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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.
BA SCORE
83
good

5,978 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,978
Reviews: 1,975
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 67
Gots: 654 | 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: 5,978 | Reviews: 1,975 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of russpowell
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
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

russpowell, Aug 24, 2007
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a great octoberfest. looks pretty standard, autumn orange color with a lacey off white head that lasts awhile. smells like big german caramel malts and bready yeast. flavor is complex and not nearly as sweet as so many octoberfests are. i pick up so many fall flavors in this, like pumpkins, squash, and brown sugar, but that may just be a product of the season. mouthfeel is right on for the style, its lighter in body but not thin, just really drinkable. carbonation is pretty relaxed in this. its one of those beers that demands a huge glass. letting a one liter draft get a little warm as it drinks is how i always wish i was having it.

StonedTrippin, Aug 24, 2012
Photo of Slatetank
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in an Imperial Pint at Market Cross Pub and Brewery in Carlisle, PA.
A - A deep amber w/ garnet highlights, a lighter amber when held to the light. A thin tan head which condenses quickly into a thin film of head with a ring of lace.

S - A malty sweet aroma w/ a tinge of light woody hops and a gentle lactic nutty malt scent.

M - Malty w/ slightly above medium body w/ a full toasty texture. Gentle sweetness w/ a clean finish.

T - A fairly rich nutty, dry yet flavorful malt taste gets a good dose of sweet crystal malt flavor. Bready German malt flavor makes itself known as the Imperial ale glass warms. A nice woody hop flavor combines w/ a sweet caramel malt and yeasty lager flavor.

D - A very drinkable lager w/ a definite influence from the masters of the style. Pleasing pint after pint, a worthy fest in the American interpretation. I could see drinking this as a go to beer by the case.

I had this on tap in a pint at TGI Fridays enjoyed before having wings

The color is deep bronze with thin head of tan that revived when swirled.
The smell is reminiscent of almonds with a sweet nutty and light fruity element
The feel is highly carbonated and slightly spicy with yeast dry texture and moderate bitterness. The flavor is good but like the vienna -Boston Lager it is hoppier and cleaner than the European versions I have had with a more dry less noticeable malt character. I enjoyed this but consider it average for the style. It is drinkable which is why I can't knock it too hard overall, but it is certainly catering to an american taste which is a more hop forward lager.

Slatetank, Sep 26, 2007
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

October 2013 review:
Samuel Adams Octoberfest, proudly brewed and bottled by the Boston Beer Company. 5.3% Alc. by Vol.

Clear, bright amber coloring, under a large head, off-white .

Aroma: sweet, malty nose, earthy & herbal.

Taste: Mmm. Tasty malts, bright and pleasant. Noble hops play a minor roles, giving just enough bite to stave off sweetness. Oh, it's a sweet one, but not overly so. Medium-light body, with the malty flavor lasting long on the palate.

A right on the money marzen. What does the label tell us? "In 1810, Munich celebrated the wedding of their crown prince with a special beer. After 16 days the party ended, but the tradition continues. Our version of the classic Oktoberfest style lager blends 5 roasted malts for a rich, hearty flavor that's perfect for the season, or whatever you're celebrating."

November 2003 review:
Appearance: clear bronzish color, with a full, frothy, cream-toned head.
Aroma: somewhat sweet, earthy,vegetal, definitely maltsome, but not quite enough-so.
Taste: malty, but again, only perfunctorily, nicely rounded, rather mild. I wish to reach for the descriptor "rich", as I am wont to do with malty marzens, but this never earns it. Rather flat and dull for an Ok..ooops, sorry...Octoberfest. Some snap in the taste, but not enough. Yeah, way too thin for this style. I do believe I'll have to follow this up with a Summit Oktoberfest to assure me of how good it could get. This version just falls too short.

feloniousmonk, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of jlindros
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured into Allagash tulip glass

A: Crystal clear rusty brown with slight orange color good 2 finger head that fades to and holds at 1 finger

N: Toasty malt nose with some nuttiness and sweetness, similar to Marzen

T: Starts with more toasted malts, and some earthy malt flavor, slight nuttiness and biscuit, clear tasting and crisp, very refreshing, but not a whole lot on the flavor profile

M: Pretty light and some carbonation

F: Finishes somewhat sweet and syrupy with more earthy malts typically found in a marzen

Final thoughts: Its a pretty decent American made Marzen, doesn't compare to the Bavarian ones. Very light and refreshing, a well done lager, nice toasted and earthy tones, but a little light on the flavor.

jlindros, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle gifted by the other Matt. Thanks! Beer served in a DFH signature glass. Beer is orange and clear with a minimal head and some lacing. looks ok.

Smells good, kind of like fruits, has some banana in the nose.

Beer tastes pretty good. Medium bodied. It's a little grainy. Beer is really drinkable mouthfeel is good. Not really in a mood to be descriptive tonight. It's good overall. I'd have it again. There are some fruity notes in the midpalate. It's pretty good.

drabmuh, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

oline73, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: ? (have had on tap and in bottles)

A nice crack at a märzen by SA. Pours a golden orange color, very carbonated, with a delicate layer of bubbles for a head that doesn't linger long. Basic grainy, malty aroma, with a touch of sweetness. Mild, toasted bread taste, a bit nutty, caramel sweetness, but not too much, with some floral notes coming through. A bit of apples and oranges, finishing with a crisp hop bite. Light-meduim mouthfeel, pretty dry, and quite drinkable.

Rifugium, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of mactrail
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Clean and malty with a scratchy touch of hops. Nothing very interesting about it but it looks nice in the glass with a real orange color for the season. Malty with a roasted edge. Hops are the earthy sort. Slight bitterness around the edges. Touch of saltiness along with the sweet malt.

Yet another perfectly drinkable beer from Sam Adams. Well made and balanced. Down the hatch and on to something else.

mactrail, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of WesWes
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a malty scent that boasts of pale and caramel malts. It is slightly sweet with a dry lager yeast finish. The taste is good. It has a slightly malty flavor with a dry lager yeast finish. It goes down easy and finishes smooth and creamy. There is a bit of bitter hops in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good Octoberfest. It has good flavor and aroma; an excellent drinker.

WesWes, Sep 27, 2004
Photo of Mora2000
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is grassy hops along with some toffee and caramel malt.

The flavor is not quite what I expected. I get a lot of toffee, caramel and bready malt - as expected - but I also get some cinnamon and allspice. I have had this beer numerous times over the years and I never remember it having the spicy components. Regardless, it was very nice.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 09/22/10 notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a nice amber color with twi inches of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bready malts, caramel malts, nuts, and some fruity malts.

t - Tastes of caramel and bready malts mostly. A hint of fruit, mainly apple.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - An average octoberfest/fall beer. Mostly caramel and bready malts in the smell and taste. While that isn't bad, nothing really stood out. Have had several times and I'm sure I'll have it again sometime.

mdfb79, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of jwc215
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours orangish copper with a thin head that becomes a thin patch. Minimal lacing is left.

Smells of sweet bread. Some subtle floral hop presence is noticeable.

Tastes of malty grains. Bread and some hops are mixed in. It seems, to me, to be a maltier, sweeter version of a Sam Adams lager (not just an amber ale with some caramel maltiness as some craft brews do).


It's fairly smooth, but a bit too sweet for a "session". Although not quite in the same category as a Bavarian O-fest in Germany, it has a freshness to it, and is one of the better of the style that is available in America that hasn't been sitting in who knows what conditions to arrive here.
A bit better on tap, IMO.

jwc215, Aug 28, 2006
Photo of MarkyMOD
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

MarkyMOD, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +9%

Rochefort10nh, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange-amber in color, clear with a pleasant head and tight bubbled sticky lace.

Aroma features a largely caramel smell. The malt is crisp with creamy milk sugars coming forward. Surprisingly, the alcohol warmth comes through, too.

Very round, rich mouthfeel. The flavor comes late, but strongly. Hop is strictly a balancing act to the full crystal malt flavors. The hop is more present after the swallow, but the aftertaste is still more malt; it's also long lasting.

smcolw, Oct 31, 2004
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.65/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best By February 2009; Sampled October 2008
Pours with a frothy, two finger thick, lightly amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is quite clear and shows a full amber color as it sits on my desk. The aroma has some light spicy hop character to it up front, but this is quickly drowned out by a full malt character. Aromas of caramel, toasty grain and whole grain crackers. Actually there is a fair amount of hop character here that lightly spices the more dominant malt aromatics.

Spicy hop notes cut through the slightly more dominant malt character of lightly nutty, slightly toasty grain notes and a nice, almost rich, but not to sweet, caramelized malt note. As the beer warms up it becomes more malty and rich, but still retains its spicy hop character. Light toffee notes seem to subtly intrude into the mix of well integrated flavors that define this beer. I really am enjoying the body of this brew as well, it is quite quaffable, but has just enough heft to cling a bit to the palate and lightly envelope the mouth.

This is a nice Oktoberfest, I really like that it is still fresh and has a nice spicy hop character. I really also like how the toasted malt character accentuates a soft nutty note. Overall this is a really well constructed beer, incredibly well balanced between hop and malt. I would seriously have a hard time asking for more from an Oktoberfest (well an non-Rauch one anyway). This would be quite easy to quaff liters of this beer at a time.

Gueuzedude, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of beernads
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

beernads, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
2.81/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

C

---
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.

C-

[Low C Overall]

kojevergas, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of Halcyondays
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, orange and blue colour, bought at the Hi-Times Wine Cellars, in Costa Mesa, CA, single,

A: Pours a beautiful pumpkin orange, with a nice white head into a pilsner glass.

S: Smells of malts predominately, a hint of hops, and a bit of smoke character I felt as well.

T: Malt is the word here, lots of caramel, but not as robust as I would have liked, easily drinkable, nothing offensive, taste is good overall, has nuance.

M: Typical lager, light and smooth, easy to drink.

D: An good Oktoberfest marzen, I've had better and I've had worse, nice colour in it, a traditional colour, I'll definitely buy some when they come out in the fall each year.

Halcyondays, Sep 02, 2007
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 Fl Oz bottle poured into a 'Back Forty Beer Co' badged US pint tumbler @ home on 28 Dec 2012.

Looked happy in an American glass: good deep amber hue to the body with a thin off-white covering on top.

Sweet malty molasses all over the place in the aroma and the first sip confirms what your eyes and nose were telling you: this is malts first and foremost, with the hops just there to calm it all down a little.

I'm sweet toothed so this was fine my me but it is far too sweet for a true Oktoberfest Marzen if you want to talk about styles.

Most enjoyable: the second half of the tasting was helped along by some soft French cheese and the UK's equivalent to saltine crackers. They went well together.

BlackHaddock, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of GClarkage
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

GClarkage, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of Gavage
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: copper / orange in color with a 1" head. No lacing developed.

Smell: very little aroma, as some soft sweetness is barely detectable.

Taste: caramel, mild fruit sweetness, a hint of nuttiness, and very mild bitterness. Overall a sweeter beer that is somewhat dry. Simple and straightforward.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. The finish is also a bit dry. Aftertaste is short with some caramel sweetness.

Drinkability: had a pint before dinner and two with dinner. Of course the restaurant selection was macro heavy, so my options were limited. But I found this to be flavorful and very easy to drink. Definitely worth trying.

Gavage, Oct 12, 2006
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +9%

imperialking, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The best part about this beer is the appearance and the smell. I bought a bunch of octoberfest beers lately and this was better than most of them but outshined by a good amount too. Very malty with some fall spices thrown in but I found it just decent in drinkability and taste. Maybe this style just doesn't sit well with me?

oriolesfan4, Oct 02, 2008
Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 5,978 ratings.