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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 sisuspeed
2.82/5  rDev -23%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed this along with Left Hand's, Harpoon's and Otter Creek's Oktoberfest beers.

Poured this into a pint glass. The color is a red amber, slightly darker and clearer than the others I tried. Lots of bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass, but absolutely no head, and I gave this a generous pour.

The aroma is almost untraceable. But what I do pick up is some sweet malt smell, but that is about it.

The taste is malty and a bit fruity with some spice thrown in. I also taste something that seems like a cross between pumpkin or squash, and sour milk. It's not unpleasant, but different. A little bit of hops dancing around in the background, but mostly unnoticeable.

The mouthfeel is definitely the most watery of the four Oktoberfests I had this afternoon. Overall though, the drinkability is decent. When I try to summarize this beer the image/flavor that comes to mind is sweet malty, slightly sour pumpkin. It is odd. I wouldn't say it is bad, but definitely different. Maybe this bottle hasn't been stored properly, or maybe this is what Sam Adams Oktoberfest is like. Either way, I would only want one of these in a sitting and overall, I'm not very impressed by this beer. There are much better Oktoberfest options.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.83/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

[Low C Overall]

Served on draught into a Miller Lite glass at the 9-0 Bar in South Central Los Angeles. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a half finger head of poor cream, thickness, and retention. Colour is an unappealing dark copper. I recall the head being better in the bottled version.

Sm: Absolutely nothing. Me broken nose can't detect anything. All apologies, lads.

T: Slight bittering hops, an overly commercialized barly/malt foundation, and no real substance. It's decent, but far from exemplary.

Mf: Very sharp, which turns me off from it. A touch too thick. Slightly coarse and wet.

Dr: It's decently easy to drink, but priced rather high. I prefer the bottled version.

Bottle reviewed 09/25/11.

33cl brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired as part of the Sam Adams Harvest pack at Sam's Club.

A: Pours a four finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and fair retention. Colour is a semitransparent textbook copper.

Sm: Festive hops and light caramel. Me broken nose can't distinguish - all apologies, lads. Aroma is mild in strength.

T: Caramel and generic hops. You know, the marzen taste. It's far from special but has some l imited spice. Built simply, but balanced.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but a touch thick. Rather generic.

Dr: Easy to drink, average ABV, and average quality. I won't be seeking this out in future, but I might try it if I see it on draught.


I picked up another bottle with a Sam Adams variety box of 12 beers. Additional (truncated) notes from 09/04/13:

12 fl oz bottle served into a Spaten stangenglas in me gaff in Austin, Texas. Reviewed live.

Served cold. Side-poured with standard vigor.

A: No bubble show. Pours a two finger head of beige colour. Okay thickness and creaminess. No lacing as the head recedes. Retention is above average - 3 minutes.

Body colour is a somewhat dark amber-copper of average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

Standard fare for style.

Sm: Caramel, allspice, clove. Munich malts. Hints of pumpkin gourd. A touch of roast. Some grains. Generic floral hopping. On the sweeter end. Lightly bready. No yeast or alcohol is detectable. A pleasant aroma of above average to mild strength.

T: Nice spicing, with allspice, clove, and maybe nutmeg. Good caramalt build with some leavening munich malts in there as well. I pick up a buried hint of pumpkin and some traces of nuts and toffee. Fairly bready and grainy. Any hopping is minimal in strength/floral in character. A bit too sweet. Balance is decent for what it is. Unimpressed with the lack of complexity and subtlety, but hey, it's Sam Adams. Approachable and likable for what it is, but far from unique or special.

Average depth/duration/intensity of flavour. The sweetness isn't to style for a festbier.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some unwelcome coarseness in the second act. A bit overcarbonated. Body is too full for the lack of diversity and depth of flavour. Subpar presence on the palate overall. It's pretty generic, and I guess it suits the flavour profile okay.

Dr: Downable but forgettable. A pretty average seasonal from Sam Adams. I won't look forward to this in future years, but it's tolerable inoffensive change from Boston Lager. Wouldn't recommend it to friends;. Not worth seeking out.


[Low C Overall]

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Photo of mobud
2.83/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A friend gave me a six of this beer. Used a shaker glass to sample.

A: Nice dark copper color witha light head that disappers quickly. The beer was very clear and clean.

S: A malty sweet smell is the main note with a slight burn element behind it.

T: I felt a heavy malt flavor in line with the style.

M: Very light with the malt taste lingering afterwards. Some carbonation is noted, but the lightness of the body leaves almost instantly.

D: I did not mind this beer. It seems to be a good starting point for someone who can not handle the complex nature of real fest beers. If I gave my friend a Hacker Octoberfest, I don't think they would like it as much. With so many fest beer out there, this should not be your first purchase.

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Photo of unknownlamer
2.83/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is boring. Drinkable, but definitely boring. The smell is kind of weak with just a bit of a malty smell and a slight hint of spicy hops. It really does taste like a bit stronger and more bitter version of the Boston Lager. The hops have a bit of a nice spicy bite, but there isn't really much of a malt backbone (which I thought was part of the Märzen style...). I'd take a Märzhon or an Old Dominion Octoberfest over this any day.

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Photo of morimech
2.85/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear copper that is not very deep. Kind of thin looking. The head is unimpressive and quickly disappears. Leaves some lacing.

It smells of sweet malt. That is all I got.

The taste is a traditional Marzen. Sweet malt with little hop bitterness and with some very mild autumn spices. Finishes clean and crisp. Nothing spectacular and rather unimpressive as a whole. It seemed a bit watery to me and the carbonation seemed flat. I have been accustomed to solid Sam Adams offerings and this seemed to have missed the mark. Definately not my favorite Marzen or SA beer.

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Photo of Buebie
2.85/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Burnt copper color, transparent, about an inch of head. Retention is decent leaving a collar. Lace is thin, not much of it present.
smelling mostly of sweet caramel malt, a larger amount of breadyness and some grassy hops.

Taste is a big sourdough mess with a tinge of metallic flavors. mildly sweet upfront though, increasing in bitters with a sharp cheeder flavor and grassy hops.
Mouthfeel is thin and watery with a strong carbonation presence.

Overal its up there with the least desirable oct fests I've had.

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Photo of majesticsock
2.85/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Carmel colour. Nothing special.

S: Hint of pumpkin.

T: Honestly, kinda bland compared to other Octoberfests.

MF: Average mouthfeel with a bitter aftertaste.

D: I love most of Sam's brews, but I couldn't see myself drinking this all night, even in cool weather.

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Photo of corby112
2.86/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy dark amber color with bright orange edges and a one finger off white head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Not much in the way of lacing.

The aroma of this beer is really bland with an earthy quality along with some subtle spice but not much sweetness or malt coming through. Hints of floral, grassy pine along with some pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Very faint malt sweetness even as it warms.

Fuller bodied and more complex than I expected. The hop presence from the aroma is present up front providing faint dry bitterness which compliments the spice character. Hints of pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove linger over the sweet malt backbone into a slightly dry finish. The malt character is much stronger in the flavor than the aroma suggests with some sweet caramel and rye along with some faint pumpkin, toffee and biscuit. Decently balanced and sessionable but nothing extraordinary.

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Photo of DasBoot91
2.86/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Dark orange-ish/copper look. 2 finger off-white head with some lacing. Average carbonation.

S- Smelling some spices and caramel.

T- Tasting light spices, nothing to up in your face. With a little fruit sweetness. Hops are there just sweet not bitter.

M- Medium light feel. Getting the carbonation but goes down easy.

O- A good beer but not what I think a lot of people make it out to be before I ever had it. The appearance I think is the best part. The taste seems to be lacking for all its hype. But i think if your going to a party in the fall, you can't go wrong with this beer.

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Photo of Lahoi
2.87/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A good beer.

Darker color with a thick, chunky head that dissipated to a collar quickly. Some lacing.

Smell and taste don't exactly match. Smell is bready, and the taste has a bit of a spicy kick to it. Some toasted favors throughout. Enjoyable.

Great feel. Medium bodied with little carbonation. Not too filling.

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Photo of magictrokini
2.88/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ehh. Looks and smells just like the Boston Lager, but with a little more hop sharpness. Taste is sweeter, lots of malt, with a tiny bitter finish. The bitter is more goldings than the sweeter hops in the nose. Unimpressed. I'd rather have a Paulaner Octoberfest if I'm going to have a macro.

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Photo of kingcrowing
2.88/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap poured into a plastic pint glass.

Pours a deep orangey color with a small white head that fades quickly. Nose is quite fruity and sweet.

This is way too fruity for an Oktoberfest for me, I like when they've got more of a biscuit flavor to them but this one is all sweet fruit. It's got a decent mouthfeel and it's easy drinking but I think it's too sweet to drink a lot of.

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Photo of Generik420
2.88/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

After all the hype surrounding this beer, I was sorely disappointed when I got to try it at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. I found this beer to be a very average beer and was left wondering why there was so many forum posts lauding this as the best Oktoberfest beer. Other then the color of the beer, nothing else about it would make me believe this was an Oktoberfest style beer, and I would be more apt to call it a generic dark beer. Color was a medium to dark brown with a thin head. I found the beer to seem somewhat watery and very light in terms of mouthfeel. Aroma had mild hops, and the flavor was much the same. All in all, a pretty average brew that doesn't live up to the hype. I regret to say, this was the worst beer I had at the Oktoberfest but was the one I was really looking forward to trying. It was 'OK', but nothing I would go out and buy to stock my fridge with.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.88/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Hyatt in Buffalo. Served in a pint glass.

A - Pale brown/orange colour. Translucent. Small amount of white head.

S - Light nose. Toasted grains with some sweetness.

T - Toasted malts, caramel. Sweet overall with a somewhat dry, sweet finish. Somewhat bland.

M - Light body. Light carbonation.

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Photo of claspada
2.89/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice caramel/amber color with adequate head and lacing.

Aromas are of some sweet bready malts but not much else. It's a pretty weak-smelling brew and left me wanting more. Maybe a faint hint of earthy hops but I could be making that up as well

The taste is about the same, some mild malt and a little undefined spicing, presumably from the yeast. It is a little sweet and bready in the front with a slighty hopped end

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation. It drinks easily enough but the carbonation left me feeling more full than a beer with such little body and flavor warranted.

Overall I am not a big fan of this style but I find this beer to be pleasant enough to have one here an there. I will never purchase this beer but it was offered to me for free so I said why not. Plenty of better examples of the style but you can definitely do worse I suppose.

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Photo of johnrobe
2.89/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

In the glass this beer is a brownish orange with a two finger white head that dissapates quickly. The nose is so slight...almost indetectable...perhaps a slight bit of candy-coated apple. Taste is mainly candy corn malt sweetness, there's really no toasted malt flavor like one finds in a good German marzen. Hops are appropriately in the background. Not a bad beer, but Sam's O-fest has been much richer in the past. Now it's more of a quencher...good with chili.

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Photo of tlazaroff
2.89/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 5

Drank from Sam Adams glassware.

A: Amber color with orange highlights when the light hits it. Tan foamy head that went from 2-fingers to nothing in no time. Lacing doesn't stick to glass very well.

S: Very clean smell with subtle hints of roastyness. Not very impressive.

T: You can get some roasty notes, but again, it's very subtle and clean. Burnt caramel and not bitter at all.

M: Very watery, moderate carbonation.

D: High drinkability, it goes down very smooth. I'd buy this before any BMC product, it's a little better than those "lunar" series of beers.

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Photo of elgiacomo
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, fresh 2010 batch.

Pours clear copper amber with a one finger fizzy white head that doesn't leave much lacing but holds a solid ring and light cap.

Aroma is muted caramel and toasted malt, a little nutty and musty.

Flavor is some toasted malt, caramel, fairly sweet, something on the finish I can't quite put my finger on, medicinal is the best I can do, but whatever it is isn't very appealing. Lotta sweetness in the finish too, almost sugary.

Medium body, oily, a bit sticky, fizzy carbonation.

A little too sweet, a little too meh...

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Photo of budsboy
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours clear, mahogany with a thin head that gone as fast as it came.

Subtle carmel malt and fruit scent. Not much to talk about there.

Malty sweet with very little bitterness. A hint of warming from the alcohol, and sweet on the finish. It's gone on the swallow. No aftertaste. None.

Carbonation is fizzy. Light and crispy.

Eh. Not a bad brew, inoffensive, appealing to the masses. It'll do in a pinch. Overall, a bland offering.

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Photo of jmz62565
2.91/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

although I still get excited when i see this on shelves,it's just not as good as it used to be.i like the appearence,but the smell is not what you would find in traditional octoberfests.to me, i find all sam adams alittle too "big brewery" for me,but this octoberfest has a great after taste, very festive and fall like.

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Photo of tbern007
2.91/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- clear, amber/orange/red like clean copper penny. Few bubbles of carbonation. Thin head, gone quickly.
S- very light, earth, malt. Too light. Not much there.
T- malty, earthy, initially a bit sweet but ends dry and bitter. Slight hoppiness in the middle.
M- more carbonated than it appears, dry overall, feels fuller at the start than it ends up.
Average all around.

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Photo of MsRif
2.91/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on-tap at Casey's in Newtown Square, PA

Poured a golden orange color with a thin head and no lacing. Head pretty much dissipated immediately. Had an aroma of grains, sweet malts, yeast and spices. Tastes of grains, sweet malts, bready-ness and spices. A tiny bit of a metallic taste...not sure if maybe the tap line was messed up or if it was the brew.

I found the mouthfeel to be pretty light. Wouldn't say medium. It's a thin beer for the style. It's a good attempt, but not great. High carbonation. Very drinkable due to how thin it is. Not very complex, and while well-balanced...I found it a bit "watery" I guess. I'll have it if I have to choose between Miller Light, Bud Light and this one...otherwise, I'll probably pass.

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Photo of charlatan
2.91/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle has freshness month five months in advance. Orange to bronze colour with a little more than a rim for a head. Smells of that carrot and tomato yet sweet malty smell which confounds people who walk too close to many large breweries. This isn't flat, but rather the bubbles are miniscule pin prick bubbles, so it feels both uncarbonated and super carbonated at the same time. Taste replicates the smell rather too accurately, although if I concentrate I can pull a little brown sugar and a hint of hop in the aftertaste.

I'm not impressed with this, but have found that Sam Adams Octoberfest varies wildly by the year. 2005 doesn't seem a good year, but who knows what 2006 will bring.

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Photo of drinkiusmaximus
2.91/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- pours a clear amber with a small head which recedes quickly.

S-slightly malty and cidery like liquid candy apple.

T-sweet malts, crisp apple and a caramel notes linger.

M-light to medium nice carbonation which makes it crisp.

D-drinkability is nice could have more than a few of these.


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Photo of Joel
2.91/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Strange taste, but drinkable.

I had this last night at a local reastaurant. It was not my first choice or second. My first choice was Mayflower IPA. My waitress regretted to inform us that they were all out of that. I ordered a Harpoon IPA and my wife ordered this on tap. She thought that there was something wrong with her beer, so I switched my superior dry, hoppy Harpoon with her Octoberfest. The Octoberfest did look better with a small head compared to none on the Harpoon and had a rich color.

I told my wife that there was a lightly burnt caramel taste. This kept the malt flavor from being sickly sweet. I also detected some added spices - a slight cinnamon taste mixed with some other spice. This taste reminded me of a winter style beer. However, after reading other reviews, I assume that flavor was from the hops - probably spicy tasting German or German style hops. I'm not a fan of Sam Adams in general or in sweet beers either. However, this beer was more drinkable than many Sam Adams beers which I have found to have a chemical taste.

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