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Samuel Adams Octoberfest | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

2,089 Reviews
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Samuel Adams OctoberfestSamuel Adams Octoberfest

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

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: 2,089 | Ratings: 7,238
Photo of BitteBier
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

 434 characters

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

Deep amber color, without much of a head or head retention. Sweet malts and hop aroma that I've found in many other O'fests come through here, though not quite hiding the alcohol in this one.

The sweet malts, caramel and toasted flavors, open the show with this brew, allowing the hops to finish up. It is a nice balance, but I find I rather more enjoy the beers that allow the toasted and caramel flavors to wrap the hops, both the start and finish. Nice body on this one, feels a bit thicker, though not quite chewy like a nice stout.

Another nice O'fest, though not an excellent one. The tap version (which, regrettably, I was not able to make notes on before it was all gone) struck me as a bit better than this, but it's still not bad.

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

12 oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $0.99.

Poured a bronze-copper body, with a thick off-white head. Medium amounts of lace.

Smell was sweet, reminding me of caramel. Beyond that, there really wasn't much going on in this department.

Taste was marginally better than the smell. After starting off with the mild caramel sweetness of the malts (of which there are four, according to the label) there was a slight hoppy dryness that came into play at most at the finish. Still, this was rather lackluster.

This seemed slightly too thin and light bodied for an octoberfest. I'd prefer it if it was a bit more medium bodied.

This is perfectly acceptable for sitting around and consuming for lack of anything better, but that's about it. While not a bad beer, there's not enough character in this to inspire me to purchase it again.

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Photo of mrfosters
2.71/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark amber with quickly fading offwhite head.Initial malty taste that finishes dry ,bitter and a little mediciney.I noted caramel in the aroma and taste which is a minus for this style.As a dark lager maybe , but as an Oktoberfest?.. not quite.I like the new label.

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

Bronze-copper body with a thick, light-tan head. Good lacing.
Mildly sweet caramel malt aroma with cooked vegetables, and peppery hops.
Taste consists of muted, doughy malt flavors up front. A hint of cookie sweetness comes in, but there’s not much. Hops pick it up toward the end—spicy and sufficiently bitter. Finish is kinda short and bitter with a hint of malt. Medium-bodied, kind of creamy feel. This is not a bad beer, just nothing to get excited about, and it’s definitely better on tap.

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Photo of n8tron
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

nothing to special here, i know some people go crazy for this beer. Its decent as oktoberfests go. One thing about it is it has this slight fizzy..or something taste to it. I don't know, but besides that its pretty ordinary. Its easy to drink, there arn't any overbearing tastes. Just a general oktoberfest beer taste, i perfer harpoons.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Translucent orange with hints of amber and of red. There's an absence of bubbles within the beer itself, yet it's capped by a light caramel-colored head of frothy foam. Unremarkable, but adequate lace. Octoberfest has a standard-issue appearance for the style, but looks to be quality-made all the same.

The nose is toasted malty, lightly spiced and somewhat soft-spoken. It doesn't impress me in the least, but there are no major missteps. A growing sense of unease is overtaking me. Samuel Adams brews good beer, but this offering hasn't endeared itself to me yet.

The flavor profile is acceptable, but lacks personality and cohesiveness. It's toasted grain malt-dominant (sweet underpinnings) and lightly hoppy (mildly bitter, clean, dry finish). The body/mouthfeel is firm without being full initially, then loses its way mid-mouthful to end on the thinnish side. This beer is all over the map and sorting out its qualities is an interesting undertaking. While 'interesting' is on my list of positive beer qualities, it isn't high on that list.

Sam Adams Octoberfest is a lackluster beer to some extent. There are better versions out there and I'm convinced that BBC is capable of better as well. It's still drinkable and has no serious faults, but it isn't a seasonal that I'll return to.

 1,302 characters

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

Pours a clear burgundy amber under a two finger beige head that fades slowly but leaves no lace. A strong caramel nose greets the senses. The mouth is very prickly and fairly light. The opening features lots of caramel maltiness, followed by a mild hoppy presence. There is a slightly sour aftertaste, but this is a very good session brew. Yum.

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Photo of Higravity
3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well this is a good beer and is decently colored an amberly flow with tints of fall, leaves turning all colors of red brown and orange, in a glass. The smell is up front and malty and a distinct lager smell of cold storage. I don't know but I seem to be able to smell a lager before I taste it. The taste for this beer was a blend of malts and tings of molasses and dark malt happiness. There was a after-taste of spiced pumkin and fresh fallen leaves that at first was unwelcome and then excepted and pleasant. I have had this beer for several years now and while I thought 2003 was better this year is not bad, and I will surely have another before they are gone.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.12/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the tap, pours a clear amber color with no head at all. Probably not a good pour from the bartended. A few bubbles from the bottom of the glass. No lace on the glass as the beer disappears. Smells slightly toasted, fruity and maybe spicy. Tastes slight carmel, again with some fruit notes, and a slight hint of hop bitterness. The sweetness never seems to go away, and seems to be a bit cloying. Light body, with some carbonation. Seems a bit watery. Overall, fair. I do not believe this beer was as mediocre last year or the year before. As it seems for Sam Adams, some of the products are being "dumbed down", probably for the mass market. What a shame.

 660 characters

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

Pours medium orange-amber with a persistent head. Smells of faint spice, malt, and hops. The balance is good in this Oktoberfestbier, neither malt nor hops overpower the other. However, it is lacking in 'oomph'. The spice is noticeable and is a welcome accompaniment. I'd like more spice and also stronger malts and hops. But, it is still a decent beer that I'd drink again.

 374 characters

Photo of beerceller99
3.15/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle pours a clear amber hue with very little head. Has a slight malty, yeasty caramel smell. A mild caramel malt sweetness swishes across the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with a pleasantly bitter, subtle hop bite. Smooth mouthfeel and easy drinking, not bad.

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Photo of Biffster
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a deep copper, brilliant clear, with amber highlights and a persistent off white head.

The aroma is rich and malty, but there is a hint of roast malt which is not appropriate for the style. Besides that, the arome is quite clean - no esters or other off aromas. Hints of caramel and the barest hint of continental hops emerges as the sample warms.

The beer is malty at the taste, bready with a hint of toast, and an inappropriate but not objectionable taste of continental (hallertau? spalt?) hops. The slight hint of roast malt still detracts. The beer finishes with a nice clean swallow, with a slightly vinous linger from the hops.

The mouthfeel is bang on for the style - medium body, medium/high carbonation, no astringency and no warming.

Overall, I find the hop flavor to be inappropriate to style but not unpleasant. The use of roast malt for flavor and color instead of additional Munich malt is quite disappointing

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Photo of rkhaze
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orange amber color with a foamy off white head that got creamy as it fell.
Sweet malt aroma with hints of fruit and mildly spicy hops.
Sweet, almost cloying, toasted malt flavor. A bit of fruit and a complimentary spicy hop profile.
Thin bodied with a light, carbonated mouthfeel.
Lighter flavored, highly drinkable Americanized version of an Octoberfest

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Photo of etaggie09
3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: reddish amber with an off-white slowly diminishing head. A fair amount of lacing. I had worse expectations.

Aroma: lots of sweet malt with some grainy smells as well

Taste: sweet malty taste and a slightly bitter, watery taste. A little alcohol is present. This is kind of a one-dimensional beer. It's an Octoberfest, so its not gonna blow me away, but I have had better. The malts are definately too weak here.

Mouthfeel: a little watery, but the carbonation was done fairly well.

Drinkability: I could have a bunch of these. I had a couple out of the bottle while watching a football game and eating Taco Bell and it was great. I think its a good session brew for football games, though I would definately take Boston Lager over it.

Notes: Not bad for what it is. If you are looking for flavor, go somewhere else, but if you want a beer with more flavor than Budweiser, but the same drinkability for those long football game parties, try a Sam Adams.

 979 characters

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

Deep amber copper color with a small white head, left a ring with some decent lacing though. Though this one looks good, there's really not much behind it. Taste is a bit citrusy and kind of metallic, a tiny bit tof caramel malt but really weak and watery, almost like seltzer. A sparkly mouthfeel but no real finish, no aftertaste and drinkable only because its light and inoffensive. Depressing, I was hoping for something with a lot more flavor than this.

 458 characters

Photo of ocpathfinder
2.56/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2004 Release

Presentation: brown bottle with "best by" date notched on label

Appearance: Pours clear copper. Decent sized head which settled quickly and left no lacing.

Smell: Lots of malt. Little bit of fruit and perhaps some corn/corn adjunct.

Taste: Starts out slightly sweet and malty. Finishes rather watery, with lingering aftertaste.

Drinkability: Wouldn't want more than a couple in one sitting. Probably wouldn't buy again.

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Photo of hobbes2112
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.

Pours a deep copper with light edges, medium head that doesn't last long, leaving decent lacing. Aroma is light but clean, malt dominates but there are small honey and citrus notes in there also. Taste is clean and crisp, but doesn't really stand out for me. Stable but not bold flavors of malt, bread, alcohol on the good side, a slightly metallic/apple finish on the bad side.

This is a pretty consistent beer, and I don't frequently notice that metal taste, so I won't ding it too much. Doesn't really scream Oktoberfest, but it does seem like a fall beer, one of SA's top three or four in my opinion.

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Photo of donnebaby
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark, copper, and clear. Haze and cream ring top. Nice looks and deep malt nose, sweet, mulled with some cinnamon whiffs. Taste is mild and flavorful. Notes of cherry soda (tasted like it was infused with their Cherry Wheat...) and vanilla. Some fruit in the body, and some spice, too--especially in the cleanish finish. Fruit in the taste develops to have much more in terms of toasted cereals. Mild carbonation.

This beer exceeded my expectations greatly, but didn't seem to resemble other Octoberfests I've had.

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Photo of farHillsBrewer
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A solid Octoberfest from our patriotic brewer. A brownish amber with a fluffy head and some apparent lace. The malt brought out a pleasant but faint odor of a grassy bready nature. The taste was sweet to the tongue but faded into something with a grainy bite. The hops were noble and slight, but for a top notch fest, I'd like something a bit cleaner with less aftertaste. I'd buy it again and will surely check out the draft version if a come across it.

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Photo of watermelonman
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured to a nice color, an orange and amber combination that looks great. However, the head and lace are minimal if worth mentioning at all.

The smell is spot-on. Hops are perfectly balanced with crispness in a very solid fashion. The taste is good too, but strikes me as being the kid's version of this style. It could really use some more charactor, although what's there isn't a bad flavor at all.

The mouthfeel is pretty darn full, and nice as it warms. Drinkability is high for this friendly beer.

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Photo of surfmeister
4.37/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Underrated, as all Sam Adams beers are on BA, success breeds contempt. Deep, copper/orange, thick head which dissipated too quickly, had to ding it for that, malty, malty, malty, light on the hops, but just enough to keep the sweetness at bay,once again SA succeeds in creating great beer when a taste that is accessible to many, not by compromising, but with SUBTLETY, remember that word? smooth, full mouthfeel, beautiful lacing as I finished. A sweeter, less hopped Boston lager if I may simplify. A winner.

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Photo of Guinness4me
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

While I usually find most Sam Adams' a bit too hoppy, this beer gave me only a glimpse of hops before the malt and caramel...and I liked it!

The color was the obligatory amber but also a glimmer of rose'...almost a deep, white-zin-wine color. The head was great at first, but fizzled quickly leaving sparse, dotted lace.

The hops scent was slight and quickly gave way to caramel sweetness with a slight pungency (or is that a zing of citrus?).

The taste was the best part of this beer, other than the appearance. It was a perfect blast of carbonation at the tip of my tongue, a quick, and I mean QUICK burst of hops, then a malt taste that would rival a Whopper malted milk ball. Yummy!

This could be one of the most drinkable Sammy Beers I have found.

10/22/04-I had to edit this review and rate it higher in drinkability. My hubby surprised me with it in the kegorator and I've only grown to love it more. It's so easy to drink, it's dangerous.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So far all of the Sam Adams brews have not done me wrong. This one does not disappoint. Pours the proverbial coppery amber that is very clear and shows a good amount of carbonation. I was able to pour a large 2 inch head that was tannish and left an abundance of lace to the bottom of the glass.

The aroma is at first malty then somewhat fruity, maybe apples. The taste is much the same with a slight hint of caramel that is sweet. The malt is there as well as some fruity undertones. The hop flavor is mild to non existent. This one starts strong but finishes a little week, but, overall a good beer that I would drink anytime.

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

Grabbed up a sixer of this as a last-ditch effort for a ‘fest to go with my brats.

The body of the beer is almost a pumpkin orange in color. What forms of a head quickly recedes into a few scattered bubbles on top. The aroma is thick with caramel, hints of toast and cookies appear as well. The taste is dominated by that chewy caramel flavor, almost a little one dimensional. Maybe hints of dry toast and just the teeny-tiniest spicy hop. The mouth-feel is refreshing but substantial, nice fine level of carbonation.

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Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 2,089 ratings.
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