Hoffmann Oktoberfest
Climax Brewing Company

Hoffmann OktoberfestHoffmann Oktoberfest
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Climax Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States
Lager - Märzen
3.55 | pDev: 16.9%
Oct 21, 2015
Oct 12, 2003
Hoffmann OktoberfestHoffmann Oktoberfest
Notes: None
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3 by abcdefghijkyle from New Jersey on Oct 21, 2015
3.27 by ArkyVaughan from New Jersey on Oct 06, 2015
3 by Belittle from New Jersey on Apr 29, 2014
3.5 by waiting4lunch from Massachusetts on Mar 10, 2014
3.75 by BeerForMuscle from New Jersey on Nov 30, 2013
3.5 by Varkias41 from New Jersey on Aug 22, 2013
3 by petermethot from New Jersey on Jun 26, 2013
2.5 by PhawkYu from New Jersey on Dec 31, 2012
3.25 by Myst from Maryland on Mar 29, 2012
5 by jrutigs from New Jersey on Nov 26, 2011
Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.21/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by JerzDevl2000 from New Jersey

Picked this up at Joe Canal's since this is Jersey beer and I figured that I'd give this style another chance. Amazingly enough, this didn't seem anything like the other Marzens that I've had and the more I worked my way through this beer, the more I felt that this was a mix between a Belgian Lambic and a Fruit beer, because of the appearance and aroma. Without a doubt, this is the thickest Octoberfest that I've ever had!

Like so many beers that I've had lately, this had an apricot hue to it but this was a lot hazier than I pictured it being, to the point where there was some sediment in the bottle that I had to get out from the bottom. The aroma really wasn't there but what I did smell was syrup and that was repeated in the taste. The carbonation was low, the mouthfeel wasn't memorable, and there wasn't lacing to be seen either. There was a bit of Belgian sweetness and some biscuit undertone to this beer but the German malts and caramels that are so typical for Octoberfests were completely missing here. The thickness of the syrup was all that lingered in the aftertaste and I was hoping for something different once I worked my way down to the bottom of my pint glass.

Sad to say, that wasn't the case. On its own, this beer is fine and I'd have it again. There was only a slight hint of the booze in the taste and even though this is a notch strong, it's not a deterrent. What bothered me was how misclassified this beer was - I could have had this all year and by no means should this be exclusive to Autumn. For that reason, this was a bit of a disappointment.

Nov 10, 2011
Photo of simskl
2.07/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2
by simskl from Pennsylvania

Picked up the growler at a local liquor outlet in NJ to go. It was at room temperature so I cooled it until the next evening. It simply smelled off when I opened it with an almost funky yeasty odor. Kind of like a really weak lambic without any flash.
I poured it into a pint glass and the color was a nice deep orange with a creamy smooth head, I started to think it would be OK, the smell also improved upon pouring it was still sweet but not as funky.
The taste was really unimpressive, there was very little carbonation and the beer itself was all sweet malt with no complexity at all, it's not like it was lightly hopped, it's like they didn't add any at all.
It was just too sweet for me, I gave up the rest of my half of the growler to a friend over to watch the ball game and he seemed to like it.... he normally drinks Bud though so I'm not going to use that to boost the ranking here.

Oct 07, 2011
Photo of Samp01
3.15/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by Samp01 from New Jersey

Pours a medium amber hue with a small tan head. Aroma of lightly toasted barley, malt, with some grassy grainy and light fruity notes. Taste is light toasted sweet malts, some grain and a slightly funky taste. Palate is a medium body, with ok carbonation. Finish is sweet toasted malt, some grainy notes with some funk and some light nutty ending. Overall an ok oktoberfest.

Oct 02, 2011
Photo of bonkers
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3
by bonkers from New Jersey

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a nonic, deep orange pour with a slight white head, no lacing. The aroma is sweet and biscuity. It is a very sweet fest beer, lots of caramel malt, it finishes almost cloying. The flavors evolve as it warms and it is more enjoyabale. The body is medium full, light carbonation. A decent marzen, but the initial sweetness hurts the score.

Sep 08, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
2.26/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
by CuriousMonk from District of Columbia

Going against the grain on this one as well. Paid $18 on this one and worthy of a review as it disappointed. Poured from cask/growler into pint glass. Pours a dark amber color; lacks any german malt/caramel aroma; mouthfeel / body was flat and lacked carbonation. Had trouble finishing the beer with a buddy.

Jan 27, 2011
Photo of mikeg67
3.64/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
by mikeg67 from New Jersey

Pours amber with a thick white head and lovely carbonation. Nice aroma of grassy hops and caramel malt. Medium, slightly crisp body. Bready (reminds me of their Helles), caramel malts balanced by earthy hops on the pallet. It seems to me that there are too much hops for the style. Long, earthy finish. Interesting brew, although it's deviates from traditional Octoberfest.

Nov 18, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by Thorpe429 from Illinois

Pours with little head. Nice copper orange color. Smells breast with some caramel and toffee with slight hop notes. Taste is a bit overly grainy--reminds me a lot of many Great Lakes beers. Mouthfeel is lift to medium with good carbonation. Drinkability is good; nice and refreshing.

Sep 22, 2010
Photo of Nickls
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Nickls from District of Columbia

(From notes)

A - Clearer brownish coppery orange color; thinner pure white head that held pretty well

S - Earthy and sweetish maltiness; doughy and dark fruits

T - Rich maltiness; earthy hoppiness; bready; nicely balanced and tasty

M - Substantial, medium MF; soft carbonation

D - Easily drinkable, and built for an extended session. Tasty, and balanced

Really nice example of the style, and pretty traditional but good.

Nov 21, 2009
Photo of BeerSox
3.23/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
by BeerSox from Virginia

.5L Growler into pint glass

Hazy copper hue with a one finger tan head (first pour) that settles to a thin rim along the glass. Spotty lacing.

Light herbal hop aromas on top of a slightly toasty biscuity malt base.

The sharp and bitter hops start out front, but quickly turn over to some highly toasty malts that linger into the finish. Full bodied.

A decent Oktoberfest Lager, but I may get tired of it over the length of the growler.

Oct 18, 2009
Photo of Amalak
4.33/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by Amalak from New York

I had off the tap at Barcade in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
A- It has a somewhat cloudy orange color to it, but basically see-through. The head dissipated quickly and didn't leave much lacing.
S- Has an applepie kind of scent to it.
T- I really like this because it mixes European style Oktoberfests and American style Okts. It has a nice bitter taste but also has an applepie tasting spice to it. Very nice.

Sep 18, 2009
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.52/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by LilBeerDoctor from New York

Reviewed on 10/6/08. Growler from Shoreline Beverage. Pours a clear amber with no head. Aroma of bread, sweet malt, and light fruits (raisins?). Flavor of bread, caramel malt, light fruits, and stale wheat malt that is typical of Oktoberfests. Faint sweetness. It's a pretty good oktoberfest, although admittedly this isn't really my style.
7/3/8/3/14 (3.5/5)

Dec 28, 2008
Photo of Gavage
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Gavage from Nevada

Appearance: pours a copper color with a short 1/4" head that sports plenty of large bubbles.

Smell: caramel and fruit sweetness are mild but pleasant.

Taste: bready malt profile with caramel, plums, hint of brown sugar, and mild bitterness. There is a touch of earthiness late in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, smoother and a touch of dryness at the finish. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: easy beer to quaff, and the growler size bottle makes it easy to have a few in a session.

Oct 12, 2008
Photo of bonbini26
4.18/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by bonbini26 from New Jersey

09/28/2008 Poured into a pint glass from a growler

A- Pours a hearty clear orange-copper beneath a full head of off-white froth that holds quite well and leaves some very nice lacing about the glass.

S- The nose is bready and lightly toasty with a delicate touch of floral hops as well.

T-The flavor is as might be expected based on the aroma, with a luxurious but not overly rich, lightly sweet and bready malts but perfectly balanced by a firm bitterness and gentle smear of floral and grassy hops.

M- It's incredibly smooth and lightly creamy in the mouth with a firm, malty body and delicate, fine-bubbled carbonation.

D- Very easy drinking a nice job of producing an Oktoberfest, could drink this all fall!

Sep 29, 2008
Photo of ATPete
4.2/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5
by ATPete from New Jersey

Growler filled yesterday!

I always get excited for the Climax Oktoberfest every year, how could you not for your home town brew. This years offering pours a transparent reddish brown color with a small white head that vanishes quickly leaving thin patches on the surface. Spicy nose with lots of sweet toasted malt presence. While tasting its much the same, sweet, brown sugary malts meeting a spicy hop note, cherry, apple and the slightest alcohol heat. Light bodied, extremely drinkable, another batch well done for Climax!

Sep 12, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
3.72/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by beerthulhu from New Jersey

A: poured a light amber color with a slight sudsy white head.

S: Spicy with a nice decent hop fresh floral flavor for this style.

T: Big hop tang, moderate carbonation with slight lager bite in the finish. Sweet munich malt palate is overpowered by the hops for the most part. A good lager but a tad overhopped for an octoberfest but this is the precise thing that makes this beer interesting.

M: moderate carbonation

D: different and still interesting by itself making for a moderately good session drink.

Feb 02, 2008
Photo of ism
4.05/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
by ism from New Jersey

Picked up from the liquor store next door to my apartment, about four blocks from the brewery, so I know it's fresh. Slightly hazy copper with a wheat-colored, frothy 2-finger head with decent retention and leaves stray sudsy lacing. Clean aroma of grainy, sweet malt and a touch of hoppy spice. Biscuity malt is balanced well by a spicy bitterness, anchored with an earthy undertone, with hints of peach, creating a clean and supple flavor profile through its simpleness. Medium mouthfeel, crisp, buoyed by a lingering biscuit-n-earthy hop finish. Not the most complex festbier, but certainly easygoing and satisfying.

Oct 23, 2007
Photo of jwc215
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by jwc215 from Arizona

Pours deep orange amber with good clarity. The head is thin, and hangs on for a short while before virtually disappearing. Normally, I would not score appearance so high without good head retention, but the color is so nice.

It has a clean, solid aroma. Roasted grains and sweet malt.

The taste is sweet malt and roasted, mildly bitter, grainy hops. Very well-balanced, with a fresh full taste. A slight warming alcohol touch, that is not present until the end, is in the finish - appropriate for season. Overall, pretty basic, but flavorful, O-fest taste. Another good lagered American interpretation (I prefer to see the American craft brewers make a lager, as the style should be, rather than the ales that some do.)

The medium body holds up well. Very smooth. Tastes linger on tongue for a decent amount of time.

Exceptionally smooth, this was is easy, and enjoyable, to drink. Another good beer from a great brewery!

Oct 22, 2006
Photo of Phatz
3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Phatz from Pennsylvania

Appearance: Served a beautiful translucent amber with an ivory head - good retention.

Smell: The aroma is pleasant with toasty caramel malts and bread grain and hint of floral hop.

Taste: The flavor is simple but tasty malty toasty and a bit biscuity with a simple hop balance that displays the necessary attributes but without a lot of flare.

Mouthfeel: The fine carbonation keep the thin mouthfeel from becoming too thin and gives the beer a smooth feel.

Drinkability: Quite easy drinking though rather simple.

Hope this is helpful.

Oct 10, 2006
Photo of Citadel82
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by Citadel82 from New Jersey

Picked up a 64 ounce bottle of this at Buy-Rite in Atlantic Highlands. Likely to have been very fresh.

This is a very decent fest bier.

Pours a delightful copper with a short-lived, two finger, white head that left some nice lacing.

Smell is bready sweet malts and floral/medicine hops. Not unpleasant but a little funky.

Taste is biscuity with a balanced middle and a short hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel is thin though not watery.

Very drinkable facsimile of the style.

Sep 25, 2005
Photo of Rastacouere
4.28/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by Rastacouere from Canada (QC)

at Barcade under the name Hofmann(sic) cask-conditioned oktoberfest. Eternal rocky off-white head tops the dark amber and hazy robe. Both heavily malty and heavily hoppy nose. Generous toastiness is like biting in a biscotti, grainy, soft, clean. Awesome complexity in the hop profile and fruitiness for an Oktoberfest. Several notes of leafy lemon, juicy figs, litchis, peach join together in a spicy, peppery medley of flavours that are attached together by expert hands. Light-medium bodied, oily restrained carbonation, finishing quite bitter, close to astringent. The softness of the malt, the suppleness of the union of the elements together. Climax rules with lagers, impeccable execution.

Sep 12, 2005
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.18/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

Anyone who doesn't know that Dave Hoffmann makes the best beer around doesn't know Dave Hoffmann! (That's a joke for the people that do know Dave...). But this beer PROVES IT!

It's a beautifully clear orange-copper beneath a full head of off-white froth that holds quite well and leaves some very nice lacing about the glass. The nose is bready and lightly toasty with a delicate touch of floral hops as well. It's incredibly smooth and lightly creamy in the mouth with a firm, malty body and delicate, fine-bubbled carbonation. The flavor is as might be expected based on the aroma, with a luxurious but not overly rich, lightly sweet and bready malts dominatin - but perfectly balanced by a firm bitterness and gentle smear of floral and grassy hops. Very, very nice!

May 29, 2005
Photo of RonfromJersey
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by RonfromJersey from New Jersey

A sharply clear orange copper body topped by a healthy 3 finger plus off-white-and-heading-toward-tan whip cream head. Good lacing. Very bready nose. Good malt start, and the hops are in proper balance. But it lacks the deep malty backbone of my favorite Octoberfests. A good but not great beer that suffers somewhat by comparison with North Jersey neighbor Ramstein's Octoberfest. But do give Climax a try if you see it.

Nov 16, 2003
Photo of Dantes
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Dantes from New Jersey

Package: Pre-packed 64oz. growler

Cost: $7.99 at Bottle King

Presentation: Imperial pint at ~45º

Appearance: An amber-brown slightly cloudy body that was similar to the ESB. Generated a medium to large-gauge, bone-colored head one finger thick that flattened quickly.

Smell: A sweet, malty aroma typical of an Octoberfest beer. Some wet-leaf smell leavened with some prickly spices.

Taste: A rich, bready taste buoyed by caramel sweetness and a moderate but definite hoppiness. There was a hint of the same medicinal back flavor I’ve detected in other Climax beers, particularly the IPA. This taste seemed to fade a bit as the beer warmed, however it may also have been masked by the toasted cheese sandwich I had with the second pint. Mild finish.

Mouthfeel: Climax achieves a smooth, fine carbonation that lasted through the glass, constant bubbles percolating through the beer. Slightly heftier in body than the recently sampled Ramstein Octoberfest.

Drinkability: A pleasant beer, somewhat marred by the slightly off background flavor. No real hint of alcohol, making me guess this checks in at 5.5-6% or so.

Backwash: Another good offering from Climax, although I still rate the ESB at the top of the list of their beers. I’ve only recently begun trying their beers, so I can’t comment on any recent degradation in quality that some have mentioned. However, all of their beers share a common, slightly medicinal, background flavor.

NB: Again, this beer seemed a bit better the second day (2 more pints).

Oct 12, 2003
Hoffmann Oktoberfest from Climax Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 33 ratings