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Big Barrel Double IPA - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Big Barrel Double IPABig Barrel Double IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

179 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 179
Reviews: 89
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.38%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: LongBeachHopHead on 11-15-2009)
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Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This is a rich, heavy orange in color yet clear with a nice, retentive head that came up on a vigorous pour.

Smell - The pine is stiff but balanced. There's some orange in here as well along with a much larger floral hop aroma. The malts are very sweet and full of butter.

Taste - The malty butterness is wonderful here and the hop combination from the nose pairs nicely with it. The floral notes are a bit more prominent but otherwise this is rightly balanced.

Mouthfeel - This is a bit lighter than I would have liked but just does qualify as medium-bodied. The carbonation is appropriate for the style. This ale is very smooth and creamy in the mouth and the light bitter bite at the end is just stiff enough to get noticed.

Drinkability - This is a very smooth DIPA with no hint whatsoever of the 9% ABV. It is big but not overpowering and would be an excellent choice to introduce the novice drinker to the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 02:48:51 | More by RoyalT
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Beer is reddish and slightly hazy. Forms a thin white head of small bubbles. Head falls away and break into a diffuse thin layer. Head leaves a lot of lacing behind. Looks good.

Aroma is really weak and disappointing. Its a snifter, it should help the aroma. There is some hops and a little malt.

Beer is medium bodied and has a really odd almost cannabis flavor to it. Its the hops I'm sure but its really pot like. There isn't a lot of sweetness and its surprisingly drinkable. Not my favorite (I don't like the flavor of cannabis) but its pretty good. There are some good citrus flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 02:50:49 | More by drabmuh
Photo of WeeObese
WeeObese

California

4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle.

Appearance: Deep golden honey colored beer with a nice creamy white head that lasts.

Smell: Fruity hops followed by some grapefruit like hop aroma, (not as strong as when I had it on draft). Very nice, but a little subdued.

Taste: Great topical fruit and grapefruit hop taste that isn't overly bitter. The hops are definitely in the taste, just fruity, and delicious. The Nelson Sauvin hops have such a great fruitiness to them. The beer has a nice slightly sweet malt flavor but finishes really nice and dry.

Mouthfeel: It has some body and slight sweetness, but finishes creamy and dry.

Drinkability: For a IIPA, this is one of the easier to drink. It masks the alcohol very well. The lower bitterness and the great hop flavor coupled with the dry finishes makes this an easy drinker. Extremely well balanced, a great West Coast "San Diego" style IIPA.

Karl Strauss is really starting to pick it up. I think this beer will open a lot of beer nerds eyes to what may be coming down the line from Karl Strauss.

Side note: This beer is even better fresh and on tap.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2010 04:08:32 | More by WeeObese
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

6/3/2010

On tap at Churchill's during game 1 of the NBA Finals. The beer is dark golden with a big white head and scattered lacing.

The nose is mostly Nelson hops, with notes of grape, grapefruit rind and flesh, and a little pine. There's a solid caramel malt foundation beneath the hops. Nice aroma.

The flavor is also strongly off Nelson hops, with a moderate bitterness, a little alcohol, and a near balancing caramel malt base. The hop flavor is of grapefruit, grape, orange, and a touch of pine. The finish is dry with lingering bitterness, grape, and grapefruit. A nice Nelson hop Double IPA and a noble effort from a normally lackluster brewery.

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2010 02:40:15 | More by HopHead84
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber

Appearance - Hazy orange/amber colour with a large size frothy beige coloured head. There appears to be a fairly high amount of carbonation and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, oranges, pineapples

Taste & Mouth - There is a slightly below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel and a decent amount of hops. As well, there is a quite a bit of tropical fruit/pineapple flavour and some orange zest and juice. It finishes with a malty sweet aftertaste with a medium amount of lingering hop bitterness.

Overall - I couldn't find a date on my bottle, so I'm not really sure how fresh it was. It had a decent amount of hop taste but It's not a hop bomb by any means. I enjoyed the beer more as it warmed up in my glass. If you're a fan of tropical fruit flavours in your DIPA's, give this one a try.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2011 16:33:21 | More by spinrsx
Photo of Drinkerofales
Drinkerofales

California

4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a light frothy head.

Smells like roasted malts, kinda sweet and a hint of hops underneath.

Tastes exactly like it smells, a sweetish malty flavor, with a hint of hops hidden in there.

Great texture, feels luxurious, with a lot of boldness.

A great beer, but not if you are looking for the hops. Malt is key player here, doesn't make it bad, just not as much of an IPA as I prefer.

DOA

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 06:35:20 | More by Drinkerofales
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can you have too many big IPA's from San Diego? Karl Strauss now has one. 22 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

Shines to a light, the beer features a glowing orange color to it, a darker orange hue really. The head is thick and creamy, shows little sign of going down, and is leaving lots of creamy, spotty lacing in the glass. Yep, those hops seem faded. Don't worry, there's still some good stuff. Faded tropical notes with some resin and pine. It can still taste good.

I agree with Halcyondays that by now, Big Barrel DIPA is more barleywine-like at this stage. That's not a bad thing though. The Nelson Sauvin hops are still noticable in the tasting notes, with moderate intensity. Easy resin and tropical notes. The beer isn't really bitter at all, creating a smmoth and easy drinking beer.

Being aged, this DIPA is worth a try. Being fresh, this beer must make a hophead scream with joy. I'd love to try this fresh.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2010 05:57:55 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of warnerry
warnerry

Michigan

4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly hazy almost amber color with a dense tan head that leaves a lot of sticky lacing behind.

S - Primarily tropical fruit hops, mostly pineapple. Some sweet caramel malt comes through as well.

T - Massive hops up front, again mostly tasting of pineapple, with some other tropical fruits mixed in. Nice amount of malt balances this out nicely.

M - Nice, bright medium mouthfeel with a nice level of carbonation.

O - Easily the best beer I've had from Karl Strauss, though still a notch or two below the best DIPAs I've had. Still, a very drinkable DIPA with hardly any noticeable alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 16:44:33 | More by warnerry
Photo of goatxpower
goatxpower

California

4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- nice fluffy white head, very clear amber hue

S- it's official... I can pick out Nelson Sauvin in a beer. That was the first thing I said when I took a whiff, and sure enough it was mentioned in the description. smells like Grand Marnier, almonds, marzipan, white wine. very intricate, yet one dimensional, as these are all aromas produced by the hops. The aroma is mouth watering, really.

T- There's hops in it...
For the most part, the taste mirrors the smell, but with further subtle intricacies. I get hints of pomegranate on the tail end, toasted malt, almost quinine-like bitter notes, lemongrass and ginger. This is a really layered beer

M- this beer hides its ABV remarkably well. you simply can't tell that you are drinking a 9.0 % alcohol beer. The body is thin, but the flavors linger and evolve long after each sip.

O- While I don't think that this is a groundbreaking DIPA, it is a world class example. My only gripe is the $8 price tag that I paid (at a store that is known for marking up a bit high). At a good price, I would buy this again.... but only if Pliny wasn't available.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2012 06:13:40 | More by goatxpower
Photo of DenverHopHead
DenverHopHead

Colorado

4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap; into a snifter.
Appearance - sunset orange; nothing breathtaking, but nothing to turn away from.
Smell- I'm not hooked, but there has to be something here.
Taste- there it it is. A distinct, out of the box, oak, vanilla twist to a DiPA. Nothing grand, but leaves it's mark.
Feel - easy drinking DIPA; nicely done!
Overall - there's potential here, but not next level...yet!

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2014 05:31:34 | More by DenverHopHead
Photo of Dukeofearl
Dukeofearl

California

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber bought at LaBodega in Riverside, CA., for $5.99 in January 2010.

Pours a golden-copper color, slightly hazy, with an initial burst of carbonation, which quickly dies off.

Aroma is definitely a DIPA hop profile, but generally thinner and lighter than the typcial West Coast variety- more IPA like in its intensity.

But when tasted, the full flavored DIPA profile is there- rich bready malts, and grapefruity bitter hops. For me, with DIPAs, I often look for balance amongst the hops, rather than balance of the overall beer. By that I mean a mix of sweet, fruity, oily, and piney notes in the hops. This one leans to the more sour/bitter fruits (grapefruit over orange), with the other elements well represented. Maybe it's me, but I miss the sweeter orange notes. But I can't be too critical, this is still a well made DIPA.

Not my favorite, for which I have lowered my overall score, but still quite good regardless. You won't go wrong with this one, especially at this price point- a good value for a very good beer.

Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 01:28:53 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of armock
armock

New York

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a copper color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of a lot of grapefruity hops

T - Follows the nose with grapefruit hops

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - Its a good beer overall a little average for a DIPA from San Diego I'd get again its worth a try

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2010 21:11:17 | More by armock
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a medium orange color with a thin cream layer across the top with large bubbled lacing and mild carbonation.

S - Smells very bready with very mild citrus, a little earthy, mildly peaty, and a little fruity.

T - Slightly biscuity, booze forward, and with a perfect citrus and pine balance. The booze is definitely present right at the end with some warming and there's a surprisingly clean finish and no lingering bitterness.

M - Medium body.

D - Awesome balance!

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 05:11:05 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of Thingus
Thingus

California

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live review on empty stomach... Forgive me if spelling or grammar errors start popping up...

Picked up this bottle earlier this evening, not sure when it was bottled (no date listed) but I'm only about 40 minutes north of San Diego so I imagine it's pretty fresh...

Poured into a 16 ounce tulip;

Appearance; is a nice amber, 3 finger head that quickly faded to a thin layer of bubbles... Lacing is not terrible and what little head there is seems to be hanging around...

Smell; no standouts here for me but subtle notes of citrus and tropics... I feel like I just stepped off an airplane in Honolulu...

Taste; much like smell, nothing stands out a ton, smooth citrus, and tropics, pineapple, star fruit... Well balanced with just a touch of bitterness on the finish.. Slight hint of alcohol throughout that becomes more prevelant...

Mouthfeel; very smooth, lively carbonation

Overall; a fairly mellow DIPA, that is quite enjoyable and may be a fitting stand in to my current favorite, Unearthly (which can't be found around these parts unfortunately) and given the price is tough to beat... I recommend it!!

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 01:24:15 | More by Thingus
Photo of match1112
match1112

Illinois

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Pelican5 for sending this one my way! A nice hazy copper body with a finger and a half of head. Spotty spider web lacing is left behind. While i'm pouring this into the glass aromas of pineapple, mango and grapefruit fill the air. Taste is just as juicy as the smell. So much tropical fruit in this one. Has a medium body with a nice level of carbonation and just the right amount of hop bitterness. A little oily resin is left on the cheeks and the finish is so wet and juicy at first before turning dry. Overall I really enjoyed this beer and would love to have it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2012 02:58:35 | More by match1112
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearence is hazy gold with a big white head leaving chunky, foamy lace.

Smell is strong, sweet hops, citrus, almonds?

Taste is also big and hoppy with an unusual candied vibe up front, some malt sugars mid-palate before a resious, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is sticky and dry.

Drinkability is good, a dank, unusual, complex IPA.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2013 06:14:46 | More by ccrida
Photo of mjl21
mjl21

California

3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle poured into a tulip. Comes in at 9%. No bottling info is given.

A-Pours a semi opaque amber with lots of orange when held up to the light. It has a two finger off white head that rests at half its starting level. It leaves some decent patterns of lace.

S-Lots of juicy citrus, particularly grapefruit and orange, along with some dried grass. There is some caramel sweetness. Deserves a 4.25 score.

T-Like the nose, it has lots of juicy citrus flavor upfront along with some grassy flavor. The fruit/grass flavor gives it a unique flavor as compared to other WC DIPAs. There is some lingering peppery spiciness. The caramel malt is noticeable and contains the advertised 90 IBUs. I found it to have a nice bitterness level that was not over the top.

M-It falls on the low end of the medium spectrum and is a touch watery. It is smooth and well carbonated.

D-A pretty good DIPA that is not in the upper echelon of great SD DIPAs. I would say the hops have begun to fade a little on this bottle.

My first bottled offering from these guys. I would have loved to try this a month or so earlier as the hops have lost some of their flavor. Would love to try fresh from the tap.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2010 19:37:46 | More by mjl21
Photo of emagana
emagana

California

3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this one at BevMo in simi valley. Pours a copper orange with about a finger worth of head.
the aromas really take hold after the pour and the pinny citrus really calles you in. the aroma as you near is subtle and not over powering. hints of great fruit and citrus.
starts off smooth and not harsh which is a plus . follows with a subtle hop resin bitterness. well balanced and a definite plus. cant beleive this is in the 9 percentile abv.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 22:45:52 | More by emagana
Photo of localhost
localhost

California

3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours fairly clear, amber color, not very much head. Good smell, very fragrant, primarily smells of hops (always a welcome smell). Taste was a lot better than i expected, though i would barely call this a double IPA based on taste. Very well balanced between the hop flavors and overall bitterness. Leaves your mouth a little dry and has a little bit of a funk that lingers (though nothing bad). Drinkability is very good, i could easily have a few of these in a row. The alcohol content is masked quite well. Overall a good beer, nowhere near other DIPAs like Pliny the Elder but still pretty good.

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2010 01:00:15 | More by localhost
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pour for the 4th Annual LA Beer Week Beer Festival at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a slightly hazy honey orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with a sweet honey flavor on the finish. There is a medium hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2012 03:35:13 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Pours hazy copper with a one inch head of bone froth. Moderate retention with a solid skim coat for the duration and some smeary lacework.

Aromatics are subdued for the style. Biscuity malt with hints of tangerine, grapefruit, and pine. Traces of honey and spruce bark can be found as well.

Medium bodied with a crisp, slightly sticky mouthfeel. Carbonation is right on.

Plumpish malt with toasted biscuits lead off the palate with some crushed pine and citrus. Grapefruit with minerally undertones.

Finishes with some lingering sugars with pine resin and grapefruit.

Pretty middle of the road flavor-wise, but the nose is seriously lacking for IIPA. Drinkable for sure, but so many other superior examples on the shelves in So Cal to choose from.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2010 00:04:23 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of OakedCanuck
OakedCanuck

Washington

3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. From notes

A - Slightly hazy, apricot orange, small, slightly off-white head

S - A musty orange smell with grassy hops. Not overwhelmingly bitter nose but the sweet malt is picked up

T - Very grassy and also very orange tasting. A bit sweet toffee and caramel sugars. A little booziness flavour to it

M - Juicy and actually pretty smooth (probably those Warrior hops doing their thing)

D - A good drinker, interesting blend of hops. Wouldn't say it's in the 'upper class' of DIPAs but good on its own.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2011 17:55:02 | More by OakedCanuck
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Attractive sudsy pour in the tall Saxo tulip. Aromas of flowers and overripe fruit.

Quite sweet, but a malty rather than a sugary sweetness. It goes well with the huge fruit flavors. Mango, apricot nectar. Rather tart after some sipping. A textbook example of the Nelson Sauvin flavor, but more bittering hops lurk in the background. However, the bitterness is way less than most big hop beers. It allows the spice and alcohol to give it a livelier taste.

One of the more drinkable DIPAs for my taste. Cheerful and fruity. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Ibis Market in San Diego.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2013 04:21:43 | More by mactrail
Photo of zeledonia
zeledonia

Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to robL for the sweet extra. Tasted 12 March 2013.

Pours a clear medium orange, drifting to amber. One finger of whitish head, good retention and impressive lacing. Thick ring of foam, reaching up with rings of lacing. A few stray bubbles are the only visible carbonation.

Smell is juicy, full of apricots, with a bit of citrus peaking through. Definitely malt-forward, without the hop zip I expect from a DIPA. I like balanced IPAs, but this one's leaning more towards barleywine territory, IMO.

Taste is similarly big and fruity. Lots of stone fruit, peaches and apricots, with honey layered on top. Minimal hop bitterness in the back end. And even that quickly gives way to

Mouthfeel is good. Medium-heavy body, fizzy buzzy zippy carbonation, gently zinging on my tongue. Sticky and persistent.

I'm torn about this beer. It doesn't strike me as a DIPA. Tasting it blind, I would definitely peg it as a barleywine. And not even that hoppy of a barleywine. But it's a pretty tasty, malt-forward barleywine. As a DIPA, I'm not sold. But as a beer, I really like it.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2013 03:20:15 | More by zeledonia
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber, picked up at Mr. Kegs for $5,

A: Pours amber with an long lasting thick white head, full of lacing.

S: Standard DIPA - bitter melon, cantaloupe, white grapefruit. Mango and banana are secondary, but come out a lot more when the beer warms.

T: Sweet candy malt/toffee initially with a lot of orange action. More bitter pine and citrus flavours come in on the back end with mango (which I remember as a distinct note in the Nelson Sauvin Mikkeller IPA). At 6 months or so, we're starting to get a barleywine.

M: Resiny, sticky, chewy, long and full aftertaste. Soft carbonation which I liked.

D: A sipper and an interesting one at that. A unique DIPA, I wish I could have tried it on release, but I can't go back in time.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2010 03:17:03 | More by Halcyondays
Big Barrel Double IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 179 ratings.