Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest | Highland Brewing

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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 Brubaker
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

OK, let me state for the record that i DO NOT LIKE OKTOBERFESTS. They are sickly sweet to me.

A- Golden amber. 1 finger head. Clear.

S- Malty & mild.

T- Dark sugars. Strong Bready flavor.

M- Smooth. Medium textured. Light & dry.

O- It's an OK mild different sort of Oktoberfest. Drinkable (for me). I gave it ratings i think it deserved independent of my preferences.

Might Drink
Wouldn't Buy
Wouldn't Make.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Thanks to my buddy Trask in NC for this brew!

A- burnt ornage in color with a half finger head. NIce lacing and has some staying power on the top of my beer.

S- biscuit malts and i think i get hints of cherry.

F- taste is ame as falvor but i do get more of a sour apple taste than cherry.

M- spiced candy hangs around in the mouth and it is light bodied and crisp

O- Not a bad Marzen, the taste is average but it is a beer you can pound back.

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Photo of rangerred
3.69/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear rich copper with a one finger off-white head. Average head retention and lacing.

A really nice aroma. Biscuit and toasted malt along with a little bit of candy. Also some earthyness and grassy hops.

Flavor takes off with biscuit malt and some candy sweetness. Toffee and caramel is there along with a little bit of coffee. A little bit of wet hay along with a light bitterness. Finish is a bit on the sticky side but clean overall.

A decent Oktoberfest but not a whole lot that makes it stand out above the rest. I do like the extra bit of toast and biscuit in this one, though, and it is worth picking up.

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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 Apellonious
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from six at CM.

A- clear, full orange with brownish red highlights. Thin head that moves quickly to a thin lace.

S - toast, grains, faint malt

T - clean, slightly bitter, bread, toasted grains.

M - good level of carbonation. Prefect amount of heft for the style.

O - I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. The flavors are more subtle (note it is better when not proceeded with a stronger tasting beer) but a great rep for the style.

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Photo of 160Shillings
4.87/5  rDev +34.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: The aroma is crisp clean lager, rich melanoidin malt with a hint of toasted malt.
Appearance: Pours with a fine off-white head that collapses into thin, but firm cap. The color is on the light side being deep gold to light amber.
Flavor: Starts with a malty sweetness up front, then quickly moves to a crisp dry finish. Hop bitterness is moderate without being lingering. The result is a flash of sweet malt, quickly overtaken by bitterness than gives way to a clean dry finish, then you’re ready for another swallow.
Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation, but fully attenuated and doesn’t linger on the tongue.
Overall Impression: A rich display of melanoidin malt that doesn’t overwhelm or linger, finishes clean and dry.
Comments: Don’t drink this beer too cold! The rich and complex flavors really come out as this beer warms. This is my favorite Highland beer and my favorite commercial Oktoberfest. This one is everything but perfect for an Oktoberfest.

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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 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 chinchill
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle served in a Highland Brewing pint glass. Lightly revised in September 2015.

A wee bit different, with a slight darker orange-gold body and more flavor from noble hops. Crystal clear with a proper looking level of carbonation. The medium-ligh carbonation is well-chosen, and gives this beer a light crispness. The smallish off-white head has limited duration and leaves little lacing. The aroma features bready German malts with some spicy and herbal notes from the hops. The hops come more to the fore in the near semi-dry and lasting finish.

O - refreshing and very good for style. Now, if only someone would hand me a large Bavarian pretzel.

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Photo of welldigger888
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured like a helles with clear golden hues a nice just off white head and some lacing.

Malty goodness enveloped in a hop forward fashion. Caramel and quality grain for sure.

Smooth caramel like goodness with a firm malt backbone that leads into a nice american style hop goodness. tropical type fruit and a distinct noble hop flavor for sure.

Seems to me to be medium .

This is a quality redition of a classic.

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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 robwestcott
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured cold from the bottle to a sun king shaped pint glass a translucent copper with a wisp of a short lasting white head.

aroma of floral hops and cotton candy (?).

hoppy, toffee and burnt caramel.

light carbonation, medium bodied, sweet malts, no bitter.

drinkable - yep.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A deep orange-red body with no head to speak of to really speak of.

S: A nice aroma of spices (clove & cinnamon), toasted caramel malts, and hints of fruity/floral hops.

T: An upfront dry, toasted caramel malt profile followed by brown sugar, grains, and spices, & ends with a crisp hoppy bite. Very well balanced.

M: Light to medium body, a dry and smooth texture, & low carbonation.

D: Although this is a decent beer, I wouldn't go out of my way to drink it again. In my humble opinion it's slightly off for the style. Yes I would drink it again, and if I had more then 1 I would have probably drank 3 of these. However, like I said, there are better ones out there that I enjoy more.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 09/17/2010:

A: It pours a clear light brown color with red hues and a small fizzy head that dies quickly.

S: Caramel, butterscotch, banana, and toffee.

T: It tastes nearly identical as it smells but with honey and cereal grains being the main flavors on the back end.

M: It has a medium-light body and is a bit bubbly but never turning creamy.

D: It is very easy drinking and tasty; it's pretty spot on for a Marzen.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
4.02/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep orange color with a thin off white head and tons of residual lacing. Smells very nice of clove and cinnamon with hints of malty goodness. Strong spice throughout with tons of clove, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and maybe some pepper with subtle hints of pumpkin and a slight bitterness from the hops. Mouthfeel is thick and carbonation is heavy but well done. Drinkability is high and it is very nice. Go get some!

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Photo of billab914
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Sam Adams pint glass. It poured a crystal clear copper color with a thin white head to it. The head had faded to a thin dusting after a minute or so and it didn't leave much for lacing on the glass either. Nice color though.

The aroma has a toasted malt and caramel flavor to it with just a touch of hop bitterness. Pretty good aroma for the style, it's pretty balanced and also flavorful.

The taste is similar to the aroma in that toasted malts and caramel make up the bulk of the flavors. A little of the caramel sweetness starts to come through towards the finish. Some hop bitterness helps balance it out overall. Pretty good tasting beer for the style.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it was a good beer of the style and quite drinkable. It had some nice flavors to it and was pretty well balanced. A pretty good drinking beer overall.

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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 DanThomas
3.54/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Rather disappointing. No head whatsoever, even on the pour, light copper and cloudy.

S- Surprisingly strong. There's a solid spice throughout, appropriate for the season, with hints of clove and cinnamon.
there's a certain sweetness to the smell too.

T- Starts crisp and sharp with the spices that were on the nose and then transitions to the malts which dominate the rest of the taste. Certainly good, but I wish the malts were a little more complex. As the beer has warmed a bit this has started to happen. The taste certainly isn't strong; this is a marzen very much on the lighter side.

M- Carbonation is too sharp, the beer doesn't have the richness and depth that I was looking for. Without a crisp finish, the malts coat the mouth a little bit too much.

D- Very easy drinker, and I wouldn't mind another, but I can think of many other beers I'd seek out before this one.

Highland has a habit of brewing beers that are very unique takes on their style, and I have almost always loved their beers; this is the first one I've had from them that has left me underwhelmed.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured yellow-orange with a half finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of malt, coriander, slight clove, and a very light hop note. The flavor was of malt, very subtle hop, with an increasing maltiness upon swallowing. It had a light feel on the palate with no carbonation. Overall this was an okay Oktoberfest. None of the flavors were very pronounced unfortunately. It did however go down really smooth. Decent beer, just not for its style.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass on 10/12/10

Burnt amber/orange color, similar to the color of leaves this time of year. Very clear. Bubbles are slow to be released from the walls. They can't maintain the head though as one finger becomes a patchy skim quickly. Very little lace.

The aroma strikes me a very earthy. Lots of toasted grain & a bready note that offers a robust, doughy aroma. Just a touch of malt sweetness. Nice flourishes of the Noble hops round it out.

There's a quick, floral hop flavor & very mild, bitter twinge up front. These peel back, leaving room for the malts to take center stage. Notes of toasted bread, grains & a touch of biscuit. Not particularly sweet. The hops return toward the finish.

Medium body with a dusty, almost gritty feel. Rather low carbonation seems right on point. The finish is pushing "coating" territory, caking residuals of grains & crusty hops.

Clawhammer is an easy enough drinking beer. Not overly impressive but solid. I've certainly enjoyed a few.

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Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Color is nice--amber/copper mix with streams of bubbly carbonation continually rising to the top. Head is sudsy and big bubbled. The ecru cap falls relatively quickly to a thin lace over the top. Not much lacing to speak of, but this style doesn't lend itself to that.

S: Sweet and spiced malty aroma. Caramel, notes of cinnamon, light apple fruitiness, and a touch of floral hops. Aroma is on the maltier/bolder side of the Marzen spectrum, and there isn't much Munich malt on the nose, either.

T&M: Flavor is a bit flat, which is surprising given the bold-ish aroma. A dry caramel flavor with hints of spice and a nondescript hoppy flavor balances things out on the back end. The key to a great Marzen, in my opinion, is nuance and balance. There's no fruitiness or other underlying flavor that props up the beer. Body is medium to full for a marzen, with a zippy carbonation.

D: Good enough, but a lighter body and smoother flavor would greatly enhance the drinkability. A serviceable Marzen, especially given the price, but I've had better.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.61/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If you have been following my recent reviews then you would have noticed that Ryanandawholebunchofnumbers have me a few beers, mostly some highland stuff. This is yet another one of those.

A- Really poor looking. No head, the standard clear orange beer. It could be my shaker pint (my perfect pint Is dirty) but I don't know.

S- Malty sweet with light hops. Lots of caramel and even cinnamon.

T- Tastes like bren flakes, raisin bran. An almost cinnamon spice with caramel and grain. Very sweet but enjoyable.

I like this much beyer than Bells oktoberfest.

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Photo of jpro
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Well, I'd never heard of Clawhammer Mountain until now... Picked up a few as part of an Asheville beer haul. Poured from the bottle into a standard shaker pint...

A: Clear amber; a rough pour yields a one-finger, cream colored, sudsy head that dissipates rather quickly and leaves a few specks of lace.

S: Rich malts (compared to the previous Oktoberfest I had, at least), toast, sweet breads, and a touch of caramel.

T: Very bready, with sweet maltiness; some spicy / zesty hops towards the finish (mid-swig, perhaps) provide some balance.

M: Medium-bodied; moderate to high carbonation; a touch watery on the finish, though.

D: A good brew, and a nice Oktoberfest from Highland.

Overall, I'd say this is a decent stab at the style. Compared to Sam Adams Octoberfest (the benchmark I use for most American Oktoberfests), it's slightly less malty and rich, but still a highly drinkable and enjoyable beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another one I had yet to try from Highland on tap. As I made my way through the fest I stopped to grab a couple of these as the copper colored liquid was about what I needed at that point in time. Nice head of white and ample carbonation rounded it out quite nicely.

Aroma is light, lots of caramel and muted grains, a touch of an herbal essence to it and a nice and laid back bready aroma. As I take a sip it is very clean, with a light to medium body that is more then amply carbonated. Small touch of bitter in the finish but mostly just a really nice bready and caramel heavy fest.

Overall a very solid example and something you could put down a few of with ease.

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