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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: 4.02
pDev: 11.44%
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 Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 06:09:40 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 21:09:54 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -6%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 23:31:13 | More by brentk56
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

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

California

3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2011 16:58:10 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
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 mactrail
mactrail

Washington

4/5  rDev -0.5%
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 Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.1/5  rDev +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.

Serving type: bottle

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

California

4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
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 GraduatedCashew
GraduatedCashew

California

3/5  rDev -25.4%

02-03-2014 19:07:31 | More by GraduatedCashew
Photo of mhaugo
mhaugo

California

4/5  rDev -0.5%

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

Texas

4/5  rDev -0.5%

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

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -0.5%

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

Massachusetts

3.64/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2013 00:21:52 | More by cbutova
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 04:19:34 | More by Dope
Photo of 2dogbrew
2dogbrew

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

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

California

3.33/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2011 18:14:46 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull

California

3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2011 06:39:08 | More by HalfFull
Photo of vermilcj
vermilcj

Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

11-19-2013 03:45:12 | More by vermilcj
Photo of djaeon
djaeon

California

4/5  rDev -0.5%

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

California

3/5  rDev -25.4%

02-01-2012 05:40:10 | More by codynevels
Photo of beagle75
beagle75

Iowa

3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 13:45:33 | More by beagle75
Photo of BeerOps
BeerOps

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

06-25-2013 03:30:52 | More by BeerOps
Photo of CEDAMA
CEDAMA

California

5/5  rDev +24.4%

01-13-2012 20:58:14 | More by CEDAMA
Photo of Eriktheipaman
Eriktheipaman

California

4/5  rDev -0.5%
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
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Blackball Belgian IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.