Oktoberfest | Left Hand Brewing Company

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1,260 Ratings

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
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Ratings: 1,260 |  Reviews: 458
Photo of arguemaniac
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The nice toffee palate features some elevated malt sweetness and a moderately rich toasted character. The toastiness is especially good in the finish.

Quite tasty and fairly true to the style, could be a bit smoother though, but I’m not really complaining.


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Photo of BBM
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear reddish orange with a thin white head. Aroma was malty and somewhat fruity. A breadlike quality in there as well.

This Oktoberfest unfortunately doesn't do too much for me. It's somewhat bland and bready, with pockets of caramel malts and nuts. It's not bad tasting by any means, but doesn't have enough character to run with the better beers in this genre. Mouthfeel is medium and slightly fizzy. I'd recommend this one if nothing better is available. Not awful, but not great.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.66/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Maduro. $3 pint poured into a Bell’s pint glass a bit too cold for my liking. I tend to like Oktoberfests at near room temp.

Appearance: Very nice Marzen orange with some reddishness and a thick, creamy white-tan head. Good retention.

Aroma: Initially hit with the same sweet strawberry fruitiness in that I find in the saw tooth ale. It’s really overpowering and not befitting of an Oktoberfest. That is followed by a more generic fruitiness, caramel, toast, and a nutty finish.

Taste: Sweet light fruit, caramel, a pinch of toast, and a slightly drying/nutty finish. Much too light on flavor for me even when warmed up a bit. There is also way too much fruit flavor for an Oktoberfest.

Moutheel: Well carbonated but too light and not creamy enough. Overly sweet and somewhat unbalanced.

Drinkability: Sessionable but somewhat bland.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a couple of pints of this vom Faß yesterday with Artied2 and Alewife at the Sunset Grille.

Poured a clear, medium copper hue, with slow carbo rising within. Head was thin and white, wispy and rim-clinging, with a bit of lace left in the glass. Though mild, the nose was bready with nice malty sweetness and, oh yeah, bready!! Hardly any hops noticed here, though. Body was a decent medium, and the bier had a tiny bit of prickliness present, though not enough to detract in any way.

Flavor? Solid with a pleasant level of sweetness contributed by the healthy doses of bready and toasty malt. I really like what I get here with the malt; a great level of sweetness, just right. There is just a suggestion of floral hops here, to keep things honest. A very, very drinkable Ofest. Well made and quite enjoyable.


overall: 4.15
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4.5


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Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aside from an off aroma (smells dusty or like a bottle even poured in a glass), this was a pretty decent beer. The flavor was a little low until it warmed up and gave a really nice mellow caramel malt flavor. There's nothing complex going on, but it's tasty and quite drinkable. Maybe not a standout for the style, but a decent take on it.

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Photo of danielocean03
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle marked "Bottled on 8.22.07" into a pint glass. Appearance is a clear rust-hued amber, with a thin cap of fizzy head that is an off-white tan color that fell away to light sticky lacing. Aroma is comprised of sweet caramel and toffee, heavy roasted malt notes, light spiciness/hoppiness also mixed in. Taste is roasty malt, caramel, toffee, yeast/bread notes, sweet finish with a dry aftertaste. Mouthfeel is slick and smooth, medium bodied, low carbonation, goes down nice and easy. Drinkability is great, well balanced O'fest, nice malt complexity and heartier substance expected of the style, would purchase again.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Oktoberfest from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 1,260 ratings