Yesterday, in my most recent update on the influx of Oktoberfest beers into Augusta, I mentioned a couple Imperial Oktoberfest lagers that are available at 8th Street Tobacco: Clipper City’s Heavy Seas Prosit! is the first of the two I’ll be reviewing here on echoflam.com, with the other—Avery Brewing Company’s The Kaiser—coming up soon in a special series of reviews I’ll be posting during the 200th Munich Oktoberfest celebration. (Yes, I realize that I stated in yesterday’s article that this review would be posted yesterday, but things didn’t go quite as planned. For that, I apologize.)
The Heavy Seas beers are divided into three different series. The standard line-up is called the Clipper Fleet, showcasing “classic beer styles focused on quality and drinkability,” all coming in at under 6% ABV, including Classic Lager, Gold Ale, Märzen, Pale Ale, and Summer Ale. The Pyrate Fleet beers are all bottle conditioned and range from 7-8% ABV, and include such beers as Peg Leg Imperial Stout, Loose Cannon, and Small Craft Warning – Über Pils. Finally, there’s the Mutiny Fleet, described by the brewery thusly:
“Launched in 2009, the Mutiny Fleet showcases unusual beer styles in excess of 8% ABV. These are our biggest and boldest beers. Many are vintage dated and designed for aging like a fine wine. All are bottle conditioned and some unfiltered. Released in very small batches in only 22 oz. bottles and very limited draft.”
Several of the beers in the Mutiny Fleet series have been around for a while in 12-ounce format, so you may already be familiar with them – Below Decks Barleywine and Hang Ten Weizen Doppelbock were moved over into the Mutiny Fleet series upon its conception last year, returning in 22-ounce packaging. Others in the new series have also made their way to Augusta (the beers are released on a set schedule throughout the year), such as The Great Pumpkin, Siren Noire, and Smoke on the Water. The latest release in the series this year is Prosit!, and it comes just in time to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese.
Hurry and grab a few bottles while you can and crack them open amongst good company, and be sure to have plenty of Wurst, Kartoffeln und Brezeln to soak up the hefty 9% ABV – trust me, you’ll need it!
Style: Imperial Oktoberfest/Märzen
Alcohol content: 9% ABV
Package type: 22-ounce brown glass bottle
Serving vessel: Glass Krug
Serving temperature: ~40 degrees F
Rating: B (3.6/5)
Deep orange-ish in color with wonderful clarity. The pour produces a thick head of off-white foam that falls away fairly quickly, sticking around as a fat crown that fails to hold to the walls of the glass at all, leaving behind no trace of lacing as the glass empties.
Lightly malty in the nose, rather subdued but with a clear sense of caramel, fresh toast and a vague hint of honey.
Medium-bodied and very smooth, at cooler fridge temperatures things shape up nicely, with a characteristic caramel/toffee/toasty melanoidin-rich flavor, sweet and slightly toasty, with a slight hop twang that barely holds things in balance. As things warm up a bit, a mild alcoholic warmth shows itself, combining with the sweet maltiness to become a bit cloying. The finish is somewhat long and malty-sweet, with a lingering grassy noble hop fade.
At lower temperatures, the alcohol barely shows itself, making this one damnably drinkable brew for its hefty 9% ABV — throwing back a liter or two in celebration of Oktoberfest would be perhaps a little too easy. Keep this baby cool, and you’re bound to have one heck of an Oktoberfest that’s worth remembering — though you probably won’t.