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Left Hand Oktoberfest | Left Hand Brewing Company

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433 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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 433 | Ratings: 1,203
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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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

An incredibly good Oktoberfest beer. Great spice profile that accentuates the malts almost perfectly. Filling, but not overpowering. A great example of its kind.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pub glass

Appearance, pours a copper color with a white creamy head, lots of tiny bubbles, beer is clear, color has different degrees of copper, decent amount of carbonation, on the nose, toffee and sweet, roasted caramel aromas, toasted nuttiness, slight honey, smells pretty good. Taste, up front there is an introduction of toasted nuttiness, some spiciness in the middle, finishes with toffee and sweet caramel, hint of honey at the end, finishes semi-dry. Mouthfeel, medium body, very drinkable and smooth. Overall, this is very good, has some different characteristics than other oktoberfest beers I've tried, but I think this is an excellent example of the style.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a burnt copper color with a solid head of cream-colored froth that evokes a milkshake. Aroma is par for the course, with some caramel, Bavarian hops, apple skin, and a slight nuttiness.

The taste follows the nose precisely, with the addition of lightly toasted bread from the malt. There is also an alcoholic presence that I’ve scarcely encountered before in an oktoberfest. It’s not disruptive; just unusual. Hints of milk chocolate emerge as the beer warms. Medium-light body and subtle carbonation make for a smooth, drinkable mouthfeel, albeit a little thin.

Overall, this is a full-flavored oktoberfest that bears all the hallmarks of the style, alcoholic character notwithstanding.

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

12 oz bottle, poured into a shaker pint at ~40 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a perfectly clear coppery red-amber, and forms a pale tan head with a shorter lifespan than a Taylor Swift relationship. Okay lacing.

Smell: Malt. Yeah, that pretty much covers it. There's toast, bread, and caramel, all sweet, with some vague nuttiness and shades of biscuit.

Taste: Malt. Yeah, that pretty much covers it here, too. Toast and bread get the marty (that's malt-party) started, with a heavy dose of caramel sweetness coming in like a crowd of already-drunk crashers bursting in and instantly raising the volume level to 11. Some faint hints of walnut and Brazil nut drift in behind that, like a handful of introverts clinging to the walls, keeping their heads down and not talking, even to each other. Towards the end of the marty, earth and dirt come trundling on in to put the kibosh on all that sweet, bready noise, not unlike a pack of cops in riot gear with tasers in hand.

Mouthfeel: Yep, that's a marzen.

Overall: I enjoyed this one - not too much hop presence, plenty of malt. Would repeat.

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Photo of mynie
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Nice bottle--it's aesthetically pleasing and it announces what you're about to buy: a heavily Americanized version of a dark German Marzen.

Pours a dark, clear amber with a white head that dissipates quickly. Smells toasty with a little bit of nuttiness and a zippy yeast that's almost bockish.

Tastes straightforward up front, maybe even a little tame for the style. Roasty malt with some light nut and biscuit complexities. Ends even tamer than it begins, with straightforward American Lager flavors that almost seem a little adjuncty. As it warms, some booziness becomes present, but it's offset pretty nicely by grain complexities that are very similar to the aftertaste of Grain Belt.

It's quite smooth and drinkable for its somewhat elevated ABV, but it doesn't quite come together well enough to enter into the top tier of American marzens. Still, pretty good.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.21/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.37/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Bert's
Deep copper color off white head.
Big bready caramel maltiness. A bit too much caramel for the style. Earthy spicy hops to counter. Middle of the road American attempt at a classic German style.

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Photo of TLWalsh
4.29/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep bronze color with a creamy head. Has a malty toffee aroma with a medium density mouth feel. There's plenty of rich smooth full flavor, toasty and well balanced. In my opinion this is one of the better marzen/octoberfests available.

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Photo of MarkQ617
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had this poured into my mug. Color is outstanding, rich transparent syrupy brown with a malt head and orange highlights. The aroma is some maple, brown sugar, and malt, a bit light though. Mouthfeel is very nice for a marzen, super smooth.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: crystal clear; bronze in color; 1 finger khaki head that receded to a thin collar; nice lacing;

S: brown sugar, toffee, a sweet dark bread;

T: nutty up front; slightly metallic from mid-palate through the finish; mild bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied' light to moderate carbonation; dry finish;

O: flavor was disappointing; otherwise, this was really good;

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Left Hand Oktoberfest from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.74 out of 5 based on 1,203 ratings.
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