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Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest - Highland Brewing

Highland Clawhammer OktoberfestHighland Clawhammer Oktoberfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

167 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 167
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 11.85%

Brewed by:
Highland Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: SaCkErZ9 on 09-30-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 167 | Reviews: 65 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Cervezaconcalor


3.26/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2014 02:11:16 | More by Cervezaconcalor
Photo of Mojo


3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle -> tulip glass

A - initial hazy medium gold, eventually clearing, two finger head, no retention, and small amount of lacing.

S - grassy, bread, pine (all mild notes)

T - basically a very mild taste, sweet, lemony, grassy notes, and an unfortunate metallic note, dry mild yeasty finish

M - clean with not much aftertaste, medium carbonation

O - not overly impressed.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 04:16:14 | More by Mojo
Photo of mattsdenney


3.34/5  rDev -8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2013 19:19:55 | More by mattsdenney
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2013 23:04:41 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Jason


3.61/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 02:07:15 | More by Jason
Photo of GossageBrewery


3/5  rDev -17.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 16:33:44 | More by GossageBrewery
Photo of Jadjunk


3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

"Clawhammer Oktoberfest is a lightly colored, but toasty, rich and full bodied Märzen styled lager brewed with traditional German malt and the finest noble hops. A spicy hop finish and aroma balance out the abundance of malt flavor. Clawhammer means pure high-country enjoyment!" Brewed in the style of an Oktoberfest/Märzen. Available as a fall seasonal beer.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to my Highland pint glass. Served north of 45º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy, crisp golden-white head over a medium hazy copper-amber tone body with mild carbonation. Head quality is about average, thickening as it recedes but it doesn't last long, and no lacing is present. Decent appearance. 3.5

(Smell) Clean caramel husks and a bit of bready spice malt. Follows through with a light bitter grassy hop but doesn't completely balance out. The aroma is clean. Potency is medium. 3.5

(Taste) Clean caramel biscuity malt up front with a spicy, lasting high bitter finish. Very clean, a little stronger on the bitterness and alcohol on the end than most Märzens that I've had, but does not significantly infringe on drinkability. Drinkability, is in fact enhanced for me because it is much better balanced, and thus not overly sweet, a touch dry even. Enjoyable flavor. One of the more memorable Oktoberfests that I have had, dragged down a notch by a more evident alcohol presence. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Clean, very crisp and quite dry. A bit harsh on carbonation, very sharp on the tongue and roof of the mouth. Body is medium-high for Oktoberfests, medium overall. Alcohol presence is medium. A bit off on the carbonation and texture, drags down the drinkability. 2.75

(Overall) Clawhammer is a slightly more thorough Oktoberfest than average, with a bolder spicy malt profile and a bitter hoppy character, which is helpful in achieving a better balance. It does fall through on being a bit too dry and having a distracting level of carbonation. This is the start of a very good Oktoberfest, but there are some big fixes that would come easy with some slight recipe tweaks, and I hope to try this next year to see that they have been done. 3.5

Highland Brewing's
Clawhammer Oktoberfest Lager

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 23:25:17 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of Brubaker


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

OK, let me state for the record that i DO NOT LIKE OKTOBERFESTS. They are sickly sweet to me.

A- Golden amber. 1 finger head. Clear.

S- Malty & mild.

T- Dark sugars. Strong Bready flavor.

M- Smooth. Medium textured. Light & dry.

O- It's an OK mild different sort of Oktoberfest. Drinkable (for me). I gave it ratings i think it deserved independent of my preferences.

Might Drink
Wouldn't Buy
Wouldn't Make.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2012 01:59:06 | More by Brubaker
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2012 18:20:12 | More by Dodo2step
Photo of rangerred


3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear rich copper with a one finger off-white head. Average head retention and lacing.

A really nice aroma. Biscuit and toasted malt along with a little bit of candy. Also some earthyness and grassy hops.

Flavor takes off with biscuit malt and some candy sweetness. Toffee and caramel is there along with a little bit of coffee. A little bit of wet hay along with a light bitterness. Finish is a bit on the sticky side but clean overall.

A decent Oktoberfest but not a whole lot that makes it stand out above the rest. I do like the extra bit of toast and biscuit in this one, though, and it is worth picking up.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2012 00:53:57 | More by rangerred
Photo of outdoor7or24


3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2012 21:59:56 | More by outdoor7or24
Photo of Apellonious

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from six at CM.

A- clear, full orange with brownish red highlights. Thin head that moves quickly to a thin lace.

S - toast, grains, faint malt

T - clean, slightly bitter, bread, toasted grains.

M - good level of carbonation. Prefect amount of heft for the style.

O - I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. The flavors are more subtle (note it is better when not proceeded with a stronger tasting beer) but a great rep for the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2012 00:52:57 | More by Apellonious
Photo of 160Shillings

North Carolina

4.88/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: The aroma is crisp clean lager, rich melanoidin malt with a hint of toasted malt.
Appearance: Pours with a fine off-white head that collapses into thin, but firm cap. The color is on the light side being deep gold to light amber.
Flavor: Starts with a malty sweetness up front, then quickly moves to a crisp dry finish. Hop bitterness is moderate without being lingering. The result is a flash of sweet malt, quickly overtaken by bitterness than gives way to a clean dry finish, then you’re ready for another swallow.
Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation, but fully attenuated and doesn’t linger on the tongue.
Overall Impression: A rich display of melanoidin malt that doesn’t overwhelm or linger, finishes clean and dry.
Comments: Don’t drink this beer too cold! The rich and complex flavors really come out as this beer warms. This is my favorite Highland beer and my favorite commercial Oktoberfest. This one is everything but perfect for an Oktoberfest.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 07:04:12 | More by 160Shillings
Photo of aubuc1


3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 22:45:28 | More by aubuc1
Photo of fsvan


3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 21:39:36 | More by fsvan
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 20:52:04 | More by chinchill
Photo of goblue3509


2.88/5  rDev -20.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2011 18:25:44 | More by goblue3509
Photo of robwestcott


3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured cold from the bottle to a sun king shaped pint glass a translucent copper with a wisp of a short lasting white head.

aroma of floral hops and cotton candy (?).

hoppy, toffee and burnt caramel.

light carbonation, medium bodied, sweet malts, no bitter.

drinkable - yep.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 03:41:38 | More by robwestcott
Photo of BrewCrew2010


3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2011 20:07:14 | More by BrewCrew2010
Photo of bucklemyshoe


3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2011 15:38:51 | More by bucklemyshoe
Photo of TheKingofWichita

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep orange color with a thin off white head and tons of residual lacing. Smells very nice of clove and cinnamon with hints of malty goodness. Strong spice throughout with tons of clove, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and maybe some pepper with subtle hints of pumpkin and a slight bitterness from the hops. Mouthfeel is thick and carbonation is heavy but well done. Drinkability is high and it is very nice. Go get some!

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 14:14:32 | More by TheKingofWichita
Photo of billab914


3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Sam Adams pint glass. It poured a crystal clear copper color with a thin white head to it. The head had faded to a thin dusting after a minute or so and it didn't leave much for lacing on the glass either. Nice color though.

The aroma has a toasted malt and caramel flavor to it with just a touch of hop bitterness. Pretty good aroma for the style, it's pretty balanced and also flavorful.

The taste is similar to the aroma in that toasted malts and caramel make up the bulk of the flavors. A little of the caramel sweetness starts to come through towards the finish. Some hop bitterness helps balance it out overall. Pretty good tasting beer for the style.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it was a good beer of the style and quite drinkable. It had some nice flavors to it and was pretty well balanced. A pretty good drinking beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 21:45:17 | More by billab914
Photo of cpetrone84


3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 20:49:55 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of DanThomas


3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2010 00:22:15 | More by DanThomas
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2010 12:06:22 | More by thagr81us
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Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest from Highland Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.