1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

380 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 380
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 15.06%
Wants: 13
Gots: 45 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 380 | Reviews: 119 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Stoffel
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Stoffel, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of hawkmage
2.5/5  rDev -29%

hawkmage, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of cdwil
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

cdwil, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of jophish17
2.5/5  rDev -29%

jophish17, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/23/2011

On tap at Karl Strauss

A: Reddish amber with a small beige head.

S: Aromatic toffee and caramel with a firm and insistent bready malt presence. I get some earth and a little prune.

T: Rich caramel malt accompanies baked bread and biscuit. The beer brings raisin to mind and maybe a touch of prune. Bitterness is low.

M: Upper medium body with moderate carbonation.

Overall: A pretty nice Irish Red Ale.

HopHead84, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of cycoduck
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

cycoduck, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of nanobrew
4/5  rDev +13.6%

nanobrew, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of RadicalEdward
3/5  rDev -14.8%

RadicalEdward, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev +13.6%

mhaugo, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of iSrALE
3/5  rDev -14.8%

iSrALE, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of BrewerB
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouring into a small Firestone Walker nonic pint glass. Clear copper body with a large off-white foam that collapsed down thin. Excellent retention.

Sweet caramel maltiness, wintergreen mint. Milk chocolate. Orange marmalade.

Medium-toasted malts up front. Earthy/herbal. Touch of caramel sweetness. Medium bitter. Finishing medium malty sweet.

Medium-light in body with a soft carbonation.

Easy-drinking beer with a malt-focused flavor. Light caramel sweetness and hints of mint and chocolate.

BrewerB, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of Snellgg5
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Snellgg5, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of rinhaak
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at LAX.

Pours a slightly pale red copper. A good-sized head that left behind a mild lace.

Not a very interesting nose, with aromas of mild rust, copper, and bubblegum.

Very light in body, though a tad syrupy.

Mild flavors, the beer has a fruity character with a hints of the rustiness I expect in an Irish Red. No finish to speak of, nearly no bitterness, it's pretty simple and one-dimensional.

Overall, I was quite disappointed. I've had both their Tower 10 IPA and Full Suit Brown, and was very impressed with both. This really wasn't up to that standard and was really rather ordinary. Not worth having.

rinhaak, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +13.6%

ejimhof, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of drno904
4/5  rDev +13.6%

drno904, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of ineva
4/5  rDev +13.6%

ineva, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -14.8%

nmann08, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of bpfrush
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

bpfrush, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of AlexM
4/5  rDev +13.6%

AlexM, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of StArnoldFest2010
3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

StArnoldFest2010, Nov 11, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.98/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal clear amber with a 1 inch fizzy beige head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Random dots of lace drip back down into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, fruit, and a slight metallic aroma. Taste is malty, fruity, caramel, and there is a slight metallic flavor just like the smell. The carbonation on this beer is fairly high and paired with a somewhat thin body the mouthfeel is not that impressive. Overall, this is a pretty average beer all around. Nothing too horrible but not something I would probably try again.

UCLABrewN84, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of DM1293
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Award winning huh? I'll put that to the test.

Bottle, clear cup.

Appearance - ...its a light red coloration. Interesting, seeing as the other reds I've tried have been a darker shade of red. The head foams up a little but dissipates after a couple minutes.

Smell - Light, unimposing; caramelly sweet notes. Gives way just enough for a bit of maltiness to shine through.

Taste - Interesting. It tastes like a red, no doubt. A slightly sweet, malty taste. Nothing too imposing, not too sweet or bitter (and what it is doesn't go over the top), not too bold or weak. I can see why its got an award on it. Its very well-balanced, doing everything it should but being exactly what a basic red ale should be. I could almost call this a benchmark for what a red should be.

Mouthfeel - Bold but dissipates quick. A light thickness that dissipates fast.

Overall - ...Pretty much iconic of what a red should be while making nothing too stand-out. Karl Strauss, I may have been unimpressed by your wheat (circumstances may have caused that), but your red is nothing to scoff at in my opinion. A great drink with the right meal.

DM1293, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of ehammond1
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

ehammond1, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of Nugganooch
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Freebie from the In-Laws house figure why not give er a review.

Notes from 09/12/11
12oz to pint glass

A: Red Trolley pours a deep hazy amber color with a thin one finger sandy colored head. No stay power. No lace really.

S: Smells malty sweet with toffee notes and a slight orange tartness to it.

T: Tastes of warm toasty sweet toffee and caramel notes. A bit more classic to the style. Still some slight hop bitterness. Orange and pine in there. Dash of alcohol. Sweet dry finish.

M: Light-med. body with a dry finish. Nice carbonation levels. Keeps the chewy caramel malts at bay.

D: I found myself enjoying this brew after having at so many restaurants and parties/events etc. I would say this brew has mass appeal and would be a good "gateway" craft recommendation.

You get a caramel flav distinct to the style with a lighter less-filling body and actual decent hop bitterness.

Nugganooch, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of BucannonXC5
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a tap into a 20-oz. pilsner glass at the San Diego Tap Room in the airport. Color was reddish brown. Had about ¾-inches of head. Slight lacing in the beginning, but more throughout.

Smelled malty with hints of caramel, but nothing too special.

Good first taste. Malty, red, somewhat nutty. Aftertaste was a bit more bitter.

It never really got better or even stayed as good as it started. Tastes wore out. Average carbonation.

Taste got old quicker than I hoped, but will give the benefit of the doubt for 24 ounces and the plastic cup. Mid-to-high carbonation.

I’m sure this would have been much better out of a pint glass or bottle, but sometimes you have to go with what you have. Will give it another try and check the ratings then.

BucannonXC5, Aug 11, 2011
Red Trolley Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 380 ratings.