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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: 179
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 (95) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 67 | Hads: 179
Photo of megahurts4
3.65/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of jbsteiny
3.66/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at LAX. I don't think this is really an American amber, it tastes to me more like a Vienna lager -- like a thinner Sam Adams with more diacetyl (sweet butteriness).

Poured into a weizen glass -- clear, amber color with a thin white head that quickly fades to a ring. Spots of retention, but they don't last long. Smells too sweet, with caramel malt dominating. Tastes better, with a touch of hop spice and dark bready flavors. The finish is dominated by the diacetyl, which I think is okay for the style, but it's not syrupy like most beers with high diacetyl. The lagering leaves it fairly light bodied for its malty flavor. I think this is one of the most sessionable malty beers I've had of late, and if I lived out here, I could see buying a sixer of this for some sweet summertime suds.

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Photo of Kaiser81
3.73/5  rDev +12.7%
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

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Photo of Domingo
3.73/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I actually had this in a few spots in downtown San Diego. I interspursed this with some Stone brews to add some drinkability on a warm day!

Came a rich red color. Golden light pours through. Head was a little light at all of the locations. There was some, but not much.

Smell is of a very malty lager. Reminds me a little of the Yeungling traditional. Not a lot of hops, but a pretty strong malt backbone.

Flavor is VERY malty actually. Reminds me a little of a lager version of Fat Tire. Quenching, but still having a lot of flavor to keep you coming back.

It's a little thin, but I get the feeling that's on purpose. This comes across as a really tasty alternative to the "big 3" and it's a quencher beer instead of a sipper.

Drinkability is quite high. The flavor makes you want to come back, but nothing is really too strong or off.

Not the greatest beer in the world, but on a warm summer day, this makes a wonderful "lawnmower" brew. If you crossed a Yeungling with a Fat Tire, that's what this beer is.

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Photo of birdypowder
3.73/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge creamy head with amazingly consistent bubble size. Head dissipates quickly.

Floral aroma, some prune aroma? Dark fruit aroma. Caramel for sure. Slight hop aroma.

Brillant orange color.

Slight bitter finish, very little, if any? aftertaste.

Slight sweetness kick in the beginning, followed by light mouthfeel and a medium carbonation.

A tasty lager that won't wow you with flavor but will be a hit with most palates. Can I order a pitcher?

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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.

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Photo of AustinBeerLvr
3.78/5  rDev +14.2%
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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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is caramel with a tint of amber or ruby. Two fingers of buttery, off-white head developed and left a spotted lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: Sweet caramel, vanilla, and butterscotch. Another reviewer mentioned it smelling like Werther's Originals, and I have to agree.

Taste: Follows the smell, but it thankfully tastes more like beer. The caramel is mostly sweet, but has a slightly toasted edge to it. The vanilla is also detectable, but the butterscotch is not as prominent. Floral hops provide a touch of balanced bitterness, which lingers after each sip.

Drinkability: Very tasty and smooth drinking. It is the most flavorful lager I've ever had.

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Photo of billshmeinke
3.82/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic.

Clear amber color. Two fingers of off white head, dies down to a ring of foam and some decent lacing left behind.

Smells lightly of caramel, toffee, and most prominently of biscuity yeast.

Taste follows smell light smack of caramel/toffee, biscuit, some yeast.

Medium bodied, could be more carbonated though.

Solid vienna lager.

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Photo of chickenandrice
3.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter glass.

A - Clear amber with finger width of head. The head dies quickly. Modest amounts of lacing.

S - Rich malts and sweetness like butterscotch candy. No real hops to speak of.

T - Very sweet from the malts, sweet candy and caramel dominate.

M - Light body and average carbonation.

D - Wife's favorite, so can say anything bad about it! I would have anything bad to say anyways!


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Photo of loubar
3.93/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Malt forward beers like this typically don’t get as much respect. But I found it to be an easy drinking, low key amber with distinct, yet faint, woody and earthy flavors and little hop bitterness. Not particularly complex, just light, smooth and refreshing. Love the dry finish and low ABV.

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Photo of MusicmanSD
4/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I had one of these expecting another lager-y, Sam Adams microbrew taste, but I was absolutely blown away. The appearance is nice an amber, very well done on the color. A bit Anchor Steam looking. The smell is great. A lil' bit of roasting and sweetness, which reflects the taste. Very sweet. Like a refined, Sam Adams with Stella Artois characteristics (perfect.!) The taste is awesome for a lager. I could drink these all day. Very, very well done. A little bit of roasted character with sweetness and subtle malt presence. Very little hops, which is great, because something this sessionable doesn't need to be bitter. The mouthfeel is above average, and in fact fairly heavy. But the drinkability blows this out of the water. Absolutely perfect, everyone should try this when their in the San Diego area! Very well done. Strauss has a new follower! If you like Sam Adams and like a little bit of sweetness, this is for you.

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Photo of crvcac
4.03/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer on tap at ale house.
Appearance: pours a nice golden amber, moderate head. Alight lace

Smell: smells of toffee and rich caramel malt.

Taste: caramel malt, very fait subtle hops.

Mouthfeel: sits nice on the palate. Nice crisp finish

Drinkability: solid session beer. Would seek out again

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Photo of SensorySupernova
4.1/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal clear reddish-brown with a low white head.

Smell: Faint malts.

Taste: Very sweet caramel malts. Slight fruity taste, like grapes. Some very mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Clean and creamy.

Overall: Nice and easy-drinking, with enough complexity to not get boring. One of those beers that can be enjoyed by beer noobs and vets.

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Photo of DennisD
4.27/5  rDev +29%
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.

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Photo of jjh19
4.5/5  rDev +36%

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.

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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!

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