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Oktoberfest - Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

Not Rated.
OktoberfestOktoberfest

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BA SCORE
75
okay

41 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 41
Hads: 140
rAvg: 3.14
pDev: 24.52%
Wants: 3
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TexIndy on 08-16-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 41 | Hads: 140
Photo of mactrail
3.65/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

If you said this was a pumpkin beer I'd believe you, it's that sweet and malty.

Clear and reddish orange in the glass. Quite a carrot-top color. Head and retention are nothing to brag about, and the carbonation is just average. Almost an oily mouthfeel. Rather tangy with some green apple flavor. The maltiness is quite distinctive with some burnt caramel. A touch of earthy hops I"m not so crazy about.

A stronger, more flavorful, and pretty weird sort of Oktoberfest, but quite drinkable. From the 12 oz bottle bought at H and H Beverage in Abilene. (553 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
2.91/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: ? (I believe on tap at Casey's, Newtown Square, PA)

Poured a clear bronze color with a short-lived white head. Pretty basic aroma and taste, with mild, toasty malts going on and not too much else. Not terrible, but pretty bland and uninteresting. Medium mouthfeel, can seem a little watery at times, but still somewhat drinkable if you're not feeling too adventurous. (379 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

BOTTLE: The label is suspect, simultaneously calling this a lager and an ale. Blame the TABC? Brown glass. Branded pry-off cap. 12 fl oz.

Expectations are average given the brewery. Served cold into a pilsner glass at low altitude in Austin, TX. Reviewed live as a Marzen per the label. 7% ABV.

Paired with pretzels.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 2 fingers wide. Off-white colour. Even consistency. Decent fullness, thickness, and softness. Retention is nice - ~6 minutes. Light lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Deep amber with copper hues. Shockingly, there's visible yeast suspended within, and this lacks the cleanliness usually associated with the style.

Appears well-carbonated. It's darker than most beers in the style and I'd definitely call it unconventional, but it's not unappealing. Still, I'm suspicious; if there's a brewery I trust to depart from style conventions and succeed gloriously, it isn't Rahr & Sons.

AROMA: Sweet and bready, with plenty of Munich and Vienna malt sweetness, as well as some overly sweet Caramunich. It's toasty and surprisingly caramel-emphatic. It's hard to imagine swilling down a litre of this from a masskrug based on the aroma. Suggests a Marzen which is far too full-bodied and sweet for mass consumption - and in the case of this style in particular, mass consumption is exactly the point. It even veers a bit into winter warmer or amber territory. I can't say I'm thrilled to try it, but it's not off-putting, and outside of style conventions I'd even say it's generally appealing. Frankly, it has the aroma of a well-executed amber lager.

No overt hop profile, yeast character, off-notes, or alcohol is/are detectable.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Definitely too sweet, with Caramunich, Vienna malt, and caramalt dominating the malt profile where Munich malts and pilsner malts should. It's too heavy and thick on the palate, with an inflated full body that is mismatched to the shallow flavours present. Toasty and malty as hell. There's a minimal hop presence, which is apt for the style, but the yeast attenuation isn't quite as clean (i.e. high) as it should be. It doesn't scream German per se, and I have to wonder if they experimented with an atypical yeast strain.

It's generally balanced, but is far from dialed in for the style. Again, this drinks like a well-executed amber lager, not a festbier. Depth, duration, and intensity of flavour are average. I do like it for what it is, but I definitely can't see myself taking on a litre or more of this at a German beer festival - which means it fundamentally fails in its purported style. Taking it outside of style conventions, it's an approachable brew that suffers from overcarbonation. Unrefreshing.

The texture isn't quite in harmony with the taste, but it doesn't sabotage it. There's ample room for improvement.

The build as a whole has fair cohesion, but never drinks like a gestalt whole which exceeds the sum of its parts. This is a decently constructed brew which leans a bit too hard on its breadiness to really satisfy Marzen conventions.

OVERALL: The discerning drinker may scoff at it when it's taken as a festbier, but outside of style conventions it's not a bad brew by any means. Still, at best it's average. At this price point, I can't recommend it. Pretty pedestrian stuff from Rahr & Sons any way you slice it, but not undrinkable. I'll finish my glass and will soon forget it, but to its credit, it does a nice job of hiding its 7% ABV. On a final note, those familiar with Rahr & Sons' other offerings will be unsurprised by its (lack of) quality. This definitely fits into the rest of their oeuvre - if you'll forgive the pretension implicit in that phrasing.

C (2.8) (3,750 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
2.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is actually fairly nice, with some caramel and toffee notes. The flavor is not too great. There is nothing wrong with it, it is just very bland. I get some toffee and bready malt, but that is about it. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

I had heard the beers from Rahr's were better after they renovated their brewery, but this is the same, bland beer that they have always brewed. (455 characters)

Photo of champ103
2.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear copper red color. A one finger white head forms, and recedes in a second. Light lace is left behind.
S: Sweet malt, some sweet caramel/toffee aromas. Nothing else.
T: Again, sweet malty flavors that are pretty generic. Caramel, maybe toffee depending on how you decipher if. Nothing else. Fairly bland and neutral.
M/D: A light to medium body. Fairly smooth. Not hard to drink, just nothing I really care to have a lot of.

Overall just bland, neutral, and inoffensive. Nothing I would recommend, but nothing to offensive either. Pretty much the definition of average. (585 characters)

Photo of gtermi
3.15/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours a nice amber color with a thick tan head.

S: The beer has some coffee, malt and some

T: The taste wasnt as strong as I was hoping. It has some sweet maltyness and some caramel, but not really much else.

M: The beer mouthfeel isnt anything special. I drink it and just feel like I am missing out on something.

O: This a decent average Oktoberfest beer, but nothing to go out of the way to get. (416 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
3.22/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a foamy tan head that had large bubbles and faded fairly quickly. The beer had excellent clarity and was a deep amber with some orange highlights. No lacing to be found. Some visible carbonation.

Aroma was all malt, some sweetness and a bit like crusty bread. Almost that spice cinnamon note that I detect at times.

Flavor is fine. Not too deep. Some roasted malt, followed by a bread like or cracker flavor. Not much sweetness. A bit dry. At moments I got a metallic flavor. Faded towards the end. Not very complex.

Mouth feel was kind of light and the carbonation was a bit bright. Drinkable, but not very exciting. (632 characters)

Photo of allengarvin
4.24/5  rDev +35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just out in stores, this beer pours out a lovely reddish-amber color with a small initial head that unfortunately fades a bit too quickly, leaving not the slightest hint of foam on top. The aroma, though, is nearly perfect for an oktoberfest! Too many American versions tend to sweet caramel and nothing else. This version is nicely toasty, with crusty bread-like melanoidins; it's got a complex and interesting malt profile. Deliciously tasty too, with all the emphasis on the malt. Nutty malt with a lightly toasted aspect, sweet but not cloying, with a clean finish. No hop flavor to speak of, but that's not a loss for the style. The body seems a bit flat and watery, the only disappointing aspect of the beer.

An solid interpretation of the style. Well done! (764 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
3.77/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a very brilliant amber color, which shines in the light. Little foam. Very sweet malty nose, and loads of esthers. Quite buttery malty taste, and a lot of caramel in the mix. Sweet finish, with just a nutty hint of hop at the end. Very good,. (289 characters)

Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy, deep amber in color, with a large, persistent, off-white head, thin, broken lace.

Aroma: Earthy notes, and toasted malt, with a slight herbal hop presence.

Taste: Opens with strong toasted malts, mild caramel and toffee, lots of bread and nut malt, solid malty notes throughout the taste. Finishes with a wave to toasted bread flavors.

Mouth feel: Pleasant and full body, no carbonation sting.

Drinkability/notes: A very solid example, quite representative of the style.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass long neck bottle with a pop-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass. (624 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
3.68/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served at the Ginger Man in Ft. Worth

Aroma: Mild malt edge, some yeast notes (hard in a bar)

Appearance: Good clarity, dark amber glass with a tan head falls to a thin collar but lasts without lacing.

Flavor: Malty, toasted, close to balanced with malt winning the day and keeping any real hop flavor down. Slight purple grape in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Lightish body, a touch thin

Overall Impression: Easy drinking, great malt character, head retention and body could use a tweak. Good beer, liked it! (507 characters)

Photo of armock
1.43/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A - Its a sad thing when the best part of a beer its appearance, poured a dark copper color with an off white head that fades in the blink of an eye.

S - I can't completely bash its smell as it does smell theres some malt scents but not what I look for in a Marzen

T - I don't taste anything that would make me say this bottle is infected but I'm not tasting anything good here either

M - This beer has a thin watery body with medium carbonation to it

D - Unless you like dirty mop water stay the hell away from this one the rest of this pint is bound for the drain avoid this beer (586 characters)

Photo of JDV
1.56/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Rich maroon pour with a slight bit of cloudiness and a beige head. More importantly though, it smelled and tasted spoiled but it was bought almost immediately after being released... Musty, thick tart malt smell. Very sour, lemony, spoiled taste. Not good. bland and almost rotten tasting. I literally couldn't take a 4th sip for the rating even, and cringed as I brought it to my mouth. I'd say it was an old bottle, but I know it was fresh within a few days of being released... (480 characters)

Photo of CrellMoset
2.09/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle courtesy of ChoqlitStout - thanks!! Poured into a tasting glass.

Appearance: Pours a really dark (for the style) with a fast-fading slightly off-white head. Lacing is almost nonexistent.

Aroma: Initially, pretty harsh and foul, but it mellows out after a while. Still, sort of tart, milky, off, with funky fruity notes, like lemon, and some pale, faint, roasted grains. Husky.

Taste: Similar to the nose, but way more tart - lemon, funky sour notes, roasted grains, husky. Not pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Spritzy, overly carbonated, uneven, a little thin.

Drinkability: Not a fan of this one. The bottle may have been bad, but it was, both stylistically and generally, not a pleasant beer to consume. Gotta work on the malt profile, as well as the quality control here. Not recommended. (792 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 20 Oct 2008.

Poured in a 0.4 L glass stein. Large tight yellow head. Well carbonated. Clear deep red-auburn color. Caramel, malt, almonds and a little ethanol in the aroma. Sweet and malty with some caramel and buttersotch to start. Toasty sweet nuttiness, almonds, pecans. Finishes with a bit of cinnamon spiciness. Medium body.

Not my favorite oktoberfest but decent.

Got this at the FW CM when Rahr was there giving samples so I presume this was a good batch. I've not run across a spoiled batch myself but I also don't frequently purchase Rahr because they seem to consistently run $2-3 more per six than other locals (the ofest was $9.75 per six when I bought it). (693 characters)

Photo of Tilley4
2.59/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I tried several local Oktoberfests while down in Dallas recently and this was one of them...

Pours a dull brown and has pretty much zip for carbonation... Ok, a little foam tries to rise up but that quickly disappears, leaving a murky liquid behind... Not what I was hoping for here...

Well, the sweet biscuity malts make up for the bad appearance... They bring a respectability back to this.. Pretty decent for the style...

Well, this is a big disappointment....this is watery and bland with a touch of sweet malts but there's also this buttery oily finish that really has me struggling with this one....this is the weakest of the locals by far..

Well, I got to try a brew that I never would have had a chance to try otherwise but in this case, that's not a good thing... (777 characters)

Photo of goochpunch
2.23/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours out like a dark, raspberry flavored iced tea with a tiny head that fizzles quickly into nothing. Smell has some nuttiness from the malts and a brown sugar aspect to it, but this is all drowned out by a harsh graininess and a weird butter/rubber band medley that I can't put my finger on. This odd characteristic comes out right at the gates in the flavor accompanied by heavy toast and even a bit of roasted malt flavor, it seems. The graininess shows up in the middle along with that weird rubber thing (which stuck around all this time). Finishes sticky sweet with a touch of marshmallow flavor. Mouthfeel is awfully light and prickly with a stickiness that follows each sip. Not impressed at all. I was really hoping for a good local O-fest. (750 characters)

Photo of TexIndy
1.63/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Got from Lone Star after the brewery/distributor had replaced the bad batch that got shipped there so this one is factory fresh. Poured from a 12oz bottle (no date) into a pint glass. It was an orangish amber color with a ton of little yeast bits floating in it. Lots of carb. No lacing. It had a small beige head that quickly fizzled to nothing.

The aroma was very weak. A bit of caramel malt and just a bit of hops but that faded very soon after pouring. Not very appetizing. The taste was also very bland and what was there was off. Had a slightly bitter taste and none of the sweetness you usually find in a Marzen. Also had a very weird aftertaste. Can't pin it down but makes you dread the next drink and kills the mouthfeel.

Overall, a terrible beer - avoid. This supposed to be the fresh batch but sure tastes off to me. Not sure what the problem with Rahr is but over half of the beers I get from them are spoiled. When they are on the make a couple really good beers like the hefe but when they are off they are bad. And unfortunately they are off more than they are on. I want to support them since local but tired of spending good money on spoiled beer. They need better quality control, dates on the labels and non twist off caps. (1,246 characters)

Photo of zimm421
2.58/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a standard pint glass. Has a below average tan head that doesn't stick around long and doesn't leave any lacing to speak of. Appears a brown color with some haziness.

Nose is full of coffee and other malts. Just not what you expect from a Marzen. Some sweetness from the caramel malts. Taste is very similar. All sweet, no balancing factors. Just not right for a Marzen. The flavors were decent, but just doesn't fit into the style.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied. Too thick and heavy when going down, again, just not quite right. Overall, a decent brew, but nothing above average. Got stuck drinking this all of last week because it was the best they had to offer where I was staying. Don't seek it out.. (723 characters)

Photo of Tuck_leepulin
3.71/5  rDev +18.2%

12oz Brown bottle with pry-off cap and no freshness date. Poured into a stange glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep amber with 1/2 finger of head

Smell: Caramel and bready malts

Taste: Similar to the aroma with with caramel and toffee notes and a clean finish

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation without being too thin

Overall: A good solid representation of the style. There isn't much wrong but nothing ground-breaking. Features a slightly higher than normal ABV for the style so maybe that can be a selling point for some. (534 characters)

Photo of JMad
3.76/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from a pint glass...

Pours an amber color with burnt orange hues, the head is tall, foamy and lofty with a tan color. It smells of roasted malt with surprising coffee and milk chocolate with earthy hop undertones. The beer has an herbal hop bitterness, with roasted malt being the dominant flavor, there are also hints of coffee and caramel. It has a medium body with moderate carbonation and a nice dry finish. This Oktoberfest was unique compared to others, in my opinion it tastes more like a brown ale, still good though. (539 characters)

Photo of jmbranum
4.21/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pretty decent Oktoberfest beer that improves as it warms up.

Quite attractive dark amber color with a short-ish tan head.

Very nice and malty, fresh and rich. Quite satisfying. Very well-balanced. It reminds me a dark german bread.

Very smooth mouth feel. The aroma was a bit weak. It just needed a little more of something to me.

Definitely do not drink this beer cold. It is much, much better at something approaching cellar temperature. Much more complex than it appeared on first sip.

Also I should note that this beer is not a good value. It is quite tasty but for the price, I would go with Paulaner Oktoberfest instead. $9+ a sixer is way too much. (662 characters)

Photo of Atlas1
3.83/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Oktoberfest beer of the season. I like the new Rahr label design. A little hokey, but in a classic Norman Rockwell sorta way.

The Rahr Oktoberfest is one of the prettiest beers I've seen in a while. Beautiful hues of oranges and reds remind me of autumnal leaves changing color (not here in south Texas, mind you, but in places where leaves actually change colors). Nice thick head with some lace. The nose is dense and malty, as a good festbier should be. The yeast aroma kinda reminds me of Shiner Bock, but in a good way. Earthy and sweet. Taste follows suit, delivering plum flavors with muted apple and pear. Malty sweetness but dry enough to cut through anything that lingers too long. Mouthfeel has a medium body feel to it; firm but not austere.

A fine effort by the folks at Rahr and Sons. Maybe not the best example of the style I've ever had, but a pretty good beer nonetheless. I wouldn't reject the idea of revisiting this beer in the future either. (974 characters)

Photo of roblowther
3.39/5  rDev +8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is a reddish copper with no head at all. It smells of burnt caramel, oranges and pepper. At this point, I am intrigued. The taste is mild malt, some dryness, and a slight spice. It is interesting but maltier and somehow simpler than the style examples I've had before. Mouthfeel is slick, light, and nicely carbonated. This is a pretty drinkable beer, with a good balance of the malt & hop flavors. This is a good beer but definitely not an exceptional one. I prefer the Ugly Pug and definitely prefer their Pecker Wrecker & Bucking Bock. Still, a welcome, rare Oktoberfest offering from a US brewery. (610 characters)

Photo of Ford
4.08/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a regular pint glass

This is a really good Oktoberfest beer.

A bit less bitter than the Shiner and Karbach styles I've recently had. About the same smoothness as the Saint Arnold.

Really good carbonation.. just right. Great taste. I'd buy a six pack of this over many others. (297 characters)

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Oktoberfest from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
75 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.