1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Off The Rails - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Off The RailsOff The Rails

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

77 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 77
Reviews: 23
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)
View: Beers (47) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Off The Rails Alström Bros
Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hackedfly
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of crvcac
4.7/5  rDev +20.2%
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.

Photo of AlexM
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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 javiernano
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

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 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 timmos1
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
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..

Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Popp24
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of heresy22
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Ty82884
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of whatthehull
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
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

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of tjfinkle
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of Pillowhead
5/5  rDev +27.9%

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 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 Jason
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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 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 SDtastentune
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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 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.

Off The Rails from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.