I’ve been reading some of my earliest reviews from 2008-09 and I’m
marveling at how my palate has changed over time. I got about halfway
through my glass of Samuel Adams Octoberfest and checked my original
review and was shocked to see that my observations and opinion of it
then is almost identical to how I feel now. This is a decent, highly
drinkable lager, but not necessarily an amazing one.
I poured a 12oz bottle into the official Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass.
Appearance: Pretty shade of copperish-orange. Very clear with slight
haze. Forms an average-sized, off-white, soapy head which mostly
evaporates and leaves minimal lacing.
Smell: Essentially the same as every other brew of the style: prominent lager aroma with a hint of fall spice.
Taste: The brewery’s description plays up the fact Samuel Adams
Octoberfest is brewed with five different malts and two of the German
noble hops. That’s all well and good but that doesn’t necessarily make
for a robust or exciting beer. In fact, I purposely drank this on the
warm side to maximize the flavors, and while I did notice a mild malty
sweetness, it was still about as subtle as could be. Slight spicy hop up
front and caramel and toffee flavors in the middle and finish.
Absolutely nothing off-putting about it at all, but there’s not a lot
here to make me give this beer a glowing recommendation. Although I
would recommend it as an introductory craft beer as I know many former
(and current) BMC drinkers who call this either their favorite beer or
the beer that got them into craft beer.
Drinkability: What Samuel Adams Octoberfest lacks in robustness, it
makes up for in drinkability. It has the mouthfeel of an ale as it’s
quite soft and smoother than your average lager with no fizziness at
all. Easily quaffable with a clean aftertaste and is quite refreshing
while in the mouth. The 5.3% ABV actually seems a tad high, but I don’t
think anyone would have any problem sessioning this.