Hoss Oktoberfest Lager | Great Divide Brewing Company

very good
1,062 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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Reviews: 452 | Ratings: 1,062
Photo of GOBLIN
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A really nice full bodied lager. Pours a beautiful brown with a ruby glow. Aromas are bread malts and cherries dominant in the nose. Taste is same. Pretty much an Oktoberfest style lager with the addition of cherries. Pulled together with a crisp feel.

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Photo of drpimento
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This one was a bit light struck in the aroma tho the rye really comes through. Flavor’s good, malty, rye; the hops kind of beat down any fruit. Decent body. Drinkable beer.

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Photo of TH28
3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. 42 days old. Appearance: Deep copper, hazy, with minimal off white foam head. Aroma: Faint Munich malt, a hint of rye. No noticeable hop aroma Taste: Sweet bready an toasted malt with a light hop bitterness. Slight rye spice hits on the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel: medium body with a light carbonation. Finish: definitely leans on the malty side on the finish. Rye leaves the palate dry. Overall: A standard Marzen with a nice bit of rye to add another layer of flavor. I was expecting a bit more rye character, but still a good lager.

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Photo of zdk9
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Pours with a full finger of head- a soapy froth topping an crystal amber fading into ruby. Some streaks of lacing already on the sides of the glass. They're not strong but they're there which is saying something for a beer I don't expect to be too hoppy.

S- Straw, grain husk, and notes of rye like the spiciness I associate with a good rye whiskey. The more I dig my nose into it though, the more I get corn, very much like a corny adjunt crummy beer.

T- A decent amount of flavor going on here. There's some dark fruit, some viniousness ala a Vienna Lager. Quite a bit of malt- dark and syruppy malt with some of that husk and rye coming through from the aroma. Hops? I'm not really sure- it's bitter enough on balance and i do notice that. There's maybe some grapefruit or lemon pith on the back sides of the tongue.

M- Thick, but easy drinking.

O- A lot of flavor, and different from a typical lager. I like this (except for that corn in the smell thing...)

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

Wasn't sure what to expect, this was my first eye beer. Thought it was ok, but was a little underwhelmed. Good refreshing beer, just nothing I would pick out

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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 pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Bright gold with a slight copper tint under a 1” clingy white foam collar. S: Rye spice, spicy hops, traces of banana
T: Rye bread, spice, hint of banana, an underlying sweetness balanced by a moderate hop bitterness.
F: a little above medium body, a slight slickness on the tongue, moderate carbonation.
O: A well made and very drinkable rye beer.

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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 allforbetterbeer
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours darker than expected with a rich and vibrant dark amber body under light foam. Smells and tastes true to style without being quite as rich and luscious as some examples. The maltiness is less than expected, the hops more, especially the bitterness. Overall this works well as an American example of the style, and the rye is a very well done component. As usual, Great Divide delivers a bold interpretation with. Professional.

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Photo of Zcrizer
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottles (Dec 2014)

Look: Orange tinted, a solid lacing on top, lots of carbonation rising.

Smell: Weaker overall than many Marzens. Slight whiff of cherry.

Taste: Solid, if not terribly distinctive. It's mid-sip flavor seems to be sweeter, more fruit-like than most.

Overall: Good representative of the style that is apparently available yearround, which is welcomed by me.

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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 Raki
4.61/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The reason I really like this beer is its great balance of all things good (malt, rye notes, hops, and various mild background flavors), but not dominated by any one thing. Then, the "drinkability" puts the icing on the cake, with its smoothness and subdued bitterness and a really nice clean finish.

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Photo of CHickman
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours very hazy amber color with a nice thick 1 finger creamy beige head that faded slowly and left very good lacing coating the sides.

Smells of caramel, a big sweetness sugar like candied sugar and brown sugar, toasted grains, rye, funky metallic notes, pepper and wet bread which resembles cardboard. More exciting than most Oktoberfest noses, the rye is a nice spicy addition to the basic caramel nose of this style.

Tastes like rye and toasted grains up front, mixed with pepper, caramel, malt, dry grass or dry leafy hops, biscuit, light fruity notes like a lemon zest and wheat bread. The rye and spices cut through the malt and add an almost hoppy-like balance to the brew, which made it a better and more flavorful version of this style.

Mouthfeel is medium overall and yet feels watery with mild carbonation, a medium body and a nice malty semi-dry finish that trails with a nice combo of sweetness and spices. This hides the ABV completely and was easy to drink, I really like this version of a Märzen/Oktoberfest and will definitely have it again.

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Photo of majorbase2
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper-amber color. Very small white head with poor retention. No lacing. Aroma is very malt-forward. Sweet caramel. An unexpected amount of fruitiness (easy there, no I didn't read the label right away). Bready malts, and a bit of spice as well. The taste features, sweet, very lightly roasted malts, led by caramel. A good amount of bread malts as well, and some grain. A little bit of bitterness. Some very lightly roasted nuts that were a very nice addition to the caramel. Very very well balanced, with a good deal of sweetness that doesn't go overboard. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. A bit sticky, with makes it a little harder to gulp down. Overall this one was a pleasant surprise, after having a few letdowns from Great Divide.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Pours copper with a small lasting head.
Nose shows rye bready, sultanas, caramel, bready malt and hints of spicy cedar.
Creamy, nutty flavours with some bready malt too. Quite sweet.

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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 WesMantooth
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I don't get the cherry or dark fruit in the flavor that the label mentions. Maybe a little in the aroma. Does pour a red-orange with very good flavor imparted by the rye as advertised. Very carmely with a crisp bite at the end. The yeast and rye together are very nice in the smell and taste. I get a little of the same malt/grain taste that the Denver Pale Ale has. This was bottled in Oct. of '13, but still very good. Will look for fresh this fall. Well done. Overall 3.75 conservatively. Great Divide continues to produce a solid lineup.

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Photo of arc3636
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours golden brown with 1 finger of white head. More malty sweetness in the nose and flavor than I'm used to in a lager. Rye, caramel, and subtle lager bitterness. This is a really impressive lighter beer. I don't normally seek out lagers, but this will be the exception.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Jul 19 2013 at 45 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma of malt
Head average (4 cm), off-white, creamy, slowly diminishing to an uneven layer ranging from 0 – 4 mm thick
Lacing good, forms wide nearly complete rings
Body clear medium red-orange
Flavor begins with malt sweetness and flavor with some rye spice and quickly ends on the same notes; no alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl
Palate is medium, slightly oily, soft carbonation

This is an attractive and easy drinking beer. Although this is billed as a lager, it lacks the acidity and sourness associated with lagers, perhaps because of the rye. So far, the best beer I’ve had from Great Divide.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep clear golden with some amber hues. Thin head and light lacing. Nose is malty with notes of spicy rye and neutral lager yeast. Some earthy grain notes as well. Flavor is subtle with rye malts coming forward and no hop character to speak of. A slight spiciness towards the end. Mouthfeel is light and moderately carbonated. Overall, decent flavors, well balanced, and easy drinking.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.39/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I am continuing to winnow down my backlog, especially of bottles. This one was either purchased at The Friendly Greek or dropped off by tone77, but those are really the only two possibilities.

From the bottle: "Layered"; "Crisp"; "HOSS is based on the Marzen 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."; "Bronze Medal, Great American Beer Festival, 2009"; "Suggested Food Pairings: Veal bratwurst, barbecue chicken, carnitas (pork) tacos, Camembert cheese, German chocolate cake."

My initial, aggro pour created two fingers of dense, tawny head with moderate retention that created some great lacing as it fell. Color was a filament-bright deep-copper (SRM = > 13, < 17). Beautiful! Nose had a rich, malty scent, but I was not getting the fruitiness the label mentioned, at least, not on the nose. Mouthfeel was soft, slightly bubbly and now I did get a distinct cherry flavor on the tongue. Wild! The rye manifested itself on the dry finish, giving it an earthy balance to offset the malts. This was MUCH better than I anticipated and probably one of the best beers of the style that I have encountered. Great lacing formed as I drank through it. I would definitely be interested in having this beer again.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.39/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark yet clear copper color. The head is a little over a finger high, with an off-white shade. Its texture is more fluffy than creamy, but it still retains well. Nice rings of lacing are left on the glass.

S: Primarily, the aroma is caramel with some spicy rye and a touch of earthen hops. Rye comes out even more as it warms up. There isn't a whole lot to the nose, but what's there is definitely serviceable.

T: The malt backbone is stronger here. It opens faintly spicy - think rye and Centennial hops - and ends with a pleasant caramel finish. Not just caramel, but even some chocolate. A twinge of hop bitterness returns on the aftertaste. At times, it has a mineral quality to it. It's not an intense beer per se, and I wouldn't have it any other way: the hop/malt balance is delicate and defined in all the right ways.

M: It's coarse and prickly, though not out-and-out sharp. For some reason, this seems to make the body thicker than it really is. Still, this is a nice and drinkable marzen that doesn't rely on overdone carbonation to achieve that.

O: It's hard to go wrong with this brewery, and it's hard to go wrong with this beer. The rye adds a nice dimension without overpowering it. There's little wow factor here, but I'll be damned if I don't say I'm craving another one of these.

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Photo of MrBoz21
3.66/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured very bright copper/amber/gold with light tab head that quickly settled to ring. Nice fine lacing. Mild carbonation. Very pretty beer.

Aroma: Rye, right up front. Lager sulphur (which fades as glass breaths), caramel. Faint floral/noble hops.

Taste: Rye biscuit with woodsy/resiny bitter that rests in back of tongue and throat. Not complex per se, but very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium dry and tingly. A bit thin.

Overall: Very nice. Nice hoppy lager that is quenchable. No problem taking big, satisfying swallows. A bit thin.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pilsner style glass.

A real nice looking body color, deep red and dark orange with a good mix of slow and fast rising and pinhead and cola sized rising bubbles. Head is light tan, only about two fingers but with a little creamy thin top.

Good sticky lager nose, a little bit of dry rye malt spicy qualities. Some faint caramel notes hide in the back as well. Pretty solid and textbook.

Palate hits with a good amount of crispness and light texture. Good hints of chocolate and caramel sensing malts it seems on the finish. Sticky lager texture but light bodied and a little wet behind the ears slightly. Muted herbality hop and crispness seems to detract from the malt bill with not as much density.

Overall it's fine and the caramel/chocolate light finish seems unique, but the beer lacks some thick backbone, and the rye angle doesn't seem as obvious on the palate as much as the nose.

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Photo of tmm313
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Clear, amber body. I only got 1/2 finger head from a pretty aggressive pour.
S- Bread, caramel, fruity - mainly apple, some pear, a little roastiness, and dank hops when you give it a swirl.
T- Follows the nose pretty closely with the addition of sour/spicy rye. Actually really fruity and sweet. Apples come through again.
M- Medium body. Slick on the tongue. Not much aftertaste.
O- I could do some damage to this beer during Oktoberfest. Everything about it is welcoming and not too overpowering. It just screams session beer! It went down like a Gatorade on a hot day. I wouldn't buy this very often, but if it were offered, I would definitely partake.

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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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