done, down to 15 in the kitchen I think, it is a small miracle for sure. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 05/20/2010.

Nice dark amber in color as I pour it into the glass. Orange highlights are all over this one as the clarity lets you see the copious amounts of carbonation still coming up to the surface here. A very classic look for fall as it starts to take on a pumpkin color itself with a small white cap of foam that quickly dissipates but leaves a nice touch of lacing in its wake.

Aroma is caramel malts all the way. Light tones of candied sugar, a touch of light spice as well. Really interesting but again as it warms it starts to lose a touch of its luster. Warming caramel and malted grains are all over the profile from the first sip. Nice balance here as there are touches of bittering hops that add a decent amount to it. Clean and crisp flavor, though a little slick work here and the overall profile is that of a classic marzen with a nice hoppy twist. Caramel and bready flavors linger on the tongue longest, but there is a touch of some light hops that due slice through.

Overall a solid example of the style. Not the best ever but very, very serviceable. I would have no issue at all with trying this one again any day, simply very drinkable.

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Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Thick head on top of a crystal clear copper colored brew. Grassy, caramel and fresh herbs in the nose, very clean. Deep smoothness within a solid medium sized body. A whole lot of malt going on here; from bready to dried grass, hint of biscuit and a kiss of caramel ... all which meld well together. Nice uniform bite of hop bitterness is there to balance with some complimenting flavor in the semi-dry malty finish.

Spot on for style, very drinkable with a ton of malt flavor on the palate.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear copper amber hue with a bright off white head, forms thick lacing around the glass as it dwindles. Aroma caramel malts, earthy/spicy hops will imbibe and report back sensations. A spicy hop background upfront caramel malts/nutty tones as well, this is solid maybe a touch of diacetyl (butter). Have no fear it doesn't hurt the flavor profile it's not offensive for me, but I'm not sensitive to that flavor. Only offense for me is overall sweetness it hits the super malty profile without hitting me with enough herbal spicy qualities to balance things out. Mouthfeel is creamy assertively carbonated, not thin not heavy or cloying. Drinkability overall is alright a bottle wasn't bad but this style is meant to be drank by the liter and this version doesn't justify that portion size.

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Photo of tempest
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Abe's Cold Beer. I wasn't sure what to expect, but this turned out to be a very tasty lager. It was a little too toasty for the style (though I won't short it for that) with smooth mellow bread and hint of caramel. The only knock is a mild touch of diacetyl in the aroma. Still, I'd be happy to have a stein full of this Oktoberfest any time.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep copper color with a white head and a sheet of lacework. Aroma of caramelized malt and buttery toffee. In the flavor, toffee, caramel and a faint hint of butterscotch. Fairly bitter, earthy hops do a fine job of balancing this seasonal lager. Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Overall this is a very good American Oktoberfest.

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Photo of biegaman
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Barktoberfest pours with a full-moon for a head, and a lacing that splatters the glass like a wet dog shaking off wet snow. It has a deep amber complexion, a slightly tarnished golden colour that's smeared into flashy coppered overtones. Looks like a filling, hefty lager.

Traditional Märzen (see: Hofbrau Oktoberfest) were stronger but only slightly deeper, more intricate variations from their standard Helles lagers recipes. Most modern craft breweries, especially those in the States, brew a different beer altogether; they are decidedly darker and richer, with a far appreciable toasty nuttiness and even suggestions of caramel.

This approach tends to produce, at least superficially, a more substantial beer. (It's similar to the case to be made between more austere Old World wines and their sweeter, more bombastic New World counterparts.) Thirsty Dog's version is certainly one of those thicker, broader examples - you can tell from the forwardly nougat-y, nutty aroma alone...

And if not that, certainly from the stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth maltiness. The flavour profile is layered - toasted bread crusts, spongy coffee cake, biscuits - and finishes with a fine dusting of maple fudge and a delicious honeyed, nutty note taken right from the Greek pastry playbook (think baklava or kataifi), tempered of course by a fairly heavy-handed hoppiness.

Thirsty Dog Barktoberfest is a howlin' good ale (it's as good as that pun is bad). It's ultra-rich maltiness and all its notions of walnut cake and nutty pastry that accompany it, are irresistible, especially when placed inside such a quaffable, easy-to-chug-back lager frame. After the iconic German brands, this is an obvious one to recommend. In fact, it's a new personal favourite.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Orangish pour, no head formation. Light spacious rise of carbonation within an otherwise clean visible clarity. Prefer a bit more head character per style, this was otherwise flat.

S: Sweet caramel syrup, light fresh greenery in a soft delivery.

T: Flavor was again sweet and carmael syrupy, a bit thick and sweet as opposed to cleaner, lighter, german styles. Some flowery hops, a bit of spicy maple syrup, the hops are herbal, a bit more pronouced towards the end of the drink, and with some warming, sticky, resinous character.

M: Mouthful was sticky, syrupy, again a bit thicker then usual, a bit of weight and fullness, with a calming rate of carbonation.

O: Overall the body is a bit more robust then you may want in a typical octoberfest style, this is more of a heavier, robust, slower drinking, less volume version, not the traditional german old world style as its labels claim. Big sweetness and big syrupy body, some nobel hops, but not as pronouced, fairly reserved and could of been fresher. The abv% of 6.0 seems a bit higher then the norm, not unexpected from the heavy handed malt body. Still some toastiness, just a bigger, fuller american version, somewhat tasty by itself. I rated this per my expectations vs an true german style counterpart, some may like a fuller version in much less quantity to which i would say give it a try, not a bad tasting beer, just an offshoot american bastardization.

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Photo of avalon07
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear texture. There was a half inch of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Very little lacing.

S: Malt was front and center in the smell, with hints of caramel as well.

T: Tasted of malt, caramel, and a little nuttiness in the finish. An OK flavor, but nothing I haven't seen before.

M: A good amount of carbonation, with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is one of those beers that's neither great nor offensively bad. It's solid, but not memorable.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Typical Oktoberfest you get a dark amber brown with a nice inch of creamy white colored head.

S - Smells very malt forward which I enjoy. Notes of bread and caramel are followed by toffee and small hints of Rum Raisin bread.

T - Damn this is tasty, much bigger than most I have sampled that seems to have Dopplebock tones to it an almost "rum soaked raisin bread" tone. Very hoppy and sweet malts make this one very balanced, caramel and toffee flavors abundant.

M - Medium bodied it does drink kind of heavy for a late summer eve.

Overall I welcome the style and they did a very good job representing it. If I could get it cheaper than 3 dollars a bottle (18 dollar sixer) I could enjoy it more. Damn Thirsty Dog is pricey here.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of Thirsty Dog's Barktoberfest last week for $1.79 at The Lager Mill. A friend of mine let me try a sip of this when we were playing disc golf last month and I thought it was pretty good so I bought a bottle so I could sit down and review it, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- This beer has a pretty good looking label, I like the Halloween theme. It poured a nice copper/orange color with one fingers worth of white head that quickly died down to a very thin ring that stayed till the end.

S- The aroma of this beer is pretty subtle. There is a nice malty aroma that is slightly toasted and has a medium amount of sweetness. I also pick up a little bit of nuttiness and no hops whatsoever.

T- There is more going on with the flavor then the aroma would lead you to believe. It starts off with some some nice lightly toasted malts that have a nice grainy flavor to them and have a light amount of sweetness. A little more toasted malts come out in the middle along with some of that nice nuttiness that I got in the aroma. The finish is really smooth with no hops or bitterness to be found and it had a nice subtle toasty nuttiness aftertaste.

M- Super smooth, on the light side of being medium bodied and a light amount of carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a damn good American version of a Marzen. This beer was all about the malts and had just the right amount of toast to it along with a nice nutty flavor. This beer was really drinkable, just how it should be, I would have no problem polishing off a six pack of this on a nice fall night, one of the most drinkable Marzens I have ever had, this beer doesn't last long in my glass. What I liked most about this beer was the flavor and the drinkability, it was all about the malts and they imparted a really good flavor that made me keep wanting to take another drink. What I liked least about this beer was the aroma and the carbonation, the aroma was a little weak and wasn't too interesting, and the carbonation would have better suited this beer if it was bumped up to medium. I am kinda bummed that I found out about this beer at the end of the Oktoberfest season, had I known about this beer earlier it would have been in my fridge for all of September and October, I will make sure not to forget about this beer next year. I highly recommend trying this beer when looking for a good Marzen, it's a great American version of what a Marzen is all about. This beer is up there with their Tripel as one of my favorite beer from Thirsty Dog, I have only tried three of their beers but so far I have been happy with every single one of them so there's no doubt that I will be trying more of their beers. Thirsty Dog did a great job at making a sessionable and tasty Marzen that I find to be better then Samuel Adams Oktoberfest, it takes a lot to knock that beer out of the top of my favorite Oktoberfests but this beer brought the heat and I enjoyed drinking every drop of it, this is my new favorite Marzen.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.05/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-pours a transparent golden ornage color with a full creamy off white head.

S-the nose seems off, a fair bit of grain with slight toasted notes, caramel malts as well, however, there is some acetaldehyde giving it a sour green apple aroma.

T-the flavor is more of the same, the malts are good but the acetaldehyde gives it this off flavor. the grains, hints of toasted grain, and caramel seem to blend together and nothing really seperates as if it were meant to blend together.

M-medium body and syrupy with a lively finish and soft feel.

D-can't get over the off sour green apple, not a fan of that flavor and I don't think it should be there.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber in color, with a small, frothy head. Doesn't stick around long, no lacing.

Smell is pleasant, with a lot of roasted malts, and caramel and sweetness.

Theres a bit of a hop bitterness at first, followed by caramel, malts, and a bit of breadyness.

Feel is velvety, slightly crisp, not too much on the carbonation, and upper-light in body.

Solid, drinkable festbier!

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Photo of CHickman
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear dark amber in color with a foamy 2 finger beige head that lasted a while; OK lacing that slides down the glass fast.

Smells of syrup, sweet malt, caramel, herbs and light brown sugar; slight whiff of spices in the nose, which could be from the hops.

Tastes of syrup, sweet malt, caramel, herbs, light brown sugar, light citrus hops, molasses, toasted grains and cinnamon or light spices like pepper, allspice and/or yeast, and brown sugar; sweet overall with hints of brown sugar and nutmeg.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with a light, crisp body and an almost watery feel. Quite drinkable and easy to put down; a very good Octoberfest that is sweeter than most, but to me was a good aspect of this beer.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Light amber with 1 finger of head that fizzles out quickly. Excellent clarity with soda-like carbonation.

Bread, caramel, toffee, and candy sugar.

Malty niceness. Bready malts, caramel, candy sugar and a touch of toffee. Light kiss of earthy hop bitterness.

Medium bodied, smooth, crisp, and clean.

A decent Oktoberfest that doesn't necessarily stand out among the crowd.

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Photo of Morey
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with with no freshness date.

Poured a copper-orange color with one fingers worth of fluffy white head. Has now settled to a thin spotty lace. Nice clarity. Pretty impressive head retention too.

The aroma is pretty typical for the style. Good and malty with toasted grain and a hint of nuttiness.

Full flavored Oktoberfest here! Rounded and somewhat earthy malt flavor up front. There's some hop bitterness towards the middle too. Not much, but more-so than most within the style. Smooth finish with some nice lingering malt and hop character.

Medium bodied with a nice malty mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation.

A very good Oktoberfest overall. 2nd only to Great Lakes IMO.

Morey's Bottom Line: This was a bit of a surprise to me. I've had a good amount of Oktoberfest this Fall, and this is without a doubt one the best. Recommend.

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Photo of Brent
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A straightforward interpretation of the style. Caramel malt-forward, some moderate grain notes. Finish was a rather pungent quinine bitterness that was out of place in the style. I've noted others complaining of butterscotch notes, but my bottles have none, so perhaps a bit of quality control at the brewery? The label art with the dogs howling at the moon was an amusing touch.

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Photo of 57md
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brownish orange with a half-finger of fizzy head. Smells malty with some subtle caramel. The initial taste is malty sweetness, but that is backed by a bitter hop finish. This beer has a good hearty flavor that should be enjoyed by a fire on crisp fall days.

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Barktoberfest from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
3.81 out of 5 based on 315 ratings.
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