1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.

5,406 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,406
Reviews: 1,932
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 58
Gots: 389 | 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: 5,406 | Reviews: 1,932 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheCondor


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

This beer was obtained in a seasonal twelve pack from Samuel Adams. While I may not agree with releasing the fall seasonals in early August, it's not my choice to make. That being said, I generally appreciate the Sam Adams seasonal packs, as they come with a good variety of brews and you get two, so you don't have to be a loser drinking alone. Side poured from the bottle into a pint glass with standard vigor.

Appearance - Pours a copper, almost rust color with a small one finger head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves little lacing. Love the packaging, as I do most SA products, but that isn't a scoreable criteria (unfortunately). Carbonation action can be seen inside the brew.

Smell - Big, rich roasted malts, breads, and toast. Plenty of sweetness to go around as well in those malts, almost a syrup or vanilla smell.

Taste - Much like the nose. The malts hit you up front, followed by the hints of sweetness and more malts. Finally there is a definite toast essence as well, which is very refreshing and tasty.

Mouthfeel - Finishes fairly clean, leaves an uber-malty aftertaste, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Easy to drink.

Overall - I like this beer! I have always enjoyed the marzen/oktoberfest styles, and the Sam Adams product I think is a quality product. Not a world-beater, but certainly worth a drink or twelve. Definitely a fun beer to buy a bunch of, sit around an outdoor fire on a brisk night, and hang out.

08-14-2012 02:09:13 | More by TheCondor
Photo of FreshHawk


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

A - Orangeish/red brown color with a medium sized off-white head with decent head retention.

S - Toasty/bready malt with slight spices and light sweetness.

T - Lots of slightly toasted malts. Fairly sweet with very subdued spice. Mild tea/herbal hops.

M - Medium bodied and slightly creamy and smooth.

D - Easy to drink, the sweetness and spice are not overwhelming which helps drinkability.

Notes: Not a really great beer, and there are probably better Oktoberfest beers but this is a solid a tasty selection.

02-16-2010 10:45:06 | More by FreshHawk
Photo of AmberMan22


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

08-17-2009 00:23:48 | More by AmberMan22
Photo of dbtoe


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Look a dark golden body with a 2 finger head that reduced to a thin cap.

Smell sweet malt and maybe a hint of hops.

Taste not as sweet as I thought it would be from the smell a very nice toasted caramel malt with a touch of hop bitterness to even out the flavor.

Feel real good carbonation and a smooth creamy body

Drink very drinkable smooth tasting beer.

Comment this is a very good O-fest. I'll be getting this one again.

09-25-2008 18:39:43 | More by dbtoe
Photo of skenyon1811

New York

3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

12oz bottle poured into a pint.

A: This beer makes me salivate looking at it. Sam Adams Octoberfest has that perfect clear brownish orange color. It pours a nice 1/2 inch tan head. Good retention.

S: Good strong aroma when first poured, but mellows out quick. Sweet malt and caramel aroma. Not much of a hop smell to it. It has a tiny alcohol scent to it as well.

T: Needless to say, it has the very distinct Samuel Adams' taste to it. It does provide a little more than that though. It has a smooth roasted taste with a little bite from the hops. The aftertaste is the best part, nice caramel note left after the bitterness of the hops fades. You get a little bit more out of every sip.

M: Light to medium mouthfeel. Kind of heavy on the carbonation. Very similar to most Samuel Adams.

D: I like this as a session beer. It does make you a little gassy but I can put that a side and pick up a sixer.

This is by far one of Sam Adams' best beers. Cheers!

10-05-2010 21:49:29 | More by skenyon1811
Photo of weeare138


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

Appears a mahogany color with a small tan head. Streaks of lace are left on the glass. Little bits of carbonation slowly rise to the top.
Smell is of sourdough and sweet, fruity malts.
Taste is sweet and sour mix of a malty punch with fruitiness.
Mouthfeel is an okay blend of a sweet & sour mix with a medium bodied feel.

10-02-2005 14:46:34 | More by weeare138
Photo of shand


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle marked best by February 21st into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep red-orange with about 3 fingers of head. Head retains to about a centimeter worth. Looks really great.

Smell: It's kind of a let-down smell wise actually. Some slightly sour hops and some nutty malts. Doesn't really smell that great to be honest.

Taste: But thankfully, it tastes fantastic! I'd hesitate to put this in the same realm as a normal Oktoberfest, there's a lot in common with the Sam Adams Boston Lager here for sure, but for what it is it really tastes great. It opens up with some sweet, nutty malts, with some fruits and spices in there. A bit of bitter hops come in at the end to temper the sweet hops. Very well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Goes down very smooth and refreshing. No complaints at all, it feels just heavy enough for the style, without any unneeded heft.

Drinkability: This is very drinkable for the style, I tend to have a problem drinking too many Oktoberfests because the spices start to grate on me, but this one is very easy to drink.

This is a great, widely available beer that's got a lot to offer. Check it out.

10-09-2010 04:49:38 | More by shand
Photo of beerprovedwright


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

This pretty brown amber beer poured a one finger head of off white bubbles, which calmed down in about a minute leaving a very thin ring around my glass. The color of the brew rates a 17 on the SRM beer color chart. A sweet smell of pumpkin, wheat, malt, and spices fill my nose. The taste is sweet caramel, malt, and roasted wheat. Smooth and light in the mouthfeel category. Good beer for this time of year.

10-21-2010 18:05:21 | More by beerprovedwright
Photo of TheHoppiest


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

Had on tap at Mavis Winkles in Independence. Served in a pint glass, and was a bit too cold. Thankfully, the glass was room temp, so I did not need to wait too long for it to warm.

The beer is an auburn-orange color, very fall-like. Mimimal creamy head.

Has a mild malty smell. Some sweet malt comes through.

Taste is surprising decent for a mass-market beer such as this. Mild barley malt taste up front, which sweetens as you drink, ending with a slight hop bite at the end.

Mouthfeel is medium to thin, but certainly refreshing.

I found this one tasty through the pint, ordering a second. A drinkable session beer I'd order again.

09-05-2010 15:01:37 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of Clydesdale

District of Columbia

3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

A: Pours a clear, reddish amber-orange color. A tall, frothy head of caramel-tinted foam bubbles up, with above average retention. A few foamy rings of lace trail along the inside of the glass.

S: Some toasty/caramel malt aromas are definitely present. A mild hop presence offers leafy and light earthen notes. A bit of a tartness as well, although difficult to place.

T: The malt flavors take the stage here, and they are equally toasty and caramel-flavored. Sweetness is noticeable at first, but it is kept in check by a dash of hoppiness. Leafy and mild earthy hop notes are present, adding moderate bitterness. There are some complexities at work as well, with tealike tannins and toffee flavors among them.

M: Medium bodied, with moderate carbonation. Fairly crisp and definitely on the dry side into the finish.

D: A pretty solid Oktoberfest from SA. I brought home a smorgasbord of fall seasonals the other day, and this is the first I've gotten down to reviewing. It's nice to begin the switch from summer brews to something a little maltier. This one doesn't set the world on fire, but it's a rock-solid, accessible beer.

09-11-2009 22:12:46 | More by Clydesdale
Photo of Groomsy


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

12 oz. bottle with "Best by" of January, poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a clear copper, almost light brown with highlights of orange in the light. Topped by a one-finger head of white foam that fades fairly quickly with spotty, wispy lacing in its wake. Carbonation is persistent and steady to the top of the glass. A nice looking brew.

Aroma: Along the same lines as some other offerings from SA, but enhanced - fruity hops (think green apples), a touch of grass, some caramel and grain sweetness, and just a kiss of fresh baked bread. Definitely has "fall seasonal" written all over it; just balanced enough to stake off any cloying sweetness from the malt, though a very malty beer overall. Digging it.

Taste: The malt takes the forefront of the taste with flavors of caramel and toffee, sugary and sweet. This is followed by a flash of herbal and grassy hops, which linger into the finish where flavors of bread hang around on the back of the tongue with some subtle flavors of honey. Very "full" and rounded malt flavor here, just kept in check by the hops. Not super-filling, but very crisp and refreshing. A nice drinking lager.

Mouthfeel: Rich medium body, but still crisp and refreshing. Maybe a little too heavy for sessionable drinking, but definitely fitting for a fall brew, and on par for Sam Adams' beers. Some kick from the carbonation, but not fizzy. Finishing flavors are slightly cloying, but not too bad.

Overall: Another nice seasonal from Sam Adams, and my personal favorite from their seasonal line-up other than Noble Pils. Not as good as I remember it being on tap, which I'll have to try again. Nevertheless, a supremely drinkable and full-flavored fall beer that's good for just about anything and can be found anywhere.

08-28-2011 01:58:54 | More by Groomsy
Photo of Mustard

District of Columbia

3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle with a "for brewery-fresh taste, purchase before month notched" warning -- in this case February (2004) -- printed on the label's leftmost corner; $6.99/6 pack from Ralph's; drank this after eating a spoonful of horseradish mustard (hence the handle).

Appearance: Pours a brilliantly clear amber-brown with a fat, foamy, three-fingered head; head retention absolutely stellar -- two of those fingers made it down to the bottom of my 20oz. pint glass; thick, foam lacing.

Aroma: Toasted Munich and Caramel malts with notes of noble hops and a slight fruitiness.

Taste: Upfront, much like its aroma; a light to moderate hop bitterness (earthy) fights its way out in time, as does a touch of grain. All in all lightly sweet and moderately malty with a touch of bitterness.

Notes: A respectable rendition of the Oktoberfest style. Slightly superior taste profile to that of Paulaner's Märzen, which I drank juxtapositionally.

08-13-2003 04:32:44 | More by Mustard
Photo of ckollias


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

Enjoyed this 12 oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Mahogany in color with a white, 1.5 finger head that quickly dissipates leaving no trail down the glass and ending in a white wispy lace.

S: Strong malty musty aroma. Smells slightly sweet and slighly hoppy.

T: Malty flavor dominates this beer. It is slightly sweet and a hint of hops to balance it out.

M: Medium carbonation and medium body,

O: This is a so-so Oktoberfest. I've had better and this one almost seems a little watered down. I enjoyed it, but it nothing I would look for again.

09-18-2011 02:01:15 | More by ckollias
Photo of jeffmonarch


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Dark orange brown with little head.

S - Spices and honey. Semi-sweet.

T - Smooth and spicey. Nice crisp flavor with a good finish.

M - Light to medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - I love this beer. This is my favorite Octoberfest beer and i'm so happy that it is out this early.

08-11-2008 22:14:03 | More by jeffmonarch
Photo of Bruiser81


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

Appearence was deep amber. Head was minimal diminishing quickly. However it did leave a fat lip around the edges and some lacing.
Smell was faint but consisted of caramel, sweet malt and a slight whiff of alcohol which I thought was weird. Almost a bit sour smelling.
The taste was pretty damn good. Not very heavy but refreshing. Dominated by malt. A little sweet up front followed by caramel and toffee, although none of it was very distinct.
Mouthfeel was a bit thin. I think this is my favorite Octoberfest so far this season. I'm not a huge fan of the style which is maybe why I like it. Not as much of a flavor profile as others but still good.

09-11-2003 02:28:26 | More by Bruiser81
Photo of Smittysguinness


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

This beer poured from the tap into my glass in a nice amer hue. It left a thin, off-white head that disappeared quickly (no big deal; more beer for me!).

I smelled a very floral smell to the hops, and a nice sweet malt. I picture, like a Bugs Bunny cartoon, little fingers of scent beckoning me towards the beer as I lift off my feet and float towards it. Yummy!

The taste was very sweet, almost syrupy, with a nice balance of hops. My only disappointment was that it wasn't as full-bodied as some of the other Oktoberfests I've been quaffing, like the Hacker-Pschorr. Sam Adams always crafts a great beer, but their last few seasonals have been, I think, maybe "dumbed-down" just a little bit for the general masses. A little watery and not as full-bodied as the past. But hey...I ain't gonna kick it out of my fridge, you know!

Mouthfeel, again, was a bit watery, but on the up-side, it didn't leave that high-alcohol feel on my tongue that other beers of its alcohol level can sometimes do.

Drinkability: absolutely. I'm a sucker for Sammy A, so even though it wasn't everything I hoped for, I'm still going back for more!

10-10-2005 21:07:04 | More by Smittysguinness
Photo of dfitch81


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

I'm a big fan of Ayinger and Paulaner's Oktoberfest brews. IMHO, when it comes to Märzens these two are the ones to beat - a feat that Sam Adams' Octoberfest does not manage. That said, however, Sam Adams' interpretation has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. This is a highly satisfying, well-crafted Märzen. Even better, its less expensive than the Germans and its brewed right here in the grand ol' US of A.

Color is a perfect autumnal copper-orange. There is room for improvement in the head, which quickly thins and ends up as a whispy ring confined to the sides of the glass. Lacing is entirely absent.

Smell was barely there at first. I had to really bury my nose in the glass to pick anything up. Eventually detected faint aroma of caramel and alcohol. Nose emerged more fully with warming, with the alcoholic character giving some ground to a subtle spiciness (nutmeg, a little cinammon).

Tastes of caramel with a hint of honey, pronounced toasted crackery malts, minimal hopiness - just enough to contain the sweetness. Subtle spiciness detected in the nose is also present here. Smooth mouthfeel with moderate carbonation complements the flavor perfectly, and although the palate definetly leads toward the sweet side, this is still quite drinkable.

All in all this is a very good - if not great - beer. Recommended without reservation, would buy this again.

09-28-2010 01:24:24 | More by dfitch81
Photo of greybeardloon

Rhode Island

3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

best before March

A: Clear, dark red with a fluffy head.

S: Herbal hops and lager yeast byproducts.

T: Primarily buttery, bready malt that avoids being too sweet. There are earthy and herbal hops (which take on an almost medicinal quality as the beer warms) and something like apple cider in the mix too. (The apple cider isn't bad.) The flavors are well balanced.

M: Crisp and prickly.

O: Pleasant and very drinkable.

09-28-2011 00:38:35 | More by greybeardloon
Photo of tronester


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

This Marzen is a dark reddish orange in color. Had no head when served to me. Smells of faint grain. This is a malt fan's beer. Quite a rich, sweet grain flavor, with a hint of hops to round it off. Full mouthfeel with good carbonation. Quite drinkable as well.

11-04-2007 04:31:30 | More by tronester
Photo of Jacobob10

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

Pours a deep orange/amber color with a small head. Little lacing is left behind but the head disappates fairly rapidly. Malty aroma that is not overpowering. The taste is full of roasted and caramel malts. The balance is thrown a little towards the malty side, however the hops are still noticable. Slightly dry, bitter mouthfeel keeps this from being an outstanding session brew. I always look forward to this brew when the fall season comes rolling around.

11-06-2005 15:59:33 | More by Jacobob10
Photo of dpend


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

I agree with what "beerluvr" said about this beer being different in the past.It seems to be more malty and syrupy than that of previous years.The carbonation appeared to be off as well(not as sticky).I did drink this as soon as it was released as opposed to drinking last years after it had aged a bit.Some guys at my work had questioned the difference too, so I knew I wasn't crazy.All in all a good beer, but not a favorite and I will hesitate next year.

09-10-2002 12:12:18 | More by dpend
Photo of Mosstrooper


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

09-06-2009 01:11:54 | More by Mosstrooper
Photo of NClifestyle

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

After year upon year tasting of this seasonal, I know that this isn't the best Oktoberfest beer out there. However, I still have a place in my gut for this brew, and I still love it.
Pours up a great clear orange/red color with lots of bubbles and thick, barely off white head. Drops to a thin layer over the rest of the beer.
Smells of slightly sweet malt and some spicyness in there as well. Taste is a sugar bread malt thing at the front, with a fizzy hop taste in the back. A great balance of malt and hop, and a solid, crisp aftertaste. As it warms, the brew gets more bitter, less sweet, but that's not a bad thing.
There are just enough bubbles to keep things lively in the mouth, and I think I could drink quite a few of these beers.
I always crack a huge smile when I see the first glimpse of the purple and orange box of Sam Adams Octoberfest. Mmmmm.


09-09-2005 00:30:56 | More by NClifestyle
Photo of BretSikkink


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

Tan lace over an orange-brown, Octoberfest-looking beer. Head retention is pretty good since there wasn't much volume to start with.

Toasty, lightly sweet aroma; mostly malt here but some faint hops also present.

Not too sweet, but caramel malt is the show here. Toasted flavors, slightly biscuity, with a hint of herbal hopping. Malt lingers after the crisp, slightly oily mouthfeel.

Nice balance, excellent and fresh domestic Octoberfest. Prost!

09-25-2007 19:58:09 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of donteatpoop


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

Pours a nice orangey blush color with good a retention of white head.

Smells like beer. Hops, mostly. Nothing special.

Tastes good, the hops are present but not overpowering, the malt provides a light caremal sweetness to it.

Feels a bit creamy in the mouth. Easy to drink, goes down smooth.

Surprisingly one of the best Octoberfests that I've had this year.

10-21-2008 05:40:11 | More by donteatpoop
Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 5,406 ratings.