Off The Rails - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

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Off The RailsOff The Rails

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BA SCORE
87
very good

78 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 78
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 13.3%
Wants: 4
Gots: 9 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: magictrokini on 09-01-2009)
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Ratings: 78 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mactrail
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

Photo of HopHead84
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

7/10/2011

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.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of ehammond1
3.48/5  rDev -11%
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.

Photo of srandycarter
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of jenray
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of notchucknorris
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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

Photo of inlimbo77
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of mentor
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of magictrokini
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of 2GOOFY
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Lucnifter
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of dertyd
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of ocelot2500
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Photo of danwho
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of mrcraft
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of tastymug
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of kaseydad
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Off The Rails from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.