Hoss Oktoberfest Lager | Great Divide Brewing Company

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very good
444 Reviews
Hoss Oktoberfest LagerHoss 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

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Reviews: 444 | Ratings: 1,027
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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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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Photo of mountdew1
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a darker amber reddish color. Had a very thin (less than 1 finger) bubbly white head. Head lasted a while, and clung nicely to the sides. Smell had a touch of sugar, a tad of hops, with a strong wheat/grain profile as well. Taste was extremely well balanced. A small bit of sweet, a little hint of peppery spice, with a mellow banana bread almost. Felt good in the mouth. Coated very well, but the carbonation seemed to be all over the place. At times it was subtle, other times it was up front. Overall a good representation. Not quite sessionable, but not overpowering either.

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

another easy drinking beer, hoss rye lager is an interesting spin on the marzen style. orange amber in color with a short-lived whitish head. carbonation is mild for a lager. hoss delivers welcoming notes of rye alongside caramel malts in the nose. down the hatch you get more maltiness, but not in a syrupy sweet way. clean, dry finish and a medium full body round out the brew.

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Photo of 5thOhio
4.58/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been a fan of ryes before ryes were cool and this one doesn't disappoint.

Pours a rich copper with a 1 inch head that dissipates slowly to one half inch. Thick lacing.

Nose is malty and slightly spicy.

Taste surprisingly starts out sweet and malty, but is followed by spicy rye notes and ends with a nice bitter hop bite. Excellent and complex.

I'd love to try this rascal on tap.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - a clear copper color, with a slight head retention and some sticky lace on the glass

S - sweet malts.

T - Big malty flavor, with a huge rye backbone and aftertaste. Sweet up front.

M - Highly carbonated

O - - a good beer for the style. I like the rye component. Good, but not worth buying again

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Photo of Gatch
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap @ Great Divide in Denver, CO.

A: Really dark brown with shades of blood red. Light brown, foamy head that leaves little lace and retention.

S: Heavily smoked malt with hints of beef jerky and smoked meat.

T: Same as the nose. Awesome smoked, roasted malt character. Subtle hops in the finish. Some spicy rye throughout. Killer flavor.

M: Smooth but right amount of carbonation. Great rye flavor and lager characteristics.

O: Incredible beer. Unique and so damn good.

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Photo of megahurts4
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great Divide Hoss

Appearance: clear amber, medium-small head, and some good lacing.

Smell: hops, little malt, and slight rye-grain.

Taste: sweetness, faint touch of hops, and then a rye finish.

Mouthfeel: medium and faintly syrup-like.

This is a good brew with an evenly balanced nut-rye flavor. It goes down easy and doesn't overpower the pallet.

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Photo of Durge
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another find at the World of Beers in Altamonte Springs, FL this brew appears golden amber with a solid haze and a modest but stubborn white film on top. Lacing is pretty decent. The aroma brings a pleasant apple caramel malt with an interesting cereal grain that overall makes me want to get a taste. The taste gives me a very interesting tropical fruit over yeasty caramel. And yes, I get many grainy overtones like rye, rice and also a slightly sugary corn malt. It’s medium-light bodied with a very fine but titillating carbonation. Some smokey hints. Very nice.

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Photo of McNealc31
4.14/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crisp, transparent amber, as expected. Floral and fruity hops come through most in the aroma. Loads of roasted, sweet malt are noticed first, followed by dark fruit,, spicy rye, and a very late bitter kick from the hops. As it warms, the flavors, especially the rye, become more pronounced. It's rather fruitier than I anticipated, but it works.

Rye isn't the foremost flavor here, but it's there. Overall, it's well balanced and tasty. Little higher ABV than you might expect from a lager with 6.2%. Definitely worth a try

Grade: B

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Hoss Oktoberfest Lager from Great Divide Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 444 ratings.
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