Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day 45 (9/7/2011) Fifth and Vine by Christian Moerlein Brewing Company

I have two confessions to make. First, I'm not a big Moerlein fan. I know, I know; support your hometown boys and all that other good stuff. Outside of the Northern Liberty IPA, I've found the beers largely to be hit or miss. The other confession is that I can probably count the number of Oktoberfest beers I have tried in my life on one hand. During my progression as a craft beer drinker from hoppy to roasty to sour (and on and on), I never really stopped to enjoy the non-stout/porter malty beers. This is much of the same reason I am largely ignorant of Scottish ales and the like.

With that in mind, I decided I would make a conscious effort to dive into the style and considering the time of year, it seems I will have a number to choose from. I will hopefully be trying a number of good ones and, at some point, I'll rank the ones I've tried in order of a combo of preference and adherence to style. I'm not going to rate any of them until I have a little context, though. Bear with me. I'm flying by the seat of my pants here.

Fifth and Vine pours a dark copper with a few fingers of off-white head. The little lacing that is left slides down the glass slowly. The smell is a sweet caramel with an almost fruity tint to it. There is also some breadiness from the yeast.

The taste has a slight roast to it, but the main flavor is the caramel and sweetness that was dominant on the nose. There seems to be some spiciness comparable to a nice Saison or beer utilizing Belgian yeast, which is completely unexpected. The body is just about medium with a tingly sensation from a just over medium carbonation.

This is easily one of the better Moerlein beers I've drank. I don't mind at all that I have five more of these in the fridge. I'm still on the fence concerning what I think about the style, though, but hopefully a broader exposure to the different offerings will allow me to appreciate its nuances.

Next up will be the Oktoberfest offering from Sun King Brewing (Indianapolis). This was a special gift from an employee there and I've been waiting to crack it open.

Style: Marzen/Oktoberfest
ABV: 5.7% (?)
IBU: ?
Beer Advocate: B+
Ratebeer: 63/85

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