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Two Tortugas | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
83
good
18 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
18
Ratings:
49
Avg:
3.61
pDev:
32.96%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
10
For Trade:
1
Two TortugasTwo Tortugas
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
It was 2011 when we first released Two Tortugas Belgian Quad as our holiday ale. It was supposed to be a one-time release for the holidays, but your feedback demanded otherwise. Six batches and numerous medals later, our Belgian Quad is back in all its original glory. Two Tortugas has aromas of dark fruit and caramel, with a slight hint of bubblegum from the Belgian Abbey yeast. This beer is robust and full-bodied with rich malty flavors of toffee, plums, and dates. Drink it now or lay it down – Two Tortugas’ journey is just getting started.

Added by BucannonXC5 on 10-15-2011

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 49
Photo of Philousa
2.02/5  rDev -44%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap at The Regal Beagle in San Diego 12/29/11.

A ruddy brown color, a bit murky, red wine burgundy with wispy head. Little to no head present at the end of the glass. Mild nuttiness, candied sugar, and caramel covered fresh baked bread aromas. Sweet brown sugar, and thick caramel flavors with an alcohol burn lingering. Middling mouthfeel tending towards thick. Dry finish.

This has so much candied sugar present that I wonder if a confectioner engineered this brew. I'm not a big fan of candied sugar unless it's used sparingly or equally with another strong, but opposite flavor. That was not the case with this beer. I think of a Quad as a very complex dark Belgian. I was proved wrong once with Deschutes' The Stoic, which wasn't dark. This beer just reinforced my belief that a Quad must be, above all else, complex.

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Photo of PatrickSwayze
2.47/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

I usually love karl strauss but man was i disappointed in this beer.

A: Pours a dark amber with a light tan head that quickly dissipates within seconds.

S: A good whiff of this boy is nothing but rich deep caramel notes. Hops seem to be completely eliminated from this beer.

T: Man i drank a a small glass or two from the bomber that i bought and all i tasted was this deep molasses like character that seemed like to much residual sugar. Completely destroyed any remaining taste buds (in a bad way).

M: Overall it was just way to sugary on the tongue. Could have been better if it was a drier beer.

O: I was really bummed on this beer as i usually buy karl strauss frequently. I was also hoping to age this beer later after my initial tasting. Does not represent the quadruple category very well in my opinion. Overall really way to sweet to enjoy

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Photo of DovaliHops
2.71/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear, purplish-amber color with very little white head. Scent is dark fruits with some spices as well. Heavy caramel malt. Taste is initially delicious dark fruits with a strange berry syrup flavor...like the kind you would put on a snow cone. Very sweet candied sugar flavors with caramel malt and booze. Mouthfeel is thin and syrupy. Not the greatest. Drinkability is fair, as this beer becomes more and more syrupy and boozy as it warms. Overall, the dark fruit flavors are nice, but that's about all this beer has going for it. I also don't see it aging well.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.95/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On Tap

Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Carlsbad, CA

Dark plum color with ruby edges. Very thin khaki colored head and zero lacing left down the glass--no cling whatsoever.

At first, the aroma is decent enough: plum, raisins, dark breads, and a bit of black pepper. As the beer warms, however, the strong, hot, and stinging alcohol content overpowers much of anything else.

The taste follows a similar journey as the aroma: initially, the beer is decent with the dark fruits, caramel malt, mild bitterness, and a touch of spice pushing through. Though, at any temperature but very, very cold, the beer becomes an unbalanced, alcoholic mess.

The mouthfeel is thin and oily--not particularly appropriate for the style.

This was nothing more than a slightly better than average quad. Significant warming does this beer no favors.

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Photo of StoicBeast
3.06/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a 12oz wine glass, chilled. paired with sweetened dates.

a- dark amber, considerately mild effervescence, khaki lacing.
s- a bit astringent, phenol. fruity and roasted aromas are there as well.
t- residual sugar causes sweetness on the front palette. bitterness and bitterness is negligible.
m- medium bodied, creamy, warming. dry finish.
o- simple ode to the Belgium style of a quadruple ale.

Not what I was expecting, for sure. I could tell from the lack of head the translucence that it wasn't going to as complex as something made by Brasserie de Rochefort or St. Bernardus. It reminded me of a flat soda at one point. Perhaps aging would improve the quality, but it seems like it was too focused on flavor. This is the first, out of 3, style from Karl Strauss that miss.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-clear dark amber with a 1 inch foamy tan head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly slide down the sides of the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar/caramel/toffee, banana, candied fruit, and alcohol. Taste is of toasted malt, banana, booze-soaked cherries/dark fruits, caramel/toffee, and alcohol. There is a mild alcohol burn in the throat after each sip. This beer has a medium body with a light carbonation and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the taste is just not as good as the smell. Not bad though.

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Photo of beagle75
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Hazy, medium amber color with a peripheral ring of loose parchment-tinted bubbles. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Crystal malt is syrupy, with some minor savory complexity that suggests a conjunction of Belgian aromatic malt and something more roasted. Malt qualities exceed the tame abbey yeast qualities, although traces of esters are transmitted. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with mild and slightly husky crystal malt that suggests rustic rye bread. Stone fruit is reserved. The remaining flavor profile is defined by its overall softness; no tasted acidity during the transition to the middle coupled with a gradual tapering-off of malt-derived intensity makes for a pleasant experience that lacks intensity. Some stale herbaceous hops bitterness adds to authenticity in the finish. No alcohol is detected.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, supple and slightly syrupy on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: This high gravity seasonal contribution from Karl Strauss was hailed as a particularly enjoyable quadrupel when it was released over two years ago. Presently it would find itself in good company amongst most high-end American versions, with enough balance to establish it as a traditional take on the style.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy chestnut color with a very thin sand colored head.

S: Spicy with some banana, fruitcake, cinnamon and some gingerbread. Hints of booze soaked cherry as well.

T: Rich and malty with a spicy backbone. Freshly baked bread. hints of dark fruit and candi sugar and just a trace of alcohol. A touch of hop resin, banana and plum on the finish. Not bad, but the flavors just don't pop in this. I was expecting more.

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Photo of mactrail
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle version seems to have a nice carbonation and lacing. Tastes like a fruity liqueur, like the orange Licor de Naranjas they put in margaritas. So sweet at first taste, but the many flavors stretch out with some bitterness underneath. Sharp taste also gives it some balance.

Boozy aroma with hot cherry flavor, golden raisins, and loads of toffee. A pleasant sip though not my favorite example of the style. Still, well made and clean flavors of malt and more malt.

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Photo of SHODriver
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from 2011

A: poured into a goblet to a reddish brown topped by a small but dense light tan head that fades quickly to a small collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of dark fruits, candi sugar and caramel with a little spice
T: Taste is dark fruits and stone fruits, caramel sweetness, candi sugar and a little spice, slight toffee as well as some lingering fruitiness. Swallow is alcohol, a little dark fruit and some lingering caramel.
M: Heavier side of medium in body with good and slightly prickly carbonation with a drying finish from the alcohol
O: This is a very tasty and good smelling beer. Unfortunately the finish makes it fall short from greatness. Definitely a good attempt from a US brewer at the style but there are better ones out there.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
3.96/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice deep ruby and brown color, but thin head is off for style. Smell and taste are pleasantly sweet, caramel and fig present in both. Good texture, but lacks carbonation. Overall, a great American take on the style. Cheers!

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Photo of HopHead84
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/23/2011

On tap at Karl Strauss.

A: Dark brownish red with a fleeting beige head. Nice color.

S: Toffee is rich and esters are pronounced, reminiscent of plum, date, and prune. Phenolics are peppery and I get a touch of booze in the nose. Caramel accompanies bread and faint toasted notes.

T: Sweet toffee accompanies fig, date, prune, and plum. There's a mild pepper-like spiciness with a soft alcohol profile. Breadiness is pronounced and there's a light bitterness.

M: Upper medium body with matching carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky and smooth.

Overall: A well done Belgian Strong Dark.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.02/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Re-rated on July 18, 2012 to 3.5-4.0-4.0-4.5-4.0 from the original Oct. 15, 2011 version of 4.0-3.5-5.0-5.0-4.5.

Poured from a draft into a tulip at Karl Strauss in downtown San Diego, Calif. Maybe a ½-inch of head. Color appeared to be dark red on the top, but closer to black when looking at it straight on from the sides. Light lacing on the top. Light film on the sides.

Smelled of caramel malts. Also butter, roasty hops and some dark fruits.

Complex flavors that roll of the tongue beautifully. There was a floral/fruity front with a enjoyable smooth finish.

Full body. Average carbonation. Smooth rules the day.

I really liked this beer. The taste is obviously much better than the smell. It just feels so good on the tongue.

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Photo of phichifiji00
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Rich Mahogany in color, pours 1 inch of creme colored head that fades slowly. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Caramel, toffee, raisins, dark fruit, candi sugar, malty, spices, estery.

Taste: Toffee, raisins, dark fruit, spices, candi sugar, malty. Boozy as it warms.

Mouthfeel: full bodied, moderate carbonation, smooth, crisp, boozy as it warms.

Overall: A very tasty beer. Rich, complex flavors. The high ABV is well hidden. Drinkability is fairly high.

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Photo of Zorro
4.07/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear reddish brown colored beer with a small tan colored head.

Smell is sweet and fruity with a big brown sugar and figs aroma. Gingerbread and frosting scents, yes it smells sweet. Ethanol fumes carry the scent of butter rum candy. Quite a pleasant aroma.

Starts out sweet with a buttered rum flavor. Brown sugar and tobacco flavors with a bock like bitterness. Little bit of ethanol burn. Finally a little toffee candy.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a tasty beer but on the sweet side.

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Photo of brentk56
4.27/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a meringue of a head that fades a bit too quickly though it does leave a smattering of lace around the tulip

Smell: Rum-soaked cherry, caramel and pecans

Taste: Caramel and pecans, up front, followed by the rum-soaked cherry flavors bulding into a peppery, yeasty crescendo by mid-palate; after the swallow, the candi sugar moves the brew into a sweeter realm, while the alcohol adds a warm sensation in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: Quite a surprise at how well Karl Strauss tackled a difficult style to brew; while the mouthfeel needs some work, the flavor profile is spot on

Thanks, jodan, for the opportunity

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy dark red-brown with a finger of frothy tan-khaki head. Fades fairly quickly.

S - Dark caramel malts, date, plum, and other dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove, spices, candi sugar, brown sugar, hint of vanilla, and some booze.

T - Sweet dark caramel malts, date, raisin, plum, and other dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove and other spices, candi and residual sugars, some booze.

M - Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Excellent Quad. Really nice balance and smoothness.

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Photo of crvcac
4.42/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown with ruby/garnet hues
Smell: warming alcohol in the nose, toffee, dark fruits, moderate phenols
Taste: toffee, mild alcohol, toffee, copious amounts of dark fruit, again moderate phenols, belgian candy sugar
Mouthfeel: for an 11% beer, the alcohol is masked extremely well. very sweet, but now cloying
Overall: a great beer. with a little age on this one I can see the intensity rounding out.

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Two Tortugas from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.