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Saranac Octoberfest - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac OctoberfestSaranac Octoberfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

449 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 449
Reviews: 271
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 13.95%
Wants: 7
Gots: 15 | 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: 449 | Reviews: 271 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pentathlete
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Orange-tan with tiny head that fell to nothing quickly. Smell is a pleasing mild toasty malt. Taste is similar. Pleasing and mild, very little hoppiness and the malt is subdued. Mouthfeel is medium thin. This is a very easy drinker. Priced cheaply enough to make it a reasonable purchase for a gathering, but there are much better Octoberfests out there.

pentathlete, Oct 19, 2005
Photo of semihobo
3.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A mellow orange color with some bubbling. Small but fine head, dense little bubbles. Nice bottle, pulls off a blue-and-white checkerboard pattern.

Smells of amberish malts, some fall spices reminiscent of a pumpkin ale, with significant sweet clove notes. Nothing on the hops.

Tastes better than the smell let on -- it is well-balanced after all. Not cloyingly sweet, very clean malts, and subdued spices along with some hops that come out pretty early in the taste and stay until the finish. Good balance for an O-fest, more malt but definite hops lurking. A little bit of fruit in front as it warms and some roasted notes to the malts.

Good mouthfeel, not a thick style but has a solid presence. Moderate and appropriate carbonation is long lasting.

Eh, I'd drink it again, but nothing mindboggling. This is signature Saranac ... was another malty lagerish safe beer necessary?

semihobo, Oct 12, 2005
Photo of Celt44
3.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a dull dark amber - a little lighter than most Octoberfests. Head is frothy and doesn't last - lacing does throughout.
Aroma is mostly of malt - popcorn comes to mind also.
Taste - malt is strongest characteristic although its not strong. Pumpkin bread just baked in the oven comes to mind. Not bad at all.
Mouthfeel is most typical of most Octoberfests - smooth and light on the carbonation.
Not bad at all for the price - $4.99 at Wegman's. Smart alternative to any macro this time of year but a bit below the other seasonals I've tasted this year - Sam Adams and Brooklyn.

Celt44, Oct 05, 2005
Photo of HappyHourHero
3.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a short-lived cream colored head that left a few strings of lace. Brilliant copper colored beer with streams of fine bubbles rising along the edges. Sharp, barely sweet malt aroma that has a strange note chicken noodle soup. Faintly sweet caramal malt mixed with grassy hops. A pinch of bitterness and copper in the finish. Moderately light body is fairly. Not a very good beer. Strange aromas and hops that taste almost vegetal hide what would be a crisp refreshing malty beer.

HappyHourHero, Oct 02, 2005
Photo of sabrills70
2.93/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium amber with a 1 finger head and OK lace. Weak aroma for a Oktoberfest. Some slight malt and hop aromas - typical stuff. Its flavor is more of a weak APA and not a oktoberfest. Its more hoppy than malty, I score it low on taste not based on that its a bad beer, it just does not reflect the style well - its too hoppy for an oktoberfest. Good drinkability though. Again its not a bad beer it just does not represent the style - in my opinion.

sabrills70, Sep 26, 2005
Photo of TheDeuce
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Saranac Octoberfest....

Appearance-clear amber, decent amount of foam, head retention could be better, settles into a nice clear amber in the glass.

Smell-Saaz aroma, bready malt, spicy smells searing with alcohol

Taste-not bad, malty at first with a hop flourish as it goes down, Tettang hops come through near the end biting with the malt, rather nice though rather subdued compared to other versions.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability-well balanced, hop and malt appear but are kept in check and from getting out of control, alcohol also isn't too bad. Certaintly drinkable this time of year.

Overall-a subdued but decent version of an Octoberfest from Saranac, they always hit the style well and this is no exception. This beer is right at home with other Octoberfest entries.

TheDeuce, Sep 22, 2005
Photo of Luigi
3.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber color. The head is a small lace but stays for the life of the beer. Has a roasted malt aroma and a slight hop bitterness. The flavor is roasted malt up front and is balance out with a spicy hop. The saaz hops stand out the most in the slighty bitter finish. This is an all around no frills Oktoberfest lager. The drinkability is almost perfect!

Luigi, Sep 22, 2005
Photo of lackenhauser
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep orange in color. A tad darker then some of the other fest beers. Low aroma. Somewhat sharp and metallic. Smells like the underside of the bottle cap. Good, failry clean malty flavor. Nice sweetness in the finish. Very nice mouthfeel-holds up well overall. A very drinkable beer. Quite enjoyable and more moderately priced then a lot of the other micro fests out there.

lackenhauser, Sep 15, 2005
Photo of yelterdow
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a medium amber with a 3/4" head that subsides rather quickly. No lacing, and the settled crown is spotty and transparent. Served in a nonic at fridge temperature.

S - Crystal malts way up front, with a caramely/nutty backbone. Not much hops on the nose, mainly good, clean malt. A sweet, holiday cookie-like spiciness is apparent later... like something is baking in the oven nearby.

T - Clean, mildly malty beginning. The slight saaz hop bitterness is played down in the middle but finishes nicely. Great balance.

M - Light bodied, with very little carbonation, although it isn't too watery. Very easy to drink, moreso than some of the others I've tried this year. This would be one of my go-to quaffers for this fall.


yelterdow, Sep 14, 2005
Photo of Naes
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Amber / brown in color with a fleeting white head. Little to no lacing.

Smell is of faint hops with a malty base.

Flavor is a bit watery, but has a hop presence throughout. A little bit nutty as well.

Mouth feel is light bodied and goes down easy, though I don’t think I will be seeking this one out again.

Naes, Aug 28, 2005
Photo of twelvsies
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First Octoberfest of the season, and it's not even September yet. I couldn't wait... let's see how this one stacks up. Pours a very fallish looking deep amber color, with a decent head that seems to be fading quickly. Nice clarity. Smell isn't really getting me overly excited. Sort of withdrawn malt scent, faint nutty smell and some grainy hints. Hmmm. Taste isn't really what I've come to expect from an Octoberfest. A little bland overall. A subtle (maybe too subtle) nutty characteristic meshes well with a slight toffee taste, but I can't tell how much of that I'm just imagining because I've been craving a good O-fest and this is the only thing I could get my hands on out here in western New York. Mainly it's just your average lager, only a little sweeter. Maybe even some corn tastes in there, and sort of reminds me of malt liquor or something. Not the best. I can't wait next week when I'll be back in Boston, hopefully there's some better selection out there, like BBC. But one thing is for sure, the O-fests are starting to come out, and that's a great thing. Mmmm.

twelvsies, Aug 26, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
3.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured a crystal clear copper copper with moderate white head. Smell is mainly of toasted malt with caramel noted. Taste is malty, with caramel and bread found. Finished sweet and malty, but nothing that really impresses. An OK beer at best. I'm glad I only bought one of these.

tgbljb, Aug 23, 2005
Photo of connecticutpoet
2.53/5  rDev -26.5%
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.

connecticutpoet, May 20, 2005
Photo of Jacobob10
3.23/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light brown color with a subtle hop aroma. The taste is pretty average with some hop bitterness, but not very complex at all. Pretty well-balanced brew that's easy on the palate. Best part about this beer is that it is very drinkable. A decent session brew, but nothing too exciting going on here. Just a very average beer.

Jacobob10, Dec 13, 2004
Photo of JackStraw22
3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beer looks great in the glass, a rich orange with a decent head that goes away in a couple minutes. The one thing that stands out to me is how balanced it seems. It has enough flavor to be interesting, but light enough that it doesn't feel at all heavy, perfect for a Fall day, enjoying that last warm day before the Winter winds blow in.

JackStraw22, Dec 11, 2004
Photo of yeagerbm
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours orange with fizzy white head. Has the smell of faint toated malt. Taste has some toasty malt sweetness with a tangy aftertaste and faint hop bitterness. Overall a pretty well balanced lager with some flavor. Easy to drink and a good choice for having a few when you're in the mood for something mellow but tasty.

yeagerbm, Nov 28, 2004
Photo of vitesse
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

served from 12 oz. brown bottles.

a very solid oktoberfestbier from saranac. (now if they would only learn to spell "oktoberfest" correctly on the labels).
pours a nice deep amber color with great clarity and thin tan head. smells of hops. woo! lots of hoppiness here. tastes of caramel malts and hops, hops, hops. the label states that they use only tettnang and saaz hops. not much fruitiness, as the label states this is a lager. no phenols or other ale characteristics.
moderately thin mouthfeel makes this one very quaffable.
overall, a decent oktoberfest. surprisingly bitter, but great hops flavor from the noble varieties they used.

vitesse, Nov 15, 2004
Photo of smcolw
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

smcolw, Oct 31, 2004
Photo of Beastdog75
3.03/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saranac brews a wide variety of beers, so it makes sense that they brew an Oktoberfest seasonal to go along with their wide variety of brews (which range from below average to good). The Oktoberfest style really doesn't excite me too much, and this brew does nothing to change my mind.

This O-Fest pours a rusty orange color with a fingers worth of foam that lasts for about 15 seconds. Some malt is detectable in the aroma, but the piney/citric hoppy smell seemed more present to me. The mouthfeel is average, with a moderately carbonated mouthfeel. There are some light caramel notes in the beer but not as much as expected in an O-Fest. The hoppiness seemed to be the focal point. A relatively dry brew, with a citric/spicy hop flavor along with some fruitiness and some floral characteristics. The dryness and hoppiness lingers on in the aftertaste, and some nuttiness pops up along the way, and the brew finishes with no alcoholic warmth.

To me, this seemed like a hoppier interpretation of an Oktoberfest beer. Not bad, but I don't know if I could picture myself drinking one of these again. Average all around.

Beastdog75, Oct 27, 2004
Photo of chilidog
3.73/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My first Saranac, though ive looked at the "Create your-own label" on thier site. Cool idea!
The beer poured a good-looking clear copper with a nice off-white, cream-like head that maintained nicely. Spider-like lace is always nice for an October brew. The aroma was of sweet caramel malt. The taste also caramel roasted malt balanced by a spice hinted hop. The result for this well balanced, mild carbonated, medium bodied brew that is a smooth, mild drinkable beer. A slight hint of alcohol warmth is felt in the finish. Not a complex beer that nothing overly stands out but a very drinkable beer alone or with the fest of October.

chilidog, Oct 11, 2004
Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

oberon, Sep 30, 2004
Photo of wailingwench
2.35/5  rDev -31.7%
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.

wailingwench, Sep 04, 2004
Photo of ark57
3.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

ark57, Mar 18, 2004
Photo of JackTheRipper
4.3/5  rDev +25%
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.

JackTheRipper, Feb 10, 2004
Photo of WesWes
3.68/5  rDev +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.

WesWes, Jan 27, 2004
Saranac Octoberfest from Matt Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 449 ratings.