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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.

362 Ratings
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 beerpadawan


2.75/5  rDev -21.9%

08-26-2012 17:17:16 | More by beerpadawan
Photo of KevMo84


3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

05-31-2014 17:29:29 | More by KevMo84
Photo of jheezee


3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

04-18-2014 19:06:24 | More by jheezee
Photo of duff247


3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

02-25-2013 00:23:07 | More by duff247
Photo of Smarty_Pints


3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

01-12-2014 05:26:57 | More by Smarty_Pints
Photo of BMMillsy


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 notchucknorris


3.45/5  rDev -2%

A: More of an amber color than red with a tan head that holds up pretty well.

S: Some caramel malts and a slight hint of faded hops.

T: Similar to the smell. A little caramel malt sweetness followed by a faded hop flavor. As the beer warms, the malts stand out a bit more and take on a more bready character. It's one of the better Karl Strauss beers I've had, but still not great.

05-01-2011 06:44:48 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of Offa


3.1/5  rDev -11.9%

Lightly hazy red amber with medium Tan head soon thinning to ring and no lace.

Aroma is nice toasty whole wheat bread, barley with some fruity-piney floweriness and a clear butterscotch element.

Taste is sweet-spicy, definite toasty character, very light pepper-spicy bitterness with hint of citrus, and a faint hint of earth near the finish. It’s a bit boozy/alcoholic in character for the ABV and what appears to be intended as an easy going, session beer. All is a bit vague and somewhat flat in character, so, although decent with some character, it ends up being neither interesting nor particularly drinkable, being rather bland, flat and heavy for what it is. For my own reference, it’s slightly better than Napa Smith amber, but not much, being somewhat flatter and weaker in character but also being cleaner and less off-putting in aroma or the like.

04-27-2011 21:06:43 | More by Offa
Photo of Zbeetleman


3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

07-08-2013 05:18:51 | More by Zbeetleman
Photo of Fatehunter


3.66/5  rDev +4%

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.

05-14-2014 06:12:19 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of AlCaponeJunior


3.58/5  rDev +1.7%

On tap in the San Diego airport at 6:45 am.

Red and clear with a nice head and decent lacing.

Caramel and bready malts dominate both the aroma and taste. There's a hint of hops, but not much. Still, it's quite tasty on tap, and damn fine early in the morning before a long flight.

Relatively light bodied, ample carbonation, leaving a nice sweet malty aftertaste.

Truly a pleasant and likeable offering. I'd be happy to try more from this brewery.

06-25-2011 20:32:47 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of HalfFull


3.1/5  rDev -11.9%

Red Trolley pours a clear light copper amber with a thin and hard fought head of less than half an inch. Retention is virtually nonexistent, resulting in a flat beverage with no visible carbonation in short order.

Light caramel malts on the nose share the stage with some roasted notes. Rather sweet but not very complex on the nose and with just a hint of hops. More candied after a swirl, and showing muddled woody hops.

Sweet caramel malts dominate the flavor of the beer but aren't supported by any carbonation, yielding a rather viscous feel. Some toffee and dried fruit on the swallow are pleasant but short lived, improving later and adding some winter spice notes. Feel and finish of an Oktoberfest beer yet still suffering from carbonation issues. The beer improved in texture and complexity after letting it warm and allowing for some swirling action. Better carbonation would likely bump this beer a full letter grade.


11-20-2009 02:53:50 | More by HalfFull
Photo of BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

10-18-2013 04:35:40 | More by BigBry
Photo of magictrokini


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 IntriqKen


3.3/5  rDev -6.3%

"A full bodied copper-colored ale with rich flavors of tofee, subtle hintsof currants an dates, andan incredibly smooth finish."
Yep...a little too sweet....definately a light roasted flavor to the malts....a very full and smooth mouthfeel with a little bit of citrus hops on the end to leave the palette clean and dry.
Beautiful lacing with lots of tiny bubbles coming up from the bottom the entire time I was drinking this pint.

10-29-2006 00:59:16 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of granger10


3.63/5  rDev +3.1%

Medium amber red color with a medium white head and moderate lacing. Not much aroma here. A bit of fruityness and caramel. Taste is quite sweet but I like it. Lots of toffee with a caramelized strawberry flavor on top. Not much in the hop dept. A bit of a creamy body. Slight sour notes from the yeast. Finish is a bit sticky and this could definitely be cloying after a few. I only had one and it went fast but I am satisfied and want some more hops.

06-22-2006 21:18:51 | More by granger10
Photo of tbeq00


3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

01-13-2012 02:58:18 | More by tbeq00
Photo of ssimpson89


3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

01-05-2014 02:48:24 | More by ssimpson89
Photo of augustgarage


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 bostonryan


3/5  rDev -14.8%

07-30-2013 05:28:36 | More by bostonryan
Photo of jrohrbacher

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

03-16-2012 23:45:59 | More by jrohrbacher
Photo of codynevels


3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

02-01-2012 05:42:32 | More by codynevels
Photo of sd123


3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

01-26-2012 20:24:20 | More by sd123
Photo of funkel81


3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

04-23-2012 18:11:47 | More by funkel81
Photo of BeerOps


3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

06-25-2013 03:32:21 | More by BeerOps
Red Trolley Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 362 ratings.