Left Hand Brewing Company

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Lager - Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #78
Ranked #30,563
3.79 | pDev: 12.4%
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Very Good
Notes: This is no festivus for the restivus, on the contrary, we start brewing in the spring and it takes a full two months to reach lagered perfection. Biscuity, malty goodness dominates upfront while the noble pedigree hops lend a properly spicy, dry finish.
Reviews: 487 | Ratings: 1,338 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Mortal_Wombat
Mortal_Wombat from Texas

3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Two cans poured into a stein. Best by date of 10/27/21.

Look: A classic, light copper with great clarity. More closely resembles the imports than most American versions. Pours with a thick white rocky head that quickly dissipates and leaves behind small amounts of lacing.

Smell: A somewhat weak aroma overall. Noticeable caramel with a slight hint of hop earthiness. I caught a hint of dark breadiness but not much else.

Taste: A pretty bog standard American version. The dark breads are the first thing I noticed with a slight bit of caramel/sweetness to balance it out. Ends with some spices and earthy hops. Nothing spectacular to be sure but overall nice.

Feel: This is where the beer loses it for me. I'm not sure if I got a bad batch of cans but the feel/heft of this beer was almost non-existent. The body was slightly watery with not enough carbonation to support it. Very strange given that doesn't fit the bill for this beer through other reviews.

Overall: Just an ok Oktoberfest for me. There's some missing elements that don't quite track for my preference in the style but this is not a bad beer by any stretch of the imagination either.

Sunday at 12:08 AM
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maxpower from Missouri

3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can pours an orange-amber color, foamy white head. Soft roasted malt aroma, starts sweet, some flavors of toffee and caramel, malty medium bodied. I can feet the alcohol with this one. Nicely done!

Oct 22, 2020
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barnzy78 from Illinois

3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can
best by 11/03/2020
L: clear amber-brown body, tall foamy khaki head
S: malty with earthy, herbal hops
T: bread crust, caramel malt, toasted grain; herbal, earthy, and spicy hops
F: full body, ample carbonation, well balanced and semi-dry finish
O: always a good Märzen to come back to

Oct 16, 2020
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Singlefinpin from North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Drinking this at The European Street Cafe in Jacksonville Florida.
Poured from a tap into a beer stein.
Appears amber, with tannish foamy head that lasted, very well carbonated.
Smells malty, bready, spicy, cinnamon.
Taste follows the nose.
Mouth feel is medium plus for the style.
Overall a very nice Octoberfest Marzen that I might order again.

Sep 24, 2020
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KRug from Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 11/3/20

Though I've had a few Oktoberfests before (Sam Adams and Night Shift) I have not reviewed any until this one. It is not my favorite style, but it is seasonally appropriate and I had to get this when I saw it from the can art alone!

Pours a clear red tinted copper with 2 fingers of off white head that quickly fades to a cap and leaves decent lacing

There's a heavy toasted presence in the aroma, which lends notes of dark breads, cinnamon spice, caramel malt, and subtle raisin. It's interesting how it walks the line between toasted spice and sweetness

Up front in the sip, there's a nice grassy hop presence that is not overwhelming, and balances out the spice well. After the swallow, the toasted malt comes out again with a more balanced, honey-like sweetness that feels very natural

A medium full body pairs nicely with light zippy carbonation to create a refreshingly sweet beer that finishes by coating the mouth

This is a solid beer, sweet and malty but kept interesting by spice an hops. A great balance, and something I'd get again

Sep 21, 2020
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WunderLlama from Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz Can poured into a will becher glass on 9.19, prosit!

Two finger tan fizzy foam cap, good retention, settles to a. Pencil thick layer over a clear copper liquid. A couple carbonation streams . Scant lacings

Aroma is malty, toast

Malt first taste followed by some nice spice from the hops . Get more spice on subsequent sips

Medium sudsing , hop taste without a bite

Good beer

Sep 20, 2020
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Dr_Gonzo from Kentucky

3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tall clear pint glass. Appearance is a tarnished copper color, with about a finger of white creamy head, good lacing and retention.

Smell is malty and toasted/roasted. Notes of roasted malts, toasted nuts, toast, biscuit, caramel, toffee, dark cherries, and herbal hops.

Flavor: Caramel is upfront with bready and biscuity malts. Very subtly bitter but mostly has a sweet composition. Malty makeup from the notes mentioned in the aroma. Body is medium light.

Sep 17, 2020
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hoptheology from South Dakota

3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can, best by 11/14/2020, into Dogfish Head Nonic.

Pours a nice tarnished copper color with a creamy butter colored head of 2 fingers, leaving lots of lace as it recedes to a finger.

Aroma is clean and malty, smells like good brewing, with hints of apricot and marigold. There's a bit of toastiness to it as well.

Flavor brings a bit of emptiness; some very lightly toasted caramel malt at the beginning, followed by pale malt and spicy rye malt, and then a strange, out of place herbal stab, some peppery hops. Some misplaced alcohol heat in there too. Just a hint of clove somewhere in there too. Toasted malt comes back for a glance on the finish.

Feel is decidedly medium bodied with a welcome heft that is absent in many Oktoberfest lagers. Carbonation is prickly and stabbing, with lots of starch and resins on the back end.

Overall, this one was just a bit unbalanced for me and had some strange attributes. It's not a terrible beer but it's nothing I'd rush out to get again. Would probably pass on this at a bar too.

Price paid : $1.69 / can
Would buy again : no

Sep 16, 2020
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Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota

3.41/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear and medium copper with nice head. Moderate lacing. Good bubbles.

Aromas are muted but straight. Biscuity bread-dough sweetness balanced with just-so grassiness.

The flavor follows the nose but, again, is somewhat muted and watery.

Well carbonated and quite drinkable.

Overall, another decent but "nothing special" American take on this classic style.

Aug 22, 2020
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sjdevel from Utah

4.48/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

LOOK - nice clear copper color with a 1 finger head - lower carbonation than expected / poor head retention - some lacing is evident after head recedes
SMELL - nice toasted bread and caramel - sweet aroma
TASTE - slight bitter bite upfront but then sweet caramel and malt come in - gets really bready / biscuity - as it dries out, more toasted notes come in
FEEL - medium bodied - slight oily feel - feels a bit flat after a minute or two
OVERALL - a very flavorful Oktoberfest / Marzen - better than many I have had this year - nice nutty and toasted bread flavors - slightly earthy - very happy with this one

Nov 09, 2019
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Peach63 from New York

3.11/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours amber with a 1/4 inch off-white head, which quickly dissipates. Moderate lacing.

Aroma is a bit spicy, grassy.

Tastes of caramel malt, spices. Slightly sweet. Moderate bitterness.

Medium bodied, dry mouthfeel. Very little carbonation.

An ok Oktoberfest. Nothing to write home about.

Nov 08, 2019
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Nass from Florida

3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the can artwork, great use of color. The pour is amber colored with a small amount of carbonation bubbles. I agree with the taste being a bit syrupy. In addition to, I'm getting some caramel, rich malt, brown bread crust, slight sweetness & there is a little bit of smokiness in their as well. Cheers! B

Nov 03, 2019
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EMH73 from New York

3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear deep amber with a well retained but thin white head that left little spotty lacing. Smells and tastes of lightly roasted malts,, caramel, toffee, toast and herbal notes. Light side of medium bodied, medium carbonation, clean and crisp, slightly sweet with mild bitterness.

Oct 26, 2019
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defunksta from North Dakota

4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, bronze color with a strong vanilla-white head. SRM of 15. (4.00)

Aroma: Strong aromas of toasted brown bread. Pumpernickle and Rye mostly. Lots of bread spice. Not sweet though. It's rather sandy and crusty. Sort of abrasive on the nose. (4.25)

Flavor: Flavor follows with more brown bread, burnt brown bread crust and crouton. Some pumpernickel and rye. Fishes somewhat dry to the sandy astringency. (4.00)

Feel: Medium-bodied. Lower carbonation. An abrasive astringency cleans the sweetness off the palate. (3.75)

Compared to Great Lakes Oktoberfest 11/25/20: Pours a darker color. Stronger aromas/flavors. More sandy, crusty brown bread and spice. Less earthy honey and red fruit. More astringent.

Overall: A pretty unique Oktoberfest Marzen. Has a lot of brown bread crust and spice here. Spicy. Sort of like an extra-crispy brown crouton. Not too sweet, but nice notes of burnt brown bread. Makes this quite nice for a Marzen as it leans more spicy with less sweetness. Definitely glad I tried this one and would recommend trying this if you haven't. (2020 Rating: 4.02)

Appearance: Pours a deep golden amber color that is bright and has a nice bright white head. SRM of 13. (3.50)

Aroma: Strong aromas of caramel that is slightly toasty. A ton of bread spice that gives it a hint of licorice on the nose. Strong alcohol, sort of like a grassy, bitter turd. (3.50)

Flavor: Tons of toasty spiced bread and caramel. Finishes slightly bitter from the bread spice. Almost Rye-like. Initially you might think the spices makes it have a roasty quality, but it's not it's just toasty caramel with a lot of bread spice. The bitterness is from the spice, not roastiness. Stronger than usual alcohol. Finishes slightly sweet as expected. (4.00)

Feel: Medium-bodied. Good carbonation. Feels crisp enough. Finishes sweet, but leaves the bready bittering spice on the palate. (3.75)

Overall: A slightly spicier festbier that usual. Very good though. The bitterness almost reminds me of an American Amber, yet the flavors are all German. Much hoppier and spicier than a helles bock. It's pretty good and about average for the style. (2019 Rating: 3.84)

Oct 26, 2019
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samturner from California

4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

One of the best American Marzen or Octoberfest beers I have ever tasted. Wow, I’d buy it daily if it were available.

I enjoyed it served in a pint glass in Los Alamos, NM. It was recommended by Pajarito Brewing.

Sep 26, 2019
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Darkmagus82 from Texas

3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a pint glass
Appearance – The beer is served a deep amber color with a small white head. The head fades slowly over time leaving a light level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is rather odd smell overall with it being a mix of a lightly toasted malt smell that is mixed with some aromas of cardboard and fruit mixed within and a touch of herb and earth.
Taste – The taste begins with a nice roasted malt flavor that contains a large showing of toffee and caramel and a bit of herbal and earth hop upfront. The hop remain constant all while the sweet increases due to some more caramel and toffee flavors coming to the tongue. In the end a little bit more roastiness comes to the tongue to leave one with a sweet and lightly toasted and roasted taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is slightly thicker with a carbonation level that is average. For the lightly toasted and quite sweet tastes of the brew the feel is rather nice and makes for a slow, but robust sipper.
Overall – Other than the odd aroma the brew is really very nice and tasty. Overall a very well done Oktoberfest.

Sep 05, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

2.75/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

"Best by 11/18/16"; drank 9/21/16 @ the Yarchives.

See-through purple/red appearance.

A rough pour yielded a nice, noisy khaki head; almost no lace.

Caramel, acorn & faint baking soda notes in the nose.

Syrup-y, medium thick mouthfeel.

Syrup-y caramel, acorn & baking soda flavors.

This is fairly cloying; I've had my last.

Jun 15, 2019
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brewme from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked-up a single can as part of a mixed six-pack at Kappy's in Norwell for about eleven dollars. Pretty sure that I have had brew from these guys before, but did not review. Despite a best-by date of 11/18, this wasn't too bad, would like to try fresh.

Feb 09, 2019
Photo of MikeWard
MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz can into a pint glass. Best by 11/9/18, so a couple months late here.

Hazy dark burnt orange body. Small off white head replenished by fast streams of carbonation. A little lacing

Solid malty aroma

Sweet malty, biscuity taste. A very faint bitterness toward the end which turns a little sour.

Mouth is sweet and between medium and full. Finish is a lasting slightly sour bitterness.

Overall, a decent enough octoberfest/marzen beer. I find I enjoy marzens more with a little age on then, fresh they can often be a little too bitter for me. Must be the malty Brit in me.

Jan 07, 2019
Photo of JerryLevinson
JerryLevinson from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

6.6% ABV is a bit above average for this style, but the alcohol is subdued under rich malt flavor. I wouldn't drink these in succession as rapidly as other O-fests, but nice when you only have time for one. The noble hops provide authentic spice to counterbalance the sweetness of the malt. This is certainly among the top-tier of domestic Oktoberfest offerings that are nationally distributed. I enjoyed it from a 12 o.z. can poured into a Sam Adams pint glass.

Nov 05, 2018
Photo of Gajo74
Gajo74 from New York

4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with a thumbnail length head. The head shows good retention.
Aromas of bready and biscuity malt, a touch of caramel. Spices evoke fall. Midway there are aromas of grassy hops and a touch of alcohol.
Clean toasty malt taste with moderate sweetness and a hint of caramel. There is a grassy and leafy hops presence that provides a bold presence and a bitterness that is assertive for the style.
Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. There is an herbal finish. The mouthfeel is more smooth than crisp. A well hopped Marzen that becomes spicy and warming midway, and a touch of alcohol throughout.
Nice example for the style and perfect for a crisp fall night.

Oct 16, 2018
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D1noB from Oklahoma

3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A malty beer with toasty finish, a firm bitterness that sits in the back.

Taste rating in words: It's a heavy wet body suit, sticking to you as you try and run to the car.

Sep 29, 2018
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Bouleboubier from New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(12 oz bottle, best by 11/09/18... poured into a straight-sided simple glass mug)

L: deep, tawny-amber liquid, crystal-clear; foam holds a cap for a couple minutes, no lace

S: herbal hops, brown bread crust, subtle dark caramel; little alcohol, mildly white vinous esters... overall intensity mellow

T: rich malt foundation, hard toasty edge on finish... mellow but firm bitterness with a roasted grain note giving it color... lingering sweetish bready malt essence... the beefier malt base seems unique among most U.S. examples, but still very much an American flavor profile

F: light-medium bodied with an extra bouncy jelly roll to its contour up front, though it drops off the back of the palate pretty level and dry... so its muscle seems a bit inflated, but its eventually dryness and light snap off is nice

O: was getting the urge lately to have a few o'fests - had a list of ones I hadn't tried/reviewed, found this first and quite happy with the choice - glad I sprung for a sixer

Sep 26, 2018
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Sparty76 from Missouri

3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice clear copper/carmel color. Good head when poured but went away quickly with minimal lacing. Malty, easy to drink with a nice finish. Smooth mouthfeel. 12 oz bottle into 16 oz tulip glass.

Sep 25, 2018
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

3.09/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Best by 11/20/18

Pours a deep copper with a noticeable amber hue; semi-clear with good effervescence; a slight, off-white head recedes quickly, but produces steady patterns of lacing that hold up decently.

Aroma is loaded with heavy notes of earthy spice and lightly boozy caramelized malts; some dark cherries and woody notes are prominent in the background, as is a toffee-like sweetness.

Taste brings a blunt dose of boozy malt and seasonal spice, earthy and slightly herbal; smoked toffee, caramel, and more refined malty notes look to make an appearance, but are abruptly drowned out by the boozy flavors coursing through the palate.

Mouthfeel is hearty and the aforementioned boozy aspects have little effect here, giving off no burn; it is surprisingly clean toward the finish while maintaining a consistent stickiness on the palate throughout; medium-light body and medium carbonation levels make it reasonably easy to put back.

If it weren’t for the awkward booziness, this would be a solid American festbier, with a nice spice character; instead, the flavor is largely overtaken, and the beer as a whole is affected in some subtle but significant ways; I’m not sure if it was intended as an accompaniment to an ambitiously boozy 6.6% marzen, or simply a product of too much age, but it doesn’t leave a great final taste in my mouth.

Sep 23, 2018
Oktoberfest from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 1338 ratings