Samuel Adams Octoberfest from the Boston Beer Company in Massachusetts pours a very nice amber-ruby colour with a rather large off-white head that burns off quickly without leaving much lace, but gets retained as a fairly thick collar. This traditional German-style lager has a surprisingly hop-centric aroma over a solid base of caramel malts. There is some bread-like character and a hint of plum, but it’s kind of muted over all.
Samuel Adams Octoberfest tastes primarily of toasted caramel malts and has a brown bread quality. The beer has a nice balance between sweet and bitter, and a slight lemon zest character comes through in the dry finish. It is fairly thin-bodied with a medium carbonation level and a dry, syrupy resin feeling on the tongue. The aftertaste is bitter with a slight floral note.
The packaging of Samuel Adams Octoberfest features the brand’s familiar logo and an image of its namesake imposed over a scene depicting autumn-coloured trees that line a glassy river. A freshness date is notched into the side of the label and a brief description of the beer is printed on the neck label.
I find Samuel Adams Octoberfest a bit thin and mild for the style; it lacks the bold, robust toasted bread and dark fruit characteristics I’d normally look for in a Märzen. However, this is still an enjoyable, clean-tasting and highly drinkable effort that pairs well with pork, sausages, potatoes and sauerkraut.
You can find Samuel Adams Octoberfest as a fall seasonal release in much of North America and in limited quantities at select LCBO outlets here in Ontario.
Type: Märzen / Oktoberfest
Region: Massachusetts, Boston
Brewery: Boston Beer Company
Format Purchased: 6 x 355 mL
Alcohol Content: 5.5%