Off The Rails - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Off The RailsOff The Rails

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BA SCORE
86
very good

25 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 25
Hads: 83
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 3
Gots: 11 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 25 | Hads: 83
Photo of kaseydad
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
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 whatthehull
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

tulip

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 yonnie
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
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 Jason
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
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 +3.1%
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 claspada
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent deep copper red color with a nice off-white khaki 1 inch soapy head that leaves some ample lacing.

Aromas begin with a ton of malts; toffee, butterscotch, caramelized brown sugar and caramel sticky chewy candy. As it warms I detect a nice dark fruitiness including figs, dates and raisin. Aromas are typical of a beer made with dark Crystal malts (above 120 Lovibond for you homebrewers). As much as I try I cannot detect any hops aromas what-so-ever; not that I care either way, but I was expecting some for a West Coast Amber ale.

The tastes begin with waves and waves of sweet caramel maltiness. As I continue to sample I get more of the toffee, darker caramelized brown sugar flavors and the dark fruits once again; prunes, figs and dates wrestle with the caramel flavors for superiority. Other verry-like fruits are also evident as you continue to sample, light raspberry and strawberry sweet preserves is the best way to describe them

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation; appropriate for the style. Finish is full and sweet and sticky on the palate. Alcohol is only detectable once the beer is room temperature but the sweet malt are ever-present and continue to dominate the flavor profile here.

Overall the flavor profile is pretty sweet overall to be honest and I actually would like a little hop balance here. This beer is only 3 months old (I believe), so freshness shouldn't be an issue. This tastes more like an Imperial Irish Red Ale as opposed to your typical citrusy hop balanced West Coast Amber ale. Don't get me wrong it is still quite tasty, but just not what I was expecting. If you are not a fan of sweeter, malty beers this is not for you. Luckily I do not care to judge beers to style but just overall "yumminess" so this one still works for me. Not monumental or worth seeking out, but worth a go if it is readily available to you. (1,907 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a khaki cap; good retention and a bit of lace

Smell: Irish soda bread - bread, caramel and dried fruit

Taste: Waves of interesting malt flavors on the front of the tongue, bringing the biscuit, apple, plums and caramel; some earthy hops add balance, in the middle, but the caramel and fruits return to dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: The first American Strong I have enjoyed in a while; the complex malt bill here is really satisfying and I don't mind that there is not much of a hoppy character to the beer

Thanks, cocoapuph, for the opportunity (648 characters)

Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Yard House, 11/5/11.

A-Pour is a clear reddish amber with a frothy white head and good sheets of lacing.

S-Sweet caramel malt with some dried cherry notes.

T-Lots of sweet malt, some nice earthy hops.

M-Light side of medium, moderate carbonation.

O-Very tasty. Quite smooth for the ABV.

HV (305 characters)

Photo of SDtastentune
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Darker amber/red, small head when poured faster but not much at all, some ok looking lacing but not much.

S - Smells kinda bread like, toffee and barley/malts. A little musty/barley, like when you walk in to brew day at a brewery.

T - Toffee and rich amber malts, has some sort of hop background but nothing too bitter or piny, Kinda has a red apple mixed in there or some other kinda fruit like that, but definitely not a fruity beer at any point. Maybe a slight smoke/wood/whiskey thing going on.

M - Higher carbonation ,small fizzy bubbles, easy up front leading into a aftertaste that's rich but not overpowering.

O - Overall... I was expecting a little more from this, more red and more alcohol taste would be good. But... I cant really say I can compare it to much else right now... good brew but nothing spectacular for a hop head. Getting better though as it warms up a little, as most brews start to shine when warmer. (937 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass at Karl Strauss Brewing Company in La Jolla, Calif. Color was red, semi-clear. White even bubble lacing. Long lasting cobweb, washy film on the sides.

Smelled caramel and toffee with some dark fruit, maybe cherry?

Tasted similar to the nose but can definitely taste the alcohol. Also caramel, toffee, Heath Bar and light chocolate.

Medium body. Average carbonation. Smooth, long lasting finish.

A pretty good beer overall. It was my first of the outing and I ended up sticking with it throughout the night. (536 characters)

Photo of timmos1
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at slaters in san Diego.

Like my favorite k.Strauss red trolley but more so. Malty goodness

Strong in abv but it's hidden well. Wish it were in bottle

wouldn't say malt bomb,but i prefer malt to hop so it's pretty good
light head smells great. Tasty great for dessert. Gotta have it when in san Diego.. (315 characters)

Photo of mactrail
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful warm red-amber in the tall Belgian glass. I don't find it sweet, but then we tried the Bruery Autumn Maple earlier. Rich and spicy. Hops are listed as Willamette at 40 IBU but it is not overly bitter. Seems like a good balance of loads of malt with a tangy sharpness. This is another catchall style, but I think this is one of the better examples of the malt bombs. Reminds me of the He'Brew Jewbelation series except this one is more caramel and butterscotch than the dark, fruity rasiny Jewbelations.

Another interesting and very drinkable seasonal from Karl Strauss. (580 characters)

Photo of mentor
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bottle left over after GABF judging and given to me as a reward for all my volunteer efforts. Pours two fingers of lightly red-browned head over a clear ruby-copper liquid. Smells fruity esters (pineapple, tropical, green raisin), hops (pine, oranges, and tangerine), cardboard oxidation, and clean alcohol.

Tastes rich malt with robust fruity esters. Moderate hop grassy bitter and strong clean alcohol. Malt is toast, caramel, hazelnut, and mineral biscuity. Esters are mixed sweet berries (primarily raspberry and strawberry), crisp apple, honey, and anise. Hop flavors are thyme and sage herbal, oranges, sweetened lemon pith, blackberry, and green onion. Md and creamy in the mouth yet dries sharply in the finish due to a strong alcohol sting. Needs some time to age off the alcohol edge and will likely not deteriorate in an unpleasant way otherwise. Complex, but a bit disjointed right now. Very nice beer as is, and still drinkable despite the alcohol. (964 characters)

Photo of jjh19
4.46/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice deep red color, okay head.

Smell: Big caramel in the nose.

Taste: Sweet and malty, with hops punching in mid-taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body.

Drinkability: Smooth and balanced. Off The Rails is my go to beer for something with big malts and then some big hops. (280 characters)

Photo of crvcac
4.67/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Red-amber in inn hue.. A great combination between sweet caramel malts and a heavy hop profile. A very smooth drinking beer without being cloyingly sweet. Finishes nice and smooth with some residual sweetness. I'd recommend trying this on tap. I have yet to seek out a bottle. (276 characters)

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