Left Hand Brewing Company

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
German Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #56
Ranked #26,257
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: 479 | Ratings: 1,321 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of sjdevel
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

 614 characters

Photo of Peach63
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.

 292 characters

Photo of Nass
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the can artwork, great use of color. There is a best by date on the bottom of the can. The pour is amber colored. I agree with the taste being a bit syrupy. In addition to, i'm getting notes of caramel. rich malts, slight sweetness & there is slight smokiness in their as well. Cheers! B

 294 characters

Photo of EMH73
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.

 286 characters

Photo of defunksta
3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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. (Final Rating: 3.84)

 1,072 characters

Photo of samturner
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.

 216 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
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.

 1,176 characters

Photo of GuyFawkes
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.

 335 characters

Photo of brewme
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.

 256 characters

Photo of MikeWard
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.

 581 characters

Photo of JerryLevinson
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.

 463 characters

Photo of Gajo74
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.

 687 characters

Photo of D1noB
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.

 172 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
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

 994 characters

Photo of Sparty76
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.

 197 characters

Photo of jrc1093
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.

 1,354 characters

Photo of Riff
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, amber, color with a fairly thick, off-white, head that clings nicely to the sides of the glass. Smell is malty and caramel, a little on the weak side. Caramel flavor up front, with a little bit of white bread, and an earthy finish. Tiny note of hop bitterness that really doesn't add much to this. It's sweet, not sickeningly but definately sweet. Fairly crisp, flavor lingers for a short moment after the finish. Medium light body. American marzen style, not so sweet as many but a little too sweet for me.

 522 characters

Photo of thebeers
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark amber with two fat fingers of tan head. Thick webbed lacing.

Strong malty aroma with almost-burnt caramel, some musty yeast, a touch of bread and the slightest hint of breakfast blend coffee.

Caramel malts lead in the taste. Some breadiness shows mid-palate and there's a dull, earthy bitterness competing with the malt and an almost root beer-like herbal element in the finish.

Full bodied for the style with modest carbonation.

If you're looking for an Americanized Marzen-style Oktoberfest, this isn't bad.

 520 characters

Photo of depechemode1983
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out clear copper with a tan head. Retention is minimal and there is no lacing.

Smells a bit of caramel and grains. A bit weak. Also getting a metallic quality from it.

Caramel sweetness up front and a fairly bitter middle. Bitterness lingers a bit.

The mouth feel is light. Carbonation is a medium reaching high. Feels alright for the most part.

 354 characters

Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. Stamped on bottle is best by date of '11/08/18'.
Clear, medium amber colored body. Half finger of off white head quickly goes away to a thin cap and ring. Almost all spots of lacing slide back down into the beer.
Toasty malts in the smell.
Toasty malts and spicy hops in the taste. More of a low caramel sweetness, but no bitterness.
Medium mouth feel, with a little bite. Extreme smoothness is lacking. Has a bit of a dark malt hang on in the after taste.
The lack of smoothness does away with the enticement to take one sip after another.

 577 characters

Photo of mushroomcloud
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can best before 11-18-18
1/2" off white head with short retention, falls to a pool in the center of the deep copper colored, clear Marzen.
Loads of caramel, full malty nose...a touch of floral and maybe a hint of spice.
Malt attack....rich, caramel, toasted grain. Hop spice shows up between midway and the finish. Clean flavors, malt and hops working together well here.
Full body, low to mid carbonation range. Malty finish but not overly sweet....hops come in and get the job done.
Enjoyable American made Oktoberfest...Left Hand does a great job throughout their line up.

 580 characters

Photo of basaywhat
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Pours a clear copper color with a very small off white head that dissipated very quickly. The aroma is brown bread and caramel. The taste is very similar to the aroma.

 181 characters

Photo of KTCamm
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

9/24/17...pours dep auburn red. light foam lays down. Bready malty nose. Light caramels. Malt loaded, with a sugary caramel sweetness rounded off by a quick peppery bite. Toasty. Largely clean but the hop really closes hard. Nicely made Oktoberfest.

 249 characters

Photo of PatrickCT
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wonderfully brilliant dark copper body with perfect clarity. 1 1/2 finger beige head.
Malty and toasty with some bitter caramel sweetness.
Bready and malty in the flavor. A touch of French caramel, a touch of taffy. Just enough of a medicinal hop character to balance things out. The finish is a dry graininess with a touch of spice and a nuttiness throughout.
The soft and pillowy mouth feel is on point and with the right amount of carbonation to keep the layered but delicate malts from becoming heavy.

If only this beer had that malty, bready lingering satisfaction I look for it would be at the head of the class. Definitely one of the better domestic Marzens out there.

 677 characters

Photo of 1angrydwarf
2.93/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have tried this beer 3 times and have yet to think it tastes anything better than average or worse. I found it to have a strong alcohol flavor in a bad way. The everything else seemed muted. Might try it a fourth. I am a huge fan of the style but this just didn't do it for me. YMMV

 284 characters

Oktoberfest from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 1321 ratings