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Harpoon Octoberfest Beer - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Octoberfest BeerHarpoon Octoberfest Beer

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473 Reviews

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Reviews: 473
Hads: 1,119
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 10.33%
Wants: 22
Gots: 133 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-02-2001

The character and complexity of Harpoon Octoberfest comes from the malt and hops. When looking at a freshly poured Harpoon Octoberfest, you will notice the garnet-red color with a firm, creamy head. The beer’s color is from a blend of Munich, chocolate, and pale malt. The thick head results in part from wheat malt added to the grist. The hop aroma of this beer is not overpowering but it is present. Tettnang hops add a subtle spice nose that blends with the malt character. This beer is full-bodied, smooth, and malty. Willamettehops are used to provide a gentle bitterness and to balance any residual sweetness present from the malt. The finish is soft and malty with a mild bitterness.

30 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 473 | Hads: 1,119
Photo of mchegash
3.89/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4.5/5
Two fingers of head upon initial pour (eventually dissipates away almost totally). A deep red-orange-brown color. Extremely clear. Overall, a really excellent look for an Oktoberfest beer. Nice lacing.

Smell - 4.25/5
Sweet warm malty smell, with hints of vanilla and bourbon

Taste - 3.5/5
Sweet maltiness, again, a vanilla/bourbon-esque character, with some strong metallic flavors as well. Moderate level of sweetness overall. A decent taste overall. Not sure what my thoughts are on the metallic taste though. The first few sips were interesting, but then it becomes more 'meh'.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Medium bodied. Light carbonation. Fairly creamy, with a nice light carbonation kick as the sip goes down. Overall a nice mouthfeel, no complaints.

Overall - 3.9/5
Overall I though this was a fairly good beer. I thought that maybe they could tone down the metallic tastes a bit, and turn up the malty taste a bit. But still, I was happy with this beer. (971 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Comes out of the tap a dark clear mahogany with a thick pale wheat head. Aroma has strong tones of cloves and horehound. Malty flavor has notes of horehound, cloves and malt with an earthy undertone and a hint of caramel. Smooth texture has good body and fizz, if not amazing of either. A decent and enjoyable Oktoberfest. Prozit! (330 characters)

Photo of Pegasus
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Clear, deep reddish amber in color with a massive, two point-five inch fine-beaded tan head, which retains superbly. Belgian-style lacing decorates the glass walls. The carbonation is slight and slow-rising.

Aroma: Caramel and toasted malt dominate the aroma, with some grassy hops.

Taste: The taste begins with abundant toasted malt and caramel. As it progresses, dark bread notes present, and some mild noble-like hops present. Late in the taste, a toasted grain note appears. Finishes with a lingering grain and mild hop note.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, quite full, little carbonation noted, very pleasing.

Drinkability/notes: A really nice, well-crafted example of the Oktoberfest style, hard to overstate. If you are fortunate enough to find it or have some on hand, this would be superb for Thanksgiving dinner.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twelve-ounce brown glass long neck bottle, sealed with a pop-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice. (983 characters)

Photo of Gajo74
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A dark copper colored beer with good head retention. Aroma is malty sweet. However, I detected some vegetable odors that were slightly off putting. Taste is mostly malty, nothing so special. Low carbonation in the feel, light bodied.
Nothing too special and I can think of other Octoberfests that I like better. I generally like Harpoon but this one did not do it for me. (372 characters)

Photo of Zach136
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Clear amber one finger off white head great lacing.

Aroma/Flavor: Medium- intensity bready notes, touch of acetaldehyde. Lasting earthy hop astringency.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, moderate carb. (207 characters)

Photo of dmberger
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Tries too hard to be 'balanced' for those who want hoppiness in their beer, but fails at being a legit Oktoberfest beer, IMO. It is a fine beer, as in, the hoppy aftertaste well balances the malty forefront of the beer, but it's not what I would call a proper oktoberfest beer. (278 characters)

Photo of MarkQ617
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Pretty good Octoberfest. Had this poured into a pint glass. Beautiful color, probably the best feature of the beer, a very nice reddish-orange. The flavor wasn't quite a strong as I'd like for an October, the molasses and malt that you'd like to see are there, but are just mild. Good head, nice lacing. Very good, better than most, but nothing special. (355 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Bottle from Harvest Market.
Clear golden color decent white head. Rich sweet bready pilsner with a hint of hop flavor. Nice enough marzen, better than some other versions I've had but still not quite as good as the German versions. (231 characters)

Photo of riversider76
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Recommended bay an old friend. Pours amber gold with a thin white head. Decent retention and some lacing. Aroma is of bready sweet malts, and caramel. Body is medium with light carbonation. Taste is malty up front. Hints of toast and fruit, with a touch of hops in the finish. Excellent! (287 characters)

Photo of dacrza1
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

DATE TASTED: September 13, 2014... GLASSWARE: Ayinger willibecker...OCCASION: soccer weekend #1--a success... APPEARANCE: nice, dark amber body that supports a healthy, two-finger off-white head--creamy and frothy, and settles well; lacing is scarce .. AROMA: toasted malts compliment the cold rain outside; some bread, but the flowery hops round the malts to a more balanced fest than expected... PALATE: reasonably smooth and pleasant to drink; a bit chewy for a fest--an attribute of differentiation ...TASTE: malts are more sugary than what the aroma suggests; a bit of caramel and oats late; hops are balancing and lightly floral...OVERALL: stands out from other fests by performing a pleasant balancing act... (715 characters)

Photo of delta490
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%

Pours a nice deep ruddy amber with a light creamy white head. Small amounts of lacing hang on. The aroma is mild and malty, with some nice caramel notes and a little hops earthy character. The taste is a little anemic, lacking even the character of the aroma. The body is a little thin and a little too carbonated. Not bad, but not the best of a sizeable bunch. (361 characters)

Photo of logicalparadox
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Darker than the quintessential Oktoberfest brew, this offering has some uniqueness to go along with its stylistic tradition. Maltier and toastier than I prefer, it is nevertheless tasty and eminently drinkable. (210 characters)

Photo of Beric
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Served: 6 September 2014
Serving: Bottle into pint

Appearance: Pours a clear dark brownish-amber color. Deeper brown color than most Oktoberfestbiere, but looks good. Dirty white boarding on brown soapy head, minimal lacing. 3.75/5

Aroma: Sweet caramel maltiness, but overwhelmingly clean and sort of monotonous. 3.5/5

Taste: Sweeter caramel notes, but not quite as sweet as Sam Adam's Oktoberfest. The flavor is very similar, however, to SA Oktoberfest and is definitely not as rich in malt character as German versions of the style. The flavor is good for an American Oktoberfest, but still has nothing on the authentic versions. 3.75/5

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation carries the malty beer nicely across the palate without it feeling too thick or sticky. 3.75/5

Overall: A good Oktoberfest, but nothing close to the good German examples, as it lacks complexity in the maltiness and is too sweet and single noted to be truly great. Nonetheless, this would make for a great, easy drinking fall beer. (1,002 characters)

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%

A good take on the Marzen style. The pour was a dark red/amber color with a thin head that trailed the glass. The smell was full of bread and toasted malt. The taste was smooth with flavors popping up from the malt giving a full bodied flavor. The mouthfeel was also nice, not too thick or thin for the style. I liked it a lot. (328 characters)

Photo of Foyle
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: 1” off white fluffy head recedes moderately with gracious amounts of lacing. Lovely reddish brown color with moderate carbonation.
Aroma: true to the style the malt aroma is dominant but there is a nice floral hop in the smell as well.
Mouthfeel: medium body and sticky with a nice dry finish.
Flavor: Just awesome. Lovely combination of the roasted malts with caramel and a bit of chocolate. The hops are well balanced to the malt and round this beer out nicely.
Overall: Excellent job Harpoon! (513 characters)

Photo of thegodfather1076
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Very cool looking label in the Harpoon tradition with a nice color scheme and a bit of fall flair. Front label gives a bit of brewery information and ABV info. Back label has a bit of advertisement for the brewery. Neck label says “Prost” and gives a small desc of the beer.

Appearance: An aggressive pour from its 12oz brown bottle into a 16oz English Pint led to a 3 finger tan head of a thicker medium density atop a clear copper amber colored beer. Head retention was very good at 4min 32sec before fading to a thick coating and ring with phenomenal lacing.

Smell/Aroma: Smells of sweet caramel malts along with hints of toastiness, a bit of very light hops, and a bit of fruitiness.

Flavor/Taste: Tastes of a bit of toasty caramel malt along with a slight bit of hops on the front end. Mid point is dominated by toasty sweet caramel malts along with a bit of breadyness. The toastyness kicks up another notch on the back end and is balanced by a sweet slight fruitiness with a nice toasty finish.

MouthFeel/Drinkability: On the full side of medium bodied with a smooth almost creamy mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

Overall/Comments: One of the better all around American brewed Octoberfest beers that I have had. This has a really great flavor profile, nice body, and an ABV perfect for sessioning. Try it!!. Classified as a Marzen/Octoberfest @ 5.3% ABV. Consumed 10/26/2013. (1,402 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The CANQuest (TM) unearthed this gem while on a recent Veterans Day foray to State Line Liquors! I am overjoyed to be reviewing something other than yet another pumpkin ale.

From the CAN: "Prost!"; "Roll out the barrels!"; "Love beer. Love life. Harpoon."; "Pack it in, pack it out Please recycle".

The Crack revealed a brimful CAN and the inverted Glug almost overflowed my special CAN-shaped glass until I backed off and let it settle. Color was a deep-copper (SRM = > 22, < 27) with button-bright clarity. The head settled into two fingers of dense, rocky, tawny foam with good retention. Nose had a caramel maltiness which struck me as being a bit sweeter than I like. Some nice, sticky lacing began to appear as I patiently waited. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, approaching a creaminess on the tongue. The taste seemed kind of odd for the style - slightly minty with an underlying nuttiness. It was not bad, per se, but kind of unexpected. Finish was semi-sweet and nothing like I remember most oktoberfests/marzens, but not bad. (1,042 characters)

Photo of Cavanaghty
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Nice clear brown color with a thin off white head. No lacing on the glass.

Smell: Mild malts and maybe some caramel.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of malts, bitter hops, and a slight hint of alcohol.

Overall: This is a great Oktoberfest! I would have this one again for sure! (346 characters)

Photo of Carolvs
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased 12-pack of cans from local store - last case of Oktoberfest remaining.

A - A 'bright dark' amber color with a thick foamy head.

S - Crisp, aromatic hoppy smell.

T - Light bitterness of hops quickly hits, and then fades off smoothly.

O - I enjoyed it and would drink it again, but I don't expect a true Oktoberfest to have this degree of hop content. Quality brew, no doubt, but borderline-not-an-Oktoberfest. Compare with Thomas Hooker, Sam Adams, or Otter Creek Oktoberfests. (490 characters)

Photo of mpedara429
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured put a clear, reddish copper color. Two fingers of creamy orange colored head.

S: Not much here but bread and malt.

T: Mainly caramel malt and a nice bitterness of earthy European hops. Probably a hint of darker malts adding a touch of bitterness as well. Very well balanced.

M: Medium body and medium carb.

O: One of the better fall beers or "Oktoberfests" I've had. Full bodied, but not over the top. Simplicity can be a good thing sometimes. (458 characters)

Photo of scotorum
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 12 oz,. can into a Samuel Adams nonick. Ironic.

a: Clear amber with a finger thick white head which dissipated to thin surface foam and spotty lacing.

s; Light malt.

t: Mildly malt dominant, the effort at hop balance creates a slightly sharp overall impression.

m: Light to moderate. The brewery's description of it as "full-bodied" was not my experience.

o: Decent Marzen, but that somewhat sharp tinge detracts. Apparently my palate and Tettnang and Willamette hops do not get along as well as they should. (529 characters)

Photo of 57md
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a striking autumnal copper with a finger of off-white head. The nose is malty and bready. The flavor profile is highlighted by a touch of sweetness from the caramel malt. There is a slight bitterness on the finish. This is a touch lighter in body than the very best of the style, but this is still a superior effort. (322 characters)

Photo of BeerNewbs
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Harpoon should require its Octoberfest be served with a soft pretzel and mustard - I mean it, even when purchased at the grocery store. This longneck is well balanced and malty. I particularly enjoyed the blended spice and nut flavors. Overall exactly as one would expect, although it was thin bodied for what I would expect from an Octoberfest brew. (350 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Harpoon Oktoberfest

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, semi-clear/semi-cloudy reddish/brown, amber color with an eighth of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed wispy clouds that collected in the center of the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very malty and bready, with notes of caramel, toffee and clover.

Taste: Like the aroma, the beer is very malty and bready, with notes of freshly baked baguettes or soft pretzels, followed by some caramel sweetness and finish by some hoppy bitterness that is in beautiful balance with the malty and sweet flavors of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium and smooth. Not much in the carbonation, though. With an ABV of 5.3%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is another solid American version of an Oktoberfest beer. Great balance between the hops and the malt. Very good. This is another Oktoberfest beer that I’ll have to add to my rotation. (1,012 characters)

Photo of mooseisloose
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We'll it's October, month of the Octoberfest, when every brewery has their special October brew out. Harpoon has never disappointed so let's give this one a whirl. Popping the top I get a very sweet waft of malts and grape-like olfactory inputs. The brew pours to a bright orange color with a nice large bubble head that has a creamy top. On the taste this brew is as sweet as it smells but not overly so. Typical of its style, there is not much if any bitterness present. The taste is consistent throughout with a solid syrupy mouthfeel and a very slight dry chalkiness in the the finish, that cleanses the palate of the bold sweetness. A very good beer, great for the style and quite sessionable. (698 characters)

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Harpoon Octoberfest Beer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
83 out of 100 based on 473 ratings.