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Saranac Octoberfest - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac OctoberfestSaranac Octoberfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

448 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 448
Reviews: 270
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: 448 | Reviews: 270 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Suds, Nov 08, 2003
Photo of Stingray5
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.

Stingray5, Oct 19, 2003
Photo of UnionMade
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.

UnionMade, Oct 18, 2003
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.

beergeek279, Oct 12, 2003
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.

bmills1608, Oct 06, 2003
Photo of WVbeergeek
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.

WVbeergeek, Sep 11, 2003
Photo of SixpointJMH
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.

SixpointJMH, Sep 08, 2003
Photo of ElGuapo
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.

ElGuapo, Sep 04, 2003
Photo of WaltTrombone
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)

WaltTrombone, Sep 03, 2003
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.

francisweizen, Jun 17, 2003
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.

beernut7, Jan 13, 2003
Photo of shirfan
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.

shirfan, Jan 03, 2003
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....

RBorsato, Oct 25, 2002
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.

doho95fu, Oct 01, 2002
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.

pbrian, Sep 23, 2002
Photo of Bierman9
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


Bierman9, Sep 13, 2002
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.

Thrasher, Sep 11, 2002
Photo of RonfromJersey
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.

RonfromJersey, Sep 07, 2002
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.

ADR, Sep 05, 2002
Photo of Murph
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%

Pours a pleasant light orangish amber color with a decent tan head that is too fizzy and doesn't last. Very nice toasty malt in the nose with very faint hop bitterness in the background. Nice toasty malt with a short burst of hoppy spiciness that quickly subsides into a nice balanced finish. The maltiness is a touch too sweet and leaves the mouth a little sticky afterwards. Otherwise this is a decently drinkable brew but with the other Ofest options available I will not be revisiting it.

Murph, Sep 03, 2002
Photo of John
2.85/5  rDev -17.2%

Presumably the 2002 version. This brew had some promise beginning with the color and aroma. Deep gold, nearly amber. Nice looking head, tan and creamy. Aroma is equally enticing with toasty malt and nutty notes. Unfortunately IMHO, it falls flat after that. Inital taste is metallic and astringent (too cold?). The warming action dissipates the metallic flavor, and mellows the beer, blending the toasted malt, caramel and nuttiness in a rather bland way. O'fests aren't my favorite and this one does nothing to change my mind.

John, Aug 29, 2002
Photo of IrishRedRock
4/5  rDev +16.3%

This is a very good beer, but to me it does not taste like a true Oktoberfest. This is the first American brewed interpretation of the style that I have tasted. Hop flavor is present, but the brew feels a little thin and not bitter enough for a true Oktober. I would drop the numbers comparing this to other styles, but I just cant because it really is a very good beer. The taste, mouthfeel, and smoothness are excellent, and I look forward to drinking many of these on a brisk fall night at the Saranac Fall Festival in September.

IrishRedRock, Aug 23, 2002
Photo of DarthMalt
3.4/5  rDev -1.2%

She's a hoppy one. Not a "death by hops", by any means, however. Good lager by Saranac of course. Hops add a lot of festive aroma. The flavor really builds after a while. The body seems a little thin and sulfur-tangy under the hops, but finshes so clean that it really makes a great-drinking Fest Bier.

DarthMalt, Aug 15, 2002
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Saranac Octoberfest from Matt Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 448 ratings.