Ultimate Oktoberfest
Founders Brewing Company

Ultimate OktoberfestUltimate Oktoberfest
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Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Ranked #10
Ranked #9,348
4.04 | pDev: 9.41%
Oct 22, 2023
Jul 06, 2022
Not even Oktoberfest is safe from our love of barrel-aging. That’s right, we put our German-style Märzen in a barrel for nine months. The result? Smooth flavors of bourbon atop caramel and sweet bread with moderate bitterness.
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Rated: 3.75 by mattmarka1 from Minnesota

Oct 22, 2023
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Reviewed by GreesyFizeek from New York

2.86/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75
This one pours a golden amber color, with a small head, and a little bit of lacing.

This smells boozy and astringent, with stale breadiness, caramel, and oak.

I like the idea behind this, but it wasn’t executed perfectly. Founders has been kind of letting me down lately. The base is too thin, and the barrel aging just washes like a cheap astringent bourbon feel all over this – it’s not well integrated at all. There’s really nothing that suggests marzen at all to me here – I know it’s a 10% marzen aged in bourbon barrels, so the chances of it evoking that feel are pretty low anyway.

This is light bodied, thin, and too boozy, with a lower level of drinkability.

This was an interesting idea that wasn’t executed very well to my palate.
Sep 15, 2023
Rated: 3.75 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Jun 19, 2023
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Reviewed by stortore from Illinois

4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass. Bottled 7/25/22, had 8/18/22.

Pours a golden amber color, fairly clear, with a two inch plus foamy head and a decent amount of foamy lacing. Aromas of caramel, bourbon, malt, light oak, light herbal hops. Flavors of bourbon, malt, caramel, herbal hops, a little black pepper. Smooth, a very good lighter medium body, well carbonated.

Tasty. Pretty solid base with a strong barrel presence. We need more of styles like this, being aged in spirit barrels. An appreciated effort.
Jun 19, 2023
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Reviewed by NorsemanOne from Utah

4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
12oz bottle, bottled on 7.25.22

Poured at fridge temp into a willi glass

Pours a true and clear light caramel color nearing a bronze. Head is an eggshell foam that settles into a persistent ring with some visible but occasional rising carbo. 4.25

I get mostly bourbon on the nose, though since it's been 19mos since bottling I get some herbaceous green hops that are fairly pungent. 4.25

Taste is bread, closer to a cake or sweet bread, some oak, vanilla, and sweet malts, it's a killer blend that I could drink all day (and end up on the floor) 4.5

Body is very smooth and drinkable for how high the abv is, which is a danger, because I want another. 4.25

Overall a delightful and diverse mix that works amazing in all the best ways. A BA märzen is a beautiful thing and cheers to Founders for making it happen! 4.5
May 21, 2023
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Reviewed by Whyteboar from Michigan

4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured a deeper copper than most Marzen style beers and the old ivory head dissipated faster, which is common with BA beer.
The aroma was lost on my Covid affected nose.
The taste was malts; caramel and toast and dark fruit all wrapped up in a woody bourbon overcoat. The bourbon tends to overpower the malts a bit, but for the most part the balance is very good.
The feel is excellent for the 10% - don't want to be drinking this like a fest bier!
I was cautious about this one; Marzen styles are usually light and quaffable by the liter so a BA version was - well odd. But hey somehow made it work. It's good.
Apr 21, 2023
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Reviewed by ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Orange in color with backing red hues and perfect clarity. Tight, fine-bubbled white head rises to a finger and a half and takes its time settling down. Wispy, broken rings of lacing.

S: Toasty, nutty, bready, toasted grain. Quick flash of green herbal hops. Barrel contributes in a big way, with a firm pull of oaky vanillins, toasty coconut, and bourbon.

T: It's The Barrel Show right from the jump. Corny bourbon is sweet and wash-y, but not hot. Big hits of oak, vanilla, and coconut shavings. Flash of green and herbal hops cut through and bring a little bitterness. Once the palate adjusts, base notes of toasted grain, crusty bread, and toffee begin to pull through. Long finish of nutty grain and oaky vanilla.

M: Rich, thick, round, and very full-bodied. Creamy and a bit chewy. It's a good few notches thicker in the mouth and sustaining in the stomach than your average marzen would be. Some alcohol warmth. Fine carbonation has a stiff scrubbing action.

O: Imperial stouts seem to get thrown into bourbon barrels most often, but I've long maintained that the malt-forward beers that are rich in residual sugar, but less roasty, complement that flavor profile best. Barleywines, Scotch ales, and such. I'm surprised it took someone this long to do it with a modified O-fest. With the finished product clocking in at 10% and sporting more body than normal, I highly doubt the base beer is brewed to traditional marzen gravity. This feels like a base beer that amps up the vienna/munich malt character in a package that is imperial or close to it before it even goes into the barrel. Either that or these are some wet-ass barrels, or WABs in the age of Cardi B. It mostly works. The flavor profile is straightforward, but pleasant and married well enough. My one slight knock is that the barrel does kind of run away with things and tilt the balance, but in this case I don't mind it. I do tend to have a bias toward "barrel juice" type of beers with a strong spirit character, though, because I'm a whiskey drinker too. Your mileage may vary, but I don't think it would be a turn off for most. Besides, if your going to use superlatives like 'Ultimate' in the name, the beer had better be grand in scale and memorable in some way. I think expectations are met.
Mar 12, 2023
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Reviewed by Franziskaner from Missouri

4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Dark copper colored and slightly hazy in complexion. There’s a fingernail of off white around the rim and covering half of the top. The aroma is of bready malt, bourbon, and vanilla. I’m tasting a wallop of sourdough bread with a bit of bourbon and vanilla. It’s not too sweet or boozy. The mouth is smooth and crisp.
Mar 05, 2023
Rated: 4.14 by Jonathan-Morgan from Florida

Jan 12, 2023
Rated: 4.27 by ScottP from New Hampshire

Dec 31, 2022
Rated: 4.24 by Dougwillhike from New Jersey

Dec 30, 2022
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Reviewed by dbean3 from Texas

4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Bourbon barrel aged Oktoberfest. Tastes amazing and packs quite a punch at 10%. This is a beer for savoring. Most of Founders offerings are very good and they definitely hit a home run on this one.
Dec 28, 2022
Rated: 4.12 by TP2MSU from Michigan

Dec 25, 2022
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Reviewed by CarolinaCardinals from North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Picked up a four-pack from the Fresh Market 9-1-22 for $14. Bottled 7-25-22; consumed for review 12-18-22.

Beer poured deep copper with a nice white head with the original pour.

Nose is toasted malts and comes across nutty with a touch of bourbon.

Taste is a large toasted and nutty malt base that is adequately balanced by noble hops and an expert touch of the bourbon barrel.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied and very smooth.

Overall a very fun beer that i am surprised Founders was able to pull off as well as they did! Hope to see it down the road!
Dec 18, 2022
Rated: 4.03 by Ristaccia from Nebraska

Dec 11, 2022
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Reviewed by scotorum from Massachusetts

4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

a: Clear copper with an inch thick white head which receded slowly to a thick surface foam and patchy lacing.

s: Bourbon.

t: Follows the nose, with the bourbon dominant. Moderately sweet finish.

m: Medium, good body and plenty of carbonation tingle.

o: The taste line pretty much summed it up. Good for the bourbon flavor but rather weak on malt or anything else to balance it out, and as such inferior to their excellent BBA Scotch Ale. Also a bit disappointingly lightweight mouthfeel for such a premium brew. Still works well enough for this BBA lover. Interested now to compare it to the non-Ultimate verison.
Dec 05, 2022
Rated: 3.81 by kuhndog from New York

Nov 23, 2022
Rated: 4.02 by alexsergio from New York

Nov 23, 2022
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Reviewed by secondtooth from Indiana

4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
APPEARANCE: Clean amber, with a typical marzen appearance. Nice head of off-white suds and little lace.

NOSE: Malty, grains and a hint of vanilla from the bourbon barrel.

TASTE: Impressive. Sweet and caramel malty in initial flavor, finishing with a rush of warming oak and vanilla. Inventive and tasty, and somehow still maintaining the Oktoberfest marzen vibe, albeit amped up!
Nov 17, 2022
Rated: 3.52 by vfgccp from New York

Nov 13, 2022
Ultimate Oktoberfest from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 127 ratings