Dominion Octoberfest! | Old Dominion Brewing Company

BA SCORE
81
good
244 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good
Read the review
Dominion Octoberfest!Dominion Octoberfest!
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company
Delaware, United States
olddominion.com

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Autumn Seasonal beer is a traditional Maerzen style lager. We use eight types of imported German malts and four hop varieties to create this amber-colored fest beer.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-18-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
244
Reviews:
132
Avg:
3.57
pDev:
13.17%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
18
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 244 |  Reviews: 132
Photo of zplug123
3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass:

A: Dark amber, copper with minimal carbonation and lacing. No head at all even with a correct pour

S: Malty with a hint of caramel, tiny bit of floral hop aroma

T: Clean malt flavor, grain characteristic is apparent as it starts sweet and ends dry. Bitterness is minimal, but still in play

M: Medium body with little carbonation to add bite. Starts and finishes clean

D: Could have a few more of these in a night, a solid example of an American interpretation

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Photo of maltusaurelius
4.21/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a deep copper color with a big fluffy beige head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves minimal lacing. Very appealing appearance.

Caramel and cotton candy malts on the nose with a little hop spiciness. The malts are definitely forward as is typical for the style.

Taste follows the nose with lots of caramel malts and hints of cotton candy. Definitely on the sweet side, but not cloyingly so. Oktoberfests are malt forward and this one is typical in that sense, although there is a hops-more-forward bitter finish.

Overall, a very drinkable beer. Somewhat "bigger" than the Oktoberfests I've had from Germany this year - it tastes very much like an American amber. I'm not sure it is spot on for the style (tastes like they've used malts that are not typical of the style) but it is a tasety brew.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a perfectly clear copper-bronze color. A tall, foamy, tan head bubbles up. Retention is pretty nice, with patchy but widespread lacing.

S: Mostly straightforward toasted malt. Some caramel hints. Hops are spicy and leafy, with fleeting but fresh floral notes.

T: Nicely toasted graininess up front adds some sweetness. Mild caramel hints are fairly subdued. Rather hoppy for the style. Spicy floral and leafy flavors are quite prevalent. Bitterness is firm for an octoberfest.

M: Medium bodied. Carbonation is moderate. Rather dry overall, especially into the finish.

D: This is a pretty good lager, but as a true octoberfest it leaves something to be desired. It's a decidedly American version of the style - very hoppy without the sweet maltiness you'd expect. That knocks the score down a bit, but it's still not bad.

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

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pilsner glass. No freshness date. Purchased as 6-pack from Giant Foods (Charlottesville, VA) for $6.99.

A: Autumnal copper with bubbly tall caramel chew colored head with decent retention and scattered lacing.

S: Aromas are on par with classic marzen but emphasis the leafier side of the spicy, earthy hops smells. Malts are sweet and caramelly but take a back seat.

T: Hits all the Oktoberfest beer high points and then augments with some solid earhty, leafy hops to play off slightly better than middle-of-the-road malting. The end result is a leafier, more raw marzen with the right amount of crispness and dryness. More sweetness in the toffee direction would help this brew.

M: Good body but I still wish it had a little more body. Carbonation is right on and the aftertaste is long and hoppy.

D: A very good marzen from Dominion. I'm hoping their other brews sustain the past level of quality despite the change in management... Beach House Pilsner was not a good start, but this marzne has evened the score.

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Photo of Biggness
3.72/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a reddish amber with a one fingered head and nice lacing. The smell is pretty spot on for a oktoberfest, malt malt and malt. The flavor is nice for an oktoberfest, I am just yearning for a little more malt in this beer, its is a nice oktoberfest though. The mouthfeel is ok with a low carbonation level. A very drinkable brew in my opinion.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark amber color with no foam, only a layer of small bubble around the glass

S - Light malt aroma with a bit of honey and some spice

T - caramel malts and a bit of hop in the finish

M/D - medium easy drinking Oktoberfest that was a nice brew. Its right in the middle when it comes to my choice for an Oktoberfest.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought over for me by dkachur... thanks, Dan!

A: Clean, lighter gold... head is a little disappointing and doesn't last long, but the remains of it do leave some nice sticky lace on just over half the glass.

S + T: Bread 'n butter... some light caramel notes in both the aroma and on the palate (which also tastes like buttered bread!) but it's lacking a little outside of that. It still manages to be a decent beer, but something seems to be missing. It comes across to me more like a Vienna Lager than an Oktoberfest (but with a little bigger flavour profile, perhaps).

M + D: A bit of a sharp carbonated kick, sorta medium bodied, and a smooth finish. Drinking it is easy... might not be up to the flavour and aroma I've come to expect from the style, but it goes down really easily and would work just fine for a weekend of relaxing and putting a few back!

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of dkachur - thanks! Poured into a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: A filtered copper body with one-finger of white head that fades quickly into a ring of lace. Lacing proper isn't very impressive, though isn't a complete loss, with a few eruptions here and there. Carbonation is of a medium size and fairly slow.

Aroma: Major buttery malts here, very prominent. There's some faint something else, but it's mostly just toffee/toasty butterscotch/taffy notes.

Taste: Butterscotch ahoy! Diacetyls are through the roof on this one, with some mild balancing bitterness and a grassy, tart twinge the only things present to keep them in check. It's not "bad," it's just pretty average.

Mouthfeel: Very big and fluffy, full-bodied, but light and only slightly uneven.

Drinkability: A pretty average Oktoberfest, with all those buttery malts hiding anything else that might be there. They're not bad - i.e., they don't remind of me of rank yeast diacetyls or anything - but they do get sort of cloying after a while. Not a go-to Oktoberfest, but not a bad beer.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - nice crystal clear amber color with a nice offwhite head

S - light caramel malts wiht a hint of fruit sweetness.

T - light bitter hops, caramel malts and a hint of fruit sweetness

M - medium light bodied, nicely carbonated, crisp clean finish with a light bitter hop aftertaste.

D - nice beer overall

It must only be me, it seems most oktoberfest / marzen's these days seem to have more of a hop note than I remember the style to be. This was nice but falls into the same vein of nice but hoppier than I expected.

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Photo of StrangeBrewer76
4.15/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Having had other beers from this brewery, my hopes were not high and my assumption was relatively accurate. This beer came in a pint glass the color of a bottle with no head to speak of. A disk of faint bubbles in the center of the glass was the only indication that this might be a carbonated beverage. The smell was a pleasant grainy malt and no detectable hops that I could pick up. It tasted like a nice German beer, true to style. Wet and drinkable. There is a nice nod to a heavily toasted or chocolate malt in the first impression which was nice to look forward to in the next sip. I would serve this at an Octoberfest party as the centerpiece.

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Photo of Redrover
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Green Leaf in Williamsburg. Great little bar!

Served in a standard pint, the beer is orange-brown with a thin collar of beige foam & spotty lacing.

It has an aroma of lightly toasted grains, honey and spice.

The taste is a nice combo of sweet with toasted malts with more than a bit of backend spiciness (almost reminds me of rye). Nice balance & better than expected complexity

The mouth has heft but the beer is easy to session. Well done!!

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Photo of ATPete
2.8/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle

bottled 9/2/08 consumed 10/3/08

My first offering from the Old Dominion Brewing Co. The Oktoberfest pours a transparent orange brown color with a small but slightly sticky off white head. Very sweet caramel malts directly up front, as well as notes of corn syrup, candi sugar and cotton candy. Butterscotch and solid caramel malt backbone is most apparent while tasting although it is not a match for the fruity hop undertones through out. Odd spices begin to surface once the yeast character is picked up, cinnamon, brown sugar and a few earthy esters. Over all this beer is too sweet, for everything going on this beer remains dull and devoid of positive character. I never got that "fall" feeling while drinking this beer, nor could i drink it all day in the Oktoberfest setting. I'd say you should avoid this one.

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Photo of matty
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Anber colored beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is faint caramel.Taste is sweet caramel and toasty malts.Overall a decent beer that I would drink again but not actively seek out.I think this is worth at least one try.Like I've said before there are way too many other beers to try!!

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Photo of Pencible
4.4/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a clear copper with tan head. It smelled like sweet rye and honey malt, with earthy barley and copper hops. It tasted much like it smelled with a blend of rye, barley, and honey malts balanced by light copper hops, with a hint of smooth oak. It was thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a sweet malty aftertaste. Overall this had great flavor and body, was fairly unique, and was quite easy to drink. I'd probably consider this the best Oktoberfest I've had so far.

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

12oz bottle 6th August 2008, into my Guinness glass

A: Deep amber with a small light brown head that recedes to a disk. Plenty of carbonation. Solid!

S: Hoppy with some leafy hops. Mildly bready with some butterscotch that's rather unappealing. Mildly yeasty.

T: Overly bready with some caramel sweetness. Some butterscotch. Finish is dry and mildly hoppy and mildly sweet. Decent

M: Pleasing body and good carbonation but the finish is a little more bitter than i'd like

D: Solid stuff, glad I got to try it

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Photo of Rootdog316
3.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Rich, rusty brown. About the color of peat moss. Butter cream colored head that dissipated after two sips.

Smell: Caramel and oatmeal.

Taste: Fantastically autumn-like. Toast, rye, just a hint of chocolate. A little sour/bitter bite on the finish but not unpleasantly so.

Mouthfeel: Clean and effervescent.

Drinkability: Very. This beer is perfect for a crisp fall day and the aromas and tastes compliment the smell of fallen leaves while sitting on the porch. This brew would also compliment a mediu-bodied cigar very well with neither overpowering the other.

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Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber orange in color with a thin head. Decent lacing painted the glass.

Smell: malt sweetness is nice but mild. Little else detected.

Taste: caramel, some mild bitterness, and a hint of earthiness and fruit sweetness towards the finish makes up a straight forward beer.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start, smoother at the finish. Aftertaste is brief. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: easy to drink beer here. This is a decent option when looking for an oktoberfest style. This one was nice and fresh on tap.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a copper color into my glass with a sustaining 2-fingers thick of head that is white to a light tan in color. Body is somewhat hazy as well.

Aroma reminds me a lot of butterscotch as well as a white grapes or maybe even slight apple aroma. IT actually reminds me a bit of cider.

Flavors of caramel along with a crisp earthy hops hit my palate. Some slight fruit also comes out of this one, but rather bland honestly.

Very crisp and carbonation tingles my tongue a lot up front. Slight oily finish though.

Overall drinkability would be higher if a little less sweet I think. I really like Dominion brews, but this one misses the mark a little in my opinion. It'd make a solid session brew for a crisp autumn night though.

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Photo of hops4me
3.94/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured clear orange/amber in color. I poured it rough but no real head formed. What little head formed quickly fell into the beer leaving no lacing. Smells malty. Caramel sweetness in the aroma with a faint toasted smell. Taste the same caramel in the smell right up front in the taste. A bit of hop flavor/bitterness in the middle. Definite toasted flavor in the aftertaste. Bitterness hangs on the mouth as well to balance the sweetness nicely. The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium. This is a nice beer. Not as big as some of the O'fests I have had lately but maybe you don't like a malt bomb for an O'fest. I was pleasantly surprised it was good since the sale of the brewery. Easy drinking and satisfying as well.

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Photo of CpnYates
4.27/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a really good offering from Dominion this year. Bottled on the 6th of August this beer is only a few weeks old at time of sampling.

Poors a great almond/orange/ autum color.

Smell is malty, with a slight spice back.

The taste/ mouthfeel are exceptional, true to the style.. almost sticky sweet and malty with a nice lingering finish.

A great beer.

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Photo of mmmbeer
2.61/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz., bottled 8/20/07 - sampled when it was four months old. The beer pours a sedimented auburn, with low carbonation and an inch of tan head that leaves little lace. Vinous and oxidized in the nose, and the flavor adds to this toasted malts, and grassy hops that impart a medium bitterness, but you can definitely taste that this one is past its prime. The body is light, well-carbonated, and imparts a light/medium finish. This isn't really a fair review because this brew is oxidized, but you'd think that a beer from a respectable brewer such as Dominion would last at least six months without significant change, especially because this brew was probably filtered and pasteurized. Ah well, if I try a fresher sample I'll edit my review.

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Photo of sinistrsam
4.11/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Lager's Pub in Baltimore. It poured a clear ruby brown with little to no head and mild lacing on the glass.
There wasn't much in the nose, except maybe some mild malt.
The taste was wonderful; Grass and sweet malt, caramel, very mild hops. Reminds me of a caramel pilsner with a touch of fruit. Maybe some wood in there.
The MF started semi dry and smooth but finished very mild in both sweetness and carbonation; almost a buttery caramel feel lon the tongue.
I was impressed; I've had so many Oktoberfests this season (including many AT Oktoberfest) and I really enjoyed this one. Hats off, ODBC.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
2.85/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy, deep amber hue topped by just over two fingers of cream-colored head. Takes a minute or so to dissipate to about a half-inch.

S: Bready and caramel notes mostly, faint hint of the cleanness that a lager possesses.

T: Very malty palate up front, and not in a pleasing sense either. Caramel flavor gets lost amidst a malt profile that just doesn't seem to cut it, almost bland and adjuncty with a slightly metallic taste. Also, this one is hopped somewhat strangely; it doesn't seem to jive with the direction this brew takes at the outset. Finish is drying and not very satisfying, as most lagers of repute are.

M: Carbonation is adequate, but there is a sharp feel from the metallic taste that seems rather odd.

D: The Marzen/Oktoberfest seems like a tough beer to master. It takes skill to create balance for a flavor combination that refreshes yet provides a solid malt backbone. This one doesn't reach those heights, and lagers make it more difficult to hide imperfections. Seems like this should go back to the drawing board.

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Photo of brentk56
2.83/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a modest head that quickly fades to a ringlet without leaving much lacing

Smell: Malty aroma, with plenty of caramel

Taste: Starts with a malty flavor, that lacks the anticipated caramel tone; by mid-palate, an ashen charcoal flavor arrives that is totally out of style; the finish tones down the charcoal but leaves an unexpected burnt caramel finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I'm afraid this beer does not hit the style nor does it qualify as a good smoked beer either

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Photo of Atlas1
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Honestly, I'm becoming a little marzened out. It's shameful, I know, because it's only October 3rd, but I've already saturated my palate with so many Octoberfest beers this season that I've simply begun to lose interest. Still, I have a few left in the fridge that need a proper write-up. So here goes....

This one pours a bright copper color with a thin, one-finger, slightly off-white head that dissipates quickly but does leave behind trace elements of a hazy lace. The nose is standard issue malty marzen scented. Nice, but nothing spectacular. I get some spices in the aroma as well, although everything is muted just enough to remain undiscernable. It tastes good, but again nothing extraordinary here. Malty and spicy, with some nutmeg and faint orange peel. This flavor is actually the highlight of the beer, which I suppose is a good thing. Mouthfeel is firm, but a tad watery at times.

On the whole the folks at Old Dominion have produced another fine craft brewed beer. It's not great, and there is nothing about this Octoberfest beer that would stand out in a crowd, but it's solid and holds its own. I'd put back a couple of these at the bar if it were on tap, but I won't likely run out next year looking to find it.

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Dominion Octoberfest! from Old Dominion Brewing Company
3.57 out of 5 based on 244 ratings.
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