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Columbia Street Amber | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

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Columbia Street AmberColumbia Street Amber
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company
California, United States
karlstrauss.com

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Karl Strauss Amber

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-26-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
68
Ratings:
188
Avg:
3.31
pDev:
15.41%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
26
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 68 | Ratings: 188
Photo of T100Mark
3.6/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - This beer is the color of a brand new penny (with clarity to match). Mediocre head that dissipates quickly. Zero stickage.

Smell - Mild malt sweetness mixed with a whiff of flowery hops. Nice and simple.

Taste - Mild malt sweetness mixed with a touch of flowery hops (very similar to an American adjunct lager). The flavor is pleasant but short-lived.

Mouth - Fizzy (again, like an American adjunct lager).

Overall - This beer is a cross between a real amber ale (think Ballast Point Calico Copper Amber Ale) and a Miller Genuine Draft. The beer is not offensive, it's just lacking in character. Karl Strauss' own Red Trolly Ale is a better interpretation of the style.

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Photo of Kaiser81
3.73/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is one of the first beers that got me into craft beers. I'm finally reviewing it.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter glass.

A - Pours a very clear amber with less than a finger width of head. The head dies down fairly quickly. Modest amounts of lacing left on the glass

S - Rich malts and sweetness like butterscotch candy...or those Werther's originals. No real hops to speak of.

T - Very sweet from the malts. It pretty much follows the nose, sweet candy and caramel kind of dominate. There is the aftertaste of a lager, but not a bitter...unsatisfying aftertaste left by BMC lagers.

M - Light body with medium carbonation.

D - It has a special place in my heart, so I can always drink these at a party, though there are a lot of other beers I prefer

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Photo of Foxtrot
3.03/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

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Photo of RunDWP
3.4/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of surfmeister
3.1/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of swid
2.9/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

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Photo of VWBuggirl
3.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a very light, clear amber color, but with a thick head. It smells more on the sweet side, I am thinking caramel or toffee. Otherwise there wasn't much to it.

The taste was quite malty and sweet. I was disappointed with the aftertaste as there wasn't much to it, but it went very well with my bbq.

I did like the carbonation and it was easy to drink.

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Photo of birdypowder
3.73/5  rDev +12.7%
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?

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Photo of MusicmanSD
4/5  rDev +20.8%
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.

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Photo of jjh19
4.5/5  rDev +36%

Appearance: A rich reddish, amber color. Decent foamy head.

Smell: I got toasty and bready notes in the nose.

Taste: A ton of caramel and toffee malt sweetness. Not that this tastes like a sugar bomb cider or anything. Just a nice refreshing change of pace from San Di-Hop-o IIIIIIIPAs. First sip to last gulp, I’m a fan of this Amber ale.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, straight down the middle.

Drinkability: Definitely a recommendation and on my go-to list for easy drinking beers.

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Photo of loubar
3.93/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Malt forward beers like this typically don’t get as much respect. But I found it to be an easy drinking, low key amber with distinct, yet faint, woody and earthy flavors and little hop bitterness. Not particularly complex, just light, smooth and refreshing. Love the dry finish and low ABV.

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Photo of teejay76
3.77/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of crvcac
4.03/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer on tap at ale house.
Appearance: pours a nice golden amber, moderate head. Alight lace

Smell: smells of toffee and rich caramel malt.

Taste: caramel malt, very fait subtle hops.

Mouthfeel: sits nice on the palate. Nice crisp finish

Drinkability: solid session beer. Would seek out again

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Photo of Armand
3.03/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

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Photo of chickenandrice
3.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter glass.

A - Clear amber with finger width of head. The head dies quickly. Modest amounts of lacing.

S - Rich malts and sweetness like butterscotch candy. No real hops to speak of.

T - Very sweet from the malts, sweet candy and caramel dominate.

M - Light body and average carbonation.

D - Wife's favorite, so can say anything bad about it! I would have anything bad to say anyways!

Cheers!

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Photo of cmaloy
2.86/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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Photo of DennisD
4.27/5  rDev +29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice bronze/amber color with a decent lacy head.

Great toasty bread smell. Excellent balanced malty flavor. Caramel undertones. Medium bodied and finished clean.

This was a great beer. I had it at their location in Carlsbad. I would have it again.

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Photo of GimmeaBeer
4.51/5  rDev +36.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had Karl Strauss Amber Lager on tap at my house for the better part of 20 years. I always say that when I find a beer that I like better, I'll switch. I have yet to find that beer. I gave it a 4.5 overall, but my personal opinion is it could easily garner a 5. Love this beer. Great restaurants too!

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Columbia Street Amber from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
3.31 out of 5 based on 188 ratings.
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