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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Clawhammer OktoberfestHighland Clawhammer Oktoberfest

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

73 Reviews
THE BROS
82
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 73
Hads: 256
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 9.32%
Wants: 10
Gots: 33 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 73 | Hads: 256
Photo of goblue3509
2.93/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazt orangish gold color with an orangish one finger fluffy head. The aroma is of caramel malt, toffe, and butterscotch. The taste has a watery toffee taste up front with a caramel malt backbone a hint of anise and very small hop bite. The taste is a lil watery and not as strong as other marzen. The mouthfeel was a little watery with moderate carbonation. Overall it was okay it was a little watery and weak. I liked the taste just wish there was more there. (477 characters)

Photo of jwc215
2.97/5  rDev -18.6%
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. (720 characters)

Photo of GossageBrewery
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this Oktoberfest from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a clear orange color, produced a thin white head, poor retention and below average lacing left on the glass. The aroma of this brew consisted of malted grain, caramel and spice. Medium bodied, a foundation of fresh baked bread, caramel and mild hop bitterness. Overall average Oktoberfest style, better offerings to be found. Prost! (401 characters)

Photo of RyanPoff
3.05/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle.

A: Pours a dark copper color with about a finger of head, moderate lacing, but little retention. Good but not noteworthy.

S: Toasty, bready malts, but other than that, not a lot going on.

T: Again, a heavy maltiness, some pepper spice, and a hint of hops. Decent, but not memorable.

M: A very thin and watery feel, in spite of its freshness.

Just a poor outing from Highland, which usually makes very high quality stuff. (450 characters)

Photo of botham
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tasting glass. pours a rich crystal clear amber color with a minimal head after a hard pour.

aroma is mildly grainy with caramel malts and another note of sweet crystal malts. the grainy note gets more pronounced as it warms a bit.

taste follows the nose with the same grainy note with a semi-sweet character and rich notes of caramel malts.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with a malty, mildly crisp character, along with a hollow finish that leaves little for the palate after the fact.

drinkability is decent. for a marzen, but it ends up a bit hollow in character. it drinks relatively well, but falls short of anything special. (658 characters)

Photo of atsprings
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the pit served in a 10oz glass a crisp orange with a thin head that diminishes to a thin layer that diminishes but leaves decent spotty lacing on the glass. The aroma is slight sweet malts, but not much there. The taste is a decent blend of sweet malts and earthy hops. The beer is light, crisp and refreshing. This is nothing more than a mediocre attempt at an Oktoberfest, I expect better from Highland. (415 characters)

Photo of Cervezaconcalor
3.27/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured this one into the Sam Adams glass

A - Light golden color with a nice two finger head filling the Sam Adams glass perfectly.

S - Malty and fruity

T - You get fruit from the nose with malts up front that finishes pretty quick.

M - Smooth and almost creamy

O - Good beer but not a great Oktoberfest. I would drink another but not if I was buying. (355 characters)

Photo of fsvan
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
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. (514 characters)

Photo of mattsdenney
3.32/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Golden amber in color, thin head. Scents of cider, straw, bread, and malt. Great flavor, well balanced malt with mild peppery hops. Tastes of saltine cracker, toasted bread, fresh cut grass. Aftertaste is mild. Mouthfeel is light bodied, low carbonation, pretty nice. Overall a good tasting fall option, very drinkable. (319 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
3.32/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Found a bottle of this when we were in the OBX visiting. Consumed on 9/22/09. Reviewed from notes.

Poured into my pint glass a crystal clear pale orange. Minimal bubbles rising through. 1 inch white head on top. Some retention, little lacing. Smell of earthy dull bitterness mixed some hints of caramel sweetness.

The mouth is thin and lacking carbonation on the tongue. Mild flavor on this one. Some sweet caramel, slight bittering hops in the middle. Nothing noteworthy about this one at all. Pretty average, tame, and unoffensive. (537 characters)

Photo of outdoor7or24
3.32/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz poured into pint glass.
A: light caramel orange, thin off white foam head, very little lacing, carbonation

S: hops, biscuit, caramel, toasted malt, some faint floral notes

M: thin, carbonation

T: hops up front followed by biscuit, toasted malt, some caramel sweetness ending with some metallic taste

O: good marzen brew that is worth trying (349 characters)

Photo of kimcgolf
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap to a bright reddish orange with thin off white head and slight lacing throughout the glass. Aroma was a faint fruity (orange and apples) with a backdrop of spices and cookie dough. Mouthfeel was medium bodied nd slightly tingly, and the flavor brought out more of the doguh and spicy fruits. Finish slightly spicy and refreshing.

Not bad. (359 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a light golden amber color, completely transparent with a thin off white head.

S-sweet caramel malts up front as an earthy bready malt takes over, notes of metallic phenol lie in front of a spicy herbal hop character.

T-caramel and bready malts, thick malt body up front, phenols stronger in the taste, a little metallic, crisp spicy herbal hops with light bitterness in the finish.

M-medium to full body, thick and slightly stick malt body are rather present with a crisp semi dry finish.

D-relatively drinkable with bold malt flavors and well balanced hop presence. good feel to it with a hint of phenol that does seem to detract from the overall taste and aroma. (677 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, orange-amber body with a thin, white head and a few steady streams of carbonation.

Smell: Soft, light nose with only mild notes of bread malts, caramel, apple, florals, and spice.

Taste: Mild-tasting mixture of crisp grains and bread with a lightly sweet-tasting touch of caramel. Spicy, floral-toned Noble hops with a moderate amount of bitterness. Small hint of fresh orchard fruit arrives late. Dry, lightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-plus carbonation providing for a carbonic bite.

Drinkability: It's an adequate, American-born Oktoberfest. Clawhammer will do in an O-fest pinch, but there're definitely better to have out there. (689 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.39/5  rDev -7.1%
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. (846 characters)

Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
3.39/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received on Trade.

A - Amber/Orange color with very light quarter finger head that fades quickly with an even mixture of large and small bubbles.

S - Smells of Cinnamon, Citrus, Nutmeg, Powdered Sugar, and Honey.

T - Honey, Nutmeg, Citrus, and Cinnamon.

M - Light to Medium Carbonation with a slight Oily texture.

D - Good and drinkable for a light Oktoberfest beer. (371 characters)

Photo of rtratzlaff
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (1,077 characters)

Photo of aubuc1
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear light orange, yellow that is lighter than normal with a thin white head.

nice smell of biscuit, bread and some faint fruit.

Taste is a somewhat sharp and surprisingly tart with a lagery metallic finish. Not what I expected.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, but overall this isn't what I expected for the style, but maybe that is what Highlands was trying for. I didn't love it. (387 characters)

Photo of bboven
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Does Highland brew all their seasonals without rye?

Appearance is right on in color, bright orange. However, there is little head and it's cloudy.

Oktoberfest aromas are there, but there is also a high peppery note from either rye or hops.

Taste is the same. Peppery and a little too bitter for the style, but good.

Mouthfeel is crisp, clean, highly carbonated. Spot on.

Very, very good beer and great offshoot of the style. Not a true oktoberfest, but tasty in its own right. Would certainly buy again. (509 characters)

Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A deep orange-red body with no head to speak of to really speak of.

S: A nice aroma of spices (clove & cinnamon), toasted caramel malts, and hints of fruity/floral hops.

T: An upfront dry, toasted caramel malt profile followed by brown sugar, grains, and spices, & ends with a crisp hoppy bite. Very well balanced.

M: Light to medium body, a dry and smooth texture, & low carbonation.

D: Although this is a decent beer, I wouldn't go out of my way to drink it again. In my humble opinion it's slightly off for the style. Yes I would drink it again, and if I had more then 1 I would have probably drank 3 of these. However, like I said, there are better ones out there that I enjoy more. (693 characters)

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Color is nice--amber/copper mix with streams of bubbly carbonation continually rising to the top. Head is sudsy and big bubbled. The ecru cap falls relatively quickly to a thin lace over the top. Not much lacing to speak of, but this style doesn't lend itself to that.

S: Sweet and spiced malty aroma. Caramel, notes of cinnamon, light apple fruitiness, and a touch of floral hops. Aroma is on the maltier/bolder side of the Marzen spectrum, and there isn't much Munich malt on the nose, either.

T&M: Flavor is a bit flat, which is surprising given the bold-ish aroma. A dry caramel flavor with hints of spice and a nondescript hoppy flavor balances things out on the back end. The key to a great Marzen, in my opinion, is nuance and balance. There's no fruitiness or other underlying flavor that props up the beer. Body is medium to full for a marzen, with a zippy carbonation.

D: Good enough, but a lighter body and smoother flavor would greatly enhance the drinkability. A serviceable Marzen, especially given the price, but I've had better. (1,050 characters)

Photo of MrStark
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance is a bright orange/copper with a small off white head that dissipated quickly.

Smell is somewhat faint , with just hints of caramel malts and a little grain as well.

Taste is sweet bready malts with hints of caramel followed by a mild hop bitterness towards the end. Fairly well balanced flavor.

Mouthfeel seams to be light to medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. Feels somewhat slick on the tongue.

Drinkabilty is pretty good. Its not the most flavorful Oktoberfest I've had but its still pretty good. It goes down easy and would make a nice session beer. I will most likely be getting this again next year. (688 characters)

Photo of Murchmac
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (354 characters)

Photo of NCSUdo
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

A: Clear medium copper body under a small white head. No lace, very little retention.

S: Malty aroma with some grassy hops. Hints of caramel.

T: Malty up front with a hint of tangy citrus hop in the back in. A bit more caramel in the taste department. Very low bitterness.

M/D: Body is on the light side of medium, carbonation is soft. Drinkability is decent. Overall, a decent beer. Nothing really wrong with it, just missing some parts here and there. (470 characters)

Photo of OldManMetal
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The thin, brief-lived head, slightly off-white and pebbly, doesn't amount to much (nor does the lacing it leaves), but the beer itself- crystal-clear, pale amber and abundantly sparkling- is quite striking. The aroma is moderate in strength: a toasty, slightly sweet malt with a hint of spicy noble hops and faint alcohol undertones. On the palate, it is balanced: mild noble hoppy bitterness over a light toasty malt foundation. The finish is a distinct flash of malt, followed by a hop bitterness and a very slight sour note that linger a bit. Mouthfeel is quite prickly from the very fizzy carbonation, and is thickish for the light-medium body. This is a creditable, smooth-drinking, well-balanced lager, and does not have the heavy caramel maltiness and seasonal spices that some American Octoberfest beers sport. (818 characters)

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Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest from Highland Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.