Oktoberfest - Goose Island Beer Co.

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577 Ratings
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Ratings: 577
Reviews: 195
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.02%
Wants: 16
Gots: 47 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 09-06-2001

Copper color, toffee aroma, malty dried apricot flavor, medium body.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 577 | Reviews: 195
Reviews by cornpone:
More User Reviews:
Photo of woodychandler
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

I am both purging and divesting myself of bottles, but I seem to always find one or two loosey goosies (sorry) in single-o coolers around town. It does not hurt that The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop is such an enabler, either! Why leave with just one or two when you can Mix-a-Six?

From the bottle: "Holiday Release"; "Traditional Marzen"; "Prized Hallertau hops provide earthy bitterness to a malty body with pleasant hints of dried apricot and toffee aroma."; "Serve in a stein".

Another great pseudo-cascade following a mighty pour! It drives #TheOldLady nuts when I do it, but I like the head formation, the release of esters, and the visual aspect of it. I got just over a finger of foamy, tawny head that quickly fell to wisps. I usually do not get hung on clarity one way or the other, but this had NE-plus quality clarity! I could see through the walls into the neighbor's house, I could see into the future, I could see France, I could see your underpants! I am going to describe the magnificent color as somewhere between Deep Amber/Light Copper and Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17). I definitely got the toffee and earthy aromas on the nose. I do not like sweet beers, so if they held the mats in check, I am really going to like this beer. Mouthfeel was medium, approaching full with its carbonation. I will buy both dried apricot and certainly toffee as flavors, and there was a very earthy grassy quality also, but I did not perceive any of it as "bitter", or what I think of as bitter. IBU = 17. Come on! I apologize for drinking it from a shaker glass as opposed to a stein (German for "stone"), but I need to see it in order to review it. Man, this was a mellow beer. The tastes just kind of swirled around in my mouth and on my tongue and time passed pleasantly by. Finish was semi-dry, lightly fruity, slightly grassy. Yum.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 Oktoberfest bottle. Best by 122706 on the bottle. Pours into my glass a nice deep dark amber red hue with good clarity and active carbonation. A half inch of white head sticks on top of the brew. Looks nice in the glass. Aromas of sweet caramel and nutty malts. Quite malt forward with a dash of cocoa as well. Herbal hops sitting in the background. A nice clean, inviting aroma.

First sip brings a sweet toasted, caramel maltiness enchanced by a big nuttiness. Hints of cocoa and maybe some raisins as well. Flows down with a hit of herbal hoppiness that's just enough to give it a little something extra on the way down. Just a solid Oktoberfest overall, nice and malty.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Good body with sturdy carbonation. I could see myself enjoying a good deal of this brew. I recall not enjoying this one as much last year, but I find myself really liking the brew in front of me right now. Well worth checking out if you have access to it.

Photo of Billolick
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer sampled, a treat to see more Goose Island selections being available in the NYC area. Bottle provides "best when consumed by" dating and also lets the consumer know this should be served in an imperial pint glass, nice stuff going on here. Beer education and information is a good thing! This one pours a healthy dark almond mahogony shade of tastyness. Minor tan head and just the usual sort of lacing. Nose is the expected bready, malty O'fest odor. I found this brew to be very pleasantly malty, smooth and long lasting on the tongue and gums. Notes of vanilla, honey and nutty maltyness.Would make a fine sessioner. Very rich and pleasant brew. I haven't tried anything from Goose Island that was not spot on.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured at deep copper color with a thick white lace that left distinct rings on the glass. Sweet caramel malty smell along with some spices. Flavor is heavy on the sweetness...almost sugary. Tiny amount of bittering to balance. Mouthfeel on the thin side. Drinkability is decent. One that I could drink a few of in one setting, but not my favorite fest beer.

Photo of bsp77
3.09/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into dimpled mug.

Appearance: Reddish copper with decent off-white head.

Smell: Cherry, caramel, biscuit and spicy hops.

Taste: Same notes as the aroma (cherry, caramel, biscuit, spicy hops) but way too sweet with the spicy hops just barely making their presence known.

Feel: Decent carbonation and body for the style but the residual sugars just mangle the mouthfeel.

Overall: Way too sweet to be a good example of a Marzen.

Photo of ryanocerus
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Of the three Oktoberfests I had this weekend (Pete's, Leine's and Goose Island) this was the best. Nice red color, albeit with little head retention. The flavor was stronger and sweet, like an Oktoberfest should be. An excellent Marzen and worth trying.

Photo of MattyG85
4.16/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a stein glass. Bottled on 05/August/14.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber orange with a lot of rising bubbles. Solid two fingers of off white head which slowly settle into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A bready and toasty malt forward aroma with hints of caramel, toffee, and biscuit. Toasted barley malt with bready hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, grains, cracker, and lager yeast. Subtle fruit hints of orange, apple, and apricot. Sweet hints of brown sugar. Also some earthy and floral hop hints. A pretty solid malty aroma.

Taste: Like the smell hints at, a toasty and bready malt driven taste with notes of biscuit, caramel, and toffee. Toasted barley malt with bready notes of biscuit, caramel, toffee, grains, cracker, and yeast. Good mix of fruit undertones with notes of apple, orange, and apricot. Sweet taste of brown sugar. Subtle earthy and floral hop notes. A pretty nice Marzen taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, crisp, and very smooth with a drying finish.

Overall: A pretty solid take on a German Marzen. Good toasty malt notes with some nice subtle fruit notes.

Photo of far333
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Orangey caramel colored with a thick inch high head of beige foam that lingers long and slowly recedes to a quarter inch high cap. Aroma of biscuity malt, corn and cinnamon.

Flavors of toasted malt, toffee and caramel, slightly nutty, faint metallic note. Subtle offsetting bitterness. Very balanced and flavorful. Full mouthfeel, but slightly slick. Overall a good representation of the style, tasty beer.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.21/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Amber pour. Minimal head. Caramel all over the place, dominates aroma and taste.

Sweet, not overly, thin body, more caramel. Not bitter, creamy. Kinda dry for the level of sweetness on the first sip. Low carbonation, drinks similar to Sprecher's Amber Lager.

Not my thing, a smooth malty fall beer w/o hops. Solid for style though, check it out if you dig the smooth. . .

Photo of ADR
3.37/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Darker brown amber, not much orange. Clear with slight sediment bits. Head is big at first, settles to a skim in a minute or so. Sweet and sugary smells. Pretty thick for a Fest, heavy caramel and honey flavors with an evident but not balancing hop of straightforward bittering. This brew strays into Bock territory in my opinion, I liked it, but would recommend it to people prefering more body and heavier sweetness. No off tastes but not a good representative of style, to me...

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.59/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

So pleased to see brewed in Chicago, IL, the last 12 pack I purchased was brewed and bottled in Baldwinsville, NY. Copper orange color bright and filtered brilliantly. Big khaki tan head, with fine speckled lacing dispersed as the head dwindles. Aroma has biscuit malts, clean caramel, light and rather airy compared to some of the more robust Oktoberfests out there. Crushing waves of interplay bread grains, caramel, hints of bright ripened fruit with a nutty signature Americanized O fest tone. Not much in the way of hops here a bit of minimal earthiness with some herbal characters come through with a very calm bitterness, barely detectable on the palate. Mouthfeel is medium bodied evenly carbonated, very easy to drink yet equally unimpressive and standout in this style. I would say if I had ten of this seasons Oktoberfests that this version is ranking 6th or 7th in my minds ideal version of the style.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in an American pint glass)

A-This beer pours a deep golden brown with a thin film or off-white head and a very slow gentle carbonation

S- This beer has a crisp clean aroma of pale slightly toasted malt.

T- This beer has a slight sweetness to the malt flavors which are a little toasty. A faint noble hop note in the finish with a slight sulfur note in a dry finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with not fizz or astringency.

D- This is a very average beer. I understand that it is meant to be consumed a liter at a time for many hours, but it doesn't have any real complexity or interest. Perhaps paired with spicy mustard and pretzels it will be more interesting.

Photo of Brenden
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A softly off-white head is dense but fluffy, resting solidly on top of a bright beer about copper in color. It keeps its form at a full finger for the long term and shows some resilience in patching down the glass.
This Oktoberfest seems pretty on-target stylistically. Malts give caramel sweetness and breads more than toast along with a bit of grains, and there's something fruity up front that continues to run alonside the rest. A bit of leaf and earth seem to be contributed by the hops. It's just a fraction higher if the fruity aspect was toned down a hair.
The body is medium, right in the range it should be, but grains give a hint of thinning astringency in the very later portion.

Photo of Jeffreysan
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful golden amber color, with a finger and a half of off-white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that covered the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Very malty, very bready, like freshly baked soft pretzels. I also get some floral aromas of clover and honey.

Taste: Lots of good malty notes up front, fresh bread, pretzels, biscuits; followed by some honey-like sweetness, finished by some nicely balanced hops. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium and smooth, with some moderate carbonation. With an ABV of 6.4% there is just the slightest hint of alcohol on the palate, but not much.

Overall: Wow, this is an excellent, excellent American Oktoberfest beer. Nicely balanced between malt and sweet and bitterness, this is an extremely easy beer to drink and enjoy. I think I have a new beer to add to my list of favorite Oktoberfest beers. I’ll certainly be getting a six pack of this beer every year!

Photo of soper2000
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Obtained via trade with the ever so gracious bdorf94. 12 oz bottle pours a deep burgundy with a small 1 finger white/off white head. Aroma reminds me a lot of the Einbecker Mai Urbock that I had a couple of weeks ago. A light maltiness is present in the nose that is fairly sweet. Taste is definetely not over-the-top or abrasive in any way. A light maltiness is the the dominant flavor in this brew. It finishes with the same slight sweetness that i've experienced in all of my previous enconters with this style. Not bad but i still prefer Ayinger's O-fest to this one.

Photo of SMark
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pouring this one at 45 degrees after letting it sit out of a 33 degree refrigerator for 30 minutes. Changed the setting on my fridge during that time. Amber pour with approximately 3/4 inch head which went away rather quickly.

Malt and hops combine for a nice aroma. Not overwhelming but hopefully a small precursor of what is to come

Lively on the tongue with a twinge of sweetness going well with the malt. Do not get much of the hops till later and then only slight.

Taste does not linger in the mouth but overall feeling is acceptable with no discerning flaws.

A better than average Oktoberfest but only about an average effort for a Goose Island.

Photo of cokes
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dull amber in color. Thin white film for a head.
Very sweet malt aroma raisins and candied apples. Some soapiness as well.
Definately on the sweet side for an oktoberfest. Dried dates, raisins, apples and carmel all make an appearance. All this sweetness rides on top of a solid toasty nuttiness. Hops are virutally unnoticed. Swing the toasted/fruity aspect the other direction and this would be quite nice. Much too sweet as it is.
Semi-sticky mouthfeel. But a little thin at the same time.
Decent all around, but not one of the great Oktobers.

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.29/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Very flat without nearly any carbonation. There is also no lacing or foam at all. Color is bright brown-red and fits the season.

Smell: Moderately hopped and very musky. It has that fall feel to it, but is a bit sour.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Surprised to taste lemon in the initial sip. Turns to slightly burnt caramel flavor and wet hay. Not an overly impressive flavor, but it's tasty enough. Mouthfeel is definitely thin and leaves a sour aftertaste.

Overall Drinkability: A disappointment from Goose Island.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A foamy off-white head rests lazily, slowly receeding in height over a copper body with brass and gold highlights. Many fine bubbles are visible rising quickly to take their place in que beneath the head. The retention is good but it leaves only minor lacing about the glass. The nose is toasty and 'juicy' sweet due to its Vienna malts, with a light touch of floral hops as accent. The body is solidly medium and it's creamy in the mouth despite its somewhat effervescent appearance. Bready, gently sweet and mildly caramelish toasted malt dominates the flavor up-front but soon reveals its balancing bitterness and a delicate hop flavor. It finishes dry with a flash of doughy, toasted malt and some residual hop spiciness. Quite nice!

Photo of dirtylou
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single bought at Steve's on University in Madison

appearance: dark and hazy, a full copper color with ruby hints, small bubbly head with minimal cloudy lacing

smell: roasted malts, some tangy hops in the background...quite subdued

taste: definately roasted malts but very sugar sweet hops as well, a bit grainy. nothing over the top but a slightly above average oktoberfest from the north side brewers

mouthfeel: medium bodied, thicker than the norm, a bit chewy

drinkability: very drinkable

this thing doesn't stand out above the rest but it was enjoyable

Photo of tempest
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For starters, this is not an Oktoberfest. It's a very American amber in my opinion. Not a bad beer, but stil not an O-fest. The flavor starts with sweet grains and then moves into a rich roasted caramel flavor. It this roasted flavor that's uncharacteristic. Still a very drinkable beer, not a bad choice if you're going to hoist some steins.

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.16/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fairly ale-like in taste, yet it comes in a little dry as well. It's a bit hoppy, though, which balances a nice toasty malt aspect. I can catch another touch of smokiness toward the end, which has been a nice touch in all these Oktoberfest beirs this past season.

Photo of russpowell
3.49/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked a single, bottled Aug 19 14

Pours an effervescent tea color a with a finger of tan head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Pears & apple blossoms (3.5)

T: some toastyness & pears, plus a little dryness up front. More of the same as this warms, a little herbal hoppyness as well. Finishes dry, fruitty ( pears with a little bit of apricot ) & dryness, a little toastyness & herbal hops (3.5)

MF: Medium bodied, slight carbonation (3.5)

Drinks easy enough, but nothing special (3.5)

Photo of jackndan
4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Goose Island Oktoberfest: Not really an Oktoberfest, but an extremely tasty beer. Deep amber in color, not a classic orange. The aroma is clean and light, with very little in the way of spice. The initial taste is very heavy malt, without the classic marzen taste, with a quick, clean bite of hops. The taste is noticeably “goose island,” and too me that is not a bad thing. As it warms, the taste mellows considerably, with a more prominent marzen taste. This is a very fine beer, its probably not an Oktoberfest, but that is OK because I’d drink this all year long.

Photo of bditty187
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes…

Clear, ruby-bronze in hue with a coppery influence as well. Steady animation found its way to the off-white head. At the apex the foam was one finger in height but it quickly faded to a soapy cap. Subsequent lacing was nonexistent but a tight cap formed (from nowhere it seemed) and lasted the entire consumption. It is a handsome beer. The nose is clean; the malt offers a toasty caramel aroma. Whiffs of tobacco leaf as well. I could detect some grain and even some grassy hops at the back. The nose is typical for the style; aside form the tobacco, which adds an interesting dimension. Potency is modest. Mildly inviting, which means it smells good but it doesn’t pump my nag. This might be the driest O-fest I’ve ever tasted. There isn’t much sweetness; the caramel taste is secondary and not very rich. Lordy! The tobacco leaf taste is strong and mighty dry. After the tobacco is a very lovely taste of biscuits. Hops add minimal bitterness but some grassy flavors find my tongue. The finish is much better than the start and the most complex moments are when the middle turns to the end, very good. Dried tobacco leafs and biscuits go good together, who knew? I think some sweetness would have improved this beer, I can’t complain “as is” but this O-fest might be truly amazing if the sweetness was kicked-in. Medium in body but too thin, more malt please. Dry, leafy aftertaste, hell there is even some cocoa mixed in. It is easy to drink and just as enjoyable. I purchased a six-pack in Omaha. I’ll enjoy every bottle, maybe at once with such a low abv. Worth trying.

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Oktoberfest from Goose Island Beer Co.
83 out of 100 based on 577 ratings.