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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: 15.71%
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 67 | Hads: 177
Photo of froghop
2.12/5  rDev -36%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

pours a clear orange-amber with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly, and not much lacing.

smell is of caramel, nuts, and malt in the back.

taste is watery, malt, and corn grain, ends flat.

overall not impressive at all, bland and tasteless.

first one from karl strauss and i am not impressed.

 300 characters

Photo of SteveO1231
2.26/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Got one on tap, looks alright. Served too cold.

This has been possibly one of the most boring beers I have ever put my lips on.

A golden honey color was poured off tap, no head, mild carbonation.

This one went down pretty smooth, but I really tasted nothing when I drank this beer, It had a nice color and smelled malty but the was no flavor. I was not impressed.

This beer is drinkably smooth, but a little too boring for my taste


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Photo of GarthDanielson
2.3/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured on-tap in downtown San Diego at the Columbia Street brewpub. There isn't a whole lot of good to say about this, so I will keep this short and sweet. The beer was poured into a pint glass. It was extremely light colored, especially for the style. The beer had no real outstanding flavors. Basic malt backbone, with little to offer past that. It has a very disappointing aftertate, although typical of a lager; musty and a bit sour. Sour aftertaste, as well.

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Photo of dippy
2.53/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Also tried at LAX.

Golden color with a slim white head. Head left quickly.

Not much scent. Maybe I was stuffed up, but nothing really came through.

Tasted like puffed rice cereal. This is the second beer of theirs that I have equated to cereal. makes me think that Seinfeld is running the brewery. It was fairly sweet as well.

Medium carbonation. A decent session beer, but not true to style.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.6/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a medium gold color, small white foamy head. Looked more like an IPA or Pale. Aroma is malty and slightly sweet. Mild malts and hops. Mild flavor, good balance of hops and malts. Slight taste of roasted malts, very subtle. Finish is smooth. Aftertaste is slightly malty, no bitterness.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.62/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are moderately low.

A: Pours a one and a half finger head - extremely thin, without cream, and of abysmal retention. Appears overcarbonated. Colour is a semitransparent copper-gold. (Certainly not amber-coloured).

Sm: Caramelized malt, barley, and light cream. A mild strength aroma.

T: Stale cream over top a simple barley foundation. Some hops are present - definitely the best aspect of the beer. If they'd amp up the hop content I could see this being much better. As is, it's boring and a bit bland. But it does show promise for improvement, with effort. Simple and imbalanced, but still somewhat refreshing.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but overcarbonated, making it a bit sharp and too thick. Doesn't suit the flavours.

Dr: Drinkable but very mundane. I wouldn't have it again. It needs more complexity, more smoothness, and some serious flavour profile to be worthy of consumption.

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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!

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Photo of theopholis
2.65/5  rDev -19.9%
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.

 445 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
2.82/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a light one finger white head, fizzy carbonation. Below average retention, no lace.

S: Toasty malt with a note of caramel sweetness. Light hints of apple peel.

T: Biscuity toasty malt with a mild noble hop backing. Some minor grassiness. Red apple bits are nice, I just wish there was something more to the malt flavour.

M: Light-bodied, thin watery finish. Crisp and clean, refreshing.

D: This is basically in the Dos Equis Amber realm of Vienna lager. Not bad tasting, just not interesting at all. Boston Lager and Negra Modelo completely outshine this effort in the same category.

 623 characters

Photo of cmaloy
2.86/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - The beer had a nice amber/orange look to it. The head didn't last.

Aroma - What shocked me the most for this beer was there was not much to say about the aroma. It had a very slight slight buttery toffee smell, but nothing to brag about here.

Taste - It had a malty sweetness with some floral hoppy bitterness. Almost no aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Very easy to drink. The carbonation was a bit high for me I felt like I was filling up on air. Even despite the CO2 I enjoyed the smoothness and easiness of this beer.

Drinkability- I liked the beer. It was an average beer but easily one I could drink a lot of.

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Photo of swid
2.9/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Karl Strauss Amber Lager pours (not surprisingly) a clear amber color into my pilsner glass. Head is cream colorer, and nearly nonexistant. Very little carbonation. No lacing. The aroma, overall, is very weak; it's a generalized malty sweetness, but that's about it (with perhaps a bit of floral hoppiness).

The taste of this beer is, well, painfully average. It's reasonably balanced between the malt and hops, leaning more towards a malty sweetness, but other than that, it's quite unremarkable. The mouthfeel is surprisingly full for its ABV, and like the Woodie Gold, it feels quite syrupy. Finishes with a decent mix of sweetness and bitterness.

After drinking this beer, I now know why all the other reviews for Amber Lager were so short; there's just nothing remarkable one way or another about this beer. It'd be a good beer to have around for non-BA friends, and as an all-malt lager, it's certainly several steps above the macro lagers...but other than that, there's no real reason to ever try one.

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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.

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Photo of IBUnit63
2.97/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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Photo of rarbring
2.97/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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Photo of scottoale
2.98/5  rDev -10%
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.

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Photo of Offa
2.99/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Amber with med pale tan head steadily shrinking to nothing, no lace.

Aroma is toasty bread & barley, hint of caramelized toast, hint of spicy earthiness and bark.

Taste is light caramelized-toast sweetness up front, then dryer with same light flavour and light zesty, vague bittrness – faintly citrusy & grassy. It is pretty good, pleasant, but simple, a bit thin and slightly watery.

 388 characters

Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

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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.

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Photo of TheMistler
3.03/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on draft at the San Diego airport... so my "pint glass" was plastic. Hey, I wanna support the local breweries whenever I can, and I still had a few minutes before my flight.

The beer settled to an brownish amber, opaque but a bit bright. Foamy just-barely-off-white head, clingy. A thin sheet consistently sticks around on top of the beer.

An indistinct malty sweet nose, maybe notes of toffee.

There is a sweet nuttiness to the taste, like glazed and roasted nuts. Hops moderate and crisp things up a tad. Grains left on the palate.

Drinkable. It didn't really stand out.

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Photo of Foxtrot
3.03/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this with a mixed sixer

Poured a nice amber tan clear color with a little off white head and very little lacing around the rim.

Not alot of aromas, some caramel malt and a dash of hops.

Taste wasn't too bad, but it wasn't too good either. Good malt character with hints of caramel and toffee. Also had a earthy flavors, but nothing to comment about and a nice smooth finish.

Mouthfeel was typical of the style with good carbonation on the tongue. It didn't seem to have any carbonation when I poured the thing, took me by surprise.

Its a decent beer, not too bad and not too great. This would be a good beer for non BA's.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.08/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear orange color with a 1 inch off-white head that fades to a thin film. Random splotches of lace form here and there on the glass on the drink down. Smells of toasted malt and slight hay/grass. Taste is pretty watered down malt with some grass/hop flavors coming in on the end. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a a pretty average beer all around. Nothing too great but nothing too offensive. A good choice if there is nothing else worthwhile.

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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

Photo of popery
3.13/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A rather average beer, but, for the style, it's certainly not terrible. It's funny that the reviews are sort of all over the place (kinda sounds like the LAX bar needs to clean their tap lines). This is a clean, somewhat sweet lager. It's a nice, clear amber with a dissipating white head that manages to hang on with a very tight white cap after a minute. The aroma is mostly doughy malt sweetness. There's a faint hint of herbal hops, but it's just a low abv amber lager with its roots in German brewing. It lacks any real depth of malt flavor. The flavor is vaguely sweet and fairly clean. It's nice to have a <4.5% abv beer, but this one wants for flavor. Mouthfeel is inoffensive, though the carbonation seems oddly low. Ok beer.

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Photo of Redrover
3.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a standard pint, the beer is a light reddish copper with just a skim of off-white head.

Nose of caramel and biscuits.

The taste tracks close to the nose. It is sweet with some grainy notes. Not much in the way of hoping. Fresh bagel comes to mind. A bit of apple late.

The mouth is slick and perhaps a bit over carbonated. While this is an easy enough drinker, I think it serves best as a crossover beer.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear medium amber color with creamy off-white head (about 1in.), which becomes a lacing.

Smell: The beer has an aroma of some malts, hops, and cirtus. Overall a semi-sweet hint to the smell.

Taste: Sweet malts, followed by some florals, followed by a tiny bit of hoppy bitterness. It's ok, but hardly exciting. Unlike some other Karl Strauss beers, at least the sweetness isn't disgusting.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, medium bodied beer with a tad bit of carbonation. Almost a bit too slick.

Drinkability: Alcohol low and the flavor isn't bothersome, but the sweetness (and generally boring flavor) can get a bit overwhelming

Overall an average beer. Nothing special here, and it can be a bit too sweet. There's enough good beers out there so that I won't have to try this again.

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Karl Strauss Amber from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.