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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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6,632 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,632
Reviews: 2,039
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 80
Gots: 1,108 | 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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Ratings: 6,632 | Reviews: 2,039 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of Kromes
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper color with an off-white head. The aromas are pretty simple. A sweet caramel/toasted malt aroma and a little bit of a yeast aroma. The taste is of caramel malt at first and that gives way to a smooth not too bitter finish(actually the finish is a little bit sweet also). The hop flavors become apparent in the finish and aftertaste. Mouthfeel is just about right. A light feel that goes down easy with a little bit of carbonation. Very drinkable beer. I would have no problem drinking this in mass quantities.

Photo of nc41
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

edit 2010- Thia years IMO is a little better, still way behind Foothills seasonal though.

As a die hard IPA user maybe my taste buds are warped. IMO this is a session beer with very little distinction. Obviously a very safe drinkable lager, and not bad by any means. There is just nothing to excite you drinking this beer, Not much of a head, little on the nose. Where are the hops? I know it's not an IPA, but still a little hops showing thru is what makes the European lager shine. Drinks like a BMC in my opinion, and in comparison an expensive one at that. Nice to try but Spaten Oct Fest is much better.

Photo of jpeterman
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

--Poured from a 12 ounce brown bottle into a shaker pint. Drink-By date clearly notched on the neck label.--

Appearance- A strong, but smooth pour yields a fairly sizable, off-white head at first, but this only lingers for maybe a minute and a half. However, it manages a nice, sticky lacing all the way down to the last sip. Nice medium to med./dark copper color, no haze what-so-ever. Off to a great start.

Scent- Wonderful malt in the nose, sweet, but not overly. Also, the hops come in, flowery and robust, yet refined, as they should be. Bready as it warms a bit. A very enticing beer, simply with the nose!

Taste/Mouth Feel/Body- As soon as the beer hits my tongue, I catch the sweet malts in the middle. With careful attention, you can catch each of the five malts with a separate sip. The floral hops and light spice balance with a slight bitter bite, rounding this beer out well with every taste. Also, you catch some bread, and some of the more roasted characteristics of the malts. You catch them at the tip, for sure. Nice medium body, yet crisp and quite refreshing. The weight on the tongue is perfect for the style. It goes down pleasantly; very smooth. Aftertaste is all malt, nice and toasty for those cold autumn afternoons and evenings.

Drinkable?- Absolutely. A six pack on a chilly autumn evening would be bliss. Goes down very easy, and doesn't weigh you down despite it's medium body.

Overall- An excellent representation of the style. Boston Beer Company has a certain winner on their hands with this one. Not only is this beer good for an autumn fall-back, but I would call it an Autumn go-to. Not too heavy, not too light, just right for the season. Certainly makes me look foreword to this time of year.

Photo of JonMich13
2.68/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A = Amber - brown in color, something like iced tea. Small white head doesn't last long. No lacing.

S = Not much at all in the nose. Some bready notes. A musty smell as well. Hints of malt.

T = Weak malt profile. Sort of bland with a little unpleasant aftertaste. Not much to like here.

M = No complaints about the mouth. Somewhere in the middle.

D = Meh, drinkable in that it's not horrible and there's little alcohol. But not something I'd seek out.

Photo of abrand
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce frosty from a local bar served in a pint glass.

Pours a deep amber color with very good visibility through the pour. Creamy 2 finger head that bubbles over the glass and lines it as well. Smells of malts and breads. Very good sniffer. Quaff is also malty with a sweet finish. Not much lingers for aftertaste. Not much alcohol is noted. Mouthfeel is medium and consistent for the style. Drinkability is pretty high with a solid taste and good for a tight budget.

Photo of washburnkid
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber with a frothy white head. A cap of retention sticks around during the session and there's a bit of lace hanging about. Aromas are a straightforward and clean toasted malt. Flavors have toasted and caramel malt. Very basic, and not a lot of hop characteristics to balance it out, but it was still good and really drinkable/refreshing. A nice, medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I enjoyed the beer, but there really wasn't a whole lot to talk about.

Photo of wonderbread23
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Rich copper orange color with creamy 1 finger head that quickly dissipates leaving minimal lacing.

Smell: Malt up front with minimal hop bitterness. A little bit of banana bread and caramel.

Flavor: Nice creamy malty beer. Lots of breadyness with a touch of bitter pumpkin / fall spices. The sweetness in this beer tastes less malty and more sugary to me.

Mouthfeel: Feels a little thin for an Octoberfest to me. Lacking the additional body I expected and has a short finish.

Drinkability: Easy drinker. Very smooth alcohol isn't noticed. Quite clean and sessionable.

Photo of pzrhsau
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice orange amber color with a slight head.
Smell: Has a rich malt aroma
Taste: Rich malt taste with an almost caramel note to it. It has a very breadlike characteristic to it.
Mouthfeel: It is a nice heavy beer with a good carbonation.
Drinkability: I do enjoy this fall beer, though it is difficult when the weather doesn't change right away.

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

Clear caramel brown beer with about a bit under a finger of walnut colored head. It looks like an Oktoberfest indeed. Fair head retention. Fairly aromatic with some nutty caramel malts with a lightly hoppy crispness to it all.

Crisp, nutty caramel malts initially, with a concurrent tingly bitterness toward the center of the mouth. Midpalate has toasty malts and slight fruitiness. Nice bitter finish. A tasty brew, straightforward and nice drinking. Medium body, seems fairly highly carbonated, prickly throughout. Drinkability is nice though, definitely something I wouldn't mind getting a bit of every year. One of the most respectable Sam Adams beers in terms of sticking to the proper style.

Photo of jhammel01
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorites...Its a sentimental beer for me..

Pours a deep copper- amber with an offwhite head that sticks for a bit and laces all the way down.

Not much coming from the smell dept. Hops 1st and foremost. I also pick up a few notes of malt and caramel.

Its taste is great....Smooth medium mouthfeel with caramel coming through with slight bitterness. Malt backbone of the beer comes through in the end along with a strong bready aftertaste.

Great beer. I know there is better out there I'm sure (just like every other style) but I really love this beer. My favorite from SA and my favorite of the season.

Photo of BetterDarker
3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into Sam Adams lager glass

Appearance- Beautiful golden red, crystal clear, light carbonation, little head, no retention

Smell- Nice solid sweet malt.

Taste- Delicious, solid malt bill, slight sweetness with good balance

Mouthfeel- Excellent and crisp

Drinkability- Much better from a bottle than when I had it on tap. When I had it on tap one was more than enough, though one is not enough when drinking the bottled offering.

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

A: SA Octoberfest is a rich orange/maple color with a solid 2 finger creamy head that slowly falls to a frothy cap of foam over the top. Spots of lace all the way down the glass.

S: Sweeter in aroma than most marzens, it showcases some light caramel and just a twinge of the earthy Munich malt so common to the style. There's also a hint of earthy/herbal hoppiness present. Definitely average for the style, but it gets a bit of a bump for being clean and well balanced.

T&M: A light caramel flavor melds with a dry, slightly earthy/grainy presence mid-palate. There's a black tea-like component in the dryness, as well. A touch of lightly herbal hop flavor is noticed, but not that present. All flavors are somewhat subdued, but it's still flavorful enough. Definitely and clean, crisp, and well balanced marzen. Body is light-ish with a carbonation level that's appropriate--never too aggressive.

D: Overall, definitely a quaffer. Not the most robust or bold marzen you'll find, but one that drinks well enough.

Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 6,632 ratings.