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Saranac Octoberfest - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac OctoberfestSaranac Octoberfest

Educational use only; do not reuse.

494 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 494
Reviews: 277
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 13.37%
Wants: 6
Gots: 37 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-15-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 494 | Reviews: 277 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of FenwaySquid
3.97/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

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.

Photo of Hibernator
3.92/5  rDev +14%
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.

Photo of Kendo
3.36/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Photo of sraimondi
2.26/5  rDev -34.3%
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.

Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of tempest
2.31/5  rDev -32.8%
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.

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.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
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!

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.

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.

Photo of riversider76
3.51/5  rDev +2%
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.

Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.14/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear golden orange. Dense one and a half finger head, shows excellent retention with a sticky patchwork of lacing. Saaz and tettanger nose, some mild toasty malts in the background. Sweet Munich/Vienna toasted malt meets with a crushing noble hop flavor. Dry aftertaste, plenty of bitterness, and monsterous floral saaz and spicy tettanger flavor. Medium bodied and high in carbonation, the mouthfeel is crisp, but has a dextrinous, rich texture. Nutty and toasted at first, but near the finish the german hops overpower what should be a malty beer. Despite this imbalance, it remains both very drinkable with lots of characterictic german malt and hop flavor.

Photo of rarevos
3.23/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass.

A: Light copper red with a thick finger of head. Decent staying power.

S: Something's off about the smell. It has the expected O(c/k)toberfest aroma, but there's something extra in there that's not quite right. Vinegar? There's an anonymous sourness at the end of the nose.

T: Malty up front, which has traces of breadiness and spice. A bit of sweetness in the middle, like light pumpkin pie filling. Finish is bitter, but not a balanced bitter. And there's a sour/bitter tail that's not quite right for the style. Ultimately, it's like a really hot girl wearing lingerie and workboots.

M: Fairly light-bodied.

D: It's a solid stab at the style, sure. There's a nice aroma, and the maltiness is nice. But the finish isn't that great, and detracts from the beer. It was oh-so-close, but the taste was a bit off the mark.

Photo of maek228
3.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: copper/amber...clear with visible carbonation. foamey head and good retention

Smell: the scent of this beer is rather weak...some hints of bready malts

Taste: a thin caramel and hazlenut taste is upfront mixed with some mildly sweet malts....hop finish is also mild with a pleasant bitter bite

Mouthfeel: thin...feels crisp

Drinkability: never had an octoberfest that was quite this drinkable.

*Overall Impressions* while this beer is highly drinkable and quite agreeable, it is also rather dull for an Octoberfest, which is a boring style to begin with. Overall, a good beer...but nothing to go bonkers about

Photo of claytri
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured a translucent amber with a tan head. The aroma was of floral hops over malt. The taste was malt with a little caramel and a floral hop finish. The feel was medium bodied and dry. A nice Marzan, but no knockout here. A beer I wouldn't turn down, but next Oktober I'll probably sample a six of someone elses.

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad Oktoberfest brew. Poured out to an appropriate dark orange color with a small white head and some notes of lace. A medium low level of carbonation was noted. Aromas of malt, hops and almost pickle like vinegar was detected. Flavor was average; some roasted malt and bread elements, but nothing special. Mouthfeel is average, slightly creamy and smooth. Drinkability is pretty good. This would be best with some pretzels and brats. Worth a try.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I am sampling a chilled bottle in a pint glass. The beer pours a clear chestnut color with a fizzy off whilte head of 1 cm foaming up easily. The aroma is malty toffee and caramel with a mix of earthy and spicy hops intertwined. The head fades rather rapidly.
First sip reveals an average body with medium carbonation.
Flavor is malt driven with caramel and grainy flavors dominant with some drying spicy hops come through at the finish.
The carbonation is slighty fizzy and tickles my palate. Overall the beer is easy to drink and not overly complex. A decent example of the style and a good beer to have quite a few of on a nice fall day!

Photo of Zorro
3.1/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Photo of pentathlete
3.57/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of semihobo
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
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?

Photo of Celt44
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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.

Photo of sabrills70
2.95/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

Saranac Octoberfest from Matt Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 494 ratings.