Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Off The Rails - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Off The RailsOff The Rails

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

25 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 25
Hads: 83
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 13.4%
Wants: 3
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: magictrokini on 09-01-2009

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (88) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Off The Rails Alström Bros
Reviews: 25 | Hads: 83
Photo of Jason
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber w/ a freshness date.

LOOK: Reddish amber

SMELL: Toasted grain, some sweetness, over ripened apples, floral hops, estery alcohol, mint, caramel.

TASTE: Sweet toasted malt, very bready, mild herbal hop, ripe apple fruitiness, yeasty twang, spice, dried grassy finish.

Malt bomb comes to mind, letting this warm up a bit really makes it a treat to drink. Worth the visit and my palate asks for more.

 418 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium coppery amber. Thin off-white head that dissipates slowly leaving lacing. Aroma dominated by caramel malt with a hint of fruit. Taste is sweet, bready and caramel malt (and lots of it), light and dark fruit, faint hops. Very interesting aftertaste of cherries and other fruit esters. The malts are forward, but fairly mellow. The fruit ester in the finish redeems this otherwise kind of quite and mellow malt ale. Medium bodied with some creaminess. Interesting and different.

 525 characters

Photo of yonnie
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into tulip. Amber red with a finger of creamy off-white head.

S - Sweet malts, spice, yeast. Very light sweet aromas.

T - More sweet malts, toasted bread, red apples with caramel. Slight alcohol.

M - Light to medium, very slightly bubbly on the tongue. Smooth and creamy.

O - If I'm not mistaken, this is the first Imperial Amber I've ever had. Overall it is quite enjoyable. If you're looking for a big character beer with malt dominance as opposed to the typical hop-bomb, this is a great choice.

 513 characters

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


A - translucent blood red, one finger off white almost ten head (that sticks around for a while) and some minimal lacing

S - Tons of malt, candy sugar, holiday spices, slight oak, some booze, dried out branches, dark fruits, very yeasty, apple blossoms, and very slight hop

T - lots of very nice malts, almost taste like apple, slightly toasted, sweet beady yeast, slight bitter/sour note, holiday spices, terrior, hops oils, a bit floral and once it cool, nice and fruity

M - medium plus body, low acidity, well balanced, decent complexity and medium finish

D - If you like malty ales this one is as good if not better than many. Refreshing, nice flavors and not to much or to little. Not a huge fan Of KS, but this is a nice easy drinking beer

Final thought - $8 a pop? Stop it. Other than the price tag I like this beer. Also 8.4% is nice too

 857 characters

Photo of kaseydad
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This review is an 8.5%.

Pours a nice amber colored ale with a decent cream colored foam that quickly disappears. No lacing.

The aroma is sweet, sweet malt, caramel, dark plum, apple and some reminders of candy.

The taste is big sweet malt. Some dark fruits are also present, plum, pear and apple. There is a touch of a hop kiss on the drink as well.

Overall this was better than I expected. It was a wife "pick" and not bad at all. I thought the Red Trolley Ale meant amber and got a little concerned, but this definitely drinks like an imperial red. It is a bit sweet, but alas, that's the style. Worth picking up and sipping.

 639 characters

Photo of magictrokini
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured orange-red into a tulip glass with minimal head. Good lacing at the top. Fragrant citrus hops in the nose, lots of grapefruit, with an equal amount of caramel malt. Smells strong and alcholic. Slick mouthfell with lower carbonation and a long, sticky finish. Bitter hops up front, lots of resin, give way to sweeter citrus flavors. Grapefruit and blood orange flavors dominate, but there is a nice undercurrent of melon. This is all blended with the omnipresent caramel malt. Some dried fruits appear briefly, but infrequently. The beer is a bit rough around the edges in terms of drinkability, but overall is very pleasant.

 631 characters

Photo of srandycarter
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the Main Tap in El Cajon.

A - Amber/ Dark Honey, very thin near white head.

S - Very, very light malt smell.

T - Very sweet, deep malt, clean finish as result of nice hop balancing.

M - Great balance, medium body, coating and perfectly carbed.

D - Sweet, but balanced well. Nice beer.

 292 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


On tap at URGE

A: Dark reddish amber with a small white head.

S: Caramel and pine with a little earth and citrus. The beer gives the impression of rich and complex malt.

T: Rich caramel malt with faint notes of raisin and plum. Moderate hop bitterness with orange, pine, and earth. Finishes with lingering caramel.

M: Medium body with lower moderate carbonation.

Overall: A solid Imperial Red.

 410 characters

Photo of inlimbo77
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz, No bottle date
Central Waters globe

A: Pretty slightly hazy reddish amber color. Not a lot of head. Basically just a thin ring of off white head around edges. There is carbonation but its minimal.

S: On the nose, it's mostly really caramel and toffee like malt. It's almost barleywine like initially. Some toasted breadiness. Maybe some soapy pine behind that.

T: Tip of the tongue, some bitterness. A piney hop flavor there. Then it gets into the red ale like character. Really malt driven. Getting that toasted breadiness that I smelled. Then the caramel and toffee and biscuit.

M: Full medium body.

 611 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark amber with a tight, off-white head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of rich caramel malts.

Tastes of the malts mostly, with a slight hop counternote. Malts lead off with caramel, toffee, and toasted bread. Fairly sweet. Some slight hops come on the end with an earthy note, but I would say this is a malt bomb.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer, but I would like it to be a bit more balanced.

 487 characters

Photo of ehammond1
3.47/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Carlsbad, CA

Dark red and amber with a thin khaki colored head. This beer leaves the glass clean and a bit oily.

Very bready aroma with some significant caramel sweetness as well. Simple, pleasant enough, and very bready, though there's a bit of alcohol presence.

This tastes like toasted bread with a bit of caramel and toffee sweetness. Moderate bitterness. Simple, but a bit of alcohol heat hurts this beer's drinkability.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation, but a bit boozy.

An extremely bready red ale, and flavorful enough per the style, though nothing at all very good.

 621 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark copper color with pretty much no head at all. Thin ring of tan foam on the top.

S: Tons of sweet malt with some hints of berries. I get blackberries and maybe some red currants.

T: Big and malty with some hints of berries and a lot of breadiness. Had no idea how strong it was until it was too late. Sneaky beer.

 322 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.34/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

8.5% ABV per the label.

Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small patches of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, toast, caramel, and dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with sweet caramel and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer with a nice caramel and fruit presence in the smell, but the taste is super malt forward in my opinion.

 640 characters

Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.3/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark amber with little white head.

The smell is malty as to be expected with a little more hops and alcohol coming through.

The taste is strange. At first I pick up a lot of that caramel malts I love in Red Trolly but as I drink on all I get is hops and alcohol. The finish is fairly dry which makes the alcohol and hops much more intense.

Overall I'm glad I tried it but this beer just isn't for me.

 413 characters

Photo of PaulyBrew
3.14/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

This beer claims to be a West Coast Imperial Red with "Derailing" hop character. I'm not getting any I that. The sweet carmel malts come through as the main flavor component. The only other flavor is an underlying fruitiness that must come from the yeas, because most if the beers I've tried from K.S. have to same finish flavor. If you're looking for an old school Red Ale, this one's for you.

 394 characters

Off The Rails from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.