Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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Lager - Märzen
Ranked #548
Ranked #50,084
3.21 | pDev: 16.51%
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Notes: Rich and toasty Märzen-style beer

Our proud German heritage shines through in our homage to arguably the world’s greatest festival. A traditional Märzen-style beer, our Leinenkugel’s® Oktoberfest has a toasted malt flavor and subtle, spicy hop notes that make it perfect for celebrating fall in true German fashion. So let your steins runneth over.

IBU: 20
Reviews: 540 | Ratings: 1,831 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ZebulonXZogg
ZebulonXZogg from Illinois

3.7/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

32 oz crowler purchased at the Leinie Lodge. Clear amber frothy white head that fades quickly. Aroma of malts and warm bread. Tastes is similar. It's a bit thin but has decent carbonation. It's been years since I've had this and was a fave back in the day.

Today at 12:54 AM
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TheOccasionalBeer from Wisconsin

4.15/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Now this is amber! The short near-white head dissipated rapidly despite ample small bubbles rising throughout the glass. The smell of sweet citrus and a flavor profile to match were subtle, but a welcome distinction from the grapefruit that plagues so many IPAs and other quaffables these days. Carbonation hit the back of my throat on first swallowing, but that was almost immediately soothed by a slightly slippery and oh-so-slightly viscous feeling. I'm slowly learning my lesson not to buy a 4- or 6-pack of beers unknown. While I like this, more than one in quick succession might diminish my opinion.

Sep 06, 2021
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md3kcn from Ohio

2.5/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2

Purchased as a single bottle for $1.49 at Kroger. Poured into a stein I had laying around.

L - Burnt copper and clear, with a one-finger light khaki head that went away nearly instantly.
S - Caramel and wheat. A little banana, which is a bit odd. Slight ethanol towards the end.
T - Mellow caramel leading into slightly-stale bread. A bit of hoppy spice towards the end, but barely detectable.
F - Light-bodied; almost watery. Medium carbonation. Clean and dry finish.
O - Not really impressed with this beer, but for the price it can't really be beat. This wouldn't really pair well with brats, but would pair well with dollar store hot dogs. Probably will eventually buy again, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Aug 28, 2021
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1009 from Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On this 2020 Thanksgiving afternoon, I went with thIs festive marzen beer. Leinenkugel created a malty and bread-like tasting lager that warms your soul. It pairs wonderfully with the traditional Thanksgiving flavors of turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing. The dark caramel color and frothy head is gorgeous. Lift to your nose and you can smell those malty notes. A great fest beer to celebrate the holiday of family, sharing and thankfulness!

Nov 26, 2020
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barnzy78 from Illinois

3.49/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can
date stamped NOV 2320
L: crystal clear amber-brown bier with a tall, foamy tan head
S: sweet caramelized grain, bread crust, earthy & spicy hops
T: sweet caramel, grain, bread crust, spicy hops
F: medium body, moderate carbonation, more sweet than bitter for a finish
O: much better than I remember, but it has been a long time

Oct 16, 2020
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laquebrada from California

2.63/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

Clear copper color, very small white head.
Gingerbread aroma.
Spiced bready flavor.
Thin to medium body, just about right.
Overall, not sure how this is related to Oktoberfest, tastes like crystal malt with some spiced added. Skip it.

Oct 15, 2020
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singletary from Mississippi

3.4/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

It poured a rich amber color with a small to almost no head. I give the head credit for being so small it stays though out the drink. The smell is sweet caramel notes which is also the main part of the taste. It starts out very sweet then some hop flavor shows up. Overall it was drinkable but there are many better options out there.

Oct 05, 2020
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GreesyFizeek from New York

3.46/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a clear golden light amber color, with a small foamy head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like kinda generic lagery sweetness, caramel, and some breadiness.

This isn't exactly bad, but it's very far from the best examples of this style. It's just kind of malty sweet, with very little hop character or bitterness or spice to balance out the generic lager sweetness.

This is light bodied and clean, but not crisp enough on the finish. I can kind of imagine they didn't use very high quality malt in making this.

I didn't hate this, and it certainly went down easy, but you can definitely tell it's a bargain version of the style.

Sep 30, 2020
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realJohnnyHobo from Maryland

2.81/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.25

Keeping up with all of the Oktoberfest beers in my area I found Leines recently hitting the self right in the middle of Oktoberfest season. Not too sure why but for me I have lowered expectations from this German-inspired American märzen.

Pouring an amber brownish color typical of the style, the smell leaves an odd yeasty funk note that is dull alongside the light grain smell. There is a generic lager smell about this and not one within the style.

Tasting notes are very toasted Vienna malt alongside Tettnanger and Hallertau hops. Unlike a lot of beers within the style, this is very low in ABV. So low that the drinkability is through the roof and this is a very sessionable beer. Mouthfeel is light-bodied, full flavor, and slightly dry. No aggressive hop spice though there is one, nothing overly complex. Just basic light lager a bit too light for the style itself, but nothing would stop me from enjoying it alongside the company of friends and family and good food. It is... ok.

Sep 19, 2020
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MercInc from Wisconsin

3.28/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

It's that time of year and I have been out trying a few of the "Oktoberfest" brews that appear.

This offering is from an old WI brewery that re-invented itself as a craft brewery and saved the company. The beer is very drinkable, but nothing remarkable. A solid "marzen" style lager, best drank at temps under 40 degrees.

As a note, I try to use "Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen" as kind of a "Control"

Sep 18, 2020
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defunksta from North Dakota

3.09/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

2020 version:

Appearance: Pours a deep orange/copper color that is clear. A respectable off-white head. SRM of 17. (4.00)

Aroma: Mild aromas of caramel and only traces of grass. Mild aromas here. (3.00

Flavor: Mild flavors too over caramel and corn adjuncts. Sort of flat after that with stable cornbread. Falls off the end. (3.00)

Feel: Lighter bodied with medium carbonation. Feels sort of like soda on the palate. (3.75)

Compared to Festbier from Victory Brewing 9/11/20: Pours a similar color. Milder aromas. Less toast, cinnamon, bread. More stale flavors/aromas. Winner: Victory

Compared to Josephbrau Oktoberfest 10/6/20: Pours a similar color. Milder aromas. More faint bread and toast. Less smooth, spiced caramel and smoke. More malty. Winner: Josephbrau

Overall: This year is once again a complete ball dropper. MInimal aromas, minimal flavors. It's like you took a bad pale adjunct beer and added roasted/toasted malts. Mild toast with alcohol. Reminds me of a bad bock like Shiner. Once again, not an Oktoberfest to come back to. (Final Rating: 3.09)

(2019 Version)

Appearance: Pours an auburn, orange w/ a small milky head. SRM of 17. (4.00)

Aroma: Light aroma of light fruit and stale bread. Very mild aromas. (3.00)

Flavor: Nothing on the flavor either. Very light. I get mostly stale cornbread with butter. No hops. Almost no flavor here. Finishes dry. Like other reviewers have mentioned, no hops. All malt body, but I would hardly say there's malt flavor here either. (2.75)

Feel: Medium bodied. Light carbonation. Finishes clean. That's about the only good thing I can say about this beer. (3.50)

Overall: This is really bad folks. Pale cornbread if anything at all. This beer drinks like a far-past expired IPA that has lost all hop quality. Almost nothing here. Has as much flavor as a macro lager, and they call this an Oktoberfest... Dissapointing, but honestly I should start expecting this sort of dissapointment from Leinenkugel's. Dropped the ball here.

Sep 12, 2020
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HopHippie from Wisconsin

3.73/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Clear copper with medium white head.
S: Some malt, wheat, sweetness.
T: Malt, smokey caramel, yeasty, no hops, a little bit of fruity sweetness when aerated.
F: Medium carbonation, light-medium body, refreshing.
O: I might be alone in this one but I actually really enjoy this beer, I have had plenty of fancy lagers and ales costing 20$ a 4 pack but this is a very good beer considering the low craft price point.

Jul 27, 2020
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German-Helles from Wisconsin

3.58/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I poured this 12oz. bottle into a 20oz. weizen glass. The look is very nice, a clear copper, orange with a finger plus of tan foam. The carbonation looks medium. As the head receded a bit there was a good amount of lacing left behind.
The aroma is malt, not super strong, but a pleasant malt aroma.
The flavor is a simple malt flavor, and a touch of roasted caramel. Very low on the bitter scale.
The feel is toward the watery side with light carbonation.
This beer is an easy drinker, tastes fine, an OK Oktoberfest.

Dec 02, 2019
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TerryMills from Tennessee

3.75/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Weaker flavor and less sweet than other Oktoberfest beers ive tried... I actually like this one better than most lol..

Not my style of beer but its an easy drinker with no off flavors..

Oct 15, 2019
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gvickery from Texas

2.69/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Looks really nice, dark copper, clear, with a medium light tan head. Smell was very light, some malt and maybe some sweetness.
Taste was very underwhelming, very light and watery, slightly more toasted malt than a standard lager. This is not a good representation of the style. Glad I only bought a single.

Oct 10, 2019
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DrBeergood from Ohio

3.55/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's almost there. The best part is the look, it has an authentic buttery texture reminiscient of a traditional German lager. That's about where the similiarities end, because the flavor just wants to be something else.

The flavor isn't neccesarily bad--beauty is in the eye of the beerholder--but I wanted something clean, traditional, and authentic from Leinenkugels.

Oct 06, 2019
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joeagain from New Jersey

3.46/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Prior to tasting this beer, I didn't read any of the ratings on it. Had I, I probably wouldn't have bought it, and I would have missed out on a pretty good Oktoberfest/ marzen style brew!

Pours a copper-garnet color, has a nice beige head that eventually fades to a nice Belgian lace as the beer goes down.
Like others noted, no real nose, maybe a very faint fruitiness at best. Good body, good caramel and roasted coffee flavor with some light peppery spiciness, my guess is from Perle hops.

Taste is very subjective, of course, so this brew might not suffice if the expectation is that it will be like a true German produced marzen. It's lighter when compared to something like a Paulener marzen. But I liked it enough to go out and purchase another 12 pack.

Sep 23, 2019
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mngermanshepherd from Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I actually enjoy this. It is still yeasty (like all their beers) and has very minimal hop presence, which I like. I probably couldn't sit and drink a session of them, but one or two would hit the spot.

Sep 22, 2019
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hottenot from North Carolina

3.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Honestly to call this Oktoberfest is a STRETCH.
Crushable and malty, not much hops. Or any other flavor
For a brand known mainly for the questionable style of Shandy, (Which I consider a malt beverage like Lime-a-Rita.)
I was somewhat surprised to find one of their real beers,
Not the best that is certain
Very much a Lager, of which I am a huge fan. Solid C- in that watery regard.

Aug 28, 2019
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P-Munny from Minnesota

4.01/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Okay full disclosure - I grew up in Chippewa Falls, WI and I worked at Leinenkugels for a few years around 2004-2006. I have strong opinions of this brewery. I love them. I hate what they've become. They absolutely crushed their branding when Bill Leinenkugel was in charge of the company in the early 1990's with the nearly free and simple tee's. They were then bought out by Miller in 1992. Fast forward through the 90's and into the 2000's and their image became one of Honey Weiss vs. their more superior beers being Leinie's OG and Leinie's Limited (now known as Northwoods). Now, we live in their shandy world. Oktoberfest by Leinenkugels has always been one of their top 3 beers in any given year. In fact, over the years it's the one beer I actually look forward to drinking by them. I just bought the 2019 version today and have given it a good go.

Look - Standard Leinie's Oktoberfest. Caramel translucent hinting on more of the reddish side. To me implies more caramel malts

Smell - This is where it lacks something. It smells like a malty lager. Which means it doesn't smell like much at all. All lagers smell crisp and faint though.

Taste - This year's Oktoberfest is a little more dull than years past. It's DEFINITELY crushable for an Oktoberfest. Very malty, not hoppy at all, like.. at all... clean, crisp, refreshing yet flavorful. You're gonna get the toastyness and slight sweetness of the caramel malts coming through.

Feel - Love it. Creamy. Smooth. Drinkable. It's a great mouthfeel for real.

Overall - This isn't my favorite of the Leinenkugel's Oktoberfest. I've liked versions in the years past compared to this years' brew. That being said. I find it hard to like american Oktoberfest beers. Most of them really, really suck. Over malted versions of their German counterparts. German brands still dominate Oktoberfests for me personally (not all of them mind you), but Leinie's continues to offer us a very good representation of the Marzen style Oktoberfests in their own american way. Seriously, I live in Minneapolis and we have kick ass brewerys on almost every corner. Even some of the big name brewers in this city who have a reputation for making awesome beers in every style fall short to Leinenkugels.

This is a down year for them in this style, but this is still a pretty kick ass beer that is light yet tasty, crushable, and refreshing on those hot late summer/fall days.

Aug 26, 2019
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mrpoizun from South Dakota

2.28/5  rDev -29%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Leinie's seems to have dumbed-down the taste of many of their beers as they've made the switch to being more of a "shandy" -brewer(?). Their Oktoberfest used to be a good example of the marzen style. Not the best, but definitely worth buying. But now, it just seems weak, with very little flavor of any kind, maybe just the barest maltiness. It's definitely drinkable, it's not terrible. But it's not a marzen. And if all you want is a regular American-style beer, their original Leinie's is a much better example of that.

Aug 04, 2019
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John1985 from Tennessee

3.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with nice 1 1/2 inch head. Aroma was sweet malt, taste was same with some crispness of hops at end to balance. Simple, straightforward and refreshing, Good beer on a fall afternoon while working in the yard and at 5.1 ABV it doesn't slow you down too much.

Nov 19, 2018
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Drak-Nib from Nebraska

2.75/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

It wasn’t that bad but it was kinda grainy, and not the artistic grainy you find in certain classic news photos from the 1960s. A bit bitter, which could be a good thing, but I probably won’t come back to this one like I would Tri-X. ca. 2008

Another taste for this “German style märzen beer.” This has a bit of a head, and the first taste is pretty good, with just a hint of sweetness. What follows has a nice balance, and is an easy drink. Almost no aftertaste. Overall, it’s not bad, but for me falls into the not-enough-character zone to make it a standout. Dry, decent. 2017/08/26

Nov 13, 2018
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Mitzvahman72 from California

3.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As you take in the clear amber color, the flavor profile consists of caramel and some toffee as well as some lemon and grass hops woven into the flavor fabric. The carbonation is brisk with the mainly lemony aroma, while the aftertaste is similar to light, yeasty plum cake. For a light version of an Oktoberfest, is a great option. If you’re interested in a more solid variety of Oktoberfest, I highly recommend the Oktoberfest from Karl Strauss Brewing in San Diego and Sprechers’ Brewing in Wisconsin.

Oct 28, 2018
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JimboBrews54 from Michigan

3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not the best, not the worst, drinkable. This is a bit toffee and a bit bread crusty. Sweetness which reminds me of a want to be Sam Adams Oktoberfest, which does not make it that attainable, by any means it is a great gateway Oktoberfest.

Oct 08, 2018
Oktoberfest from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Beer rating: 74 out of 100 with 1831 ratings