Okto Festival Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Okto Festival AleOkto Festival Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

176 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 176
Hads: 468
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 9
Gots: 30 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Altbier |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: hyuga on 10-29-2002

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
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 176 | Hads: 468
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark amber with a 1 inch light tan head that fades to an oily cap on the top of the beer. Thin broken rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grains and some slight caramel notes. Really a very subdued smell on this one. Taste is of malt/grain, caramel, and some citrus zest. A slightly bitter taste lingers on the palate after each sip. A pretty good level of carbonation with a crisp yet smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer from Widmer but nothing that special. (515 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

not bad, but really not special at all. generic, even for these guys, who usually do pretty well with flavor in conventional styles. this one is a bit watered down for me, not a whole lot of the rich caramel german malt i like in the style, and its not lagered, yet i think it has a pretty similar grain base to the marzen beers of the season. usually i would be all for that, but it just has not much flavor, and it finishes with a strange metallic tang that obviously doesnt belong. i do get a hint of citrus there, and then the bittering hops on top of the grain, but the whole thing is just too light for my tastes, especially this time of year. carbonation is on point, but it has no body and that hurts it for me. the ale yeast adds nothing, and im left pretty underwhelmed on the whole. (793 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Autumn leaves orange with Sunkist highlights and a lovely looking crown of toast colored foam that filled almost half the glass on the pour. As the head slowly shrinks, fine sheets of torn lace are beginning to appear.

The aroma could be more powerful, but is otherwise as expected. It's toasted and earthy with caramel malt underpinnings. Even if the ingredients weren't listed above, pretty good guesses could have been made by anyone with a functioning nose.

Okto is an Oktoberfest, not an altbier. It says so on the label and on the Widmer website. Not to mention the fact that it looks, smells, tastes, feels and drinks like an Oktoberfest. Okay, now that that's settled, on with the review.

The beer is considerably more malty sweet than hoppy bitter, which is par for the style course. It's also six months old (but doesn't taste or feel like it), which means that the starting 25 IBUs are probably about half that now. It's on the simple side, but is pretty good beer in the end.

Specifics include toffee-caramel, a little brown breadiness, sugared pecans, and a hint of earthy tobacco and tea. Drinkability is good. A big stein of Okto alongside a sausage and peppers sandwich and some German potato salad would be outstanding.

The mouthfeel falls just short of medium for the style and could use more bubbles. It doesn't miss the next highest score by much, however.

Widmer Brothers releases some pretty impressive beer on occasion. Most notably, Drifter Pale Ale and Brrr. Okto isn't quite that good, but my opinion might be colored by the fact that I don't like Oktoberfests as much as APAs and winter warmers. Worth a single and maybe even a sixer. (1,667 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is a dark copper color with a tall white head that sticks to the glass a bit.

S: Smells mostly just of toasted malts. There is a lot of bread to it, maybe some earthy hop notes. A touch of vanilla to go with the mild sweetness. Just a little bit of yeast.

T: The flavor is just sort of bland. Bread and toasted malt with a moderate level of sweetness. A bit of yeast flavor, perhaps some earthy hop flavors as well. A very subtle fruitiness on the back end.

M: Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

O: I thought this actually smelled pretty nice, but the flavor was not all that enjoyable. (617 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 11/1/2011 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruit, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with very sweet flavors of fruit, caramel and spices. Then some breadiness comes in from a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and creates a decent balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Flavorful but too sweet for the style, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, whether it’s a true O-fest or not there are better alternatives that are similar. (828 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.93/5  rDev +13.9%
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. (810 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Small off white to light tan head quickly recedes to a thinning lacing above a clear bright copper colored beer.

Bready to sweet caramel malts aroma with just a slight sour hint, maybe some citrus hops sneaking in.

A light sweet malt bordering on caramel, maybe a slight bread yeastiness in the lighter than expected taste.

A light dry aspect to the aftertaste without much or any lingering tastes on this medium bodied beer.

A pretty light Oktoberfest style makes this a very easy beer to put down, but all the time wishing it had more to it. (547 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

LOOK: Clear orange amber hue, sticky suds all around

SMELL: Bready, toasted grain, clean, caramel, slightly grassy, hint of floral hop

TASTE: Crisp, medium body, very malty, toasty, faintly biscuity, balance hop bitterness, mild caramel, dried grass, nutty, kiss of alcohol, clean, malty semi-dry finish

Definitely the Altbier that they have talked about the past, some minor tweaks over the years and ends up being a solid brew. A good pick for a fall seasonal, happy to see this one back. (535 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.42/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this one (one of my favorite styles!) & believe this sample stacked up against most if not all I had in Germany.

Pours a white fluffy monster head with intersting combos of big & small bubbles in attendance. Head retention was average. Copper colored with no hint of haziness.

Smells of biscuits, malt& peppery hops on the edges.

Tastes of hop bitterness on the tounge& corners of the throat that also compete with maltiness and some hints of nuts

A great balance, slightly under carbinated

Could drink this all the time, yum (559 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

An interesting take on an Oktoberfest beer, as it's an altbier rather than a typical marzen. Poured a coppery orange with a creamy white head that left a nice bit of lacing. Caramel malts on the nose, light fruity tones, and some leafy hops. Similar taste: sweet malts, light indistinct fruits, and subdued hops make for a light, not overly flavorful or interesting, but well-balanced drink. Not quite medium-bodied. Sessionable. (476 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a frothy, one-finger thick, light tan colored head that fades away fairly quickly. The beer is a brilliantly clear, deep reddish amber color. The aroma has a sweet, fruity, malty presence that is immediately noticeable. Notes of cherries and raisin mix with malty notes of caramel, toffee, and a light toasted grain note. Perhaps a touch of citrus character is found here and joins with the berry note, both of which seem to at the very least be hop accented. Yes there is a definite hop presence here, as well as the aforementioned components there is also a light menthol like note and perhaps a touch of pine.

The beer is sweet and fruity up front; both hops and malt contribute to this perception. I get notes of raisins, cherries and sweet tangelos. There is an almost cough-syrup type fruitiness here; a hint of that fake fruity cherry note that is often a component of cough-syrup. A solid bitterness runs throughout, along with a sharp pine and menthol note, it tries to balance the sweet & fruity notes. This definitely strikes me at times as a good example of an Alt. It has a nice maltiness to it, mostly caramelized but a light, almost roasty note is here in the finish as well. And the fruitiness is certainly characteristic of many a traditional German Alt. The body has a certain heft to it and this beer does have a lingering mouth coating character to it that is quite nice. A pretty tasty beer and if it was not for that fake fruity note I would say it is down right good. (1,504 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
2.52/5  rDev -27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle,

A: Very good, bright orange colour, almost red, with a nice, white head, which has excellent retention and lace.

S: Very light, some toasted malts, and a bit of apple.

T: Toasty, bready malts, this is an ale though, it does have a bit of fruitiness, unique to an Oktoberfest, but overall, I found the flavour to be below average, and a little unappealing and metallic.

M: Light, sort of watery, smooth though, easy to drink.

D: A below average Oktoberfest in my opinion, they probably should have stuck to making a lager instead of spinning this into an ale. I'll finish the 6-pack with no problem, it wasn't that bad, but I won't be buying this again. (672 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.48/5  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. (860 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.57/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Roscoe's, on to the beer:

This beer is colored light caramel with a short head that retains itself fairly, dropping to a lace around the glass. There's some toasted malt and a little toffee in the aroma, all good here. It reminds me of a Sam Adams Oktoberfest when I drink it, more of a toasty malt experience with a little sweet, bready malt and toffee. There's a pinch of hoppiness that is noticed as the sweet flavors dry up. Lighter bodied and easy to consume.

A solid drinkable beer that's versitile for most situations, including lunch with a gigantic BBQ beef sandwich and a tremondous helping of curly fries. (629 characters)

Photo of tempest
2.97/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at The Gingerman. Leaves thick lacing over a clear amber-red body.

The aroma is oddly dusty, not pleasant at all. Luckily the aroma has no hint of this while it also has very smooth caramel malts. This actually reminds me of Negro Modelo, but not quite as nice. I'd say that considering how drinkable and tasty so many other O-fests (and ambers) are, this beer is easily avoidable. (389 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear deep amber colored ale with a smallish tan colored head.

Smell is sweet and malty with a little Lemon in tea and grass in it. Toffee candy and a little toasted grain.

Starts out malty and mild. Sweet and malty with nuts and a little hop bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall not a bad beer. Probably won't buy again though. (342 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep, deep orange body with good carbonation and a small white head. Nose is caramel sweetness with some fresh bread around the edges. Taste starts with a layer of malt,and a slight hop twang at the end. Very clean, definitely German as opposed to American, but not very interesting. (292 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.14/5  rDev -9%
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. (813 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.82/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz from the Coop for about $1.45.. poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass..

1" head with nice lacing, brew is amber but when held to a light it glows like a stop light.

Aroma is toasty/biscuit malts with slight floral hops and only subtle yeasty fruitiness... fairly clean really.

Toasty malts up front move into medicinal/spicy hops with a slightly fruity finish.. dry minerally finish.. body is medium with smooth but above average carbonation... way cleaner than most American Ambers.

Overall, if I had to pick a style for this, I would call it a good attempt at an Altbier over an American Amber... that said, I am going to review it on its merits, but NOT as an American Amber.

3.5/4/4/3.5/3.5 (704 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer in a pint glass on-tap at Indigo in Lynnwood, WA.

Appearance: medium orange hue with a clear body and a lazy effervescence. Head is a finger of frothy ivory foam. Seems a bit light for an altbier, but it's still pretty attractive.

Smell: light malty aroma with a light citrusy fruitiness. Nice, but a bit on the subtle side.

Taste: sweet malt with a light toasty character. There's a nice citrusy hop flavor which seems atypical for an altbier but I think it works well. Bitterness is relatively low; overall I like it.

Mouthfeel: medium light body with a low level of carbonation; there's a light but decent creaminess.

Overall: it's a bit unorthodox, but I like the idea of a citrusy altbier. (715 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
2.31/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

An Oktoberfest ale?
I bought a bottle of this in a mixed six pack of Oktoberfests:

Poured a nice, ahem, amber and the head was pleasing and somewhat persistant.

The smell was fairly strong but I couldn't say it was malty or hoppy...it's vegetal?

The taste almost reminded me of cinnamon but that would have been a welcomed note at this point. I'm not the biggest fan of the style but this is one that I'm sure that I won't try again. (444 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ruddy orange pour, not vibrant orange ipa territory, but blase alt/oktoberfest stuff. Aroma was mild and fair.

Taste, good smoothness, bitterness and hoppiness are kept low low low. Plain almondesque nuttiness that doesn't do much and isn't obtrusive or dominating. Minimal caramel mouthfeel. Stays away from sweet.

Very easy to drink, just as, if not more comfortable to drink in summer as opposed to the fall when you might want something of greater substance. (465 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.54/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (496 characters)

Photo of Haybeerman
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Deep, clear reddish0gold. Poured a 2 finger tan head the dissipated to a fourth and held. Lacing washed down the sides of the glass.

S: Slightly sweet bready malts and we crackers. slight hop and citrus aromas.

T: Big, slightly sweet malts and some light-colored fruit. Finishes with a farily sharp bitter.

M: Medium body. Medium carbonation. Some of the fruity taste lingets a bit in through the dry finish.

D: Flavorful, smooth and fairly balanced - probably more so than many of the Alts from US craft brewers. (520 characters)

Photo of bark
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (622 characters)

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Okto Festival Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.