The name of the game is BeerSport – two beers enter, one beer leaves. Beersport.
I don’t we’re starting to cross into stout season, but imo Oktoberfests go right up until Thanksgiving, they’re a nice meaty supper beer. Anyway, These are the two _other_ beers from the Saranac Oktoberfest pack dual BeerSport I did.
This time It’s the 1888 Octoberfest facing off against the Black Forest Schwarzbier. The Octoberfest is billed as an ‘authentic German-style lager’, but comes in a little low at 5.4% and the Black Forest is named for the homeland of Saranac’s founder. 5.3%.
Preconceived notions on these is that I thought I’d had the Black Forest before and liked it, but actually that was the Black Forest Cake. I expect the Octoberfest, and apologies if I add a k to that–never trust an Octoberfest, to be pretty typical of the style.
Octoberfest is a little darker than I’d like, and maybe has a little too much malt. Only a little bit of head. Looks fine.
Black Forest. It’s black? Just a hint of lighter/cola colors around the edge. Pretty coffee colored head.
Edge: Black Forest
Octoberfest: A malty smell with hint of some cherry perhaps. Whiff of sulfur. Smells a little sweeter than I expected.
Black Forest is very clean. Aroma is very light. Also get some sweetness, more than I expected. Sort of a dank sweetness, that fades into more of a light coffee note. Not fresh coffee, but just that impression you get when you walk into somewhere where coffee is frequently brewed, but is not actively being brewed.
This is definitely a sweeter Octoberfest. Are all of Saranac’s sweet? This is fine, there’s not quite that sulfury/yeasty richness that usually cuts the Octoberfest malts here. It’s faint, but it needs more. It’s very drinkable though, and it definitely tastes better after you acclimate to the extra sweetness.
Black Forest. The black forest might be more drinkable though. Its got that light coffee note, maybe a hint of cola but it’s that sweetness playing with me perhaps. It’s light though, airy.
The Octoberfest has a little more of a beer feel, it’s a little fuller. The black forest is very airy, tickles your tongue and then moves along. They’re both basically the same 5.4 or 5.3 ABV, which is low for an Octoberfest.
Neither of these are great beers, they’re good, but they’re forgetable. The Octoberfest just missing the mark, and is a little weak. The Schwarzbier is just lacking alittle bit overall in flavor. It just needs a little bit more there.
Winner: Octoberfest takes it home here, barely, with a more beer like experience.