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Okto Festival Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Okto Festival AleOkto Festival Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

181 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 181
Hads: 493
Avg: 3.44
pDev: 22.97%
Wants: 10
Gots: 37 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States | website

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
View: Beers (76) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Okto Festival Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 181 | Hads: 493
Photo of Kendo
3.72/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of mblk6062
2.92/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

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Photo of rand
3.04/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.14/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of I3eck
4/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.93/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.54/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of Spikester
3.44/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.37/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of DeFaz
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of TheMarkE
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of KKB
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of mckenziac
3.82/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass. Taken from a Widmer Bros. variety pack.

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber color. Has a small, foamy head that dissipates quickly and leaves no discernible lacing.

Smell: Smells toasty and sweet with a bit of fruitiness.

Taste: Starts mildly hoppy. Finishes toasty and sweet with strong notes of caramel, nuts, and a bit of fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and light-bodied.

Overall: Not a bad "Oktoberfest," although it definitely tastes more like an altbier. Pretty unoffensive but mostly forgettable.

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Photo of alexgash
3.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Brewed on Jul 25, 2012.

Clear, clean, deep burnt sienna copper body. Small, fizzy-ish, dirty beige head. Not much lacing. Cookie dough and caramel malts dominate the nose. Caramelized fruit. Some spicy hops and cooked vegetables.

Toasted malts and spicy bitterness give way to cookie dough malt semi-sweetness. Fruity edge to it. Finish is more vegetal with some spicy, grassy hops. Lingering caramel and carrots. Moderate body with a slick, smooth feel. Nice.

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Photo of mttaylor1066
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A second tier marzen/Oktoberfest. Nothing particularly wrong, just not among the better Oktoberfests.

A - Looks good and dark, just as an Oktoberfest should. A thin head forms on the pour and persists throughout the glass.

S - Not much here in the way of hops. Some bready notes backed by malt.

T - A good malty backbone with some light caramel notes. This is the best part of this lager.

M - Full and mouth-filling. No real alcohol presence.

O - If I were Widmer, I'd look to develop a different strain of yeast for this beer. It's fairly good, but stops short of great. A little more tinkering and this could be a better beverage.

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Photo of morimech
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber color with just over a finger of head that settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left down the glass. Looks like a good Oktoberfest.

Bit of a different aroma. The caramel malts comes through nicely with floral hop notes. There is a nuttiness that is a bit unusual.

For the most part the flavor is good. Nice caramel flavor with subtle hints from the hops lending floral and earthy notes. But unfortunately there is also a metallic aftertaste that lets this beer down.

Lighter body and a touch undercarbonated.

An ok beer but with so many great fall seasonals on the shelf, this one will get passed over in the future.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.23/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of riored4v
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to a pint glass. 1 finger, tan colored head. Clear, dark copper colored body.

Aroma was malty and bready. Mild sweetness with some light hoppyness. A bit metallic. Slightly floral.

Taste had some good malty flavor. A bit nutty and bready. Slightly buttery. Light metallic notes.Mild caramel flavors. Finishes with a light bitterness that was earthy and floral.

Mouthfeel was medium/light body with medium carb. Slightly slick mouthfeel upfront, finishes crisp.

Decent beer overall. A couple flavors I found a little off, but overall it was still enjoyable and very drinkable.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.85/5  rDev +41%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into an irish pint glass.

The beer is a deep rich caramel/copper color. A cream colored head slowly recedes to the proverbial wisp of bubbles, while light sticky lacing leaves random rings on the glass.

The aroma is purely sweet caramel and malts, just spot-on for an Oktoberfest.

The taste is exceptional. It's not overly-spiced as some Oktoberfests are, it's just perfectly balanced caramel sweetness. A touch of balance comes in the hops with a bright, clean finish.

The mouthfeel is smooth, silky, and crisp.

Overall, my favorite Oktoberfest bier of 2012. It's just exactly as I like them.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of ghengisflan
3.73/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Very appropriately for a fall/October beer, it's a bright fiery orange ale. Very clear. Pours with a tan 2 inch head which quickly dissipates.

S: Initially a pleasant spicy yeasty smell, which mellows out to a sweet, simple (and slightly less pleasant) beer smell.

T: Moderately strong forward sweet and malty taste. I'm not an Octoberfest expert, but it's good.

M: Round and smooth mouthfeel, pleasant all the way down.

O: A delightful beer to drink. It goes down easy but is still substantial.

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Photo of jak3676
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Widmer Brothers - Okto Festival Ale Bottled in Portland, Orago.

Not bad - Like so many others, I like it, but it seems uninspired. This one is a little more brown than red, but still a nice amber color. It was pretty clear color, but poured without any head.

5.3% ABV and a date of Aug 08 12 stamped on the side. I'm assuming that was the bottling date - I just got this a the last week of August and I haven't seen them in the store before then.

Another middle of the pack beer in my book - good enough that I'd go for more, but not enought that I'd seek it out again.

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Okto Festival Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 181 ratings.