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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

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73 Reviews

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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 welldigger888
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured like a helles with clear golden hues a nice just off white head and some lacing.

Malty goodness enveloped in a hop forward fashion. Caramel and quality grain for sure.

Smooth caramel like goodness with a firm malt backbone that leads into a nice american style hop goodness. tropical type fruit and a distinct noble hop flavor for sure.

Seems to me to be medium .

This is a quality redition of a classic. (415 characters)

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 robwestcott
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (278 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 bucklemyshoe
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (432 characters)

Photo of TheKingofWichita
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
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! (425 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.77/5  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. (925 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 DanThomas
3.54/5  rDev -3%
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. (1,083 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (578 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass on 10/12/10

Burnt amber/orange color, similar to the color of leaves this time of year. Very clear. Bubbles are slow to be released from the walls. They can't maintain the head though as one finger becomes a patchy skim quickly. Very little lace.

The aroma strikes me a very earthy. Lots of toasted grain & a bready note that offers a robust, doughy aroma. Just a touch of malt sweetness. Nice flourishes of the Noble hops round it out.

There's a quick, floral hop flavor & very mild, bitter twinge up front. These peel back, leaving room for the malts to take center stage. Notes of toasted bread, grains & a touch of biscuit. Not particularly sweet. The hops return toward the finish.

Medium body with a dusty, almost gritty feel. Rather low carbonation seems right on point. The finish is pushing "coating" territory, caking residuals of grains & crusty hops.

Clawhammer is an easy enough drinking beer. Not overly impressive but solid. I've certainly enjoyed a few. (1,012 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 MbpBugeye
3.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If you have been following my recent reviews then you would have noticed that Ryanandawholebunchofnumbers have me a few beers, mostly some highland stuff. This is yet another one of those.

A- Really poor looking. No head, the standard clear orange beer. It could be my shaker pint (my perfect pint Is dirty) but I don't know.

S- Malty sweet with light hops. Lots of caramel and even cinnamon.

T- Tastes like bren flakes, raisin bran. An almost cinnamon spice with caramel and grain. Very sweet but enjoyable.

I like this much beyer than Bells oktoberfest. (562 characters)

Photo of jpro
3.7/5  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. (911 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (669 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 avalon07
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (512 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 silver0rlead
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
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. (614 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 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 hooliganlife
3.72/5  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. (483 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (302 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)

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