Off The Rails - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Off The RailsOff The Rails

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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.
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Reviews: 25 | Hads: 83
Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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.


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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.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of mentor
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Photo of SDtastentune
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of jjh19
4.46/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

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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.

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Photo of crvcac
4.67/5  rDev +20.4%
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.

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Photo of timmos1
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
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..

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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.

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