Staghorn Octoberfest | New Glarus Brewing Company

very good
324 Reviews
Staghorn OctoberfestStaghorn Octoberfest

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.25%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cokes on 09-16-2002

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Reviews: 324 | Ratings: 1,042
Photo of JDV
2.16/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle courtesy of Iowaherkeye. Thanks!
Think I waited to long on this beer. Pours a bright clear reddish orange malt with a small beige head. Smell is sticky, stale, gooey malt with band aid qualities and metal. Probably not as it was intended. Unappealing malt flavor and metal as well.

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Photo of jegross2
2.46/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Drinking this one out of a very large tasting glass from Goose Island. I only bought this exclusively to cook brats in, but decided to ciphon some for tryin'. Full disclosure, I tend to dislike lagers, and have not found a marzen that I like not made by Paulaner. On to the review

Appearance: a light translucent amber color, more yellow with a hint of brown than red. The beer has no head other than the fizzy carbonation.

Smell: Has a sweet corn and bread smell that reminds me of miller lite. Vague spices also seem to float around in the aroma too.

Taste: A diluted malt-and-spice flavor that has way too much "corn" and "grain" taste. There is a very faint finish.

Mouthfeel: a low bodied, watery beer with fizzy carbonation. Very clean, crisp and refreshing

Overall: This beer is very drinkable, but it's hard to distinguish this as anything other than a slightly spicer, more expensive miller lite. Again, I do not like the style, but even for a Marzen this one fell flat for me. It DOES make a great brat marinade, however.

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Photo of brewmudgeon
2.51/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5


a 4-4.5 light golden orangy amber, a bit lighter than anticipated. the head is about one finger with good staying power. impressing lace for an o'fest.

s 3-4 fruity malt, very surprising aroma. would not necessarily have guessed the style, but it's pretty nice anyway. kind of a candied cherry nougat smell.

t 2.5-3.5 again it is atypical. the toasty caramel malt is there to some extent in the finish, but up front and midpalate it's fruit loopy. there is a good amount of flavor packed in here. the residual sweetness is higher than average but not too offensive, making this a candidate crossover beer. it's like a nice lowfat (see mouthfeel comments) oktoberfest sundae with a sweet cherry on top.

m 2.5-3 the body is bouyant and effervescent. lighter than i imagined a 6.25% oktoberfest woud be. there is a degree of coating maltiness, which is a good thing. not as substantial as i would prefer, but perhaps quaffability is aided.

d 1.5 as the weeks have rolled past, each bottle seems less appealing than the last. have not even finished the last several. there's just something weird in the flavor and burpback--probably the alcoholic fruitloopyness with a touch of aftershave. want to keep liking it, but i can't.

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Photo of Buebie
2.58/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A friend picked this up in Millwauky for me last week.

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a snifter. No freshness date on the bottle, but I'm guessing its atleast 3 months old.
About a half inch head comes from a semi-rigerous pour. Forming a quickly fading fizzy cola like, white head.
Spotty thin streaks of lace with a thin film of retention.
Color is a copper amber, ultra transparent filtered and force carbonated I'd guess.

Aroma is sorta malty, but pretty much lacking any smells, with a rye touch and a woody kind of toasty aroma. Mild wisp of cocoa in there.

Not much for flavors either. I want to say I got more flavors off the thin and watery spotted cow.
Mild cereal grains, some doughy yeastieness and small hints of rye and really nothing else. Overcarbonated, with a tasteless carbonation finish, wet cardboard. Somthing metallic with a hint of sour sulpher like flavors lingering.


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Photo of dhannes
2.66/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Revisited on 10/25/12: Dark golden color...nice, but too light and not enough red vs. other "märzens." Faint aroma...sweet taste, maybe some bourbon. I stand by all my thoughts below...raised the appearance to 3.5 (from 3.0), taste to 2.5 (from 2.0) and overall to 3.0 (from 2.0)...a good beer, but more like a good lager, not a märzen nor an amber.

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint:

A=Very pale straw yellow; too yellow for a märzen, but a rich, 4 finger white head brings it up to an Average.

S=Hint of sweet corn and wheat, plus a sweetness.

T=Not at all like a märzen--corn presence is overwhelming...this is very close to their Spotted Cow. Enjoyable, just not a good example of what an Octoberfest should taste like.

M=Drinkable, but a bit too sweet and not enough body.

O=Huge disappointment. Okay to sell this, just don't call it an Octoberfest.

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Photo of Treebs
2.66/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

My first Oktoberfest of the season! Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Deschutes snifter.

A: Pours an amber color, a little on the dark side, with a nice 1.5 finger white head that sticks around for a while. Leaves some nice bubbly lace on the way down.

S: Big on the malts with some little spices coming around. Pretty typical of the style.

T: Just big malts and some lager-like qualities to it. No really spiced notes or anything. Not the biggest fan.

M: Light to medium bodied. Crisp and clean with a smooth swallow. Very drinkable.

O: Wasn't that impressed with this one. Big malts and nothing else. Very one dimensional.

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Photo of hardy008
2.66/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours amber with a one finger white head, which fades quickly to a thin disc of foam, and leaves spotty lacing. The aroma has grain and caramel malt.

Tastes like it smells with grain and some caramel malt. No hot presence. Kind of generic and bland.

Medium bodied with average carbonation, and very little that stands out. New Glarus makes a lot of good beers, but this is not one of their better efforts.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
2.87/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

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

A: Pours a crystal-clear orange-gold, much like a burnished copper. Forms a decent finger head of foam that seems just off-white with a hint of orange, and dissipates fairly quickly. Carbonation is visible as fairly large bubbles clinging to the bottom of the glass, occasionally shooting for the surface.

S: The aroma reminds me of a caramel biscuit with crumbled cracker topping. Some faint notes of spice and earth roll about in the scent as well.

T: The first sip opens almost exactly as the nose suggests, a blend of crackery and biscuity malt with some light caramel drizzle across the top. That is swiftly joined by a heavy dose of earthy, spicy hop presence, covering the malt presence with a thick layer of freshly turned soil from a field used to grow a mix of white, green, and black peppercorns. Said hop presence maintains all the way through the finish, where the malt returns to a little more prominence as a peppered biscuit, and into the aftertaste, where it lingers overlong.

M: This is a smooth, medium-carbonated, fairly thin-bodied beer. If it weren't for the hop presence, I could probably crush them down quickly.

O: While I love a good märzen, particularly the Ayinger (ironic given where Dan Carey spent a few months apprenticing), I primarily love them for showcasing malt with minimal hop presence. This beer stands that relationship on its head for me, and comes very close to triggering my supertaster reaction to hop-forward beer. While I can still drink it, and even enjoy some aspects of it, it is pretty far from my favorite märzen. If you're following any of my reviews because you're also a supertaster, you may want to give this one a miss.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a glass mug)

A- This beer pours a crystal clear light amber body with big bubbles gliding through it and a thin head that fades to a ring before my first sip.

S- The very faint smell of toasted nougat is balanced by a green hop hint at the finish. Even as the beer warms the aroma is still very light.

T- This beer has a light tangy toasted malt note with a clear and dry sulfur note. As the beer warms there is a hint of Munich malt and a faint tap water taste at the finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel and a tight little fizzy finish.

D- This beer is very clean in flavor even as it warms.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was able to try Staghorn last night at an Oktoberfest party. The beer poured clear, amber orange with a sudsy, off white head that settles pretty quickly. Not much lace to speak of. The scent for the most part was typical grain and slight alcohol. The taste was dissapointing to me, the beer was slightly sweet and a mild spicy hop character that balances well in the finish. There's a vague fruitiness in the aftertaste with warmth as well. The mouthfeel is ok...the body was fine I dont think I can have more than one though. Overall it is ok worth a try ...sure....more than

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.03/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 1/10/2010. Bottle thanks to FlssmrBrewAlum. Pours a clear orange with a small white head. Aroma of stale, grainy malt. Flavor of sweet light malts and a grainy, crackery finish. Some excess sweetness in the aftertaste. On the bland side but ok overall for an oktoberfest.

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Photo of Zachtheporter
3.04/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pinto glass.

A- Poursa a deep dark orangish gold. Has a light fizzy head that dissipates right away. Nice and Clear with ample light penetration.

S- Light caramel malt notes with a slightly skunky hoppy finish. Overall though the smell is rather sweet. More malty than skunky for sure.

T- Slightly sweet with hints of caramel and some bready notes. Ends on some what of a watery tasteless finish.

M- Very light and smooth with a medium body. Low carbonation. Really coats the inside of your mouth after each sip.

O- This beer was good and definitely drinkable however the low carbonation made it seem very off. The scent was rather poor although it smelled alright. Kind of a swing and a miss for new Glarus. First of their beers I have ever tried and felt this way about. Hoping this bottle was defective but I'm not so sure. May try again at some point if I get the chance but this was really a rather bland marzen.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.06/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a orange-ish yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, a malty sweetness. As for the taste, again a dry malty sweetness that is quite balanced. A smooth malty mouthfeel and a clean and dry aftertaste. Sweet and malty, dry end and a decent oktoberfest.

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Photo of Redrover
3.06/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz brown longneck. Why doesn’t New Glarus freshness date?

The beer pours a nice reddish color with a inch of tan foam. Good lacing through out.

The beer smells of malt, caramel, and something that I can’t really identify except to say it’s a musty smell.

As others have mentioned, it is not your standard malty Oktoberfest. I get the malts, but I also get a metallic twang, not sure what causes it, but it somehow does not really detract that much from the taste (at first) . Taste changes a bit mid-glass. I got a bit of fruit and the beer seems to sweeten. About 2/3rd into the beer the taste turns for the worse as an old musty taste emerges to match the strange whiff I got when I first opened the beer.

Carbonation seems turned up a bit to much for this style. This beer tastes much different than I remember it tasting a few years ago. I may have had a old beer or a bad 6 pack and will review when I buy it again next year as every beer in the six pack had the same off taste as the beer warmed.

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Photo of blackearth
3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into the perfect pint glass, this beer showed an amber body, not red as the label description suggests, and a puffy white head. Aroma is of "clean" malt, I don't know how else to describe it. Medium bodied with a bready, biscuity but also straw-like malt flavor that becomes less appealing as I drink. I had much higher hopes for this beer, but I found it to be kind of boring overall. I'm sorry to say I won't be picking up a 6 pack this year.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Meh. I'm a big fan of New Glarus, but not their Midwestern style stuff (Germanic) so much. The Octoberfest, was a little different than I expected. Again, seemed a little thin maltwise, hop character, even for an Octoberfest, seemed muted.

Really like the label . . . does that count for anything.

Anyways, in summation, one of my favorite Midwest breweries, one of my least favorite and seemingly unadventurous brews from them. Mild taste, some would call it smooth I guess if they're fans of it. I guess if you like a mild brown ale with more carbonation, this is your thing.

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Photo of morimech
3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber color with a small white that quickly settles to a thin cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left on the glass surface.

The aroma consists of roasted malt. Very faint aroma and it is not giving up much.

A strange maltiness dominates the flavor. Sort of musty and earthy. No hops detected.

On the lighter side of medium bodied. Carbonation is moderate and not harsh. Nice texture to the beer.

I like most New Glarus beers but there are a few I just don't get. This one goes on that list. The high ABV does not aid in drinkability.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

hmm... h m m m m m m m m ...

thanks to tavernjef for the sample

cool label, a little out of sorts for the typical new glarus 'color-on-white' style. dark beer, dark label? i dunno. regardless, this beer pours reddish brown and rather clear with a thin, consistent layer of tightly-packed film. intricate oval patterns on the surface. little to no lacing. aroma is smoky, sweet malts with rich, tangy fruits like near-ripe apricots and plums. some gluey notes and tea leaf aromas give it an 'off' character. mouthfeel is somewhat abrasive for something so smooth... tangy metallic hops meet an odd sour flavor in the finish. gingerbready malt adds some good flavor and then excessive fruit and sharp alcohol emerges.. essentially falls apart, becomes a mess in your mouth. does not hold up to similar marzen o-fests, see hooker.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.16/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard New Glarus label art and an iconic green/gold branded pry-off pressure cap acquired in a trade with the very gracious Duff27 (thanks again, buddy!) and served into Cantillon stemware in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery, which makes some beers I adore. I have huge respect for New Glarus and think they may be the only brewery in this country consistently churning out unique beers. Reviewed as an oktoberfestbier because it clearly identifies as one in the name and on the label.

Served cold - straight from me freezer. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a half finger wide head of white colour, okay thickness, and okay creaminess. Retention is horrible - about 15 seconds. No lacing as the "head" recedes.

Body colour is a clear rich copper - right on the money for the style. Transparent, translucent, and of above average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it looks pretty standard for a festbier/marzen. I'm looking forward to trying it. Not unique or special, but there are no obvious flaws.

Sm: Clean Munich malts, barley, light graininess, light bready malts, and complementary floral hops. Clean Bavarian yeast. A kiss of green apple. Just a hint of apple cider vinegar. Light caramalt with an accompanying sweetness.

No alcohol is detectable.

Overall, it's a pleasant aroma of mild strength and hits the style quite well for an American offering. I'm looking forward to trying it.

T: Caramalt sweetness, green apple, light clean graininess (and some vague cereals), Munich malts, clean barley, and floral hops (with a minimal presence). Comes down on the sweeter side, but is far from overly sweet or cloying. It's very cleanly fermented, a testament to the Bavarian yeast employed. Some amber malts. Perhaps light honey. It's nicely balanced, if simple. Cohesive, but not gestalt. Could use more complexity and subtlety, but then so could most beers.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour for the style.

No alcohol comes through.

Do I like it? Sure. But it's not an exemplary festbier.

Mf: Smooth, wet, lightly thick. Unrefreshing. A biteen overcarbonated, actually - did they not bottle-condition this? Crisp. Approachable presence on the palate; not overbearing or anything. Decent body. Suits the flavour profile generally well, but doesn't seem custom-tailored to it.

Not oily, harsh, astringent, rough, boozy, or hot.

Dr: I hoped for more from New Glarus, but at the end of the day this is a fairly pedestrian festbier. It doesn't set itself apart from your run-of-the-mill German festbiers, and I see no need to get it again. Certainly not New Glarus' strongest work, but above average for the style I suppose. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, but you could do worse for a seasonal. It's certainly drinkable; I'll have little trouble killing this bottle.

Thanks to Duff27 for the opportunity to try this one!


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Photo of trevorwideman
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle given to me by demcorhip, poured into a pint glass.

Vigorous pour produces a full 2 inches of head, retains well and leaves a little wet lace. Light orange colour, appears to be filtered. Carbonation is subtle. Aroma is very sweet with caramel and apple juice in the forefront. Lots of graininess and earth with a subtle pepperiness in the background.

Flavour is juicy and full of apples and pears then followed by a bit of nuttiness and lots of grain. Damp earth, then some peppery spice. I'm not going to lie, this is more than a little bit sweeter than I would like, a bit more balance would be lovely. Mouthfeel is very wet and almost watery with a bit of stickiness in the throat, carbonation is very mild. All in all, one will do, this is a very sweet Oktoberfest and I prefer a little more balance on the palate.

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Photo of thebigredone
3.2/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Yikes, after trying to force myself to enjoy this beer for the second straight year, I figured I'd finally write a full review.

Poured into my New Glarus pilsner glass. Looks nice, but a little lighter than I prefer colorwise for an Oktoberfest.

Smell is okay, nothing special.

The taste is where this beer really goes wrong for me. To begin with, not enough bready, toasty notes. Then comes the strange sterile metal taste. The finish is unpleasant.

Mouthfeel is fine.

Overall, I really do not like this beer. Strange, considering I really enjoy almost everything else from New Glarus. There are many other Oktoberfest style brews I prefer to Staghorn (including Sam Adams), I don't think I'll be revisiting this in the future.

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Photo of Hachiman
3.21/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an attractive burnt orange-gold with a tall white head that subsides to less than a finger. Very fine lacing.

Smells bready/yeasty with a bit of hop aroma.

Taste is less hoppy, very malty sweet at the start and finish.

Not very substantial but saved by adequate carbonation. Very little alcohol impact.

Another sessionable New Glarus beer, fortunately for those doing Oktoberfest in Wisconsin. What about the rest of us?

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Photo of klshanks
3.28/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a 16 oz pint glass. Thanks GDBEERMAN for this!

Appearance is quite good, about what you'd expect from an oktoberfest. A little more orange than brown.

Smell is pretty good. Malty as one would expect.

The taste isn't quite my cup of tea. A little bit too yeasty for me. But then again I'm not necessarily a huge Oktoberfest fan to begin with. I've definitely had worse but I've also had much better Oktoberfests.

Mouthfeel was a little heavier than I would like. for this type of beer. I little to heavy to drink em all day, which when I do drink Oktoberfests, I prefer a more sessionable beer.

Again, thanks GDBEERMAN!

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.3/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Cool artwork, marzen colored beer, off white head above 1/2". Aroma had a hint of that nutty sweet caramel malt feels.

Taste is smooth, yet the alcohol is pronounced and noticeable above what is a from a color perspective, thinner body than you would think. Carbonation on point. If you like smooth beers without a lot of hops this is for you. It is probably a little bit stronger than your average beer in this style.

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Photo of ChopperSmith
3.32/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a long neck brown 12 oz. bottle into a standard clear pint glass.

Appearance: Clear light amber color with barely one finger of off-white foam. Foam faded quick and left no lacing behind and no cap.

Smell: Sweet corn and bread-like malt. Little to no hops present. A bit sweeter and perfume-like than a typical Marzen Oktoberfest style.

Taste: Watered down sweet malt and some corn flavor. A lot sweeter and thinner than most good Oktoberfest beers, and not malty enough. Could also stand a little more earthy hops presence to balance all that thin sweetness out.

Mouth feel: Light body with typical carbonation. Pretty typical.

Overall: I like a lot of the beers from New Glarus, but this isn't one of my favorites. Way too sweet for a Marzen Oktoberfest style and way too thin and watery. There are too many good Oktoberfest beers out there to have any reason to seek this one out again.

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Staghorn Octoberfest from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.95 out of 5 based on 1,042 ratings.
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