Festie Oktoberfest Lager (Heavy Rotation Series No. 07)
Starr Hill Brewery

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Style:
German Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #545
ABV:
4.8%
Score:
75
Ranked #47,023
Avg:
3.2 | pDev: 17.19%
Reviews:
57
Ratings:
157
From:
Starr Hill Brewery
 
Virginia, United States
Avail:
Fall
Wants
  1
Gots
  10
SCORE
75
Okay
Notes: Smooth and malty with a clean finish, this is our tribute to the German tradition of Märzen lagers.
Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 157 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of WickedBeer
3.79/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Took home bronze at GABF this year, so I had to give it a go.

Golden amber coloration, very light-bodied. The head is a pleasant off-white, frothing up to a couple fingers in height but settling quickly.

The nose is good, characterized by sweet malt and bread, with milder components of caramel and a touch of yeast on the end. There's a toasted barley quality throughout that really helps bring everything together.

Clear malt character leading the way on the palate. Again, bready like on the nose but with a fuller feel. There's a touch of tannic yeast on the tail that imparts a little bit of lingering bitterness, but it works in the beers favor. A classic flavor profile that did well to keep a couple of unique qualities to it in order to set it apart.

A very smooth-drinking Märzen. That soft bready mouthfeel continues throughout, with a medium carbonation that really softens as the beer approaches ideal serving temperature.

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Photo of Pantalones
3.59/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Last bottle of two or three picked up as part of a mixed six-pack; bottling date is August 23rd, 2018.

Poured into a little mug my girlfriend and I snuck out of an Applebee's a month or so ago. Color is a medium orangey-brown; off-white foam on top initially forms a decent little layer but quickly fades to almost nothing but a ring around the edges and a few thin patchy bits in the middle. Quite clear, with an abundance of rising bubbles.

Smell is faint, seems to have a nice slightly sweet bready thing to it though. Slightly toasty. After a sip or two it's almost reminding me a little of bran flake cereal.

Flavor is pretty nice -- brown bread, a bit of sweetness, slightly toasty, similar to the smell but with much more "oomph" to it. Surprisingly dry on the end considering the sweeter malty flavors. Seems like a pretty well-balanced beer. The sweet-malty type flavors do seem to linger a bit longer after a few sips, but just for a few seconds at most. Does seem to linger longer toward the end of the glass, but it's a very nice malt flavor (and it never comes across as leaning too far in the "sweet" direction rather than "semi-dry but malty") so I don't mind that one bit.

Feel is a bit fizzy at first, medium-bodied I'd say. Especially considering it's only 4.8%; feels heftier than most beers in the "light beer to standard cheap lager" range for sure. Pretty nice.

Overall, a pretty nice little beer. Not sure why the ratings for this one are so low.

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Photo of Vetbidder
3.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Typical orange tinged see through Oktoberfest beer with a quickly receeding head. Grassy hops most prominent on the nose with some slight malt. Bready finish with some grassy hops to start. Not bad but nothing exciting with the flavor. Pretty well carbonated though a bit watery.

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Photo of Riff
3.75/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a copper color with a large bubble white head that faded rapidly away. Smell is malty, sweet, caramel, and sweet. Taste is mild, a little sweet leaning towards a caramel flavor, a little malty with a sweet bread flavor to it. Finish is a little lingering sweetness. This is a beer that is very easy to drink, certainly crushable, so would work well in any stein or boot you choose to fill for an Oktoberfest celebration. Won't wow you with flavor, but if you're looking for something crushable and tasty at an Oktoberfest celebration or tailgate, this would work well.

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Photo of obywan59
2.99/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Born on date 7/31/13

Pours a crystal clear amber with a 2 1/2 finger off white head that recedes leaving thick sticky lacing.

A nice fresh aroma of grassy, fruity hops and sweet grain.

Not much taste at all. Faintly sweet malt with light tart citrus and some faint, slightly harsh bitter hops.

Light bodied, with a light carbonation and a bit sticky with a little warmth on the way down.

An okay beer, I guess. The taste is the main downfall. I think it's past it's prime. The aroma is holding up pretty well, but the tasty is pretty nondescript. An easy drinker.

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Photo of PumaSaysRawrr
2.68/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Let me get this out of the way....I have a Starr Hill Tattoo. I also have 1/2 a case of Festie aging in a closet from 2011 but that didn't stop me from picking up this bottle a few weeks ago on clearance for $1. My therapist may call it compulsive buying and hoarding but I call it bargain shopping and aging! AND don't bother trying to tell me you can't age a 4.5% beer because there ain't enough time in her hour to discuss how you all are unsupportive of me....

I am drinking it out of A Samuel Smith pint glass. It has nice amber color. Very little carbonation and no lacing....Which I don't mind cause I hate scrubbing my glass. It has a bit of a skunked smell with just a hint of that fermented smell a Belgian would have. It tastes like almost nothing...I don't know how to describe this but it tastes almost like any old amber then nothing...not after taste at all. You know how if you drink diet coke the taste goes away so you drink more then no taste so more and then more until you know it the bottle is gone? I need another beer...

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Photo of csrbv
3.24/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a reddish amber hue; the head is off-white and scant. Just enough lace.

S - Not too much aroma here. Vaguely vegetable hops and sweet malt

T - The brew is unusually flavored, evoking a certain flavor that is common Nilla Wafers cookies. There is also a discernible hint of vanilla and hazelnut.

M - Pretty average here. Decent, mediocre, common.

D - It is drinkable based on a certain very nice aspect of the flavor. It is not a complete or tremendously inspiring offering, but it has a serviceable quality (or two).

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Photo of Guden
1.74/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A- Very clear light copper with a one inch white head of small bubbles than fades slowly leaving nice lacing. Little light in color but good other than that.

S- Weird smell of sweet corn, caramel and Italian herb mix. Definitely something funky and off about this.

T- Whoa, that off smell is in the flavor too. Tannic and puckering with a flavor of bark and tomatoes.

M- Dry and astringent. Not very pleasant.

O- There is something wrong with this beer. I can't put my finger on it, maybe an infection, maybe just a combination of an old poorly made beer with some DMS, either way this is down there with some of the least enjoyable ones I've had. This was a dumper.

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Photo of tdm168
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - clear amber with a soft, thin cap of white, fizzy heaed that fades quickly

S - grains, caramel, apple, faint toast

T - bread, caramel, apple, sweet, sticky, clean bitter finish

M - crisp, medium bodied, a bit overcarbonated

This is a nice, easy to drink beer. the flavor is a bit unbalanced between malty and hoppy, bitter and sweet. It's also a bit overcarbonated. It's not bad, but at this time of year I'm looking for a more balanced Marzen.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.38/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz can into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a light amber with a large white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of light grain, not much else. Tastes of roasted grain that has a great body for this beer and is sweet, but not overly so. Beer seems a tad overcarbonated, but this light bodied beer still goes down really smooth. Overall, a pretty good beer.

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Photo of mckenziac
2.18/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass. Taken from a Starr Hill "Road Show" variety pack.

Appearance: Pours a light brown, slightly reddish color. Has a small, fizzy head that dissipates down to next to nothing.

Smell: Has a light, slightly sweet, grainy aroma.

Taste: Has a slightly bitter, spicy hoppiness. Finishes sweet and grainy with a slight caramel flavor. A lot lighter on flavor then I was expecting.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and well-carbonated with a light body.

Overall: I'm really disappointed with this one. Starr Hill is a sentimental favorite since it's fairly local but this one just isn't that good. I think they would have been better off brewing a more traditional Marzen/Oktoberfest style rather than a kind of generic amber lager.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours an orange-amber color with a two finger white head. The head has huge carbonation bubbles entrapped within, which pop over a short amount of time to leave some rather nice lacing.

Smell – The aroma is strongest of a roasted malt and caramel sweet smell. Mixed with this are lighter notes of a bready and light fruit aroma.

Taste – The taste begins of lightly roasted malt and some light fruit sweetness. The fruit flavors are a mix of citrus and some pear and peach. As it advances further some hop flavors of a citrus and earthy nature come to the tongue. The fruits other then the citrus fade more toward the end. While the other fruit flavors fade, the citrus flavors intensify and, when mixed with the hop flavors that came more toward the middle of the taste, a lightly hoped citrus and earthy malt flavor finish out the taste.

Mouthfeel – Quite light bodied with a average level of carbonation. Very easy drinking and god for the style and flavor profile.

Overall – A very easy to drink beer. While not super flavorful and rather light, it is a great choice for a nice session brew.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.17/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed at the brewery, reviewed from notes. The tap room bartender was great. Stayed open an extra 35 minutes to talk beer. I had a great time.

A: thin head on a clear dull golden with amber hues body.

S: very nice caramel malt sweetness, light fruitiness.

T: the flavor lets you down after that aroma with standard caramel malts however not quite hoppy or spicey for the style. almost no hops can be perceived

M: moderate to high carbonation and medium body.

Overall: drinkable but not memorable.

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Photo of TheFunGuy
3.7/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours slightly cloudy golden tan. A thin off white head fades to a clumpy lace quickly.

The smell is grain, without hops. It isn't bad grain.

The taste is at first sweet grain, with a light hops showing up at the end of the sip as the beer heads down the throat.

The mouthfeel is just a little sour after the ending hop taste. I like the sweet grain, so your mileage may vary.

This would be a great step-up for a bud drinker who wanted to head towards a mild pale ale. I would call this halfway between the two.

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Photo of DaveBlack
3.06/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: An Amber Brew with a finger's width of head that lasts for a while and leaves a light swirl on the surface. It clings slightly to the edges of the glass from when the head first recedes until the bottom of the glass.

S: Bready, slightly spicy with some sweet malts, but it is particularly grainy smelling.

T: The taste is light, once again with a rather grainy taste, slightly biscuity. There's something in the taste that's a little bit like white grape as well, but that is hidden behind the overwhelming taste of cereal grains.

M: Light bodied with medium carbonation and a little bit sticky, both in the mouth and especially at the back of the throat.

O: The more beers that I have from Starr Hill the less I think of them as a brewery. There is nothing especially exceptional about this beer, the sticky mouthfeel makes it not particularly drinkable and the taste of cereal grains is reminiscent of a mass produced lager. It's not necessarily a bad beer, but neither the taste or smell stand out as anything special.

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Photo of paulginva
3.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

APPEARANCE: This beer, poured from a tap into a pint glass, produced a 1-1/2" fizzy off-white head that dissipated quickly with virtually no head lacing. Body was a slightly hazy deep amber color with little carbonation.

AROMA: A light spicy caramel and wheat scent and just a little floral hops -- not the sweetness that I've come to expect from an Oktoberfest.

TASTE: A moderate toasted bread and malt taste mixed with a light hops mellowness and some spices.

MOUTHFEEL: Light body, slick texture, nearly no carbonation or head lacing and what there is dissipates quickly. A rounded light semi-sweet flavor to begin with followed shortly by a very light hop bitterness.

DRINKABILITY: Well, an Oktoberfest should be repeatable for a good part of the day, right. I could do that but other than that, there's not all that much to recommend it. The price is okay but there are equally worthy beers of the same style that are less expensive. I doubt that I'd buy this again.

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Photo of tlazaroff
2.62/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Hazy, because unbeknownst to me this beer is bottle conditioned, which is strange for a lager. Bright white head which only lasts seconds and falls back into the amber beer.

S: Has a slight kind of lemon aroma sitting on top of a very bright sort of cereal grain note.

T: A bit biscuity with a kind of orange marmalade aftertaste. Not much else going on here.

M: A bit thin on the palate, almost watery. Moderate carbonation.

D: Its very drinkable, unfortunately it's just not very good.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.21/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12oz bottle brought to me from C'Ville by ol' Bro Artied2.

Poured into a nonic, this Märzen is, surprisingly, slightly cloudy though still a bright golden color. Carbonation is slow and scattered. The head is creamy and fine, slightly off-white and clings well in the glass. There's some bready malt here, but it's pretty mild overall. The body is almost in the medium range, and the feel is fairly smooth, with only light prickle on the tongue.

Has some mild sweetness and hint of bready, crackery malt. There's actually some light fruitness here, almost bordering on an off, sourish character. Floral hoppiness does make an appearance in the finish, and the aftertaste does suggest that this is, indeed, a Märzen. In the big scheme, though, this falls short of being even a decent Fest-type bier. It's still drinkable, but not what I was expecting. Thnx, Bro!

3.2 rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1408

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Photo of rebel1771
2.7/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a honey color with a bright white head that leaves no lacing.

S: Subtle sweet malt aroma with a bit of fruitiness. Metallic note in the end.

T: Not much flavor. Subtle sweet malt with a bit of cooked corn thrown in. Kind of a sour pucker in the end.

O: Not my favorite marzen. Just kind of misses the mark on this one. A little less sweetness and a stronger malt presence is what this brew needs.

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Photo of KomodoDragon
2.36/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Stopped pouring after a 3" white head appeared. Cloudy orange coloring, smells of corn and musty grass is not welcomed.

Some caramel malt flavors with hints of grapefruit and light fruits in the yeast.

Little hop finish.

Not sure what this beer is trying to be. Average Lager? Odd Amber?

For Starr Hills sake, I'm hoping I just had a bad bottle.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.15/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a rocks glass at Mellow Mushroom. From notes. Reviewed 2 July 2011.

A: Some head, about a finger and a half, with prefigures the great lacing to come. The colour is an off-putting orange. Clearish.

S: Buttery. Malts; hints of caramel.

T: Lots of malt, and butter appears here too. Decent. The endtaste is forgettable and generic. Nothing stands out in the taste except a biscuity breadiness.

M: Pretty okay. Full-bodied and compelling, even if it's not great.

O: Goodish beer, mediocre compared to some of Starr Hill's other offerings. *Very* drinkable. Not recommended, but I'd have another.

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Photo of tone77
3.75/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Once again a thanks to woodychandler for another canned beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a copper color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of caramel malts. Taste is also malty, refreshing, a touch of caramel. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable brew.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

P- Thanks to my buddy trask in NC for this one.

A- orange yellow color with a 2 finger frothy head that sticks to the pint but nothing fantastic about it. In the middle between clear and opaque.

S- sour citrus tart smell. like a sweetened tea with malt vinegar.

T- honey and tart white grape flavor. grainy and biscuity as well.

M- a medium bodied lager that is sweeter than usual but i dont think it works with a lager.

O- fairly smooth and a drinkable beer. I might have another but i doubt i will purchase a sixer or more.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.58/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was so happy to find this beer in CANs during my recent visit to DC that it makes me want to break out in song! With apologies to Madonna, "You're a superStarr, yes, that's what you are, you know it"; to John Kander and Liza Minelli, "Life is a [CAN of] Carnival, old chum, Come to the CANival!" and to Arthur Miller's Willy Loman to his son, Biff, in I.vi, "You got all kinds of great beer!" Sure, the last is a play and not a musical, but when was the last time that a CANned beer was so inspiring?

From the CAN: "Starr Hill founded in Charlottesville, VA (but I founded it at Whole Foods in DC)"; "Life is a Carnival"; "The Gift of Great Beer"; and undersigned by "Mark A. Thompson Master Brewer".

The Crack & Glug was music to mine ears and produced two tawny fingers of dense, bubbling head with good retention. Color was a deep orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was very malty sweet, much more so than Yuengling Lager, to which a previous reviewer compared it. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy and with a pleasant melange of flavors on the tongue, ranging from an initial sugary sweetness to an herbal mintiness and back again. Finish was more sweet than anything else and I think that the constant onslaught of malt would be too much for me to CANsider inclusion in my cooler.

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Photo of BlackBearForge
3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Purchase by Sept. 2011

Festie looks like a straightfoward amber lager with a golden amber body and a foamy white head that subsides quickly. Lacing is oily and slips down the side of the glass.

The aroma is fresh baked malts with an earthy grassy hop aroma.

The flavor is a bit tart/sour noticeably up front with a lightly sweet biscuity malt behind it, with an astringent graininessl, and a mild tingle of hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light and a touch harshly carbonated.

Well I have to say I was expecting better from this Starr Hill offering but then lagers are harder to dial in than the average ale. They have a way to go with this Fest beer and I hope they are in the process of tweaking it.

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Festie Oktoberfest Lager (Heavy Rotation Series No. 07) from Starr Hill Brewery
Beer rating: 75 out of 100 with 157 ratings