Saranac Octoberfest - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac OctoberfestSaranac Octoberfest

Educational use only; do not reuse.

494 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 494
Reviews: 277
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 13.37%
Wants: 6
Gots: 43 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-15-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 494 | Reviews: 277
Reviews by gilman:
Photo of gilman
3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color and a small yet respectable white head. As the beer head settles a little lace is left behind. The beer has a good aroma, hops with a bit of malt in it and a few spices, maybe some caramel. It has a full body but more syrupy that I expect in a ocktoberfest but at the same time it goes down easily. I think I could drink a number of these without complaint. The flavor is malt an hops. There are certainly some toasted grains in there, and maybe a hint of spices. Not much in the way of hops, but there is a slight lingering. Over all not a bad rendering.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice copper with decent almost creamy-like head that settles nicely leaving a small amount of lace,big caramel aromas with some roasted malt in the background with a light pepper note as well.Taste is roasted for sure with some lighter caramel notes and at times I pick up a light grassy hop note.Hey better than what I was expecting,picked it up because its pretty cheap and was pleasantly surprised.Bt did get a little cloying after a awhile.

Photo of lordofthewiens
2.86/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Part of an Saranac Autumn sampler. There were better beers in the 12 pack. This beer was an amber color with a medium-sized white head. Aroma was lacking, just some vague spice. Cinnamon and clove in the taste, just the tiniest bit of caramel. Mouthfeel was warming from the spice, not quite pleasant. Two and done for me.

Photo of generallee
4.17/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: The body has a medium amber color with good clarity and a modest size, just off white head. It fades quickly down to a very thin covering that makes only a little slick lacing.

Smell: Its aroma has herbal hop notes with light hints of sweet caramel and bready malt.

Taste/Mouth feel: The flavor has an average but still very good mix of sweet caramel and bready malt with spicy/herbal and mildly floral hops. It has a solid medium body with a soft texture and carbonation. The finish leans a bit towards the hops and the drinkability is very good.

Notes: Overall it's a solid yet safe Oktoberfest beer.

Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with no freshness date anywhere, diamond checkered blue and white back ground on the label going for the festive look.

Appearance: Crystal clear aged copper colour with a patchy spider web like lace, decent head retention with a powdery lace floating on top.

Smell: Clean malt aroma with a touch of caramel and bread, agreeable and mildly spicy and floral hop nose matches well with the malt.

Taste: Body holds up to being medium in size, smoothness flows on the tongue with its softened carbonation. Maltiness gets a little creamy and shows some caramel and toasted bread. Hop bitterness is both spicy and a mix of herbal / floral … but certainly more spicy though does not even come close to overtake the malt. Alcohol is evident with a clean warming sensation. Small dose of sweetness that is thoroughly balanced. Fresh milled grain taste flavor helps to wrap up the finish.

Notes: What this beer lacks in complexity is makes up for in sheer drinkability, it goes just as good with bratwurst and sauerkraut than any other Oktoberfest beer.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle,sdrved into a nonic glass.
Clear,medium amber with a 1" off-white foamy head that quickly dissapated into a soapy looking coating. Fiar amount of carbination with medium bubbles constinatly rising.

Clean aroma,all the aromas were faint. Barely a malt smell,some fruityness,peachy aromas seemed to be the strongest with a touch of grassiness.

Clean tasting,Tart,tangy fruitiness up front,with some light sweet malt,a bit candied. Good balance,has a nice crisp finish. Not a lot of taste either.

Light bodied and smooth with a touch of grainyness. Easy to drink,just barely enough taste to be sessionable. Typical Saranac,decent beer,but not too exciting,but very drinkable.

Photo of wattoclone
3.75/5  rDev +9%

Color and appearance is good but the aroma and taste has too much floral hops for the style. Also, the mouthfeel was rather watery which accentuated the bitter finish. Somewhat surprising considering how well balanced the Saranac pumpkin is.

Photo of ChadwickHines
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

Good stuff. Outstanding in quality and taste

Photo of kingcrowing
3.95/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured in a pilsner glass.

A nice light golden color with a small fluffy head. Nose is malty and sweet, very peasant.

Very toasty, smooth and complex. It's got a nice carbonation and flavor. This is the best Oktoberfest beer I've had since Otter Creek Oktoberfest.

Photo of Thrasher
3.37/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper lager with full head that vanishes. Decent aroma with hints of caramel and trademark Saranac malts. Overall this beer is nothing special; does not stand up to other Fests or the best of Saranac's other beers. Some light spiciness in the malts but generally corn tasting to me; hops are not quite there, mouthfeel is thick which I like but borders on syrupy. Other than a chunk of malt flavor at the beginning of the sip, this beer is hardly there, there's no middle, bottom, or finish. There is nothing bad about this beer (it goes down easily enough), just nothing exciting either. Maybe with a full plate of brats and some oom-pah music in the background, this beer can take on a life of it's own. But sitting here alone at my computer terminal, it's negligible.

Photo of far333
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber colored with a beige sizzly head that settles out quickly. Sweetish aroma of doughey malt, some corn and cinnamon. Flavors fairly match the nose, plus a metallic note, some dried leaves, mild bitterness lingers. Dry and crisp mouthfeel, a bit slick with some carbonation sting. Decent beer overall.

Photo of ADR
3.94/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slight chill haze, sort of a brown amber color that's not as bright as some. One half inch head at first, spidery at the margins in 50 seconds. Nice spicy and hoppy aroma. Sweet and hearty caramel malts, slightly nutty. Hop balance is good and strays into the lemon range (rather than orange rind), unusual for an Oktoberfest. Nice beer here, like Black Forest, a stronger Saranac offering. There's a lot of variability in Matt beers, here's hoping they focus on the five or so strongest along with seasonals.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears copper mild brown ale with a cream colored decent sized head and leaves scattered patterns of lacing. Aroma consists of primarily faint caramel and other specialty malts with slight nut characteristics not bad just really mild and clean. Taste great drinkable representation of an O-fest just not the best version. Has the components the mild toasted nuts the sweetness swarming the palate in an endless battle for balance of the flavors and mild spice here great tasting beer. Mouthfeel is quite full for the typical Saranac beer I would say this is one of their better done seasonals thank god nobody wants to see that disgraced. Overall drinkability is decent one reason it does an alright job of copying such a great style of the Oktoberfest great drinkable version just toned down in flavor but it's there just toned down I like.

Photo of Brenden
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A barely yellow-tinged head a finger and a half tall crowns a deep orange-red brew. It's dense and thick and when it settles a bit, it's to just under one finger and remains sturdily from then on. It leaves thick and sticky lacing strongly on the glass.
The aroma is clean but light, balanced and simple but leaning slightly too nuanced. Toasty with a clean grains undertone and a light toffee and caramel sweetness against earthy hops with a slightly herbal note, it's stronger in the flavor by a stretch. There seems to be the presence of some drier pale malts to complement, but plenty of toasty bread and sweetness to keep a fan of the style happy. There's just a nip of spiciness to the flavor as well. I'm glad to try more than my first bottle of this, because that one ended up tasting watery and metallic with a strange taint to the herbal aspect. Apparently that bottle was off.
The feel I'm not a huge fan of, not because it's too light (it's actually about medium-bodied), but because it's much too crisp and carbonated, being biting and overly fizzy. It calms down eventually, but the smoothness that follows is just enough.

Photo of Jeffreysan
2.97/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, hazy, amber color, speckled with red and orange highlights, with half 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 almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Not much in the aroma department, either that, or I’m stuffed up. I get practically no aroma at all.

Taste: This beer is a little thin in the flavor department as well. I get some malt and some caramel sweetness, but overall, it’s rather thin, almost bland.

Mouthfeel: Medium with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.1%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: I’m disappointed in this beer. Not much going on at all, it’s just….there. I wouldn’t turn it away if offered, (and there wasn’t any other beers to drink), but I’m not looking for it either, in fact, I’m passing on this one next Oktoberfest.

Photo of caddybuyer
3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pleasant medium amber with filtered clarity, ample white head with medium lacing as it rapidly settles

S-Typical Marzen malts and a full bready smell

T-Malty and but a bit on the dry side for the type. Very tasty with a bit more of a hint of herbs than expected. Overall a nice balanced taste.

M-Well balanced and not much to say here.

D-Very drinkable and sessionable. Nothing remarkable here, but nothing remarkable was expected. Good job.

I generally think that Matts does a better than average job with most styles. This is no exception. Is there better, yes, but for the price and for the consistancy, these guys do it very well.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Medium golden orange amber with a smallish white head that melts to a faint ring of lacing.
Aroma is toasted amber malt and bready yeast.
Taste is not as sweet as I am used to in a 'fest so took a minute to get used to. Toasted amber malt followed by slightly citrus hops...simple and totally non-complex, but satisfying none the less.
Aftertaste is clean and lightly drying.
This is a 'fest I could session very easily simply because it IS so simple.
Thanks Jimi for another brew experience.

Photo of dacrza1
2.9/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The Moment: More baseball/football watching--the best time for this sports fan... Glassware: Saranac willibecker... Appearance: Strong, autumnal orange/brown body that suggests malt and more malts--thin white head that is a bit inconsistent... Aroma: sweet, crips malt as promised; doughy accents prohibit a higher mark for aroma... Palate: medium-bodied with a late fizziness; otherwise, flat and lacking a strong mouthfeel... Taste: a bit flat, delivered with the quality of a cola; monolithic in its delivery of malt; the malts themselves taste slightly roasted and stay true to their aroma... Overall: This "limited release" is a serviceable sessioner--and I am a fool for an Oktoberfest ANYTHING--and yet, imperfect hints of metal ping at certain points taper my enthusiasm; truth be told, I bought a case and have not been disappointed in reaching for a pair or three per night the past few weekends...

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac- Octoberfest

Appearance- light golden orange with very little head. Slight lacing of the glass.
Smell- Sweet malt and a earthy, wet leaf/ hop aroma.
Taste- sweet malt with an even blend of dry earthy hop
Mouthfeel- slighty dry and bitter up front but sweet and flavorful in the end.

Overall- A decent Octoberfest that would be an easy session beer. Worth a try!

Photo of MacEnvy
4.32/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at approximately 40 degrees Fahrenheit into a pint glass from a chilled bottle. A thick foamy head, about 2.5 fingers, formed on top and stuck around for more than 5 minutes.

The color is light golden copper, crystal clear.

The smell is lovely, hops and caramel.

The taste is balanced with a hoppy finish. Traces of nut and caramel linger on the palate. A bit of hoppiness stays on the tongue for quite a while after swallowing. Overall it has very nice flavor and that distinctive "Saranac" character that all of their beers seem to have.

Mouthfeel ... medium-bodied with slight carbonation on the tongue, but nothing too special. Nice to swirl in your mouth and savor.

Quite drinkable. I have had 2 of these tonight, and I may have another two. It's not overly alcoholic and as an an Octoberfest beer it is made for sessioning. More drinkable than some other beers in this class.

This is a great beer from a great brewery. Who would have guessed that F.X. Matt would be putting out such high quality craft beers just a couple of decades after Utica Club was the swill of the masses? As usual, Saranac delivers an excellent beer at a low price - $5.76 per sixer here in Maryland, over 300 miles from the brewery. Not too shabby.

Photo of asabreed
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A nice lighter copper color with good bubbles and nice thin clumps of lacing, with a head that likes to stay above the body of the brew quite nicely at about 1/2".

Smell: Grains, earthiness, some nice crisp malt sweetness, a bit of toffee and caramel, and a nice touch of citrus.

Taste: There's a nice herbal and citrus touch to this that mingles nicely with the lighter and subtle coffee and toffee flavors along with the mild fruit esters. Lingering balance between caramel malts, light esters, and a bit of citrus.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with nice crisp carbonation on the back end.

Drinkability: Not a favorite of mine, but for the QPR this is tasty and a decent domestic version of the style, and maybe one of Saranac's better brews.

Photo of tdm168
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a pale amber with 1/4" of foamy head. Good retention. The nose has notes of caramel malt and earthy, grassy hops. The taste is mild caramel with grassy hops. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with mild carbonation.

Overall this is a decent, sessionable beer, but it's not a great marzen. The flavors don't mesh and the flavor profile is a little too mild.

Photo of mempath
4.42/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

nice appearance...expected orangey/amber/copper with an initial huge head that laced beautifully for a minute or so, but dissipated afterwards a good bit. decent 1/8 head remains at least. nice.

though subtle, i can detect so nice details in the nose: apricot marmalade, toast, some hops there with the cereal-grain.

there is a unique note in the taste that is really refreshing and alive, toastiness that seems different than some of the marzens i've had lately. not overly complex at all, but there's plenty to savor. the hops stay in the background, but what subtlety there is is bitter. nice touch. the malts definitely supply the perfect backbone. never had this Saranac, but definitely a great balance helped by the mouthfeel of mellowed carbonation. rich and silky yet bubbly enough to tantalized the tastebuds. which all in all makes this quite drinkable and another perfect session octoberfest.

by nature, all Octoberfest brews must be session beers...right?
most impressive where it counts. love the toasty-yeasty notes as this slightly warms up on this rainy, windy, cool 40 degree day in PA

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.27/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Saranac delivers a solid example of the Maerzen style in their "Octoberfest".

It pours a clear copper body with orange highlights beneath a short head of off-white. Unfortunately, the head retention and lacing leave a little bit to be desired.

Sweetish and toasty malt greets you in the nose with a hint of caramel and some fruitiness, and some floral and gently grassy hops round it out.

In the mouth it's medium bodied and crisp with a fine-bubbled, median carbonation.

The flavor delivers all of the maltiness suggested by the aroma, and it's gently toastly, bready with a hint of burnt crust, lightly caramelish, and delicately fruity. And unlike many examples, the maltiness is not over-done and sweet, or thick on the palate. No, this is very nicely balanced by the spicy, floral and grassy hops that run through it, and the firm bitterness that supports it. It finishes dry with a short-lingering note of sweet malt, a bit of fruitiness, and then longer-lasting notes of spicy, floral, and grassy hops.

Wow! Pretty nice. In a climate where a lot of German Oktoberfests have been dumbed down to the point of being just malty golden lagers, and many American brewers use too heavy of a hand with the malts, Matt has kept theirs balanced, and to style. Very nicely drinkable! One of the better examples I've tasted this year.

Photo of Rootdog316
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured a clear copper with a small disapating white head. Aromas of straw, light caramel and light spice. Palate was light to medium bodied and crisp. Flavors of carmel, light straw and spicy hops with a crisp malty finish. Definitely on the lower end of the Oktoberfests I've ever had.

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Saranac Octoberfest from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 494 ratings.