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Saranac Octoberfest - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac OctoberfestSaranac Octoberfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

470 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 470
Reviews: 273
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 6
Gots: 25 | 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: 470 | Reviews: 273 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sabrills70
2.93/5  rDev -15.1%
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 27, 2005
Photo of TheDeuce
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
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 +7.2%
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 -0.6%
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 +5.8%
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 +0.9%
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 -4.3%
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 -7.8%
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 -26.7%
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 -6.4%
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 +12.5%
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 +2.9%
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 +1.4%
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%
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 -12.2%
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 +8.1%
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 +2.3%
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 -31.9%
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 -1.4%
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 +24.6%
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 +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.

WesWes, Jan 27, 2004
Photo of allboutbierge
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

allboutbierge, Jan 20, 2004
Photo of Suds
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Suds, Nov 08, 2003
Photo of Stingray5
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Stingray5, Oct 19, 2003
Photo of UnionMade
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

UnionMade, Oct 18, 2003
Saranac Octoberfest from Matt Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 470 ratings.