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Samuel Adams Octoberfest - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams OctoberfestSamuel Adams Octoberfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,876 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,876
Reviews: 1,967
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 67
Gots: 602 | 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
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Ratings: 5,876 | Reviews: 1,967 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bamadog
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass - here's to finally being done with duty! Cheers!

Appearance: Pours a deep coppery color with some hints of ruby; body is pretty clear and shows some moderate carbonation bubbling slow up in straight lines from the bottom; comes with a nice one finger head that is off-white and fades to a nice moderate and full skim on the surface, leaving behind an oily film on the sides of the glass that won't allow the spotty lacing to hold.

Smell: Not pulling much out of the nose at all really, just a little bit of a toasty/grainy aspect - very lager-esque...

Taste: Not much in terms of flavor either - doesn't really stand out to me as the seasonal offering and is more or less reminisicent of a standard lager - some nice toasty graininess, very light maltiness adds a tad of sweetness to it, but beyond that nothing is jumping to the palate.

Mouthfeel: Fairly creamy and smooth; nice carbonation that isn't too sharp keeps the body lively; slightly tingly and leaves a fairly sticky residue throughout the mouth - the body is actually quite solid in this beer and one of the better aspects to judge it by.

Drinkability: A pretty quaffable beer from Sam Adams, but nothing to really get excited about in terms of it being a seasonal when there are much better offerings from other breweries that seem to add something more worthwhile to their Oktoberfests. I could easily sit through several of these in a night though as the flavors are nice and the ABV is manageable.

bamadog, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of mdquigley
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Sight: Poured into a pint glass, this beer is deep amber, almost orange. Head is slight and disappears quickly.

Smell: Sweet and malty, but it's not strong. This is certainly not going to be a swing-for-the-fences honest-to-god Marzen. It is pleasant, however.

Taste: Delicious maltiness, tinged with a little bitter hops at the end. Aftertaste lingers for a few seconds and is malty. Not a powerful taste, will disappoint if you're looking for a hearty brew. It was too cold when I began drinking. After warming up the beer released some gentle spiciness; notes of cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: A bit too carbonated, but highly drinkable. Again, not the fullest of beers, drank three and was extremely happy as well as satiated.

Overall: This used to be my favorite beer. Along with Fat Tire and Young's Double Chocolate, it was my intro to beer. Will always buy a six pack when I'm looking for something familiar, inexpensive, and moderately filling -- not to mention tasty. One of the better Sam Adam's out there.

mdquigley, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of Parched
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice ruddy brown with sparse head and minimal lacing.

S - Aroma reminds me of plums and dried chili peppers.

T - Pleasant maltiness with hoppiness in the background. Tending toward sweet but not unbearably so.

M- As a fall brew should be; a little more weighty.

D - I'll quaff this brew in season and I appreciate its relatively low alcohol content for the shear pleasure of being able to have several if I wish

Parched, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of sisuspeed
2.85/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed this along with Left Hand's, Harpoon's and Otter Creek's Oktoberfest beers.

Poured this into a pint glass. The color is a red amber, slightly darker and clearer than the others I tried. Lots of bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass, but absolutely no head, and I gave this a generous pour.

The aroma is almost untraceable. But what I do pick up is some sweet malt smell, but that is about it.

The taste is malty and a bit fruity with some spice thrown in. I also taste something that seems like a cross between pumpkin or squash, and sour milk. It's not unpleasant, but different. A little bit of hops dancing around in the background, but mostly unnoticeable.

The mouthfeel is definitely the most watery of the four Oktoberfests I had this afternoon. Overall though, the drinkability is decent. When I try to summarize this beer the image/flavor that comes to mind is sweet malty, slightly sour pumpkin. It is odd. I wouldn't say it is bad, but definitely different. Maybe this bottle hasn't been stored properly, or maybe this is what Sam Adams Oktoberfest is like. Either way, I would only want one of these in a sitting and overall, I'm not very impressed by this beer. There are much better Oktoberfest options.

sisuspeed, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of abuliarose
2.33/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass. Color is a rich orange with very slight head, but many big bubbles coating the inside of the glass. Things die down quickly as it would seem to flatten as I type. Smells slightly sour with faint traces of malt.

Tastes lightly malty and malt-nutty over citrus notes with an almost imperceptible bitter aftertaste. I can really taste the sourness I am smelling, though... almost like milk gone bad. Not appealing at all.

Otherwise, the mouthfeel is light and carbonation is so gentle and rounded that it's watery-smooth. The overall flatness and my urge to pour it down the drain when I whiff it make the drinkability low for me. Maybe I had a bad bottle but man, this would not be my first Oktoberfest choice.

abuliarose, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of wahhmaster
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an unbranded nonic imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a brownish-amber color with a thick pillowy head. Head leaves a nice lacing as it dissipates.

Smell: Has a sweet smell with strong hops notes. Smells pretty damn good. Some malts are also present.

Taste: Has a pleasing sweet taste with just a little bit of hoppy bitterness. Pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth with almost no noticeabl carbonation.

Drinkability: A solid Oktoberfest and another good beer from Sam Adams. Like most of Sam Adams' beers, this beer isn't the best of its style but still is a good representation of the style.

wahhmaster, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of AgentZero
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Over at a buddy's place and elected to pull this out of the fridge in favor of the Bud and Miller Lite there. Poured into a pint glass.

A - Clear, orange/amber color. Bubbly one inch head on it. Quick dissipation, sides o the glas left clean.

S - Smooth, sweet malts. A little bit toasty, not a whole lot of hops or citris in this one.

T - Toasty malts, a lot of caramel. Little bit of hops, more than I was able to pick up on the nose. Fairly sweet.

M - Medium bodied, a little more full than I was expecting. Leaves the mouth quickly.

D - Easy to get down, and can do more of these. Nothing fantastic, but a solid offering from the folks at Boston Beer. Like almost all Sam Adams brews, can always drink with no complaint.

AgentZero, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of jeffthecheff
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I felt the first chill in the air this season, so being excited for fall beer season (I sound like a Sam Adams commercial, but I do love the beer seasons) I decided to pick up the SA harvest collection pack. After breaking a bit of sweat playing tennis, an octoberfest with dinner outside just seemed right.

Octoberfest pours a medium amber color with a nice, fluffy white head, but it ends up dying down to a disappointing lace.

Aroma is malty sweet with some slight spiciness. I'm thinking nutmeg....can that be right? Well, I checked it out by cracking some nutmeg in my hand and smelling it after the beer, and yes...there seems to be some nutmeg character. (Or at least I convinced myself there was) Also a tiny hint of cherry pits.

Flavor is caramely with a big sweetness. Slightly dry and bitter finish reminds me of what a dry leaf would taste like...ok, the whole seasons thing is really getting in my head now.

Mouthfeel is about average. A nice body, maybe a little light, but it would be improved by less carbonation to really bring out that smoothness and big lager character.

This beer is a nice seasonal offering. It doesn't pique my interest enough to want to session right now, maybe it's too early in the season (hasn't even started yet).

jeffthecheff, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of Mosstrooper
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a light caramel color with a large orangeish head. The head is thick, dissipates quickly, with only a little bit of lace.

Smell: Smells sweet and a bit roasted. All kinds of malts.

Taste: Starts with a slightly sweet flavor, ending with hints of caramel. Again, all kinds of malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, balanced carbonation.

Drinkability: A good Octoberfest beer and, once again, a solid effort from Sam Adams. This is my go-to O-fest beer.

Mosstrooper, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of Seru1
4.6/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance- Deep orange amber with a medium white head. Only slightly carbonated.

Smell- Soft sweet aromas with nutmeg spice notes.

Taste- Very mellow earthy and caramel notes, Brilliantly smooth taste not at all bitter. Simple a malty masterwork. Only the tiniest citrusy note at the end show a touch of hops.

Mouthfeel- Soooo smooth, nicely full bodied but not to heavy. Wonderful

Drinkability- It's very easy to drink a 12 pack.

Why is this only a seasonal? I look forward to this beer every year. Love it. Buy some today. Sam Adam's best offering and thats saying something.

Seru1, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of PaleAlien2
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer got me excited when I saw it. It was much darker than I expected--almost ruby in color. Nice lacing.

Smells really good too. Deep, bready malt with a sweetness to it.

The taste is kind of unremarkable though. Doesn't really live up to the appearance or the smell.

Nice body.

I like this beer, but after an exciting pour and first whiff the flavor left me kind of underwhelmed. Still pretty good though.

PaleAlien2, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of beerera4
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ok keep in mind this is coming from a Hop Head/PBR drinker...I know, weird. Also someone who isn't into sweet or malty beers that often.

A: Drank right from the bottle shame on me

S: Smelled of light but sweet caramel malts, toasty malts, not too much to the nose.

T: WOW! I though I wasn't going to like this since I'm an IPA guy but wow! It is a great tasting brew that I wish I had a braught or sausage to go along with right now.

M: Perfect medium carbonation. Goes down smooth.

D: Highly drinkable. I can't wait for a cool autumn Sunday to put a bunch of these back while watching the Dallas Cowboys kick some butt.

Overall very impressive just like The Boston Brew Company always is and never fails me.

beerera4, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of jrallen34
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It pours a deep amber with a finger head that stays about 30 seconds. There is decent carbonation and for the color it is surprisingly clear.

The aroma is very sweet, you can real smell the malts. There notes of candy, light hops.

The taste is very light and drinkable, there is no taste of hops which is unusual.

The feel is light on the light doesn't hand around much.

jrallen34, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of bump8628
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pilsener glass with 1/2 inch of barely off-white head. The beer is vibrant amber/orange, the epitome of autumn.

Aroma is rich and malty. Bread crust, toast, caramel, and even some light toffee. A little bit of spicy German noble hops also peek through.

The taste follows the aroma with bready, toasty and caramelly flavors. It's perfectly balanced and the malt flavors are really nice, rich, and complex. Hops are present with a light spiciness.

Medium in body with a smooth mouthfeel and crisp, mildly sweet finish.

I may have a little bias on this one as it's the beer that originally got me interested in craft beers and brewing. It's one of my favorites to have around in the fall and a great one to have while watching football. An all around fantastic beer.

bump8628, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of Gish
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a beautiful copper with a small and quickly dissipating head.

S - Brown sugar, malts, and a bit of metal? It can smell great one minute and kind of metallic the next.

T - Very malty while still being refreshing and crisp. Maybe a tad sweeter than I like but overall very enjoyable!

M - Medium bodied, could use a bit more carbonation in my opinion.

D - One of the most drinkable beers I've had in a while, these are guaranteed not to last long in your fridge!

Gish, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of joshuadlight
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a sixer as soon as they hit the shelves. May be a little early in the year for this one, but at least its fresh.
Really gorgeous burnt copper color with a rapidly disappearing one finger head. No lasting head, and no lacing takes away in the appearance score despite the nice coloring.
Good malt complexities in the nose and mouth, with just enough hopping to round out the flavor. This isn't going to blow anyone's mind, but its great as a sessionable season offering.

joshuadlight, Sep 03, 2009
Photo of bsp77
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Summit Pint glass.

Appearance: Clear amber-orange with thick foamy head that really lasts.

Smell: Smells very dry, with notes of toast and spicy noble hops. Really don't detect very much here.

Taste: Light flavored Marzen overall. Slightly sweet caramel and toast. Minor spicy noble hop finish. Don't really notice much biscuit, as expected for the style. While it sounds like I am complaining, I really do like this beer and its overall balance.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium but thin body, fairly smooth and slightly dry finish.

Drinkability: This may be the easiest drinking Marzen out there, but that doesn't necessarily make it the best, as it is just slightly too light on flavor. Great nonetheless.

bsp77, Sep 03, 2009
Photo of ricke
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Amber color with a medium-sized off-white head that leaves some lacings.

S: Malts, fudge, lots of bready aromas, floral and leafy hop notes.

T: The taste is somewhat sweet with notes of bready malts, fudge, grains and floral hop notes. Some earthy hints as well. The finish is gently bitter with notes of grainy malts and leafy hops.

M: Moderate body, medium carbonation.

D: A decent beer. Quite tasty and easy to drink. Not the most interesting style, though.

ricke, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of giblet
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a pretty damn good beer...not the best octo fest but good. amber in color, good head, some decent lacing, good flava and body. malts ruled with some good hop cutting through. this is a malt based beer that is decent body but not too filling. give it a try

suckem up and movem out


giblet, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a perfect orangey amber color with perfect clarity for a fairly dark brew. Depending on how carefully you pour it you can get a very thick frothy head with multiple sized bubbles or if your careful like you'll get a just an about 1 fingered head that goes away in about a minute or two. Either way you'll get a light caramel colored head with better than average lacing. The smell is very good, roasted malts take up the bulk of the smell. To me it smells like fall. Taste is very good too. More malty than hoppy like most Octoberfests, not quite as well balanced as the traditional Boston Lager but still fairly well balanced and a good brew. Mouthfeel is good, I'd consider it a slight step above a medium bodied beer with excellent drinkability, I could drink this all day. A usual standby for me every fall until I get sick of drinking it. A very good Octoberfest.

AndyAvalanche, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of Ottertude
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured a coppery orange color into my pint glass with an off-white head that left some nice lacing on my glass.

This has a more pronounced smell than some of the brews that I have been drinking lately. It smells bready and somewhat floral.

Ah, the taste. This is a malty treat. Some biscuit and caramel malt flavor with a kiss of hops to help balance all the malts. Tasty! Nice medium mouthfeel. I can drink a few of these. This is going well with my pizza tonight.

This is my favorite Samuel Adams Seasonal and the only one I actually look forward to drinking at the end of summer each year. I admit that I have only tasted a few Octoberfest beers but I really like this one.

Ottertude, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of MaxBrews
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz poured into pint.

Appearance: Pour with a 2 finger head that takes a while to dissipate into a lacing which at first is soapy but then becomes a small ring around the glass. Color is a clear amber.

Smell: A lot of malt, aromas being bread and cereal-like. A bit of floralness from the hops.

Taste: Starts off sweet, with a big bready/cereal malt character. Following that is a bit of floralness from the hops and then a big cereal aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a dryer finish.

Drinkability: First time flirting the Fest, overall a great malty lager, not familiar with the style but a proper session-able malty lager.

MaxBrews, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of BWMKappaSig
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

The new American standard for Octoberfest has arrived for the 2009 season.

A: Deep red-amber color with a thin head that doesn't leave much lacing. Beautiful clarity to the beer.

S: Light caramel malts with a slightly roasted scent. Sweet and bready, with almost no discernable hops presence.

T: Sweet and bready, a little caramel as the smell would suggest. Hops are present in the taste and provide a nice balance.

M: Medium bodied with a very smooth finish. Almost no aftertaste.

D: As drinkable of a marzen as you'll find on the market.

While Samuel Adams often gets downgraded by a lot of beer geeks and gurus for being little more than a nice stepping stone between mainstream beer and craft beer, the fact is, they're as big as they are for a reason. They are experts in lagers and the Marzen is likely their best lagered offering. I usually try 10 or 15 Oktoberfest beers each year, but the Sam O-fest provides an excellent standard to match up to, and really should be appreciated for the excellent beer that it is.

BWMKappaSig, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of karmaghost
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased August 31st, 2009. Poured from a bottle into an Imperial Pint glass for kicks.

A - pours a deep orange color with a slightly creamy head that disappears fairly quickly.

S - smells like a typical lager; nothing special

T - didn't notice this until I sat down to taste and write, but the beer has a very faint apple/cidery taste reminiscent of some light lagers I've tasted and brewed. Again, it's faint, but it's there in the back, towards the end.

M - Good carbonation with a texture that's not quite smooth or harsh. Hits the back of your tongue slightly towards the end, but disappears fairly quickly.

D - Like most beers, it depends on what you've had before you've tried this. I've had instances where this beer has been too heavy and made me feel bloated, whereas at the moment, this beer is just right and goes down easy. Stay away from sugary and sweet foods and have this with something like a pizza with mild toppings.

karmaghost, Sep 01, 2009
Photo of thecarster1
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a pint, one finger cream colored bubbly head, beautiful brown/orangey/amber coloring, looks like fall, loads of carbonation at the beginning then it calms down, nice wispy lacing retention, ring around the glass that stays til the end of the beer, leaves little head trailing on the glass.

s- fresh bread, smooth caramel malt, sticky sweetness.

t- tastes like fall, sweet caramel malt, syrup like sweetness, fresh baked bread, slight biscuit, nice and smooth.

m- great medium body, slight chewyness.

d- great, i chose to crack my first one today because for the first time it feels like fall outside, couldn't imagine drinking this in the hot weather but it's perfect for fall, one of the better oktoberfests i've had.

thecarster1, Sep 01, 2009
Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 5,876 ratings.