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Red Trolley Ale - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Red Trolley AleRed Trolley Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

132 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 132
Hads: 482
Avg: 3.49
pDev: 28.65%
Wants: 21
Gots: 106 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-16-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (95) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 132 | Hads: 482
Photo of Mitzvahman72
5/5  rDev +43.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A benchmark for Red Ales! Malt forward with a dark mahogany amber color, it boasts a nice balancing act of mid-bright, bready malts with some dark fruits and candi sugar to compliment it. Subtle caramels abound! Slightly bright, malty biscuit notes rounds out the aroma and aftertaste with a nicely balanced mouthfeel and carbonation.

There is a big reason why this beer wins a lot of awards: This is a beer that's true to it's style and does a great job at it! Those who don't like this beer are either in the wrong category (This isn't the super duper hoppy undrinkable choking-down bitter beer corner!! Lol!) or those who like an ID crisis with their beer.

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Photo of telecaster
2.26/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I went to all the trouble to sign into this silly website just so I can write this review about KARL KARL KARL KARL Strauss beer. (yes the word KARL is written all over the bottle like someone really has an ego problem)

This beer is miller high life with red dye added. I know this to be true because I have broken out in a rash every time I have open a bottle and taken my 3 sips. My ears turn red and burn. Major allergic reaction to this awful beer. I was really upset because I bought a case at costco when there wasnt anything else to buy. All they have in late sept are these awful Holiday beers that i hate buying because usually one beer is good mixed with 3 beers you don't want. I have fallen for that nonsense before.

Seriously. Miller high life crap beer. most expensive beer in the store and i wish I could return it. Complete garbage. not believing this is some micro brew from san diego. more marketing garbage from some major producer like Bud or miller disguised as a micro beer. crap ...don't buy this garbage.

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Photo of SensorySupernova
4.35/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear amber with an off-white head.

Smell: Caramel, a bit fruity.

Taste: Moderately sweet caramel malt up front. Has a strong dark fruity hop aroma - like grapes or plumbs. Not very bitter. Leaves a clean hoppy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium thickness, well carbonated.

Overall: I really like this. It’s not over the top, but plenty flavorful in an easy to appreciate kind of way. I imagine this would be a good choice to introduce someone to beer.

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Photo of RyanTheLion76
5/5  rDev +43.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: VERY red, almost mahogany in color. Almost similar to an amber ale.
S: Loads of caramel, toffee, nuts, and a hint of wood (not an off-note)
T: Practically no hops to this. All malt. Again, lots of caramel, nuts, and toffee with a hint of wood.
F: Pretty thick for a beer of this strength. Decent carbonation, too. More than I'd expect from a malt-forward ale.
O: My favorite beer of it's style and my favorite Karl Strauss beer at that. Very flavorful Irish Red.

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Photo of dutesanch
4.29/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Super smooth and refreshing malt forward with a slightly sweet finish. A great tasting beer for any occasion that I feel even novice drinkers would enjoy. Good from the bottles but I enjoy these the most from my Sam Adams perfect pint glasses.

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Photo of Tonedef
3.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is red as expected the smell has a nice malty sweetness to it a little toffee and a sugary smell...taste is the same..
Malty and smooth, no surprise going on in this beer it is what it is..a solid red ale that on occasion I'm in the mood for and enjoy when I want something other then a hop bomb..

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Photo of coolandy007
4.92/5  rDev +41%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is an interesting example of Irish Red because there are hidden notes of citrus from American hop that actually work quite well for the style. Pours a gorgeous amber with small head and is strong on the caramel and malt flavors. Barely noticeable hops on the nose, instead heavy malt sweetness, caramel and tiny hints of dark fruit.

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Photo of Jfn
4.69/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I tried this beer while in San Diego during a business trip and really enjoyed it. A smooth, quality beer in which I enjoyed numerous times both on draft and bottle. I just wish you it was sold in Alabama!

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Photo of HawkFalco
3.41/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served cold from the fridge into a stemless glass. Poured a cloudy, caramel color; tiny cream-colored head disappeared fast.

Smell: Nice yeasty bread

Tastes: Very balanced sweet and bitter, yeasty. Smooth. Nice level of carbonation. Not complex or challenging. An unobtrusive easy choice for a refreshing cold one.

Feels: smooth, not much body, watery.

While this beer is not complex I like the balanced flavors because I don’t much care for forward hop bitterness. Very easy to drink. Pretty color in the glass. This could be a pleasing introduction to craft beer for your friends still stuck drinking the mass produced American lagers.

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Photo of Decko
3.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice deep copper clear colour in the glass. Head disappeared pretty quickly and then no lacing. Good carbonation and slightly sweet and caramel like in the mouth. Very drinkable with a palatable level of sweetness and I found a slight drying finish like iced tea. No strong flavours but I found this to be a good ale that went down very easily and left me wanting another one straight away. I'd buy this one again but will probably buy a couple of other red ales to do a comparison.

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Photo of HopfenUndMalz2015
3.81/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Good solid Irish Red Ale. Nothing in this beer is going to blow your mind, but, sometimes a nice carmel and malty Red Ale is perfect with dinner at the brewery.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Dated 1774. Too lazy to do the Julian conversion right now. But clearly halfway through the year. Poured into a stemless glass 12/15/14.

A- Dark, slightly hazy, caramel-red body, half finger white head that retains decently well. No lacing. Thin collar persists throughout.

S- This beer is very malty, but in a decent way. Straight up toffee and tapioca, kind of like a hoppy tootsie roll. A bit of earth and floral hop notes. Really not my thing, but certainly there are no off-flavours here.

F- Lots of toffee and tapioca, more of the tapioca here. Mild earthy bitterness on the finish. Not complex or interesting, but again, nothing that is "bad" about it.

M- Medium bodied, crisp and leaves a earthy sting to the palate on the finish. Decent beer, drinkable.

O- Nothing special about this beer; it's constructed well enough but it tastes quite malty and to be honest, it's quite boring.

Final score: 3.08

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Photo of chinchill
3.66/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of dcmchew
3.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear amber, small head, that goes quickly to a nice lacing.
Smell of caramel, apple pie, bit of toffee, not bad.
Taste starts with big tasty carameland some toffee, mixed malt mash (a bit biscuity) and a mild nuttiness. Fruitiness also, with a bit of red apple and pear acidity, and a touch of dried figs and raisin. Some woody spices, pinch of vanilla, pinch of butterscotch. Hop presence in the finish, a tiny bit "green", not on the same level with the rest of the brew, but faint enough not to disturb.
Medium body, a bit buttery, medium carbonation. Not as creamy as the usual red ales of Albion, but ok.
More than decent, enjoyable, packs almost enough flavor, but lacks any interesting characteristics.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.66/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a finger of head on a clear dark colored body.
The aroma is rich with caramel malt notes. Pretty good.
The taste is toffee sweetness with a touch of bitterness to balance it out.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
It's a nice and malty ale.

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Photo of T100Mark
3.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.57/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of jj139
3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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.

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Photo of Curtis
3.12/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured a beautiful clear reddish copper. Ungortunately, no head to speak of. No lacing, none, zilch. Aroma is malty, no hops. Mouthfeel is ok. Taste is seeet, malty, no hops, not bitter in the least. Little aftertaste. The whole thing is kind of bland. Other than the great color, this beer has little going for it.

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Photo of MadCat
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes.

Appearance: Beautiful amber red color, very clear, good white head

Smell: Caramel and fruit on the nose

Taste: Caramel, fruit, biscuity malts Good flavor for the style

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, good carbonation

Overall: A good example of the style, and good mainstay at Karl Strauss, but not the most exciting beer. Still, no complaints

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

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.

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Photo of BigBry
3.49/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft pint, while in California, another local offering.
Pours clear amber with a beige head, foam quickly faded to a film, thin lace lines.
Smell is malt, caramel, some fruitiness.
Taste has a good malt base, some fruit like in the smell.
Higher than expected carbonation, thin body.
Overall, a pretty average beer. Nothing too terrible, but nothing memorable either.

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Photo of joshstillskates
3.69/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer is very drinkable, not very bitter, but not too weak. To me, it actually has a very distinct malty flavor and leaves behind a sweet aftertaste. I randomly selected this brew and honestly, I wasn't the least disappointed. My only criticism is, I could use a bit more carbonation. All in all, will drink again.

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Photo of PolarBear3
2.97/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

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

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Red Trolley Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 132 ratings.