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Samuel Adams Octoberfest - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams OctoberfestSamuel Adams Octoberfest

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6,644 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,644
Reviews: 2,042
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 83
Gots: 1,147 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,644 | Reviews: 2,042
Photo of MaineBirdMan
2.36/5  rDev -35.7%
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.

Photo of TexIndy
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Best by notch on side of front label. It was a clear amber color with several carb streams but no lacing. It had a good sized white head that settled into a good collar and some central wisps.

The aroma was toasted malt, caramel, toffee with not much of a hop presence. On sweet side. The taste was heavy on the toasted malt with less of the sweet coming thru and again not much of a hop presence. Dry. I like my Marzen's to be a little sweeter and less dry. Mouthfeel was crisp with medium body.

Overall, a little below average Marzen for me but comes thru in a pinch when it's best choice on-tap. Worth a try. For me, I won't be buying any 6 packs but there are couple restaurants that we hit that usually have this during the season and is often then only non-BMC option so that's about the only time I'd have it.

Photo of civilizedpsycho
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Kind of a reddish/golden color that is very clear and has a good head.

Smell: Somewhat bland. I was a little disappointed here. There is a bit of a hop aroma, but not much.

Taste: A very nice blend of malt and hops. It has a good flavor while still being smooth. I find this to be much smoother than some other brewery's attempts.

Mouthfeel: Kind of thin, not a whole lot to report here.

Drinkability: Very good. I think so far this might be my favorite Oktoberfest beer. There's a lot I haven't tried, but so far, this one is my favorite.

Photo of skrib09
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a rich copper brown, mainly clear, with an off white head. good lacing.

smells of caramel and malt, some nut or nut extract, and an ioda of pine.

taste is rich and sweet, a little roasted nut, and some caramel flavors.

good mouthfeel, definetly has a good body to it. drinkable.

Photo of Soneast
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber color with a 2 finger thick, light brown colored head, with decent retention, leaving bits-o-lace on the glass.

Lots of toasted grains and caramel on the aroma. Pretty sweet overall, but rather simple and clean.

The flavor is malt-centric, with a fair amount of caramel and a nice toasty quality. Relatively sweet, and next to no hop character.

The beer has a nice texture, although it seems a tad flat. A nice, clean flavor but nothing too exciting.

Photo of chetripley
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A good solid, regular beer, which is not what I always get from Sam Adams, but I do with this one. Always available and consistent, which is not a bad thing I feel. Plus I think it is my favorite seasonal from Boston Beer so It doesn't let me down.

Drank right out of the bottle, at a festival where I subsequently drank a few more walking around.

Good taste, not like the Munichs that I prefer, yet a little spice here and there which surprises me. Heavier than other lagers, including the Boston Lager, yet with a strong malt flavor and very little hoppiness.

If you want a reliable and available and not so expensive brew, this is your seasonal.

Photo of matty
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber colored beer with a slowly fading head.Aroma is malty.Taste also is malts with a hint of fruit and caramel.It is smooth and goes down like water.It does fit the beer style pretty well.I would recommend and would purchase again.Another decent job by Sam Adams!!

Photo of vdread
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Adams Octoberfest
bottle to glass

appearance- pours a dark amber color with some orange. thin little tan colored head that disappeared within moments of pouring, before i even took a sip. no lace at all.

smell- just some slightly sweet malts.

taste- spice, toasted malts, bready, some caramel. a little hops round it out nicely. it's just kind of a one dimensional flavor. besides the overall lack of distinction, it's satisfying when you want something that's easy to drink with a little flavor. good BMC crossover beer.

being my first fall seasonal, i have to say i'm not too impressed, but then again it seems to me that many of Sam's brews are made for a broader consumer base than most craft and it comes through in the slighly better than average taste.

mouthfeel- somewhat dry, goes down easy. leaves a nice aftertaste

drinkability- easily drinkable, i could put a few of these back in a sitting. not worth buying a sixer to me, but i would graciously accept one if offered.

Photo of david18
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not a huge Octoberfest fan but, hey, it's october. Had an imperial pint of this and it's a very solid beer. Great dark copper color, very good two finger head, great marzen flavor and good mouthfeel and drinkability. I don't think I'd choose this over a Munich house beer but otherwise it's a very solid beer.

Photo of craftaholic
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Had this one on tap in a 22oz mug. The color was a beautiful translucent effervescent golden copper that really had a beautiful autumnal hue. The head had a decent amount of retention and thin layer of lacing upon dissipation.

Smell: Nothing very complex but rather refreshingly simple with subtle toasted malts and grain.

Taste: Quite mild as the nose led on to. There was a light taste of toasted grains and malt but there was a touch of sweetness that was unexpected and overpowers any hop that is lingering.

Mouthfeel: Remarkably smooth throughout with just the right amount of carbonation to dance across the palate, finishes quite dry and has a sweet malty aftertaste.

Drinkability: Easily drinkable and would definitely session in the thick of this autumnal October month. Nothing off-putting and likely nothing overpowering.

Overall: Was the only thing to really choose from with the beer list the restaurant had. Polished off the tall boy pint with a rack of ribs and it paired nicely. First O'c'toberfest I've had and I'm pleased with the outcome.

Photo of woosterbill
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage; scores 4/4/3.5/3/3
2010: 4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.0
I've averaged these for my overall rating of the beer.

12 oz bottle (2009) into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a clear, deep ruby-amber body with good carbonation topped by a finger and a half of sticky off-white foam; decent retention and good lace. Nice but unremarkable looking beer.

S: Rich, grainy malt, with a hint of spice on the finish; smooth, crisp, and refreshing aroma.

T: All malt, much sweeter than the nose; caramel up front, followed by a mellow toastiness and a crisp, dry finish. Not bad at all, but nothing exciting.

M: Medium bodied, a little sharp with the carbonation. A little sticky.

D: I miss hops; even in a malt-forward style like a Marzen, I look for at least a subtle hop profile to keep things balanced. My mouth feels coated with grain, and I know that another sip won't remedy the situation. I'm not craving another one of these (but I suppose a couple more wouldn't kill me).

Notes: I still haven't found an O-fest that I really love (unless you count Avery's Kaiser, but that's a different animal entirely), and this one continues to be one of my favorites - it's tasty and relatively inoffensive. Still, this isn't a seasonal that I get excited about.


Edit: Update for the 2010 iteration.

This year's Sam Octoberfest is considerably better than I remember it being last time around. The malts are dryer and nuttier, there's a distinct German hop presence, and the the mouthfeel is far smoother and better-carbonated. It's an all-around better beer: 4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.0

Photo of CRichardsMN
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden amber with perfect light carbonation bubbles. Pours a soft head that falls to a ring after 30 seconds or so.

Sweet and malty with light caramel. Light yeast and hops.

Very sweet with hints of caramel. Just enough hops for balance and tartness. Leaves hardly any aftertaste so you can dive right back in.

Slightly fizzy and very creamy smooth. Leaves a light coating in the mouth.

Had to check myself as to not guzzle this one. Very good.

I've found I like Octoberfests more and more as I try more of them. I only bought a couple singles of this but may be going back for a full case...

Photo of grayburn
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a pretty good representative of the rest of SA's lineup, not great, but far from bad.
A nice copper color with a dense white head.
The taste and smell and both balanced more toward maltiness, nothing crazy, but very clean and simple.
The mouthfeel is a bit light for my taste and a touch over carbonated, but still a nice fresh fest beer.
I could drink a few of these without problem.

Photo of confer
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - copper color with a head that vanishes with a trace.

S - Toasty sweet malt

T - The taste is a little more alcoholy than most of the other Fest offerings.

M - A lot of carbonation but not at all thin.

D - Above average but then I don't find many fest beers that I can't rate as very drinkable

Photo of WalrusJockey
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- dark golden amber. Head poured pretty good, but feel down to nearly nothing PDQ.

S- I swear it smells like a fresh pizza, only without the savory oregano+basil, but lots of warm, dough-y yeast-y baked aroma.

T- pizza-dough and crispy crust dominate the main flavor range, with other malt flavors, like vanilla-cookies around the very edges. Swallow leads into a more robust version of this same flavor profile, fading off into a slightly watery and short aftertaste.

M- just about perfect for the style. Substantial in the mouth, but smooth and easy to drink; not watery at all, but not so much texture to it that it hinders quaffing.

D- super, as per the style.

Notes: this is a Sam Adams Lager I would order even when there was craft beer on the menu. I say, dump SABL and make this the full time beer.

Photo of biegaman
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sam Adams Octoberfest is a myriad of the quintessentially fall-time shades of auburn and amber. It is a snapshot of autumn foliage. On the whole, it is quite dazzling; fiery tones of red and coppery glazed oranges flare up when the beer is held against the light. Like its clarity, a majority of the head persists. Although the bulk of it resides along the bumpers there is a thin film that manages to cloak the surface. Lacing drapes the glass.

The aroma exhumes a lot of sulfur. Don't be alarmed - this is common in many lagers. It isn't anything unappetizing but it's not exactly enticing either (and the sizable hint of diacetyl isn't helping things). But that sulfur element is definitely characteristic of many lagers and it is one you can likely learn to live with - if not come to enjoy. Besides, swirling seems to eradicate most of it. You might also note caramel and dried fruit.

A profoundly malty flavour hints at notes of caramel, crackers and cranberries. It is distinctly sweet; a trace amount of hops is detectable but contributes nothing more than a dash of earthiness. The aftertaste has a lengthy linger and leaves your tongue in the clutches of sulfur and dried fruits. I wish this was served in one of those giant 2 liter steins :(

I could probably drink at least a few of those. No kidding. This is one extremely sessionable lager. It is smooth and deliciously sweet. The maltiness is sufficient to provide flavour but not heavy enough to weigh you down. I'm not only drinking this in gulps but have actually caught myself chugging it. To call it quenching is an understatement. Admittedly, I wouldn't know where to draw the line drinking this one.

No wonder Oktoberfest is such a big celebration. Any type of beer this good - especially one only released seasonally - deserves its own ceremony and commemoration. This is a gorgeous, distinctly flavorful, endlessly sessionable lager - in other words, this is a beer perfectly designed for festivities. And you can bet Sam Adams' version will definitely be a source of merriment in my house each fall from here in.

Photo of CHSLBrew
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a large mug at the Roseville, MN location of Old Chicago, as part of their Oktoberfest mini-tour.

A-Red-copper beer, crystal clear. Tan head, 2 cm off the pour, receded quickly to a sparse bubble layer.

S-Slightly spicy, toasty-biscuity maltiness.

T-Sweet-bicuity malt, slightly toasty. Herbal-spicy hop presence is small, but compliments the crisp, refreshing malt sweetness. Slighlty-small hop bitterness.

M-Medium-light body, a bit too light for my liking of this style, but probably not too far off. Medium carbonation.

D-Quite drinkable, just the a fantastic beer overall, so perhaps a small dock in points for that.

Photo of wd40
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a pitcher

Dark amber appearance with decent foamy head. Appearance is probably the most enticing aspect of this beer.
The smell was kind of metalic as was the taste. No hops at all. Tastes like a malt beverage to me. The mouthfeel was ok. It's certainly more drinkable than most other mass produced beer.

Photo of webmanspidey
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Translucent amber color with a slight caramel smell. The taste is mostly mild caramel malts and some slight hops. Pretty refreshing and drinkable. Mouthfeel is light and well carbonated. This is a solid sessionable oktoberfest and a good choice when presented without many options at the bar.

Photo of Marcrates
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours bright and shiney like a penny witg a little more on the red side

s - smell isn't much.. A little grain smell butnot much.

T - not bad.. Malt comes through averagely strong at first, levels out with a sweet syrupy taste.

M - fairly light feeling, but a little more weight than a domestic light beer.

D - quite drinkable. Not overwhelming at all.. I've had two here at the bar while I wait for the girl to show up, and I could go for a third.

Overall I'm not blown away, but I'm not dissapointed either. A somewhat tasty, but light and drinkable brew suits me quite well on this cool October afternoon.

Photo of Anthony1
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright, clear copper with a fluffy, lasting light cream head. Aromas of toasted grain, light caramel, and subtle but telltale Sam Adams yeast. Sweet caramel entry, sweeter than the nose would indicate, leading into savory toasted grain, and lightly nutty on the finish.

Light to medium in body, with mild carbonation lending itself to a moderately rich mouthfeel. A pretty good, drinkable Oktoberfest.

Photo of PintOHops
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appeared a clear dark amber color, it produced a pretty poor head, equally poor retention, and the lacing isn't worth mentioning. Little carbonation could be seen, almost looked flat minutes after pouring. Smelled of soft, but tart, fruity grape/raisin, following is a dominate malt aroma, very grainy & biscuit like with soft caramel and moderately sweet smelling.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tasted of a bit of citrus as it hits the tongue, then a not so rich but dominate flavor profile of caramel, molasses, and biscuit. Very one noted and not complex flavor profile at all, hardly any hop bitterness noticeable, but just enough for decent balance. All flavors seem to linger a bit on the tongue. Mouthfeel was lightly crisp, then sorta heavy and a bit silky, would have enjoyed a bit more carbonation here. Around full bodied.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - This is an outstandingly session able brew! One could drink 3-4 of these beers and enjoy everyone of them, things I didn't like about it where the appearance and the overall taste. The appearance was lacking horribly as noted above, and there just wasn't any complexity to the taste, it just hits you with an instant flavor of caramel/molasses/biscuit. I thought this Octoberfest was decent but I know there are better, still wasn't bad, and I did enjoy it, so if it's all you can get it's still pretty good.

Cheers and happy Octoberfest!

Photo of CAOMarcos
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer poured from a bottle into a Nodic Glass. The beer poured with a rich amber hue with a thick off-white head. The beer smells of the complex mixture of malts. There is a bit of a harsh quality at first taste, but then the aftertaste has a slight hops spiciness and a defined complex sweetness that is really refreshing. Octoberfest has a lot of carbonation and you definitely feel it on the tongue. I could see myself drinking this beer very often in autumn.

Photo of Schwab
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I gave it another try this year after I didn't like it too much the last 2 years when I tried it

A - Beer came with decent amber color, but almost a little bit too dark for the style, at least that's how it appeared to me in the situation. Head was barely noticeable and stick with it for a while but then disappeared. No real lacing

S - Smells definitely malty with a hint of spice. First thought I detect a citrus flavor, but I figured that's not the case

T - Definitely German noble hops! Balanced malt, hint of caramel, spice and different characters with every sip, almost complex

M - Came with ok carbonation, just enough. Medium body (could be a little bit more) and without dry finish

D - Absolutely! This beer goes down very smooth and after three there is still room for more.
I'm not sure, but for some reason I am pretty sure I got a different beer than I got in recent years and conclude they most have worked on the recipe again.

Photo of ocelot2500
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper with a rising tight tan head. Plenty of lacing on the glass.

Smells of toasted malts and a little herbal hops.

Tastes of toasted malts and small hops. The malt dominates and offers up a sweet taste with toasted flavors. The hops are very hidden in the background and do not act to balance out the sweetness. A pretty good brew, but I would like to have the sweetness balanced out.

Mouthfeel is medium and creamy. Has a lingering sweetness on the finish.

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Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 6,644 ratings.