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Tower 10 IPA - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tower 10 IPATower 10 IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

298 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 298
Reviews: 108
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.42%
Wants: 12
Gots: 28 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Overlord on 03-15-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 298 | Reviews: 108 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vertigelt1
3.05/5  rDev -16.4%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a short-stemmed wine glass

My first Karl Strauss after moving back to CA from TX. Was less impressed than I expected to be.

A - poured a clear, bright copper/dark orange with thin (almost a finger) but foamy, whitish head which dissipated quickly but left a nice ring of lacing at the top of the glass.

S - nowhere near the hops I'd expect from a San Diego IPA. A bit of bready pine.

T - Bready with slight acidity. TINY bit of bitterness from piny hops. Almost tasted more like a Belgian wit than an IPA.

M - full-bodied and refreshingly crisp in carbonation

D - I'll drink the 6-pack over a few nights, but I'm rather disappointed in the brew. There's not a lot of character to it that really draws me back to the glass. It's not awful, but there's just not compelling, either.

Overall, a fairly bland IPA which I doubt I'll ever try again.

vertigelt1, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%

A: The pour is a pretty lookin' copper color with a fluffy white head and sticky sheets of lacing.

S: Quite a bready nose for a San Diego brewed IPA. The hop character is piney and floral without much of the citrus that we're all so fond of.

T: Like the nose would indicate, this does not seem to be an overly hoppy IPA. The piney bitterness is the primary contribution, but like the nose, bready malts really dominate here.

M: The body is medium with a somewhat mild level of carbonation for an IPA, maybe even a bit "flat".

D: Certainly not one of the better San Diego IPAs, but for an average brewpub, it's not too shabby.

womencantsail, Apr 17, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%

A nice solid effort, though nothing special. Drank a couple of these just killing time at Lindbergh field. Nice copper color, with a thin white head. Smells malty and piney. Tastes malty, with some decent citrus hop flavors (grapefruit) and a nice lingering hoppy finish.

emmasdad, Apr 07, 2010
Photo of MiScusi
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%

Had on tap at Phileas Fogg's in Poway. Pours a clear dark orange with a little bit of red in it. Standard head of foam, nothing out of the ordinary there. This is definitely more of a "balanced" IPA if you will, but it still has a nice hop flavor. Somewhat citrusy, somewhat earthy and floral. Not as dry as most San Diego IPA's / Pale ales.

MiScusi, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of DennisD
4.43/5  rDev +21.4%

Appearance: off-white colored head. Amber in color.
Aroma: hoppy, pine - maybe some malt
Taste: Hoppy/piney but balanced - not overwhelming.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.
Drinkability: Nice, great beer. Session style beer. I really enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

DennisD, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of donniecuffs
3.13/5  rDev -14.2%

Poured copper/amber into a 5oz sampling glass, with a finger of white head, and decent lacing. Smelled once again of maltiness, earthiness, and some caramel, with very little if any hop presence. Very similar to the Red Trolley Ale, and very disappointing for an 'American IPA' style. The taste simply confirmed the smell; nearly no citrus, woodiness, or bitterness to speak of...just maltiness and a little bit of leather. The mouthfeel though, like the Red Trolley I tried, was full-bodied, nicely carbonated, and pleasant. Definitely needs more hop flavor for me to session this 'American IPA'.

donniecuffs, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of vacax
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%

Pours with a thick finger of good cream colored head that displays decent retention and lacing. Amber in color. Smells of a nice subdued hoppiness with mostly floral and pine along with a definite malt presence. Tastes mostly of piney and resiny hops with a bit of flora. Plenty of malt balance, which works until the finish which is a bit too sweet. Medium in body with a high level of prickly carbonation. A few swirls of the glass can take the head from zero to an inch... too many bubbles. Overall this is a nice IPA for a brewpub, but can't really stand up to to San Diego's other microbreweries in the IPA arena.

vacax, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%

Pours a dark color for an IPA, much less Karl Straus which is usually the mildest of San Diego beers/ipas.

Smell, nothing coming across. Taste wise, a little more maltier than I would have expected. No dominant hop presence. In fact, in terms of which end it sits on, I would say malty, v. balanced or hoppy. Earthy, not very sweet. Would do well in the midwest with distribution.

Doesn't really grow on you, but you don't mind drinking it. The yeast strain(s) Strauss uses reminds me a lot of Gordon Biersch, i.e. all the beers have a similar taste to them, despite the styles being very different.

Beerandraiderfan, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of DoubleJ
3.98/5  rDev +9%

Another IPA from the city of IPA's. 22 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

Forms beautifully in my New Belgium globe. It is an amber reddish color, shiny like a diamond, leaving a long lasting, thick head on top. Like its San Diego siblings, the nose is not to dissapoint. Medium on the hops are far as IPA's go. A bit of crystal malt and passionfruit sit underneath. Citrusy.

Hoppy tasting? Yes it is. The base malts work bread into the overall flavor. There are notes of pine and hemp, giving this beer an interesting zip. With certainty, the hops are the star of the show (like you didn't see that coming), adding passionfruit and grapefruit. A little resiny. Not a bad feel in the mouth, just a touch thiner for it's size, but not bad.

Craft beer drinkers in San Diego live and breathe hops, and even with all the hoppy offerings, Tower 10 can hold its own against the others. It's the best Karl Strauss beer that I've seen in the bottle, so go for it if you see it.

DoubleJ, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Appearance: Pours a clear, but somewhat sunwashed amber color with a sturdy cap that splashes dots of lacing

Smell: Balanced aroma of caramel malt with tangerine and pine

Taste: Caramel opening with a growing tangerine and pine bitterness that evens things out by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweeter malt flavors tend to dominate but there are plenty of hop elements that continue into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: While this isn't in the top echelon of San Diego IPAs, it is a big improvement over Stargazer and can certainly hold its own, particularly for those that seek a little balancing malt sweetness

Thanks, BevmoIan, for the opportunity and, mrmiles, for the chance to revisit

brentk56, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of OStrungT
3.25/5  rDev -11%

This beer pours a slightly cloudy yellowish orange color, with a thin white head. The head fades slowly, leaving almost no lace.

This beer has a biscuit like aroma. I can detect some citrus aroma as well, but the bready biscuit aroma dominates. This beer dosent smell like any IPA I have ever had before.

As with the aroma, this beer is unlike any IPA I have had. Biscuit flavor dominates. Some citrusy hop flavor, but mild, and subdued.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. It leaves a biscuit like aftertaste. Carbonation is good for the style.

This beer might make a decent session beer. It isnt too high in alcohol, and the flavor isnt overly aggressive.

Overall: This beer is hard to rate. It isnt a bad beer, but it is no IPA.

OStrungT, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of bacabuck
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%

Overall a really terrific ale.

A: Pours a deep unfiltered honey colour with a solid oatmeal colored head that provides nice lacing from top to bottom.

S: Lots of hops in this one

T: Deep rich flavours of nuts, bananas, molasses, and a slightly bitter finish. Much less bitter than Stone IPA.

M/D: Drinks down easily as an ale should. No heavy carbonation.

bacabuck, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of PintOHops
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appeared a very hazy orange/copper with a dense 1 finger head that had outstanding retention. Little carbonation can be seen, and it left some very spotty/broken lacing. Smelled of a very off style sweet malty, grainy, bready, biscuit like aroma, it's very chocolaty with mild undertones of earthy spices, a touch of citrus, and subtle grape. Not a classic pungent hop aroma.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tasted very sweet, lots of caramel & molasses flavors off the bat, following is earthiness, mild spices and a dark chocolate/burnt biscuit like bitterness. Finishes with some subtle citrus notes and lingering chocolaty, molasses flavors, not much hop bitterness though. Mouthfeel was very smooth, a little thick, a bit oily and medium-full bodied, it's what I expected for the ABV.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - This IPA was very drinkable because of it's mellow chocolaty flavors, smooth mouthfeel, and lacking bitterness. One could easily drink 2-3 of these, the 6.5% is even hidden very well, which could be dangerous. This one was off style to me though, it wasn't pungent & floral, intense & fruity, not even any pine notes really. It was more of an authentic style more than an American style IPA, which isn't bad as long as that's what they where going for. Still overall pretty good, I like the the more pungent one's though.

PintOHops, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of monkeylovebeer
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%

Having peeps that wander down to San Diego now and again, I've heard good things about Karl Strauss, but for whatever reason, I have never been able to find their beers up in the Bay Area. Finally, I've been able to find two: their Tower 10 IPA and Red Trolley Ale.

The Tower 10 pours a light pumpkin color with a small, but tight head, leaving little lacing. The nose is all about the malts, which surprised me. I usually like my IPAs to be more hop-forward, but the balance works here.

It started out with ultra-smooth caramel notes with a sweet citrus finish, but I found that as the beer warmed, it gained a coppery aftertaste. Perhaps it's the hops making their late entrance, but instead of piney/grapefruit goodness, I get to suck on a penny. Maybe this one's gone south.

monkeylovebeer, Sep 08, 2009
Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%

Appearance - This is a nice, clear, brownish-orange in color with a full and retentive head that left some excellent lacing on the inside of my mug from pour to last sip.

Smell - The hops are subtle but show a good mix of pine and citrus with a little herb in there to boot. The malt is equally balanced and suggests a mild caramel sweetness.

Taste - This is much bigger at the taste. The pine is resiny yet doesn't overpower the wonderful citrus which has the character of an orange rind. The malt is lightly toasted with a suggestion of sugary caramel. The balance here is the story though. The three flavors, resiny pine, bitter orange, and slightly sweetened malts, are incredibly harmonious.

Mouthfeel - This is a tad shy of medium-bodied with good carbonation and an excellent bitter finish.

Drinkability - This is a true session ale that can be appreciated by both the novice drinker and experienced beer aficionado. For the price you can't beat it.

RoyalT, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of Halcyondays
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours orange, good clarity, big head with nice lace.

S: Orange, grapefruit and pine.

T: Citrus and pine play off each other with some nice toasted malt to balance it all out. A good flavour, but not very intense as I expect out of San Diego.

M: Medium-bodied, thin at times, resiny.

D: A solid IPA, but not in the upper echelon of what is coming out of San Diego County, but certainly drinkable.

Halcyondays, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.98/5  rDev +9%

On tap while killing time in LAX
Poured a reddish copper color almost like a penny.Nose is floral, citrus, pine and big malt. Taste is wow..good. I thought this was a chewy, malty IPA for a West Coast American style. Floral and pine notes with some citrus to. Mouthfeel is nice and good, went down well and I could have had a few of these but at $7 in the airport I passed.

barleywinefiend, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of Swimsum
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%

Poured from a growler that I bought at Karl Strauss in downtown San Diego on Tuesday. Has been in the fridge since I bought it. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pour yields a 1/2" head. Beer is a copper amber color and very, very clear. Can see bubbles of carbonation floating up. Head is foamy and recedes to about half of initial size after a few minutes. Leaves nice lacing down the glass, though not like the lacing it leaves out of the tap, still very cool. As I drink, head eventually comes down to a thin film that sits atop the beer. Swirling the beer brings back head that is about the same size as the initial settling size (sorry if that doesn't make sense). I really like the lacing and the clarity of the beer.

S: Not much here sadly. I got floral hops, pine and grassy smells but that was about it. Wish there was more.

T: Much like the smell, pine, grass and hops. However, I like these taste in my IPA. Can taste pine and grassy notes and ends with a nice hop bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste for awhile. I can still taste the bitterness after a few minutes of not drinking. Eventually get a faint malty sweetness as the beer warms but even after two pints, still not much malt there. Like the taste but wish it had some citrus notes to it.

M: Good carbonation for being out of a two day old growler. However, there is a watery feel to it and feels rather thin to me. No alcohol taste to speak off. Tongue feels a bit oily after taking a few bigger sips.

D: Very different from on tap but still very enjoyable. It was a bit thin but that helped it go down all the faster. Finished my pint very quickly. I really enjoyed this IPA, maybe would have liked a bit more maltiness but a solid IPA I think. I will for sure be getting that again next time I come across it.

Swimsum, Jun 19, 2009
Photo of magictrokini
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%

Tap @ downtown location. Poured clear copper with a short white head. Minimal lacing. Light, grassy aroma with piney hops, white pepper, and citrus. Watery mouthfeel. Refreshing taste, mostly grapefruit and a light bitter resiny taste. Some mineral and bread flavors, dry finish. Came across as an IPA-lite.

magictrokini, May 12, 2009
Photo of cerveza5150
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%

A: Pours a deep amber/orange with lots of carbonation. The head remains somewhat soapy, exhibits a little lacing, and stays around for awhile. Looks pretty good from the start; at least better than any other KS ale I've had.

S: Smells of milky ripe fruit (I'm guessing the malt is pretty biscuity), with a touch of caramel or even Oreo cookies! (Ok, maybe that was a little crazy, but throw me a bone here!). The hops are noticeable, but the malt is the dominant scent here.

T: The hops that were hidden come out on the palette big time! This is actually a very nicely balanced IPA. Not the sweetest I've tried, and not the hoppiest, but a nice combination of both. Reminds me of Anderson Valley's Poleeko Pale, but with a creamier consistency and a much closer balance. My only criticism of the taste is that the malt could come through a little more. Overall, not bad!!

M: Pretty good. Being surrounded by so many good California IPAs I feel a little overwhelmed, but my only criticism is that it could be a tad chewier. KS beers tend to be a little watery in my opinion, and this IPA comes as close as I've found with them to balancing out the mouthfeel. This ale needs a bit more sweetness from the malt and a slightly thicker consistency might help it.

D: The bitterness from the hops really lingers on my palette, which forces me to take another swig. Not that it's entirely enjoyable; a slightly cleaner finish would improve the drinkability. That being said, this is my favorite KS beer from a bottle. I've had their Red Trolley Ale out of a cold keg and it was fantastic, but I think due to the thin nature of most of their beers, the keg and CO2 helped round out the drinkability. Overall, a decent offering from a good local brewer!

cerveza5150, May 07, 2009
Photo of LittleDon
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%

Second of two IPAs I had at the brewery restaurant in Sorrento Mesa (the first being the Double IPA). The better of the two, in my opinion.

Slightly darker than golden with little noticeable carbonation. It had no signs of haze, pouring crystal clear. Unfortunately, it was poured with no head and served too cold (just like the one before). After letting it warm a bit, there was more distinct citrus tones to the hopping, both in aroma and taste. Medium mouthfeel, it had a pleasant bitter finish. Would have been worth of a second, if I hadn't eaten so much.

LittleDon, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +9.6%

On tap at the Columbia St. restaurant on 3/17/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper amber with a 1/2 finger of foamy brite-white head that stays rich and creamy, leaving some very nice looking spotty lacing back. The aroma is floral and spicy with a strong citric character to it. A solid malty backbone of caramel and bread lies in the background, imparting a nice sharp tang to the nose.

The taste has a moderate bitterness to it and a big citrus smack as well. This is nicely balanced by caramel and toasted malts, which combines with the tropical fruit flavors to really level a nice tangy feel towards the back of the profile. Light bitterness and residual sweetness hangs well past the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of firmness to the carbonation but the overall feel is creamy and gentle on the palate.

I liked this. They appeared to use Crystal & Cascade hops, going the more spicy citrus bomb route with this. IMHO, probably a good idea, as it retains a fresh West Coast feel but still remains accesssible to the less adventurous patrons of the Karl Strauss chain. This was a nice changeup from the majority of the San Diego hop bombs that I drank my share of on this trip.

Kegatron, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of Overlord
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%

Not a bad IPA.

Came an awfully reddish looking copper, with maybe a hint of orange. Very similar to the Red Trolley.

Smells faintly of grapefruit, and strongly of bittering pine. Taste is more of the same, mostly bitter pine, some grapefruit ... I'm hard pressed to say that there is any other citrus, tropical, or malt notes to it. Very straightforward.

Nice mouthfeel.

Overlord, Mar 15, 2009
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Tower 10 IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 298 ratings.