Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Samuel Adams Octoberfest - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams OctoberfestSamuel Adams Octoberfest

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,071 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,071
Hads: 7,101
Avg: 3.66
pDev: 25.96%
Wants: 119
Gots: 1,617 | 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.
View: Beers (120) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Octoberfest Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,071 | Hads: 7,101
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.6/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best By February 2009; Sampled October 2008
Pours with a frothy, two finger thick, lightly amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is quite clear and shows a full amber color as it sits on my desk. The aroma has some light spicy hop character to it up front, but this is quickly drowned out by a full malt character. Aromas of caramel, toasty grain and whole grain crackers. Actually there is a fair amount of hop character here that lightly spices the more dominant malt aromatics.

Spicy hop notes cut through the slightly more dominant malt character of lightly nutty, slightly toasty grain notes and a nice, almost rich, but not to sweet, caramelized malt note. As the beer warms up it becomes more malty and rich, but still retains its spicy hop character. Light toffee notes seem to subtly intrude into the mix of well integrated flavors that define this beer. I really am enjoying the body of this brew as well, it is quite quaffable, but has just enough heft to cling a bit to the palate and lightly envelope the mouth.

This is a nice Oktoberfest, I really like that it is still fresh and has a nice spicy hop character. I really also like how the toasted malt character accentuates a soft nutty note. Overall this is a really well constructed beer, incredibly well balanced between hop and malt. I would seriously have a hard time asking for more from an Oktoberfest (well an non-Rauch one anyway). This would be quite easy to quaff liters of this beer at a time.

 1,474 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.44/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Flying Dog to Gordon to Karl to Sam, we enter the last beer of the American Oktoberfest Invitational, the tasting which I sample some of the marzen's of the bigger American craft breweries. Before I go on, I will say that this is the first SA Oktoberfest I've had in three years, which is the longest stretch I've gone without tasting a beer that I already sampled. To some, that may not sound long, but I've only been able to legally drink for only a slightly longer time. That will end very soon. Is SA Oktoberfest as good as I remember? On to the beer:

Poured into a stange, the beer's color is darker than other maarzen's with its rich amber red color. The head on top is semi-creamy/semi-fuzzy. It slowly drops. Light in the nose. There is some "raw" hop leaf crawling in the nose with weak notes of malty goodness. Where are my malts? Will I taste them?

Oh yes, I taste them, though on the lighter side. Bread crust and sweet King's Hawaiian rolls lead the way in this smooth, medium bodied beer. It's slightly fruity, and very faint alcohol hints itself on the palate. Dry biscuit malt finishes off the journey.

In the land of marzen's, SA Oktoberfest will hold its own given its distribution, freshness, and price advantage. Not as heavenly as I remember three years ago, but still very servicable and easy drinking. (In case you were wondering, Boréale Blonde is now the beer I haven't sampled in the longest time, dating back to December 2006.)

The American Oktoberfest Invitaitonal comes to end with these four beers, and now is the time to crown a winner. And the winner is....

Gordon Biersch Festbier!

No leftover marzen's at this Oktoberfest, and in the end, the guy who tells you not to trust a skinny brewer takes it all. Hope you're all full of pretzels and potato salad (and beer!) after this invite. Good night everyone!

 1,853 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at a chain restaurant, the best beer on the menu.
Came served in a 16 oz mug, an amber orange color with a minimal tan wisp of a head that was gone before my lips touched the rim of the glass. Smell is bready malty with an earthy herbal hop presence. Smells a bit sweet. Taste is bready and mildly malty with an herbal hop bite to keep it from being too sweet. Medium body and carbonation with a slick sweet mouthfeel. Decent beer, but their are certainly better beers in the style. I would drink this again given the choices I had tonight but would easily skip this in a better venue.

 592 characters

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

A nice fest-like beer. Looks a nice amber-orange with an aroma of toasted malts. Tastes "malty" the same way other good German lagers do with some caramel and toffee. I don't know how this is the #1 Oktoberfest beer as Sam claims, but its still very smooth and drinkable. Worthy of a litre stein.

 296 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, orange and blue colour, bought at the Hi-Times Wine Cellars, in Costa Mesa, CA, single,

A: Pours a beautiful pumpkin orange, with a nice white head into a pilsner glass.

S: Smells of malts predominately, a hint of hops, and a bit of smoke character I felt as well.

T: Malt is the word here, lots of caramel, but not as robust as I would have liked, easily drinkable, nothing offensive, taste is good overall, has nuance.

M: Typical lager, light and smooth, easy to drink.

D: An good Oktoberfest marzen, I've had better and I've had worse, nice colour in it, a traditional colour, I'll definitely buy some when they come out in the fall each year.

 666 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 Fl Oz bottle poured into a 'Back Forty Beer Co' badged US pint tumbler @ home on 28 Dec 2012.

Looked happy in an American glass: good deep amber hue to the body with a thin off-white covering on top.

Sweet malty molasses all over the place in the aroma and the first sip confirms what your eyes and nose were telling you: this is malts first and foremost, with the hops just there to calm it all down a little.

I'm sweet toothed so this was fine my me but it is far too sweet for a true Oktoberfest Marzen if you want to talk about styles.

Most enjoyable: the second half of the tasting was helped along by some soft French cheese and the UK's equivalent to saltine crackers. They went well together.

 707 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.59/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Copper in color with a nice white head that enveloped the glass with lace.

S. No aroma present besides some faint malts.

T. The malts used provide a sweet taste, the hops provide a nice herbal bitter, and neither wins out. A very well balanced brew.

M. Medium to full bodied.

D. A good session beer, one of the better O-fests I've had thus far.

 399 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a weisse vase, the beer pours a copper coloring, rich and vibrant. Lots of carbonation on the pour, with a healthy, thick, dense two inch head that quickly settles down into a film covering. Aromas of rich caramel and smokey malt fill the nose, with some light nutty highlights. Flavors are light and crisp in mouth, with a rich malt character strongly profiled, and highlighted by some light spicing and a smokey background. The aftertaste is very sweet, but not overpowering, and the beer has a clean and crisp finish, with a slight drying at the end. Very decent, and very light and crisp for the style.

 632 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a coppery amber with a thin head that settles to a thin ring. Smells of firm malt and a little nutty, but also a little light and seltzer-like. The taste is pretty similar with an initial burst of firm malt followed by a seltzery fizziness and some late nuttiness. Kind of amazing how much this falls off. Its also just a bit too dry- it needs a bit more sweetness for the style. A bit fizzy and light in the mouth, this one seems better suited to a hot southern summer than the fall.

 490 characters

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

Pours a clear dark red/orange brew.

Smell is malty and floral with a mild spiciness. Mild banana scent is also present.

Taste is very malty with a touch of browned sugar. There is a bitterness here that counter-balances the sweetness. There are some woody and earthy tastes present also.

Mouthfeel is very good.

Very drinkable brew that I will buy again. A very well executed beer, almost a great beer.

 414 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a mahogany color with a small tan head. Streaks of lace are left on the glass. Little bits of carbonation slowly rise to the top.
Smell is of sourdough and sweet, fruity malts.
Taste is sweet and sour mix of a malty punch with fruitiness.
Mouthfeel is an okay blend of a sweet & sour mix with a medium bodied feel.

 325 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.81/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sam Adams Octoberfest is a myriad of the quintessentially fall-time shades of auburn and amber. It is a snapshot of autumn foliage. On the whole, it is quite dazzling; fiery tones of red and coppery glazed oranges flare up when the beer is held against the light. Like its clarity, a majority of the head persists. Although the bulk of it resides along the bumpers there is a thin film that manages to cloak the surface. Lacing drapes the glass.

The aroma exhumes a lot of sulfur. Don't be alarmed - this is common in many lagers. It isn't anything unappetizing but it's not exactly enticing either (and the sizable hint of diacetyl isn't helping things). But that sulfur element is definitely characteristic of many lagers and it is one you can likely learn to live with - if not come to enjoy. Besides, swirling seems to eradicate most of it. You might also note caramel and dried fruit.

A profoundly malty flavour hints at notes of caramel, crackers and cranberries. It is distinctly sweet; a trace amount of hops is detectable but contributes nothing more than a dash of earthiness. The aftertaste has a lengthy linger and leaves your tongue in the clutches of sulfur and dried fruits. I wish this was served in one of those giant 2 liter steins :(

I could probably drink at least a few of those. No kidding. This is one extremely sessionable lager. It is smooth and deliciously sweet. The maltiness is sufficient to provide flavour but not heavy enough to weigh you down. I'm not only drinking this in gulps but have actually caught myself chugging it. To call it quenching is an understatement. Admittedly, I wouldn't know where to draw the line drinking this one.

No wonder Oktoberfest is such a big celebration. Any type of beer this good - especially one only released seasonally - deserves its own ceremony and commemoration. This is a gorgeous, distinctly flavorful, endlessly sessionable lager - in other words, this is a beer perfectly designed for festivities. And you can bet Sam Adams' version will definitely be a source of merriment in my house each fall from here in.

 2,093 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.88/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Hyatt in Buffalo. Served in a pint glass.

A - Pale brown/orange colour. Translucent. Small amount of white head.

S - Light nose. Toasted grains with some sweetness.

T - Toasted malts, caramel. Sweet overall with a somewhat dry, sweet finish. Somewhat bland.

M - Light body. Light carbonation.

 312 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dated by Feb 06. Also noticed it sez Lager on the bottle. Pours a clear deep golden color with lots of carbonation, small head, but lots of lacing. Scent of sweet malts. Medium body. Very nice taste kinda sweet. Man you could drink this all day long, very nice again by Sam Adams. Highly recommended.

 300 characters

Photo of PEIhop
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As far as appearance goes, Sam Adams Octoberfest definitely has traditional color tones for the style. The beer pours a deep-auburn that has a small, but very, bubbly head. The head doesn't stay for very long, quickly dissipating into a thin ring around the interior of the glass.
The aroma from this pint is faint, but that which does escape, is full of malty notes. Caramel dominates the nose with a subtle background of toffee and breadiness.
The taste parallels the aroma nicely. The first part of the taste was full of caramel and a bread-y character. The tastes finishes a little sweet, but not overpowering resulting in a clean, crisp take on a European staple.
It had been sometime since the last time I poured myself an Octoberfest. I was pleasantly surprised with the fullness of its body, not chewy or aqueous, but medium-bodied with a nice level of carbonation.
With an ABV (Alcohol by Volume) of 5.3%, Sam Adams Octoberfest is sessionable during those cool, refreshing fall evenings in New England. It is not the best American interpretation of this style, but is well-made brew that has the ability to open minds to craft beer as it did for me.

 1,160 characters

Photo of John_M
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Detroit airport the other day.

The beer pours a mahogany copper color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose I get a hint of sweet malt and not much else. The simple flavors in this beer generally replicate the nose. There is some attractive roasty malt and light honey in this beer, but there really isn't very much flavor otherwise. The beer is somewhat watery, but there are no off flavors.

Pretty boring, but certainly not terrible. However, there are many, many other good marzen options out there these days to ever order this beer again.

 571 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark copper hue with a one finger pillowy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a strong caramel malt aroma with a smattering of aroma hops.

The taste was upfront malt sweetness with a solid toasted grain bill. A very good doughy aftertaste as well.

The mouthfeel was on the creamy side.

Overall a good drinkable Octoberfest. A bit on the sweet side and could have used a bit more hop in my opinion.

 450 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz picked up today at the Coop for about $1.40... poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass.

2 Finger head atop a crystal clear amber red brew.

Aroma is pretty much all toasted malts.. bready... no hops.. very appropriate.

Malty out of the gate.. with toasty notes mid palate and a fairly dry finish... some very low spicy hoppy flavors.. Medium body with a smooth carbonation.. very clean.

This brew deserves better reviews... it is waayy better than some German imports I've had lately... maybe because this one is fresh, but I am not sure.. IMHO, this is a pretty spot on Octoberfest.


 605 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sammy As Octoberfest is quite good...especially for sessionist. The beer is a nice deep rich clear amber with ok carbonations and thin white head that is lacing. There is not much to smell quite honestly...I know it is allergy season here in IL, but beyond sweet malt....I dont smell anything. The taste sarts sweet then finishes with a good malt that clears the pallet. The mouthfeel is good...lower ABV helps this beer be drinkable. Overall....not to shabby!

 460 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - It has an iced tea look to it, some head on the initial pour with medium retention, and a mediocre lace.

S - Very light on the nose, slight bready notes and hints of nutmeg. Notes of dry leaves.

T - Has an amber malt flavor, the bread notes come out in the flavor as well, a bold orange zest flavor throughout starting with the initial taste.

M - A great feel for an octoberfest, it has nice carbonation with a nice body and decent feel on the palate.

O - A good representation of the style, very drinkable and smooth. Nice mix of bready malts with touches of earthy and citus notes.

---Rated via Beer's Advocate for iPhone

 634 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep orange color with a slightly foamy white head and decent carbonation. Nose is pretty flat but I did detect some spice and caramel. Taste is malt, perhaps Munich and caramel, fruit, spice, hops. Pretty balanced but also pretty ordinary on the style.

 262 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Moderate carbonation and frothy head that doesn't last too long but leaves some lace. Copper/orange color and more malt than hops in fact the hops are barely noticable. Nose has some fruitiness but it is barely noticeable. Finish is smooth with some sweetness but not cloying.

 276 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a light warm brown crystal clear body with a nice gentle carbonation and a thick creamy head of off-white foam.

S- Clean smell with hints of light toasted malt and some hop bitterness.

T- This beer has a smooth soft flavor of slightly toasted malt with a slight tanginess to it. This beer finishes crisp and clean with a German hop bitterness.

M- Medium mouthfeel with a bit of a watery texture. No astringency or fizz from the carbonation

D- This beer has a light smooth maltyness that I wish was stronger. The hops are in balance but to faint because the malt is rather faint.

 650 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a coppery amber with a half finger white head that dissipated slowly to a film over the top and a ring around the glass. Aroma of sweet and bready malt with a hint of toasted malt and hops. Flavor is a pleasant lightly toasted, somewhat biscuity malt with slight light fruit and caramel. Solid biscuit malt finish with light hops. Medium bodied. A nice take on an Octoberfest, not complex, but with the expected solid malt body and finish.

 489 characters

Photo of Tone
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, copper color. 3/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and slight lacing. Smells of hops, sweet malt, pale malt, grain, and a hint of yeast. Fits the style of a Marzen / Oktoberfest. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pale malt, grain, slight hop, hint of yeast, and a hint of sweet malt. Overall, hops and sweet malt are background flavors compared to the pale malt and grain.

 446 characters

Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 2,071 ratings.