Beer Review: Crown Valley Brewing, Oktoberfest
12/22/2011

Ding Points: 83.00

Pour: 90.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 80.00

Tasting Notes:

Surely the final Octoberfest of the 2011 season – surely? 12 oz single from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Pour is an attractive, mahogany, dark copper/amber affair with a nice looking four finger head. Leaves some nice, sticky lace and it gives a decent amount of retention. Very nice looking beer indeed.

Crown Valley Brewing, Oktoberfest

Crown Valley Brewing, Oktoberfest

Solid nose (if not spectacular), which has a decent depth of bready malts. You have to reach down into the glass with the nose, but when you do they are present and correct.

On to the taste. There’s plenty of fairly rich malts, so check criteria #1 for the style. Alongside that traditional feel there are also some quite sharp, soapy and bitter notes that come through quite quickly. The bitterness and hop flavors are not reserved for the ending and aftertaste, rather they come through in the middle of the beer and quite strongly at that. Normally I prefer a more subtle hop note in a beer of this style, BUT this works well – I am a little surprised. As well as the requisite malts, the yeast comes through nicely as well. All in all it meshes nicely, and much better than I thought it might.

There’s a really good depth and quality about this beer and that comes through. A beer that shows thought and understanding and is frankly quite well-crafted. Crown Valley seems to be a brewery that lacks fanfare but is making some simple, straightforward beers that show an appreciation of style and a degree of reserved subtlety. That’s an uncommon trait amongst contemporary, American brewers. For me they are a brewer to watch.

Smooth and a little more bitter than I normally like in the style, however it comes together well and frankly I enjoyed it more than I thought I might. Nice job.

Other: 5.6% ABV


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