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: 1,043
Photo of nickapalooza86
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25


Pours a clear copper, nice bubbles from the bottom, Finger of off white head, good looking lager

Smell is grain, cereal, bread, caramel, herbal hop, biscuit. toffee, but most of all a big bready grainy malt, smells like a good marzen!

Taste is bready/grainy malt, herbal hop is there but very minimal, caramel, kind of a crisp flavor, biscuit, toffee.

Mouthfeel is medium light, medium high carbonation, wet finish but crisp

Best Oktoberfest goin IMO... Blessed to live in WI, also blessed that New Glarus beers hold up a lot better then most with a few months on um! Prost my friends!

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Photo of mverity
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Orange with a tint of gold in color. Head dissipated very quickly. Creamy colored collar persists. Smell is mostly tangy orange with some faint leather notes. Taste is of citrus and spice (think coriander, ginger, and clove). Mouthfeel is probably my favorite thing about this beer. Light, yet full; despite the low amount of head, the carbonation is enjoyable. I'm enjoying New Glarus more and more with every brew I have from them; however, this is the first one that hasn't wowed me.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall New Glarus Signature Pilsner Glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid two fingers of off white head which slowly fad into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A toasty malt driven aroma with hints of caramel and subtle fruit. Upfront toasted barley malts with hints of caramel, biscuit, grains, toast, toffee, cracker, straw, and German yeast. Subtle fruity hints of apples. Light honey like sweet scent. Some earthy hop hints with some grass. A very nicely bready and clean aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma, a nice clean, bready, and biscuity malt driven taste with notes of fruit and hops. Bready toasted malts throughout with notes of biscuit, caramel, grains, straw, cracker, toffee, toast, and German yeast. Fruity undertones of apple. Slight honey like sweetness. Background notes of earthy and grassy hops. A pretty solid Marzen taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Very crisp, clean, and smooth.

Overall: A pretty solid take on a Marzen. Good biscuity malt notes with some nice undertones.

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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 dfillius
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed 2015 vintage on 9/29/15
A: Moderate pour yields 3/4 finger off white head with fizziness - more please. Clear copper-colored liquid is beautiful.
S: Crisp bread, crisp freshly-mowed lawn.
T: Initial bright grassy hop burst with small citrus (lime?) notes. Bready, caramelly notes in the finish
M: Dry opening with wonderful sweet finish. Perfect carbonation. Creamy smoothness.
O: Solid. Perfect for fall. I enjoyed it with homemade chili. A nice complement as the sweetness of the beer countered the spice well.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - copper body, creamy off-white head, excellent retention, plenty of lacing and carbonation
S - sweet, caramel, spice, toasty
T - toasty grain, caramel, earth, yeast, mild grassy bitterness
M - medium body, higher carbonation makes it feel full, super clean finish
O - excellent example of the style! One of the better American brewed märzens.

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Photo of NickSMpls
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

An update from the first review two years ago. Date code 2165 - bottled in early August and consumed on Aug 24. Fresh! Pours a clear amber with light head that fades with small lacing. Nice malt aroma floats from the glass. Taste is clean and a hint of sweetness. An excelent Marzen which would hold its own anywhere German is spoken and beer appreciated.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear orange with a dense, dirty white head. Thick band of foam festooned to my glass top. Bottleneck label claims "world's most expensive hops." La ti da.

Toasty and soft herbal hop aroma. Bread crust malt balanced by marmalade sweetness. Clean and flavorful without being over-carmelized.

1st time I had this beer was walking around Notre Dame campus sipping beer out of a JJ's to go cup before the Temple game. Still good in an actual glass.

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Photo of jwc215
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazed orange amber with a thin head that doesn't hold up quite as long as I would like it to. Lacing sticks, but most of it fades quickly.

The smell is of toasted grain with a hint of caramel.

The taste is of caramel, toast and a hint of earthy noble hops. It is sweetish with a dry-ish finish. Nicely balanced. A touch of alcohol warmth comes through as it progresses.

It is smooth and crisp.

This is a nice representation of the style!

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Photo of Josephddscott
4.72/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wisconsin brewing company new glarus knows what there doing when it come to a Oktoberfest, not as heavy as other Oktoberfest, but has amazing flavor and a great aroma. a beer id recommend to any Oktoberfest beer drinker. but for those out of state people i feel bad for you that you cant experience this beer or any other new glarus beer.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice amber color with a fingers worth of head that fairly quickly recedes down to almost nothing

S: Very grainy and malty. Quite a bit of sweetness and toasted bread. A little bit of fruit as well

T: Starts off with the grainy and sweet malty notes and goes into a light bready toastiness. Some fruit also manages to come through but is way out-done by the malts. Finishes with a bit of grainy sweetness and herbal hop notes

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth

O: A solid take on the style by an American brewery. Definitely one for the malt lovers out there. I'd highly recommend this if you're into the style

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Photo of BigC60548
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up going to the Bristol renaissance fair. I wanted to compare this Oktoberfest style beer with Two Brothers Atom Smasher (oktoberfest) style beer. I absolutely love anything that New Glarus produces but in this case Two Brothers Atom Smasher takes the win. Staghorn is extremely smooth with a barley flavour. Nice hopp flavour as as you open your mouth after you finish swallowing the amber colored brew. Well rounded mellow smooth taste. I'd deffinately grab another 6er if I'm up in Wisconsin within the next month or so... Or even next years Oktoberfest.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle of the 2013 seasonal bottling. Poured into an unlabeled snifter today, 8/26/2013.

This beer pours with a clear copper/amber body with a fluffy 2cm white head that slowly dissipates into a thin film with lots of bubbly lacing on the side. The lacing sticks as I drink this beer. Absolutely a great looking beer- pretty typical of New Glarus beers, now that I think about it.

Nose is primarily a clean yeast flavour. As it warms, I can smell some sweet biscuits and caramel. A bit of floral hoppiness as well. Nothing too pungent or special here. Smells like a typical lager until it warms up some.

I really like how this beer tastes. Its got a very clean malt flavour with sweet biscuits, caramel and honey that is complemented very well by floral hops and a nice sourdough yeastiness. Very complex, but smooth and clean tasting. Great flavour profile here.

The feel on this is very nice. Clean, refreshing in a light bodied beer that is well carbonated. Slightly dry finish that is very heavy on the malts. This is a very good Oktoberfest-style beer, one of the best I've had, actually. Nice work on this lager, Dan.

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Photo of TheSSG
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a huge, soft, soapy head that has great retention and laces nicely. Surprisingly aromatic. Bright, spicy-floral hop aroma. I think the malt is even in there. Radiant, gold color that is slightly amber. Starts off with spicy, floral hops and a touch of bitterness. A sweetness underlies it all. Then the malt moves in with big notes of biscuit. Finish is a wonderful blend of spicy hops and sweet, biscuity malt.

This tastes like autumn. It has that perfect blend of spicy hop and malt. Just excellent. I thought I remembered not liking this one, so I'd been avoiding purchasing it for awhile (plus having 2 years without being near Wisconsin), but I was wrong. This is wonderful.

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Photo of JParlow
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Nice rep for the style. Color was a nice golden/red. The head presented itself nicely, about a half of inch but then dissipated quickly. I'm usually looking for a little more malty finish in an Oktoberfest, it was briefly there but not as pronounced as I look for in this style. Overall this is a very drinkable offering from an outstanding brewery. If you get a chance to pick up a sixpack or better yet, if you get a chance to have this on tap– I wouldn't pass it by. It'll be well worth the cost.

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Photo of Etan
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz from the 2013 release.

A: Pours a clear mellow brass with a nice off-white head.

S: Dryish caramel, toasted grain, lightly yeasty, hint of hop note.

T: Nutty, caramelized grain, light biscuity sweetness, a bit of crisp hop bitterness, bready finish.

M: Light-bodied with active carbonation.

O: A nicely balanced marzen, not overly sweet or hoppy like many American versions.

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Photo of Chaney
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one has been in the top 10 in its style class since I can remember, and presently it's ranked #6. Thanks BeerFMAndy for sending me this one!

Served in a tulip.

A: Lots of suds on this mama jamma! I would best describe the color as that of rust (orange/red/grey), and impeccably clear.

S: More sourdough than most Marzens on the market, but with that sort of "mothball" quality that I commonly associate with the style. Not too potent, but still effective. Fresh, fresh, FRESH!

T: Oh yeah... right up my alley. This one didn't fall into that "too sweet for its own friggin good" that Great Lakes fell into for me. Initially, I thought it was going to be too sweet based on the nose, but the bitter graininess washed right over that. Bravo!

M: I think I'll name the bitterness Amanda, since that was the name of my first girlfriend. Really nicely composed in that area. The carbonation was low, but damn near perfect for my tastes.

O: I had the bar set pretty high on this one and New Glarus cleared it by a country mile. Not sure how much a sixer of this cost in Wisconsin, but I imagine it's pretty much the same as I'd grab a quality O-fest around here. I think I'll move to cheeseland during the fall.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a beautiful clean copper pour with 2 fingers of detergent like head. very faint in the nose, getting some bread notes and some light caramel smell.
the flavor is a toasted nutty taste up front, almost like pecans. bready and malt heavy.. a great tasting octoberfest.
medium in body, high carbonation and a nice creamy mouthfeel.

overall a great seasonal from this brewery. very flavorful and quite fulfilling.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours light copper - see through - with foamy white head. Light malty smell. Light malty flavor, hop swirled in. Modestly sweet. Touch of spiciness on the tongue. Real easy drinker with loads of malty goodness. Good O'fest celebrator. Clean.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a nice looking orange amber color. The head on the beer was very nice, it settles but as a good retention. The smell of the beer is earthy with a pleasent malt aroma. The taste has a very nice caramel malt flavor with a slightly bitter grassy finish. The mouthfeel is smooth, nicely carbonated and medium bodied. Overall I found this to be really good, came close to some of the Oktoberfest beers that I tend to enjoy the most.

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Photo of 312HopBomb
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

!2 oz. bottle poured into a Millstream pint glass.

Appearance: Clear amber with a small white cap.

Smell: Sweet malt and earthy German hops.

Taste: Rich, clean caramel malt with slight apple finish and subtle hops.

Mouthfeel is light/medium and light/medium carbonation. Clean and crisp on the palate.

This is a very sessoinable Octoberfest beer that is gone too fast. One of my favorite fall beers.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. A batch code is printed on the shoulder but there is no easily discernable freshness date.

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is medium amber with a Halloween-esque tint of pumpkin orange. Two fingers of thick, eggshell-colored head dissipated fairly slowly to leave a spotted lacing.

Smell: The aromas are pretty muted at first but emerge slowly. Lightly toasted malts, sweet caramel, toffee, butterscotch, maple syrup, and grassy hops. Honestly, it smells more British than German.

Taste: Lightly toasted malts, caramel, toffee, earthy hops, a hint of butterscotch, and maple syrup. A light bitterness lingers on the tongue after each sip; at time I thought it was metallic.

Drinkability: I was a little disappointed initially but the beer turned into something special. It is a very solid beer and one of the best märzens I have tried.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.52/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From: Tenutas in Kenosha, WI
Date: "2142 B2 2002" stamped on bottom of bottle
Glass: Tulip glass

New Glarus' Staghorn is an above-average interpretation of the German style from a US brewery. The malt-forward recipe manages to blend in some European hop bitterness and herbal components that lend it some interest, but the flavors remain more subdued and not as "crisp" and satisfying as the German-brewed counterparts.

Pours a 1cm, off-white head of small bubbles, fairly dense and compact. Retention is average to below average, quickly reducing to a thin ring around the perimeter of the glass and a speckling of wispy foam atop the body. Little to no lacing left from the head's decline. Body is a transparent brown with reddish tints, light bringing out some pale orange beneath the brown tones. Carbonation is visible and modestly active.

Aromas of toasted white bread, light toffee, a bit of whole grain cereal graininess, and marginally herbal hops. Better than most US marzens, but still not particularly compelling when compared to the German versions of the style.

Opens with toasted bread and lightly toasted malt sweetness, proceeding to toasted bread combined with a bit of toffee and bittering/herbal European hops in the mid-palate. Back of palate notices continued hop bitterness with more substantial toasted grain and malt notes. Aftertaste is fairly, surprisingly absent, with slight nods towards toasted malts.

Beer is medium-bodied with medium levels of carbonation, resulting in a slightly fizzy, but gradually smooth mouthfeel. Finish is not dry, and there is some residual sweetness across the palate. This generally comes across as correct for the style and this particular beer.

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Photo of mynie
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

FINALLY. A series of bizarre-yet-uninteresting events have kept me from getting to try this lo these past seven years. Now, finally, I've tracked down a fresh sixer.

Pours a little effervescent for the style, with a medium-sized, quickly dissipating head and lots of big, showy bubbles. Smells like sweet and toasty marzen malt along with a little bit of crisp grassyness that almost smells like adjunct grain.

Tastes like it smells. Sweet and bready, but not as rounded as my favorite marzens. The sharp, grassy end grows on you, but it the balancing effect with the smoother malty start isn't fully to my liking. I guess I'm just particular with this style? Still, well brewed and they hit what they were going for. Just, so far as marzens go, I'd prefer they had gone for something a little different. Again, this isn't to say this is bad--because it's actually pretty good--it's just not the top tier oktoberfest I was hoping it would be.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.
6.25% ABV, 2092 on neck.

A - Staghorn pours a dark golden honey color, mirroring label's iconic moon. A quickly forming white head drops slowly while adorning the pint in antler silhouette-like lacing. Moderate retention means the head doesn't stick around long, but enough is left by to seal in some aroma.

S - Heavily malty upon first whiff, Staghorn has a nose has a touch of sweet caramel that's overshadowed by the earthy grassy smelling hops here; dry leaves, brisk fall air, and recently mowed lawn. While the aroma leans towards the earthy hops, it's a clean crisp hop presence which works well with the maltiness.

T - A strong initial malty sweetness opens the beer and sticks around for the duration while other nuances, namely the hops, change around it. As the beer progresses, front to back, it slowly becomes more dry and earthy-focused imparting the same characteristics the aroma shows.

M - Staghorn is a bigger Oktoberfest than most generally are with it's medium-full body but lively, balancing carbonation. The finish dries out with hoppiness keeping the malty sweetness from being too cloying.

O - From the maltiness to it's earthy hops, New Glarus' Staghorn Octoberfest embodies much of what makes a classic German Oktoberfest great, but seems to miss the mark on mass consumption drinkability a bit. While I truly enjoy the balance and bolder hoppiness this beer offers, I can't say that I'd want it served to me in a liter stein. I'll stick to the yearly 6-pack, one delicious Staghorn at a time.

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Staghorn Octoberfest from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.95 out of 5 based on 1,043 ratings.
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