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Karl Strauss Amber - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Karl Strauss AmberKarl Strauss Amber

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

128 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 128
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 14.71%


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)
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Ratings: 128 | Reviews: 61 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of LXIXME
LXIXME

New Mexico

3.49/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2013 04:23:09 | More by LXIXME
Photo of MiScusi
MiScusi

California

3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2007 01:52:50 | More by MiScusi
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear amber (surprise!) color with a marshmallow fluff head; OK retention and a smattering of lace

Smell: Doughy malts and toffee

Taste: The taste follows the aroma, with the doughy malts being complemented by the toffee through mid-palate, where a grainy, nutskin bitterness arrives; after the swallow, the sweeter elements tend to dominate, though the lager twang lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: After a while, the sweetness really gets overbearing, rendering this beer a bit tough to drink in any quantity

Thanks, mrmiles, for the opportunity

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2010 02:37:49 | More by brentk56
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.45/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nutty, roasty, and caramel flavors are the good points. Makes a good first impression and ends up being inoffensive. Very fragrant nose of flowers and malt. This one could have better carbonation to qualify for the big gulp award. IBU in the teens so it's shy on bitterness.

Quite unassuming but a good example of how much flavor can be packed into a low-alcohol, low-hop beer. It manages to be quite drinkable with a warm flavor and just a touch of tartness.

Serving type: on-tap

10-03-2011 04:49:58 | More by mactrail
Photo of RunDWP
RunDWP

California

3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I recently had this on tap at LAX, and I've also had it at the brewpub in Downtown San Diego. I think it's a mighty fine amber. Pours a cloudy tan color with a thin head, and not a lot of lacing of the glass. Not much of an aroma, but I like the rich, caramel malt flavor that has an almost buttery character as the brew warms. Went well with the turkey sandwich I ate it with last time I had this.

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2008 02:35:40 | More by RunDWP
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

3.43/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2008 22:55:27 | More by magictrokini
Photo of Dmann
Dmann

California

3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2003 03:40:33 | More by Dmann
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Serving type: growler

10-08-2011 04:43:09 | More by ehammond1
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5

California

3.33/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2012 04:13:24 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull

California

3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2009 23:54:08 | More by HalfFull
Photo of beerguy101
beerguy101

California

3.25/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2003 00:48:42 | More by beerguy101
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2005 12:36:23 | More by Suds
Photo of magictacosinus
magictacosinus

California

3.24/5  rDev -2.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 06:05:43 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.23/5  rDev -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.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2007 23:56:57 | More by Zorro
Photo of jeffthecheff
jeffthecheff

Connecticut

3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden amber color with virtually no head into a weizen glass.

Aroma is unimpressive. Faint toasty malt with very little intensity. Boring, but no obvious flaws.

There is a very light caramel flavor as well as a light bitterness. Flavor is clean overall, but the high carbonation masks the body and flavor. Nothing impresses me here, but it's tolerable.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2010 00:48:03 | More by jeffthecheff
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 07:26:31 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of mithrascruor
mithrascruor

California

3.13/5  rDev -6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2006 02:52:47 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of Redrover
Redrover

Illinois

3.13/5  rDev -6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-19-2007 18:00:44 | More by Redrover
Photo of popery
popery

California

3.13/5  rDev -6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2010 04:38:22 | More by popery
Photo of surfmeister
surfmeister

California

3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2004 18:11:05 | More by surfmeister
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2011 06:18:20 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of TheMistler
TheMistler

District of Columbia

3.03/5  rDev -9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2008 03:20:51 | More by TheMistler
Photo of Foxtrot
Foxtrot

California

3.03/5  rDev -9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2009 06:33:51 | More by Foxtrot
Photo of Armand
Armand

California

3.03/5  rDev -9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-27-2011 22:28:34 | More by Armand
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

3/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2003 20:44:08 | More by Gusler
Karl Strauss Amber from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.