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Big Barrel Double IPA - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Barrel Double IPABig Barrel Double IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

195 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 195
Reviews: 90
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.36%
Wants: 44
Gots: 11 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: LongBeachHopHead on 11-15-2009)
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Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 90 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TexIndy
TexIndy

Texas

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 01:25:07 | More by TexIndy
Photo of Sideswipe
Sideswipe

California

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. The beer is a hazy orange, amber color with three fingers of off white foam. The head stays on this one, dissipating to one finger that remains as I drink. The hop aroma is instantly apparent, strong citrus notes, grapefruit, orange, very nice. Pine is largely absent, but that's ok, this beer smells great as is! The malt makes it's presence known at first sip. Sweet caramel, followed by a tounge punch of bittering hops. This beer gets better with every drink. Hops hang around making the finish dry and bitter. Mouthfeel is right on for the style, carbonation is not overpowering. ABV is well masked, making this a very drinkable beer for me. An excellent DIPA offering from Karl Strauss. Reccommended!

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2010 06:59:54 | More by Sideswipe
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Hophead84 for sending a bottle of this my way. There's no date on the bottle, but I'm guessing it's from November based on the other reviews. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip glass.

A - This is pretty much the perfect DIPA pour. Three fingers of soapy white foam that dissipates slowly and leaves glass-coating lace and a thick cap. Slightly hazed golden-copper body with a fiery glow and a stream of bubbles rising up the middle of the glass. This is reference quality for DIPA appearance.

S - The hop character has obviously faded since this was fresh, but there's still a nice amount of tropical fruit and grape hop character. There's not a ton of citrus or pine, but that's not surprising with a hop bill heavy in Nelson Sauvin, Warrior and Ahtanum. At this stage the malt backbone has moved to the forefront, with spicy caramel and rum-soaked cake flavors. I wish I got to try this fresh, but as it stands its still pretty interesting.

T - Again, the caramel malt is starting to take over, but there's some fierce bitterness mixed in. Reminds me a little of fruit punch actually, with the mix of grape, tropical fruit, and sugary malt backbone. The taste has aged better than the smell, although it's approaching a heavily hopped barleywine. Alcohol is extremely well-hidden, and the finish and aftertaste are filled with strong residual bitterness. Probably more of a 4.25, so I'll be generous in other areas.

M - Great enamel-melting sensations. Very soft, creamy texture, with only a bit of mild carbonation tingle. Medium body that's appropriate for the ABV. Not much heat at all. Pretty much what I want from a DIPA.

D - A pleasant surprise form a somewhat under-the-radar beer. I had no problem downing the bomber on my own. I hope I get to try this one again when the make a fresh batch. Best Karl Strauss beer I've tried so far.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2010 22:04:48 | More by MasterSki
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Beer is reddish and slightly hazy. Forms a thin white head of small bubbles. Head falls away and break into a diffuse thin layer. Head leaves a lot of lacing behind. Looks good.

Aroma is really weak and disappointing. Its a snifter, it should help the aroma. There is some hops and a little malt.

Beer is medium bodied and has a really odd almost cannabis flavor to it. Its the hops I'm sure but its really pot like. There isn't a lot of sweetness and its surprisingly drinkable. Not my favorite (I don't like the flavor of cannabis) but its pretty good. There are some good citrus flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 02:50:49 | More by drabmuh
Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
SanDiegoBeerLove

California

4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2010 06:54:14 | More by SanDiegoBeerLove
Photo of mjl21
mjl21

California

3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle poured into a tulip. Comes in at 9%. No bottling info is given.

A-Pours a semi opaque amber with lots of orange when held up to the light. It has a two finger off white head that rests at half its starting level. It leaves some decent patterns of lace.

S-Lots of juicy citrus, particularly grapefruit and orange, along with some dried grass. There is some caramel sweetness. Deserves a 4.25 score.

T-Like the nose, it has lots of juicy citrus flavor upfront along with some grassy flavor. The fruit/grass flavor gives it a unique flavor as compared to other WC DIPAs. There is some lingering peppery spiciness. The caramel malt is noticeable and contains the advertised 90 IBUs. I found it to have a nice bitterness level that was not over the top.

M-It falls on the low end of the medium spectrum and is a touch watery. It is smooth and well carbonated.

D-A pretty good DIPA that is not in the upper echelon of great SD DIPAs. I would say the hops have begun to fade a little on this bottle.

My first bottled offering from these guys. I would have loved to try this a month or so earlier as the hops have lost some of their flavor. Would love to try fresh from the tap.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2010 19:37:46 | More by mjl21
Photo of Dukeofearl
Dukeofearl

California

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber bought at LaBodega in Riverside, CA., for $5.99 in January 2010.

Pours a golden-copper color, slightly hazy, with an initial burst of carbonation, which quickly dies off.

Aroma is definitely a DIPA hop profile, but generally thinner and lighter than the typcial West Coast variety- more IPA like in its intensity.

But when tasted, the full flavored DIPA profile is there- rich bready malts, and grapefruity bitter hops. For me, with DIPAs, I often look for balance amongst the hops, rather than balance of the overall beer. By that I mean a mix of sweet, fruity, oily, and piney notes in the hops. This one leans to the more sour/bitter fruits (grapefruit over orange), with the other elements well represented. Maybe it's me, but I miss the sweeter orange notes. But I can't be too critical, this is still a well made DIPA.

Not my favorite, for which I have lowered my overall score, but still quite good regardless. You won't go wrong with this one, especially at this price point- a good value for a very good beer.

Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 01:28:53 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glowing bonfire orange with bright butterscotch borders. The pour produced three fingers of foam that is best described as lemon-accented ivory. The milkshake creamy, bubblicious texture of the foam is fantastic, as are thick sheets of cheese grater-like lace.

The nose is an intriguing combination of tropical fruit juice, ganja-like dankness and cheesy funkiness. Yes, it smells much better than it sounds. The responsible parties include Nelson Sauvin, Warrior and Ahtanum... to the tune of a mighty 90 IBUs.

Big Barrel Double IPA does not enter the upper echelon of San Diego DIPAs (or San Diego-style pale ales, or whatever name is preferred), but that's only because the competition is so stiff. This is still well-brewed beer that is growing on me with each rapidly passing ounce.

The malt bill includes England's own Maris Otter with a touch of caramel, and that's exactly how it tastes. There's just enough mid-range malt to give the beer a lightly toasted quality that adds character. Hop flavor is pretty much the same as hop aroma. My bottle is still a fresh bottle, so alpha acids are at full boil (without being punishing).

White grapefruit is dominant. There's also an herbal pepperiness that is keeping my taste buds fully engaged. The white grape-like quality of Nelson Sauvin barely survives intact. Forget the final sentence of the previous paragraph. The bitterness is cumulative and is beginning to work its buzzsaw-like magic. Hopheads only need apply. At least when the beer is this fresh.

The body/mouthfeel score is a tweener. Although it's a little light for the style, it's coming into its own now that the bottom of the bomber as been breached. In the end, it doesn't quite have the chops to get the bigger score.

Karl Strauss Breweries may not be able to compete with the AleSmiths, Stones, Alpines and Ballast Points of the world, but the opening salvo in the Coastal Reserve series is a hoppy humdinger. Thanks to Joey for the recommendation.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 15:49:56 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of gibby
gibby

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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 :-)

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2010 03:02:42 | More by gibby
Photo of berebrando
berebrando

California

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2010 01:11:46 | More by berebrando
Photo of bonkers
bonkers

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this for Christmas from my Sister in law, who lives in SD. I poured from a 25 ounce bottle into a snifter. It pours a deep, clear orange with a monstrous sticky, white head. The lacing is all over the glass. The nose is big and full of tropical fruit(pineapple, mango). Sweet grapefruit are also noticeable. The flavor follows the nose. A very balanced DIPA, The tropical flavors are balanced out by a slightly bitter finish. This is medium bodied and well carbonated. This beer is a home run. The nelson hops shine in this making this one of the best DIPA's I have had.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2010 18:37:12 | More by bonkers
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW. Something I like from Mr. Strauss.

A - Bright amber/honey, near white head. Lots of cling lace. Gummy webby goodness.

S - Caramel, hops. Repeat. Hops, caramel. Repeat. Looking forward to this one.

T - Not disappointed. Big gooey caramel center effectively surrounded by a skin of hops. Nice is too simple.

M - Medium to full, great carb and balance.

D - OH yeah, I am a hop head at times. I can play with you for awhile.

Thanks for surprising me!

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2009 02:44:05 | More by srandycarter
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from Bitterbill, cheers Bill! Review based on notes

Pours an effervescent honey/apricot with 2+ fingers of tan head. Very good lacing & head retention

S: Piney & citrus hops in copious quantities

T: Breadyness then grapefruit & pine up front, along with a bit of booze. Pineapple & cakeyness surface as this warms along with a slight smack of pine & grapefruit as this warms, along with toffee. Finishes cakey with leafy & grapefruitty hops

MF: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation & fair balance

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV & style, another stellar DIPA from Cali & a damn good showing from this brewery...

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 05:45:11 | More by russpowell
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rare good DIPA from Karl. Poured hazy orange with a frothy white head and good lacing. Very nice orange and grapefruit aroma with equal parts piney goodness. Some caramel malt that fades in the background. Hearty mouthfeel without being sticky. Solid hop bomb of citrus and herbal/resiny hops. Leans on the sour citrus rather than the tropical sweetness. Enough malt to keep in balanced, in terms of DIPA's. Really, really liked this.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2009 22:04:20 | More by magictrokini
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Bitterbill for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a very nice clean/clear golden orange color, nice carbonation, very nice thick/creamy one-finger plus off-white head, with some very nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, with some malt notes, very nice citrus/pine notes. The taste is also very nice, hoppy, slight malt note, nice kick of citrus/pine. Medium body. Very drinkable, this one really surprised me, very tasty. Thanks Bill!

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2009 23:32:12 | More by Wasatch
Photo of mikedashg
mikedashg

California

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 21:04:16 | More by mikedashg
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Toronado (San Diego, CA) on 11/10/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, topped with a thin layer of brite-white creamy foam. This stays VERY rich when swirled, leaving a nice frothy cascade of lacing back, which quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma here is totally West Coast smelling, with just at TON of floral hops, spice, and pine cones. This mixes in beautifully, with a thick underlying layer of grapefruit juice and bready caramel, which is still able to boldly show itself under all of that crazy hop activity. This just has a fresh and fierce pop to it, that I'm really digging.

The taste pretty much matches the aroma, with a strong and assertive hop presence, including monstrous notes of resins and spice, barely being balanced by a softer feeling backbone of sweet toasted caramel malts and tropical fruit character. Man, this is all about the hops though, with a bitter finish of peppery spice, resinous pine, and citrus rind, that just STICKS in the mouth. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe even a bit fuller, with a big prickly creaminess to it that goes well with the huge hop profile. This is actually going down pretty readily considering the big bitterness and alcohol content here.

This was one of the big surprise beers from our recent San Diego trip, that was one of the more complete West Coast IPAs that we've had from there lately. Just big juicy hop flavors here, with just enough of a sweet backbone to keep this balanced and drinkable. It's great to see bold new beers like this coming out from Karl Strauss.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2009 18:06:53 | More by Kegatron
Photo of hoptrip619
hoptrip619

California

4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2009 19:51:29 | More by hoptrip619
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a clear light amber gold with a 1 finger head of foam. I see a lot of lacing when I tilt my glass from side to side.

This boasts 90 IBUs and when I take a few whiffs, I can't see myself disagreeing! It has a tropical fruit hop smell...plenty of grapefruit and mangoes, some light pine, and behind them, a good caramel malt sweetness. When I say good, it's not in your face but it is there and that suggest some balance in the taste...me hopes.

Yep, it's in the taste as well. A nice caramel malt sweetness guides you to the very flavourful hoppy goodness of the grapefruit and mangoe and some assertive piney notes. Man, the hopheads should give this one a firm thumbs up when they get a hold of this and those seeking an example of the style that has a good malty backbone should also be pleased. Delicious.

Medium bodied with the carbonation on the lighter side of medium. Oh and, head retention is awesome!

Drinkability? 9%abv and I'm getting minimal warming. Touche. Very tasty and very smooth, this is an excellent Double IPA and a most excellent brew from Karl Strauss(I haven't had one of their brews in many years but it seems that they have kicked up their game a notch or 3 with this brew) that I could enjoy another bottle of at one sitting!. Well done and thanks to Joey for describing this beer so well in his news letter!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 00:41:53 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of LongBeachHopHead
LongBeachHopHead

California

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 12:54:42 | More by LongBeachHopHead
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Big Barrel Double IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.