Red Trolley Ale
Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Red Trolley AleRed Trolley Ale
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Style:
Irish Red Ale
Ranked #178
ABV:
5.8%
Score:
81
Ranked #43,222
Avg:
3.55 | pDev: 14.08%
Reviews:
149
Ratings:
598
From:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  30
Gots
  173
SCORE
81
Good
Red Trolley AleRed Trolley Ale
Notes:
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Reviews: 149 | Ratings: 598
Photo of patre_tim
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Red with a light haze, and lots of champagne like carbonation. Topped with a finger of off white head.

Smells of deep, toasted malts, red liquorice, and a biscuity, yeasty quality.

The taste follows the nose. Slightly sweet with no outstanding bitterness.

Medium body, medium carbonation.

Got in Redding, Aug 7th, 2018, drinking here the same day. Decent brew, my first by Karl Strauss.

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Photo of timon
4.03/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Wow. I'm pleasantly surprised. I took a break from my regular San Diego breweries like Stone, Ale Smith, etc and gave this a try. Very nice smell, almost like a Belgin tripel, on of my favorites, in the sweetness of the smell. Nice brown/red color with a bit of haze. Head....not too good, but that's least important to me. Very good taste for the style. I actually prefer this to a German banana-bread beer or something like NewCastle ale. Will buy again at $10 a sixer (at least here in SD), for sure.

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Photo of BeerStud187
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look, ambers suck and we all know that, but this is decent for the style. It’s highly malty, not very bitter or hoppy. Not interesting at all for an established drinker, but could possibly be a first step gateway for some college kid weening himself off bud light. It’s a fine attempt at a terrible style.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This pours a malty caramel. It has a spattering of sticky hop character and a smooth caramel malt backing. Doesn't do much for me but others enjoyed it.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.71/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Curious that I found this copy in Melbourne and I've been to San Diego five times in ten years. Anyway.... It is always a pleasure to have a first beer from an established brewer (meaning, they started in the previous century.)

Red Trolley starts undistinguished (more brown than red and no head). But, it Smells like mostly malt and is consistent with its style. Also, I give it higher points for being more balanced than 80%+ of the beers that come from that region. And it sits in the mouth nicely, too. Overall, I want this again.... in San Diego.

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.14/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It is a mainly transparent amber red. It produced a tan head that had a very short life.

It smells like toasted bread, toffee, and dark fruit.

There is a lot of bready malt, tangy/sour red grapes or plums, some caramel, and a touch of floral/earthy hops.

Body has a little heft for the style and the ABV level, but it is smooth. Decent amount of carbonation.

Maybe not a textbook Irish Red, but pretty close, and an outstanding beer. I know this isn't a popular style, but I'm surprised by the ratings.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Trying this at Law Quinta resort. The beer poured a clear amber with thin white head that is not leaving any lace. The scent was standard amber...nothing exotic. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it's a decent beer.

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Photo of gatornation
3.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a beautiful slight hazed copper red color with a fresh khaki collar. Smell of hops and sweet caramel malts. Taste of nuts and toffee some pine hops and caramel malts. mouth feel was sweet in a good way for the red ale it was offset with hops nuts bread and malts. Very fresh on tap and very tasty.

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
3.42/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle without freshness date into standard pint glass.

L: Beautiful rich red amber color. Off-white finger head that dissipates after a minute or so.

S: Lots of rich caramel and toffee with a small nutty scent at the end. Little to no hops.

T: Initially a caramel more subtle than that of the smell, leads into an almost sour fruitiness, finishing with just a hint of bitterness. Not very complex, yet tasty.

F: Medium-low body and easy on the tongue. Low carbonation doesn't make this beer very crisp.

O: I would enjoy trying this on draught, I think the bottle I tasted from was lacking the necessary carbonation to wake up some extra flavors from this beer. I have liked the previous Karl Strauss beers that I have tried so I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.

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Photo of Webtelly
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For those who have been around the block and refined the list of which beers they like, you may recall Killian's Red. Not a chugging beer, and a bit of hangover due to additives. I thought the same might be true for Red Trolley. Not true. Very smooth. I have gone from high alcohol beers for the buzz, to settling on Miller Lite because my genes just seem to like Pilsner beers better. So naturally, I was hesitant to buy a six-pack of bottles of Red Trolley. Some people say it is too sweet and too heavy, but at 5.8% alcohol, it's a hit because it is very satisfying as a sipping beer straight from the bottle. Get it ice cold, and you can make a bottle last as long as 2 cans of light beer. So, I like it, because a Friday evening can justify the extra cost and quality. I say forget all the talk about caramel and chocolate and aftertastes. These really are only a whisp if you sip this beer properly.

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Photo of mbrando33
3.41/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

This one pops with a quick hit of caramel and nuts with an almost chocolate after taste. The feel is quite thick for a red and almost reminded me of a pumpkin ale in that regard. It's a little on the sweet side for my taste (I'd almost call it a dessert beer), but I can certainly appreciate why others enjoy it so much.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Beautiful clear deep amber red color, with a nice khaki head. Faint smell of sweet caramel, fig and raisins. Tastes similar with a bit of a tang to it, and toasted bread. Pretty rich feel for 5.8%, but appropriate with a medium carbonation. Overall, still a great red ale that stood up to the test of time thus far. Cheers!

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Photo of dtumminelliob
3.57/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A nice looking beer, though you can that it's fizzy. This comes through in the mouthfeel and taste, unfortunately. Beyond that, the flavor is pretty bland. The malt backbone doesn't really offer too much past the nice color.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Anchor steam glass.Smell is a light maybe sour cherry smell.Taste is a sour cherry mixed with maybe Caramel flavor.Not a lot of bang for the buck with this one.It`s not bad just nothing that really stands out that makes you want to buy it again.I`m not sorry I tried it but probably would not buy again.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.02/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Average clarity, minimal red color appearance, almost a full inch of white head on the top. Aroma was really bland, nothingness.

Taste dropped all the usual red descriptors: toffee, wet wood, caramel. Run of the mill, average red ale with no off flavors, but does nothing well either.

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Photo of Smakawhat
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Spiegelau stout glass, hey it's all good.

Deep red rust and orange color, fairly clear with a dusty unfiltered like presence. Head is light tan and two fingers, settling to an almost fluffy top and small Puck and collar.

Aroma is mild caramel and interesting fruity esters. Hints of soft orange and grapefruit, tangy a bit.

Palate is interesting twinge. Soft caramel but more tangy almost sour fruit than sweetness. Soft bodied and orange tangy and juiced not quite sour or off putting. mild caramel sweetness just a nice touch which accents the fruit quality really nicely.

It's a bit different from Irish Reds I have had but a real good solid brew

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Photo of CanyonCitySteve
3.3/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice beer, but too thick and sweet for my tastebuds. Tastes a couple 12 of bottles from local grocery. Nice to see they're getting some good distribution in So Cal but this ones not foe me

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Photo of Mitzvahman72
5/5  rDev +40.8%
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 -36.3%
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 +22.5%
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 CraftBeerApprentice
5/5  rDev +40.8%
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 +20.8%
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 +5.4%
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 +38.6%
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 +32.1%
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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Red Trolley Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 598 ratings