Dead Ringer | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Dead RingerDead Ringer
672 Ratings
Dead RingerDead Ringer

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: German Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Dead Ringer Oktoberfest lager is inspired by old-style Märzen brews customarily enjoyed during Bavaria’s world-famous beer festival. Thanks to an abundance of toasted malt and a lower hop bitterness, this dark reddish brown lager is loaded with sweet, caramel toffee flavors and aromas. All the taste and celebration of Oktoberfest packed into one bottle; no lederhosen required.

Added by JohnGalt1 on 07-28-2014

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 672 |  Reviews: 163
Reviews by Bolivar73:
Photo of Bolivar73
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

More User Reviews:
Photo of kojevergas
2.48/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Purchased earlier tonight at Davidson's Liquor in Colorado. Reviewed live as a festbier per the label. Served cold into a Spaten bierkrug. Expectations are fairly high given the brewery, though they tend to excel at bolder American styles, not subtle European ones. Here's hoping this is a success!

6.0% ABV.

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz. Brown glass. Branded red & white pry-off crown cap. Fun label art.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~3-4 inches of foam. Off-white. Frothy as hell - true to the style. Average creaminess. Good overall consistency and complexion. Healthy, and never weak or fizzy. Leaves no lacing on the glass as it recedes.

BODY: It's a deep copper, but isn't quite to style; it's darker than traditional German offerings. Transparent and translucent. Average vibrance. I see no yeast within; it's clearly filtered.

It's a decent appearance for a festbier, but has no stand-out unique or special characteristics.

AROMA: Odd, and off-style. Notes of raisin and heavy caramel along with some flagrant nuttiness have me wondering if Ballast Point slapped the wrong style on the label. I even find hints of inexplicable brown sugar, and a concomitant sweetness - well beyond the usual malt sweetness of a traditional Oktoberfestbier. I detect no Munich malts, and would go so far as to guess they used amber malts, brown malts, or something equally unsuitable to the style if I didn't know better. The strange fruity and nutty emphases really have me wondering if this will be at all to style, though luckily it isn't so egregious as to be hop-dominant or yeasty.

Aromatic intensity is above average. Suggests an imbalanced (too sweet) brew with a fruit-dominant taste.

TASTE: Way off style, as I feared. Though outside style conventions, it's not an entirely bad beer.

Notes of raisin and plum are the first things I notice, emphasized over the overly sweet, borderline syrupy malt backbone. Munich malts aren't at all at the core here, which immediately brings it out of proper festbier territory. Some odd nuttiness and saccharine caramel notes further obfiscate this chaotic build, with no balance ever emerging from the collisions of uncomplementary flavours. It's a bit of a mess, but it's not overhopped or boozy. I think I find perhaps some raw honey? A kiss of bread dough as well.

Too sweet to be consumed by the litre in traditional Oktoberfest fashion, and so far from style conventions in other ways (e.g. Munich malt dominance) that I find myself scratching my head wondering what Ballast Point was even trying to do with this.

TEXTURE: Somewhat syrupy, with far too heavy a texture for an Oktoberfest. Its heft and weight on the palate really impedes drinkability - which is criminal in this style. Smooth and wet. Too viscous. Overcarbonated. This mouthfeel is completely inappropriate for the style, and doesn't even match the taste particularly well. Surprisingly boozy for its scant 6.0%.

Fails to elevate the beer, or to accentuate anything in the flavour profile aside from the rampant sweetness.

OVERALL: This misses the festbier mark to such extent that I almost wonder if Ballast Point had a labeling mess-up. Completely wrong for the style - as iterated above - but not undrinkable outside of style conventions. Still, it's a sipper - and at only 6.0%. Its raw sweetness and syrupy feel lend it to tasting a bit like your buddy's homebrew. Nowhere near what I hoped for given the talented brewers behind it, and frankly not a beer I'd want to have another of...let alone the 5 left in my six pack. If you're hoping for a Marzen you could quaff by the litre-krug, look elsewhere.

A swing and a miss from one of San Diego county's finest breweries.

High D+

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Photo of bbtkd
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ballast Point Dead Ringer Oktoberfest, 6% ABV, 26 IBU. Pours dark brown with a one finger off-white head. Nose is roasted malt and caramel, taste follows, with a little bitterness. Excellent mouthfeel, overall excellent.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. Bottle

Pours a pretty nice clean/clear golden brown color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice small/creamy off-white head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, slight roasty. The taste is malty, slightly roasty. Medium body. ABV hidden very nicely. Overall, a tasty brew.

 310 characters

Photo of AllDayIPA23
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Above average rendition of an oktoberfest. Well rounded. Easy to drink. Good flavor. Nothing in particular stands out about the beer though. Bought in a six pack, happy to drink them all.

 187 characters

Photo of CNoj012
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a brown amber color with a medium white head. Not much retention or lacing. Smell is malty, bready, sweet, and slight wood aroma. The taste is similar to the smell, but honestly it's kind of a mess. Too sweet for the style and the blend of flavors just is not doing it for me. Would not purchase again with the plethora of great Oktoberfests available.

 368 characters

Photo of Act25
3.81/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tasted vs Sierra Nevada ocktoberfest.
Much better as it warms to cask temp.
A: Pours a clear, dark ruby brown body ringed with interesting streams of visible carbonation up the edges of the snifter. Dense tan head that reduces to a film and doesnt lace my snifter 
s) Sweet dark malts with caramel and toffee and toasted malts. Earthy hops balance. better as it warms.
t) More and abundant as in the aroma: Sweet dark malts with caramel and toffee and toasted malts. Earthy hops balance with bitters. better as it warms.
f) Medium bodied, smooth, crisp carbonation and finish. Great food beer.
o) Edged out by Sierra Nevada, but grew on me as it warmed.

 657 characters

Photo of mojohawk21
3.99/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Tiernan
3.72/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SanFranJake
3.43/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown color with some red highlights. Small tan head.

Sweet malt aroma, a little bit of spice.

Very malt-forward. Doughy. I get a little bit of nutmeg.

Nice, easy-drinking beer.

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Photo of tvenne
4.5/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of generallee
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Jcorn
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Good, not great. Frankly Sam Adams Oktoberfest is better. Disappointing from such a great brewery.

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Photo of MorganJ
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12 oz bottle into a half liter Stein. Nice darker brown, amber beer. Lovely taste of the sweet Carmel malty taste I expect and love from an an American Octoberfest. This one isn't light tasting and full of flavor. A decent version of this style. Would drink more

 270 characters

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Billolick
3.99/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle...cant find any freshness/bottling date info, that I can make any sense of.

Pours dark copper amber, darker tan cap, frothy and loose and leaves ample low sheeting and widely scattered bits of lace.

Malty nose with notes of caramel. raisins, toasted nuts.

On the palate it is more of the same with dark and near charred caramel, again rum soaked raisins, and toasted nuts. Complex and flavorful...sort of Oktoberfest style beer on fall flavor steroids..

 474 characters

Photo of Guinnsslvr
3.43/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of jamesmk48
3.89/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of ryancl
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JC333
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chossboss
3.54/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bsp77
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into mug.

Appearance: Cloudy reddish-brown that shines dark amber in the light. Decent head at first that mostly settles back.

Smell: Cherry, caramel, pepper, biscuit, and a light roastiness.

Taste: Diverse and full flavored malt profile, with cherry, caramel, biscuit, toasted and even roasted flavors. There are some peppery and floral hops on the finish for balance. Great taste that is then somewhat marred by a lingering aftertaste (mostly cherry).

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, fairly smooth, semi-dry finish. It checks all of the boxes for a good Marzen mouthfeel, but the finish is unfortunately not clean.

Overall: This is a very robust Marzen that's elevated by the many layers (including a nice roastiness) but also diminished by the aftertaste.

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Photo of rsquared59
3.34/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of pat61
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours brilliant reddish mahagony and rouses a 1” cream to tan colored foam cap that produces thin lace. On the dark side for an Oktoberfest. S: Spicy nose with bread crust and traces of anise. Clean fermentation character. Malt aromas and spice aromas are moderate. T: Medium malty sweetness, low hop bitterness, the sweetness carries throughout. Malt forward, could use a touch of dryness on the finish. Bread crust and spicy malt flavors. F: Medium to medium low body, medium carbonation. O: A decent Oktoberfest that is a touch too sweet.

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Dead Ringer from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 672 ratings