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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 dertyd
3.41/5  rDev -17%
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!!!:-)

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Photo of zeledonia
3.91/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of Teleweizen2
3.87/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.87/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of match1112
4/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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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 Slatetank
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of rawfish
3.76/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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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 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 Drinkerofales
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
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.


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Photo of Centennial
2.86/5  rDev -30.4%
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.

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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 ehammond1
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Glowing orange with a thick off-white head and lots of stick left all over the glass. Gorgeous.

Incredibly pungent and tropical aroma. The distinct Nelson hops really shine here. The aromas are of strong, smashed pineapples and grapefruits, along with a strong floral note, and some dank, sticky marijuana. Love it! One of the best aromas I've ever experienced from any DIPA.

Medium to high bitterness, but loads of grapefruit and pineapple flavors balance things out. Again, the Nelson hops shine through tremendously.

Medium to thick body with a dry finish.

An absolutely wonderful DIPA. I need to have this one again (and again and again and again). Honestly, I never expected a DIPA this good to come from Karl Strauss--count me in as very pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of claspada
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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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 warnerry
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


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.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bman1113vr for sharing this bottle. This is beer number 2500 for me.

The beer pours a golden-yellow color with a white head. The aroma is very fruity. I get a lot of grapefruit, pineapple and papaya notes. The tropical fruit notes in the beer really stand out, with very little else coming through.

The flavor is more of the same. I get a little biscuit malt, but I also get a ton of pineapple and papaya. The beer is full of hop flavor but the bitterness is fairly low. Overall, the beer is very drinkable,

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

412th review on BA
bottle to tulip

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.

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Photo of Sammy
4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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