Samuel Adams Octoberfest - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams OctoberfestSamuel Adams Octoberfest

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BA SCORE
83
good

1,999 Reviews
THE BROS
80
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,999
Hads: 6,711
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.02%
Wants: 96
Gots: 1,283 | 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: 1,999 | Hads: 6,711
Photo of Mavigo
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter.

A: pours a clear golden orange color with a short off white head that dissipates fast leaving small amounts of lacing.

S: Smells of wheat, yeast, malts, spices

T: Mellow, crisp, sweet taste. Tastes of wheat, hints of citrus and fruit, yeast, malts, sugars, very smooth

M: Medium bodied with medium amounts of carbonation, fairly balanced

O: Overall, another pretty good beer from Sam Adams, nothing extraordinary but still pretty enjoyable and I would not mind having another, recommended. (517 characters)

Photo of PaleZombie
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Very nice copper to orange color pouring about one finger of foamy head that stuck around. Very clear.

S - Caramel and toffee malts with a slight grassy hop backbone. Not too strong of a nose.

T - Big, bold, sweet caramel and toffee malts, slight grassy and citrus hop finish. Tasty!

M - Light to medium body, good carbonation. Very sessionable.

O - This was a very tasty beer, perfect for when you want something with allot of malty flavor but still want something that's very drinkable. (543 characters)

Photo of Fergyx825
2.76/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: a good copper-red coloring that i'd expect from an Oktoberfest. Some head on the edges and over the surface of the beer.

Smell: this smells like a thick, full bodied beer. I can also smell the alcohol. A certain maltiness/hops is also noticed when i smell the beer. This doesn't smell particularly appealing.

Taste: Not so much the full bodied taste that i was expecting after smelling the beer. Also a strong taste of alcohol is definitely felt when sipping the beer. Malty bitter taste, w/ alcohol on the end. I don't taste a full bodied flavor thats supposed to be in a Oktoberfest, and I don't really enjoy this particular beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, and the thickness is perfect. I really like the mouthfeel of this beer. There is some dryness which is to be expected w/ this beer style.

Overall: this beer looks the part and feels the part. But i don't taste the full bodied flavor that i was expecting from a Samuel Adams brew. The smell itself is what i'd expect from this type of beer, but doesn't appear to me. Taste just brings it down. (1,073 characters)

Photo of Andrew041180
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a beautifully clear dark copper color with definite ruby highlights, especially in direct light. Nice active carbonation keeps a thin head alive, although there is little to no lacing present.

S - Mild aroma, mostly of sweet malts. Toffee, brown sugar. That sort of thing.

T - Much more subtle than I remember. I was worried about being overwhelmed by the malt character, but it actually works really well. The sweetness is present, but not overpowering. Similar flavors to the smell.

M - Nothing exciting. Medium bodied, actually a little watery.

O - I've really enjoyed this beer with food. I think this is the freshest I've had it, and it's not too shabby. Its too sweet for me to session, definitely pairs well with food from salmon to hot dogs. (763 characters)

Photo of DrewBest
3.26/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I used to absolutely love this beer. I recently realized that I just love Octoberfests...and in fact, this is not a great one. As such, I have lowered my rating several times in an attempt to rate this beer not just in terms of how much I like it on its own, but also its standing within its (particularly well-defined and storied) genre.

Almost no detectable hop aroma. The malts are great-- big and sweet. Mouthfeel is similarly malty and partially coating. However, where I feel this falls short of other 'Fests is the complete lack of both bittering hop character (which should be minimal, but present) and noble hop flavor. This could have been brewed with a similar amount of Cascade without a noticeable effect...if there are nice German hops in here, you wouldn't know it.

Drinkable and tasty but one-dimensional and tiresome. (836 characters)

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

It looks like I'm the first to review the canned version (no bottle experience for comparison--I've had it in bottles, but over 5 years ago and avoided it since).

Pours very nice dark amber with ample medium-grained tan-orange head that does not stick around. No visible carbonation in the glass (aside from the head); some lacing, but fairly minor.

Smells distinctly of malt with a clear burnt orange note. Dank acidic smell follows.

Taste is a similar combination of sweet and toasted malt, orange and an additional note of cooked winter squash (or pumpkin). This turns into a briny feel on the back of the tongue with a fairly acrid finish of burnt wood and characteristics of medium-rye bread, but sweet malt finish. Once the malt clear, the orange and squash return in aftertaste and linger for a while, along with what feels like fermented corn.

Medium bodied with strong carbonation--nothing "refined" about this beer. Alcohol is far more pronounced than 5.3% ABV would suggest. Definitely neither smooth nor crisp, but certainly dry.

Not sure if this is the best representative of Oktoberfest style. Some pleasant effervescence and sweet notes are offset by excessive booziness and bitterness that is more closely associated with cheap AALs. Bitterness can be offset a bit by drinking the beer cold, but some of the bock nuances are then lost. Freshness is not an issue as this was in the first week of the very first can release, so something else is going on that makes this beer somewhat unbalanced. My initial reaction was negative, but this beer somewhat grows on you. Not sure if I would consider this for further bulk purchase (bought a 12-pack this time). I would prefer more hops bitterness in this than the burnt wood taste that I got, but it maybe characteristic of the style they are trying to follow. Distinctly tastes and looks like autumn, so the brewer certainly succeeded on that account. Probably best left to seasonal mixed pack--no need to get a mono 12

NB EDIT: Following some experimentation, found that this tastes best from a tall glass (and straight from the can!), not from more traditional beerware. The "burnt wood" taste is gone and sweet maltiness came to the forefront instead. Just to be sure, tried it in some other glassware combinations and confirmed the acrid burnt wood flavor in all but tall ice tea glass and can. Not something I would have expected. Tall glass also brings back the bock character that I initially expected and reduces the booziness. Upgraded the scores accordingly. (2,536 characters)

Photo of dpodratsky3
3.59/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Dark amber with nice clarity, thin off white head, no real lacing.

S: Mostly sweet malts, but a good mix of different malty aromas, very light bread but clean overall

T: Rich malts come through from the first sip, sweetness. Some balance with the hops that make it through, but I didn't really pick up an major Noble hop flavors.

M: Decent carb, but not too crisp, lighter body, works well with the flavor and keeps it light feeling but not quite what i'm looking for.

O: Good drinkability. The crispness enhances it and the flavors are all what I would expect them to be. I have used this for a session beer before but as a true Oktoberfest there are better options.

Notes: Used to be one of my favorite beers. It's amazing how your tastes can change over the course of a year of BAing. Still a great beer and it will always be one of my favorite fall beers, but not quite as dark and complex as I remember.

Update: Re-reviewed again, and its still not nearly as good as when I first tried it, but my tastes haven't changed much in the last year. (1,094 characters)

Photo of dowen17
3.17/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark orange with a small cream colored head with decent retention and great lacing.

On the nose is wheat, sweet malts, some spice and hints of pumpkin.

Tastes of wheat and some malt. Nothing much going on here really.

Very carbonated. Really bites the tongue. Watery.

This is a decent beer. Very session-able. Would drink again but nothing to seek out obviously. (378 characters)

Photo of ISmith87
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I'm someone who gets livid with when people describe a beer to me as smooth or when people ask for a beer that's "smooth". Usually I point them towards the bud light and do everything short of flipping them off.

A - 3.75 - burnt orange color basically no head.

S - 2.50 - nothing. A little bit of alcohol and corn.

T - 3.0 - caramel, pumpkin, straw, corn. Very light, basically no flavor.

M - 3.25 - high carbonation, no bitterness, plain sweetness, no aftertaste

O - 3.25 - pretty basic no flavor even for an October fest. (531 characters)

Photo of Jakey2005
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I generally enjoy Sam's version of an Oktoberfest. Nice copper color, malty and slightly roasty taste. I find it interesting the number of commentators on here that find it necessary to dislike this beer because it is produced by Sam. I brew my own Oktoberfest, lived in Germany, been to the real Oktoberfest in Munich, and still enjoy this offering from Sam. Not my hands down favorite. I reserve that for Ayinger. But Sam has won multiple awards for this beer and I think they were well deserved. (498 characters)

Photo of henrichsj
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful burnt-orange color, half-an-inch of creamy head

S - Not much on the smell . . .

T - Malty, caramel, very smooth; Little carbonation and not very bitter or hoppy at all

M - Smooth, creamy, and very drinkable!

O - This is a Fall staple for me. Almost always a six-pack in my fridge in the fall and winter months. Most places around here (IA) have it on tap too, so it's a good one to get used to. May be a little too early for it's tastes (late-August) but couldn't resist once I saw it in the liquor store. One of my all-time favorites. (554 characters)

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

Sam Adams sets the bar high, and maybe my expectations are just a bit too high for this brew. It has plenty of malt flavor, and the malt provides sweetness that is only half checked by the hop bitterness that comes in later. Typical autumn flavors of caramel, toffee, and maybe pumpkin as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with some astringency biting the tongue. Overall, I like the fact that it is easily available, but with Great Lakes Oktoberfest hitting the shelves this week, I'm going to have to go with that one instead this season. (539 characters)

Photo of Hesperus
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A clear, dark copper body with one finger of somewhat lasting head that dissipated into a thin layer of foam. Decent lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt, caramel, roasty.

Taste: Follows nose very closely, roasty, malty, caramel. Next to no hops present, but far from being overly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy, yet very drinkable. This beer has moderate carbonation and no alcohol detectable on the palate.

Overall: There's nothing that I can say bad about this beer, yet not a whole lot that I am overwhelmed by. This is a highly drinkable, enjoyable beer that warrants multiples at a party or other get together. There is some amount of excitement surrounding this beer's release every year that can only be justified by it being the most readily available yet tasty example of this style. (808 characters)

Photo of StoneTSR
4.01/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

APPEARANCE: Rubier red than expected with a full finger of eggshell colored head that fades very slowly. Thousands of tiny bubbles run up the side.

SMELL: That Munich malt comes through very strong with a sweet, but slightly woody smell. Not much else going on here.

TASTE: Wow. What a well balanced beer! The malt is certainly driving this beer, but there is enough hop bitterness to make this one extremely drinkable. A slight grassiness comes in after the first wave of sweet malt hits the palate. The aftertaste is clean, but leave the palate wanting.

MOUTHFEEL: Pretty much spot on. Medium-bodied, supremely drinkable.

OVERALL: I never expect much from Sam Adams, but once in a while they knock one out of the park and this is a perfect example of that. This is what a Marzen in the American market should taste like. Well done Sam. (841 characters)

Photo of CaptainHate
3.84/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Last year at a get together with some friends at which we listen to music and drink beer, we sampled three Marzen/Oktoberfests: Sam Adams, Shiner and Great Lakes. At the time, Sam Adams came off as the least interesting of them; it wasn't bad per se, just not as interesting as the others.

Tonight I was out and requested it when I found out it was available on tap. It was served in a Sam Adams glass with a rich copper color and an adequate head. The smell was as expected but the taste made it seem like there was a bit more going on than I had remembered from the earlier bottles. Also it complemented the chicken and shrimp dinner very well. (647 characters)

Photo of Weston19
3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams glass

A: Dark copper, about a two finger head that had great retention throughout the entire time. Very clear as well.

S: Malty, bready, slight hint of caramel.

T: Sweet, very bready and biscuity, caramel, hardly any hop flavor or bitterness.

MF: Smooth, creamy, no alcohol taste, and no bitterness.

O: This is a great Oktoberfest beer and I thought the strong malty flavor was great for this style of beer. I've had other beers of this style but this Sam Adams version has more robust flavor in my opinion. A good beer to have with lightly seasoned meats and poultry. (597 characters)

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

I look forward to this every year. Most of the places I go for beer have way too many IPA. Don't get me wrong I still love IPA but it is very refreshing to have something different. This is one of the best fall beers around. Good starting point for people new to craft beer. (274 characters)

Photo of FLima
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper color with a two finger thick off-white head with low to medium retention.
Light aroma of molasses, vanilla, raisins and roasted malts.
Predominant flavor of caramels with notes of roasted malts, pumpkin, herbal hops and some pine. Hints of peppery yeast and citrus.
Lighter body than expected with good carbonation.
I wasn't really thrilled by this beer. Too much caramel, with a sweetness that is not really counter-balanced by other variables. Not bad though. (469 characters)

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

Deep and hearty auburn to Brown color, the head was relatively thick, mounted for some time and stayed atop the beer for several minutes.

The scent is sweet, with sour grains, caramel malts, bran and pecan.

The taste is nicely sweet, not sugary, with a toasty grain and pecan flavor. There is a roasted or kilned taste with malts and toast. The feel is airy and refreshing with a light carbonated ease.

I've had this on draft and in bottle, this review is based on a bottle, and prefer the draft but find this to be a satisfying example of an Oktoberfest. (558 characters)

Photo of gr0g
4.09/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper in color. Pretty good head retention. Sparse lacing. Malt, fruit, and hop notes in the aroma. Floral hop contribution. Toffee and some dried, ripened fruit.

Loads of caramel-ish malt with just the right amount of bitterness to balance things out. Picks up some breadiness/graininess on the back end. Maybe I never noticed or paid attention to such things before, but more recent vintages have picked up some nice fruity, estery notes not unlike a strong English bitter. This and the skillful hopping separate this from the pack of bland, one-dimensional examples of the style. Carbonation is nice, not at all harsh. Very pleasant to drink.

Marzen is a style I cut my craft beer teeth on, and Sam's is still among my favorite domestic 'fests. Like Boston Lager, this is a very underappreciated yet excellent and widely available brew. (848 characters)

Photo of da_beers
3.51/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A - High point for me. Pours a beautiful amber with an orange hue. Nice almost two fingers of a khaki head that dissipated very quickly. OK carbonation coming up, but looks almost flat.

S - Sweet malts, a little bit of spice in there, a nuttiness is hidden in there. Bready malts play around as well.

T - Pretty disappointed really, has a bit of an non description to it for being a marzen. I honestly feel like this may be a spoiled batch, I remember it so much more fondly last year (maybe my palate has evolved). What I do get out of this is largely malts, sweet malt with a small bitter bite at the end. A slight caramel hint as well.

M - Medium bodied, decent drinkability, but honestly the "flatness" is previously described makes me not want multiples. Good carbonation level.

O - Disappointing really. Was looking forward to this, but honestly, its Sam Adams, they aren't known for being the highest of quality. Don't get me wrong, Sam puts out some decent stuff, but with such a high volume being put out, its inevitable that the quality will lack some. (1,066 characters)

Photo of rtrasr
3.89/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours almost orange/copper color. It is very malty but is nicely balanced by the hops. It is another well made beer from Sam Adams. The mouthful is rather full almost like bread. It lacks the crispness of Spaten (my favorite oktoberfest beer). It is close though. (263 characters)

Photo of hermit990
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap, served in a mug.

Appearance: Amber color with some red hues. Very clear looking. Thin, half-finger layer of head that left a good, persistent lacing down the side of the mug. Moderately carbonated.

Smell: There are some sweet, bready malt aromas. Subtle notes of caramel and spiciness. From what is there, it smells pleasant, but there really isn't much of an aroma to it. Light and lacking substance.

Taste: Very malty upfront, sweet maltiness mixes with caramel/toffee notes, backed by a slight toasty quality. Finishes with a bitterness, complemented with a savory, earthy spice flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Medium body to this one, noticeably thicker than from the bottle. Carbonation takes charge at about the middle of the tongue, giving it a creamy feel as it coats the tongue. Very easy to drink.

Overall: This is a solid beer. There are better Oktoberfests available, but you really can't go wrong with this one. Readily available while in season and affordable. (988 characters)

Photo of screamking
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Pours a nice amber, with a 2 finger light khaki head. Very light and sweet aroma coming from this. Seems sweeter smelling than most Oktoberfest beers around. Taste is even sweeter than the aroma, lots of toffee and caramel in this one. Half way through heavy lacing is hanging around the glass. Mouthfeel is light, very easy to drink, fall session beer for sure.

When I was younger this was my first foray into Sam Adams beers, he'll this could have been my first craft beer. I recall it being better, but I think that's just my ever changing palate. Still, this is a great Oktoberfest, better on tap than in bottle. If I drink this again, it will be out of a liter stein. The more you have the better it gets and there's nothing wrong with that. (787 characters)

Photo of alexipa
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Being my favorite style, I felt I needed to finally review the most popular of the American marzens.

A: Crystal clear reddish orange with an off white head the turns to a film quickly. The film sticks around, no lacing.

S: Hmm, not really much of a scent at all. A little bit of bready/caramel malts come through.

T: Smooth, caramely, bisquity maltiness. Very little bitterness, lots of sweetness but stops short of being too sweet. A very crisp finish but no discernible hop character.

M: Very creamy smooth, while keeping a fairly medium body. It's literally impossible to only drink one of these. Perfect crisp carbonation keeps it interesting, though not enough to bother the throat after taking huge gulps. Mmmm.

O: This is just a really good, affordable beer. I drink tons of these every year. While it doesn't quite stack up to the Paulaners or the Hacker-Pschorrs, this is a pretty darn good malty marzen that I seem to crave when the weather cools down. (967 characters)

Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 1,999 ratings.