Pros:Huge flavor, high octane without reeking of alcohol flavor.
Cons:A cut above the rest, but not as godly as Avery's other brews.
The Bottom Line: A beast of an Oktoberfest; but be prepared for a very good beer instead of a godlike beer.
Another day, another bomber of tasty Avery brew. After tangling multiple times with other monstrous beers from Avery, I was prepared for an absolute leviathan of a beer in The Kaiser. I mean, hey, these are the same guys that brew The Beast, which is liquid proof that not only does God exist, but that he loves Mankind deeply. Surprisingly enough, I was a little let down by The Kaiser. However, keep in mind that my idea of 'big beer' starts with Dogfish Head's 120 Minute IPA, and ends with Avery's The Beast.
Recommend this product?
Brewed as a seasonal by Avery (Available September - December), The Kaiser is an absolutely huge brew. Distributed in 22oz bombers, The Kaiser qualifies for my list of big beers, despite some very stiff standards. The bottle is not nearly as intimidating as The Beast, with a picture of Kaiser Wilhelm surrounded by a representation of the iron cross and german flag, with text in an ornate germanic script. The beer pours a lovely dark copper color, and builds a nice head as you pour. Draining a glass causes the formation of some very nice lace.
The nose is a combination of caramel, a hint of alcohol, and a heavy, pumpkin-like fruity malt scent as well. Notes of almost squash like fruit flavor predominated in the nose. A sip of the brew unveiled an absolutely excellent malt body, with a surprising hint of hop flavor at the finish. Given Avery's success at masking the alcohol flavor of it's other high test brews, I expected the octane to be well hidden in this brew, and I was not disappointed. Despite the hefty 9.3% ABV of The Kaiser, alcohol flavor was undetectable unless I really concentrated on seeking it out within the beer's excellent body.
While I was rightfully impressed with The Kaiser, I felt that it didn't quite meet the standards of Avery's other 'big beer' brews. The Beast, as well as the 'holy trinity' (Hog Heaven, The Reverend, and Salvation) of specialty Avery beers are absolute dreadnoughts, and left me with extraordinarily high expectations for specialty Avery beers, as the aforementioned brews outdo their competetion by leagues. While an extremely impressive beer, The Kaiser doesn't manage to blow it's closest competitor for the Colorado Oktoberfest crown (Tabernash's Oktoberfest lager) away nearly as much as I was expecting it to. While The Kaiser is extremely impressive, and sets the bar a notch above other Oktoberfests, it still falls a notch or two short of Avery's other accomplishments in the specialty beer field. The preceding paragraph seems damning, but the point I am trying to make is that The Kaiser is a superlative beer, but fails to be as utterly sublime as some of Avery's other beers.
Overall, I would say that The Kaiser is an impressive, high octane Oktoberfest. Drinking this beer was like having a beer festival in my mouth, with almost everyone invited; but the guest list is only slightly longer than other, non-specialty Oktoberfests. I do recommend it for those seeking an Oktoberfest lager that is a cut above the rest, but with the caveat that one should expect a superb brew, as opposed to a religious revelation in a bottle.
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