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Pintail Pale Ale | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

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very good
49 Reviews
Pintail Pale AlePintail Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by tonistruth on 10-01-2007

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Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 177
Photo of armock
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a copper color with a white head that leaves some lacing behind

S - Is mostly of citrus hops on caramel malt

T - Starts off with grapefruit hops finishes with a touch of caramel malt

M - This beer has a medium body with higher carbonation to it

D - This was a pretty good pale thats easy to drink with its good taste I could probably drink a few of these in a sitting worth picking up sometime to give it a try

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Photo of Jayli
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 6/8
Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours crystal clear copper color with a 1/2 inch of off white head. Head recedes relatively quickly leaving spots of wispy lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is really rather malt forward, caramel malts really dominate, some breadiness and a hint of hops.

T: Taste is likened to the nose, very malt forward. Caramel malts in the forefront moving to a slight breadiness. The hop flavoring really comes out toward the finish with some nice citrus hop notes.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, oily mouthfeel with a slightly dry finish.

D: Not a bad beer, but could have been blended better, goes down pretty easily and is not too filling. You could sit with this for the night, though I would opt for other APA's if available.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice strong copper color with a 1 inch soapy off-white head that has some good retention. Active carbonation rise form the bottom of the glass.

S - Malty goodness is present with some underlying and delicious grassy hops. Some citrus grapefruit notes are present but the bready grain backbone is definitely dominant.

T & M - Taste starts off with some nice bready grain notes. Freshly baked and toasty. Delicious malt backbone to this brew. There is some nice grapefruit and slightly grassy hop notes to balance the malt backbone. There si some slight malt sweetness to the beer as well. With some slight carmel notes mixed in with the grain. Good light mouthfeel with great overall flavors.

O - I was pleasantly surprised byt his beer. It is up there with some of the more known Cali Pale Ales. In fact to me it trumps SNPA. Good malt backbone with nice hop hints.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear gold with a bubbly white head. Thin lacing. Metallic malt-and-grassy hops combo typical of the style; nothing outstanding. Carbonated mouthfeel, dry finish. Crystal malt bite with slightly piney hops. Smooth, and refreshing, but not a lot of substance.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.32/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

BB April 2013 (!)

Pours a deep amber, slight head, maybe half a finger. Dies to a film quickly. Sproadic lacing on swirl.

APA on the nose! Firm aromas of citrus, a little fruit salad, honey, and hops.

Taste is a let down after the nose. Hops and pine dominate a one-dimensional palate. Freshness is the issue methinks.

Mouthfeel a little watery. Carbonation good.

Overall, OK but not great example in crowded market.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a copper colour with a small head. Aroma of orange marmalade, caramel sweetness and citrus. Flavour of sweet juicy fruitiness, citrusy tartness, floral bitterness, mild graininess and quite heavy caramel malts. Medium bodied. Juicy, dry, fruity finish. Good.

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Photo of beagle75
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft service into a shaker pint glass at Karl Strauss in Costa Mesa.

A: Clear, medium amber color with less than one finger of diminishing white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Citrus and floral hops are pungent anf focused early, but diminish quickly in intensity. Toasted grain is predictably more evident as hops fade, but otherwise the smell is very clean.

T: Begins dry, with aromatic hops that match the smell closely and bright acidity that is strong but welcome. Pale malt emerges in the middle, husky and robust. Bitterness develops gradually, becoming nearly bracing at its peak during the finish.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, wet and balanced featuring an acidic edge, with moderate carbonation.

D: Not only is Pintail one of the best beers Karl Strauss brews, it may also be one of the best APAs brewed in Southern California. One has to consider some other much more poorly-distributed beers--Alpine Hoppy Birthday, Strand 24th Street pale--to find one that is both local and is able to exceed this beer in its masterful approach to the style. While off-flavors are virtually non-existent here, one could potentially criticize the acidity present and the speed at which the hop aromas seem to fade from the smell. That said, even they are small transgressions that should not prevent this beer from rising to the top of the Karl Strauss stable.

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Photo of dansmcd
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a deep golden amber, nice thick and creamy head with excellent retention, sloppy sticky lacing.

S - piney hops, spice and caramel malt.

T - really tasty. Well balanced. Pine, caramel, sweet and bitter. Good example of the style.

M - moderate carbonation, medium body, dry finish.

O - surprisingly good considering the other offerings from these guys.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ordered a pint of this at the Karl Strauss Restaurant in Carlsbad a few days ago. The following review is base on notes taken at that time.

Served in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pale amber, crystal clear, and bright; Pintail Pale Ale has a great looking body. A thin, creamy, white cap covers the surface and retains well, partially thanks to a handful of steady bubble streams seen within. Thick lacing early on eventually turns more cobweb-like. All around, quite nice-looking!

Smell: Light caramel, buttered toast, and pine resin come to mind first. As the beer slowly warms, I get key lime followed by grapefruit and orange. Nothing spectacular, but solid for the style.

Taste: More bitter than I'd like, but I guess this is San Diego. Unfortunately, I really can't find a whole lot in terms of flavor profile; I get lots of earth and pine, with mild lemon and buttered bread occasionally peaking through.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation and heavy bitterness make for a palate-wrecking pale ale (obviously nowhere close to palate-wrecking DIPAs, but you catch my drift). Medium-bodied and hop-forward.

Drinkability: With a few less bittering hops, this might be a great pale ale. Unfortunately, the heavy bitterness overpowers any subtleties that may exist in the flavor profile. Too bad. If you're looking for a low ABV hop fix, this may be your beer.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Straight from the good old US of A is the Pintail Pale Ale from Herr Karl Strauss, and we all have fond memories of the Tower 10 IPA, at least I do, so my best [taste] buds are humming with anticipation at what to expect from this quality west coast brewer because everyone knows "the west is best" when it comes to craft beers... wait, I may be wrong, perhaps it is "the mid-west is best"... It's definitely not "the tex-mex is best" this I know for certain.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Body is a classic Pale Ale deep amber with a thin off-white dusting on top, very run of the mill, and who doesn't like run of the mill? I'll kill them... with a mill. It will be one creative death right there.

S: To all the American Pale Ale admirers out there this is, simply put, berfume (a portmanteau of "beer" and "perfume" I invented). A full bouquet of floral/citric/pine hops and generous caramel malt base blend well here. It is borderline Sierra Nevada Awesome [SNA for short] with hops leading the nose well.

T: The taste, however, falls short of SNA with those hops flattening out flavour-wise and presenting less complexity than one is lead to believe by the aroma. Citric hops (minus much of that floral/pine note mentioned above) share evenly with a caramel malt base and finish, for an APA at least, balanced between bitter and dry.

M: Medium bodied (Karl Strauss seem to have a knack for this) with a light but active carbonation.

D: It is an easy drinker and a good introduction to the APA style for those unaccustomed to overtly bitter beers, but ultimately once you've looked into the sun and seen the glory of the universe a glance directly into a lamp doesn't cut it. However that is a gross overstatement/analogy as this is really a top-notch APA that isn't quite SNA but could be DEGMHF*, and if that isn't EIFY† I don't know what is.

Food match: For some reason or another this brew conjured up a desire for a roast lamb with mint sauce and roasted vegetables dinner, however this ale is a little too bold for the simple roast lamb dinner so for something different a spicy Harissa rubbed lamb would easily do the trick.

*Decent Enough Given More Hop Flavour.
†Enough Initialisms For You.

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Photo of SmashPants
2.95/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: decent 355mL brown bottle. Nicely styled label - kind of old-school cute.

Appearance: darker orange amber in colour, with fast but refined carbonation. A limited white head stays for some time. Minor lacing.

Aroma: some citric hops with a light caramel backing. A touch of pine to fill it out. Not outstanding, but a standard pale ale aroma.

Taste: very muted in flavour for a pale ale. There are the usual suspects as there are in the aroma - grapefruit, pine, caramels - but the flavour is quite muted and dull. Quite disappointing actually.

Aftertaste: pretty much the same - muted without much in the way of follow-up aftertaste.

Mouth feel: I think this is half the problem with the muted flavour profile - the light-to-medium body is fine, but the lack of carbonation really seems to dull this beer down. A pity, as this could have been a good beer if it had a bit more backbone.

Overall: this is the second beer I have had from the Karl Strauss Brewery, and the second one that comes up short. A good flavour profile wasted on limited carbonation and no backbone. A pity, really.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.27/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

355 ML bottle

A-- Poured a darker orange amber color. Quite clear and some visible carbonation bubbles. Half finger of off white head. Nice lacing with this. Good sticky ring of lacing. Head holds up quite nice.

S-- Pineapple, passion fruit, Lemon, orange, and lime. Good citrus nose. Some caramel backbone but this is very fruit forward.

T-- Pine, orange and grapefruit in the taste. Turns to a more herbal variety. Citrus tones get lost in the taste. Not much of a backbone to this.

M-- Slight amount of toffee in the feel but not enough to back up the hops. A sort of thin, soapy herbal character to this. A lot of hop bite to this but nothing to sooth it out. Dry, medicinal orange and grapefruit finish. Some resin in the mid palate. Lightly carbonated and medium feel.

O-- More body to back this up. Lots of hops in this and could be very nice with a bigger backbone. Better than a lot of APA's out here but not on par with LCPA. Would buy again as a pretty well hopped APA.

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Photo of TheMarkE
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Cloudy amber with decent head and lacing. Quite a bit of carbonation.

Smell: Citrus and floral hops, caramel, pine.

Taste: Pine, citrus, fresh bready malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a hop bitterness in the finish.

The Verdict: Very good. Well balanced and tasty, it’s not a bad alternative to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Firestone Pale 31.

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Photo of BucBasil
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap into a pint glass at Karl Strauss at Universal City, CA.

A: Amber color, almost orange but with some reddish notes. Offwhite head of about a finger with ok retention.

S: Subtle but has a malty backbone of bread with a light fruit sweetness and a hint of floral.

T: Light and smooth. Good hop profile but with a bit of balance in the form of slightly bready malt. A hint of herbal and floral hop and slightly fruity going down.

O: Very drinkable but nothing too exciting. A solid pale.

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Photo of tonistruth
3.01/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

on cask @ Churchill's in San Marcos, CA

A- pours a cloudy, unfiltered straw color, with a silky two finger white head and lace, great retent on both

S- fresh citrus and bready

T- dry toasted malts, bready, citrus, leafy, burnt cardboard flavor in background

M- silky, smooth, dry and somewhat sticky after

D- burnt flavor can be harsh and a brew from cask is a love or hate situation, but not to shabby, probably be better off on tap

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Photo of velosuds
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a clear pint glass.

A-Pours an amber-orange with a one and a quarter finger, off-white head with average retention and nice, even lacing.

S-Very fragrant, citrusy hops and caramel malt.

T-A full flavored light ale. Nice blend of bitterness and tropical fruit notes with a balanced malt presence.

M-Very smooth. Good carbonation.

D-This is very drinkable and a decent ale.

O- Good, but not great, at regular prices. However, I would buy this for $5.99 a sixer, whenever available. A good APA.

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Photo of chogm54
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I've started to see more of the Karl Strauss beers pop up around the place. It looks like Sierra Nevada may not be the only american beer to be widely available in Oz. Bring it on I say - Im yet to have a really terrible craft American beer. Poured from a 330ml bottle.

a - Looks how it should - hazy dark orange/brown, pours a 3cm off - white head, that lingers to a 5mm thick lacing.

s - big kick of hoppy floral odours, slight whiff of malt and spicy citrus

t - a citrus tang (blood orange/grapefruit) tang at the very beginning, before the hoppy bitterness comes in, mixed in with some faint roasted malt, with caramel and honey overlapping at the rear

m - moderate to high carbonation (for an APA), light to moderate body with slightly creamy texture

O - slightly more bitter than the average pale ale or APA, this is nevertheless an enjoyable beer, with enough bitterness to enjoy the flavour, but not too much so it isn't sessionable. Definitely work a try if you want an alternative to Little Creatures or Sierra Nevada PA's.

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Photo of Skrumpy
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Mostly clear, golden amber, foamy, white head with moderate lacing. Aroma is malt, bread, herbs, and light citrus. Smooth, mild citrus notes and sweet malt. Crisp, with a dry finish. A decent pale ale overall.

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Photo of PolarBear3
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

A - Pours a honey colour with an off white head that retains fairly well

S - Caramel, sweet candy, pineapple and grapefruit. Very promising aromas.

T - Light caramel malts, citrus including grapefruit, lemon together with slight bitterness and a little burnt orange at the finish

M - light to medium bodied with very little carbonation

O - Not a bad effort for a Pale Ale but what promised so much with its aromas but lacked a little in taste. Definately worth a try but I reckon you would have had enough after a couple.

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Photo of GarrettB
3.06/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

October 5th, 2013 - The Pintail: hoppy, fresh and piney in the nose, and the flavor keeps up. There's a nice depth of hops, a floral flourish, and a good, refreshing quality overall.

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Photo of jjh19
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: My bottle of Pintail Pale Ale poured a rich golden amber color. Decent head. Had a really clean look.

Smell: A pleasant aroma, hints of citrus (maybe grapefruit?)

Taste: Wow - this ale delivers big on the citrus with the first sip. Pretty cool. I think my favorite thing about the Pintail is the malts I get mid-sip. Creates a nice balance with the vibrant hops.

Mouthfeel: My bottle had a fairly ale-standard medium body. Nothing crazy.

Drinkability: This is a smooth pale ale with an interesting hoppiness. I'd totally recommend this. Can't wait for a hot San Diego day to enjoy a couple more.

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Photo of crvcac
4.39/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours with a nice golden amber hue

Smell: smells absolutely wonderful. Clearly dry-hopped, this beer runs a fine line between pale ale and ipa.

Taste: taste very similar to its smell. Again, a very hopped pale ale. Copious amounts of citrus and pine like flavors. Sits very nicely on the palate.

Drink ability: very drinkable. Moderate abv makes for a great session beer. Hop linger on the tongue makes me want more

Overall: solid

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Photo of Decko
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Hazy amber colour in the glass with an initially good head which disippated and left reasonable lacing on the way down. Grapefruit hoppy aromas. Hops dominate the taste as you'd expect with a decent balance of sweet maltiness. Good level of carbonation with dryness late adding to the mouthfeel. Overall quite enjoyed it and could see it working as a good session beer for those who enjoy their hops. It lacked a little something to be truly great but happy to drink it again anytime.

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Photo of MarriedAtGI
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On draft at Whole Foods El Segundo.

A: Transparent copper color with white head. Good lacing.
S: Very subtle aroma, nothing unpleasant
T: Citrus an pine hops with a nice malt backbone.
M: Dry and refreshing
O: A nice dry pale ale. I prefer more hop aroma.

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Photo of hoptrip619
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure if there was a reformulation to this recipe because there is no way this beer deserves anything less than a solid A. I sampled Pintail several times last night at a charity event for the San Diego History Center and was very very impressed. Ryan, the KS rep, mentioned it will be available in six-packs here in a few weeks and I definitely plan to pick some up when that become a reality.

A- Poured a clear bright golden orange with a 1/2" white head.

S- Prominent clean floral citrus aroma of grapefruit zest with some fruity notes.

T- Lots of hop flavor of grapfruit, orange, and meyer lemon. Some caramel malt contrasts nicely with the forward hoppiness.

M- Medium bodied and very very easy to drink.

D- This PA is clean, super flavorful, and incredibly easy to drink. This may very well become my go-to beer. I am seriously impressed by the new beers KS has been putting out lately.

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Pintail Pale Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 177 ratings.
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