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: 235
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: 235
Photo of Jason
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (557 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
3.57/5  rDev -13.8%
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 david131
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (610 characters)

Photo of BMoney575
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (841 characters)

Photo of crvcac
4.92/5  rDev +18.8%
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. (327 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (976 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (1,237 characters)

Photo of armock
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a copper color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of a lot of grapefruity hops

T - Follows the nose with grapefruit hops

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - Its a good beer overall a little average for a DIPA from San Diego I'd get again its worth a try (315 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -15.9%
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 HopHead84
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (655 characters)

Photo of emagana
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
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. (447 characters)

Photo of Overlord
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (600 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (1,060 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So A growler of this one shows up on my porch last week and I could not have been happier. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 05/15/2010.

Nice pour, rich amber in color with a nice level of carbonation that could be seen streaming up toward the top of the glass. A smallish head of maybe an inch or so capped the top of the glass and settled down slowly with a light lacing all down the sides.

Deep citrus aroma, pineapple, mango, grapefruit are all represented quite well. Warming brings out some nice mellow and well balanced malt notes sprinkled in throughout now as well. Really again very nicely done. Crisp and biting hops are right up front, piercing the palate with tons of clean and bitter fruit notes. Each sips seems to get better and better as the medium feel really lets the flavor coat the palate and soak in. Final sips are long and drawn out and full of citrus spikes.

Overall this is one of the better doubles out there. You really should give this one a try if you can. (1,022 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to turboedtwo for this bottle.

It's a gorgeous pour with a deep clear amber body with a steady stream of bubbles feeding a rocky off-white head that shows excellent retention and lacing.

The aroma is a combination of citrus fruits, pine and white grapes. There is some sweet malty aromas and a hint of earthy spices as well.

The taste has an even spicier character up front with some pine resin and the distinctive Nelson Sauvin chardonnay-type thing going on. The finish is sticky with pine resin hops.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and sticky with moderate carbonation.

I don't have much experience with this brewery but I really enjoy this one. It's a great DIPA with a distinctive spicy character that makes it fairly unique. (746 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (515 characters)

Photo of natelocc787
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (608 characters)

Photo of OlieIPA
4.85/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a New Glarus pint glass from a growler.

A: A mix hued of copper and gold, this brew exhibited a massive off-white head. The lacing was pretty foamy as well.

S: Tons of pine and wet forest smell that is followed up by a sweet malt aroma. Amazing! Reminds me so much of Alpine's Nelson. The Nelson Sauvin hops are beautifully displayed in this beer.

T: Nelson Sauvin hop juice, sweet and sugary malt body, and a little hot. One of the better balanced DIPA's out there...with tons of flavor of course.

M: A little oily and creamy in the beginning, but then develops a nice dry finish.

D: Literally had 2/3 of a growler to myself! Yeah, that good!

Overall: I might have to put this over Alpine's Nelson. A must try. Cheers! (737 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (922 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.86/5  rDev -6.8%
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 brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a three finger head that leaves all matter of lace around the pint

Smell: Those Nelson Sauvin hops really have a unique aroma - a combination of citrus and sauvignon blanc grape

Taste: Opens with a nod to the biscuit and then off we go on a bitter hop trip, with citrus pith, pineapple and mango; after the swallow, the sauvignon blanc grape character adds a vinous and vegetal complexity

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Even as the beer approaches the six month mark, there are plenty of hops to make this a delightful quaff; kudos to Karl Strauss for this one (655 characters)

Photo of guinness310
4.54/5  rDev +9.7%
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. (516 characters)

Photo of DennisD
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (295 characters)

Photo of billshmeinke
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into my pint glass.

Quite dark honey/amber/orange in color. Very Clear. Monstorous 2 and half finger slightly off white head. Head retention is fantastic (about a one finger head remains) with very nice lacing hanging around.

Smells of sweet honey malts as well as some dank, very pineapple/mango hop fragrance. Mostly the mango/pineapple smell coming through. Nice big nose.

Tastes follows smell. Bread and barley up front. Then mango/grapefruit hops dominate the honey malt backbone. Very nice resiny hop bitterness comes through on the back end.

Medium bodied, lots of tiny prickly bubbles. Carbonation is good, nice crisp finish. Smooth and creamy.

Very drinkable DIPA. Gotta tip my hat to Mr. Strauss on this one. I tried red trolley ale once, and pretty much wrote the brewery off as another "micro" with a tendency to try to appeal to the masses. This one is ready to satisfy the most discerning beer drinkers though. (937 characters)

Photo of TexIndy
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber that I got from South Bay thru ummagum into a tulip. No dating info on bottle but was a seasonal release in Oct 09 so fresh but probably some hop fading. Was a hazy amber orange color with good central carb streams. It had a large fluffy off-white head that slowly settled into a small foam cap and thick collar. Great lacing with most sticking.

The aroma, even though faded a bit, is still excellent. Citric hops with tropical fruit twist from the Nelson Sauvin hops. Also grapefruit, pine and sweet malt. Good sniffer. The taste follows the aroma with the unique taste of the Nelson hops out front. Good pine levels with good malt balance. Starts out sweet then the hops kick in and then finish slightly bitter. Really enjoyed this one. Mouthfeel is creamy with resin and good carb levels. Good after taste.

Overall, an excellent ADIPA that I highly recommend. Very comparable to Ballast Points Nelson which also highlights the Nelson Sauvin hops. Good hop aroma and flavor and not too bitter. Rotation[N/S:C] - seasonal and not available here in TX. Got thru South Bay. If here, couple a season. (1,127 characters)

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