Friday, May 18, 2012

Bobcat Marzen Auf Holz

Bobcat Cafe & Brewery is located in Bristol, VT, not far from the Otter Creek Brewery in Middlebury so if you are planning on making the drive then I suggest visiting them together in the same day. Americans are more familiar with the term Ocktoberfest beer while the Germans call this style Marzen because it is traditionally brewed in the month of March and kept cool in underground cellars to age and be enjoyed in the fall of the following brewing season. Higher alcohol or hoppier versions were better suited for the long summers. After calling the brewpub I was informed this one uses local maple syrup.

Alcohol Content: 4.9%
IBU: ?
Malts: ?
Hops: ?

Price: $3.50/ Half; $6.50/ Full
Medium: 8oz sample/ water glass

Aroma: Moderately rich malty aroma of Vienna and/or Munich malt with a distinct toasted quality and deep malty sweetness. Very restrained fruity esters and no diacetyl representing a clean lager. Perhaps a light sulfur note but I'm not sure because I can't quite put a word to this aroma. It's unlikely from malts, hops, or yeast fermentation.
Appearance: I was sipping it next to the window with a bright sunlight to present this deep amber, brilliantly clear lager. Slow and steady carbonation persists while a white-ish head retains for many minutes into the session.
Flavor: Rich maltiness with a toasted dry grain character gaining momentum into the finish and lingering slightly into the aftertaste. Initial malt sweetness rounds off with just enough contributing bitterness to give a lightly dry finish. Although fairly bitter, hop flavors remain in the background. Some spicy notes but more of a hop character in the mouthfeel than flavor. I get a very light hint of fruity ester like a dried raisin or pomegranate. Perhaps this is more of a maple syrup character.
Mouthfeel: Moderately bodied with a light creamy texture heightened by a moderately high carbonation. Smooth with a relatively fuller malt profile. Perhaps a little more attenuation from the lager yeast would make it less viscous but nonetheless an easy drinking beer/ style.
Overall Impression: The maple syrup slipped past my detection but most likely contributed to the color and provided a little alcohol or complex sweetness to the malt profile. Staying true to the style, this one favors the big malty character with enough bitterness to help support a crisp, well rounded beer. Although I felt it was approaching a cloying sweetness with subsequent sips. Very characterful.

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