Here’s a new beer that just showed up in the Atlanta market: Oculto. Its full name is Oculto Blue Agave Infused Beer Blended with Beer Aged on Tequila Staves, but we’ll just call it Oculto for short. It was introduced on Friday the 13th of March, a marketing gimmick designed to build hype over the beer’s supernatural allusions.
Oculto is “Brewed by Broken Barrel Brewing Company in Houston, TX and Williamsburg, VA”; if you don’t already know, that’s really Anheuser-Busch Inbev. I’m still not too happy with their recent TV spot attacking craft beer aficionados, but I did decide to pick up a single of Oculto to try when I saw it at Total Wine yesterday.
Remember Tequiza? That was a stab at this very same type of flavored beer back in the 90s. With the current craze for barrel aged beers, however, it seems logical for Anheuser-Busch to revive the idea.
Oculto is a little more expensive than most macrobrews, running $8.99 a six-pack here in Atlanta. The beer has an alcohol content of 6% by volume, a little stronger than most macrobrews, too.
Oculto Blue Agave Infused Beer Blended with Beer Aged on Tequila Staves pours to a bright straw color with a thin spritzy head formation and a vibrant nose of lime seasoned tequila. Taking a sip, the beer has a clean maltiness up front followed by citric lime, vegetal agave and then a boozy tequila quality in the finish. That makes it seem stronger than it is.
Some biscuity malt comes through underneath if you look for it, but mostly gets drowned out by the tequila notes. A lot like a megabrew followed up with much alacrity by a tequila shot in my book, but at leats it doesn’t display any unpleasant adjunct notes (Oculto is Spanish for hidden, perhaps the tequila notes cover them up). Oculto is slightly sweet in the finish, but not overly so.
All in all, this is better than I thought it would be, OK for what they want it to be, and definitely better than Tequiza was. If you like macro lagers and a tequila chaser, you will probably enjoy Oculto. Not being fond of that combination myself, it’s not a beer I personally would buy again. Your mileage may vary, and it is at least worth a try.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.