DSC02099Now this is a nice beer.

On the label, they call MaiFest from August Schell Brewing down in tiny New Ulm, Minn. a blonde double bock. But in my opinion that just means maibock. And what a well done beer to not only celebrate Day 3 of American Craft Beer Week, but also marvel at what is turning out to be a rout in Game 7 of the Pittsburgh/Washington NHL series. The pundits kind of built this one up to be a dramatic finish to what’s been one of the best playoff series in recent memory. But it’s not that exhilirating, unless you like watching poor goaltending and sluggish defense.

MaiFest has a very nice, light bready malt aroma and clean Noble hop notes with a little bit of spiciness — I’m guessing Tettnanger or Saaz. Pleasantly inviting. Medium gold appearance with a two finger white head that quickly trickles off after the initial pour.

Very smooth taste. More of the bready malt up front, a bit of the hop bitterness in the middle, and some alcohol heat in the finish. Exceptionally nice mouthfeel, almost creamy. Nearly 7% ABV, so you certainly feel it after one.    

For as much as I go on and on about incredibly complex Belgian ales or black hole-style imperial stouts, it’s sometimes nice to sit down with a well crafted beer that is unassuming and straightforward in its masterful simplicity. What you see is what you get. 

This could possibly be one of the best maibocks I’ve had so far this spring.

Rating: A-