Michael Bury's picture

Judge's Review: 81 Rating - Banded Oak Märzen by Banded Oak Brewing

October, 2018
Judges Rating: 
20 / 24
5 / 6
32 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

Banded Oak Märzen by Banded Oak Brewing​ is being evaluated as a traditional Oktoberfest/Märzen (2015 BJCP Category 6A). This marzen looks the part being amber in color with near brilliant clarity but with a scant, fleeting, ivory head.

The aroma is a mixture of both malt and hops which is a bit different than traditional Oktoberfests. Deeply toasted malt with bread crusts and a trace of caramel fights with the moderately-low herbal hops. It is cleanly fermentation with no esters but there’s a low amount of sulfur that lingers around.

The flavor is quite balanced due to offsetting moderate hop bitterness and medium toast, Maillard products, and a hint of caramel. Well fermented and attenuated with no off flavors. The finish is a bit too drying for the style with herbal hops lingering well into the aftertaste.  

Banded Oak’s Marzen is quite a tasty beer but misses the mark on style. With the hops being as forward as they are, the beer drinks more like an altbier than a marzen, which should demonstrate soft yet complex malt character. I’d also like to see more complexity in the malt presentation for a Marzen.