With fall in the air, and having already had 1 pumpkin ale sampled, what better time to try an American take on the classic Oktoberfest bier? Of the American lager styles I have tried, Great Lakes has consistently been some of the best. Their Elliot Ness amber lager was simply fantastic, I may need to pick up another bottle of that to do a tasting review on come to think of it.
GLBC’s offering poured out a beautifully carbonated with a clear amber color and about a finger of off white head. Lacing was fine and consistent throughout the entire glass.
The aroma was of Munich and caramel malts and German hops. The taste was very similar: bready and somewhat sweet, but with a warming alcohol presence on the back-end, and a very smooth finish.
I picked up on some darker fruit notes but could not put a finger on what it was exactly.
If you look at this as an “American” lager The alcohol warmth was a bit surprising giving the 6.5% ABV, but it is exactly what you would find from a traditional German brewed one. Perfect for the onset of cooler days, or to relaxing as the sun sets.
It is a very easy drinking beer. One that you could drink a few of in one sitting, and given the price tag, (in Northern New Jersey Great Lakes generally sells for $8.99 or $9.99 – about a dollar or two less than other craft beer six packs) that would be something you would not feel bad about doing.