Samuel Adams Octoberfest | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

2,147 Reviews
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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: 7,450
Photo of dmgeng
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Got it part of the sampler pack for this year.

A - Vibrant amber-orange color that you can clearly see through. Fluffy white head that sits nice and high. Strong lacing.

S - Strong malt aroma with caramel notes. Also grainy tones with no discernible hops. Smells like an Octoberfest lager should!

T - Tastes of sweet maltiness with some grain, caramel, and lager flavor. This beer is like a traditional German lager beer but with more body and flavor. No distinct bitterness or hops but it isn't cloying.

M - Medium to light mouth-feel. Moderate carbonation. The sweetness is predominant but is still crisp on the finish which makes it very drinkable.

Overall, this is a great commercial beer that I look forward to having at least once every year. Not my favorite style or beer but it is a great session beer if your not in the mood for some hops.

Glass- Dimpled mug

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

12 oz., best by Feb. '07. It pours a clear copper with medium carbonation and is capped with a half-inch khaki head that leaves moderate lacing. The aroma is malty up front: toasted, caramelly, and earthy, with green/floral hops in the background. The flavor consists of toasted, earthy?, caramel?, and nutty malts with spicy, grassy, floral (heather?) hops that are lightly oily and leave a mild bitterness. It has a medium body with prickly carbonation and leaves a medium finish, and is overall a nice, flavorful märzen.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Half finger head. Clear and copper with amber hues.

S: Malts, toast and caramel notes.

T: Grainy and malty. A decent amount of sweet toffee/caramel.

M: Medium bodied and moderate carbonation.

Overall: One of the flagships of this very popular brewery. Oktoberfest isn't a favorite genre of mine but this one is one of my favorites.

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Photo of tjacobs610
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber in color, sort of rusty. Very thick caramel colored head with lots of lacing

Smell: Very malty aroma, with some sweetness to it. Has hints of grain with an almost musty hint to it as well

Taste: Very malty taste, not as sweet as the smell would suggest. Has a bit of a sweeter finish that’s also very metallic

Mouthfeel: Very frothy and fairly thick feel. Has a good bit of carbonation that allows the head to last quite a while.

Overall: Very good beer, nothing fantastic but it’s a solid one that can always be enjoyed.

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Photo of clemtig76
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I look forward to this beer every year and this years effort is one of the best in recent memory. Pours a deep coppery orange with a big fluffy head. Nice sweet, toasty malt aroma with hints of caramel and biscuit. Taste is very smooth and with a little more the malty sweetness than hop bitterness as it should be. Slight warming from the alcohol. Very drinkable on a cool autumn day. Good tailgating beer.

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

Clear, bright shiny copper body, lively carbonation streams, topped by four fingers of off-white froth.

Aroma of fresh bread, and freshly mowed hay and grass. Not a huge nose, but an inviting one.

Rich caramelly malt start, with some depth to it, sweet without cloying. Earthy, noble hops follow to balance the sweet without overpowering, and deliver a satisfying snap at the finish. Sweet and bitter merge and entwine and ride off into the aftertaste together. Shows that clean and crisp can have flavor.

Good light/medium mouthfeel. Good drinkability, though maybe a bit too heavy for unlimited liters.

A solid widely available American version of the classic Octoberfests. Prost !

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Photo of JHubner73
4/5  rDev +9.3%

I've been drinking Sam Adams Octoberfest for five seasons now, and it never disappoints. With its auburn color and thin head it looks tasty in a chilled mug(my dad's trusty Stroh's mug to be exact.)

It smells hoppy, with hints of various spices. Taste-wise it hits the the tongue and you get a tangy pinch on the taste buds. Malts, hops, and various autumn spices create a refreshing experience. It's not a heavy beer, so they go down smooth. The colder the better.

For me, Sam Adams Octoberfest is a fall tradition, like Halloween and the changing of the leaves. Without it autumn wouldn't be the same.

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

My personal favorite Sam Adam's beer, too bad its a seasonal. Beautiful dark, orange color. Smell is of rich malts and spices. Taste is full, yet mellow, slightly hoppy and very malty with some nice spices coming through. Very solid all around beer, will buy it again and again as long as it's in season.

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

I'll admit that I really didn't like this beer that much when I first tried it in a "make-your-own" six-pack. However, it really grew on me when I tried the style a couple more times. This particular one came from the Sam Adams Fall Seasonal 12-pack.

The beer pours a translucent amber color. It has a sort of buttery malt smell and flavor that is different than most other styles (recently I have had an Irish Red that is similar). This is probably why I did not originally like this style. But, once I was used to this flavor, I was sad to finish the ones I had.

I would highly recommend trying this beer (and others of the style), especially because they are only available during the Fall season. If new to the style, it may take some getting used to since it is so different, but it is definitely worth a try.

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

This is a fairly decent beer, and an OK way to celebrate the season, IMO. Rich copper/orange color with a creamy tan head. Subtle noble hop aromas, slightly spicy, with a little caramel and brown sugar. Taste is dominated by malt, but the hop presence is there to keep things balanced. A bit juicy. Slight alcohol spiciness in the finish. I'll have another, thank you.

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

Poured into my Sam Smith pint glass. A burnished copper, one finger of head. Good clarity, moderate carbonation visible. Smells of caramel and biscuit.

Heavy toasted malt flavors up front: toffee, biscuit, yielding to toast. A nip of hops keeps things interesting. The finish is slightly dry and bitter despite a minimal hop presence. Overall, pleasant and malty, and reminds me more of a Fuller's ESB than a festmarzen.

Moderate body, with the right amount of carbonation for the style. Definitely sessionable because of a good balance to the beer, though it leans heavily towards malts.

I'm quite fond of this seasonal, though I'm not sure it's an oktoberfest.

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

Presentation: 12oz bottle (best by of 2/08) in a Shaker pint glass

Poured soft, smooth with a slight crackle

Nice semi-sweet nose, caramelized malts with a nice bread (pumpernickel) quality. Hops add a very faint spice & orange quality. A beautiful head of 2 finger's worth of soft, creamy, tight, sculpted foam, creamsicle in hue. It reminds me of the innards of a soon to be Jack O' Lantern as it laces in curtain like drapes. The body is equally as sharp - a crystal clear, almost luminescent, deep tangerine orange, copper-like & even a little sunburnt. Added to all this eye candy is a glasswide cascade of slow bubbles, twisting as they rise. This is a stunner visually.

Creamy, smooth, rich with soft semi-sweet caramel taking the point & dominating the initial taste, it has an almost lush tonguefeel. Faintly bitter, the hops are feeble & add a trace of some bitterness as well as a peep of some orange and maybe some really old cinnamon. The wet side of semi-dry in feel with a dulled, back of the mouth crunch that resembles an echo more than feel.

Its going down smooth & easy, growing sweeter on the palate, the malts becoming even more caramelized (very nice) with almost a high end confectionary aspect to the rich sweetness. I'm usually against overly sweet beers but this is just tasting great & going down real nice. It finishes a little more bittersweet, slightly filmy, wee bit chewy with butterscotch and a subtle citric (orange) quality, with a tiny bit of tingle of the teeth that leaves a very faint, subtle warmth.

A most enjoyable, tasty & easy to drink beer. This could be sessioned very nicely. Its a great fit for the season/genre, and a great bang for the buck. Has some aspects of a Scottish Ale. I'm seeing root veggies, aged cheddar, simple meats, something creamy (dairy) or smoked meats as a pairing. Definitely recommended.

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

A - Great looking beer, copper in colour with a nice size head that lasts quite some time, great lacing.

S -Some carmel, sweet malts, brown sugar

T- Can taste exacally as it smells, very nice.. brown sugar and carmel and a slight orange peel note, nice and balanced, smooth beer.

M- Nice and soft on the mouth, a medium in body with a slight carbination

Great beer, I've enjoyed quite a few of these and can always rely on Sam adams for a good brew. Give it a try!

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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 StoneTSR
4.01/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

APPEARANCE: Rubier red than expected with a full finger of eggshell colored head that fades very slowly. Thousands of tiny bubbles run up the side.

SMELL: That Munich malt comes through very strong with a sweet, but slightly woody smell. Not much else going on here.

TASTE: Wow. What a well balanced beer! The malt is certainly driving this beer, but there is enough hop bitterness to make this one extremely drinkable. A slight grassiness comes in after the first wave of sweet malt hits the palate. The aftertaste is clean, but leave the palate wanting.

MOUTHFEEL: Pretty much spot on. Medium-bodied, supremely drinkable.

OVERALL: I never expect much from Sam Adams, but once in a while they knock one out of the park and this is a perfect example of that. This is what a Marzen in the American market should taste like. Well done Sam.

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

poured into a sam adams glass

dark Orange in color with a thin but consistent head.

Smells of rich malt and bready hints, slightly spicy in the nose

bitterness somes first then thins to a smooth and spicy finish. hints of pumpkin spice and caramel malts

Smooth and crisp with a medium body and enjoying finish. This classic hasn't lost it's touch. still one of the best Oktoberfests sold

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beer from the Harvest Fest pack (side bar: I really like what Sam Adams is doing with these). 12 oz bottle poured into a 6oz tasting glass.

A: Clear, and dare I say/exaggerate it, pumpkin orange? Yes that's a bit of a stretch, its more of a copper/stained wood kind of color. Head

S: Aroma alludes to an incredible sweetness/richness that comes through but is lost every slightly in the taste department. Touches of sweet bread dough and that underlying, earthy, dampen sweetness I'd say is akin to freshly turned soil, but in reality is impossible to describe with any clarity. It just smells like a sweet, malty beer, it is an entirely unique aroma that only a beer can possess.

T/MF: Not quite why octoberfests get such a bad rap on this site. The beer is perfectly suited for an early fall day, full bodied, smooth and immensely drinkable. Tastes are nuanced, with traces of tobacco (a kind of earthy, damp, sweetness) and caramel. Very sweet.

D: A pleasure to sit with and sip or drink by the pitcherfull if you have an empty stomach. I may not enjoy the coming winter but at least I can relish in the waning days of summer and usher in the turning of the leaves with this beer.

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Photo of TheSarge
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Being stationed in Korea, it's a treat to be able to sample something different once in a while. Thankfully the on base liquor store (Class 6) carries Samuel Adams, and occasionally seasonals. Finally Octoberfest made its appearance on the shelves of our ill equipped Class 6.

This smells of a rich malt character. A slight amount of hop aroma, but mostly dominated by malt. Blended together it kind of has an orangish fragrance.

Samuel Adams Octoberfest is a bit darker compared to Boston Lager. It has a deep copper color and the body of this brew is very clear. It pours with moderate amount of CO2 and forms for a good top and leaves behind fine to no lacing.

This tastes a little hoppy, but finishes sweet. Not a bad balance of the two main characters.

Overall this feels very refreshing and quite bubbly and is quite comparable to Boston Lager but with a little bit sweeter balance of malts.


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Photo of Estarrio
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap...Bar had just received it that morning.

A. Nice, dark copper, amber color with small white lacings around the top. No head at all.

S. Sweet malt, orange, bread

T. Sweet malt, caramel, orange peel, bread, lightly hopped with a slight alcohol finish.

M. Nice palate, could have used slightly more carbonation for my taste.

D. Very smooth taste and a good flavor create a highly drinkable brew.

This is a decent Oktoberfest, which could be much better with some improvements. Boston Beer Company seems to gently improve their Oktoberfest formula each year.

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Photo of UncleAl
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a VERY beer - very malty, very fruity, very sweet, and very good.

Pours to a red, amber color that resolves to a thin head, and there's definitely a lack of any head retention here. That's a shame.

Has a sweet, malty aroma, with a touch of caramel.

There's very little active carbonation here. It makes the beer appear almost flat. However, there is a distinct mouthfeel, and a long, lingering aftertaste - akin to just having had some good, sweet Chinese food, or a facefull of cotton candy, or the like... albeit laced with a touch of hops and malt.

But this is supposed to be an Oktoberfest Märzen. The problem is, the true Märzens that I've had in/from Munich taste and look nothing like this, or vice versa. Frankly, I'm not quite sure if this is really an Oktobefest Märzen at all, other than the fact that its a seasonal Fall beer and shares the namesake.

Still, I like it, and will buy it, and drink it. It's that good.

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Photo of Jacurdy60
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Strong notes of caramel taste with an edge of hops. Appearance is toasty brown with a deep orange hue. Smell was hints of caramel, light barley, and toffee. A great beer for a chilly winter night. Mouthfeel is thick but overall refreshing. I could drink 12 of these in a sitting and not grow tired of it.

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Photo of trbergman
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Rich red-orange with a thin, light tan head that quickly dissipates into a creamy lace.

S - Bready, dough-like malt with floral and spicy hop aromas.

T - Well-rounded on the palate, with bready, toasty malt making a strong initial showing. Rich malt character shines through and through, but around the middle it's joined by lemon zest, grass, and leafy noble hop flavors and a refreshing hop bite. Bitterness never steals the spotlight from the malt, but does offer a nice counterpoint and maintains a good balance.

M - Light to medium body, on the lighter end for the style - with crisp, perky carbonation.

D - A tad light and hoppy, but over all a good, thirst-quenching Marzen. A great choice for novices and seasoned beer-lovers alike, and among the best I've had from Sam Adams.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The brew is copper with a small white compact head.

S: A nice light roasted sweet malty smell together with some nice floral hops (a hint of bitter).

T: Sweet light roasted malt, bready and refreshing. Mostly floral hops but there are also bitter ones. Some faint citric notes.

M: Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Sweet and bitter aftertaste - really nice.

D: A nice märzen, a bit different from the central european ones - different but not bad. If you like märzen and havn't tried this one - it's a must!

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Photo of ScorpyX
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Clear, bronze pour with a thin white head which quickly gives way. Plenty of bubbles in this one.

S: Pleasant smells of grain and malt.

T: Surprisingly crisp, almost a lager taste to it. Aftertaste brings the malt and slight pumpkin flavor one might expect with a touch of caramel. Pretty typical taste for an amber, but that's nothing to complain about.

M: Medium-bodied, but leaning toward the lighter side. Has a clean crispness to it.

D: I'd be happy to sample this again. One of the higher quality Sam Adams I've had.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage; scores 4/4/3.5/3/3
2010: 4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.0
I've averaged these for my overall rating of the beer.

12 oz bottle (2009) into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a clear, deep ruby-amber body with good carbonation topped by a finger and a half of sticky off-white foam; decent retention and good lace. Nice but unremarkable looking beer.

S: Rich, grainy malt, with a hint of spice on the finish; smooth, crisp, and refreshing aroma.

T: All malt, much sweeter than the nose; caramel up front, followed by a mellow toastiness and a crisp, dry finish. Not bad at all, but nothing exciting.

M: Medium bodied, a little sharp with the carbonation. A little sticky.

D: I miss hops; even in a malt-forward style like a Marzen, I look for at least a subtle hop profile to keep things balanced. My mouth feels coated with grain, and I know that another sip won't remedy the situation. I'm not craving another one of these (but I suppose a couple more wouldn't kill me).

Notes: I still haven't found an O-fest that I really love (unless you count Avery's Kaiser, but that's a different animal entirely), and this one continues to be one of my favorites - it's tasty and relatively inoffensive. Still, this isn't a seasonal that I get excited about.


Edit: Update for the 2010 iteration.

This year's Sam Octoberfest is considerably better than I remember it being last time around. The malts are dryer and nuttier, there's a distinct German hop presence, and the the mouthfeel is far smoother and better-carbonated. It's an all-around better beer: 4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.0

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Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.66 out of 5 based on 7,450 ratings.
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