Ultimate Oktoberfest
Founders Brewing Company

Ultimate OktoberfestUltimate Oktoberfest
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Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Ranked #5
Ranked #7,500
4.09 | pDev: 7.33%
Yesterday at 09:56 PM
Jul 06, 2022
Ultimate OktoberfestUltimate Oktoberfest
Notes: 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: 4.09 by CisPiece88 from Nebraska

Yesterday at 09:56 PM
Rated: 3.98 by khargro2 from Tennessee

Yesterday at 12:56 AM
Photo of REVZEB
Reviewed by REVZEB from Illinois

3.64/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Clear amber body with a tan head. Nose is rough: has twinkie like note with huge bourbon booze, black pepper, and earthy oak. Taste is much more interesting: has the strong booze upfront, but then settles into toffee, milder bourbon molasses, biscuit, big toasty oak, faint raisin and earth. Still, this barrel is too strong, overpower the actual lager characteristics, which is too bad because I like the orignal a lot
Wednesday at 05:06 PM
Photo of Lucular
Reviewed by Lucular from Maryland

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12 oz bottle poured into a tulip pint glass. Aroma and flavor feature bourbon, oak, vanilla, and bready malt with a hint of floral/citrusy hops. It's an interesting and tasty beer. Not something I feel the need to purchase again, although I would happily drink it if offered.
Tuesday at 04:36 PM
Photo of GuyFawkes
Reviewed by GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.05/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
Bottled 7/26/22; drank 9/25/22 @ the Yarchives.

Mostly see-through orange rust appearance.

A rough pour yielded a nice khaki head; strong lace.

Dill pickle, mild cream & faint charred oak notes in the nose.

Creamy medium mouthfeel. Dill pickle, mild cream & faint caramel flavors.

The barrel and the beer clashed here, producing a dill pickle note that I found unfortunate. Please, save these barrels for pretty much anything else next year.
Monday at 02:35 AM
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Reviewed by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
12oz bottle. Label is stamped 'Bottled On: 07.25.22'.
Clear, medium amber colored body. Thin skiff of off white head sticks around. Minor wave of lacing on the non-drinking side of the glass.
Aroma is bread malts and bourbon, with oak.
Taste is bourbon soaked toasted bread malts and caramel. Some oak and nearly hidden floral hops. Definitely sweet, with the bourbon bite.
Mouth feel is thicker than medium but quite smooth. Minor higher ABV% tongue burn, and vapors. Supportive carbonation.
Kind of a departure from the traditional but very good in its own right.
Monday at 12:56 AM
Rated: 4.32 by Sinister from New York

Sep 24, 2022
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Reviewed by BitteNochEinWeissbier from Pennsylvania

4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
1 x 12 oz Bottle
Bottled on: 07.25.2022
Glass: Snifter
Serving Temp: 59.7 F
ABV: 10.0%

The color is a slightly darker than medium but bright copper with an off-white to cream colored head. The head starts at 2 fingers high (in a snifter) the quickly dissipates to a thick ring and solid island. Good lacing is left on the glass.

Rich toasted caramel and toffee. Vanilla, some wood, and some notes of sweet cherries. The nose is sweet, but it is very pleasant. Hops cannot be detected.

Toasted caramel and toasted bread are joined by nice whiskey notes along with faint woody and earthy ones. Very mild hops flirt in the background with almost undetectable notes of grass. Near the end of the sip a nice warming sensation develops. The sip finishes as it begins, but with that mentioned warmth added in.

Smooth, creamy, and a tad chewy. The body is medium to medium-full.

A very tasty beer that is nice for a chilly (or cold) fall night. This one is a slow sipper, not one that you'd fill a half-liter or liter Masskrug and down with abandon.

This a pretty good beer. But it really isn't an amber Marzen nor a golden Festbier. It does fill a niche where you don't quite want a Backwoods Bastard or a Curmudgeon variant (if those are still brewed) and a Marzen just isn't quite enough.

My ratings reflect my overall impressions of this beer, not how closely it hews to style. (It iwas listed as a Märzen) when this review was written)
Sep 24, 2022
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Reviewed by gatornation from Florida

3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Pours a clear golden copper color with a thin beige head , Smell has malts ,bread,barrel wood and caramel . Taste has caramel ,malts and baked bread ,followed by slight barrel notes ,woos and toffe. Mouth feel bready malty light on the barrel .
Sep 24, 2022
Photo of SawDog505
Reviewed by SawDog505 from New Hampshire

4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
It is a rather chilly Friday evening and it is the first of 2022. I decided a barrel aged Oktoberfest might warm up this old tired body.

Poured into a 13 oz Snulip glass bottled on 7/25/22. Pours a very attractive clear amber orange with a 2 finger off white head that leaves a few streaks of lace with nice retention. 4.5

Aroma is the oaked bourbon hits the nose first, vanilla, caramel, toffee, fig, and warming alcohol. 4.25

Taste follows oaky bourbon, caramel, toffee, vanilla, fig, and a hit of alcohol warms the body. 4.25

Mouthfeel is little bigger than average, gentle carbonation, not sticky or dry, and at 10% ABV it goes rather easy. 4.25

Overall this is nice beer to sip on a cold fall evening. If you enjoy Oktoberfest beers and bourbon this one from Founders Brewing Co. 4.25
Sep 24, 2022
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Reviewed by drdiesel9483 from Ohio

3.81/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Look - great copper clear with a nice white head and some lacing
Smell - woody caramel grainy
Taste basically just like the smell
Feel - medium full body and creamy
Overall - interesting take on an Oktoberfest
Sep 23, 2022
Rated: 4 by 1971bernat from Virginia

Sep 22, 2022
Rated: 4.92 by Metnut from New York

Sep 21, 2022
Rated: 4.3 by Skabiski from Maryland

Sep 21, 2022
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Reviewed by NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Founders Brewing Co. "Ultimate Oktoberfest"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle "Bottled On: 07.25.22 1651 6" and sampled on 09.19.22
$5.29 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: So what makes this the "Ultimate Oktoberfest"? Is it the 10% ABV or the Bourbon barrel aging, or both? Let's find out. It looks like a typical traditional Märzen with a mostly clear deep amber body beneath a short head of white foam. Unfortunately that's dropped and I haven't even raised it to give it a whiff - not so "ultimate" in my book. The aroma is good but I don't get a lot of Bourbon or wood, I mainly get caramelish and toasty malt and alcohol. Hmmm, maybe the taste is better? ... ... ... Yes, definitely. It's malty with a light touch of fruitiness. I'm assuming that they've used some Vienna malt here as that'll give you a touch of berry-like fruitiness. It's also bready though so there's probably some Munich malt in there as well. Caramel malt, yes, of course, and mostly golden. It's not as toasty as I thought it would be given the aroma, and there's definitely more Bourbon and oak than I was expecting as well. The alcohol, unfortunately, remains fairly clear but at the same time I expect it to at least some extent and it's not harsh or anything, just clearly noticeable. Ahh, as it warms I'm getting a little bit of a coconut note which is unexpected but quite welcome, and the malt appears more honeyish. A hint of vanilla from the oak rounds it out and the overall maltiness is quite nice. There's enough bitterness there to balance the sweetness of the malt, and just a dollop lingers in the finish. As for hop flavor there's a mild herbal note and some spiciness (unless that's the alcohol), and that also lingers in the finish shortly. I don't know that I'd call this the "Ultimate Oktoberfest" but it is quite good. In the mouth it's full bodied and creamy-smooth with a moderate, fine-bubbled carbonation that at least partially explains the lack of head retention. The 10% ABV also explains some of that. In the end I'm thoroughly enjoying this.
Review #8,255
Sep 19, 2022
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Reviewed by LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
L - Copper with an off-white head that dissipates somewhat quickly leaving behind minimal lacing
S - sweet bourbon and caramel along with malt dominate the nose
T - Sweet, rich bourbon up front and throughout with full notes of caramel and vanilla along with some bready malts along with oak, slight hops
F - medium leaning on full bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Smooth, somewhat syrupy
O - This is pretty interesting. It's good, but the barrel aging really seems to dominate the overall marzen style. A good beer, but I'll probably be sticking to more traditional fest beers
Sep 19, 2022
Rated: 4.29 by jera1350 from Minnesota

Sep 19, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by Gkruszewski from New York

Sep 17, 2022
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Reviewed by mothman from Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bottle. Clear bronze golden color. Head fades quick.

Vanilla, oak, caramel, bourbon. Hardly tastes like an Oktoberfest but I like it. Toffee and some bready malts, but all barrels. Warming, smooth, I like it.
Sep 17, 2022
Rated: 4.24 by msscott1973 from North Carolina

Sep 16, 2022
Rated: 4.09 by Cpmitchno1 from Virginia

Sep 16, 2022
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Reviewed by DarkLordScott from Wisconsin

4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Pours a reddish copper, clear, with a light head of foam. Aroma is caramel and some butterscotch with some bready overtones, though faint. Taste is clean and predominantly caramel with a very faint wood grain at the end of the throat. There is little bourbon, in my opinion. ABV is considerably well hidden. A solid Oktoberfest and perhaps my favorite.
Sep 14, 2022
Rated: 4.09 by Soneast from Wisconsin

Sep 12, 2022
Rated: 5 by Dalkri from Massachusetts

Sep 12, 2022
Rated: 4 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

Sep 12, 2022
Photo of Roguer
Reviewed by Roguer from Connecticut

3.52/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
Very good head production and decent retention. Body is a lovely reddish-amber color, crystal clear.

Very bready nose with herbal hints. It really smells like a classic Oktoberfest, except for the barrel influence - which isn't over the top. Honey, caramel, bread, bourbon, pepper, vanilla. I'm not really sure what to think of the nose, but it's certainly pleasant.

A beer like this runs the risk of being sweet to the point of cloying, but that's not really the case. The bourbon - and the high ABV, to be sure - does add a layer of sweetness, as well as tasting notes of vanilla, honey, and coconut, but there's still a bready, malty Oktoberfest here. Additional tasting notes include caramel, prune, white bread, and pumpernickel.

Fairly noticeable alcohol sting. Medium bodied. Very clean alcohol flavor that one normally gets from spirits, and seems out of place in a beer.

I can't really imagine pouring a Stein of this at an Oktoberfest celebration, but drinking a single glass at your own pace, on your own time, is a pretty rewarding experience. It doesn't all quite work, but it doesn't exactly not work, either. It's a worthy experiment, but it doesn't quite have its own niche, falling between two worlds: one of flavorful but clean lagers, and one of slow-sipping, full-bodied imperial beers. I don't know what mood I would have to be in to want another, frankly.
Sep 11, 2022
Rated: 4.2 by DucksFan16 from Tennessee

Sep 10, 2022
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Reviewed by AdmiralOzone from Minnesota

4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Pours a beautiful clear orange/amber with a thin off-white cap. that leaves spotty lacing. Aroma is caramel, malt, dark bread and bourbon. Flavor follows the nose, a bit sweet and not what I'd consider as an Oktoberfest, but damn is it tasty. Feel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall, again not what you'd think of when you think Marzan, but leave it to Founders to add some zip.
Sep 09, 2022
Photo of MikeWard
Reviewed by MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.76/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
12oz bottle into a pint mug. Bottled 7/25/22.

Looks pretty good. Crystal clear dark amber body. Small white head shrinks to a ring and faint covering, spots of lacing.

The barrel is very apparent on the nose, but smooth.

On tasting, well, just too much barrel for this palate. It's certainly smooth, but every time the base Marzen tries to assert itself, the barrel is there to kick it back down.

Mouth full, finish smooth bourbon.

Overall, personally I don't think this is a style to barrel age.
Sep 09, 2022
Photo of Fordcoyote15
Reviewed by Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Look blurs the line between a deep copper and ruby amber ale. Clear but not crystal clear. Very nice frothy head though.

Smell is kind of void. Whack. Honestly all I'm getting is faint sea water. A strange anomaly of a smell I've noted quite a few times before with always seemingly nothing else detectable. I wonder what the common denominator is in these beers that I smell this and nothing else. Or I'm just off?

Taste/feel. Very interesting. Definitely get the barrel right up front. Insanely, insanely dry. Flavors are very, very tame and subdued. It has tastes like a very light oktoberfest with an extra sweet element - butterscotch tbh, but not diacetyl. Apart from the overlapping barrel the beer is the farthest thing from complex ever. Its overall not that flavorful apart from the massive barrel that dick slaps you right upfront and lingers far after the finish.

Overall - and I immediately thought this as soon as it touched my lips but I wanted to jot down my notes before coming back to it - its a very nice barrel aged scotch ale. Yes, okay, it's a lager but this drank blind and 100/100 people will tell you its a scotch ale (which is an underrepresented style tbh). Overall score it tricky. I like it but don't love it. I'll happily drink the second I bought and probably buy a few more if im lucky enough to stumble upon them but won't intentionally seek out or trade for. Overall 4.25
Sep 07, 2022
Rated: 4.13 by ElGallo from New Hampshire

Sep 07, 2022
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Reviewed by ZebulonXZogg from Illinois

3.79/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Pours a clear copper color, small quickly fading white head. Snot factory gets some caramel and some bourbon. Doesn't have the typical Oktoberfest flavors, thin, no carb5to speak of. An interesting take on Oktoberfest beers, good, but a one'n done.
Sep 06, 2022
Photo of chinchill
Reviewed by chinchill from South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
12 oz bottle from Mega-Bev in Battle Creek, Michigan. A bottling date of 26 July 2022 is stamped on the back label.

Appearance. Served in a Belgian snifter, this exceptional marzen has a fine dark copper colored body with high clarity and a very good white head.

There's a pronounced, but not over the top, BBA influence in this outstanding Oktoberfest beer. Good complexity, with quite a bit more in the way of woody notes in the flavor than in the aroma where whisky and grain notes are dominant.

Overall. Well worth seeking out, especially if a fan of BBA beers. Caution: this easy drinking Oktoberfest has high but fairly well hidden ABV>.
Sep 05, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by BrewSTL from Missouri

Sep 05, 2022
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Rated by fehrminator from North Carolina

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Haters gonna hate but this was a fun tick. Hid the abv well. Some semblance of the style underneath the barrel. If you’re curious, go for it.
Sep 05, 2022
Photo of MacMalt
Reviewed by MacMalt from New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Bottled on 7/25/2022. Poured into a Seidel glass. It pours a hazy, honey-amber color with a half finger of creamy, ecru-colored head and lacing. The barrel really influences the smell; the bourbon notes are subtle but distinct. There is also an unexpected grassy aroma. Only as it warms a bit do I detect the nutty caramel in the nose. The bourbon taste is very unique. Again, the bourbon influence is quite strong. But as it warms the Märzen taste emerges. It has a good, creamy mouth feel with pleasant carbonation, and it's definitely big at 10% ABV. Overall, this is one of those "only in America" beers. To me, the notion of an "Imperial Märzen" is oxymoronic and while the idea of a bourbon-barrel aged Oktoberfest is intriguing, it's also a bit gimmicky. I guess Founders has achieved its goal with this beer but I can't help but think it's messing with something sacrosanct.
Sep 04, 2022
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Reviewed by Peach63 from New York

4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Light amber with a 3/4" off white head, which slowly fades to a wisp. Moderate lacing.

Aroma of caramel, toffee, spices. Whiskey like.

Taste is caramel, light toffee, spices.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. Semisweet finish.

One of the best Oktoberfest beers I've had.
Sep 04, 2022
Photo of Valdez_Mescalito
Reviewed by Valdez_Mescalito from Michigan

4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
August - September 2022 Barrel-Aged Series Release - 4 pack
12 oz. bottle dated 07/25/22 - 10% ABV / ? IBU
Brewed and bottled in Grand Rapids, MI
Poured into a Bell's branded tulip snifter glass

Look - Pours a thick and dense off-white head that dies down pretty quickly. Clear, dark amber appearance with a lot of streaming carbonation.
Smell - The scent is very faint, but it's mostly bourbon with some malt in the background.
Taste - The taste follows the nose with zero bitterness or alcohol taste.
Feel - Medium bodied with a slightly crisp mouthfeel and finishes dry.
Overall - Not as good as the regular Oktoberfest, because the flavors are more faint and not as wide ranged. That being said, it is a good beer and is easy to drink despite the high ABV.
Sep 03, 2022
Rated: 3.75 by SSGCujo from Wisconsin

Sep 02, 2022
Ultimate Oktoberfest from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 83 ratings