By Mark Tichenor, Rochester Beer Correspondent
It’s still a bit confusing to everybody, even the Germans. Oktoberfest is named for October, but takes place in mid-September. And craft breweries usually have their Oktoberfest-style beers ready by the beginning of August.
Canandaigua New York’s Naked Dove Brewing Company is blithely tardy, waiting until the end of beer-tent season to release their Oktoberfest. It’s a crafty move for a beer that deserves to be enjoyed apart from the pack.
Oktoberfest beers are as subtle as a kick in the Lederhosen: heavy, strong lagers with negligible hop character and a sweet punch that goes to-to-toe with smoky food. It’s the ultimate party beer, brewed for the ultimate party, and with its Oktoberfest, Naked Dove catches the essence of Oompah.
One glance reveals that Naked Dove Oktoberfest is reverently traditional. The deep gold color is a departure from the copper-hued Märzen-influenced examples most breweries make, closely resembling the beer you’d actually be served at the Munich Oktoberfest.
Aroma from the Munich and Cara malt, reminiscent of freshly-baked rye bread, hovers over the glass. The first sip blankets the tongue with its weighty, chewy body, rounding out into a mild cereal sweetness that departs from the heavily caramelized finish of most Oktoberfest beers.
That somewhat thin finish is the only quibble with this beer.
This Oktoberfest is a chunky, authentic Festbier that engages all senses and begs for repeated hoisting, preferably in substantial quantities, with the car keys in another county. Naked Dove may be late to the party, but it’s certainly worth keeping the tent up a while longer.
Producer: Naked Dove Brewing Company
Sampled: at the brewery
Style: Oktoberfest Lager
Stemware: Yeah, right. Big chunky tankard with a handle, or Mass glass
Price: $10 growler fills plus $4 for a new growler
(4.5 out of 5 | Outstanding and Delicious, Highly Recommended to Extraordinary, Can't Recommend it More)