My personal celebration of Oktoberfest 2014 continues, this time with a beauty from Ballast Point.
Dead Ringer is their Oktoberfest offering (duh) and it’s a good one. It poured a dark red-brown, which surprised me a bit, as I usually think of these beers as a bit lighter. It had light fizzy head that dissipated quickly. It smelled very caramelly, with a light fruity sweetness and a little spicy undertone. I don’t mean that it smelled spicy, as if it were made with chili peppers, but more in the way a cider might be described as “spiced.”
The taste was heavy on the caramel up front and mild, with lots of malty flavor that didn’t overpower the other tastes that followed. The carbonation was enough to break that up a bit, even though the maltiness came back right after the tingle of the bubbles left my tongue. Then came the spice notes with a nice fizzy finish in the back of my throat.
I enjoyed this beer, as it was a great example of the many different takes on a beer style I thought I knew so well. While I expected the maltiness, the light-to-medium sweetness and carbonation were a bit of a surprise, but did not take away from the experience of this beer.
Overall, I would rate this beer: