Oktoberfest (2015)
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Oktoberfest (2015)Oktoberfest (2015)
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Lager - Märzen / Oktoberfest
4.08 | pDev: 9.07%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Oktoberfest (2015)Oktoberfest (2015)
Notes: Brewed in collaboration with Brauhaus Riegle of Augsburg, Germany, this Oktoberfest lager is deep golden in color and rich with malt flavor from the use of traditional German Steffi barley.
Reviews: 266 | Ratings: 855 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Offa
Offa from California

4.68/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

An excellent beer of this type which I loved - thankfully some iterations since have been even better.

Dark gold, big off-white head slowly shrinks to thin lasting top.

Aroma is strong helles -type, toasty bread, grain, grass, herb- complex, aromatic,
Taste is similar, nice firm sweet toasty bread, some apple, grain, herbal bitterness. Complex, balance,d engaging, drinkable.

Nov 05, 2018
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iguanodon from Utah

2.96/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

[Original rating 2015-10-24] Pours clear medium gold with a thick white head. A lot lighter in color than I expected for an Octoberfest. Aroma of Malt, toffee, a hint of earth. Taste is sweet malt, caramel. Steady fine carbonation, nice mouth feel

Oct 24, 2018
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I think I just went on record saying how these are pretty much the same thing every year. Same reliable stuff every year, pours a mixture of light brown, auburn and amber with around 1/2" head in a lighter shade compared to the body. Aroma kicks down those lagery caramel Octoberfest mild sweetness notes on the nose.

Taste is fitting for style, you have a smoothed out slappy hours kind of unsweetened but still mildly sweet caramel without the heft flow going all over it. Carbonation seems right on point. Can't really distinguish anything hop wise, which is also fitting to style. Has some of that darker bread than normal feel to it. These were good to have on hand for people who don't like hoppy beer, want something bigger than AAL, but also don't want the heft of a porter or stout.

This is the 2015 Oktoberfest release.

Mar 29, 2018
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Nugganooch from California

4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle with a Barrelhouse Brewing pint glass
First noted on 90/02/15

Traditional to style or not I enjoyed this one thoroughly and more so than most of it’s German counterparts.
A mass of spongey tan head billows up over the glass to reveal a sensual auburn body. Mostly clear and looking quite attractive.
Biscuit malt and warm bread with a touch of caramel sweets and light earthy spices. Getting a touch of leafy herbals there as well but this is really more about the malts and overall balance. Creamy and crushable with a drying finish – good to the last sugary sip. Malted biscuit and toasted grain meets some ripe orchard fruits. Pepper in a few select spices and herbs to round out this loamy mineral note.
Its apparent that Sierra went to great lengths in crafting out such a worldly brew. An instant classic in my book. These won’t last long.

Dec 31, 2016
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap 9/6/2015 at Natty Greene’s Tavern, in North Attleboro, MA served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, lager yeast, toffee and some hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of lager yeast and a hearty malt character. Then some sweetness comes in from flavors of caramel and a little fruit. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

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

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

Jun 24, 2016
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elNopalero from California

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This looks fantastic. Clear copper gold color. Pleasant toasted caramel malt character steps forward on the aroma with a touch of grassy hops on the back end. This beer is crisp, with a clean malt character and just the lightest dusting of hops for focus. Tastes as good as it looks. SN knocked it out of the park on this one.

Mar 07, 2016
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HopBomb515 from New Jersey

4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear orange with some copper highlight a big white head and great lacing. Notes of fresh baked bread, floral notes, caramel, monkey bread and light spicey hop resin. Very drinkable, smooth, finishes clean. This beer is everything you want in a Marzen and the drinkability is amazing. Great beer.

Mar 03, 2016
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Bonkinishwa from Kentucky

3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. - Oktoberfest (Brahaus Riegele Collab.). 6% ABV. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Packaged on 8/24/15.

Look: Settles a translucent light orange/yellow in the glass, initially with a one and a half finger white head, which ends up as a thin rim of lacing.

Smell: Strong sweet malt presence is noted immediately, but behind it are aromas of floral hops, caramel, honey, and bread.

Feel: Light to medium bodied, and relatively creamy, with a little carbonation.

Taste: Sweet bready malt up front, along with some slight hop flavor without bitterness. About midway through, some caramel, and honey add flavor to the bready malt, which remains consistent throughout. Finishes sweet and a tiny bit bitter.

Overall: I haven't really had a lot of Oktoberfest stlyes, mainly the Sam Adams, which I am comparing this to. This is a lot sweeter than Sam Adams Octoberfest, and seems to be less bitter in comparison. Even though this is a few months old, nothing has seemed to drop off, and if it has, it's still good.

Feb 29, 2016
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thegodfather2701 from North Carolina

4.84/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful burnt orange/amber with a nice white head that dissipates a little quicker than I would prefer. The nose is not overpowering but consists of malts and some German hops. The taste is wonderful. The malts provide a nice bready note and hops provide a hint of spice. Flavor wise its not that complex but it just tastes wonderful. There is a great balance of hops and malts with the malts having the edge. The mouthfeel is great as well with a nice amount of carbonation. The drinkability is through the roof. One of my all time favorite lagers and Oktoberfests. While I am sad it won't be returning next year I am excited to try the next collaboration.

Feb 19, 2016
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m_hall from Virginia

4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint. Beautiful deep, clear coppery amber hue, topped with a 1 finger foamy white head.

Aroma is big, bread-y malts, with a soft herbal noble hop backing floating in the background. Very clean on the nose. Just a shade more aromatic than a traditional marzen, perhaps.

Taste is sweet, slightly toasted malts, biscuit, with ample support from old-world style herbal hops. Those hops take the stage in the middle, with a pronounced but controlled drying bitterness, leading to a finish with notes of pepper and cloves that lingers nicely without being overbearing.

Texture is medium bodied, smooth, and eminently drinkable at 6%ABV.

Hands down, this is the best Fest beer I've ever tried, traditional without being staid or stodgy... Sierra Nevada and Brauhaus Riegele have really outdone themselves, and everyone else for that matter... I knew this is supposed to be one time only, but please, gentlemen, and ladies, reconsider! I'd love to have this one be something I can look forward to every year. For now I'll just buy as many cases as I can, and savour.

Feb 16, 2016
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ranger7 from Texas

3.39/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Clear light amber in color with a small white head which dissipates quickly. Malt notes up front and hops which linger in back. It's not a bad beer, but it's too hoppy for an Oktoberfest.

Jan 23, 2016
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Ciocanelu from Romania

3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden color with white head. Aroma has classic sweet malt and bread crust. Taste starts also malty, grainy, with a bit of honey sweetness and bread crust. Some hops in the background give a slight bitterness on the finish. Medium body with crisp carbonation. Really well made, classic marzen style beer. Not bad but it's a style I am not very fond of.

Jan 19, 2016
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trygelski1 from Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass:

Look: Nice golden yellow color with about an inch of head with lacing present.

Smell: Aromas of malt, caramel, bread, maybe some honey.

Taste: Tons of malt, some sweetness but not too much, caramel, toffee, bread, perfectly balanced Marzen here folks.

Feel: Medium bodied.

Overall: This is hands down one of the best Marzens I have had and hands down the best one I have had from a US brewery. Sierra Nevada never disappoints. I will try this one again next year. Wonder who they are going to collaborate with is the question.

Jan 14, 2016
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mntlover from Tennessee

4.49/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden yellow with the slightest hints of orange nice two finger white head.

Aroma is nice toasted malt sweetness with just the right herbal hop notes. So crisp and refreshing smelling.

Taste is the same as the nose good malty base semi sweet right amount of malt with a firm herbal/earthy hop kick to balance it for perfect drinkability. Very smooth very nice and refreshing. Been through a lot of this this fall. My new favorite Oktoberfest.

Mouthfeel is nice smooth with perfect level of carbonation.

Overall SN has a hit with this one, sorry Sam Adams but this is my new go to Oktoberfest. Just hope its around next year.

Dec 03, 2015
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kitch from Hong Kong

3.15/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.5

A 12 fl oz bottle packaged on 17th August 2015 and poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: It poured a clear golden orange colour with a one and a half finger slightly off white coloured head that had pretty good retention.

Aroma: Toasty bread with honey and apple with a hint of caramel. Generally its the sweet aroma.

Taste: Leans on the sweet side and definitely malty and bready with some grain plus hints of caramel and toffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium to high carbonation.

Overall: This was decent and easy to drink but nothing exceptional, though it is worth a try. It’s a one time brew, but even if I could buy it again, I’m not sure I would.

Dec 01, 2015
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cyclonece09 from Wisconsin

3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beer poured into a pint glass. Beer pours orange red with a fluffy white head that disappears almost immediately. Smells of caramel, dark roasted grain, and slight berries. Tastes of roasted grain with slight fruitiness. Beer is light bodied and heavily carbonated, very drinkable. Overall, an above average beer.

Nov 27, 2015
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Gavage from Nevada

4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a golden yellow color with a 2" head. Some spotty lace develops.

Smell: earthy and malt sweetness are picked up by the nose.

Taste: nice malt profile with some fruit sweetness, some earthiness, and a moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp to start, smoother at the finish.

Overall: a very enjoyable Oktoberfest beer that is easy to quaff and is nicely refreshing on a cool afternoon.

Nov 27, 2015
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Libeertarian from Montana

3.07/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pure copper orange with off-white, somewhat fizzy head of medium retention. Looks great in an octagonal stein. Smells more like honey than bread and caramel. There's a slight toastiness to it, but the honey is almost too cloying to be able to notice it. So far it seems closer to a lot of the mainstream German Oktoberfests out there, which was evidently the goal here with the Brauhaus Riegele collaboration. Unfortunately, I prefer the brown and deep orange colors and stronger caramel and toffee notes that you'll find in some American Craft variations of the Märzen, and I imagine still in some German ones (Dunkelmärzen?), though none I've ever had. To the taste, it is quite different from any lager I've ever had before. Caramel backbone, yes, but incredibly vegetal — like celery and carrots — and bitter — like soap and more vegetables. There's even some peppercorn and other spices, along with bread in the aftertaste. Very strange lager to me. Despite my ale-like flavor description, it doesn't really remind me of very many ales I've had. Too sweet for a lighter colored ale, too herbally bitter and thin for a darker colored ale. Body is on the lighter end of medium. Jammed with fair amount of fine, gentle suds. Choppy and crisp. Conceptually, if what I taste is what was intended, this is a bizarre beer indeed. And yet, it is strangely compelling, if for nothing other than the novelty. Again, closer to the German imported Märzens than to many American takes (which I do prefer), but immediately distinguishable from all of the ones I've tried to date. If I had to wager, it's not that it's so unique. Rather, I need to expand my horizons. If for the first-time experience alone, I should give this an overall of 4 or higher, but really, I wasn't overly fond of this beer, particularly regarding smell and taste.

Nov 23, 2015
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fank2788 from Connecticut

4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
A quick pour yields a beer mid orange in color, slightly hazy with a thin bit of head that goes away pretty quickly. The smell is a bit light and of toasted caramel malt and a bit of lighter grain almost mildly wheat like with some sweet fruity character. The taste is where this beer really shines as it is just great. The malts are much fuller in the taste than the smell with everything from sweet caramel to a touch of roasty darker malts. These are combined with an assertive bitterness and a mild floral or grassy hop flavor that combines with a biscuity sweetness in a lasting finish. This is a little on the sweet side but with enough bitterness to keep it from becoming cloying and overall the body is a bit heavy as the carbonation seems relatively low. Overall a very pleasing example of the style.

Nov 23, 2015
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beerthulhu from New Jersey

4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

-Brewed in collabration with Brauhaus Riegele.

A: Light autumn orange with a good clarity and a steady rise of effervesce. Light beige head, very good size per style of one inch, that was well lasting. A solid lace band encircles the glass.

S: Lightly toasted caramel-grains, bread, with a light fresh offering of nobel flowers.

T: Flavor had a nice toffee-munich sweetness and toastiness, that was clean, lightly dry caramel toast nut with a balance of nobel hop flowers. Sweetly dry nutty caramel finish. Well balanced.

M: Slick caramel texture on the mouthful, just the right amount of carbonation, easily slides off the tongue.

O: Rightfully balanced, not overly sweet or overly hopped, but rather true to German traditions, clean malt bill, light nuances of nobel hops, with a very easy drinkability factor. You can really appreciate this by the six-pack, pitcher, or keg. You can definitely tell the Brauhaus Riegel influence here, with the great brewing technique of Sierra Nevada that puts this up with the finest of Oktoberfests imho (Hacker-Pschorr, Paulaner). If this isn't an A rated oktoberfest by style, i would be interested to see what would be. True to German tradition, a touch more hop presence, but still very balanced, drinkable and worthy a purchase. Shame this is one-time brew.

Nov 20, 2015
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claminat420 from Michigan

4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured hard and sloppy into a pint glass. packaged on 08/11/15 on back of bottle.

Appearance- a transparent copper color with the slightest off-white head. leaves a tiny bit of lacing.

Smell- alil biscuit. alil yeasty. it's a Oktoberfest lager... not expecting much

Taste- definitely more on the malty side but for the style I see it. mostly biscuit with the smack of caramel. down the road (4+ beers) you do notice the slightest floral hop action.

Mouthfeel- medium/ light bodied. good carbonation.

Drinkability <<< bring it back! - well i'm on #6 right now and it's still going down smoothly.

Overall- for the style I have to say this brew is spot on. as a hophead I know this isn't In my spectrum but it's good. real biscuity with some caramel action also with a smack of a dry yeasty flavor.

Nov 17, 2015
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Furlinator from California

3.46/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A malt forward Autumn ale. Minimal hop presence. Lighter texture than expected but, extremely easy drinking. Not bad by any means, just nothing exceptional to speak of.

Nov 16, 2015
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Beric from Massachusetts

4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Serving: Bottle into pint glass
Served: 1 November 2015

Took a while in reviewing this one, but thankfully it was memorable enough that I should be able to do a fine job.

Appearance: One of the prettier American Oktoberfestbiere that I've encountered. Pours a nice bronze color- lighter than many other American examples but nothing on the level of Weihenstephaner Festbier. Crowned with a soapy, pearl head which sticks around for a while. Looks really great, especially compared with beers like Ayinger.

Smell: Nice caramel malt notes- soft, gooey caramel rather than burnt caramel or anything else along those lones. Thankfully I don't get the sense that this is going to be cloyingly sweet like many other American Oktoberfestbiere. There is a nice breadiness as well- like a deep honey whole wheat bread with a good crust.

Taste: Much like the nose- a nice bready, biscuity base that reminds me a lot of homemade wheat bread and a pinch of caramel sweetness. This beer really showcases the malts in a way that many other US Oktoberfestbiere just can't do correctly. Soft nobel hoppiness on the very back end. Slightly dry finish, in the sense that it constantly invites another sip.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Highly drinkable.

Overall: Probably the best US-made Oktoberfestbier I've had to date and one that, if you can still find it, I highly recommend grabbing. Really a pleasure to drink, and one you can tell the brewmasters thought about during the collaboration period. Not quite Continental, but definitely not American either. A great beer that compares favorably to some of the standard German Oktoberfestbiere (Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr, Spaten), but still a tier below Ayinger.

Nov 15, 2015
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Ri0 from Wisconsin

4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured 12oz bottle into stein!

A - Bronze and caramel with a nice 2.5 finger head. Leaves a collar and swaths of lacing around the stein.

S - Grainy malty, and sweet bread. Light earthy hops.

T - Good amount of malts, grain, sweet bread and hints of caramel. Light earthy hops give it a bit more. Nice Marzen style.

M - On the lighter side with good carbonation. Smooth and easy drinking even on a warm day.

O - This is a typical well done beer by SN. No surprises and delicious!

Nov 15, 2015
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Czequershuus from Minnesota

3.42/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a light copper with a solid head. The aroma is nutty, bready and caramelly. The flavor is rather mild, with notes of honey, roasted grains, and and pleasant level of bitterness. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy. Overall this is a pleasant oktoberfest, but not a blockbuster. There are better ones both from America and Germany.

Nov 15, 2015
Oktoberfest (2015) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 855 ratings