I am an unabashed fan of American craft Oktoberfest beer. I looked forward each year to trying as many of these "local" interpretations as a I can. Sure, the official Oktoberfest doesn't start until September 17, but the beers start showing up on store shelves around here in July. The first Oktoberfest I grabbed to enjoy this season was Devils Backbone O'Fest. After a false start earlier this week, the beer was finally cracked open after the last teleconference on Friday to kick off the weekend.
This year's O'Fest is markedly different from previous releases. Instead of the traditional Märzen-style, this year's version is a modern "festbier" brewed with Munich malts and traditional Hallertau hops. The lager pours a golden-yellow with a short live white head. The aroma has notes of bread and a mild floral sweetness. The flavor follows with lightly toasted bread, with only a hint of bitterness. The finish is clean with a light mouthfeel. It's quite a refreshing drink. While I typically gravitate to the maltier Märzens, I enjoyed this style quite a bit.
Naturally I grabbed a cigar to enjoy with the beer. The evening's choice was a La Aurora 107 Belicoso. The cigar features a brown Ecuadorian wrapper, a Dominican binder, with Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. The flavor profile included coffee, chocolate, and leather. I found this to be a mild to medium bodied cigar. For my tastes, it came across as somewhat bland. It was a pleasant smoke, but unremarkable.
The evening was one of few lately when we experienced no storms. The temperature was unseasonably moderate, hovering right around 80°, making for a very pleasant start to the weekend.
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