My last beer review, the Paulaner Munchen Oktoberfest Bier, impressed me so much that I wanted to cover a couple of other oktoberfest inspired beers. This next one, the Iron Plow Harvest Märzen, is one of them. This bomber is the second of a resurgence of bombers for Vancouver Island Brewery. You may remember the last one they did was the Flying Tanker White IPA. This new one starts a new series of bombers, their seasonal series, and this is bomber #1 from it.
For more history on the märzen style of beer, märzen means March, as in the month of. According to wikipedia
‘Märzen has its origins in Bavaria, probably before the 16th century. A Bavarian brewing ordinance decreed in 1539 that beer may be brewed only between 29 September and 23 April. The original Märzen was described as “dark brown, full-bodied”. The beer was often kept in the cellar until late in the summer, and remaining bottles were served at the Oktoberfest. In order to last so long, either the original gravity and alcohol were increased or the hopping was strengthened.”
I originally had this beer at The Great Canadian Beer Festival last month. To be honest, when I had it there I was unimpressed. I had some serious trepidation about buying it again and trying it at home. I’m really glad that I did because my opinion has gotten adjusted considerably. My thoughts on this beer now are pretty straight forward. It is delicious. When I opened this bottle it had a really nice malty sweet and almost apricot smell to it. It pours into your glass as a nice deep amber colour. The thick frothy white head on top dissipates, but their is a whole lot of bubbles still in the beer. As noted in The Parting Glass blog post, don’t expect a great hop note on this beer, just enough to balance out the sweet malty goodness. Each sip washes a nice array of flavours over your tongue, but they are gone almost as fast. It doesn’t linger with you. Instead it begs to be drank again. I think this would make for a wicked session beer, even at 5.8%. I could see several pints disappearing fairly easily from this beer. If only I had a 1L bottle I’d have used my giganto-mug from the Paulaner. If I were to compare it to yesterdays beer, the ‘Official Oktoberfest Bier’ by Paulaner Munchen, I’d say this brew is its equal. Highly quaffable with some lovely malty sweetness. A nice balance of carbonation, and a very easy finish. I know that only 6 beers are classifiable as ‘Official’ but this one is up to the task. I am continually impressed with the new Brewers Batch from Vancouver Island Brewery. I can’t wait to see what they’ll think of next.
Leapbeer #246 is Iron Plow Harvest Märzen
Brewery: Vancouver Island Brewery of Victoria, BC
Released: September 2012
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/5.8% ABV
Availability: Limited Release
Purchased @: BC Government Liquor Store
Other Reviews: http://partingglassblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/what-the-heck-is-marzen-and-why-you-need-to-try-it/ & http://barleymowat.com/2012/10/01/october-beer-of-the-month/
Thanks for reading