Hoss Oktoberfest Lager | Great Divide Brewing Company

very good
1,065 Ratings
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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Ratings: 1,065 |  Reviews: 453
Photo of BARFLYB
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into a Lancaster Brewing pint glass. Bottled in sept 09, never had this one or heard of it.

Bright new penny copper with some hazy orange color mixed in. A clean looking beer with bubbles rising. Looks brighter than your normal lager/marzen whatever. A bright white semi off white in spots 1 and a half inches of creamy foam on top, it looks scrumptious. Loose patches of clingy layered lace.

The scent is not huge but what's advertised on the bottle shows up in the smell. Im first greeted by a fruit basket thats mainly filled with dark cherries and some plum action. Under that is a malt base giving off caramel and some sunday morning bread. Some earthy, spicy hops come out with warning with some rice pops up later too.

This is a tasty and well executioned lager, i was not expecting this much flavor. Matching the scent, hoss starts off with cherry juice and some underlining plum. The dark fruits in this are at a great level and is actually my favorite part of the beer. Under that the malts work their magic and bring forth a light sweetness and bready taste in the middle. While the rye did not hit my nose, it comes out in taste with some small earthy hopping, layered with some rice addition which does not detract from the taste. "Get Em, Hoss"- Black Thought

A nice medium body supports this well flavored quaff. Perfectly well balanced with each set of flavors coming right after one another in unison. I have no problems with the carbonation in Hoss, it's where it needs to be.Not any bitterness from the hops, just some earthy flavors dancing around the palete. Hoss is crisp and not to high in ABV making it easy to grab another. The drink on this is also top notch. To make it simpler, I should have grabbed a six pack of this as I want another right now. Great stuff.

In a sea of oktoberfest available stateside, Hoss stands seperate from the pack with something different.

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Photo of aahynick
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

40F in a pilsner glass

A- copper with a creamy head

S- grainy malt aroma

T- rich, sweet, bread-like flavor

M - full bold body

D- rich and bold and a pleasure to drink, I was dubious about the use of rye in beer. I've had one other rye beer I didn't care for but this is a definite repeat.

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Photo of jpmclaug
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A - Orange body with a formidable white head

S - sweet lager malts with a hint of caramel and toasted malts

T - Toasted malts with a nice sweet bready lager flavor. A hint of hoppy bitterness sneaks in giving this beer a crisp flavor. Hits the prototypical marzen taste on the head.

M - Full body with a fair amount of carbonation

D - Really drinkable flavorful marzen. A solid representation of the style. I would definitely pick this up again anytime I wanted to have a marzen.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Is it a bad sign that the lowest ABV beer in my fridge is this 6.2% lager? Nah; that’s the craft beer industry for you. Now, I have mixed feelings about Great Divide; on one hand, their Belgian IPA was just spot-on, but on the other, their Belgian Style Yeti could have been so much better. Hopefully this German lager helps to set my thoughts on this brewery straight.

Brewed four-and-a-half months before the date of this tasting (“BOTTLED ON APR 20 2011”).

A: Alright, with the name and the bottle art, I just had to pour this one into a stein. Maybe "too manly for a pint glass" should be this beer's slogan. Anyway, it looks great – it’s a nice, bright orange, shining joyfully in any light. Foamy white, sitting at a finger-and-a-half, is a creamy white head; it settles quick, leaving little pockets of lacing here and there. Retention is pretty low, but the foam is nice when it’s there.

S: Wow, that rye is big; crisp pumpernickel scents are first, and largest of the grain scents. It also has that uniquely grainy German lager smell, too, which winds up quite a few steps below the rye. And are those hops I smell? Juicy citrus and a kick of fresh pine aromas: yep, that’s them. They lay right on top of the sweet bubblegum and caramel malt tones, which turn out to be scents that you have to really work at to unearth. Odd – normally the malts would be dominant in this style. No worries, though; it’s smells great.

T: Very bready: biscuity dough and more pumpernickel, specifically. Crisp, earthy tones from the rye offset some of the biggest malt creams that come up, making this one incredibly drinkable. You can still taste the malts, though – they provide some dark fruits and vanilla cream. German yeasts are there, as well, coming through with banana tastes on a phenolic backdrop. It’s a great imported flavor that’s augmented by an underlying taste of European mineral water, most evident at the back end of the palate. A very nice addition! These tastes hit the aftertaste the most, accompanied by those piney, resiny hops I detected in the nose. It’s a dry, grainy finish that leaves you wanting more.

M: Full-bodied, yet crisp – very appropriate for the palate and the style. There’s a creaminess that adds even more to that imported, German feel, too (which I love).

O: This is an awesome German-style lager; seriously, one of the best I’ve had from an American brewery. Great nose, excellent taste profile (gotta love that rye), and a full-bodied feel make this a very memorable drink. Great Divide just jumped, as far as my internal ratings go; keep it up, guys!

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Photo of ferrari29
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into Pint glass

A - Beer poured with 1/2 finger white colored foam, which dissipated very quickly; the foam was bubbly; the body and foam both give an oily looked and consistency; beer pours with a cloudy orange-red body; good amount of carbonation is apparent; quality lacing formed on the sides of the glass

S - Cherry aroma is the first scent to blast the nose; after taking a deep whiff you can smell some liquor (probably due to >6% ABV) on the back-end; there is a subtle hint of spices and good balance of malt notes; Chamomile tea and black berry aromas come out too

T - Cherry and malt notes hit the tongue and palate; the taste is smooth and enjoyable; semi-dry aftertaste with slight cherry flavor; dark berry taste comes up at the back of the tongue; slight herbal taste;

M - Beer definitely has a oily feel to it, making it very smooth and easy to drink; some creaminess and carbonation comes up, but it maintains its oily feel very well; its a well-built beer

D - Great blend of complex flavors make this an easy drink to guzzle down; I definitely enjoyed the beer and would have a few more; I would make this a staple Oktoberfest beer in my fridge

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Photo of kkazemi
4.34/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MadScientist
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was bottled on 9/15/2011

A: This is a beautiful, medium copper with excellent clarity and an white head.

S: A medium-high rye spicy aroma dominates the smell with a moderate toasted malt aroma and some earthiness. There also seems to be a light spicy hop aroma but it wouldn't surprise me if I was mistaken.

T: The flavor is mostly toasted malt and rye spicy, earthiness. There is some malt sweetness and a decent hops bitterness with the balance favoring the bitterness. There is a bit of dark fruit and cherry flavors in there as well. It finishes dry and crisp with some bitterness and spice in the finish.

M: It is a smooth and creamy, medium bodied beer with a medium-light level of carbonation.

O: This is a very tasty beer makes me understand why Reinheitsgebot forbid the use of rye in Germany. A very flavorful, spicy and crisp beer.

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Photo of hoptualBrew
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Badass bottle w/ a lumberjack smokin a pipe with bottled on date, abv, food pairings, and a brief breakdown of the contents inside. Great Divide does shit right.

Deep dark orange red color - murky as hell into a pint glass. Head is pretty vigorous and then settles down to a thin layer. Holy shit, are those legs on a lager?!?!? This is a first for me. Bready, caramel, roasted rye malts pair up with fruity & spicy yeast character. Seriously smells fucking amazing.

Same on the tongue - those bready rye malts with alot of spice, some pepper in back, but finishes smooth. Medium body, and one of the most complex lagers I have had. Aimed towards the Marzen style, right on.

6pak of this from Total Wine & More for $8.99.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a mug- pours a clear, dark copper color, with minimal head, only a few spots of lacing.

Smell is sweet, malty and delicious. Lots of caramel, sweet barley malt, some yeast, perhaps a little rye.

Taste is excellent- full taste, lots of caramel, some nice rye notes, not any hops per se, but it's not too sweet so there must be some in there. Not much else to say.

Mouthfeel is great- medium body, low carbonation. This is a great marzen. One of the better american ones that I've had.

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Photo of WakeandBake
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bright clear amber pour with a big frothy white head , leaving some spotty lacing behind , a very nice looking glass of beer. Aroma is earthy and spicy with some nice sweet caramel , and cereal grain . Flavor is very balanced and complex for a lager , a nice mix of caramel , biscut, rye, fruit, and peppercorns , not too sweet , lightly dry , light bitterness , nice snappy sweet grain aftertaste , full mouthfeel for the style , medium carbonation gives it a lively crisp mouthfeel , I would call this very sessionable , I would drink this all day long . A very nice take on the style , and a very good brew , going to pick up some more of this today !

Nice Job Great Divide

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Photo of BJasny
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%

4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a bit more reddish than a typical Marzen. The head is a white layer, that settles into a thin layer. Lacing is present.

S: A amber, red rye note on the aromas front, with a finish of a dry malted character.

T/M: A wonderful rye note on the front, with a very standard marzen mouthfeel that is a warm silky character. The body is a creamy spice that holds some notes of ripe apple. A very nice lingering finish that shows that this is not you typical Oktoberfest with a hint of resin on the off.

D: This is super drinkable, not as light in body as many other marzen's but still a killer flavor that is constant with the Great Divide brew.

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Photo of Willster333
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice refreshing citrusy aroma from the beer. The taste like other reviewers have said has a bit of a caramel and strong rye taste to it. A bit sweet. My only complaint is the finish is a little flat. I think this would be a great summer beer.

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Photo of climax
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This big hoss poured a deep amber/orange with two fingers of tan froth.

The toasty caramel and grain malt character was challenged by hints of ripe fruit. The hop bill wasn't too hidden when I searched for it, a fair amount of floral and grassy notes did a good job of balancing an overall substantial nose.

The flavor was bold and very well balanced. The earthy and grassy hop flavors did a noble job of keeping up with the Jones's. Fruit and toasted caramel accompanied the rye, which popped out much more in the taste, as it left a dry finish.

The body was medium, and very smooth. The carbonation added no more than a tickle, and the finish was dry. This is a good easy to drink beer with excellent balance and bold flavor.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bit dark golden pour gives this one promise. Perhaps a bit dark for the style. The rocky and loose head gives a nice lacing. Sticky, but not gooey.

Soft aroma of dry spice, lightly toasted bread and sweet caramel. Nothing over the top. A quick snap of aroma invites a sip.

Slightly buttery at first, but quickly moves to a toasty center--light--and subtle rye spice, earthy. Could almost pick up some pumpernickel, but then it fades to be replaced by a little twang. Crisp finish, but not like a Czech pilzner, more like tannins.

Very drinkable. Nice beer

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Photo of Kendo
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a mug, the body is slightly chill-hazed but bright, honey-orangey-amber in color, with no real head but a thin film of white.

S: Nose is pleasant but not strong - slightly spicy with a touch of sugar cookie dough.

T: Lightly toasted bread, rye spiciness and some sweet sugar cookies (again). Hops create nice balance with a slightly herbal, floral bitterness. Finishes real clean but with some ever-so-slight lingering underlying sweetness and spice that makes you want to take another sip.

M: Medium-bodied in heft. Carbonation is moderate but with some bite.

D: Very nice. This beer is going down very quickly. At 6.2% it's a tad bit strong for an Octoberfest/Marzen, but you wouldn't know it from the quaffability factor.

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Photo of mjmbeer
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap first at the Bavarian lodge in lisle. The beer has a great coppery red hue with a caramel foamy head that fades to decent lacing. Being a rye beer I sometimes find them off putting. However this beer has a very smooth and creamy taste with a good balance of hops and malts. The smell is rather tasty as well. I am becoming a fast fan of great divide beers. This one is really worth checking out

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Photo of stephens101
4.29/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a wispy tan head that clears out quickly and leaves no lace behind.

Smells of caramel malts, a bit of sour fruitiness and an afterthough of dry hay. Tastes sweet and malty with a somewhat syrupy light to medium mouth-feel. There's some rye graininess way down deep and a a piney hop bitterness finishes things off.

Has very little carbonation. Goes down smooth with some dry edges.

Simple and effective. Complex and Tasty. Loving this one.

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Photo of Bockrules
4.29/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a dark copper with virtually no head. Only mild carbonation. Head is gone about a quarter down the glass, leaves only a couple of tiny splotches of lacing.

S - Very malty with hints of rye and cherry.

T - A little bit of alcohol an alot o'bit of malt up front. The body has a wide array of malty flavors mixed with sweet cherry and caramel, and peppy rye notes. Sweet, dry finish that leaves a delicious biscuity aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied and nice and chewy. Moderate carbonation that expands in your mouth to fill it with flavor.

Got this beer in exchange for changing oil on a friend's car. Good trade. I love this beer, I could drink this all night! The body is just so complex and inviting and the finish leaves the drinker begging to take another sip. I got this in march, but it
says it was bottled in mid August (nearly 10 months ago). Perhaps that explains the lackluster head...

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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 Briken
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear reddish orange with thin tan head and little retention. Spicy rye lager with slight fruit. Bold earthy spice up front and a dark cherry finish. Moderate hop linger. Thin, slick and smooth.

Wonderful layered flavor and very easy drinking. Light fuzz inhibits taste slightly but it’s an otherwise great lager I could drink quite a few of as I’m rather partial to all the flavors in here.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: A hazy-clear burnt orange with bubbles and the thinnest of heads.

S: Some caramel notes in amongst what I take to be rye -- a dry, grainy scent (very nice). At the tail-end of the aroma are some light fruits and maybe some alcohol.

T: Oh my. This is very good. It hits the tongue sharp and crisp, before evolving into a sweetish maintaste with distinct fresh cherry notes. (To be honest I probably wouldn't have been able to nail down the variety of fruit without the label, but looking for it, it's unmistakeable.) The background of the entire taste is characterised by the rye graininess, keeping the flavours clean, crisp, and slightly funky. Moderate carbonation serves a similar role in a less obvious capacity. The aftertaste is dryish and emphasises the omnipresent rye.

M: So crisp. So sharp. So pleasant. Unfortunately this wonderful feeling is limited the first half of the sip. The last half is decidedly less outstanding. Not bad, just average and sort of washy.

D: Very good, very drinkable, and shockingly inexpensive ($5 for a 6-pack; I wonder if this is a pricing mistake). I would have said this beer were sessionable, until I notice the ABV...higher than I expected from the playful lightness of the taste. This beer exceeded my expectations and is highly recommended.

Notes: This bottle says it was bottled September 3, 2009. So either the labeller is off or this beer is more than a year old.

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Photo of TommyW
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear amber with a very patchy, white head.

S- Spicy rye malts with some floral hops.

T- Nice bready malt that is present in good lagers with a great level of spice from the rye. Not an overpowering hop presence; just enough to give the beer balance and the finish on the crisp side.

M- Medium feel with an easy carbonation.

D- Really refreshing beer with a little zing over the standard lager because the of the rye used.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pilsner glass...

A: pours a pale, slightly hazy copper color with a head mixed of big bubbles and tight off white foam. leaves strips of lacing here and there. not to bad to look at, however it would be prettier if it were crystal clear.

S: smells of sharp, herbal and earthy hops, honeyed raisin toast and black cherry. quite different from your typical marzen: aroma isn't too strong but potent enough to bring out different characters of the ingredients.

T: sweet, buttery caramel up front, followed by toast, plum, and a spicy and earthy blend of european hops and cereal-flavored rye. a long finish with a flavor similar to honey-nut cheerios.

M: medium full body with a low carbonation and a slick, syrupy mouthfeel. finishes off dry and crisp.

Overall, not a shabby rendition of a classic style with some welcome tweeks. I could see myself sitting outside on a fall day munching on a hot dog or burger with a few of these, some friends, and a good conversation. The rye isn't overwhelming yet adds to the aroma, body, and mouthfeel. Worth a try if you enjoy the Oktoberfest style.

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Photo of pschie1
4.26/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hoss Oktoberfest Lager from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 1,065 ratings.
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