Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Pintail Pale Ale - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pintail Pale AlePintail Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

45 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 45
Hads: 171
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 23.28%
Wants: 6
Gots: 31 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tonistruth on 10-01-2007

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (95) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pintail Pale Ale Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 45 | Hads: 171
Photo of hoptrip619
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure if there was a reformulation to this recipe because there is no way this beer deserves anything less than a solid A. I sampled Pintail several times last night at a charity event for the San Diego History Center and was very very impressed. Ryan, the KS rep, mentioned it will be available in six-packs here in a few weeks and I definitely plan to pick some up when that become a reality.

A- Poured a clear bright golden orange with a 1/2" white head.

S- Prominent clean floral citrus aroma of grapefruit zest with some fruity notes.

T- Lots of hop flavor of grapfruit, orange, and meyer lemon. Some caramel malt contrasts nicely with the forward hoppiness.

M- Medium bodied and very very easy to drink.

D- This PA is clean, super flavorful, and incredibly easy to drink. This may very well become my go-to beer. I am seriously impressed by the new beers KS has been putting out lately.

 905 characters

Photo of Beerocrat69
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was copper-colored with a nice white head and great lace on the glass. It smelled like grapefruit juice mingled with a little bit of pine. Great aroma! It tasted dry - which is good - with slight notes of caramel. The beer was super hoppy without being very bitter. The mouthfeel was light to medium-bodied. This is definitely a sessionable pale ale. I could drink alot of this one.

 392 characters

Photo of crvcac
4.39/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours with a nice golden amber hue

Smell: smells absolutely wonderful. Clearly dry-hopped, this beer runs a fine line between pale ale and ipa.

Taste: taste very similar to its smell. Again, a very hopped pale ale. Copious amounts of citrus and pine like flavors. Sits very nicely on the palate.

Drink ability: very drinkable. Moderate abv makes for a great session beer. Hop linger on the tongue makes me want more

Overall: solid

 447 characters

Photo of jjh19
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: My bottle of Pintail Pale Ale poured a rich golden amber color. Decent head. Had a really clean look.

Smell: A pleasant aroma, hints of citrus (maybe grapefruit?)

Taste: Wow - this ale delivers big on the citrus with the first sip. Pretty cool. I think my favorite thing about the Pintail is the malts I get mid-sip. Creates a nice balance with the vibrant hops.

Mouthfeel: My bottle had a fairly ale-standard medium body. Nothing crazy.

Drinkability: This is a smooth pale ale with an interesting hoppiness. I'd totally recommend this. Can't wait for a hot San Diego day to enjoy a couple more.

 611 characters

Photo of srandycarter
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pretty burnt orange, nice near white head, leaves to ring fast. Plenty cling lace.

S - Almost solid malt center nose. Bitter circling main focus.

T - Nice sweet malt controlled very well by the hops. This is great for a pale ale. Within style, but so much flavor.

M - Medium body, creamy and carbed, finished clean after sweet and bitter blend.

D - Not overpowering, not high abv. It's a keeper.

 403 characters

Photo of tomgetz
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tough to completely review due to it being served in a plastic cup at Disney California adventure. Despite this, this is a solid pale ale with citrusy taste. Low alcohol level makes this very drinkable. For the Midwest people, this is much like founders all day ipa. A very good offering from Karl Strauss.

 306 characters

Photo of Andrewharemza
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a copper colour with a small head. Aroma of orange marmalade, caramel sweetness and citrus. Flavour of sweet juicy fruitiness, citrusy tartness, floral bitterness, mild graininess and quite heavy caramel malts. Medium bodied. Juicy, dry, fruity finish. Good.

 264 characters

Photo of chogm54
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I've started to see more of the Karl Strauss beers pop up around the place. It looks like Sierra Nevada may not be the only american beer to be widely available in Oz. Bring it on I say - Im yet to have a really terrible craft American beer. Poured from a 330ml bottle.

a - Looks how it should - hazy dark orange/brown, pours a 3cm off - white head, that lingers to a 5mm thick lacing.

s - big kick of hoppy floral odours, slight whiff of malt and spicy citrus

t - a citrus tang (blood orange/grapefruit) tang at the very beginning, before the hoppy bitterness comes in, mixed in with some faint roasted malt, with caramel and honey overlapping at the rear

m - moderate to high carbonation (for an APA), light to moderate body with slightly creamy texture

O - slightly more bitter than the average pale ale or APA, this is nevertheless an enjoyable beer, with enough bitterness to enjoy the flavour, but not too much so it isn't sessionable. Definitely work a try if you want an alternative to Little Creatures or Sierra Nevada PA's.

 1,038 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at OC Brewhouse, on to the beer:

A little paler than copper, this beer has very good head retention and leaves a lot of lacing around the glass. Nose is pleasant, giving off grapefruit and piney aromas. A clean pale ale, leans towards the hoppy side, though never bitter or rough at any moment. The grapefruit seems sweeter in the taste. Piney and limey as well. Gentle and medium-light in mouthfeel, and very easy to quaff.

Refreshing and appetizing beer from Karl Strauss. This would be ideal for lazy summer days.

 526 characters

Photo of Jason
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with a code on the neck.

Clear and brassy, thin but impressive lacing. APA nose with floral and citric hop notes with bready and biscuity malt. Somewhat deep smoothness develops into a quick snap of crispness. Medium body. Citric hop flavor runs from pulp to zest to a little bit of rind with a bitterness that sticks. Maltiness holds together well, a good base with biscuity and bread flavors that meld with yeasty undertones. Finishes malt and bitter at the same time, semi-dry though.

A stellar example of the APA style, nothing crazy ... to style.

 571 characters

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice strong copper color with a 1 inch soapy off-white head that has some good retention. Active carbonation rise form the bottom of the glass.

S - Malty goodness is present with some underlying and delicious grassy hops. Some citrus grapefruit notes are present but the bready grain backbone is definitely dominant.

T & M - Taste starts off with some nice bready grain notes. Freshly baked and toasty. Delicious malt backbone to this brew. There is some nice grapefruit and slightly grassy hop notes to balance the malt backbone. There si some slight malt sweetness to the beer as well. With some slight carmel notes mixed in with the grain. Good light mouthfeel with great overall flavors.

O - I was pleasantly surprised byt his beer. It is up there with some of the more known Cali Pale Ales. In fact to me it trumps SNPA. Good malt backbone with nice hop hints.

 881 characters

Photo of beagle75
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft service into a shaker pint glass at Karl Strauss in Costa Mesa.

A: Clear, medium amber color with less than one finger of diminishing white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Citrus and floral hops are pungent anf focused early, but diminish quickly in intensity. Toasted grain is predictably more evident as hops fade, but otherwise the smell is very clean.

T: Begins dry, with aromatic hops that match the smell closely and bright acidity that is strong but welcome. Pale malt emerges in the middle, husky and robust. Bitterness develops gradually, becoming nearly bracing at its peak during the finish.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, wet and balanced featuring an acidic edge, with moderate carbonation.

D: Not only is Pintail one of the best beers Karl Strauss brews, it may also be one of the best APAs brewed in Southern California. One has to consider some other much more poorly-distributed beers--Alpine Hoppy Birthday, Strand 24th Street pale--to find one that is both local and is able to exceed this beer in its masterful approach to the style. While off-flavors are virtually non-existent here, one could potentially criticize the acidity present and the speed at which the hop aromas seem to fade from the smell. That said, even they are small transgressions that should not prevent this beer from rising to the top of the Karl Strauss stable.

 1,383 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

No love for Karl Strauss? I thought this was a very nice brew. Pours clear dark golden copper color with a fluffy white two finger head. Floral aroma, with some light citrus coming in in the big nose. Flavor is a nice sweet citrus and light bitter pine on the finish. There is a definite malty biscuit backbone on this one with some caramel sweetness. Slick mouthfeel with high carbonation and some bite lingering on the palate. Very nice beer.

 444 characters

Photo of armock
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a copper color with a white head that leaves some lacing behind

S - Is mostly of citrus hops on caramel malt

T - Starts off with grapefruit hops finishes with a touch of caramel malt

M - This beer has a medium body with higher carbonation to it

D - This was a pretty good pale thats easy to drink with its good taste I could probably drink a few of these in a sitting worth picking up sometime to give it a try

 426 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass. Just over an inch of head. Color was caramel. Plenty of lacing on top with some film on the sides. The film stayed throughout the pour.

Initial whiff was pine and grapefruit, followed by hops.

Initial taste was a pleasant balance of hops, pine and grapefruit, followed by a small hint of bitterness. Even some lemon wafer cookies in there as well.

Moderate on the carbonation. Flavor stayed consistent throughout. Pine and hops rule the day.

I thought this beer was going to be good and it didn’t disappoint. Heavy on the hops, but smooth. Great combination.

 609 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the Summer Brews pack from Cost Plus World Market.

Pours a clear orange with a 1 inch whitish-orange head that fades to a thin cap. Random foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grapefruit, grapefruit juice, and citrus zest. Taste is of grapefruit and it’s juice, citrus zests, and slight malt. Medium bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. Good carbonation makes for a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a solid pale ale with some nice citrus aromas and flavors and an excellent choice for a Summer beer.

 571 characters

Photo of velosuds
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a clear pint glass.

A-Pours an amber-orange with a one and a quarter finger, off-white head with average retention and nice, even lacing.

S-Very fragrant, citrusy hops and caramel malt.

T-A full flavored light ale. Nice blend of bitterness and tropical fruit notes with a balanced malt presence.

M-Very smooth. Good carbonation.

D-This is very drinkable and a decent ale.

O- Good, but not great, at regular prices. However, I would buy this for $5.99 a sixer, whenever available. A good APA.

 531 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ferric oxide orange with honeybee highlights and crystalline clarity throughout. The head is equal parts eggshell and ecru and melts in fine fashion. BB-shot lace isn't extensive, but there's enough of it present to result in the above score.

For a spring seasonal, PPA is still pretty hoppy with respect to the aroma. Cascade and Newport were used, with Amarillo for dry-hopping. Tangerine and grapefruit zest on a primarily pale malt base is right up my APA alley.

Pintail Pale Ale is a solid version of the style without a doubt. That's no surprise since the only other Karl Strauss beer that I've reviewed to date (Big Barrel Double IPA) is an underappreciated hoppy humdinger. Little brother is tasty and drinkable as well.

The malts are sufficient in amount and seem very slightly toasted and earthy, as if a small percentage of Munich or Vienna is present. The top notes are all bright citrus peel of the sort described above. It tastes and feels like most of the original 47 IBUs are still kickin'. The finish is lingeringly hoppy-bitter and semi-crisp.

The body/mouthfeel is the only (teensy weensy) fly in the ointment. It's a little bit thin and slightly too harshly bubbled. Things improve in the bottom half, just not enough to make a difference where score is concerned.

It's difficult to say after only two of their offerings, but it appears as though Karl Strauss doesn't get enough love. Maybe it's different out there in California, who knows? This is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a well-hopped American pale ale that doesn't allow its malts to be backseat drivers.

 1,609 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber with a large, lasting head.
Very hoppy aroma, lots of pine, floral notes, citrus fruit and spicy hops. Some light clean malt underneath.
Flavours follow along the same lines, with more floral and spicy notes along with a little fruit. Lovely clean malt underneath with just a hint of a cookie dough-like character.
Carbonation is perhaps just a little high.
Wonderfully refreshing and drinkable.

 412 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1227th Review on BA
Draft to Pint

@Karl Strauss Costa Mesa

App-  A decent dark orange with light ambers and a small 1/2 finger of white head. HUGE amazingly clingy lace with webbing for days.

Smell-  Hoppy, piney, citrusy and crisp bitter. Smelled like a clean beer. Had a good small feel. Wasnt too muddled.

Taste- I like this one. Along the lines of a SNPA. Had a good clean profile with a nice hop flavor and then only a small malt profile. 

Mouth-  A clean medium body with a medium carbonation level. Has a semi bitter citrus level.

Drink- Clean all around. Well layered ad has nice simple flavors. Would like this one again.

 640 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color on this is much more brown than I would have anticipated for the style. Nice lacing though. There are good tones of spices from hops, but there are a lot of malts on here as well that mix with the hops and hold them back from getting too obnoxious I would say. Carbonation could be tones down a degree or two really. Overall though, a pretty good beer.

 362 characters

Photo of rawfish
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arrives to the table with a deep orange amber hue and a small off white cap of froth that leaves an even ring of stick on the glass. Nice clarity with active carbonation.

A little muted but nice caramel malt back bone with even balance of citrus and pine hop aromas. Smells lightly herbaceous and clean.

Clean malt bill, not a hint of any coarse grains and it quickly clears allowing the beer to lean towards the hoppy side of the spectrum with grapefruit citrus , pine and lemon zest. Mildly bitter in the finish, with a brightening acidity.

Prickly carbonation but nothing overblown, deceivingly lighter body then the color lets on, doesn't give a drying feeling but unmistakably clean.

Very clean and on the hoppier side of the spectrum as far as pale ales go. Reminds me quite a bit of fresh SN pale which is also very good. One of Karl Strauss' better beers in the standard lineup.

 890 characters

Photo of TheMarkE
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Cloudy amber with decent head and lacing. Quite a bit of carbonation.

Smell: Citrus and floral hops, caramel, pine.

Taste: Pine, citrus, fresh bready malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a hop bitterness in the finish.

The Verdict: Very good. Well balanced and tasty, it’s not a bad alternative to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Firestone Pale 31.

 360 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber in the pint glass. Long lasting white foam on the brew. Really a tasty light style of Pale Ale. Big floral taste fills the mouth, followed by a very modest bitterness. Resins in the flavors add some interesting spice, and a lot of rich, toasted biscuit flavor fills out the body. An extremely drinkable beer with a big splash of hops, yet light enough for a quaff.

It's hard to get too far away from Karl Strauss in San Diego, but I somehow missed this peg in their standard lineup. Tasted at the La Jolla outlet. This and the Hefeweizen are really quite good, I think.

 581 characters

Photo of dansmcd
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a deep golden amber, nice thick and creamy head with excellent retention, sloppy sticky lacing.

S - piney hops, spice and caramel malt.

T - really tasty. Well balanced. Pine, caramel, sweet and bitter. Good example of the style.

M - moderate carbonation, medium body, dry finish.

O - surprisingly good considering the other offerings from these guys.

 364 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Pintail Pale Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.