Karl Strauss Amber - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Karl Strauss AmberKarl Strauss Amber

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BA SCORE
76
okay

173 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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
Photo of GarthDanielson
2.3/5  rDev -30.7%
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.

Photo of dcmchew
3.45/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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 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 popery
3.13/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Photo of Suds
3.23/5  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.

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 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 beerguy101
3.26/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of Redrover
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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 Offa
2.99/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Photo of rawfish
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a amber honey hue with a nice frothy off white 2 finger head. Poor retention and doesn't leave alot of lacing on the glass.

Picking up alot of processed clover honey, mild nuttiness and some pale malt and adjunct grain. Lager yeast and a hint of hay and lemon.

Honey and pale malt dominant perhaps a bit sweet but nothing offensive no adjunct grains or anything. Hop profile is lemon zest, hay and mildly spicy. Quite different in a good way. Finishes rather crisp and drying. Could use more flavor overall.

Light body for the color as well and active carbonation which I enjoyed. Slick on the palate and dries well.

Pretty decent, I think that it's on par with a Boston Lager, flavor is a bit on the lighter side and the honey sweetness is probably what drops down the score for alot of ppl but the hop profile is refreshing and different in a lager. For what it is, it's very nice.

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 BucannonXC5
3.37/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12-oz. bottle into a pint glass at my house on Oct. 5, 2012 (purchased at BevMo in La Mesa (San Diego, Calif.) for $1.29 (with card) on Oct. 5, 2012). Less than a finger of head. Light honey caramel with iced tea head. Bad retention all-around.

Smelled caramel, toffee, nutty and a very slight whiff of chocolate. Malty.

Tasted a bit different than I was expecting. Got caramel and toffee up front with a decent amount of malts. Reminded me a bit of an Oktoberfest. Lots of carbonation on the tongue late, giving way to a slightly nutty finish.

Light body. Thinner texture. Above average carbonation. Abrupt finish.

I was hoping for a bit more, but an OK amber overall.

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

A solid lager that has a good look and good taste. The amber color is joined by a decent off-white head that comes up full and lingers a short while. The lacing is OK if not impressive. Malty caramel nose also gives slight hints of hops for the balance that results. Full bodied and tasty palate. Mild aftertaste that leaves a bit of a bready sense. Smooth and even feel. Very drinkable lager.

Photo of Domingo
3.73/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Photo of froghop
2.12/5  rDev -36.1%
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.

Photo of magictacosinus
3.24/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle. Not sure if there's a freshness date on the bottle, as the only stamped looking info is smudged. All things considered, this beer should be consumed fresh.

Pours a decent, yet not too showy clear amber color with an initial burst of tons of carbonation and a half finger of head, only to slowly die down into a thinnish ring that seems to last for quite some time at the top of the glass. A half hour later, there's still lots of bubbles rising up. However, just like Red Trolley Ale, the nice little foam eventually disappears. Pretty simple, but on style as well.

The aroma is a combination of biscuit-infused mals with light caramel notes and little bit of citrusy zest. I'm glad those hops come out here, because otherwise the grainy backdrop would really overpower the flavor here. Everything is lightly toasted and not too showy, but I do get the impression that the flavor is going to be the highlight here.

While the caramel malts are definitely more prominent here, combined with slight yeasty notes and lightly tinged hops, there's a rather unpleasant grainy finish, loaded with little astringent notes that really could have made this more pleasant to drink. Syrupy, sweetened texture overall. However, despite the slightly unbalanced finish, it is pretty drinkable, and surprisingly not too watery overall by amber lager standards.

The flavor is pretty simple, and while there's not too much to write about here, this goes pretty well with food, especially greasy bar food, which I gladly paired this with tonight. On it's own, it doesn't ask for much, which is why whoever drinks it wouldn't have to as well. After being a fan of Karl Strauss's Tower 10 IPA, and being spoiled with Anchor Steam beer, this slightly underwhelms overall - especially if this is their flagship beer. Easy to drink, but it definitely is simple. At $1.30 a bottle, can't really complain though!

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 Furlinator
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours reddish gold with a HUGE off-white head and good lacing.

Smell is rather faint and reminds me of grass with a hint of citrus zest.

The taste follows suit of aroma with an addition of honey malt.

Smooth mouthfeel; almost creamy. Very drinkable with high carbonation.

A good, not great amber lager. Very easy to drink. Almost tastes like a light beer.

Photo of mithrascruor
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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.

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