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Big Barrel Double IPA - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Barrel Double IPABig Barrel Double IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

94 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 94
Hads: 242
Avg: 4.11
pDev: 16.3%
Wants: 47
Gots: 40 | 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 (95) | 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
Reviews: 94 | Hads: 242
Photo of vic21234
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of natelocc787
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light caramel color, lacing was extravagant. I consumed this in my Duchess beer/wine glass and when the beer was gone, a blanket of lace covered every inch of the inside surface. I am seriously tempted to upload the pic and post a link. Rivaled by none, equaled by few. Very, very smooth drink, very mellow with candied bitter citrus fruits crusted with white and brown sugar. Lots of caramel and lots of hops although this is balanced almost perfectly. Mouthfeel is heavy, thick and smooth with understated carbonation. Very impressive from a brewery I have not been very impressed with up until this point.

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Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of SeaOfShells
3.82/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz into a Surly Darkness tulip on 3/28/11.

Pours a pretty clear golden orange with 2 fingers of slightly off white frothy head that dissipates leaving moderate lacing on the glass.

Smells of a hops and grapefruit. Sweet malt is present but only on the backside. Very nice malt hop balance one of the best I have had the pleasure of smelling.

Taste hops and grapefruit citrus that have a wonderful bitterness. Carmel and candy sweetness balances the bitterness of the hops and keeps my mouth watering. Gets a little boozy as it warms.

Mouthfeel is light to medium weight. Bitterness is present but very well balanced but the sweet notes and leaves the finish smooth and enjoyable.

Drinkability is high in my book. It gets a little boozy as it warms and the alcohol becomes more volatile but other then that this beer has few flaws. I will be looking for this one again. My first Karl Strauss brew and I am looking forward to trying others from them now.

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Photo of kmatlack
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
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!

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Photo of SDtastentune
5/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Orange & clear yellow, Great lacing and a perfect normal small DIPA head. No sediment.

S - WOW! Floral hops! Reminds me of a tropical paradise with a ipa. Sweet apricot, some very balanced alcohol, backed with some sweet grapefruit.

T - Taste is as it smells, floral sweetness nectar of a DIPA. Bitter but very nice, goes down balanced with very apricot/grapefruit taste, taste is rich and plentiful. This has to be a hop heads dream.

M - Smooth, not to fizzy and not under-carbed, just perfect. Great floral/tasty aftertaste!

O - Overall.... um this stuff is supers! Bomb, dank... yea. Too good that I am about to get another grower. Come on now, what more can you ask out of a DIPA? HOP HEADS UP!

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Photo of gibby
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber received in a trade from goodspeed94. My 1st Karl Strauss brew, poured into golden monkey snifter.
Appearance is excellent, deep crystal clear amber with a chunky white head that hung around for a while. Massive sticky lacing on the glass. Smells fantastic, a lot of citrus, trpoical fruits, bit of pine here and there..very, very nice. Love the taste, the hops really shine in this brew. Massively hoppy yet not nearly overbearing at all..seems very balanced somehow. Mouth feel is great, ample carbonation, very smooth for a dipa with a 10% abv. Drinkabiliy is very deceiving. Feel like I could easily drink another bomber but I have a real nice buzz going 1/2 way through the 1st. Thanks again jon, send me more please :-)

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Photo of mikedashg
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a slightly hazy yellowish golden color with a good sized light tan fluffy head.

S - Piney hops, orange citrus

T - Piny earthy bitter hops hit you first, a little citrus, tangerine, grapefruit passion fruit, with a great malt backbone

M - Moderate carbonation, kind of creamy

D - Really drinkable, especially for the ABV, glad Karl Strauss is stepping it up!

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Photo of TaylorIPA19
4.79/5  rDev +16.5%
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!!!

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Photo of Thingus
4/5  rDev -2.7%
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!!

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Photo of crvcac
4.92/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First and foremost, this is a great beer. Utilizing imported Nelson Sauvin hops was the first step in the right direction. Where to start, Pours nicely with a great head. Rich golden color with good effervescence. Smells rich with varietals of fruits and citrus esters. Tastes even better than it smells. Overall, im impressed.

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Photo of berebrando
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BIG grapefruit and citrus scents. the color is remarkabl, orange, yellow with a dense head of tiny white bubbles, robust carbonation, streams, no - rivers gush from the bottom of my pint glass, tiny, tiny, tiny bubbles. back to the smell, it might be the best part aside from taste, monster of hops, amazing citron aroma, simply amazing, smells delicious, and the taste isn't bad either. taste.... I expected big hops and irresistible bitterness, nope. incredible balance of malt and hops. slight bitterness on the back of my tongue, but not nearly as bitter as some other impressive IPAs, most notably sculpin of ballast point. yet another drinkable IPA from San Diego.

reviewed from my htc.

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Photo of goatxpower
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of emagana
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of LongBeachHopHead
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at Green Flash 7th and got a bottle at the tent.

The brewer said that it's limited to 300 cases and is at Bevmo's only at the moment. Hope they make more.
The appearance was a very nice light amber, very clear and a decent retaining head. Was poured very cold.

Smell was lots of citrus and pine, grapefruit hit pretty hard. Fresh hops and not much malt presence. Very clean DIPA.

Taste was surprising. I usually stay away from Karl Strauss in the store but this is being bottled! I've had good beers from KS but only at Festivals. Great floral, citrusy oil on the palate that lingers the bitterness for a while. This could compete with a Pliny or Sculpin in the IPA Quality department.

Mouthfeel was a little thick and coated the tongue with echoing hop flavor and bitterness. Very good beer!

The drinkability is pretty high. For a 9% double I would probably not go back again in the same night but this (fresh) batch was pretty enticing. I liked this offering from Karl Struss and hope they keep making it. It's about time they break out of their stale line up and this would help!

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Photo of WeeObese
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.

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Photo of hoptrip619
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first experience with Big Barrel IIPA was during SDBW at the Brewer's Guild Festival. At the time, I was in no shape to be taking notes but do remember it being quite enjoyable. During a recent trip to KnB Cellars, I decided to reevaluate this beer by purchasing a bomber. Adam, the manager, spoke very highly of Karl's first entry into the 22oz category so I was excited to see what they had put together.

I cracked this sucker open to cope with Saturday's rain and have to say this IIPA was a ray of sunshine on an otherwise dismal afternoon.

A- Poured a dark golden hue with good carbonation and a frothy/sticky off-white head.

S- BAM! This brew is ripe with vibrant floral and resinous hopiness. The most prominent aromas were ruby red grapefruit zest, some floral tropical notes from the nelson sauvin hops and a slight malt sweetness.

T- If I had a nickle for every time I buckled under a beers hoppiness, I would have 5 nickles. The hop flavors were complex and refreshing with the malts playing just enough of a part to provide an excellent balance. Notes of passionfruit, grapefruit, and pine mingled nicely with a soft malt backbone.

M/D -At 9.0% ABV, this medium-bodied IIPA is deceptively smooth and easy to drink. I swear to Pete, San Diego has a way of making high-octane beers sessionable. I would definitely go back for another one of these and I'm excited to see Karl putting their best foot forward!

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Photo of localhost
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of guinness310
4.54/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This iIPA poured into a snifter delivers a dark orange body with lots of bubbles streaming inside it and a full fluffy off-white head that leaves nice lacing. head dessipates fairly quickly.

The nose is of wonderful Orange zest and aromatic hops. ethyl alcohol is barely visible on the scent.

Nice citrusy mouthfeel with a slight tartnes. Orange/Peach flavours arouse the tounge as bittering hops tingle the palate. Ethyl is subtle in this mild bodied beer. Good lacing.

A very drinkable and enjoyable treat.

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Photo of DennisD
4.15/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of gfthree7
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
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

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Photo of taylorparsons
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
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

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Photo of PorterPotty
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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