1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Samuel Adams Octoberfest - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams OctoberfestSamuel Adams Octoberfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,988 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,988
Reviews: 1,976
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 67
Gots: 659 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-10-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Octoberfest Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,988 | Reviews: 1,976 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ToasterChef
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a cellar temperature bottle into a pint glass. The beer has a dark copper color. A finger of off white bubbles settled to a skim quickly. A little bit of rising carbonation can be seen within. The aroma is full of malts, some a little roasted, some a little sweet, all evoking the feeling of fall. The flavor is also malty, with a little bitterness in the finish. I feel as though it conforms well to the style. There are some good caramel flavors. The beer has a medium body. Carbonation is present, but on the lower end of the spectrum. A mildly sticky coat provides some good flavors. The beer drinks pretty easily. I enjoy the caramel flavors and don't think I'd tire of them until after a few rounds.

ToasterChef, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of Naugled
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful beer, well made.

Smell is nice but nothing special, malt comes through nicely.

Taste is good but again nothing fantastic. A nice mix of lmalt flavors, but not very intense.

Good mouth feel, a bit light for an Octoberfest IMO.

Very drinkable, and well made.

Naugled, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of Chico1985
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz to pint glass.

Pours amber with a nice puffy cloud of off-white head. Retains pretty well and leaves a bit of lacing.

Bready malt, slightly toasty and floral, light German-style hops, some alcohol? in the nose. Faint, gains some strength over time.

Toasty malts, light caramel, cereal grain, some grassy and floral hop notes, baked bread aftertaste. Flavors start to fall apart towards the end, somewhat of a pattern I've found in a few SA beers.

Mouthfeel is a bit watery, but has a nice creamy texture from all the malts. Carbonation on the low side.

I have a soft spot for Oktoberfests, the smell and taste instantly remind me of fall. This one in my opinion is solid, a bit bland, but one I will probably get every year because of availability, price and session-ness.

Chico1985, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of cooch69
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on Tap at Smokey Bones. It poured a very dark copper with a medium carbonation. It was really a beutiful color. There was only a small head and it did'nt last very long.
I'll have to say, this beer did'nt really have much of a scent to it. It was caramely and I also smelled a slight sweetness in it. Plus there was a trace of hops in the nose but again not very pronounced scent.
This Oktoberfest hit the spot pretty good. Especially with some of the food there. It was really caramelly and biscuity with a trace of hops in the back. But malt dominates and it did have a really good taste to it. To my liking anyways. I'm never really got into Oktoberfest's as much as I could have, but this year I am starting to appreciate this most festivus style a bit more.

cooch69, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of JordonHoltzman
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a nice amber color with a finger thick offwhite head. looks good
german malt aroma, a little toasty too. pilsner malt in there
tastes like an average marzen. not as heavy on the taste as i anticipated.
mouthfeel is good. carbonation is right on.
overall its a good oktoberfest. makes me feel in season.

JordonHoltzman, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of merddyn2002
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is so far my favorite octoberfest. It's a good balance between malty and hoppy without being overly bitter. Great aroma and almost nutty / spicey flavor. It's not what I expected an octoberfest to be (this was my first one) but I decidedly liked it and would buy it again for sure.

merddyn2002, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of JMad
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 24 ounce bomber to a glass mug...
Pours a deep amber color with a thick off white frothy head.
Smells of sweet caramel, loads of malt and earthy hops.
Tastes very malty sweet and nutty.
Very smooth, medium bodied.
This is an enjoyable, tasty beer. It gets better as it warms.

JMad, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of livewire78
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the color of fall leaves. Nice and pretty but not overwhelming. Head is there but again nothing overwhelming.

Smells of caramel malts with some brown sugar in the background. Hops are minimal at most.

The taste is smooth. Caramel malts and brown sugar come first with a minimal amount of bitterness. It's okay but not overwhelming.

I like it in the mouth. Maybe a micron too carbonated or maybe it's just right. I've had other beers I like the feel of better and then again I've had beers that I like the feel of worse.

I like this especially at this time of year. Just seems to be a staple of the fall season in my house. Really good to tailgate with. Bottom line: it's an okay beer but not overwhelming.

livewire78, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of RickS95
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this beer before but it's been a long, long time. I don't recall it being quite so dark, as it pours a dark brown with a thin tan head.

It was served at a restaurant and it was extremely cold, keeping a lot of the scents in check but I could pick up on the standard issue fall spices. Some flowery hops and allspice come to mind.

The taste was better than I remember. Again, the flowery hops and spices come immediately to mind. My memory tells me the spices were much more relaxed in this glass than in the past, and again, I blame it on the temperature...but that's a good thing in this case.

It lacked the hoppy, spicy bite of a lot of Oktoberfests, but again, that's a good thing in this case. There was a laidback sweetness, but the beer finished with nothing but spices.

I enjoyed the 32-ounce mug more than any bottle I can recall. I look forward to another.

RickS95, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of COBeerBuff
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Killing time on a Friday afternoon and figured I'd review one of these beers finally...

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass with a dark amber hue and a solid finger of eggshell colored head. Decent head retention yields a bit of sticky malty lacing around the edges of the glass.

Smell: The label proclaims five different kinds of malted barley, and these notes are on the forefront on this beer. Yeast spiciness provides a complimentary note as well, but the overall nose is fairly thin. It's not as rich as I would hope for from the style.

Taste: Much like the nose, the first sip yields malted barley and grains, some toastiness, and a little bit of the spiciness. There is a very subtle bitterness as well, but for the most part, the grain bill plays the majority of the parts on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: The malts help create a fairly sticky mouthfeel, but as is common with many SA brews, the overall mouthfeel is light and crisp. Lager, ales, and Oktoberfest beers, all seem to have the same mouthfeel.

Drinkability: The mouthfeel lends to the drinkability as do the flavors. This is not a complex beer by any means, but it does the style well, and it's quite sessionable. Sessionable enough that it will be one of the kegs for our fall wedding.

COBeerBuff, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of lou50rp
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice deep amber color with a small white head that doesn't last.
Smells of malt and fruit sweetness. Not overpowering.
tastes of malt and fruit with a touch of spice.
Mouthfeel was medium.
A drinkable beer. Good in a variety pack. Would not seek it out in a sixpack. one or two were ok.

lou50rp, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of InebriatedJoker
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my favorite beer drinking glass from a bottle -

Nice orange amber color with nice foam that hung around for awhile -

Smells of malts and spices are evident -

Taste was pleasant not overwhelming - nice malt and spices

the drinkabilty wasn't to bad - doesn't compare to real German Oktoberfest beers but not to bad for a American version -

I would buy it again -

InebriatedJoker, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

mdfb79, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of matt062286
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Appearance - Pours an copperish red color. Small head that dissipates quickly. Minimal lacing.

Smell - Scent of malt overpowers a hint of hops. Small hint of a caramel-like malt in here. There is a sweetness combined with a roasted smell.

Taste - Just as in the smell, malt dominates this beer. They are prevalent and have subtle nuances. The sweeter tasting malts are a bit stronger here than the more toasted flavored ones. Hop flavor is barely noticeable, but their weakness only multiplies the dominance and complexity of the many malts used. (According to the Sam Adams webpage, this beer uses six(!) different malts, so that explains that)

Mouthfeel - this beer is a bit on the watery side. Carbonation is low.

Drinkability - I've had many sessions with this beer, and drinkability is a shining point of Octoberfest. It is "watery" and lightly carbonation so that it goes down well, and is flavorful enough to want to keep drinking it. And hey, that's the whole reason for the marzen style, is it not?

matt062286, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of hopheadjuice
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle best by Feb with no year.

Pours a typical amber in color, filtered with some bubbles rising. 1 finger head that recedes fast leaving a little bit of lacing.

Smells very grainy with a hint od musty fruit. extremely low hop presence with a malty scent as well. something tastes off in this brew, tastes like boston lager with more malts.

Again something is off, the taste has a weird apple juiceness to it. very malty with slight hop bitterness and a malty finish.

Mouthfeel is soft to medium bodied with a soft finish.

I didnt especially like this marzen/octoberfest bier, I much prefer Bostons Harpoon octoberfest to this one anyday.


hopheadjuice, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of Star80
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a deep copper color, definitely a few shades darker than regular Boston Lager. Smells like a good marzen should, malty with hints off toffee, very very faint alcohol in the nose. Taste is a nice interplay between the caramel sweetness of the malts, but with slight bitterness, from the darker roasted malts (five in all) along with a clean dash of hops on the tongue. This is really a harmony of different flavors, which honestly, can be a bit much at times, at least, the style in general can be. That is not saying that this is not a great beer, which if it weren't so darn rich and full, could be drunk in large amounts in true Oktoberfest style. I've had a good handful of the German ones and this one holds it own!

Star80, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of Shadman
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Surprised to find this @ a Coop gas bar/liquor store in Dunmore, Ab of all places.

Aprocot/amber colour, decent head and lacing.

Sweet bready/toasted malts. Not a surprise given 5 malt varieties are used.

What do you you? Malts dominate the taste profile. Toasted and sweet with that mineral water hardness that is so notable in their Boston Lager. Hops are there only in the background and lend a slightly dry finish to all the malt sweetmess.

Feel starts quite full and then migrates quickly to rather thin.

Not sure the Germans have much to worry about here. Nice, but the malty sweetness and rather bland overall taste get tired quickley

Shadman, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of Zundo
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a medium copper with a almost of finger of tan bubbly foam that dissipated quickly. With some lacing that does not last long.

S - tosted, caramel and honey with a decent amount of apple presence

T - Tastes of sweet caramely biscuits, with a carmel apple and rosted nuts aftertaste. Not overwhelmingly flavorful (good thing)

M - Smooth but a bit carbonated a light stickiness

D - The lingering flavor of alcohol is just about the only thing that brings the drinkability down due to twinging the palate.

Zundo, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of wheatyweiss
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve once bottle into a shaker pint.

Pours a light copper to dark straw. Decent sized head settles to a thick whipped cream head. Perfect lager clarity.

Aroma is sweet malt and a smallish metallic tinge. Honey coated biscuits and yeasty sweet bread on the nose.

Flavor is sweet malt. Malt is slight dark fruit and a touch of molasses. Clover honey and crisp crackery bread. Hops are barely there, enough to cut the sweetness slightly with a honey dew melon flavor. Finishes sweet and with a touch of stick.

Mouthfeel is less than substantial and crisp. Leaves a small amount of stick on the lips. Carbonation is lively.

Drinkability is high as the body is light and flavor is decent.

Not a bad marzen, a little more substance, and a lot more hop and it would be a great one.

wheatyweiss, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of rkinsella
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 1/2 barrel for our kegerator, and served it at our annual Oktoberfest party.

Clear amber/copper color, big off white/cream colored head, average lacing and retention.

Slight alcohol on the nose, small amount of toasted bread, touch of floral hops.

Fairly one dimensional malt profile, ends on a sweet bready note, mild tangy hop trail.

Medium body, medium carbonation.

High drinkability

I would say an ok beer overall, but not a great Oktoberfest. Very forgettable...drinks like an average amber lager. Missing some of the big chewy, malty, caramel/toffee notes and hoppy spices that make Oktoberfest beers so wonderful.

rkinsella, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of LacquerHead
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had two 12oz bottles at Rudy's BBQ in TX
It pours a crystal clear brownish orange color with a white bubbly head.
There was not much to the aroma. The malts were very faint.

Like the aroma the taste was not too exciting. There was a subtle spice flavor that lingered about, but for the most part it didn't do much. The malt flavor was not very pronounced - it was rather thin. Other BA members were very descriptive and listed off a host of flavors. Maybe it's just me but I wasn't tasting too much in this one. For the most part I found myself searching for flavors and aromas, and I didn't find much.

If I had to describe this beer in one word it would be, uneventful. I haven't had one of these in a long time and I remember it being very good. However, this revisiting didn't live up to my memory. I might order this at a bar or restaurant with a limited selection, otherwise I have no need for it. Not the best example of an Oktoberfest beer...seriously I remember this being much better.

LacquerHead, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of Brewingbanjos
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A nice orange color and very clear. The taste is rich and bettery with malt. The mouthfeel fades quick despite the maltiness. The nose is clean with a slight hint of acorn squash. This is personal favorite to grab once a year just because it feels like it helps usher in the fall. This makes for a nice easy going Oktoberfest brew.

Brewingbanjos, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of feelmefoam
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly orange ruby color with moderate carbonation running up into a finger of off-white head that doesn't last long and doesn't leave a lot of lacing around the glass.

Slightly malty nose, a little cinnamon (maybe), and some slight hoppiness.... not very fragrant either. Decent smell, but I have to search for it, which I don't like doing. I'm lazy.

Alright flavor, but it's sort of unimpressive. Some slightly toasty malts and a HINT of spiciness... really only a hint, not much else. Some mild hop flavor, too. Decent body... it's a carbonation supported medium body which makes it clean and crisp like crunchy fall leaves. I like the mouthfeel, just not too much else.

This is still a pretty decent beer, just not what I've come to expect from Sam Adams. It's kinda plain, which is not typical of the Boston Beer fellas. I could use some more flavor, some more spiciness, some more pumpkin... some more FALL! Anyways, it's still drinkable, but I need more from Sam Adams on this one. You won't hear me say that often.

feelmefoam, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of Kadonny
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a tap into a standard pint glass.

A: A deep copper color with hints of brown. A one finger fluffy slightly off white head provides lacing.

S: Biscuit, caramel, bready, a bit earthy and grassy with slight dark fruits.

T: Lots of caramel and bready biscuit flavors with some toffee, brown sugar and earthy tones. Some slight fig or prune or other dark fruits that just lay in with the earthy grassy notes. Finish remains a bit sweet with ever so slight hops poking through. I actually remember more hops on this the last time I had it. Finish is creamy smooth and mellow.

M: Medium at best, maybe even a bit thin. No alcohol and no real bitterness to speak of.

D: Pretty good, but there are other O-fests I would rather drink.

Overall a solid offering that falls short of any excellence. Still in beer mediocrity of many local bars, this is a welcome sight. Enjoyable but not a superstar.

Kadonny, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of Stigs
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz pour during a brief lay-over at PHL - served in a tall weizen-style glass for some reason...

A - short lived thin layer of film on top of the glass, hoisted by a deep orange, clear brew

S - bright malts showing off some caramel, honey-topped biscuits...subtle fruitiness (apples)

T - sweet malts bringing caramel, biscuits, honey, and some (untoasted) nuts...bready with a finishing kiss of grassy hops

M - light bodied, smooth and clean with moderate carbonation

D - this will probably be a lot of people's first experience with the style - and thats probably a good thing. easy to drink and a solid gateway to other (better) Octoberfests.

Stigs, Sep 20, 2010
Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 5,988 ratings.