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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

202 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 202
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.36%
Wants: 47
Gots: 14 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 202 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OlieIPA
4.88/5  rDev +20.2%
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!

OlieIPA, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

DoubleJ, Apr 18, 2010
Photo of Halcyondays
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Halcyondays, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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

brentk56, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of guinness310
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

guinness310, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of DennisD
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

DennisD, Mar 04, 2010
Photo of billshmeinke
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

billshmeinke, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of TexIndy
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.

TexIndy, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of Sideswipe
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!

Sideswipe, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
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.

MasterSki, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
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.

drabmuh, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
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.

SanDiegoBeerLove, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of mjl21
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.

mjl21, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of Dukeofearl
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.

Dukeofearl, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
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.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of gibby
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 :-)

gibby, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of berebrando
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.

berebrando, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of bonkers
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.

bonkers, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of srandycarter
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!

srandycarter, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of russpowell
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...

russpowell, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of magictrokini
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.

magictrokini, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of Wasatch
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!

Wasatch, Dec 15, 2009
Photo of mikedashg
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!

mikedashg, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of Kegatron
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.

Kegatron, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of hoptrip619
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!

hoptrip619, Nov 30, 2009
Big Barrel Double IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 202 ratings.