Dead Ringer
Ballast Point Brewing Company

Dead RingerDead Ringer
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Lager - Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #269
Ranked #39,387
3.7 | pDev: 9.73%
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
Dead RingerDead Ringer
Notes: Our Dead Ringer Oktoberfest lager is inspired by old-style Märzen brews customarily enjoyed during Bavaria’s world-famous beer festival. Thanks to an abundance of toasted malt and a lower hop bitterness, this dark reddish brown lager is loaded with sweet, caramel toffee flavors and aromas. All the taste and celebration of Oktoberfest packed into one bottle; no lederhosen required.
Reviews: 165 | Ratings: 687 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Rseanchardy from Tennessee

2.8/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Either because its months past October or because the beer is bad its terrible. I may give it a worse rating but there are worse beers. Bitter and sour.

Feb 04, 2019
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HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Around a medium body with at least average carbonation which dissipates fairly quickly.
Aroma wasnt overpowering but mostly roasted malts,bread, and grains
Taste was similar to aroma which overall was a good thing. Not completely what I expected but still an interesting flavorful beer

Dec 11, 2018
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Niko2021 from California

3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A decent entry from Ballast Point. Six pack purchased from Total Wine, CA. Pours dark golden copper, like most marzens. Not a whole lot going on in terms of distinct notes, hints of caramel, malt, and grain. As with most ballast point ales and lagers, this beer is heavily carbonated at first. Ensure you pour this beer a little rougher than you would normally to break up a lot of the carbonation. After that, you will find the beer is a lot smoother and drinkable, revealing a lot more of the subtle malty notes. A must try for Ballast Point followers, may not impress many Oktoberfest fans. In between a Spaten and a Paulaner marzen.

Dec 02, 2018
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daliandragon from Maryland

3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Oktoberfest season is almost over but this was a solid call. Crisp and clean and precise with big sweet malt flavors and enough yeast and bread note complexity to make it worth your time. Not quite a typical version of the style but kind of different and kind of an interesting take on style.

Oct 21, 2018
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PatrickCT from Connecticut

3.51/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Dark mahogany body. It's brewed clear but you can't see through it. One finger off white head dies quickly leaving a ring around the glass.
The aroma is toasted malts with some faint caramel, dark stone fruit and apple.
Toasted grains, dates and apples in the taste. Faint medicinal hops towards the end.
Nice smooth body and a light mouth feel.

Oct 16, 2018
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SierraNevallagash from Maine

3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into lager mug at cellar temp

Pours a clearish dark amber brown hue with a slight ruby shine. Think dark maple syrup.
Foamy finger of beige head that's holding up pretty well. Edit: heavy solid lacing up the walls after a third had already been consumed.

Aroma is heavily toasty roasty malts with lots of caramel and toffee. Huge nose of honey. Rich dark bread. Some light spice. Touch of molasses. Sweet and malty.

Palate is medium-roasted malts with honey and spice. Some light toffee notes in there as well. Definitely honey. Honey roasted malt, honey pumpernickel bread. It's sweet and almost stouty. Hops are definitely there, moreso than I think the style calls for, but they're pretty subdued. The word bitter does not come to mind. Someone told me this was heavily hopped, and I'm not getting that at all. Maybe for the style, but it isn't hoppy whatsoever. It's...stouty.

Mouthfeel is medium/full, leaning full. It's sweet and rich. It feels a lot closer to a brown ale, honestly, and that isn't necessarily a complaint. The carbonation is on the lower side of medium. It's a tiny bit slick. This isn't a quick drinking beer. This is one to sit with and think, on a lovely New England autumn day such as this. It goes well with the season. The cold ground adorned with fallen red leaves, the brisk chill in the air, and a mug of sweet rich seasonal spiced beer. Perhaps this would go nicely with a big soft pretzel, or some type of pastry. Pumpkin pie for sure.

Overall, I like this. It's a very unique take on an Oktoberfestbier, and I'm a fan of unique. I do love Ballast Point, and this is a neat offering from them. It's festive and fun. I will gladly enjoy the other 5 of these that I have left.

Oct 07, 2018
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beermeister2112 from California

3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought a 1/2 gallon growler from their keg at the Miramar CA brewery 1st day of its seasonal release. Pours a rich deep amber color with a 3/4 in. Head that dissapates quickly with a thin lacing down the clear Oktoberfest pint glass purchased in their gift shop. Light hint of caramel flavor and more hops than normally associated with a maarzen style beer. Medium carbonation good clean light hop finish. Buzz happens quickly with 6% abv but no boozy taste. Good seasonal local pick.

Oct 07, 2018
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jkrich from Florida

3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a freshness dated (look on bottom of bottle) 12 oz. bottle: clear, deep reddish-brown hue with a quickly fading, beige head. Without doubt, the darkest Oktoberfest I have tried this season.

Nothing stands out in the aroma, save a hint of American hops.

This is certainly a fuller body festbier and most likely one you would quaff at a celebration, though it is very flavorable. The lager begins with a sharp (for an Oktoberfest) hop profile, but then settles into flavors of toffee, caramel and butterscotch as well as some roasted character. While you might assume this one is cloying, that aforementioned hop profile does keep it somewhat zesty and crisp.

As previously mentioned the body is fuller for the style (perhaps solidly medium in body) with an almost ale like quality in the mouthfeel - rounded and somewhat fruity.

I am very pleased with this offering, even though it is not really true to style - a unique American interpretation.

Oct 07, 2018
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BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Taste: crisp finish with spiced semi sweet roasted malts, dark bread. Malty earthy sweet nose. Reddish copper color, mostly clear, tan head and delicate lace. Medium full body. Malt forward and very drinkable. 26 IBUs

Sep 24, 2018
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Das Biergarten. Deep amber with a nice off white head. Smells of bready toasted malt, caramel malts, and nutty malts with a faint earthy hop presence. Tastes of caramel malt that turns toasty before getting sweet. Mild bitterness in the back end. Bittered enough to make it easy drinking. Very good.

Sep 23, 2018
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teromous from Virginia

3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the bottom of the bottle: "DR28 14:41 PKG26JULY18"

Appearance: The body of the beer is very dark. It looks like a black tea with hints of mahogany brown and red as light passes through. The head is medium-sized, creamy textured, and off-white. It's a good looking beer but far darker than the standard Oktoberfestbier.

Aroma: There is a faint spicy aroma and just a light bit of toffee.

Taste: It has a toasted crust flavor with a bit of carbon and toffee. It has a nice sweet caramel edge and it finishes with burnt toast.

Mouthfeel: It has a nice full body that does a good job of packing a lot of the flavor into various corners of the palate. It has a slightly harsh bitterness from the toasted malt. It is a slower drinking beer than the standard Oktoberfestbier.

Overall: It is a flavorful beer but it doesn't feel as cohesive and put-together as many of its peers on the market. The beer feels a bit rough around the edges with a strong bitterness and the lower drinkability. It is a good tasting beer so I would recommend it if you just want something tasty, but it isn't a beer I would likely drink more than one of at a time.

Sep 13, 2018
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MorganJ from Washington

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12 oz bottle into a half liter Stein. Nice darker brown, amber beer. Lovely taste of the sweet Carmel malty taste I expect and love from an an American Octoberfest. This one isn't light tasting and full of flavor. A decent version of this style. Would drink more

Apr 05, 2018
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WoodBrew from Ohio

3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this off the single shelf at my local Meijer. It poured a hazy amber with no head and no lace. The scent had hints of bread. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it's ok

Jan 12, 2018
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colts9016 from Idaho

3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a pint glass at 44 degrees. It produced a light tan head that is frothy and bubbly with poor retention. The body of the beer is a medium dark amber color with reddish mahogany hues. The clarity of the beer is clear with some carbonation bubbles rising from the top.

Nose: The beer has a light caramel note, toasted malt, biscuit, floral, earthy, yeasty, and light sweet note.

There is this weird smoky burnt caramel toasted note that is not pleasing to my palate. Earthy, floral, yeasty, touch of sweetness, biscuit, nuttiness, and a touch of toffee.

Mouthfeel is medium light, plus carbonation, a medium astringency, and medium finish.

I am conflicted with this beer. It taste like a hoppy amber not a malty lager.The hops are more pronounced than a typical Oktoberfest style beer. It is a huge malty beer with the unnecessary hop addition. I get this funky weird smoky burnt note in addition to the hop just kills this beer for me. I do not care for this interpretation.

Nov 07, 2017
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beerthulhu from New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-Std. Pint serving.

A: Light cola with orange-ish highlights reflect from back-lighting. Light tan head sits for a good length of time, but is sparse on its glass dressing. Really nice deep coloring per style, with a light to moderate rate of carbonation.

S: Aroma of sweetly toasted honey-munich and raisiny crystal malts adds a nice base and warm caramel feel. A bit of fruitiness from the yeast, with a spicy toastiness, and earthy bitterness, soft dry leaves and warm nobel flowers.

T: Spices of cardamon, toffee with a bit of toasted nuttiness all add to the warm marzen like feel. Some caramel bread and cola finish rounds things out.

M: Heavy malt base, spicy warmth, and a warm and toasted malt like feel.

O: A beautiful malt base, toasty, warm caramel and spicy warmth perfect for the autumn like weather. Bready malt depth, and sweet raisiny character of speciality malts provide a deep, lush base, toasty, and spicy, and worthy to raising a pitcher to during any octoberfest celebration. A bit heaviver in nature then german counterparts, it brings a ton of flavor and malt lush. cheers.

Nov 02, 2017
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Ballast Point Brewing Co. "Dead Ringer"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, coded "DR 23 17208 14:57" (whatever that means)
$2.79 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: Nice label as expected. The body is a clear, deep copper with a ruby sheen and the head that tops it is a creamy off-white. The aroma is limited but lightly sweetish and sugary, and mildly toasty. The flavor follows much stronger with a gently sweet, toasty, and lightly caramelish/brown sugar-like maltiness that's backed by mild leafy and floral hops. A median bitterness balances it and it finishes caramelish but not sweet and lightly spicy and leafy. Medium-bodied and softly crisp. Nicely done.

Oct 15, 2017
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tall sided pilsner glass.

Look is a deep reddish almost ruby with an off white head.

Aroma is sweet molasses malt with a lager tang at the end.

Taste is a lot hoppier than the aroma, but more of a continental European hop than an American tongue ripper. Malt comes through big at the end.

Oct 04, 2017
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haines710 from Delaware

4.29/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tasty beer and very nice fall Oktoberfest brew in my opinion. Pours a beautiful dark Amber. Taste is rich and full, kind of chewy but not heavy. Easy to drink. I taste a little caramel and maltiness but not strong alcohol. This brewery knows what it's doing. I will have to get more than this one bottle.

Oct 01, 2017
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RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.71/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dead Ringer has a fairly thick, ivory head, a mostly clear, deep copper appearance, some bubbles, and minimal glass lacing. Aroma is of sweet, brown bread crust, some cherry, and some syrup. Taste is of those elements, with a noticeable and pleasing hop bitterness, helping to round things out. Nice roasted qualities, here. Mouthfeel is medium, and Dead Ringer finishes crisp and refreshing.

Sep 30, 2017
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brewnme from Maine

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Real nice clear brownish red with nice thick 1 finger head. Smell is a smoky, caramel/coffee combo, very nice. Taste is similar to Sierra Nevada's but I think just a hair better (almost as good as my own) A very enjoyable tasty Oktoberfest.

Sep 22, 2017
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jkblr from Indiana

3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottled 7/3/17 poured into a.5L krug at fridge temp 6% ABV. The beer pours mostly bright deep dark amber in color with short lived tan head. Within minutes only a few bubbles remain. The aroma is rather strong for the style and smells like burnt sugar and body odor. The taste continues with the burnt theme, although not as unpleasant as the smell. Maybe extremely toasted malt? It walks the line of sweet vs. bitter pretty well. Mouthfeel is thin bodied, well carbonated and dry in the finish with no noticeable flaws. Overall, weird but ok. The label says traditional Marzen lager, but I think maybe traditional in the sense of medieval fire brewed beer. You can do worse in an Oktoberfest.

Sep 18, 2017
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Act25 from New Jersey

3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tasted vs Sierra Nevada ocktoberfest.
Much better as it warms to cask temp.
A: Pours a clear, dark ruby brown body ringed with interesting streams of visible carbonation up the edges of the snifter. Dense tan head that reduces to a film and doesnt lace my snifter 
s) Sweet dark malts with caramel and toffee and toasted malts. Earthy hops balance. better as it warms.
t) More and abundant as in the aroma: Sweet dark malts with caramel and toffee and toasted malts. Earthy hops balance with bitters. better as it warms.
f) Medium bodied, smooth, crisp carbonation and finish. Great food beer.
o) Edged out by Sierra Nevada, but grew on me as it warmed.

Sep 16, 2017
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mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a narrow pint glass: color is amber, transparent when held to light, but fairy dark, head is tan with fine bubbles, some lacing on the glass sides.

Smell is caramel heavy, light on subtle german malts, some earthy notes.

Taste starts to lean a bit more towards fest style with lower sweetness than the caramel and chocolate aromas might lead to believe; stronger bitterness; i feel this is more towards an amber ale than a fest style as the malt profile is just a bit off.

Mouthfeel is a little on the bitter side, a little sweet and starts to dry some as it warms.

Overall a good beer, a little different for the style, but I'd drink it again.

Sep 09, 2017
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Wasatch from Colorado

3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. Bottle

Pours a pretty nice clean/clear golden brown color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice small/creamy off-white head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, slight roasty. The taste is malty, slightly roasty. Medium body. ABV hidden very nicely. Overall, a tasty brew.

Sep 08, 2017
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bbtkd from South Dakota

3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ballast Point Dead Ringer Oktoberfest, 6% ABV, 26 IBU. Pours dark brown with a one finger off-white head. Nose is roasted malt and caramel, taste follows, with a little bitterness. Excellent mouthfeel, overall excellent.

Sep 08, 2017
Dead Ringer from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 687 ratings