Samuel Adams Octoberfest | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams OctoberfestSamuel Adams Octoberfest
7,816 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: 7,816 |  Reviews: 2,213
Photo of evh883
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has a very nice medium amber color to it. After the pour, it retains an average sized, frothy head that dissapates pretty quickly and leaves behind hardly an trace by the time you're done drinking the beer.

The aroma isn't really anything to go crazy about other than the nice maltiness it gives off.

This beer tastes great. It's moderately sweet, with a slight bitterness followed by a decently heavy bitterness that lastes a little while. The flavor is full of caramel and toffee notes.

Medium bodied with a soft and slightly creamy mouthfeel give this beer it's high drinkability

Overall, this beer is a great. It's good to enjoy with meals or to just have it with a snack or all by itself. Sam Adams does it again!

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Photo of bobbyc881
3.01/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is my first Octoberfest, so I've got nothing to compare to, but here goes:

Pours out of the bottle in a dark copper/amber color. Adequate, creamy head that sticks around for a short while. Abundent carbonation in the glass. The smell isn't powerful enough to register on my rather insensitive nose. It seems to lean malty, though.

Tastes smooth and slightly malty. A touch earthy and a bit of a toasted flavor. Rather thin across my tongue. The taste really begins quite well, then leaves behind a residual flavor that just isn't agreeing with me.

I could see where the light weight of this beer could make it more drinkable to some, but there just isn't enough flavor to encourage me to open another.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It’s great to have a Octoberfest in September. Available as a seasonal brew, this was the best beer available at my favorite sports bar last year. Saw it available at the local grocery store here, and to bring back those found NFL moments of yester year. Now why cant my team just win!

Poured a clear amber orange with red hints. The head was limited and no lacing at all. The smell was pretty malty with a bready nutmeg aroma to it. Strong on the spices. The taste is very balanced with a slight roasted flavor and noticeable spice flavors, specifically nutmeg and cinnamon. I can notice a smoothiness from the lager yeast that is exceptional to most Marzen/Oktoberfests I’ve tried. The hops are not really noticeable but blend well with spices.

The body is a good neutral, not overpowering, not too light. One thing I would like to see is less spice in the beer. That said this is one of the better Oktoberfest that I have had.

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Photo of dauss
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: standard SA 12oz. bottle. Freshness date is notched for February 2006.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden amber. A rather large tan forms with excellent retention and poor lacing.

Smell: Malty, slightly toasty and maybe a little caramel. Its has a very clean malt profile, and a very slight hint of hop aroma.

Taste: High levels of carbonation. It is definitely malty. Sweet, but not cloying. Very little bitterness and hop flavor, with some more toffee and caramel. The body is full and the mouthfeel is good.

Notes: It's not bad. Its just a very clean and malty lager with little hop flavor and aroma. I like the carbonation in this beer, but nothing else wow's you.

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Photo of twelvsies
2.71/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hmmm, not as good as I remebered. Maybe my palate has gotten a little picky over the past year, but there's something a little off with this beer. It basically just tasted like a sweetened lager. A small nutty character, but a way-too-present metalic taste that really just isn't doing it for me. Maybe I'm wrong but this just seems like a half-assed beer from a generally solid company.

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Photo of CherylM
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look forward to this beer--makes the end of Summer more bearable. Tried this season's both on draft and bottle and was pleased with it's annual consistency--very authenic Oktoberfest. Poured a medium copper color with a nice white foamy head, delivered lots of flavor--mostly malty, light caramel and somewhat dry on the finish. Some Oct. Fest beers are a little more hoppy, but this one is very tasty and pleasing. Acts as a wonderful transition beer from Summer to Winter.

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

This poured a dark amber copper orange with a pepsi-type carbinated head. The head quickly dissappeared and left no lace. The aroma if there was any was of toast, caramel and a background of hops. But I had to look for the aroma, it wasn't strong at all. The taste was of light malt, caramel, toast, and grape nuts. There were hops in the background but oddly it kinda balanced everything out. The downfall is that the flavor just tastes watered down. The mouthfeel, is ok. The large bubbles made it harsh on the pallete, and it left a gummy feeliing after wards. It's an ok octoberfest, but not the best.

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Photo of LPorter33
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Naked Fish in Southboro, MA.

Deep amber, brownish color with average head and lacing. Smell is bready, doughy malt with a bit of syrupy sweetness. Taste is OK, a bit better than average. Very malty with a bit of spiceness to it. Carmel induced sweetness with very minimal hops presence. For a mass marketed beer, it's not too bad but you can find a lot better examples of this style.

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Photo of cubedbee
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Was very excited to see the local watering hole had run out of Sam Summer and now had Oktoberfest on tap--my first marzen of the year. The beer is a dark brownish amber with a thin cap of off white head. Not much lacing. Nose is slight but is a nice nutty and slightly doughy aroma. Taste is a nice sweet malt with a slight caramel roast and a slight nutty finish. Some grassy hops are barely detectable. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, a little fizzy, with a medium/thin body. This is another decent seasonal from Sam Adam's that has the advantage of widespread availability. I'm sure this won't be my last for the year.

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Photo of BierManVA
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

With all the "Oktoberfests" on the market today, it is nice to see one that sticks to the Maerzen roots.

This bier is spot on for style and one I enjoy immensly. Deep amber color, caramel malt flavor with just a hint of hop balance. Sweet but not cloying. Smooth. This bier is so drinkable that you'll wonder why your glass is always empty.

Not heavily carbonated or a lot of head, but that is the style.

Have some frinds over, break out the Masskrug and start singing German songs.

"Ein Prosit..."


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

I guess this is one of those beers that I just never wrote a review of, strange. Attractive clear dark copper appearance, nice frothy head that is rippled at the surface. Simple ring laces, adequate. Aroma is pleasant, deep sense of nuts and sugar, bit of bready graininess. Carbonation is lower, mouthfeel stands at just shy of medium. Very easy going flavor and spot on as far as typical of style, a good brown sugar approach with a backbone of toastiness that integrates well with the body. Slight fade as the beer transitions through front to back, just a slight uptick in a sense of straw and hay at the close. A pretty quaffable example of an O-Fest here, with a deeper color typical of many in the North American market.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper, almost-pumpkin hue with a nice tan head. Aroma is very intriguing, blend of chocolate , pumpkin, spices, and a light grassy hops aroma. The taste is somewhat of a letdown, with a strong malt presence that is bready and slightly sweet and a light grassy hops flavor with a dry finish. Mouthfeel is crisp with moderate carbonation and a medium body. Descent but nothing to shake a stick at.

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Photo of beersarang
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a wonderful orange with a tan head. Orange becomes amber in the absence of light, but yellow in the light. Brilliant clarity and bubbles streaming upward excitedly. Retention is not so fantastic, but lagers are never as amazing as ales in that department.

Spicy grass hop aroma with hints of malt, nice smell and although subtle, it is noticable and distinctive.

Malt sits on the palate for a long while, with sweet grain and various layers of flavor coating the tongue. Preparing for the swallow, the hops deliver a good countermeasure of bitterness that balances the brew perfectly. Hop character though evident in the nose seems a bit subdued by the malt. Spicy and grassy hops should have shown more presence in accordance with their bitterness.

Prickly carbonation with a medium to light body.

I would drink this again, for its uniqueness and because it fits the season so well. Also it is a good standby at the grocery store when there is no other good beer.

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Photo of kbnooshay
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The aroma is pleasant and malty as hell. The appearance is nice; orange amber with a small tan head. The taste is nice, malty with some nice caramel flavor. This offering compared to their others is a little weak though. And for the category of ocktoberfest it is a little weak also because there isn't as much spice as I would like. BUT, the drinkability is awesome and it is a pleasant brew. I will definately take brooklyn brewey's offering over this.

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

Rich amber color and a sticky off-white head. Malt aroma comes off fruity, almost plum like. A faint amount of hops. The taste is about the same. Very fruity malts that are grape like. A faintness of hop pulls through the malts. Kind of a metallic aftertaste. Over all this is a slightly above average Oktoberfest beer. It just seems like it was better a few years ago.

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

Pours a brilliant orange copper with a small tan head. There is a bit of lace on the glass.

A light malt aroma is blended with a touch of toffee and is deliously sweet to the nose.

This is a nice tasting beer--very mild and sweet with a good caramel smoothness. A gentle hop bite finishes it nicely.

This is an exceptionally easy beer on the mouth--light and easy yet dry and slightly bitter in the finish.

A surprisingly good offering from SA. I really enjoyed this beer and would be happy to sample it again.

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Photo of JackStraw22
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber/orange color, with a foamy head, that came down pretty quickly. As with most Oktoberfest style beers, this has a great drinkability, and, I wish I had a bratwurst right now to go with it. I found it to be slightly hoppier than the Saranac Octoberfest, but still balanced. The hoppiness also lasted a lot longer in my mouth afterwards. I like this beer, and it's worth a try, but I think I prefer the Saranac Octoberfest.

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Photo of swamiswamu
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- orange amber, 1cm head in a pint glass. The head dissapated quickly
Smell- strong scent of caramel malr, whiff of hops but not much
Taste- malt, malt and little more malt. Toasted and caramel malt dominate. The hops are more of an afterthought.
Mouthfeel- great, pretty smooth and refined
Drinkability- could be a session beer.

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

12ozer that I was "forced" to take home after being the last to leave a football get-together. Oh, the horror. :-)

Poured into an imperial pint glass, a copper hued brew, with a beige 3/4" head. Lacing is good, plentiful and lasting. Aroma is slightly fruity, with a toasted biscuit backbone. Taste is caramel malts, with the frruity flavor pervasive, kind of hiding other notes. Mouthfeel takes a bit of getting used to with the fruitiness for me, but once you settle in, this gets pretty drinkable. An acceptable seasonal that makes a good backup at many a bar's micro draft wasteland.

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Photo of TheDeuce
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's past Octoberfest...but I had a few anyways...

Appearance-beautiful orange amber color, a huge thick two-inch head that sticks around with perfect clarity.

Smell-lot going on, scent of sweet malt, lots of hops, some caramel, amber grain, and alcohol seeped through my nostrils as well.

Taste-full with a lot of malt and caramel at once, hop flavor comes through as well with a huge kick at the very end, lot of flavor and sweetness at the end.

Mouthfeel-good, a lot of flavors hit my mouth and I really liked the character, for the style it will definitely do.

Drinkability- a few of my friends that had this with me really didn't like it, but for Octoberfest I say you really could do worse. A nice adaptation of the style that pays off.

Overall-this is another fine offering by Sam Adams, perhaps not the best adaptation of the style (I'm dying to find a German version) but very enjoyable none-the-less, give it a shot.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark reddish brown color with a thick and persistent off-white head, lots of lace, slight carbonation. The appearance of this beer is quite striking - in my opinion, a textbook example of what a beer should look like.

Arom: Rich and malty, with distinct bread notes, spices, and a mild noble hop presence.

Taste: Begins with a rich malty taste, dominated by roasted malts and a wave of caramel throughout. The finish is dominated by lingering metallic hops, which seem a bit inappropriate.

Mouthfeel: Soft on the palette, smooth and pleasant, fairly full.

Drinkability/notes: An pleasant example of the style and eminently drinkable.

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Photo of ThreePistols
3.34/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Burnt orange amber color with little to no head. Sweet, fruity, spicy hops, and malt aroma. Smell of raisin rum cake. Sweet, smooth malt body, and toasted malt flavor. Very well balanced hops and malt. The hop’s bitterness was just right from start to finish. I felt that the fruity candy like sweetness was too much for this style of beer.

The flavor was very good, but I was very disappointed how understated, restrained the flavor was.

Nevertheless, this is a very drinkable beer in spite of it's out of character sweetness and the lacking of a hearty lager flavor.

November 2004...

I thought that I would revisit this beer since my first encounter with it back in 2002. I found such a deal for this beer by the case that I couldn't pass them up.

Samuel Adams' Octoberfest Seasonal Brew pored a clean clear reddish amber color with a huge bubbly off white head that dissipated into almost nothing. Practically no lace at all.

Aroma- Sweet toasted malt, some spice and alcohol.

Taste- Sweet toasted malt with spice, weak hops.

Okay finish and aftertaste. Slightly dry and the hops standout more here than in the swallow. No real disconcerting flavors.

This beer is okay though not an outstanding Oktoberfest style beer. But I am enjoying them with cookouts and just as an everyday beer.


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

Pours a clear red/dark amber topped with a two finger creamy tan head, leaves webs of lacing.
Sweet, floral, malty aroma, bread note.
Nice malty taste, caramel, brown sugar and bread, almost no hop presence.
Medium bodied, a nice readiy available oktoberfest.

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Photo of smcolw
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange-amber in color, clear with a pleasant head and tight bubbled sticky lace.

Aroma features a largely caramel smell. The malt is crisp with creamy milk sugars coming forward. Surprisingly, the alcohol warmth comes through, too.

Very round, rich mouthfeel. The flavor comes late, but strongly. Hop is strictly a balancing act to the full crystal malt flavors. The hop is more present after the swallow, but the aftertaste is still more malt; it's also long lasting.

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Photo of BitteBier
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange-amber color with minimal head. Unremarkable grains dominate the nose with a faint hint of spice present as well. Pumpkin pie spice is the most interesting element of a taste that is otherwise too sweet. Malts eclipse any hops that are present, but even those flavors fade quickly. Mouthfeel is very smooth, and this beer goes down very easily. But this is neither a good Sam Adams nor a good example of the style.

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Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 7,816 ratings