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Samuel Adams Octoberfest - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams OctoberfestSamuel Adams Octoberfest

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,056 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,056
Hads: 6,984
Avg: 3.66
pDev: 25.96%
Wants: 111
Gots: 1,515 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-10-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,056 | Hads: 6,984
Photo of ReDave
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the "pub" Not quite October, but ...close enough.
This is a drinkable lager.

Nice head, cream colored.... little lace.

Dark brown amber color.

Sweet malty aroma.

Malty flavor. somewhat like a English brown ale.

A little darker than i remember, but still pretty much as i expect an easy drinking, not too heavy Oktoberfest... perfect for a session.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a coppery amber, with another fizzling head that leaves behind no lacing as it falls apart in about half a minute. Medium body and carbonation levels.

Smells faintly of caramel and nuts. But only just. The flavor is much more notable: I get nutmeg-laced bready and toasted malts with a striking absence of earthiness and plenty of extra caramel. In other words, this beer is somewhat sweeter than the usual Marzen on the market. But some folks like that sort of thing. It gets a cinnamon dusting sort of flavor garnish as the glass warms up towards room temperature. Another middle of the road Marzen in a market already full of middling Marzens.

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Photo of deejaydan
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours the usual amber color, slight head retention. Smell is funky old beer smell. Taste follows that, but with a hop bite. I thought fest beers were supposed to be malty, not hoppy. It seems like they left out the malt flavors here. It's not bad overall, just not very good.

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Photo of bpw28
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear amber (about an 18 SRM),three finger bone white soap bubble head, good lacing, lots of carb.

Smell: Medium roasted malt, light doughy yeast, light dark fruits, caramelized sugars, light floral/herbal.

Taste: Medium roasted malt, doughy yeasty, dark fruits, honey, earthy, herbal. Body is a little watery even for a lager, carb is good.

Final Thoughts: It's an okay octoberfest. It just seems like just another one in the crowd to be honest. I always hear how good this one is, can't say I'm impressed.

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Photo of sabrills70
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium amber with an off white medium head. Excellent lace. Smell is very mild for the style, some malt and very subtle other smells, but like I said very mild for the style. Taste is OK, malt and hops, possibly some vanilla, but again mild for the style. This is a very drinkable beer. Its not a great brew and Sam Adams is capable of much better, don't get me wrong it is still very good but it tastes like they purposly "watered" it down to try and appeal to the masses a bit more (what the hell, it works for AB). It is still fun to drink and nice to see every year at this time and I do still look forward to it.

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Photo of tedsox31
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My first review, despite having been a member on here for a couple years now...

Poured into a glass mug. Appearance is amber in color with a foam head that dissipates rather quickly. Bubbles from the bottom continue to rise, however. There is no lace to speak of as I continue to drink it.

When I initially poured, the scent was slightly sharp but as it has warmed, the smell is sweet to me, of caramel malt and a slight floral aroma I cannot quite place.

The taste, to me, is nothing extraordinary. There is a sweetness to it that is reminiscent of caramel, followed by the tang of hops. The aftertaste is not unpleasant, but it does, to me at least, have a slight sourness to it.

There is a nice carbonated mouthfeel that you might expect from a lager. It is not too heavy and also not too light. The carbonation has grown less as I drink it, but even near the end there is carbonation to speak of.

This is a drinkable beer, if unremarkable. I cannot say that I would go out of my way to order this at a restaurant or bar, but I would get it again if an establishment had nothing else that I liked, or to sample it with some good German food such as brats and sauerkraut.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.12/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the tap, pours a clear amber color with no head at all. Probably not a good pour from the bartended. A few bubbles from the bottom of the glass. No lace on the glass as the beer disappears. Smells slightly toasted, fruity and maybe spicy. Tastes slight carmel, again with some fruit notes, and a slight hint of hop bitterness. The sweetness never seems to go away, and seems to be a bit cloying. Light body, with some carbonation. Seems a bit watery. Overall, fair. I do not believe this beer was as mediocre last year or the year before. As it seems for Sam Adams, some of the products are being "dumbed down", probably for the mass market. What a shame.

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Photo of DisasterDave
3.12/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had high hopes based on the label that says, "5 roasted malts for a rich hearty flavor...." The flavor was pleasant and had the malt flavor as advertised, but not as hearty as I hoped.

In its favor, not a lingering after taste.

It's a beer I would be glad to drink again, but not one I will be excited to tell my friends about.

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Photo of JayTheFinn
3.12/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a rather blah version of an Oktoberfest. It's not terrible, just not inspired.

A - Dark red/orange body with a wee head.
S - Sweet scents in the nose.
T - A light sweet malty flavor of honey. Tastes like most others I've had, except that it's lighter in flavor.
M - Not bad. What flavor there is adequately coats the tongue.
D - It's a drinkable beer, just not something I'd seek out to drink.

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Photo of Vashtar
3.12/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The appearance is a vibrant, mid dark, orange. It is clear and maintains its head.

There's a nice, but fairly typical fragrance.

The taste starts out great but finishes bitter. Hoppy at the end.

The mouthfeel is smooth, but lacks depth.

This was in a bottle and poured into a glass.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.12/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber colour with minimal head.
The nose is crisp, with hints of a light toasty malt.
Flavour follows through, crisp and smoothe, with mostly malty tones. Not particularly complex.
Well carbonated, and crisp, but surprisingly filling.
Overall, it's about what I'd expect from Sam Adams; not likely to offend anyone's tastebuds, but not really anything particularly exciting either. A 'safe' beer, might be good for gatherings, particularly with those who are less enamoured of the craft brew scene.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.12/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thank you lynx1245 for your generosity (left some beer at my house the other day... on accident?)

Appearance: Pours a crystal-clear, dark amber with a thin creamy cap. Not much lacing to speak of.

Smell: Caramel malts, brown sugar, bread, and a little spice.

Taste: Bready malts, caramel/molasses, light dosage of hops, and some spicy notes (nutmeg). Pretty good balance, though overall flavor is pretty simple and watery. Meh...

Mouthfeel: Pretty chewy, light-medium bodied, average carbonation. Nothing special here.

Drinkability: There's nothing special to this märzen, though I could see myself knocking back several of them without batting an eye. This beer barely creeps past average in my books.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've enjoyed this beer a lot in previous years, but I'm not sure this year's is for me. It's pretty enough, amber in color with a medium white head. I had difficulty with the aroma, as in it wasn't there. Some pumpkin spice, some sweetness like maple syrup. Very subtle. Ditto for the taste. It was sweet, but that was about it. Smooth in the mouth. I've had half of the 6 pack I bought. Maybe I'll give the others to my wife.

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Photo of VoodooBear
3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle with "best by" month notched on the label. Served in a steidel.

Appearance: Deep, rich, amber color. Develops 2 fingers of tan lace that fizzle out very quickly into a thin ring.

Smell: Not very aromatic. Smells mostly of malt, slight hints of allspice, pumpkin pie in there.

Taste: Malt dominates the palate, there's a bit of hoppy bitterness at the end. It's a slightly sweet-tasting beer.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation. Light and easy to drink with a smooth finish.

Overall: This is a tasty and uncomplicated beer that doesn't really stand out anywhere in particular but will keep you more interested in it that any run of the mill lager. It's good and easy to drink. Good choice as a "go-to" beer for the season.

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Photo of Beastdog75
3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Octoberfest is probably one of the O-Fests that I see the most of around this time of year. I have heard about "tweaking" and "dumbing down" of this beer over the years, but this was my first time trying this one, so I won't have the benefit of past years experience to compare this beer to.

The Octoberfest pours a nice medium amber color that is translucent and has an orange hue. A decent off-white head forms, but only lasts for around 30 seconds. The smell is quite light. I could barely detect some caramel malts in the aroma and that was about it. The mouthfeel is light and somewhat watery. The initial taste is of caramel malts, which dominate the beer making it somewhat sweeter than most. There is a light nuttiness in the flavor, and an even lighter fruitiness. Hop bitterness is there but nowhere near as pronounced as the other Sam beers I've had. Not enough to provide good balance. Aftertaste has some light dryness and bitterness, but not much. Some light caramel flavors continue, and I thought I caught some DMS in there. This finishes off with no alcoholic warmth.

All in all, I thought this was a pretty quaffable brew, but it is nowhere near as exciting as some other Sam Adams beers. To an extent it is almost less flavorful as well. Average for the brewer and the style.

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Photo of Phinner
3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had high hopes for this beer after pouring into a glass -- great color, clarity and smell. At first, it tasted exceptional with full bodied maltiness and good hop balance. But the aftertaste leaves a lot to be desired - somewhat astringent and overall unpleasant. I would not go out of my way to drink this again.

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Photo of PopeJonPaul
3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep amber copper color with a small white head, left a ring with some decent lacing though. Though this one looks good, there's really not much behind it. Taste is a bit citrusy and kind of metallic, a tiny bit tof caramel malt but really weak and watery, almost like seltzer. A sparkly mouthfeel but no real finish, no aftertaste and drinkable only because its light and inoffensive. Depressing, I was hoping for something with a lot more flavor than this.

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Photo of azdback
3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Shock Top Pilsner glass. A dark orange color, with medium carbonation bubbles that lead to an off white head of two large fingers. Lace is really weblike sticky.

Smell is very biscuity and dank. There are some sweet melon aromas.

Taste is pretty sweet. The bread or yeasty tastes aren't as overpowered as they are in the nose, but are there. Grass or hay earthiness also comes to mind. Maybe even some sour red grapes.

The mouth is bright and light. Spot on for the style.

Overall I can't for the life of me figure out why people think this style is good or even okay. I can't stand the soggy bread taste or the sour grape or over ripe sun warmed melon taste. I said that the mouth is spot on, but doesn't mean I liked it. I should review by style. Thanks to Skip for this sample.

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Photo of Dizzy
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper color with a thin film of head. Smells malty. Taste is carmel like malts with very little hop bitterness. Medium body and carbonation. Like most Sam Adam's beers, it needs more of everything, but this isn't bad. I could drink several of these, its an enjoyable beer, just not as flavorful as many of the German imports.

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Photo of Gusler
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Release 2003: The beer pours transpicuous deep amber to burnished copper, the head modest in size and semi-creamy in consistency, the color a very light tan, the resultant lace a thin sheet to drape the glass. Nose is crisp and clean, sweet with lots of malt, start is also sweet and rich in malt, top middling. Finish is perky in its acidity, the hops light in their spiciness, very dry aftertaste, a so-so beer, drinkable and decent enough to rate at least and average score from me.

Release 2002: The beer pours a nice translucent deep amber color, the head is portly, frothy, the lace in thick sheets, the color beige. Nose is malt and light hints of caramel. Front is sweet, the top skinny, the finish is mildly carbonated, a tad dry, slim on the hops, drinkable beer, but a bit to sweet for me.

Release 2001: Different label, same beer. Nice malt nose and a decent hop presence, not a great beer, not bad either. The beer pours a copper-brown color with beige head and fair lace. Drinkable and worth a try

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Photo of pandashaver
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Moderate aroma of malt, carmel, and candy corn over breadiness. Poured a deep, transparent orange/brown...very festive. Head is fizzy, not large, little lacing, and not lingering. Dominant malty sweetness in the flavor, with only a very lighty bitter hop flavor. A light syrup character on the palate that sticks around for a little bit. Definitely a great complement to some good grub.

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Photo of neomantra
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

One of my first non-BMC beers. I'll always have a soft spot for this one. It's not an amazing beer for my tastes but a great example of the style. Nice clear amber color with a malty finish, but not cloying. A solid choice at many bars that don't carry much in the way of craft beer.

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Photo of jman892
3.09/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First day of football season and first Octoberfest of the season.

A - Pours a perfectly clear amber, with a small white head which dissipates quickly.

S - Malty with some breadiness, not a big aroma

T - A bit of malty sweetness, some sour dough bread and spice notes

M - It is easy drinking and something I will always have around during the fall. Easy to put a few of these away at a time

O - An old favorite but as I try more and more great beer, I realize that this is lacking, but I will still get this at least once a year for old times sake

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Photo of philbe311
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Orange amber color... Minimal head quickly fades... Small super quick carbonation bubbles... Reflects light and shows hints of red highlight tinting...

S - Malt... Spices... Grain... Mild and subtle...

T - Malt... Mild spices and clove... Orange zest... Slightly sweet caramel... Varied, but nothing distinctive...

M - Slight carbonation on tongue... Gentle... Oily... Not too much going on...

D - Not a big fan... Understated in all facets...

Bottle / Artwork - Textbook Samuel Adams design...

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Photo of Spider889
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Probably my least favorite SA seasonal. And while Oktoberfest has never been a particular favorite style of mine, there are certainly much better options out there.

The color is probably the best part of the beer. A nice caramelized toffee color promises a nice malt presence.

The beer smells of some sweet malts but not much else. It's a pretty weak-smelling brew and left me wanting more. It tasted about the same, some mild malt and a little undefined spicing. Basically it felt like they used a lager base beer and just amped up the malt and removed some of the hops. I am beginning to recall why I never buy this beer. (Luckily this one was free at a charity event).

It drinks easily enough but the carbonation left me feeling more full than a beer with such little body warranted. Plus because the flavor profile is so poor, even though I could drink a bunch more, I really don't want to.

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Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 2,056 ratings.