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Karl Strauss Oktoberfest Beer - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Karl Strauss Oktoberfest BeerKarl Strauss Oktoberfest Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

46 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 46
Hads: 98
Avg: 3.49
pDev: 22.35%
Wants: 4
Gots: 10 | 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: 98
Photo of myelo
4/5  rDev +14.6%

On tap at Strauss Brewery restaurant in downtown San Diego. Clear amber bonze with thin tan head. Bready, nutty nose with slight floral hops. Vienna and Munich malt with mild tastiness balanced with subtle. Body is a bit thin. Overall a nice Marzan style lager. Would pair well with pork dishes.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.67/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of rawfish
3.66/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of hopsputin
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

a: clean, amber with some very slight purple coming through. 2 finger head that fades pretty quickly

s: sweet malts are dominate right away, followed by metallic notes - quite a bit of metal. ends with something slightly hay/grassy-like.

t: very lager-like taste. sweet malts, bread, caramel, nutty with a very faint hint of chocolate syrup

m: medium, with medium carbonation

o: eh, i'm rather disappointed with this. its not terrible, there are much better representations of the style to spend your money on.

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Photo of rand
3.91/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.28/5  rDev -6%
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

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Photo of mactrail
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of californiakebab
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - pours a deep amber, garnet hue with brilliant clarity albeit a quickly receding head that leaves faint lacing on the glass.

Smell - malty, bready, some caramel. Crystal malt showing its character in the aroma, very little to no hop presence.

Taste - sweet malt, some toastiness, less caramel than the aroma. Don't really detect any specialty malts in the flavor. Some mild hop bite at the end with a bready aftertaste.

Mouthful - well carbonated and lively, light bodied and goes down smooth.

Overall - very light and uninteresting for an oktoberfest beer. The use of crystal malt lends character with the aroma and appearance, but I found the taste to be somewhat lackluster. Abv is only 5% which seems low for a more fortified festive style?

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Photo of Armand
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A: Clear, light amber color. Nice white head
S: A little sweet, caramel

T: Very mild, earthy, and crisp. Served too cold, but no flavor came out in the end. Very traditional common beer.

M: Medium bodied.

D: Had this years ago during Oktober fest. Went down okay.

O: Good summer brew.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.33/5  rDev -33.2%
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.

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Photo of beagle75
3.32/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of OhSoHoppy
3.49/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Good beer, honestly more impressed with how it looked than the overall taste. but still a good beer

From bottle to glass
the head was decently moist and held up well,
smell was faintly fuity with toasty malts
taste was there but not attention grabing, malts really came out fairly creamy and soft due to not overcarbonating, which makes this very easy to drink, probably could have sat and consumed a whole grip of theses but taste didnt exactly put me on my knees begging for more,

if you havent tried this beer yet and are tempted to do so, i would have to recomend.

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Photo of Jason
3.87/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of theghost3
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I tried this at the brewpub in downtown San Diego.

Pours a translucent amber with a 1-finger light yellow head. Minimal lacing.

The smell is very subtle--just toasty malts and caramel. The taste is bready with caramel, roasted malts, yeast, and a slight sourness. Mouthfeel is smooth, medium-bodied.

This is a drinkable Oktoberfest--malty and bread-like.

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Photo of DennisD
4.75/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: amber/orange hue, clear with a nice head
Smell: toasty, dried fruit
Taste: bready, malty, caramel
Mouthfeel: medium and nicely carbonated
Drinkability: Awesome. This was a great beer. I will be having more. Very nice representation.

Serving type: 12 oz bottle

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Photo of crvcac
3.73/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Figured this would be a good beer to review being that it's the 200th anniversary.

Appearance: Beer has a nice golden amber hue with decent moderate head retention an moderate lacing

Smell: pretty standard. Nice toasted malt taste, subtle hints of spice, little to no hop aroma

Taste: toasted malt flavors with spicy notes

Drink ability: very drinkable. Moderate abv and smooth taste make for a great session beer

Overall: a solid mock up of a truly traditional style. I'd much rather drink this than spaten out of a green bottle.

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Photo of jjh19
4.23/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: I tasted this from a 12oz bottle - bright in appearance and really nice carbonation.

Smell: I got some toasted malts in the aroma.

Taste: I initially got a good amount of malts on my first sip, but then got a fair share of crispness in the finish. Exactly what I'd expect from an Oktoberfest beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, nothing out of the norm here.

Drinkability: A very drinkable, clean Oktoberfest beer. I love that this is a locally brewed Oktoberfest that tastes really true to the actual style, not like a dated import from Germany. I'm a fan of this and would totally recommend it to a friend.

Odds and Ends: Cool bottle label. Not your father's Oktoberfest design.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.44/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.62/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of chickencoop
3.47/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've always wanted to like these guys and think they are one of the pioneers in the business, but the beer never really does it for me. Big caramel malty notes on this beer add to it's smooth finish. This is very drinhkabe, and a well-crafted beer, like most of there's, but they just seem run of the mill, nothing stands out, almost entry level, maybe that's why they are at every Ralphs for soccer mom's to pickup for the old man.

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Photo of ocmpoma
3.3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fairly standard festbier.

A- poured out a golden amber with very little head and no lacing.

S- not a lot of aroma, what I did catch was, as I said, pretty standard.

T- taste was good, all the notes were hit, just nothing exceptional.

M- average, perhaps lacking a bit but good enough to rate a 3.

D- the beer's low carbonation and easy-going flavour did make it quite drinkable. The bottle didn't last long. On the flip side, I did not want another, and opted for a SN instead.

Overall, not a bad beer but it didn't impress me.

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Photo of Offa
3.82/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.72/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a crystal clear, deep amber. Two fingers of thick, faintly tan head developed and dissipated slowly to a thin lacing and a thick ring around the edge.

Smell: Chocolate and toffee up front. Very surprising for a märzen, but also very pleasing. There's also a deep, rich caramel aroma. It's like fresh baked chocolate bread let to cool in a kitchen where a pot of coffee is brewing.

Taste: Not so much chocolate, but the sweet caramel dominates. The toffee comes through, too. There is also a fig-like presence, though it's not prominent. It's malty all the way through, without a hint of hop bitterness at the end.

Drinkability: Superb. It's not true to style, at least the traditional style, but it'll do. Oktoberfest is a very tasty brew, and a good variation of the märzen style.

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