Samuel Adams Octoberfest | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams OctoberfestSamuel Adams Octoberfest
7,717 Ratings
Samuel Adams OctoberfestSamuel Adams Octoberfest

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

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

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Ratings: 7,717 |  Reviews: 2,195
Photo of freed
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Managed to find a bottle of this in a backwoods supermarket. I wrangled a sixer away to offer with dinner. It pours a rich, warm copper color with flashes of red when held to the light. Little if any foam is aroused during the pour, and lacing is minimal.

The aroma is of pleasant roasted and nutty malt with a slight spice of hops. Taste is a welcoming buffet of clean malt flavors. Some roasted pilsner malts really create a pleasant flavor, which clears the pallatte with a dry hop quench.

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Photo of dedalus
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured out of the bottle a deep orange, with a nice, fluffy head. moderate, creamy lacing.

not a lot of aromas, but i got it at an applebee's and they pulled it out of an ice cooler, so that's probably what i can blame the weak scents on. what i could detect was a slight, timid hop presence (noble hops, if i remember the label correctly) and a faint whiff of sugary malt.

good, medium-thick mouthfeel, although i suspect it could benefit by being a little thicker.

almost no detectable hops in the palate. lots of clean, nutty, creamy, sugary malt, in both the palate and the finish. just the smallest bit of hop flavor emerged in the finish; the strong but clean sweetness was given a touch of complexity by this late, light bitterness.

this beer wasn't very complex or challenging, but it tasted great, and there's nothing wrong with that! i kind of felt like i could drink it all day, but there are a lot of other oc(k)toberfests that i'd like to try this year.

all in all, if you can't get your hands on an authentic german/bavarian o-fest, this is a good beer to try. good, clean, sweet, and just complex enough to escape being boring. the autumn beer to reach for when you want something that's easy to drink, but isn't cripplingly dumbed-down.



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Photo of sabrills70
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium amber with an off white medium head. Excellent lace. Smell is very mild for the style, some malt and very subtle other smells, but like I said very mild for the style. Taste is OK, malt and hops, possibly some vanilla, but again mild for the style. This is a very drinkable beer. Its not a great brew and Sam Adams is capable of much better, don't get me wrong it is still very good but it tastes like they purposly "watered" it down to try and appeal to the masses a bit more (what the hell, it works for AB). It is still fun to drink and nice to see every year at this time and I do still look forward to it.

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Photo of Beastdog75
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Octoberfest is probably one of the O-Fests that I see the most of around this time of year. I have heard about "tweaking" and "dumbing down" of this beer over the years, but this was my first time trying this one, so I won't have the benefit of past years experience to compare this beer to.

The Octoberfest pours a nice medium amber color that is translucent and has an orange hue. A decent off-white head forms, but only lasts for around 30 seconds. The smell is quite light. I could barely detect some caramel malts in the aroma and that was about it. The mouthfeel is light and somewhat watery. The initial taste is of caramel malts, which dominate the beer making it somewhat sweeter than most. There is a light nuttiness in the flavor, and an even lighter fruitiness. Hop bitterness is there but nowhere near as pronounced as the other Sam beers I've had. Not enough to provide good balance. Aftertaste has some light dryness and bitterness, but not much. Some light caramel flavors continue, and I thought I caught some DMS in there. This finishes off with no alcoholic warmth.

All in all, I thought this was a pretty quaffable brew, but it is nowhere near as exciting as some other Sam Adams beers. To an extent it is almost less flavorful as well. Average for the brewer and the style.

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Photo of Ianhockey91
2.56/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle yes, on tap no. This beer was lifeless, and flavorless on tap. Decent brown/orange color, but with no head and little to no carbonation. Not much smell either, maybe a little bread dough, and maybe some hops, but i couldnt tell. Tasted very watery (just like the mouth feel, no real powerful flavor to talk about. I wont have this on tap again.

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Photo of Redrover
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this one on tap at the Clubhouse last night. The Clubhouse is a slightly pretentious establishment that is kind of a glorified sports bar for middle-aged businessmen and big haired divorced women. The parking lot is filled with Porchess, large SUVS and other expensive toys. Lots of men in bad jewelry. My second Oktoberfest did not come in a chilled glass so I chose that sample to review.

Nice looking if slightly pale Oktoberfest offering. Decent head, not much lacing. The beer smelled nicely of malt and a hint of hops.

Taste was fine, but not outstanding. Some good malt sweetness and nice use of hops to keep balance. The major flaw in the beer is its thinness. Beer needs more of a malt backbone to move up in the ratings. Very similar to a Becks O-fest. A decent enough beer to use to introduce people to the style.

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Photo of DESTRO
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a nice dark copper with just a small head of lace. nice aroma of malt and fruit with a touch of hops. the taste is nice and of malty sweet caramel, slightly fruity and with a small hop pressence. this thing is really tasty. overall this is a very good beer. i was skeptical trying american oktoberfest's, but this one did me quite well. smooth, sweet and flavorful.

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

Pours a deep amber, with a beige head that is small and diminishes to a ring pretty quick, lightly lacing on the way down. Aroma is of sweet toast, with a bit of hops spread on it. Flavor is mostly toasty in the front, sweet in the middle, and just plain boringo on the finish. Medium body, semi-dry ending, flavors get muddier as it warms up a bit, carbonation is pretty lively.

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Photo of winomark
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep copper hue, with a fleeting 1/4" off-white head.

Aroma: Sweet, roasted malt aroma, some caremel notes. No hops evident.

Taste: Bright carbonation, raw malt palate with the slightest of hop flavors. Little or no finish.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thin, with some toasty, sweet malt to give some body, but no hops for balance.

Drinkability: One of my least favorite O-fests, possibly a domestic style vs. German, that has more balance.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

When poured out of the bottle, generated a good amount of foam and a smooth head the disappeared within a couple of minutes. After that there was no lace left on the glass. The smell is faintly grassy and fresh. Color is exceptionally clear reddish amber with almost no carbonation past the initial pour (looks almost exactly like a strong brewed iced tea minus the ice). The taste leaned distinctly towards toasted caramel malt with a light dose ot delicately floral hops. The best quality about this beer has to be its velvety smooth mouthfeel that is enhanced by the thick malty body, that is much more evident here than in other fest beers I've had. It was almost entirely lacking in bitterness and left no aftertaste. A decent beer for the style.

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Photo of byrd
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This brew pours with a large foamy head that has an orange hue. The head bubbles down fairly quickly to a thin foamy lace. The color is a clear reddish orange. The aroma is a fairly well balanced mix of malts and hops, with some spiciness also being noticeable. The body is fairly thick with a good mouthfeel but not much carbonation. The start is rather smooth with malt sweetness up front along with some toasted, bready notes and subtle spiciness. Hops, and some notes of grain finish the beer out nicely with a slightly lingering aftertaste. Not an amazing brew, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. This is the first Oktoberfest brew I’ve tried... Paulaner Oktoberfest is waiting for me in the fridge.

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Photo of Boto
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another good beer from Sam. It pours a bit amber, with no head or lacing. Fairly thin aroma and taste. As with most of his brews, it is 'toned down' to please the masses. A little thinner in taste than most others. While it is a decent Oktoberfest, it still pales with most of the others out there.

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

this beer pours a medium reddish brown with a light tan, three quater inch head that goes away in about a minute, with a fair amount of lace. when it comes to smell, nothing stood out too strong. i did not smell as many characteristic samuel adams aromas as i was expecting.

even though samuel adams lager is a stand by of mine, for some reason i expected to be disappointed with this brew. although i am not, i'm not impressed either. it's just a quality bland beer, if there is such a thing.

i read some reviews on this beer after i purchased it and before i drank it. i heard someone say that they thought it had been "dumbed down" from samuel adams octoberfest beer from years past. since this is the first time i have drank samuel adams octoberfest, i can't compare, but i will take his word for it. while this may not be enjoyable for those who love a very high quality brew, it may be a blessing in disguise. i have never seen samuel adams octoberfest in the past three years that i have been drinking samuel adams lager. this year i have seen it in alot of the beer shoppes that i visit. i have a feeling that samuel adams is using this quality bland beer to turn the heads of those who usually drink macro, and that can't be a bad thing

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Photo of yankeeheel
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear coppery orange with almost no head. Smells barely of sweet malts and a teeny bit of nut.

The taste is rather...vauge? It has little malt profile, is thin, and finishes as if it was never there. Got to love my relatives and their beer buying preferences.

I am not an Oktoberfest expert by any means, but I hope to God that there are much better american examples than this. Perhaps more research is required on my part.

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Photo of far333
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Self-proclaimed as the best of this style in the world - pours an amber/copper color with a quickly sinking beige head. Aroma is low, and mostly of sweet malts. Flavor is light and malty, typical of the style, but there is a distinct odd finish and lingering aftertaste that really detracts from this one. I can't put my finger on the flavor. I looked at some of the other reviews to see if anyone could characterize it for me, and the closest is probably the reference to butter/popcorn. Very odd, doesn't belong with the beer.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A nice orange hue with a decent foamy head, great lacing in this one. Some malty and fruity aromas are weak, but noted. Some light Munich (although reaching for em') and caramel notes up front, somewhat one-sided; fails to develop, a light bitterness, bordering on medium bodied. Notes of butter and popcorn towards the end make this one rather odd. Although odd, slightly drinkable, just a bit off the path for the style based on the end flavors.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful orange/brown color.Slight nutty and toasted aroma.A mild sweetness in the taste.Soft maltness with a slight hop bitterness.A tad "soapy" flavor is present.Average mouthfeel-not as malty as I would have thought.A decent beer-I love Sam Adams products but I honestly think this one has gone down hill over the years.

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Photo of BrewAskew
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really enjoy this beer. I know some people are negative toward Boston Beer Co., but admit it, it is the one brewery that got many of us started drinking better beer in the first place. The standard of quality is still there. The Octoberfest beer is a decent replica of the German original. It has the right color, malty flavor, balanced with just the right amount of noble hops (Saaz, I think) to make it a great beer. There are no "cheap" or "off" flavors and it is fresh as any domestic brew available.

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

Copper brown. No head.
Bread crust and prickly green leaves define the aromas.
There is a respectable amount of toasty nut and toffee richness to the flavors, but there is a slight dilution that keeps it from being intense enough for me. High quality brew with broad appeal for an "urmaerzen."

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Photo of beergeek279
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is amber, with good head. The smell is very malty. The taste is also malty and quite a bit sweet...similar to the Double Bock but less pronounced. Mouthfeel is smooth. Drinkability-wise, could have a couple more.

Not a bad beer. Yes, it should be spelled with a 'k', and Boston Beer seems to use the exact same malts for every beer, but other that, an enjoyable drink. Maybe I'd have another, but hard to do with the Penn Oktoberfest so widespread round here.

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

Oh yeah - it's that time again. SA Octoberfest pours almost blood red with some shades of brown and a thin wispy white head. Aroma contains roasted malt, some hops and some earthy tones....not much else. Taste is malty, semi-sweet, and very little hops to balance it. Adequate carbonation, and very easy going down. The ABV and the fact that it is so easy to quaff down yields a 5 on the drinkability scale. You can drink alot of this one. Not a bad offering from SA at all...

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a clear, effervescent, clear, red-amber color with good, off-white foam that dissipated slowly. The smell was minimal, but malty. The taste was malty with low hop presence. The taste was ok, but on the thin side. The mouthfeel was smooth and fairly clean with medium-light body and bubbly carbonation. Overall this was an easily drinkable beer, but was not as flavorful as many other oktoberfest beers.

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Photo of Reverand
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tis the season it is now September and all theoctoberfest beers come out. I wasn't too impressed with this verson however maybe I expected too much.
This beer poured to a average dark orange amber with a thin off white lace. Clarity is good but the head retention lacks.Smooth malty body, toasted and malt flavors. There wasn't anything that jumped out at me to make this beer stand out.
A good example of this style but maybe realize that I need to get a true Oktoberfest.

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Photo of bditty187
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Orangey-coppery hue, translucent, served with a modest off-white head, fair retention… no lace was produced. The bouquet was limited, lightly malty with kisses of spicy hops, candy. Inviting. The palate was lightly malty… minimal hops bitterness, some spiciness though. Dashes of sweetness too. Clean. Medium-light body (leans on the thin side), it could use more malt… this is not an O-fest I’d buy again (I'd drink it if offered, free), style-wise it is in the ballpark but it rides the pine.

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Photo of bobinverted
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've never been too found of Sam Adams beers, but I hadn't tried their Oktoberfest before so I thought I'd give it chance. I expected more flavor and a fuller body. The body was weak and the toasty maltiness that a marzen should have just wasn't there. I think this would be more appropriatetly called Samuel Adams Octoberfest LIGHT. But it's still the best Sam Adams beer I've had.

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Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 7,717 ratings