Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Karl Strauss Amber - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Karl Strauss AmberKarl Strauss Amber

Educational use only; do not reuse.

67 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 67
Hads: 177
Avg: 3.31
pDev: 25.38%
Wants: 5
Gots: 23 | 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.
View: Beers (89) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 67 | Hads: 177
Reviews by surfmeister:
Photo of surfmeister
3.1/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

 405 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Dmann
3.36/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

 613 characters

Photo of xgoodyx
4/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of magictrokini
3.41/5  rDev +3%
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.

 351 characters

Photo of ehammond1
3.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


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.

 420 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.2/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

 629 characters

Photo of iSrALE
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of Cobrabob428
2.8/5  rDev -15.4%

Photo of LXIXME
3.49/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

 368 characters

Photo of InfernoBoss
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of NJpadreFan
2.65/5  rDev -19.9%
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!

 361 characters

Photo of teejay76
3.77/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

 487 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.63/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

 751 characters

Photo of dertyd
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of somnus
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of GimmeaBeer
4.51/5  rDev +36.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had Karl Strauss Amber Lager on tap at my house for the better part of 20 years. I always say that when I find a beer that I like better, I'll switch. I have yet to find that beer. I gave it a 4.5 overall, but my personal opinion is it could easily garner a 5. Love this beer. Great restaurants too!

 309 characters

Photo of MiScusi
3.48/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

 475 characters

Photo of jackndan
2.95/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

 380 characters

Photo of Schwegler
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of HalfFull
3.33/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

 915 characters

Photo of Giesch
2.75/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of BrahptimusPrime
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of Armand
3.03/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

 516 characters

Photo of Paddy_Bear
4/5  rDev +20.8%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Karl Strauss Amber from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.