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.

6,468 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,468
Reviews: 2,012
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 14.17%
Wants: 76
Gots: 893 | 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: 6,468 | Reviews: 2,012 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ujsplace
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass...

A: Pours a nice reddish copper, with a thick puffy head that dissipates fairly quickly, but does leave some nice sticky lace...

S: Sweet caramel, grainy hop bitters.

T: Mild malt sweetness, that tastes of burnt caramel and mildly bitter hops.

M: Medium with good carbonation.

D: Overall, a nice take on the Marzen style. Very drinkable...

ujsplace, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Has a pretty auburn color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of caramel malts with considerable sweetness coming through. Taste is mostly of malts, caramel, some spices. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and is very drinkable. Overall this is a good quality beer.

tone77, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of Fnord
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Deep red, with a persistent lacing around the edge.

Smell & Taste - Caramel, grass, apricots, and alcohol. A pleasant hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium thickness and high carbonation.

Drinkability - It'd be easy to drink this one all day.

Notes - A tasty oktoberfest that has the added bonus of being easy to find. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that even Red Lobster had it. Like many Sam Adams beers, it can serve as a good baseline for its style.

Fnord, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of VTaler
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A - Dark Amberish Brown Nice ivory head that stays for a while
S - Sweet spicy malt with a spicy hop present
T - spicy hops; malty. You can taste the lager yeast but it is very flavorful which is expected for a Samuel Adams. Tastes almost like graham crackers with spicy hops
M - medium everything
D - very drinkable, probably the best session beer

VTaler, Oct 24, 2009
Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep intense amber, looks ruby in some lights. Bountiful head that does dissipate slowly, but laces like a dream. This is an excellent looking beer.

S- Picking up some grains and malts, nothing offensive or distinct. Smells almost like an adjunct lager.

T- For a second of two, this tastes like a mediocre beer. Some subtle noble hops playing on a malt backbone, the slightest citrus and fruit around the edges. When all hope for this beer seems to be fading, the ruddy, earthy malts rush in and save the day. It is the malty aftertaste that forms the essence of the taste.

M- Medium bodied. Not sticky or to sweet, or dry.

D- A nicely drinkable Oktoberfest, one is satisfying, three is just as good.

Overall: A good example of this style, and a fine beer by itself. Not the very best oktoberfest out there, but a solid one in every regard.

Notes: This was the first craft beer I ever remember drinking, and I fell in love with it then (my dad gave it to me to my surprise; usually I was only able to taste his). I remember loving the complex malts, while listening to the wind blow the leaves around outside on a chilly autumn evening.

allforbetterbeer, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of Blitzstyle
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sammy glass. Pours a coppery amber color with minimal head.

Very malty and bready smell witha weak hoppness.

Malt flavor witha smooth caramell flavor. Also a little spiceyness in the mix. Very pleasant and somewhat refreshing. No real hop taste in the beer, but typical for an octoberfest.

Very smooth and medium bodied.

Great offering by BBC, one of my favorites of theirs. Also a bit crisper than most Octoberfest beers out there.

Blitzstyle, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of samie85
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours an reddish orange hue with a one finger white head.

S-Smells mostly of toast and caramel malt. A bit of spicy hop aroma.

T-Much like the smell, it tastes of caramel and toasty malt. Finishes with a nice, crisp, slightly bitter finish.

M-Very well carbonated, and you feel the prickly nature of this on the tongue.

D-It would be very easy to drink a few of these in a night. For whatever reason I had not been impressed this year by the SA Octoberfest. I decided with my last one to give it a fair go on a clean palate and it did the trick. This is the beer I remember!

samie85, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of crenegar
2/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Regardless of everything else the problem here is the HUGE diacetyl presence. Had a sixtel of this on at my house for about 2 weeks and really tried to get around it but could not. returned it for a keg of Ramstein O'fest and this is much better. A friend had the smae issue and the 2 places in the area I tried it on tap it was the same way. Not nearly as noticeable in bottles. Question is...is this lack of quality control at certain brewing sites? I believe they are brewing in the Lehigh Valley now at the old Rolling Rock place but not sure. This is the second year in a row where the diacetly presence has been overwhelming, a shame because this used to be one of my favorite seasonals from them.

crenegar, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of taigor
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - light clear amber with very minimal head. Leaves no lacing on the side of the mug.

S - Rich, grainy malt, with a hint of spice, fruit on the finish with light caramel; smooth, crisp aroma.

T - Sweet, roasted malt. Just enough hops for balance and tartness. Leaves hardly any aftertaste so you can dive right back in.

M - Medium body, lingers on the tongue.

D - These go down smooth. Very drinkable.

taigor, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of Aenema
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Clear, reddish brown. Not much head or lacing.
Smell - Caramel malts, muted nose overall.
Taste - Bready, sweet caramel malts with a tasty, bready finish.
Mouthfeel - Slightly thin, over carbonated with fine bubbles - rather sharp finish.
Drinkability - Easily drinkable, but the extra carbonation and hurts the sessionability of this beer.
Overall - A fine beer if one has limited options, but with a few too many flaws to make it a rotation beer with any other notable competition present.

Aenema, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of biggred1
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper amber with a creamy tan head that leaves sliding lace on the glass. Toffee, bready yeast and mild citric hops are all present in the nose. Nice and malty with a bit more hop bittering than the traditional german take on the style. Medium light bodied and creamy. A nice O-fest.

biggred1, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of Risser09
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pilsner - fridge - March 2009

Appearance: Pours a transparent orange color with brown hues. The 2" tall ivory head is cakey and shows good retention, with round tentacles of lace.

Smell: Malty aroma is rich with sugar, caramel, lager yeast and brown sugar. A citrus hop finish completes the aroma. Nice.

Taste: Malt flavor is oozing with caramel and smooth lager yeast. A German, subtle, hop bitterness balances the beer to where you want to keep on drinking.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, bitter, balanced Oktoberfest that S.A. has nailed to the wall. Medium body, foamy carbonation and a bitter, dry finish.

Drinkability: Quite a tasty Oktoberfest beer that would pair with lots of foods, from savory dishes to spicy ones. I will drink this again and again.

Risser09, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of farrago
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Weak head which barely gets to half a finger before dissipating to weak swirls across the surface, thin streaks of lacing. Nice glow to the red amber color, thins into a zinc orange around the rims. The nose is gently spiced with clove, nutmeg and allspice, followed on by cereal, mixed white citrus and oregano and bay leaf herbs, neither that malty nor that fruity. In the mouth it's medium-bodied, the carbonation arguably a bit much for the primary material and does not allow the flavors time to soak in. More of that raw spice mixed in with herbs and a light metallic accent. Hard to shake that dilute feeling, no fruit or citrus to fill in the blanks and the malts not very sweet, some dark chocolate dust. The graininess milled down and powdery. Some lift at the end, but without much direction.

farrago, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle.

A: The o-fest is a coppery amber color, clear enough that I can see the decorative candle that sits on the other side of the glass. A decent head, nearly two fingers in size, overflowed briefly, requiring a quick clean-up. Light lacing followed.

S: The aroma is very malty, bready with a pleasant sweet streak that lightens things up. Hops add a balancing aspect only, little in the way of strong noble hops.

T: The beer has a light body, grainy but not too full. The standout is a dose of caramel, almost syrupy, that follows the initial malt wave. The sweetness that it brings livens up the taste. The hops are a little stronger here too, adding an earthy bitterness. The finish is fast, offering some graininess before fading away.

M: The lager is malty, no doubt about it. The flavor is solid though and the caramel really helps it work.

D: This is like comfort beer. I just feel good drinking it and it reminds me of a simpler time when I hadn't yet gotten into ales. Sammy A., thank you for a nice pint.

akorsak, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of KenC411
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: light clear amber with very minimal head, that fades almost instantly. Leaves no lacing on the side of the mug.

Smell: Malty, apple,

Taste: Sweet, roasted malt. Very light hop in the background. A hint of nuttyness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, lingers on the tongue.

Drinkability: These go down smooth. Feels like it needs a bit of counterbalance to arouse the tongue, but still enjoyable.

KenC411, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of gatornation
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

had on tap at applebees really this was the best brew they had to offer from a really bad tap list..however the beer had a nice copper glow to it with a decent 1/2 " head the smell was malty with caramel tones some toffee and baked bread ...the taste was caramel malts some baked bread with a slight hop middle followed by some fruit and more malt finish..sam adams is a macro/micro brewer a huge one now but one of the first on the block to change beer drinkers..so my hats off to them..this marzen while not the best was still very good..sam adams is always a fallback brew..and a good one at that

gatornation, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of aaron12
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So, I want to like samuel adams... I don't know what it is about it, it tastes good and all..., its just kinda got that "for the masses" taste..., but i'm being a snob, and old sammy a's been doing this for a long time, so i gave their harvest variety 12 pack a shot. I started with the octoberfest.

A. clean, very little head, lightlightlight brown.

S. sweet malts, caramel, sweet butter.

T. it's tasty, but not too adventures. sweet malty light brown ale flavor... I wish i could say more. can't taste the hops, it's not overly sweet, it has a nice balance about it. I think it's flavor is a good starter for people who say they don't like "good" beer...

M. this might be my favorite part to this beer. it's smooth and satisfying in the mouth.

D. E A S Y ! ! ! if you're payin', keep em' coming...


aaron12, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of DoubleJ
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
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!

DoubleJ, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of Bookseeb
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance has a dark amber color with a nice fluffy head. Smell has a sweet malt breadiness to it. Taste of very light roasted malts with a light toffee note rounded evenly with hops. Mouthfeel is a nice light - medium with good carbonation. Not bad for the style, a pretty good easy drinking beer.

Bookseeb, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of BeerSingh
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 12 oz bottle into a Beer Mug :

A: Amber colour with an inch thick head. Very lively

S: Sweet and malty - toffee flavoured

T: Big malt taste - then it turns a little tart on the palate

M: Pretty smooth, optimal carbonation

D: The appropriate session beer possibly

BeerSingh, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of sfsean28
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought the 22oz bottle almost everyday for the past two weeks. Its been a few years since I had a SA Octoberfest and I was very pleased with it. The color looked great the pour left a nice foamy head. My first taste and I can notice the malt right away. A hint of sweetness. After each sip I wanted more. Next stop I have to try it on tap.

I was very impressed with beer.

sfsean28, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of TheFlern
2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: A nice burnt orange/amber color. Almost no head in the pour and zero lacing.

Smell: Lots of malt aroma with just a hint of a somewhat aged flavor. This imo adds to the authenticity of the style.

Taste: The taste follows the smell to a 'T'.

Mouthfeel: This feels full bodied but isn't that complex. Not to heavy and very nice.

Drinkability: This is a pretty light beer but isn't lacking in body. If there was less alcohol this would be a nice session beer.

TheFlern, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of KTCamm
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally found this on a roatating tap at a BBQ place in New Milford. I'd been seeing Brooklyn October rotated in around Fairfield county, and while a good beer, its not the same.

Poured into a cold pint glass. Deep copper ruby color with a hint of white foam, long gone from the original pour.

Smells malty and bready. The beer was very cold, which I find to mute aromas.

Taste is the classic Octoberfest marzen malt. This beer for me defines that taste, at least for American versions. Some breadiness in there, caramel notes, and a restrained hop - all make for a near perfect taste.

Very drinkable, used to drink these by the gallon. Love this beer.

KTCamm, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of drunkboxer1
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep ruby color with a white head. Smells like Munich malt (not surprisingly). Sweet taste and a thicker mouthfeel make it stand out compared to the Spaten Oktoberfest I had just before it. More hop bitterness is present in it compared to its European predecessor as well. It's also more carbonated. Pretty decent beer that's on tap in a lot of places.

drunkboxer1, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of MaineBirdMan
2.35/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Since the cold air has arrived early and October is almost halfway through, I figured I'd better get in some seasonal beers. I drank this Octoberfest at the same time as another so I could sample the differences.

Poured from a 16.6 oz bottle. Little head of foam.

Color: deep copper. clear and clean appearance.

Nose: slight floral tones.

Taste: A little nutty with a slight bit of fruit.

Mouthfeel: not a whole lot there. Very smooth and creamy. Nice finish.

Drinkability: Very easy. Seem to me that this could be a session beer (I could be way off). I could have quite a few. There just didn't seem to be all that much there in this beer. I didn't find it very interesting. Drinkable not flavorful.

MaineBirdMan, Oct 12, 2009
Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 6,468 ratings.