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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.

6,484 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,484
Reviews: 2,013
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 14.17%
Wants: 76
Gots: 896 | 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: 6,484 | Reviews: 2,013 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brenden
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The review is the same as from the bottle. The difference is that, firstly, I didn't get quite the same head as I poured myself; secondly, aromas and flavor, while the same, were stronger from the tap.

This is a dark amber-brown color with a tight brown head that stays a while at two fingers and leaves some patchy lacing partway down the glass.
There are some grains underneath a predominantly malt aroma backed by hops. It's straightforward.
The flavor holds a little more balance and complexity than the aroma, and the variance of malts works nicely. Along with a bread / biscuit there's a gentle nutmeg-like nip just underneath.
This is a decent blend of smooth and crisp in the mouthfeel, though neither is prominent. Carbonation is on the light side of moderate and body is medium.
Overall I like this brew, and it's a tasty one, but it's all a little light and muted. A macro drinker could definitely handle this, and it would serve well as a gateway brew to bolder beers, especially Oktoberfest beers.

Brenden, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of beerman207
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's Oktoberfest season and I've picked up four different brewer varieties to review in the next few days (or tonight depending on how the night goes :) ).

A - Orangish brown color with a nice frothy head that goes away pretty quick.

S - Has a metallic aroma which comes through with the malt. Not overly impressed with the aroma.

T - Has no hop pressence and is definately all malt and has a little nuttiness in the brew.

M - Mouthfeel is good. Nice and mild.

D - I thought this beer was a lot better last year having it prior to being a member of BA. Perhaps I"m being too hard here but this beer doesn't come close to my favorite thus far which is Spaten.

beerman207, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of burnerfinger
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this in a small market I frequest in LATE AUGUST. Had to indulge to welcome in the new season.

A: poured from standard glass bottle. Head quickly dissipated, only light lacing.

S: alcohol with Malt...nice. very nice.

T: understated hops in the background. there is a nice element of maltiness here. Pleasantly bitter aftertaste (hops) lingers.

M: notable carbonation. Plenty of alcohol flavor but still plenty smooth.

D: in spite of the carbonation and the alcohol I find this quite drinkable.

Serving type: Nitto-bottle

burnerfinger, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of RomaniIteDomum
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a Hops Restaurant glass. Too bad that place is out of business.

To the beer at hand. It poured a nice dark amber color. Looks like a typical Marzen. Decent head.

Smells like a typical Marzen. Sweet grains and molasses.

Tastes good. Sam's Boston Lager got me into beer and Octoberfest (and Winterfest) got me hooked. I know they're a bigger operation, but you can taste the love. Tastes deep and complex, sweet grains and molasses.

Mouthfeel is good. Creamy and comforting.

Like I said, this beer got me hooked on beer. Of course I find it drinkable, though now I prefer variety.

RomaniIteDomum, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of Jdecarol
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark orange color with a good head that dissapears into a very very ring.

Smells great. Sweet, very small amount of hops and slightly alcoholic. The alcohol smell is very good, almost like a fine liquor as it warms. To tell you the truth this might be the best smelling alcohol esters I have ever smelled.

Taste is phenominal. Sweet, bready, caramel goodness with just a touch of hops. Oh and of course the alcohol from the smell loses none of its deliciousness.

Jdecarol, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of williamt
2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 version. Very nice looking copper/gold with tanish head, clear and clean. Mild aroma of malt. Tastes more
nutty than the malty sweet I would expect from a Marzen/Okto. Also very dry, to dry for my liking. Mouthfeel is good close to what I would expect for the style. Drinkabilty is poor, I wouldn't want more than one in a row.

williamt, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of showell
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice orange/red color. A fairly vigorous pour produced a 1 1/2" head. The orangey color was nicely appropriate for a beer called "oktoberfest". The smell is of sweet oranges mixed with malt. The flavor is faintly citrus but mostly malty with a hint of sweetness. It's a fairly sweet beer but it has a hint of a bitter aftertaste. I was surprised at the complexity of this one. A bit more carbonation than I would want, but not so much that it's overbearing. I could easily drink several of these. A nicely enjoyable beer. I hope they have more when I get back to the grocery store.

showell, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of katan
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a dark brown to almost amber color. Head is very smell, almost non-existent. Leaves a light white film. Very filtered, no hazing, no yeast suspension.

S - Light malty nose - only a hair of a caramel toffee malt comes through.

T - Starts off malted and sweet. Only a bit of biscuit sweetness. Switches to a hair of bittering without an overt hop flavor. Finishes with a light yeast note, giving it more of a bready base. The aftertaste does reveal just a light amount of earthy bavarian hops.

M - Moderate body - carbonation light. Beer is clinging - sugar sticks to the tongue.

D - Moderate to moderate-high drinkability. ABV is manageable. Flavors are generally underwhelming - sessionable. Not filling.

Overall, a bit on the boring side, but stylistically it fits.

katan, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of nocheinsbitte
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

had this from a 12-oz bottle. Oktoberfest is spelled wrong on the bottle.

A: pours a nice amber/caramel color with a nice head that lasts a few minutes. Good looking bier.
S: it doesn't have the same aroma as some of the top-notch oktoberfest biers, but just enough sweetness to lure you in.
T: follows the smell--mild sweetness, a little malty, but nothing special. The taste is not full enough to be a solid fest-marzen brew.
M: not bad.
D: Could easily have a few of these without thinking about it. Goes down easy but it isn't a bier that I would get excited about having with friends. If it is there, I'll drink it.

Overall, I was a little disappointed with this bier. I had heard great things from my friends about the SA fest, so I thought I would try. Again, not bad, but not great. Have if you will...

nocheinsbitte, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of xsists
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep dark golden amber color that has a slight reddish hue to it. The white frothy head disapears quick but the brew continues to bubble due to the carbonation.

S - Sourdough-esque with a rich bounty of spices. Slight orangey smell up front that gives way to the rest of the scents. The smell is quite inviting and makes you want to take a sip.

T - This brew tastes just like it smells. Sourdoughy with the great array of spice. The spice sticks around for a while and then disapears into a great long lasting aftertaste that just begs for another drink.

M - Carbonation is heavy and the beer is very crisp. Not a lot of body but quite refreshing.

D - This brew posses the ability to allow me to drink it all night. It is very crisp, tasty and light. A 6-pack is easily drank in one sitting with this great brew.

xsists, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of CityBoy1986
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tumbler from a 12 oz. bottle. Freshness date is January 2010.

The pour is a nice dark orange with about two fingers' head. Retention and lacing are both decent.

The nose starts with a sweet smell before changing to one of bread and spices. The taste contains the same flavours, but the sweetness hangs around as the bready and spicy notes appear. They meld before leading to a bitter finish.

The mouthfeel is on the thin side with a good amount of carbonation to create a crisp beer. Drinkability is good; it leaves me wanting more.

While not specifically true to the style of most Märzens, this is a nice beer that will be a staple of the autumn (until early October when the Winter Lager is put out, anyway (-: ).

CityBoy1986, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of japcmiller
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out to a beautiful rich amber color with a lovely full head. Nicely carbonated as well.

Smell: As a sweet malty smell, with a slightly hoppy aroma lingering in the background.

Taste: Very sweet malty taste, while I have hops in the nose I do not get hops in the taste initially.

Mouthfeel: Has a very smooth and easy begin on the tongue but does finish with a slight bitterness to it. Does not have a clean finish.

Drinkability: I love this beer. I very much enjoy all the different styles of Octorberfest that many different brewerys put out the S.A. just makes me want to curl up in front of the tv watching some college football (Go Noles!) and watching the leafs change color. I will very much enjoy this beer again and again.

japcmiller, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of drummerben
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Mellow Mushroom.

First SA Octoberfest of the year for me. Appearance is deep copper, with a white frothy head. Smells of malt and very light hops. Taste is a bit watery, but very balanced in flavor. Caramel and malty with a subtle spiciness.

Overall, this one leaves a little something to be desired. It seems like SA Octoberfest is a year-to-year thing, sometimes hit or miss. I'll be trying this one up against others of this style in the next few weeks. You can always count on this one for a good session beer for the season, though not my favorite by far.

drummerben, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of jbone78
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up my first Octoberfest of 2009!
I look forward to it. It is American.

A- Pours Amber/clear with a nice head that disappears after it warms. I poured mine in a warm pint glass, so it was gone in no time. The lacing was around for a while.
S- It's a Sam Adams, it is going to have a hoppy smell, but I don't smell much.
T- I think last years Octoberfest was more malty, but what do I know. This year seems more toasty, which is malty, but not like last year.
M- Goes dowm like a lager. And the toasty feel I already talked about is all in the aftertaste.
D- let's just say I bought a case. I like it.


jbone78, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of wesl56
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My favorite fall beer! Even though it's not fall yet in Florida, I saw it in the store today and had to pick up a 12 pack for $13.99... here goes the first one:

a- pours a dark brown/gold with a 1/2" head - leaves lacing that falls after a few seconds.

s- not to much here. i get some hints of malts, but nothing stands out.

t- similar to the boston lager, but more on the malty side, but still balanced. The malt flavors really jump out: oak, cream, and spice. While the hops are pretty mild, they are still noticeable and give it a slightly bitter finish, which really smooths the deal out.

m- on the light side, lots of carbonation

d- you can certainly stick with octoberfest for the evening. You're gonna want more than one - no doubt. A great beer to drink on the first cool days of the season (even though that's still months away here in FL. It's currently 90 degrees)

an additional note- ive got to say this first beer isnt as good as i remember it being in years past. It seems much lighter, almost that watered down feel. This could be due to two things- first i had really high expectations for this beer, as i enjoy it so much every fall, and second, as the flavors, feel, and "mood" of this beer are geared towards cooler weather, I think that cool days are an essential element for enjoying it the way it was intended to be enjoyed.

wesl56, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of LyonsHead
4.58/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful copper orange with an orange tinted, creamy, white head

S: Nice malty aroma with toast and biscuit. there is a subtle noble hop aroma which doesn't fit the style; it does, however, work very well with this beer

T: There is a malty sweetness with notes of bread crust, and toasty biscuit. There is a caramel sweetness which again doesn't fit the style, and again I could care less because it works

M: This beer is low in carbonation which helps give it an incredibly smooth and creamy mouthfeel. This beer is chewier than the color suggests it will beer. The beer is sweet throughout with the balance towards the malt but the finish is still pleasantly dry. This has one of the best mouth-feels I have experienced

D: This is a different kind of Oktoberfest. If you're a style Nazi you may not like it, but it really is a tasty beer. One of my all-time favorites and definitely my favorite from Sam Adams

LyonsHead, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of BierFan
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear copper colored body with a great tan head. Good head retention and lacing.

Smell: The smell is made up of caramel malts and noble hops.

Taste: Sweet and rich with the hops providing a nice spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Needs a little more carbonation, in my opinion.

Drinkability: The pint glass was emptied with ease and in record time.

BierFan, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of bennetj17
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very clear copper beer with thin white foam. Foam settles leaving a bit of lace. Clean, malty nose, with hints of caramel and bread, very typical.

The light caramel sweetness is eveident early in the flavor, then it shifts to a more toasty and dry finish. The mouthfeel has very fine, prickly carbonation, but it might be a bit weak for my liking. The beer has a weak syrupy quality also, which I think hurtakes away a bit from the flavor.

A decent Octoberfest, worthy of buying a 12-pack each fall, but after that I can usually wait again till next year...

bennetj17, Aug 18, 2009
Photo of steveh
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 edition of this popular Octoberfest. Best by January -- interesting that the label has "Lager" printed in one corner and "Ale in TX" in another.

*Adding an updated edition here having picked up some newer Sam almost 2 months later. Label marked best by March.

A -- Deep amber to copper color with a thick, light tan head that holds up very well.

S -- Somewhat fruit estery at first whiff, not from hops -- more from ferment or yeast. Earthiness back, some spicy alcohol eeking thru. Fruitiness is still apparent, but there's more malt sweetness dominant

T -- Hmm. Nutty, grainy, "beery" flavor. Tends to remind me of some pub-brewed amber lagers. Some vague fruitiness and slightest diacetyl back. No real sweetness up front, some vague hops in the finish.

More malty sweetness and no diacetyl in this batch, not as thin as the January bottles. Very tasty.

M -- Medium body with a soft, smooth mouthfeel.

D -- I'm just a little disappointed in this year's take on the style. The flavor just seems a little lacking, a little weak, though it goes down nicely.

This batch seems more on par with the Sam Octo of years past. Not sure what was up with the first sixer I got, but I'm glad I gave it another chance.

steveh, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of AmberMan22
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Notched freshness marking of best before next january.

A: Pours an orange amber with a surprisingly small head, less than a finger. Lacing is disappointing too, not much stickage at all. The carbonation is very prevalent, and the color is a pretty way to start off fall, so I'll give it above average.

S: sweet pale and caramel malts. Not overwhelming, which is again a little disappointing, though far from bad. I just expect Sam Adams to turn out really solid beer every time.

T: I enjoy the taste. I personally prefer maltier beers, so I don't mind the milder hop presence in this instance of Märzen beer. The taste is of sweet malts, as mentioned in the smell category.

M: bubbly bite initially, feels medium bodied, creamy.

D: To me, this is very quaffable -- I didn't notice how fast my glass emptied, but at 5.7%, that is somewhat of a problem. Definitely worth a try, but probably not worth repeat purchases over others of the style.

AmberMan22, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of CheckMate
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle obtained at Shaw's Supermarket in Derry, NH. Poured in to a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass and shared with BA member MrHurmateeowish. pours a clear dark amber color with a half inch of off white head that quickly dissipated. Scents of spices, nutmeg, malt, citrus. tastes of spices, raisin, slight cracker taste, very slight citrus. moderate carbonation. quite an enjoyable beer for the fall. wonderful images of colorful leaves and large pumpkins come into mind when drinking this beer.


CheckMate, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am not a huge Octoberfest fan, but this is actually one of the better ones I have had. Here is my review:

A: Pours a nice copper color. Lots of carbonation going on. Head dissipates rather quickly, but leaves a nice film over the top of the beer.

S/T: The aroma is semi-sweet. Some caramel and toffee in there. Taste is pretty similar with the caramel and toffee notes coming thought. Some breadyness in there. I don't get that real musty and earthy flavor that is common in most Octoberfests, which is a good thing. Pretty good beer, although somewhat lacking in complexity and character.

M/D: Medium to light bodied with nice carbonation. Mouthfeel is a little oily, but finishes pretty clean. Drinks rather easily, and would not be problematic to drink more than one.

Overall, a good beer from Sam Adams. Nothing too complex or intense about the beer, it is a nice relaxing beer to have on a nice fall afternoon. One of Sam Adams better beers.

OldSchoolGamer, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of SpdKilz
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured into my SA Octoberfest mug with a deep bronze/copper color. A nice finger of fluffy white head that dissipates somewhat fast but leaves great looking lacing on the side of my glass. This beer just looks good!

Smell - Not overly complex but delightful - malt, caramel, spices, a bit of toffee lingering in the air.

Taste - Roasty malts, biscuty, toffee, caramel...as it slides over my tongue it reminds me of cooler fall days and "easier" times...

Mouthfeel - Nice and creamy (medium body), smooth, highly carbonated so that it almost "pricks" the tongue but oh so enjoyable.

Drinkability - Very drinkable. This was the first beer that got me into craft beer. I remember just wandering into my local grocery store and seeing it and thinking "what the heck...it is the season" so I grabbed it. I enjoyed it so much it has lead me to this site, and many, many other amazing beers. Obviously not the best beer out there but extremely enjoyable nonetheless. Cheers for SA Octoberfest!

SpdKilz, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of rgrholmes168
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

The beer poured with a one finger head that quickly fizzled out leaving no lace and only a small bit of covering on top of the beer.

The color is a very clear dark amber that displays very few carbonation bubbling coming up from the bottom.

The nose on the beer is fairly bland and I only get a slight bit of hops and malt. Nothing very strong.

I like the taste of the beer, but it is nothing special. A little bit of zing from some spice. Not any type of bitterness or aftertaste to spoil the clarity of the taste.

The beer is light bodied and very drinkable.

rgrholmes168, Aug 15, 2009
Photo of jpaltan
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark copper, sparse head, thin white film on top. i seem to remember prior years of this having a more vigorous pour. smell is malty and bready, a bit buttery too. taste is buttery, bready, malty with a small hop backbone that kicks in at the end a bit. the finish dies down into a sticky sweetness. slight metallic taste, kind of coppery. mouthfeel is a bit sticky, carbonation is good. drinkability is above average

jpaltan, Aug 15, 2009
Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 6,484 ratings.