1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Left Hand Oktoberfest - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Left Hand OktoberfestLeft Hand Oktoberfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

944 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 944
Reviews: 372
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.37%
Wants: 35
Gots: 72 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: rowew on 08-22-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Left Hand Oktoberfest Alström Bros
Ratings: 944 | Reviews: 372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a moderate copper-bronze color with a white head and some pretty good lacing. The nose is some light caramel and bready plus some earthy, floral, and lightly-spicy hops. Really nice. I appreciate what they've done with these beers. While this may be overdone with some styles, I like how there's a fairly-pronounced hop presence in this brew. Good feel and all around this is a nice brew. Also, doesn't hurt that the artwork on the label is totally awesome.

Thorpe429, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of riored4v
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 10/1/10

Poured into a pint glass. Crystal clear, copper colored body. 1 finger, off-white head that faded quick to a thin layer.

Smell was caramelly with hints of raisin. Slight roasty and nutty aroma. Good malty sweetness.

Taste had notes of raisin with a slight roast flavor. Good amounts of caramel. Mildly nutty along with notes of dark fruit. Very mild bitterness in the finish

Mouthfeel had a medium body with carbonation. Slightly chewy with a sticky finish.

Drinkability was good. Strange dark fruit flavor was a little off-putting.

riored4v, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - It pours a deep ruby-amber hue, capped with white froth that recedes into a wispy archipelago.

S - A vaguely floral-fruity hop and yeast contribution melds with rich (but not sweet) honey tones and caramel-toffee maltiness. This is a style that is over-produced, and yet it never seems to offer quality; this is seemingly an exception, or the new wind.

T - Very good tasting brew. Take the nose, add slight buttery-nutty impressions, and some light biscuit flavor as well, and you have a delicious Marzen. I can't think of a better tasting example.

M - Good. Richness and maltiness in harmony.

D - Very good stuff.

ktrillionaire, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of cpanossian
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 07 08 10.

Poured a clear orange/apricot into a heavy glass mug. Thick 1-2 finger head that settled down nicely. Good swath of lacing on wall, with thin clumpy bit of foam floating on surface.

Aroma is very subtle, earthy, biscuit.

Taste is mellow sweet malt, nicely balanced with a little spicy hop.

Mouthfeel is terrific - could drink large quantities of this no problem.

Nice job overall - fits in very well with the spririt (nice artwork) and drinkability (minimal ingredients) of the style.

cpanossian, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of nrbw23
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep, clear amber color with a tall head. Head is pretty dense, has good retention leaves some nice lacing.

S- Smells is malt dominanted especially caramel malts. Toasty and a bit earthy. A rather spicy herbal hop character.

T- Taste is toasty caramel malt sweetness and Earthy. A bit of spicy hops and a bit of a metal taste here.

M- Medium-light body and carbonation seems to be right on.

D- Has pretty unique taste compared to others. I find this one pretty easy to drink.

nrbw23, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of StaveHooks
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear amber red with a small off-white head that dissipates into a thin layer of bubbles. Slight lacing

S - Sweet rich malt, caramel, vanilla, dried apricots,

T - Follows the nose. Sweet malt up front followed by simple brown sugar syrup and toffee. Some mild bitterness in the middle and finishes semi sweet.

M - Creamy up front and prickly on the finish.

Good malt forward Marzen. It's rich and the complex malt profile will have you guessing.

StaveHooks, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of AmberMan22
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Guy at the liquor store recommended this one, and I do love me some Märzenbier. I found it to be an interesting take on the style, considerably creamier (thereby sweeter) than some more traditional offerings.

The color looks pretty good, an orange-red/copper tone with an 'antique white' head (imagine just slightly aged paper). The head is gone fairly rapidly, leaving behind only a little lace.

I found the nose underwhelming and distressing. Alcohol came through first, followed by a rather flat malty smell.

The taste was another story, and as I alluded to earlier, different than most. Certainly a buttery beer, caramel malt overwhelming the munich malt flavor. Maybe a tinge of bitterness on the backside. All in all, very drinkable.

The creaminess chimes in a bit too much in the mouthfeel, making this beer feel almost heavy. I would deem this a bit of a puzzle, because despite this, the beer seemed crisp and smooth. Maybe I'm having an off night.

Verdict: one of the more pronounced oktoberfests in terms of flavor. It certainly beats out most of the pale-malted, noble-hopped, domestic excuses for the genre that turn up too frequently.

AmberMan22, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a frosted pint glass.

A - 1-finger head dissipated quickly, leaving circular lace on the surface that remained until the glass was almost finished. Foggy apricot/orange/copper color.

S - This beer really needed to warm up to release the nose, but as it did, it's mouthfeel changed, too. Early on, whole wheat biscuit. As it warmed, fruit candy and honey showed up along with subtle, soft hops.

T - Creamy malt. Yummy. Caramel, apricot, mandarin orange, figs, and buttery wheat biscuit all flowed over the tongue. Light hops on the finish gives it a nice, subtle balance that cleans off the sugar.

M - Creamy smooth, almost chewy at first. Reasonably substantive body with medium carbonation. Palate gets cleaned on the finish from the hops that lingers and makes you want to reach for another taste. Early on while chilled, this would be a great beer to polish off rather quickly after a good bike ride when you want refreshment and carbs. Once it warms up, it becomes more of a beer you fill your mouth with and enjoy on the tongue before swallowing.

D - A delicious, malty sweet Marzen well-balanced on the finish that makes it easy to reach for another. Goes great with buttered popcorn watching movies. Because of its malt dominance, I'd look to pair it with something like brats and sauerkraut.

Are there better Marzens out there? Sure, but you could do much worse than enjoying a few pints of this beer in the cooler days of fall, especially if you're not a hop head.

BuckeyeSlim, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of OlRasputin989
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into pint...

A: a cloudy, dark amber brew with a sudsy tan head. has good retention on the way down. The cloudiness causes this one to lose style points.

S: aroma seems faint at first, but as the beer warms, the sweet caramel aroma is met with green raisin and baked apple. this is much better around 50 degrees.

T: very sweet malt and and some dry fruit(plum and apple skins) that fades to a bittering noble hop finish.

M: medium body with a low carbonation making it much fuller. finishes off dry

Overall, a well put together marzen with some unique fruitiness to it. I think I'll have another.

OlRasputin989, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of uustal
4.28/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper, nice red and orange hue. Off-white head with OK lacing and retention. Sweet smell, caramel and toffee mostly. Very malty flavor profile. Big sweet caramel malt, toffee and biscuit. Great malt combination. A hint of the usual octoberfest hops at the finish, but not much balance to be found. Still a very good taste. The malts are really excellent. Very creamy and thick mouthfeel for a Marzen that goes down easy.

uustal, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of GRPunk
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a mug.

A- 1-finger, khaki head drops to a moderate-light film that leaves really good (great?), sticky rings. The body is a clean copper with moderate carbonation.

S- It's a nice balance between caramel and bready malts and grassy hops. There's a touch of raisin and alcohol with a little warmth that seems just a touch out of place.

T- Rich caramel initially is cleaned up with spicy hops. While I normally like a really malty Oktoberfest, it's just a touch too sweet.

M- It's a little syrupy. Moderate to heavy carbonation mixed with solid hopping provides a good tingle.

D- It's a decent version of a Marzen. It's quite substantial and malty. It might not be quite as refined as the upper echelon.

GRPunk, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of Nerudamann
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look - Semi-murky, amber in color. About 2.5 fingers of head that dissipates somewhat slowly. Slow carbonation.

Smell - Fairly hoppy-smelling, maybe a little spiced up, but with a sweet, perhaps caramel aroma.

Taste and Mouthfeel - fairly hoppy in taste too, but with a sweetness to balance it out and make it less bitter. Bitterness is still there, mostly present in the finish. Not much of an aftertaste though. Can't define the sweetening agent being used, but I don't think it's the caramel that I thought I smelled. General texture is slightly toward the creamy side.

Drinkability - not a bad brew at all. Not quite as full-bodied as I would have hoped for , but still interesting. Good tasting and easy to drink.

Nerudamann, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of Augustiner719
3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a half liter hand glass.

Pours a nice copper color with some red orange and re highlights. The aroma has that peanut shell goodness and lager yeast that makes this closer to it's German counterparts. There is a caramel initial taste but a bitter flavor at the end that leaves the palate dry. Nice carbonation and a nice sweetness that plays well. Overall this is a good example of American marzens and what they can bring to the table. Not the best but good.

Augustiner719, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of mdcrouser
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Germans started a good thing with the 'fest. This particular version is the standard 'fest-issue deep marzen color - red-orange, with quickly disappearing head. Like a late night fire blazing from a recent battle, licking toward the sky.

I smelled it and then smelled again, trying to soak it all up. Sweet and highly malted on the nose - like a giant German malt bomb - beer-krieg is imminent.

A frontal malt-assault on the senses - straight to the trenches with sweet a sticky malts. Raisins, toasted sugar, and some nuttiness. Reinforced with a good hop balance though - enough to march across the tongue.

Pretty big on the tongue - grander than a traditional 'fest - like a whole brigade. It works really well in that context though.

Though it was bigger than expected, I enjoyed it for a change from the traditional 'fest seasonal.

mdcrouser, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of Kiwano
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is for the 2012 Left Hand Oktoberfest Marzen Lager:

A - Tan with orange red tinge

S - nutty with a tang

T - nutty slightly smoky, a tiny bit of sweetness but with a good balance

M - slightly fizzy

O - nice, good balance of nutty, smoky and tiny bit of sweetness would have again

Older 2010 bottle

A - reddish orange tinge no head at all - thin layer of bubbles that dissipated immediately

S - the faintest hint of sweetness and a tiny bit of malt but barely any smell at all

T - Sweet almost no bitterness at all - a tiny bit of citrus and barely any malt at all (until it warmed up a bit then the malt came through better) - can't taste any hops - almost sugary. Got a little less sugary and a bit more flavor as it warmed up. Definitely needed to warm up a bit to let more of the flavor and depth come through. The sugar mellowed and darkened as it warmed up.

M - nice set of tight bubbles that keep it perky. Really enjoyed the carbonation.

D - Not much depth but it is tasty - very smooth and light , has just enough body. Could drink several of these without feeling full over overloaded. Would drink again but would wait for the beer to get more close to room temperature first.

Would probably go well with Chinese, Japanese, or Thai food - though I have no way of knowing this

(chilled bottle poured into a pint glass)

Kiwano, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of drtth
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a standard shaker pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a bright clear copper/cherry wood color with shiny gold highlights. It has a ¼" off-white head that soon recedes to a ring and irregular patch of foam. Sipping leaves patches of foam and minimal lacing that soon slide back down to the liquid. The foam and ring are gone long before the beer.

Smell: The aroma is faint but there is some caramel and toasted malt character along with some grassy hop detectable.

Taste: The flavor has some toasted sweet honey and caramel malt flavor tinged with slightly grassy and floral bitterness from the hops.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and there is adequate carbonation. The finish is medium length, begins with the malt sweetness dominant and trails off into the light dry earthy bitterness.

Drinkability: This beer is "ok" for drinkability. I've had better Oktoberfests though and so I would drink it if offered but not go out of my way to have another.

drtth, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of climax
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Left Hand's Octoberfest poured a bright copper orange with almost perfect clarity. The tan head was relatively weak and faded to a film very quickly.

The nose had a definite German presence. Raisins, fruit snacks, and cinnamon were distinct flavors from the get-go. Toasty bread and dark sugar notes came through as it warmed.

Buttery biscuits and brown sugar created a cloying syrupy malt
fiesta in my mouth. The dry finish had a grassy dryish finish that aided in the balance department.

The body was good and viscous without being too syrupy. The carbonation was spot on, keeping it sharp through the dry clean finish.

This one was a malt showcase, and a pretty good one at that. The overall sweetness was solid, but kept in check by a sturdy hop bill. Definitely drinkable and enjoyable.

climax, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of milkbaby9
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle (bottled on 080410, drank 9-20-2010) into Samuel Adams sensory glass. 2 1/2 finger off-white to superlight tan head reduces to a cap with sheets of foam sticking to the glass. Clear but deep amber color.

Aroma of honey lemon and hint of grass, very sweet almost overripe fruity caramel. Sweet bready malt forward taste, bitter grape soda taste as the slightly citric hops bitterness rises up. A bit of a sour tang with bitterness in the finish rides over the big maltiness. Medium carbonation and medium to medium low body.

Nicely malty but hops bitterness a little harsh and more assertive than I prefer, different from some of the German Oktoberfests or marzens. Not the best but far from the worst...

milkbaby9, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of gatornation
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a mostly clear copper color with a 1 finger head some lacing on side of glass it looks good..smell is malts some spice a vienna malts smell with toffee and bread...taste is malts and bread with some spices like nutmeg and cinnamon some hops and citrus come into play and some toffee malts..mouth feel is medium its tasty and typical of a marzen ..drinkable and tasty not the best but still good

gatornation, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. Bottled on: Space available, no date.

A - Perfect clarity shows off the carbonation rising in the beautiful golden pumpkin orange beer. An uneventful pour leaves only a finger of cream head behind. Not even the carbonation can sustain it. Little wisps of lace left.

S - The initial aroma is flooded with delicious toasted amber and Vienna malts followed up by a hearty dose of caramel melted on top. Mild but nicely balanced hops spike the malts with a floral component. Awesome oktoberfest nose!

T - Awesome malty profile that mirrors the aroma with a distinctive toasted Vienna and Munich malt flavor and drizzle of caramel over the top. Refreshing hops balance it out very nicely and add subtle, delicate floral notes.

M - Crisp and refreshing, it has a medium body but a carbonated, crisp finish.Leans just a bit to the sweeter side with a pinch of dryness on the finish.

D - Fantastic fall beer! It's a very well-brewed oktoberfest with epic drinkability. I'd pour these into a liter mug if I had enough!

BeerFMAndy, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of Reaper16
3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle served into a pint glass
I have to commend Left Hand's new label designs. They are consistently great. I would hang a print of this Oktoberfest label art in my house.

Pours a light, butterscotch & pulled caramel colored body. Lots of clarity to the body; translucency isn't crystal clear but pretty close. Two fingers of buttermilk head quickly turn into a single, large-bubbled, finger's worth. Lacing is just adequate. I was feeling lager tonight, and this beer looks very much in line with what I was craving.

I don't care for the aroma here. There's no balance or cohesion to it. The malts are very strong smelling, like there's a slight sour mash quality to them. Too much toasted bread aroma. The hops are assertive, too. Together the strong sourdough smell and the tinny hops smell clash. There may be some diacetyl too. This isn't the clean lager aroma I was looking forward to.

The flavors make more sense on the tongue. The malts are stronger than in other marzens I've had. Left Hand takes the breadcrusts and nutty flavors and lager yeast flavors and amplifies them. The hops are beefed up here too in an effort to match up with the strong malt. Grassiness from those hops coaxes out a bit of appleskin flavor from the malt. The finish is nutty with a flush of apple. I want to rate this a 3.0 but I think it is ever so slightly above average. This isn't my preference in Marzen flavor profiles but I can see the appeal.

Those increased malts mean a sizable increase in thickness. I find this beer to be too viscous for the style. It feels unnatural and it prohibits drinking. I am sort of treating this beer like a sipper, even though it has no reason to be. That is the fault of mouthfeel and drinkability.

This is not the sessionable sort of Oktoberfest that you are probably looking for. Compared to, say, Sam Adams' subtle, excellent example of the style, Left Hand's is downright imperialized. This will appeal to some people. I was looking for a crisp Marzen and this heavy, flavor-dense rendition of the style wasn't it.

Reaper16, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of afinepilsner
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle

Left Hand Oktoberfest was a dark amber color with good clarity. It had a creamy beige head that didn't last but managed to leave some lacing behind. The smell was sweet malt and a touch toasty. The taste was full of toasty malt with a little spice and fairly dry finish. Mouthfeel was good; just over medium bodied with medium carbonation. Drinkabity was good. This is a good Oktoberfest and worth trying.

afinepilsner, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of Brent
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice amber/orange with sticky head. Slightly herbal aroma. Herbaceous notes continue in flavor profile, but there was a slightly odd acidic tartness up front that ran through the flavor and seemed out of place for the style. Not enough to be a major problem, but a discordant note in an otherwise well made beer.

Brent, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of droomyster
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark copper with one finger of off-white head with that holds itself aloft for quite a while. Aromas are predominantly sweet, with more toffee than toastiness. There's a hint of earthy hops in there if you sniff at it hard enough. Overall the nose is nice but unrepresentative of the style. The taste is a bit closer to that of a traditional Oktoberfest, with plenty of toast on the front and mid-palates. A strong brown sugar flavor makes it a bit sweeter than most Oktoberfests, but the extra richness doesn't turn me off; it just makes me sip it a bit slower. A low hopiness on the finish adds an additional layer. Overall, it's fun to sip but is not even remotely sessionable.

droomyster, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Light amber in color very clean.

S- Smell of floral hops and malt and ev en a hint of caramel in there too

T- Bready biscuit, some sweet malts and some floral hops and the end

M- Semi Dry very smooth with hops and sweet malt linger through out sip.

D- My first Left Hand Octoberfest. Very good between light hops and sweet malts. Very drinkable.


SamuelJackson45, Sep 19, 2010
Left Hand Oktoberfest from Left Hand Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 944 ratings.