Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest | Highland Brewing

82 Reviews
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Highland Clawhammer OktoberfestHighland Clawhammer Oktoberfest

Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by SaCkErZ9 on 09-30-2008

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Reviews: 82 | Ratings: 305
Photo of Jericho7x
2.87/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Starting to try the style with many different brewers.

This is my second Oktoberfest beer to date. First was Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest (which I really liked)

Color is a beautiful deep caramel color. Head was thin, and lingered a little. My nose cannot pick out all the things others can, but this beer smelled along the lines of the rest of the type. Taste: This one seems a little light and watery to me. A lot of carbonation. Not really much with malts or hops. Finish is pretty clean.

Overall, not something I would buy again, and not something I would recommend.

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Photo of goblue3509
2.93/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazt orangish gold color with an orangish one finger fluffy head. The aroma is of caramel malt, toffe, and butterscotch. The taste has a watery toffee taste up front with a caramel malt backbone a hint of anise and very small hop bite. The taste is a lil watery and not as strong as other marzen. The mouthfeel was a little watery with moderate carbonation. Overall it was okay it was a little watery and weak. I liked the taste just wish there was more there.

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Photo of KonigObHops
2.96/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This beer poured a deep copper color with a thin white head that dissapated quickly.

There was very little aroma, but had some faint hop notes.

The initial taste was lightly sweet. Ther was a light malty taste with a hint of caramel underneath some faint hops in the middle. The beer finished with a sweet hoppy taste.

Mouthfeel was crisp with above average carbonation.

Overall this was a decent Oktoberfest. Seemed like a light version of the style. Very drinkable, but not at all complex. Even lighter floaters than a Spaten Oktoberfest.

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Photo of jwc215
2.97/5  rDev -18%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing this back from N.C. for me!

Pours light orange amber with a thin, disappearing head. More hazy than a lager should be, I'm thinking.

The smell is bready/yeasty - almost medicinal/ herbal.

The taste is of light/thin caramel with floral/herbal notes, slightly metallic. It has a bitterish, dry finish.

It is on the light side of medium bodied.

This is an herbal/spicy O-fest. Different. Even out of style a bit, it is somewhat clumsy. Hoppy, but not quite in the right direction for what I'm thinking it should be. Maltiness is a bit light. Interestingly, I thought the Shining Rock Lager, though it fits bock well enough, could pass itself off as a better "O-fest" than this one.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this Oktoberfest from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a clear orange color, produced a thin white head, poor retention and below average lacing left on the glass. The aroma of this brew consisted of malted grain, caramel and spice. Medium bodied, a foundation of fresh baked bread, caramel and mild hop bitterness. Overall average Oktoberfest style, better offerings to be found. Prost!

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Photo of RyanPoff
3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle.

A: Pours a dark copper color with about a finger of head, moderate lacing, but little retention. Good but not noteworthy.

S: Toasty, bready malts, but other than that, not a lot going on.

T: Again, a heavy maltiness, some pepper spice, and a hint of hops. Decent, but not memorable.

M: A very thin and watery feel, in spite of its freshness.

Just a poor outing from Highland, which usually makes very high quality stuff.

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Photo of Owlish1
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look - beautiful, clear, copper color
Smell - almost none
Taste - pleasant, bright, slight hoppy finish
Feel - light to medium body, nice carbonation
Overall - nice, very drinkable.
This is my second review ever. My first taste of an Oktoberfest. Since I am not familiar with the style, I'm not sure how this compares. As I learn more about the style, I might want to revisit this review.

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Photo of botham
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tasting glass. pours a rich crystal clear amber color with a minimal head after a hard pour.

aroma is mildly grainy with caramel malts and another note of sweet crystal malts. the grainy note gets more pronounced as it warms a bit.

taste follows the nose with the same grainy note with a semi-sweet character and rich notes of caramel malts.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with a malty, mildly crisp character, along with a hollow finish that leaves little for the palate after the fact.

drinkability is decent. for a marzen, but it ends up a bit hollow in character. it drinks relatively well, but falls short of anything special.

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Photo of 88caprice
3.14/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

Look: Clear, with a nice copper color. One finger head that dissipated quickly. Minimal thin lacing. Active bubbles.
Smell: Very faint malty smell with a slight tart edge. Very little aroma at all. No alcohol in the nose.
Taste: Some mild malty notes with some slightly tart "high notes." A hint at some breadiness that never fully comes through. Taste matches style, but lacks richness.
Mouthfeel: Goes down easy, very drinkable. Medium light body that's a bit thin. Active carbonation early on, but feeling flat by the end of the glass.
Overall: This is a decent brew that could pair well with a nondescript mood. All the style attributes are there, but nothing stands out or grabs attention. If you're in an Oktoberfest mood, this one falls short of a Paulaner, Seirra Nevada, or Duck Rabbit (IMO).

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Photo of tillmac62
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

BOD 7/7/15. Pours a clear medium amber. Very good (for a lager) head volume, lacing and retention.

Very light nose of biscuit with caramel notes.

Heavy light body that is somewhat smooth. Superb carbonation with a nice effervescent middle and a finely bubbled burst in the finish.

The flavor profile is good. Reasonable intensity, lacks complexity but is very well balanced. It begins with a toasty biscuit that is more cracker than sweet. The middle brings an extremely light hop flavor (herbal) and bitterness. A brief hint of caramel emerges at the start of the finish. The finish is semi-dry and a herbal hop note lingers.

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Photo of atsprings
3.26/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the pit served in a 10oz glass a crisp orange with a thin head that diminishes to a thin layer that diminishes but leaves decent spotty lacing on the glass. The aroma is slight sweet malts, but not much there. The taste is a decent blend of sweet malts and earthy hops. The beer is light, crisp and refreshing. This is nothing more than a mediocre attempt at an Oktoberfest, I expect better from Highland.

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Photo of Cervezaconcalor
3.27/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured this one into the Sam Adams glass

A - Light golden color with a nice two finger head filling the Sam Adams glass perfectly.

S - Malty and fruity

T - You get fruit from the nose with malts up front that finishes pretty quick.

M - Smooth and almost creamy

O - Good beer but not a great Oktoberfest. I would drink another but not if I was buying.

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Photo of fsvan
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into pint glass.

A- Bright, clear, radiant gold. A finger of barely off white head. About half of that hangs around for a while.

S- A sweetness. Bready malt. A slight hop bitterness. Not bad, but not a huge nose on this one.

T- A typical marzen sweet malt profile, with an American-inspired little hop bite not noticed in the German version (by me, at least.) The finish is slightly metallic.

M- Medium bodied. Nice for the style.

O- A decent marzen. That metallic finish hurts it a fair amount.

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Photo of mattsdenney
3.32/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Golden amber in color, thin head. Scents of cider, straw, bread, and malt. Great flavor, well balanced malt with mild peppery hops. Tastes of saltine cracker, toasted bread, fresh cut grass. Aftertaste is mild. Mouthfeel is light bodied, low carbonation, pretty nice. Overall a good tasting fall option, very drinkable.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.32/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Found a bottle of this when we were in the OBX visiting. Consumed on 9/22/09. Reviewed from notes.

Poured into my pint glass a crystal clear pale orange. Minimal bubbles rising through. 1 inch white head on top. Some retention, little lacing. Smell of earthy dull bitterness mixed some hints of caramel sweetness.

The mouth is thin and lacking carbonation on the tongue. Mild flavor on this one. Some sweet caramel, slight bittering hops in the middle. Nothing noteworthy about this one at all. Pretty average, tame, and unoffensive.

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Photo of outdoor7or24
3.32/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz poured into pint glass.
A: light caramel orange, thin off white foam head, very little lacing, carbonation

S: hops, biscuit, caramel, toasted malt, some faint floral notes

M: thin, carbonation

T: hops up front followed by biscuit, toasted malt, some caramel sweetness ending with some metallic taste

O: good marzen brew that is worth trying

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap to a bright reddish orange with thin off white head and slight lacing throughout the glass. Aroma was a faint fruity (orange and apples) with a backdrop of spices and cookie dough. Mouthfeel was medium bodied nd slightly tingly, and the flavor brought out more of the doguh and spicy fruits. Finish slightly spicy and refreshing.

Not bad.

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Photo of marcfromphilly
3.36/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Long time ago 'twas my favorite October beer. But times have changed and this palate has grown. This shit is weak as fuck, copper taste and watered down, no smell or character.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a light golden amber color, completely transparent with a thin off white head.

S-sweet caramel malts up front as an earthy bready malt takes over, notes of metallic phenol lie in front of a spicy herbal hop character.

T-caramel and bready malts, thick malt body up front, phenols stronger in the taste, a little metallic, crisp spicy herbal hops with light bitterness in the finish.

M-medium to full body, thick and slightly stick malt body are rather present with a crisp semi dry finish.

D-relatively drinkable with bold malt flavors and well balanced hop presence. good feel to it with a hint of phenol that does seem to detract from the overall taste and aroma.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, orange-amber body with a thin, white head and a few steady streams of carbonation.

Smell: Soft, light nose with only mild notes of bread malts, caramel, apple, florals, and spice.

Taste: Mild-tasting mixture of crisp grains and bread with a lightly sweet-tasting touch of caramel. Spicy, floral-toned Noble hops with a moderate amount of bitterness. Small hint of fresh orchard fruit arrives late. Dry, lightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-plus carbonation providing for a carbonic bite.

Drinkability: It's an adequate, American-born Oktoberfest. Clawhammer will do in an O-fest pinch, but there're definitely better to have out there.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.39/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours a semi-cloudy, copper/orange color with a half of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that covered the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Very malty, very bready. Strong notes of cereal and caramel. Subtle notes of black pepper and clover, however, I get nothing in the way of hops.

Taste: Very similar to the aroma. Very malty and bready up front, with pepper spice and orange peel. There’s some pleasant caramel-like sweetness, finished by some nicely balanced hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly thin. With an ABV of only 5.8%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a pretty solid beer. Not great, but not at all bad either. It’s definitely worth a try, and I’d have it again, but I’m not going out of my way for it either.

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Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
3.39/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received on Trade.

A - Amber/Orange color with very light quarter finger head that fades quickly with an even mixture of large and small bubbles.

S - Smells of Cinnamon, Citrus, Nutmeg, Powdered Sugar, and Honey.

T - Honey, Nutmeg, Citrus, and Cinnamon.

M - Light to Medium Carbonation with a slight Oily texture.

D - Good and drinkable for a light Oktoberfest beer.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The thought of Highland brewing an Octoberfest excited me, so I purchased a couple 12 oz. bottles to taste. The label informs me it is a lightly colored, but toasty, rich full bodied marzen with German malt and German noble hops.

Poured into a Highland pint glass, the beer is a lighter amber peach hued bodied beer with a white head that sticks around for quite a bit and leaves some lacing down the glass.

The aroma is less bready and more earthy spicy hop aromas than most in the style.

The flavor is caramel malt up front, but a noticeable hop character soon follows with a spice kick.

The mouthfeel is on the lightside of medium with a good bit of carbonation.

What this beer lacks in maltiness, it makes up for in the spice hop character. To me, it is a bit more "balanced" than many completely malty Ofests. Some of the traditional German brewed versions aren't quite as malt forward as many craft brewers in the US are making theirs. To me this is a good beer that resembles something of both the traditional German marzens as well as the American brewed versions.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear light orange, yellow that is lighter than normal with a thin white head.

nice smell of biscuit, bread and some faint fruit.

Taste is a somewhat sharp and surprisingly tart with a lagery metallic finish. Not what I expected.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, but overall this isn't what I expected for the style, but maybe that is what Highlands was trying for. I didn't love it.

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Photo of bboven
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Does Highland brew all their seasonals without rye?

Appearance is right on in color, bright orange. However, there is little head and it's cloudy.

Oktoberfest aromas are there, but there is also a high peppery note from either rye or hops.

Taste is the same. Peppery and a little too bitter for the style, but good.

Mouthfeel is crisp, clean, highly carbonated. Spot on.

Very, very good beer and great offshoot of the style. Not a true oktoberfest, but tasty in its own right. Would certainly buy again.

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Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest from Highland Brewing
3.62 out of 5 based on 305 ratings.
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