Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Big Barrel Double IPA - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Barrel Double IPABig Barrel Double IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

95 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 95
Hads: 236
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 4.84%
Wants: 43
Gots: 33 | 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 (88) | 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
firstprev| 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100  | next → last
Reviews: 95 | Hads: 236
Photo of BucannonXC5
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Color was honey orange. About a finger width of head. Dusty white lacing on the top with some bubbles in the middle. Sporadic film on the sides, but not as much as I thought there would be.

Smelled huge hops right in the beginning. Citrus hops as expected with grapefruit seeming to be the leader. Also tangerine in there, too.

Tasted a bit stronger on the alcohol side than I expected. Tons of citrus hops. Seemed to be more tangerine than grapefruit, but it was tough to tell. Bitter on the tongue after.

Medium body. Thin texture. Average carbonation. Bitter abrupt finish.

I had high hopes for this beer, but it didn’t quite live up to my billing. I’d probably try it again though. (736 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
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. (1,078 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
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. (583 characters)

Photo of brewandbbq
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
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. (767 characters)

Photo of OakedCanuck
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
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. (519 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy orange with small head that dissapates rather dast. Bit of lacing left. Smell of sweet malt, sugar, orange zest, and a bit of grapefruit. Smells super sweet. Bitter up front with a lemony pine finish. Some serious malt backbone and lots of sweet caramel malts. Very solid and on the malt side of the spectrum for the style. Makes for a relaxing Friday night. (373 characters)

Photo of Teleweizen2
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - 3 fingers tightly packed white foam on a deep golden liquid.

S - honeysuckle. Mint. Black pepper. Wild flowers. Grapefruit rind.

T - honeycomb sweetness up front with a hint of grainy cereal. Sweet pineapple fruit character and grapefruit rind in the center. Soft floral ad well. Hints of alcohol on the backend.

M - full bodied creamy texture. High carb with full round bubbles.

O - nice beer. A bit sweet for me but it was still enjoyable. (449 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.86/5  rDev -6.5%
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. (739 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks a lot to Tim for sharing this and Dr. B for bringing it back from
San Diego - cheers.

Enjoyed chilled in a snifter.

The color is rosy amber with good clarity and golden hues with thick white head. The smell is floral with pleasant hop aroma -nice hint of light citrus and subtle sweet malt with mild caramel nose. The feel is balanced with malt and light spice with moderate sweet elements and mild alcohol w/ semi-dry finish.

The taste has mild citrus flavor with light vegetal elements and subtle tinge of malt in the middle with a gentle spice and grapefruit note from the hops with caramel malt providing a nice backbone to the bitterness the hops provide. Overall I think this is a decent if not above average example of the style, not aggressively hopped to the extreme as others but a very nice flavor and balance and one I could drink frequently -not a bad beer in any sense. (898 characters)

Photo of SeaOfShells
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into Duvel Tulip

A: Beautiful golden hazy color with about a fingers worth of creamy white head. Left behind some nice lacing. This beer really looked special. Amazing.

S: Lots of citrus, grapefruit pineapple. A nice malty backbone. Typical west coast IPA smell

T: Really well balanced. Sweet citrus up front and a nice bitter finish. A nice malty, bready character. 9% alcohol is well disguised. A really delicious, refreshing drink.

M: Medium bodied, with a nice amount of carbonation. Not too heavy. Very smooth as it goes down.

D: I took down the entire bomber, and that is the perfect amount. I got through it easily. A nice drinker. (672 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

412th review on BA
bottle to tulip
22oz

App- A very dark sunset orange with amber and yellow highlights. One finger head that was nicely fluffy and white. Very sticky lacing.

Smell- Smells a bit of grapefruit and malts with some fresh mint.

Taste- A bit of a creamier DIPA with some malts being forward and fruits accentuating the big alcohol feel but not boozy.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbed as was expecting but like the taste was a bit maltier and a bit creamier than most.

Drink- Pretty good DIPA, holds its own with some of the big boys but just falls a bit short. Was good but but probably wont come back to this one. (638 characters)

Photo of rawfish
3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber-orange with two fingers of parchment colored head. Low retention but manages to leave some spots of lacing on the glass with a bit of stick to it.

Malty backbone of caramel, toffee and sweet breads underlying tangerine, blood oranges, tropical starburst candy and herbaceous mint. A bit faint.

Sweet breads and a touch of grain before the hops come in very sweet and juicy. Tangerines, pineapple and considerable snappy bitterness with a long lasting bitter feel. Flavor lends well to a bit of alcohol burn at the tail end. Finishes with orange rind and a parched slight acidity.

Medium bodied with a light carbonation. Accentuates the sweeter hop profile and big alcohol in this beer. Pleasant bitterness that lasts well past the flavor. Boozy and juicy.

May have caught this one on the tail end of it's life but still punchy and well built DIPA. Similar hop profile to Karl's regular DIPA Tower 20 but without the intense sweetness and more of an alpha acid focus. Will revisit. (1,004 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big Barrel Double IPA looks like a big beer - and at 9% alcohol and 90 IBU that comes as no surprise. Despite a light peachy-golden complexion and modest highlights, the beer is thick and cloudy as split pea soup and, it would seem, every bit as hearty. The clunky mass of white foam only adds to that notion.

There's an aggressive amount of hoppiness in the aroma but also a disarming level of biscuity, doughy maltiness. IPAs are characterized by hops, true, but they also contain a higher-than-average amount of malt too. And that's doubly true for Double IPAs which by default start out with even more grain. So I'm alright having a little bread mixed this profile of tree bark, musty herbals, and fruit rinds.

Not putting 'bottled on' dates on IPAs makes for an unfair guessing game and cruel surprises. I have no way of knowing how fresh this bottle of Big Barrel is but, judging by the clouded complexion and slightly yeasty aroma, I suspect it wasn't just pulled off the truck (despite what the shop staff assured me).

Believe or not, right or wrong, there are some folks out there that enjoy aging DIPAs. I don't count myself among them but I can appreciate the enhanced maltiness that becomes almost cookie dough-like as well as the more subdued hoppiness that goes from fresh-squeezed citrus juice to candied rinds and marmalade-like preserves. Just don't always expect the alcohol to fade...

Not exactly the 'everyday is sunny' kind of San Diego hop-bomb I was expecting, Big Barrel Double IPA has a bit of a 'don't mess with me' attitude. Mind you, that's not inherently a bad thing considering the style in question. I didn't think this was great but Karl Strauss does tend to be good. (1,709 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear hue deep copper with a big off white cream colored head chunky textured billows above the rim of my nonic imperial pint glass. Fine speckled lacing around the sides of the glass. Aroma hints of juicy ripened fruit with citrus/herbal hops in the backend. A bit of maltiness and diacetyl popcorn butter tones. Just a hint of that ,with caramel malt tones earthiness balances as well. Flavor this one is in the mix between a light barleywine and a heavy DIPA it has alot of juicy malt caramelized sugars flowing back and forth. Sugary malt layers is really off putting with a bit of hot alcohol tones this is not refined nice and easy going big West Coast hoppy ales this is a diefferent direction. Mouthfeel is a bit cloying resinous but heavy on the palate residual sugars eliminate the clean drinking experience carbonation does live up to the bigger body. Drinkability has to get better for this style, no more heavy set women taking up arms unless you know somebody is getting to you, and want if you want me to get involved again, then maybe someday we will get a more refined version of what we're looking for. (1,128 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber purchased somewhere in Northern California. Brought back to Sydney and shared with @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a deep golden colour with a full weight to the body. Mildly hazed, but mostly pretty clear. Head is pocked, filmy and white, leaving some fairly fine specks of lace. Pretty full. Carbonation is also pretty fine. Looks very good all up.

Nose is pleasant enough. Resiny characters come through above a bright but light barley sugar character. Some soapy lemon comes through, leaving a slight rusty twang in the nostrils. Peppery spice is also noticeable, while the barley sugar character turns a bit doughy as it warms up.

Light and sweet on the front palate, more of that sugar note, before a little greenery comes through the mid-palate, along with a touch of herbs and a faint citrus bite. Clean finish, which is actually something of a shame, because it could really use more bite. Just a slight soda tingle on the back. ABV is well hidden at least.

Overall, this isn't bad. There's certainly things to like in it. It could use a bit more complexity: specifically, some more integrated complexity. Still, this is a solid brew, clearly well-made. I'd love to try it super-fresh as well. (1,211 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
3.57/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours from the bomber a somewhat hazy orange color, with a finger or so of tight white head. Big hoppy aromas here, mostly citrus (grapefruit, tangerine, orange rind) and a little malt. On the palate, this one is very hop dominated, with a little caramel malt and a long bitter finish. I find it harder and harder to get through these hop bomb bombers alone. (358 characters)

Photo of laituegonflable
3.51/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a vibrant orange colour. Bit of cloud. Head is off-white, sparse bubbling but nice uneven lace. Pleasant.

Smells extremely nutty. Caramel toffee, sweet, earthy, peanut brittle, hazelnut toffee, some citrus zest, salted caramel and marzipan. Sweet more than zesty. Is that a problem? Maybe a slight one.

Taste is a bit cardboardy. Possibly oxidised? Tastes caramel toffee, malty upfront, then gets metallic midway, some slightly old herbs, rocket, some citrus tang. Bitter, bit of freshness but has an empty stale woody flavour as well.

Bit tingly, bit of body to it. OK.

Tastes a bit old, some nice notes but a bit meek. Will attempt to re-try, if possible. (667 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a nice looking golden color with a bit of orange to it and a finger's worth of white head.

S: Quite a bit of sweet caramel maltiness with some slightly grassy and citrusy hops. A little maltier/sweeter than I like, but not too bad.

T: The hops have really died out from the flavor. A bit of grass and citrus with only a mild pine on the finish. Quite sweet and malty, lots of caramel.

M: The body is nice and a bit on the full side for an IPA. Moderately carbonated.

D: As I noted in the aroma, this is a bit on the sweet side for my tastes. Still not bad, but I would prefer a bigger, more pungent hop character. (632 characters)

Photo of dertyd
3.41/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

poured from a 22oz bomber to a tulip

A:poured a verry nice amber redish orange rusty color with a decent head that last a wile then fades to lace that clings to the glass

S;grape fruits and other tropical fruits higlight this beer with a little bit of grain and sourdough aromas

T:at first taste you get grains with bitter tropical fruits on the back end then it gets realy piney with the after taste

M:kinda wet and sticky with a piney after taste

O:overall a good beer but not great was hoping for a more grapefruity ipa I think lagunitas spoiled me with all there ipas cause not many stand up to them but this is far from
A bad beer it goes down smooth for the alch%

Live life drin beer!!!:-) (703 characters)

Photo of Centennial
2.86/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into pint glass

A. Rich golden, 1.5 finger frothy head, crystal clear

S. bready honey malt, white grapes, earthy hops

T. heavy on the malt twinge, was hoping for more hop presence but more of bitter with oxidization then with hops and something is weird and yogurt-like in the backbone.

M. all over the place, not sure what's going on here, needs more balance

O. Disappointed, more of a poorly done 90minute ipa then something special. (464 characters)

firstprev| 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100  | next → last
Big Barrel Double IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.