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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

362 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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:
Photo of hnandez
hnandez

California

2.5/5  rDev -29%

12-04-2013 16:30:12 | More by hnandez
Photo of rawfish
rawfish

California

2.5/5  rDev -29%

Pours dark amber, rusty colored under the light, mild chill haze. One finger high head of tight off white bubbles. Average retention with many solid lines of lacing. Kinda attractive for a session beer.

Caramel malts with a slight bit of dark berries, very dank and musty hop aroma. Little bit on honey and toasted almond on the finish.

Very raw and grainy malt bill, some mixed nuts and caramel in the flavor. Notes of burnt sugar and subtle fall fruits. Hops don't really push back any as they are small and dank, shriveled up with some pine and lettuce leaves. Husky grains and raw bread dough finish off the drink and really accelerates on the finish.

Well carbonated with an average body. Drying that accentuates the awful grainy taste in the finishing malt.

This beer is everywhere in SD but I don't see how it's gotten so popular or how it deserves a gold medal of any kind. Flavorful malt bill and sessionable but an absolute adjunct and raw mess on the finish, you need to keep quaffing this thing to keep the aftertaste out of your mouth. Karl's seasonal offerings and one shots are so much better, I'll pass on this.

09-07-2012 08:26:14 | More by rawfish
Photo of jophish17
jophish17

Georgia

2.5/5  rDev -29%

12-24-2011 08:03:56 | More by jophish17
Photo of sbanacho
sbanacho

California

2.5/5  rDev -29%

08-16-2012 02:51:51 | More by sbanacho
Photo of hawkmage
hawkmage

California

2.5/5  rDev -29%

12-31-2011 04:52:59 | More by hawkmage
Photo of GatorCoop
GatorCoop

California

2.5/5  rDev -29%

07-12-2014 15:09:36 | More by GatorCoop
Photo of hopdog
hopdog

Pennsylvania

2.58/5  rDev -26.7%

Pint on tap inside Disneyland.

Poured a deeper amber color with a small sized off white head. I had this side x side with a pint of their Oktoberfest, and honestly, other than this being a little deeper in color, I would have a hard time telling the difference. Some caramel, toastiness, and some light citrus.

12-03-2008 03:34:24 | More by hopdog
Photo of Cavery
Cavery

California

2.63/5  rDev -25.3%

Shared with SundaySour on a Sunday afternoon

750ml split into two Stone Nonics.

A: Beer poured a strong three fingers atop a ruby red body. The foam is slightly off white with modest lacing. Shots of light give the beer a more promising mahogany look.

S: Sea salt on carmel, a really strong toffee richness. The smell isn't that deep, and the sweetness of bready malts almost goes into mold. It's just a sweet and sour nose that just doesn't quite seem right. It's not so unpleasant, I just struggle to find sources for the overt sweetness, and it's odd mold-like finish. The bottle is most certainly suspect.

T: A very mild taste of semi-sweet malts, and not much else. The middle goes into a funky sawdust that seems to linger like memories of wood-shop class in highschool. Someone took a power sander to the malt. The malt needed solid roasting in order to make this work, and really the malt has this slightly mushy/warm flavor, like they were microwaved instead. Another point in favor of this bottle not being right.

M: The mouth really is very weak. I think this is my least favorite aspect of the beer. The flatness is so unwarranted, and I can't help but believe it contributes to that very base (as in anti-acidic) mold flavor. just a poor mouth. I would have a hard time believing this is as intended.

O: I think that there is a strong case for poor handling on part of the seller. For that reason I can't really rule out that this isn't the intended state of this beer. I will reserve my final say of this beer until I can confirm/debunk the authenticity of this tasting. Karl Strauss has consistently made decent beers, and I wouldn't be shocked if revisiting this beer would provide a completely different tasting experience.

06-26-2011 22:27:53 | More by Cavery
Photo of neeld
neeld

Oregon

2.68/5  rDev -23.9%

Not impressed. This beer comes on too sweet and malty for my tastes and IMO for the style. Carbonation is also too low.

If I didn't read the label, I might guess this was an Oktoberfest. In fact, if they upped the carbonation 50% it might make a good one. As is, it's flat on both counts.

12-02-2009 04:10:04 | More by neeld
Photo of Klym
Klym

California

2.73/5  rDev -22.4%

Poured into a Stone nonic.

A: Pours a dark amber with a plentiful white head that leaves porous but otherwise killer lacing. Not bad lookin'.

S: Malt bomb with grain and wheat notes. Smells like a mediocre lager.

T: The nose. Grain, malts, wheat, mediocrity.

M: Despite the head there's very little carbonation in the body. Pretty watery. Not pleasant but I've had worse.

O: Karl Strauss somehow has the place in my mind of a brewery that makes macro beers but holds the self-image of a microbrewery. They've been digging me out of this perception with some beers, such as Parrot In a Palm Tree which was actually a very superior brew, or their most recent anniversary stout which had some flare. With their classic selections like Red Trolley Ale, though, there's just not much room for anything other than boredom and disappointment. I'm not sure I've ever had an Irisih Red Ale so I can't make much of an in-style comparison but I can tell you I'd probably take some generic lagers over this. Unless you're new to craft beer and want to make baby steps from coors light, I'd avoid this.

As a final note, I hope the people at Karl Strauss keep taking risks as they have been trying to recently. They've been creative before, they just have to keep trying. I look forward to future efforts from them but I won't bother trying their classic selection anymore.

07-16-2011 03:47:57 | More by Klym
Photo of malcontent
malcontent

Illinois

2.73/5  rDev -22.4%

Clear, bright amber body with a decent finger of head. Retention is OK and the resulting lacing is competent.

Musty, almost mealy aroma. Hints of sweetness peek through occasionally.

Ugh. Flavors are all over the place. Plastic-like aftertaste surfaces after a rather flat malt body.

A tad slick on the finish although the body is thick enough to be passable. Reading other reviews of this beer I'm wondering if my bottle wasn't a bit off. Still, in a beer landscape with a glut of amber ales I'd like to see brewers a) do something more interesting with the style or b) refrain from including it in their roster altogether.

Thanks to HoppyBen for the bottle.

06-16-2007 13:24:31 | More by malcontent
Photo of Trappissed
Trappissed

California

2.73/5  rDev -22.4%

On-tap at some bar:

Way too sweet. Cloying. Thick mouthfeel for the style as well. Nothing really positive to say, other than the fact that I'm probably being too generous with my ratings on this one. Sorry Mister Strauss, you have yet to impress me.

07-21-2009 02:44:56 | More by Trappissed
Photo of freshflesh
freshflesh

California

2.75/5  rDev -21.9%

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

California

2.75/5  rDev -21.9%

03-09-2013 02:42:40 | More by MikeDre
Photo of thebeeler
thebeeler

Arizona

2.75/5  rDev -21.9%

03-01-2014 15:49:11 | More by thebeeler
Photo of bird22
bird22

California

2.75/5  rDev -21.9%

06-28-2013 06:13:37 | More by bird22
Photo of Melocollo
Melocollo


2.75/5  rDev -21.9%

07-26-2014 18:01:58 | More by Melocollo
Photo of beerpadawan
beerpadawan

California

2.75/5  rDev -21.9%

08-26-2012 17:17:16 | More by beerpadawan
Photo of kmanjohnson
kmanjohnson

California

2.75/5  rDev -21.9%

07-29-2014 18:41:27 | More by kmanjohnson
Photo of s4s
s4s

California

2.75/5  rDev -21.9%

12-04-2013 03:00:05 | More by s4s
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

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 scottoale
scottoale

California

2.9/5  rDev -17.6%

Had a pint at Chili's with brunch. No head whatsoever and next to no lacing as I drank. Red-mahogany in color and very little carbonation.

Smell is of sweet sugary malts with maybe a hint of hops, it's kinda hard to smell through the malt sweetness. Tastes much like it smells with a faint hop trying, but failing to balance the sweetness. Couldn't detect the alcohol as the roast-sweet malt flavor dominates this brew. Fairly light body, sweet kind of slick mouthfeel.

One was plenty...not impressed.

03-19-2006 22:48:55 | More by scottoale
Photo of SundaySour
SundaySour

California

2.9/5  rDev -17.6%

Shared with Cavery.

A: A misty reddish-orange beer with a massive cream colored head. Like a nuclear sunset.

S: There's something rotten in Denmark. I smell...dare I say, bile. There are other smells, maybe a bit of burnt caramel. But it's like someone ate something delicious before ralphing all over the place.

T: Fearing the worst after sniffing my way into a panic attack, this beer is surprisingly light. Truly, it is the Miller Light of red ales. I get a light flavor of sourdough bread, but mostly just water. If this were clear and in a Perrier bottle, I'd shrug and chug.

M: Fizzy, but not fizzy enough. Leaves a vague stale bread taste in the mouth.

O: This is like a very hunky man with rippling muscles and a fabulous car turning out to be a big yawn fest. I loved the appearance, but the flavor is nothing to cheer about. It's the kind of beer you wash something down with, not enjoy on it's own.

06-26-2011 22:21:44 | More by SundaySour
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

2.93/5  rDev -16.8%

Had on tap at an airport bar in LAX. Poured a medium amber color with some red tint. Medium head. Aroma is malty and a touch sweet. A medium bodied amber. Malts are nutty and a touch sweet. Hops are slightly spicy. There is a slightly harsh feel to the taste in this beer. Kind of a typical amber. Drinkable, but typical. Not very complex at all.

01-19-2008 01:56:04 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of PolarBear3
PolarBear3

Australia

2.96/5  rDev -15.9%

A - Pours a bronze, red amber colour with an off white head that dissipates quickly leaving no lace.

S - Sweet bready malt, almost toffee/candy apple like with some caramel.

T - Sweet malts and mainly caramel/toffee with a slightly mild bitter finish.

M - Light to medium bodied with very little carbonatio

O - A little sweet for my liking and seemed a little flat. Not recommended

06-27-2013 08:58:46 | More by PolarBear3
Red Trolley Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 362 ratings.