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Samuel Adams Octoberfest | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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2,128 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: 2,128 | Ratings: 7,380
Photo of ericj551
3.36/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sam Adams Octoberfest pours a nice deep orange, quite clear. Smell is sweet and malty, and lighter smelling than I expected. Taste is quite strong sweet maltiness, with a bready flavor. Hops are nonexistant, I guess that goes with the style. Overall a pretty good beer, but I'll probably stick to one six pack this year.

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Photo of merlin48
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 edition pours a radiant copper amber body with a small khaki head that retains well and produces some attractive lacing. Aroma is disinctive noble hops and caramel malt. Mouthfeel features spritzy carbonation and a light medium body. Taste is a well balanced blend of toffee and caramel maltiness and noble hop bitterness. Crisp and refreshing. An excellent American Oktoberfest that is tasty and sessionable.

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Photo of beachbum1975
2.81/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm a big fan or fall time spiced beers, but the 2 bottles had last night didn't do alot for me. It poured a gorgeous amber color and had a nice frothy head for a few minutes, but my particular beer had an overwhelming pumpkin scent. I like pumpkin smelling beer, but this smelled a little too pumpkin-earthy for me - it almost smelled like bad pumpkins (after Halloween and stinky).

It was decent, but I won't be running to pick up another six pack. At best, I would consider it "avergage", but I was a little disappointed overall.

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

2/7/07 freshness date

A: Pours a reddish amber with a fizzy head that quickly disappears. Lacing quickly slides down the glass after each sip.

S: Sort of a dirty musty malt aroma.

T: Malty and sweet with flavors of cereal grains and honey.

M: Light-medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: This gets the same reaction as most other brews from SA. Decent and definitely drinkable, but hardly as good as other craft brewers that produce on a smaller scale. Cheap, and easily accessible, but not noteworthy.

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Photo of hanco005
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, best before February, poured into a pint glass

A—pours clear brownish red with a ¾ inch off white fluffy head that slowly sputters down to a thin sheet, laces in thick rings…almost like stripes

S—caramel and holiday spices, sweet with a little sour twang that comes out

T—very well balanced…I was expecting it to be more sweet than it is, caramel is present, but not to dominate. The autumn spices are in there, too. It got a little bland toward the end

M—smooth, but a drier finish, medium bodied, good carbonation

D—not bad at all, glad I tried it and I will enjoy the rest of the 6er. I do, however, prefer a sweeter oktoberfest brew.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer looks gorgeous. Beautiful orange/red body with initially thick head that thins but does not dissappear. Smell is a plethora of hops, yeast, and wheat. Some caramel-like scent there too? Very flavorful. Sweet, malty, and yeasty, with some hop bitterness present. More or less well balanced, and medium bodied. A very decent beer. Definitely among the best Sam Adams beers I’ve ever had. I am impressed. I love fall beers anyway though.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Update from previous review: It's been 5 years since I first reviewed this beer. I've had it now and again, without issue, but I'm not so happy with this year's batch. I've had it several times and it just doesn't sit right. It's darker with more caramel notes, the hops lack character (probably just an actual hop crop issue), and the bitterness is seemingly a touch high. I see how it fits within the "Oktoberfest/Märzen" style, but with the addition of more caramel character it doesn't even suggest Munich malts, it just seems like an amber lager to me. On to my previous review...

Sam Adam's always delivers, so when I went to pick up an Octoberfest (OKtoberfest with a K is actually trademarked in Germany, so kudos to Sammy for the "C") this year I naturally gravitated towards them. Some of the O'fests from Germany have been getting weaker and weaker and more watered down over the years. Hell, some of them are gold in color!

It has a great appearance with a clear, orange and gold accented copper that just 'looks like fall'. It's got great head retention and it leaves some very nice lacing behind.

The nose is clean and fresh with some delicate, caramelish and toasty malt.

The flavor offers all of the soft, bready, and lightly toasty malt that you'd expect with a touch of tea-like and mildly floral hops to lend it some character. The bitterness is present but unassuming; and it finishes fairly short and dry. More importantly, it's remarkably clean, fresh tasting, and superbly balanced.

The mouthfeel is smooth and silky with a medium body and restrained, moderate carbonation that help to accentuate its malt.

It's refined. It has finesse. It's remarkably drinkable. There are other, more fully flavored fests out there, but I'm not sure any of them have quite the same quaffability that Sammy offers. Prost!

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Photo of numenor1
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice, clear copper with a khaki head, showing some lacing. Smell is bready malt and faint hops. Initially full of toasty, slightly toffeeish, caramel malts then drying into an earthy, spicy, yet restrained hop finish. This years also seems to have a bit of nuttiness to it. Perhaps it's always been there, perhaps not, but it's fantastic. A tad bid of acidity is in the mix and is most present in the finish, but I quite enjoy it. Mouthfeel is on the full side for an Ofest, but this remains very drinkable.

Always an enjoyable beer, i manage to pick it up at least once or twice when it comes out.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've enjoyed this beer a lot in previous years, but I'm not sure this year's is for me. It's pretty enough, amber in color with a medium white head. I had difficulty with the aroma, as in it wasn't there. Some pumpkin spice, some sweetness like maple syrup. Very subtle. Ditto for the taste. It was sweet, but that was about it. Smooth in the mouth. I've had half of the 6 pack I bought. Maybe I'll give the others to my wife.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at a cool bar (although not very beer friendly) on the riverfront in Peoria called Martini's.

Cinnamon orange in color, this had a 1/2 finger head that didn't stick around too long. If it had a green head it would look just like a pumpkin.

Smelled weakly of pumpkin pie filling and spices. I gave it a fairly low score in the smell department not because I didn't like the smell, but simply because there wasn't much of it. I couldn't really smell much besides the very faint pumpkiny spice and a little bit of hoppy zest.

Tastes pretty damn good! Raw pumkin pie filling, spiced pumkin bread, orange rind. This is more heavily hopped than I would have expected. IMO it had a pale ale quality to it, but with autumnal pumkin spice. Mouthfeel is light to medium and carbonation is adequate but on the lighter side.

This is a great fall beer that I will surely have again! This tastes more like pumpkins than the Blue Moon pumpkin ale I had the other night.

Note: I picked up another sixer of this 9/9/07, and I'm convinced that while it's a great session beer and a good stab at one of my favorite styles. Not one of the best fest biers, but it is widely available and cheap. This is an autumn staple in my house.

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Photo of beerogre
4.68/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm not sure what it is about this beer, but I have a great affection for it. It's probably something to do with the fact that when I first came to the US from England and discovered American beer wasn't just all Budweiser and Miller, Sam Adams was the first good beer I was introduced to and then shortly afterwards when the Octoberfest seasonal was released for that year, it really was an exciting time as the realisation dawned that here was a whole new continent of beer waiting to be discovered. The gateway to a new world indeed.

I have sampled many great beers since then and continue to do so, and yet Sam Adams Octoberfest continues to be one of my favourites.

Like the ornithologist who spots the first migrant birds arriving, every year around this time it lights up my day when I spot the familiar orange packaging on the otherwise bland Central Florida supermarket beer aisle shelves. Every year I buy a case and consume it over the next few months, and then I forget about it again until about this time, when once more I enjoy the clean, crisp, refreshing taste that makes this beer.

I think this would probably be my session beer of choice if I was forced to nominate one. It's a beer I could just go on drinking forever, quite easily. A simply fantastic creation.

Incidentally, I first spotted this beer at the end of August this year, which is the earliest I recall, as I normally notice its arrival sometime in September. No complaints here though. None at all.

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Photo of rustymoore
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a muddy brown with a thick yet light in consistency head. Some lacing throughout. The smells of note are fruits such as grape and plum. Tastes sweet with raisen and floral essence. Brown sugar and caramel notes as well. Quite smooth on the pallate but I couldn't drink this consistently because of the sweetness. I like it but not in great amounts.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - appropriate to the season, this beer is a dark coppery orange color with a thin tan head, with plenty of carbonation

S - a great hoppy, toasted aroma, with a great malt presence and a subdued hop profile, inviting, definitely

T - a great malty sweet taste, and balanced nicely with the mild hop profile, full bodied and tasty, a great octoberfest

M&D - i love this beer, this is my favorite Sam Adams offering, a great beer that is easy back and quite smooth, a great transition beer for BMC drinkers

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Photo of Freshie
3.36/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a great amber colour, with frothy head, that takes it's time dissapating in my glass.

Smells of toasted malt, and a faint sweet aroma. Hop bouquet is fresh in the nose as well.

The taste is sweet malt to start, but blances well with the hops after a few seconds. Rich and toasted, with the sweetnes lingering in the back of your palate as you continually drink this beer.

The body is medium, and the carbonation somewhat light. Finishes clean, and very easy to down.

Nearly 5 years ago, back in college I tried this beer one fateful night, and entered the world of craft beer advocacy.

You never forget your first.

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

This beer pours a deep red-copper color with a creamy, dense head. Mildly malty aroma with notes of noble hops. Taste follows through with a slightly sweet malty palate, pleasantly bready, along with earthy, spicy, leafy hops. This beer finishes grainier, on the dry side. Overall, quite solid. Medium body with ample carbonation, goes down real, real easy. One of the better beers that are this widely available.

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

Poured a deep amber color into a pint glass with a thick, half inch head. Decent lacing. Looks very much like a Marzen.

Aromas of malt, brown sugar. Reminds me of a doppelbock.

Taste is on the sweet side. Very malty, brown sugar, some toffee. Flavor is also similar to a doppelbock.

Thick, hearty mouthfeel. Smooth with nice finish.

Overall, very drinkable and a nice beer for the Fall. Very reasonable price makes this beer a real bargain as well.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.21/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've gotten away from octoberfests - buying and brewing for some time now. On a whim I decided to pick up a 6 of the Sams and take a walk down memory lane.

A - Reddish orange with a light off-white head to start.
S - Very light aroma - light hops and malt / grain
T - Bottle advertises caramel and tofee. Sorry, not much if any of that IMO. Basically this tastes as it smells. Very mild for an octoberfest.
M - By the color and head I would've expected medium bodied. I'd rate this as light.
D - Nice, light easy drinking octoberfest. Won't offend the crowd, but not a trip back down memory lane again any time soon for me.

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

Appearance: Nice looking beer, hard to determine whether it's more red or orange in the glass, very clear. Decent head, but lackluster retention and lacing. I find the color striking.

Smell: Some malt and nutmeg aromas, but fairly clean as a lager, with some noble hops in the background.

Taste: At first my friend and I were surprised at how little flavor we were getting out of this one. It tasted almost watery - after warming in the glass for a bit, though, flavor finally started to come out and continued to improve down to the bottom of the glass. Definitely don't serve this one at refrigerator temperatures. Malt is the big stand out, of course, with some earthiness, and a very clean finish. Somewhat toasty, with enough hops to balance the malts.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light mouthfeel, good carbonation.

Drinkability: Pretty high, but not my favorite of the Sam Adams lineup. Didn't meet my expectations, at least.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- 1/4" tanish white head. Darker amber clear color with maybe a bit of orange to it. Very little lacing, basically none.
S- Malty sweet. Maybe some caramel with some sugar? Light floral hops?
T-Sweeter maltier taste. Not much hop taste at all if any. Bit of caramel or something around that in the taste. Light bitterish aftertaste. Crisp but bit sticky.
M- Thin body. Medium carbonation but on higher side.
D- Doesn't touch the Spaten Oktoberfest. It is alright and is drinkable but doubt I would buy it again.

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Photo of KyleVick4
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz

A: Clear amber with golden edges. Pours with a good thick head that leaves a little lacing down the sides.

S: Smells carmely and another smell that is off. Like sourness. Cant realy place what it is. Smells toasty. Not totally bad, but not great either.

T: Mmmm this is a good beer. A very sweet taste upfront with hints of sweet camrmel and a little toastyness. The hops kick in mildly as a back thought of the profile. I like it. Probally my favorite Sam Adams.

M: A nice carbonated medium bodied feel. A tad syrupy, but I think the carbonationg is just right for the style.

D: Good but tough to drink more than one. The sweetness is overpowering.

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Photo of Drew966
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Octoberfest pours a nice copper colow with an off white head. A little bit of hop comes through in the aroma. Nice caramel malt flavors dominate, hops balance this out and are somewhat noticeable toward the finish, but remain in the background. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of mcarroll10177
3.39/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A- copper with a big head and decent lacing on the glass

S- the faint smell of malt. Really no nose at all in this beer. It gets a 2.5 because no smell is better than a bad smell.

T- light, nice crispness to it. It was a refreshing clean taste. But where is the malt flavor and the hop bitterness? This is supposed to be an octoberfest beer.

M- a bit to watery for my liking

D- an easy drinking beer to say the least. Could have had more to it though. Very refreshing, but lacking any semblance of complexity.

Notes- back when I fisrt got into craft beer a year or so ago. This was one of my favorite beers. My palate has changed a great deal, because this beer did not have much going on.

Love most SA, but this beer, while very quaffable, seems to be for the BMC crowd who want an Octoberfest beer.

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Photo of gunnerman
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orange amber color with a one inch head that leaves some good lacing on the mug, head seems to stay the entire beer. Smell, you have to really stick your nose into the glass and take a big wiff to at least smell somthing in there, sweet malt small with a bit of some citrus back smell as well. Taste is pretty good this goes down very smooth, has a bit to much carbonation but not over bearing. I can taste the malts that are used kind of soft and mellow, this is a good offering but not to tasty.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearnce: Nice head, decent retention.

Smell: Nice fruity almost pumpkinish with caramel malts coming across on the nose.

Taste: Pale and caramel malts come through. Sweet with a mild hop bitterness. Nice and refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, could be a little crisper, but it goes down really easily. Sessionable beer.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
4.27/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice orangish brown color with a creamy white head. Smell is sweet like carmel. I can also detect smells of bread. The taste is of sweet carmel malt with a little bit of spice and orange peel. Nicely carbonated and would make a great session beer as the weather cools just a bit. Good effort by Boston Beer Company.

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Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.66 out of 5 based on 7,380 ratings.
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