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 crossovert
1.35/5  rDev -64.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

12 oz brown bottle, bottled on JUN 29 2010.

It ours a deep orange color, pretty much straight up burnt orange. The head is foamy and white and sticks for awhile.

The smell is off, there are hints of soap and peapod. There is a bit of corn husk. Utterly confusing.

The flavor is just weird. Corn husk, caramel, soap, no hops or even malt really to be found. Very sweet. Slight mineral water hinting. Just strange.

This beer is weird as hell. Others i had it with found it strange too.

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Photo of jwps214
2.26/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

poured into a dimpled mug, beer had an amazing reddish hue. The aroma was pleasingly malty sweet with subtly notes of caramel and fresh (don't know how else to describe it, like when you walk into your veggie garden) Had a medium body that didn't linger on the tongue. Thank goodness, as the flavor was off putting. Started of malty, and sweet, but ended with a tange of brown bread, which I found unappealing. (That might have more to do with the hot dogs baked in beans served with the brown bread that I hated as a kid, than it did with the actually bread) I was very excited when I found this beer, (Mar-zen, and Rye usually peak my intrest) but was extremely disappointed!

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Photo of jt31914
2.48/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. Bottle

A: 1 solid finger of head - turns red as carbonation settles with hints of orange. Heavy red color.

S: Cherries apparent in the smell - no beer aroma. This is a very tart smelling brew.

T: Cherries on the finish, but not as strong as the smell; no dominant flavor. It is airy and drinkable with apparent fruits. No hops taste at all.

D/M: Decently drinkable but disappointing.

I wish Great Divide would have made this more flavorful. It's not bad but I won't buy it again.

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Photo of djmichaelk
2.54/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle courtesy of BucketBoy (thanks, Joe!) into a perfect pint.

A - Auburn/gold color, with a huge four-finger head that sticks around. Not much lacing, though.

S - Kind of lackluster. Sweet maltiness, very little in the way of hops, and the rye just isn't really there.

T - Like the nose... meh. It's got a blandness that I just can't get past. Some sweet malt, like candied sugar, but it's in the background. Not much for bitterness, and there isn't much depth.

M - Somehow manages to be both thin and full-feeling, but not really in a good way. The carbonation seems too light, but it's still almost chewy. Strange.

D - I didn't get much of an alcohol burn, so there's that. But nothing about this beer makes me want more of it.

O - Had this in the middle of an epic tasting, and it just fell way short in the midst of many superlative beers. Not bad so much as just "meh" in every category.

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Photo of HugePlume
2.64/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, no freshness dating

A- Pours a beautiful red copper color. Minimal head though, and no lacing to speak of.

S- No nose to this beer at all. Smells of very weak grain and dishsoap.

T- Very weak again, has a light dry grain note. The bottle says its a layered flavor. If the layers are dry grain and water, they are right. Has a very dry finish.

M- Very watery and light. Carbonation nearly absent.

O- Give this to a a macro drinker to offer them a little different flavor than a Budweiser, but skip it yourself for something much better.

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Photo of jjchristiano
2.78/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I didn't get anything out of this beer but the dry hoppiness finish.
Really tried to pick anything else up but actually didn't even tase the beer unti the finish.
Not my favorite. Is it a Rye Lager or an Octoberfest? seems to be confused. Much better Marzens out there.

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Photo of righlander
2.79/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a nice deep amber in to a tulip glass. clingy lace. small but sticky head.
smell of caramel, toasty malt, clover honey, metallic.
in the taste i get a lot of caramel and a honey type thing. taste is not bad but i prefer my marzens a bit more dry than this particular beer. to ME (just an opinion here but..) marzens should be a BIT more sessionable than this one.
mouthfeel wasn't really TOO bad but left something to be desired. too lightly carbonated.
drinkability isn't too good. it's too sweet to have more than three for me.

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Photo of StoneTSR
2.79/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

APPEARANCE: As with most Great Divide beers, the head retention and lacing are remarkable. The penny red-copper color of beer is gorgeous as well.

SMELL: Medium strength smell of rye and a touch of hops.

TASTE: The Hoss is very sweet. A little overboard in my opinion. The malt bill is intense and there is not much to balance it out. Although, as it warms, the malt mellows and makes it a bit easier to drink.

MOUTHFEEL: The sweetness is just too cloying for me. A small amount of hop balance comes through by the end of the glass, but it is also oily and viscous when it probably should be a little more crisp and clean.

OVERALL: This is a rare miss for Great Divide in my opinion. Which is too bad, because I had high hopes for a rye lager.

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.8/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear copper/medium amber with a soft white head. Good head retention.

S: Rye spiciness and treacly malts.

T: Good overall malt flavour, but get hampered by the earthy, grungy flavour of the hops. I've encountered this flavour in GD beers before, notably DPA, and I don't like it when I find it.

M: Crisp carbonation, medium-bodied, no real problems.

O: The taste problems make this one a pass for me, sucks since I am a big Great Divide fan.

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Photo of StlHopHead77
2.83/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a generic pint glass.

A-Pours out a cloudless,red with an insignificant,loose white head.Small amounts of lacing.

S-The smell here was decidedly unremarkable.No real sign of the rye and pretty subdued in general.

T-This beer just didn't have the body or richness typically associated with a Marzenbier.It followed the style with a mild hop presence but I would have liked a little more rye.Faint presence of sweet malt.

M-This beer was crisp and clean.Not as full-bodied as a Marzenbier typically might be.

D-This beer is very drinkable in a sessioning sense but it just was not my favorite Great Divide effort.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
2.89/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Ro's Restaurant pint glass.

A: Clean, clear, coppery amber color with a one-finger head of sudsy white foam which dissipated quickly to form a thin, oily slick which left no real lacing.

S: Smells a bit sweet, fruity and zesty, with hints of wheat and rye malts and a crisp, bready aroma.

T: Caramel malt sweetness followed by a strange, astringent hop bitterness. Not sure if its a bit of metallic resin being cast by the lager or the hops, but the bitterness seems off to me. There is a dry, bready malt feel and taste to it, though.

M: Medium-bodied, crisp and slightly astringent, this brew wa a little tough to take down a sturdy gulp of.

D: This "rye lager" posing as a "marzen" was just a little off-base for me and I'd be reluctant to try it again. A weird balance of flavors, or lack of balance, and an ABV with odd, residual flavors hindered the drinkability and my overall enjoyment of the brew. Back to the drawing board on this one I say.

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Photo of ProudBeerSnob
2.96/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into standard pint glass from bottle. Rust color with thin head that vanishes rather quickly. Aroma is very intriguing with sweet rye, almost nutty. It kind of smells like a health food store. (this is a good thing)

The taste however is a bit off. Really sharp rye and hop flavor up front with the sweetness right behind. Definitely not a session beer. The flavor combo is interesting but takes a toll on drinkability.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 11/16/2009. Bottle. Pours a clear orange with a thick white head. Aroma of sweet malt. Flavor of sweet caramel malt, some toasted malt, perhaps some spices (I don't really get any rye notes). Kinda bland but certainly drinkable. Decent for an oktoberfest.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color is a toasty light brown/dark amber. like a toasted caramel color.
The aroma lets you know there is rye in it, and is pleasent, some malts with noble hobs also.
The flavors are nicely balanced with toasty malts and earthy hops, with the rye adding a nice spiced note.

A nice solid average Marzen. A good winter Lager.

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Photo of BurpingtonDC
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Copper/amber color with a slight off-white head that dissipates immediately

S - Mild malty sweetness

T - Very hoppy, though the scent of hop was strangely not present, bread, rye, and a touch of caramel.

M - Good amount of carbonation is present with a nice medium bodied feel. Its bitterness holds onto the tongue with a vengeance.

O - Overall it's not a bad drink. It doesn't thrill and the bitterness might be a turn off for some without the joyful hop aroma that should accompany it. It makes me wonder if the bitterness is from the rye or from the hops. I haven't much experience with rye brews some I'm, perplexed.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from brown 12 oz bottle to pilsner glass.

A - The beer pours an orange amber with and off-white 1.5 finger white head with little retention and lacing.

S - Fairly weak aroma of slight fruity sweetness of grape and cherry and a rye spice. Not much here.

T - The beer starts with a bready and biscuit malt character that seems a bit thin. A mild bitterness with a hint of caramel. The rye spice isn't as noticeable as I would expect. Finishes a little thin with a mild bitterness on the tongue and a hint of rye and malt.

M - Lighter end of medium though rather thin. Decently carbonated.

Overall, I tried this beer last year as it was on Westwords top 50 Colorado Beer List. I remember being pretty indifferent then and I am now too. I don't understand how could be considered better than so many other outstanding Colorado beers. I continue to find it thin and lacking and incredibly mediocre.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 03-17-2011 21:58:26

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Photo of yamar68
3.05/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a golden amber with a finger cap of barely off-white head. Great lacing and minimal beading. The nose is big on the rye - earthy spice and nice, toasty malt to balance. Doesn't come across as a Marzen one bit. Taste: there's the Marzen... I wish the rye was highlighted a bit more on the tongue. Still a perfectly drinkable brew. Feel is a bit boring - thin and brief. Overall, not what I was expecting but still decent I suppose.

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Photo of paperbackfoster
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one pours a true amber color, head rising to about a finger before reducing to sheeting. Body carbonation has larger than average bubbles, very active.

Caramel malt carries the nose, with hints of sweetness and a little bit of yeasty ester or diacetyl.

The taste is full and rounded, a hint of that rye spice with a raspberry or cherry note to it. The yeast does give it a bit of a rubbery character, I think. Just when spice and more pungent notes start to come across, there's that yeast product. Not sure how to feel about that.

Mouthfeel is full, almost creamy. Finishes dry. Definitely an Oktoberfest style lager.

Overall? I'm not entirely sold. The beer seems unbalanced. Fruit, rye, and yeast seem to compete over an average malt base, and they rarely all seem complementary at the same time. It's not a bad beer by any stretch. I just don't think it has a defining characteristic or drinking experience.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in an American pint glass)
A- The crystal clear body has a brownish orange hue and a bubbly snow white head that is supported by a strong carbonation of big bubbles.
S- There is a light tin note to a soft dry brown malt aroma and some mineral qualities in the finish.
T- This beer has a smooth clean flavor with some soft sweat and brown malt notes followed by a dry spice hint. The finish has a soft bitter green hop note.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a tight fizz finish.
D- This beer is soft and clean with little flavor but no off flavors.

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Photo of avalon07
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A surprisingly muted aroma of malt and a hint of fruit.

T: Tasted of malt, light hops, and a little bit of cherry in the finish. Mostly, this beer is shockingly one-dimensional (the malt takes over) and kind of on the thin side.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A decidedly underwhelming beer from Great Divide, a brewery that's usually pretty consistent.

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Photo of rye726
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale golden brown with a thin beige head. Nose has mellow grains, faint grassy hops and a subtle rye aroma. Taste is also on the lighter side for a Marzen. Drinks well, but could use a bit more depth. I didn't find much of a rye presence. Light body is well carbonated.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.19/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, bottled 8/4/09. Pours a reddish amber with a medium creamy head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is is pretty subdued - some wheaty malts with a touch of cinnamon.

The flavor is toasted malts with some rye leading to a metallic lightly bitter finish with some cinnamon like spices. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with creamy carbonation.

Overall, decent but pretty subdued. The first time I had this, I remember much more of a rye presence.

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Photo of mactrail
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pleasant but undistinguished. I remember liking it more in the bottle. Clear coppery amber color in the pint glass.

Taste like not much at first. Some honey and malt flavors. Just a touch of roasted malt. Hard to find the flavors on the tongue. slightly winey. A scratch of Belgian flavors. Mild taste but it does have an interesting bready tang. Not much aroma.

I suppose the flavors in this with the Belgian hint are actually better than average for this style. Wishing it had more carbonation or better mouthfeel. On tap at Cueva in San Diego.

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Photo of NickSMpls
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Seems flat and low in carbonation for the style. Bottled on Dec 11, tasted on April 4th - not too long but maybe enough so the beer is not what it could be. Unlike other ryes, not much going on here.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, bottled in April of 2012. This came to me via Amanti Vino's Beer of the Month club and was poured into my Duvel tulip.

Hoss Rye Lager pours a deep burnt orange/auburn, falling just short of having full clarity. There's a finger or so of white foam capping the beer. It fades pretty quickly, and lacing is fairly spotty. The nose is pretty dull and lifeless, but what is there is nice. There are some bready and toffee aromas, and the delicate spiciness of rye creeps in a little bit in the background. The flavor has a little more vivacity to it, with biscuit and caramel maltiness coming together for a lingering opening. Earthy, lightly peppery rye comes in for the close, but seems to die out before the beer hits the back of my palate. The mouthfeel is definitely not "crisp". The body's a little bit chewy, and the carbonation lacking, and leaves the beer giving a syrupy impression. I think a rye marzen could be a pretty interesting beer, but Hoss Rye Lager just suffers on the execution end.

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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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