Left Hand Brewing Company

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Lager - Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #78
Ranked #29,645
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: 486 | Ratings: 1,336 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by JohnnyK:
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JohnnyK from North Carolina

2.5/5  rDev -34%

Aug 27, 2014
More User Reviews:
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer review from BA Mag Oct 2007.

While many beer geeks dream of one day going to Munich to celebrate Oktoberfest, many others have come to appreciate locally brewed Oktoberfest beer right in their back yard. Left Hand uses both Munich and Pilsner Malt with German Magnum and Vanguard hops to achieve their autumnal offering.

The carbonation has no problem pushing up a sizable head, which seems to take forever to dissipate. Glowing orange-amber-color shows a stunning clarity. Big malt nose with aromas of toasted bread, grainy crackers and a hint of sweetness that lays up against an herbal hop. Creamy mouthfeel with a rolling crispness that comes off the top of the medium body. Quick breath of alcohol. Biscuity flavor all around, sticking to the palate. Very clean from top to bottom. Hop bitterness shows just enough to balance and leaves a bit of herbal flavor from middle to end. Finishes toasty sweet with a light lingering hop.

We sized this one up and it came through like a champ. Not only does it have the upper hand for freshness compared to its German counterparts, but it drops a complex but drinkable malt bomb on the taste buds. Worthy of a mass ja!

Jul 07, 2010
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Man are the Oktoberfest's comming out early this year. Good to see this new arrival popping up this week. Aromas give a medium malty, bready, caramelly rich nose; with hints of barley flavors and grains mixed in. The appearance is a brightly hued color of copper, golden, and amber--quite nice. Very clear with a continuous layer of foam, but little lacing. Flavors give a medium character of deep, rich barley malts with light caramel, bread, and hints of nuttiness. However flavors of grains soon make their way in, above the moderate bready flavors. The feel is a little light / thin, not allowing the rich maltiness to last deep into the aftertaste. Instead, a mild grain husk flavor gains intensity and follows deep into the lingering. Good beer, I just demand more from a good Oktoberfest.

Aug 18, 2007
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tekstr1der from New Hampshire

4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear copper pour with thinnest of tan on top. Aromas are malty toast and caramel. Flavor is more of the same. Simple, tasty, though slightly too carbonated. Great for the style - glad I got six. This is a winner.

Sep 23, 2015
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.26/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

Look: Clear brass color, excellent lacing

Smell: Clean, deep maltiness, faint taffy, loaf of bread, peppery, faint whiff of alcohol

Taste: Super clean, lots of bready tones, crust and toast, noticeable hop bitterness, herbal flavor, mild spice, nutty graininess, drying and still very clean aftertaste

Superb, one of the best of its style. Great job guys!!

Sep 23, 2013
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rajendra82 from Georgia

2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The clear, amber colored body topped by a one finger thick head gave this pour into the mug a classic look. Smell was also authentic, which is to say quite malty with a touch of spice. Taste was a little too sweet and underattenuated to be a good fest bier. Oddly earthy hop bitterness kept lingering on, and felt out of place for the style. Was this only 6% ABV, as it became too much of a tedium to drink rapidly. Is this a bold interpretation of the style, or is it good intentions gone wrong? Hard to say for sure.

Sep 30, 2006
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DesMoinesMike from Iowa

3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This seems to be my last oktoberfest purchase for the year since the seasonal batches look to be drying up.

Dark copper liquid filled my glass with a small amount of head that could not hide the malty goodness that filled my nose. For taste there was a sweet mixture of toffee and grain. After finishing my glass I felt that it was very nice. Sorry, no fancy review tonight.

Dec 18, 2009
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BeerHunter76 from Texas

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Aug 31, 2012
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Stwinchy from Colorado

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Dec 10, 2012
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RyanCrawford from Colorado

4.24/5  rDev +11.9%

Aug 15, 2014
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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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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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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep cloudy amber color lager with a medium size foamy head with good retention and not much lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt is really dominant. Taste is more accentuated then expected with huge caramel malt backbone with nice balancing residual sugar aftertaste. Body is full with some limited filtration and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Very well done for the style with great character.

Oct 09, 2009
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abrand from Illinois

3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into the standard pint glass. Bottled on date of 7.8.09.

Pours a copper color with a fair amount of carbonation and a 2 finger head that fizzes away. Minimal lacing lines the glass. Nose is malty with notes of caramel and bready dough. Taste is quite sweet with floral notes along with fruits and raisins. Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied and drinkability is solid. The appearance and taste are right on queue. As far as Marzen's this is up there near the top on my list.

Oct 30, 2009
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RoamingGnome from Wisconsin

3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Left Hand Oktoberfest

Poured from 12 oz bottle into mason jar. Served chilled...

A) Darker amber... Not much head generated, but what was there settled to a collar. No lacing to report.

S) Malt forward as expected, slightly sweet, a little biscuity. Nice earthy hops on the nose too.

T) The flavor with this grew on me. Needed to let it warm up just a teeny bit. Quite an earthy/herbal hops presence, but that worked well with the malt sweetness. Finishes clean...

M) Medium body with moderate carbonation. Refreshing and smooth. Easy drinking....

O) This is a solid Oktoberfest. It wouldn't be my first, or second, or third option, but it would be an option at some point.

Sep 09, 2013
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Dshep1340 from Michigan

4/5  rDev +5.5%

Sep 21, 2013
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senselessinsanity from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Jul 14, 2014
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katan from Colorado

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

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a clear, dark brown color. head formation is very strong, 2mm, very well retained. Bubbling is very strong. Certainly filtered.

S - Malt forward, a combination of malt sweetness from 2 row and some bready vienna or pilsner malts. No hopping - in line with style there. Yeast breadines is restrained.

T - Starts off with a light malt sweetness, very restrained - well hidden. Moves to a sharp lager crisp hop bite which combines with a malt sweetness for a pretty balanced marzen. Finishes with a caramel and smoked note. Aftertaste is a pretty much non-existent.

M - Moderate to light body, beer is thin - carbonation makes up for it. Some bite hits the tongue from the high carbonation. Perhaps a bit high for me on a marzen. Does leave behind a bit of oily residue.

D - Moderate drinkability - abv is manageable. Flavors are in line for a malt forward beer. A bit filling due to its higher than average carbonation.

A serviceable Marzen, but by no means on the top of my list.

Oct 20, 2009
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marc956 from Texas

4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Better than I expected as I had not had anything from this brewery until recently. Excellent choice for those of you looking for an Oktoberfest that's a tad higher in ABV than Shiner or Sam Adams for example. Goes well with food as well as without. Cool label to boot. Here's to craft beer!

Sep 24, 2012
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barneysdad from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.5%

Sep 22, 2013
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Gmartin75 from Pennsylvania

3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug 27, 2017
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Lucular from Maryland

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

Aug 31, 2015
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Gueuzedude from Arizona

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled August 2006, Sampled November 2006
Pours with a pretty, almost clear, amber red color and is topped by a frothy, initially two-finger thick, tan colored head. The aroma is definitely malt focused and can be described by a light caramel note, a fresh bready character and a noticeably biscuit-like flavor. There is a light, herbal hopiness to the aroma that lays in the background of the malt.

The flavor is sweet and malty up front. Notes of caramelized malt sugars are prominent and almost evoke a soft berry like fruitiness. This finishes with a nice balancing bitterness, which tends to morph into a light herbal character. This could definitely use more bready malt character though. It is quite drinkable as is though (and I will be happy to drink this again), but it is just not a stellar Oktoberfest.

Nov 11, 2006
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generallee from Virginia

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

The aroma comes at you with sweet roasted grain notes and a mix of floral and herbal hops. The flavor is balanced on the sweeter side with tasty caramelized malt slowly giving way to hop bitterness. It has a firm med to full body with a slightly sticky feel. At 6.6% abv this is no lightweight and I would definitely recommend enjoying this with rotisserie roasted chicken covered in herbs and garlic! I also love this style of beer with Halloween candy like Milky Way or Snickers. Anything with caramel nougat and nuts. (Gigady)

Sep 06, 2017
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cambabeer from New York

4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was a great october fest. Very malty and crisp, nice carbonation. Deep ruby mahogany color and a thin head on the top. Mild lacing on the way down. Chives and cinnamon make up some nice undertones with the alcohol more noticeable to me than with many oktoberfests. Nice hop finish. Bought this as a single bottle... going back for a 6 pack tomorrow.

Sep 25, 2014
Oktoberfest from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 1336 ratings