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Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Clawhammer OktoberfestHighland Clawhammer Oktoberfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

210 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 210
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 12.4%
Wants: 9
Gots: 20 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: SaCkErZ9 on 09-30-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest Alström Bros
Ratings: 210 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jpro
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Well, I'd never heard of Clawhammer Mountain until now... Picked up a few as part of an Asheville beer haul. Poured from the bottle into a standard shaker pint...

A: Clear amber; a rough pour yields a one-finger, cream colored, sudsy head that dissipates rather quickly and leaves a few specks of lace.

S: Rich malts (compared to the previous Oktoberfest I had, at least), toast, sweet breads, and a touch of caramel.

T: Very bready, with sweet maltiness; some spicy / zesty hops towards the finish (mid-swig, perhaps) provide some balance.

M: Medium-bodied; moderate to high carbonation; a touch watery on the finish, though.

D: A good brew, and a nice Oktoberfest from Highland.

Overall, I'd say this is a decent stab at the style. Compared to Sam Adams Octoberfest (the benchmark I use for most American Oktoberfests), it's slightly less malty and rich, but still a highly drinkable and enjoyable beer.

jpro, Sep 22, 2010
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.

mikesgroove, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of atsprings
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

atsprings, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of avalon07
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a mug. Had a brown color and a mostly clear texture. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Average lacing.

S: A nicely spicy, malty aroma.

T: Tasted of malt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and some other spices. Generally pretty tasty. Not exactly what you think of when think of an oktoberfest beer, but that's not a bad thing.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This beer needs smoothing out in spots, but it is still drinkable.

avalon07, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

SanDiegoBeerLove, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of silver0rlead
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

silver0rlead, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of MrStark
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

MrStark, Nov 10, 2009
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.

Murchmac, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of hooliganlife
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

hooliganlife, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear coppery-reddish with a decent slightly off-white head. Aroma is malty and just a little spicy, mainly cinnamon and cloves. Flavor is rather strong and malty with an undertone of cloves and cinnamon and just a hint of caramel. Smooth, tingly, fizzy texture leaves a spicy and fizzy finish.

Cyberkedi, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of NCSUdo
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

NCSUdo, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of kimcgolf
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

kimcgolf, Oct 05, 2009
Photo of Kegatron
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
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...

Kegatron, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of Onenote81
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Onenote81, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
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

blackie, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of ImusBeer
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

ImusBeer, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of wcudwight
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

wcudwight, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of rtratzlaff
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

rtratzlaff, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of botham
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

botham, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of dfillius
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass
A: Chill hazy dark amber. Fizzy off white ring of head. More haed please.
S: Rich clear malt smell. Lemony butter herbal hops dancing around. Pleasant and I want to drink it already! Pumpkin seed.
T: Mild with buttered bread flavor and some hop character. No distracting flavors - crisp lager here. Creamy, with a slightly roasted malt note. Interesting and different character, almost like seltzer water. Starts pleasant, then leaves not so pleasant.
M: Off seltzer water carbonation taste/feel. Creamy too. Good except for the finish (seltzer)
D: Good. Off flavor and feeling is a bit troubling, but I'd have another. I wouldn't buy a sixer of this though

dfillius, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of shivtim
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprisingly dark, even for a marzen. Mildly hazy resinous amber. Small lasting soapy off-white head. Heavily carbonated.

Nose is wonderfully lager-yeasty, with puffed rice and fresh wet straw. Hints of sweet grass. Excellent for the style.

Taste is old hay, gentle hops and cereal, maybe corn too. Some vague peppery spice. Wild yeast and un-tamed character.

Mouthfeel is full and bubbly. Nice brew.

shivtim, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of jwc215
2.98/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

jwc215, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of beer2day
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours classic copper with a wheaty, straw-grass aroma. Thin head with lots of evervesence present leading to thin lacing. Initial hit is very malty but finishes dry with little evidence of hops - almost a rye quality to it. The grassiness in the aroma leads to a grassiness in flavor as well. A decent attempt at the style.

beer2day, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of hellomcfly
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours clear orangey-amber color. Good off white head that disipates fairly quickly.

S - Toasy, bready malt smell with a slight spicy hop smell.

T - Very much bready malt flavor with slight hop spicyness to round it out just like the nose. Like another poster said it almost turns sour in aftertaste but not in a bad way for me.

M - Mouthfeel is light bodied and smooth. Seems just right for the style.

D - high drinkability. Very sessionable beer and is a pretty good representation of an american octoberfest in my opinion. Well balanced and highly sessionable.

hellomcfly, Nov 08, 2008
Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest from Highland Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 210 ratings.