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Blackball Belgian IPA - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Blackball Belgian IPABlackball Belgian IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

64 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 64
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 12
Gots: 8 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 64 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dertyd
dertyd

California

4/5  rDev -0.7%

05-18-2014 02:35:16 | More by dertyd
Photo of Booner818
Booner818

California

4/5  rDev -0.7%

11-17-2013 07:30:26 | More by Booner818
Photo of raulazzer
raulazzer

California

4/5  rDev -0.7%

04-15-2014 17:18:23 | More by raulazzer
Photo of gshak
gshak

Texas

4/5  rDev -0.7%

06-09-2013 07:35:00 | More by gshak
Photo of djaeon
djaeon

California

4/5  rDev -0.7%

10-19-2013 03:32:28 | More by djaeon
Photo of MadCat
MadCat

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2013 02:36:20 | More by MadCat
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2012 05:01:15 | More by mactrail
Photo of mhaugo
mhaugo

California

4/5  rDev -0.7%

05-31-2013 05:00:56 | More by mhaugo
Photo of Exiled
Exiled

Texas

4/5  rDev -0.7%

11-25-2011 02:17:59 | More by Exiled
Photo of jasewaaang
jasewaaang

California

4/5  rDev -0.7%

09-16-2012 07:00:43 | More by jasewaaang
Photo of Eriktheipaman
Eriktheipaman

California

4/5  rDev -0.7%
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".

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 03:35:18 | More by Eriktheipaman
Photo of BMart
BMart

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -0.7%

11-28-2012 17:37:59 | More by BMart
Photo of GregSVT
GregSVT

Texas

4.03/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2011 04:34:00 | More by GregSVT
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2011 02:14:46 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of rawfish
rawfish

California

4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 03:05:14 | More by rawfish
Photo of BucBasil
BucBasil

South Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a tulip at Karl Strauss Universal City, CA.

A: The beer is a dark orange/amber color. Head was offwhite or very light tan and had ok retention.

S: Fruity and slightly piney. Citrus rind and spices. Light malty character underneath and a light sweetness that might have come from a touch of yeast.

T: I'm not sure how this is a Belgian style IPA. It's a bit more fruity I guess than a regular IPA and with a hint of creaminess in the back. A bit of spice in there as well and a biscuity malt balance atop a big citrusy and floral hop character. I'm a fan.

O: Very drinkable and refreshing. If the ABV weren't so high this could be an "All day IPA" It's everything I want from an IPA, but I'm still not sure what specifically makes it "Belgian." It doesn't match up with Poperings or De Ranke. I think this might be better off just being an IPA. It almost reminded me of DFH 90 Min in that it was balanced with a good kick. No matter how it's classified, it's an excellent beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-21-2011 17:21:29 | More by BucBasil
Photo of DeanMoriarty
DeanMoriarty

California

4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up two growlers from Karl Strauss Brewery downtown for $17. and poured them into a Westmalle chalice.

A: Pours a clean deep copper hue with a good head that lingers for a while, but leaves very little in the way of lacing.

S: Nice floral hop aroma up front - herbal earthy pine, very familiar Belgian yeast strain in the mix as well - possibly La Chouffe or something along the same lines, wood and just a hint of spice at the very end - no trace of booze (very nice for an ABV of 8.5%).

T: On point with the nose, but even more bitter hop that is earthy and resinous, followed by a good balance of sweet malt and Belgian yeast - really good take on the style. I have to say though - at the end of the day, this is just a really good take on a traditional Belgian Tripel and not so much a Belgian IPA.

M/D: Medium-bodied, sticky with a mellow carbonation that lends nicely to the style - finishing smooth and creamy - very drinkable; polished the 1st growler on my own no worries - had to struggle to leave the other one for tomorrow night.

Serving type: growler

04-09-2011 05:43:09 | More by DeanMoriarty
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2011 02:45:29 | More by Jason
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

11-18-2011 01:09:35 | More by nmann08
Photo of 2dogbrew
2dogbrew

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

05-14-2013 02:37:41 | More by 2dogbrew
Photo of the_encinitan
the_encinitan

California

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

07-10-2014 02:25:12 | More by the_encinitan
Photo of TheDrunkenDeer
TheDrunkenDeer

Idaho

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

03-14-2014 05:58:00 | More by TheDrunkenDeer
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 01:25:42 | More by Zorro
Photo of crvcac
crvcac

California

4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer on cask last night at Karl Strauss downtown. Don't think it's even available for purchase yet!

A: Gold copper in hue with a slight chill haze. Can't truly comment on the head seeing as it was on cask, however, I have a feeling this is going to be a sticky one with nice lacing.

S: Smells fantastic. Reminds me of their Big Barrel Double IPA with a belgian twist. Lots of grapefruit, orage zest, curacao, tropical fruits, belgian spices.

T: Amazing. This is a great rendition of a Belgian IPA. The perfect blend of spices and tropical fruit flavors. The orange and grapefruit are bold and compliment each other nicely.

M: Very well balanced. Malts provide the needed backbone to balance the beer while the hops lend a very appropriate and highly quaffable bitterness.

D: Smooth. Dangerously smooth. The 8.5% is hardly detectable. This one will get you if your not careful. Pour me another please!

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2011 16:15:37 | More by crvcac
Photo of Dsimenson
Dsimenson

California

4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap served in a pint pilsner. Half inch creamy head, then lovely concentric rings of lacing down the glass. Aroma is rich and heavy, hops, citrus, and a bit of caramel. The flavor of this IPA is truly amazing, creamy, complex, balanced, with hops, malt, and a hint of vanilla that I have not detected in other IPAs. Mouth feel is about the thickest creamiest IPA I have ever had. Overall I rank it as high as Dogfish Head 90 min IPA, although it has a slightly different character. Outstanding!

Serving type: on-tap

11-02-2013 01:23:04 | More by Dsimenson
Blackball Belgian IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.