Karl Strauss Oktoberfest Beer - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Karl Strauss Oktoberfest BeerKarl Strauss Oktoberfest Beer

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BA SCORE
80
good

46 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 46
Hads: 93
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 10.66%
Wants: 3
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-06-2003

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 46 | Hads: 93
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear medium orange color with a 1 inch head that fades to nothing. No lacing.

S - Smells of sweet malts and dark fruits.

T - Tastes of sweet and slightly sour roasted grains and dark fruits. Very slight bitterness towards the end.

M - A little bit flat but pretty smooth drinking.

D - This is a pretty good beer. I got this one in a Fall sampler pack that I got on clearance. One of the best ones out of the pack so far. I would look for this one again in the Oktoberfest season. (497 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a startlingly clear copper color with a two-fingered cap that persists reasonably well and leaves a few shards behind

Smell: Toffee and tea (with a subtle herbal quality)

Taste: Toffee, up front, with an unusual grassy, herbal tea character that develops in the middle bringing a touch of Ricola to the profile; the malt flavor lingers through the finish but never really distinguishes itself with a punch

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A rather unusual Oktoberfest with an odd herbal twist that isn't particularly endearing to my palate

Thanks, cocoapuph, for the opportunity (626 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great nose of biscuity malt is the nice feature. Thin body and highly drinkable. Modest caramel flavors. Looks great in the tall pilsner glass, pale orange amber color. Nice balance of delicate malt and just a kiss of hops. Watery mouthfeel but enough carbonation.

More innocent pleasure in this example than lots of other alleged Oktoberfests. On tap at the La Jolla Karl Strauss. (382 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.87/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle.

Bubbly brassy brew, decent sized crown of head. Bready caramel aroma with some grassy hops. Crispness pops under the moderate sized body to bring on a refreshing smoothness. Grassy, biscuity, bready, animal feed, faint caramel ... Dry maltiness. Hopping is there with a slightly sharp edge and herbal flavor. Clean malty finish.

A good run at the style, very drinkable. (391 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.04/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to my buddy Eric for hauling this from Cali to here!

Pours an effervescent amber with 2 fingers of cream colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Caramel, leafy hops & breadyness

T: Breadyness, some crackery notes, & a bit of toffee up front. More of the same, plus dryness as this warms. Finishes dry with some caramel & crackery notes, almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation & good balance

Drinks very easy, pretty nice take on the style (479 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing this one back for me from California...

Pours copperish orangish amber with an off-white head that becomes patchy.

The smell is of lightly carmelized malt with spicy, biscuity, earthy background.

The taste is of carmelized graininess with balancing spicy, earthy hops. Not quite as malt-accented as typical of style, though hops don't quite stand out either. Overall flavor - decent but mild...

The carbonation is a bit forward, but smooth overall. Lighter side of medium-bodied.

A decent O-fest - easy to drink, but nothing especially noteworthy - nor anything particularly off" - a decent/mediocre/typical American interpretation of an O-fest. (687 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
2.92/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a nice off-white head, good retention, clarity is not good.

S: Solid brewpub fest, Munich malt, a bit of strawberry.

T: Light malt flavour mixed with an interesting berry note. Not as full-flavoured as I like in this style, but not bad.

M: Solid mouthfeel, carbonation is pretty much spot on. Light/medium bodied.

D: An OK fest from the local San Diego producer. Worth a try, but not something I plan on buying next October. (464 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
2.91/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From Gordon to Karl, we start off the third leg of this, the American Oktoberfest Invitational, which will determine the king of four of the more well-known monikors of Americanized marzen. On to the beer:

Surprise! It's amber orange in color, lots of sparkling carboonation in the body. The head is on the fuzzier side in look and small in size. It has a rough smell. Husky chocolate malt, more husky malt, a light twang of "liquid bread". This is how I would expect an import to smell like.

The ABV lists this beer at 5%, but I would have guessed a little higher given the heavier malty feel. There's a snap of apple to the beer's taste, and there's a dry cocoa powder note coming from those malts. Otherwise, it's a straightforward mild malt beer that tastes like....well, liquid bread...crust. Fizzy carbonation initially doesn't help the cause either.

It sure has a lot in common with it's sister amber lager, but the amber lager is smoother overall. Not a bad beer overall, just one that's off the target. This will end the third leg of the American Oktoberfest Invitational, with the final segment tomorrow night. (1,125 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper colored beer with a small white head that doesn't last.

Smells bready and malty with a strong floral hop scent. Little bit of tea and fig in the smell also. Very slight bread dough smell too.

Starts out malty with a strong tea soaked in toast flavor. Slight lemon flavor here, but mostly this is neural in flavor.

Mouthfeel is light.

Super easy to drink beer. Just like an Oktoberfest should be, easy to drink first then flavorful. (448 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this up on Vandenberg AFB today..
Poured a dark golden color with a quickly disappearing white head. There isn't much nose here, but I could detect a slightly malty smell
It was smooth and a bit malty. This beer is subtle, with no strong flavors. Its an average beer. (275 characters)

Photo of hopdog
2.58/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap inside Disneyland.

Poured a medium to deeper amber color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of caramel and some toasted malts. Tastes of the same caramel and toasty. Both flavors and aromas on the subtle side and you really had to try to get anything outside of a 'generi' sense. (294 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper color with a very thin tan head. Not much visible carbonation.

S: Sweet maltiness and a slight breadiness. Other than that, not a whole lot going on.

T: Follows the smell with the sweet malts taking center stage. Some caramel and a slightly over-roasted malt flavor in the middle. The slightest hint of hops on the finish. Doesn't have that great crisp fall flavor that the best oktoberfests do. (409 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a finger and half of head on a hazy, medium straw colored body.
The aroma is caramel candy and wet grain. On the bold side.
The taste is caramel sweetness with mild pine bitterness. Nicely balanced.
The texture is chewy with crisp edges and moderate carbonation.
Enjoyable. (280 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Carlsbad, CA

Copper orange with a thin white head. Spots of lacing left down the glass.

As with most Karl Strauss beers, this one smells of toasted malts with a touch of sweetness. Simple and bready, though I'm beginning to sound like a broken record after reviewing all these Karl Strauss beers. So many of them smell and taste so similarly!

More simple graininess in the flavor with a bit of toffee sweetness. Low bitterness.

Relatively full bodied and chewy for an Oktoberfest.

A simple, bready, and drinkable Oktoberfest. (567 characters)

Photo of Offa
3.82/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a simple but good oktoberfest.

Amber, bubly it has a medium, off-white head soon thinning to a foamy ring and wisps, with only a tiny bit of weak lace.

The aroma is toasty, fruity grain, dry bread crust, light mineral wisp of caramel.

Taste is light, crisp, mineral and toasty, faintly caramelly grain, light lemon, grass, hint of spiciness. The finish briefly leans faintly to the bitter side, with spiciness, and is mostly crips before a light toasty-caramelly aftertaste heavily dominated by the taste of cooked barley. (533 characters)

Photo of rawfish
3.66/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apricot and amber, good clarity. Pour nets a quickly forming two finger head that has no retention and leaves no lacing on the glass. Sits in the glass looking like iced tea after a while.

Huge malt aroma, toffee, honey, cereal grains, raw-husks and a backing of mineral, grassy and dry hops.

Moderate caramel graininess, toffee sweetness, good and nutty flavor. Balancing hops, grassy and earthy with a twinge of mineral flavors and drying.

Drinkable body and balanced. Carbonation somewhat interferes with the flavor in this brew. Malt is robust and sticky.

Flavorful beer, layered sweetness and drinkable. Rough around the edges, I would like more balance and less sweetness but it is good for what it is. (713 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle served into a pint glass. Karl's Oktoberfest pours clear and somewhat light in color, a deep straw with a bit of an orange/caramel hue. A thin head dissipates quickly and not much is offered as for carbonation.

Smell is bready and slightly toasted with a bit of over roasted malts. Malt notes are light and biscuity. Hop notes are thin as well. Notably dry for the style.

Taste follows the nose with a light bready texture and a moderate sweetness. Light caramel in nature along with a return of the roasted biscuit flavor. Not bad but a bit too one dimensional in nature. (588 characters)

Photo of magictrokini
2.82/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On tap downtown. Pours clear amber with a smallish white head. Crisp malt and oat aroma is promising. Sweet maltiness in the front, but very thin. Metallic as well, but the bread and spice take over. Taste doesn't follow through. Watery and plain. I'm beginning to dislike Oktoberfest as they rarely come through (312 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear golden amber with a massively craggy off white head that slowly melted to some very sticky lacing.

Aromas of toasted amber malts, buttery caramel, and brown sugar.

Taste is not as sweet as it smells. Toasted amber malt, light caramel, light hops to dry the finish. Lots of smooth malt comes through especially as it warms.

Aftertaste seems clean with just a bit of the caramel and hops lingering.

I have a feeling this one grows on you and will enjoy the rest of my sixer. (491 characters)

Photo of beagle75
3.32/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a growler into a shaker pint.

A: Clear, light amber with a continuous film of off-white foam head. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Biscuit and weak caramel, with a distinct charcoal snap in the background.

T: Dry, husky pale malt begins with an acidic accent. Flavors sweeten as biscuit and caramel emerge in the middle. The finish is slightly soapy with weak, grassy hops emerging late and providing minimal bitterness.

M: Medium viscosity with light carbonation holds up well on the palate, lending a certain comfort.

D: This beer drinks easily and is very food-friendly, but it loses any allure quickly. In fact, it hardly differs from Karl Strauss amber lager at all. It is probably a very useful cooking beer. (734 characters)

Photo of BeerManDan
2.33/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a light amber, with foam that disapated in a very short time and no lace. The smell was really nothing but swill (just another word for nothing interesting.) The taste was of weak malts and hops and the flavor of dish water. What a dissapointment. I'm surprised that they bottled this ? Also very bitter with a dry finish. (329 characters)

Photo of mithrascruor
2.33/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a bit of visible carbonation. Thin, off-white, film-like head with decent retention.

Smell: Minimal aroma... a bit of malts, maybe slightly toasted?

Taste: It really tastes like something got burned while they were brewing this: not smoky, but burned caramel and malts. It doesn't obliterate the taste, but makes it less than enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied. A lot of carbonation feel, but not too intense.

Drinkability: Burned flavor = not so great to drink.

I'm hoping that I just got a bad batch of this, but no beer should have that in the flavor. Otherwise, this had the right elements to make it a decent (but my no means great) Oktoberfest beer. (748 characters)

Photo of scottoale
3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In a 12oz. brown bottle with a label picture depicting the celebration of Oktoberfest along with the blue and white vertical checkerboard accents.

It pours a deep gold with a half-inch of off-white head which dissipates in less than a minute. A few streamers of carbonation bubbles, a couple dots of lacing.

The smell is faint and vague, All I can detect is a light, slightly roasted malt with some wheat or blunt straw notes and that's about it. It's not a very sweet smell, kind of chalk like and slightly bitter.

The taste...much like it smells is weak, yet balanced. It starts on a malt note, slight roast, slight nuttiness then a mild hop slowly shuts the door. It actually has a nice taste but seems watered-down to the max. A little more malt sweetening and at least double the existing flavor and the brew would suit it's style just fine. Unfortunetly it doesn't and is way too weak to be enjoyed as an Oktoberfest.

Fine mouthfeel, smooth and creamy and a bit bubbly with a light body and clean finish. Where's the alcohol? Easy to drink as it tastes good, just need to double the ingredients, less the water. (1,130 characters)

Photo of MiScusi
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at T. Phillips in La Verne, CA. Not a whole lot to say about this beer. Looked good on the pour, a nice orangish brown clear color... looks inviting.... standard lager head that dwindles pretty fast. The taste has a bit of a watery character to it, but also some sweet malt flavor to it. There is no real hoppiness in this, or bitterness, it comes across as sweet and watery. Mouthfeel is light and spritzy but not too abrasive... overall not one of the better oktoberfests out there but there isn't anything offensive about it. (535 characters)

Photo of rand
3.91/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at their brewery in Carlsbad, poured into a weizen glass.

A. Apricot-orange in color, slightly opaque with little head or lacing.

S: The nose is bready, earthy, husky grain. Slight caramel sweetness touches an otherwise dry and subtle bouquet.

T: More bold than the nose, with toasty malts at the front of the palate. Slightly caramelly, a tinge of lemon citrus. Earthy, tea-like malts pop up toward the finish, drying the palate. Everything is layered nicely, highly drinkable and satisfying.

M: Light body, ample carbonation scrubs the sweet aspects.

Underrated Marzen, I look forward to this season when this is available all over SoCal. A nice and satisfying change from the uber-hopped beer that's all over the place. (739 characters)

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Karl Strauss Oktoberfest Beer from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.