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Tower 10 IPA - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tower 10 IPATower 10 IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

117 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 117
Hads: 394
Avg: 3.66
pDev: 23.77%
Wants: 11
Gots: 89 | 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:
Beer added by: Overlord on 03-15-2009

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 117 | Hads: 394
Photo of Popp24
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip.

A - Amber with white head that goes away quick.

S - I smell more malts than hops. Nothing else really here.

T - Starts malty and kinda soapy and finishes with bitterness from hops.

M - Probably the best part. Kinda oily and glides down easy.

O - Not bad but nothing I would seek out in the future.

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Photo of McStagger
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy, somewhat murky tannish orange. Finger and a half of white head. Retention is mediocre. Lacing is better than average. Moderate carbonation.

S: Evocative malts. Roasted vanilla, caramel, hops bring on lemon peel and evergreen. Not quite as aromatic as a lot of the IPA's I've had from the West Coast.

T: Hop presence goes from zero to astringent in a hot minute. Pretty bittering without as much redeeming flavor as are had in a lot of Cali IPA's. Serious bittering. The bottle says citrus and pine and that's about it. Almost like pine sap...or resin. Long, astringent finish. It's not that this is the most bitter IPA I've ever had (Ruination still has that record)...but it seems the most one dimensional. Bitter bitter bitter without much malt sweetness or backbone to stand up to it. Nor do I get a lot of the grapefruit or floral essence. Lemon pine sol. This is all in comparison to other IPA's. All of this being said, I still enjoy it. It just doesn't have what the top tier IPA's do.

M: Good. Nothing stands out in particular, but this beer has a well balanced mouthfeel. Neither too carbonated nor too high in body. (Flabby, as the wine-o's sometimes call it).

O: Well, this doesn't really compare to some of the big dog IPA's out there, but the pricing is also less too. As much as I love Stone, Firestone, and Anderson Valley, I can't always put up 12-15 bucks a six pack for beer after tax. A more affordable option when I want a good IPA.

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Photo of kenito799
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

20 oz pour at San Diego airport.

First, I must say that I truly appreciate when airport bars serve local craft brews, it makes me extremely happy. Probably the most awesome example is the availability of New Glarus brews in the Milwaukee airport since you can't buy that freaking awesome stuff outside Wisconsin. That being said, the Tower 10 is a decent IPA but hardly one of the best to be found in the rich San Diego craft brew scene.

The standard amber color with tan head and nice lacing looks the part. The aroma is certainly hoppy, but that fresh piney citrusy stuff that makes Cali IPAs so great is a bit muted and stale here. Still, the brew tastes nice, nicely bitter, just not quite up to par with what you will find around the area. But i will happily drink this instead of coprorate swill found in many airports across the land any day.

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Photo of PintOHops
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of whatthehull
2.66/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Tasted April 14th 2011 (from notes)

Poured into a New Belgium snifter

A - Light copper, one finger Whiteish head and little lacing

S - Lightly smells of citrus and floral hops. A semi sweet malt. I am maybe getting a Belgian yeast? Not much of a nose

T - A little floral, pine, malty, nice bitterness, maybe so toasted barley. Maybe some yeast or something sweet. Not much of a flavor

M - No density, no finish, not much of anything but a nice bitterness and a bit of sweetness

D - This is the lightest IPA I have had yet. If you don't like or drink IPA, try and start with this one. I will say it is very balanced

Final thought - This beer is not much of a craft brew if you ask me. Everything smells and taste like an IPA just a really light one

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Photo of Drinkerofales
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is clear golden orange with good lacing from a huge fluffy light tan head which dissipates slowly.

Smells is a bit light, but has some floral, bitter and citrus aromas.

Taste is a balance of malts and hops, with a light bitter throughout, and a light citrus sweet finish.

Feels very smooth and very drinkable.

A fine good balanced beer, but it's not quite what I am looking for in an IPA. Tastes more like an APA, especially with the lower abv and smoothness.


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Photo of kflorence
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a golden, copper in color with a ton of frothy, white head atop. Lots of lacing around the edges of your glass as you drink this one down. Carbonation looks good.

S: Floral and pine hops with a touch of soap and some sweet, breaded malts in the background. Bittersweet barley and grain aromas become more predominant as the brew warms.

T: Much more balanced on the palate than the nose lead me to believe, though the hops clearly shine here. Grapefruit citrus comes through as well as pine with bitter, floral notes and some grass and green tea. Didn't pick up any citrus in the aroma, but was glad to see it on the palate. A sweet, barley malt background helps keep the bitterness in check.

M: Medium bodied with ample carbonation with oil and some cream but a bit thin on the tongue. I could use a bit more chewiness, but it does keep it quite smooth and drinkable. A session-able IPA to be sure.

O: I enjoyed this one. Wasn't sure what to expect coming in, and I was a bit dismayed by the strong pine aroma but I was glad to see the citrus, barley, grass and green tea balance this one out nicely while allowing the hops to remain in the forefront. Definitely not one of the big players in the West Coast IPA scene, but still a very decent brew. Cheers!

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Photo of Celtics17
4.63/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Love the sweetness in this beer, peach, pineapple is a strong force in this beer. The smell is sweet. Not very piney, very sweet. Better than expected.

Appearance: a light, clear amber-gold colour with a thin, frothy head. Minimal retention and lacing.

Aroma: definite citrus and pine on the nose.

Just good a good IPA

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My go to beer when I take the family to Sea World. Figured it's probably time to give this one a review...

Poured from a bomber into a RR snifter...

A - Pours a light honey with a one finger off white head. Head retention is only decent at best, but there is a good amount of sticky lacing to be had...

S - Citrus fruits, pine, and a touch of sweet malts. All in all, pretty docile...

T - Caramel up front followed by grapefruit. Finishes with pine and some lingering grapefruit. Abv is very well hidden...

M - Very smooth. Sits on the lighter side of being medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation, and a fairly dry finish...

O - Not an exceptional, or top notch IPA, but still a solid brew for the price. Goes down super smooth, and it is available at various places in the area, so I find myself drinking these on a fairly regular basis when the family and I are out...


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Photo of phichifiji00
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Amber in color, pours about 1 inch o fthich white head, that fades very slowly.

Smell: Lots of hops, citrusy, pine resin, slightly malty.

Taste: Hoppy, citrusy, pine resin, some maltiness towards the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, good carbonation, fairly dry.

Overall: A good west coast IPA, but not as hoppy as I like them.

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Photo of BilbosNuts
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark yellow/ light amber color. It has a small white head that fades quickly and leaves some light lacing. It appears to have some light carbonation.

S: The smell consists of a heavy herbal scent and a strong citrus character. It is decently hoppy considering it is an IPA. It also has some hints of sweetness.

T: The first thing that is noticeable is the nice bite of hoppiness. It has a nice bitterness for an IPA. There is also a unique sense of light caramel-like taste.

M: It kind of has a dry feel to it. It isn't overbearing and leaves you wanting more. It leaves a nice crisp finish and isn't too carbonated.

D: Overall it is a nice example of an IPA. It has the bitterness and crispness from the hops that is expected from an IPA. A nice take on the style that I would like to try again.

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Photo of jminsc76
4.06/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass, pours a large, thick head of white billow-essness; the body a bright tinge of gold. Thick legs as I tilt, the head reemerging beautifully upon agitation.

Rich aromas of peaches, lemons, citrus, sweet orange, and a mild bit of pine. Also smelling some creamy vanilla. Medium intensity, but complex, with a fine integration amongst all the aromas.

Flavors of rich bitter pine, grapefruit, and biscuity malts dovetailing with the dry hops on the finish. Fantastic.

Mouthfeel is light yet substantial, considering the amount of dried hops.

Overall, at times it's like chewing on a grapefruit, other times biting into an orange, and finally wiping my tongue with a pine cone. It's so good I was inspired to grab a Trader Joe's new cheddar and some Anderson sourdough pretzels to complement.

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Photo of PolarBear3
3.36/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a light golden colour with a large white head that dissipates a little.

S - Massive citrus including sweet pineapple, lemon, grapefruit. Very sweet.

T - The sweetness aromas seem to disappear and I get more of a mild bitterness, some grapefruit and lemon at the finish.

M - A little over carbonated although light to medium bodied

O - Actually don't mind it but lacks a little in full flavour for an IPA. Aromas upfront though are impressive.

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Photo of Kaiser81
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into my snifter glass.

A - Pours a copper color with a finger width of head. It leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S - Faint citrus notes, a touch of pine, and some malt there. Everything is soft in the smell, nothing overpowering. But solid.

T - Piney flavors dominate, with plenty of bitterness on the back end. There isn't much malt going on here to help balance it out.

M - Kind of a heavy body with light carbonation

D - It's not bad. I think there are better IPAs in San Diego, but it's not bad.

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Photo of BeerAmbassador
2.93/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a copper orange color with a frothy white head that offers little retention, but a bit of lacing. Smells like crystal malt a bit of citrus hop aroma bit the malt dominates. I actually had a strong aroma association of being at the home brew store with this beer. It reminds me of the malt bins and cracking grain in the mill. Not an unpleasant odor, but not one you expect from a west coast IPA either. Malty and full bodied on the palate this beer starts with a little caramel sweetness and finishes with some non desrcript bitterness. Overall not my favorite IPA but for 3.99 for the bomber I am not too worried about it.

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Photo of Roeters
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at the La Jolla, Strauss Brewery
A: Pours a golden/copper with a thin white head (by the time the server dropped it off at the table) nice lacing throughout the pint.
S: Piney, floral and a little earthy hop aromas with a bready malt base
T: Similar to the smell, mostly piney hops with a good hop base
M: medium body with a moderate level of carbonation
D: Well built American IPA, more of a balance between the hop bitterness and the malt base, so this is not the typical west coast IPA

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

I travelled to San Diego for the first time since the 80's just last week, and upon learning of their growing craft brewery culture, I had to experience it once I was down there.

I had this on tap at the Karl Strauss brewery in Downtown SD and very much enjoyed it. It was very similar to other IPAs I've had over the years, and that's a good thing, as it featured all the aspects I like: it was clean, crisp, was nicely hopped but very flavourful as well.

If I were in the San Diego area I would look this one up again, definitely.

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Photo of TaySuth
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Nice amber color with a one finger head that hangs around for a while before receding down to a ring with some good lacing.

Smell: Not overly aromatic. Hops are the most prominent aroma with citrus and a hint of pine. Some malt character in the background. Not very impressive but not bad.

Taste: The flavor is better than the appearance and smell led me to believe. Good bitterness with a rather smooth finish. Hops flavor is well balanced with the grains.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation with a body that is slightly on the heavy side.

Overall: An interesting, yet pretty average IPA in my opinion. Definitely not bad but not something that I would seek out again.

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Photo of cerveza5150
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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!

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Photo of Dynobolt
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very impressed with the taste of this beer.. Very well balanced and tasty IPA. Shud be higher than the current score of 83. Poured one inch head with pour lacing and the smells weren't that great.

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Photo of JeffBlue
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Draft, Bay Area Brew Fest, San Francisco 1/24/15) Nothing really stood out with this beer. Good beer but tough to point out anything exceptional with all the beers we already tasted.

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Photo of ely2000k
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look when poured into a glass is a hazy orange. Not much lacing but a decent head. Smell is pretty good... kind of sweet, mixed with pine and a mild lemon smell. I find the nose to be pretty appetizing. Taste is mellow... not a hit you over the head IPA but actually good and drinkable, with not much bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth, not over carbonated but not too flat. Overall a pretty good beer.

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Photo of monkeylovebeer
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of Swimsum
3.81/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of onewetpaw
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft in San Diego.

A. Citrus hop assault with tons of tangerine notes

A. Light amber, brilliantly clear. One finger head with lacing persisting on the glass.

T. A firm bitterness underlies the citrus hop flavors. No harshness noted. No perceivable off-flavors to my palette. The malts are not very perceptible. This is a decidedly hop forward West Coast IPA.

M. Average carbonation for style. Dry finish.

O. A pleasant surprise on my trip to San Diego. This stood up well to the better known beers from Stone and Ballast Point I also had.

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Tower 10 IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.