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Hoss (Oktoberfest Lager) | Great Divide Brewing Company

very good
440 Reviews
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Hoss (Oktoberfest Lager)Hoss (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: 440 | Ratings: 1,016
Photo of philbe311
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Even though there hasn't been much hype about this beer, I've been looking forward to it since I first heard about it... I like rye beers, I like Great Divide beers, and I love interesting takes on styles, in this case a Marzen... Cheers...

A - A very active swirling pour... Loads of small-bubbled moderate paced carbonation rises throughout... A finger and a half of full creamy tan head begins to fade but shows solid retention with about 1/4 inch left before completely fading away... A rich but splotchy lacing remains... A wonderfully light golden orange color with some wonderful reddish highlights... A little bit of lace clings to the sides of the glass... It looks very light and refreshing...

S - Caught a little off guard, but it is the cherries that hit the nose first... Caramel... Notes of cinnamon... Just the slightest touch of rye spiciness... The aroma is quite mild and subdued, but it is terrifically entrancing...

T - There's a lot going on here... Sweet cherry and fruit are first on the palette... This is followed by a quick glimpse of caramel and bready malts before the rye spiciness kicks in... The bitter rye dominates the finish... Perhaps even trace amounts of some piney hops...

M - Light and refreshing... Slightly sticky and syrupy... Very very mild carbonation... Incredibly smooth... Sip, savor, repeat...

D - A very interesting and enjoyable brew... The cherry really adds to the character of this fine brew... The rye is understated and takes a backseat but still adds to the overall depth and complexity... My biggest complaint is that it seems to stray pretty fair from the style guidelines of a traditional Marzen... None the less I could enjoy this year round and may invest in a case so that I'm able to do so... The most artistic lager to come down the pike in a really long time...

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Copper with tannish head and lacing.
smell: Toasty malt. Very pleasant though not remarkable.
taste: Again, a good solid toasty malt.
mouthfeel: full and creamy.
drinkability: Quite. I want another already.
I was about to grab another 6 of GDBC Claymore but decided to try this. Glad i did.

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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 bump8628
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lumberjack themed bottled with a bottled on date of March 24, 2010.

Clear amber with an inch of nearly-white head.

Bready, nutty, biscuity malt carries the beer along with a tangy note from the rye and some caramel. Hops only lend balancing bitterness and yeast remains clean and neutral.

A very nice Marzen, and the addition of the rye makes it slightly different than any other one out there. Nice balance and great flavor.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in April, 2011 but picked up in October, same year. Go figure. It’s a marzen, so maybe there’s poetic justice at work here. Thanks to XicanoBeerRun for this bottle.

Gave it a vigourous pour and received a good layer of foam that slowly died down atop a ruby-amber colored beer. Muted malty aroma on the nose, and the hints of cherry and dark fruits that the description on the label promises. Mellow taste. It’s sweet around the edges but not overpoweringly so. More like dark cherry, perhaps some cherrywood, or whiskey-soaked cherry, if I was pressed to pin it down. The rye gives it an edge, but I’d be hard pressed to describe just what, exactly. Like a sweeter, less hoppy ryePA, I suppose. Different from what I’d expect from a marzen but that’s not a bad thing. Another winner from the Great Divide.

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Photo of farrago
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice creamy head of close to two fingers, orange tinted off-white color, close to the froth of an orange julius, average retention, covers the surface for some time, a few streaks of lacing here and there. Deep and vibrant metallic red to coppery orange colored liquid, clear with excellent reflective brilliance, quite pretty. Pastry flakes, milk chocolate, honey coated orange citrus, more of a warm butter than toast covering, the rye waits until the penultimate moment to move forward into the spotlight. Medium-bodied, however, lounges squarely on the palate and unpacks a picnic basket of caramel, milk chocolate, molasses, honey, graham cracker, croissant and ripely sweet oranges. The carbonation is like tiny explosions, precise and prickly yet with no staying power. As a flavor the rye has a clear delivery but doesn't add much texturally, the hoppy side of the equation slacking. The sweetness never comes close to cloying and for a more or less one-sided beer it's, err, decently balanced. Drinkability highest when coldest.

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Photo of JMD
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a copper/amber color with small frothy off-white head that fades slowly.

S: Classic marzen aroma with hints of Rye. Carmel sweetness and spice. Smells exactly the way you expect it to.

T: Great malty flavor of a traditional Marzen. Sweet carmel, some bread and light spice. The Rye flavor is prominent and adds a great twist to a classic style.

M: Great texture, perfect for the sytle.

D: This is great American Marzen. All the classic flavors are there, and the Rye compliments it nicely. Another solid offering from Great Divide.

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Photo of Jaymad
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Great rich copper red color. On the more carbonated side, so the head doesn't last but there is at least light lacing.

S: Smooth malt.

T: Smooth, warm malt, very clean tasting. Just enough hops to keep the finish crisp and provide a slight lingering bitter along with a bit of rye spice. Rather simple, but quite good.

M: A bit thin, but the carbonation fills it out.

D: Very drinkable. After many, the aftertaste might make me tired of it, but each sip is so refreshing! Could definitely put away 6+ of these.

Overall: A great clean malty beer that's crisp and well-balanced. Glad this is in full production now.

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Photo of droomyster
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a small off-white head. Has fascinating aromas that remind me of strawberry shortcake; the fruitiness is completely unexpected! The flavor profile, on the other hand, is not fruity in the least. It's almost completely comprised of austere malts: very bready, toasty, biscuity and woody flavors, with a very slight caramel sweetness. One of the breadiest beers I've tasted. A very tasty marzen that would happily buy again.

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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 mdcrouser
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Creamy tan head that holds fast, providing coverage to a cloudy amber beer that shows hints of gold, orange and red, depending on the light and shadows cast. Pretty stellar looking.

Earthiness is at the fore on this one - grainy, malty and with one of the brighter rye noses of the ryes I've had. It really comes through clearly here, which is a big plus for me. Really nice.

Malty like a traditional Ofest, but with a creamy depth that I'd guess stems from the inclusion of the rye - makes this an exceptionally easy drinker.

The creaminess is akin to a stout - great in the mouth.

Maybe not a fan favorite, but one of my favorite ryes for sure. Good nearly year round.

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Photo of GPHarris
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a two-fingers thick tan head into a pint glass that left sticky lace and sheeting throughout. the body was a bright orange-amber color.
s - slightly sweet with hints of caramel and apples along with other dark fruits. hint of breadiness.
t - fruity with a little hop kick. rye with a sweeter finish.
m - smooth and lightly creamy.
d - great beer.

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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 NJpadreFan
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great Divide- Hoss

A- Bright clear caramel brown with a small filmy white head. Light to no lacing.
S- Light caramel bread crust grainy malt. Slight earthy dry grass hop aroma.
T- Sweet caramel malt with toased bready grains, buttery shortbread and dry grassy hops. The slightest touch of cherry?!
M- Thick sweet buttery smooth malt with a dry body and a creamy malty finish.

Overall- So smooth and delicious. Hopefully I can find 6ers of this.

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Photo of matjack85
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this single 12oz brown bottle at Binny;s in Glen Ellyn, IL for $1.99. Bottled on date is clearly marked as July 31, 2009. Hoss is only distributed in August and September, so I might have found one of the last bottles from this year's batch.

The beer pours a nice golden orange color, but it made just a 1 finger white head that left only a minimal amount of lacing.

The smell wasn't strong but it was pleasant- an earthy rye smell mixed with fruity hops.

Surprising amount of malt in here as I didn't pick any up in the smell. This is a nicely balanced marzen. It has a cherry-like fruitiness to it, some earthy rye spiciness, plenty of malty sweetness, and enough hop bitterness to keep it interesting. Can't see anyone not liking this.

Light to medium body with fairly high carbonation to keep this crisp and refreshing. Finishes dry but with a spicy and alcoholic aftertaste.

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

a: pilsner glass, deep copper colored and topped with a thick eggshell head, good lace

s: malty lager body with a nutty, spicy rye presence, cirusy noble hops

m: well carbonated but not overactive, body satisfyingly on the heavier side of what's appropriate for the style

t: malty oktoberfest body with a great spicy rye profile, underlying pilsner crispness with nutty munich malts, toasted sugars, finishes with nice noble hop bitterness

d: not a problem - great marzen

single from Whole Foods, Fair Lakes, VA

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

Amber with some haze. Produces a small fine head with good retention. Moderate amount of small carbonation bubbles. Bready/spicy aroma with a with a fair amount of caramel sweetness. Medium body leaning toward the heavy side. Some alcohol up front. Carbonation is on the soft side making for a good balance with the body. Spicy middle, where the rye is evident, and rich finish. Bitterness has legs. A definite colder weather beer. A bit heavy for temps above 80.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
4.23/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes on 5/15/10.

A: As the bottle says: red-orange. This color would fit in an autumnal collage brilliantly. Poured into my snifter, the 1/2 finger head is here and gone and leaves a spindly beige layer on top of the beer. The lacing is pretty interesting and sticky - somewhat surprising for a lager.

S: A bright, fruity, and grainy lager smell meets spicy rye. I smell some plum, cherry, and apple aromas with a bit of light pepper. This is a nice and inviting smell, which becomes heavier on the fruitiness and lighter on the grains as the beer warms.

T: I drank the majority of this beer at about 50-55 degrees and it is amazing how much more flavor was released at the warmer temperature. Huge notes of plum and cherry mingled with the rye spice to reveal a really tasty and big lager.

M: Hoss has a solid mouthfeel. The rye gives a good tingly feel to the sides of the palate as the light to medium carbonation massages my tongue.

D: This interesting beer is one of which I will consume more. I do not think I would have too many in one sitting, though, as the rye spice could overpower the palate.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.23/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber-hued body with a thinnish, near white head. decent lacing.

Smell: toasty amber malts, sublte fruit, and some spicy, sublte herbaceous hop notes.

Taste: sweetish flavor of amber malts with a background sublte bitterness. awesome malty flavored marzen and great dry finish with the rye.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body.

Drinkability: fantastic marzen lager. loved it

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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 bnes09
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep orange to red in color. Big eggshell white head which diminishes to a patchy froth with lots of stick to the glass.

Rich and sweet fruitcake aroma. Some bready character and fresh cut grass in the nose.

Flavor is sweet overall. It has a unique fruitness consisting of pear, melon and some plum. Hops are mild, floral and just enough to add some balance. Rich bready malt character. Caramel sweetness. Rye adds a nice spicy and drying touch. Probably the best tasting marzen I had tried so far.

Medium-bodied with good carbonation. Feel is a little course on the tongue with a dry finish.

This is an excellent example of the marzen style. The flavors are very complex and well balanced. The rye added an interesting touch. Unique and tasty!

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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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Hoss (Oktoberfest Lager) from Great Divide Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 440 ratings.
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