Special Edition - Oktoberfest Lager | Mendocino Brewing Company

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Special Edition - Oktoberfest LagerSpecial Edition - Oktoberfest Lager

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MaltyGoodness on 08-30-2007

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Ratings: 78 |  Reviews: 72
Reviews by donniecuffs:
Photo of donniecuffs
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured orange/copper into a pint glass, with less than a finger of white, average retention, and good lacing. Smelled of caramel, roasted malt, and toffee. Tasted very malty, with caramel, toffee, roasted malt, and even a subtle hint of chocolate, with a semi-dry finish. Thicker than expected, but also more carbonation than expected to balance it out. Great tasting beer, but still might be a little too thick to session.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of jcdiflorio
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle,served into a nonic glass.

Hazy,deep amber with a 2" creamy off-white head,fair retention leaving some small chunky islands in a coating of foam. Slight amount of carbination. Some spotty lacing.

Sweet,toasty,some fruity notes with tea-like aromas. Very pleasing slighly on the faint side.

Bittersweet malty tastes upfront,bisquity/grainy/toasty. Well balanced with tea leaf bitterness. Dry fade that's mouthwatering. Was a bit hoppier than most O-fests i've tried

Smooth,has a mouthfeel that's on the lighter side. Very enjoyable. One of the better American O-fests i've tasted.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a caramel copper hue with a large off white beige head thick bubbles as it dwindles slowly lacing is spread evenly with wide bands of lacing. Aromatics quite mineral edge with caramel malts and pleasant citrus and pine hop notes. Flavor wise again the mineral quality stands out and gets in the way of what should be a crisp smooth lager. On the positive side a touch hoppier than most O fests but of course caramel malts and roasted nut tones come out as well, not bad very nice stuff. Mouthfeel is lighter bodied with crisp sturdy carbonation nice malt sweetness not too sticky roastiness stays on the palate. Drinkability solid stuff I don't mind and hoppy O fest but the mineral metallic tone does get in the way a bit again Saratoga Springs contract brewing doesn't pay off for Mendocino.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.21/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Medium average brown body with a thin, even off-white head...light malt presence; otherwise, not worth noting....swift, slightly alcoholic streak to the back of the throat...medium flavor of nut (?) and malt...smooth and unobtrusive overall...a serviceable lager that holds a bit back and offers a drinkable late summer substance--one of Mendocino's better, though as with all their beers, this exhibits a reserved character.

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Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Auburne tinge with impressive off-white head, and thick lace - fresh. Malt in aroma. A malt story,with a touch of fruit, above-average mouthfeel, a touch of toasted malt. A cross-style and superior lager, marzen. Easy drinking and I could easily stay with three of these for the night.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.45/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Deep ruddy orange with a one finger head that sticks around for a while. Some good lace graces the glass, and the amber-orange brew keeps grabbing my attention since it's much darker than most Oktoberfests.

S - Heavy pumpkin pie and thick scone malt notes, with an overlaying spicy sweetness that balances the pumpkin pie notes.

T - Super malty, but never overly sweet or cloying due to the tight alcohol attenuation and a lovely autumn hop note. Some Tootsie Roll flavors are in there with a really nice almost chocolate taste. Damn good stuff. Really unique, but still identifiable as an O-Fest.

M - Medium bodied with a hint of apparent alcohol, but as always....I appreciate a little warmth in my beers (being a scotch and bourbon lover, after all). The carbonation is graceful and understated, giving this one a refined and classy finish that leaves lingering notes of pumpkin pie, cinnamon, and autumn leaf hops (in the background, playing an award wining supporting role) on the palate.

D - I think everything I've said above pretty much says it: this is GOOD beer.

Note: After reading other, less generous reviews, I must say that I am a full time malt-head (the scotch thing again) in addition to my role as a part-time hop head....so I may be slightly partial to malt-heavy brews like this one.

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Photo of Raligitano
2.87/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured side-by-side with a Left Hand Oktober to see who's head stayed longer. This baby's foam went -poof- in a wink with no lacing to tell the story. It's got a nice maple orange color.

The smell is pungent, fruity and super-sweet. At the end there some oakiness and a whiff of a burning leave pile like, uhhh, October. The flavor is too malty and sickly sweet. Hazelnut and other nuttiness comes into play for balance, but it has a slightly metallic finish which gets worse as it warms up.

Easier to drink than other malty Oktoberfests, but finish it while its still cold. It lost to the Left Hand.

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Photo of cliff1066
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Kegatron
3.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear medium amber with a fizzy off-white head that quickly disappeared and left spotty lacing. Aroma is sweet caramel with just a touch of citrus and some light hoppiness.

Taste is a mix of toasted caramel malt and some light fruitness with a somewhat watery hop bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side and seems too fizzy and overcarbonated.

Aside from issues with the body, this is a fairly good drinking O-Fest and gets an extra point in the drinkability department for hiding that 6% ABV so well.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass, the liquid is dark copper with good carbonation. The head is 2 big fingers light tan and leaves some lace.

The smell is lightly caramel and a nice mild hops.

The taste follows, caramel notes mixed with a nice hops that balances well. The taste profile is a little lighter then I would want but in line with the norm these days for the style. The hops may be a little much for the true style.

The mouthfeel is good medium body and great carbonation.

The drinkability is very good as well, Very well done for the style.

Prosit und Zum Wohl, MK

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Photo of tjd112
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Poured a copper color with off-white half finger head with bad retention and little lacing

Smell - Rich and malty with a little bit of fruitiness

Taste - Spicy and fruity

Mouthfeel - Light to medium with a somewhat tart finish

Drinkability/Overall - Decent

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Photo of BeerSox
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into mug.

The looks of this one are just what you would expect. Slightly orange/red tint to an overall amber color. The head is light tan, one finger tall. Little bits of lacing here and there, not too much though. Usually there is something from the settling head, but not this time.

The smell is mostly light grain with pretty much no hop aroma. It's maybe a little lighter than some other Oktoberfests. I usually try to look for a dark hard sugar type smell, but this one doesn't have it. Not bad though, just nothing special.

Biscuity malts that remind me more of an Amber Ale than a lager (minus some of the fruity notes). As you would expect, there isn't much hop flavor to speak of. Somewhat thick for an Oktoberfest, and still has good carbonation. The finish is somewhat clean with a little bit of grain left over.

Not a bad Oktoberfest, but not anything fantastic either. However, an Oktoberfest is never a beer that's going to blow you away. Overall, I would say that this is a good solid beer, certainly worth drinking. Recommended.

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Photo of scottg
3.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber color with a 1/2 finger of white head that dissipates quickly with no lacing. There is an earthy, husky smell that mixes with caramel and fruit. Sweet carmelized malt flavor up front, honey, chocolate and cherry middle with some tea like hop flavor. Light carbonation, medium body, this is a very clean, smooth drinking beer. The flavor is a little watered down compared to other marzens.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Imperial Pint. 6.1% ABV, no date.

A - Pours a clear copper amber color with a fatty three-finger head that's creamy but loosely packed and off-white. Good retention but no lacing as the head dropped. Foam til the very end though!

S - Strong aroma of toasted Munich malts and a hint at some nice caramelization sweetness going on. Also has a good crisp, mellow hop aroma at the end that balanced well. Pleasing nose.

T - Very sweet and strong malts come at you right off the bat but quickly balance with an earthy and mildly grassy hop flavor.

M - Incredibly smooth and creamy! It's still well carbonated but gets lost in the nice feel. Dry and very lightly bitter at the end.

D - It's a great example of an Oktoberfest beer! Delicious and great feeling, it's a very drinkable beer I could have plenty of! It's possible the sweetness could get just a bit cloying but I'm not too worried about it.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz picked up this evening at the Coop for about $1.45... poured into my New Belgium snifter.

1" head died back fairly quick.. nice cap with only a little bit of lacing as the brews goes away... the beer is a crystal clear amber.

nose is toasted malts and some subtle grassy hoppiness..

flavor packs more punch than the aroma.. more toasted maltiness with a little bit of sweetness and very minor hops mid palate falls away to a fairly dry finish.. body is medium/light with smooth carbonation.

Not bad by any means... even pretty good for the style.


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Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saw this lone bottle on a shelf in a store in Knoxville and grabbed it right away. To be honest I did not even knw Mendocino made ad Oktoberfest, and then when coming on the site for the review noticed it wasnt here so not many others did either. Poured a nice and very clear ruby tinted brown with a good two finger hight head of off white, tannish colored lace. Smell was good, lots of bready ,malts with a kicker of bittering hops. Nothing spetacular but still a quality brew. Nice light feel and good carbonation stayed until the end. Overall this was not a bad beer at all. I have had better, but this was still very sessionable and something that I am sure wood not dissapoint. Defintly a tick above the average Oktoberfest, but nothing that was fall down awesome. Though the finish had a nice touh of sweetnes to it, some caramel and even a tocuh of roasted nuts that seemed to linger and push the flavor forward.

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Photo of schellsbeer
2.31/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

If there was a plain jane Oktoberfest beer, this would be it. I purchased in a sampler pack and will write this one off. Tried it. Done with this one.

A - Copper color. Dark orange. No head what so ever.

S - I didn't really know how to rate this because there was no smell. I tried, really I did but nothing there. Nothing. After the 7th or 8th try, I started getting light headed so just decided to start drinking.

T - Oranges. Very tart. Bitter. Classic Marzen style. Thick syrup. Just not my style. Very nice appearance but besides that....Nothing.

M - Thick. Syrup. Sort of reminded me of Triominic (sp) cough syrup. Medicine taste and thickness.

D - Nope. Like I said, I want to tasted something that the tongue and tastebuds really like. For this reason, this is my first and last of this one.


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Photo of dstc
3.94/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark ruby color with a brown hue to it. Off-white head that disappears completely.

Aroma of sweet roasted malts, caramel.

Big malty sweetness up front then a slight hop bitterness. Finishes sweet. Slight metallic taste as well.

Smooth and slightly oily. Medium bodied mouthfeel.

Nice Ocktoberfest, easy to drink.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Day five of Oktoberfest brings a sampling of Mendocino's take on the Oktoberfestbier.

Pours a rather dark amber-brown with a rather thin tan-colored head that disappears somewhat quickly and leaves behind very little lacing.

Aroma is of slightly toasted grain and faint toffeeish and metallic notes.

Mouthfeel is medium-thin, with decent carbonation. Toasty, biscuity, slightly sweet malt flavors make themselves clear up front, and are followed up immediately with an extremely assertive bitter hop profile in the middle. A medium-long, slightly dry, bittersweet finish follows. Drinkability is decent, though I don't quite know if I'd grab for another right away.

Very different in character from the other brews sampled thus far this Oktoberfest, with a much higher hop flavor profile. A little too bitter in my mind for the style, but not a bad beer nevertheless.

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Photo of duffextracold
3.09/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a fluffy off white head that disappeared quite quickly. nice reddish copper hue.

Smells kind of sweet, with a hint of grain. a little fruity alcohol aroma just barely there.

tastes sweet,slightly toasty, but nothing else really stands out. i guess that means its well balanced. not too hoppy, not too malty.
has a sweet fruity aftertaste.

great mouthfeel, carbonation is just right.

overall drinkability is decent. Not my favorite 'fest, but not bad. I would like to see a little bit more malt.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Six-pack just copped from Bottle King in Livingstonfor $6.99...
Pours a tawny, ruddy, deep amber and copper color with a modest head that quickly receded and deposited a very thin film of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Smell: Malt-dominated aroma replete with hints of amber, grains, and vanilla...
Taste: Rich malt flavor, with a slight, delicate balance of hops... Caramel, and vanilla also noticeable on the tongue with a creamy, true-to-the-style Oktoberfest flavor drifting along...
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied...
Easily drinkable, with a nice, rich, 6.1%... Not bad for an Autumn seasonal...

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.02/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep orange color, with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, apples and other fruits, spices and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste is malty and bready up front, then some flavors of caramel fruit and spices come in, but there's a weird bite to it that throws everything off. There's a decent hops presence that provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Not very tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, not the best representation of style, there are definitely a lot of other Oktoberfests out there that are better than this one.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.21/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear copper color with a small withe head that thins. Mild, spotty lacing on the glass.

Mild caramel malt aroma with just a hint of herbal hops.

Mild caramel malt taste with a slight bitterness and just a touch of herbal hops. Finishes a bit dull.

Medium-light body, well carbonated.

Overall, a very plain Oktoberfest. Easy enough to drink, but fails to separate itself from the sea of average O'fests. There are certainly better offerings to be had.

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Photo of Clydesdale
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep chestnut bronze color. The beige head is tall, dense, and foamy/frothy. Retention is nice, with attractive rings of lacing left along the glass.

S: Toasty and sweet caramel malt in the nose. A standard spicy, herbal hop aroma is also present. A touch earthen and nutty. Basic, but solid.

T: A moderately rich caramel malt presence. Toasty and earthy. Spicy, earthy, herbal hop flavors show a firm character. Bitterness is moderate. Some fruity and nutty notes.

M: Moderately full-bodied. Rather dry into the finish. Carbonation is on the crisp side.

D: A surprisingly nice marzen from Mendocino. One of the best beers I've tasted from this brewery. Firm, flavorful, and just solid all-around. I've had many less impressive American Oktoberfests. Worth checking out.

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Photo of tehawful
3.81/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish copper. The off-white head quickly fades to a ring around the glass.

Smell: This is where the theme of a balanced lager starts. A subtle aroma of malt then hops presents itself. Unfortunately, the aroma is somewhat faint.

Taste: Like the smell, the taste isn't too strong, but the balance makes it interesting. The sweet malt taste sets you up for a clean, dry hop finish. I think the subtlety in taste might be working for this lager.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. I wouldn't say its heavy on carbonation, but more than I would have thought (perhaps becuase of the subtlety of the flavor).

Drinkability: It seems to me like this would be a great session lager. The aroma and taste are not very powerful, and the balance is interesting enough to hold your attention.

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Special Edition - Oktoberfest Lager from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.59 out of 5 based on 78 ratings.
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