Samuel Adams Octoberfest | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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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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Reviews: 2,147 | Ratings: 7,449
Photo of redwolf1
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Appearance is a nice rich copper with very little head that basically disappeared after I poured it. No lacing what so ever.
S-There is a subtle spiciness, probably from the hops, that can be detected with hints of maltball.
T&M-As for taste and feel, I must say it goes down smooth, rather syrupy-like or even molasses-like. Remaining flavors after one takes a sip remain around the edge of the tongue as opposed to darker, stronger beers, which can overwhelm the tastebuds and attack the back of the throat.
D-Sam Adams Octoberfest is a very drinkable beer with a nice toasty finish. Not overly strong based on the mild hops, which allows one to get through a six pack. Though for some, the malt flavor may be a drawback after a couple of beers. After a few, it may come across as fairly heavy. Nevertheless, it is one of the better Octoberfests for the price in my opinion, granted I got this bottle from a buddy of mine. Apparently, Sam Adams Octoberfest is bought up pretty fast in my area, just another testament to its own drinkability.

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Photo of BrewMaster
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Red with a slight golden hue with a sticky and siff off white head on top. Decent retention but nothing spectacular.

Smell: Sweet malty nose wtih gobs of toffee and a touch of toast. The smell is rich and inviting with a thick bready quality to it.

Taste and Feel: Sweet opening with a chewy malt character. Light toffee, caramel, toast and a smattering of esters. The middle is slightly sour and dry but tasty and comfortable. White peppercorns and a bit of butteriness. The sweetness carries nicely through the whole beer while never approaching any cloying. Medium body and crisp. As it warms more of the spice flavors develop. Nutmeg, allspice, and clove.

Drinkability: Well balanced and very pleasant. Clean maltiness balanced with spicy flavors make this a very tasty and enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Sammy
3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drinkable and some taste from roast, sam adams to me is positioned as a transition from macro to craft beer. Bit of hop bitterness, even Sourness leading to some fruit juice in finish. Well malted and suitably carbonated. No colour, and thin mouthfeel.

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Photo of karst
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours clear bright copper with high persistant head leaving lace on the 0.5L rastal Weisbier glass.

Aroma of noble hop and Munich and caramel malts. Flavor of biscuity sweetness, caramel malt and dark fruitiness. Not much hop bitterness. Light bodied and crisp lager mouthfeel. Diacetyl emerges at finish especially with warming.

Thanks to Jason for sharing this bottle.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium reddish amber with very little carbonation. Aroma is slightly sweet maltiness, caramel. The slightest of hops is there, very gentle, wafting through the dominant malts. The flavor follows through, and I believe the best desription is tha flavors of King's Hawaiian Bread. And that's a compliment- I love that bread! It's moderately dense, sweet, and chewy- the bread that is. But it's also a pretty good description of this beer. Pretty simple in its composition- I'm not spending much time trying figure out what that flavor is halfway through the swallow. Real basic. I like it. Very easy drinking, and enjoyable on a cool night.

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Photo of jakester
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is from a case I bought at Shelbourne Beer Distributor. I drank it in a pilsner glass. Expiry date clearly notched on the label.

Pours a very clear darkish copper with a one finger head of beige bubbles with a rough pour. Carbonation looks medium. The head quickly falls to islands and a ring, with only traces of lacing. Almost all SA beers have a good head; this one does not.

Aroma is bready and faintly sweet, with a gentle note of spicy noble hops. Smells are good, but faint.

First flavor is caramely bready malts, with a touch of Munich malt thrown in there. There is a soft hop bitterness, and a hint of spicy hops. Flavor is a little lacking, but it's not bad. The aftertaste is very short, and kind of disappointing.

Mouthfeel is a little thin for an Octoberfest, IMO. Carbonation is soft to medium. Finish is short and slightly sweet.

This isn't a bad beer, and I would get it again, but I think it could be so much more. The aromas and flavors are good, but there aren't enough of them present. It would be a really good session beer. Recommended, with reservations.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.31/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at a seafood restaurant in CT. Dark amber color with kind of minimal head.

The flavor reminded me of Gordon Biersch (spelling?) Marzen. To be honest, it was kind of lame for an Oktoberfest. Not bad with a meal, and better than most other beers available at this restaurant. But nothing special really.

I guess this is OK if nothing else is available. Better than going macro in any case...

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Photo of FenwaySquid
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle, (different label than the one in the picture) best before date of March 2006 clearly notched.

The beer poured a deep burnt orange color with a small head that faded quickly. The aroma is of grain malts with just a hint of hops. The taste is the same, almost all malt with some hops, a good balance IMO.

Overall, this is a good Oktoberfest beer to get if you can't find anything else. Nothing special here, but at the same time not disappointing either. If you're trying to convert some of your friends to craft beers, this is a good one to use as an intro to the style.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a chilled bottle into a tulip glass.

Note** Let me say that I rather enjoy Sam Adams brews and this review is not a way of trying to take a shot at them.

Appearance is dark copper color w/ a slightly tan 1/4" head that quickly turns to squat on top of my brew. Not real excited.

Aroma is sour and tart along with some slight apple sweetness and some slight hops. NOt real impressed here. I may also taste just a bit of spice in there toward the finish.

Sipping, I taste some slight orange flavor as well as some apple crispness flavors. A bit more bitter hops expected, that never came. Kinda watery.

Feel up front was of sharp carbonation that felt like needles on my tongue. Body was rather light and watery which didn't tickle my fancy too much. I expected a little more flavor, but it wasn't there.

Overall, if you want a very easy to drink 'Fest, this is it. However, you're not getting anything exciting IMO, and it is rather disappointing. I actually love Sam Adams brews, but this one is lacking almost all around. A shame really.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I am drinking a cold bottle in a pint glass. The beer pours a clear copper color with an off white fizzy and spongy head of 2 cm foaming up.
Aroma is grainy malt and caramel with a hint of earthy and spicy hops.
The first sip reveals an average body with fine yet fizzy carbonation. Overall the texture is refreshing and crisp.
Flavor starts caramel sweet with a bit of graininess as well. There is just a hint of fruitiness in the middle,while the finish is slightly spicy hops with a bit of a drying effect.
This beer is VERY easy to drink and quite refreshing. A nice seasonal and a good beer to introduce folks to a new style IMO.

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Photo of unknownlamer
2.83/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is boring. Drinkable, but definitely boring. The smell is kind of weak with just a bit of a malty smell and a slight hint of spicy hops. It really does taste like a bit stronger and more bitter version of the Boston Lager. The hops have a bit of a nice spicy bite, but there isn't really much of a malt backbone (which I thought was part of the Märzen style...). I'd take a Märzhon or an Old Dominion Octoberfest over this any day.

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Photo of hoffman
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent pour, head rises to one finger and dissipates very quickly, no lacing at all, the glass is left looking freshly washed. Color is a beautiful red/amber. Smell is faint, sweet camelized malt and faint hops. The taste is nice, sweet, with a mild hop finish. The carbonation bites a little on this one, maybe too much. The mouthfeel is smooth and decent, not overly full more watery than I would have thought. This one is an easily drinkable beer in quantity and will be fun to take to a gathering this weekend. Nice and something different for the season.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.01/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Guess I'd better start reviewing all the various Oktoberfest beers at my local distributor before they disappear. Sam's offering has a terrific rich, reddish amber color and a respectable head that had some staying power. For me, the smell was a little too sweet but also has more of a malty backing instead of grainy, which is a plus. The taste is strong and bitey but not overpowering. A quality hop count is present and accounted for as well. Mouthfeel is very smooth and a little creamy. This is a pretty impressive specimen. It's nice to know Sam can still make a quality product when he wants to.

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Photo of ski271
2.97/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper with a small, frothy, light tan head that slowly diminishes to a film. Lacing is initially large but does not have the staying power as it slides back down to beer level before your next sip. The smell is malt-dominant and sweet with aromas of caramel, toffee, grass and a light fruitiness. The taste follows suit with the malts taking centre stage. Hrm. It starts out with a nice chewy malt flavor supported by a light herbal bitterness, but it turns a bit thin in the middle. A little honey and savory show up briefly. The slightly bitter finish is below average, with very little appealing flavors lingering. I wasn’t impressed by this one. It’s not bad, but I’ve had several better this year. Doubt I’ll get this one again.

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Photo of evanackerman
3.81/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a beautiful dark amber with a nice head.

smell was all malt sweetness with a hint of alcohol which kept my score from being a five.

taste is typical o-fest malt, very pleasant.

mouthfeel is a bit thin for me.

drinkability is high as with most o-fests.

overall, a veery good interpretation of the style, perhaps a bit lacking in hop character for my taste, but still something i will probably buy at least a sixer of each year.

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Photo of danielharper
2.97/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL.

Pours a deep reddish hue with a nicely-colored dark off-white head on top. The head is thick at first, but dissipates very quickly, often not lasting more than a minute or so. The dark red liquid is completely transparent, with no haze or yeast present.

The smell is decent enough, if somewhat underwhelming. Very malty overall nose, reminding me more of a dopplebock than most of the other Octoberfests I've tried, with hints of apple, licorice, and just a touch of coffee. Unlike other Sam Adams brews, this has virtually no hop presence at all.

The taste here is decent enough, with some hops breaking through on the palate even though they were missing on the nose, and with a sort of fruity backwash that hits the tongue upon swirling the beer around in the mouth. An interesting yeast must have been used, here, because it has an aftertaste that I don't really recognize from anything else, and which I cannot really describe to any realistic degree. Leaves an impression on the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel is watery, but with carbonation that seems to kick me in the teeth as I drink it. Doesn't really give me anything to hold on to, and I find myself taking large swallows of this beer rather than sipping and savoring it.

Overall drinkability is fairly low, for I really don't like it all that much, and find myself wishing that I had something a little better. Sam Adams can be very hit-or-miss on their beers, and for me this one is a definite miss, even if it's only a slight one. It's decent enough to drink if it's about the only thing available, but I don't think I'm going to buy another sixer of these.

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Photo of malty
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gorgeous clear copper bronze color with a rocky loose 3/4" light beige settled head. Visible medium paced carbonation.

Blossoming notes of pale roasted malts and sweet caramel hovering over a faint fruity spiciness. Very intriguing and inviting.

There's the healthy malt presence I was hoping for. Nice balance of sweet (very faint) toffeeish and (stronger) caramel malts sharing its space with a delicate dryness provided by a well placed hop profile. Very clean and fresh flavors that don't struggle for attention.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Soft, medium body with just enough fine carbonation to provide an airy, fluffy mouthfeel. Delicate dry finish that finishes very clean.

Drinkability is also excellent. Not at all filling with enough flavors to satisfy vets and beginners alike.

Overall I was very impressed with this 'Octoberfest'. Dry enough to distinguish itself from the sometimes confusing Amber style and enough of a malt presence to stand next to the best of them. Good interpretation of a delicate and easy to foul-up style.

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Photo of cracgor
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: a nice dark tan...almost an orange hue to it. Darker offwhite head that pours out nice and forms a thick layer that stays on top and forms nice lacing.

Smell: a sweet hop smell is first thing I notice followed by a clean and delicious smelling malt.

Taste: I really like the taste of this beer. It is maltier than it smells. The hops are not very bitter and tastes a little citrus like.

Mouthfeel: very good and refreshing. medium body. It is just meaty enough to feel like a real beer while staying refreshing and easily drinkable. I could drink this all day.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark amber with nice clarity. A one finger off-white head is creamy and shows excellent retention. Body and carbonation are medium, leaving good sticky lacing. Roasted malt and cascade hop aromas. Sweet roasted flavor, caramel and a balanced hop pressence that carry over into a bittersweet aftertaste. Finishes with some residual sweetness, but quite drinkable. Nothing spectacular, but the bitterness and malt flavor are right on for an O-fest.

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Photo of JayQue
3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a very nice orange/amber color with an impressive white head that lingers down to the last drop. It leaves lacing up and down the glass. The smell is pleasant but mild. The only other Fest/Marzen beer I have tried is the Weeping Radish Fest Amber Lager The Sam Adams is much more full bodied (although still a fairly light beer). This beer tastes better than the Fest and does not leave the metallic aftertaste I noticed with the Fest. Light beer...good taste...good unusual after-taste. Sounds like something I could deal with in mass quantities. I would order this one at an Oktoberfest and look forward to finishing the rest of the 6 pack. All in all a good beer.

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Photo of schoolcb
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a chance to sample this one in the bottle and compare to Spaten and Paulaner Oktoberfests in the keg. Jim Koch is my hero!!!! Although I would choose the German Oktoberfest's given the choice, this is one damn good beer. If I could brew and Oktoberfest this good, I don't think I'd ever leave the house. I won't bore you with the details about appearence and flavor as others have posted good specifics, but I will say you should go out and buy a sixer before they are gone for the season.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a light warm brown crystal clear body with a nice gentle carbonation and a thick creamy head of off-white foam.

S- Clean smell with hints of light toasted malt and some hop bitterness.

T- This beer has a smooth soft flavor of slightly toasted malt with a slight tanginess to it. This beer finishes crisp and clean with a German hop bitterness.

M- Medium mouthfeel with a bit of a watery texture. No astringency or fizz from the carbonation

D- This beer has a light smooth maltyness that I wish was stronger. The hops are in balance but to faint because the malt is rather faint.

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Photo of Smittysguinness
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured from the tap into my glass in a nice amer hue. It left a thin, off-white head that disappeared quickly (no big deal; more beer for me!).

I smelled a very floral smell to the hops, and a nice sweet malt. I picture, like a Bugs Bunny cartoon, little fingers of scent beckoning me towards the beer as I lift off my feet and float towards it. Yummy!

The taste was very sweet, almost syrupy, with a nice balance of hops. My only disappointment was that it wasn't as full-bodied as some of the other Oktoberfests I've been quaffing, like the Hacker-Pschorr. Sam Adams always crafts a great beer, but their last few seasonals have been, I think, maybe "dumbed-down" just a little bit for the general masses. A little watery and not as full-bodied as the past. But hey...I ain't gonna kick it out of my fridge, you know!

Mouthfeel, again, was a bit watery, but on the up-side, it didn't leave that high-alcohol feel on my tongue that other beers of its alcohol level can sometimes do.

Drinkability: absolutely. I'm a sucker for Sammy A, so even though it wasn't everything I hoped for, I'm still going back for more!

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Photo of mobyfann
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Paid $5.99 for a 6'er...

The beer pours an amber ale color with a large very light brown colored head, solid head retention, lacing on the bottom half of the glass. The beer was faint of malt, like a weak doppelbock.

The taste is the same as the smell with a medium-heavy carbonation. The beer is nice on the palette but the moderately heavy carbonation fizzles it a bit. Solid drinkability, it did not feel like the beer was a 5.7%abv, so it gains a half a point from the rest.

Final Thought: It is a solid beer, but I would rather pay the same amount for the Boston Lager, but the variety/seasonal quality will always get me back to this one every year...

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Photo of Mark
3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice deep amber/copper color was topped by a thin head that left zero lacing. Nice malty aroma with some hop wafting up from the glass, much more aromatic than most lager types. Solid malty taste and the Golding hops shine through, good food beer too. Smooth, ful bodied but not thickish, refreshing as a lager should be. Sam Adams might have become a macro-micro, but one thing is assured, one is always assured of a decent beer.

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Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.66 out of 5 based on 7,449 ratings.
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