3.68/5 rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Third bottle from the six-pack; can't find a bottling date or best-by, though on closer inspection I did find a long string of incomprehensible numbers hidden away in black print on the bottom of the bottle. Weird.
Speaking of the bottle, it's got a pretty nice label. The beer itself looks pretty nice as well - pours orangey in color, settling into somewhere in the range between orange and brown once in the glass, with a decent bit of light tan foam on top. Foam hangs around much better than the standard Yuengling lager, which always seems to have a head that vanishes really quick - not this one, there's still a decently thick layer on top even after I've taken the time to take a picture, upload it, post it on "What Beer Are You Drinking Now?", and start to type this review. It's pretty clear, and there's a good number of rising bubbles coming from the bottom. As I drink more, I notice that it's leaving a pretty nice set of trails on the sides of the glass as it goes.
The smell, like the appearance, is a lot like an upgraded version of the standard Yuengling lager - a lot less of that weird "hair salon" type smell, and a lot more nice maltiness going on. It's bready, a bit sweet, and almost caramel-y on the end.
Taste matches the smell pretty well - lots of maltiness going on for sure. The "hair salon" smell's influence on the flavor is so slight as to be almost nonexistent; it's just barely noticeable at first but quickly gives way to malt before it can overstay its welcome. Very bready, a bit sweet, and I think I'm picking up just a bit of a dry spiciness at the end that makes me think of European hops (which would be the appropriate kind for an Oktoberfest beer, I'd imagine.) Flavors are sweeter at first and in the middle, but shifting more toward dry at the end as the bread/grain sorts of flavors and slight spice take over, which is interesting and seems to work pretty well.
Feel is pretty good overall, too. Not amazing like the Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest I had earlier in the season, but still good. Easy to drink pretty big gulps of this one, while at the same time not feeling *too* thin or approaching watery. A pretty nice balance there.
Overall, this is probably my second-favorite Yuengling beer so far, just short of the Summer Wheat. While this one doesn't really stand up to Sierra Nevada's collaboration Oktoberfest, it's still definitely good enough to be worth a try if you see it around; I'm glad I picked some up. For $7.40ish a six-pack, it's certainly worth the price - a nice step up from the regular Yuengling lager, while not being so drastically different that fans of Yuengling's regular lineup won't be able to appreciate it. Here's hoping the new winter seasonal IPL keeps up the pattern of really tasty but also really affordable seasonal beers from this brewery!