Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Samuel Adams Octoberfest

Samuel Adams

Brewed By:
Boston Beer Company
Boston, Massachusetts

Märzen / Oktoberfest

5.70% ABV

Pours a nice rich amber somewhat reddish, clear with an off white head. The initial head was very rich a little soapy. It looked like it was going to stray for a long time but it diminished to just a thin film on the top of the beer in a very short time.

The nose has some nice malts and hops aromas in it. Not the typical grainy smell of a lager but a richer caramel malt aromas with just a little hop bitterness sneaking in.

Highly carbonated somewhat refreshing but with an unpleasant finish. This is very disappointing, not a very good Oktoberfest at all. It’s not a really bad tasking beer but it’s not a very good beer either. There is a little more spice in this above what you would find in a standard amber lager. But behind all the good qualities of this beer is a very unpleasant almost metallic after taste.

Wow, I was really hoping that this would get better as it opened up but it’s not. This is an extremely disappointing Oktoberfest.

I wish I knew more about brewing beer so I could explain what this unpleasant taste is. It’s almost metallic but not quite. Sorry just can’t put my finger on it but it is very common in American lagers from the macro’s to Yuengling.

I guess I just expected more from Sam Adams. This is not a well crafted micro brew beer. Sam Adams has and should do a better job on this. This is at least the third year in a row I’ve noticed the quality of the Sam Adams Octoberfest decline. I was convinced 3 years ago that this was a very good Oktoberfest. Not as good as some of the German’s but a very good American version. Not the case at all with this one.

There are a lot of standard American lagers that are better than this beer let alone that this is suppose to be a very well aged and delightful brew.

As an Amber Lager I would give it a C at best. As an Oktoberfest it’s a D, and that’s being generous.


  1. I don't know if I could describe it like you did, but the Sam Adams Octoberfest was the first Octoberfest beer I ever had several years ago it it drove me to avoid the style altogether. However, based on our tasting this summer, I was driven to venture out a little more and bought the Leinekugel Oktoberfest just as it hit the shelf. Glad I tried something different.

  2. I think a D is pretty harsh for this beer. I've tried this offering through the years in bottles and found it to be rather nondescript at times. This year, I've found it on tap at a number of places. I had it at the Mendenhall Inn in Chadds Ford and it was delightful: it had that assertive Sam Adams characteristic blend of malt and hops with a dash of tangy sweetness that left a wonderful finish. Then I had it the at Hartefeld CC and it was back to being undistinguished, but not bad. Poor quality control on the brewer's part perhaps? At its best a B, at its worst a C in my book. Sometimes it reminds me of the Sierra Nevada special Harvest ales.

  3. Anonymous
    Thanks for commenting on this post. This beer is different every time I have it. This was the only one I had last year. The D may be harsh but I had some great Oktoberfest beers last year.

    I had this 3 times this year, 2 draft and 1 bottle. Even the 2 drafts were completely different one was pretty good and one very bad. I think thy had dirty beer lines with the bad one. The bottle was decent certainly not a D this year.

    I plan on reviewing one this year for a comparison.

    Thanks again for posting. Love to here comment from other beer enthusiast.