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Red Trolley Ale - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Red Trolley AleRed Trolley Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

362 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 362
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 15.34%
Wants: 13
Gots: 39 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-16-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 362 | Reviews: 119 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by StArnoldFest2010:
Photo of StArnoldFest2010


3.78/5  rDev +7.4%

P: Medium carbonation and dime head that dissapers quickly. Amber color
N: Roasted malt & barley with light yeast smell
T: This is what a red ale should taste like. Caramel malt and barley blended with nutty & slightly sweet aftertaste
M: Surprisingly thin compared to the taste. From the taste, you'd expect a medium thick palate coating residual effect, but it goes down pretty easy. Price wise, if I saw 22oz bottles for $3.99 or 12oz 6 packs for $8.49, I'd pick some up from time to time.

11-11-2011 21:43:15 | More by StArnoldFest2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of Dmann


3.53/5  rDev +0.3%

This is a decent offering from Karl Strauss and will definantly appeal to the MaltHeads out there. The beer poures a deep amber/red color with a nice frothy white head that left nice lace down my glass. The smell was interesting and made up of a very light doppelbock type scent. The taste was nothing as intriguing as the scent, but quite plesent. The beer had a nice malt flavor to it and was quite sweet with a definant caramel aftertaste. Like I said, lovers of malt will go for this beer but the taste is a little too one dimentonal for me.

08-02-2004 10:51:52 | More by Dmann
Photo of daveshawley


3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

08-16-2012 12:59:55 | More by daveshawley
Photo of freshflesh


2.75/5  rDev -21.9%

11-27-2013 08:58:52 | More by freshflesh
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.8/5  rDev +8%

On tap in the hotel in S.D., reviewed on the lobby wireless hook up, ah technology...
A - Pours a rich shade of medium mahogony, clear, with an eggshell head, show retentive powers and leaving nice ringed and scattered lacing.
S - malty goodness.
T - This is tasty, malty brew, light on the hops, but some are preent in the rear and the finish, notes of honey, caramel, wafer cookies
M - Smooth , medium bodied, easy and pleasant on the tastebuds.
D - This is not my favorite style, kind of dull, especially after a week of seeking out and consuming SD style 2xIPA hop bombs, this is a pleasant, drinkable brew, nothing more, nothing else.

08-12-2006 20:56:39 | More by Billolick
Photo of magictrokini


2.9/5  rDev -17.6%

Everyone says this is the best Karl Strauss has to offer. Its a decent beer. Good color, solid red with an off-white head. A nearly too-sweet caramel nose with straw. Malty sweet taste, to the point it feels like it builds up on your teeth. Lasting finish. Pretty thin, not remarkable. For a lighter beer, I think the Amber Lager is a much better alternative.

12-09-2008 23:01:40 | More by magictrokini
Photo of standardcherry


3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

06-15-2012 18:38:58 | More by standardcherry
Photo of mkrass


4.25/5  rDev +20.7%

06-18-2014 02:21:51 | More by mkrass
Photo of Franziskaner


3.55/5  rDev +0.9%

Deep amber to reddish in color. A light bit of white foam covers a small bit of the top of the beer. Light aroma of caramel and amber malt. There's a taste of amber malt with very little play from the hops. There's not much in the fade. The body is a bit light for my taste.

03-04-2014 01:07:49 | More by Franziskaner
Photo of bpfrush


3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

11-15-2011 02:02:31 | More by bpfrush
Photo of ehammond1

3.68/5  rDev +4.5%

On Tap

Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Carlsbad, CA

Dark red and amber with a thin khaki colored head. Lines of lacing left down the glass.

Very bready aroma with some significant caramel sweetness as well. Simple, pleasant enough, and very bready.

This tastes like toasted bread with a bit of caramel and toffee sweetness. Moderate bitterness. Simple, though very drinkable.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

An extremely bready red ale, and flavorful enough per the style.

10-08-2011 04:17:19 | More by ehammond1
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3/5  rDev -14.8%

Pours a light red, standard clarity, 1/2" head on it, white in color. Aroma was uneventful.

Taste, a little bit of caramel, toffee, sweet and bready. Not really any bitterness or hops to speak of here. Relatively light on the palate. For a second, I thought I should be giving this beer a higher rating, it doesn't do anything poorly, it is true to style, but its just so run of the mill for me, but I realize that's how I feel about most red ales. Just one of those, don't hate it, don't love it.

Its a beer that has a place in the world, but its not exactly teeming with flavor country either.

01-08-2012 07:42:54 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.66/5  rDev +4%

On tap at the brewpub.

Appearance: fine red-brown color with excellent clarity and a semi-durable beige head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Aroma: appealing mix of caramel and baked brown bread.

Flavor: good but simple flavor. Excellent bitter/sweet balance.

Feel: medium-light body wih crisp, near medium carbonation.

O: well-crafted if not particularly exceptional Irish Red.

07-01-2014 20:54:43 | More by chinchill
Photo of iSrALE


3/5  rDev -14.8%

12-18-2011 04:45:39 | More by iSrALE
Photo of glid02


3.65/5  rDev +3.7%

On-tap at a random bar in Mission Beach, CA.

Pours a slightly hazy dark amber color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of lightly toasted malts with a good dose of caramel malt sweetness. As the beer warms hints of milk chocolate aromas waft out as well.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Grainy caramel malt flavors with hints of toastiness kick things off. Midway through the sip the flavor sweetens a bit, allowing milk chocolate flavors to work their way out. Very mild amounts of leafy hops enter into things before a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have any problems finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I wasn't a huge fan of this beer but it's certainly not a terrible decision if this is your best option. Not worth seeking out but also not worth avoiding.

05-17-2010 03:56:09 | More by glid02
Photo of LXIXME

New Mexico

3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

12-21-2013 22:02:33 | More by LXIXME
Photo of InfernoBoss


3/5  rDev -14.8%

05-26-2012 05:51:35 | More by InfernoBoss
Photo of IntriqKen


3.3/5  rDev -6.3%

"A full bodied copper-colored ale with rich flavors of tofee, subtle hintsof currants an dates, andan incredibly smooth finish."
Yep...a little too sweet....definately a light roasted flavor to the malts....a very full and smooth mouthfeel with a little bit of citrus hops on the end to leave the palette clean and dry.
Beautiful lacing with lots of tiny bubbles coming up from the bottom the entire time I was drinking this pint.

10-29-2006 00:59:16 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME


3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

08-24-2013 03:52:39 | More by RBassSFHOPit2ME
Photo of jj139


3.61/5  rDev +2.6%

A - Very nice rusty/amber color with an off white, one finger head. Medium lacing

S - Very appealing nose of toasty malt, caramel, and hints of dried fruit.

T - Malt and caramel dominate with a hint of sweetness.

M - Medium body with a nice malty, smooth finish.

O - While I do love my IPAs I found this to be a nice change of pace brew. Very easy to drink.

12-24-2013 01:10:20 | More by jj139
Photo of seavercm


3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

08-23-2013 13:14:25 | More by seavercm
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

2.98/5  rDev -15.3%

Local consideration at Pizza Port Solena Beach. Some lace, some yeast noted, and some toasted malt. Not all that bad but this style is fairly commonplace and topped by many. Easy drink and beats a macro, not way out of a place in the incredible California beer landscape.

02-12-2007 00:44:10 | More by Sammy
Photo of augustgarage


3.78/5  rDev +7.4%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The color is a ruddy mixture of crimson and copper, similar to rooibos tea. Minimal head formation/retention. Aromatics are rich but fleeting and are not notably different than the flavors on the palate. The caramelized malts come through with a persistent toasty/nutty presence. This is balanced by a unique flavor that is difficult to identify (candy / dates / figs?) but is quite pleasant. Karl Strauss attributes this quality to the warm fermentation process. While not a malt-heavy beer, the yeast seems to be doing more of the balancing work than the hops. A slightly drying finish that leads you back for another sip.

While not as powerful in comparison to other seasonal red ales (e.g. Santa's Private Reserve Ale brewed by Rogue Ales), Red Trolley Ale deserves praise for its drinkability. It almost seems like in a failed attempt at crafting a winter-warmer Karl Strauss lucked on to something with more universal appeal.

04-16-2009 15:12:39 | More by augustgarage
Photo of dertyd


2.5/5  rDev -29%

09-08-2013 04:35:54 | More by dertyd
Photo of somnus


3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

02-26-2012 19:38:25 | More by somnus
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Red Trolley Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 362 ratings.