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.
BA SCORE
83
good

5,834 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,834
Reviews: 1,964
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 65
Gots: 579 | 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: 5,834 | Reviews: 1,964 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Greggy
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice dark amber/copper color with decent lacing.

S- Sweetbreads, cinnamon, sweet spice, raisin, light hops. Very malt driven.

T- Nice sweet doughy malt, cinnamon, raisin, apple, all things October.

M- Velvety smooth maltiness.

D- A bit high on ABV, but I'd fest with this, no problem. Definitely will have again.

Greggy, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of association330
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep red-orange with a one-finger head that quickly fades to a thin film with a ring of foam on the sides of the glass. Leaves light spots of lacing.

S - Caramel malt, bread, spice, some fruity characters, touches of maple syrup and molasses. Aroma could be less subdued though.

T - Bold and sweet caramel malt, bread, molasses, a kiss of bittering hops on the swallow to balance out an otherwise sweet, grainy finish

M - Medium-bodied and creamy with modest carbonation. Quite smooth and a tad warming.

D - Very easy drinking with solid flavor and mouthfeel.

I'm sure this doesn't stand up to some of the marzens from Germany, but it's pretty darn good. I see a few more six packs of it in my future going into fall.

association330, Sep 05, 2008
Photo of willyumlong
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice medium dark brown color. Clear with nice wheat colored head about 1" disipating quickly. Average carbonation.

Smells like beer should smell with a slight amount of grain.

Tastes better than I expected. I am usually not a big fan of Sam Adams but this is very nice. Noticable malt and caramel flavors come through. Almost no bitterness. Finishes very nicely provoking another drink.

Smoothe and fairly light.

Very drinkable, I am about half way through the six pack and it has been very consistant. Its good but not really growing on me any more than the first impression. Probably will move on once they are gone and won't buy any more any time soon.

willyumlong, Sep 05, 2008
Photo of Deuane
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Deep copper with small light tan head that reduced to a thin ring leaving decent lacing.

S-Very light and subdued.Hints of caramel malt sweetness and a bit of brown sugar. Hops non-existent.

T-Sweet caramel malts with hints of brown sugar, maple syrup and biscuits. Hops only an afterthought of a light spiciness.

M-Medium-light body with good crispness and a sweet lingering finish.

D-A bit too sweet for my liking but it isnt annoying. The sweetness works for a pleasant, almost molasses cookie like flavour. A clean, crisp easy drinking and non-offensive brew.

Deuane, Sep 05, 2008
Photo of ffejherb
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Corvette Grill in Annville, PA on 9/4/08. Served in the new Sam Adams glass.

A - Deep amber/copper-colored body with one-finger creamy light beige head that settled into a thin ring of retention and left some nice lacing. Sparse amount of carbonation present.

S - While the aroma is rather subdued, I do pick up on some bready and caramel malt, molasses, maple syrup and some spices. No hop presence at all.

T - Pleasant malt flavor with hints of sugar cookies, molasses, brown sugar, caramel and bready malt goodness. For some reason, I also get ginger snaps from this. Overall, this has a very sweet, malty flavor with vitually no hop bitterness whatsoever.

M - Medium body with lively carbonation and, although somewhat chewy, a mild syrupy texture that borders watery territory. Quite sweet on the tastebuds with no residual bitterness present.

D - Superior drinkability, but overall a really simple style. Sam Adams pretty much hits the mark with this one. Is it any wonder why this is one of the more popular fall seasonals in the world of craft beer?

ffejherb, Sep 05, 2008
Photo of BirdFlu
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in bottle at Earle of Sandwich @ Downtown Disney, Orlando, FL

My favorite thing about this beer is it's appearance. It has such a perfect color for autumn that it's sight alone makes you feel like its cooling down outside. A great dead-leaf orange.
The flavor has a bit of hop detectable in what is largely a big, dark, malty flavor. This isn't to say that it's a strong malt characteristic the way that, say.. a dopplebock is. It is a warm flavor, though.
The nose is lacking. You smell some sweetness, but not much. There is a bit of hop there, but, again, not much and you sort of have to know how to look for it. Too bad it can't smell like burning leaves.
Mouth and body is nice, it's moderate and a bit full. The gravity has a middle ground.
Fullness of the mouth makes it a bit filling (especially if drank while eating). The high gravity to it also adds to this. It does have a nice flavor though and is fitting for the style.

BirdFlu, Sep 04, 2008
Photo of RedBeerHead
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark amber with a two finger very light, highly carbonated head. settles down to about half an inch or less. but you can see that there is not a lot of carbonation in the body.

The nose of this beer is outstanding...very sweet pumpkin and spice. Almost smells more like a winter ale.

a little surprised by the taste. based on the smell, you expect a taste with some body but the taste is surprisingly watered down.

Nevertheless a decent oktoberfest. good beer good season.

RedBeerHead, Sep 04, 2008
Photo of mbenthall
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear amber color with nice head that lingers, laced around the glass at every sip.

Smell: robust malt with slight hop on the back end.

Taste: Wonderfully malty, nicely balanced with hint of sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Crips and clean. nicely balanced.

Drinkability: A very drinkable Octoberfest. Nothing crazy, very dependable. If you like a malty beer try this one.

mbenthall, Sep 02, 2008
Photo of jamiejohnson
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh as a daisy tasting good. SA's October (September) fest is an annual 12-24 pack purchase for me, reminding me again its malt time. I usually drink it up and progress to the German examples of this fantastic style, promising myself once again I'm attending the Munichfest next year. Then another year rolls by. Samuel Adams's fest is a fine brew that holds its own against some of the Bavarians. I could drink it by the litre. Oh, by the way, thank you SA for your Atlanta Airport oasis on a recent cross country flight.



Stuck in 'Lanta,
Call a halt.
Tis the season
Have a malt.

jamiejohnson, Sep 02, 2008
Photo of botham
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip. pours a crystal clear amber color with two fingers of light orange head that remain for a few minutes and leave moderate lacings. brilliant in color.

aroma is malty, with caramel and very light aromatic hops present. overall, the brew is sweet in profile with a lightly bready quality that acts as a base.

taste is malty and lightly sweet, with caramel malts and a lightly fruity character that works well with the malts. finishes with a nice mix of floral hops and malty undertones, true to a great marzen.

mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy in texture, with a smooth finish of mildly warming malts and residual bready malt and floral hops.

drinkability is great. this is a smooth drinking marzen with enough body to sustain the richness of malts, while remaining light enough to still be a great autumn brew. cheers!

botham, Sep 02, 2008
Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Clear copper body with a big white head that settles quickly.

s: A nice, but light malt aroma.

t: Good malt backbone, sweet and bready with just a light kiss of herbal hops in the finish. Notes of white raisin perhaps.

m: medium to light, smooth and crisp.

d: Not exciting, but it is a highly accessible Oktoberfest (hence its overwhelming popularity). Very easy to drink, malty but lacking the depth of malt flavor that makes others of the style so good.

BradLikesBrew, Sep 02, 2008
Photo of N8TheGreat
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured a wonderful dark copper with a frothy and attractive off-white head.

S- Smell is layers of malt with caramel, toffee, and doughy notes dominating.

T & M - Sweet and bready malt notes are kept in check by hop bitterness. Hint of herbal hop flavor. Finishes with caramel and metallic? notes. Mouth feel was a little thin.

D- I really wanted more malt flavor in this lager. The whole experience seemed subdued. Past years were more impressive.

N8TheGreat, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of Nibbley
1.43/5  rDev -61%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Wow, I am so surprised by this offering from Sam Adams.
Appearence is a nice copper color with a thick cream colored head.
Mouthfeel is very watery.
Aroma is hard to describe because is almost non exsistent.
Taste is the most disapointing. Is mostly water with little carbonation and a God Awful metallic taste that I can't get out of my mouth.
Unfortunatly, I bought a 12 pack of this nasty beer. I am hoping I have a neighbor with no taste to pawn this one off on.

Nibbley, Aug 31, 2008
Photo of elniko
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass from bottle

A: Poured cleanly into pint glass, very little head that dissipated quickly. Carbonation very high, was audible when pouring which is rare.

S: Definite breadiness on the nose which is tinge of spice and alcohol apparent as well.

T & M: So far I have been underwhelmed with marzen style in regards to the examples I've had thus far with Ocotberfest brews coming out. I felt quite different about this brew. The mouthfeel is substantial, no watery texture apparent. The carbonation does not overwhelm either. Taste is what I would expect a marzen to be like. Definite malty and bready textures but still crisp finishing. Good job Mr Koch.

D: Definitely drinkable, this is one I will be on the lookout for in the future.

elniko, Aug 31, 2008
Photo of everetends
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle I got in a sixer from Grub Mart in J'ville. $8.99 a sixer. Poured into a shaker pint.

A: This brea has a really nice brown/amber color to it. When held to the light, it is a perfect example of amber. The head is slightly off white and I got about 2 fingers on the pour. Retention is poor. Lacing is minimal. Not bad to look at.

S: Smell is mostly malt. Very sweet malt with some caramel hints. There is also a herbal tinge to the brew. I can't quite place it, but the herb is on the back end of the nose.

T: This brew is pretty sweet. The malt is very there, not very roasted. Just sweet malt. Caramel is there also to add to the sweetness. There is a breadiness to this brew that tries to counter balance the sweetness. Once again, an herbal/medicinal flavor comes in the back side of the flavor profile.

M: This is a light bodied brew that goes down pretty easily. Crisp and clean. Very little aftertaste, and that which is there is a malty aftertaste. This could be thicker. Don't get me wrong, it is closer to medium than a normal light bodied brew.

D: This beer is very drinkable because of its body. It is sweet, but not sickeningly sweet. Still tasty and nice on a cooler night. Not a great beer, but not bad.

everetends, Aug 31, 2008
Photo of brewmudgeon
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

9/2010
the key truly is in not drinking this one fast. it doesn't help the aroma, but the flavor reveals itself to be quite good when you take your time and savor it. also, there is a slickness to the mouthfeel that's pleasing, though the carbonation must still be ducked and dodged to get to it.
overall, though, i am definitely liking this more these days than the boston lager (which is striking me as too harsh around the edges).

8/2010
misplaced my review, but the overall score from last year is about right. the watery mouthfeel was again noted, the boringness, smelled and tasted quite a bit like an AB version of an amber ale, like American Ale. the lingering finish of mildly toasted caramel is practically the only aspect that merits attention. the usual sweet caramel seems missing for the most part. given my relatively newfound respect for and enjoyment of the boston lager, i hoped this one would start a similar ascension. according to the next bottle, sipping is actually the key to enjoyment this year, which is fine but perhaps not really in keeping with the oktoberfest spirit. taste is about a 4-4.5 when sipped.

2009
3.5-4 totally clear ruddy amber
2 finger head looks tight at first but drops quickly to ring, leaving spotty, transient lace.
3-3.5 sweet caramel malts, basement (slight skunk), grassy hops. not so unpleasant as it sounds and after a bit the basement goes away.
3.5 sweetness, toasted malts, some nuttiness. a surprising touch of unmasked alc. about a 3.75.
3 watery mouthfeel, a little low in carb. the watery demeanor is the beer's weakest point.
3.5-4 based on 1 bottle this time around, liking better than last year. but i don't recall it being so watery. what i imagine a michelob oktoberfest would be.

2008
3 color is a decent light amber with shades of pumpkin, but the head drops without a trace. no lace at all. (UPDATE: another bottle poured very aggressively managed to leave a cap with some lingering lace)
3 smell is of the malt typical for the style. nothing special. and not even vigorous enough to mask the alcohol scent.
3 despite this having just arrived on the store shelf, the taste isn't particularly fresh. one-dimensional blandness, but tolerable. a bit
3.5 syrupy around the edges and an odd but slight metallic quality.
3.5 with all the really good oktoberfests out there to guzzle, no reason to seek out this one. but if it's all that's available, it'll do.

brewmudgeon, Aug 31, 2008
Photo of irishtjb11
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a- nice clear amber color, nice white head that reduces pretty quickly reduces to just a thing film, and eventually nothing

s- malty smell, rather sweet, with a hint of hops or something herbal

t- nice malty smell, very little hops. ends on the palate rather malty and the overall taste is sweet as well. definately not my ideal flavors going on, but its well done none the less.

d- easily drinkable with a decent abv, another beer that allows more than a few without much trouble.

irishtjb11, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of Beerislife652854
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

August 30. First time this year I found it at my local packie.

A - Crystal clear deep orange/ amber with a thin compact head that laces the glass finely and slightly.

S - Very mild, some floral hops, sweet malt.

T - Nice balance of toasted grains and sweet florals.

M- Good level of carbonation, Smooth.

D - Very drinkable. A nice transition from Summer to winter.

Beerislife652854, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of Natural510
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright amber with thick head which dissipates into almost nothing.
Smells sweet & malty with an orange/apple bent.
Predictably malty with a nice hop bite and a puckering from the yeast. Alternately sweet & sour with the flavor.
Crisp, with a noticeable twang from the hops.
A very drinkable beer with all the classic characteristics of a marzen; only disappointment being it doesn't boldly differentiate itself from the rest in any fashion.

Natural510, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-ounce bottle with a sticker on the back informing the reader that in Germany, Oktoberfest is in September and that SA Octoberfest is the world's top selling brew of the style. Well, well. I didn't know either of those factoids, and now feel smarter.

So, this bottle, poured into a shaker pint glass yields a clear pale copper body with scads of active carbonation feeding a sturdy light tan head. The foam rests at a thick sheet that leaves chubby swatches of lacing on the glass.

The smell of the drink is malty with a touch of fruit and a bit of fresh molasses.

The taste is toasty with a warm toffee background and a touch of dry, biscuity malt drizzled with silky sweet caramel in the finish. A bit fruitier as the drink warms, with hints of ripe apple and juicy citrus.

Light-medium in body and could probably stand to gain a little weight in the flavor, smell, and feel departments. As it is, though, the drink is very pleasant and quite drinkable.

cvstrickland, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of DavidSeanNJ
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass...

A- Dark brown/tan/caramel color. Really cool fluffy tan head with a decent amount of lacing after a fairly aggressive pour.

S- Smell was overly malty (almost too much) with a medicinal like quality to it that just did not do it for me. Very sweet and candy like.

T- Typical octoberfest brew here. A ton of malts, sugars, and spices. Big bready aspect to this beer that was almost too much. I found this one lacking balance and overly sweet.

M- Syrupy and medium bodied. Sticky at times but somewhat easy going down on the throat.

D- Sessionable brew here. I would not pass this one down but did not find it to be outstanding.

DavidSeanNJ, Aug 29, 2008
Photo of clayrock81
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

clayrock81, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Copper in color with a nice white head that enveloped the glass with lace.

S. No aroma present besides some faint malts.

T. The malts used provide a sweet taste, the hops provide a nice herbal bitter, and neither wins out. A very well balanced brew.

M. Medium to full bodied.

D. A good session beer, one of the better O-fests I've had thus far.

Stinkypuss, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of aubuc1
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz bottle in to an imperial pint glass.

pours a clear tea like brown with a big head.

smell is minimal. some malt and bread.

taste is light bready and very light sweet aftertaste.

mouthfeel is pretty thin which makes it very easy to drink.

not as good as it was in my head.

aubuc1, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of glid02
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this on-tap at Fontaine's in Atlanta.

Pours a good dark amber color with a one-finger white head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a ring of bubbles around the glass. Lacing is good just above the beer, but isn't that sticky.

Smells very malty - both bready and sweet. Some caramel notes as it warms.

Tastes very malty as well. Sweet at first then mellows as it warms. Some caramel taste as well, with a smooth finish. Just a touch of bitterness at the end as well. There's a slight off taste every now and then that I can't put my finger on.

Mouthfeel is good. Carbonation is just right, but it could be a little thicker. Goes down very smoothly though.

This is a pretty drinkable beer. No egregious flavors that don't belong. It goes down easily and quickly.

Overall a solid Oktoberfest beer. The quintessential harbinger of the best season of the year.

glid02, Aug 28, 2008
Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 5,834 ratings.