Left Hand Oktoberfest | Left Hand Brewing Company

438 Reviews
Left Hand OktoberfestLeft Hand Oktoberfest

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by rowew on 08-22-2006

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Reviews: 438 | Ratings: 1,211
Photo of puboflyons
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. The Best By date was smudged but it looks like November 2016. Sampled on September 11, 2016. Serving around 40 degrees as they suggest.

The pour is an attractive looking mahogany amber but with only a small off-white head that fades fast.

Notable burnt caramel malt sweetness in the aroma. Low to no hop profile but this style does not require much in the way of hops.

Medium body.

Same very sweet caramel malt flavor with a kind of melted or burnt amber note in there. Quick mild bitter ending.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A day of Oktoberfests continues as I continue to winnow down the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody. I purchased this one at The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop (where I will be visiting tomorrow), but as with so many bottles, it fell into my abyss.

From the bottle: "Brewed on the banks of the mighty St. Vrain"; "Toasty malt flavors dominate up front and Noble hops lead to a spicy and superbly clean Lager finish,"; "Enjoy at 40-50 [Deg.] F in a 1Liter Mass or Pub Glass"; "Design by Moxie Sozo[;] Artist: Charles Bloom".

I really wanted to Pop! the cap on this one since their caps are so distinctive. I performed a gentle pour and then did a swirl, producing a finger of foamy, tawny head that quickly fell to wisps. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity and amber highlights. Nose was exactly like putting your snout into a hay bale! Man, I miss being on or near a farm in the summertime. Warming, I caught a bready-biscuitiness, but hay was prevalent. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was of freshly-baked bread and newly-mown hay and/or grass. My maternal grandparents had a house that directly abutted a working farm when I was a lad & this was evocative of late-Summer/early-Fall as the harvest was underway & I was in the kitchen with my grandmother, cooking, baking, learning. Finish was dry, but a bready dry. It reminded me of that first slice off of the loaf straight out of the oven. It needed a glass of iced tea, water or coffee, but I was not gasping for breath. A very pleasant example of the style.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear medium amber, with a modest white head, and small fine-beaded lacing.

Aroma: Toasted and caramel malt dominate the aroma.

Taste: Toasted malts dominate the taste from start to finish. Modest herbal hops offer some balance, but its all about the malt.

Mouth feel: Full and soft, pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: quite good, very drinkable.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass long neck bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of monkeybeerbelly
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very attractive beer but a little darker than I expected, maybe even to dark for a marzen. Nose is bready, toasty, malty, and even a little nutty. Slight Floral hop notes and a prominent lager yeast aroma. The taste follows the nose and is an excellent lager yeast flavor and nice malty flavors. The mouthfeel is what wins me over, slightly creamy and oh so easy to drink. Going down way to fast. Another major winner by left hand

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
3.07/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

A: Pours a clear golden amber color with one finger of off-white head. Head retains for a moment and leaves behind almost no lacing.

S: Some sweet malts, grains, and toasted nut aromas. Not much else to it, smells like an Oktoberfest but the aromas are very subtle.

T: Toasted nuts dominate the flavor palate, you also get some sweet malts, grain, caramel, and a very subtle note of earthy hops.

M: Light bodied, almost too little carbonation, goes down easy and is drinkable but not very refreshing.

O: A decent Oktoberfest but nothing to make it stand out against the rest.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep amber producing 1.5 fingers of beige, frothy, variously bubbled, somewhat lasting head that diminishes to cap islands of chunky foam that leaves only minor lace. Aroma is toast, caramel malt, bread crust, hard candy, pound cake, lager yeast, with only a hint of floral hop essence in the background. Taste is very malty like the nose with toast, pound cake, caramel, nuts, hard candy, grain & lager yeast followed by a tiny hop bite in the finish that rolls over into, but rapidly diminishes in the aftertaste. The hop character becomes more intense as the brew warms. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation, creamy, slick & juicy with a light peppery prickle.

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Photo of wisebier
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: nice dark amber color, small head that didn't last long

S: not much going on. smell some malts and slight caramel. was expecting more

T: upfront was some malty toast caramel. I was expecting more flavor from this beer.

Not a bad beer at all. Just was basic. I was hoping for more flavor. but this is very drinkable and goes down easy. Id prefer their milk stout bc more flavor.

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Photo of jburris64
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Not my favorite Marzen. Did not have the flavor profile like some bigger breweries.
Still if this was the only Oktoberfest on the menu I wouldn't pass it over for an ale or lager.

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Photo of Raime
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Left Hand Oktoberfest.

Same story for this oktoberfest as the last one. Follow me and read my reviews if you'd like to understand the hijinks. Either way I don't give a shit. Picked this single up for $1 a bottle as the store was attempting to get rid of all the Fall beers to make shelf space for the winter beers that should be coming in shortly. Enough talk, let's drink.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle into a lint glass since I don't feel like washing my mug yet again. This beer pours the clearest amber I have ever seen with a head that takes its sweet ass time forming. Waiting for head formation was a lot like standing behind some old ass woman at a grocery store taking her sweet ass time browsing exactly what you're there to buy and finally going away after five minutes of dementia. Carbonation appears to be surprisingly low for the style and only a few cloud formations remain after the head quickly dies. No lacing or stick is left after the beer is gone.

Smell - Alright alright alright. Now this is surely more Americanized. Getting some big nuttyness on the nasal passage here. Nice and toasted. Hell I'd warrant this beer to be fine in the Winter as well as the fall. Toasted pecans and almonds really dominate the nose along with a good dosage of sweet breadyness and just a touch of cherry. No hops to be noticed in this department.

Taste - The nuts in this beer are as lovable and Vinces nuts from the Shamwow commerical from a few years back. Big toasted nuttyness simply dominates the flavor profile. The breads are all there will a moderate level of caramel malts as the beer sits just a bit. This is almost like a hybrid between a traditional sweet German Oktoberfest met with a nutty, caranel infused American Oktoberfest. Doesn't have a huge flavor profile, but as I just stated it is a fine fusion of the bare minimums from both versions.

Feel - Despite the fact that the head is completely gone at this point, the beer has a very noticable amount of creamyness. The body is overall Medium to the lower level of full with a medium-high level of carbonation in the mouth. The nuts and sweetness along with the breads really dominate in this aspects. Beer swallow easy with a large dosage of lightly smoked almond in the back of your throat.

Overall - Not too shabby at all. A sweeter, nuttier take on the oktoberfest and the first brew out of Left Hand that I actually thought wasn't an over rated over hyped piece of shit. I would love to have this again next fall as part of a mix a six of Oktoberfests to see how they compare and contrast. Not the best Oktoberfest ever, but a good one for sure...

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Photo of Foyle
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: pours a 3" soapy off white head that leaves a ton of lacing. Color is rich copper with moderate streaming carbonation.
Aroma: toasted barley malt, earthy and citrus rind hops, toffee, raisin.
Mouthfeel: light to medium with a dry finish.
Flavor: bready malts dominate, with caramel sweetness and some moderate earthy and citrus hop balance.
Overall: quite enjoyable. I would buy this again.

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Photo of DuaneL
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

DL really likes this one -JK hasn't tried it yet. Well looks like the Beer Advocate Brothers gave it a stellar rating eight years ago!! Got it as part of the fall variety pack.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: [3.75] Really transparent mahogany colored beer. The color looks deep and inviting. It only forms a tiny 1/4 finger of head. The head is gone quickly leaving only a few bubbles clinging to the sides. The bottle lists the ABV (6.6%) and it has a born and best by date (11/26/15).

S: [3.50] Very weak nose. Some caramel. Brown bread.

T: [3.75] Brown bread. Elevated sweetness in the middle.

M: [4.00] Above average carbonation - kind of zippy on the tongue. The body is medium with some coating of the tongue.

O: [3.75] This is a good beer. It is hard to characterize specific flavors that I am getting in the nose and taste. It is like a sweetened brown bread. I keep saying that but that is what I am getting. It taste like a Brown Ale without any nuttiness. I would drink more of this.

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Photo of svenness
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Best by 12/12/15 on bottle

L: Brilliant amber-red, good head retention
S: Grainy, caramel, faint herbal
T: Bready, caramel malt, some sweetness
F: Medium body/carbonation, mild astringency
O: Beautiful looking beer, easy to drink

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Photo of ordybill
4.54/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. Appearance, has a murky orange color with a small white head. The aroma is big on sweet wheat and hops. The flavor is full of malt with fruit and wheat filling in the gaps. The brew is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and has a creamy texture. A really fine version of an Oktoberfest beer.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a bronze color with a fingers worth of head that fades down to pretty much nothing

S: Solid maltiness and grain up front, along with some caramel notes. Moderate fruitiness in there as well

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with some moderate grainy notes and caramel sweetness followed by some apple tones and general fruitiness. Finishes with light fruity sweetness and lingering toasted grain notes

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: An easy drinking Oktoberfest with good balance. Definitely a safe American alternative to the German/European versions out there. Worth a shot

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Photo of arizcards
3.54/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at TW Arrowhead in mid-September for $1.99 Best by 11/14/15.

Beer poured copper with a small white head that dissipated quickly.

Nose is toasted sweet malts.

Taste is toasted caramel malts with a hint of noble hops. Flavor comes off more caramel sweetness then anything. Hop it up and this is a nice American amber red ale.

Mouthfeel comes off as smooth when I am expecting more of a refreshing lager finish.

Overall this is a tasty beer but the style mark has been missed here. If you like a mildly hopped caramel malt based brew this is the one for you.

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Photo of Urk1127
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

-Ruby, orange. Head disappeared to nothing
-Toast, caramel
-Bread, toasted malts, caramel
-Robust, light side of medium

-tasty. Very strong willed beer. In your face.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Best by date clearly marked. Thanks Left Hand for the honesty! From a 12oz bottle into a goblet.

Pours clear ruddy copper under an slightly darker than cream head.

Smells of sweet mashed grain, cracked malted sweet barley, a light whiff or sweet corn and a grassy-weedsy earthy hop note. Smells perhaps a bit caramel-malt heavy, but good.

Smoother on the body than average, with flavors on the sweeter side of the spectrum. Malt, a bit of melted caramel and suger-crusted rolls. The hops don't snap the flavor to attention like I would expect a cleaner German version would, and the rich malty waves of aftertaste that the best oktoberfest beers showcase are not to be found.

Conclusion: I love Left Hand in general, and respect what they do quite a bit. This is not impressing me at all, and I think I am overall more generous than the typical cynical/snobby user of this site. However, this isn't as crisp, clean, malty, or noble-hoppy as the best out there. I really feel that the bar is just really getting high these days with so many craft brewers perfecting the art and science of really really good beer. This is in no way bad, and 10 years ago would have been a total winner (when the only thing I had tasted in this style were old and stale German versions or Sam Adams Oktoberfest). Now, there are simply better options brewed on both sides of the "pond".

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Photo of Mike-Dean
4.49/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is the BEST version of this style I've had to day. Pours a rich caramel Amber color topped off by of for-white, creamy head. Good clarity. Aroma is wonderful, bready and toasted goodness. Medium mouthfeel with perfect hop balance to the malt forward, toasty flavor. A real treat to start the fall.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Deep amber/copper color with a large creamy head. Bready malts and caramel in the aroma. Light sweetness initially in the flavor, followed by toasted malt, that makes way for an overlying dry finish. Clean and crisp as a Märzen should be. One of the better American-made versions I've had in quite some time.

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Photo of NickSMpls
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells of toasty malts rise from a dark amber pour. Light head and carbonation, dry for a marzen style and well done. Nice balance and the light touch on the hops makes for a very nice Oktoberfest. Now, where's my sauerbraten.

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Photo of atr2605
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A-pours a reddish amber color that is clear and has an off white head with good retention and lacing
S-spice, caramel, nuttiness
T-caramel and nuttiness with spice throughout, toasted biscuit, nice hop balance without lending a lot of flavor
M-medium bodied and smooth
O-really tasty brew, great beer for the fall seaon

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a brick red color with a solid and fluffy head. The aromas are of roasted oats, caramel. and peppery spice. The flavor leads with a caramel sweetness, followed by a toasted bread flavor, and a nice, mellow but bitter finish. The mouthfeel is expansive, the beer seems to turn to more foam as you drink. Overall this is a great beer that has plenty going on, but that you still don't need to think to hard about.

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Photo of colingaiser
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Moderately poured from bottle into a nonic pint glass...

L: I wasn't able to get much of a head, but there is still a beautiful, effervescent, deep caramel color

S: The aroma is faint, but I can get a little nuttiness and burnt toast, with maybe some butterscotch

T: Awesome malty notes, starts out sweet and almost buttery before caramel, toasted nut, and burnt marshmallow come through leaving a slightly bitter but clean finish ... dynamic and delicious

F: Carbonation is high, but complements the flavors well along with the light body and slight stickiness

Overall, this is a rich, dynamic, and delicious Märzen, one of the better examples of the style I've come across. Definitely worth seeking out, especially for the malt-heads out there.

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Photo of 88caprice
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Mmm hmm. This one.

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

Look: clear dark copper color with a creamy head
Smell: a mild, clean, aroma. Grainy, but not heavy. A slight herbal lift.
Taste: Malty and grainy up front with a touch of alcohol. An herbal lift at the end before you are left with a toasty finish that lingers. All very pleasant.
Mouthfeel: A medium body that is smooth, but not thick.
Overall: Not too think or sweet, not thin or watery. A subtle hop brightness that does not distract from the malt. Great flavor that delivers on the style's promises.

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Left Hand Oktoberfest from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.74 out of 5 based on 1,211 ratings.
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