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Saranac Octoberfest - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac OctoberfestSaranac Octoberfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

429 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 429
Reviews: 267
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 13.66%
Wants: 5
Gots: 9 | 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: 429 | Reviews: 267 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev +2.6%

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.

09-30-2004 01:19:02 | More by oberon
Photo of wailingwench

New Mexico

2.35/5  rDev -31.7%

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.

09-04-2004 02:27:11 | More by wailingwench
Photo of ark57


3.4/5  rDev -1.2%

It pours a light golden brown color. It is a little light in color for my expectations. The aroma is one dimensional malty grain. The oily body has an initial bitterness. It becomes smooth and finishes with a lingering sweetness. It is not very complex, but has enough toasted character to get by as a drinkable Oktoberfest.

03-18-2004 18:55:08 | More by ark57
Photo of JackTheRipper


4.3/5  rDev +25%

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.

02-10-2004 05:38:15 | More by JackTheRipper
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.68/5  rDev +7%

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.

01-27-2004 04:09:39 | More by WesWes
Photo of allboutbierge


2.5/5  rDev -27.3%

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.

01-20-2004 05:51:33 | More by allboutbierge
Photo of Suds


3/5  rDev -12.8%

Pours with a big, puffy, cream-colored head. The head is very stable, and sits atop a brownish-amber beer. Aroma is slightly hoppy and has hints of malt. Not nearly the sweet, malty aroma that I expected. Seriously intense carbonation. Drier than expected finish, with a hoppy, almost floral quality. It's not a bad beer, worthy of a session or two, but it's not what I would call a marzen.

11-08-2003 19:57:03 | More by Suds
Photo of Stingray5

New York

3.65/5  rDev +6.1%

Poured a nice amber/red with a decent white head. Spicy, floral malt aroma with some hops. Good mouthful - on the thicker side and creamy.Taste was fruity malt with a decent hop prescence. Tasted like their Adirondack Amber. Good bitterness in the finish.

Overall a decent, drinkable O-fest. Nothing too special, but not bad.

10-19-2003 02:00:48 | More by Stingray5
Photo of UnionMade

New York

2.83/5  rDev -17.7%

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.

10-18-2003 02:13:06 | More by UnionMade
Photo of beergeek279


3.63/5  rDev +5.5%

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is amber, with very little head. The smell is a slightly sweet caramel malt. The taste is caramel malt sweet, with some hoppiness, but not as much as some of the other Oktoberfests. Mouthfeel is well-carbonated. Drinkability-wise, could have a few of these.

Not a bad little beer from Saranac. It's certainly not a world-beater like some of the other Oktoberfests, but has a nice little drinkability, and I could have a few of these if I didn't have only a single.

10-12-2003 22:12:39 | More by beergeek279
Photo of bmills1608


3.1/5  rDev -9.9%

Pours out a nice amber-brown color, maybe some red highlights in there. Small white head, medium bubbles, last but a few seconds. On the nose is very light Munich malts, corn husks, and a touch of spicy German hops.

Flavor is light, almost watered down. Think of a really good, sticky malty version of an O-Fest, and cut it with some seltzer, and you would be getting close to this beer. Flavors of light malts, hay, very light caramel, and a bit of a metallic or flinty character. Mid pallette is quite light and a bit astringent. Finishes very clean. Carbonation is a bit fizzy. Do yourself a favor and give a hard pour to relieve a bit of the fizz. Mouthfeel is watery.

Overall - Not a bad choice for the price. I find the whole Saranac line, almost to a beer, to fit this same mold. Whatever style it happens to be, they are basically lighter (i.e. watered down) versions of said style. The O-fest is no exception to that rule. That being said, it is still a descent little lager. It has some O-fest qualities, but they are in short supply. A simple, easy, very drinkable beer.

10-06-2003 14:16:08 | More by bmills1608
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.45/5  rDev +0.3%

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.

09-11-2003 01:27:16 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of SixpointJMH

New Jersey

3.18/5  rDev -7.6%

for me, saranac brews have always been decent or below average. they never seem to make anything truly horrible or outstanding. fortunately, their octoberfest falls in the decent catergory. it's not the worst fest brew i've had, but there are loads that are better. it pours a nice ruby/amber colour with an impressive off white head. smells of caramel and malt, with a bit of alcohol apparent as well. for the most part, the taste is quite similar to the smell. there is a nice hoppiness here as well and it's medium body makes it quite drinkable overall. again, not a bad brew, but not the greatest octoberfest either.

09-08-2003 16:10:35 | More by SixpointJMH
Photo of ElGuapo

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -12.8%

A golden amber brew that doesn't really have a topping of foam at all. The aroma is very grainy and bready with no real rich sweet maltiness. Hmm, is this really going to be an Octoberfest?

Thin, light, and lacking flavor, man has Saranac really let me down lately. There is a major lack of body in this beer. I will keep my Hacker-Pschorrs away from this beer because they would only insult it more. Don't get me wrong, it is not horrible, just very inferior in comparison to what an Octoberfest should be.

09-04-2003 14:27:37 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of WaltTrombone

New York

2.73/5  rDev -20.6%

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)

09-03-2003 18:21:57 | More by WaltTrombone
Photo of francisweizen


3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

An average American Octoberfest beer. This beer pours a nice dark red, copper colour with a small head. The aromas are heavily malty, and pleasantly hoppy. The taste is malty, and hoppy, with very good balance. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy and the drinkability is very good.

06-17-2003 14:42:37 | More by francisweizen
Photo of beernut7


3.68/5  rDev +7%

I have a bit of a prejudice against American Octoberfest interpretations, but I can't resist something new. Saranac has made a decent go with the style. The distinct bread malt aroma and flavor is aptly captured. The body is nice and light, but not too much so. The only criticism I would present is the IBU level. A bit more sharply bitter than I would prefer, but on the whole not a bad brew.

01-13-2003 06:48:48 | More by beernut7
Photo of shirfan

New York

3.95/5  rDev +14.8%

I'm a big fan of Saranac, as they produce good but economical beers... even though it's now the dead of winter, my grocer suddenly had a lot of these priced to move, although I don't remember seeing it this fall. Odd...

Color is a nice dusty-orange, with the typical Saranac "big head that reduces to a layer of film after a minute or so".

This is a LOT bolder than I recall Sam Adams' weak effort being this year. Smell is big, unapologetic malt, almost a honey aroma.

Taste is surprisingly hoppy for the style, but not for the brewery. Sweet and thick malt with hints of caramel is balanced by a nice bitter hop zing. Has an overall feel of "meal in a bottle", almost exceedingly thick, where I remember Sam's oktoberfest being watery.

I'm going to grab some more of this and put it away before it vanishes from the shelves; it's everything I wished for in an Oktoberfest.

01-03-2003 22:37:12 | More by shirfan
Photo of RBorsato


2.73/5  rDev -20.6%

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....

10-25-2002 11:51:29 | More by RBorsato
Photo of doho95fu


3.58/5  rDev +4.1%

This was my second Octoberfest this year and after Sammy's try, I think anything would rate high. This was a nice beer with the marzen red color. The head was a little thin and I had no lacing. It was a good beer, but nothing was especially dictinctive, not that it was bad - just not distinctive. I noticed more hops than malt, but the overall effect was good. Very Drinkable.

10-01-2002 09:12:13 | More by doho95fu
Photo of pbrian


3.83/5  rDev +11.3%

I thought this was one of the better O-fests I've had, more traditional than others. Nice toasty malt characteristics, spicy hops, lingering lagered finish. Made even more palatable by its $2.99/six price tag paid up in Utica. I just wish I had it on tap at their Oktoberfest, which I missed by just a couple of hours.

09-23-2002 07:26:02 | More by pbrian
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

3.45/5  rDev +0.3%

Saranac has a medium-to-light copper color, with a thin, fine head, but minimal lacing. Nose was xtremely mild, was just a suggestion of malt. Mouthfeel held up well, in general. Flavor didn't fit into the Fest category a whole lot, imo. There was some malt initially, but it ended with a bitter, citrus-like hop flavor which lingered. To me, there are many, better Fests out there....

overall: 3.45
appearance: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 3.5


09-13-2002 16:29:40 | More by Bierman9
Photo of Thrasher


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%

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.

09-11-2002 15:52:19 | More by Thrasher
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev +9.9%

Nice bright copper body, topped by a thinnish white head. But nice lacing all down the glass. Good carmelly malt aroma. Better than expected fullness in mouthfeel. Some toasted malt, some hop bite in taste, but a little bland. Exceeded my expectations.

09-07-2002 20:09:37 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of ADR


3.95/5  rDev +14.8%

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.

09-05-2002 08:04:24 | More by ADR
Saranac Octoberfest from Matt Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 429 ratings.