The Big O Oktoberfest | Pennichuck Brewing Company, Inc.

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The Big O OktoberfestThe Big O Oktoberfest
Very Good
58 Ratings
The Big O OktoberfestThe Big O Oktoberfest

Brewed by:
Pennichuck Brewing Company, Inc.
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 08-19-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 |  Reviews: 57
Reviews by TheycallmeTim:
Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.03/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a growler into a shaker pint.

A--Russet copper body with a one finger eggshell colored fizzy head that faded to skim pretty quickly but laced ok.

S--Thick and heavy to me, relative to the style, but not bad for the nose. Tons of sweet molassesish whole wheat bread and caramel malt. Almost cloying. I dunno, I gotta knock this down to a 3.5. The nose had a pronounced roasted nuttiness that belongs to an English Brown, or an Altbier if we're staying German.

T--Big, BIG....a little too big. I got worn out on this. Marzens should be beefier lagers, with bready characteristics and some sweetness, but man, is this really necessary? I felt like I was drinking fruitcake followed by an alcohol/hop sting. This has almost no balance in terms of hop bitterness on the back end and it tastes like they just dumped a shit ton of caramel malt into the mash. If anyone wants to drink this by the liter, be my guest. I just can't get into it. Too fruity and thickly sweet.

M&D--Mouthfeel's a little rocky because of the alcohol bite and kind of thin feeling, no doubt because it's a lager on 'roids. Drinkability? Meh. I think I'll pass on this one.

Seems like more of a malty ale than an marzen, like an Altbier or some kind of Brown Ale. Kind of the brandy of Oktoberfests, which might float your boat, but leaves me drowning.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this beer; I thought it was a bit more flavorful than the usual Oktoberfest. In a pint glass the beer was a ruby red color with a thick tan head that lingered all the way down. Sweet caramel malt aroma, a little spice. Strong caramel malt taste, mild spice, and a little fruit. A full-bodied beer, will want to get some more of this one.

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Photo of tigg924
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear, ruby brown, an amazing head that settles like a Guinness, moderate carbonation

Smell: maple, sugar, and toasted malt

Taste: maple, bread, sugar, toasted malt, and some hop bitterness towards the end

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium bodied, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: An above average Octoberfest that is on the dry side, but not overly dry. It is good, not great. I would have this in the future, but only one glass in a sitting.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into an oktoberfest .5l glass.

Pours a nice crystal clear dark amber/ruby. With a small off white thin head. Nose is Toasty, malty and a bit sweet.

Taste is a bit too sweet and not quite as toasty as I like my marzens, but still very drinkable and smooth. Light carbonation and crisp finish!

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Photo of far333
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish orange with an off-white head of sticky foam that rises up a full foamy inch and settles out slowly to a fine cap.

Inviting aroma of grainy malt, some breadiness, notes of toffee and cinnamon.

Rich flavor of sharp-edged maltiness, bready and toffee/caramelly, but notes of dried leaves and subtle smokiness ride along. Sharp bitterness without hop flavors, good balance to the maltiness. Moderate warming from the alcohol.

Rich and full mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Tasty beer with good drinkability, interesting take on the style.

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Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a perfectly clear brown-amber color with a 1.5-finger light tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of bready and sweet caramel malts and hints of light herbal hops. As it warms very light amounts of fruit flavors waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Rich bready and caramel malt flavors up front carry on to a smooth and crisp ending. As with the smell very mild fruit flavors enter into things midway through the sip, however the malt is front and center throughout.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I didn't have a problem finishing the bottle and could have another.

Overall I was very impressed with this beer and I will definitely revisit this again. Spot on for the style (at least in my book) and one I recommend!

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear coppery/red color with a large tan foamy head. The head lasts and leaves decent lacing. The smell is nice with roasted malt,dark fruit,spices,and some hop scents. The taste is full of flavors with coffee,roasted malt,alcohol,and bitter hops. The flavors mix very well for a medium m/f beer. It does taste like there is a little more alcohol than 7 %. All in all, this is a very good Oktoberfest and I will look forward to the fall.

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Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice lager. So drinkable,not too malty though on the sweetish side with mild toastiness, background hop bitterness, neutral smell. Above average mouthfeel. SOme spiciness, fruitiness like a good scotch. Great beige head on medium yellow colour.Impressed with the offerings from this brewery.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into a Seidel mug.

Pours a clear, deep, amber with 2+ fingers of creamy off-white head. Solid layer of retention skims the surface, leaving a big cascade and thick swathes of lacing behind. The aroma is a thickish smelling blend of bready malts, sweetness, tangy smelling citrus, and light floral bitterness in the back.

The taste is toasted and slightly buttered bready malts that is complimented by plenty of caramel sweetness, as well as a smack of citrus and a tingle of hops in the backend. Finishes dry, bitter, and a little sweet. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a sturdy carbonation that gets more creamy as it warms up some.

Wow! Color me impressed, as this is definitely one of the best Oktoberfest that I had this season and possibly one of the best American brewed ones that I've ever had! Big flavors, a good look, and crisp drinkibility made this a winner in my book. I will definitely be seeking out more bottles of this next year!

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Photo of KTCamm
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomer into a pint glass.

Pours very dark brown with very little white foam - mahogeny brown.

Powerful malty smell, slightly sweet, hints of caramel. Notes of brown sugar.

Malty hop taste, relatively clean. Could almost be a vienna lager from this taste - much cleaner than a typical marzen. Very lightly carbonated in the mouthfeel.

Quite drinkable - solid brew.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Batch. Sampled on September 13, 2009. It pours ruby red to amber-copper from the 650 ml. bottle. There is a nice thin but frothy beige head and a glistening pattern of carbonated bubbles along the side of the pint glass. Sweet malts lead the pleasing aroma along with a background of hops. The mouthfeel is in the medium range but has a smooth texture that feels nice on the tongue. A bevy of malts, nuts, and toffee flavors counterbalance each other eloquently. The brew ends on the dry side. Happy fall and football season!

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Photo of BeerSox
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into Scandinavian mug.

A deep and clear copper hue sits under a one finger light tan head. The head ends up as little lilly pads and some foam along the edge.

A little bit of sweet candy sugar on top of burnt caramel and some toasty malts.

The malts give off a very toasted flavor, along with a little bit of caramel and some sweet sugar. The hops are barely there, adding a little bit of a tea like flavor. Full bodied.

A very enjoyable Oktoberfest, perfect for watching early-season football. Recommended.

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Photo of plaid75
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a sparkling amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a musty noble hop coupled with an earthy caramel malt.

The taste was very earthy with a moderate caramel and a beautiful noble hop spice.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a very well done Octoberfest.

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Photo of erosier
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a dark amber color with a short and medium bodied tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts for the most part and a bit of a hoppy bitter aroma as well.
T: Tastes of very nice sweet malt, some spices - perhaps cinnamon, then a nice hoppy bitter, and finishing off with a nice sweet malty finish.
M: Very smooth, refreshing, with the right amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable Marzen and would definately recommend this one.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So, I'm at the brewery for their brewers reserve and while taking the tour I'm handed one of these right off the bottling line. bottling table is probably more accurate as these guys are enthusiastic but not as automated as some places. Ok, enough back story how's the beer?

A - rich mahogany color, nice tan head. This beer is crystal clear!
S - caramel, light noble hops, crips lager effect
T - nice caramel malts, light noble hops
M - medium bodied, nicely carbonated, crisp clean finish
D - quaff's nicely. 22oz is now gone and I'm left thinking brats, sauerkraut, an oompah band and good friends and I'm drking a couple of these no issues at all.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saturday, October 4, the day before Oktoberfest's completion, and my final Oktoberfestbier of the celebration comes from Pennichuck Brewing.

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a Seidel.

Shows a clear, ruby-copper hue, capped by a half-inch off-white/light tan head of creamy foam. Head retention is decent, but stickage is a little lax.

Nose is full of malty goodness, sweet and toasty with just a tad of maple drizzled over the top. Some grassy hop notes are interspersed. Very pleasing and inviting.

A wonderful medium-full body drapes the tongue, rich and chewy, perfectly accentuating the toffeed, toasted malt palate. Sweetbread, biscuit, toffee, some faint caramel and brown sugar; hops show themselves in the middle to keep things balanced by leave the malt to take center stage, with a finish that is mildly dry and clean with some lingering malt sweetness on the back of the tongue. Alcohol shows itself not on the palate, but is apparent afterward in the head.

A wonderful, bold example of the style, the likes of which is not seen often in the gaggle of seasonal Oktoberfest/Märzen beers released for the fall. Certainly a nice end to the celebration and a top-notch example befitting those strong, malty brews originally brewed in the spring for lagering until Fall. Highly recommended.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Dark, clear brown. Ok white head that belies sticky coral lace and solid retention. Aroma is of maple syrup, hop cones, and brown sugar.

Well blended balance of nutty, toasted malt, maple syrup sweetness and hop spice. On the darker side of 'fests, almost a brown. The sweetness becomes a bit much for more than one a sitting.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish orange color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, fruit, some spice and some hops.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with sweet flavors of dark fruit and a little bit of spice; bready flavors of lager yeast and grain; and a mild but complementary hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent O-fest with a lot of flavor and substance that makes it worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of jwc215
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this!

22 oz. bottle -

Pours dark orange amber with a tan head that thins and stays, leaving some trailing lace.

The smell is of strong caramel with a light hop touch. Smells like caramel candy - a bit too much for a traditional interpretation, but a pleasant aroma, nevertheless.

The taste is of thickish caramel - sweet, yet not overly so as there is a hop balance enough to keep sweetness from being cloying.

a caramel malt hop bomb - a nice one for that - It does have a slight sour apple note and a slight nod towards a citric hop bitterness in the finish that takes edge off of some of the sweetness.The maltiness is very smooth, making it very drinkable. Very caramelly.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" beige head over the clear dark orangey amber brew. Head recedes gradually, with average lacing. Aroma is biscuity malts with a grassy hops character. Taste is incredibly balanced overall, with the malts and hops each dominant in their own areas of the experience. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, with superb drinkability. Wish I had happened upon this earlier, when there was more around. On my list to look out for next year.

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Photo of sethmeister
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a 22oz bomber from the brewery.

Clear dark brass in appearance w/ creamy tan head which falls to a film quickly.

Fresh, sweet, malty and slightly toasty scent.

Nicely balanced, sweet, slightly chewy, malty, caramel taste. Subdued hop presence towards the end.

A tasty and exceedingly easy to drink Oktoberfest from the guys at Pennichuck.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.59/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Nice deep, clear mahogany color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nutty nose. Flavor is slightly sweet, doughy malt. $4.29 for a 22oz bottle from Smiley's Beverage Dover, NH.

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Photo of smcolw
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful color--light brown, slightly reddish. Loses points for modest head and nearly no lace.

Smell: Lots of caramel without sweetness. Nearly no hop aroma.

Creamy with butter caremel flavors. The hop, while light, shows up in the swallow making for a dry finish.

Better than the typical Oktoberfest; it has more complexity and longer lasting aftertaste than the typical O-fest.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Big O pours a clear, deep copper color with a frothy, medium bodied off white head on top. The foam dissolves to a ring around the surface leaving behind a few spots of lace on the sides. The aroma is filled with a crisp toasted grain, with some hints of dark fruit and spice mixed in.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer has a firm carbonated fizz on the middle of the tongue. The flavor is full of malt with a nice crisp toasted backbone and some caramel mixed in. Towards the end some dark fruit notes and a hint of grassy hop bitterness finish off the beer. Seems to be a spice in there too, but it's probably the hops. Once gone some of the fruity notes linger on the palate.

This is a well balanced, tasty beer. The crisp malt and fruity flavor work well together. I also found it very drinkable, especially after it warmed a bit in the glass. It's a nice representation of an Oktoberfest beer.

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Photo of Gavage
4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: pours a clear copper color with a 1" head. Some spotty lacing develops during the session.

Smell: caramel, hints of earthiness, and ripe red fruits leap from the glass into the nose.

Taste: superb malt profile here as caramel, sweet apples, red grapes, and nice bitterness are up front with some toasted nuttiness and some earth tones hidden in the background.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Hints of dryness at the end too. Aftertaste is short. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: great session Oktoberfest. Superb flavor makes this one enjoyable beer. If you see this pick some up.

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The Big O Oktoberfest from Pennichuck Brewing Company, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 58 ratings
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