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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

156 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 156
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 15.32%
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: 156 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cmaloy
2.9/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

cmaloy, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of teejay76
3.8/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

teejay76, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of birdypowder
3.73/5  rDev +12%
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?

birdypowder, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of Foxtrot
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.

Foxtrot, Jan 30, 2009
Photo of magictrokini
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.

magictrokini, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of RunDWP
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.

RunDWP, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of dippy
2.58/5  rDev -22.5%
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.

dippy, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of jbsteiny
3.73/5  rDev +12%
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.

jbsteiny, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of IBUnit63
2.95/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

IBUnit63, Aug 17, 2008
Photo of TheMistler
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.

TheMistler, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of barleywinefiend
2.6/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

barleywinefiend, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of DoubleJ
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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 Redrover
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.

Redrover, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of Zorro
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.

Zorro, Oct 28, 2007
Photo of AustinBeerLvr
3.78/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

AustinBeerLvr, Aug 08, 2007
Photo of theopholis
2.63/5  rDev -21%
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.

theopholis, May 24, 2007
Photo of MiScusi
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.

MiScusi, Mar 01, 2007
Photo of mithrascruor
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.

mithrascruor, Sep 06, 2006
Photo of MusicmanSD
4.03/5  rDev +21%
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.

MusicmanSD, Aug 03, 2006
Photo of Domingo
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

Domingo, Jun 14, 2006
Photo of scottoale
2.98/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

scottoale, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of Suds
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.

Suds, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of SteveO1231
2.25/5  rDev -32.4%
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

Cheers!

SteveO1231, Oct 09, 2005
Photo of swid
2.93/5  rDev -12%
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.

swid, Jul 21, 2005
Photo of surfmeister
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.

surfmeister, Dec 09, 2004
Karl Strauss Amber from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 156 ratings.