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

Hoss (Oktoberfest Lager) | Great Divide Brewing Company

very good
440 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Hoss (Oktoberfest Lager)Hoss (Oktoberfest Lager)

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 440 | Ratings: 1,016
Photo of PhillyStyle
3.49/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Great Divide tap house – Denver

The beer was a deep orange color with a light, white head that dissipated quickly, but left a ring. The beer gave off a nice light rye and malty aroma with a hint of yeast/bready-ness to it. The taste of the beer was good; a nice light rye flavor with little to no hops to note, but it was not overly sweet. The beer had a moderate feel to it; the beer was smooth and very easy to drink. Overall, a good beer.

 458 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: into da pint: clear medium amber beer with a whipped foamy tan head, left some lace lines and head showed good persistence

S: mild hops and sweet malts, some rye and fruity/floral notes

T: softly sweet maltiness, vague fruitiness, suggestions of rye and caramel, maybe even some mellow orange-iness

M: smooth, creamy, silky; light feel, slight tingle of carbonation/rye spice

O: I've only had two other marzens, and this was better than both - the kind of beer to turn you onto a style (if its typical of the style) - great drinkability, wonderful flavor and aroma profile - another slam-dunk from Great Divide.

 618 characters

Photo of Mojo
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12ounce bottle -> World Market tulip glass.

Pours up apricot color with a one finger off white head. Retention is poor, but there is quite a bit of spotty lacing. The nose is primarily fragrant pine and is the best part of this offering. Taste is spicy rye that is a bit understated with a mild dry finish. Mouthfeel is a little thin,but with adequate carbonation. Not my favorite ever. It sort of reminds me of a few Belgians I've had and didn't care for.

 460 characters

Photo of spoony
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From a 355 ml bottle (bottled January 31, 2013) into a tulip.

A-The beer is a nice, cranberry red color. It is clear and the lack of visible carbonation means that the thin, white, soapy head drops quickly to patches on the top.

S-The smell is a mixture of light, earthy flavors like cedar and pine, with some lighter fruits like bright cherry and apple. The malts are not very assertive in their sweetness or caramel qualities.

T-The taste is somewhat dull, earthy, and nondescript. The rye is not as assertive or spicy as I would have hoped for, but the lack of roasty malt flavors mean this beer is not a true marzen, either. The result is a somewhat woody, harsh flavored brew.

M-The feel is on the lighter side for a marzen. Crisp drinking.

O-This beer has a nice color to it but...I am not wowed by much else here. The fruity flavors are not assertive, the malts are not assertive, the rye comes across as oxidized and dull. Methinks Great Divide should go back to the well on this one.

 998 characters

Photo of tito42
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle to an imperial pint. Bottled on 11/5/2012.

A: Slightly cloudy amber with moderate carbonation and a nice, foamy head with a hint of copper.

S: Lightly roasted malts dominate with some cherry notes.

T: Strong malt backbone up front with a very earthy rye flavor following up. Peat moss and cherry notes with a spicy and dry finish.

M: Light-to-medium bodied, a bit watery in the middle. The rye flash is a little harsh, followed by a dry, tart cherry finish.

O: Definitely a different take on the marzen style. I prefer those that stick to the roots of the style and explore the depths of malt character. This is more of a rye beer than a marzen to me. The flavor is a bit harsh and doesn't blend particularly well with the malt and cherry.

 764 characters

Photo of MickeyBeer
3.42/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A- Pours a orangish red color with about one finger of white head that dissipates quickly.

S- I picked up notes of roasted malts but didn't really pick up on any rye. Smells a little bit sweet.

T- Sweet flavor upfront that finishes with some roasty malt flavors. No real alcohol taste and aftertaste is a little like bread. Enjoyable but doesn't exactly blow me away with flavors.

M- Pretty light mouthfeel. Medium carbonation that finishes crisp and goes down easy.

O- A good brew but nothing spectacular. No real complex flavors or aromas here. I would drink it again but I wouldn't seek it out.

 640 characters

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

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy copper with one-finger, white, creamy head that lasted a couple minutes and left a nice film. Okay lacing.

S: Sweet caramel and mango. Pineapple.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Sweet caramel malt, and then rye flavors.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Smooth.

O: Really good Marzen. Smells wonderful and tastes like sweet malt and rye.

 404 characters

Photo of CBrotherton
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz pour into a mug at 55F. Chilled to 45F for ideal tasting.

A - The first toast is to not choosing/having a glass mug. Appearance (after a transfer to a glass) is orange-red with direct light and red-brown with indirect light. Head sits tight at 4mm with mild lacing. Head stays constant through drink. Low carbonation.

S - Malty smell. Smells like a dark cherry coffee table that has been sitting in a cellar for a winter. Label says 'dark fruits'; i can't smell them. Nose is still getting over the flu.

T - Malts come out strong with a dry finish. There something there I can't put my finger of. Worthy though of a 3.75.

M - Mild action in mouth and finishes with subtle 'zah' on the back of the tongue. For the beer and, presumably, the style, a good fit. Bitterness lingers but does not register if you're not looking for it.

O - Overall a good beer. Bold and heavy enough to where you only need one, two at most, for a filling experience.

 953 characters

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.

 678 characters

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.

 269 characters

Photo of rangerred
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear dark orange with a one finger off-white head. Head retention is just average but lacing is quite nice lingering for a long time on the sides of the glass.

Aroma of caramel, rye bread and toast although I am not picking up on a lot of the characteristic rye spice that I am accustomed to. Some grassy hops as well but caramel and toffee really dominate.

The flavor is more forward with the caramel and toffee and they comprise the overall flavor profile of the beer. There is more rye spice than was present in the aroma but it still is not overwhelming. A little bit of orange in the background along with grassy hops. Bitterness is towards the lighter end of the spectrum with a pretty sweet and sticky mouthfeel.

Overall, an interesting take on an Oktoberfest but not really interesting enough to keep me coming back. A little on the sweet side and this really hinders drinkability.

 942 characters

Photo of Immortale25
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Ninkasi Brewing pint glass. Label says Bottled on JUL 27 2012.

A- Pours a clean medium amber color with a 1/4 inch off-white head that doesn't retain long before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and light, spotty surface foam. Thin streaks of semi-resilient lacing.

S- Very toasty malt aroma that bears caramel and borderline toffee notes. The rye is certainly apparent as well but not too heavy. Somewhat sweet smelling.

T- Initially sweet but then the rye kicks in and brings some sturdy malt character. Once again, toasty with some caramel and cereal grain notes. Alcohol is subdued and there's not much aftertaste. Solid flavor but not too forward.

M- Medium-low carbonation with a thin consistency but there's enough body to keep it from being watery.

O- Maybe it's because I enjoy rye in beer so much, but this is better than most Oktoberfests IMO. However, I'm generally not a fan of the style so my review is only worth so much.

 972 characters

Photo of Finn
4.39/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hoss pours a clean amber/orange, with light carbonation, and little head retention. The aroma is smooth, pristine malt and bread. Smells like the typical german oktoberfest. It's smooth, malty, and very well balanced. The medium body is cut through just slightly by a moderate carbonation, and the malt profile is rich, but not sweet, it's very clean and drinkable. This is one of the best US made oktoberfests I've had. I don't notice the rye much at all, but nonetheless this is a fantastic, well crafted beer.

 512 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint

The body pours a clear amber with some visible carbonation. The head rises about a finger and subsides rather quickly to a thin layer of powdered sugar. Little to no lacing. The nose is of sweet toasted toffee and caramel with a hearty dose of rye. Sweet cherry notes are prominent with a mild, musty, earthy undercurrent. On the palate, cherry notes come to the forefront with sweet toffee/caramel quickly in tow. Mild, earthy hops and rye poke through before a small burst of cherry and caramel in the finish. There is a nice balance between the sweet fruit/caramel notes and earthy hops. A light medium feel, easy drinking with low carbonation. This is a very solid lager that I have overlooked for too long. Good for any time of the year.

 774 characters

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!

 677 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.83/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a balloon glass.

The beer is a Cherry Ruby Amber. That's what I'm calling it. Beautiful frothy cream head that leaves chunks of bubbles and sheets of sticky lacing in it's wake.

The aroma is of faint fruit notes with a delicious sweet caramel warmth.

The taste is so complex. This beer has a sweet fruity beginning with delicious cherry notes. This gives way to a more typical caramel malt body found in marzens. The beer finishes with a nice woody, cinnamon spiciness to fill out a complex taste profile.

Mouthfeel is crisp, bright, slightly dry, and extremely refreshing.

Overall, I cannot believe this surprise. For starters, it's a sneaky Oktoberfest, since it's labeled as a Rye Lager. But on BA, it's a marzen, and the best one I've tried this year.

 774 characters

Photo of TPINC3
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Central BBQ pint glass. Bottle has a bottled on date that says April 2012 (6 months later...is this beer maybe past its prime? It's still beer, so I'll still drink it).

A - A very clear red-orange color. Almost non-existent lacing across the top of the beer, and a lingering lacing ring around the glass from the first sip. Almost no head from the pour, but honestly, it was a bad pour on my part.

S - Smells like your typical Oktoberfest (marzen) beer. It smells of an even toasted maltiness.

T - I wanted to go to a 4 on taste, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. But overall the taste is there, its a very good beer and very drinkable

M - Just the right amount of carbonation. Not so light you think its water, not so much that its like a beer flavored soda.

O- a very good drinkable beer. how representative of the style is it...I'm not sure, but I would definitely drink a few of these.

 931 characters

Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a brilliant red color with not the slightest bit of haze. There is a lace of white head but nothing to right home about.

The aroma is very clean, no aroma from yeast at all. Some malt aroma like toast and toffee.

The tastes very clean as well - yet has a lot going on. I can taste caramel as well as a little rye spice at the finish. Nice clean finish that leaves the mouth ready for the next sip.

Mouthfeel is medium.

This is a very refreshing beer. Great for a session.

 490 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper to ruby red in color. The beer has a finger tall dense beige head that quickly reduces to a very thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of caramel malts along with rye spiciness. There are lighter aromas of yeast and just a hint of earthy/spicy hops.

T: Upfront this beer has a moderate flavor of caramel malts with a light amount of caramel/toffee sweetness. There are some light rye spiciness and some lighter notes of yeast - there is a light amount of earthy/spicy hop flavors that contribute some light lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp with some dryness in the finish.

O: The rye is not as present as I had hoped for in this beer - I was expecting a little more rye spiciness. The beer is easy to drink because of the lighter rye flavor and well hidden alcohol.

 959 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a very clear amber color with a single finger of cream-colored fizzy head that lasts for about a minute and a half, leaving behind only minimal lacing. Medium body and carbonation levels.

Smells of cherries and psuedo-nutmeg spice over a caramel malt with extra earthy hopping and a touch of breaded yeastiness. Tastes somewhat drier than the nose had me expecting, but still semi-sweet with caramel malt and plenty of toasted bread alongside a light herbal hopping garnish on the finish. The cherries from the aroma are very much subdued upon the palate in the actual flavor, but that's okay, because the caramel malt gains some nuttiness to compensate that wasn't as perceptible in the aroma. If only these aspects carried fully back and forth from nose and palate to present a complete spectrum, this would have been absolutely amazing. As it is, it settles for merely being better than average.

 932 characters

Photo of superspak
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled 12/21/2011. Pours lightly hazy orange amber color with a small 1 finger off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Decent spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of apple, caramel, grape, biscuit, toast, rye, herbal, grass, and light earth. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance. Taste of big biscuit, caramel, rye, nuttiness, apple, toffee, toast, grape, grass, and light herbal spiciness. Lingering notes of caramel, biscuit, toast, rye, light fruits, nuttiness, and herbal on the finish for a bit. Great balance and complexity of flavors; with no cloying at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a great Oktoberfest style! Great flavor body and complexity; very smooth to drink. Really enjoyed this.

 934 characters

Photo of intensify
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smells of bananas, caramel, spices, bready/malty and a hint of fig. Nice bready taste with a backbone of bananas and caramel. The bready and malts definately shine. Wait, there is Rye? Must be the spices im tasting?

Pretty good. Nothing to go crazy about but a nice brew to pick up once in a while. Did I mention that the finish is oily as hell?

 346 characters

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

Hoss opens with a rich, malt-sweet and yeast-laden aroma, the beer smelling initially far more like rising bread dough than anything else. Closer inspection reveals complex layers of toast crust, brown sugar, wet wheat, and chocolate, with dollops of molasses and honey, as well as a faint rind of peppery rye. Mild fruit esters such as berry and apricot bring further nuance, but breads and grains easily win the attention. As a whole, the nose is good, the breads nicely countered by sugars and light fruits, with just enough peppery spice to be intriguing.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a surprisingly malty blast of molasses, yeasty dough, honey, wheat, brown sugar, and toast crust, with lovely sugary touches of apricot, white grape, berry, and orange, and a tantalizing peppery rye edge that grows slightly stronger as the beer is held on the tongue and the sugars die off. Hints of spicy grapefruit and pine from the hops add additional complexity, as do lightly toasted nuts. The aftertaste is largely a continuation of the main mouthful, but with heavier emphasis on peppery rye and toast crust. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is solid fare, presenting a varied and finely tuned selection of flavors that balance each other nicely. The sugars are especially lovely in here, coming in a wide variety of flavors, and all of them blending well with the rye. Worth trying.

 1,416 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Based on the label you would think that this is a beer that is hard to categorize. I'll review based on the label description and asthetics alone.

I poured this beer into an open mouth chalice style glass. The coloring was a deep walnut color with very minimal foam.

The smell was pretty minimal. I get some sweetness and very light hopping from European style hops. I don't really get any of the rye elements in the nose, but I'm sure that I'll get some in the flavoring.

The flavor is an interesting mix of lager and rye elements. I like the euro hops in the flavor. The sweetness is a little lighter in the flavor. There is even a slight taste of pepper.

This was a very tasty beer. I really enjoyed the mix of flavors and balance in this.

 747 characters

Photo of rlee1390
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Clear amber/ruby red, one finger head, some carbonation.

S-Rye spiceness, malty, caramel, some grassy notes as well.

T-Nice balance of rye, caramel and other malts. Not much bitter however it is sweet with good balance.

M-Light to medium bodied, light carbonation and crisp.

O-Possibly the best Marzen style beer I've had. The rye is a nice addition to a style I do not usually care for.

 393 characters

Hoss (Oktoberfest Lager) from Great Divide Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 440 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.