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Karl Strauss Oktoberfest Beer - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Karl Strauss Oktoberfest BeerKarl Strauss Oktoberfest Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

78 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 78
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 16.08%
Wants: 4
Gots: 3 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-06-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Karl Strauss Oktoberfest Beer Alström Bros
Ratings: 78 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jjh19
4.28/5  rDev +25.1%
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.

jjh19, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Apr 28, 2010
Photo of HalfFull
3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

HalfFull, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of chickencoop
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

chickencoop, Feb 11, 2010
Photo of ocmpoma
3.33/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

ocmpoma, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of Offa
3.8/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Offa, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.68/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

TheQuietMan22, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of DoubleJ
2.93/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

DoubleJ, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of Zorro
3.6/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Zorro, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of Chelsea1905
3.7/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium Amber, with little effervescence and small amount of head retention and lacing. lacing very spotty.

Caramel and malt permeate the nasal presence.

Tastes a little like it smells but the aftertaste isn't very lasting, and actually has a little bit of an aftertaste of soap suds!!!

Medium bodied, minimal effervescence, but it's not all bad. Drinks fine, but very much a medium effort

Chelsea1905, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of russpowell
4.05/5  rDev +18.4%
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

russpowell, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of magictrokini
2.78/5  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

magictrokini, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of hopdog
2.58/5  rDev -24.6%
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.

hopdog, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of mithrascruor
2.28/5  rDev -33.3%
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.

mithrascruor, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
2.88/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

Halcyondays, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of opwog
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Now listening to: Calexico - Victor Jara's Hands

A- dark gold/copper color, white head
S- nice malty nose, but not much beyond that
T- Solid as a common US Oktoberfest beer. Toasty malt, some light toffee.
M- Very nice mouthfeel I am sure that this will vary by location and/or serving type, but carbonation and medium/light body were perfect in the glass that I had.
D- Easy drinking. A good brewpub pour.

opwog, Sep 05, 2008
Photo of barleywinefiend
3/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

barleywinefiend, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of jwc215
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

jwc215, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of jcdiflorio
4.22/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle,twist-off cap,served in a nonic glass. Sent to me by my brother-in-law,aka BA deekster

Clear,amber with a generous light tan head that's dense and creamy,with very good retention slowing falling into a pillowy layer. Decent carbinaton with some extra tiny bubbles staggering to the surface.

Very sweet malty aromas,complex,burnt/nutty/toasty with a honey touch, a slight buttery note with flowery/perfumy hop notes. very pleasing aroma.

Clean taste with honeyied carmell,complex maltiness,execellent balance,with a nice,pleasing, bitterness.leaves some fruity tartness lingering.

Medium to light mouthfeel,very smooth. Very good O-fest,has everything that I like and expect from an O-fest. A very sessionable O-fest. Wish this beer was avalible in my area. Would definatly seek this one out.

jcdiflorio, Oct 30, 2007
Photo of NCSUdo
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, thanks to IntriqKen.

A: Clear amber/copper. Pretty standard sized head. OK retention, no lacing.

S: Good candyish caramel smell with some malt mixed in.

T: Surprisingly lacking on the taste front. Some maltiness but not in a large quantity at all. A fair amount of bitterness in the finish. Slight caramel.

M/D: Body is a little heavier then I expected, slightly past medium. Doesn't seem to be a whole lot of carbonation. Drinkability is a strong point of the brew though.

Pretty standard Oktoberfest in my opinion, but one that is entirely drinkable. Twist off top which took me by surprise a little.

NCSUdo, Oct 27, 2007
Photo of Sleestak
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

The only other Karl Strauss beer I've had before was their Red Trolley Ale and thought it was ok. Saw this one on display with all the other fall seasonals at the local BevMo. Looks a nice copper color, but not much of a head even with a hard pour. Smells lightly like toasted caramel, inviting. Some sweet toasty caramel, little bitterness, not very strong on the flavor overall. Too much prickly carbonation imo. I think this is good as a starter Oktoberfest beer for someone just getting into the fall seasonals.

Sleestak, Oct 16, 2007
Photo of IntriqKen
3.98/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

IntriqKen, Oct 09, 2007
Photo of tonistruth
3.33/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

on tap @ the Firehouse in San Diego, CA

A- orange tinted amber brew with a 1 finger white head, decent retent and little lacing

S- bubble gum, malty and sweet

T- some caramel, malty sweet, nice enough balance, pretty tasty

M- medium body and smooth

D- well done domestic o-fest brew, sessionable, may not be a great brewed o-fest but its tasty and very drinkable, file this in guilty pleasures

tonistruth, Oct 01, 2007
Photo of MiScusi
3.35/5  rDev -2%
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.

MiScusi, Sep 08, 2007
Photo of Phocion
2.9/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found a 6-pack for $5.99, so I figured it was worth a try.

Pours a very light gold color with an inch-high foamy head which quickly disappears into a thin lacing.

Aroma is light roasted malts with a strong maple-syrup like presence. Very sweet and little complexity.

Taste is all malts, and very weak at that. Not unpleasant, but very little flavor and one-dimensional.

Light and crisp mouthfeel, very bubbly. This beer screams average. Not offensive, but nothing stands out either. Decent session beer especially for the price, but there are much better Oktoberfest brews out there.

Phocion, Sep 18, 2006
Karl Strauss Oktoberfest Beer from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.