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Saranac Octoberfest - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac OctoberfestSaranac Octoberfest

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

273 Reviews
THE BROS
85
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 273
Hads: 495
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 12.46%
Wants: 6
Gots: 45 | 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
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Reviews: 273 | Hads: 495
Photo of metter98
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear light copper in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense off white head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of earthy and spicy hops in the nose.
T: The taste has some flavors of caramel malts, notes of earthy hops and hints of spicy hops. No bitterness is detectable.
M: It feels a little more than light-bodied, smooth and a bit watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink but tastes rather watered down, especially when compared to some of the other maltier beers in the style. (729 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a amber-copper color with an off white head. A good few fingers of head at first, though this drops down rather quickly without leaving too much lace behind. The nose is a bit of caramel malt and bread as well as some light hop notes. The taste is mostly some caramel and bread and not too much else. Medium body with good carbonation. Fairly plain, but still tasty. (394 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

one of the classic fall beer of upstate new york. pours a redish amber browny color with a nice tall white head. the nose is sweet german malts and bready yeast, right on for the style. the flavor really features the malt, its quite bold, minerally, honey sweet. i feel like this is more authentic than many american versions. the finish is a touch too sweet i think, but the mouthfeel is awesome, more than medium body but remaining very drinkable due to the low abv and the powerful carbonation. works well in a lot of ways. its a great 6er to drink on a summer late fall day, and one that goes well with a lot of good autumnal cuisine. a very versatile brew, one of saranacs better seasonals. (695 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours out an amber color with a small, short-lived head.

S - Smells of sweet biscuity malt and a grassy quality.

T - Nice burnt toast malt with a touch of caramel, toffee and coffe. Also, a hint of hop bitterness

M - It is crisp, sharp and medium-bodied.

D - This is one of the better offerings from Saranac. I found this one much more enjoyable than previous years. (374 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had one of these last night with dinner, not sure why but what the heck right. Been sitting in the fridge for a couple months so I figured I would give it a shot. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/30/2009.



The pour was decent with a very clear amber color coming forward right away. Nice little puff of white up on top that settled down into nothing but left a touch of a broken crown on the sides and the bottom. Lots of carbonation here is becoming very evident as I look through it. The aroma though was rather plain. Light grain and hints of bready malts. Slight hop finish but everything was honestly too light to really make much of a difference. Crisp, clean flavor and a smooth and light body, but again nothing really jumping out at me to make this anything but average for the style. Very drinkable but nothing to write home about.



Overall a very solid offering but again nothing really spectacular. I would not mind having it again, but what would be the point. (1,016 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (452 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.95/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

($1.39 - 12oz. single at Total Wine in Kennesaw, GA)

Appearance: Pours a clear, medium copper body with a fizzy, white head.

Smell: Light aroma of caramel malts with a hint of grains and toastiness.

Taste: Shamelessly watered-down flavor of earthy graininess with only the faintest bit of sweetness. A spicy hop bitterness takes over and lasts into the dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation. Watery texture.

Drinkability: This looks to be the last new Oktoberfest beer I'll have for the season. Bummer. (525 characters)

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. (1,336 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
2.98/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear light amber with a finger length white head that quickly settled down but still retained well and left adequate lacing. Aroma is mostly sweet malt with a light fruity presence as well.

Taste is a strong caramel malt sweetness that quickly transitions into a strange tart cherry fruity harshness that caught me off guard. Mouthfeel is on the light side with fizzy carbonation.

The light body on this makes for easy drinking but I just wish there was more that excited me in the aroma and taste department. There's just too many other O-Fests out there that I'd rather spend my time and money on. (645 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a big frothy 2 finger head with sticky lacing over crystal clear copper orange amber color.

Nose reddish sweet amber malts, light toasty red malts, more amber malt aroma than marzen, light fruity floral hops.

Taste sweet malts, light amber reddish copper caramel malts, hint of cracked straw and cereal malts, light fruity hops, nice dry toasty malt finish though with some bitterness coming on the finish.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall not bad, a bit too much on the amber reddish american malt profile but gets some of the toasty cereal malts right, light hops are nice but not really right for the style. Sweetness is right, drinkable. (660 characters)

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. (836 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A nice, solid little octoberfest. Better than the average Octoberfest, as I've been trying a lot lately and it's definitely not one of the best, but better than a lot of the others. Pours a boring yellowish-red color, but has a nice malty smell and taste. The mouthfeel are carbonation is excellent so this makes the drinkability high. Good offering from Saranac. (363 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (1,090 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
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. (842 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Golden amber in color, clear, typical off-white head with some slippery lace.

Mild aroma featuring cut grass, hay, light malt and light hop. Pretty neutral.

Much more hoppy than most Octoberfests. Crisp in mouthfeel like a good lager, but still maintains excellent fullness and a long bitter aftertaste. The malt is present, but subdued.

As an Octoberfest, this defies the style; this is closer to a lagered Bitter. I like this more than a typical Octoberfest, but it pushes the hop envelope. (501 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours light orange amber with decent clarity and a thin, very well-retained head that leaves rings of lacing.

The smell is of roasted grain, some sweet malt and a touch of breadiness. All on mild side.

The taste is well-balanced between malt and hops. Earthy hops and moderately sweet malt with a touch of citrus are all mild, but pleasant. The taste remains consistant throughout.

The feel is on the lighter side of medium-bodied. The texture is smooth.

Very easy drinking. A smooth, refreshing "session" brew. Good to have another fresh lager O-fest. Not that the amber ales that are released as O-fest seasonals are all that bad at all - but, nice to have a smooth, fresh beer that fits the style well. This is a nice traditional O-fests from the American craft industry, especially where body and drinkability are concerned. (840 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a conic pint glass. Beer is clear and orange / amber. Forms a thick yellowish head of medium sized bubbles. Carbonation is medium sized bubbles low to moderate and steady. Head falls away and leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is subtle and is mostly light malt. No hops or anything.

Taste is a little bland. Not much to report. Medium body, nice and smooth. Beer is wet and finishes completely. There is some malt character in the front, not a lot of bitterness and no hop flavors to speak of.

Drinkability is relatively high. Kind of an average beer, worth a look if you are into Marzen, otherwise don't worry about it. (654 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark golden/amber color with a thin white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is dry and mildly malty. The taste is good. It's light and refreshing, but with a bit of crystal malts to give it some character. It is slightly bitter and balanced with a light hop flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine drinking fest beer; another fine offering from Saranac. (426 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (364 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.16/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Another bottle that I purchased as part of a mixed-6 recently to satisfy a trade requirement.

From the bottle: "In 1878, our grandfather came to America from Germany where he apprenticed at the Duke of Baden's brewery. Brewed to the standards established over a century ago, Saranac Octoberfest is a rich, flavorful lager. We use Two-Row and Crystal malt and balance it with the pleasant bitterness of Saaz and Tettnang hops. We hope you enjoy it. Prosit!

My pour generated two fingers of tawny head with very good retention. Color was a deep copper with NE-quality clarity. BUPGOO! Nose had a biscuity malt quality underlain by a soft grassy hoppiness. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was more grassy than malty on the tongue. The finish continued to have a more bitter than sweet quality, which was not necessarily to my liking. I think that there are better examples of the style available. (899 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: pours an orange color with a 1/4" head that falls apart quickly.

Smell: very little aroma as only some malt sweetness is hard to detect,

Taste: malt profile is a bit mild with some slight nuttiness, and a bit of ripe dark fruits. Bitterness is very mild.

Mouthfeel: lighter side of a medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout. Short lasting aftertaste.

Overall: a very weak flavored oktoberfest beer that is easy to consume, but lacks the satisfaction expected from the style. (495 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Mad Fox shaped pint glass. It poured a clear, copper/amber color with a thick and foamy head filling the top inch of the glass.

The aroma has a bready, grainy flavor to it with some light toasted malts along with some caramel coming through. A touch of citrus seems to be present as well.

The taste shows more caramel malt to is with a little toffee and toasted malts coming through as well. A little bit of an earthy, slightly herbal comes through and keeps it from becoming too sweet.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability isn't bad, it's a decent beer overall. It just wasn't anything that stood out in the style for me. (695 characters)

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. (388 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sampled due to the efforts of Lackenhauser and The Great Pumpkin BIF.

Pours a clear amber colored beer with a fast fading tan head.

Smell is very malty with the scents of bread, malt, brown sugar and fruity yeast being the boldest. Scent is best summed up as sweet and bready.

Taste is malty with a strong flavor of dark roasted malt and hop bitterness. Distinct flavor of alcohol and some burnt sugar flavors. Flavor is a bit thin and the bitterness is a little over done.

Mouthfeel is on the light side.

An OK Oktoberfest but there are many better. Needs a bit more complexity and depth, I wouldn't seek this out but I could drink this if it was the best option available. (689 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a bright, slightly hazed, orange-copper coloring with a thin, foamy white coating of head. Aromas of tangy caramel, roasted nut, hints of pumpkin, and some very light spicing. The nose lends itself more to the sweet side, a touch unbalanced. Flavors are a touch light, with a roasted grain and light toffee blending in the backbone, minimal spicing, and an overall watery mouthfeel. The finish has a touch of roast and pumpkin sweetness, but it also falls short on flavor and feel. I would not seek this one out again. (572 characters)

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Saranac Octoberfest from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 273 ratings.