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Hoss Oktoberfest Lager | Great Divide Brewing Company

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very good
448 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: 448 | Ratings: 1,054
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 harrymel
3.21/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottled 17NOV11

Pours an amber color with a transient light cream foam and excellent clarity; no lace. Smells of honey, munich malts and some tea like character. Nice nose. Flavor follows with some sweet honey malts and a little bit of tea like character from hops/malts. Body is a little heavy (expected from addition of Rye) with light carb and a semi dry finish. Nice beer, would drink on a pint special.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great Divide : Hoss

Pours a bright reddish amber. Aromas of toasted malts and rye bread. In the taste, spicy rye, caramel, toffee, toasted malt and some complimentary spicy hop notes. Peppery, biting, with a good malt foundation. Alittle diacetyl is noted, given the lager yeast, not too out of place. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a crisp carbonation. Overall, a pretty decent offering from Great Divide. Having had few rye marzens, I consider this a success.

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Photo of rwrk42
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an amber reddish color with some nice head
Smell: Nice smell of caramel malt with slight cherry and dark fruit undertones
Taste: Nice taste with caramel malt flavor. Finishes nice with a good balance. Slight cherry and dark fruit flavors. Very smooth but was hoping for a little bit more flavor.
Not bad, would recommend

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Photo of chinchill
3.24/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with a bottling date of 15 Sept. 2015 into a lager glass.

Appearance – the body has an orange-amber color and is topped by a modest size, bone-colored head. The head has decent retention and leaves some foamy lace on the side of the glass.

Aroma – weak and seems to have some off notes (from the rye?) in addition to notes of caramel and sweet malts.

Flavor – nearly as spicy and hoppy as malty. Much better than the aroma suggests. Improved with some warming.

Mouthfeel –Alcohol seems a little lower than the actual 6.2 % ABV. Medium body with a carbonation level that is medium level, lightly crisp, and appropriate for style.

Overall: a good rye spiced marzen.

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Photo of DrewV
3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an amber colored body with a 1-finger bubbly head. Moderate lacing remains. Not bad.

S: Malts, caramel, very sweet. Hops are a no-show. Rye spiciness peeks out from behind the malts.

T: Again, super-sweet malts up front with tinges of rye hiding in there somewhere. I get 90% malts and 10% other stuff. Overly sweet and almost cloying.

M: Too smooth, lacks carbonation and body.

O: Not offensive, but definitely nothing I'd consider drinking again. A tough struggle for me to make it through all 12 ounces. Reminds me way too much of Sackets Harbor War of 1812 ale.

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Photo of HopsYeast
3.29/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a-pours a dark clear amber with zero sediment. has a 3/4 finger pale cream almost eggshell color head that slowly fads leaving a nice trace on the sides of the glass
s-had a sourdough smell that hants subtle hints of rye. then there is a very subtle fruity aroma. probably from the yeast. very complex aroma!
t-has a very balanced flavor of subtle hops with malt and finished with a nice touch of rye in the end.
m-on the thicker side. not like the ale of summer.
o-decent balanced lager. nothing too exceptional about it but it is drinkable and can compliment different meals.

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Photo of McStagger
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Love the name. Love the concept (Rye Marzen!).

Bottle on date is obscured, but I purchased from my local Whole Foods. Beer guy there is good about keeping stock fresh.

A: Pours a fairly dark red/bronze. Excellent clarity. Two fingers eggshell white foam. Medium bubble. Fairly rapid dissipation. Moderate lacing.

S: Lot of tart green apple. Little bit of lemon. Clean lager smell. Some spice from the rye. Slightly nutty hint.

T: Marzen roastiness comes out in the end. Flash of noble hop bitterness. Finishes with a slight edge of spiciness. Very dry, clean and crisp. Aftertaste is almost nonexistent, with slight hints of darkened fruit, the same nutinesss, and a mild herbal note.

M: Fairly light. Moderate carbonation, but it still comes across as seltzery and thin.

O: Like a green bottle beer, but with slightly more character. Would not purchase again.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.31/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out into my SS pint glass. Looks like organic rootbeer with an odd happening of the carbonation sticking to the bottom and sides of the glass. One finger of almost white head...

Smells of whole grain bread alcohol

Good first impression, heavy malts and light hop profile, bready, with sunflower seed, oat and sesame. Sessionable yes.

Mouthfeel is wet with a weak carbonation and a light body.

I would recommend this, it is really just a smooth drink, nothing exceptional

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Photo of samie85
3.31/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes; originally 8/7/10.

A-Pours a brilliant reddish amber color with an ample two finger white head that leaves behind some beautiful lacing.

S-Deep caramel and dark fruit notes with some hints of rye bread and spicy hop notes.

T-Dry, crisp malt with some sweet rye and spicy hop notes. Some toasty and dry malt on the finish.

M-Surprisingly low carbonation with medium body and a smooth mouthfeel.

D-I'd prefer a little more carbonation than what I got, especially for this style. That being said, this is a pretty original brew, but not one I'd buy again. I'm glad for the experimentation, but not the biggest fan of this one.

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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 jbertsch
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Cooper-like amber in color with a 1 finger head. The lacing is ok. It serves up an aroma of slightly musty malt, holiday spice, rye grain, and notes of cherry. The malt comes through sweeter on the palate, giving a caramel profile. Rye grain takes on an earthy bitter taste but is muddled a bit by the additional spice notes. Hop bitterness on the finish. It's body weight is properly medium and it's well carbonated. Drinkability is fine enough - the aftertaste didn't make me want to drink it as quick as a couple of other rye beers I've had.

You can tell this brew gives a nod to the marzen style, and given the fact that I love marzens and rye beers, I expected to like this more. But the other spices mixed in make this brew lose its focus a bit. Not bad though.

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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 micromaniac129
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a red amber color. It has about avg head with fairly desent retention but no lacing.
Weak carbonation.

Aroma was mostly malts as one would expect with some sutle rye similar to pumpernickel.

A taste of slightly toasted malts, sweet and some rye malts kicking in towards the end. I get a pumpernickel feel also with maybe some sutle molasses to boot. Some spiciness at end.
The beer goes down easy and is a typical medium body.

A pretty good beer with a different take on the Octoberfest style.

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Photo of Blueribbon666
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes.
Pours a golden color into pint glass smells like a lager with a mix of malt and hops.
Taste/mouthfeel, malty with a crisp mix of hops and rye that gives it a dry finish.
Overall, very drinkable reminded me more of a bock than what's listed on the site or on the label style wise. Decent just like their scotch ale that I've had, but I haven't found a Great Divide that would make me seek it out.

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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 soze47
3.36/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drinking a 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Nice amber color, maybe a little on the orange side of things. Nice head on a somewhat gentle pour. Lacing is pretty sticky, which is a little surprising in hindsight considering all of the other aspects of this beer are loose.

Aroma: Not a big nose on this right off the bat, but all characteristics come out, like with all beers, after it warms. Biscuity and some rye/hop spice notes that are hard to distinguish from each other. Caramel notes come out after it warms a bit.

Taste: Kind of a watery taste, especially for a beer calling itself a Marzen. Again, nice toasted biscuit malt with some spices that either come from hops or the rye. Not a too distinctive rye taste on this one compared to the myriad styles that use this grain.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Very crisp, as you may expect in a lager, but not very robust. My palette was left with an almost stronger linger than initial taste when drinking. That hurts the drinkability score, but if you don't mind the awkward aftertaste, you could drink a few of these.

Overall: Meh. Interesting brew, but not what I was expecting from the style or from the rye emphasis on the label. Not an all together bad effort, but either making the rye malt pop or changing this style classification and tinkering a bit would help this one go from good to great.

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Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.36/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from Bottle into Pint glass. Not the appropriate serving vessel for this beer but its all I had.

It clear amber with some red hues and nice streams of carbonation and a half a finger of off-white head that remains atop the glass as its drank. The aroma is caramel malty with spicy notes and earthy hops. Flavor is malt forward with biscuit, caramel and rye. Has some earthy hops and some light unripe cherry flavor that became more present as it warmed up (maybe due to the rye?) Its medium bodied and slightly crisp and finishes with a easy dryness. Overall it was mostly bready malty goodness with some interesting spicy notes and found it to be very enjoyable all-around.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-draught into a Great Divide sampler at the Great Divide Taproom yesterday. Not paired with food. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were that it would be average. Cost was $1.00 USD.

A: Pours a half finger head of fair cream and thickness, but terrible retention. Colour is a nontransparent copper.

Sm: Lots of fruity tones, a light air of vinegar, and malt. Moderate in strength. Very pleasant and inviting.

T: Quite bright and fruity, with some hops over the rye foundation. The rye doesn't come through a whole lot in the flavour. It's more complex than expected, and quite balanced. Built well and with care.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Light on the palate. Complements the flavour. The rye adds a touch of welcome coarseness.

Dr: Very drinkable - especially for a rye beer. I'd maybe have it again, but it's nothing special.

I don't know that I agree with its current classification as a Marzen, nor do I think would the brewery.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a mixed six pack as a Christmas gift. Haven't gotten to try it yet, so, score! Let's give it a go. 12oz bottle, bottled on 11/17/11...

A: A perfectly clear, filtered, deep copper with hints of red. A small tan colored head that fades quickly to a small lace around the top edges of the brew. Decent.

S: I get a nice heavy munich malt upfront in the scent with some hints of rye and breadiness in the middle. I smell some nice earthy hop on the back. Ok.

T: I get a very strong bready rye taste upfront which segways nicely into a strong maltiness. A bitter watered down hop on the back with a slight boozy taste. Decent.

M: Medium body with a heavy carbonation. A watery dry finish. Decent.

O: All in all, this is a decent brew. I've have many better in the style, but it's still a good drinker. If I was craving a good Oktoberfest though, this would not be what I grab by any means.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this 12oz single at Harvest Fine Wine in West Hartford CT for $1.95. Bottled on Jun 10, 2010. Served cold in a chilled pint glass.

Clear amber-orange brew gives a half inch of thick creamy beige head. Smell is faint but somewhat malty and a bit of spice. On the tongue it leads with a thin sugary apricot sweetness, the quite separate from that there's some rye spice and hop. It's pretty disjointed, a giant rift running through the middle of it... sweetness way over here, spice and hop waaaay over there, nothing in the middle. As it warms the sweet side develops a bit of warm vanilla. The feel is on the light side of moderate, reasonably creamy with soft carbonation. I disagree with the label claim of "crisp". Despite it's flaws, it is highly drinkable. Alcohol is hidden well. Finishes with a little lingering sweetness and a bit of metallic twang.

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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 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 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.

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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.

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Hoss Oktoberfest Lager from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 1,054 ratings.
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