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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
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)
View: Beers (47) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 79 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour at the BevMo Holiday Beerfest held at Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and Belgian yeast. Taste is much the same with a medium yeast and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I think this one smells better than it tastes.

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of brentk56
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a massive head; great retention that leaves some strands behind

Smell: Quite a bit of toffee, with coriander, orange pith and vinous grassiness

Taste: Spicy from the outset, with pithy citrus (accentuated by the Curaçao), vinous grassines and coriander elements blending atop the toffee malt; after the swallow, there is a building sweet biscuity flavor that lingers, though the bitter, herbal flavors act as a counterpoint

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: An interesting take with a lot of complexity, but a little too sweet for my liking

Thanks, jodan, for the opportunity

Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours a fairly clear light amber color with a large white head.

S: Starts off fairly sweet. Caramel and toffee malt notes lead it off, but the hops begin to come through shortly after. Floral and grassy hop notes provide the bulk of the "IPA" character, and there is a fair amount of spice and yeast to the aroma as well.

T: Not as sweet as expected, luckily. Strong spice (clove and all spice) and yeast flavors with a moderate breadiness. Some grassy hops and a hint of pine with a moderate hop bitterness.

M: Medium in body with a medium to high carbonation.

O: One of the more enjoyable Belgian IPAs, but it could have used a bigger hop profile.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of BMart
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Dope
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Bottle foams over as soon as I pop the cap. Hastily pours a super cloudy orange. Big super fluffy offwhite head. Fades super slowly with impeccable retention. Almost fully solid wall of fluffy lacing.

S: Lost of raisin in this one. Also has a lot of ...dusty/dirty aroma?

T: More raisin with a little citrus. Sharp, grainy malt with lots of yeast. Earthy in the middle. Drying in the finish with that dusty, yeasty flavor I mentioned in the aroma. Some spicy bitterness in the finish as well. Long lingering dusty aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, drying.

O: Odd beer, I wonder if I got an old bottle. Impossible to tell because of no bottle date. Has lots of belgian yeast aspects but not much else. Almost no hoppiness to balance it out. Has a sort of blandness to it that I can't quite describe. Not horrifying but nothing special.

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of 2dogbrew
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of vermilcj
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of notchucknorris
3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: I was expecting this to be a lot darker. Pours a medium brown color with a pretty decent foamy head.

S: There are some hints of Belgian yeast, but otherwise, this doesn't feel that "Belgian" to me. I pick up some tropical notes and some citrus hop notes, but the hops smell faded.

T: I don't know, this one just didn't do much for me. Tried it with two other guys and they weren't impressed by it either. Citrus hops, a slight Belgian yeast creaminess and a little tangerine, but nothing that really pops out at you.

Photo of djaeon
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

Photo of jeff1973
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of BeerOps
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

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Blackball Belgian IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.