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Saranac Octoberfest - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac OctoberfestSaranac Octoberfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

481 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 481
Reviews: 275
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 13.66%
Wants: 6
Gots: 30 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-15-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 481 | Reviews: 275 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brad007
2.73/5  rDev -20.6%
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.

Brad007, Sep 11, 2007
Photo of scarletfire79
3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

it had a heineken kind of skunk smell and taste to it. kind of strange. almost clear brown in color. the moutfeel was kind of thick and the flavor very middle of the road. not bad, just exactly what i have come to expect from saranac. very hit or miss, some beers are fairly solid and others are better suited for cooking.

scarletfire79, Sep 07, 2007
Photo of kellyst
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Copper and browns. Decent white head that lasts. Nice lacing.

S: Sweet and carmelly. Very malty.

T: Lots of carmel and malt. Kind of sweet for an Oktoberfest. Some biscuity flavors. A little hop bitterness. Too much carbonation.

D: Very high. Very tasty and easy drinking.

kellyst, Aug 31, 2007
Photo of bboven
3.95/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

light, wort-chiller copper colored with a surprisingly decent head and lacing.

Great malt aroma with a little bit of light hop dancing around. Smells like a sweet bread.

A little over-carbonated and thin, but I've got to be picky about something.

Very inviting and drinkable. This would be a great beer to introduce to macro-swilling friends.

bboven, Aug 28, 2007
Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

NOTE: reviewing from notes. Not as detailed as current reviews...

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass at 45 degrees.

A - Poured a brownish copper color with a 2-inch foamy head that left a small beige ring.

S - Malt and caramel notes...lingering sweetness. Hint of orange peel.

T - Some biscuits notes with a malty backbone. Sweet orange with a little hoppy bitterness in the finish. More flavorful than I expected.

M - A little on the thin side with a crisp, bubbly finish.

D - I'll probably say it in every Saranac review, but they all seem to resemble each other...but as far as this goes, it was enjoyable. Wouldn't seek out again - more of a 'hit-the-spot' seasonal.

JohnnyM2002, Jan 19, 2007
Photo of daliandragon
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Unfortunately, I was right again. Saranac usually puts out attractive but ultimately unfulfilling versions of a wide spectrum of beer styles, all drinkable and okay but most of them a bit "off" This was really the case here as well.

Decent nose with caramel and familiar sweet two row malts to accompany an appropriately Marzen color, head, and lacing. Head and overall mouthfeel both possessed an otstanding creaminess I haven't seen in other Saranac beers. Taste has a brief hoppy kick at the end of the sip along with the sweet, nutty malt notes. Nicely dry and clean in the finish. Not a terrible beer, just not awesome among available other Oktoberfest beers.

daliandragon, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of plaid75
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper hue with a one finger pillowy off white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a soft caramel malt and a solid noble hop.

The taste was well balanced with a light caramel malt and a good toasted grain bill.

The mouthfeel was good with perfect carbonation.

Overall a very drinkable Octoberfest. Not overly sweet. Very sessionable and something to look forward to as the days get shorter.

plaid75, Nov 24, 2006
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - this Octoberfest pours on a dark orange-ish brown, with a thin tan head and lots of busy carbonation

S - citrusy malt profile up front, with a nice hoppy background, rather inviting, but not terribly complex

T - the hop profile is far more intense in the taste than i expected, a nice piney hop background with a grapefruit flavor, nearly floral up front with the same malt profile that was in the aroma

M&D - smooth and easily drinkable, more complex in the taste than in the aroma, a decent O-fest, especially for an American one

sinstaineddemon, Nov 17, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

IntriqKen, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev +9%
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.

zeff80, Oct 27, 2006
Photo of veech
3.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If I were to review this beer based on the first couple of sips it would be much lower than what I'm giving them currently. This beer actually significantly improved as it warmed. Initially it had a very astringent diacetyl that shrouded all other flavors. That actually dissipated as I drank on. A more appropriate malt laden sweetness that Marzens should have came through as time passed. Mouthfeel was a little off as well as it seemed a little grainy and foamy. I don't think spoilage plays into it, but I did get the beer in South Carolina which is a ways from NY state. Overall not bad, but certainly not great. There are much better options for the Octoberfest fans.

veech, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.33/5  rDev +25.9%
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

MuenchenerKindl, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of jwc215
3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

jwc215, Oct 21, 2006
Photo of FenwaySquid
3.98/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

FenwaySquid, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of CWiggins
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I found this at the local Target Superstore for $5.99 a six. I've had decent experience with Saranac beers, so I thought I'd give this a try. (At my local Harris Teeter, the assorted six-pack of Saranac is about the only beer they carry that I can drink!)

The beer pours a nice copper-red color in my Duvel glass. A decent head appears, and stays with the beer pretty much through the duration of my session, which lasted nearly an hour. The aroma is mainly of malts, with a whiff of alcohol and citrus.

The flavor is enjoyable, although I'm not sure this is what the style is all about. I taste caramel and light bread, and a bit of something I can only describe as "meatloaf"! Citrus flavors arrive midway through, and the finish is very hoppy and bitter, something I don't expect from Oktoberfest beers.

The texture is thick but not chewy, more of a medium-body, if you will.

I like this beer, and would definitely drink it again, especially considering the price, but it's not what I have in mind when considering the Oktoberfest style.

CWiggins, Oct 11, 2006
Photo of Hibernator
3.93/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saranac Octoberfest
12 oz brown bottle
Jet ink # on the bottle - 2076 1713
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a light brown with a bronze tint. Borderline copper in appearance, but clear. Decent head at first, but a thin lacing quickly creates a ring around the glass. Sticky lace leave webbed lacings all over the glass.

Smells like a nice German Marzen. Whiffs of malts, apple sauce and spicy tettang hops.

Flavors of wheat bread with the qualities of crust. Juicy malt backbone with hints of spiced apples. Solid hop snap on the finish. The mouthfeel is major smooth with that lager quality that I've come to really dig recently. This sample tastes really fresh and clean. Very drinkable.

I gotta admit, this was better than I was expecting. Rather true to the style and when the price is factored in it becomes even more attractive.

Hibernator, Sep 26, 2006
Photo of Kendo
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured an orangey-copper-amber into an Augustijn goblet, with a 1-finger off-white head that lingered briefly but left no lacing when it vanished.

Smell was very faint -- bready roasted malts but really quite faint. I thought maybe it was because of my lingering cold.

Taste: sweet caramel malt up front - an almost buttery sweetness, in fact - paired with a moderate metallic hop bitterness that coats the back of the tongue with a dry but almost sour aftertaste. Still, it does seem to encourage that next sip.

Mouthfeel: fairly light all around, but somewhat dry and chalky.

Drinkability: decent. This isn't the world's best Octoberfest, but I've been able to put back a few no problem.

All in all I think this is typical for Saranac in a couple ways: (1) it's a decent beer for the price (I paid $9.99 for a 12-pack); (2) it's a solid version of the style, just nothing special; and (3) the hops seem to have a certain "Saranac" flavor to them, even where they're Saaz and Tettnang rather than what they use in their Pale Ale and IPA. I bought this 12-pack to bring to a party, and it served its purpose well. Even so, I probably won't buy it again this season.

Kendo, Sep 24, 2006
Photo of sraimondi
2.25/5  rDev -34.6%
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.

sraimondi, Sep 22, 2006
Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle into Imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Light copper with an average-sized white head.

Smell: Clean, malty, mild hop nose.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Malty, but not in a sweet or cloying way. More toasty, but not roasted. Clean, dry finish with light hop bitterness in the middle.

Drinkability: Excellent for sessions. Well-balanced and not too highly alcoholic.

MurphyMacManus, Sep 21, 2006
Photo of tempest
2.28/5  rDev -33.7%
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.

tempest, Sep 20, 2006
Photo of Phatz
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have developed a bit of a stereotype against Saranac beers; I realized, because I did not expect much from this one. Many tend to be simple. That can be a good thing when a beer is tasty and approachable as is the case in this Oktoberfest.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden copper color with a nice off-white creamy head and moderate lacing.

Smell: I found toasted caramel malts, toffee, bread and a splash of hops in the nose.

Taste: This is a lightly spiced Oktoberfest that is quite quaffable and surprisingly tasty. It is malty and sweet on the front end with a surge of bready flavor and then as the sweet fades a resounding dryness follows. Overall, this may be one of the better beers from Saranac.

Mouthfeel: Light and smooth, with just the right carbonation spice mix and dry finish leaving the mouth a tad tingly.

Drinkability: Excellent. This may be the best buy for drinkability to $ ratio I know of in the Oktoberfest beers in this area.

Hope this is helpful.

Phatz, Sep 20, 2006
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
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!

NJpadreFan, Sep 11, 2006
Photo of doppelmeup
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Light amber colored brew with an inch thick, creamy head. Decent looking beer. Head lasted for a while, with a layer of foam on the top afterwards.

A lot of hoppiness to the aroma of this beer. Didn't pick up a lot of maltiness.

Taste was okay, but IMO there was too much bitterness from the hops and not enough malt flavor. I wouldn't say it was a bad beer, but I prefer a more malty flavored Marzen/Octoberfest.

Mouthfeel had some carbonation and a very dry finish.

Overall, it was an okay beer but not malty enough for me. I would drink it again if offered, but I probably wouldn't buy it again.

doppelmeup, Sep 09, 2006
Photo of beerphan
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle -> pint glass
no date

Pours a semi-dull clear copper, with a nice one inch head that flatten to a respectable solid layer. Patchy thick lace. Medium carbonation is present.

I'm having a bad nose day, picked up roasted malts and not much else.

Taste: Malty well done lager. Caramel, bread, spice, and a tad bit of lemony hops are present. Bitter roasted spicy nut aftertaste.

Medium mouthfeel that at times felt a bit watery.

This seems a very drinkable lager. Nothing to overwhelming or underwhelming.

beerphan, Sep 06, 2006
Photo of riversider76
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep golden with orange hue. One finger head with good retention,and lacing. Smell is malty, and the body is light to medium and carbonated. Taste is toasted, and malty up front, with a dry, bitter finish. As for most of the Saranac products, good but not great. Still, worth a try this fall.

riversider76, Sep 05, 2006
Saranac Octoberfest from Matt Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 481 ratings.