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
92
outstanding

94 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 94
Hads: 234
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 45
Gots: 32 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 94 | Hads: 234
Photo of Beeeeeerman
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My favorite Karl Strauss beer by far. Luckily for me I grew up in RI and traveled in MV and Nantucket a lot since 2000. I first came across this place and come whenever I return. What a combo of beautiful island with great beaches and great beer. (249 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
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 breadwinner
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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)

Photo of TaylorIPA19
4.79/5  rDev +15.7%
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 PorterPotty
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (298 characters)

Photo of DenverHopHead
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | 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! (381 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
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 laituegonflable
3.51/5  rDev -15.2%
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 ccrida
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (335 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (507 characters)

Photo of dertyd
3.41/5  rDev -17.6%
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 zeledonia
3.91/5  rDev -5.6%
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 -6.3%
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 Teleweizen2
3.87/5  rDev -6.5%
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 BMMillsy
3.87/5  rDev -6.5%
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 match1112
4/5  rDev -3.4%
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. (583 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
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. (582 characters)

Photo of goatxpower
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (1,103 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.85/5  rDev -7%
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 rawfish
3.76/5  rDev -9.2%
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 BucannonXC5
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
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 vic21234
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter.

A- Looks like a beautiful DIPA. Pours a cloudy orange with a finger or two worth of head that sticks to the side of the glass.

S- Lots of citrus- grapefruit and mango.

T- A strong and bitter hop profile combines with a malty finish in the end. Citrusy as well as a bit of pine notes.

M- Medium, nice carbonation. Heavy bitterness lingers for awhile.

I like this one. Too bad I can't get it regularly in IL. (454 characters)

Photo of Thingus
4/5  rDev -3.4%
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!! (1,115 characters)

Photo of Drinkerofales
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
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 (413 characters)

Photo of Centennial
2.86/5  rDev -30.9%
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)

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Big Barrel Double IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.