Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Samuel Adams Octoberfest - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams OctoberfestSamuel Adams Octoberfest

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,071 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,071
Hads: 7,102
Avg: 3.66
pDev: 25.96%
Wants: 119
Gots: 1,616 | 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.
View: Beers (120) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Octoberfest Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,071 | Hads: 7,102
Photo of nocheinsbitte
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
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...

 816 characters

Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes taken Sept/16/11.

Appearance - One finger, barely off-white head with decent retention. Clear amber body.

Smell - Mild malt. Mild is key here. Needs some more kick, even for a festbier.

Taste - Delicious kick in the fist sip. Mildly astringent throughout. Corny. Low to medium malt masks astringency. Mild and mostly flavorless for the style, but smooth and very drinkable.

Mouthfeel - Smooth. Slightly creamy. Some effervescence. Hint of astringency.

Overall Drinkability - Decent, middle of the road for the style.

 528 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into pint glass for a dark orange, almost reddish somewhat seethru body with two-finger, foamy head. Slightly spicy in the smell, but a little weak with no real hops kicking in. Thin to medium body, there is some sweetness in this beer but it is a little overpowered by the rather drying, grainy hops and some rough spices. Not mixed too well, there was a weird aftertaste for me with this beer. It wasn't bad, it wasn't that enjotable though.

 450 characters

Photo of Farewell_Transmission
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by Jan 2013 date on bottle.

Served in a pint glass.

a. A dark golden color. Head is a slight off white color.

s. I can't quite get what the smell of this is, it is not offensive but not the most appealing.

t. this is maybe the most generic octoberfest beer I have ever had. It is not offensive but is not bad either.

m. for some reason this beer tastes almost syrupy to me.

o. not a hateful beer, but not the best. The good things are you can find it almost any where. I will gladly buy it again in the fall season.

 527 characters

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 2" beige head. Nice clear amber appearance. There's almost no smell, even after warmed, but what I do get would amount to malt. There's a slight hint of malt in the taste but nowhere near the five kinds of malt they claim in the ads. Wee bit of spicing. Hey, it's fine, a drinkable beer, and it does match the Fall season, but nothing blows me away here.

 363 characters

Photo of popery
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer looked better than it tasted. I only had one, but there was a definite off-note, a toned down version of what I associate with the big macrobrews brewed with corn and such. That is to say, this beer is better than those beers but it has a slightly skunked aftertaste despite being properly handled and consumed soon after purchase. I often dislike Oktoberfests, so maybe I just have odd taste. I did use it to swallow a vitamin (I imagine my mother shuddered for no apparent reason when that happened), but that wasn't until three quarters through the glass. The carbonation is pleasant and the beer has a good dryness, but I'm put off by the off note. That sounded a bit repetitive. With the help of BA, I'm seriously cutting my teeth as a beer snob. Now, I just need to go to a beer festival and find a super limited release to give a perfect score to.

 864 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draft served in Sam Adams lager glass
Aroma of malt
Head removed by bartender – what remains is white, frothy, and rapidly diminishes to 2 mm ring
Lacing poor – occasional island and reef of tiny bubbles
Body medium red-amber, clear, continual bubble generation
Flavor malty, ends slightly astringent; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 3, Aroma 3.25, Flavor 3, Palate 3, Overall 3.0625

 451 characters

Photo of cooncat
3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving was from a 12 oz. bottle, from a case purchased Sept. 2006. I also purchased a case each of Oktoberfest brews from Penn Brewery and Stoudts Brewery at the same time, in order to do a side by side by side comparison.

The Sam Adams Octoberfest beer produces a deep orange/amber colored beer in the glass, with a relatively short lived off white head. Sheeting was good to the bottom of the glass. The nose is unremarkable, with notes of bready/toasty malts. The flavor to me also had a slighty toasted malt note, very light, but balanced. The mouthfeel was a little on the thin side for my liking, and for my expecations of the style (remember that I was comparing this to 2 other Fest brews at the same time). Finish is dry, with no aftertaste. Of the 3 Octoberfest brews I tried, this was my least favorite, but still, it has its merits in its balance and drinkability.


 890 characters

Photo of viaingo
3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Type: Oktoberfest/ Lager
Color: Amber
Body: Lightly carbonated
Head: Heavy white head. Lingers for some time. Excellent lacing.
Taste: For a fall beer is it light but still has a great flavor. Almost tastes like popcorn strangely enough.
Aroma: The smell of fall is in the air! You can smell the spices and the caramel and toffee that were used in the brewing process.

 368 characters

Photo of chrishickman
3.04/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Saw this and Goose Island's version at the grocery tonight and decided to pick up a sixer of each. This beer is everything I feel an Oktoberfest SHOULDN'T be...mild flavor, light color, poor head retention and lacing, not much by way of malty goodness. This beer would not be bad as a session beer, but I hold seasonals and especially Oktoberfests to a higher standard (simply because there are so many from which to choose), and this just has nothing going for it. Pales in comparison to the Goose and almost every other Oktoberfest I've had. But, it's better than Budweiser. I actually prefer the standard Sam Adams lager to this beer!

 637 characters

Photo of Murrhey
3.04/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz standard pressure-cap bottle into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- Finger cream-colored head with low retention. Walnut-colored body with moderate clarity and middling carbonation.

S- Some caramel malts, spices and warm notes.

T- Warm, caramel and malty. Has a bit of a spicy note at the end of the taste.

M- Thicker and bubbly.

O- Not much to say about this. Middling.

 392 characters

Photo of ricke
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Amber color with a medium-sized off-white head that leaves some lacings.

S: Malts, fudge, lots of bready aromas, floral and leafy hop notes.

T: The taste is somewhat sweet with notes of bready malts, fudge, grains and floral hop notes. Some earthy hints as well. The finish is gently bitter with notes of grainy malts and leafy hops.

M: Moderate body, medium carbonation.

D: A decent beer. Quite tasty and easy to drink. Not the most interesting style, though.

 467 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Edit 9-24-09 Based on this years offering, I'm dedycting for smell, MF & drinkability ,5. This is don't buy for me until I start hearing good thinks about it, sucked on tap too...

BBD of Feb 08, sampled in my free Sam Adams Glass

Pours amber/copper with 2+ fingers of sand colored head. Above average head retention & average lacing

S: Fruitty & cereal notes

T: Some caramel, dryness & a little bit of husky grains up front. Herbal & metallic hops as this warms. Finishes grainy, alittle fruitty, with hints of honey malt

MF: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinks so-so, not really impressed with this year's offering

 632 characters

Photo of CHickman
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber with a huge 3 finger foamy beige head that stuck around a while and left decent lacing that slid down the glass fast.

Smells of sweet malt, wet bread, grains, earth tones like grass or hay and some faint hops; a decent nose, but no odor really jumps out with excitement.

Tastes of sweet malt, toasted grains, caramel, hay, yeast (as there is a metallic taste to it), herbs like tea leaf, faint hops and a sweet sugar mixed in somewhere; this seems to be a conservative beer that borders on dull. All the right flavors are there to make up a good beer, but they are all muted like not enough ingredients were used while making this brew. The flavor is decent, perhaps even bordering on good, but just so weak that the follow through does not excite the taste buds.

Mouthfeel is creamy with very little carbonation that was very light, along with a light, crisp body and overall feel. This beer flowed down easy with zero resistance due to it's light crisp nature.

High drinkability, as this would be a session beer if it tasted better. Disappointing for Sam Adams to not succeed with this one.

 1,120 characters

Photo of TenHornsProud
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper, amber with no real head to speak of.

Smells of some biscuit malt, metal, not much else.

Tastes sweet and roasty with some sulfur and small hop character coming through.

Lighter body, smooth, and highly drinkable.

I would not buy another pint of this beer, but it was OK.

 290 characters

Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Enjoying lunch at Chillies with the family. Was nice to see this one on tap as I have never had it before.

A - Pours a dark copper with a one finger off white head that dissipates at a quick pace. Not much lacing to be had...

S - Bread and sweet malts. Lots of sweet notes...

T - Rides the sweet malt wave all the way through. Caramel and sweet fruit. Don't pick up any hop presence...

M - Medium bodied with alot of carbonation. Smooth, but a tad much on the carbonation for my liking...

O - Nice beer to sip on a hot day. Glad I tried this one, but not something I see myself getting again unless in a pinch...


 628 characters

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A. Pours a clear amber with a one finger creamy off-white head.

S. A bit of grain and a touch of sweetness, but not a whole lot of aroma here. A bit of cinnamon-like spice comes out as it warms.

T. A lot of winter-like spice flavor - mostly cinnamon. Not what I expect (or want) in an oktoberfest.

M. Light to medium with a fairly high level of carbonation.

D. I wouldn't pick this up again. It's not terrible, but it's not that good either.

 445 characters

Photo of illidurit
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orangish amber color, clear, with a small tan cap of head. Aroma is toasted breads and not much else. Maybe a little caramel sweetness. Pretty muted. Flavor is, again, toasted bread, with vague floral hop accents and caramel. Finishes watery, as per usual with Sam Adams. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated but body is thin compared to German versions. Inoffensive, decent.

 369 characters

Photo of vitesse
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served in 12 oz. brown bottle.
I tasted this in late february, well into late winter, so this was late in the season for an octoberfest.
the appearance was a dark brown. medium head that dissipated quickly. very little smell at all. detected some sweet maltiness there.
the taste held up well considering that "best consumed by" date was only a week away. nice sweet malt profile, then some hops, finishing with sugary, carmel aftertaste.
mouthfeel was decent. nice carbonation, not thick at all. pretty good for a lager.
drinkability is average because the sweetness can get to you after a while, but still a decent lager beer. not exactly world class, but pretty good.
this beer, to the credit of the store and distributor, was still good long after its season had ended.

 781 characters

Photo of cbl2
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Note: Fall 2003


Crystal clear medium brown in color with an inch tall white head.

Overly hoppy for the style; malts are there, but masked.

While the mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth and supple, the flavors to me are all wrong. This is over-hopped to the point that it almost tastes like an IPA. The malts do arise mid sip, but it is too little too late to save the day IMO. This one finishes dry.

 450 characters

Photo of williamt
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

 332 characters

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.02/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Raul never really liked this beer. Nah, not so much. Syrupy like a tootsie pop left in the sun and, well, that's about it. Raul ain't even gonna bring his baby mama into the equation because there aren't any redeeming qualities about this thang.

It's aite and all, and by that Raul means drinkable; but like the fountain of youth, Raul wants something that will make him want to dig in for more.

 396 characters

Photo of JednoPivoProsim
3.02/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 fl. oz. bottle into a pint glass. For Brewery Fresh Taste, Enjoy Before - Mar.

Appearance: Pours a thin-looking, watery copper color. Head is somewhat weak and recedes quickly to nothing. Unfortunately, this beer looks like most bar-grade pints. Put this next to a Yuengling amber lager, and I don't think I could tell the difference.

Smell: Somewhat malty, but overall unimpressive. The aroma is very faint.

Taste: Slightly sweet cinnamon malt flavor. The taste is unoffensive and makes for an easy drinking beer. Decent, but not outstanding.

Mouthfeel: Actually a decently thick mouthfeel. Surprising for the way it looks and tastes. Probably the standout characteristic for this beer.

Overall: It comes off just too weak and watery for me. For some reason, I feel this way about a lot of Sam Adams beers. Craft for the masses? I'm ordering it at a Pizza Hut, but not too many other places.

 914 characters

Photo of Foyle
3.02/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1"+ off white head recedes fairly quickly leaving decent lacing. Significant carbonation bubbles stream up the amber-brown brew.
Aroma: pleasant combination of toasted malts and spicy hops.
Mouthfeel: between light and medium bodied, fairly crisp and somewhat dry finish.
Flavor: Caramel malt and toffee, maybe a slight flavor of orange rind. The bitterness of the hops is noticeable but the malt still dominates.
Overall: a very good offering from Sam Adams.

 475 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.02/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A -Tiny half finger of head rests over a reddish caramel orange brew. The head is short lived and leave no lacing.

S - Sweet, red licorice, faint currants - not a whole lot going on here, but it isn't mild, just not a lot of dimension.

T - A light, slightly sweetmalty flavor with a bit of a rice and grassy hops aftertaste. The tiniest hint of anise. Not much bitterness. Not much flavor at all. It isn't terrible or anything, it just lacks personality.

M - Thick, smooth, pretty refreshing.

D - Good. It is a decent Octoberfest, a bit bland, but it is a subtle style. I prefer my pumpkin ales to this, but I wouldn't mind drinking this again. Good with some foods. Decent all around.

 697 characters

Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 2,071 ratings.