Sierra Nevada 2020 Oktoberfest

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by beeragent, Apr 21, 2020.

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  1. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,646) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
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    So what made you pick incorrectly?

    That's an insult to Fuller's ESB.
     
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  2. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (4,226) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Honestly, I'm not sure. I think the two SN beers made those two seem much closer in my mind than they actually are. It was just kid of a guess at that point.
     
  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,835) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    In post #306 you stated:

    I went back and forth on the HB and the Weihenstephaner, but ultimately guessed that "A" was the Weihenstephaner and "C" was the Hofbräu. Time for the big reveal:

    So I got HB and Weihenstephaner mixed up ...”

    Now, unless I missed it, no where did you categorize that beer X was your favorite…

    But, the best way to appreciate beer is via blind taste testing. Otherwise you are biased by knowing the brand of the beer and all of the ‘baggage’ that comes with that knowledge.

    Perhaps for this taste test the Weihenstephaner was the ‘best’ beer?

    Maybe you could try another blind taste test in the near future just between Hofbrau and Weihenstephaner. Perhaps that would be the best ‘test’ on which beer is truly your favorite?

    Cheers!

    P.S. Thanks again for posting the results of your taste test.
     
  4. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (4,226) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Jack:
    I didn't rank the beers since the focus of the tasting more was to compare/contrast the SN Oktoberfest to the festbiers and the pale ale. That being said, while I was drinking them, "A" was the one I liked best. I guessed that "A" was the Weihenstephaner, but it turned out to actually be the HB. If you'd asked me going into the tasting whether I preferred the Weihenstephaner or the HB, I would have said the HB. Thats why I was saying, I should have trusted my gut.

    I do think I'll revisit the HB v. the Weihenstephaner - probably for the Oktoberfest tasting - but add in the Paulaner wiesn.
     
  5. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,822) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Nah, it's not meant to be a replication, just misguided accident.

    Think of the insult to true Oktoberfests. :wink:
     
  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,835) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Sweet!

    I look forward to reading that post.

    Cheers!
     
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  7. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,646) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
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    Just my personal experience, but Sierra Nevada's hoppy beers screwed up my palate during two blind tastings earlier this year.

    Last year I conducted a blind taste test of Paulaner Marzen and Wiesn, and while I was able to distinguish between the two, they were closer than one would think (thanks to @steveh doing this first, I was curious myself).

    If I had thrown in something like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, I doubt I would have been able to pick out the subtle differences between the Marzen and Wiesn.
     
  8. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (2,368) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey
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    It's been about two years but I've drank enough of it in my lifetime to know what it tastes like. I can say with certainty that it tastes nothing like Fuller's ESB or a proper Oktoberfestbier. :slight_smile: There was a time in my life when I really enjoyed that beer though so I don't hate on anyone who likes it. Let's just say that closing my eyes and taking a sip doesn't exactly transport me to Germany... or England. :joy:
     
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  9. readyski

    readyski Aspirant (267) Jun 4, 2005 California
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    Just tried this last nite, my initial impression was that it tasted bright, likely from the hops. I'm no Oktoberfest master, but seems the malts were overpowered.
    Given this is SN, would like to set that aside for a few (six?) months to let that aspect rest and revisit.
     
  10. defunksta

    defunksta Savant (942) Jan 18, 2019 North Dakota
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    I am glad to hear that others are also appreciating the abundance of oranges in this beer. I think the hops really overpower this beer as an Oktoberfest, and it drinks similar to their Pale Ale. I tried the two side by side blind tonight. Compared to the Pale Ale they are very similar, but it has slightly more bread spice and less sappy pine. I disagree that it is true to the Oktoberfest style. There is too much orange that it is overpowering. The classic SN orange flavor predominates. You could pick this beer out from 50 other Oktoberfest beers easier than from the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
     
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  11. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,646) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
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    It transports me back to college.
     
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  12. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,822) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Classic SN orange? In what other SN beers are you picking up orange? I don't think they use Spalter Select hops, which are the source of the orangish character, in any of their other beers.
     
  13. defunksta

    defunksta Savant (942) Jan 18, 2019 North Dakota
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    Summerfest, Pale Ale, 40th Anniversary. Haven't had Torpedo or Celebration in a while, but maybe there. True, not in any of their stouts.
     
  14. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,822) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Every palate is different, as they say, but I've been drinking SN Pale Ale and Summerfest for many years and never tasted orange (let alone "classic" orange) in either.

    The classic fruit note for the Pale is near to grapefruit and Summerfest has a touch of lemon citrus, but the '20 Okto is really the first beer of any brand that has given me any orange character.*

    Anyone else getting orange in any SN beers?

    *Sorry, some Wit beers that actually use orange zest in the brewing process.
     
  15. Trull

    Trull Aspirant (283) Dec 24, 2016 Massachusetts

    I’m really enjoying this years SN Octoberfest....it’s a well made beer that’s better than last year’s collab. I’ll probably pick up a 12 pack if it goes on sale around these parts.
    Btw: planning on doing a blind taste test of Octoberfest beers in the next week or two. Will report back the findings.
     
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  16. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (4,226) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
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    Everyones palate is different for sure, but I don't get any bread or spice from the pale ale and absolutely no sap/pine from the SN Oktoberfest.

    Also I have to ask, in what way are you seeing this Oktoberfest being very similar to the pale ale? just in the presence of the orange? or something else?

    I got some orange from the Pale ale I had last night.
     
  17. defunksta

    defunksta Savant (942) Jan 18, 2019 North Dakota
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    It has a similar hoppy orange soap, aroma/flavor. The sappy pine comes more from the pale ale, although they are similar. True, everyone's palate is different, I tried them side-by-side and they are very similar in terms of aroma and flavor. Great discussion, and interesting you don't get any of the similar qualities.
     
  18. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,822) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Since none of the ingredients in the Pale Ale has orange characteristics, where do you think you were getting it? How did you clean your palate in-between beers?
     
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  19. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,646) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
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    Yeah I thought the same thing. Classic Sierra Nevada hop flavors to me are pine and citrus.

    You might get orange in Sidecar. :wink:

    I checked their site, Summerfest is the only one that uses Spalter Select.
     
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  20. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,822) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Summerfest or Oktoberfest?

    You're right, Summerfest uses it too, but the Okto does too.

    FWIW -- the Okto is the only beer I've ever tasted with that orange-tangerine character. I've always tasted a touch of lemon citrus in the Summerfest, but never the orange that confused me in the Okto.
     
  21. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,240) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    For me, certainly in Torpedo.
    You say that as if orange isn't citrus. :thinking_face:
     
  22. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,822) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    To me "citrus" is a catchall for those characters you can't nail down specifically -- even the hop retailers use it alongside other, obvious, citrus identifiers like grapefruit and lime.

    To me the orange-tangerine character in the SN Okto took some time to identify, but then it was clear. I think it threw me because it was such a different character in beer for me.
     
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  23. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (242) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    I hope no one here is thinking of that abomination Sidecar for that orange flavor!
     
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  24. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,822) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Alcaheute's post, 4 posts above you. :grin:
     
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  25. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,646) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
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    I meant Summerfest is the only one out of the one's that @defunksta listed, in addition to their Oktoberfest.

    And I agree, I never really get any orange from Summerfest.

    Probably the Citra.

    To me citrus means more lemon and lime rather than orange. Orange is...well orange, if anything tropical.

    But yes, orange is definitely a citrus fruit.
     
  26. chimneyjim

    chimneyjim Initiate (62) Jun 23, 2004 Oregon

    Interesting that many are finding the taste of orange in this beer. For me it is more apple. I remember one of the collaborations having a pronounced apple flavor, maybe the Weihenstephan collaboration. This year's apple taste is a little more subtle.
     
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  27. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,822) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    To me, Citra is just a jumbled fruit salad mess,* I don't get much specific.

    *Most often a tasty, jumbled mess, but a mess nonetheless. :grin:
     
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  28. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (4,226) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    I get lots of pine and citrus, the citrus just comes across my palate as orangey - but NOT like sidecar (which was just orange juice added). With hops they taste akin to something, not exactly the same, so I am generally just trying to find a corollary to express what its conveying to me.
    lol, true.
    For me, it was an herbal, candied orange - thats where the orange marmalade came from. I didn't perceive it as tangerine, which would be a "fresher" or "brighter" flavor for me.
    me either ... but it has the spalter select, and I didn't initially get it from the Oktoberfest, so now I just wonder if its something I've missed in the past.
    I use citrus to describe a general, undefined citrus like flavor - with citrus including any lime, lemon, grapefruit, orange, etc. flavors. Like @steveh I get this a lot from Citra hops, especially in the NE style IPAs which tend to me muddled anyway.

    I use orange to refer more to the flavor of like a navel orange - tangerine, mandarin, etc are different to me and I'll specifically reference them if thats what I get.

    Lemon and Lime are in my mind the most unique citrus favors as they tend towards the extreme end of the spectrum as opposed to the various orange and grapefruits, which seem to be closer together to me.
     
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  29. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,822) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    When I was trying to I.D. the character I was getting, I was swaying between orange and tangerine -- they're probably different in character, but still pretty close. When you mentioned "candied" orange, that's when the Creamsicle comparison hit me -- not overly candy sweet, but not quite orange juice.
    I did get it initially, but I couldn't quite I.D. it -- see above. And it was so different from other flavors in beers, so it stood out to me. I definitely get a mild lemon-citrus character in Summerfest, but nothing at all similar to what I perceived in the Okto.
     
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  30. Zorro

    Zorro Poo-Bah (4,956) Dec 25, 2003 California
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    Plenty in Santa Barbara.
     
  31. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,646) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
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    Yeah I tend to agree, I just threw it out there because orange could be A flavor that is in Citra’s flavor profile, among many other fruit flavors.

    The other two hops in Torpedo wouldn’t make sense, Crystal and Magnum.
     
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  32. Tilley4

    Tilley4 Poo-Bah (2,289) Nov 13, 2007 Tennessee
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    I had three of these thrown into a liter Paulaner mug earlier tonight while on the porch grilling some brats...

    I will say that I did not get the same "orange-y" flavors... instead, really reminded me of the Paulaner Weisn beer you get in the can with the mug...

    I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it.

    Not sure what that means but I at least had to mention it...

    If that's the experience that I can expect from this beer I will definitely be buying more...
     
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  33. keithmurray

    keithmurray Meyvn (1,405) Oct 7, 2009 Connecticut

    I just had a bottle of the SN Octoberfest and for me, its a good beer, drinks more like a Vienna Lager than an Octoberfest - the malt bill doesn't scream the intended style. It was certainly enjoyable, but it wasnt EXACTLY what I look for when drinking an Octoberfest. I can see going back and getting a sixer, though.
     
  34. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,639) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    Just picked up a sixer of the okto. Sounds like it will be a good intro to festbier season out here where we are going to be pushing record heat for the season
     
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  35. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,639) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    Getting into my first bottle late on a very sullied palate. Since you guys pointed it out I can definitely see the orange/marmalade thing but I mostly vibe with the Vienna lager notion. That's what it tastes like to me. Like a European amber lager
     
  36. Reef

    Reef Champion (877) Dec 2, 2016 South Carolina
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    I get the Vienna Lager comparison, but not the orange, maybe more floral hops. The clarity and carbonation are great. I like the German weisn versions better, but this year's SN is good.
     
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  37. peteboiler

    peteboiler Initiate (138) Dec 16, 2010 Florida

    Strange. It 100% has the aroma of an Octoberfest. However, has some have stated, there is a notable orange/tangerine taste to it. But it is not overwhelming. It is crisp. Goes down well. To me, it is not a true Octoberfest, but more of a tangerine pilsner. And it is DAMN good. Sierra Nevada labels it as a festbier, and it can actually pass as one indeed, IMO.
     
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  38. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (3,102) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
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    I just had another one and I agree with the aroma. And it drinks like a Vienna at first. It’s definitely more enjoyable for me the colder it is/faster I drink it because that orange marmalade and pithy bitterness in the finish is much more noticeable as it warms.
     
  39. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,835) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Thanks for that observation. I drank my SN Oktoberfest when it was cold and I happened to be particularly thirsty that day (just got finished mowing the lawn) and that beer went down fairly quickly. I suppose I should buy another bottle of this beer and drink it warm to see what folks are describing here?

    Cheers!
     
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  40. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,639) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    As I drink more of these they are growing on me. Its not at all what I expect from an Oktoberfest but I'm vary novice to the style and am definitely biased toward expecting the darker style.

    This beer has a deep bread crust-y flavor that kind of covers the orange hop note, or compliments it well, and I honestly don't know that I would have cued on that flavor at all if you lot hadn't primed me to look for it.
     
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