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Harpoon Octoberfest Beer - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Octoberfest BeerHarpoon Octoberfest Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

482 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 482
Hads: 1,160
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 18.21%
Wants: 26
Gots: 159 | 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: 482 | Hads: 1,160
Photo of tekstr1der
3.89/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Great looking, deep amber with finger of thick off-white foam which laced the entire way down. Aromas are of light bready malt, but fairly subdued. Unfortunately the taste is less remarkable. Fairly smooth, and somewhat sweet, there's just not a ton of character here. Middle of the road for the style.

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Photo of WyethBednar
3.24/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A really boring take on a classic style.

Appearance: Good. Pretty much what you'd expect from the style. Deep amber, decent head.

Smell: Unassuming and subdued. Subtle earthiness and malt, but not much else.

Taste: Boring. Very balanced, but to the detriment of the beer. No one factor stands out, so it sort of tastes like a generic concept of "beer" to me. Not unpleasant, just uninteresting, and with a lingering malty sweetness that doesn't make you want to go back immediately.

Feel: A little thin for an Oktoberfest. Sticky finish.

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Photo of egrapplesberg
4.26/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up in the variety pack. Enjoy by 11/15/15. Pours an Amber copper with a thick white two inch frothy head. Recedes slowly and leaves great lacing. Smell is sweet and bready. Taste follows, nice biscuity. Feel is creamy and smooth. Almost like its nitro. Best Oktoberfest I've had. Cheers!

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Photo of Duhast500
3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada pint glass.

The color is a dark reddish amber with a finger and a half of foamy tan head and some slightly webbie lacing left on the glass.

The smell is malty at first with some creamy aroma at the borders. There is a nice toffee aroma here that tickles the nose and follows the blueprint quite well so far.

The taste is more malt with a vanilla flavor holding things around it. There is hints of a bread crust flavor with some hints at some creamy edges that seem a little dull. There is a small sweetness in the flavor that comes out toward the end but there draws back quickly letting this beer end on more malt flavor.

The feel of this beer is has a smooth feel that is a bit dull but provides a good crisp finish that is level with the style of beer this is categorized in. There seems to be a missing flavor here that makes this beer feel likes its just short accomplishing the plan of making a great Marzen. It feels like a table that has all four lets but one of them is shorter then the rest.


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Photo of CycleDad
4.61/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful dark golden color with a thin cream-colored head that dissipated within a minute. Smooth malt flavor with just a hint of hops toward the finish. Light lacing. An excellent Octoberfest.

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Photo of nasty15108
3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Pilsner Urquell glass.

A - Poured a deep copper color with a slight off white head. Plenty of carbonation.

S - Malty and spicy, just the way a good Marzen should smell.

T - Bready maltiness finishing off with a nice slightly spicy hop flavor.

Overall an extremely well balanced and flavorful Oktoberfest brew. Highly recommended.

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Photo of mynie
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like what an Ameircan marzen used to look like: ruddy and translucent with a foamy white head.

Smells bready and grainy with the distinctive yeast profile of Harpoon beers. While that finish doesn't usually work with more contemporary styles, it actually suits a marzen quite well.

Tastes like it smells. Sweet bready grain up front, bittersweet nuttiness in the middle, and then faint yeast on the back end. Well balanced and interesting throughout, but a little dull on the back end as the fizziness picks up, and it's lacking the bread and caramel oomph of really great American Marzens (like Millstream's or Jack's Abby's). I'm a bigger fan of the style than most, so I'll give this a fairly high score, but your mileage may vary.

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

12 oz.

Pours a clear copper brown, eggshell lacing for a head.

Smells of rich caramel and biscuit malts.

Tastes of buttered biscuit, caramel, and coppery barley malts.

Medium body with tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

One of the better American marzens for my money. Very tasty, just the right body, and drinks very easy with food or on its own. Definitely worth trying for fans of German style lagers.

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Photo of brutalist
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Medium brown color from tap. Can't smell much. Pleasant sweet carmel taste with a little bitterness. This pint is flat and thick. Overall,a good Marzen IMHO.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Harpoon Octoberfest Beer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
83 out of 100 based on 482 ratings.