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!

Tower 20 Double IPA - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tower 20 Double IPATower 20 Double IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

73 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 73
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 12.4%
Wants: 4
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
The saying “less is more” doesn’t apply to West Coast IPA’s. Less is a glass half empty and Tower 20 is a full glass of unrivaled hop character – a Double IPA where more is more. In brewing this hoppy offering, we took the best of Tower 10 IPA and added more. An abundance of high-alpha Centennial hops give T20 its resinous pine-like bitterness, while Oregon-grown Crystals and Chinooks lend zesty grapefruit and tangerine hop flavors. Don’t hoard this hop bomb, drink it fresh and we’ll brew more.

100 IBU

(Beer added by: mactrail on 10-28-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Tower 20 Double IPA Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of xmorgan
4.23/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been a big Karl Strauss fan for 10 years. I used to go to Southern CA on business once a month, and one stop always, even if it meant driving an extra 2 hours or so, was a mandatory stop at a Karl Strauss Brew pub. Not that plays in to this review,

I liked the beer mix and they had a suppressing good selection of beer for a chain of brew pubs.

Got the bomber of it from Willows Market In Menlo Park, the coolest market with a huge selection.

I have a beer refrigerator that is 50 to 55 digs, I like this for IPAs and most of my other beers here as well, save the Pilsner's (they go in the bottom shelf of the fridge).

Poored a clear golden color.
the smell was very strong alcohol and malt sugars. The smell preceded the taste. Sweet and alcohol with a back of the throat hit of hops. I like this beer but the alcohol hit is a lithe too strong, I would suggest a longer fermentation to mellow this out. Not that I don't like this sensation in say a winter warmer or Christmas beer, rather, then this alcohol taste is welcome. I prefer my IPAs and DIPAs to be less warming and more thirst quenching. I don't mode the ABV being high, I just don't want to taste it. The nice and in my mind saving grace, or the offset to this extreme was the mouthfeel left a pleasant soothing feeling.

I will buy this again, I enjoyed it and will return to it. The mouthfeel and warmth, would be a good IPA for taking to a cold Minnesota Foolball Game.

xmorgan, Jul 29, 2012
Photo of shade13
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

shade13, Jul 25, 2012
Photo of beagle75
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy, light amber color with less than one finger of diminishing custard-tinted foam head. Light scattered lacing remains on the glass.

S: Rich caramel and toasted grain make this smell like a barleywine. Evidence of hops manifests as fairly dark mixed citrus fruit. Trace esters add to the fruit effect. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with dense pale malt that is cakey and toasted. Hop aromatics are not only herbaceous and spicy, but also distinctly minty, in addition to some more typical dark citrus and pine. Flavors become shallower in the middle, more foliage and slight plastic; malt flees. The finish is only mildly bitter and much cleaner than expected, compared to the beginning. No alcohol is detected.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, changing from an alkaline coating at the front of the palate to an acidic burn in the back of the throat, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This large and malty DIPA may have received a true doubling of the grain bill, going by taste and smell alone. Unfortunately that leaves it unbalanced away from the hop component, with little evidence of serious dry-hopping detected. Otherwise it seems to be assembled by-the-book, very predictable. It fails to eclipse Karl Strauss' long-running Big Barrel Fall seasonal DIPA, which remains the best of their high gravity beers.

beagle75, Jul 05, 2012
Photo of Jason
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

LOOK: Clear amber, think high rise of foam

SMELL: Ripe clementine pulp, leafy, herbal, pineapple rind, clean alcoholic esters, biscuity

TASTE: Creamy, bigger body, smooth, alcohol, hop resin, bitter, ripe tropical fruit, citrus rind, peppery, rose water, bread crust, white cherries, bitter finish

This is a massive beer, not the biggest but more inline that the alcohol and hops are extremely expressive / in your face. Only serious hopheads should take this one on.

Jason, Jul 03, 2012
Photo of SocalKicks
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

SocalKicks, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of HalfFull
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a globe glass. Pours goldenrod with a touch of orange haze and offers a half inch of whitish foam. Moderate retention and some artsy lace.

Aroma of malt and some resinous hops, giving way to a notable orange citrus underbelly. Bit of caramel and yeast. Fairly well integrated but not overly robust in the hops department, yet the ABV is well cloaked behind the somewhat malty delivery.

Flavor is more neutral with some pale malt and just a hint of caramel and with a spicy hop character. Bit of citrus spice on the finish and with a moderate lingering yet soft bitterness. Malt is obvious but not overdone but gets a bit rich over time.

Feel is slick and a bit oily with orange and a bit of caramel. Carbonation is lighter than the pour might suggest but firms up a bit with warming. Overall a decent brew that improves with warming and worh a visit.

HalfFull, Jun 10, 2012
Photo of tobelerone
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer a good deal more than the BA consensus, it seems. Perhaps I got a particularly fresh bottle (thanks ChefBergo for the extra), but this was a good, though certainly not great, DIPA. It looks great; lightly hazed burnished orange color; fluffy white head, good retention and lacing. Very much a citrus forward nose; lots of orange or tangerine, as well as lemon and grapefruit, with some sweet caramel maltiness blending in well.

The flavor is also quite citrusy; surprisingly so, with prominent tangerine notes as well as the aforementioned lemon and grapefruit. True there is a prominent malt character to this beer, one that’s not so much in keeping with the typical San Diego style, but it didn’t seem overbearing or outshine the hop character. Lightly sweet caramel flavor and middle-of-the-road bitterness. Finishes semi-dry. I could see how this one might lean towards the overly malty if it wasn’t very fresh but my bottle certainly didn’t have that problem. Booze is well-hidden

The body is medium-full and carbonation is just a touch under medium; there’s a little bit of creaminess and stickiness to the mouthfeel. Overall this felt pretty spot-on. Again, not a great one and won’t outshine the truly outstanding hoppy beers from the region but this wasn’t bad at all. We had this in a side-by-side with Drake’s Hopocalpyse and preferred this by a small margin, much to our surprise. Worth a shot.

tobelerone, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of kevinho2
2.43/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Serving Type: Bottle, and poured into a proper glass, decent head

Appearance: Amazing amber color with a nice head

Smell: This is where things go wrong. Double IPA from San Diego??? No way, this smells like a hopless malt bomb. This is not what a double IPA should smell like.

Taste: This is not an IPA in the San Diego style much less a 2XIPA. There is a bitterness to combat the sweet malty flavor, but there are no piny, citrus, or floral notes. SDIPA, no way!!

Mouthfeel:Decent to good mouthfeel. It feels like the DIPA style, but it does not follow through with taste or smell

Overall: Not my thing. Taste it for your self. I wish Karl Strauss Brewing the best, they are getting creative again which i support 100%! Keep Brewing!!

kevinho2, Jun 01, 2012
Photo of Mister_Joshy
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Mister_Joshy, May 30, 2012
Photo of hickmancase
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

hickmancase, May 27, 2012
Photo of Nugganooch
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber to pint glass
*Consumed on 05-12-12

A: Tower 20 pours an amber color that is caramel-orange, almost copper hued, displaying some excellent clarity. Big froth of ivory foam head. Some sporatic patches of dots and lace.

S: Pronounced caramel malt aroma. Sugary grains with some super faint underlying pine and florals. An unfortunate precursor of things to come.

T: Balance is malt forward with a heavy handed use of Crystals. Caramel sweet malty bread and just lacking the hops to counter. Does have a moderate bitterness level. With a bit of work I can pull out some hop flavors by way of pine and orange fruit. The alcohol asserts itself in the finish. This is just plain not good. In dire need of a much dryer finish and absurd amount of dry hops to counter the malty sweetness here.

M: Medium heavier body or at least seemingly that way from the sugary malts. Finish is a bit wet with some slight sticky residuals.

D: A caramel malt bomb if that is to your liking but just not the DIPA for me. I expect much more from a founding San Diego brewery.

I don't know how Karl went wrong here. Tower 10 is such a nice IPA and as others have stated this is not a double take on that beer.

NOT worth hoarding!

Nugganooch, May 18, 2012
Photo of MFauver35
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

MFauver35, May 17, 2012
Photo of BruceBruce
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

BruceBruce, May 11, 2012
Photo of heresy22
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

heresy22, May 07, 2012
Photo of srandycarter
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got very curious when I saw the Tower 20 come out.

A- Pretty copper, fair off white head, some cling.

S - Bandaids. Hops. Malt underneath it all.

T - Large malt caramel center, wrapped by hops.

M - Medium body, good carb, ok balance.

D - Nice offering. Def. sessionable.

srandycarter, May 06, 2012
Photo of usofar
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

usofar, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of BucannonXC5
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-oz. bomber into a pint glass. About two fingers of head. Color was caramel honey toffee. Brownish white lacing with some bubbles on the top. Wet, uneven and sporadic film on the sides.

Smelled lemon citrus hops up front. Also some lime piny notes in there. Sweet floral notes. Fairly malty, but still refreshing on the nose.

Very balanced taste, could hardly taste the alcohol. Lemon citrus hops really came through here. The maltiness seemed to balance the citrus hops out. So smooth.

Medium body. Average carbonation. Slight bitter, but smooth finish. Refreshing feeling.

Really liked this beer as I do with most of the ones from Karl Strauss. Smoot h and very drinkable.

BucannonXC5, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of DRen323
4.55/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Without a doubt this instantly became my favorite IIPA. Its not overly hoppy for an IIPA which was nice and it had a nice taste from the get-go. It was smooth, tasted great and I will definitely be going back for another 22 oz of this. I am not sure why others thought this was boring but its not. Its true that its not real hoppy others like others mentioned but dont let that prevent you from trying it. My wife who also likes IPAs like I do could taste the alcohol and wasnt a big fan of the 20 although she does like the tower 10.

DRen323, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of largadeer
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Fred. Thanks, Fred. This was bottled about a week ago.

Appearance: Dark amber body with great clarity, topped by a lasting frothy head. Looks fine, but it's too dark for the style, as though copious amounts of crystal malt were used; an ill omen.

Smell: Smells like...malt. Very sweet, very crystal malt dominant. Pretty clean yeast profile. Some orange and grapefruit hop character, subtle floral notes. Surprisingly bland for a 9.5% DIPA.

Taste & mouthfeel: Sweet caramel malt with some breadiness. Pine and grapefruit hop flavors buried beneath layers of syrupy malt. Mild finish, not much bitterness or bite. Alcohol is well hidden, which is fairly impressive I guess.

Overall: Incredibly boring and blah, but very clean and expertly brewed. Just a completely lackluster recipe.

largadeer, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of HopHead84
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

3/8/2012

Bottle picked up at Karl Strauss Sorrento Valley for $9.50, which is probably 50% more than it will retail for, if history is any indication. I couldn't be happier with the situation. Snifter.

A: Very dark orange and completely transparent with a mountain of beige froth. The head lasts for a minute and yields scattered lacing.

S: Pronounced bread and sweet caramel blend with orange, grapefruit, and tangerine flesh aromatics. It reminds me of an IPA from the Northwest. Pine resin is evident. This is the definition of balance.

T: Very malty. Bready sweetness is balanced by soft orange and grapefruit notes. Caramel makes an appearance. This is not only excessively malty, but the hops are pretty dull as well. It's also a little too alcoholic in the late palate through the finish.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Overall: This is not a Tower 10 take on a Double IPA. It's much maltier than I expected. I was definitely hoping for a much drier beer and not a Northwest style Double IPA. This comes across as bland and uninspired with excessive use of Crystal malt. It's not terrible, but with the hoppy choices I have in San Diego a beer grasping for mediocrity is one I will not buy again.

HopHead84, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of rawfish
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Careful pour nets a rocky two finger high head of off white foam. Retention is near infinite, got to the bottom of the glass and the head was still nearly half a finger. Leaves some sticky lacing on the glass.

Pretty even battle between malts and hops, a touch bready that moves towards sweet honey and blends seemlessly into tangerine, orange and pine resin. Centennial hops add earthy tones. Overwhelmingly orange citrus, earthy and sweet.

Crystal malt provides alot of heft in the malt bill along with sweet rolls, and honey. Hop profile is strong orange citrus and pine, not overly resinous, good bitter kick but the finish is quickly overwhelmed with some abrasive solvent alcohol. Dries well in the finish with some bitter pine and residual caramel sweeteners.

Medium bodied, adequate carbonation and very smooth going down. Loss of some points for alcohol rearing its head on the end of the drink and a rather stick sweet mouth coating.

Pretty decent beer, the parts are all there but it's delivered in parts, malt, hops, booze. Could be a bit tighter. Perhaps a bit overly sweet as well though I'm not bothered by it, Karl Strauss does a good job keeping the ABV down in the nose and the head retention is amazing.

rawfish, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of funkel81
4/5  rDev +10.2%

funkel81, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of mactrail
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sensationally spicy. Rich, tangy, and full of aromatics. So hoppy, but so much more floral and spicy than it is bitter. Sweet and malty but with a tanginess. More like sweet orange than the usual citrus of IPAs. However, it swings into balance with the sharp flavors against the flowers and malt. Golden amber in the glass. Nice lacing.

Brewed for the reopening of the La Jolla location after remodelling this summer. Supposed to be a double version of Tower 10 IPA. In any case it's my favorite DIPA this year. Loads of hops but missing the crazed bitter payback.

mactrail, Oct 28, 2011
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Tower 20 Double IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.