Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Clawhammer OktoberfestHighland Clawhammer Oktoberfest

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244 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 244
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 12.4%
Wants: 10
Gots: 28 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Highland Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SaCkErZ9 on 09-30-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 244 | Reviews: 69
Reviews by stinkydaddy:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Officialy called the Clawhammer Oktoberfest, this beer poured into a .5 liter stein a near perfect clear rich copper with a large fluffy white head that a nice creaminess to it.Very toasted in the nose maybe even to much if posible,some caramel sweetness with a touch of peppery spice as well.Full rich malty flavors,caramel is predominant along with some doughy aspects,the finish ais a mix of peppery spice and rum-like alcohol.A full flavored and bodied O-fest,this along with Great Lakes are my two favorites of the style,very nice.

Photo of Jason
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

Deep golden hue, great clarity. Ample froth. Fresh grassy nose, crackers, bready, herbal, earthy, ghost-like sulphur. Thinnish body, beautiful smoothness, fresh grass, grainy throughout, sufficient hopping, mild hop bitterness, faint broth, yeast, dry finish.

Enjoyable even if it is not at the top of its style, quaffable and tasty but was expecting a cleaner brew. Regardless it is an O-fest I'd love to revisit year to year.

Photo of chinchill
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a Highland Brewing pint glass.

A wee bit different, with a slight darker orange-gold body and more flavor from noble hops. Crystal clear with a proper looking level of carbonation. The medium-ligh carbonation is well-chosen, and gives this beer a light crispness. The smallish off-white head has limited duration and leaves little lacing. The aroma features bready German malts with some spicy and herbal notes from the hops. The hops come more to the fore in the near semi-dry and lasting finish.

O - refreshing and very good for style. Now, if only someone would hand me a large Bavarian pretzel.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.39/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours a semi-cloudy, copper/orange color with a half of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that covered the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Very malty, very bready. Strong notes of cereal and caramel. Subtle notes of black pepper and clover, however, I get nothing in the way of hops.

Taste: Very similar to the aroma. Very malty and bready up front, with pepper spice and orange peel. There’s some pleasant caramel-like sweetness, finished by some nicely balanced hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly thin. With an ABV of only 5.8%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a pretty solid beer. Not great, but not at all bad either. It’s definitely worth a try, and I’d have it again, but I’m not going out of my way for it either.

Photo of ImusBeer
3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this at Taco Mac on football Saturday.
Came on draft a light amber color with very little head.
The smell was a bit metalic or iron, smelled clean and light.
Taste was also light and faint with a light malt very, dry mouthfeel. I liked this beer but it wasn't anything to brag about IMHO.

Photo of hooliganlife
3.72/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks oldstlyecubsfan!

pours bright copper with a quick white head that quickly disappears. no retention or lacing

sweet bitter malts and light floral hop notes

light up front and then a light bitterness comes out and finishes with a sweet malt flavor. light citrus hop aftertaste missed with the sweet malt flavors. a nice sweetness that is not overpowering like many marzans.

light to medium carbonation but nice and light

this was good, very easy to drink and not over done.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one is a little out of season, but I'm sure it's drinking fine. Pours a hazy amber color with a thin off-white head that doesn't retain particularly well. The aroma has some nice caramel notes upfront, along with some biscuity malt, a bit of spicy phenols, and a hint of alcohol. The taste is similar to the aroma with a nice caramel sweetness upfront, followed by some toasted bread, peppery phenols, some metallic hops and a bit of an alcohol bite. The mouthfeel is medium, with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is excellent. Overall a tasty marzen, maybe a little past it's prime but still drinking fine.

Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a mug.

Pours a clear coppery amber, with 3 big fingers of off-white foamy head. Retains with a rigid finger, leaving back some thick swathes of lacing. The aroma is floral spicy hops, some citrus, and toffee and bread giving this a deep backing tang in the nose.

The taste is toasty and sweet, with a firm spicy bitterness to it. Finishes with some leftover tang, before a dry and spicy lingering feel takes over. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a crisp feel on top, but seems a bit too flat underneath to keep things moving readily. I'm also picking up the tiniest bit of an alcohol zing on the back of the palate after each sip. While not overly distracting, it is noticable.

This was a decent American O-Fest. Aroma and taste were fine but the body on this held the drinkbility back some. I'm willing to investigate another bottle...

Photo of ewright
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Bright amber color with a 1/4" layer of thin white head with minimal retention.

S: Rich aroma of toast with just a faint whiff of sulfur. There's also a more prominent hop nose than normal for the style.

T: Crisp cracker/bread notes up front with a hint of sweetness. Again, slightly more hop bitterness shows up late.

M: Smooth and creamy with moderate body and low to medium carbonation levels.

D: Not my favorite Oktoberfest, but still a pleasant brew. The hops detract from the full maltiness that is a hallmark of the style.

Photo of thagr81us
3.57/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured yellow-orange with a half finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of malt, coriander, slight clove, and a very light hop note. The flavor was of malt, very subtle hop, with an increasing maltiness upon swallowing. It had a light feel on the palate with no carbonation. Overall this was an okay Oktoberfest. None of the flavors were very pronounced unfortunately. It did however go down really smooth. Decent beer, just not for its style.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.72/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 09/17/2010:

A: It pours a clear light brown color with red hues and a small fizzy head that dies quickly.

S: Caramel, butterscotch, banana, and toffee.

T: It tastes nearly identical as it smells but with honey and cereal grains being the main flavors on the back end.

M: It has a medium-light body and is a bit bubbly but never turning creamy.

D: It is very easy drinking and tasty; it's pretty spot on for a Marzen.

Photo of Dodo2step
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Thanks to my buddy Trask in NC for this brew!

A- burnt ornage in color with a half finger head. NIce lacing and has some staying power on the top of my beer.

S- biscuit malts and i think i get hints of cherry.

F- taste is ame as falvor but i do get more of a sour apple taste than cherry.

M- spiced candy hangs around in the mouth and it is light bodied and crisp

O- Not a bad Marzen, the taste is average but it is a beer you can pound back.

Photo of wedge
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%

Pours a crystal clear golden color with a small off-white head. Smells toasty and clean...straw, caramel, and some fruit. Flavor is nicely malty and not too sweet. Toasted grain, floral notes, slight bread, and grassiness. Medium-light bodied, clean, and moderately carbonated leaving a lingering dryness. A totally decent Oktoberfestbier.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another one I had yet to try from Highland on tap. As I made my way through the fest I stopped to grab a couple of these as the copper colored liquid was about what I needed at that point in time. Nice head of white and ample carbonation rounded it out quite nicely.

Aroma is light, lots of caramel and muted grains, a touch of an herbal essence to it and a nice and laid back bready aroma. As I take a sip it is very clean, with a light to medium body that is more then amply carbonated. Small touch of bitter in the finish but mostly just a really nice bready and caramel heavy fest.

Overall a very solid example and something you could put down a few of with ease.

Photo of wcudwight
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden amber in color with some orange hues. What the head lacks in body it makes up for in retention. It's in for the long haul.
Nice caramel toast smell. I've never head of caramel toast but this beer leads me to wanting some. Faint earthy spiciness. Smells kind of like one of those organic grocery stores.
Very tasty beer. Well balanced between a toasty malt flavor with some hints of sweet and caramel. The earthy, spicy hops cut through the malt flavors perfectly and really drive the flavor of the beer. Well balanced, a "wee bit different" yet still true to style.
Mouthfeel is on the light side of full bodied. Supports the flavors of the beer nicely yet a pint leaves me somewhat full.
Very drinkable beer as Highland is usually spot on. Good work guys.

Photo of blackie
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: into a lager glass, Clawhammer is a copper-amber in color, capped with a one-finger white head that settles down to a nice little coat

s: lager base of pilsner malts appropriately accented with toasty munich malt, grainy caramel sweetness, leafy, grassy, herbal hops, plenty here to wrap your nose around - rich but well rounded

m: medium carbonation and body, could be a bit livelier but no real complaints

t: base of clean lager and caramelized german malts, really quite nice and flavorful, turns a touch spicy after the swallow with persistent caramel grain, only complaint is the touch of sugar lingering on the palate

d: slightly hindered by the lingering aftertaste, but still an excellent example, my glass was drained with a quickness, wish I'd bought a six of this 'stead of the Big Boss pumpkin - whoops

single from 6-12 Market, Raleigh

Photo of rtratzlaff
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The thought of Highland brewing an Octoberfest excited me, so I purchased a couple 12 oz. bottles to taste. The label informs me it is a lightly colored, but toasty, rich full bodied marzen with German malt and German noble hops.

Poured into a Highland pint glass, the beer is a lighter amber peach hued bodied beer with a white head that sticks around for quite a bit and leaves some lacing down the glass.

The aroma is less bready and more earthy spicy hop aromas than most in the style.

The flavor is caramel malt up front, but a noticeable hop character soon follows with a spice kick.

The mouthfeel is on the lightside of medium with a good bit of carbonation.

What this beer lacks in maltiness, it makes up for in the spice hop character. To me, it is a bit more "balanced" than many completely malty Ofests. Some of the traditional German brewed versions aren't quite as malt forward as many craft brewers in the US are making theirs. To me this is a good beer that resembles something of both the traditional German marzens as well as the American brewed versions.

Photo of Murchmac
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got in a trade with Chuck Chuck bo Buck. Thanks Chuuuuck.

From notes:

No head, mostly orange with some copper

bready, sweet caramel.

tasty, some astringency to it, bready beer sweet.

I remember liking it but wanting more. More backbone but what I did have was very tasty. Solid brew. Like the career of Robert Downey Jr. Good, but you wanted more.

Photo of superdedooperboy
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright, clear orange-amber color. Raises a one-finger off-white head that fades to a patchy cap and leaves a slight amount of lacing behind.

Aroma is of slightly sweet malts and a tad of grassy hops.

Medium-bodied and well-carbonated. Flavor is slightly malty-sweet, with a bit of bready flavor following the middling herbaceous hop flavors which do a great job of balancing the brew. Finishes mostly sweet with a faint hint of bitterness.

Very drinkable; this one goes down easily and is fairly thirst-quenching. Could use a bit more maltiness to fit in better with the style, but overall a great beer and a good Oktoberfestbier.

Photo of daliandragon
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Always nice to try new stuff from the folks out in Ashville. This also gives me the opportunity to try another Oktoberfest before they disappear for another long eleven months. Clawhammer pours a tight golden color with reddish highlights and near perfect clarity. The head is thin and brief. I notice some noble hops backed by caramel malt. There is a slight metal tinge to the nose.

The flavor boasts surprising citrus hopping throughout along with the more traditional malt flavors. The finish is strong but the mouthfeel is a bit thin and doesn't carry the taste as well as I''d hoped. Carbonation could use an upgrade. This is a decent, drinkable Marzen but I can't help feeling slightly disappointed.

Photo of jwc215
2.97/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing this back from N.C. for me!

Pours light orange amber with a thin, disappearing head. More hazy than a lager should be, I'm thinking.

The smell is bready/yeasty - almost medicinal/ herbal.

The taste is of light/thin caramel with floral/herbal notes, slightly metallic. It has a bitterish, dry finish.

It is on the light side of medium bodied.

This is an herbal/spicy O-fest. Different. Even out of style a bit, it is somewhat clumsy. Hoppy, but not quite in the right direction for what I'm thinking it should be. Maltiness is a bit light. Interestingly, I thought the Shining Rock Lager, though it fits bock well enough, could pass itself off as a better "O-fest" than this one.

Photo of fsvan
3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into pint glass.

A- Bright, clear, radiant gold. A finger of barely off white head. About half of that hangs around for a while.

S- A sweetness. Bready malt. A slight hop bitterness. Not bad, but not a huge nose on this one.

T- A typical marzen sweet malt profile, with an American-inspired little hop bite not noticed in the German version (by me, at least.) The finish is slightly metallic.

M- Medium bodied. Nice for the style.

O- A decent marzen. That metallic finish hurts it a fair amount.

Photo of PatrickJR
4.17/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Clear bronze/copper with a finger of white head. Moderate retention, no lacing.

S - Great toasted malt aroma balanced nicely with an earthy/spicy hop element.

T - Very nice. A gentle sweetness comes on early palate with a generous dose of the toasted quality from the nose. Very bready tasting with suggestions of almonds and oatmeal. The hops take center stage late palate providing a pepper like spiciness atop the bready, toasted malt flavor. Ample bitterness in the finish, drying things out perfectly.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Good vehicle for the flavors going on.

D - A great drinking marzen, though it seems like the ABV may just be a little higher than I'm used to. One of the best oktoberfests I've had this year. Highly recommended if you can get your hands on it.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.57/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear copper in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and some burnt orange + amber highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy beige head that reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of bready malts with some hints of light fruit sweetness (apple) and caramel. Light amounts of floral hops are present as well.

T: Light to moderate flavors of cereal grain malts with some additional bready malt flavors as well. There are light hints of caramel and light fruit sweetness (apple). Light hints of floral and earthy hops that impart a light but lingering bitterness.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with slightly more than moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable but certainly not one of the best American examples of the Oktoberfest style that I have come across. I could have a couple of these but would generally choose another Oktoberfest if I had the opportunity.

Photo of DanThomas
3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Rather disappointing. No head whatsoever, even on the pour, light copper and cloudy.

S- Surprisingly strong. There's a solid spice throughout, appropriate for the season, with hints of clove and cinnamon.
there's a certain sweetness to the smell too.

T- Starts crisp and sharp with the spices that were on the nose and then transitions to the malts which dominate the rest of the taste. Certainly good, but I wish the malts were a little more complex. As the beer has warmed a bit this has started to happen. The taste certainly isn't strong; this is a marzen very much on the lighter side.

M- Carbonation is too sharp, the beer doesn't have the richness and depth that I was looking for. Without a crisp finish, the malts coat the mouth a little bit too much.

D- Very easy drinker, and I wouldn't mind another, but I can think of many other beers I'd seek out before this one.

Highland has a habit of brewing beers that are very unique takes on their style, and I have almost always loved their beers; this is the first one I've had from them that has left me underwhelmed.

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Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest from Highland Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 244 ratings.