Samuel Adams Octoberfest | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams OctoberfestSamuel Adams Octoberfest
7,727 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,727 |  Reviews: 2,194
Photo of Luigi
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of filabrazilia
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of JackStraw22
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of swamiswamu
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.56/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of TheDeuce
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of ThreePistols
3.34/5  rDev -9%
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.


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Photo of mschofield
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of BitteBier
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

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Photo of Rio
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
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 -9.8%
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 -26.2%
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 -3.8%
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 -12.8%
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 -7.9%
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.

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Photo of Globetrotter
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
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 -7.1%
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 -15%
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.

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Photo of aquatonex
3/5  rDev -18.3%
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.

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Photo of beerceller99
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
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 +2.5%
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 -3.8%
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 -7.1%
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.

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Samuel Adams Octoberfest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 7,727 ratings