Oktoberfest | Left Hand Brewing Company

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1,288 Ratings

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: German 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,288 |  Reviews: 468
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean amber color with an off white head. Aromas of a German lagering yeast, and sweet. In the taste, light dryness and hints of fruitiness. A smooth and light mouthfeel, with a clean, dry small maltiness in the aftertaste. Nice representation of style, easy to drink, very non-offensive.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into mug.

This one pours pretty impressively, as it creats a one inch head with little effort. The head creates a solid wall of lacing toward the top of the beer, which is a slightly orange-tinted amber hue.

Slightly roasted malts mixed with a little bit of caramel and some dark candy sugar. I actually think this is what a good Oktoberfest should smell like. Although it can never be perfect, this one is pretty close. I have yet to go to Germany and try a fresh Oktoberfest, but until then, this one is my benchmark.

Toasty grains once again mixed with some caramelized sugar flavors. A little bit of balancing hops show up toward the end, they are well hidden though. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. The finish is mostly the fading grain.

This one wasn't bad at all. I think this one goes at the top of my list as far as American Oktoberfests go. For my preference, it seemed to have all the correct characteristics, and it tasted pretty good too. Recommended.

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Photo of bashiba
4.42/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly hazy golden copper with two inches of creamy wheat, minor lacing with decent retention.

Smell was a nice full toasted grain and fresh bread aroma.

Taste was spot on, strong toasted malts, a bit of light sweet fruity notes, and just enough light citrus hops to even it out.

Mouthfeel had plenty of good carbonation and a light and slighty oily feel.

Very easy to drink and good, great session beer, and one of my new favorite Okotberfests.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thin, even white head on a classic orange brown body with normal clarity...nice roasted malts with a slight sweet, doughy aroma...medium to full palate, with a smooth texture and finish...sweet, even malts...a lingering finish, impressive in its singular effect...another winner from Left Hand, a beer equally made for sessioning or swigging....bring on the candy corn.

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Photo of Phatz
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a beautiful Marzen Copper color with a big frothy off white head in my SA BL glass. Sporadic lacing.

Smell: The aroma is lager subtle with caramel malt, toffee and fruit an earth hop and splash of orange sunshine.

Taste: The flavor is sweet. A bit of a surprise. it is malty and rich and sweet. Tasty but not a sessioner. Toasted toffee and caramel leads into a fruit flavor, old apricots and another indistinct fruit sweetness. The flavor then turns very vegetal. An attribute I am not a big fan of but too many O-fest beers contain. This one goes herbal but then further and is a bit to lettuce leafy and greens in the finish especially. It is OK, just not a preference of mine.

Mouthfeel: On mouthfeel I must admit, I like it. The rich malty body works well to make a hearty, with fluffy carbonation making it a bit pillowy.

Drinkability: The sweetness in the flavor and the big mouthfeel are fine but this is not the extremely drinkable O-Fest I want. That said, I would still take a cold one with some Brats and enjoy it, before moving on to a different beer.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of BigRedN
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as part of a mixed six pack of singles.

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz bottle with bottle on date of ?2507 (not sure on the month, it was smudged) into a mug. The beer is clear, amber in color. Pour produced a nice white head, nearly an inch and a half. Slowly fades to a solid cover and leaves some lacing.

Smell: Just not a lot here. Some bready malt, a little sweet. Rather subdued for the style IMO.

Taste: Some sweet malts, a bit bready, not bitter. Somewhat tame "safe" tasting Oktoberfest, probably that is intended to appeal to as many people as possible.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth, and sweet. Clean finish with no aftertaste.

Drinkability: A decent easy to drink oktoberfest. A touch on the tame side, inoffenseive. I feel this was made so that it would appeal to as many people as possible, which I guess is ok. I will not purposely seek this one out again.

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Photo of GPHarris
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a two-fingers thick tan head into a tumbler. the head left some nice clingy lace and sheeting but was gone towards the finish. the body was a dul amber color, i expected it to look a little more lively.
s - very malty like caramel with just a touch of dried apples.
t - caramel with a sweet bready finish.
m - slick and medium on the tongue.
d - good effort by LH, i'll look for this one again.

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Photo of becktone
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eye: Great beer for the eye. Color is perfect-crystal clear copper, lively with carbonation, golden highlights, and a great off white pillowy head with great lacing and amazing retention. One of the best I've seen of the style yet.

Nose: Not very potent, got to have my nose right in the glass to smell anything. However, the aroma I get out of this brew is pretty good. The aroma is malty and has what seems to me a strong aroma of molasses. Overall the aroma reminds me of amber malt extract, you know that smell when you're brewing, once you open that can during an extract brew, when you're trying not to let it scorch on the bottom of the pot...thats what I am reminded of. Only if it were a bit more potent.

Tongue: Tons of malt character right up front, as well as a bit of aluminum, ugh. Not much in the way of aftertaste to this one, if you really want to know I find that there is a metallic tang throughout this brew, and is most noticeable in the aftertaste. Lots of toasted flavors as well as some bread-like flavors. Not so rich as others I've had, and this one finishes pretty weak.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Full bodied in the mouth with moderate levels of carbonation this brew leaves somewhat of an oily feeling that vanishes just as soon as the metallic tang vanishes. I'm also getting a slight aftertaste of diacetyl, not very pleasant, it doesn't work well with the rest of the brew, its there just on the back of the palate, in the air that sits upon my tongue, perhaps more of an oxidation than diacetyl, but its slightly warm, a bit buttery and not very pleasant. Not much more to it than that. This is an alright brew, but I can't see myself searching this one out.

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Photo of meechum
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint mug. Color is deep amber to copper with a small white head that quickly falls leaving a nice ring of lace on the glass

S - A very malty and biscuit smell with just a hint of hops

T - Very much like the smell..very heavy malt (as is the style) with a nice hop finish to even out the sweet

M - Balanced and smooth

D - A very good Ofest beer..I picked up a six and will enjoy all of them

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Photo of gunnerman
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, pours an hazy brownish orange with a fluffy head that does not hang around long but does leave a ring and also some lace on the glass. Smell is very breadywith malty backbone also that car smell that all left hand beers have in it. Taste is a malty smooth gem, I can taste a bit of roasted malt and also some roasted nuts in there, this goes down very smooth and was quite enjoyful, also a bit of carmel corn in the finish as well. Overall this was a pretty enjoyable beer from Left Hand and one of my favorites from them.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Candied kumquat orange with a polished bronze glow. Atop the beer is a generous crown of tight-bubbled foam that is some combination of pale orange, pale gold and ecru. What lace has been laid down so far is a treat for the eyes. It also looks like it'll hang around for the whole dang shootin' match. I recognize a wonderful looking Oktoberfest when I see it.

The nose is malt-dominant with that distinctive toasted earthiness born of Munich malt. The hops (German Magnum, Vanguard) are, to some extent, lost in the olfactory shuffle. While typical for the style and without fault, the aroma fails to excite.

Left Hand Oktoberfest has an odd (or at least a different) flavor profile that will take some getting used to. If I was drinking it from the tap, I'd suspect dirty lines. It isn't anywhere near that bad, but I can't think of any other way to describe it. Clay-like? Maybe backing off the Munich and adding some amount of caramel malt would help.

The hops that have been used have Hallertau-like qualities. Unfortunately, they aren't allowed to show them off because of the dominance of the malt. It's probably just the hophead in me, but I like a little balancing hoppiness in my O-fests. Warming brings out the malt sugars to an even greater extent.

The mouthfeel is full of rounded edges and is the highlight (outside of the appearance). It's medium-full for the style and stops just short of stickiness, providing an ideal amount of mouthcoating that promotes flavor linger. Whether that's a good thing or not is up to you.

As suspected, I've gotten more used to Oktoberfest's flavor now that I'm drinking the final few ounces. Either that or it improves as it approaches room temperature. Give it a whirl if you love the style, but there are others out there that are more deserving of my money.

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Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel Tulip.

Nice amber/rusty orange color. Carbonation appears moderate. I'm not getting a lot of aroma, some sweet, toasty malt notes no hops to speak of. It's a good aroma, it's just not very strong, typical for the style. Taste is more of the same, nice tasty Munich malts with just enough spicy hops and carbonation to clean it all away with a nice crisp finish. A really well done O-fest that would be a good session beer.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.77/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a rich, clear, dark honey-brown with a thin but somewhat persistent head. Aroma is strong, malty and spicy - I got hints of cloves and cinnamon - with a touch of hops. Flavor is rich, mouth-filling, mainly malty, with spicy undertones. Smooth and very pleasing, this is an excellent autumn beer.

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Photo of Pauly2X
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- One finger head faded quickly. Nice lacing w/ dark amber color.

S- Smooth malt with light nutty undertones.

T- Nice complex yet mellow malt profile. Almost overpowering nutty taste held in check by mild hop presence.

M- Nicely carbonated but nothing to rave about.

D- I could have a few but wouldn't wanna run a session on it.

A decent American Oktoberfest.

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Photo of woemad
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle for $1.49. According to the label, it was bottled on 07 25 07.

Poured a copper color with a decent sized off-white head, which dropped after a couple of minutes. Modest, spotty lace.

The nose on this was apple and caramel, with the apple winning the race but the caramel not far behind.

Like in the nose, the two flavors that jump out are apple and caramel, but the caramel steps more to the fore in this category. Still, the dominant flavor remains the apple. If it were balanced just a little more, this would get a 4.

Mouthfeel is fine for the style. Full bodied, with the right amount of carbonation.

While nothing spectacular, it's a decent O-fest. I'm still looking for a great example of the style, one that really wows me. While I wouldn't call this it, I wouldn't decline this. I won't be pining for it either.

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Photo of jwc215
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper with a foamy, off-white head that thins, but sticks around. Some thin, broken rings of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is malty - carmelized grain with subtle spiciness.

The taste is of caramel and dough. Earthy, slightly woody, background. Malty with a hint of hop bitterness/spice in the back. Some warming alcohol is in the semi-sweet finish.

Medium-bodied with an unfortunate amount of fizz that creates some astringency.

It's nice, but I don't think I would include this in my O-fest line-up, as it doesn't have the smoothness that I look for in the style.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass, the liquid id a dark red copper in the traditional form with ok carbonation. The Head is OK of white and leaves some lace.

The smell is spot on the style with great caramel aroma.

The taste follows with a nice woody flavor. Pair this with Traditional Bavaria Fair.

The Mouthfeel is also true to style. Better then medium body and nice carbonation.

The drinkability is very good I will look for this again to be sure. Prosit und Zum Wohl. MK

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Photo of Bighuge
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber/orange. Pretty good clarity. Thin beige head. Lace is solid. Nice toasted malt aroma with a sweet underlying malt presence on the nose. This is another decent tasting Ofest, but really not all that hearty. And I like my Ofests pretty damn hearty. To me, a great Ofest should be like a thick beef stew on a 50 degree October day. Something to reload your body and fortify. This one falls short in that area (as most do) but is still likeable. Has some nice toasted malt flavors and a little of that lager yeast character. Easy drinking. Decent enough, just not great in my opinion.

(BTW, 2 Ofests that ARE like Beef Stew are New Glarus Staghorn and Summit Ofest. These are my measuring sticks when it comes to Ofests.)

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Photo of Tballz420
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper colored brew, inch high cream colored head. Scent is all malt. The taste is mainly caramel malt, hints of berry and nuts. Some hops lingering in the backround. Mouth is a bit thin. Not a bad beer overall, but as far as oktobers go, this one is for "tossers and sheep-shaggers."

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Moderate pour into a pint glass yields a decent off-white lasting head over an amber body.

Smell is crisp, hoppy, grassy, clean, spicey.

Taste is light malt base with clean, crisp, spicey floral hops mid and finish.

Overall, very refreshing. Just a wee high in alcohol to be sessionable, but very drinkable nevertheless. Easy to have two, three or four in an afternoon-evening, while watching the game and enjoying some chili or brats.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purely bright orange with a slight rusty tint to it. Clear bodied with a few bubbles slowly floating within. Nice medium stacked starchy capping of lightly yellowed foam. Fizzes down to a solid skim and a bumby laced ridge of thick sheets and teathered strings.

Aroma of slightly toasted and very sweet malt; doughy, slippery, a tad of caramel too. Nice notes of grassy herbal hops on top. Could be bolder, but its good enough to keep the nose happy.

Taste is smooth and firm with malt, tenderly sweet and caramel lofted, gains a bit of light toasted edge as it blends into the finish as does the hops with floral grasses. Again, could be bolder, but is pleasantly soft, subtle, and creamy smooth.

Firm, clean, smooth feel, about a medium body, perhaps a tad short and thin in some of its overall carriage for an O-fest, but solid non-the-less.

A very nice going easy drinkin' O-fest that suits the style well for what an American brewery can pull off; which Left Hand does well with this nice brew.

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

12 oz bottle with bottled date 8/8/07

Poured into a stein with a clear copper, red color with a slight, sustained off-white head; some lacing on glass.

Smells of sweet, spicy malts.

Taste of sweet malt with very little hop background for balance. Of the few octoberfests I have tried this season, this is the maltiest of the group. The taste is certainly not cloying, but I would prefer a little more hop flavor. This beer actually becomes more balanced as it warms.

A good example of a malty marzen beer, but not my favorite for Oktoberfest.

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Photo of rjmclaw
4.48/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I bought a six pack of 12 oz bottles and enjoyed it enough to buy a case when I returned from Colorado to Minnesota... so the samples I took were exclusively from bottles

The color was just what I expect from a Marzen... amber with a bit of copper tone

it smells slightly sweet and malty with a hint of hops

the taste was sweet and malty with a bit of hops bitterness but not too much

the feel was above average in fullness

I could drink these all damn night... if only the alcohol content was higher maybe I would be forced to rethink that... I love to drink a lot of beer but the most of these I drank at one time was a 12 pack

I really like this beer enough to miss colorado based solely on that basis... although there are additional reasons

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Photo of bboven
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark reddish brown; very nice looking. the head sticks around throughout the beer.

You can smell a little alcohol in there along with the maltiness, which seems a little strange.

Very tasty. A little nuttier than other O'fests, but extremely unique and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is thin and highly carbonated, great for the style.

Very enjoyable beer, would definitely buy this again.

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Photo of RedHaze
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright amber with a on finger off-white head that settles quickly to a thin cap and ring. The lacing is a little tattered, but sticks nicely to the glass.

Smell; this is pretty much all malts with bread dough and caramel. There's a bit of graininess in the background as well as a slight hint of hops.

Taste; the hops actually come out right upfront and gives this a bit of a bite right out of the gates. After a couple of sips the hops settle down a bit, and this becomes all bread dough toffee and caramel, with a little bit of chocolate in the finish. There's not much sweetness like I usually expect in an O'fest, and there's a bit of a cooked vegetable flavor in there.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, with a pretyy decent drinkablity.

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Oktoberfest from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 1,288 ratings