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Okto Festival Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Okto Festival AleOkto Festival Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

364 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 364
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 13.01%
Wants: 6
Gots: 4 | 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:
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: 364 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RedDiamond


3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Okto caused me some confusion. The name clearly suggests an Oktoberfest beer and Widmer’s literature lauds this as being “in the grand tradition of Bavarian Oktoberfest.” It also says “festival ale” on the label and the table placards at the Gasthaus. Furthermore, my tastebuds kept saying English bitter. So what’s the deal?

Well, it turns out that Okto is not an Oktoberfest beer. It’s not even a lager. It’s actually an amber ale. On top of that, it turns out to be the exact same beer as Widmer’s Oktoberfest, just repackaged. So Oktoberfest itself was never really an Oktoberfest. Go figure.

As for taste, my impulse to tag this an English bitter was not far off the mark though the bittering is derived from noble hops and their American hybrids. Okto reminded me a lot of Bridgeport’s Ropewalk only slightly lighter in the body. My pint showed flayed lace and offered a distant, non-descript aroma. It’s a clean and casual beer with a flat bitter finish, but not an Oktoberfest lager by a long shot.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2005 04:11:36 | More by RedDiamond
Photo of rowew


3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck bottle. Typical Widmer specialty bottle, and a prost under the bottle cap - "To waking up in Tijiuana!" Bottling date clearly labeled on the neck.

Appearance: Pours a nice reddish orange with an average sized head of thick bubbles. Fades to a thin lacing.

Smell: Bready malts and just a hint of fruit.

Taste: Slightly sweet malts to start with, and then it gets a bit more biscuity in the middle. Just a bit of floral hops in the finish.

Overall impression: A bit lighter than some other Oktoberfests, but definitely an enjoyable fall brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2005 19:29:09 | More by rowew
Photo of woemad


3.08/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane. This particular Widmer bottlecap had "A Prost: To Long Lost Friends!" on it's bottom.

Poured a copper amber color, with a decent off-white lager head that stuck around for a couple of minutes. Very modest amount of lace.

Smell was initially just sweet malt, but it opened up a little after warming up some. The most dominant characteristic is of caramel maltiness, but there also is a slight bit of apple scent and a vague floral hop note.

The taste is similar to the smell, but is a little less impressive. Again, the most dominant taste is caramel, and there is a vague apple flavor to the proceedings as well, but it doesn't seem particularly well balanced. There's a slight hoppy dryness at the finish.

This seems a little bit too thin and weak bodied for an Octoberfest.

This is ok, but nothing spectacular. I agree with others who have noted an unwelcome similarity to Drop Top, albeit with a little more character.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2004 07:51:14 | More by woemad
Photo of Padron4KM


2.4/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

pours a clear amber with a fluffy tan head that fades quickly, and leaves minimal lacing.

Aroma is sweet carmel malt, not much else.

Body is thin and watery.

Flavor is sweet, almost syrupy and has a little metalic quality in the finish.

I’ll finish the sixer, because it’s there, and I’d drink one if someone gave me, but I won't be buying it again.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2004 07:37:05 | More by Padron4KM
Photo of zacharius


3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours an inviting amber with a good sized head for a lager. Moderatly carbonated. Smell is of malt and grains. No hint of the sulfur common in poorly aged lagers. Beer taste is watery maltiness with an aftertaste of floral noble hops. Bitterness is balanced, this is an easy drinking beer. A reasonably acceptable example of the Marzen.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2004 23:52:27 | More by zacharius
Photo of Thrasher


3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Too early for Oktoberfest? Considering it's been 100 f'ing degrees the last 5 days here in Portland, I'd bloody well say so. That's not going to stop me, however, from diving into the first of the upcoming seasonals. Indeed, Marzen-Oktoberfest is one of my favorite styles. Widmer's example is respectably authentic, but it seems a bit dumbed down from last year, which I remember enjoying thoroughly. This year is a bit closer to Drop Top territory, not a good place to be, in my mind. Pours a handsome if predictable copper amber, with pretty good lager head and retention, although not as creamy as the best of the Germans. Excellent, if subtle, aroma of brown sugar, red apple skin, and spicy roasted meat. The flavor itself is a disappointment; caramelized malts with little depth or complexity. Again, just a shout away from crappy ol' Drop Top. The hops are present, but provide little of the intrigue that is necessary for a successful example of the style, and none of the spiciness promised in the aroma. The beer stretches out a bit upon warming up, but again, you need a spicy hop element to make the transition from a standard blase amber lager to a truly complex, wonderful Fest bier. That said, this beer is cleanly flavorful with no off elements, and it should pair very well with food, especially roast chicken; pork will work too. Mouthfeel is all right, can't hold a candle to the best German lagers but that is hardly surprising; almost no American lagers can. Drinkability fine as well. It will probably not be a surprise to those only familiar with their Hefeweizen that Widmer falls short of the mark here, but as someone who's visited their brewpub (Gasthaus) and was wowed by their triumphant Muscat Love at this year's Oregon Brew Fest, I was hoping for much more.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2004 04:03:38 | More by Thrasher
Photo of beertaster13


2.25/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a golden dark orange/yellow with a little white inch thick head that falls flat. Lacing is horrible, nothing to speak of. The smell is of grain, slight lime hints, very grainy, clean otherwise. Taste is lacing definition, the grain, wheat is detectible, malt is of watered down sugar, no hop content to speak of, medium bodied but doesn't offer that pizazz. Won't drink again.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2004 06:36:00 | More by beertaster13
Photo of freed


3.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the annual Oak Park Oktoberfest in Portland. Poured an amazingly clear bronze/orange with a nice regal head. Aroma is mild, but still hints at its european hop stylings and sweet malt body.

Taste is quite pleasant and full, almost surprising. Crisp both from the malt an hops, quite fresh in its flavors, nice active carbonation. Malt is a mix of sweet pales and nutty and dry specialty malts that are wonderfully satisfying. This is a very nice beer, and a surprisingly nice recreation of a great style.

Side note: My wife had the drop top amber, and side by side, the two were remarkably similar. Oddly enough, the Oktoberfest had a much more robust malt body.

Serving type: on-tap

10-03-2003 06:47:51 | More by freed
Photo of Zraly


3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fairly clear pour, a nice coppery-honey color with an off-white billow that disappears a little too quick. Slight smells of citrus. Carbonation is just right.

The overall structure of this brew is actually well-developed. Flavors run the gamut of mixed nuts, toasted bread, brown sugar and chocolate. Malty and medium-bodied. I think the bitterness is almost more from the choco character rather than the hops. What hops are present are rather citrusy, with a slight herb twist, as in grass or parsley. Really smooth to drink.

A good way to welcome the newly found crispness in the air here in the NorthWest.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2003 23:29:06 | More by Zraly
Photo of Reidrover


3.05/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok second Fall seasonal of the year..comes in the 12 oz Widmer brown bottle..autumnal scenes and pumkin head on the label.Puzzlingly this says "crisp amber beer"..ah well.
Very nice looking brew indeed poured into my glass....light honey amber colour with a small white head..that goes fast but a nice lace is left atop the beer.
The smell though is pretty subdued and mostly malts..though there is a slight peppery hop at the back somewere.
Pretty average marzen..with a slight bitter bite at the end.
Again mouthfeel is barely above average..not unpleasant.
another pretty looking beer from Widmer..that turned out to be all cover and no book inside..boring.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2003 04:18:11 | More by Reidrover
Photo of Gusler


3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The pour a pleasant lipid amber to copper color, the head is modest, frothy and the lace decent enough to cover up the glass. The aroma of malt is the dominant, sweet, as is the malt-laden start. Top is skinny in its feel, the beer finishes with a delightful hop spicy bite, and is moderately carbonated the long lasting aftertaste dry a desert bone.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2003 17:17:44 | More by Gusler
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Orange body topped by a fizzy, rapidly decaying white head, which almost instantly breaks down into an "oil skid". 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. There is none of the deeper, chocolate-like notes with classic marzens. An ok amber, and that is what it is sub-headed as, but I expected more from this brewery, and I feel prior years had more substance.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2002 20:54:31 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of putnam


4.47/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ditto, especially the first review of this beer. This was tasted next to a Paulaner Oktoberfest. I just removed hot, roasted pumpkin seeds out of the oven.

There is a floral brightness in the nose, reminiscent of rain, grass and honey. A thin "rancio" caramel flavor greets the palate and brings suggestions of bananas sauteed in butter and brown sugar (perhaps lit up with the help of a little Anejo).

The flavors are structured and colored as a Maerzen should be. Generous, medium-bodied and agile. The flavor development is symmetrical and is focused on fresh, lemon/lime hop flavors. Everything else revolves out from there: pecans, caramel, salt, wood...

The finish is a tad abrupt, with the hops pulling the rug out from under the sweetness. Still, one drink follows another. Glad to be home.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2002 14:03:21 | More by putnam
Photo of hyuga

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2002 release. Beautiful amber, pours a nice head but it doesn't retain well. Characteristic märzen bready/grainy malt aroma, but with more hop character than some others. Very tasty, grainy sweet malt mingles with slight hop bitterness for a crisp, refreshing bite. Slightly spicy and tingly mouthfeel. Not as much sour breadiness as others in this style. Overall it's very tasty and would be a wonderful session beer, as a märzen should be.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2002 13:40:59 | More by hyuga
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Okto Festival Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 364 ratings.