Red Trolley Ale | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

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Red Trolley AleRed Trolley Ale
567 Ratings
Red Trolley AleRed Trolley Ale

Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-16-2003

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 567 |  Reviews: 146
Photo of d_kizzle
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jackcub87
3.59/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Photo of NickRivers
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A&S - Pours a clear red with two fingers of dirty white, foamy head. Very sweet and bready on the nose with lots of caramel and spices but no hop presence.

T&M - Light and crisp caramel turns to a thick sticky bready alcohol flavor with a small hop bite, maybe even a nibble of hops, nothing too big. Mouthfeel is nice and pleasant, very well balanced beer.

O - Overall an excellent beer, most Brewery/Restaurants beers can't compare to this.

Nice beer with a lot of malt flavor, something you don't see to much in California flagships. Not much to say on this one, its nice and drinkable but nothing stands out. For those who love that heavy, bready, alcohol flavor, go out and pick it up. Can't wait to try KS' other brews. Stay thirsty my friends.

 753 characters

Photo of IBUnit63
3.62/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a diluted root beer with no head

Slight malt scent-very mellow

Roasted malt character - rather clean actually with a little faint coffee and cinnamon note

Light for a darker mini-macro with solid malt backbone

Drinks well for chain restaurant offering

 261 characters

Photo of jj139
3.63/5  rDev +2%
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 socon67
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of GarbageMan10
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Wowcoolman
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of eawolff99
3.64/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of nldubin
3.64/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of eckwell
3.64/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of glid02
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at a random bar in Mission Beach, CA.

Pours a slightly hazy dark amber color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of lightly toasted malts with a good dose of caramel malt sweetness. As the beer warms hints of milk chocolate aromas waft out as well.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Grainy caramel malt flavors with hints of toastiness kick things off. Midway through the sip the flavor sweetens a bit, allowing milk chocolate flavors to work their way out. Very mild amounts of leafy hops enter into things before a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have any problems finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I wasn't a huge fan of this beer but it's certainly not a terrible decision if this is your best option. Not worth seeking out but also not worth avoiding.

 942 characters

Photo of Troy_gentry
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chinchill
3.66/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

 385 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.66/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

 259 characters

Photo of Frootlutz
3.66/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Brandon632
3.66/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ehammond1
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Carlsbad, CA

Dark red and amber with a thin khaki colored head. Lines of lacing left down the glass.

Very bready aroma with some significant caramel sweetness as well. Simple, pleasant enough, and very bready.

This tastes like toasted bread with a bit of caramel and toffee sweetness. Moderate bitterness. Simple, though very drinkable.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

An extremely bready red ale, and flavorful enough per the style.

 481 characters

Photo of ClareParme
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Jessefromthe9
3.69/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Dynobolt
3.69/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.69/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I tried this last week at the Dodgers game and wanted to try it in a real glass (not a plastic cup). I didn't trust my taste buds or nose at the stadium; it was a lot more chocolately than your average amber.

Appearance: Poured a clear, beautiful deep copper with a tint of orange. A half finger of head developed on my first glass due to drinker's error, but my second glass produced a finger and a half of tan foam that reduced to a spotted lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: My first impression was of chocolate. Maybe my review at the stadium wasn't so bad after all. It's a little surprising from an amber. There is also a very deep and rich caramel aroma. Reminds me of a caramel filled piece of chocolate from a heart shaped box. As it warms a scent of plumbs and bread dough enters.

Taste: The chocolate is subdued and overtaken by hops, which are well-balanced with the malts. There is a plumb quality that blends perfectly with the caramel notes. There is a slight citrus flavor of sour grapefruit, but it is very subtle.

Drinkability: This is a very drinkable brew, even at a baseball game in a plastic cup.

 1,127 characters

Photo of joshstillskates
3.69/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

 318 characters

Photo of Lagerquestrian
3.69/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Drinkerofales
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear copper with golden highlights. A medium sized tan head settled quickly to a ring that barely leaves some lacing.

Smells of toasted malts, a note of burnt sugar, musty.

Taste is a big bigger, toasted malts, a hint of chocolate and hint of vanilla sweet on the finish.

Smooth and drinkable, but thin, with a medium dry finish.

It's ok, but needs a little more hop to balance it out.


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Red Trolley Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.56 out of 5 with 567 ratings