Karl Strauss Amber - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

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Karl Strauss AmberKarl Strauss Amber

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BA SCORE
76
okay

173 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 173
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 15.36%
Wants: 5
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Vienna Lager |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-26-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 173 | Reviews: 69
Reviews by MichaelBuck:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Dmann
3.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a decent beer, but not what I expected. It poured a nice amber color with a small head that fizzled away quickly. The smell kind of reminded me of Coors, which did not get me too excited about taking a drink. But lo and behold the taste was not that bad at all. This beer had kind of a strange carlmel-y flavor to it that was pretty drinkable, along with a kind of floral taste that went down very easy. Although this is not a beer that I would buy instead of, say, Stone Pale Ale or Sierra Nevada Pale Ale as a session beer, these would go down pretty well if it came down to it. A very respectable brew.

Photo of magictrokini
3.41/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not an excellent beer in this category, though I may be over-generous as it is a hometown brew. Good color, pours bright amber with a short off-whtie head. Sweet, caramel and bread nose. Very easy to drink with a smooth mouthfeel. Sweet caramel maltbase, but light citrus hops are detectable. Won't blow anyone away, but a very good beer, nonetheless.

Photo of ehammond1
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler

Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Carlsbad, CA

Dark red and amber with a thin khaki colored head. Lines of lacing left down the glass.

Very bready aroma with some mild caramel sweetness as well. Simple.

This tastes like toasted bread with a bit of caramel and toffee sweetness. Moderate bitterness. Simple.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

An extremely bready amber ale, and flavorful enough per the style.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a smidge darker than amber, but still looks nice with just a wisp of white head on it. Roasty, nutty, slightly warmed malt sensation in the aroma.

More nuttiness, oktoberfest like sweetness, a beer that drinks heavier than you would think from looking at the abv. Its not exactly complex, but it is a substantial step up above fizzy yellow stuff, this is a good gateway beer. Reminiscient of Sprecher's Vienna Lager if you're into that. Use this beer to warm people up to the idea of getting into drinking the heavier and crazier stuff with you someday. Its decent and flavorful without being out there or too adventurous.

Photo of LXIXME
3.49/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Large off white head dies leaving a decent lacing over a clear golden-copper colored beer.

Aroma of light caramel hops comes through quite nicely.

Caramel grain malts taste that seems quite light, smooth and easy drinking.

This medium bodied beer has a very light dryish aftertaste that brings with it some of the caramel malt tastes.

A decent easy drinking amber.

Photo of NJpadreFan
2.65/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Amber Lager

Served up at the San Diego Airport along with a pizza hut personal pan pie.

Appearance- light copper with a weak fizzy head.
Smell- some hops and malt nothing too crazy.
Taste- again some malt and hops. Is this Yuengling I'm drinking?!

Overall- an uneventful easily forgettable beer. Went well with the pizza though. West Coast Yuengling!

Photo of teejay76
3.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Golden honey amber color.

Smell - Sweet hops smell.

Taste - I'm not one who typically likes sweet beers but this one might change my mind.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth but finishes slightly heavier than the start.

Drinkability - Again, normally not a sweet fan but this had such a great taste. It also helps that this was custom served in a gallon jug and the two of us finished it off in one night. It was nice.

I would recommend this to friends and I'd drink this again.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.63/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a crystal clear, bright amber with a white, 2 finger head. Decent retention. Spotty lacing with little stick.

Smell - Notes of honey hit first, backed by a strong caramel undertone.

Taste - Follows the nose with sweet, malt forward honey and caramel character. Hints at bread mid-taste and into the finish. No noticeable hops present, but the beer isn't cloyingly sweet. Simple, clean finish.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium bodied with light, tingly carbonation. Smooth, goes down with exceptional ease.

Overall - A fairly good, though simple, lager from Karl Strauss. Drinks close to an Oktoberfest / Marzen brew. Drinkable, and somewhat enjoyable, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find it. Would make for a decent session brew.

Photo of MiScusi
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - a nice dark amber, small off-white head.

Smell & Taste - pretty much your standard (light) amber lager, although on the first few sips there was sort of a harshness to it, a semi off-flavored finish, maybe slightly metallic. These characteristics seemed to disappear after the first 1/4 of the glass.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability - well carbonated, maybe a tad rough at the start but mellowed nicely there after (maybe due to increasing temp?) Not a bad amber.

Photo of jackndan
2.95/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Karl Strauss Amber lager: Deep brown beer (no head no lace, but that was solely due to the publican’s giving me every drop for $$’s). Strong malt aroma, reminds me of Milwaukee as a kid. Initial taste was very sweet, almost unpleasant. Improved significantly as it warmed, with a very pronounced bread/cracker malt sweetness, barely balanced by mild hops. Not bad.

Photo of HalfFull
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a new locally produced bottle into a pint glass. Pours a clear and bright golden orange in color with a half inch of just off white head. This reduces to a surface film in a few minutes, yielding some temporary lacing.

Light roasted caramel malts, touch of hazelnut and some lager yeast on the nose. Decent but thin. Some sweet citric hops after a bit of warming and exposure.

Taste is light and smooth with a sweet caramel malt flavor that fades to a slight smokiness on the finish, though not as toasted in flavor as the nose would lead one to believe. Decent feel and drink with a well balanced carbonation given the malt structure.

Not having had this beer in some time I was curious about the new bottling line. This beer tastes fresher, cleaner and a bit lighter/more balanced in malts than I recall. I'll have to reserve one to try side by side with a out of state bottle to better ascertain.

Photo of Armand
3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not that bad for a 'just to chill' beer, but it is too average. Nothing to talk good about here. You can actually put this in a catogory of common craft beers and it would fit in. Not awful, but...
A: Light brown.
S: Bland. Serving it in chilled mugs is stupid. And that's what most bars do. At least the ones who don't know anything about beer do.
T: Light brown...???
M: Again, it just goes down as a common beer. Dapness almost.
O: I'd order it maybe if I needed a beer, but I don't really need a beer most times.

Photo of theopholis
2.65/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- Body is a clear medium amber. Head is a creamy off-white with some head retention and decent lacing.

Aroma- Some malt sweetness with the aroma of bittering and flavoring hops. Light caramel notes.

Taste- Mostly malt sweetness followed by some floral hops, and hop bitterness. The balance isn't impressive.

Mouthfeel- A bit heavy. CO2 level is also to high.

Drinkability- Not aweful, but not particularly wonderful either.

Photo of scottoale
2.98/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is a good beer on tap...out of the 12oz.bottle, not the same stuff. Pours a nice deep, slightly dark amber with half inch of off-white head. As the head disappears rather quickly, a trace of lacing is left behind.

Smells ok, a sweet pale malty aroma is about all thats going on here, no distinguishable hop scent emited, just lightly floral malt, not very exciting.

Taste is rather sweet and rich in the malt dept. with no hop balance per se. There is a green leafiness in the taste, but it's not hoppy and the malts are running the show. Alcohol seems low as well. This taste is reminding of MGD which I really don't care for...too sweet.

The mouthfeel is a fizzy on the tongue with a fairly medium body. Plenty of carbonation, tons of microscopic bubbles emerging from start to finish.

Pretty easy to drink if you don't mind the sweetness, too many other beers I'd much rather drink. The Amber Lager fresh at the brewery is another story.

Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draught @ San Diego Airport
As I was at the airport waiting on my flight back to Phoenix after two wonderful days of “Strong Ale”, and meeting up with a bunch of great “BA’s” and also meeting some great friends from “Ratebeer”, I truly needed something to get my arse up from around my ankles.

The beer as it sat in my $6.00 plastic cup at the airport was a translucent deep amber color with a rather thin off white head that was bubbly in texture, and the lace a micro thin sheet to not quite seal the glass. Nose was mostly malt with a hint of citrus, start sweet and nicely malted with the top light to middling in feel. Finish was stingingly acidic, the hops apropos to the style and the aftertaste dry and long lasting, a drinkable beer, but certainly nothing to get excited about.

Photo of surfmeister
3.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A very ho-hum brew IMHO, nice copper look but a weak head which dissipated quickly, smell was quite faint(although I did drink it in a restaurant, which impedes the nose), the taste profile was true to type but had a definite "watered down" taste and most noticably, mouthfeel, cannot stand head to head with SA, which unfortunately for Strauss is it's direct competitor. Easy guzzler on a hot day though.

Photo of Kaiser81
3.73/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is one of the first beers that got me into craft beers. I'm finally reviewing it.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter glass.

A - Pours a very clear amber with less than a finger width of head. The head dies down fairly quickly. Modest amounts of lacing left on the glass

S - Rich malts and sweetness like butterscotch candy...or those Werther's originals. No real hops to speak of.

T - Very sweet from the malts. It pretty much follows the nose, sweet candy and caramel kind of dominate. There is the aftertaste of a lager, but not a bitter...unsatisfying aftertaste left by BMC lagers.

M - Light body with medium carbonation.

D - It has a special place in my heart, so I can always drink these at a party, though there are a lot of other beers I prefer

Photo of DennisD
4.27/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice bronze/amber color with a decent lacy head.

Great toasty bread smell. Excellent balanced malty flavor. Caramel undertones. Medium bodied and finished clean.

This was a great beer. I had it at their location in Carlsbad. I would have it again.

Photo of megahurts4
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Karl Strauss Amber
On draft in LAX

Appearance: amber, medium head, and some good lacing.

Smell: malt grain and hop.

Taste: malts, grain, and hop.

Mouthfeel: medium-light.

Overall: this is a decent amber. It is very malty. It has a bunch of flavors that seem to only mix ok, but not perfect.

Photo of Zorro
3.19/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I last tasted this stuff at their little brew pub stand in LAX I wonder if the correct glass and the bottled version are better?

This certainly looks good in the glass an ultra clear bronze colored all with a tall tan head with a reddish tinge to it.

The smell is very sweet and heavy on the malt. Hops are limited to a vague soapy herbal scent in the background but you can tell that it is Nobel hops.

The taste starts out sweet and very grainy with a dark bread flavor. Not as sweet as I remember but this is certainly malty. Good hop bitterness here it does a lot to tame the malt. Flavors of fig and raisin are present with a nutty after taste.

The mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is much improved with the malt tamed I have to suspect they altered the recipe. A beer that seems to be better in the bottle than the tap.

Photo of IBUnit63
2.97/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

At the Karl Strauss beer garden at SAN waiting for a red-eye flight home...

Poured into a tall 20 oz. glass. Truly amber in color with not much head to speak of.

Smell of earthy malt with a faint hope of piney hops, maybe grassy. Doesn't smell too bad - not spectacular but not too bad.

Taste is more of the same - malt forward with faint speck of grass/piune hops and a whole lot of earth - I don't go for the earthy taste of anything - especially beer.

Mouthfeel is a little clammy - finishes heavier than it started.

None for me thank you - my beer gut can't afford to drink something that feels this heavy and tastes this light.

Photo of jjh19
4.5/5  rDev +35.5%

Appearance: A rich reddish, amber color. Decent foamy head.

Smell: I got toasty and bready notes in the nose.

Taste: A ton of caramel and toffee malt sweetness. Not that this tastes like a sugar bomb cider or anything. Just a nice refreshing change of pace from San Di-Hop-o IIIIIIIPAs. First sip to last gulp, I’m a fan of this Amber ale.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, straight down the middle.

Drinkability: Definitely a recommendation and on my go-to list for easy drinking beers.

Photo of RunDWP
3.4/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I recently had this on tap at LAX, and I've also had it at the brewpub in Downtown San Diego. I think it's a mighty fine amber. Pours a cloudy tan color with a thin head, and not a lot of lacing of the glass. Not much of an aroma, but I like the rich, caramel malt flavor that has an almost buttery character as the brew warms. Went well with the turkey sandwich I ate it with last time I had this.

Photo of rarbring
2.97/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer is amber colored but very clear, an off-white/yellow head that settles quickly, no lacing.

The smell is sweet and malty, toffee and butterscotch.

The taste is also mostly in the sweet corner, caramel and sweet biscuits. A faint bitterness at the end.

Rather low carbonation, a medium light body.

Nothing really stands out, but not really bad - a bit to sweet.

Photo of AustinBeerLvr
3.78/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the San Diego airport.

A: Pours a very deep solid copper golden amber body.

S: Nose is very biscuity w/a lot of caramel sweetness that mostly dominates.

T &M: Just like the nose, the malt sweetness is very dominanat in this brew. Starts off with a biscuit like flavor that rides through into a very solid caramel sweetness taste with a tea like flavor as well. Hops are just there enough at the end to prevent it from being too sweet. Minimal hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is defenitely solid, not watery at all. Just right for the style of beer.

D: Comparing this to other amber lagers I have had, I would say this is good and highly drinkable. In my opinion, even for the style, it needs a little more hop presence to be considered a good brew. That said, this is a very good session brew and more interesting than their Woody Gold.

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Karl Strauss Amber from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 173 ratings.