Left Hand Oktoberfest - Left Hand Brewing Company
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Ratings: 727 | Reviews: 347 | Display Reviews Only:
3.98/5 rDev +6.7%
Aaaahhh, Oktoberfest season is upon us...almost. Anyway, this is my first of the '08 season. Pours a very clear, bright reddish amber with a decent 1/3 inch head that dissipates pretty quickly. Smells of grains, german malts, light signs of cherry, some hop spice. Flavor is more graininess, german malts, yeast, doughy, very light hop spice to even things out. Very balanced and extremely drinkable. Oktoberfests are THE session beers. Perfect carbonation, medium bodied, slightly dry finish. Great Oktoberfest offered up by Left Hand Brewery. I'm pumped for the '08 Marzen Season. Bring 'em on! Now all I need is the crisp autumn air and the leaves to turn to foliage.
08-24-2008 00:55:58 | More by Doomcifer
3.63/5 rDev -2.7%
Pours a nice copper color with a three finger head that dissipates fairly quickly. Good lacing.
Smell is pleasant. Sweet malt with a hint of spice.
Taste is caramel and nutty, with lemon zest and a bitter finish.
Mouthfeel is not quite full bodied.
Although I'm not a fan of anything lemon, this is a drinkable beer.
It's a decent stab at a wonderful style.
08-22-2008 22:52:16 | More by lastdoctor
3.48/5 rDev -6.7%
Pours a nice, fairly clear, deep amber color and has a nice one inch off white head sitting on top. Good retention.
Aroma is fine. Hints of citrus, and a grainy malt profile.
Taste is fine. Some caramel and bread dominate. Not very complex, and I suppose I'm having some difficulty picking out all the flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a gentle carbonation tingle.
Drinkability is moderate to high. Flavors are fine and beer is easily sessionable. I think it would just get annoying after a while though.
08-19-2008 02:57:28 | More by Goliath
3.15/5 rDev -15.5%
A : Pours a nice copper with a good head that disappears quickly. Good lacing
S : Lots of sweet malt.
T : Same as the smell, tons of sweet malt. I could get very little hop taste from the beer. It's too much on the malts. I'd like to see that toned down some and a little stronger on the hops
M : Medium-bodied, almost too think
D : It wasn't bad, wasn't great. For a Oktoberfest, it's not as close to the German ones as I would like.
05-30-2008 13:29:13 | More by mhewes
3.9/5 rDev +4.6%
12 oz single bottle copped from Monarch Liquors in Long Island, NY for $1.99...
An aggressive pour yielded a dark-amber, rich-copper appearance with a modest-sized foamy and frothy head that left a decent amount of lacing around the glass...
Strong caramel, nutty, bread-and-butter aroma with a noticeable honey-essence...
Taste strongly complemented thea aroma, with a very strong suggestion of butter, caramel, honey-glaze, and almonds...
Good, solid, rich mouthfeel with a nice, warming 6% ABV along with a decent level of drinkability that only took a slight hit due to the sweet, caramel-laden flavor that overtakes the tongue...
Good stuff from Left Hand and a nice depiction of the style...
04-26-2008 19:59:00 | More by dsa7783
3.53/5 rDev -5.4%
Got it on tap at the Lionheart in Albany, where it was listed on the chalkboard as "Left Hand Marzen."
A: Body is light amber in color and slightly hazy. A small off-white head settles on top. Good amount of lacing left behind.
S: All malt -- fruity, toasty and bready malt.
T: Also dominated by sweet malt flavors -- there's some sort of fruit-like sweetness there (maybe berries?), as well as the taste of whole wheat bread. I get a hint of hops -- spicy hops -- trying to offset the malty sweetness, but in the end the malts are the clear victor.
M: Between light and medium in weight, closer to light. There seems to be a slightly syrupy feel to it, thought that may just be my reaction to the sweet malt profile in the taste.
D: OK. Too sugary-sweet for my preference, but it's consistent with the style.
Notes: I had this after two pints of Rogue Black Brutal '07, so the first sip was a huge downshift from mouth-coating hop bitterness to sweet malt. Took me awhile to reboot my tastebuds and adjust to the sweetness. I still found it to be a tad bit too sweet for my tastes, however. . . .
04-17-2008 15:53:01 | More by Kendo
3.78/5 rDev +1.3%
An orange amber colored body comes off very deep in color darkness for the style. Head is a rocky fluff of light tan fuzz. Head has decent retention and a solid coating of lace is left behind. A hint of crusted fig and nicely carmalized malt is wraped up in a noticeable sweet candy like nose hints of chocolate milk and toffee arise also. On first sip you get the upfront sweet maltiness that really dominates this brew. It almost steps into the scotch ale catagory on some points. Reminds me a lot of a soft chewy toffee wraped around a cashew. Woodsy mineral tones are all over the last half of the palate. Mouthfeel is fuzzy and enjoyable. Could use a bit more of the authentic German styly but it is a good brew in its own right.
03-02-2008 19:48:09 | More by SPLITGRIN
2.42/5 rDev -35.1%
Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer. Not usually a fan of Oktober's, but tis the season (sorta). Poured a nice color, darkish amber. Smelled strong of malts, and taste was "malty" as well, but not overpowering. Last drop of bottle was same as first. Didn't get the spice or fruit smells others have with this beer. Though not a favorite, not terribly bad.
12-28-2007 15:42:08 | More by ibashmuck
3.15/5 rDev -15.5%
Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves one finger of an off-white head that has decent retention, and leaves some decent spotty lacing. Body is an orange amber.
Smell - toasty malt biscuits, apples, butterscotch, diacetyl.
Taste - butterscotch, apples, and a metallic taste. There are some lemony hops on the finish. More butterscotch and that metallic taste on the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel - medium bodied.
Drinkability - not a bad beer overall, just not a great one. The diacetyl and metallic taste mar this.
12-02-2007 17:29:43 | More by ultralarry2006
4.47/5 rDev +19.8%
A: Two and a half fingers of head form a bubbly pillow on top of a transparent amber beer. The dense, white head leaves forms of lace all around the glass.
S: Malt is obviously the name of the game with this one, with bready, toasty, and sweet notes coming through simultaneously. The sweetness is somewhat odd, or at least unique, in that it somewhat resembles a Werther's Orginal, but ever-so faintly.
T: Up front there is lots of bread and toasty malt notes, with that light caramel/toffee flavor hidden in there as well. Hop presence is a little more dialed up than your traditional German Oktoberfest, but not to the point of distraction, and actually balances quite well, in my opinion. Finish is gentle and slightly cloying, with a tiny residual presence of hops.
M: Medium bodied goodness, with the carbonation at a near-perfect level. Bit of a slick hop feel noticeable, but mostly an enjoyable malt fest.
D: Rather drinkable, as the style often lends itself to, but also rather different. This interpretation is a little bolder than expected, which I came to admire. Went nicely with a serving of swiss cheese and water crackers.
11-19-2007 14:50:10 | More by CharlieMopps
3.53/5 rDev -5.4%
An interesting ofest to say the least.
A-Orange colored....creamy off white head....
S-The aroma begins with a toasted malt smell....also some earthy and spicy notes.
T-Taste is toasted malts up front along with a nutty dimension....then the earthiness...finishes with a slightly sour off flavor.
M-Medium bodied...I've had lighter bodied ofest and bigger ones as well.
D-Enjoyable enough....Not a top tier ofest but an enjoyable drinker with some interesting dimensions you don't encounter in most beers within this style..
11-17-2007 21:35:13 | More by ZAP
3.83/5 rDev +2.7%
Beautiful label! It pours a slightly hazy deep copper body with gleeming golden highlights beneath a creamy cap of off-white. The head retention is fair and it leaves average spots of lace about the glass.
The aroma, oddly, offers a thread of phenolic (single batch?) amidst toasty, bready, and subtly candy-sweet malts. Mild grassy and floral hops are present, but stay towards the back.
In the mouth it's smooth with a medium body and standard carbonation that gently tingles the tongue.
The flavor is as might be expected, with the toasty and somewhat sweet or "juicy" malts dominating, backed by grassy, leafy, and mildly spicy hops. It's well-balanced and nicely rounded, and it finishes dry with a long-lingering toasty and bready maltiness.
11-10-2007 14:50:11 | More by NeroFiddled
3.55/5 rDev -4.8%
Picked up a bottle at Julios in Westborough, MA.
A: A deep amber hue. Brilliant clarity with a very thin off white head.
S: Clean and light toasted malt aroma, which is quite nice. Some fruity ester aromas in the background, which does not fit the style.
T: Strong attention grabbing toasted malt flavor. Some moderate hop bitterness adds balance. Overall the beer has a clean lager character.
MF: Medium, rich, and creamy mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation.
D, notes: Octoberfests are supposed to be great session beers and I would say this one fits that bill. The malt flavor is a bit cloying.
11-08-2007 17:31:56 | More by Nipitato
4.45/5 rDev +19.3%
Pours a gorgeous copper with a thick tan head. Sweet, bready malty aroma with hints of nut. Mouthfeel is medium to full-bodied with carbonation along the edges. The bready malt that was so prevalent in the nose comes though in the taste on the first sip of this O'fest. Nice hearty flavor to it. Some nuttiness midway. Bitterness appears toward the back and helps to balance out the malt sweetness. There's just of a touch of that 6% alcohol in the finish.
Very impressive. I'm always on the lookout for new Oktoberfests this time of year and Lefthand's O'fest, though familiar to the area, is the first I recall seeing it here this year. Very drinkable and an enjoyable example of the style. I need to seek more of this out before it's gone.
11-07-2007 03:46:55 | More by Winter
3.13/5 rDev -16.1%
Pours a clean amber color with an off white head. Aromas of a German lagering yeast, and sweet. In the taste, light dryness and hints of fruitiness. A smooth and light mouthfeel, with a clean, dry small maltiness in the aftertaste. Nice representation of style, easy to drink, very non-offensive.
11-03-2007 14:00:13 | More by OWSLEY069
4.38/5 rDev +17.4%
12oz bottle into mug.
This one pours pretty impressively, as it creats a one inch head with little effort. The head creates a solid wall of lacing toward the top of the beer, which is a slightly orange-tinted amber hue.
Slightly roasted malts mixed with a little bit of caramel and some dark candy sugar. I actually think this is what a good Oktoberfest should smell like. Although it can never be perfect, this one is pretty close. I have yet to go to Germany and try a fresh Oktoberfest, but until then, this one is my benchmark.
Toasty grains once again mixed with some caramelized sugar flavors. A little bit of balancing hops show up toward the end, they are well hidden though. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. The finish is mostly the fading grain.
This one wasn't bad at all. I think this one goes at the top of my list as far as American Oktoberfests go. For my preference, it seemed to have all the correct characteristics, and it tasted pretty good too. Recommended.
10-28-2007 17:06:18 | More by BeerSox
4.43/5 rDev +18.8%
Poured a slightly hazy golden copper with two inches of creamy wheat, minor lacing with decent retention.
Smell was a nice full toasted grain and fresh bread aroma.
Taste was spot on, strong toasted malts, a bit of light sweet fruity notes, and just enough light citrus hops to even it out.
Mouthfeel had plenty of good carbonation and a light and slighty oily feel.
Very easy to drink and good, great session beer, and one of my new favorite Okotberfests.
10-27-2007 21:05:57 | More by bashiba
4.15/5 rDev +11.3%
Thin, even white head on a classic orange brown body with normal clarity...nice roasted malts with a slight sweet, doughy aroma...medium to full palate, with a smooth texture and finish...sweet, even malts...a lingering finish, impressive in its singular effect...another winner from Left Hand, a beer equally made for sessioning or swigging....bring on the candy corn.
10-21-2007 13:52:18 | More by dacrza1
3.48/5 rDev -6.7%
Appearance: Pours a beautiful Marzen Copper color with a big frothy off white head in my SA BL glass. Sporadic lacing.
Smell: The aroma is lager subtle with caramel malt, toffee and fruit an earth hop and splash of orange sunshine.
Taste: The flavor is sweet. A bit of a surprise. it is malty and rich and sweet. Tasty but not a sessioner. Toasted toffee and caramel leads into a fruit flavor, old apricots and another indistinct fruit sweetness. The flavor then turns very vegetal. An attribute I am not a big fan of but too many O-fest beers contain. This one goes herbal but then further and is a bit to lettuce leafy and greens in the finish especially. It is OK, just not a preference of mine.
Mouthfeel: On mouthfeel I must admit, I like it. The rich malty body works well to make a hearty, with fluffy carbonation making it a bit pillowy.
Drinkability: The sweetness in the flavor and the big mouthfeel are fine but this is not the extremely drinkable O-Fest I want. That said, I would still take a cold one with some Brats and enjoy it, before moving on to a different beer.
Hope this is helpful.
10-19-2007 04:57:46 | More by Phatz
3.35/5 rDev -10.2%
Purchased as part of a mixed six pack of singles.
Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz bottle with bottle on date of ?2507 (not sure on the month, it was smudged) into a mug. The beer is clear, amber in color. Pour produced a nice white head, nearly an inch and a half. Slowly fades to a solid cover and leaves some lacing.
Smell: Just not a lot here. Some bready malt, a little sweet. Rather subdued for the style IMO.
Taste: Some sweet malts, a bit bready, not bitter. Somewhat tame "safe" tasting Oktoberfest, probably that is intended to appeal to as many people as possible.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth, and sweet. Clean finish with no aftertaste.
Drinkability: A decent easy to drink oktoberfest. A touch on the tame side, inoffenseive. I feel this was made so that it would appeal to as many people as possible, which I guess is ok. I will not purposely seek this one out again.
10-18-2007 03:49:58 | More by BigRedN
3.65/5 rDev -2.1%
a - poured a two-fingers thick tan head into a tumbler. the head left some nice clingy lace and sheeting but was gone towards the finish. the body was a dul amber color, i expected it to look a little more lively.
s - very malty like caramel with just a touch of dried apples.
t - caramel with a sweet bready finish.
m - slick and medium on the tongue.
d - good effort by LH, i'll look for this one again.
10-16-2007 15:04:39 | More by GPHarris
3.4/5 rDev -8.8%
Eye: Great beer for the eye. Color is perfect-crystal clear copper, lively with carbonation, golden highlights, and a great off white pillowy head with great lacing and amazing retention. One of the best I've seen of the style yet.
Nose: Not very potent, got to have my nose right in the glass to smell anything. However, the aroma I get out of this brew is pretty good. The aroma is malty and has what seems to me a strong aroma of molasses. Overall the aroma reminds me of amber malt extract, you know that smell when you're brewing, once you open that can during an extract brew, when you're trying not to let it scorch on the bottom of the pot...thats what I am reminded of. Only if it were a bit more potent.
Tongue: Tons of malt character right up front, as well as a bit of aluminum, ugh. Not much in the way of aftertaste to this one, if you really want to know I find that there is a metallic tang throughout this brew, and is most noticeable in the aftertaste. Lots of toasted flavors as well as some bread-like flavors. Not so rich as others I've had, and this one finishes pretty weak.
Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Full bodied in the mouth with moderate levels of carbonation this brew leaves somewhat of an oily feeling that vanishes just as soon as the metallic tang vanishes. I'm also getting a slight aftertaste of diacetyl, not very pleasant, it doesn't work well with the rest of the brew, its there just on the back of the palate, in the air that sits upon my tongue, perhaps more of an oxidation than diacetyl, but its slightly warm, a bit buttery and not very pleasant. Not much more to it than that. This is an alright brew, but I can't see myself searching this one out.
10-15-2007 21:19:34 | More by becktone
4/5 rDev +7.2%
A - Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint mug. Color is deep amber to copper with a small white head that quickly falls leaving a nice ring of lace on the glass
S - A very malty and biscuit smell with just a hint of hops
T - Very much like the smell..very heavy malt (as is the style) with a nice hop finish to even out the sweet
M - Balanced and smooth
D - A very good Ofest beer..I picked up a six and will enjoy all of them
10-15-2007 16:07:58 | More by meechum
4/5 rDev +7.2%
Poured into a pint glass, pours an hazy brownish orange with a fluffy head that does not hang around long but does leave a ring and also some lace on the glass. Smell is very breadywith malty backbone also that car smell that all left hand beers have in it. Taste is a malty smooth gem, I can taste a bit of roasted malt and also some roasted nuts in there, this goes down very smooth and was quite enjoyful, also a bit of carmel corn in the finish as well. Overall this was a pretty enjoyable beer from Left Hand and one of my favorites from them.
10-13-2007 12:50:19 | More by gunnerman
3.6/5 rDev -3.5%
Candied kumquat orange with a polished bronze glow. Atop the beer is a generous crown of tight-bubbled foam that is some combination of pale orange, pale gold and ecru. What lace has been laid down so far is a treat for the eyes. It also looks like it'll hang around for the whole dang shootin' match. I recognize a wonderful looking Oktoberfest when I see it.
The nose is malt-dominant with that distinctive toasted earthiness born of Munich malt. The hops (German Magnum, Vanguard) are, to some extent, lost in the olfactory shuffle. While typical for the style and without fault, the aroma fails to excite.
Left Hand Oktoberfest has an odd (or at least a different) flavor profile that will take some getting used to. If I was drinking it from the tap, I'd suspect dirty lines. It isn't anywhere near that bad, but I can't think of any other way to describe it. Clay-like? Maybe backing off the Munich and adding some amount of caramel malt would help.
The hops that have been used have Hallertau-like qualities. Unfortunately, they aren't allowed to show them off because of the dominance of the malt. It's probably just the hophead in me, but I like a little balancing hoppiness in my O-fests. Warming brings out the malt sugars to an even greater extent.
The mouthfeel is full of rounded edges and is the highlight (outside of the appearance). It's medium-full for the style and stops just short of stickiness, providing an ideal amount of mouthcoating that promotes flavor linger. Whether that's a good thing or not is up to you.
As suspected, I've gotten more used to Oktoberfest's flavor now that I'm drinking the final few ounces. Either that or it improves as it approaches room temperature. Give it a whirl if you love the style, but there are others out there that are more deserving of my money.
10-12-2007 14:12:57 | More by BuckeyeNation
Left Hand Oktoberfest from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 727 ratings.