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: 1,060
Photo of sjdevel
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: A nice 2 finger head from a medium pour out of a 12 oz. bottle. The head diminishes and leaves some spottly lacing; still fairly bubbly throughout. The beer is a beautiful crystal clear copper color.

Smell: There is a spicy smell mixed with some caramel notes. Very caramelly and rich.

Feel: Medium bodied that coats the tongue well. Mostly smooth and just a slight dry finish.

Taste: There is a nice spicy deep rye tang and a slight hop bite that hit you right at the front. There is a nice balance of flavors: sweet, malt, and caramel. Slight tartness makes an appearance amidst the sweetness, then fades with some floral hop notes.

Overall: Enjoyable rye brew that isn’t too heavy on the rye and well balanced. Bought this as a single in a mixed-6-pack, but would not be afraid to buy a full 6.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Hoss poured a light amber like color with a good 2 finger foam head and some decent lacing around the sides.

The aroma was grainy and gave off a slight clove and banana. Taking a sip you are hit with a slight rye flavor that is spicy. Then you are hit with the cherry in the background. In the mouth it has medium body and a good crisp finish. Overall this isn't my favorite style but this one is a solid effort.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber with some haze. Produces a small fine head with good retention. Moderate amount of small carbonation bubbles. Bready/spicy aroma with a with a fair amount of caramel sweetness. Medium body leaning toward the heavy side. Some alcohol up front. Carbonation is on the soft side making for a good balance with the body. Spicy middle, where the rye is evident, and rich finish. Bitterness has legs. A definite colder weather beer. A bit heavy for temps above 80.

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Photo of dcscientist
4.19/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 2016: This used to be a year-round beer, Hoss Rye Lager, but has been slightly rebranded as an Oktoberfest and is now just available seasonally. REVIEW: What an unusual twist on a Marzen. I didn't know how much I'd like this, even though Marzens are one of my favorite styles. But man, I really dug this one. It's sweet, but the rye flavor makes it just a little different than most biscuity or malty Oktoberfests. This one, despite being pretty well in my comfort zone stylistically, definitely opened my eyes to a new flavor. I'll get this again for sure.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright coppery brown color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, spices, some fruit and some hops.

T: The taste starts is bready up front with flavors of grain and a hearty malt character. Then there are sweet flavors of caramel, dark fruit and spices that come in. The hops presence is stronger than average for the style and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

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

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, nice representation of style, this is a very good O-fest to session with for the duration of the evening.

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Photo of mdcrouser
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Creamy tan head that holds fast, providing coverage to a cloudy amber beer that shows hints of gold, orange and red, depending on the light and shadows cast. Pretty stellar looking.

Earthiness is at the fore on this one - grainy, malty and with one of the brighter rye noses of the ryes I've had. It really comes through clearly here, which is a big plus for me. Really nice.

Malty like a traditional Ofest, but with a creamy depth that I'd guess stems from the inclusion of the rye - makes this an exceptionally easy drinker.

The creaminess is akin to a stout - great in the mouth.

Maybe not a fan favorite, but one of my favorite ryes for sure. Good nearly year round.

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Photo of GPHarris
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a two-fingers thick tan head into a pint glass that left sticky lace and sheeting throughout. the body was a bright orange-amber color.
s - slightly sweet with hints of caramel and apples along with other dark fruits. hint of breadiness.
t - fruity with a little hop kick. rye with a sweeter finish.
m - smooth and lightly creamy.
d - great beer.

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Photo of droomyster
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a small off-white head. Has fascinating aromas that remind me of strawberry shortcake; the fruitiness is completely unexpected! The flavor profile, on the other hand, is not fruity in the least. It's almost completely comprised of austere malts: very bready, toasty, biscuity and woody flavors, with a very slight caramel sweetness. One of the breadiest beers I've tasted. A very tasty marzen that would happily buy again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a pale amber orange tinted hue with a bright white head. I let this one warm a bit before cracking it and I think it's a good idea. Speckled lacing all around the edges of my chalice. Aroma has sweet honey drizzled biscuit and honey malt layers going on with spicy rye additions bringing out an earthy herbal character. Flavor is fantastic sweet with malts and rye more of that honey simple syrup flavor with a fruity apple and caramel drizzled tone. But the hops and the rye malt balance things out with a grassy, spicy herbal tea accent. Mouthfeel is a bit stickier with residual malts especially with the higher alcohol and the rye additions carbonation is pleasant and smooth the entire bottle. Definitely a medium body with the rye giving it a bit more girth than your average marzen. Drinkability is solid from the first sip to the last drops, a beer that strikes gold coming from such a known ale brewer to dabble with their twist on a great German style, I enjoy it and look forward to more next year.

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Photo of philbe311
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Even though there hasn't been much hype about this beer, I've been looking forward to it since I first heard about it... I like rye beers, I like Great Divide beers, and I love interesting takes on styles, in this case a Marzen... Cheers...

A - A very active swirling pour... Loads of small-bubbled moderate paced carbonation rises throughout... A finger and a half of full creamy tan head begins to fade but shows solid retention with about 1/4 inch left before completely fading away... A rich but splotchy lacing remains... A wonderfully light golden orange color with some wonderful reddish highlights... A little bit of lace clings to the sides of the glass... It looks very light and refreshing...

S - Caught a little off guard, but it is the cherries that hit the nose first... Caramel... Notes of cinnamon... Just the slightest touch of rye spiciness... The aroma is quite mild and subdued, but it is terrifically entrancing...

T - There's a lot going on here... Sweet cherry and fruit are first on the palette... This is followed by a quick glimpse of caramel and bready malts before the rye spiciness kicks in... The bitter rye dominates the finish... Perhaps even trace amounts of some piney hops...

M - Light and refreshing... Slightly sticky and syrupy... Very very mild carbonation... Incredibly smooth... Sip, savor, repeat...

D - A very interesting and enjoyable brew... The cherry really adds to the character of this fine brew... The rye is understated and takes a backseat but still adds to the overall depth and complexity... My biggest complaint is that it seems to stray pretty fair from the style guidelines of a traditional Marzen... None the less I could enjoy this year round and may invest in a case so that I'm able to do so... The most artistic lager to come down the pike in a really long time...

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Copper with tannish head and lacing.
smell: Toasty malt. Very pleasant though not remarkable.
taste: Again, a good solid toasty malt.
mouthfeel: full and creamy.
drinkability: Quite. I want another already.
I was about to grab another 6 of GDBC Claymore but decided to try this. Glad i did.

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Photo of mountdew1
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a darker amber reddish color. Had a very thin (less than 1 finger) bubbly white head. Head lasted a while, and clung nicely to the sides. Smell had a touch of sugar, a tad of hops, with a strong wheat/grain profile as well. Taste was extremely well balanced. A small bit of sweet, a little hint of peppery spice, with a mellow banana bread almost. Felt good in the mouth. Coated very well, but the carbonation seemed to be all over the place. At times it was subtle, other times it was up front. Overall a good representation. Not quite sessionable, but not overpowering either.

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Photo of bump8628
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lumberjack themed bottled with a bottled on date of March 24, 2010.

Clear amber with an inch of nearly-white head.

Bready, nutty, biscuity malt carries the beer along with a tangy note from the rye and some caramel. Hops only lend balancing bitterness and yeast remains clean and neutral.

A very nice Marzen, and the addition of the rye makes it slightly different than any other one out there. Nice balance and great flavor.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in April, 2011 but picked up in October, same year. Go figure. It’s a marzen, so maybe there’s poetic justice at work here. Thanks to XicanoBeerRun for this bottle.

Gave it a vigourous pour and received a good layer of foam that slowly died down atop a ruby-amber colored beer. Muted malty aroma on the nose, and the hints of cherry and dark fruits that the description on the label promises. Mellow taste. It’s sweet around the edges but not overpoweringly so. More like dark cherry, perhaps some cherrywood, or whiskey-soaked cherry, if I was pressed to pin it down. The rye gives it an edge, but I’d be hard pressed to describe just what, exactly. Like a sweeter, less hoppy ryePA, I suppose. Different from what I’d expect from a marzen but that’s not a bad thing. Another winner from the Great Divide.

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Photo of farrago
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice creamy head of close to two fingers, orange tinted off-white color, close to the froth of an orange julius, average retention, covers the surface for some time, a few streaks of lacing here and there. Deep and vibrant metallic red to coppery orange colored liquid, clear with excellent reflective brilliance, quite pretty. Pastry flakes, milk chocolate, honey coated orange citrus, more of a warm butter than toast covering, the rye waits until the penultimate moment to move forward into the spotlight. Medium-bodied, however, lounges squarely on the palate and unpacks a picnic basket of caramel, milk chocolate, molasses, honey, graham cracker, croissant and ripely sweet oranges. The carbonation is like tiny explosions, precise and prickly yet with no staying power. As a flavor the rye has a clear delivery but doesn't add much texturally, the hoppy side of the equation slacking. The sweetness never comes close to cloying and for a more or less one-sided beer it's, err, decently balanced. Drinkability highest when coldest.

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Photo of JMD
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a copper/amber color with small frothy off-white head that fades slowly.

S: Classic marzen aroma with hints of Rye. Carmel sweetness and spice. Smells exactly the way you expect it to.

T: Great malty flavor of a traditional Marzen. Sweet carmel, some bread and light spice. The Rye flavor is prominent and adds a great twist to a classic style.

M: Great texture, perfect for the sytle.

D: This is great American Marzen. All the classic flavors are there, and the Rye compliments it nicely. Another solid offering from Great Divide.

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Photo of Jaymad
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Great rich copper red color. On the more carbonated side, so the head doesn't last but there is at least light lacing.

S: Smooth malt.

T: Smooth, warm malt, very clean tasting. Just enough hops to keep the finish crisp and provide a slight lingering bitter along with a bit of rye spice. Rather simple, but quite good.

M: A bit thin, but the carbonation fills it out.

D: Very drinkable. After many, the aftertaste might make me tired of it, but each sip is so refreshing! Could definitely put away 6+ of these.

Overall: A great clean malty beer that's crisp and well-balanced. Glad this is in full production now.

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Photo of McNealc31
4.14/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crisp, transparent amber, as expected. Floral and fruity hops come through most in the aroma. Loads of roasted, sweet malt are noticed first, followed by dark fruit,, spicy rye, and a very late bitter kick from the hops. As it warms, the flavors, especially the rye, become more pronounced. It's rather fruitier than I anticipated, but it works.

Rye isn't the foremost flavor here, but it's there. Overall, it's well balanced and tasty. Little higher ABV than you might expect from a lager with 6.2%. Definitely worth a try

Grade: B

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Photo of BeerWizard
4.14/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes in a fun red plaid package with a lumberjack on it. ABV is 6.2 and summary mentions rich malt, cherry and dark fruit, and earth and spice due to the rye. Poured into a goblet it is a really nice orange color, very little head despite an un-careful pour, and there's just sort of a broken-down bubble-film floating at the very surface now. You can really, really smell the fruit right off the bat; definitely the cherries and maybe a little berry in there. Taste is also very cherry, and might I say, holy crap it is good. There's that sweetness that I notice a lot of GD's stuff has, and then on the back end there's a little bitterness and malt for a second or two (maybe that spice the label mentioned, but I don't really get that), and then it breaks clean off. Really nice. The mouthfeel is oily and smacky, and the carbonation, though low, is right there I feel for a marzen. I had this a few years ago at a restaurant and didn't like it, but I'm wondering if I got a bad bottle because this stuff's kickass. Nicely done!

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Photo of alovesupreme
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sierra Nevada Pint Glass, yielded a brilliant copper body with excellent sticky lacing.
Big rich lager by the smell of it. Malt with a slight cider character.
Huge malt body supported by complementary hops to round everything out. Once again the cider character is present but contributes positively to the overall experience.
A full medium bodied beer, with a crisp lager snap.
A fantastic beer that I will be revisiting. Also great with food, I am currently enjoying a Pepper smoked turkey sandwich with swiss and humus on whole wheat and could not think of a better match(except perhaps rye).

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Photo of dfillius
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass
A: Moderate pour yields 1 finger of cream colored head with good retention. Crystal clear copper liquid. Pretty.
S: Rye, caramel. Mostly malt, some noble hops? Grassy, smells good.
T: Sweet and tangy with a smooth bitterness. Slight metallic aftertaste is a negative. Clean and crisp. Very tasty except for metal. Rye and hops offer perfect complement to the sweet malt.
M: Metallic twinge, rich, hearty
D: Very drinkable, keeps me wanting more. Alcohol is hidden well.

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Photo of Stinky
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap -sampled at GD tap room 08/29/09
I am not normally a fan of Marzen's they are usually too sweet but this one tastes a little cleaner / more balanced to me. It is still a malt over hop taste, which is in line w/ the style, but it is low key enough that I could session this beer. Maybe this has something to do w/ the Rye but like others have said the rye flavor is very subdued and difficult to detect. This is a flavorful beer but it is subtle and a warming temp is needed to bring out these flavors, if you drink this too cold it could seem bland. The alcohol is well integrated. All in all I think this is a winner and will definitely be part of my late summer early fall rotation!

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 09/21/2010:
Bottle date - 02/04/10
12 oz. bottle at 42* poured into an AB pint glass.

A: It pours coppery-red with small white bubbles dancing around the rim.

S: The smell is of malted barley, cherry, some breadiness, and a citrusy tang.

T: It tastes like a nice dose of malts, sweet caramel, cherry (but not sour), apricot, and a touch of rye.

M: It's light, refreshing, and slightly sticky.

D: It's supremely sessionable. Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience.

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Photo of vandemonian
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great Divide Hoss is a delicious variation on the usual Marzen lager.

A: Red orange colour with a 1 cm head that fades quickly to thin lacing around the edge of the glass. 3.5

S: Grainy and fresh with some hints of woodiness. 4

T: Very malty up front and reasonably dry. It has that really dark, woody flavour that I associate with rye beers (love it). 4.5

M: Slightly fizzy. 3.5

O: This is a really nice Marzen. 4

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Photo of bonsreeb85
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good lookin lager on our hands here... Reddish copper with a thin creme colored head that is reduced to just film rather quickly.

Rich, malty, bready, caramel, sweet, cherry, assorted dark fruits, spicy and earthy hops. Smells like oktober!

THis beer has flavor in spades for such a drinkable concoction. Nice sweetness with lots of caramel and hints of fruits(cherry mostly and perhaps some plum) just enough hop bitterness to clean things up for the finish.

Light bodied, well carbonated and a very crisp texture all add up to one VERY sessionable brew. Cheers GD, and thanks for making this one a year-round.

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Hoss Oktoberfest Lager from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 1,060 ratings.
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