Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Left Hand Oktoberfest | Left Hand Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Left Hand OktoberfestLeft Hand Oktoberfest
Very Good
1,254 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,254 |  Reviews: 457
Photo of riversider76
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Record breaking 90 degree heat here, just outside of Buffalo. Still, the Oktoberfest has commenced! This one pours a cloudy honey color,with a thin white head. Not much retention,but a decent lacing. Aroma is of sweet bready malts,and a hint of earthy hops. Body is medium,with some carbionation. Taste is of bread and butter with a nice touch of hops in the finish. Very good!

 377 characters

Photo of hckyfn9999
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy amber with a nice off-white head that leaves very good lacing. Aroma is toasted bread, caramel, toffee, and a faint hop pressence in the background. Taste is toasted, bready malt and some sweet caramel. Some herbally hops are present in the back. Mouthfeel is medium with a nice carbonation level. Very drinkable version. A nice o'fest from a Left Hand.

 375 characters

Photo of neonbrown82
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's that magical time of year, once again. Yes, the time of the year where I can fill myself up with tasty, highly quaffable, deliciously malty lagers. Furthermore, this beer was bottled exactly a week before tasting, making this the freshest sample of commercial beer that I've yet tasted (at least to my knowledge). Impressive!

The beer pours to a nice dark golden amber color with a perfectly formed inch and a half of head. Retention is decent. Carbonation is apparent, but doesn't shimmer like a pils. Lacing is great as well.

The smell is the weakest link. Has kind of a coppery metallic lager aroma to it with a rich malty presence underlying. Just a touch of hops.

The taste is good, however. Just a touch of sweet caramelized malt up front, melding well with a rich biscuity malt flavor. A hint of hops bitterness in the finish. Also has a note of the coppery lager flavor underneath, but it is not unpleasant. Maybe just a little bit sweeter than I would like for an Oktoberfest, but it is still quite good.

The body is medium. Crisp carbonation with a clean, dry finish. Very easy to drink. I love Oktoberfest season. This is a good one as well. Much better than pretty much all of the other Left Hand stuff I've tried.

 1,235 characters

Photo of drpimento
2.97/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nothing wrong with this beer; serviceable. But nothing special either. Copper colored amber, like its commercial description. Light hop. A bit more sweet and less roasty/dry than I prefer, but not bad. Carbonation is ok. Finish is ok. Body is ok. Ok? ok

 253 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper color with an average white head, no real lacing left on the glass. The smell is of caramel and toasted malt, nothing very distinct. The taste is of caramel malt, toffee, light bitter hop to balance out the flavors. The feel is fairly light and well carbonated. The flavors blend into a nice smooth feel. A respectable Oktoberfest, very enjoyable, refreshing and quite easy to drink. Definitely worth a go.

 427 characters

Photo of Hemi
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a wide mouthed glass

A - 1 finger head. Deep red/copperish color. Completely transparent. Medium lacing.

S - Not getting much aroma from this brew. Can detect a slight carmel note but really faint.

T - Carmel notes with a slight bittering from the hops. Has a pleasant taste however not very complex.

M - Light and smooth. Medium co2 burn.

D - This is a very drinkable beer. During this 5 minute review it is almost gone.

 451 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottled 08/08/07

Pours an effervescent copper/caramel with 3+ fingers of cream colored head. Above average lacing & head retention

S: A little bit of grainy cereal & caramel as this warms

T: Caramel & grainyness up front. A hint of herbal hop bitterness & a some breadyness as this warms. Finishes with some caramel & hints of pralines & breadyness, plus toast, let this warm up

MF: Medium-bodied, slightlty undercarbonated, a little sticky & good balance

Drinks pretty easy, not as good as last years, so far that's the trend, so maybe it's me? Still liked this considerably more than Sam Adams, no contest

 622 characters

Photo of blackie
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

single bottle from Whole Foods Raleigh, bottled 07-25-07

a: Pours into my SA Winter Cheer etched glass with a 1 finger tan head that slowly falls back, retaining a thin layer. The beer is a rich amber in color.

s: Typical oktoberfest aromas of earthy caramel and fallen leaves. Lightly hopped, seems pretty well balanced with pleasant aromatics of fresh, nutty bread. I like it.

m: The carbonation is a smooth medium, and the body a fuller medium. The carbonation dies a bit towards the end.

t: Caramel malts and some nuttiness upfront with a moderate grainy sweetness. I've gotta say it's pretty tasty. Earthy hop finish with a light bitterness. Towards the leafy caramel side of things, and a decent stab at an ofest.

d: Pretty easy...surprised by this one, as I'm pretty picky about my oktoberfests. Not stellar, but certainly "good". A 3.5 only because the unchecked weight of the malt hinders a bit.

 920 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
1.98/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle, bottled on 7-18-07, served in a pint glass.

A - clear, light amber color with a white head that thinned out pretty quickly, leaving thin bits of lacing.

S - kind of funky malt aroma for a beer that's just a month old.

T - that same funkiness is in the taste as well, this was one of the first Oktoberfest beers available this year and I look forward to the German versions yet to arrive.

M - thin, light bodied with low carbonation.

D - ¾ of the glass was enough of a taste for me.

Final Note: it seems to me that in the rush to put out an Augtoberfest beer, some breweries miss the target with their Marzen. This one was way off the mark

 670 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

 795 characters

Photo of Franchise
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear medium amber body with small cascading bubbles throughout leaving a thick creamy tan head. The aroma is caramel, nuts, plums, chocolate essence. Very malty and complex, this taste is wonderfully sweet upfront of caramel, pitted fruit, with a nice hoppy bitterness for balance that ends sweet coating the palate with a caramel sweetness. Great Oktoberfest Left Hand.

 379 characters

Photo of Hitman23
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very nice copper color with a very nice one finger head.

S - Not an overpowering aroma, but it does have some nice hints.

T - A pretty good version of a Marzen. My six'er went pretty quickly.

M - Does have some complexity, but nothing overpowering.

D - Easy to sip or gulp.

 290 characters

Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.82/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally reviewed on December 23, 2005. 12 Oz Bottle. Pours clear amber orange, wita whitish head. Aroma of lime rinds and dusty malt. Sweet dusty malt and sour corn flavor, with a hint of old fruity tones. Not much depth. Palate a little dry, but mostly clean sweet. Meh.

 274 characters

Photo of weeare138
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to witbier for this...
Appears a russet toned, transparent amber with a light haze. A small, off-white head quickly fades out. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of sweet, fruity, toffee, toasted nuts, caramel, sourdough bread, along with sugary candy. Very nice and surprising considering this style is usually "ho-hum" for me.
Taste is of a nice blend of aromas with a creamy, doughy, candy flavor coming through.
Mouthfeel is smooth, lager malty, with a light cinnamon spice along the palate.

 520 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

 819 characters

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a moderate head that displays good retention and an occasional bit of lace

Smell: Biscuity with a layer of caramel

Taste: Starts with a good Munich malt base with a strong biscuit flavor; after the swallow, the brew builds in earthy complexity with modest balancing hops; the finish has contains a considerable biscuit and caramel quality

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: One of the better Anerican-brewed examples of the style

Thanks, Oxymoron, for the opportunity

 542 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear amber golden with a tannish head which rose well and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was nutty and toasty with a strong malty caramel presence. The Munich and Vienna malt aroma showed a strong backbone to the lightly spicy character given off by the hops. The beer was otherwise clean and without and strong esters.

The flavor was malty with more of the nutty and toasty Munich/Vienna presence and a lightly spicy hop bittering and flavor that went very nicely with the strong malt backbone. Some caramel character was notable but the beer was very clean and well done.

The finish was just dry with lasting impressions of malt and spicy hops into the aftertaste. The body was medium or just above and went nice with a moderate level of carbonation. Not a bad rendition of an Oktoberfest at all. Well played...

12 ounce bottle.

 892 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a copper color with a 1" head that slowly falls. Some spotty lace develops.

Smell: caramels and malts are light but easily detectable.

Taste: caramel, hint of nuts, decent bitterness, and a touch of fruit sweetness. Not overwhelming but a solid brew.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Medium bodied. Aftertaste is long on the caramels and nuttiness.

Drinkability: pretty good marzen here. Definitely worth a try. Had this after a Victory Fest, so it is a bit milder in flavor than that one.

 526 characters

Photo of billybob
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a one to two finger head with some lacing to the finish. smell is of cooked cabbage or cooked glazed carrots. taste has some hop to it, more malt, sweet at the end with a little chocolate there. nice beer easy beer to drink. i would like to try some other beers from this brewer.

 285 characters

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As mentioned in my previous review, a lot of O'Fests can tend to inadvertently lump themselves together in that most aren't poorly made, but their just bland/average overall. The Stoudt's O'Fest that I just reviewed bucked this trend, the Left Hand one did not.

It pours a decent looking copper/orange colour with a very thin head that leaves a bit of residue on the glass.

Aroma is sweet but faint: caramel leads the way with s barely noticeable hint of hops and some malt as well. Very simple overall.

Flavour is more of the same but caramel gives way to a bit more earthiness and even a bit of a rubbery flavour. Mouthfeel is light bodied but a bit chewy and flat at the same time.

This one is not bad in any area, just bland and doesn't do much for me. It's a typical O'Fest. It won't offend but it won't wow you.

 829 characters

Photo of rajendra82
2.88/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

 518 characters

Photo of Darkale
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice American take on this style. Brilliantly clear, cheery copper in color with a good head and spare lacing. Rich taste, deeper, sweeter, and smokier than the average Oktoberfest, and almost chewy. Aroma is not particularly strong, but my nose never catches much from Oktoberfests, anyway. Well done. Well worth trying out.

 330 characters

Photo of Foxman
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a clear and bright coppery amber, vivid and carbonated. A finger of off-white, with an almost gray cast, head fades to thin froth. Droops of lacing cascade down the inside of the glass.

The aroma delivers a full maltiness, earthy and with a mellow berry sweetness. A touch of caramel and cherry play off the merest hint of hop spice.

Upon sipping, there's a bubble of malt sweetness, with caramel and simple fruit, that soon loses its roundness to a toasted grain crustiness. A yeasty dough note plays through softly, and a light pepper caress sails along. A mild malt redux slides into a very understated but crisp bitterness that lingers well into the finish. It stays close to the middle of the road, and is quite good at toeing the line.

Medium bodied, the malt coats nicely and trace spiciness gives some small counter.

This one's all about malty goodness. The aroma is unremarkable, but the flavor capably makes up for that. And it's the flavor that makes this enjoyably drinkable. So as I have another, I am now convinced that this is my favorite Left Hand beer.

 1,094 characters

Photo of Domingo
4.01/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap amongst a few other offerings (both German and American) and I was shocked how well it stacked up.
Came a dark orange color. Probably the 2nd darkest of all the ones I've seen or tried.
Smell is a crisp grain smell, but with a little boozy sweetness mixed in.
Tastes very hearty and has a wonderful matly sweetness. One of the stronger flavored O-fests out there. Hops are there in the finish and add a great complexity.
Mouthfeel's a little thicker than I'd like. It's not quite "Ayinger thick," but certainly moreso than most of the others.
Drinkability is high...I like the stronger flavor of this brew. It's the best of a lot of different worlds.
This is a very nice take on a Oktoberfest because it's got the distinct German lager flavors that have been kicked up ever so slightly. This is a really good beer for the season. I love the fact that they're starting to utilize the Tabarnash German brews at Left Hand.

EDIT: For anyone who checks older reviews, the 2008 version is even more authentic than before. The hops come out in the middle like in the Hacker-Pschorr and Paulaner versions. Sweetness is still there, but it's been mellowed a tiny bit. Yum! Probably the best O-fest available in the US.

 1,228 characters

Photo of benito
3.51/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First things first, I should own up to the fact that in general I'm not a huge fan of Left Hand beers. With the exception of Juju Ginger and the Milk Stout, I'll leave the whole lot (admittedly, this summer's Twin Sister DIPA was passable as well). So, I was skeptical at best when I picked up a sixer of their new Oktoberfest, a revamped version of the old Tabernash Octoberfest that has been retired.

The bottle is eye candy. A blue-checkered background with two steins (also with blue checkered designs of them) in full toast position. This is a reddish copper brew, a little too amber for the style but eye-catching nonetheless with a good head and lacing. The bouquet is muted, a quality which is somewhat expected, yet I would have liked a stronger malt presence and some of that oh-so-enticing toastiness.

Fortunately, this beer's got character when it actually gets down to drinking. A sweet and softish malt presence up front is well-balanced by a hop splash mid-palate and a nice dry finish. This is meant to be a straightforward and emminently enjoyable beer. And it is.

Very drinkable overall, this is certainly one of Left Hand's more worthwhile offerings. A strong new brew like this is great for the Colorado beer scene, and it's good to see it come from Left Hand. If they start putting out seasonals of this quality, I might become a part time convert.

 1,378 characters

Left Hand Oktoberfest from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 1,254 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.