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Thomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thomas Hooker Octoberfest LagerThomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

163 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 163
Hads: 261
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 40
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-03-2003

Originally brewed to celebrate the beginning of the German brewing season and the 1810 wedding of crown prince Ludwig of Bavaria and his bride-to-be, princess Therese of Saxon-Hildburghausen. This amber beer was brewed in March ("Marzenbier") and left to age in cool lagering caves during the heat of the summer. Our rich and satisfying Bavarian-style OctoberFest comes from a special blend of imported German malts that creates a full-bodied brew and stresses a malty flavor and lingering aroma. Gently hopped and delicately balanced, its true-to-style, slow fermentation and long, cold maturation produces a luxuriously smooth, award-winning brew.

16 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 163 | Hads: 261
Photo of metter98
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear coppery orange in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that died down but consistently covered the surface and left lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of earthy yeast and toasted malts in the nose.
T: The flavor is rather malty and has flavors of toasted malts with hints of butter, caramel and toffee. There is a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is very drinkable because it has a good balance between the malts and hops.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a burnt orange color with a frothy head; leaves a bit of lace, too

Smell: Malty aroma with hints of graham cracker and grain

Taste: Malty, up front, with the graham cracker flavors dominant and joined, by mid-palate by a grainy bitter aspect; after the swallow, the flavors are balanced, with a bit of lager twang, though the finish is somewhat sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nothing wrong at all with this "Octoberfest"

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Blood orange with a warm sunset glow. The liquid slid into the glass with a silent creamy smoothness that should have positive implications for the mouthfeel. Up top sits a small crown of pastel orange-gold that exudes quality. A jagged king's crown of lace cements the already solid look.

The nose is on the tame side for the style and doesn't feature an abundance of Munich malt. That's okay, but there needs to be something in its place that gets the drinker excited about taking a sip. A light fruitiness helps.

THA & L Octoberfest Lager is my kind of Oktoberfest. It favors the lighter (although not overly light), less earthy end of the style spectrum. However, there's enough pale malt present to provide a honey-like sweetness and to fill out the body. I could drink a lot of these.

This brew is more malt-dominant amber lager than Oktoberfest. Of course, that's pretty much what an O-fest is when you get right down to it. Keeping the earthy-nutty flavors to a minimum and accentuating the lightly sweet, lightly toasted, golden grain-like flavors was a good call.

It's a wonderful thing when the sound and the feel of the pour matches the mouthfeel so perfectly. Lagers don't always deliver in this arena, but when they're good, they're very, very good. THOL is remarkably creamy and plush, with an expansiveness that indicates quality brewing.

Octoberfest Lager has been on my 'wants' list for some time now because I've reviewed all of the brewery's other regular releases (to date). It's a fine example of the style and was definitely worth the wait. Thanks to far333 for the surprise package. How did you know that my birthday is next week?

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served right out of the fridge and poured into a Pint Glass

A – Poured a very nice orange tinted amber with a good two finger high head of frothy white lace over the top of the glass. Very nice clarity in this one a you could easily make out the chains of carbonation that were racing towards the top of the glass to replenish the frothy white cap on top. After an average fade what was left behind was a decent amount of side glass lace and a thin film across the rest of the top of the glass. Overall pretty average looks for the style.

S – The aroma was full of musty bready malts. Not overall strong or pungent, it was just rather average with a slight hop twang to it as it started to warm up. There was really a nice grainy back that you could pick up on the aroma and the overall blend of smells was your classic malt filled marzen with a nice little bit of sugary notes added in the back.

T – The flavor was very nice, again rather typical but still very nice with a good amount of bready malts giving it that musty kind of taste. Had a little touch of sugar and a bit more grain and it was kind of skewed a bit towards a red ale to be honest. A slight note of hoppiness floating around in there as well giving the profile a little more depth and a bit more of something to work with then it had had before. Overall again fairly average for the style but still pretty decent overall.

M – Your typically well carbonation light bodied lager here. Nice crisp clean feel, not too thin and defiantly not watered down. The carbonation held up well throughout the entire session and it really was quite a clean feeling ale with no real issues.

D – Superb for a session beer, this was perfect for just sitting back and downing a few with no real issues. There was a really great flavor to it and the carbonation and light body held up very well and really made this something that went down quite quick and you were left looking around waiting for the next one to come.

Overall not bad. I honestly thought I was done with the Oktoberfest beers a long time ago, but I had this one sitting in the closet so I really wanted to be able to clear it out. Not bad overall, not the best I ever had but I would not snub my nose at this one either. Probably a good call in a pinch and something that could go down quite well in the fall.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark amber body with a frothy, off-white head.

Smell: Toasy caramel malt aroma with mild, floral hop notes.

Taste: Again, more toasted caramel flavors with a bit of apple and earthy cinnamon. Fine, floral hop flavor and bitterness. Finishes flat and wholly underwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not really one of my preferred oktoberfests.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy amber-copperbody with golden and orange highlights. Creamy antique-white head. Great retention and lacing.

Smell: Malty: grainy, bready, and toasty.There's also some yeastiness, a hint of floral hops, and a bit of fruitiness that I believe is due to the darker kilning of the Vienna malts in much the same way that some of the darker crystal malts have an almost raisin-like flavor, but not quite exactly to the same extent.

Taste: As is commonly the case, the flavor follows the aroma with a few additions. Bitterness, for example, cannot be smelled, and yet it's there. It's fairly moderate though, and quite appropriate for the Maerzen style. There's just enough to balance it from start to finish: nothing more, and nothing less. And there are some more hops. It's a slight touch spicy, and beneath that there's a little bit of an herbal thing going on. Not unlike the bitterness, however, the hop flavors are restrained to the point that they don't really stand out anymore than anything else; and in that way this is a really balanced and polished brew.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and gently crisp, as expected. Any more carbonation would bring out the bitterness and cut down the smoothness, and any less carbonation might allow it to become to flabby and malty sweet.

Overall: There's a lot of nice flavor across the entire palate, and it lingers quite pleasantly with a touch of malt and a balancing note of hop spiciness. Remarkably drinkable. Well done. Prost!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light copper color with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a very thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, with a good hops background. There’s a little bit of brown sugar & dark fruit as well.

T: A good hearty roasted malt flavor indicative of the style starts out. Sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and a little bit of dark fruit follow. The hops character is mild but it’s very complimentary to the other flavors. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Very tasty, goes down easy, good kick, not very filling, good representation of style, I could stick with this beer for a while. This is one of my favorite O-fest beers.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I saw a news article recently that claimed this as the best Octoberfest in the country.. I'm partly biased as I'm from Conneticut where this is brewed and I don't agree. I think Brooklyn's and Redhook's octoberfests are better tasting overall. Anywho, it was still better than the German octoberfests I tried but still didn't have enough flavor for me. Overall it was just a little too bland but I'll have to try it again.

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Photo of Jason
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle. No freshness date and contract brewed & bottled in Saratoga Springs, NY.

A- Billowing foamy head, clear deep pumpkin orange color.

S- Mildly sweet malt character with suggestions of toasted grain and caramel.

T- Heavy waves of sweet toasted malt with a slight caramel backing. The hops are ample enough to balance and leave a kiss of herbal flavor in the semi-sweet finish.

M- Very crisp and smooth with a creamy mouth feel.

D- Hearty enough to show the rest that it has more character, enough flavor to keep on wanting more.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Not a bad märzen. Poured into a pint glass a burnt orange color with a thin white head that faded fast to a stray layer of bubbles; a little soapy lacing. Malty aroma, grains and floral hops. Sweet caramel malts in the taste, lightly toasted grains, leafy, moderately hopped with some bitterness in the aftertaste. Light-medium body and quite good for an autumn beer.

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Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Excellent rocky head with some lasting power. The lace is slippery and spotty. Close to clear with a light amber color.

Fresh (Crystal) malty aroma with light hop.

Classic Marzen flavoring, although the body is richer than I'm used to in this style. The taste is spot on.

I think this is one of the better offerings in the Octoberfest category.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Attractive, clear tawny amber hue, admirable layer of cream-toned froth atop.
Aroma is light malt, herbal/vegetal, soft and appealing...nice.
Nice bite up front in the taste, malt is rich and sweet. clinging ever-so long on the palate. Body's about medium or more, with a long, tasty, fruity finish.
An Oktoberfest anyone can be happy with, easy to toss back, with unflagging flavor.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a well endowed, frothy, amber-tan colored head that sits atop a rich ruby colored brew. The aroma has a light malt sweetness to it plus a nice, dry, not quite toasted malt note that is perhaps most reminiscent of crackers. I also get some aromatic hints of raisins, and a bit of spiciness up front, which I would attribute to the hops.

This has a medium palate to it, which I really like in an Oktoberfest. I want a Pils to be light and refreshing not one of these. There is a light sweetness here that makes me think of raisins and caramelized stewed-malt. There is a nice spiciness to this brew from beginning to end, it is not in your face noticeable, but it is appreciatively apparent, and adds a nice backdrop to the malt character. The beer finishes with a bit of a sharp hop bit, but then it is balanced by the soft, almost fruity, sweet malt character.

This is a nice example of an Oktoberfest. It is just light enough to be quite drinkable, but is full of flavor (in both the malt and hop department), yet not so much that you get distracted by it.

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Photo of Billolick
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled a 12 ounce bottle, which had no freshness dating. Poured, orangy, medium amber, clear with rising bubbles, lifting a slightly off white head. Left some creamy lacing. Nose was of faint malt. Sturdy & flavorfull O'fest brew. Nice medium body and soft, welcoming mouthfeel. Nicely developed malt base, nutty and spicy notes, finishes with a mild but noticable hop note. Well crafted and tasty, a fine fall brew/sessioner

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with very little head and no lacing. Smells of light malt and there is a clean, fresh, grassy smell and some yeastiness as well. Pleasant. The taste is of clean malt that is not sticky at all, a very balanced sweetness and light bitterness, and a pleasant yeastiness intertwined with a tangy malt finish. This beer is quite smooth and cream, but with just enough bite not to bore. It didn't wow me, but it is well made and quite drinkable.

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Photo of Zorro
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled through sinstaineddemon and Secret Bunny '08 BIF.

Clear amber to reddish brown colored lager with a strong tan head.

Smell is very clean with a fair amount of caramel. Lots of toasted grain aroma and a faint grassy aroma. What is absent is much hop aroma at all, just a little grass.

The taste starts out sweet and malty with lots of Munich malt and a solid drying bitterness. Flavor doesn't change a lot as you drink it; it's just plain good. Little bit of raisin bran flavor here, like you see in a lot of Octoberfest beers.

Mouthfeel is good.

Quite nice drinkability here, I would have no problems drinking this for a month or six as my only beer. Add a little more dry hops and this would be about perfect.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to Ezone024 for this brew.

Pours a nice slightly hazy dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, with some slight spice and lots of caramel. The taste is malty, sweet, slight hop note, some spice/caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, I've been waiting along time to try this brew out, not bad at all.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a five-finger cream head that fades quickly and leaves some lace. Clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is malty. Starts sweet with a good malt/hop mix, finish is bready. $1.55 for a 12oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained via trade with Wyllder. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" light tan head above the deeply reddish amber brew. Laces well, and aroma is malty, with a balancing hops presence. Taste follows is as the aroma portended, malty with a hoppy bitterness. The bitterness quashes the mouthfeel a tad for me, but still a great marzen.

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Photo of DrJay
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very clear auburn. A foamy beige head full of soapy bubbles fell quickly to a thin cap. Clumpy lacing was short lived. Grainy malt aroma, a little toasty, with herbal hop notes. Pleasant malt, but bitterness is definitely out front here. Herbal, grassy hops stand out while sweet, toasty malt sits in the background. The malt tastes a bit thin and there's a lingering metallic bitterness that is a little distracting. Medium/light bodied with moderate carbonation level that felt a little coarse. I still thought it was okay, but it just seemed to miss the mark for the style.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with no expiration date or lot code. Sampled on February 22, 2010. The pour is a darker amber-copper with little to no head or lacing. The aroma is pungent with sweet caramel malts and toffee. It comes with a decent body while the flavor is also very sweet and caramel-like with a bitter hop finish. Not all that bad.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, obtained in a trade from brewfan, thanks for the opportunity to try

appearance: pours into an imperial pint glass...clear dark copper-amber body, light beige foam with little in the way of retention but nice lacing...pretty standard for the style i'd say

smell: strong sweetness on the nose...apple, caramel, toasted grain, toasted malt, light hop bitterness, lightly metallic

taste: nice creamy body...light hop metallic flavor that is actually quite nice, caramel apple, lightly toasted malt and grain...nice fruit sweetness, a touch woody...rich and enjoyable

mouthfeel: rich smooth and creamy, medium body

drinkability: high

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. No date or info.

Thanks to Onenote81 for sending this brew my way in a surprise box!

A - The pour isn't audible in the least even with the height. Not a lot of head formation as the beer transferred over though. A thin skim of bone-colored head and a small arch of lace are left floating over the golden bronze brew.

S - Earthy notes of dry leaves and pine needle come from the hops. A pinch of sweet toasted caramel and Vienna malts balances well. I get a light hint of off butterscotch notes though.

T - A malty backbone shows good support for the refreshing earthy hops. Dry leave finishes out this balanced brew. A touch of something that seems just a bit off makes it into the flavor though.

M - Medium-bodied but somehow it's thin still. A little bit slick perhaps. It finishes dry and clean with a sparkling carbonation mouthfeel.

D - I find myself taking sip after sip to evaluate and I continue to down this brew. I definitely enjoy it for an everyday drinking okto. It goes down and refreshes well.

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Photo of Durge
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Gambrinus for importing this fresh growler of brew direct from the Bloomfield mother lode. The color was a distinct, clear copper with a weak white head and only nominal lacing. The aroma brought grassy malt and some clove with just a touch of herbal hop. Very nice. The flavor seemed dead on with the aroma so I can only repeat that while malt is the base theme, the grassy-clove idea hung true. It's not quite the clove you get with a Belgian brew but it had that sort of near minty character. I couldn't put my finger on what to call it, but it's likeable enough. It's a medium-light bodied brew though a bit aqueous I thought. The somewhat strong flavor here holds it back from being a big session choice but it works well in conversation with fellow beer enthusiasts. Certainly worth trying as a variation on the Oktoberfest theme.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Attractive amber color that grows a big, soft ivory foam. Keeps a solid skim on top throughout the session and the lacing is mostly drippy with some globs and displaced sheeting.

Aroma is clean and subdued carrying a tad of toffee with a rounded toasted realm to its waft but mostly dark and malty with a soft sweetness to it.

Taste starts out like many o-fests, full and malty, nicely creamy with very tender notions to toasted toffee, darker fruits, and some nuttyness. Finish creates a slightly dry smokey peet and wet woodyness. A nudge of deep sided hoppyness helps add some depth in the finish as well. Stays favorably clean and firm the whole ride through.

Mouthfeel is fairly full in the front and teeters from there but stays firmly set in its creamy/silken nature and finishes well with subtle tonality and very slight malty warmth.

The overall clean profile of this O-fest by Thomas Hooker is quite remarkable and probably the most intriguing part that I found and liked about it. Not to mention that it helps add some very good downability; that, along with a slimmer 6% ABV just begs for repeat fill ups.

A hearty thanks to goodbyeohio for the many samples!

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Thomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.