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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Blackball Belgian IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 79 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beagle75
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint glass.

A: Clear, light amber color with one finger of persistent off-white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Subdued caramelized grain with a pronounced aroma of savory herbs--but stops short of crossing into herbal caricature. Faint peppery phenolics become more assertive as this beer warms, but no alcohol is detected.

T: Begins fairly sweet, with substantial crystal/aromatic malt and dynamic yeast metabolites that contribute some needed savoriness to balance the sweet. Acidity is mild, staying agreeable, adding just a touch of a citric edge. The middle is dominated by husky caramelized malt that is accented by subordinate black pepper. Moderate bitterness, featuring the most focused herbaceous hops of the entire taste, develops in the finish. No alcohol is detected.

M: Medium viscosity, slightly syrupy on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: This is a very malt-focused, yet surprisingly appealing, strong IPA. Belgian character is present, but not far-ranging, developing some well-placed black pepper qualities that remove it far enough from standard IPA territory to keep it from being mediocre.

beagle75, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of dertyd
4/5  rDev -1.2%

dertyd, May 18, 2014
Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Bung, Oct 07, 2014
Photo of Booner818
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Booner818, Nov 17, 2013
Photo of craft_is_king
4/5  rDev -1.2%

craft_is_king, Aug 16, 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 yspiff
4/5  rDev -1.2%

yspiff, Friday at 04:24 AM
Photo of Lard_City
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Great malt and hop nose. Very drinkable.

Lard_City, Nov 05, 2014
Photo of djaeon
4/5  rDev -1.2%

djaeon, Oct 19, 2013
Photo of MadCat
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes

Appearance: Nice yellowy color with good white head

Smell: Fruity, with some hop, nice maltiness, a little alcohol, and some nice yeasty phenols

Taste: Fruity and malty up front, then some alcohol and phenols, finally nice hoppy notes. Some bitterness, but mostly flavorful hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, full carbonation

Overall: Very good, interesting take from a non Belgian brewer. Would be interested in seeing some other Belgian style brews from Karl Strauss.

MadCat, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of mactrail
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber with a golden glow in the Saxo tall tulip. Lovely foam and inviting appearance. Spicy aroma with fruit and hops.

Starts out with some malty sweetness with an edge of bitterness. After a few sips, you realize that the subtle Belgian character has crept up, filling the mouth with the dry and yeasty taste. It's less bitter overall than many beers using the Belgian yeast. The hoppiness is also less extreme than most in this category. Fruity like a Tripel, with pineapple in the front. Green apple as the flavor melts in your mouth. Rich and flavorful with a dry finish.

Another modestly-priced 22-ouncer from Karl Strauss. Some may quibble with the house style of malty and mellow, but this one is totally likeable. Clean and well made.

mactrail, Oct 30, 2012
Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev -1.2%

mhaugo, May 31, 2013
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Exiled, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -1.2%

zestar, Nov 02, 2014
Photo of jasewaaang
4/5  rDev -1.2%

jasewaaang, Sep 16, 2012
Photo of Eriktheipaman
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow all 4's haha.

Pour this one lightly because it gives off a giant white head that leaves amazing lacing.

The smell is very sweet. A nice blend of herby esters and a citrus from the hops. Very complex.

As someone stated below I agree it is almost more of a Triple. The taste is of the Belgian yeast but with a pretty high bitterness. You can also pick up on the herbs on the back as it warms up and also creates a dryness.

A good beer that is exactly what I would expect from a "Belgian IPA".

Eriktheipaman, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of anon
4/5  rDev -1.2%

anon, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of cheetsmageets
4/5  rDev -1.2%

cheetsmageets, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of BMart
4/5  rDev -1.2%

BMart, Nov 28, 2012
Photo of GregSVT
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a snifter

A: Pours a nice hazy golden orange with a big white head that fades to a layering and leaves a ton of sticky lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is belgian candied sugar, sweet malt, and some citrusy hops. Very sweet smelling but the hops balance it out a bit.

T: The taste is bitter grapefruit hops, sweet sugary malt, cloves, and that belgian yeast flavor. The bitterness lasts on the finish but this is also pretty sweet.

M: The feel is medium bodied and creamy.

O: My first Karl Strauss beer and it was pretty tasty. Decent belgian and ipa flavors. Recommended if you like the style.

GregSVT, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of anthony-martinez
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%

anthony-martinez, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of Halcyondays
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours burnt orange with a full white head, leaving a ton of thick coating lace. Very good head retention.

S: Orange and banana esters with a hint of coriander like spice with some herbal hops, flowery finish. Garden like at times.

T: Peppery throughout with a lot of grass and light pine and cedar. Some orange and lemon flavour, nice mix.

M: Crisp carbonation, fairly soft on the palate after the initial attack, mildly long aftertaste, clean.

O: This is a really good beer, nice flavours. Karl Strauss has certainly been impressing in their bomber releases lately.

Halcyondays, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of MickeyHops
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%

MickeyHops, Oct 11, 2014
Photo of rawfish
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy amber, with a small-ish finger high head. Decent retention that leaves plentiful spotty lacing upon the glass.

Fruity esters of apricot and nectarine blend well as the hops come in with a lemon zest and light pine aroma. Distinct Belgian spices on the end that increases as the beer warms, clove and yeast.

Solid malt profile of bready grains and a touch of honey that part easily to a pine and citrus hoppiness that lays it to you in the flavor rather than the bitterness. Spices and yeast on the after taste, clove and some soap and powder as it warms. Drying finish.

Average body that gets a bit heavy near the finish, fantastic, active carbonation that ends crisply without much drawn bitterness or aftertaste.

Bold hops, just enough Belgian spice and phenol influence to keep it interesting on the palate. Very refreshing and clean delivery. Enjoyed this quite a bit. These specialty beers are cut above Karl Strauss' regulars. Keep it up.

rawfish, Mar 03, 2012
Blackball Belgian IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.