Red Trolley Ale | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

BA SCORE
80
good
547 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Red Trolley AleRed Trolley Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company
California, United States
karlstrauss.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
547
Reviews:
144
Avg:
3.5
pDev:
14.86%
 
 
Wants:
25
Gots:
146
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 547 |  Reviews: 144
Photo of ssimpson89
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Pens1967
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of beerguy101
3.32/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium amber color. Medium head. Aroma is malty and a touch sweet. A medium bodied amber. Malts are nutty and a touch sweet. Hops are slightly spicy. There is a slightly harsh feel to the taste in this beer. Kind of a typical amber. Drinkable, but typical. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is harsh. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

 323 characters

Photo of WesMantooth
4.14/5  rDev +18.3%
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.

 510 characters

Photo of Overlord
3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'd like this beer more (not that I'd rate it higher, but I'd subjectively like it more) if it wasn't always priced as a premium.

Nice little red ale that's mostly malty sweetness with some fruit tones, no real hops to speak of, and certainly not a complex beer by any means. I find it goes perfectly with bar food and football. Also works well at California Disney.

Best of the Karl Strauss offerings I've had, though I haven't seen the Stout offered anywhere yet.

 467 characters

Photo of funkel81
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of beerpadawan
2.75/5  rDev -21.4%

Photo of Offa
3.12/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

 865 characters

Photo of duff247
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of Smarty_Pints
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of italianstallion
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of taospowder
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of InfernoBoss
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of CJNAPS
3.76/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of HalfFull
3.09/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

5.8%

 937 characters

Photo of Zbeetleman
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

 454 characters

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of Docrock
3.37/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Blazer22
3.2/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of meehandennis
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of Braz
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of Rick778
2.92/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of magictrokini
2.88/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

 359 characters

Photo of augustgarage
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

 978 characters

Red Trolley Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
3.5 out of 5 based on 547 ratings.
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