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: 1,061
Photo of homebrewhawk
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in a shaker pint. Poured a reddish gold with a finger of white head. Bready malt aroma with a little noble hops. Medium bodied with a solid malt base. Bit of spice from the rye. Sweet malt on the start, crisp hop bite in the finish. Easy drinking, nothing earth shattering.

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Photo of jkrich
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle with freshness date.

Poured clear copper with orange highlights. The head is slightly off-white, fluffy and short-lived.

Strong spicy aroma for an oktoberfest style lager. Some soft, perfumy aroma evident after the pour into my stein.

The first sip reveals a tnagy sweetness - I am sure the addition of rye plays a role in the tangy, sharp flavor. The hops keep the lager refreshing, but this one is predominantly sweet.

Medium bodied with lively carbonation, yet soft on the palate; there is a lingering sweetness coats the mouth.

This one is very easy to quaff, and this is a unique take on the oktoberfest style. This is a good lager, but it is simply too sweet for me to drink a couple in one session

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Photo of Gmann
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amazingly clear copper color with a tight and clingy egg-shell colored head. Some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is quite faint, not picking up much. Perhaps some caramel malt with a light sourness. The taste is of a caramel malt backbone with no buttery flavor (woohoo), a light rye sour/spice which plays well with the malt, light metal notes in the end. American marzen style, do not see much german characteristics in this one. The feel is light to moderate, with an airy carbonation, finishes well balanced and clean. Dang, this is a pretty good marzen. The caramel malt with the touch of rye work really well. The beer drinks extraordinarily well and goes down easy. A must try if you like the style.

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Photo of argock
3.46/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass mug. Freshness date stamped on front label. SIngle purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $2.20.

A: Rustic amber with beautiful clarity and 1-2 fingers of foamy, light beige head with good retention and a nice crusty ring of lace at the top of the mug.

S: Very light and what is detectable is pretty grainy. A very small helping of herbal hops combined with the usual sweet caramel marzen aromas are there but are slammed by a pretty harsh and dirty grainiess that has some spiciness but is pretty one-dimensional. I think of a marzen as an easy-going style -- the aroma that is evident is not.

T: Features of the marzen style are there but are pretty strongly trumped by the grainy character of the rye. IT doesn't drink too badly though -- the sweet elements have got to be the result of prodigious malting with caramel and pale malts. Some herbal hoppiness is there but it's muddied by the rye.

M: Solidly medium-bodied and not overly carbonated -- just enough to show off the nice look without detracting from the feel.

D: A good not great brew and probably my lowest rated from GD. You have to really love rye to like this beer a lot. The value of this brew is far below other marzens, but it's worth a try.

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Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, orange color with a small, yet thick tan head. It left behind minimal lace.

S - It smelled of malt and rye with mild floral notes.

T - It tasted quite malty and bready with hints of rye. It had a nice spice hop bite.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A medium-bodied lager.

D - This is a unique twist on the marzen/oktoberfest style. Quite good and quite drinkable.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dull copper colored brew with good bubbling and a rocky to start, but quick receding off-white head. The The aroma makes me think of spicy caramel thanks to the rye and some mild hopping. The taste has all the trappings of a pretty good oktoberfest, but the rye seems to stick out a bit too much formy taste. I taste some good toasted white bread with some mild American hops. Bt the rye had a spicyness that doesn't jibe well with me. ot a bad beer by any means, and still a good session brew to boot. But style wise, I think this oneis a little off to get a great rating.

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Photo of Buebie
3.36/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from a mix and match store.

Poured from the brown bottle into a Sam Adams Turbulator.
Off the pour an inch head rises and falls rather quickly to leave a collar and smallish thin lace drapes. The head was an off white. The beer itself is a gorgeous transparent amber with redish copper hues when held to light.

Aroma is mild, but contains minimal rye spice, bread, caramel sweets with a fruity tartness.

Taste is not what I expected, its got a lingering rye off the back with a mild spice and peppery flavors, earthy almost. Some mild pumpernickel bready flavors, again some of the fruity tartness has followed into taste. I dont agree with the bottle that this is a rich layered malt bomb. Its malty, but not as described.
The Tart flavors become a bit cloying in almost a sweet tarts kind of way, only minimal though, but its there.
I'm just not feeling this, its a pish posh brew that has a bit too much going on.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp with just a touch of full bodied feel upfront, falling away to all carbonation and becoming increasingly thin.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep orange color with two fingers of creamy white head.

Scent of sugars, yeast, some ripe berries, and a hint of rye. Good, but a bit too sweet and strong.

Taste of rye, yeast, earth, and sugars. Not spectacular, but this is a solid brew. I could drink this often.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a crisp bite of carbonation.

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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 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 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 Magpie14
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: the body is glowing coppery orange with some reddish hints working around. The head was a shade or two from being bleach white with retention at a minimal. Jumbles of sudsy bubbles float in my glass, no lace or hardly anything worth mentioning

S: toasted malts backed with some caramel and light bread/yeast notes. Has a slight earthy snap in the nose which I guess can be attributed to the rye, kind of hop-like in some ways

T: tasty. I like the dry earthed rye addition to the flavors, brings a new dimension to the style. Malts have free roam between toasted and nutty flavors. In addition to this I gather a nice mellow buttery caramel flavor. At the back, that grainy, somewhat spicy, rye character is augmented by a few blades of grassy hops and makes for a real nice quencher

I find that I steer clear of Oktoberfest brews, not a favorite style for me. This is one of the few that works

M: a pretty soft feel and a mild plus body. Carbonation gathers and zaps the tongue on big gulps

D: I will get this again. Tasty, it really is a good compliment for the fall weather. Another tasty from GDBC

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

This beer pours a bright and very clear golden orange with a nice off white creamy head wich falls to a thin covering after a few moments. Nice oily lacing.

The aroma has the nice "beery" smell, for lack of a better description, that many Oktoberfest style beers seem to have. Clean fresh sweet malt too with mild hop aroma and a faint spiciness.

The taste is very unique and very good. It has the standard rich maltiness and hop bill of the usual amber Oktoberfest but with a big bold spicy rye back bite. Sweet up front with enough of a hop bitterness on the finish to clean things up. There also seems to be a nice mellow fruit thing going on too, almost of dark cherries. Nicely balanced and the rye spiciness really works for me.There may be a touch more alcohol warmth than is necessary but it is well masked by the rye.

Mouthfeel is on the medium side of light with not a hint of wateriness. It is creamy in the mouth and finishes as smooth and slick as you could want.

For an unusual style of Oktoberfest lager this beer is very tasty and consequently very drinkable. It wants to dissapear from my glass at a rate that doens't allow any proper warming. Warming however brings out and melds the flavours in an enticing way.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.56/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice super clear amber/orange color with an off-white head that lingers very well and leaves nice lacing.

Nose is malt driven with some cream like fruitiness in there peaking out.

Hmmm. Not quite like the marzens of germany but a nice amber lager all the same. First off, the hop profile is pretty significant for the style. There is almost a dark fruit like malt presence rather than that classic caramely marzen malt slap. The finish is pretty crisp. Aftertaste has lingering malt presence.

Mouthfeel is about where it should be, carbonation is right but this one is a touch too viscous for the style, IMO.

Drinkability is pretty solid, but the fruitiness of the malt profile is a little akward and hampers it a touch for me.

Overall a nice beer, but sort of akward for the style. Style parameters should be larger, so i dont care so much, im just saying that if your expecting a german style marzen, this one is a little different. The rye adds something to the beer for sure, making it interesting, but as a whole, im not terribly enthralled by it. An Ok beer.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quite clear beer bottle highlighted orange color with a small dense capping of cream colored foam that sticks for a bit before keeping a solid skim and lots of sketchy lacing.

Aroma is ample, malty, and clean of chewy breadyness & low ended toastyness lightly tackled by some toffee and tracking in some orange and yellow raisin goo.

Simple, lofty, delicate malty body with some tenderized breadyness wihtin a slow tang of toffee chewyness, whole grain dough sourness, and some lipped at raisin qualities. A few blades of grass whisp into some of its toastier aspects as it ends mostly malty with some crispness of toasty fresh grains.

Body is light sided medium with a boastful enough clasp of malty hold and tender chewy/cloying thats ample but balanced enough for a slippery drinkability that seeps right in without reaching much effort as it touches a crispness in carbonation that lends well to the flavors provided.

Quite a nice little O-fest that drinks down easy while keeping just enough body and flavor to maintain a crafty edge of enjoyment.

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

Poured into pint like glass.

Pours 1/2 finger of slight tan head. Ok retention with some splattered lace. Color is a clear amber copper.

Aroma: A nice spiced flavored fall beer with a big malt backbone. It definitely smells like a lager, but the rye addition is pleasant.

Taste: Wow, this beer is unique. I like the rye, spice, malt notes, but then the cherry comes in at the end for a nice surprise. It seems to have a smokey roasted malt flavor to it. This beer packs a lot of flavor to it as compared to what I was expecting.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and a little crisp. Medium bodied with a very nice amount of carbonation. Ends with a big malty flavor, slightly dry.

Overall, I was very impressed with this beer as it turned out to pack a lot of flavor. I could easily drink a few of these in a sitting. For the style, this one has to be a favorite!

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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 FtownThrowDown
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish amber in color. There's a very nice inch of frothy, white head that forms on the pour. It sticks around for awhile, but recedes to a bubbly ring.
Smell is definite lager yeast, but there's a nice light fruit and floral aspect about it. I'm not a big fan of lagers, but this smells pretty nice.
Taste is very smooth and nice. Don't know if has to do with the rye, but it really compliments and balances out all the flavors that usually turn me off of lagers, especially the marzen/octoberfest beers.
Very drinkable and enjoyable. Good beer.

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Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is a deep copper. The head pours thick and tight, and one finger remains for some time. A tight foam remains when it dissipates, leaving spotty lacing behind.
While I'm trying to place the aroma, I remember that this is a rye. There's definitely almost a rye bread aroma that strong but subtle enough just to have the pleasant aroma without being too much. Otherwise, there's a citrus underneath with a spicy note and a gentle but nice hops and malt balance.
The flavor of the rye is the same as the aroma; a perfect blend of strong and subtle. Rich malt flavor with a hops presence that blends nicely with the rye are in the forefront with just a hint of some fruits and a spiciness. There really is an earthy note in here as well.
The mouthfeel is a pleasantly smooth one, with a light crispness in a light carbonation.
A rye Oktoberfest? Why not?

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled On: 8/24/09.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, bright, orange-hued body with a medium-sized, sudsy, white head.

Smell: It's a spicy, bready, sugary, caramel-scented nose smelling of sugar-glazed, hearty rye-grain bread served up just for me (just for me, I tells ya).

Taste: Bready, lightly toasty maltiness with toothsome tastes of sweet sugar and light caramel. Mild background fruitiness. Ah, there's the inescapable rye grain character with its pervasively spicy character. Noble hops present a small snap of bitterness and some slight grassy, herbaceous undertones. Drying finish with a small lingering hint of rye grain.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: A satisfying beer to be enjoying on an early October evening. The welcome addition of rye adds a nice bit of pep to this Märzen-style lager. "Want some rye?? 'COURSE ya do!" --Return to Zork.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great Divide Hoss
12 oz brown bottle
Bottled on July 31 2009
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass

Pours a reddish brown color. Darker than the typical Marzen beer for sure. Nice head on top leaving solid trails of sticky lace.

A clean beer - smooth with a solid malt backbone. A touch of apple juice sweetness and a spicy hop finish. Love the snap bite at the end. I really like the addition of the rye too, which lends itself to a subtle dry quality.


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Photo of adamette
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. poured from tap into a clean, clear pint glass at Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon in North Olmsted, Ohio earlier tonight. 0.5 L for $6.50 Notes on the Fat Head's menu: Rich, layered Malt notes with hints of cherry and dark fruits dominate this beer while the unique addition of Rye imparts a slightly earthy, spicy character.

A Appropriate to style, orange brown tranlucent body with creamy head and fair lacing. 3.5

S Not a strong smell, some barley, maybe some distant hops. 3.0

T Basic Oktoberfest taste. Not much to set it apart from other standard Oktoberfests that I have had. It is not, to me, in league with Great Lakes Oktoberfest. 3.0

M Light, even a bit watery with only the barley malt to add some thickness. Appropriate to style but not, to me, inspiring. 3.0

D Very good and the point of this beer. It is made, in my opinion, to be ultimately very drinkable. This particular Oktoberfest, as suggested, just is not very inspirational to me. 4.5

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Photo of barnzy78
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz. Pours a deep copper with a nice fluffy off-white head. Good head retention and sticky lacing - very nice appeal. Sweet aromas of malty caramel are noticeable with a slight floral hop scent as well. Spicy is right up front on the palate with a hefty dose of bready malt, very reminiscent of fresh baked rye bread. Finishes spicy and somewhat bitter along with being fairly dry. Overall, nice change of pace with the added spiciness from the rye. Not a bad example of the style.

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Photo of froghop
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark copper with a small thick dirty-white head, and not much lacing.

smell is of rye, malt, a touch of spice, and some caramel.

taste is crisp, thick, malt, caramel, some spice, come cocoa, and a little sweetness in the back.

overall a nice oktoberfest with a twist.

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

Bottle at the Great Divide tap room. This was a clear amber beer with a soapy head. The smell was good and sweet almost, intriguing. The beer was a nice lager with a bit of sweetness and a hint of the rye. For some reason I was not expecting to like this beer but I did, I may need to pick up a sixer.

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Hoss Oktoberfest Lager from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 1,061 ratings.
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