Samuel Adams Octoberfest - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams OctoberfestSamuel Adams Octoberfest

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BA SCORE
83
good

6,698 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,698
Reviews: 2,061
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 93
Gots: 1,261 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,698 | Reviews: 2,061
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Translucent orange with hints of amber and of red. There's an absence of bubbles within the beer itself, yet it's capped by a light caramel-colored head of frothy foam. Unremarkable, but adequate lace. Octoberfest has a standard-issue appearance for the style, but looks to be quality-made all the same.

The nose is toasted malty, lightly spiced and somewhat soft-spoken. It doesn't impress me in the least, but there are no major missteps. A growing sense of unease is overtaking me. Samuel Adams brews good beer, but this offering hasn't endeared itself to me yet.

The flavor profile is acceptable, but lacks personality and cohesiveness. It's toasted grain malt-dominant (sweet underpinnings) and lightly hoppy (mildly bitter, clean, dry finish). The body/mouthfeel is firm without being full initially, then loses its way mid-mouthful to end on the thinnish side. This beer is all over the map and sorting out its qualities is an interesting undertaking. While 'interesting' is on my list of positive beer qualities, it isn't high on that list.

Sam Adams Octoberfest is a lackluster beer to some extent. There are better versions out there and I'm convinced that BBC is capable of better as well. It's still drinkable and has no serious faults, but it isn't a seasonal that I'll return to.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2007 edition

A - Poured a very clear pumpkin colored amber with a smallish white head that quickly faded leaving behind only a thin coating of lace across the top. Lots of visible carbonation streaming up from the bottom on this one.

S - Lots of grain, earth tones with a touch of spice, nothing really out of the ordirnary, just a nice spiced lager. A good all around malted aroma.

T - Very decent. A crisp clean taste with lots of malts and the slightet of a dry spiced back. Some grassy notes in the front and a nice amount of roasted taste.

M - Vry clean crisp and very well carbonated. A nice touch of thines added to the feel rather then detracting from it.

D - Outstanding, you could have this one all niht.

Overall this ws your classic oktoberfest beer, and again sam adams sets the bar very high with its version. This is always a staple of the fridge this time of year, as it should

Photo of biboergosum
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A Yankee pint, on-tap at a hockey-happy Buffalo Wild Wings in suburban Detroit. Or as the engaging bartendress pronounced it - 'hackey'.

This beer appears a clear, bright medium bronzed amber hue, with one chubby finger of tightly foamy, and bubbly ecru head, which leaves some streaky tree branch lace around the glass in its brief wake.

It smells of crisp biscuity grain, bready caramel, a touch of aged lemon rind, and mild earthy, leafy hops. The taste is a bit of a let-down, the bready biscuit malt a fair bit less crisp that I was initially led to believe, with some duly fading lemon, a still heady caramel and fire-sale vanilla cookie sweetness, and weak weedy, earthy hops.

The carbonation is average, just plainly supportive in its fizzy endeavors, the body an adequate medium weight, and actually quite smooth, with a minor creaminess arising as things warm. It finishes fairly off-dry, with the grainy caramel malt and lingering noble hops.

A decent enough Oktoberfest-style ale, one which well approaches the Munich ideal, but never quite meets it (how Physics 101), with its reserved, um, drink a shitload of it now, nature. Ya know, here today, gone tomorrow?

Photo of oberon
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

was pleasantly suprised byt how authentic it was.Nice malty flavor and good color.I like most Sam Adams products.

Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a nice dark amber color with a couple finger's worth of khaki colored head.

S: Solid toasted bread and biscuit malt base with some caramel and light spicy ester aroma. A hint of floral hops and yeast. Not overly impressive, but decent enough.

T: Toasted malt dominates the flavor and gives off a slight nutty toffee flavor. Somewhat sweet with plenty of bread and again, some spice esters.

M: The body is actually quite nice, we'll say medium, with a smooth mid-level carbonation.

D: I don't remember liking this beer quite as much in previous years, but for whatever reason, it did it for me this go 'round.

Photo of zeff80
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, amber color. Two finger head with a little lacing.

S - Sweet and malty smell.

T - It is a bitter with hops, but it also has a nutty & malty flavor. The sweet taste seems a little like chocolate.

M - Smooth and medium-bodied.

D - This is a pretty good marzen/octoberfest. Interesting combonation of flavors.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(On-tap at the Mellow Mushroom in Kennesaw, GA)

Appearance: Pours a clear, medium brown body with a fizzy, off-white head.

Smell: Extremely mild aroma of toasted grains and sliced apples.

Taste: Equally mild flavor. Light, light taste of toasted grains with a hint of sweetness. Faint fruitiness. Mild floral hoppiness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Came across as dull and lifeless with little personality to help it stand out amongst a virtual sea of other Oktoberfest beers.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at Finn McCool's.

I do so enjoy Quizzo beer. This one pours a clear orange amber topped by a half-finger of off-white micro-foam. The nose comprises caramel, citrus peel, red apple skin, and some light toffee. The taste holds notes of light caramel apple (holy hell, it merged!), walnuts, orange rind, and some miscellaneous florals. The body is light, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth, semi-crisp feel. Overall, a nice O-Fest, not among the tops, but good enough for a Fall afternoon o' lazin' 'n' whatnot.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Update from previous review: It's been 5 years since I first reviewed this beer. I've had it now and again, without issue, but I'm not so happy with this year's batch. I've had it several times and it just doesn't sit right. It's darker with more caramel notes, the hops lack character (probably just an actual hop crop issue), and the bitterness is seemingly a touch high. I see how it fits within the "Oktoberfest/Märzen" style, but with the addition of more caramel character it doesn't even suggest Munich malts, it just seems like an amber lager to me. On to my previous review...

Sam Adam's always delivers, so when I went to pick up an Octoberfest (OKtoberfest with a K is actually trademarked in Germany, so kudos to Sammy for the "C") this year I naturally gravitated towards them. Some of the O'fests from Germany have been getting weaker and weaker and more watered down over the years. Hell, some of them are gold in color!

It has a great appearance with a clear, orange and gold accented copper that just 'looks like fall'. It's got great head retention and it leaves some very nice lacing behind.

The nose is clean and fresh with some delicate, caramelish and toasty malt.

The flavor offers all of the soft, bready, and lightly toasty malt that you'd expect with a touch of tea-like and mildly floral hops to lend it some character. The bitterness is present but unassuming; and it finishes fairly short and dry. More importantly, it's remarkably clean, fresh tasting, and superbly balanced.

The mouthfeel is smooth and silky with a medium body and restrained, moderate carbonation that help to accentuate its malt.

It's refined. It has finesse. It's remarkably drinkable. There are other, more fully flavored fests out there, but I'm not sure any of them have quite the same quaffability that Sammy offers. Prost!

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish orange color, with a decent-sized foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace.

S: The aroma is malty, with caramel, hops, tea and spice.

T: The taste is likewise very malty, as it should be, with flavors of caramel, toffee, tea and some spices. There’s also a decent hops presence in a beer of this style with that distinctive Sam Adams hops signature. After-taste is sweet but not overly so.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Very tasty, excellent representation of style, not very filling, goes down very easily, I once polished off a 12-pack in a couple hours so I’ll say it’s very drinkable.

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

12 oz bottle into a mug.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with 3-4 fingers of foamy off-white head. This eventually peters down into a thin ½ finger layer of creaminess, leaving back a slowly creeping downward cascade of spotty lacing. The aroma smells sweet and doughy, with a notes of citrus, spice and lightly buttered toast mixed in.

The taste has more of a push to it from that green leafy citrus character but the sweetness finishes this out with a mix of light toffee and toasted bread. Dry and bitter on the backend. The mouthfeel is medium bodied; with a smooth and creamy feel as this spreads out and some light crispness that prickles the tongue a bit. This flows pretty decently across the palate.

This was decent but nothing overly special, with profiles that leaned to the sweeter side but there was just enough crispness to keep this mostly accessible and drinkable feeling. I tend to like this one a bit more on draft, which is how I’ve usually had it over the years.

Photo of jlindros
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured into Allagash tulip glass

A: Crystal clear rusty brown with slight orange color good 2 finger head that fades to and holds at 1 finger

N: Toasty malt nose with some nuttiness and sweetness, similar to Marzen

T: Starts with more toasted malts, and some earthy malt flavor, slight nuttiness and biscuit, clear tasting and crisp, very refreshing, but not a whole lot on the flavor profile

M: Pretty light and some carbonation

F: Finishes somewhat sweet and syrupy with more earthy malts typically found in a marzen

Final thoughts: Its a pretty decent American made Marzen, doesn't compare to the Bavarian ones. Very light and refreshing, a well done lager, nice toasted and earthy tones, but a little light on the flavor.

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The best part about this beer is the appearance and the smell. I bought a bunch of octoberfest beers lately and this was better than most of them but outshined by a good amount too. Very malty with some fall spices thrown in but I found it just decent in drinkability and taste. Maybe this style just doesn't sit well with me?

Photo of Slatetank
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in an Imperial Pint at Market Cross Pub and Brewery in Carlisle, PA.
A - A deep amber w/ garnet highlights, a lighter amber when held to the light. A thin tan head which condenses quickly into a thin film of head with a ring of lace.

S - A malty sweet aroma w/ a tinge of light woody hops and a gentle lactic nutty malt scent.

M - Malty w/ slightly above medium body w/ a full toasty texture. Gentle sweetness w/ a clean finish.

T - A fairly rich nutty, dry yet flavorful malt taste gets a good dose of sweet crystal malt flavor. Bready German malt flavor makes itself known as the Imperial ale glass warms. A nice woody hop flavor combines w/ a sweet caramel malt and yeasty lager flavor.

D - A very drinkable lager w/ a definite influence from the masters of the style. Pleasing pint after pint, a worthy fest in the American interpretation. I could see drinking this as a go to beer by the case.

I had this on tap in a pint at TGI Fridays enjoyed before having wings

The color is deep bronze with thin head of tan that revived when swirled.
The smell is reminiscent of almonds with a sweet nutty and light fruity element
The feel is highly carbonated and slightly spicy with yeast dry texture and moderate bitterness. The flavor is good but like the vienna -Boston Lager it is hoppier and cleaner than the European versions I have had with a more dry less noticeable malt character. I enjoyed this but consider it average for the style. It is drinkable which is why I can't knock it too hard overall, but it is certainly catering to an american taste which is a more hop forward lager.

Photo of Jason
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

A- Tight collar of tan lace stays true, vibrant yet rustic tawny color ... good clarity.

S- Nice malty aroma, toasted bread with light sweetness and faint herbal hop.

T&M- Very malty, not overly sweet. Lots of bready notes, lightly toasted crust comes to mind. Kiss of hops to balance, slight herbal flavor. Finishes semi-sweet with a lingering maltiness.

D- A tasty choice this year, its good to have a fresh O-fest rather than getting burned by a stale imported O-fest that has been sitting around since last year. A great contrast to some crab cakes with some homemade spicy remoulade sauce.

Photo of mactrail
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Clean and malty with a scratchy touch of hops. Nothing very interesting about it but it looks nice in the glass with a real orange color for the season. Malty with a roasted edge. Hops are the earthy sort. Slight bitterness around the edges. Touch of saltiness along with the sweet malt.

Yet another perfectly drinkable beer from Sam Adams. Well made and balanced. Down the hatch and on to something else.

Photo of russpowell
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Edit 9-24-09 Based on this years offering, I'm dedycting for smell, MF & drinkability ,5. This is don't buy for me until I start hearing good thinks about it, sucked on tap too...

BBD of Feb 08, sampled in my free Sam Adams Glass

Pours amber/copper with 2+ fingers of sand colored head. Above average head retention & average lacing

S: Fruitty & cereal notes

T: Some caramel, dryness & a little bit of husky grains up front. Herbal & metallic hops as this warms. Finishes grainy, alittle fruitty, with hints of honey malt

MF: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinks so-so, not really impressed with this year's offering

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

First had: ? (have had on tap and in bottles)

A nice crack at a märzen by SA. Pours a golden orange color, very carbonated, with a delicate layer of bubbles for a head that doesn't linger long. Basic grainy, malty aroma, with a touch of sweetness. Mild, toasted bread taste, a bit nutty, caramel sweetness, but not too much, with some floral notes coming through. A bit of apples and oranges, finishing with a crisp hop bite. Light-meduim mouthfeel, pretty dry, and quite drinkable.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First let me state that this is clearly better than last years attempt at an Octoberfest beer, and this maybe my favorite Sam Adams product I have had (this doesn't say a whole lot not too found of ol' Sammy). Either way this one is worth a try, pours a deep ruby brown with a nice sized creamy tan head leaving full even rings of lacing beautiful appearance. Aroma is also up to par with Vienna toasted nut malt tones in the aroma and residual caramel notes arising one warming treat just a lil early in mid August in this heat, just not fall yet. Flavors blend well with a great toasted nuts flavoring from the specialty malts used and spiced up goodness to go around bringing not only a solid representation but maybe a lil uniqueness from the BBC. Finish contains som mild fruit tones and a bready characteristic that I call the Sam Adams funk, keep in mind not always a bad funk just goes here. Mouhfeel has a nice texture medium bodied rides on the palate oh so nicely very smooth. Drinkability don't knock it till ya try it, b/c I almost passed on it and with all the discussion on the Forum lately you'll be able to sound your opinion.

Photo of kojevergas
2.83/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

[Low C Overall]

Served on draught into a Miller Lite glass at the 9-0 Bar in South Central Los Angeles. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a half finger head of poor cream, thickness, and retention. Colour is an unappealing dark copper. I recall the head being better in the bottled version.

Sm: Absolutely nothing. Me broken nose can't detect anything. All apologies, lads.

T: Slight bittering hops, an overly commercialized barly/malt foundation, and no real substance. It's decent, but far from exemplary.

Mf: Very sharp, which turns me off from it. A touch too thick. Slightly coarse and wet.

Dr: It's decently easy to drink, but priced rather high. I prefer the bottled version.

---
Bottle reviewed 09/25/11.

33cl brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired as part of the Sam Adams Harvest pack at Sam's Club.

A: Pours a four finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and fair retention. Colour is a semitransparent textbook copper.

Sm: Festive hops and light caramel. Me broken nose can't distinguish - all apologies, lads. Aroma is mild in strength.

T: Caramel and generic hops. You know, the marzen taste. It's far from special but has some l imited spice. Built simply, but balanced.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but a touch thick. Rather generic.

Dr: Easy to drink, average ABV, and average quality. I won't be seeking this out in future, but I might try it if I see it on draught.

C

---
I picked up another bottle with a Sam Adams variety box of 12 beers. Additional (truncated) notes from 09/04/13:

12 fl oz bottle served into a Spaten stangenglas in me gaff in Austin, Texas. Reviewed live.

Served cold. Side-poured with standard vigor.

A: No bubble show. Pours a two finger head of beige colour. Okay thickness and creaminess. No lacing as the head recedes. Retention is above average - 3 minutes.

Body colour is a somewhat dark amber-copper of average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

Standard fare for style.

Sm: Caramel, allspice, clove. Munich malts. Hints of pumpkin gourd. A touch of roast. Some grains. Generic floral hopping. On the sweeter end. Lightly bready. No yeast or alcohol is detectable. A pleasant aroma of above average to mild strength.

T: Nice spicing, with allspice, clove, and maybe nutmeg. Good caramalt build with some leavening munich malts in there as well. I pick up a buried hint of pumpkin and some traces of nuts and toffee. Fairly bready and grainy. Any hopping is minimal in strength/floral in character. A bit too sweet. Balance is decent for what it is. Unimpressed with the lack of complexity and subtlety, but hey, it's Sam Adams. Approachable and likable for what it is, but far from unique or special.

Average depth/duration/intensity of flavour. The sweetness isn't to style for a festbier.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some unwelcome coarseness in the second act. A bit overcarbonated. Body is too full for the lack of diversity and depth of flavour. Subpar presence on the palate overall. It's pretty generic, and I guess it suits the flavour profile okay.

Dr: Downable but forgettable. A pretty average seasonal from Sam Adams. I won't look forward to this in future years, but it's tolerable inoffensive change from Boston Lager. Wouldn't recommend it to friends;. Not worth seeking out.

C-

[Low C Overall]

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

October 2013 review:
Samuel Adams Octoberfest, proudly brewed and bottled by the Boston Beer Company. 5.3% Alc. by Vol.

Clear, bright amber coloring, under a large head, off-white .

Aroma: sweet, malty nose, earthy & herbal.

Taste: Mmm. Tasty malts, bright and pleasant. Noble hops play a minor roles, giving just enough bite to stave off sweetness. Oh, it's a sweet one, but not overly so. Medium-light body, with the malty flavor lasting long on the palate.

A right on the money marzen. What does the label tell us? "In 1810, Munich celebrated the wedding of their crown prince with a special beer. After 16 days the party ended, but the tradition continues. Our version of the classic Oktoberfest style lager blends 5 roasted malts for a rich, hearty flavor that's perfect for the season, or whatever you're celebrating."

November 2003 review:
Appearance: clear bronzish color, with a full, frothy, cream-toned head.
Aroma: somewhat sweet, earthy,vegetal, definitely maltsome, but not quite enough-so.
Taste: malty, but again, only perfunctorily, nicely rounded, rather mild. I wish to reach for the descriptor "rich", as I am wont to do with malty marzens, but this never earns it. Rather flat and dull for an Ok..ooops, sorry...Octoberfest. Some snap in the taste, but not enough. Yeah, way too thin for this style. I do believe I'll have to follow this up with a Summit Oktoberfest to assure me of how good it could get. This version just falls too short.

Photo of mdfb79
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 09/22/10 notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a nice amber color with twi inches of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bready malts, caramel malts, nuts, and some fruity malts.

t - Tastes of caramel and bready malts mostly. A hint of fruit, mainly apple.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - An average octoberfest/fall beer. Mostly caramel and bready malts in the smell and taste. While that isn't bad, nothing really stood out. Have had several times and I'm sure I'll have it again sometime.

Photo of smcolw
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange-amber in color, clear with a pleasant head and tight bubbled sticky lace.

Aroma features a largely caramel smell. The malt is crisp with creamy milk sugars coming forward. Surprisingly, the alcohol warmth comes through, too.

Very round, rich mouthfeel. The flavor comes late, but strongly. Hop is strictly a balancing act to the full crystal malt flavors. The hop is more present after the swallow, but the aftertaste is still more malt; it's also long lasting.

Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle gifted by the other Matt. Thanks! Beer served in a DFH signature glass. Beer is orange and clear with a minimal head and some lacing. looks ok.

Smells good, kind of like fruits, has some banana in the nose.

Beer tastes pretty good. Medium bodied. It's a little grainy. Beer is really drinkable mouthfeel is good. Not really in a mood to be descriptive tonight. It's good overall. I'd have it again. There are some fruity notes in the midpalate. It's pretty good.

Photo of jwc215
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours orangish copper with a thin head that becomes a thin patch. Minimal lacing is left.

Smells of sweet bread. Some subtle floral hop presence is noticeable.

Tastes of malty grains. Bread and some hops are mixed in. It seems, to me, to be a maltier, sweeter version of a Sam Adams lager (not just an amber ale with some caramel maltiness as some craft brews do).


It's fairly smooth, but a bit too sweet for a "session". Although not quite in the same category as a Bavarian O-fest in Germany, it has a freshness to it, and is one of the better of the style that is available in America that hasn't been sitting in who knows what conditions to arrive here.
A bit better on tap, IMO.

Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 6,698 ratings.