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Samuel Adams Octoberfest - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams OctoberfestSamuel Adams Octoberfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,821 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,821
Reviews: 1,964
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 65
Gots: 574 | 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
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Ratings: 5,821 | Reviews: 1,964 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jeremyd365
2.7/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a dark amber with a thick, fluffy white head. Smells lager-ish with perhaps some hints of citrus. Tastes pretty much how it smells which leaves a little something to be desired. Body seems about right, but the flavor is pretty lacking. Much preferred the summer seasonal to this one, even though I generally like darker brews more.

jeremyd365, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of Timmush
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ok, maybe my taste buds are shot from all of the hops I have been drinking this summer, but this beer tastes good... really goo. Maybe it was the sweetness or maybe it was the fact that I paid 12.99 for a 12 pack at the local A and P but it was tasty. A little sweet, but I think this is a decent Marzen

Timmush, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of Domingo
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As usual, this is one of the first Oktoberfest beers available each year. This one appeared in mid August, which is just fine with me!
Pours a VERY bright blood orange color. It's clear and clean, with a huge fluffy head just like the Bavarian originals.
Smells like Autumn should. Sweet grain, gingerbread, candy corn, and a little bit of a spicy note that likely comes from the hops.
Starts off sweet, but finished a little drier than you might expect. It's still a very sweet brew, but it's not quite overwhelming or cloying. Unlike most of the imports, the hops are getting a little lost in all of that malt overload. They save it from "too sweet" territory, but they don't play much of an other role. I'd like to see some more balance and the sweetness toned down a tiny bit.
Mouthfeel is authentic and there's no real heat to keep this from being sessionable. That sweetness is really the only thing keeping me from downing 2-3 at a time.
If you like your beers to be sweet and malty, this one's up there for sure. I wish it had a little more of the hops that the German versions have, but it's still quite good.
One nice thing is that you know it's fresh. I'd take a fresh SA over a dusty import from 11 months ago any day.

Edit: In the last two years I've noticed a pretty distinct buttery malt flavor that really seems out of place with the style. That's been the case in both draft and bottled versions from 2008 and 2009. I'd say that I don't like this as much as I used to as a result. It's not bad, but it's pretty low on my O-fest list now.

Domingo, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of danny013
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a dimple mug pint glass. Beautiful perfectly clear orange/reddish body fills the glass, topped with a thick khaki colored head. Head slowly falls back into beer, leaving a think covering over beer, light lacing. Nice looking pint.

Smell is of light malts, some fruity esters, gentle hops, and a thin, watery grain flavor lingering in the background. Overall, very simple.

Taste is surprising balanced as the beer hits the palate: gentle roasted malts intermingle with plenty of maltiness and some rich grape/raisin flavors, balanced out nicely with some spicy hops. Rich carbonation guides the beer down a leaves a nice tingling, sweet malts and some spicy hop notes creep through on the finish and linger for a second. As those fade out, a thin/watery grain profile comes through, somewhat similar to corn/rice? What? Definitly don't remember this in previous years brews.

Mouthfeel is very nice, actually. Body is nice and thick, almost sticky/creamy that is balanced out nicely by a good amount of carbonation that lets the brew roll around the mouth.

Drinkability is nice, a great tasting beer that is widely available. Very easy to put back.

This is my favorite seasonal beer from SA, and is a close second overall from what they have to offer (after the cream stout). I have noticed it getting better from year to year and it is definitly good this time around - the only thing that is surprising to me is the watery corn/rice profile that seems to be hiding in the back of the beer. Am I the only one noticing this, or is it just a thin malt base?

Overall, great, easy to find, and decently priced. I'll definitly be picking up some more of this!

danny013, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New seasonal six-pack just copped from Bottle King in Livngston for $7.99...
Appearance: Pours a deep amber hue with an impressive foamy and frothy head that exhibited enormous staying power...
Aroma: Malt-dominated aroma replete with hints of caramel, vanilla, and butter...
Taste: Nice oktoberfest taste, malt-ridden with a slight hint of hops, caramel, vanilla, brown sugars, and honey...
Good mouthfeel along with an equally good level of drinkability...
Good stuff...

dsa7783, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of kinger
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've enjoyed this seasonal for years and always get excited when I first see it on the shelves. Big malt presence with a lot of character make for an enjoyable marzen. Malty aroma semi-sweet and inviting. Amber color with a minimal light tan head and grand lacing. Full well rounded mouthfeel smooth and easily drinkable. Generous malts blended with a light hop presence give way to a creamy malty tasty treat. Still one of my fall favorites.

kinger, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of GoodKnight1220
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep golden orange from the bottle to a glass. Good two finger head.

Smells of sweet malt and caramel with a spicy undertone.

Tastes is very very malty, with the spice undertone right up front then fades to a great sweetness asking you to drink more.

I am a big fan of this brew and could drink it for a week straight.

GoodKnight1220, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of jeffmonarch
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

jeffmonarch, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of rye726
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A nice orange color contrasts well with a light tan head. The nose and flavor and both a bi tlighter than I would like to see in this style. There are some toasty malts with some spicy candy. The body is also fairly light and doesn nothing to help the beer. A decent drinker, bu nothing special.

rye726, May 20, 2008
Photo of jayrod20
4.47/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is just simply amazing and great after a long day at work. Another great job from the Sam Adams people, this beer certainly lives up to their reputation and can be enjoyed by pretty much anybody. It has a great taste, color & aroma to it and tastes incredible! It's not good after being stored for more than 4 or 5 months. The fresher the better, and always finishes with a refreshing ah!

jayrod20, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of charlzm
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 03/03/08, re-reviewed 09/29/10.

Pours a crystal-clear medium amber. A one finger head quickly dissipates to a nice foam skin. Plenty of small active bubbles.

Aroma is faint sweet grain with a lurking metallic undertone.

Biscuity/caramel malt flavor, some fresh baked bread with a slightly bitter, subtle fresh hop finish. Balanced and somewhat light.

Beer is well-carbonated and provides a nice tingle on the tongue. Slightly dry at the finish.

Not my favorite marzen, but quite serviceable.

charlzm, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of ElGrecoVerde
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

By no means will this beer blow your socks off, but it's a decent, unoffensive choice.

It's a deep copper colored beer. Smells surprisingly toasty. The flavors were all nice, but somewhat mild. Toasted grains, dark fruits, and a slightly sweet caramel were all present, but nothing really stood out.

Mouthfeel was smooth and enjoyable.

ElGrecoVerde, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of mdagnew
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355ml bottle bought from McHughs, Dublin...

Poured a nice rich amber / copper colour. Slightly off white head poured big and frothy but faded quickly to almost nothing... barely any carbonation... light patchy lacing...

Aroma - Light sweet caramel and toffee maltiness, toasted bread / biscuit notes, some buttery notes, honey, cut grass traces, almond, some strawberry fruitiness, orange marmalade, some light peppery hops...

Taste - Light sweet caramel and biscuity malts initially then balanced with a good peppery hop bitterness, light toasted bread notes, sweet almond nuttiness, some spicy fruits (oranges), some slight metallic notes...

Feel - Pretty smooth and creamy with a little sharpness underneath... light / medium bodied... Extremely drinkable and sessionable..

Overall - A decent enough Oktoberfest - nothing too earth shattering... worth a try though...

mdagnew, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of JDV
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Semi rich amber color with a short lived offwhite head. Smell is nice and toasty, sourdough breadish smell with a toffee like tart malt. Nice, richer than average mouthfeel for the style. One of my favorites of the style for sure. Nice lingering mild finish, and a good beer.

JDV, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of MisterClean
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at via rosa

A - Beautiful copper hue, with a good amount of head, and nice lacing.

S - Nectarines, pears, and light maltiness.

T - Nectarines, pears, granny apples, which finished with a malty kick.

M - Nice, left moistness.

D - Not too big on beers that come close to Marzens, but this one is very good for an oktoberfest.

MisterClean, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of pacothrash
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured amber golden color with a small head. Nice smell with a caramel malty taste. This is a very drinkable Marzen and was a plesant surprise to find at a number of restaurants this past September - November. Even though I like Great Lakes or Old Dominion better I will look for this bear again this September.

pacothrash, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of hardy008
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Deep copper color, nice foamy white head.

Smell - slightly sweet with a slight hop presence and some spice.

Taste - a little bit of a bite to it and somewhat bitter, with hints of sweetness.

Mouthfeel - smooth, somewhat thin

Drinkability - smooth and easy to drink.

hardy008, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of larcoal
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the Sam standards, yet only issued in the fall. I can drink this any day, all day. It has quite a lot of body, yet is not as filling as some and there's certainly no "bite" to the taste. A fresh 'fest will give you a nice creamy head that should last through most or all of the drink, depending on your thirst. I recommend everyone pick up a few 12-packs yearly.

If you're trying to convert a friend away from standard US domestics, this isn't a stretch. Have them try a few. If we all band together, we can stamp out Miller Lite forever!

larcoal, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of Durge
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep copper color brew with a thin off-white head and good lace. The aroma is very weak but hints at wheat and a little malt/toffee. Sweet toffee/butterscotch flavor comes out with some grapefruit bitterness. Malty wheat with a bit of grape. Easy to drink with a slightly dry finish. Finely carbonated with a midland mouth feel. OK, a little better I think than when I tried it on tap last Fall.

Durge, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber with hints of orange, good size head and lacing.

Smell is sweet with a combination of malt and spice. A fairly spicy smelling Oktoberfest beer. Slight hop presence.

Taste is very similar to how it smells, with a strong malt and caramel front with heavy spice. The hops do lend some balance near the end though.

deltatauhobbit, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of cbleary
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

This is a tasty autumn brew. It had a great, clear amber to red color with a solid white head that left a decent amount of lacing. It smelled great with a strong bready sweet malt scent. The taste featured similar characteristics to the smell but was nicely balanced by a touch of the usual Sam Adams noble hop profile. It was very drinkable considering its relatively high ABV. I wanted another right away. I recommend it.

cbleary, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of maddogruss
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 ounce bottle of this into a glass mug.

A: Pours an orange-amber body with a small, off-white head. Poor retention with minimal lacing to follow until the finish.

S: A nice, sweet malty smell was evident. Smelled like a good Oktoberfest.

T: A nice, sweet malty taste. Hints of honey were also evident. A slightly bittersweet aftertaste, but that did well as a balancer for the malts and the honey.

M: A little on the thin side, but still pretty solid and silky.

D: Definitely a drinkable beer. Easy-going and smooth. Good taste and good mouthfeel make it a solid session beer.

maddogruss, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of BigBry
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A seasonal brew brought back from the States, 12 oz brown bottle with best before month clipped in the side of the label. SLightly different picture than shown above.
Caramel colored with a slightly tan foam. Thin carbonation bubbles help hold the head, and leaves thin strings of lace.
Smells of sweet malt balanced with a hoppy finish. The taste is full of the sweet malt, caramel, and some hidden spice. Full bodied, flavorful, a good one to enjoy on a cool crisp evening. I thought it to be well balanced mix of malt and hops. Smooth and easy to drink, a pleasant suprise.

BigBry, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of jackorain
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was on tap at my local Houlihan's. I had this on October 26th, 2007 and just got to adding from detailed notes taken at that time.

A-Really nice red-amber glowing color. Nice tan head lasted a very long time and fell to a substantial 1/4 inch coat that stayed for nearly the entire drink. Where the head receded it left a very attractive lacing effect.

S-Classic lagerish aroma up front, clean Biscuit and caramel malts follow and dominate.

T-Nice malty noce, biscuit and caramel, a little sweet, some fruitiness also enters in the middle. A nice, mild, crisp bitterness finshes it out. Quite tasty.

M-Creamy, with a nice even carbonation. Medium body. Really quite nice.

D-This may be the best Oktoberfest I had this year. I've seen from year's past that this one is considered a dumbed down Ok, but definitely not this year. I had a few with my dinner.

jackorain, Dec 17, 2007
Photo of trentley87
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had the opportunity to "borrow" one of these from a friend. Poured from a bottle into a glass mug.

A: very pleasant, above average, but even for the beautiful orange amber color and creamy, orange tinged head, I still prefer a darker beer.

S: Deliciously sweet, very appetizing. I didn't spend a lot of time smelling this one. The smell convinced me to get straight to drinking it.

T: Excellent balance. Clearly supposed to be on the sweet side, lots of malty flavors, but not overpoweringly so. Delicious.

M: A little to "gritty" to be as refreshing as it has the potential to be. I don't like a lot of carbonation. Again, this barely detracted from the overall great qualities of this beer.

D: Excellent. Don't get me wrong, I could drink this all night, but there are other styles which I prefer. I don't have a reference point within this style to compare it too.

I am again impressed by the Sam Adams lineup. They are consistently offering full-flavored, complex beers and a price competitive with the BMC crowd.

trentley87, Dec 13, 2007
Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 5,821 ratings.