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Saranac Octoberfest - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac OctoberfestSaranac Octoberfest

Educational use only; do not reuse.

277 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 277
Hads: 518
Avg: 3.45
pDev: 18.26%
Wants: 6
Gots: 69 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saranac Octoberfest Alström Bros
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Reviews: 277 | Hads: 518
Photo of wattoclone
4.69/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark amber color with a modest head. This year (2015) has a pleasant subtle earthy aroma with a remarkably rich, pleasant roasted malt flavor that lingers on the palate. The mouthfeel was perfection for the style, not too thick but luscious, complex and highly drinkable. The 2015 batch is much improved over last year making it easy to drink volumes, as is the custom for this style. Apparently they changed the hops used from Saaz and Tettang hops (2014 description) to Saphir and Perle hops (2015 description). This has transformed this beer into my new favorite oktoberfest, rivaling any Bavarian import version available in a bottle. My compliments to the brewers for the improvements they made; it is now a well-balanced, exceptionally flavorful lager characteristic of the style.

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Photo of bbeerman
4.59/5  rDev +33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A..A good dark amber hue on the pour. Average head/lace retention.

S..This beer smells terrific. Inviting sweet malts jump out before you get to the first sip. This is what I want an Oktoberfest brew to smell like.

T..And the taste follows the scent perfectly. Sweet malts as advertised; a slight bread flavor is present; a little hops near the end. As others have said below, this is a very well balanced Oktoberfest; the taste is exceptional.

M..Medium bodied beer. Minimal carbonation (which I personally prefer).

D..A very good Oktoberfest beer to drink. Smooth from the bottle or glass. This is certainly one of the best American Oktoberfest brews I have had. Disappointed I only found one six pack, but happy to have enjoyed what I bought and looking forward to more whenever possible.

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Photo of mempath
4.42/5  rDev +28.1%
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

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Photo of animal69
4.4/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

an excellent 'fest; prob. the best U.S. brewed so far, beautiful light amber color w/ a creamy head that dissapates quickly; malty-yeasty aroma w/ slight hop presence;quite bitter for a fest, might be the malt tho, there's plenty of that toasty carmel malt ; a little thin w/ only slightly more body than their pils.; overall a good little number, i don't know where you live , but here in NY it's on every grocers shelf,i recommend picking up a 12 pack or 2 (it's moderately priced) for your fall gatherings.

edit 9/10/08: This years offering seems a bit thicker than last years and not as dry...

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Photo of MacEnvy
4.32/5  rDev +25.2%
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.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.3/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to an O'fest style mug. The Liquid is a light copper with good carbonation. The head in light white and 2 full fingers, it leaves a good lace.

The smell is light carmel malt. Hmm Smells like a Marzen. Cool

The taste is A OK, Matzen all the way. a light toasty carmel taste, slightly sweet.Great hopy balance. Well done Matt.

The mouthfeel is ok, carbonation good body medium. OK.

The drinkability is high, as this beer is true to a highly drinkable style. Prosit und Zum Wohl. MK

I had another 4-4-2007 and it held up nice real solid Marzen. IMO

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Photo of AlHam
4.28/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, medium body. Nice shades of light amber.

Smells crisp and malty.

Clean, crisp, malty and hopsy, and very drinkable.

It has a fairly light body and mouthfeel, about typical for an octoberfest, which makes it very drinkable.

Not Saranac's best beer, but it is definitely another solid beer from a fantastic brewery.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.27/5  rDev +23.8%
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.

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Photo of JackTheRipper
4.27/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark amber, moderate head that dissipated quickly to a thin layer of foam.

Smell: Dark malts, faintly spicy aromas.

Taste: A malty taste predominates, but with a solid backing of a spicy taste, some hop flavors but no real bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, warming, alcohol is well masked. Carbonation is good.

Drinkability&Notes: This was my first review of a Matt Brewing Co. beer, and I'm seriously impressed. Goes down so very nicely. Awesome Beer.

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.24/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 5.4% abv

Appearance- Pours a drak amber with two finger head quick to dissipate. Clear.

Smell- Caramel, toasted malt, grains.

Taste- Toasted cracker, nutty flavor, Caramel. Becoming more toasted and grainy, slight bitter finish retaining some sweetness from the malt as well.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body with medium carbonation.

Overall- A fine Oktoberfest, great example.Easy drinking and smooth with good malt notes. Well done.

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Photo of Amalak
4.2/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App: Nice, foamy head. Bubbly. Clear, cooper in color.

Smell: Really nice malty aroma.

Taste: This is a wonderfully slow aged Octoberfest brew. One of my favorites. Malty, but balanced nicely.

Mouthfeel: Bubbly, but balanced by the malt.

Drinkability: Goes down smoothly. Leaves a nice after taste.

One of the better Octoberfests in my opinion.

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Photo of generallee
4.17/5  rDev +20.9%
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.

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Photo of PatriotsRule
4.08/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a good octoberfest. Very easy to drink... consider yourself warned
A: Pure gold with some nice carbonation
S: Roasted malts and some spice, a bit of smoke, hops aplenty
T: Very crisp initial feeling with the hops biting my palate right away!
M: Goes down real smooth, including a pleasant tasty yeastiness like a belgian or unfiltered
O: Excellent beer. For the price (just got a sixpak at $7.50) this is absolutely outstanding!

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Photo of CBlack85
4.07/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

This beer pours a clear light copper/amber-orange color with a nice off white head (about two fingers worth). Very little in the way of head retention, and not much in the way of lacing either.

Caramel and bready malts are the main attraction, very clean and aromatic. Just a slight hint of floral and spicy hops provides a bit of balance to keep the aroma from being too sweet.

Bready malts (slightly toasted) provide the backbone of the beer; with bits of caramel sweetness, spicy & floral hops, and earthy undertones to round it out. Medium/light bodied and moderately carbonated. This beer is very clean and crisp, and finishes slightly dry. Not overly sweet, this beer is easy to drink, and light enough to be able to drink several of during a sitting.

A little lighter than I am used to with this style, but very nice over all. Not terribly complex, but nicely done.

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Photo of squirrelpirate
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saranac Octoberfest pours a slightly hazy copper hue with a white head that quickly settled. The aroma consists of sweet, dark malt, green apples, and a floral hop bitterness.

The taste is exactly what I expected from an Oktoberfest. Sweet caramel malt, slightly bready, with a faint hop finish. I really enjoy this beer.

Very light on the palate, not overly sweet, with medium carbonation. This is a wonderfully balanced and drinkable beer. I'll definitely be picking up some more of this soon.

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Photo of tzieser
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear amber/copper color with a pretty thick head that simmers in a small lacing around the glass, lightly carbonated

smells very malty with a hint of hops in the background. it actually smells very similar to some of the german marzens i've had. rich and malty yet bold. smells nice.

tastes good. it has that signature german crispy beer taste. i love it. not quite as malty as i thought, some caramel malts and biscuits, but a nice amount of hops to give it that crisp and clean flavor. well balanced and well done.

mouthfeel is good. well carbonated and feels good going down.

drinkability is a 5. the clean taste of the beer makes this beer very drinkable.

overall-- this is one of the better marzens i've had. i'm pleasantly suprised. i thought it would be overly malty-- but it turns out this is quite a hidden gem. give it a shot.

PS- I dig the Bavarian flag label scheme.

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Photo of hopsgirl35
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance: Light copper color with a frothy white head.

Aroma: Light malt an hop smell.

Taste: Bitterness and a nice mellow sweetness of light roasted malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a light bitter finish.

Overall: One of the octoberfest beers I like to keep in stock. This one came out of the 12 beers a falling Saranac variety pack.

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Photo of Kooz
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Next up for Octoberfest, Saranac...

Typical Saranac bottle; didn't pour, but looks pretty good. Makes me want to drink it.

A sweetish/bitterish smell, but nice. Taste is terrific. Mellow and smooth, lots of flavor. Sharp mouthfeel, and coats the mouth and makes the next sip easier. Overall, nice. I would drink this all day. And I will at Maddhopper's Oktoberfest!

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Photo of ralree
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice fluffy white 2-finger head, pretty clear red color. Dissipates to lacing in about 2 minutes.

S: Caramel malt and a nice sweet smell.

T: Taste is pretty bitter, has some nice bitter-sweet flavor. Has a good fruity start. Aftertaste is very bitter, but the tongue gets used to it fast. Slight alkaline note at the end. Alcohol isn't too noticeable, but it's there. Pretty tasty, actually.

M: Just right - not too watery and not too heavy. Coats the mouth for a short period of time, but doesn't linger too long. Leaves a clean feel after about 10 seconds. Not astringent. A bit bubbly, but in a nice way - doesn't burn the tongue.

D: Very drinkable - could put a couple of these down pretty easily.

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Photo of Minkybut
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was a dark mahogany color. I had a big rich tan looking head that was inviting for sure. The brown fuzz oozed a malty smell that was a hard on coming for the taste buds. The taste was malty and sweet but not too much. This was a great beer and I will buy again.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

The beer is a pretty normal clear copper/amber color. An off-white head recedes to chunky bubbles. Decent rings of lacing are left on the glass.

The beer smells like spiced caramel and roasted malts.

The taste is bolted down with a solid malty, spiced grain note. Some sweet caramel comes through as the beer wears on. The finish just glazes the taste buds with cinnamon sharpness. The finish is clean and spicy. Where am I getting all of this spice from?

Mouthfeel is dry and clean.

Overall, I really like this one. It's just so, so easy to drink, and has a refreshing, clean feel. It has a great spicy feel to it, but it's subtle.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good beer, but to me it does not taste like a true Oktoberfest. This is the first American brewed interpretation of the style that I have tasted. Hop flavor is present, but the brew feels a little thin and not bitter enough for a true Oktober. I would drop the numbers comparing this to other styles, but I just cant because it really is a very good beer. The taste, mouthfeel, and smoothness are excellent, and I look forward to drinking many of these on a brisk fall night at the Saranac Fall Festival in September.

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Photo of whtguitarguy
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a medium amber brown with a nice head that doesn't go away to quickly. It coats the glass well. Aroma is of hops with a sweet note hidden in the background. Pleasantly bitter and smooth finish. Not a lot of aftertaste. This is a light-medium bodied Maerzen. It isn't too creamy like some other examples.

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Photo of funkengruven
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a pale amber, with some head. I found this to be more pale than other Oktoberfest beers I've had in the past. Smell is abundantly malty, with some hops. This is also reflected in the flavor as well. Hops and malt are present. It goes down quite easily, relatively smooth. Overall I'd say this is a pretty solid brew. Nice session beer.

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Photo of FenwaySquid
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck brown bottle, no dating of any kind but the label on the neck claimed "limited release," poured into an oktoberfest mug.

Appearance: Poured a clear burnt orange color. The head formed a thick creamy 1 finger thick and faded slowly, clinging to the glass on the way down.

Aroma: Caramel malts.

Taste: Sweet toasted malts up front. This gives way tyo a mild spicy hop flavor in the middle, there's a apple tartness to it as well, especially in the finish. It's kind of sour, but as someone else pointed out this does encourage another sip.

Mouthfeel: Thick, not quite syrupy, more chewy than anything. Carbonation was in good balance as well.

Overall: While not my favorite, it is a decent interpretation of the style. I got a sixer for $5.99, and at that price it's a bargain. (The same store sells Paulaner and Spaten Oktoberfests for over $10 a six-pack.) This one is definitely worth picking up if you're a fan of the style, and even if you're not go for it.

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Saranac Octoberfest from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 277 ratings.