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Okto Festival Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Okto Festival AleOkto Festival Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

356 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 356
Reviews: 166
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 12.97%

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Altbier |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Classified as a German Altbier by the Widmer Brothers; brewed with an (ale) Alt yeast strain.

availability: early Aug. - late Oct.
bitterness : 28 IBU
original gravity: 13.5° PLATO

(Beer added by: RedDiamond on 09-09-2005)
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Ratings: 356 | Reviews: 166 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of alphagnome


3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A clear, deep orange body is on display wearing a finger thick, cream colored head. Light lacing and considerable carbonation. Fantastic curb appeal.

Light sweetness and light toffee and a hint of caramel. Nothing else.

Like the aroma, not a lot to write home about here... that said, I still found myself enjoying it. Incredibly light roasted malt character.. fresh bread and caramel.

Lighter carbonation and body than most offerings in the genre. Thin and watery, but easy to drink. Clean finish with no aftertaste.

I enjoyed this one quite a lot.. Easy to drink and inoffensive as they come, everyone should give this one a go.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2013 02:43:04 | More by alphagnome
Photo of magictacosinus


1.83/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thanks, Dan. Strange that this is listed as an altbier. I suppose I should have poured into a stange glass, but whatever. Poured into a pint glass out of a 12oz bottle. Bottling date is listed as "08/12/13."

Pours an amber copper color with a very modest, off-white head that seems to settle as soon as I pour it into the glass. Amazingly, in spite of its fizzy consistency, it remains as a light right around the glass, thanks to the enormous amount of bubbles and carbonation that make themselves visible as they rise to the top. Leaves no stickiness, and lacing is pretty much inexistent. No idea how to rate this to style, but I'm sure it could look better.

The aroma reveals some caramel, toffee, light pine, grass... And that's about it. There's a brief green apple and acetone aroma that rises at the finish and coats the graininess and sweetness from the caramel, which is unpleasant. There's also some undeniable squash flavors lurking beneath. What's up with these flavors? They're strangely appealing (as in, begging to be paired with holiday related food), but it's kind of a jumbled mess. Quite poor, especially by this brewery's standards.

The flavor is brief venture into the caramel/toffee territory that it was going towards, and then in come the veggie notes. Squash, pumpkin, and cabbage permeate, with some light melon notes and acrid grassiness from the hops. Apparently this wasn't brewed with any adjuncts, but at this point, why didn't they just rebrand it as a "pumpkin beer" in light of the issue? Tastes stale and anemic, especially with the raspy grainy flavor and faded hop profile. Also, I can't help but notice this diacetyl texture that continues to waft its way through with each additional sip, which made this buttery, funky, and simply wrong.

Horrible stuff - I realize this is an older bottle but it should have held up better than this. Alas, I'm reviewing this because I feel that even in its freshest stages does it retain these off flavors throughout. Am I crazy, or did I get a bad bottle or something? Not anything I'd want to revist again - and I could definitely say the same for most of Widmer's beers at this point.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 06:30:13 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of bark


3.29/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The colour is gold-orange (15 EBC), the liquid is clear. Finger thick head, no lacing, no retention.

The smell is smooth. Caramel/toffee. Sweet notes of dried fruits and some floral flavours.

The taste is fresh and malty with dried exotic fruits, caramel, and hay. Very light bitterness, just enough to create a fine balance. Some cardboard and boiled vegetables in the background. Medium body. The aftertaste is fresher with malty caramel flavours, hay and dried flowers.

Fresh small long-lived bubbles. The liquid is light.

More caramel and fruits than expected: Not really a classic altbier, but still an OK beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2013 19:56:54 | More by bark
Photo of archyquaffer


3.56/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served from a 12 ounce bottle into an 8 ounce sampling glass. This was bought at a convenience store, and was being stored warm. Freshness date of August, 2013 (purchased and reviewed in early November). A moderate pour produces about 1/2 inch of frothy head, which reduces quickly into a chunky lacing. The color is a yellowish brown with red highlights and crystal clear, with light carbonation.

I get some chocolate and caramel on the nose, with not much hop character. Toasty and bready flavors are predominant. Clean finish with maybe a bit of citrusy hops. Easy drinking.

This was a good value at about 7.50 a sixer, despite the fact that it wasn't as fresh as it could be.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 21:37:39 | More by archyquaffer
Photo of Jeffreysan


3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, orange/amber color with a quarter of a finger of white head, speckled with orange highlights, which quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Not much in the aroma department. Faint hits of malt and brown sugar. Some subtle hops aroma too.

Taste: Malty upfront, like freshly baked baguettes, followed by some brown sugar/caramel-like sweetness, finished by some nicely balanced hoppy bitterness. There’s a long finish to this beer too.

Mouthfeel: Medium, with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.3%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Pretty good American version of an Oktober fest beer, and a little surprising coming from Widmer Bros., who’s beers tend to be much hoppier than this, too hoppy for my taste. This one is very well balanced and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2013 01:50:01 | More by Jeffreysan
Photo of MaltyCrock

District of Columbia

3.04/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very much an okay nothing special beer IMHO. Cool name and interesting bottle art convinced me to pick up a six pack of this, and Portland beers tend to be good.

A: Nice mid/deep amber color, looks like a beer should, good 2 inches of white lacy foam.
S: Weak malty, slightly zesty, flat
T: Starts a bit sweet, turns citrusy, ends a bit bitter, in general a weak tasting beer, not lacking taste, but if I didn't know I was drinking a beer I wouldn't know I was drinking a beer....know what I mean?
M: Thin
O: I was looking for a seasonal brew to get me pumped for Halloween, something better than the tried and true Sam Adam's Seasonal fare, this was not the beer I was looking for. Maybe I can hand it out with the candy this coming Thursday...to the parents.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2013 22:30:37 | More by MaltyCrock
Photo of BeerWithMike


4.15/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled on 10/15/13. Chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a pretty burnt orange in color with a 1-finger off white head that hangs around for a while. Good lacing was seen with each sip. The aroma is of some caramel, spice and hops. Very nice! The taste was the same and much better than other "Oktober" brews I have tried. Very smooth actually and went down easy.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2013 20:58:47 | More by BeerWithMike
Photo of vkv822


3.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz : tulip

Pours a very slightly hazy burnt orange with a fizzy, bubbly off white head.

Caramel, malty goodness upfront, highlighted by some light hop notes of floral and spice.

Medium body, fizzy carbonation.

The malts are certainly the focal point in this one, with the hops doing a good job of adding some complimentary notes in the finish. A well done example of a tasty, malt-forward beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2013 08:39:48 | More by vkv822
Photo of Mike4TN


4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Booze this beer! It's killer! Good color Great Taste and awesome buzz..LOL..seriously though This is a impressive Oktoberfest Beer In the mix of contenders and pretender's...This beer stands out I was impressed CONTENDER!!! Walk on home boy!!! RESPECT!!!

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2013 23:51:48 | More by Mike4TN
Photo of Celtics17


3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This has hints of a German style Oktoberfest beer. This one by Widmer, has a slight passion fruit taste, along with sweetness that reminds me of caramel, or toffee. This was better than expected. This is Widmer, so the fruit notes don't surprise me. Even some slight honey notes with the taste. Very strong ICE TEA feel to this beer.

A: Reddish/orange amber, very little haziness, slightly off-white head, spotty lacing.
S: Caramel, malt, chocolate, delicate hop aroma.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2013 06:53:57 | More by Celtics17
Photo of Kendo

New York

3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from the bottle into a mug while watching the Reds-Pirates one-game wildcard playoff game. Body is coppery-amber that's more orangey amber when backlit. Clear. Oddly, there's no real visible carbonation, though a half-finger off-white head settles on top. Decent amount of clinging lace.

S: Heavy on the toffee side of things. Not much else going on, really.

T: Definitely a malt-centered beer. Toffee, healthy dose of caramel malt and some toasted bread. Also a bit of nuttiness. Faintest of faint lemony bitterness lingers in the aftertaste, though to be honest it didn't really show up on the first run-through on the palate.

M: Fizzy carbonation is a surprise given the appearance. Call it light-to-medium in heft.

O: Decent. An easy drinker, non-offensive, and generally hits the right notes for the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2013 01:52:22 | More by Kendo
Photo of mblk6062


2.9/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I really wanted to like this beer, but to be truthful, it falls way short of my expectations. An Oktoberfest beer (for my taste) should be very malty and spicy/toffee flavored. This beer was just....bland. If I had made this one myself, I definitely would not be very proud of it. Not a bad beer, but not great - I wouldn't bring it to a friend's home to share, which is my baseline for a great beer. This is not the first time I have been disappointed in a Widmer Brothers product - most likely will not buy anything from this house again. If you are a WB fan, I don't wish to offend you, as it is probably just my palate, not their product.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2013 12:30:42 | More by mblk6062
Photo of rand


3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From 12 oz bottle to pint glass

A: An inviting amber-brown, clear, the beer forms a sudsy 2 inch head that covers the glass in lacing.

S: Sweet malts, a citrus twang, a touch of grainy yeast aspects make the nose. It yields a fairly subtle bouquet.

T/M: Malty smooth up front, an unusual lemony citrus note jumps to the front of the palate. Grainy, almost floral for the style. Splashy, medium bodied...could use some oily viscosity to bring out some of the flavors. Just a splash of hop bite adds some balance toward the short and strangely dry finish.

Not a bad beer and easy to drink, but lacks the rich toffee flavors distinct for the style, and the citrusy aspect is a little weird. It's pretty to look at though.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2013 09:01:53 | More by rand
Photo of smakawhat


3.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a stange glass.

A real nice looker, amber brown and deep bronze color, with real nice clarity and microscopic slow rising carbonation coming through the glass. Head is fluffy tan in color, with pinhead bubbles for size, large and expansive with scattered lacing, and leaving a good puck. Very impressive.

Nose brings some light toffee aromas, and a bit of yeasty sticky floral senses. Slight hints of clove a bit also. Mellow, with a hint of brown bread. Pretty solid.

Palate comes quite neutral in flavor and taste. Mellow and soft malts and caramel but with not much staying power. Feels muted and toned down. Lightly bready finish and light brown sugars on the swallow to match, but strangely giving most of the flavor there. Slightly crisp, but with a light feel.

Overall it's alright, no complaints but seems a bit lacking.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 21:38:38 | More by smakawhat
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.11/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, copper-orange coloring with a slow flow of carbonation in the body and a filmy, light, fluffy white head on top. Aromas of toasted grain, cinnamon and nutmeg spices, and subtle caramel sweetness give a true harvest feel to the aromas. Rich and pleasant nose. Flavors are roasted and sweet on the forward tongue, with a sugary undertone that detracts from the overall balance of the beer. Roasted caramel notes hit a tangy level, while the spices present on the nose seem to all but disappear on the palate. Light, slighty frothy body from the carbonation, but even that can't help clear the cloying, sugary linger that bleeds all the way through to the slick finish. This one started great for me, but then seemed to spiral out of control from there.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 20:23:52 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of I3eck

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle -> Wine glass

A: Reddish/orange amber, very little haziness, slightly off-white head, spotty lacing.
S: Caramel, malt, chocolate, delicate hop aroma.
T: Roasty/chocolaty malts, honey, slightly sweet finish with a light hoppy bitterness.
M: Medium to full-bodied which is surprising for its appearance. Nice CO2.
O: Well-balanced and drinkable beer. My last review of Widmer Bros. was an unexpected disappointment but they have redeemed themselves, which I knew they would. This beer shows how versatile they can be as most of what I have tried from Widmer Bros. has been hoppy ales. This has a nice delicate hop in the background that accents this beer nicely.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 01:25:50 | More by I3eck
Photo of Slatetank


3.94/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Wegman's poured in a mug chilled from the 12oz bottle with bottle on date of July 14, 13.

The color is deep copper with good clarity and thick frothy beige head with fine bead and good retention. The smell is malty with some mild yeast esters and light woody hop aroma. The feel is mostly creamy with some toastiness and light bitterness in the semi-dry finish.

The flavor is malty up front with some light toasted and caramel flavor with a gentle yeast element which gives way to some light herbal and slightly spicey hop flavors which continue into the finish with a subtle dry quality but no alcohol is apparent in the taste. I like a good Alt and this fits with a bit more hops than the German counterpart perhaps, but the flavor is clean and it is a drinkable example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2013 21:47:50 | More by Slatetank
Photo of msubulldog25


3.56/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up about a week ago, bottle imprinted with: Aug1413 - so it's about a month old. Poured to a pint glass.

A: The epitome of "auburn', it's reddish-orangish through and through. Despite a rapid pour, head is disappointing _ less than a half-finger of ivory film, quick to fade. However, the color is beautiful and the lace is all steady and speckled.

S: Mildly sweet aroma. OK, less than mild. Lots of toffee, brown sugar, sweet apple. Fairly strong and a very likeable scent.

T: Plenty of caramel, sweet and full of maple/brown sugar. Benign, pleasant, but sweet.

M: Moderate thickness, pretty much 'light'. A very malt-forward Oktoberfest

O: Just 'OK' flavor-wise and mediocre in other categories, too. Pretty easy to drink, however, if you're craving an ale of the style and on the 'light' side.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2013 23:12:58 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle stamped 10-21-3-JUL 29 13. Sampled on September 17, 2013.

The pour is medium caramel amber with a lacing-leaving off-white head. A slight chill haze perhaps.

The aroma is not in your face but it does have a toasted malt character, vaguely earth notes, and butter. Got to be the yeast.

The body is creamy and around medium.

The taste was more bitter than the aroma led me to believe it would be. Some mildly sweet malts up front but slight lingering note at the end.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2013 23:29:00 | More by puboflyons
Photo of Spikester


3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear red amber with a small white head. Rings and spots of lacing.
Smell is malt forward with some earthy hops.
Taste is also malt forward, some caramel . Hops catch up quickly and ad some spicey earth tones.
Mouthfeel is good enough a bit dry but not too much. Carbonation is slightly low which makes this an easy drinker.
Overall a tasty fall brew. Brewed on date Aug.12, 2013. About one month old.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2013 05:05:21 | More by Spikester
Photo of cjgiant

District of Columbia

3.39/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This offering from Widmer is, as advertised, slightly different from some "octoberfest" beers in that the focus on the malt side of the beer seems less than others. The beer is actually even

The appearance is amber, clear, with average head characteristics, without any distinctive aroma. It starts out with a combination of malt and bitter, giving way to a mild bitterness not expected. There is also a little fall-spice (i.e. slightly reminiscent of a pumpkin ale) in the background as the taste gives way to the bitter hops side. The not-too-heavy malt does actually hold on a little in the background, however, leading to a balanced beer than might not quite meet the normal octoberfest standards, but is not a bad beer overall.

I think this beer might suffer from not quite meeting octoberfest standards and not quite having anything distinctive about it (balanced). As such, I would guess most raters are going to put this dead in the middle, no high ratings, no low ratings, lots of average ones.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2013 00:03:38 | More by cjgiant
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a nice deep auburn –copper color with a two finger foamy off white head. The head has a great level of retention, slowly fading over time as big bubbles pop within the foam, leaving a tiny level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a heaviest of a roasted malt smell mixed with some caramel notes. Along with these smells are some light aromas of roasted nut, apple, and a bit of spice.

Taste – The taste begins with a crisp roasted and slightly bready taste. Upfront there is some caramel sweetness and a little bit of a spice. As the taste advances it temporarily sweetens up a decent sum as flavors of apple join the caramel. Soon the caramel fades as the apple maintains it strength drying out the brew once again. While this occurs the roasted flavors grow stronger and are joined by a light toasted nut taste. With more spice flavors and a light floral taste coming to the tongue at the end, a rather crisp and lightly roasted flavor is left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the medium to lighter side with the carbonation level begins just a tad above normal. Both accentuate the lighter fruit and caramel flavors all while creating a more crisp feel that is very good for the style.

Overall – A rather crisp and enjoyable brew overall with a nice blend of roasted flavors, light sweeter flavors, and spice flavors which overall create an easy drinker.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 00:04:31 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of DeFaz


3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a copper color with a short head that leaves large blotches of lacing.

Smell: Sweet. Strong malt presence with caramel and maybe some brown sugar.

Taste: Again, sweet, with heavy malt, caramel, nut, and a touch of hops in the end. Starts sweet and finishes somewhat dry. Pretty good, but seems to be missing something. There's not too much there to get excited about.

Mouthfeel: The label on the bottle calls it a "full bodied" beer but the mouthfeel is on the thinner side, at least relative to the boldness of the malt and caramel. The beer is crisp.

Overall: A decent beer that could use greater hop inclusion or some other flavors to make it more interesting.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 23:31:22 | More by DeFaz
Photo of TheMarkE


3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Copperish orange color with decent head and good lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts, caramel, and brown sugar.

Taste: Malts, caramel, hints of nuts and hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and creamy with very little aftertaste.

The Verdict: Not bad. A solid German Altbier with good malt backbone and enough caramel and hops to keep it interesting. Some Octoberfest brews are overpowering with spice to me, but this one is just about right.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2013 00:23:06 | More by TheMarkE
Photo of KKB


3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A – Very nice, just how an Octoberfest should look, it has that burnt autumn leave look to it with a tall toast head is transparent and leaves behind adequate, if not overwhelming head. Lovely looking beer.

S – Rather mild smelling with a caramel malt sweetness and barely detectable hops. There is a slight IBU to this beer but I’m drinking it 5 months after it was made so I expect that they are severely faded by now. Toasted and earthy as well. Smells nice despite being mild.

T – It’s good, if pretty underwhelming. You get some bread in there, a malty sweetness, a pecan element, and a little bit of tobacco. Perhaps a little tea taste in here as well. This doesn’t taste bad and is very drinkable but it is just really too mild for me to say wonderful things about it.

M – It could use a greater amount of carbonation to be sure, the mouthfeel is light. It is not bad though, still has a nice smoothness to it which is emblematic of the style.

O – I don’t hate this beer one bit, but I certainly do not love it. It is just so-so. I wouldn’t recommend you run out and buy it when it’s being made but I might want to try a fresh one of these one day to see if the added IBU brings something else to the table. Overall, a good beer for sure, but not outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2012 04:50:53 | More by KKB
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Okto Festival Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 356 ratings.