Berkshire Life On Märzen | Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

Berkshire Life On MärzenBerkshire Life On Märzen
BA SCORE
3.95/5
391 Ratings
Berkshire Life On MärzenBerkshire Life On Märzen
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Massachusetts, United States
berkshire-brewing.com

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Berkshire Oktoberfest Lager

Added by Jason on 09-27-2002

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#5,417
Reviews:
205
Ratings:
391
pDev:
12.91%
Bros Score:
4.37
 
 
Wants:
63
Gots:
46
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 391 |  Reviews: 205
Photo of CRJMellor
2.8/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark amber with some copper and brown and a very large white head, that deposits some lace to the side of the glass.
Aroma has a really citrusy note with some diacteyl buttersctoch and bit of toffee throw and maybe some toasted bread.
Flavor is dominated by a sticky sweet citrus/OJ note which is just off. Combine this with some diacteyl and you have a union whihc just doesn't seem to work.
Mouthfeel was OK but the sweetness was just to cloying to be enjoyable.
Drinkability suffered greatly with the cloyishness. This one may have spent a little too much time in the cellar but man it was just hard to drink.

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Photo of johnnnniee
2.95/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle at America on Tap
Slightly hazy deep golden color. Aromas of sweet bready malt and plenty of diacytyl. A bit too sweet and the butterscotch doesn't do this style any favors.

 180 characters

Photo of tempest
2.96/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had the same problem as Jwaks (see below). The diacetyl is out of control for an Oktoberfest Lager. This tastes like a sweet Ringwood ale from Middle Ages or Shipyard. Still, behind that is a big dry toffee and cherry malt character that I really wish stood out more. This seems like a case of good beer gone bad.

UPDATE: This batch was recalled. Next time I get a bottle, I'll have to re-review.

 399 characters

Photo of tigg924
3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, brownish red in color, hazy, high carbonation

Smell: toasted malt, faint spices, and grain

Taste: toasted malt, grain, some cinnamon

Mouthfeel: sweet with a tad bit of bitterness, high carbonation, light bodied

Drinkability: This to me is an average Octoberfest in every sense. I like the maltiness but am not sure if I would get this again. I like several of Berkshire's offerings a lot better.

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Photo of Stoutmeister
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of Nichols33
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of RMoeNay
3.03/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of mothman
3.03/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into pils glass.

Pours over 1 finger of creamy beige head. Fades to a thinner layer but decent retention. Not a lot of lace. Color is a copper brown.

Aroma: Sweet and malty. Biscuit flavors with some grassy hops. has an odd sweet scent to it in the background. A touch of skunk.

Taste: Must have been the skunk flavors in the nose I was picking up, because they are here as well. Very malty. Bready and biscuity. Grassy hops.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and skunky. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends dry with hints of alcohol.

Overall, not an octoberfest I want to much of. The skunk flavors through it off a bit. Could be worse, could be better. Average drinkability.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.03/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hazy, fuzzy, dark orange coloration, slim fizziness above.
Herbal, vegetal nose, malty, some caramel tones showing, as well, though ultimately, it's on the mild side.
Big, juicy fruit blasts the tongue on first swallow, then softly slips away. Bit over-carbonated. Bold, sparkling, and a small bit sour. Very unusual mouthfeel. Nowhere near as smooth as we'd prefer. Bracing puckeration at first sip, then it fizzes against the tongue undcomfortably.
I had every hope in the world for this, but it's not a pleasant drinking experience, a regular chore to finish. It's like a Jolly Rancher dropped in a bottle of Mike's Hard Cranberry...or something like that. Needs more malt, less fizz...as I near the end of the bomber, I find that I'm not liking it any better, and I yearn for a more satisfying brew. Up the malt, tone down the carbonation, maybe a touch less alcohol, but if they do the first two, it won't be necessary...perhaps...perhaps then, it will be a better brew. Just my 2/5 of a nickel...

 1,006 characters

Photo of jujigatame
3.08/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Berkshire Oktoberfest

Bomber into nonic pint

Dark amber color with a finger of slightly off white head. Looks very inviting. Very little lacing.

Smells are a lot of malt and spice with some fruit tossed in. Seems sweeter than I was expecting.

Taste is much sweeter and dryer than I thought I’d get. Lots of fruit and spices. Apple, pear, sour cherry(?), caramel or something dark & sugary…quite a few things competing in here. It honestly reminds me of the profile on some Belgian ales I’ve had. It feels strange to make that comparison but this beer seems to be tracing the same line. There is a sourness/bitterness in here that counteracts the sweet note but it still comes off as cloying to me. The flavors even out somewhat with the beer getting warmer as I finish the first half of the bomber but I’m having a hard time getting past that initial impression.

Rather dry and tart on the tongue for me but have to say it goes down pretty easy. No trace of the alcohol save for maybe a touch of warming in the gut.

Unfortunately the flavor is just not to my liking. After one serving I really have very little desire to drink any more. This is the first Berkshire brew I’ve ever felt that way about. It would probably be worth looking for another Marzen to see if it’s more to do with the style that doesn’t click for me rather than just this one beer.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.1/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a clear reddish amber color with very minimal head. Biscuity, malty aroma along pumpkin. Slightly sweet flavor mixed with some spices similiar to pumpkin. Some grass type flavors. Medium mouthfeel. Slightly bitter lingering flavor. Hmmm, not spectacular really but I guess drinkable. Not something I would search out for but also not something I would turn down either.

 383 characters

Photo of kennethkomentai
3.12/5  rDev -21%

Photo of Longstaff
3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Only one thing prevents this beer from being a world class Oktoberfest, the hot alcohol. Very nice malty flavors that are reminiscent of the Ofests from Germany. Slightly toasty, caramel, and nutty flavors shine through the sweet malt that was balanced perfectly with the hops. But the hot alcohol is out of place for this style - more in line with a bock or dopplebock if you ask me. Its more than warming, and is distracting from the all the great malt flavors - even makes it unbalanced . I try this every year and have the same complaint every year. Taking the gravity down a notch from a bock level would make this so much more drinkable I think.

 651 characters

Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
3.15/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ive been just about worn out from octoberfest beers at this point but we'll give it a lackluster whirl. appearance is nice and clean with about as much head as expected on the initial pour. it smells nice and sweet, and if i hadnt been so worn out on the style id be attracted to it. i guess what it really has going for it is the orange label that screams OCTOBER and the stereotypical flavors i assosciate with it. yum, but im ready for spiced winter beers. i know this review blows but it is what it is.

 506 characters

Photo of Boto
3.21/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draught @ CT River Brewfest: In my sample of Oktoberfests at this beer festival, this one was bringing up the rear. It wasn’t bad, just outclassed. It pours a brown color with a decent amount of an off-white head. There is a bit of a sweet, malty aroma. Not too much else coming through. The taste is slightly sweet, with some pumpkin spices. Decent, but non-descript.

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Photo of DBosco
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of gkob
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of RedChrome
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour was a very nice light copper color with orange hues. Fluffy white head of about half an inch stayed a while. Large carbonation bubbles. Almost no lacing.

Has a nice aroma of croissants. A secondary hint of either toffee or butterscotch gets lost in the general scent of malt. Did not have as much hop scent as I generally find in an Oktoberfest.

A nice average tasting beer. No real drawbacks, no real strengths. A light earthy biscuit quality. A slight hopsy bitterness in the aftertaste. Minor additional flavors included a light lemon pepper blend that got masked by an off alcohol flavor.

Average mouthfeel. Nothing too watery but nothing thick to enjoy. A light carbonation feel.

Overall, just an average oktoberfest that looks good. Like all beers of the style I would enjoy this with a bratwurst and potato pancake. Try it if you like the style, but as a seasonal release there are others out there to pick up during the season.

 953 characters

Photo of Rekrule
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of 3Hops
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.26/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of iceball585
3.29/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Cloudy dark brown color, one finger thick head (good head retention), also some tiny carbonation bubbles throughout

S- Toasted malts, grains, slight metallic smell

T- Toasted malts, nuts, smokey, dried fruits, alcohol, slight hops bite but smooth finish

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, crisp taste but oily finish

D- Worth trying but not my favorite oktoberfest

This beer has great appearance and good head retention which is something most beers lack. Decent flavors but nothing really jumps out at you.

 516 characters

Photo of far333
3.33/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Copper/honey-colored with a thick and foamy off-white head that rises up high and sticks around for half the glass. Faint doughey aroma, a little sweet. Flavor is accosted by the alcohol. ABV is way too high for this style in my opinion. Flavor is malty, some fruit and caramel, but also a burnt marshmallow undercurrent. There are probably some interesting flavor nuances trying to get out.

 391 characters

Photo of donniecuffs
3.36/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle to a pint glass. Nice amber/copper pour, but the head didn't last or lace well. The aroma was fairly balanced between biscuit, roasted malt, woodiness, vanilla/nut, and mild citrus. However the flavor was a little too imbalanced towards the citrus side, while the feel was a little too thin for a maerzen. An overall average example of the style.

 372 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The brewers weren't kidding when they said its hue was reminiscent of fall foliage. Indeed, this is a blazing, multi-toned ensemble of orange-amber tones that burns quite brightly. Despite the bright colour, its body is too dense to permit transparency. Its head is essentially non-existent but little sudsy spatters manage to dot the glass somehow.

The aroma is rather dynamic and I think, although I could be wrong, more than a little bit of it can be attributed to the extra couple notches of alcohol. There is a spicy, ethanol-induced flare to the beer that normally isn't found in lagers of these types. For the most part, it seems to crowd out most of the sticky, fruity, sweet maltiness.

I wouldn't say Berkshire's Oktoberfest is hard to drink but it definitely doesn't have that same level of limitless quaffability that the bests of the style do. As already noted, the extra alcohol does not go unnoticed. Where as most of these lagers sooth the palate like a massage chair, this one throws you down the stairs.

And in large part this 'roughness' is perceived because of a lack of flavour. It does offer a worthy plate of plum pudding, over-ripened pear and apple, a splash of Gran Marnier liqueur, muscat grapes and some freshly made caramel syrup. But it certainly isn't sweet, which is typical of the style, and instead drinks thin with a cringing spike of alcohol.

What makes an Oktoberfest so different from other lagers is a full bodied, chewy, biscuity, intense maltiness. This simply does not have that. Lagers are typically plain and brainless - but that's what makes them drinkable. An Oktoberfest should have that quality as well as the added dimension of lively flavour. Again, this does not.

Whether it's the alcohol or simple displeasure, I am (literally) stumbling to the finish of this bomber. I have to admit I was anxious about a double-sized serving of an Oktoberfest but it turns out that this isn't exactly what I had in mind. Even the best breweries have occasional hiccups and we'll chalk this one up to an off batch. Thanks mcBrewsAlot!

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Berkshire Life On Märzen from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 391 ratings
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