Review of Beau's Oktoberfest Mix Pack (2016)

Today I'm taking a look at Beau's Oktoberfest Mix Pack which features four beers, their Vienna Style Lager, Return of the Mummeh ale, Ginger Wolf Hopfenweisse and One Ping Only Baltic Porter

Farm Table: Vienna Style Lager
4.7% ABV

I'm a hard sell when it comes to lagers because I just love a beer with overwhelming qualities - hops, malt and even other ingredients to give it a zing to it. So you almost never see me going to the LC to buy a lager.. but once in while I will go and pick up a bottle of Lug Tread because there's a certain kind of mood I get in where Lug Tread just fits the needs. First off tonight is Vienna Style Lager from their Farm Table series.

Appearance: Pours golden orange with a very minimal amount of carbonation in the beer itself but for the head itself it gives off a nice moderate snow white head at the beginning but quickly diminishes to a bit of a white skim on top. It leaves behind a good amount of lacing on the side of the glassware as it's being reviewed.

Aroma: Smells like what I expected from a Vienna-style lager.. it smells like a Vienna style lager. It has a sweet malt to it with a sharp yet hint of nuttiness, some herbal notes, a bit of earthy autumny aroma, hint of honey and a bit of grassiness. Stronger than your typical lager but not something I would seek out so far.

Taste: The taste starts off with the nuttiness again with a toasted barley flavour to it. Fairly sweet with honey, a crispness reminiscent to a typical North American lager, faint hop aroma that's mostly a grassy flavour to it and a very light woody finish.

Overall Thoughts: Not my style as you already can tell but I didn't dislike drinking this beer, in fact - it was a bit complex at times where I had to second guess myself on what flavours and aromas I was trying to taste/smell.

Wild Oats: Return of the Mumme
5.8% ABV

I've never had a Mumme style beer before so this is a new game to me! Beau's describes it as a medieval-era ale with a bouquet of botanicals including red clover blossom, mugwort, dandelion root, black tea, applewood, this beer is spice-forward with balancing residual malt sweetness.

Appearance: Incredibly murky like watery mud but if you put it against a light, it's more of a reddish caramel brown with a bit of translucency to it. A light amount of tan/beige head on top, decent amount of micro-carbonation.

Aroma: This beer is perfect for the season - it's an herbal yet spiced ale that just screams AUTUMN! I'm getting notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, an herb that I can't describe.. so I'm going to assume it's mugwort - but it does give me an aroma that's reminiscent to some plants that I see fairly commonly in the pasture at my parents farm... all I can compare it to is something that has notes kind of like mint. Fairly spicy to the nose and just a hint of tea.

Taste: The first thing that pops out is that it's very herbal and hits your right in the mouth. There's notes of black tea, a hint of various flavours that I can only describe as various plants you would find in the boreale forest. Honestly, it's hard to describe and I've never tried anything like this before. To me, this reminds me of some sort of homemade herbal tea that's supposed to heal whatever problem you're having. Other notes I can pick up on include cloves, thyme and very earthy.

Overall Thoughts: This is something that I just couldn't describe.. it's simply interesting and something I've never really experienced before. It's incredibly herbal, good amount of tea and rich amount of earthiness to it. Some notes of what reminds me of mint, cinnamon and nutmeg as well. I don't know if I could drink more than one in a day.. it's pretty heavy but worth trying.

Wild Oats: Ginger Wolf Hopfenweisse
6.5% ABV

Hopfenweisse ales are becoming the new trend in Canadian craft beer.. I remember trying Half Pints' Hoppenheimer a few years back and ever since that beer came out.. I'm seeing them more and more now days! This one from Beau's Wild Oat series takes a bit of a spin on it.. it has organic ginger as well to give it a bit of a kick!

Appearance: Ginger Wolf pours a bright yet somehow very cloudy orange wheat ale with a good amount of white head on top, leaves a thick amount of residue, a light amount of carbonation, looks like your typical hefeweizen... or in this case.. hopfenweisse.

Aroma: I'm coming across a really bad cold so my senses aren't up to snuff today. There's a rich doughy breadiness from the yeast that makes its way through the beer immediately. Notes of ginger but not a strong spicy ginger I was hoping for, banana peel, a hint of butter and somehow a lack of hops to this sick boy's nose.. maybe something grassy but I'm not smelling it.

Taste: Very very easy to drink, it's a smooth German weisse with a bit of ginger to give it a different profile than the typical clove/coriander game we always see. The ginger gives off a slight bite to it and really compliments the doughiness of the yeast and wheat. Thankfully the hops are much more prevalent here, giving off a more of a combo of earthy/simply bitter hoppy bite to it, hint of pine needles.

Overall Thoughts: If this was available in individual bottles in Manitoba, I'd buy this again - it's a nice weisse with a ginger bite to it (yet no heat for those who hate the spicy ginger beers), the hops do finally make an appearance in the final round but a bit too late for my liking. Bit creamy, notes of banana and clove, easy to drink.

Wild Oats: One Ping Only
8.5% ABV

I waited to try this one last because when I told friends I was buying the Oktoberfest mix pack, everyone went "holy hell.. let me know what you think of One Ping Only!" I assume it's going to be damned good. Well, it's a Baltic Porter, a style I've only seen in Manitoba less than a handful amount of times in my life, so I'm giddy to try it out!

Appearance: One Ping Only pours a thick black-as-night porter with a thick burnt caramel head at the beginning. The head eventually diminishes into almost nothing leaving behind just a light ring of tan head on the side.

Aroma: The very first thing that popped in my head as I was opening up the bottle was "this smells like a milk stout" with very lactic notes as well as notes of coffee from the roasted malt, chocolate, somewhat sour with a hint of dark fruit (raisins) in there. At this point my sinuses aren't at their best so I'm giving it all my all!

Taste: Very rich and creamy for the mouthfeel, incredibly sweet and chocolatey with rich roasted notes, some sour notes of dark fruit, caramel. It's moderately bitter, leaving behind a very subtle bitter aftertaste. There's a subtle note of something that reminds me of black liquorice, but I just can't put my finger on it. At 8.5%, it's not as boozey as you would think.. it just sneaks up on you!

Overall Thoughts: Great Baltic Porter, very smooth and creamy so it's disappearing from my glass faster than I can write this review!

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