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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

368 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 368
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 15.06%
Wants: 13
Gots: 42 | 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: 368 | Reviews: 119 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DrewShalvoy
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

DrewShalvoy, May 13, 2013
Photo of sunny289
4/5  rDev +13.6%

sunny289, May 02, 2013
Photo of Braz
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

Braz, Apr 24, 2013
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.84/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

lacqueredmouse, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of Newbiebeer
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Newbiebeer, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of magpieken
4/5  rDev +13.6%

magpieken, Apr 08, 2013
Photo of retry4z
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

retry4z, Mar 30, 2013
Photo of bestpoop
4/5  rDev +13.6%

bestpoop, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of Puckstop98
4.75/5  rDev +34.9%

Puckstop98, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of MikeDre
2.75/5  rDev -21.9%

MikeDre, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of Therisse
2.5/5  rDev -29%

Therisse, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of duff247
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

duff247, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of Alek
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Alek, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of jesus808
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

jesus808, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of Devinph
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Devinph, Feb 06, 2013
Photo of jpa01
3.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It's a dark red and amber looking beer, thinly foamed at the top.

Smell: It has a pleasant grainy, toffe-like aroma.

Taste: It has a malty, caramel taste with a mild bit of sweetness and fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: It feels like a medium-bodied beer, having moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: It seems sightly watered down, but is fairly smooth and easy to drink with or without food.

Overall: I'd say it's a solid red ale.

jpa01, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of p0wder2
4.49/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I have no idea how to review beer yet. I'm still new :-)

The best thing I can say is that this beer is sweet as opposed to being bitter. I've always disliked beer in general, but only because I apparently wasn't drinking the right beer. It wasn't until I had a glass of this, that I decided beer can be awesome!

p0wder2, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of magictacosinus
3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Color is a slightly hearty reddish-amber, filled with mild carbonation and ascending bubbles that coat it with a decent 1-finger large head. This head descends down to next to nothing, leaving slight whitish streams of foam at the top after everything settles down. Eventually, not even a ring lasts, even with aggressive swirling. Looks a little murky overall, which is bizarre, as this relatively unfiltered in appearance.

The nose encounters huge cereal grainy notes at the front, followed by slight roasted rye aromas and lightly spiced malts. It smells like fresh, pure barley, which is undeniably soothing yet perhaps a bit distracting as it covers up everything else that should be going on this beer, such as any potential zestiness from the hops, or fruitiness from the yeast. No alcohol on the nose, yet no sweetness for that matter. Toasty, but limited.

The flavor is shock loaded with malted roasted barley flavors, followed with a hint of caramel notes and dried out hop zest. While not bad, it's not too complex and definitely the excessive graininess makes it out to be a tad too one-dimensional. Very, very biscuit-y in nature here. The body is slightly syrupy and sweet, and carbonated enough, but I couldn't imagine waiting for this to warm up, as it would probably get progressively thinned and the malty notes perhaps too oppressive in the long run.

I admit I had no idea this was supposed to be in an Irish red ale style - it definitely tasted like a less bittered up English bitter to me. For a SD beer, this is pretty mild on the hop side, but I unfortunately cannot vouch whether or not it's authentic to style, as I have little experience with Irish beer in general. This is definitely one of those for casual beer drinkers, and for the rest of us, there are definitely other amber ales that are more worthwhile to revisit.

magictacosinus, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of danwho
4/5  rDev +13.6%

danwho, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of jhutch31
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Tried this beer while watching the Niners Game last Sunday. Poured into a 16 oz pint glass.

Appearance: My favorite quality of this beer was the appearance. Absolutely polished. Poured with a perfect 2 finger head with some lacing left in the glass. Carbonation was perfect and head retention was delightful.

Smell: This beer did not have a lot of aroma as I would think an irish red shouldn't. Hop character is low so you really smell more of the malts that were used than you do the hops.

Taste: The taste was good. Typical irish red flavor. It's my personal preference that I don't like irish reds to be really sweet, but have a slight amount of malt sweetness and focus more on the body and slightly doughy/biscuity character of the malts used. This beer was a little too sweet for me and after a few drinks, I started to enjoy it less and less. However, thats my personal preference and it is still a great beer. You can definately taste the caramel and toffee notes of what I presume to be the victory and munich malts that are used in the grain bill.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel was good. Smooth, well balanced and easy drinking.

Overall: I would say this is a good irish red, just not my style. If you are an irish red drinker, I would recommend you try this beer as it's won some very prestigous awards for its example of the style.

jhutch31, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of BittEER
3/5  rDev -14.8%

BittEER, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of 2GOOFY
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

2GOOFY, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of arfenhouse
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark amber with white head. Almost no lacing.

S: Smells like toasted bread and caramel.

T: Has a slight caramel-like sweetness and nuttiness to it. Hop flavor seems to be a bit muddled and undefined but present. Finishes off with a very slight bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Wet. Good feel in my opinion.

O: Decent beer, doesn't seem to be a prize-winning beer as stated on the label though. Feels like an improved and slightly more complex version of Newcastle. Probably would be a good candidate to get people into the craft scene.

arfenhouse, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of likesbeer
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

likesbeer, Dec 21, 2012
Red Trolley Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 368 ratings.