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Big Barrel Double IPA - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Barrel Double IPABig Barrel Double IPA

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

197 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 197
Reviews: 90
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.36%
Wants: 44
Gots: 11 | 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: 197 | Reviews: 90 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2010 01:20:51 | More by augustgarage
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2011 22:44:59 | More by claspada
Photo of gfthree7
gfthree7

California

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

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 19:57:05 | More by gfthree7
Photo of Gobzilla
Gobzilla

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2010 16:57:30 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2011 01:57:51 | More by Sammy
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2013 01:34:03 | More by Zorro
Photo of taylorparsons
taylorparsons

Washington

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

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2010 03:51:32 | More by taylorparsons
Photo of mithrascruor
mithrascruor

California

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!

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2010 21:49:28 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2010 09:22:10 | More by Overlord
Photo of DennisD
DennisD

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2010 21:01:03 | More by DennisD
Photo of david131
david131

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2010 03:31:26 | More by david131
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 02:48:51 | More by RoyalT
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 11:42:33 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of WeeObese
WeeObese

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Maryland

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
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 -0.2%
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 HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
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 warnerry
warnerry

Michigan

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
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 -0.7%
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 DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
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 virinow
virinow

New York

4/5  rDev -1.5%

11-16-2011 03:55:44 | More by virinow
Photo of PorterPotty
PorterPotty

California

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big Barrel is one of my favorite KS beers. The New Zealand hops come strong in this one.

Appearance- Golden hue with a light head

Aroma- I get a lot of Mango and Pineapple

Taste- Tropical fruitiness with light-medium malt backbone

Drinkability- An easy drinking Double IPA with my type of hops.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2014 18:26:44 | More by PorterPotty
Photo of iSrALE
iSrALE

Mexico

4/5  rDev -1.5%

12-18-2011 04:47:24 | More by iSrALE
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -1.5%

11-03-2013 00:24:32 | More by tdm168
Big Barrel Double IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 197 ratings.