Thomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

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Thomas Hooker Octoberfest LagerThomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager

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BA SCORE
87
very good

251 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 251
Reviews: 163
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 33
Gots: 22 | 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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-03-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 251 | Reviews: 163 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JMD
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a rich dark copper color with small off-white head that leaves a little lacing down the glass.

S: Toasted carmel malt, some bread and sweet brown sugar.

T: Sweet upfront with carmel malt, brown sugar and molasses. Also some bready and nutty notes. Some light spice, but very subtle. Finishes with a light touch of hops.

M: Medium to full bodied. Very smooth with moderate carbonation.

D: This is one of my favorite Oktoberfests. Smooth and flavorful, I can drink these all night. Another solid offering from Thomas Hooker.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a dimpled mug. The beer appears a slightly hazed rich apricot color with an inch of pillowy bone white foam. The foam sticks around through nearly the entire mug, settling only slightly. Flavor and aroma consist of medium toasted bread, sweet malt, pleasantly fruity (apple, pear). A rather tasty marzen to say the least. About medium bodied with ample carbonation. Festbier fans need to give this one a try.

Photo of msolar
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very clear amber color with decent carbonation. Very sweet flavor, hints of apple with a very slight alcohol aftertaste. Pretty good flavor and light-to-medium bodied. This would certainly make a pretty good session beer.

I'd consider putting this on tap at home next year but am a bit October/Pumpkin beer'ed out for the season. Certainly one of the top 5 fall beers I've had, especially considering that this one really isn't spiced like some of the others.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a good copper/amber color with a decent sized head, fades slowly to leave an alright ring of lace.

Smell has a good malty backing with a good spiciness, some roasted, lots of caramel.

Taste is similar to the smell, with the taste mostly contributed from the caramel malt and some nice spicy kicks to the sides of the tongue.

Photo of Soozy
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice amber/orange color

S - Malt, caramel, some hops

T - Awesome. That's all I can say. Tastes like pure caramel, crystal malts, nice hop finish. Very, very pleasant. Easily the best Oktoberfest I had this year.

M - Low carbonation, great for style

D - Pretty good; I was not expecting this to be 6%. I could drink a few of these in a row, but probably not the six.

I had a different Oktoberfest immediately following this one and I was surprised at how watered-down it tasted... it couldn't hold a candle to it. I

Photo of Hokies
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz poured into a nonic. Pours a deep color with a minimal white head with a thin lace left on the glass.

A nice caramel malt aroma with a faint hop aroma.

Not overly sweet and definitely not too hoppy. A very balanced Marzen with a very strong caramel malt taste.

Probably one of the best Oktoberfest beers that I have had.

Photo of DousedInStout
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer poured a beautiful, bright orange color with a solid head and long lasting lacing. The nose was sweet and malty, and the taste was prefect to style. Very well balanced - caramel malt at first followed by some noble hop crispness. Overall, the best Octoberfest I've had this year.

Photo of Doomcifer
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, bright amber color with a fantastic cream colored, frothy head that retains very nicely. Smells biscuity, bready malts, earthy tones. Taste is more bready and biscuity maltiness, earthy, noble hop spice, very pleasing and balanced. Fantastic Marzen. Slightly creamy mouthfeel, crisp. Very drinkable and one of, if not the best, Marzen I have had this year.

Photo of BeerTruth
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The little bitch known as number1bum got this one for me, thanks man.

12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Pours a dark brick orange with a two finger light khaki colored head that sticks around for a while leaving a nice wall of lacing behind on the sides of the glass. Smell consists of roasted nuts, caramel malt, and sweet butter. Grassy hops and toasted grains tickle the nose as well, but overall the aroma is pretty weak. Taste starts off with sweet caramel malt and pale malt with a touch of butterscotch. Clean crisp hops with a citrus like characteristic midway and some nuttiness too. A very enjoyable aftertaste with earthy hops and a hefty breadiness to it. A chewy medium body with a smooth feel and lively carbonation. A very solid Octoberfest beer for sure, probably one of my favorite. Great drinkability and great flavor, what more can you ask for in a lager? Get your hands on this one if you can.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Wood n' Tap in Southington, Conn.

A: Poured a deep, rich copper color with a thin, creamy veil of carbonation which left some nice, patchy lace on the glass, which was a Hooker; nice for effect!

S: Smells slightly grainy, with a noticeable sweet bread aroma and some very faint hops.

T: Taste is served with a big rush of sweet, toasted caramel malts and satisfying multi-grain flavors. There's a slightly bitter hop backbone near the finish, but this is a sweet malt treat.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and a little creamy for a marzen.

D: Very tasty, with a sturdy pair of malty legs beneath it, this has to be one of the tastier American marzens I've had. Not much in the way of aroma, and not completely balanced, but really smooth and quite flavorful.

If it were not a work lunch affair, I'd have gone for another one or two. I heard last year's batch didn't turn out quite right from some trusted sources. I'll have to see if this good flavor and strong drinkability will translate from the bottle.

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of sethmeister
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Luminous, crystal clear brassy orange body topped with a billowing tan cloud of a head. Beautiful appearance.

Very fragrant; scent appeared before I lifted the glass. Toast, roasted grains, a hint of bitter tea.

Taste: toast, roasted grains, spicy hops and a delightfully long and nicely bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is medium with a lively carbonation up front and an astringency at the end. I might prefer a slightly thicker feel but that's just my preference. For the style this is probably ideal.

Drinkability is excellent. Each sip leaves me wanting another and I have to force myself to put the glass down for a moment in order to write this.

I can absolutely see why this one keeps winning awards. Since I love a thicker mouthfeel I think it is a tossup whether this or Berkshire's thick juicy Oktoberfest is my favorite, but either way this is an excellent Oktoberfest lager.

Photo of dsa7783
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single, 12-ounce bottle just copped from Nikki's Liquors in Providence, Rhode Island...
"Celebrate Autumn - Our Award Winning German Style Lager" on the orange, front logo sticker...
Appearance: A hefty pour yielded a rustic, deep-copper, orange hue with a decent-sized foamy head that quickly receded and deposited a thin film of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Smell: Rustic, malty aroma with hints of amber and grains...
Taste: Dead-on in terms of style, yet could've been slightly thicker in terms of mouthfeel... Grains, amber, caramel, slight vanilla bombard the palate...
Good mouthfeel along with a good level of drinkability and warming ABV...
Good stuff...

Photo of erosier
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice amber orange color with a medium sized and medium bodied white head that laces the glass on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, some caramel, and a slight earthy hoppy aroma at the end.
T: Very big malty base that makes up the body of this beer. Nice caramel notes and then some fainter earthy hops at the end.
M: Very crisp, fresh, and lighter feeling than I thought it was going to be. Nice amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable beer and I wish they had these seasonals all year round.

Photo of Gmann
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden amber color with a small off-white head that dissipated into a small cap. The aroma is quite faint, I pick up the caramel malt, brown bread. The taste is a bready toasted malt, caramel, and a touch of metal. A nice malty flavor, could use more of a Saaz hop presence. The feel is moderate with nice carbonation. The brew finishes with a nice malty sweetness balanced with a toasted malt bitterness. A solid malty brew. Something about this brew does not scream out Marzen/Oktoberfest but it is still a good offering. Sample is probably a bit old at this point.

Photo of Zorro
4.25/5  rDev +9%
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.

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark amber brown color with a half a finger thick head that quickly disappears to a ring around the rim. There is no lacing due to dissipation of the head.

S: The main smell is of roasted malt. There is a hint of a chocolate aroma as well.

T: The aroma carries through to the taste. A hint of chocolate and a roasted malt taste. I like it, but it is just a tad too bitter for my tastes.

M: It has a nice thickness that makes it enjoyable in the mouth. However, there is no carbonation at all. I think it would be much more enjoyable with at least some carbonation.

D: The bitterness makes this one a sipper for me. I enjoyed this one a lot, but there was no way I could knock it back.

Photo of jackorain
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber, almost brown, slight chill haze. 1-inch head fell to tall collar and really nice splotchy thick coat.

Smells of sweet malt, caramel and biscuit too, alittle yeast

Tastes of caramel maltand biscuit up front. The middle is toasty. There is a nice balance in the hop bitterness but it is fleeting as the mlats come back t finish this beer.

Medium body and quite fizzy.

decent drinkability. I would not be adverse to having a couple of these.

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a sixtel this fall... just getting around to typing up the review

Regularly poured with a nice 2 finger head, which quickly dissipated. Burnt orange in color - attractive.

Found this to have a rich, malty smell. Didn't catch any special spices to note.

Tasted of caramel, a hint of chocolate, faint hops, and an overall rich flavor for an Oktoberfest.

This was very smooth on the palate.

Found this to be a pleasantly sessionable selection - well done, and recommended!

Photo of pittvkyle7
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from 2006
A-A hazy dark amber/brownish color, white heads that fades to a ring in about two min. Some lacing but it's not very sticky.

S- Candy sugars and some yeast, very sweet, no hop aroma

T- again on the sweet side of things, tastes like a lot of other octoberfests I've had. toasted sugars, nutty, just a bit of hop bitterness to even it out.

M- At first I felt it was more carbonated than other TH beers, whatever the case, it is still smooth and goes down easy. light mouth feel

D- good drinkablility

Edit:
I had the 2008 version, and I have to say that is the BEST Octoberfest I've had all season. It is just full of flavor and makes others seem watered down, just really good stuff!

the 2006 got a B from me, but now I'm changing its score for 2008

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
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?

Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Photo of Deus1138
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wish I had tried this earlier in the year. I expect it to disappear from store shelves now that it is November. Oh well, I know now for next year.

This is an exceptional Octoberfest. I was surprised by the sweet malts that come through after your sip. Kind of caramel, brown sugary in character. I like Octoberfests for the strong flavor. This brew has the expected strong flavor, but it's sweet and smooth. Very creamy mouth feel. I did not detect the hops until the aftertaste. Not an overwhelming hop flavor, just enough to let you know they're there.

Very easy to drink this one. Flavorful, sweet, smooth, and well balanced. Not "too much" of anything. I'll be sure to get some as soon as it is available next year.

Photo of number1bum
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my contributions to NEPA BC split #8.

Pours a perfect dark amber color with great clarity and about 2 fingers of light tan head. Head recedes slowly leaving a nice, thin lace and even some patchy stick on the sides.

Smell is toasted grain and caramel malt along with some spicy hops.

Taste is also primarily toasted malt and grain flavors with some caramel malt sweetness. Hops are mildly bitter and have some spice through the finish. Finishes dry but smooth with a crisp and medium-bodied mouthfeel. Smooth and refreshing flavor makes this one an easy drinker.

This is truly a top notch oktoberfest. This isn't my favorite style and I've sampled a lot of mediocre ones, but this one rises above the crowd. Pick it up.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very nice beer, although I think it blurs the line a little between an Octoberfest and a pumpkin beer. Dark amber with red highlights and a medium sized head. Caramel malt aroma. Likewise in the taste, although fairly sweet. A good deal of spice also. Smooth and enjoyable.

Thomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 251 ratings.