Okto Festival Ale | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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Okto Festival AleOkto Festival Ale
Okto Festival AleOkto Festival Ale

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: German Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Classified as a German Altbier by the Widmer Brothers; brewed with an (ale) Alt yeast strain.

availability: early Aug. - late Oct.
bitterness : 28 IBU
original gravity: 13.5° PLATO

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 184 | Ratings: 500
Photo of rodbeermunch
3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dull orange pour, 1/2" off white head. Average retention. Aroma was mild sweetened malt grain stuff.

Taste was smooth, hopping low, mild nuttiness. A little bit of caramel mouthfeel.

Slow smooth ride on this one, nothing jumping, nothing off flavored.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

My first beer in Support of New Beer Sunday (Week 573) will be another from the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody. I am actually starting to make real, noticeable progress; bottles are getting recycled; caps are being saved for art projects; 4- & 6-pack carriers are being emptied & returned. It is a glorious time!

From the bottle: "Loosen your lederhosen. Our full-bodied Okto Festival Ale is inspired by Bavarian Oktoberfest. [undersigned] Kurt [&] Rob"; "We pay fitting tribute with its distinctive malt flavors, mild floral character and crisp, clean finish. Prost! to the land of Prost!"

A Pop! of the cap & the Festival was underway! I utilized a gentle pour in deference to its relative age and then gave it a vigorous swirl in the glass. This produced a finger of foamy, tawny head with decent retention that slowly fell to wisps. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was oddly vegetal, like cooked cabbage, underlain by a biscuit maltiness. I read the style description for an Altbier, but even with the style's quirks and oddities, this does not seem right. Mouthfeel was medium to-full, not quite creamy. The taste was MUCH better than the nose had led me to expect! It was actually quite sweet, very much of caramel or crème brulee. Again, I am not sure that such is stylistically correct, nor would I ever mistake this for an Oktoberfest/Marzen. The sweetness made it more like a dessert beer for me. It was drinkable, certainly, and the finish was only semi-sweet, perhaps as a testament to the yeast having thoroughly done its job. The caramel flavor lingered well after the finish. For me, one was plenty.

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Photo of stevoj
2.52/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

rated on RateBeer as an amber, here listed as an alt, but they were probably trying pull of a marzen. What a mess! Bland and unmemorable, watery, generic tasting. Very faint aroma and flavors, no finish.

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Photo of NickSMpls
2.57/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured on Oct. 12th, bottled on July 24th. What's up with this one, Widmer? Pours a weak cloudy pale red with no head to speak of. Weak, indistinct aroma. It has an odd taste for a lager and a soapy aftertaste. We've enjoyed others, so maybe we got a skunked one.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
3.42/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap. Served in a lager glass. Pours a clear orange/brown with a thin head that faded fast and elft some spotty lacing.
The aroma is malt-forward with lots of bread and biscuit on the nose with a little floral and spice hiding in there as well.
Taste is pretty good. Malt forward, sweet and bready with some floral notes and a pleasant finishing bitterness.
Mouthfeel is fairly thin but almost smooth.
Overall, refreshing enough but lacking anything really distinctive.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.97/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 5.3% abv

Appearance- Pours a dark copper orange with a two finger head of a faintly brown tint, quick to dissipate. Moderatly hazy.

Smell- Caramel, baked bread, orange citrus.

Taste- Toasty malt, semi sweet. Chewy nut flavor mixes in with a subtle citric hop flavor of orange coming through as well. Finish is sharp and comes on fast, finishing more malty than hoppy by far.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body with medium carbonation as well. Smooth.

Overall- Kind of like an Oktoberfest but not really as this is an Altbier. Definitely mixes up the Fall seasonal thing. Not a sweet malts and a very crisp clean flavor profile. Well suited for the season.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A brilliant orange gold pour builds a 1” persistent cream colored foam collar while unleashing rich bread and spicy bread crust aromas. This is a malt driven beer with rich bread and bread crust flavors and a light finishing hop earthy bitterness. There is an initial sweetness that dries out on the finish. Clean and smooth, the beer has a medium body and slightly below average carbonation. A very good Alt style beer brewed with an Oktoberfest grain bill and a clean ale yeast.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

not bad, but really not special at all. generic, even for these guys, who usually do pretty well with flavor in conventional styles. this one is a bit watered down for me, not a whole lot of the rich caramel german malt i like in the style, and its not lagered, yet i think it has a pretty similar grain base to the marzen beers of the season. usually i would be all for that, but it just has not much flavor, and it finishes with a strange metallic tang that obviously doesnt belong. i do get a hint of citrus there, and then the bittering hops on top of the grain, but the whole thing is just too light for my tastes, especially this time of year. carbonation is on point, but it has no body and that hurts it for me. the ale yeast adds nothing, and im left pretty underwhelmed on the whole.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.02/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12 oz bottle, this has got to be the brightest beer I have ever seen. Pours a brilliant orange, very clear, nice layer of foam and light lacing. Nose of caramel, bread, and light floral hops. Flavors follow the nose with sweet caramel malts tot he front and sides with a nice light floral hop flavor on the back. Okto finishes clean and crisp. Highly recommended for a session, and great for fans of autumn and fest lagers and alts. Very nice. Cheers.

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Photo of wasso67
3/5  rDev -12.8%

Pours a very light orange with a quickly dissolving creamy head. Aroma of fruit and bread. First taste is of caramel, moderate malty backbone. No discernible hop presence. Very thin mouthfeel. Very sweet overall character. Smooth drinking and average for the style.

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Photo of RyanK252
3.91/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours deep copper with an off white head that settles quickly.

S: Very malty with some floral hops.

T: Very malt forward, bready slightly nutty with some light caramel sweetness, some fruitiness, and floral hops. Very clean finish.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: A pretty solid (and in my opinion underrated) fall brew.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.42/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Amber in color with excellent clarity. A fingernail of khaki colored foam is on top. Light Brussels lacing. Aroma of gentle amber malt is present. The flavor is packed with gentle notes of amber malt and a touch of caramel. The mouth is fairly light,but with a bit of depth and smoothness.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.74/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle to pint glass

A- pours a bright amber-orange color with a small creamy off-white colored head that retains nicely on top long after the pour

S- floral and grassy hop aroma compliments a toasted bready malt sweetness with notes of caramel & brown sugar

T- malty base up front with notes of fresh biscuit, caramel, toast, cereal grain and white raisins. Floral hop notes provide a subtle bitterness that continues to the finish

M- medium body and carbonation lead to a foamy mouthfeel that continues into crisp finish

O- a nice malty & easy drinking brew for the fall that has some nice floral notes to boot

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Photo of delta490
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%

Pours a deep clear amber. The fizzy white head burns away quickly. The aroma is nonexistent and the taste follows closely. Only the faintest malt tones exist. Body has a decent weight and just a tinge of carbonation. We'll crafted except for the total lack of flavor.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.93/5  rDev +14.2%

Sent over from Washington by a fellow BA'er (thanks, Donkster46!)

Serving style : 12 oz bottle poured into glass for appearance

Appearance (4) : Beautiful burnt orange/fire red color with a heavy three fingered off-white head, leaving flecks of lacing around the glass as it recedes.

Smell (4) : Fresh nutmeg, spice, coriander, pumpkin. It's all there with festivities. Some fresh spring water. I'd say the nose is right on for the style. Nothing spectacular but within spec.

Taste (3.75) : Flavorful ripe pumpkin with dashes of coriander and pepper here or there. A small hint of hazelnut. Rather delectable, ends semi-bitter with a pumpkin finish. You get more spice out of the bottle. A little iron.

Mouthfeel (3.75) : Watery but creamy at the same time. It has about the right weight for an Oktoberfest, and is refreshing at the same time. Ends semi-dry.

Overall (3.93) : This is why we drink beer. To taste the good varieties and interesting beers that celebrate special times of the year, and to relax in our work. This Oktoberfest is another great example of a beer you can enjoy and savor the flavors of autumn. A good choice for the style.

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Photo of JParlow
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

Initially surprised by the ale in a lager dominated specialty. Nice color and great mouth feel but after that it fads. I'll stick to lagers for Octoberfest.

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Photo of Foyle
3.66/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a sudsy 2” cream colored head that recedes slowly with moderate lacing. Color is a clear amber with moderate carbonation streaming.
Aroma: rich yeast bread malts, caramel, and some floral hop.
Mouthfeel: light bodied, crisp, with a mostly dry finish.
Flavor: caramel and toffee are dominate, with a bit of nuttiness as well. Bread dough and enough hop bite for some balance.
Overall: well done and appropriate to the style.

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Photo of alphagnome
3.61/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A clear, deep orange body is on display wearing a finger thick, cream colored head. Light lacing and considerable carbonation. Fantastic curb appeal.

Light sweetness and light toffee and a hint of caramel. Nothing else.

Like the aroma, not a lot to write home about here... that said, I still found myself enjoying it. Incredibly light roasted malt character.. fresh bread and caramel.

Lighter carbonation and body than most offerings in the genre. Thin and watery, but easy to drink. Clean finish with no aftertaste.

I enjoyed this one quite a lot.. Easy to drink and inoffensive as they come, everyone should give this one a go.

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Photo of magictacosinus
1.85/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thanks, Dan. Strange that this is listed as an altbier. I suppose I should have poured into a stange glass, but whatever. Poured into a pint glass out of a 12oz bottle. Bottling date is listed as "08/12/13."

Pours an amber copper color with a very modest, off-white head that seems to settle as soon as I pour it into the glass. Amazingly, in spite of its fizzy consistency, it remains as a light right around the glass, thanks to the enormous amount of bubbles and carbonation that make themselves visible as they rise to the top. Leaves no stickiness, and lacing is pretty much inexistent. No idea how to rate this to style, but I'm sure it could look better.

The aroma reveals some caramel, toffee, light pine, grass... And that's about it. There's a brief green apple and acetone aroma that rises at the finish and coats the graininess and sweetness from the caramel, which is unpleasant. There's also some undeniable squash flavors lurking beneath. What's up with these flavors? They're strangely appealing (as in, begging to be paired with holiday related food), but it's kind of a jumbled mess. Quite poor, especially by this brewery's standards.

The flavor is brief venture into the caramel/toffee territory that it was going towards, and then in come the veggie notes. Squash, pumpkin, and cabbage permeate, with some light melon notes and acrid grassiness from the hops. Apparently this wasn't brewed with any adjuncts, but at this point, why didn't they just rebrand it as a "pumpkin beer" in light of the issue? Tastes stale and anemic, especially with the raspy grainy flavor and faded hop profile. Also, I can't help but notice this diacetyl texture that continues to waft its way through with each additional sip, which made this buttery, funky, and simply wrong.

Horrible stuff - I realize this is an older bottle but it should have held up better than this. Alas, I'm reviewing this because I feel that even in its freshest stages does it retain these off flavors throughout. Am I crazy, or did I get a bad bottle or something? Not anything I'd want to revist again - and I could definitely say the same for most of Widmer's beers at this point.

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Photo of bark
3.31/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The colour is gold-orange (15 EBC), the liquid is clear. Finger thick head, no lacing, no retention.

The smell is smooth. Caramel/toffee. Sweet notes of dried fruits and some floral flavours.

The taste is fresh and malty with dried exotic fruits, caramel, and hay. Very light bitterness, just enough to create a fine balance. Some cardboard and boiled vegetables in the background. Medium body. The aftertaste is fresher with malty caramel flavours, hay and dried flowers.

Fresh small long-lived bubbles. The liquid is light.

More caramel and fruits than expected: Not really a classic altbier, but still an OK beer.

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Photo of archyquaffer
3.57/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served from a 12 ounce bottle into an 8 ounce sampling glass. This was bought at a convenience store, and was being stored warm. Freshness date of August, 2013 (purchased and reviewed in early November). A moderate pour produces about 1/2 inch of frothy head, which reduces quickly into a chunky lacing. The color is a yellowish brown with red highlights and crystal clear, with light carbonation.

I get some chocolate and caramel on the nose, with not much hop character. Toasty and bready flavors are predominant. Clean finish with maybe a bit of citrusy hops. Easy drinking.

This was a good value at about 7.50 a sixer, despite the fact that it wasn't as fresh as it could be.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, orange/amber color with a quarter of a finger of white head, speckled with orange highlights, which quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Not much in the aroma department. Faint hits of malt and brown sugar. Some subtle hops aroma too.

Taste: Malty upfront, like freshly baked baguettes, followed by some brown sugar/caramel-like sweetness, finished by some nicely balanced hoppy bitterness. There’s a long finish to this beer too.

Mouthfeel: Medium, with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.3%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Pretty good American version of an Oktober fest beer, and a little surprising coming from Widmer Bros., who’s beers tend to be much hoppier than this, too hoppy for my taste. This one is very well balanced and tasty.

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Photo of MaltyCrock
3.05/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very much an okay nothing special beer IMHO. Cool name and interesting bottle art convinced me to pick up a six pack of this, and Portland beers tend to be good.

A: Nice mid/deep amber color, looks like a beer should, good 2 inches of white lacy foam.
S: Weak malty, slightly zesty, flat
T: Starts a bit sweet, turns citrusy, ends a bit bitter, in general a weak tasting beer, not lacking taste, but if I didn't know I was drinking a beer I wouldn't know I was drinking a beer....know what I mean?
M: Thin
O: I was looking for a seasonal brew to get me pumped for Halloween, something better than the tried and true Sam Adam's Seasonal fare, this was not the beer I was looking for. Maybe I can hand it out with the candy this coming Thursday...to the parents.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.14/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled on 10/15/13. Chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a pretty burnt orange in color with a 1-finger off white head that hangs around for a while. Good lacing was seen with each sip. The aroma is of some caramel, spice and hops. Very nice! The taste was the same and much better than other "Oktober" brews I have tried. Very smooth actually and went down easy.

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Photo of vkv822
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz : tulip

Pours a very slightly hazy burnt orange with a fizzy, bubbly off white head.

Caramel, malty goodness upfront, highlighted by some light hop notes of floral and spice.

Medium body, fizzy carbonation.

The malts are certainly the focal point in this one, with the hops doing a good job of adding some complimentary notes in the finish. A well done example of a tasty, malt-forward beer.

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Okto Festival Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.44 out of 5 with 500 ratings