Sep 24, 2009

Karl Strauss Oktoberfest

I had to do some deep thinking when a six pack of Karl Strauss Oktoberfest arrived the other day — only a couple of days after the Leinenkugel Oktoberfest. For one, I had completely forgotten that a package was coming from the California brewer. But more importantly, I don’t recall ever having one of there beers before. So not only was the sample a nice surprise, but it also serves as my introduction to the company.

As I stated in the aforementioned Leinenkugel review, Oktoberfest beers have been in pretty heavy rotation the past couple of weeks. So I have had a plethora of varieties to compare against Karl Strauss’ own take on the style.


This Oktoberfest pours a light copper in color with a small, off-white head that faded slowly.


I’m not sure if it was chilled too long, but the nose was subtle at first. I eventually got some wonderful bready notes, malt sweetness and light caramel. There’s also a hint of hops in there.


There’s a nice upfront caramel/toffee presence that goes along nicely with the malt sweetness. The finish is rather dry with a light hop bitterness. This one wasn’t as rich as some marzens, but its medium body and flavor profile works in its favor.


I actually liked this one a good deal. It’s not my favorite of the style, but I’m definitely looking forward to enjoying the remaining samples. Karl Strauss has done a nice job creating a medium bodied brew that’s flavorful and easy to drink.

Rating: 3.5/5

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