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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: 32 | 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
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Reviews: 45 | Hads: 171
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ordered a pint of this at the Karl Strauss Restaurant in Carlsbad a few days ago. The following review is base on notes taken at that time.

Served in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pale amber, crystal clear, and bright; Pintail Pale Ale has a great looking body. A thin, creamy, white cap covers the surface and retains well, partially thanks to a handful of steady bubble streams seen within. Thick lacing early on eventually turns more cobweb-like. All around, quite nice-looking!

Smell: Light caramel, buttered toast, and pine resin come to mind first. As the beer slowly warms, I get key lime followed by grapefruit and orange. Nothing spectacular, but solid for the style.

Taste: More bitter than I'd like, but I guess this is San Diego. Unfortunately, I really can't find a whole lot in terms of flavor profile; I get lots of earth and pine, with mild lemon and buttered bread occasionally peaking through.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation and heavy bitterness make for a palate-wrecking pale ale (obviously nowhere close to palate-wrecking DIPAs, but you catch my drift). Medium-bodied and hop-forward.

Drinkability: With a few less bittering hops, this might be a great pale ale. Unfortunately, the heavy bitterness overpowers any subtleties that may exist in the flavor profile. Too bad. If you're looking for a low ABV hop fix, this may be your beer.

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

Probably one of the best pale ales that i have had. Tastes very fresh. Nice hop and malt aroma. Slight fruitiness. Overall a very good beer.

This is a beer you can session all year round but probably fits best around summertime. I like to drink this beer whenever i am cleaning my backyard or when i get back from a long day of surfing. If you can get this beer you need try and you will be glad you did. Cheers.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle purchased from Dan Murphy's in Alexandria. Yeast sediment in the bottle, which I left there.

Pleasant deep orange colour, almost copper in hue, with a very fine, pleasant pale orange-tinged beige head. Lacing is patchy, but solid and streaky where it forms. Body is quite light and fluid, but it holds some decent fine carbonation when tilted. Overall, it looks pretty good.

Pithy pine and lemon nose, hint of barley sugar, some honey and a slight ginger tone. Pleasantly fragrant when swirled, a bit of resin comes forward along with some peppery spice. It's very pleasant.

Taste is lighter and slightly sweeter than expected, although it starts out quite well. Pleasant clean, crisp entry, some leafy hop characters and a mild neutral malt character open it out. Mid palate is where things go slightly awry, with a touch of coconut and a slight buttery character coming in ever so subtly. Under this is still the main thrust of clean mild hops and base malt, but those other characters (while very faint) do detract significantly from the taste overall.

Feel is good—clean and light and crisp, but with enough body to keep it going and to balance the hops.

Overall, this is a very decent brew. It's clean and crisp for the most part and has pleasantly bright flavours which provide interest and drive. Sure, there are those minor flaws, but while they provide a slight splinter in the works, they don't really affect the overall beer, which is pretty tasty.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks the part of a good pale beer, amber colored, thin head. Aroma was very pleasant, good dry hopping here.

Taste, a solid beer, especially from a brewery I've never been a big fan of. Great summer sipper. Citrus hops, snippet of pine even. Nothing too crazy, holds its own. Does recede downhill though, everything that stood out diminishes. Man, if they only served this 5 oz. at a time, it would be excellent. . .

As always, about $1-2 more than superior products in the same category SNPA. . .

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a low medium white head. Some soapy lace, good retention.

S: Sweet grapefruit notes and assorted citrus, flowery.

T: White grapefruit and lemon peel are the main flavour. It can get bitter/astringent at times, but the other tastes are good. Malt is nonexistent.

M: Crisp, light to medium-bodied, biting carbonation, thin at points.

D: A solid hoppy San Diego pale ale, good to see this quality from Karl Strauss. Not as good as the standard Sierra Nevada, but can hold its own.

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Photo of Decko
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Hazy amber colour in the glass with an initially good head which disippated and left reasonable lacing on the way down. Grapefruit hoppy aromas. Hops dominate the taste as you'd expect with a decent balance of sweet maltiness. Good level of carbonation with dryness late adding to the mouthfeel. Overall quite enjoyed it and could see it working as a good session beer for those who enjoy their hops. It lacked a little something to be truly great but happy to drink it again anytime.

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Photo of MarriedAtGI
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On draft at Whole Foods El Segundo.

A: Transparent copper color with white head. Good lacing.
S: Very subtle aroma, nothing unpleasant
T: Citrus an pine hops with a nice malt backbone.
M: Dry and refreshing
O: A nice dry pale ale. I prefer more hop aroma.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a clear, golden amber color with an off-white, 2 finger head. Good retention. Lace coats the glass with reckless abandon. Unbelievable stick.

Smell - Primary tropical and citrus aromas. Pineapple and orange. Prominent caramel malt aroma as well. Fantastic smelling beer.

Taste - After the smell and look, a bit of a let down. Taste is well-balanced, but comes across as almost hollow, especially to start. Malts are light and bready, with touches of caramel. Hops are present, but are more or less a ghostly presence until they eventually break through near the finish. Citrus. Touches on pine. Subtle soapiness.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body. Well carbonated. Smooth and drinkable.

Overall - So close to being elite, but the flavor just isn't there. The aroma is a tease, for sure. Would I buy this beer again? I don't know that I would.

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Photo of BucBasil
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap into a pint glass at Karl Strauss at Universal City, CA.

A: Amber color, almost orange but with some reddish notes. Offwhite head of about a finger with ok retention.

S: Subtle but has a malty backbone of bread with a light fruit sweetness and a hint of floral.

T: Light and smooth. Good hop profile but with a bit of balance in the form of slightly bready malt. A hint of herbal and floral hop and slightly fruity going down.

O: Very drinkable but nothing too exciting. A solid pale.

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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.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Straight from the good old US of A is the Pintail Pale Ale from Herr Karl Strauss, and we all have fond memories of the Tower 10 IPA, at least I do, so my best [taste] buds are humming with anticipation at what to expect from this quality west coast brewer because everyone knows "the west is best" when it comes to craft beers... wait, I may be wrong, perhaps it is "the mid-west is best"... It's definitely not "the tex-mex is best" this I know for certain.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Body is a classic Pale Ale deep amber with a thin off-white dusting on top, very run of the mill, and who doesn't like run of the mill? I'll kill them... with a mill. It will be one creative death right there.

S: To all the American Pale Ale admirers out there this is, simply put, berfume (a portmanteau of "beer" and "perfume" I invented). A full bouquet of floral/citric/pine hops and generous caramel malt base blend well here. It is borderline Sierra Nevada Awesome [SNA for short] with hops leading the nose well.

T: The taste, however, falls short of SNA with those hops flattening out flavour-wise and presenting less complexity than one is lead to believe by the aroma. Citric hops (minus much of that floral/pine note mentioned above) share evenly with a caramel malt base and finish, for an APA at least, balanced between bitter and dry.

M: Medium bodied (Karl Strauss seem to have a knack for this) with a light but active carbonation.

D: It is an easy drinker and a good introduction to the APA style for those unaccustomed to overtly bitter beers, but ultimately once you've looked into the sun and seen the glory of the universe a glance directly into a lamp doesn't cut it. However that is a gross overstatement/analogy as this is really a top-notch APA that isn't quite SNA but could be DEGMHF*, and if that isn't EIFY† I don't know what is.

Food match: For some reason or another this brew conjured up a desire for a roast lamb with mint sauce and roasted vegetables dinner, however this ale is a little too bold for the simple roast lamb dinner so for something different a spicy Harissa rubbed lamb would easily do the trick.

*Decent Enough Given More Hop Flavour.
†Enough Initialisms For You.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Pintail Pale Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.