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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.
BA SCORE
80
good

360 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 360
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 15.34%
Wants: 13
Gots: 36 | 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: 360 | Reviews: 119 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bendurgin
Bendurgin

Maine

3.95/5  rDev +12.2%

Bottle from Randy. Thanks! Poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear dark amber with a biege head with a finger of bubbly head. A little bit of soapy lace.

Very malty on the aroma. Brown sugar comes to mind with a little bit of toffee and rich dark fruit. Smells pretty good. This is a malt bomb. Huge grainy malts on the pallet with a little bit of brown sugar and a bit of a caramel flavor. Ends with a little bit of a bitter flavor.

Medium to full body but the carbonation is a little bit coarse. Pretty good brew here. Malt bombs like this don't tend to be my thing but I'm really enjoying this one.

08-03-2011 02:43:14 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

3.95/5  rDev +12.2%

Bad a bottle at our hotel in San Diego. Pours a bright deep red, clear, with very small white head. Aroma of cherries, caramel, sweet sugars, plums, some other fruits. Flavor follows with big sweet cherries and fruits, sweet sweet caramel. Body is medium, with low medium carbonation, and extremely smooth going down. Nice sweet finish lingers on the palate. Thought this was a really good beer and went down incredibly easy. On the sweet side for the style but very pleasant.

11-08-2013 06:00:36 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of Ladynikka
Ladynikka


3.92/5  rDev +11.4%

08-13-2014 06:08:50 | More by Ladynikka
Photo of OleJohnnieAle
OleJohnnieAle

Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev +10.8%

Had on tap at Kansas City BBQ in San Diego

A: Nice rich amber red color, minimal head that left thin lacing behind.

S: Malts with a biscuit note, nice sweet caramel notes.

T: Nice malts up front with some sweetness coming through from the caramel and toffee.

M: Medium body, minimal carbonation. Well balanced.

O: Nice red, well balanced, nothing too special but a drinkable good showing of a irish red.

01-28-2012 00:55:42 | More by OleJohnnieAle
Photo of WallyBoag
WallyBoag

California

3.9/5  rDev +10.8%

Sampled at Disneylnad's California park this was a very attractive looking beer with a darker color and a smallish head. Laced pretty well. Smell was a very enjoyable sweet and tangy blend. Easy to drink. The taste could have used a little bit of improvement. It didn't taste bad, but at the same time there really wasn't too much to remember it buy. If only it tasted as good as it looked and smelled, this would be a truly great beer!

12-19-2003 03:33:05 | More by WallyBoag
Photo of hoptrip619
hoptrip619

California

3.85/5  rDev +9.4%

I first started drinking Red Trolley in college and at the time viewed it as a solid alternative to the MGD's and Coors Lights. Today it's not one of my favorites but it was definitely a solid gateway beer into more interesting craft styles. I saw over the weekend that it won a gold at GABF and then heard it also took at gold at the WBC earlier this year- for that, I figured it was time to give it another try and write a review.

A: Dark copper/rust with good clarity and decent head

S: Big caramel, burnt sugar, and toffee malt aroma with undertones of dark fruity esters.

T: Chewy caramel malts flavors with a very sweet fruity character. Minimal and I mean MINIMAL hop character - no noticeable off flavors.

M: Medium-full on body, lots of residual sugars that boarder on cloying. Still, very drinkable.

D: Red Trolley is and always has been what it is. A malty red ale with lots of flavor. While I prefer a dryer and hoppier beer, RT is solid for the style and definitely a favorite for those that don't like bitter beers. ( i.e most broads.)

09-22-2010 16:21:01 | More by hoptrip619
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

3.84/5  rDev +9.1%

Having tried a couple of Karl Strauss special release brews in California, I thought I'd check out some of their regular range that are now making their way to Australia. Purchased from Dan Murphy's in Alexandria.

Pours a lovely deep, slightly bronzed red colour, which matches the colour on the label rather nicely. Head forms a solid fine crest of beige, and settles out to a decent persistent ring. Carbonation is fine, and there's some weight behind the body. It's nice.

Nose is quite grainy, with a thin toffee sweetness backing it up. Some leafy-sweet and slightly earthy hops behind it, especially when the beer is swirled, and a marmalade sweet-citrus note. I'm actually liking it more as it goes along, and it makes a pleasant departure from the hopped up red I was expecting.

Taste is similarly less hoppy than expected, with more grainy notes and a light body. But there's subtle complexities here. The grain has a wholesome character to it, digestive biscuits and whole grains, mingling with some marzipan, a little honeyed sweetness and some pleasantly biting ester characters on the back: it might just be the hint of extra booze, but it provides a bit of a cut on the finish which is nice.

Feel is light, but solid enough.

Overall, this is pretty drinkable stuff. Once I got over the lack of hops, and realised that this was a very determined choice, it was clear that this was a pretty well-crafted brew. Though the flavours might be subtle, they're there to be explored. I enjoyed it.

04-21-2013 04:20:19 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of Billolick
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 Psilo707
Psilo707

California

3.8/5  rDev +8%

I was excited to review Red Trolley officially since it has been one of my favorite and most consistent San Diego brews since I have moved here.

It pours a deep crimson color into the mug and leaves an intricate lacing along the sides as it dissipates down. The scent is one of cocoa and butter, and doesn't let up on the nose even minutes after taking a whiff. The taste is extremely chocolately for a red ale and the aftertaste of piney nuts and almonds shines through.

Mouthfeel is creamy but the prolonged taste when sitting in the mouth leaves a bit to be desired. Drinkability is high and is possibly one of the highest ratings of any Red Ale i've ever had.

Overall, Red Trolley is a fine example of what the microbreweries of San Diego have to offer!

04-27-2009 07:20:44 | More by Psilo707
Photo of readbaron
readbaron

Illinois

3.8/5  rDev +8%

Pours a clear burnt red/orange with plentiful off white head that fades into a tiny ring. No lacing.

Smells strongly of malts - biscuits/cereal, with a ton of caramel sweetness and some faint hops and decent spice (cloves?)

Tastes a lot like it smells - tons of strong malty flavors, lots of sweetness and a bit of hops and spice on the finish. Pleasant aftertaste.

Feel is thin and prickly.

Overall - very good. Not sure it tastes like an ale, but I'm a fan of this one.

05-06-2011 02:11:54 | More by readbaron
Photo of T100Mark
T100Mark

California

3.79/5  rDev +7.7%

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Nice copper color. Amazing clarity. Big tan hear that fades quickly. Minimal stickage. A fine looking brew.

Smell - Faint malt nose. Sweet. Slight hint of burnt toast. Not overwhelming.

Taste - Malty. Sweet. Slight hint of burnt toast. Walnuts? The hops are almost nonexistent.

Mouth - Syrupy.

Overall - A malty, sweet, smooth amber ale with just a touch of nuttiness. Simple and honest. I appreciate the fact that this beer is a a true amber ale (so many California amber ales are loaded with hops). Your Coors Light chugging buddies might be able to appreciate this beer.

03-31-2014 02:02:59 | More by T100Mark
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

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 StArnoldFest2010
StArnoldFest2010

Florida

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
Photo of bpfrush
bpfrush

Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

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

New Mexico

3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

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

California

3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

07-07-2014 05:36:07 | More by Beernoobie
Photo of BergBeer
BergBeer

California

3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

09-13-2013 21:22:28 | More by BergBeer
Photo of AleHunter805
AleHunter805

California

3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

08-07-2014 19:50:39 | More by AleHunter805
Photo of rsdaugherty
rsdaugherty

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

03-12-2012 04:54:28 | More by rsdaugherty
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MikalMick

California

3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

06-29-2014 02:33:15 | More by MikalMick
Photo of Will_F
Will_F

Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

04-01-2014 20:50:11 | More by Will_F
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kerry4porters

Arizona

3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

06-08-2014 18:59:53 | More by kerry4porters
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swaghawk

Kansas

3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

05-28-2012 02:12:57 | More by swaghawk
Photo of grissom51
grissom51

California

3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

09-25-2013 00:30:28 | More by grissom51
Photo of crob3888
crob3888

California

3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

08-06-2012 04:01:22 | More by crob3888
Red Trolley Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 360 ratings.