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Karl Strauss Amber - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Karl Strauss AmberKarl Strauss Amber

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

157 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 157
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 15.27%
Wants: 4
Gots: 15 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-26-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 157 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DoubleJ
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Karl Strauss beers usually aren't widely distributed, but I can find many of the varieties at a local store of mine. How about an amber lager for tongiht? Sure. On to the beer:

Twist off the top and pour in into a stange and you get, well, a clear amber colored beer and a decent sized head. Light bready notes and fruit in the aroma, just enough to tease the nose. Good malt flavor in the taste, which is biscuity and bready. Light on the sweetness/fruit and lighter hops, which are enough to balance out the beer. It's light enough to quaff, but full enough to keep you going with a good flavor and pretty good mouthfeel.

The neck label displays "it is Karl's favorite beer!" in small print. Good choice Karl. Or is it? I have two other of his beers in my fridge which I will sample sometime, so I hope this, while quite good indeed, isn't the brand's high tide.

DoubleJ, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of Zorro
3.23/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Zorro, Oct 28, 2007
Photo of LXIXME
3.49/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

LXIXME, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.18/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Beerandraiderfan, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of HopHead84
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12/23/2011

On tap at Karl Strauss. From where I'm sitting I don't have an ideal view of the coy pond, but I grabbed the closest seat I could find. I can see the water, but very few coy. Perhaps I'll try to find a better seat as people head back to work after lunch.

A: Aptly named, the beer appears transparent amber with an inch of white froth.

S: Pronounced bread and grain with lesser notes of biscuit and just a dash of caramel.

T: Bread, biscuit, and grainy malt with almost no hop influence (a shadow of noble hop character). The finish is simple, very grainy, and clean.

M: Light in body with lower high carbonation.

Overall: A very simple amber lager with simplicity being its only flaw. All things considered, this is pretty enjoyable. A man could drink a lot of this.

HopHead84, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of GarthDanielson
2.33/5  rDev -30.2%
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.

GarthDanielson, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of atrocity
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

atrocity, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

Gusler, Dec 08, 2003
Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

GraduatedCashew, Aug 28, 2013
Photo of popery
3.13/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

popery, May 19, 2010
Photo of jophish17
2/5  rDev -40.1%

jophish17, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of mhaugo
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

mhaugo, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of dcmchew
3.45/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

4.5 abv. 25 years anniversary cap.
Pours clear amber, very tiny white head, quickly to a lasting sticky lacing.
Smell of biscuit, caramel, light sweet citrus and some nuttiness.
Dense maltiness in the taste, with slightly toasted white bread and caramel covered biscuits. Some mild sweet cake spices and faint cooked apples. The bit of sweetness is cut off by some earthy chestnuts. Mild hop finish, a bit citrusy but mostly grassy.
Buttery feel, low carbonation, pretty thick for its style.
Very tasty, but a bit too oily and not so easy to drink.

dcmchew, May 29, 2014
Photo of Suds
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

During a recent visit to San Diego, I had this brew on tap in a Gaslamp area restaurant. I found it to be an enjoyable, flavorful, if ordinary brew. It’s a deep golden color, with only a shadow of amber, and a modest white head. The aroma is a well proportioned mix of malt and hop, of medium intensity. There’s a little grain and notable caramel. The taste is mildly sweet, with a slant toward maltiness. It’s certainly not outstanding, but it went well with dinner and left me satisfied.

Suds, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of cdwil
3/5  rDev -10.2%

cdwil, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of ehammond1
3.4/5  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.

ehammond1, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of NJpadreFan
2.63/5  rDev -21.3%
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!

NJpadreFan, Jul 19, 2004
Photo of beerguy101
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium gold color, small white foamy head. 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.

beerguy101, Aug 26, 2003
Photo of rarbring
2.98/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

rarbring, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of Redrover
3.13/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Redrover, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of Offa
2.98/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Offa, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of bumchilly25
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

bumchilly25, Mar 22, 2013
Photo of gatornation
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

gatornation, Feb 05, 2013
Photo of HalfFull
3.3/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

HalfFull, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of magictrokini
3.43/5  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.

magictrokini, Dec 09, 2008
Karl Strauss Amber from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.