Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Dark Horse Octoberfest | Dark Horse Brewing Company

very good
11 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by proc on 09-09-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 33
Reviews by jcalabre:
Photo of jcalabre
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is definitely a beer that you don't drink straight from the fridge. Give it 10 minutes or so to warm up.
It pours a murky brownish color with a small head.
The aroma is sweet and malty. This brew is medium bodied.
Personally, I prefer the appearance of a filtered O'fest, but the flavors on this puppy are hard to dispute. Pretty nice.

 345 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Cynic-ale
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of nortmand
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber-brown, with a tawny head.
Decent, yo guessed it, roasted smell, not unlike other Dark Horse beers. Also, sweet background notes and subtle hop overtones.
Very sweet flavor. WOW! Almost overpoweringly sweet. The roast quality also comes through in the flavor.
Smooth and moderately carbonated, but the sweetness hurts the overall drinkability.
Overall a solid beer, in a hard to make category. My first experience with a Dark Horse lager, and hopefully not my last.

 486 characters

Photo of PaBeerLover
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Danielr26
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of tommy5
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Dreamer
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%

Photo of Canada_Dan
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Sparty55
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Bigtwin
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Sparty1224
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving: 12 oz. bottle poured into a Great Lakes pilsner glass. Bottled on 9/11/15, making this just under 1 month old.

A: Pours a very cloudy, murky, unfiltered almond-mahogany color. Frothy off-white head that laces well.

S: Very nutty, malty. Some cinnamon, nutmeg, whole grain. Some dark fruit, like figs or dates. Almost no hop presence.

T: Almond, nutmeg, raisins, figs, plum. Pure malt bomb, practically no hops.

M: Moderately full, low end carbonation. Very sticky-sweet and malty. Basically no hop balance at all.

O: One of the more hard to come by Oktoberfest beers in the Midwest, this was picked up at a Bottle Release at the pub last month. Lower bottle count and not distributed. But that doesn't make it any better or tastier. Compared to some other nice Oktoberfest beers I've had recently, this one is way on the malty side with practically no hops at all, not even for balance. This makes for a very sweet, sticky, syrupy Amber Ale-type beer. With a little more zest and hop presence, this beer could've been much more.

Recommendation: Unless you can add this in a trade for some other more desirable Dark Horse or MI beers, this one isn't worth going after alone.

 1,190 characters

Photo of funkyaudio
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of JDizzle
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of QuadriderMX
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of avschmitt
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Not settling for 125 year tradition of making the common oktoberfest beer, The experimental nature that lives inside the brewers at Dark Horse Brewing simply can't help itself. The release of their festbier yields bolder, toastier and drier flavor with a substantial alcohol strength to make the usually casual lager worthwhile.

But in doing so, the beer pours a deep bronzen haze rather than the more golden strands that we're used to. Its creamy foam cap sheds toasty aromatics that hinge on nutty, coffee and chocolate attributes. Moderate sweetness graces the tongue and soothes the taste ahead of the more earthy flavors of the lager show up in mid-palate.

Honey, toffee and a dry caramelized taste layers first, then the flavors of toasted bread crust, toasted pecan, breakfast blend coffee and a sprinkle of cocoa powder provide earthy balance that's uncommon to the normal ranges in style. Borrowing attributes from dunkel, brown ale and perhaps porter, glimpses of these darker beers show up in a balance that's mildly rootish and bark-like with suggestions of light stone fruit along the way.

The elegance in the typical oktoberfest are overshadowed with Dark Horses' toasty and lightly peppered balance. As the bitterness is woodsy and mildly grainy, the medium-full festbier finishes with dry coffee rustic bite.

 1,328 characters

Photo of indianabeerman
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of MacStinson
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Photo of Slay40
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of MikeCactusGordon
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of everettsbeerguy
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of wingedeel
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of JohnnieNepal
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of marburg
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep, rich shades of dark a red-brown, darker-than-dirty-copper hue. Eggwhite/cream colored head forms with some sturdiness. Not amazing retention. Surprisingly unfiltered. For a craft brewer who seems to focus a lot more on ales, this isn't too surprising, but it's a bit odd for the style.

Aroma is bit light -- slightly fruity. I thought I was picking up sweetness from the malt, but I think this is really a floral hop presence.

Begins with a fleeting sweetness that runs and ducks for cover before this rather unexpected hop bomb explodes in your mouth. Someone mixed the IPA into the Oktoberfest in Marshall, MI this year. Finishes awfully bitter for an Oktoberfest brew, really. Tasty for sure -- but a bit odd, frankly. Hops tip the balance a bit too far towards bitter. Not light like a pale ale, this one sits in your gut a bit. But it's very drinkable, especially if you don't mind a little excess palate cleansing.

 932 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Dark Horse Octoberfest from Dark Horse Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 11 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.