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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: 70 | 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 TheManiacalOne
2.03/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, spices and some pale hops.

T: The taste starts with a strong pale hops flavor. The same pale hops flavor that I don’t like in their Pale Ale. There are some flavors of caramel and spice that come in next and there’s a decent malt character. The after-taste is bitter.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is dry.

D: Not very tasty, doesn’t go down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, poor representation of style, there would have to be a very limited array of choice available for me to select this beer again and I certainly would not recommend it to anyone.

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Photo of wac9
2.06/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

we all have our favorite octoberfest this isnt one of them , i tryed something diffrent and boy it bit my ass , the beer has too much head , too much foam , doesnt taste like auturm stay away from this beer if you have taste, if a poor man oto fest enjoy your favorite and dont try this one enjoy the fall beers

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
2.24/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Reviewed on 4 November 2010.

Poured at 40 degrees F into standard American pint glass. Pours a clear orange-gold, less than a 1-finger egg-white head, almost no lacing. The first ingredient in the aroma is cinnamon, just like when you put cinnamon in a homebrew. Other than that, some sweet autumn-malts. Taste didn't sit well with me. Way too bready, and the bitterness is not the kind of bittering hops we all know and love. This bitterness combines with the carbonation and destroys the roof of my mouth. The taste of cinnamon doesn't carry over heavily. It leaves a sticky, undesirable stale malt flavor on the palate. I would not recommend this as a session beer. However, Saranac has other good brews, so don't turn down the company immediately.

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Photo of sraimondi
2.26/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2008 Version, September, 2008

Poured into a pint glass.

Nice 1 inch off-white head which sticks around for a while. Some sheet lacing which moves to spot as time passes. Color is on style being a nice deeper copper color.

Aroma is not very prevalent either way, not much bread/malt. Some very faint floral hops. Not a marzen in character.

The taste is definitely not on style. Little maltiness, with hops being the most prevalent characteristic. Some metallic taste in the finish, which linger and becomes hard to deal with in the end. I can't really consider this a marzen from the taste profile.

Mouthfeel is ok, at medium.

As this one is not on style, I can't really consider the drinkability here, and at a 2.5 I think I'm being charitable.

Overall, I'm very disappointed in this offering from one of my favorite "budget" brewers. I have noticed that this style from Utica seems to have gotten worse over the last few years. Maybe they should consider foregoing the style in the future? If you are looking for a budget marzen style this year, give Dundee's a try (see separate review)--much closer to the style and only $5.99 a sixer in NW Connecticut.


Picked this one up yesterday at Halftime in Poughkeepsie on my way home from New Jersey, as it is no loanger avaiable in Litchfield County, CT.

This one is ok, but just ok. I think it has been better in recent years. Not really on style in my opinion; not very malty with little bread aroma. Also, a bit hoppier than I think an O'fest should be, and pretty thin. With that said, worth a try; but I will not be buying anymore this season.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
2.3/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle, served in a pint glass.

A - clear, amber color with a slight tan head that went away completely, leaving no lace.

S - malty/funky aroma

T - some sweet malt taste, but not very good.

M - medium/light bodied, a bit watery.

D - I had a hard time finishing the one glass, so I just 'pounded it' .

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Photo of tempest
2.31/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I would not say this beer is worth a try. It tastes like a marginal import thats popular with people that drink whatever beer they think is cool. That said, it has a light body with an almost skunky aroma. Taste is starts with overly sweet caramel followed by nice hops flavor with is then ruined by a sour skunk flavor. It wasn't bad at first, but the aftertaste is rotten. What a shame.

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Photo of bkilpatr
2.33/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. 10/27/08.

Pours a clear golden-amber color with almost three fingers of beige head. The head dropped slowly, no lacing. Aroma is light hops and sweet malt.

Taste is sweet caramel malt, grain, and somewhat metallic. Finish is dry and bitter. Feel is light-medium body, clean and crisp. Carbonation is a bit high. Drinkability is decent. The metallic taste kinda kills it, though.

Not very good in my opinion. The taste is quite unpleasant.

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Photo of wailingwench
2.38/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This beer needs to be poured properly for ANY flavor or smell to emerge. Otherwise, it tastes just like Saranac Amber. My first two made me very sad as I was expecting much, much more. On my third pour, I figured, what the hell, I might as well dump it into the glass. The difference was amazing. The Octoberfest flavors sort of came out, and the night was almost salvaged.

Saranac is my go to beer and they missed the mark with this offering. I hope that they revamp the recipe.

In addition, I sampled this at the Rochester Beer fest and at a local tasting. Still the same complaint, tastes like the Amber.

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Photo of allboutbierge
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A dead brown orangish brown color with a meer skim of a head. It looks flat and lifeless, however a thin and very short lived head can be seen. Aroma is light and not very active. One must really swirl this one to release the lightest fragerances. Fragerences that come out are fairly one sided sweet malts, not much else. Flavor is overly sweet and thin. Mouthfeel is very watery.

Saranac made a bad attempt at this one. Back to the drawing board.

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Photo of Timmush
2.53/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

ok, seriously... how can anyone rate this beer above a "C"???
I bought a 6 pack fresh today for $5.99 in total wine and more in union. I was excited to try this beer after the Sam Adams Octoberfest I had last night.
There is no comparison.
THis beer is just plain bad.Everything about this beer (other than the price) is dissapointing. Very watery. The color, aroma, taste.. all not worthy.
Maybe I am not sure about the rating system here but C means average. Is this an above average beer?

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Photo of connecticutpoet
2.54/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This was a clear amber beer with a one and a half finger head that dissipated rather quickly.

The aroma was VERY faint malt, with a mere wisp of roastedness. I expected more.

Taste was also very faint malt, no hop character.

Mouthfeel was just OK.

I wouldn't go back to this one. It was very humdrum.

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Photo of MTNboy
2.55/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- This beer is sort of Orange/amber looking. It lacks in the head and lace department.

Smell- I was not fond of the smell. It was very bland in most areas I would expect to flourish in a Marzen. It was too yeasty and bread like to be honest.

Taste- It was more sour than bitter it was not bad but some what disappointing. There was a little hops flavor to begin with but it was faint. It is fairly sweet but not in the manner that it should be. It is sort of hard to explain.

Mouthfeel- Mainly watery.

Drinkability- This beer does not represent this style of beer well.

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Photo of Pencible
2.61/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This poured a clear amber with off-white head. It smelled like lemon hops and wild yeast with copper hops and some earthy caramel malt. It tasted like dry earthy barley malt, and copper and lime hops with sour yeast. It was watery with some carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this didn't have the best flavor, and it wasn't terribly clean either. The body was OK, but this beer just wasn't enjoyable enough to make we want to finish it. It's only really drinkable as a 2nd or 3rd beer of the night.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
2.7/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was poured into a Surly Darkness tulip glass.

Appearance- It's a hazy amber-orange body. It had about a half-finger of white foamy head. It quickly degrades to a filmy ring, no lace.

Smell- There is a caramel malt sweetness on the nose, but it is really subtle. There is a slight citrus/herbal hoppiness, almost like an orange in nature.

Taste- I can taste a general hop bitterness. There's also a slight biscuit malt at the front of the drink, but it is virtually gone by the finish. It's a little astringent. There's a slight butteriness in the finish as well. I really don't want to finish this.

Mouth feel- It's a light mouth feel, and also a bit watery. On top of that, it doesn't go down smooth. It's a little hard to swallow.

Overall- Honestly, I'm not sure what this beer may have tasted like, or if this is the beer as it was released. I really hope not, because it might as well be sold as an adjunct with how little flavor it has. It needs a much better mouth feel, not to mention a real boost in malt character to be a good example of a Maerzen.

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Photo of WaltTrombone
2.73/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Well, it may be called Octoberfest, but it shouldn't be compared to biers like Spaten and Hacker-Pschorr. It reminds me more of a dark American-style lager, simple flavor, not anywhere near as complex as European Oktoberfests.

Anyway, it has a lovely clear, red body, and an off-white head that fades fast. Not much aroma, just a whiff of malt. The taste contains malt, caramel, and lemon. Mouthfeel is thin, with a crisp carbonation. It finishes dry, with malt, and a faint note of hops.

It's not horrible, by any means. I just don't think it's all that special, either. (as might be indicated by being a limited, seasonal beer)

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Photo of RBorsato
2.74/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper colored with a nice tan head that has good retention. Toasty malt caramel aroma (I find caramel out of place for the style). Aroma also had a strange trace or hint of alcohol...? Med bodied and creamy, but again, the beer had too much of a caramelish malt flavor for me to classify it as an Octoberfest.

Hate to say it but #8 of 8 (last place) of Octoberfests tried so far this year....

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Photo of Brad007
2.75/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber color with minimal head and some lacing. Aroma is somewhat malty and smoked a bit. Taste is somewhat of the same except that it's a bit thin and watery upfront. Can still taste the malt and smokiness though. Still quite drinkable but not the best example of this style that I've had. If it had a more fuller body, it might rate higher.

Still, Saranac is a good introduction to craft beer for the macro drinkers.

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Photo of aerozeppl
2.78/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Fairly light in color for the style.More of a yellowish amber than anything else. Poured with a minimal amount of white head that disappeared quickly.

S: Lots of sweetness in the nose. Fairly clean. You really do not get much malt which is what I look for in the style. A touch of burnt caramel in the back.

T: Starts off with some lager yeast phenols. Then it just kind of fades out. Never get any hops or malt for that matter. Kind of plain and watery.

M: Light in body for the style. The carbonation is fairly sharp and a little bit too rough.

D: It is not offensive in any way it just misses in almost every area. The color is not bad. Sure it drinks easy but there are so many better examples of the style out there.

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Photo of UnionMade
2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer is a plain, medium amber, slightly hazy, topped with a thin white head. No head retention, disappearing to nothing after a couple sips.
The aroma is mainly a sweet caramel malt. No toastiness, just a candy-like caramel sweetness. A mild muddiness, with some cidery flavor. Definitely lagered, but just perhaps not very well. Mild, unassertive noble hops provide for a lightly herbal hop aroma.
The flavor is incredibly sweet. Malty, cloying caramel, very little complexity to the malt, with a vague cidery flavor permeating throughout the entire sip. Somewhat clean, with a smooth lagery feel, although the beer is muddy, with undefined flavors. Very mild herbal hopping coming through in the finish somewhat, but not nearly enough to balance the malt. Mild, smooth carbonation, with a medium body.
Saranac makes some ok beers, but i think they're geared more for folks getting into craft beer and still haven't developed a very sensitive palate, or someone looking for something a bit more flavorful that Honey Brown or what have you. Alright, but I won't get it again.

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Photo of Ricochet
2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured with little head or lace and was a slightly cloudy amber and smelled of malty goodness, a hint of alcohol and some of the hops. This smelled like a bock. Mouth washed with a little "old water" flavor , slightly musty, and washed with a sweetness that was like a mild maple syrup.

So, this was a malty lager. Average actually. The bite from the hops and the rounded malt, toasted a bit, but there was a hole in the middle. The wheat, toasted, makes a good flavor but it does not follow through.

Okay for what it's worth, but there are lots of better out there. Wouldn't get again.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
2.86/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

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Photo of bourbonbock
2.86/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a clean pint glass.

A. Pours a light almond color with very little color depth. White head that dissipates very quickly.

S. Malts and more malts maybe a slight earthiness from some hops.

T. This is much better than i expected but still just straightforward malt profile with slight bitterness behind the body. Very chemical like aftertaste.

M. Feels very syrupy and slightly over carbonated.

D. I probably won't be buying this again. Sam Adams Octoberfest is much better.

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Photo of Dodt
2.87/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

picked up a six pack of this beer
along with another Oktoberfest beers
poured from the bottle into a beer mug
appearance light brown sort of orange in color with a decent head
smell very mild in malts
taste slighly malty with good balance
mouthfeel syrupy

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Photo of jjboesen
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is brewed by F.X. Matt in Utica, New York. There is a quick gush of foam at first pour; it quickly subsides and settles into a translucent amber liquid pulsing with carbonation bubbles. There is neither lacing nor clingage - which is logical (I guess?)

The nose comes off a bit soapy; a somewhat disconcerting effect given that this beer was bottled and drunk from a clean glass, one that has never been subject to harsh detergents. The taste is rather bland and lifeless with nary a note of hop, malt or anything. Although, it is drinkable, this one is not worth seeking out; certainly when there are so many quality Oktoberfest quaffs around. (See my review for Sam Adams Oktoberfest.)

Incidentally, Saranac is a fine brewer that can and does produce some "quality" beer. (See my review of their Imperial Stout.) Unfortunately, their Oktoberfest is not one of them. How would the Germans say "meh?"

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Photo of dacrza1
2.9/5  rDev -15.9%
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...

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