Samuel Adams Octoberfest | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

BA SCORE
83
good
7,474 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good
Read the review
Samuel Adams OctoberfestSamuel Adams Octoberfest
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
samueladams.com

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-10-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
7,474
Reviews:
2,147
Avg:
3.66
pDev:
13.93%
 
 
Wants:
135
Gots:
1,963
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,474 |  Reviews: 2,147
Photo of DrewBest
3.26/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I used to absolutely love this beer. I recently realized that I just love Octoberfests...and in fact, this is not a great one. As such, I have lowered my rating several times in an attempt to rate this beer not just in terms of how much I like it on its own, but also its standing within its (particularly well-defined and storied) genre.

Almost no detectable hop aroma. The malts are great-- big and sweet. Mouthfeel is similarly malty and partially coating. However, where I feel this falls short of other 'Fests is the complete lack of both bittering hop character (which should be minimal, but present) and noble hop flavor. This could have been brewed with a similar amount of Cascade without a noticeable effect...if there are nice German hops in here, you wouldn't know it.

Drinkable and tasty but one-dimensional and tiresome.

 836 characters

Photo of MWilt
4.5/5  rDev +23%

Photo of iwillhaveanother
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of JakerLou
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of seavercm
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Photo of jduprey007
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of VictorWisc
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It looks like I'm the first to review the canned version (no bottle experience for comparison--I've had it in bottles, but over 5 years ago and avoided it since).

Pours very nice dark amber with ample medium-grained tan-orange head that does not stick around. No visible carbonation in the glass (aside from the head); some lacing, but fairly minor.

Smells distinctly of malt with a clear burnt orange note. Dank acidic smell follows.

Taste is a similar combination of sweet and toasted malt, orange and an additional note of cooked winter squash (or pumpkin). This turns into a briny feel on the back of the tongue with a fairly acrid finish of burnt wood and characteristics of medium-rye bread, but sweet malt finish. Once the malt clear, the orange and squash return in aftertaste and linger for a while, along with what feels like fermented corn.

Medium bodied with strong carbonation--nothing "refined" about this beer. Alcohol is far more pronounced than 5.3% ABV would suggest. Definitely neither smooth nor crisp, but certainly dry.

Not sure if this is the best representative of Oktoberfest style. Some pleasant effervescence and sweet notes are offset by excessive booziness and bitterness that is more closely associated with cheap AALs. Bitterness can be offset a bit by drinking the beer cold, but some of the bock nuances are then lost. Freshness is not an issue as this was in the first week of the very first can release, so something else is going on that makes this beer somewhat unbalanced. My initial reaction was negative, but this beer somewhat grows on you. Not sure if I would consider this for further bulk purchase (bought a 12-pack this time). I would prefer more hops bitterness in this than the burnt wood taste that I got, but it maybe characteristic of the style they are trying to follow. Distinctly tastes and looks like autumn, so the brewer certainly succeeded on that account. Probably best left to seasonal mixed pack--no need to get a mono 12

NB EDIT: Following some experimentation, found that this tastes best from a tall glass (and straight from the can!), not from more traditional beerware. The "burnt wood" taste is gone and sweet maltiness came to the forefront instead. Just to be sure, tried it in some other glassware combinations and confirmed the acrid burnt wood flavor in all but tall ice tea glass and can. Not something I would have expected. Tall glass also brings back the bock character that I initially expected and reduces the booziness. Upgraded the scores accordingly.

 2,536 characters

Photo of Radiosox
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of sneezye
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of jimbodude5
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of dpodratsky3
3.59/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Dark amber with nice clarity, thin off white head, no real lacing.

S: Mostly sweet malts, but a good mix of different malty aromas, very light bread but clean overall

T: Rich malts come through from the first sip, sweetness. Some balance with the hops that make it through, but I didn't really pick up an major Noble hop flavors.

M: Decent carb, but not too crisp, lighter body, works well with the flavor and keeps it light feeling but not quite what i'm looking for.

O: Good drinkability. The crispness enhances it and the flavors are all what I would expect them to be. I have used this for a session beer before but as a true Oktoberfest there are better options.

Notes: Used to be one of my favorite beers. It's amazing how your tastes can change over the course of a year of BAing. Still a great beer and it will always be one of my favorite fall beers, but not quite as dark and complex as I remember.

Update: Re-reviewed again, and its still not nearly as good as when I first tried it, but my tastes haven't changed much in the last year.

 1,094 characters

Photo of DavidBart
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of Rosquin
4.5/5  rDev +23%

Photo of pottergator
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of kodt
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of remyleboux
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of memphischas
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of dowen17
3.17/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark orange with a small cream colored head with decent retention and great lacing.

On the nose is wheat, sweet malts, some spice and hints of pumpkin.

Tastes of wheat and some malt. Nothing much going on here really.

Very carbonated. Really bites the tongue. Watery.

This is a decent beer. Very session-able. Would drink again but nothing to seek out obviously.

 378 characters

Photo of thebouch01
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of ISmith87
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I'm someone who gets livid with when people describe a beer to me as smooth or when people ask for a beer that's "smooth". Usually I point them towards the bud light and do everything short of flipping them off.

A - 3.75 - burnt orange color basically no head.

S - 2.50 - nothing. A little bit of alcohol and corn.

T - 3.0 - caramel, pumpkin, straw, corn. Very light, basically no flavor.

M - 3.25 - high carbonation, no bitterness, plain sweetness, no aftertaste

O - 3.25 - pretty basic no flavor even for an October fest.

 531 characters

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Bear1964
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of lic217
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

LOOK: SMALL head, nice lacing, orange/red very clear
Smell: bread and caramel
Taste: Same as smell, plus a little Spicey, ends with sweetness
Feel: very drinkable
Overall: I can drink it but not a big fan

 204 characters

Photo of cjs61679
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of biertrinkenja
3/5  rDev -18%

Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.66 out of 5 based on 7,474 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More