1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Blackball Belgian IPA - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Blackball Belgian IPABlackball Belgian IPA

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

79 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 79
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 13
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: crvcac on 03-04-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 79 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Armand:
Photo of Armand
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was actually a good beer. Had this when I went out for a beer to a bar with some friends, but there was nothing on tap that I'd like. I think there was amber Karl. I just went home and had this as I needed a beer, and wanted something good.

A: Blonde/brown with some light that snuck it.
S: Nice and hoppy.
T: This was actually really good. Citrusy.
M: Went down smooth.
O: Will have it again for sure. Wish this was on tap when I'm up for a good hoppy brew.

Armand, Jun 27, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Bright brassy color, great clarity and a massive dollop of head on top ... a sight to see. Peachy fruitiness runs over the top on the nose, warming peppery alcohol, leafy hop, sweet grain and some phenols and yeast within. Big fruity sweetness upfront of malt and smashed over ripened peaches, that slowly breaks away to let in the alcohol, phenols and more important ... the hoppiness that relies more on flavor than its bitterness even though it does have a big enough sting to break through the beer.

Pretty drinkable for its size, still sippin it though. Job well done here, very enjoyable.

Jason, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Subtle and masterfully done. A little like a black IPA, with some Cascadian. Deep yellow with retained head. Nice use of spices. Very good drinkability and refreshing. Hoppy, but not at DIPA level, even more bitterness would be interesting.Bottle from Ronald Bland.

Sammy, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of dertyd
4/5  rDev -1.2%

dertyd, May 18, 2014
Photo of HalfFull
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh bomber poured into a large wine glass. I mistakenly thought this would be a Black IPA, or perhaps the first Belgian Cascadian Dark Ale. Alas, it's just a Belgian IPA, and that's a good thing. Pours a clear light amber with a tinge or orange and sports an inch of nearly white foam. Decent retention and lacing follow.

Nose is a blend of citrusy cascade hops and some belgian yeast notes. A definitive malty sweetness permeates the equation for balance. Notable spice notes abound.

Flavor is a bit subdued relative to the nose and with a generic citric maltiness drowning out the spicy/yeasty/ hoppy notes to a large degree. Becomes a bit more spicy/effervescent with some warming.

Feel is thin initially, warming to add some spice and a spritzy feel of carbonation. Finish is pleasant yet a bit brief throughout the spectrum. Overall a nice take on the style; decent yeast profile and added spice, bit malt forward and somewhat subdued in the hops department however.

HalfFull, Sep 11, 2011
Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Bung, Oct 07, 2014
Photo of jdougherty
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

jdougherty, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of Booner818
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Booner818, Nov 17, 2013
Photo of The_Mike_Hay
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%

The_Mike_Hay, Oct 20, 2014
Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +23.5%

CEDAMA, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of craft_is_king
4/5  rDev -1.2%

craft_is_king, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of OCSA_1978
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

OCSA_1978, Oct 11, 2014
Photo of bca115
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

bca115, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of danwho
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

danwho, Apr 11, 2013
Photo of wethorseblanket
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in Universal City.

A: Pours a clear amberish copper with just a whisper of white head which clings to the rim. A swirl brings a 1/4-inch head again.

N: Mild bready yeast, faint citrus and spices. After warming up this becomes more floral and estery.

T: Yeast, sweet malt and spices. Again, upon warming get more esters and floral notes. Alcohol heat also becomes evident.

M: Medium body and light carbonation. Semi-dry finish with bready yeast.

O: Served much too cold. Give this time to open up as it warms. For me, just an O.K. Belgian IPA.

wethorseblanket, Aug 18, 2012
Photo of henryhampton
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

henryhampton, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of Zorro
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear coppery colored ale with a small yellowish white colored head.

Smell is strong hop and coriander in about equal proportions. Spicy with a strong herbal scent and more than a little tobacco leaf scent. Herbal with a honeysuckle malt scent and a strong black pepper aroma on the alcohol fumes.

Starts out malty and a bit woody, lots of caramel aftertaste. Bitter like biting down on a whole black pepper corn with something of the same mild burn and strong pepper taste. Aggressive coriander flavor, slightly tongue numbing in fact. Strong spice bite at the beginning of the taste with a much more mellow aftertaste. Tasty and aggressive BIPA.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall really more of a 4.25 than a 4.5. Tasty and aggressive BIPA, just needs a little more caramel in the malt to really be something special.

Zorro, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of jjh19
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

jjh19, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of cbutova
3.64/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes taken at the hipster mecca Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, CA.

A- Murky orange plastic cup pour. Small foamy white head falls fast to a ring, poor retention. Lace is sparse as the pour suggested. Rare lace spots on the cup as time goes on.

S- Estery and spicy belgian yeast with an added fruity feel, probably the hops bringing tropical and stone fruits. Orange zest, banana, clove and a fair amount of hops overall.

T- Spicy yeast the biggest here for me with a lot of clove, pepper and herbs. Like a fruity wit to me as the hops hint with citrus, floral and spicy notes. Vanilla, apricot, cedar wood, phenols, apples big and some sweet malts also come to mind.

MF- High carbonation bites the palate in a pretty creamy body. Moderately thick texture overall and dry spicy finish.

Strong yeast feel and a nice citrus stone fruitiness lingers from hops and yeast. Big yeast spices but not too much or harsh and everything works pretty well together.

cbutova, Nov 12, 2013
Photo of BrewTasting
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

BrewTasting, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of anthony-martinez
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%

anthony-martinez, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of Obsidian
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Obsidian, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of raulazzer
4/5  rDev -1.2%

raulazzer, Apr 15, 2014
Photo of gshak
4/5  rDev -1.2%

gshak, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of sergio1va
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle. Great foam appears as you transfer this beer from bottle to glass and the great aromas of hop extract emerge, inviting you to savor this beer. No sign of the IBUs on this brew but after a few sips it seems to hover around 50 to 60.
The color of this brew is of a light copper color with a white foam head. The immediate reaction on the palate is that of a definite hop profile and a subtle dry finish. A spicy flavor is definite in every sip but overall well balanced so as not to discourage finishing this great beer. Wouldn't mind re-buying this beer for a second take, only problem is that it will be hard to find.

sergio1va, Nov 23, 2011
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Blackball Belgian IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.