Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting 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: 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
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 45 | Hads: 171
Photo of ArrogantB
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Karl Strauss downtown. Orange color.aroma is nice tropical fruits. Flavor is citrus but very crisp and fleeting like a Speite with no sugar. Aroma was a real tease and gla or didn't live up to it. I wanyed this beer to taste a certain way but its the other way. Ho hum.

 279 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 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 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 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 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 Jayli
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 6/8
Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours crystal clear copper color with a 1/2 inch of off white head. Head recedes relatively quickly leaving spots of wispy lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is really rather malt forward, caramel malts really dominate, some breadiness and a hint of hops.

T: Taste is likened to the nose, very malt forward. Caramel malts in the forefront moving to a slight breadiness. The hop flavoring really comes out toward the finish with some nice citrus hop notes.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, oily mouthfeel with a slightly dry finish.

D: Not a bad beer, but could have been blended better, goes down pretty easily and is not too filling. You could sit with this for the night, though I would opt for other APA's if available.

 778 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 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 magictrokini
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear gold with a bubbly white head. Thin lacing. Metallic malt-and-grassy hops combo typical of the style; nothing outstanding. Carbonated mouthfeel, dry finish. Crystal malt bite with slightly piney hops. Smooth, and refreshing, but not a lot of substance.

 267 characters

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.

 866 characters

Photo of heygeebee
3.32/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

BB April 2013 (!)

Pours a deep amber, slight head, maybe half a finger. Dies to a film quickly. Sproadic lacing on swirl.

APA on the nose! Firm aromas of citrus, a little fruit salad, honey, and hops.

Taste is a let down after the nose. Hops and pine dominate a one-dimensional palate. Freshness is the issue methinks.

Mouthfeel a little watery. Carbonation good.

Overall, OK but not great example in crowded market.

 422 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 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

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.

 1,365 characters

Photo of SmashPants
2.95/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: decent 355mL brown bottle. Nicely styled label - kind of old-school cute.

Appearance: darker orange amber in colour, with fast but refined carbonation. A limited white head stays for some time. Minor lacing.

Aroma: some citric hops with a light caramel backing. A touch of pine to fill it out. Not outstanding, but a standard pale ale aroma.

Taste: very muted in flavour for a pale ale. There are the usual suspects as there are in the aroma - grapefruit, pine, caramels - but the flavour is quite muted and dull. Quite disappointing actually.

Aftertaste: pretty much the same - muted without much in the way of follow-up aftertaste.

Mouth feel: I think this is half the problem with the muted flavour profile - the light-to-medium body is fine, but the lack of carbonation really seems to dull this beer down. A pity, as this could have been a good beer if it had a bit more backbone.

Overall: this is the second beer I have had from the Karl Strauss Brewery, and the second one that comes up short. A good flavour profile wasted on limited carbonation and no backbone. A pity, really.

 1,100 characters

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.

 2,235 characters

Photo of mulder1010
3.27/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

355 ML bottle

A-- Poured a darker orange amber color. Quite clear and some visible carbonation bubbles. Half finger of off white head. Nice lacing with this. Good sticky ring of lacing. Head holds up quite nice.

S-- Pineapple, passion fruit, Lemon, orange, and lime. Good citrus nose. Some caramel backbone but this is very fruit forward.

T-- Pine, orange and grapefruit in the taste. Turns to a more herbal variety. Citrus tones get lost in the taste. Not much of a backbone to this.

M-- Slight amount of toffee in the feel but not enough to back up the hops. A sort of thin, soapy herbal character to this. A lot of hop bite to this but nothing to sooth it out. Dry, medicinal orange and grapefruit finish. Some resin in the mid palate. Lightly carbonated and medium feel.

O-- More body to back this up. Lots of hops in this and could be very nice with a bigger backbone. Better than a lot of APA's out here but not on par with LCPA. Would buy again as a pretty well hopped APA.

 989 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 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 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.

 502 characters

Photo of tonistruth
3.01/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

on cask @ Churchill's in San Marcos, CA

A- pours a cloudy, unfiltered straw color, with a silky two finger white head and lace, great retent on both

S- fresh citrus and bready

T- dry toasted malts, bready, citrus, leafy, burnt cardboard flavor in background

M- silky, smooth, dry and somewhat sticky after

D- burnt flavor can be harsh and a brew from cask is a love or hate situation, but not to shabby, probably be better off on tap

 438 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 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 PolarBear3
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

A - Pours a honey colour with an off white head that retains fairly well

S - Caramel, sweet candy, pineapple and grapefruit. Very promising aromas.

T - Light caramel malts, citrus including grapefruit, lemon together with slight bitterness and a little burnt orange at the finish

M - light to medium bodied with very little carbonation

O - Not a bad effort for a Pale Ale but what promised so much with its aromas but lacked a little in taste. Definately worth a try but I reckon you would have had enough after a couple.

 525 characters

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