Karl Strauss Stargazer Ale | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

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Karl Strauss Stargazer AleKarl Strauss Stargazer Ale
42 Ratings
Karl Strauss Stargazer AleKarl Strauss Stargazer Ale

Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerguy101 on 08-26-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 37
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a darker yellow color. Around half inch of white head. Bland aroma, not much there.

A degree of malt flavor, almost spicy rye like backbone, hops aren't much there. Not necessarily a traditional English ipa, the yeast and malt flavors seem like they are still American, but the hopping is somewhere in the middle.

No off flavors, just normal down the middle of the road stuff.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of beerpadawan
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a little more dark than gold. Good 3/8" white hesd on the beer. An aroma that certainly does not scream hops, if anything, it murmurs about it being old.

Taste, kinda malt forward, a slight spiciness to it, maybe its the very minute hop addition. Tastes like this has a small amount of brown malt. Seeemed like a ripoff at the time paying $7 for a 6 pack.

Just not a big market for these English ipa's in San Diego, and I can see why this beer is no longer made. It was a lot like Karl Strauss's rest of the lineup, not bad, but not overly impressive either. Thankfully that double barrel nelson hop ipa came around and brought this brewery into the 21st hophead century.

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Photo of MEOGDEN
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Stoffel
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of bpfrush
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a small weizen glass)

A- This beer has a slightly dense orange body with a creamy tan head that last for a sip. There is a gentle carbonation of big bubbles that glide to the surface.

S- This beer has a green citrus aroma with a fresh raw malt finish coming through as the beer warms. It was served ice cold.

T- The juicy full citrus hops flavor has a soft grapefruit flavor to it followed by a sweet caramel malt flavor. There is a note of dry toffee to the malt as it warms and the finish is a soft bitter green note that really grows as the beer warms.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight fizz finish and no alcohol heat noticed.

D- This is a well built IPA with cascade hop flavors all the way. The bitterness starts to dominate other flavors but it has some good depth to the malt.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I stumbled upon a bottle of this in the deep confines of a friend's fridge, somewhere behind the lettuce and cantaloupe. Knowing it's got a few months on it as production has ceased. Having been replaced in the Karl lineup with an American IPA, namely Tower 10.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Pours a mostly clear deep golden/touch of orange in color and offers an inch of off white head. Head settles quickly yet doesn't disappear any time soon. Good retention yet limited lacing.

Light hops on the nose and a light alcohol nose blending with some caramel malts. Seems a bit dry, unexpectedly. Toasted grains are dominant. Taste is dry and somewhat bitter for the style, yet without much distinction. Decent nondescript flavor with a good feel and drink. A bit smoky in the hops, but very light overall. Drinkability is kept in check, even given the light ABV, by the rich and smoky finish.

A bit too much time in the fridge perhaps, but not unlike what I recall fresh in days of yore.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.47/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in LAX
Poured a medium gold color, small white foamy head. Nose is malty and fruity. Mild malts, medium hops. Good balance of hops and malts. Nicely malty, mild flavor. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is smooth and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly bitter, slight malt sweetness, on the malty side.

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Photo of KevinBrewer
4.32/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on tap at the Karl Strauss brewpub in San Diego. It was a clear copper color with a light white head that quickly dissipated, although it left some lacing because I couldn't stand to sip a fresh brew like this. The aroma was very pronounced. I could smell it before the waitress even put it on the table. The most notable aroma was the piney hops. When I had the chance to get the beer up to my nose, I noticed grapefruit, grass, and a slight peach smell. The taste was well balanced between bittering hops, floral hops, and clean malt. There was also a peachy undertone. The beer had a smooth, medium body and appropriate carbonation. Very drinkable. And it was a great accompaniment to the spicy chicken!

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Photo of magictrokini
2.68/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Disappointing IPA. Pours clear gold with a small white head. Aroma is stale golding hops and pale malt. More citrus than hops, but not really a grapefruit, more passionfruit, and no bitterness to speak of. As good as the Amber Lager is, I expected so much more. An IPA with training wheels.

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Photo of RunDWP
3.9/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at LAX. I liked this example of the style, which proves on the West Coast, you don't need to punch people in the mouth with a bunch of hops to make a good IPA. Had a citrus aroma, and poured an amber orange in the glass, with a sturdy head, and lots of lacing on the glass. The taste was well balanced, with a fair amount of slightly sweet malt to balance the citrus and piney hops. I noted a little orange peel bitterness in there, too. Prett good as far as an ÍPA goes.

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Photo of shmaltz227
3.64/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice amber color. Nothing out of the ordinary, but inviting none the less. Smell is almost sweet with definite citrus notes, especially grapefruit. The grapefruit comes through in the flavor as well and cuts the bitterness nicely, but you still know you are drinking an IPA. Medium-bodied, it is an easy beer to drink. Overall, although not the most impressive IPA on the market, a great subtle, hoppy beer. If you are looking for something with a lot of bite, this is not your IPA, but if you enjoy a lighter, citrusy "starter" IPA, this could be a good choice.

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Photo of dippy
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had at LAX:

Amber color with a decent white head.

Smells fairy sweet and malty. Not a lot of hops in the nose

The hops is like biting into a grapefruit and then licking a pine cone.

Medium carbonation and a medium body to go along with it.

Pretty good IPA. Nothing really makes it stand out or above any other ipa, but it is good. I am not going to search it out again but I won't avoid it either. Great Beer for an Airport!

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Photo of Durge
3.81/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This fairly simple brew poured a clear glowing bright copper color with a thick creamy looking oatmeal color head and lacing. The aroma is a tastefully sweet citrus hop and a cherry hint. The flavor is mild citrus but again tastefully hopped, absolutely drinkable ipa, smooth bodied with plenty of carbonation for a lively refreshing feel. There is a pleasant oak or maple wood sort of touch, it's kind of delicate.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.66/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Karl Strauss Costa Mesa location, listed as 6%,

A: Pours a cloudy orange-yellow, with a full white head with great retention with a lot of lacing, but lacking the clarity I like in my IPAs.

S: Light grapefruit juice, pine, orange.

T: Brisk attack of grapefruit on the palate, with a light bready malt. Medium hop presence for the style, definitely an American influence, not near the hop bomb I'm used to coming out of San Diego, but a nice lighter IPA.

M: Mild carbonation, very creamy, very drinkable and smooth.

D: An interesting IPA to have on cask, not the greatest in the world, but a nice beer to drink.

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Photo of SBarbeerian
3.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance good; color orange-light copper as should be. Mosltly clear. Too little head with little retention.
Smell: mild on hops, even for an English IPA.
Tatse: too low on hops, even for an English IPA
Mouthfeel: medium light & true to style.
Drinkability: average at best for an English IPA, but would make a very nice pale ale. Average for style, short on hops, but pleasant.

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Photo of Zorro
3.82/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear dark amber to copper colored ale with a smallish of white head.

Smell is sweet and malty with the unmistakable scent of Fuggles hop. Fruity esters and the scent of leather and tobacco from the hops. Bit of toffee in this one but I can't nail down the fruit it is just a basic Tutti frutti scent.

The taste starts out sweet with a fair amount of toffee candy and a strong flavor of Fuggles Hop. Taste stays mildly sweet and doesn't become to dry. Nicely herbal and restrained flavor with a hint of tobacco and leather in it.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Very good drinkability this surprised me a great deal by not being mediocre. Exceptionally easy to drink while being flavorful with a nice aroma. This is right up there with the real thing from Britain and I do recommend it.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.01/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Why do they call this Stargazer? Is it because you'll be seeing stars after drinking one of these? Ehh, nah, the ABV's too low for that. Hmm, oh I know! It's "a natural escape with stellar hops streaking across golden mlats!" You can tell I cheated, right? Alright, on to the beer:

The beer pours a light clear copper from the bottle into the glass. The head is fine here. Some diacteyl and other tannins in the aroma, very English indeed. Now to put it in my mouth. A little cleaner than I was expecting, but nothing postively or negatively eventful here. The hops are delicate here, with moderate bitterness at most. Some esters and caramel chase away the hops. Average mouthfeel here. As a lighter ale, this would do the trick for a warm day. As an IPA though, the hops fall short.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.06/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Slightly hazy sepia-orange, oddly reminiscent of shag carpet (don't ask me why) with a fizzy, parchment-colored head that rushes in and out of existence like a flustered mayfly. Lame.

Smell: Rightly categorized as an English IPA, as the hops are more subdued and the malts more pronounced than a typical American IPA. However, the hop aroma is pure West Coast - very similar, in fact, to a Lagunitas brew. Hops are floral, very floral, and ever so slightly piquant with resiny citrus oil. Malts are sweet and bready, a tad buttery, like buttered wheat bread, maybe with a sprinkle of brown sugar, with an undercurrent of white wine.

Taste: Balanced and nicely bittered, maybe somewhere between an English IPA and an American IPA in terms of bitterness. In fact, it might be at home in the American pale ale category. Anyway, the flavor is round and fruity yet simple, with notes of apple juice, toasted rye bread, lemon, quinine, and not much more. Maybe just a drop of Scotch - earthy, in a way. Finishes with a flash of spicy bitterness that lingers lightly on the tonsils.

Mouthfeel: Similar to the Karl Strauss Endless Summer Light I reviewed yesterday; rolling, soft-yet-prickly carbonation in a wet, sticky body. It works very well for the flavor.

Drinkability: Very nice and very drinkable thanks to its robust yet restrained flavor.

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Photo of domtronzero
2.98/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap at Joe & Andy's in La Mesa.

Standard IPA light copper color. No head (as poured by the bartender). Aroma is somewhat lacking... hop aroma are weak and not well perceived. Taste is average... simply average. After tasting Karl Strauss' Double IPA at O'Brien's, I figured this would be a sure-shot, but was thoroughly dissapointed. Overall, there is nothing more to say than: Simply average; nothing more, nothing less.

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Photo of rxdrewthejew
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice amber color, looks like apple juice. Not much head at all.

S: Smells crisp and bitter, hard to tell what's to come.

T: Bitter with some roasted malt mixed in. Not much flavor to the hops. Very crips and clean, but nothing too special going on.

MF: Very crisp as I mentioned. Somewhat bitter aftertaste. Some warming, more than you would expect from the alcohol content.

O: Not bad, but wish the hops were more citrus. Easy to drink but not the best I've had.

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Photo of Floydster
3.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle from Cooke's Market in El Segundo

Poured into a pint glass with a light brown color and a foamy white head

Smell had a little grapefruit in it, but mostly hops

Taste was bitter and dry, pretty nice IPA, I want to try this on tap next time I am in San Diego

Could drink a lot of these because the alcohol content is pretty low for this type of beer

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Photo of jackorain
3.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Bright amber, clear, 3/4 inch head, fair retention, okay lace

S-Biscuit malt, a little carmel malt. Faint hops (citrus and floral)

T-Just like the nose, not complex and and faint malts and floral hops, citrus hop finish with almost no bitteness.

M-light body and a little watery.

D-This is fairly high givent he low ABV.

Overall this beer is not fantastic and a little simple, possibly approachable for a brew pub. But still should be classified a Pale Ale.

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Karl Strauss Stargazer Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.38 out of 5 with 42 ratings