Big Barrel Double IPA - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Barrel Double IPABig Barrel Double IPA

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

216 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 216
Reviews: 92
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.36%
Wants: 47
Gots: 19 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: LongBeachHopHead on 11-15-2009)
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Ratings: 216 | Reviews: 92 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this interesting looking guy thanks to imperialbeachbrw.

A: Fluffy white 1 finger head fades slowly over a mostly clear dark amber orange color with a touch of haze.

N: Lots of chewy hops, some fresh musty citrus, little wet hop resin, touch of pine, some malts, sweet malts, with a bit of aged hops gives it that slight nougat aroma, a touch of barrel aroma. I'm really enjoying this nose.

T: Pretty bitter with some chewy hops, dry taste and mouth, touch of tingly booze. Some heavy sweet malts. A little fresh hop resin, touch of citrus, but overall mostly just bittering hops that give quite a bit of bitterness.

M: Medium body with decent carbonation.

F: Mostly dry mouth that accentuates the heavy bitterness that hits. My mouth is bombareded with hops and bitterness. A little tingly booze and lingering malty sweetness (just the taste of it not the actual sweetness). A little hop resin also lingers. A bit more hop character rather than just bitterness would have bumped this one up a bit. Also drinks really well for 90 IBUs and 9% abv.

Photo of BMoney575
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 8-17-10

Pours a pleasant clear amber/orange color, with a fizzy white head that gives way to just a filmy layer. A few finger of lacing quickly settle.

Smell is huge and thick piney hops, lots of citrus down low and big, buttery malt to back it up. The booze and bitterness are there, kicking it up at the end.

Taste is very tart, lots of citrus hops right up front. Deep hop flavors and malt come in next, adding a complex caramel quality that's very enjoyable. The finish is smooth and sweet, with a nice bitterness that accents the unending sweet hop flavors. Very good.

Mouthfeel is good, thick and creamy to go with the super hop resin and malty edge.

Drinkability is surprisingly good, the booze is well-handled and the hops add only good thing to the mix.

Overall, a very good DIPA that I would easily seek out again.

Photo of beagle75
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask service via hand-pump into a long-stemmed tulip glass at the Costa Mesa Karl Strauss pub.

A: Clear, medium amber color with orange highlights and one finger of persistent white foam head. Slight lacing remains on the glass.

S: Sweet tropical fruit is foremost, alongside lesser grapefruit citrus notes, in a smell that is luscious but not particularly complex. No alcohol is present in the smell.

T: All that is promised in the smell is delivered here as the taste begins with abundant, sweet tropical fruit. A hint of graininess emerges in the middle but is never featured over the tropical fruit qualities. As the finish approaches the fruit flavors turn vinous and are joined by moderate bitterness. Some booziness is detected as the finish sets in.

M: Medium viscosity is slightly sticky on the palate, but without the syrupy quality suggested by the other senses. Carbonation is light and does not distract from the overall sensory experience.

D: Cask service enhances this already-worthy beer. Its high alcohol content is mid-range for the style, but still extreme enough to limit enjoyment. Hop cultivars featured here may stray from the west-coast norms, with the end result being similar in some respects to Oskar Blues Gubna. This beer may arguably be Karl Strauss' most important contribution to the beer world.

Photo of kmatlack
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into my Stone "Hoppy Fathers Day" pint glass. No best by date on the bottle

A- An attractive, clear, orange yellow pour yields a small white head that sticks around for a little bit and clings to the sides of the glass for dear life.

S- Fresh tropical fruits on the nose followed by sweet malty notes. Grains, bread, cirtus, pine, fresh grassy aromas. Awesome

T- Sweet malts up front, bready grain flavors give way to fresh, bitter, hops. Tropical fruits mixed with delicious resiny pine on the back end that fades into candy sweetness and no residual bitterness. Spectacular.

M- Slick mouthfeel, good carbonation, perfect for the style.

O- It really takes an amazing beer to "wow" me. This was impressive, really wish i had more. Seek this out!

Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Darker amber color with finger of white head.

S - Caramel, brown sugar, Pine, and tropical fruit.

T - Tastes of Caramel, Toffee, apple, and apricot.

M - Mouthfeel is above average with good carbonation and nicely balanced.

D - Very drinkable especially considering the 9% ABV.

I will be going out to buy another is a week or so.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Good light orange and light brown appearance. Amazing musty Nelson aroma, lots of dry pine to it, followed by a heartier, thicker grapefruit contingent.

Taste, hoppy, ample bitterness, doesn't weigh heavy in the mouthfeel. A little upbeat with ever so slight mint feel to it. The most complex and best Karl Strauss I've ever had I'm thinking at this point. . . by far. Melds dryness with stickiness and a great reperesentation of the Nelson hop. Kinda strange, I've had this and the Nelson for the first time within the last month, and the results are completely surprising, as I like the KS more than the Alpine (for once).

A great amount of drinkability for a beer this strong, very easy going down. I would recommend you drink this earlier in your night (order wise with other beers) as the Nelson hop is delicate, but here, it is strong, but I just think the Nelson hop needs to really shine a little warmer and earlier in the evening.

$6 a bomber and well worth it. Easily the best thing ever from Karl Strauss.

Photo of Jason
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber.

Chunky sea foam head, excellent retention ... Sticks all over the glass. Hazed amber orange color. Big aroma of spearmint, grapefruit, lime zest, and wild flowers from the hops ... Hint of bready caramel malt and esters in the back. Smooth bitty medium body. Hops are here to play, to take over, to show their strength and they do. Alcohol settles in quick, warming and a hint of fruity esters. Bready and yeasty edge within. Hoppy after taste with a fume of alcohol.

This beer has a full on grasp of the style, a great beer all around.

Photo of glid02
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Joe - thanks!

Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of a combination of pale and moderately dry caramel malts with large amounts of citrus and tropical fruit hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells, although the hops aren't quite as robust as in the nose. Equal amounts of pale and caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by large amounts of citrus, tropical fruit, and lightly herbal hop flavors. The flavor profile sweetens a bit midway through the sip before ending with a solid amount of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this beer after not really enjoying any of the previous beers I'd had from Karl Strauss. This one's well worth a shot.

Photo of augustgarage
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Karl Strauss is rather easy to overlook in the San Diego beer scene - there are just so many great brewers at work in the area. I enjoy their sessionable ales once in a while, but here we have an attempt to make a BIG beer on par with some of the offerings from their more renown neighbors.

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Deep tangerine colored body toppd by a thick, lasting, soapy beige foam finger. Ropy lacing and faint glassy legs.

Nelson hops are readily apparent in the nose, adding a candy/berry like fruit note with a hint of guava and grapefruit as well (from the Ahtanum I suppose). Malts are present with a vague sweet/spicy/smokey element too.

Big citrus (grapefruit) flavors up front with a pungent pine-like element, but smoother than most C-hops. Hay-bale like backbone, sweet and grassy, but rather bitter, probably from a mixture of malt and (Warrior) hops. Smooth, almost cocoa or even oat-like finish once the bitterness finally recedes, though the fruit persists as well.

Medium-bodied, well carbonated, and very lightly astringent - alcohol is well disguised/integrated.

Unique, subtle, and very tasty - I'll be picking up the rest of this series of "big" beers over time.

Photo of breadwinner
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of claspada
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent deep honey orange color with a nice white foamy, soapy head that leaves some nice sticky lacing.

Aromas begin with a boat ton of pineapple, not pine, but fruity pineapple juice almost. The you get some orange, light grapefruit and a tiny bit of floral hops are present as well. As it warms I can detect the nice caramel and bready malt sweetness. The almost acidic vinous/earthy white wine-like Nelson hops are stealing the show here and dominating my olfactory senses.

The tastes begin with the light caramel and sweet bready malts, then you get a ton of pineapple and orange hop flavors. The bready sweet malts are present throughout helping to balance the bitter hop flavors. Nice tropical mango flavors join the party and complement the pineapple and the other candied/sweet hop flavors. There is a nice light spiciness mixed in there as well that I can't quite identify.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation; exactly what I would want in this style of beer. The finish borderlines being crisp and clean but the ample hops make it lean ever so slightly to the typical DIPA "sticky" feeling. Not a drop of alcohol is present which is a great complement/accomplishment for any beer of this style/magnitude.

Overall this is a great extremely dangerously drinkable DIPA. The sweet caramel and bready malts are perfectly balanced with the hop bitterness and hop flavors. I can't stress enough how balanced this is with all the flavors which is why this beer is such a winner. It's not mind-blowing in any category, just really really well made beer that highlights a great new hop variety (Nelson Sauvin); not as awesome as Alpine Nelson does, but still a great, highly recommended beer that is worth seeking out.

Photo of gfthree7
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This extremely smooth and drinkable DIPA was enjoyed out of a 22oz bomber as the last beer at the end of a DIPA session.

The appearance looks like a typical DIPA, but one taste told me that this is a big-league hoppy brew. This beer bursts with IBUs but is still one of the smoothest DIPAs I've had.

At 9%ABV its dangerously drinkable. I put it in my top 5 DIPAs with Pliny the Elder, Green Flash Imperial, Left Coast Hop Juice and Ruination

Photo of Gobzilla
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a amberish copper into my tulip with a good finger head that had pretty good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lovely hop aromas right away on the first whiff but not over bareing that also allow the some sweet malts to come thru.

T: nice hoppy bang with good bitterness and again not too sweet which had a pretty good balance between the hops.

M: meduim to full body with some good carbonation.

D: will definitely be drinking this one again and glad that I can go to the local liquor and pick some up.

Photo of Sammy
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Nelson Sauvin hop was really interesting in the Mikkeller single hop, and it is masterfully used here. First comes the "white wine" taste (and the aromas are lovely grapes) and a good one at that, then in the finish, other hops put the beer into 90 IBU territory, so hops in your face. Nebver harsh, this was an absolute delight and worth seeking out. Above average mouthfeel, a great smooth drinker.
Kudos to my southern neighbour that sent this one.

Photo of Zorro
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear orange colored ale with a puffy off-white colored head.

Smell is strongly of citrus. Abundant grapefruit with strong tea and malt sugar. Smells woody and slightly smoky.

Starts out sweet with a woody citrus flavor. Abundant citrus flavor like the smell. Little bit of butter and burnt sugar with a slight onion flavor. Tasty yet very smooth with not the slightest hint of how strong it is.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a tasty and easy to drink double IPA. Not the best but it is nice for the price.

Photo of taylorparsons
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a - has a nice creamy golden texture to it
s - my first throught was milk on the smell but now it seems more like a yeast rsmell with a hint of rose
t - bitter sweat
m - lovely feeling in a mouth
d- pretty dern good, a little to powerful to drink the full pounder, 9% is a little to powerful for me

Photo of mithrascruor
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Karl Strauss Sorrento Valley.

Pours a clear amber/copper color with a nice, fairly dense, white head. The aroma is hoppy, and fully of mildly bitter citrus. The same citrus flavors (predominantly grapefruit and lemon) continue into the taste, again bitter, with some hop spice and a bit of yeast at the finish. The yeast lingers into the aftertaste, but there's also some hop bitterness there too. Medium-bodied and smooth, with light carbonation. A pretty tasty double IPA, and another good new offering from Karl Strauss. Strong ABV-wise, but it isn't present at all in the taste. I'll be getting this again, for sure!

Photo of Overlord
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, Karl Strauss really stepped their game up with this one!

Pours a bright glowing orange. Big four or five inch white foam head. Long lasting foam and bubbles. Nice juicy yet appropriately carbonated mouthfeel.

Smells like funky grapefruit-y ... ganga-ness ... and some tropical juices. Surprising amount of caramel in the flavor.

Well, it's certainly not a hop-forward DIPA, but rather a balanced, pleasantly drinking one. Juicy tropical notes, some grapefruit, a bit of pine, but not much (it ain't very bitter), and a grain-y caramel malt backbone. Interesting. Unexpected.

I'd recommend.

Photo of DennisD
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz...
Appearance: Amber/orange, good head
Smell: Piney, grapefruit, pleasant
Taste: Bitter, citrus, hoppy, refreshing, slight malt undertone, pleasant piny aftertaste
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, nice
Drinkability: Very nice. Really enjoyed this beer and will buy it again.

Photo of david131
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- A cloudy, luminescent, orange liquid with a creamy slightly off-white head that has good retention. Very nice.

S- Lots of pine and caramel with a touch of smoke. Fragrant and someone of a standout.

T- Sweet caramel malt, and I mean serious caramel, combines nicely with the pine hop flavors. Very flavorful, but a touch on the simple side.

M- Silky smooth liquid with a light lasting bitterness and dryness. Probably the smoothest DIPA that has touched my lips.

D- The alcohol is hidden well. Overall, this is very smooth, but not as complex as some other beers of the style. Enjoyable and worth trying.

Photo of RoyalT
4.1/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to overlord for the bottle. Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Color is a moderate amber with a bit of an orangish tint. Two-finger white head falls somewhat quickly with an average amount of lacing getting left behind. Nose is very nice with a pretty hefty dose of both tropical and citrus fruits. The taste scales back and doesn't hit as hard as the nose, but there's still a bit there and a nice bitterness. Small malt presence. Drinks quite well and I was glad to be able to try this. Thanks again, Mike.

Photo of Trix247
4.1/5  rDev +1%

Photo of WeeObese
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of drabmuh
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Big Barrel Double IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 216 ratings.