tugdriver7 (26) - Maryland, USA - SEP 8, 2005
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
My favorite Oktoberfest. Not as dark or as creamy as some others, but phenomenally refreshing and tasty. The best part is that, like the Saranac Lager, there is no aftertaste... so it’s very drinkable!
Odyn (265) - New York, USA - AUG 12, 2009
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Slightly hoppy aroma with hints of toffee. Brown amber color with caramel notes in the flavor and especially in the aftertaste. A great seasonal offering!
mkobes (2138) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - OCT 9, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
In my books not considered an O'fest. More like a read ale. Very good beer though. It has nice malt flavors. Reddish color to the beer. Some malt and some hops, but not much. Not much to distiguish about this beer, but it drinkable.
rampmaster (642) - Alden, New York, USA - OCT 3, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.
Appearance: The body has a medium amber color with good clarity and a modest size, just off white head. It fades quickly down to a very thin covering that makes only a little slick lacing.
Smell: Its aroma has herbal hop notes with light hints of sweet caramel and bready malt.
Taste/Mouth feel: The flavor has an average but still very good mix of sweet caramel and bready malt with spicy/herbal and mildly floral hops. It has a solid medium body with a soft texture and carbonation. The finish leans a bit towards the hops and the drinkability is very good.
Notes: Overall it’s a solid yet safe Oktoberfest beer.
cblack85 (36) - Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA - DEC 15, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass
This beer pours a clear light copper/amber-orange color with a nice off white head (about two fingers worth). Very little in the way of head retention, and not much in the way of lacing either.
Caramel and bready malts are the main attraction, very clean and aromatic. Just a slight hint of floral and spicy hops provides a bit of balance to keep the aroma from being too sweet.
Bready malts (slightly toasted) provide the backbone of the beer; with bits of caramel sweetness, spicy & floral hops, and earthy undertones to round it out. Medium/light bodied and moderately carbonated. This beer is very clean and crisp, and finishes slightly dry. Not overly sweet, this beer is easy to drink, and light enough to be able to drink several of during a sitting.
A little lighter than I am used to with this style, but very nice over all. Not terribly complex, but nicely done.
Braudog (5459) - Hampton, Virginia, USA - AUG 21, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle - Poured with a nice big head over a nicely shiny amber beer. The aroma is pure malt. The beer drinks smooth, with a definite cereal basis and nicely rounded light hop bitterness to finish it. Think this one is underrated.
whtguitarguy (6) - Virginia, USA - DEC 20, 2009 does not count
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours to a medium amber brown with a nice head that doesn’t go away to quickly. It coats the glass well. Aroma is of hops with a sweet note hidden in the background. Pleasantly bitter and smooth finish. Not a lot of aftertaste. This is a light-medium bodied Maerzen. It isn’t too creamy like some other examples.
DosWeenos99 (10) - Park Ridge, New Jersey, USA - DEC 21, 2002
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Extremely drinkable, one not to limit to only the fall. Bought a few cases to drink all winter long.
dlovell2 (537) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - OCT 25, 2007
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Clear Amber color with white head. Malty, hoppy aroma. Hoppy start with caramel finish with crisp hops after swallowing.
Chad9976 (1066) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 29, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I’m so lazy that I’m tempted to copy and paste my 2009 review of Saranac Octoberfest, change a word or two, and call it my 2012 review of this beer. I’ve been re-reviewing a lot of Marzen-style brews over the last month and my opinion on all of them has changed by at least a grade or two, but this is the only beer that will score exactly the same all these years later.
I poured a 12oz bottle into an official Saranac shaker glass.
Appearance: Perfectly copper colored body, clear with small, slow carbonation visible. Forms an average size, off-white, frothy head which mostly dissipates, but does leave plenty of lacing on the glass.
Smell: A lager without the generic smell and certainly nothing off-putting. A slightly sweet aroma of dark cereal grain and slight earthy, autumn scents. Otherwise mild.
Taste: Most Oktoberfestbiers, German or American, tend to be sweet, but Saranac Octoberfest is bit different. While there are subtle flavors of toffee and caramel, the most prominent feature of the palate is a nuttiness. It’s slightly dry, bitter and rustic - akin to a peanut shell rather than the nut itself. There’s a distinct hop component to this brew you don’t get in most of the style. It’s a mild spicy sensation from the German noble hops which pepper the palate.
There’s a continual sweet flavor as well, reminiscent of hard candy and other confectionery flavors, plus a hint of toasted wheat bread. Caramel emerges strongly on the finish, which is a refreshing change and makes for a well-balanced palate. It’s flavorful and tasty to be sure, but still nothing absolutely amazing. This is what makes for a good American Oktoberfest-themed beer.
Drinkability: Though technically a lager, Saranac Octoberfest drinks like an ale. The body is calm, the mouthfeel is comfortable, and the finish is smooth and clean. Flavorful enough to pair with autumn festival meals like brats, baked beans, potatoes, etc, but mild enough to be refreshing. The 5.4% ABV weight is perfect for this beer as it’s definitely something you can drink two of in a row.