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 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 Hunter
2.15/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

appearance: Deep, dark amber brew topped by a wimpy head of thin white bubbles. No visible carbonation or lacing.

aroma: Very, very thin malt, faint notes of floral undertones.

taste: Not much different than iced tea. Aftertaste has some bit of hop to it, but this is bland all around.

mouthfeel: Sharp and light.

drinkability: certainly drinkable, but with the abundance of quality seasonal ales out there this time of year, why settle?

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Photo of chezztone
2.15/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I love Widmer Brewery and I love Oktoberfest beers. And Widmer being a German-style brewer, you'd think they'd do a bang-up job with their Oktoberfest, eh? Alas, no. This is a big, round, strong, heavy beer. Like a Northwest ale without the hops. Completely misses the flavor and body of an Oktoberfest. Just kind of the blimp of beers. Pass.

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Photo of beertaster13
2.3/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a golden dark orange/yellow with a little white inch thick head that falls flat. Lacing is horrible, nothing to speak of. The smell is of grain, slight lime hints, very grainy, clean otherwise. Taste is lacing definition, the grain, wheat is detectible, malt is of watered down sugar, no hop content to speak of, medium bodied but doesn't offer that pizazz. Won't drink again.

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.31/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

An Oktoberfest ale?
I bought a bottle of this in a mixed six pack of Oktoberfests:

Poured a nice, ahem, amber and the head was pleasing and somewhat persistant.

The smell was fairly strong but I couldn't say it was malty or hoppy...it's vegetal?

The taste almost reminded me of cinnamon but that would have been a welcomed note at this point. I'm not the biggest fan of the style but this is one that I'm sure that I won't try again.

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Photo of iabeerbaron
2.36/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Surprising found this at Chameleon's in Mount Vernon, IA. "Pours a clear amber with a thin white head that disappears immediately. Smell of sweet malts, with just a hint of hops. A little watered down. Taste has malt, caramel, and some hops with just a tad of bitterness. I would say this would be a very average Octoberfest; nothing stands out.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
2.42/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Long day of watching Night Ranger and some other old school rock bands in the sun! Time to cool off...Pours a slightly cloudy reddish amber, no real head to speak of and not much, if any, lacing. Lightly carbonated also, so I'm guessing above average sweetness and chewy mouthfeel. Very faint aromas - maybe some maltiness and caramel, but not much. Flavor is thin and front-loaded with barley, in the middle, and on the finish it thins out to be hardly discernible. Not much hop character to balance it all out. Kind of too much malt. Actually, there is some hops in there now that I have a couple more sips: some right in the beginning, and right at the end, but it's faint, like that high school girl you crushed on...When you first met her you didn't think you had a chance, and then as a senior you decided to give it a go...and neither time worked out for you. Overall a disappointment and there isn't a lot going on here. Well priced six-pak brings up drinkability, but only slightly.

What I like Most: The color and price.

What I like Least: The thin flavor in the middle and finish.

Verdict: probably worth the price, but you get what you pay for.

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Photo of Padron4KM
2.46/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

pours a clear amber with a fluffy tan head that fades quickly, and leaves minimal lacing.

Aroma is sweet carmel malt, not much else.

Body is thin and watery.

Flavor is sweet, almost syrupy and has a little metalic quality in the finish.

I’ll finish the sixer, because it’s there, and I’d drink one if someone gave me, but I won't be buying it again.

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Photo of zimm421
2.46/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Bottle dated September 07, 2011. Poured fairly aggressively. Has one finger of off-white head. The head is bubbly and doesn't stick around long. Appears a dark copper color. Fairly clear.

Nose is pretty muted, but has notes of sweet caramel and lots of bready malts. No balance here. All sweet from what little aroma there is. Taste is very bready as well. Some spiciness, but mostly sweet. A decen tbalance in the taste, but again pretty bland.

Mouthfeel is medium-light, average carbonation. The lack of taste and feel makes this go down so easiliy. Overall, a pretty boring beer. Not interesting or enticing at all, just something that goes down easy.

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Photo of livingregret
2.48/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Serving Type: 12oz bottle

Appearance: Pours a lovely orange colour w/ nice clarity. Plenty of lacing makes for a nice looking brew

Smell: Some floral w/ a lot of malt and lemony smell.

Taste: Hmmm not what I was expecting. Tasted much like a IPA than a Oktoberfest. If you sip the beer you get some sweet malt and a strong lemon/grapefruit flavour. When taking a big mouthful it doesn't change a whole lot but you get a touch more of the malt. The beer does go down easy enough but a bit thin.

Drinkability: I'm not a huge fan of IPA's...and that's what this beer reminds me of

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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 Halcyondays
2.52/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle,

A: Very good, bright orange colour, almost red, with a nice, white head, which has excellent retention and lace.

S: Very light, some toasted malts, and a bit of apple.

T: Toasty, bready malts, this is an ale though, it does have a bit of fruitiness, unique to an Oktoberfest, but overall, I found the flavour to be below average, and a little unappealing and metallic.

M: Light, sort of watery, smooth though, easy to drink.

D: A below average Oktoberfest in my opinion, they probably should have stuck to making a lager instead of spinning this into an ale. I'll finish the 6-pack with no problem, it wasn't that bad, but I won't be buying this again.

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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 Herky21
2.62/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Light, creamy brown. Not much of a head.

SMELL: Not much to smell, a little malt on the end, maybe a slight nutty scent.

Taste: Hops are slight, with a fairly refreshing Oktoberfest, fall taste. One-note, slight hop taste.

Mouthfeel: Could be more carbonated, doesn't have much going on.

Overall: Hard to come up with comments for this one, it's a pretty flat beer in general. It has all the good makings of an Oktoberfest, but all of the flavors need to be more pronounced. Bigger flavor. There just isn't much there.

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Photo of tlazaroff
2.64/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours out a dark orange/brown with a nice thick tan head with interesting (minimal) lacing.

S: Picking up some bready and caramel notes mixed together like someone just had baked a fresh caramel danish or something. Very nice.

T: Right way I am hit with caramel, like I just bit into a caramel square, but it soon gives way to the presence of alcohol.

M: This beer is a tad dry, and somewhat chalky in the mouthfeel. It is a medium, bordering full body with lower-moderate carbonation.

D: Not high on my list, this beer just isn't that good.

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Photo of CRichardsMN
2.73/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a bright orange with a thin ring of head that leaves a nice sticky lace.

Pretty average smell of light malts with some flowery citrus hops that don't typically show up in an Oktoberfest.

Sweet caramel and malts, light flowery hops and bit of spice and citrus. Smell is actually larger than the taste.

Medium body and crisply carbonated. Average at it's best.

Though a little off of the typical Oktoberfest / Marzen with the inclusion of a trace of hops, this is again, at best, an average beer.

Bought this on the Oktoberfest spree with no preconceptions of what it would be. Not bad but I can do without the hops in this style. I know it says Altbier but is more of a weird O.

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Photo of Buebie
2.75/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a deep amber with redish hues, very good color here, love that its darker, yet its still transparent. Good head staying power, pouring to an inch or so of thick whipped cream froth. Retenttion is good and lace is stellar. Thick and clingy.

Aroma seems a bit off as compared to other marzen-fest beers. I will blame that on the ale yeast. Mild fruity esters though, also a stinky cheese smell, or sweaty feet.
Behind that though is a multi layered aroma with breadyness, malt and sweet aromas. Stinky feet aroma unfolds to just a cheese aroma and honey malt. Weird....

Taste contains a good amount of malt and bready flavor, with a rye spice but falls off into nothingness. Bland and not very interesting.

I love Widmer beers, but this one is not getting allot of love from me. Taste is somhwat bland, aroma is not pleasant and it just doesnt have the flavors that it should in my opinion. Although with an ale yeast that could be one of the factors, but even still it is not somthing I'll return to.

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Photo of loren01
2.8/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a mahogany color, smallish head that dissipated quickly
S: Sweet malty scent, biscuty
T: Same as smell, malty biscut flavors. Could be much more flavorfull
M: Mild on the carbonation, was a tad bit flat
D: I was somewhat disapointed with this beer. Had it last year and I thought it was pretty good actually. Don't think I'd drink this again

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Photo of chumba526
2.8/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a translucent but dark orange color with an off white colored head that's the size of my pinky.

It smells of sweet caramel, bready malt. There is a slight grassy/ floral hop smell as well.

It tastes quite grainy; there is a slight bit of caramel flavor. There is also a slight unpleasant metallic flavor as well. There is a slight grassy hop taste.

Carbonation is moderate high.

Drinkability is ok, I guess average for the style.

Overall not a bad beer but not particularly good just kind of bland. There are far better Oktoberfest beers out there.

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Photo of JohnfromDublin
2.81/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Tasted on 21st Oct 2005. a 355ml bottle, with a batch date of AUG0405. No reference on the label to the ABV.

Poured a dark amber liquid with a tan head. Slight haze.

Smell: very faint maltiness. Reminded a little of Palm beer (BL).

Taste: not complex, malty. A bit sharp.
Mouthfeel:okay, a little syrupy.
Drinkability: Should be easier to find a better beer for a follow up.
Not too bad, though.

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Photo of bennetj17
2.82/5  rDev -18%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tannish orange color, slight haze. Faint crust of head yields to a weak ring in a moment. The appearance is dull and flat. Faint macro-like aroma with only the slightest hint of caramel malt. Nutty and dry in taste, lightly roasty with a tame bitter finish. Hint of leafy hop flavor. Light body, but not watery at least. Average carbonation. The drinkablility is average, no off flavors to speak of. I would label it "approachable" at best...

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Photo of kjyost
2.83/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Bottle BB Aug, 2011 sold in a mixed 12 that was packaged on June 26th, sold at Happy Harry's, 45th St Fargo. Poured ~4C into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: Rich amber body with a nice white tea that offers up some lacing. Good start.
S: Not too sure what to make of it here... Lots of malt, some fruity esters coming through. Caramel, sweet malts, but lots more esters than I expect for a fake Oktoberfest Lager.
T: Once again and odd beer. It comes off for a moment as a standard Oktoberfest, with sweet malts and a light body. Fruity esters then come through and finish with a weird sticky metallic bitterness on the front of the tongue that just won't go away.
M: Strong carbonation, weird bitterness. Unpleasant aftertaste of metallic nature...
O: Honestly, I think I'd rather have a Bud.

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Photo of xoqx
2.85/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Light amber color, with a 3 finger head that diminishes rapidly to a thin sheet; reappears nicely with each sip. Very light lacing top to bottom.

Smell: malt, slight cantaloupe hints.

Taste: Malts step out in front, as they should in this style, but not much else happens with this beer. There are some subtle hops imparting some slight bitterness, but this all happens way behind the scenes.

Mouthfeel: A touch on the watery side unfortunately detracts from the mouthfeel which ends up on the lighter side of what one wants with this beer.

Drinkability. I had a second one, but then a few sips into it, I wish I had decided on something else. Not much to hold my interest with Widmer Brothers Okto.

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Photo of RJLarse
2.85/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a six-pack of Widmer Okto at a grocery to taste review and enjoy. My first Octoberfest Ale of the season. I poured this beer in to a pint tumbler.

Pours a pale copper color and is clear. A tiny head formed and dissipated quickly to nothing.

The smell is faint, sweet and malty. There are some faint fruit aromas.

The taste is also sweet and malty. There are some sweet caramel and grain flavors, with a mild hop finish.

The mouth feel is thin and a little watery and flat.

This is a drinkable beer, and representative of the style, but I think it lacks character. It could be more full flavored. I'll be looking for a better Octoberfest Ale this year, and I'm sure I'll find one.

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Photo of emmasdad
2.91/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked one of these up last week as part of a mixed six pack. Expectations were not high, and this beer did not fail to live down to them. Pours a dark amber color, with a good inch or so of tan foam. Aromas of caramel, sweet malt and not much more. Similar on the palate, somewhat hoppy with a long, bitter finish.

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