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

I cannot believe I haven’t rated this yet I have been drinking this for a couple of years now (my wife likes this) that is the main reason I buy it and so do I good session beer. from the bottle poured a nice amber, with off white head. aroma, a nice maltlyness, with a touch of caramel and hops. flavor, malts, toffee, caramel, hops. like the bitterness the hops give this. another good beer from S A

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Photo of akajimmyd
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Dark copper color, quickly dissipating light and airy head. No lacing.

Smell – Bitter spice scents, malts(?)

Taste – Malts are very pronounced. I barely pick up on the hops that are noted on the label. Mild sweetness. Not bitter like it smells.

Mouthfeel – Lite body. Smooth in the mouth, nothing to complain about. Can taste to booze at the end. Little aftertaste.

Drinkability – Very drinkable. Not too complex (I think), easy going down.

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Photo of skynxnex
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notched to drink by March, 2006. Pours an amber/copper color with a two finger white head. Fairly good lacing.

Smell is grain and sweet malt with a hint of hops. The taste is sweet malt, a bit grassy, and toasty. Slight hop flavor with bitterness. It's a pretty good beer. I like other Oktoberfests more, but it's quite drinkable. But nothing remarkable.

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Photo of JISurfer
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is what I call my old stand by Oktoberfest. It's definately a good example of the style, especially for a mass produced beer. I personally have used this one as a "gateway" beer on some of my friends who just drink Coors Light, Natty, and such swill as that. All of them pretty much enjoy this one.

It's got a nice little creamy head on it that has some retention, but not too much. The taste is definately a bit better this year, with a more abundance of caramel, roasted malts, and some light fruits intertwined. The past few years for this beer have been rather ho-hum, with faintness abound. Overall, this years brew of Oktoberfest is definately a great step in the right direction.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear deep reddish orange color with a two-inch off white head made up of small bubbles. The head lasted about a minute, and didn’t have too many bubbles rising to maintain the head.

Aroma: Floral hops with a bit of toast are the first things you notice about the aroma.

Taste: There is a bit of an assertive hop presence in this beer that is far from your typical Octoberfest beer. There is a small amount of the toasty malt in there, but it is most obscurred by the hops. The body is medium light with a finish that is slightly balanced toward the sweet malt. No alcohol noticeable the entire time.

Opinion:’s not contaminated or anything. This is not what I would call an Octoberfest beer. It is more of a cross between a Northern Pilsner (Hop presence in flavor), and a mild Munich Dunkel (Light bittering hops for finish). It’s not a bad tasting beer, but it is rather uneventful and disappointing in the malt aspects. The hops are too aggressive to, I guess, try and make up for the lack of malt. It’s OK...just not to style.

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Photo of xgrigorix
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Twelve ounce brown bottle. Best by date notched on label.

Deep burnished amber. Thin off white head.

Toasty / biscuity nose. Toasty malt & carmel right up front. Biscuity & a little bit nutty. A touch of spicy hops. Off dry finish. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Decent & dependable.

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

Sam Adams Octoberfest is a staple session beer for me in the fall - you can find it everywhere, and it is usually on sale. It pours a crystal clear orange-red with a slightly tan head that is fairly large and fluffy at first, but quickly fades to a thin coating on top of the beer. Aroma is malt sweetness, with some caramel notes and a twinge of spicy hops. Flavor is very malty and sweet, a bit too sweet for my liking, with some nutty flavors as well. Slightly cloying sweetness in the finish, with a bit of hops. All in all, a solid fall seasonal and a good session beer.

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

First time I have tried an Octoberfest beer. Pours a nice red/orange color and leaves basically no lacing. Has a good caramel smell. It has a toasty, malty caramel taste with a subtle bitterness and is well balanced. Finishes somewhat dry. Glad I bought a six pack because it is easy drinking. A good beer that makes me want to try others of this style.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I figured this one wouldn't be on draft too much longer and the choices weren't too tempting anyway, so why not. This Octoberfest is worth trying, but nothing to rave about. Nice copper, orange color with a small head and lacing. A nice bit of spiciness reminds me their Winter Warmer that will be showing up soon (a much better choice). This one took me a while to finish. I'm not too big a fan of this style anyway.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep orange/amber color with a small head. Little lacing is left behind but the head disappates fairly rapidly. Malty aroma that is not overpowering. The taste is full of roasted and caramel malts. The balance is thrown a little towards the malty side, however the hops are still noticable. Slightly dry, bitter mouthfeel keeps this from being an outstanding session brew. I always look forward to this brew when the fall season comes rolling around.

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