Hoss Oktoberfest Lager | Great Divide Brewing Company

very good
452 Reviews
Hoss Oktoberfest LagerHoss Oktoberfest Lager

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
HOSS is based on the Märzen lagers of Germany. Rich, layered malt notes, with hints of cherry and dark fruits, dominate, while the unique addition of rye imparts a slightly earthy, spicy character. Hoss finishes crisp and dry, and its brilliant red-orange color is a toast to the sunsets that make the perfect backdrop for this beer.

Added by rye726 on 08-05-2009

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Reviews: 452 | Ratings: 1,062
Photo of the_awesometeer
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The beer is orange and slightly hazy. There is tons of carbonation and a thick, foamy overflowing head. The beer has plum and maybe cherry aromas all backed by a typical malt/wheat aroma associated with this style. The beer is old so the flavors may be missing. It has very little sweetness I normally think about with this style of beer. It has a slight bitterness on the end. Lots of carbonation and very crisp.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a chill hazed copper or medium amber producing 2 fingers of tan, frothy, somewhat lasting head that leaves strings & streaks of lacing. Aroma is toasted malt, a hint of rye spice, cakey bread, burnt caramel/Brown sugar with a faintly fruity hop background. Taste is toast, caramel malt, spicy rye, toffee with resinous hop/rye bitterness in the finish. Aftertaste is caramel sweetness, rye, burnt toast & bitterness with some booze in the finish & aftertaste. Mouthfeel is wet, juciy, & mouth coating slick.

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Photo of Suds
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Not a typical oktoberfest....most notable is that this one is very fruit forwared...cherries and plumb are very upfront in the taste. The color is a clear amber, an the head is off-white and medium in height. The smell has a pleasant malt note, and a little grain underneath. In addition to the fruit, there's a solid bitterness in the mid-taste and a light amber malt flavor that underpins it all. Okay.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear medium amber color with white head. Cereal grains, grass, bread, hay, and a little floral note sneaks in on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with mostly malt, but a little hop floral note is there.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Smooth drinking flavorful beer. Bottle to mug. I think the may match better with an ale, but this is tasty enough. Rye and notes of other grains present, some vegetable, baking soda aftertaste.

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Photo of Tone
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of strong pale malt, sweet malt, hint of caramel malt, hint of alcohol, and a hint of yeast. Fits the style of a Marzen / Oktoberfest beer. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong pale malt, sweet malt, hint of caramel malt, hint of alcohol, hint of hops, and a hint of yeast. Overall, good appearance, aroma, feel, body, and blend.

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Photo of tone77
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first Oktoberfest beer of the season, and it's on a balmy, 77 degree night in mid-September. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a pretty copper/orange color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is dominated by malts, touches of rye. Taste is toasted malts, spices, rye, some notes of caramel. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.79/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at brewery:
Copper to rusty color, clear, lightest tan to the thick ring of head, couple spots of lacing.

Light spice on an earthy sweet malt base. Oktoberfest with a little kick.

Taste follows the same concept, a märzen base with a bit of a bite. While the flavor is there, the malt sweetness isn't as strong as I would expect. It seems to be replaced by a slightly spicy bready note. Part of the bite does seem to come from what I feel is a little too much carbonation. The rest is from the beer itself.

I'd like a little more sweetness (light brown sugar or the like) to turn this more towards other Oktoberfests in flavor. I wouldn't want to lose what makes this unique, however - just a little more balance like I was getting from the nose.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle 6/15/16 poured into a pint glass. Clear amber orange with a one finger head. Dissapates to a thin lace pretty quickly. Grains and malts, with some mild spices on the nose. Taste is standard Marzen (American) with splashes of rye. Mouthfeel is medium, malt gets a little sticky at the end, carbonation is medium. Overall, a good Marzen worthy of a try.

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Photo of Todd
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Malty, Spicy, Toasty, Cherry

Previously sold as a "Rye Lager," Hoss has emerged as an "Oktoberfest Lager" available from July through September. It pours a bright orangey-red with a tight foamy head. Malty and toasty in the nose, Hoss is smooth, a bit creamy and medium-bodied. Rich and malty with a dominating rye spiciness, this beer has layers of sweet and toasty malts, some caramel and a layer of dark fruitiness from which a distinct cherry flavor stands out. Dry, with a rye bread linger. The addition of rye is a solid and unique twist on the style.

As reviewed in BeerAdvocate magazine #115 (August 2016).

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Photo of hopsputin
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

a: clear caramel color that gets lighter towards the bottom of the glass. 1.5 finger tan head that seems to be fading - settles at a thin film

s: caramel, earthy grains, a hint of hop, and some more sweetness

t: all malts in here. sweet caramel, bready, a little bit of cardboard, and some rye spice

m: lighter side of medium. slightly syrup-like

o: i think its average. i like malt-centered beers, but this lacked some of the depth and balance i like from the style. its not bad, it just doesn't stand out to me

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Photo of Lingenbrau
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Definitely an american take on an O'Fest, but that is fine by me. My favorite color for a beer, that being a deep amber to almost red, with a slightly off-white head. Smells and tastes malty and spicy, and the addition of rye is noticeable in the flavor. Very good beer, but kind of surprised to see it re-labeled as an Oktoberfest instead of keeping it "Rye Lager".

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Photo of Spikester
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Clear amber with one finger of white head with good lacing.
Smell is malty with some spicy hops.
Taste is malty with earthy spicy hops.
Mouthfeel is light to medium with good carbonation. Finish is medium dry with slight bitterness.
Overall this is a good beer. Nice job Great Divide Brewing.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This rye lager marzen pours a slightly opaque, dark reddish copper color with a very thin white head. It has a mild, but spicy rye scent. This is a very malty beer with a medium, almost heavy body. The flavor is intensely of rye bread and pepper. There is a little sweetness to the malts that helps balance it out though. I don’t really get much fruit flavor like the bottle says there should be, but there is maybe a very faint cherry flavor in the aftertaste. This is a pretty nice fall beer. I kind of like it since I’ve been pretty into rye lately, but if you’re not a rye fan than this is definitely not for you since the rye flavors are really pretty bold and unapologetic.

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Photo of Jon_Hendricks
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a brilliant red color with a slight haze.

Overall: The aroma contains a nice sweet caramel and cereal grain. The Hoss contains flavors of spun sugar, honey, bread, and orange peel. This is a fantastic beer with a unique flavor and lots of it! The Marzen style of beers is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rocks a big 1" head, has a dark orange, light brown = auburn kind of colored appearance. Comes across sweeter than almost any rye beer I've had, some go spicy, peppery, this one went sweet aroma.

Taste follows the same lines, sweet, but not sugary, light dark fruit, not bitter. Pretty well done, within style guidelines, not overly bitter or hopped, but offering more of a thicker and more complex mouthfeel than its traditional Old World contemporaries.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.46/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sampled back on 3/7/16. Comes in a 12-ounce bottle. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a handled-glass stein.

Brew pours a pretty orange-amber in color with about a 1-finger creamy/foamy white head. LOTS of lacing was seen after each sip, like a good German brew.. Aroma is of 'sweet rye' and caramel malts with a hint of yeast and spice. Taste is close to the aroma with a hint of fruit also. Very smooth and goes down easy and is very tasty as well. Lighter-side of medium-bodied with medium carbonation. Overall a great brew!

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy dark amber color with a thin carbonated head. Retention and lacing are both non-existent. Has a sweeter rye aroma. I guess you can get a little bit of that typical Marzen aroma as well but not enough that I would label it as such. Taste is quite decent. Sweet and malty with a kick of rye at the end. Light bodied with moderate carbonation. It is not a go to beer but would definitely do in a pinch.

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Photo of beergoot
3.49/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper hued body; thin, fizzy head. Toasted grain aroma. Malty, grassy, spicy flavor; slightly fruity; bitterness pops up late into the finish.. Medium bodied; relatively sweet finish.

A fair lager with a decent malt sweetness and edgy spice and fruity quality.

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Photo of Harrison8
3.64/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clean and clear pink-red, with a thin, quickly disappearing white head. A little lacing left behind. Smooth sweet, malt aroma with a hint of hops. The taste is a smooth malty flavor from the start, before being cut by the rye and hops. Mouth feel is sorta watery, but good. Nothing special. Overall, a very good beer. Certainly worth trying, but nothing I'd go out of my way to get.

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Photo of chinchill
3.24/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with a bottling date of 15 Sept. 2015 into a lager glass.

Appearance – the body has an orange-amber color and is topped by a modest size, bone-colored head. The head has decent retention and leaves some foamy lace on the side of the glass.

Aroma – weak and seems to have some off notes (from the rye?) in addition to notes of caramel and sweet malts.

Flavor – nearly as spicy and hoppy as malty. Much better than the aroma suggests. Improved with some warming.

Mouthfeel –Alcohol seems a little lower than the actual 6.2 % ABV. Medium body with a carbonation level that is medium level, lightly crisp, and appropriate for style.

Overall: a good rye spiced marzen.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: [3.50] Forms 1/2 finger of head. The head is off white and thins out pretty quickly. The beer is cloudy apricot color. The bottle lists the ABV (6.2%) and has a bottled date (02/20/2015) that is easy to read (and is quite old).

S: [3.50] Strong smell of corn and cereal. Maybe hints of fruitiness. Very traditional lager type scents.

T: [3.50] A little soapy then corn and sweetness from the malts. Similar fruitness from the nose.

M: [3.50] Slick and medium bodied. Nice amount of carbonation.

O: [3.50] This is decent. I doubt I'd seek it out but I wouldn't turn it down. It is a nice twist on a standard lager. It still has that corn flavor underlying but there are some additional flavors at the party to mix it up.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours crystal clear and bright red-tinged copper with a half finger width, sandstone colored head. Poor retention, resulting in a razor thin, broken layer of suds across the surface.

Smell - Bready, with notes of fruity esters. Hints of caramel.

Taste - Spicy notes from the rye met by strong caramel flavor and a touch of toasted bread. Mild, cherry-like fruitiness sit beneath. Finishes with well-rounded blend of flavor that begs for another sip.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium in body with a fair amount of crisp carbonation. Smooth, slightly dry finish.

Overall - Unique, delicious Okto. I could stand to drink more of these. The rye really adds a nice spicy touch while the caramel is smooth as butter. Come on Great Divide, get into the NorCal market!

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Photo of Mitzvahman72
4.28/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this single beer at a Binny's Beverage Depot in Chicago.

Quick Take: Slightly hoppy, but has a nice, subtle spice from the rye that makes up for it. One of a few examples of rye beer without the ridiculous amount of hops! Another good example is the Rugbrød from The Bruery in Placentia, CA.

Important Edit: If you encounter a Hoss version that is labeled Oktoberfest, please pass on that! It's nothing like an Oktoberfest and there is no rye to taste in that beer. Look for the version labeled Rye Lager instead! The Oktoberfest is alright and can make for a good cooking beer. The Octoberfest from Karl Strauss and Sprechers is much better!

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Photo of dank203
4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

really smooth beer. some sweet malty notes. hint of spice. dry finish, a little bit of bite. really great beer for fall. definitely something unique about this brew

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Hoss Oktoberfest Lager from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 1,062 ratings.
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