Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Big Barrel Double IPA - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Barrel Double IPABig Barrel Double IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

94 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 94
Hads: 242
Avg: 4.11
pDev: 16.3%
Wants: 47
Gots: 40 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: LongBeachHopHead on 11-15-2009

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (95) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Barrel Double IPA Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 94 | Hads: 242
Photo of SDtastentune
5/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Orange & clear yellow, Great lacing and a perfect normal small DIPA head. No sediment.

S - WOW! Floral hops! Reminds me of a tropical paradise with a ipa. Sweet apricot, some very balanced alcohol, backed with some sweet grapefruit.

T - Taste is as it smells, floral sweetness nectar of a DIPA. Bitter but very nice, goes down balanced with very apricot/grapefruit taste, taste is rich and plentiful. This has to be a hop heads dream.

M - Smooth, not to fizzy and not under-carbed, just perfect. Great floral/tasty aftertaste!

O - Overall.... um this stuff is supers! Bomb, dank... yea. Too good that I am about to get another grower. Come on now, what more can you ask out of a DIPA? HOP HEADS UP!

 707 characters

Photo of crvcac
4.92/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First and foremost, this is a great beer. Utilizing imported Nelson Sauvin hops was the first step in the right direction. Where to start, Pours nicely with a great head. Rich golden color with good effervescence. Smells rich with varietals of fruits and citrus esters. Tastes even better than it smells. Overall, im impressed.

 327 characters

Photo of OlieIPA
4.85/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a New Glarus pint glass from a growler.

A: A mix hued of copper and gold, this brew exhibited a massive off-white head. The lacing was pretty foamy as well.

S: Tons of pine and wet forest smell that is followed up by a sweet malt aroma. Amazing! Reminds me so much of Alpine's Nelson. The Nelson Sauvin hops are beautifully displayed in this beer.

T: Nelson Sauvin hop juice, sweet and sugary malt body, and a little hot. One of the better balanced DIPA's out there...with tons of flavor of course.

M: A little oily and creamy in the beginning, but then develops a nice dry finish.

D: Literally had 2/3 of a growler to myself! Yeah, that good!

Overall: I might have to put this over Alpine's Nelson. A must try. Cheers!

 737 characters

Photo of TaylorIPA19
4.79/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Went to the Karl Strauss by South Coast Plaza for dinner and enjoyed this beer so much I thought I'd bring home a growler. Nice golden color, solid carbonation, and very floral on the nose. Taste is hop-tastic, a little spicy, mango, pineapple, full bodied, and leaves a sticky mouthfeel with each sip. Each little taste left me wanting another. Careful with this one, it packs a punch! Far and away my new favorite DIPA! Well done Karl Strauss!!!

 453 characters

Photo of guinness310
4.54/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This iIPA poured into a snifter delivers a dark orange body with lots of bubbles streaming inside it and a full fluffy off-white head that leaves nice lacing. head dessipates fairly quickly.

The nose is of wonderful Orange zest and aromatic hops. ethyl alcohol is barely visible on the scent.

Nice citrusy mouthfeel with a slight tartnes. Orange/Peach flavours arouse the tounge as bittering hops tingle the palate. Ethyl is subtle in this mild bodied beer. Good lacing.

A very drinkable and enjoyable treat.

 516 characters

Photo of billshmeinke
4.53/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into my pint glass.

Quite dark honey/amber/orange in color. Very Clear. Monstorous 2 and half finger slightly off white head. Head retention is fantastic (about a one finger head remains) with very nice lacing hanging around.

Smells of sweet honey malts as well as some dank, very pineapple/mango hop fragrance. Mostly the mango/pineapple smell coming through. Nice big nose.

Tastes follows smell. Bread and barley up front. Then mango/grapefruit hops dominate the honey malt backbone. Very nice resiny hop bitterness comes through on the back end.

Medium bodied, lots of tiny prickly bubbles. Carbonation is good, nice crisp finish. Smooth and creamy.

Very drinkable DIPA. Gotta tip my hat to Mr. Strauss on this one. I tried red trolley ale once, and pretty much wrote the brewery off as another "micro" with a tendency to try to appeal to the masses. This one is ready to satisfy the most discerning beer drinkers though.

 937 characters

Photo of srandycarter
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW. Something I like from Mr. Strauss.

A - Bright amber/honey, near white head. Lots of cling lace. Gummy webby goodness.

S - Caramel, hops. Repeat. Hops, caramel. Repeat. Looking forward to this one.

T - Not disappointed. Big gooey caramel center effectively surrounded by a skin of hops. Nice is too simple.

M - Medium to full, great carb and balance.

D - OH yeah, I am a hop head at times. I can play with you for awhile.

Thanks for surprising me!

 457 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a three finger head that leaves all matter of lace around the pint

Smell: Those Nelson Sauvin hops really have a unique aroma - a combination of citrus and sauvignon blanc grape

Taste: Opens with a nod to the biscuit and then off we go on a bitter hop trip, with citrus pith, pineapple and mango; after the swallow, the sauvignon blanc grape character adds a vinous and vegetal complexity

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Even as the beer approaches the six month mark, there are plenty of hops to make this a delightful quaff; kudos to Karl Strauss for this one

 655 characters

Photo of bonkers
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this for Christmas from my Sister in law, who lives in SD. I poured from a 25 ounce bottle into a snifter. It pours a deep, clear orange with a monstrous sticky, white head. The lacing is all over the glass. The nose is big and full of tropical fruit(pineapple, mango). Sweet grapefruit are also noticeable. The flavor follows the nose. A very balanced DIPA, The tropical flavors are balanced out by a slightly bitter finish. This is medium bodied and well carbonated. This beer is a home run. The nelson hops shine in this making this one of the best DIPA's I have had.

 576 characters

Photo of gibby
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber received in a trade from goodspeed94. My 1st Karl Strauss brew, poured into golden monkey snifter.
Appearance is excellent, deep crystal clear amber with a chunky white head that hung around for a while. Massive sticky lacing on the glass. Smells fantastic, a lot of citrus, trpoical fruits, bit of pine here and there..very, very nice. Love the taste, the hops really shine in this brew. Massively hoppy yet not nearly overbearing at all..seems very balanced somehow. Mouth feel is great, ample carbonation, very smooth for a dipa with a 10% abv. Drinkabiliy is very deceiving. Feel like I could easily drink another bomber but I have a real nice buzz going 1/2 way through the 1st. Thanks again jon, send me more please :-)

 733 characters

Photo of pat61
4.48/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Has a citrus nose with some floral in the background. Pours hazy gold with a 1” white foam cap. The front of the palate is melon and tropical fruit with traces of sweet becoming increasingly bitter as it moves to the back sinishing herbal, slightly astringent and dry. Faint grains in the background become more prominent as the beer warms. It has a very creamy, moussey texture with above average carbonation and a medium to medium full body.I am drinking this at nearly 9 months old and it is still very good.

 514 characters

Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz into a Surly Darkness tulip on 3/28/11.

Pours a pretty clear golden orange with 2 fingers of slightly off white frothy head that dissipates leaving moderate lacing on the glass.

Smells of a hops and grapefruit. Sweet malt is present but only on the backside. Very nice malt hop balance one of the best I have had the pleasure of smelling.

Taste hops and grapefruit citrus that have a wonderful bitterness. Carmel and candy sweetness balances the bitterness of the hops and keeps my mouth watering. Gets a little boozy as it warms.

Mouthfeel is light to medium weight. Bitterness is present but very well balanced but the sweet notes and leaves the finish smooth and enjoyable.

Drinkability is high in my book. It gets a little boozy as it warms and the alcohol becomes more volatile but other then that this beer has few flaws. I will be looking for this one again. My first Karl Strauss brew and I am looking forward to trying others from them now.

 973 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Toronado (San Diego, CA) on 11/10/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, topped with a thin layer of brite-white creamy foam. This stays VERY rich when swirled, leaving a nice frothy cascade of lacing back, which quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma here is totally West Coast smelling, with just at TON of floral hops, spice, and pine cones. This mixes in beautifully, with a thick underlying layer of grapefruit juice and bready caramel, which is still able to boldly show itself under all of that crazy hop activity. This just has a fresh and fierce pop to it, that I'm really digging.

The taste pretty much matches the aroma, with a strong and assertive hop presence, including monstrous notes of resins and spice, barely being balanced by a softer feeling backbone of sweet toasted caramel malts and tropical fruit character. Man, this is all about the hops though, with a bitter finish of peppery spice, resinous pine, and citrus rind, that just STICKS in the mouth. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe even a bit fuller, with a big prickly creaminess to it that goes well with the huge hop profile. This is actually going down pretty readily considering the big bitterness and alcohol content here.

This was one of the big surprise beers from our recent San Diego trip, that was one of the more complete West Coast IPAs that we've had from there lately. Just big juicy hop flavors here, with just enough of a sweet backbone to keep this balanced and drinkable. It's great to see bold new beers like this coming out from Karl Strauss.

 1,598 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glowing bonfire orange with bright butterscotch borders. The pour produced three fingers of foam that is best described as lemon-accented ivory. The milkshake creamy, bubblicious texture of the foam is fantastic, as are thick sheets of cheese grater-like lace.

The nose is an intriguing combination of tropical fruit juice, ganja-like dankness and cheesy funkiness. Yes, it smells much better than it sounds. The responsible parties include Nelson Sauvin, Warrior and Ahtanum... to the tune of a mighty 90 IBUs.

Big Barrel Double IPA does not enter the upper echelon of San Diego DIPAs (or San Diego-style pale ales, or whatever name is preferred), but that's only because the competition is so stiff. This is still well-brewed beer that is growing on me with each rapidly passing ounce.

The malt bill includes England's own Maris Otter with a touch of caramel, and that's exactly how it tastes. There's just enough mid-range malt to give the beer a lightly toasted quality that adds character. Hop flavor is pretty much the same as hop aroma. My bottle is still a fresh bottle, so alpha acids are at full boil (without being punishing).

White grapefruit is dominant. There's also an herbal pepperiness that is keeping my taste buds fully engaged. The white grape-like quality of Nelson Sauvin barely survives intact. Forget the final sentence of the previous paragraph. The bitterness is cumulative and is beginning to work its buzzsaw-like magic. Hopheads only need apply. At least when the beer is this fresh.

The body/mouthfeel score is a tweener. Although it's a little light for the style, it's coming into its own now that the bottom of the bomber as been breached. In the end, it doesn't quite have the chops to get the bigger score.

Karl Strauss Breweries may not be able to compete with the AleSmiths, Stones, Alpines and Ballast Points of the world, but the opening salvo in the Coastal Reserve series is a hoppy humdinger. Thanks to Joey for the recommendation.

 1,980 characters

Photo of berebrando
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BIG grapefruit and citrus scents. the color is remarkabl, orange, yellow with a dense head of tiny white bubbles, robust carbonation, streams, no - rivers gush from the bottom of my pint glass, tiny, tiny, tiny bubbles. back to the smell, it might be the best part aside from taste, monster of hops, amazing citron aroma, simply amazing, smells delicious, and the taste isn't bad either. taste.... I expected big hops and irresistible bitterness, nope. incredible balance of malt and hops. slight bitterness on the back of my tongue, but not nearly as bitter as some other impressive IPAs, most notably sculpin of ballast point. yet another drinkable IPA from San Diego.

reviewed from my htc.

 693 characters

Photo of LongBeachHopHead
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at Green Flash 7th and got a bottle at the tent.

The brewer said that it's limited to 300 cases and is at Bevmo's only at the moment. Hope they make more.
The appearance was a very nice light amber, very clear and a decent retaining head. Was poured very cold.

Smell was lots of citrus and pine, grapefruit hit pretty hard. Fresh hops and not much malt presence. Very clean DIPA.

Taste was surprising. I usually stay away from Karl Strauss in the store but this is being bottled! I've had good beers from KS but only at Festivals. Great floral, citrusy oil on the palate that lingers the bitterness for a while. This could compete with a Pliny or Sculpin in the IPA Quality department.

Mouthfeel was a little thick and coated the tongue with echoing hop flavor and bitterness. Very good beer!

The drinkability is pretty high. For a 9% double I would probably not go back again in the same night but this (fresh) batch was pretty enticing. I liked this offering from Karl Struss and hope they keep making it. It's about time they break out of their stale line up and this would help!

 1,094 characters

Photo of TexIndy
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber that I got from South Bay thru ummagum into a tulip. No dating info on bottle but was a seasonal release in Oct 09 so fresh but probably some hop fading. Was a hazy amber orange color with good central carb streams. It had a large fluffy off-white head that slowly settled into a small foam cap and thick collar. Great lacing with most sticking.

The aroma, even though faded a bit, is still excellent. Citric hops with tropical fruit twist from the Nelson Sauvin hops. Also grapefruit, pine and sweet malt. Good sniffer. The taste follows the aroma with the unique taste of the Nelson hops out front. Good pine levels with good malt balance. Starts out sweet then the hops kick in and then finish slightly bitter. Really enjoyed this one. Mouthfeel is creamy with resin and good carb levels. Good after taste.

Overall, an excellent ADIPA that I highly recommend. Very comparable to Ballast Points Nelson which also highlights the Nelson Sauvin hops. Good hop aroma and flavor and not too bitter. Rotation[N/S:C] - seasonal and not available here in TX. Got thru South Bay. If here, couple a season.

 1,127 characters

Photo of natelocc787
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light caramel color, lacing was extravagant. I consumed this in my Duchess beer/wine glass and when the beer was gone, a blanket of lace covered every inch of the inside surface. I am seriously tempted to upload the pic and post a link. Rivaled by none, equaled by few. Very, very smooth drink, very mellow with candied bitter citrus fruits crusted with white and brown sugar. Lots of caramel and lots of hops although this is balanced almost perfectly. Mouthfeel is heavy, thick and smooth with understated carbonation. Very impressive from a brewery I have not been very impressed with up until this point.

 608 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a clear light amber gold with a 1 finger head of foam. I see a lot of lacing when I tilt my glass from side to side.

This boasts 90 IBUs and when I take a few whiffs, I can't see myself disagreeing! It has a tropical fruit hop smell...plenty of grapefruit and mangoes, some light pine, and behind them, a good caramel malt sweetness. When I say good, it's not in your face but it is there and that suggest some balance in the taste...me hopes.

Yep, it's in the taste as well. A nice caramel malt sweetness guides you to the very flavourful hoppy goodness of the grapefruit and mangoe and some assertive piney notes. Man, the hopheads should give this one a firm thumbs up when they get a hold of this and those seeking an example of the style that has a good malty backbone should also be pleased. Delicious.

Medium bodied with the carbonation on the lighter side of medium. Oh and, head retention is awesome!

Drinkability? 9%abv and I'm getting minimal warming. Touche. Very tasty and very smooth, this is an excellent Double IPA and a most excellent brew from Karl Strauss(I haven't had one of their brews in many years but it seems that they have kicked up their game a notch or 3 with this brew) that I could enjoy another bottle of at one sitting!. Well done and thanks to Joey for describing this beer so well in his news letter!

 1,350 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So A growler of this one shows up on my porch last week and I could not have been happier. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 05/15/2010.

Nice pour, rich amber in color with a nice level of carbonation that could be seen streaming up toward the top of the glass. A smallish head of maybe an inch or so capped the top of the glass and settled down slowly with a light lacing all down the sides.

Deep citrus aroma, pineapple, mango, grapefruit are all represented quite well. Warming brings out some nice mellow and well balanced malt notes sprinkled in throughout now as well. Really again very nicely done. Crisp and biting hops are right up front, piercing the palate with tons of clean and bitter fruit notes. Each sips seems to get better and better as the medium feel really lets the flavor coat the palate and soak in. Final sips are long and drawn out and full of citrus spikes.

Overall this is one of the better doubles out there. You really should give this one a try if you can.

 1,022 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Glowing orange with a thick off-white head and lots of stick left all over the glass. Gorgeous.

Incredibly pungent and tropical aroma. The distinct Nelson hops really shine here. The aromas are of strong, smashed pineapples and grapefruits, along with a strong floral note, and some dank, sticky marijuana. Love it! One of the best aromas I've ever experienced from any DIPA.

Medium to high bitterness, but loads of grapefruit and pineapple flavors balance things out. Again, the Nelson hops shine through tremendously.

Medium to thick body with a dry finish.

An absolutely wonderful DIPA. I need to have this one again (and again and again and again). Honestly, I never expected a DIPA this good to come from Karl Strauss--count me in as very pleasantly surprised.

 820 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Bitterbill for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a very nice clean/clear golden orange color, nice carbonation, very nice thick/creamy one-finger plus off-white head, with some very nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, with some malt notes, very nice citrus/pine notes. The taste is also very nice, hoppy, slight malt note, nice kick of citrus/pine. Medium body. Very drinkable, this one really surprised me, very tasty. Thanks Bill!

 464 characters

Photo of hoptrip619
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first experience with Big Barrel IIPA was during SDBW at the Brewer's Guild Festival. At the time, I was in no shape to be taking notes but do remember it being quite enjoyable. During a recent trip to KnB Cellars, I decided to reevaluate this beer by purchasing a bomber. Adam, the manager, spoke very highly of Karl's first entry into the 22oz category so I was excited to see what they had put together.

I cracked this sucker open to cope with Saturday's rain and have to say this IIPA was a ray of sunshine on an otherwise dismal afternoon.

A- Poured a dark golden hue with good carbonation and a frothy/sticky off-white head.

S- BAM! This brew is ripe with vibrant floral and resinous hopiness. The most prominent aromas were ruby red grapefruit zest, some floral tropical notes from the nelson sauvin hops and a slight malt sweetness.

T- If I had a nickle for every time I buckled under a beers hoppiness, I would have 5 nickles. The hop flavors were complex and refreshing with the malts playing just enough of a part to provide an excellent balance. Notes of passionfruit, grapefruit, and pine mingled nicely with a soft malt backbone.

M/D -At 9.0% ABV, this medium-bodied IIPA is deceptively smooth and easy to drink. I swear to Pete, San Diego has a way of making high-octane beers sessionable. I would definitely go back for another one of these and I'm excited to see Karl putting their best foot forward!

 1,430 characters

Photo of magictrokini
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rare good DIPA from Karl. Poured hazy orange with a frothy white head and good lacing. Very nice orange and grapefruit aroma with equal parts piney goodness. Some caramel malt that fades in the background. Hearty mouthfeel without being sticky. Solid hop bomb of citrus and herbal/resiny hops. Leans on the sour citrus rather than the tropical sweetness. Enough malt to keep in balanced, in terms of DIPA's. Really, really liked this.

 436 characters

Photo of breadwinner
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really quite excellent DIPA with a rich citrus nose that seems to drop a hint of vanilla in there for good measure. Interesting appearance, rather opaque, but not demonstrating the sort of filling yeast/trubbiness you might expect. Throw this in a four pack or something, Karl Strauss!

 285 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Big Barrel Double IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.