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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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Reviews: 433 | Ratings: 1,203
Photo of barczar
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant deep caramel with a dense cream head that lingers.

Deeply toasted, nutty malt and light fruity yeast esters form the initial aroma. Floral hops added complexity as it warms. Lacks the rich melanoidin character found in better examples.

Flavor reveals banana/bubblegum esters initially, which I thought I caught a hint off in the nose. Malt character is somewhat complex, nutty and toasted. Starts on the sweet side, but the bready character dries out the finish, and there's a touch of hop bitterness. Metallic notes emerge.

Body is on the full side, with moderate carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Malt forward, as expected, with good toasted character, but the esters and metallic notes are slightly offputting. Had they not been present, this would've fared better.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Kind of bubbly with a thin layer of head that settles to a mild lace ring. Color is a nice clear amber brown with again great carbonation.

S - Munich malts, touch of caramel, pilsner like malts and some bread.

T - Taste is mildly skunky with a hoppy finish. Bread and caramel highlight typical for the style but the harsh grains are kind of distracting.

M - Light to medium.

Overall not bad and really nothing I would seek out again. A side note very sick cover art a wolf with fire breathing dragons? WOW!

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Photo of tigg924
3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, dark orange brown, clear, medium carbonation

Smell: toasted malt

Taste: honey, toasted malt, and hops

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, a bit watery, asweet start with a bitter and dry finish, medium bodied

Drinkability: I am glad I tried it, but it is one of my least favorites from Left Hand. The usual over the top maltiness from Left Hand is missing from this one. Just an OK Octoberfest, I will not be seeking this one again.

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Photo of bark
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The colour is nut brown with a hint of amber. The finger thick head sinks down to a pale beige lid. Some lacing occurs.

The smell is malty with some nutty hints of bread, light syrup, hints of boiled vegetables and a mild bitterness.

The taste is very malty with a quickly passing sour flavour. Roasted sweet bread-like flavours, notes of boiled vegetables, meat and gravy. The aftertaste brings a nutty flavour, some sweetness and a dry pleasant gentle bitterness. Toasted bread in the finish.

The carbonation is medium strong; small gentle bubbles. The liquid is very smooth.

If I would just have read about Oktoberfest beers and never actually had drunk one, I think that this one would come very close to my expectations. It is very drinkable but still with a lot of character. Reminds a lot of a brown ale.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
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 Bung
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. Clear orange/brown pour. Minimal white bubbles on top.

Aroma, potent bready malt. Toffee, an earthy hop note, barely.

Taste, toasted toffee and malt. Some buttery caramel. Dry earthiness, a nice faintly bitter hop, keeps the sweet in check nicely.

More carbonation than I was expecting. Really nice light-mid body. Just coating, easy to drink.
I prefer a Marzen to a pumpkin, would try this fall brew again.

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Photo of drpimento
2.97/5  rDev -20.6%
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 barnzy78
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - copper body, creamy ivory head, nice clarity, good head retention
S - sweet, grain, caramel, spice, earth
T - bready, caramel, spicy yeast, grassy, toasty grain
M - creamy, sharp, fairly clean, semi-dry finish
O - very solid American brewed Märzen for Oktoberfest.

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Photo of glid02
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this on-tap at The Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta.

Pours a clear brown color with some red highlights. Head is two-fingers of white foamy goodness that sticks around before dissipating into a patchy layer on top and a medium-sized ring around the glass. Lacing is phenomenal for an Oktoberfest.

Smells good. Lots of roasted and sweet malt aromas up front, with just a hint of mild hops.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. There's a big roasted flavor to kick things off, followed by a smooth malt sweetness, and ending with a subtle earthy hop flavor. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is good. Thickness is right on, and the carbonation is just right. This goes down very smoothly.

Drinkability is very good. This beer goes down almost too easily.

Overall this is at the top of my list for Oktoberfests. It's comparable to Victory's Festbier in body and flavor, but with more of a toasted flavor. A must try for Marzen fans.

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Photo of champ103
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear reddish color. A two finger off-white head forms and leaves some good sticky lace behind.
S: Sweet malt, bread an biscuit aromas. Light hops.
T: Follows the nose. Some sweet caramel malt and bread/biscuit flavors. Not cloying at all. A very light hop flavor lingers on.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Easy and smooth to drink. I can quaff a few of these.

A pretty good American version of an Oktoberfest. A good fall beer that is worth a try.

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Photo of Suds
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a wonderful deep copper color with a thin, but soapy, white head. The aroma is modestly composed of pale and lightly toasted malts. The taste is equally malty...plus some decent melanoidin action here. It's a little sweeter than necessary...the taste also has a distant fruit component (think peaches). It's definetly not as clean as I would have liked. It finishes a touch sweeter than necessary as well. The mouthfeel is a moderately full. All in all, however, this is a decent, pretty complex, and fairly enjoyable Marzen-style brew.

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Photo of ZAP
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An interesting ofest to say the least.

A-Orange colored....creamy off white head....

S-The aroma begins with a toasted malt smell....also some earthy and spicy notes.

T-Taste is toasted malts up front along with a nutty dimension....then the earthiness...finishes with a slightly sour off flavor.

M-Medium bodied...I've had lighter bodied ofest and bigger ones as well.

D-Enjoyable enough....Not a top tier ofest but an enjoyable drinker with some interesting dimensions you don't encounter in most beers within this style..

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.49/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. Bottled on: Space available, no date.

A - Perfect clarity shows off the carbonation rising in the beautiful golden pumpkin orange beer. An uneventful pour leaves only a finger of cream head behind. Not even the carbonation can sustain it. Little wisps of lace left.

S - The initial aroma is flooded with delicious toasted amber and Vienna malts followed up by a hearty dose of caramel melted on top. Mild but nicely balanced hops spike the malts with a floral component. Awesome oktoberfest nose!

T - Awesome malty profile that mirrors the aroma with a distinctive toasted Vienna and Munich malt flavor and drizzle of caramel over the top. Refreshing hops balance it out very nicely and add subtle, delicate floral notes.

M - Crisp and refreshing, it has a medium body but a carbonated, crisp finish.Leans just a bit to the sweeter side with a pinch of dryness on the finish.

D - Fantastic fall beer! It's a very well-brewed oktoberfest with epic drinkability. I'd pour these into a liter mug if I had enough!

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Photo of Pencible
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured a clear auburn with a bit of dark tan head. It smelled like roasted barley and wheat malt with copper and lemon hops. It tasted like strong copper hops and sweet barley and caramel malts, with a bit of cider spice. It was watery with a bit of carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this had pretty good flavor and decent body, but seemed a little too hoppy for an Oktoberfest. It was clean and easy to drink, so I enjoyed it, but not as this style.

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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 ThisWangsChung
3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color. The head is around a finger high, and shaded heavily off-white. Its fizzy texture doesn't retain that well, nor does it leave behind much lacing. (3)

Smell: The nose leans heavily towards juicy stone fruits, like apricot or even cherry. Of course, the traditional caramel backbone is definitely there, along with touches of grain and spicy hops. Still, the enjoyable fruitiness is this brew's calling card. (3.75)

Taste: Quite big as far as marzens go. It starts off fairly sweet from fruit punch-laden hops, and ends fairly sweet from caramel maltiness. Faint hop spiciness ties everything together...but not that well. Each element doesn't seem quite balanced or cohesive, and that's the biggest letdown here. Having said that, it's still moderately likable. (3)

Mouthfeel: Its bigness can be felt on the palate - it's slightly heavier and sweeter than others in the style. Because it's so rich (relatively speaking), it isn't as eminently quaffable as I'd like. Huge carbonation only helps things out somewhat. (3)

Overall: Not bad - I certainly wouldn't ever refuse a free one of these. It's big and flavorful, but also imbalanced. I would rather buy other examples of the style first. (3.25)

3.23/5: A competent marzen that's slightly too big for its own good

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.77/5  rDev +27.5%
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 jera1350
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lighter burnt orange color that is crystal clear. The head is just a mere layer on top, but there is some nice soft lacing.

Lovely rich malty sweetness with caramel and earthy notes as well as a hint of smoke.

Pleasant malt sweetness with a light hop bite at the back end. The caramel and almost fruity malt profile is really enjoyable and makes this a top notch Oktoberfest.

Crisp and clean with a medium feel and terrific carbonation softness.

This is a wonderful beer for the style. Dare I say it's one of the best I've had in the style. What a nice little discovery.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear light copper color with a 3 finger cap of creamy light tan foam. Retention is slightly above average and lacing is decent.

The smell of this beer is very much like toffee. There's a bit of bread loaf in there and just a faint glimmer of some grassy hops. Nose really is not all that big, even for an amber lager.

Taste strikes a nice balance of bitter hop presence and sweet caramel maltiness. The relatively high ABV is detectable but certainly does not approach being hot. Carbonation is somewhat low for a lager and the mouthfeel is a tad below medium. This one is a pretty fast drinker and I was surprised this bottle was the last of a six pack bought a week or so ago. Sure there are better O-fests out there, but this one is pretty solid and I will be ready to buy again next year, I am glad we finally get this offering in Tx.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I got a bottle of Left Hand's Oktoberfest that my friend Ben brought over for me to try. I'm always down to try an Oktoberfest that I haven't tried before and i'm interested to see how this one is, so lets see how it goes. 2013 release. Poured from a brow 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks pretty good, I like it and I think it's a little eye catching. It poured a fairly clear darker caramel color that took on some amber hues when held to the light with two and half fingers worth of off white head that quickly faded away and left a little lacing behind. This is a nice looking beer, but I thought the head faded rather quickly.

S- The aroma starts off with a medium amount of sweetness and a lot of malty aromas with some bready, toasted malts, and some light caramel malt aromas coming through. Up next comes a slight nutty aroma with just a slight alcohol aroma. The aroma was pretty nice, the alcohol could have been a little more hidden, but other than that it was pretty true to style.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly lower amount of medium sweetness followed by lots of malts which impart some toasted malts and bready aroma with bread crust seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes some light herbal hops that impart a very light amount of medium bitterness that's right on the border of being lightly bitter and it has a really malty and bread crust like aftertaste. This was a nice tasting beer that was pretty true to style.

M- Smooth, pretty clean, slightly sticky, on the thicker side of being light bodied with a good amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty nice and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and an above average example of the style, it was pretty true to style and it had most of the things that I look for in a good Marzen, This beer had nice drinkability, it's a little strong for the style but it was still pretty smooth and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I don't think it would be a problem for me to drink a couple of these. What I liked the most about this beer was the mouthfeel, it was pretty nice, true to style and I liked how clean it was. What I liked the least about this beer was the alcohol, I think it should be toned down just a little to make this even more true to style. I would buy this again next year, I'm not sure I would get a whole six pack. but I'm sure I would revisit it again and it's priced well. I would recommend this to anyone who likes the style, All in all I thought this was a pretty solid example of an Oktoberfest, it's not my favorite of the style, but it's still pretty above average. Good job Left Hand, this is a worthy Oktoberfest.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.1/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear light amber color. The head is a half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is toffee and bready malt with no real hop character. It is quite pleasant though. The taste is very sweet even for the style. In fact, I think it is best described as annoyingly sweet. The mouthfeel is sticky, medium bodied, and lively carbonated. Overall, this is an Oktoberfest I do not enjoy, and can't see myself drinking again.

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Photo of morimech
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crazy label design with the blue and white cat on the Bavarian color background but it did catch my eye. The beer is a clear, copper color with two fingers of head that had decent retention before settling to a thin cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. Aroma is by far the weakest component of this beer. Like, where is it? Just the faintest whiff of malt. The flavor is on the sweet side but is balanced by a noticeable hop bitterness. The malt flavor is very tasty indeed. Clean and refreshing. The body is light to moderate with a nice carbonation that does not get in the way of consumption. Quite enjoyable fall beer. Well crafted.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
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 tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
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 MattyG85
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a stein glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish amber with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of off white head which settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A toasty, bready, and fairly sweet malt forward aroma with hints of caramel, toast, and subtle fruit. Toasted malt with upfront hints of biscuit, toasted bread, grains, caramel, toffee, and lager yeast. Subtle dried fruit hints of apple, lemon, and orange. Floral and spicy hints of German hops. A pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like the smell hints at, a nicely bready, toasty, and sweet malt driven taste with notes of toast, sweet caramel, and fruit. Upfront toasted malt with notes of biscuit, toast, caramel, toffee, grains, cracker, and lager yeast. Nice fruit undertones with notes of apple, orange, and lemon. Spicy and floral backing presence of European and Pilsener hops. A nice tasting Marzen.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, smooth, and fairly drying on the finish.

Overall: A pretty solid take on the German Marzen style. Good toasty malt notes with some nice backing hops.

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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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