Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Samuel Adams Octoberfest | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
2,129 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,129 | Ratings: 7,382
Photo of BierManVA
4.23/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

With all the "Oktoberfests" on the market today, it is nice to see one that sticks to the Maerzen roots.

This bier is spot on for style and one I enjoy immensly. Deep amber color, caramel malt flavor with just a hint of hop balance. Sweet but not cloying. Smooth. This bier is so drinkable that you'll wonder why your glass is always empty.

Not heavily carbonated or a lot of head, but that is the style.

Have some frinds over, break out the Masskrug and start singing German songs.

"Ein Prosit..."


 519 characters

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

I guess this is one of those beers that I just never wrote a review of, strange. Attractive clear dark copper appearance, nice frothy head that is rippled at the surface. Simple ring laces, adequate. Aroma is pleasant, deep sense of nuts and sugar, bit of bready graininess. Carbonation is lower, mouthfeel stands at just shy of medium. Very easy going flavor and spot on as far as typical of style, a good brown sugar approach with a backbone of toastiness that integrates well with the body. Slight fade as the beer transitions through front to back, just a slight uptick in a sense of straw and hay at the close. A pretty quaffable example of an O-Fest here, with a deeper color typical of many in the North American market.

 727 characters

Photo of silver0rlead
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper, almost-pumpkin hue with a nice tan head. Aroma is very intriguing, blend of chocolate , pumpkin, spices, and a light grassy hops aroma. The taste is somewhat of a letdown, with a strong malt presence that is bready and slightly sweet and a light grassy hops flavor with a dry finish. Mouthfeel is crisp with moderate carbonation and a medium body. Descent but nothing to shake a stick at.

 404 characters

Photo of beersarang
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a wonderful orange with a tan head. Orange becomes amber in the absence of light, but yellow in the light. Brilliant clarity and bubbles streaming upward excitedly. Retention is not so fantastic, but lagers are never as amazing as ales in that department.

Spicy grass hop aroma with hints of malt, nice smell and although subtle, it is noticable and distinctive.

Malt sits on the palate for a long while, with sweet grain and various layers of flavor coating the tongue. Preparing for the swallow, the hops deliver a good countermeasure of bitterness that balances the brew perfectly. Hop character though evident in the nose seems a bit subdued by the malt. Spicy and grassy hops should have shown more presence in accordance with their bitterness.

Prickly carbonation with a medium to light body.

I would drink this again, for its uniqueness and because it fits the season so well. Also it is a good standby at the grocery store when there is no other good beer.

 982 characters

Photo of kbnooshay
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The aroma is pleasant and malty as hell. The appearance is nice; orange amber with a small tan head. The taste is nice, malty with some nice caramel flavor. This offering compared to their others is a little weak though. And for the category of ocktoberfest it is a little weak also because there isn't as much spice as I would like. BUT, the drinkability is awesome and it is a pleasant brew. I will definately take brooklyn brewey's offering over this.

 454 characters

Photo of Luigi
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich amber color and a sticky off-white head. Malt aroma comes off fruity, almost plum like. A faint amount of hops. The taste is about the same. Very fruity malts that are grape like. A faintness of hop pulls through the malts. Kind of a metallic aftertaste. Over all this is a slightly above average Oktoberfest beer. It just seems like it was better a few years ago.

 369 characters

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

Pours a brilliant orange copper with a small tan head. There is a bit of lace on the glass.

A light malt aroma is blended with a touch of toffee and is deliously sweet to the nose.

This is a nice tasting beer--very mild and sweet with a good caramel smoothness. A gentle hop bite finishes it nicely.

This is an exceptionally easy beer on the mouth--light and easy yet dry and slightly bitter in the finish.

A surprisingly good offering from SA. I really enjoyed this beer and would be happy to sample it again.

 522 characters

Photo of JackStraw22
3.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber/orange color, with a foamy head, that came down pretty quickly. As with most Oktoberfest style beers, this has a great drinkability, and, I wish I had a bratwurst right now to go with it. I found it to be slightly hoppier than the Saranac Octoberfest, but still balanced. The hoppiness also lasted a lot longer in my mouth afterwards. I like this beer, and it's worth a try, but I think I prefer the Saranac Octoberfest.

 432 characters

Photo of swamiswamu
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- orange amber, 1cm head in a pint glass. The head dissapated quickly
Smell- strong scent of caramel malr, whiff of hops but not much
Taste- malt, malt and little more malt. Toasted and caramel malt dominate. The hops are more of an afterthought.
Mouthfeel- great, pretty smooth and refined
Drinkability- could be a session beer.

 343 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12ozer that I was "forced" to take home after being the last to leave a football get-together. Oh, the horror. :-)

Poured into an imperial pint glass, a copper hued brew, with a beige 3/4" head. Lacing is good, plentiful and lasting. Aroma is slightly fruity, with a toasted biscuit backbone. Taste is caramel malts, with the frruity flavor pervasive, kind of hiding other notes. Mouthfeel takes a bit of getting used to with the fruitiness for me, but once you settle in, this gets pretty drinkable. An acceptable seasonal that makes a good backup at many a bar's micro draft wasteland.

 590 characters

Photo of TheDeuce
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's past Octoberfest...but I had a few anyways...

Appearance-beautiful orange amber color, a huge thick two-inch head that sticks around with perfect clarity.

Smell-lot going on, scent of sweet malt, lots of hops, some caramel, amber grain, and alcohol seeped through my nostrils as well.

Taste-full with a lot of malt and caramel at once, hop flavor comes through as well with a huge kick at the very end, lot of flavor and sweetness at the end.

Mouthfeel-good, a lot of flavors hit my mouth and I really liked the character, for the style it will definitely do.

Drinkability- a few of my friends that had this with me really didn't like it, but for Octoberfest I say you really could do worse. A nice adaptation of the style that pays off.

Overall-this is another fine offering by Sam Adams, perhaps not the best adaptation of the style (I'm dying to find a German version) but very enjoyable none-the-less, give it a shot.

 946 characters

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

Appearance: Dark reddish brown color with a thick and persistent off-white head, lots of lace, slight carbonation. The appearance of this beer is quite striking - in my opinion, a textbook example of what a beer should look like.

Arom: Rich and malty, with distinct bread notes, spices, and a mild noble hop presence.

Taste: Begins with a rich malty taste, dominated by roasted malts and a wave of caramel throughout. The finish is dominated by lingering metallic hops, which seem a bit inappropriate.

Mouthfeel: Soft on the palette, smooth and pleasant, fairly full.

Drinkability/notes: An pleasant example of the style and eminently drinkable.

 650 characters

Photo of ThreePistols
3.34/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Burnt orange amber color with little to no head. Sweet, fruity, spicy hops, and malt aroma. Smell of raisin rum cake. Sweet, smooth malt body, and toasted malt flavor. Very well balanced hops and malt. The hop’s bitterness was just right from start to finish. I felt that the fruity candy like sweetness was too much for this style of beer.

The flavor was very good, but I was very disappointed how understated, restrained the flavor was.

Nevertheless, this is a very drinkable beer in spite of it's out of character sweetness and the lacking of a hearty lager flavor.

November 2004...

I thought that I would revisit this beer since my first encounter with it back in 2002. I found such a deal for this beer by the case that I couldn't pass them up.

Samuel Adams' Octoberfest Seasonal Brew pored a clean clear reddish amber color with a huge bubbly off white head that dissipated into almost nothing. Practically no lace at all.

Aroma- Sweet toasted malt, some spice and alcohol.

Taste- Sweet toasted malt with spice, weak hops.

Okay finish and aftertaste. Slightly dry and the hops standout more here than in the swallow. No real disconcerting flavors.

This beer is okay though not an outstanding Oktoberfest style beer. But I am enjoying them with cookouts and just as an everyday beer.


 1,340 characters

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

Pours a clear red/dark amber topped with a two finger creamy tan head, leaves webs of lacing.
Sweet, floral, malty aroma, bread note.
Nice malty taste, caramel, brown sugar and bread, almost no hop presence.
Medium bodied, a nice readiy available oktoberfest.

 262 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange-amber in color, clear with a pleasant head and tight bubbled sticky lace.

Aroma features a largely caramel smell. The malt is crisp with creamy milk sugars coming forward. Surprisingly, the alcohol warmth comes through, too.

Very round, rich mouthfeel. The flavor comes late, but strongly. Hop is strictly a balancing act to the full crystal malt flavors. The hop is more present after the swallow, but the aftertaste is still more malt; it's also long lasting.

 474 characters

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.

 746 characters

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.

 861 characters

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.

 265 characters

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.

 500 characters

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.

 337 characters

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.

 344 characters

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.

 665 characters

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

Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.66 out of 5 based on 7,382 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!