Samuel Adams Octoberfest | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams OctoberfestSamuel Adams Octoberfest
7,832 Ratings
Samuel Adams OctoberfestSamuel Adams Octoberfest

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

Style: German Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
In 1810, the Oktoberfest tradition was born when Munich celebrated the Crown Prince's wedding with a special beer and 16-day party. Our version of this classic style blends hearty malts for a deep, smooth flavor of caramel, creating a brew that's perfect for the season, or whatever you're celebrating. Smooth with a roasty sweetness, and light hop character.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-10-2001

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,832 |  Reviews: 2,217
Photo of Wasatch
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dated by Feb 06. Also noticed it sez Lager on the bottle. Pours a clear deep golden color with lots of carbonation, small head, but lots of lacing. Scent of sweet malts. Medium body. Very nice taste kinda sweet. Man you could drink this all day long, very nice again by Sam Adams. Highly recommended.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've really been into the Marzen style beers this fall, not sure why they seem to all pass as acceptable but also blasé. This one is no exception, good at it's core but not outstanding.

First glass poured pretty aggressively, in hopes that I get some type of outstanding appearance to comment on, nope, consistent 1/16th head no lacing. Second beer I let sit for a while, again, poured aggressively but really no difference from the first.

Surprising its tastes is its most outstanding quality. Sweet and refreshing, honey notes along with a very grain-like aftertaste.

A pretty darn good tasting Oktoberfest. This is probably my last until next fall. Yeah right.

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Photo of pweis909
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my re-evaluation of SA's Octoberfest. I'll preface this by saying that the last time I tried it, I detected some odd smells, which had some impact on how I rated the beer. In this review, the brew fares much better.

This poured a big foamy head with big bubbles that don't really last that long. As always, I'm a sucker for amber colored brews, so I'm not going to fault it's appearance, either.

Last time, the smell that I found offputting was a phenolic, plastic bandaid smell that persisted in each of three bottles. This time around, I smell the malt and no plastic. I also faintly smell something that reminds me of metal, but this is not distracting me from enjoying the malt.

The malt tastes yummy. Mmm. It is sweet but hops balance it with bitterness to prevent anything that might seem cloying. No trace of the metal smell in the taste.

Refreshing, drinkable.

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Photo of deejaydan
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours the usual amber color, slight head retention. Smell is funky old beer smell. Taste follows that, but with a hop bite. I thought fest beers were supposed to be malty, not hoppy. It seems like they left out the malt flavors here. It's not bad overall, just not very good.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.4/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. brown bottle, Pours a clear orange/copper color, lots of tiny bubbles spiral upwards to form a thick, tan foamy head that settles pretty fast. Not lacking any malt aromas, sweet caramel, toffee, and German malts. Medium bodied. A taste of caramel and German malts dominates this beer. Just a touch of herbal hops in the finish. Leaves a ligth nutty aftertaste. Balanced perfectly. Smooth and easy drinking. One of my favorite beers, I love this time of year.


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Photo of xoqx
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very lovely medium amber with a two finger, creamy off-white head. There is plenty of lacing and good head retention.

Smell: There's not much other than grains in the smell, but there's nothing wrong with the smell. Average, not interesting.

Taste: Very balanced taste with mellow, very caramelly malts and a slight hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Drinkability: It's drinkable, but not very interesting and that detracts from my desire to have another.

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Photo of sevineyes
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from brown bottle.

A: Pleasant rusty, deep amber color with a crisp white head.

S: Moderate floral tones slight caramel touch.

T: Apricot or plum sweetness with toasty elements. Almost has a bread dough aspect. Can't place the hop presence, but it's undeniably there. The carbonation is nice, but seems to cut the flavor shorter than I'd like.

M: A lot of carbonation to the mouthfeel, but otherwise pretty slight.

D: I could see this as a session beer. The clean finish begs for another drink.

Overall: Worth checking out for a seasonal beer, but not something I'd pick up every day.

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Photo of shbobdb
4.43/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

There are better Oktoberfests out there, such as New Glarus Staghorn Oktoberfest. Having said that, this beer is pretty amazing. Mmmm, the taste is truly fantastic, lots of malt with a hint of yeast flavours and a touch of hops. Throw in the price tag, which for a beer of this quality is pratically free, and I'm drinkin' this beer everyday until winter comes.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a light copper color with slightly off-white puffy head that lasted throughout the glass.Smell is of toasted malt mixed with a sweet fruitiness. Taste is very strong on toasted malt. I also detect a dark fruitiness that is enjoyable. Finished in a non-spectactular fashion with heavy malt and a light hoppiness. This is a good session beer that I enjoyed, but was not overly impressive.

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Photo of packetknife
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After neatly six years of finding this beer out of a bottle near revolting, I found it tapped and pleasant. Crystalline orange-amber color with a near-white frothy head that faded slowly, laced evenly and well. Just barely malting on the nose with some oat bread mixed in. Light but pleasant smell. Same on the tongue but a bit stronger with a slight hop on the finish. Very smooth but not at all thing. Well carbonated but not too much. It must've been drinkable because it was gone every time you looked for it.

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Photo of theozag
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried this one on a whim at my sister's wedding rehearsal dinner last night, and I was impressed. Normally I use notes to complete these reviews, but today will have to go from memory. If I'm a bit less descriptive than normal, I appologize. Here's what I recall:

Appears in the glass a medium brown with slight amber hue. No solids or sediments, but a thin off-white head that fades to a pale ring around the inside of your glass.

Smell is pleasantly fruity and fairly apparent. Reminded me of a plant nursery in the springtime or a fruit tree i once climbed in.

Start is quiet tentative, but full-bodied and creamy. There's a strong malt base that immediately spreads over your tongue, giving the beer a more subtle flavor start than might have been expected from the smell.

Settles in your mouth with a generally enjoyable mouthfeel and some rich, sweet flavors. As I recall there was some caramel, cream, and lime to the taste.

Finish is bold, broad, and flavorful. This beer left me with my tastebuds in an uproar, and a long-lasting aftertaste that was about as good as any part of the beer itself. Generally speaking a good beer that I would recommend and will probably try again. To me it was just a little bit like and IPA without the incredible hop bitters.

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Photo of Ricochet
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first impression when I smelled this was it was going to be a repeat of my last review, because, again, I smelled that rusty "well" water but after the pour, it went away. Better than average for nice head this formed on top of a dark orange-brown brew. Mouth was a bit creamy and washed down a bit better than average and smell was a malty scent that seemed like some of the other octoberfest styles that I've sampled.

Taste was above average. A little bit of grainy, maltiness with a snap of ale flavor. There was just a hint of fruitiness and this was not really bitter with subdued hop profile.

So, yeah, I could see buying this and having a few. However, I don't really buy Sammy beers because of the average flavors and for the price, there are punchier beers out there. I bought this in a sampler and bought a 6 of Christien Moerleins Hefe ..see that review for that review .

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this one on-tap and bottled in the last week, but I'll review the bottle version. Both were tasty.

Pours out a deep copper orange with a fizzy white finger-and-a-half of head. Very clear with light carbonation bubbling through.

Smell is toasted malt, nuttiness, biscuits, and a light Euro hoppiness.

Flavor is also very strong on the toasted/nutty flavors, but pleasantly so. The baked-biscuits and breads flavors play off of the nuttiness particularly well, and the effect is kind of a big, earthy flavor. I like. It could use more hops, though, to balance things out. That's my only complaint.

Overall: Nice if you're looking for somethign toasty, but not as well-balanced as it could be.

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearence: Out of the bottle, and into my Aktien mug, it's a nice clear copper with a strong, sturdy beige head that lasts for some time. Lots of carbonation.

Smell: The smell is a very pleasent, bready, grainy malt smell, combine with a nice touch of noble (I think) hops that really balance it out nicely.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is super bready. Almost too much, overpowering pretty much everything else. But it still tastes good, while it's not very balanced. The hops are damn near silent, only bittering at the finish for a tiny second, following into a grainy aftertaste, that doens't linger very long. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Drinkability and Overall: While it's not the best, this is a tasty Oktoberfest, full of character and drinkability. If only the hops were more prominent, I'd be drinking this beer all season. But still, it's a nice offering from Sam Adams. Give it a shot.

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Photo of budsboy
2.9/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours clear, mahogany with a thin head that gone as fast as it came.

Subtle carmel malt and fruit scent. Not much to talk about there.

Malty sweet with very little bitterness. A hint of warming from the alcohol, and sweet on the finish. It's gone on the swallow. No aftertaste. None.

Carbonation is fizzy. Light and crispy.

Eh. Not a bad brew, inoffensive, appealing to the masses. It'll do in a pinch. Overall, a bland offering.

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Photo of lokicat444
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks and acts like a regular Sam Adams, a nice orange color with a fine amount of foam and lacing. Smells sweet, malty. Sip is smooth and rich, with a good mouthfeel. Hops are the first thing I notice when sipping, though they don't really have a distinct profile. Taste then turns strongly to a malty caramel flavor that works wel for the style. Sweet, but not cloying or offensive; very drinkable. It doesn't really have that typical 'Sam Adams' taste (noble hops?) which is a slight disappointment for me. Nevertheless, a great beer for the season to mix up in one's usual beer rotation.

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Photo of mentor
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle obtained from Meridian Wine & Spirits (Lafayette, Colorado) and consumed later that same evening. Pours a 1.5 finger dirty tan head that hangs like Tom Dooley. The beer is rich orange-rust and crystal clear. Smells reich caramel sweet malty during the pour. To the nose, crisp rich grains. Sugar, careml, and some munich malt. Tin hops...maybe Saaz? Toasted grains, smells yummy and looks yummy. Tastes caramel, toasty grains, with some apricot (that's a flavor that doesn't belong) sweet, and a hint of sour grains. Sweet in the mouth, but a dry finish. I don't care for the high carbonation it makes the beer leave the tongue too soon. After swirling to release carb, the head, which, had disappeared, returns in its full glory. The beer tastes much better now. A sweet, yet sour, grain hangs like a thick dark cloud near my tonsils. Yeah, it keeps some of the toasty beer flavor around. Hmmm. I wonder if that flavor could be some floral from hops? yes, now I think it might be. Not Saaz, though...Tettnanger? Maybe. Hallertauer..I think not. Smooth slick mouthfeel, thank goodness I got rid of the carbonation. Drinkability is so, so. The dry gets to me by the end and the toasty becomes a bit too tannic or phenolic. Very enjoyable with many qualities that remond me of the beers I had in Germany last year.

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Photo of tomthumbsblues
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a wonderfully rich copper color and created an expanding foamy tan head. Streams of bubbles from the bottom with flecks of lacing as well. Malty aromas and perhaps a hint of hops as well. Good strong hoppy start in taste. This yields to a bready malt which spreads over the tongue leaving a gingerbread aftertaste. Mouthfeel was balanced with a good coating, but too much carbonation. A great fall beer.

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Photo of GnomeKing
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is solid entry into the--IMHO--overcrowded Oktoberfest market. It's a vibrant, strong copper color with ample head. The taste has a sweet and prominent malt flavor with hops that nicely, balance things. There are some nice hints of fruit. The beer is well made and retains its flavor well, being as drinkable on the cold first sip as it is on the moderately warmed final sip. If it's that time of year, hell, grab one...join the spirit of the season...but like I said, grab one, not a whole case.

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Photo of battlekow
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The Sam Adams Octoberfest is reddish-amber color with better-than-average lacing. It smells and tastes biscuity and malty, with the taste having just a hint of cherry and mustiness. With a nice, thick mouthfeel and very little bitterness, Sam Adams' Octoberfest is perhaps the most sessionable of the Oktoberfests I've had this year, but seems to be pandering a bit.

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Photo of ryantupy
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this one up at Buffalow Wild Wings and loved it. It pours a very nice clear amber and the head is a beautiful frothy cream colored head. Very smooth for sure and very drinkable its has some sweet notes and a little spice. I found this to be very enjoyable and will definatly savor this one this year.

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Photo of sopor
2.66/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Take this review with a grain of salt, I've recently identified Munich Malt flavors to be problematic for me.

Crystal clear dark-red amber with 1" tan frothy head. Lots of bubbles race for the top. Smells of slightly rotten sweetness.

Just some slight crystal malt and a hint of roasted malt and the rotten sweetness that I identify with Munich malts. Some delicate hop bittering.

Lively but not foamy carbonation and moderate light body.

The malt flavors do me in, I'm unfortunately not impressed by any oktoberfests as they nornally leave a dull nausea in me that I connect with the "rotten sweetness" of the munich malts.

I could be totally wrong about the Munich malt, but after some feedback from the forum, I'm pretty sure I've locked that down to the root fo the problem.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bo-ring. Served on tap into a tumbler style pint glass. Dark amber with a small head that dissipates quickly. Sweet malty aroma, neither appealing nor unappealing. Fizzy carbonation. Taste is very sweet but unexciting. Slight hoppiness. Very bland, though Octoberfest is not one of my favorite styles and I've never found any of the OF beers I've had to be very complex. Decent mouthfeel and drinkability. Simply "ok" in my opinion.

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Photo of bahumutx
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A nice gold color. A nice size head that is dissipating slowly.

Smell: I can smell malt and a slight caramel aroma.

Taste: A very sweet beer with a slight hop flavor at the end. Not to complex of a flavor. Somewhat plain in my opinion.

Mouthfeel: There is a lot of carbonation in this beer but it still goes down smooth.

Drinkability: I think I would only have one or two of these.

This is my first Oktoberfest beer. I think it is a good offering from Sam Adams but is somewhat plain but I would drink it again.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

T'is the season... t'is almost october.
Drink by February... I assume 2006.
Into a goblet with this one.
All around, an above average brew... though a C or C- student for the style.
Very well balanced but a bit too light for the style.
I can see what others mean by this being a "safe" brew.
No adventure in this at all.
Smells mild, mildly sweet, pleasant.
Looks like Sam's lager.
No thick, big chewyness; nothing really festive about this either.
Perhaps that is where this is really lacking.
The whole point of October/Oktoberfest is to give thanks for the last brewing season and to celebrate the beginning of the new brewing season.
This beer needs celebration!
Makes for a nice lager, though.

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Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 7,832 ratings