Oktoberfest has passed for this year, but plenty of great Oktoberfest beers are still on shelves. I've been lucky enough to sample a lot of Oktoberfest beers this year and last. Here's my take on the best of them.
5: Oktoberfish (Flying Fish) - Light brown color and a sweet smell but not sickly sweet. A bit watery, but overall a good beer with a robustness and a mild sweetness to it. Hints at various spices--but just barely.
4: Hex (Our-toberfest) (Magic Hat) - Slightly opaque with a dull orange/rust color, subtle spice hints and some nuttiness in the nose. Tastes malty and not too sweet despite the caramel hints. Nice aftertaste too.
3: Saranac Octoberfest (Saranac) - Sweetish smell with bitter overtones that hint at the sharpness of the first sip. However, the beer coats your mouth and the succeeding sips are smoother and quite mellow. The bitterness comes from hops, but they are well-balanced with the malt. The caramel finish leaves you wanting more.
2: Samuel Adams Octoberfest (Samuel Adams) - Orange colored and not much of a smell, but it does have the amazing creamy mouthfeel you find in most Sam offerings. Mellower than most Oktoberfests and very light on the spices which only exist in the aftertaste. Tastes malty with a mild sweetness. This well-balanced beer is just about perfect.
1: Berkshire Oktoberfest Lager (Berkshire Brewing) - Brownish-orange and slightly hazy colored, this is a really appetizing beer. Hints of mild sweetness in the nose--it starts malty up front, then mellows to a sweet aftertaste. It's full-bodied and creamy too. This is the beer equivalent of a five-tool player in baseball--it has everything going for it and no shortcomings.
Special shout out to Stone Hill Brewers Oktoberfest, brewed by Chuck--tried it this year and it was amazing, but can't put it on the list since it's a home brew and unavailable to you guys (unless you know Chuck). Anyway, if you're a beer fan, you should check out Beer Advocate. The website is an amazing beer resource. If any of you are on there, post your username below. And post your comments too!