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 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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of horshack7
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear but very amber and an off white head one inch high.

Aroma: Caramel malts, bits of caraway seeds, traces of brown bread. Faint notes of citrus in the back but it's definately all malt with a bit of toffee.

Taste: Nice and sweet notes of molasses, toffee and caramel malts. Spice, minor notes of clove. The mouthfeel has a light toffee stickiness but it smooths out well.

Notes: A very good drinking beer and good for a cool night. Cheers.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a mug- pours a clear, dark copper color, with minimal head, only a few spots of lacing.

Smell is sweet, malty and delicious. Lots of caramel, sweet barley malt, some yeast, perhaps a little rye.

Taste is excellent- full taste, lots of caramel, some nice rye notes, not any hops per se, but it's not too sweet so there must be some in there. Not much else to say.

Mouthfeel is great- medium body, low carbonation. This is a great marzen. One of the better american ones that I've had.

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

The pour is a light amber color with an off-white head. Smells sweet with plenty of cereal and malt notes. A definite rye aroma, some yeast, a little bit of earthy hop character, and a light fruitiness. The rye is very pronounced on the palate. Sweet bread with a bit of toast flavor, some floral and spicy hops, and just a touch of yeast. There is a mild bitterness on the finish.

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Photo of SouljaSaia17
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have had this beer twice before and am happy to review it, since its a beer I always seem to come back to. As part of my mix a six of course!

A: Pours a fizzy light amber color with a 1/2 inch bubbly white head that quickly fades away.

S: Nice spicy Rye aroma, with some earthy notes and a hint of caramel and malts.

T: Taste consists of Rich malt notes, spice from the Rye, dark fruit and some cherry.

M: Nice rich malt, spicy flavor that finishes with a crisp, dry finish.

O: I would say another great beer by the great divide. Easy to drink, flavorful and has a cool label. Very nice Marzen Lager, Hoss is the boss!

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Photo of soju6
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear copper color with a decent head that fades to nice lacing.

S: Aroma of fresh grain, some malt sweetness and a bit of spice.

T: Starts with a nice clean crispness and a bit of malt sweetness. there is a bit of spice and fruit in the background. Nice bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Fairly medium body, very crisp and quite refreshing. Has a nice character.

O: Nice beer easy to drink. Quite good for the style.

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Photo of beertunes
3.51/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 4/6/12. Poured into 9oz Pilsener glass. Poured a clean, clear copper-amber color with about 1/4 inch of light tan head that had very good retention and good lacing.

The aroma was mostly a good malt scent, the Rye was very subdued, and there was just a mild tinge of hops in the background. The flavors were bolder.The solid malt base got a nice kick from the Rye and there was a nice hop tanginess at the back of the tongue.

The body was crisp and clean, and the Rye flavor lingered for a few moments. Drinkability was very good, I could easily have a few of these at a sitting. Overall, a very nice brew, worth looking for.

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Photo of schlimenhaumer
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Miller Lite pint glass at high altitude near Denver, CO.

A: Pours a transparent reddish copper color with a thin off-white head of minimal retention.

S: Sweet malts, dark fruits, rye and some faint bittering hop notes.

T: Opens with sweet malts that give way to dark fruits. The finish brings out spicy rye notes followed by a little bit of bitterness on the back end.

M: Medium-bodied with a dry finish.

O: Not a bad brew, but a bit lacking in terms of rye character. I wouldn't seek this one out, but I'd happily drink it again.

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Photo of stampfler07
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clear reddish-golden with a bubbly white head, leaves light lacing, head falls flat fairly quickly

S- Earthy malt aromas, faint hop, not really much to speak of

T- Sweet malt with dark fruity tones dominate the beginning, light bitterness comes in at the middle, at the finish the rye flavor comes out nicely and lingers

M- Slight warming, moderate carbonation and light-moderate body, faint dryness on the finish

O- Pretty enjoyable overall, more of an aroma would be nice but the rye flavor is well integrated

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Photo of beagle75
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a becker glass.

A: Clear, light amber color with one finger of off-white foam head. Moderate lacing remains and a few occasional bubbles rise in the column.

S: Rustic caramel and grain, with a trace of apricot jam. Carbon dioxide seeps through the cracks, but dimethyl sulfide is essentially absent.

T: Begins off-dry, with soft crystal malt, brief floral aromatics, and mild carbonic acidity. Caramel qualities come on strong in the middle, with well-integrated mixed fruit belatedly revealed in the first act when it tapers off here. Flavors clean up for the short finish, with little bitterness. A sharpness attributable to rye emerges only after the beer warms, but so does some mid-profile soapiness.

M: Medium viscosity, slightly syrupy on the palate and presenting some chew, with low carbonation.

D/O: This is a decent American-brewed amber lager that compares favorably to Karl Strauss's own. The brewer has taken some care here to develop tactile qualities of substance, and they overlap into the flavor. Unfortunately for the rye, crispness and spice fight a losing battle against qualities of fruit, caramel, and an overall heaviness that is on the high side for the style.

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Photo of Humulus85
3.39/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From a 12oz bottle into my Darkness snifter for effect. Bottled on 4/6/12

Pours a dark amber, crystal clear. A very stiff pour barely produced an off white one finger head. Zero retention, very little lacing.

Nose is very malt dominant as expected. Clean pale malts, with a touch of caramel malt, and a hint of biscuity rye.

Follows the nose. Layers of bready malt, nice and clean. Pretty straightforward, but well balanced with the exception of a lack of rye. It's there but kinda subdued. If you're gonna label something a Rye Lager, the rye should play a prominent role in the flavor profile.

Medium and body with a nice creamy texture. Well balanced, with a slightly sweet finish. Good carbonation. Very drinkable.

Overall this is a tasty, but (in my opinion) misleading brew. Tastes like a good Marzen, and within that framework this is a pretty solid representation of the style. Still needs more rye. It's like a very less skillful Surlyfest. I can't say I'd buy a sixer of this, but I would never refuse one. Recommended to any fan of Amber lagers or Marzens. Cheers!

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Photo of MadScientist
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was bottled on 9/15/2011

A: This is a beautiful, medium copper with excellent clarity and an white head.

S: A medium-high rye spicy aroma dominates the smell with a moderate toasted malt aroma and some earthiness. There also seems to be a light spicy hop aroma but it wouldn't surprise me if I was mistaken.

T: The flavor is mostly toasted malt and rye spicy, earthiness. There is some malt sweetness and a decent hops bitterness with the balance favoring the bitterness. There is a bit of dark fruit and cherry flavors in there as well. It finishes dry and crisp with some bitterness and spice in the finish.

M: It is a smooth and creamy, medium bodied beer with a medium-light level of carbonation.

O: This is a very tasty beer makes me understand why Reinheitsgebot forbid the use of rye in Germany. A very flavorful, spicy and crisp beer.

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Photo of Mlawrence
3.31/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Serving: Bottle into a pint glass

Appearance: Amber color with small amount of white head which quickly dissipates into light lacing

Smell: Mostly rye with caramel.

Taste: malty tatse with faint hops on the front end. Hints of caramel. Hops are stronger on the backend, the caramel also lingers.

Mouthfeel: strong carbonation, very light mouth feel.

Overall: Decent beer overall. Not exceptional, but pretty good for a light beer.

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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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