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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

76 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 76
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.36%
Wants: 5
Gots: 11 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 76 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of shade13
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of hickmancase
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Brennanleroy
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of jenray
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Mister_Joshy
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with an impressive head; performs well in both the stickage and lacing departments

Smell: Bready, meaty and malty, with undertones of toffee

Taste: Crusty bread and toffee, with the bitterness developing rapidly; not particularly citrusy or piney, as I would have expected, but more in an earthy direction; nicely balanced, after the swallow, between the malt and the hops though the finish is a bit too sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not a bad beer but far from the top echelon of DIPAs

Thanks, cocoapuph, for the opportunity

Photo of HalfFull
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Photo of hooliganlife
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pour was a a cloudy golden yellow with thick creamy and foamy head, about an inch or so.

very malty on nose with some light hops. not a lot of depth except for sweet malt.

flavor was similar, this was far more malt forward than hop forward. no idea what the date on this is. lots of sweet caramel and toffee, faint slight bitter citrus hops.

full body, mild bite, no trace of alcohol burn. pretty smooth.

overall, not what i want in a double IPA. it was not bad, but was not stand out.

Photo of beagle75
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

Photo of HopHead84
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a burnt orange with a small white head, good retention, limited lace.

S: Sweet malt with a lot of citrus, mango and lemon rind.

T: Malt heavy with some juicy hops. Grapefruit, lemon zest and a fair dose of mint. Hint of tropicality, some light pineapple is in there.

M: Medium to full-bodied. Sticky, oily, and resiny. Some crisp carbonation that gets a bit spritzy in the finish.

O: An old school style Double IPA where the malt is to the forefront. Reminds me of something out of the Pacific Northwest. A solid effort, but too overpriced for what it is.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap for the 4th Annual LA Beer Week Beer Festival at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a slightly hazy orange with a foamy 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 fruit, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with a candy-like sweet flavor on the finish. There is a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that smells better than it tastes.

Photo of MasterSki
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from javib458. Bottle has 13.12 1432 displayed on it; not sure what that means. Served in a Darkness tulip.

A - Two fingers of white foam settle cap, leaving behind copious lacing. Transparent dark golden body with numerous bubbles visible.

S - No idea on freshness, but this is fairly malt-forward. Mix of citrus, brown sugar, and caramel, with some bread and tropical fruits in the periphery. The alcohol is reasonably well-hidden.

T - The taste has more toffee, biscuit, bread, and brown sugar, with online mild hop flavor. There's some citrus zest and pine as well as a low level of bitterness. Perhaps even a faint hint of cocoa from the crystal malt. Again, reasonably well hidden alcohol, but not much else to report.

M - Fairly dry, medium in body, with only mild alcohol warmth in the finish. Carbonation is pleasant and unobtrusive.

D - It's a double IPA, and while it doesn't have any major problems it's not really what I'm looking for from the style. Either this is exceptionally malty in design, or the lack of freshness dating results in old stock being sold to ignorant customers. In either case, it's hard for me to recommend. If you insist on trying this, have it on-tap at one of the many Karl Strauss locations so you can verify freshness.

Photo of largadeer
3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

Photo of Teleweizen2
3.01/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - pours a crystal clear orangey auburn color. 2 fingers of thick off-white foam dissipates rather quickly but leaves a web of lacing on the glass.

S - the nose seems a bit muted overall. Lots of warm, gooey,sweet caramel notes. Hints of candied citrus peel and grapefruit pulp. there is quite a bit of leafy green and vegetal notes as well.

T - crispy bread crust and chewy caramel notes dominate the front plate. Hints of sweet cherries quickly add a bit of depth to the flavor. Snappy citric bitterness comes forth mid palate along with piney and herbal qualities. Finish is warming and piney with a hint of cherries.

M - creamy textured full bodied with high carbonation.

O - an alight beer but i definitly did not drink it in the time frame i should have. But to be honest i feel i have a decent idea of what it would taste like if it where fresher and while i'm sure its much better i doubt my scores would change much.

Photo of pin
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of Trix247
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of LegalBrew87
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of RblWthACoz
2.98/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

They should call this beer a double malty ale. It's all about the malts here, with some hop tones coming in a very far second place. It's drinkable, definitely. Smooth? Sure. Consistent? Yes. But, this is not what anyone would imagine a double ipa being. Definitely not bringing what needs to be for the style.

Photo of Nugganooch
2.93/5  rDev -19.5%
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!

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
2.9/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice gold/orange with about an inch of head. It leaves a decent amount of sticky lace behind.

The smell is blood orange, mineral and light malts. A bit of booze peeks through which makes me cringe a little (and I heart big beers, so it normally isn't a problem.)

I get pale malts right at the start with a heavy slap of citrus and mineral hops soon after. This would be fine if a heavy alcohol heat didn't follow the hops. I like the hop punch but wish the alcohol wasn't as noticable. Goes down hot and hard.

I wish there was more to this brew. It has the hops but doesn't deliver them as well as I would have liked. Not a drain pour, but I won't pick it up again unless they tinker with the recipe a bit.

Photo of jose_alehouseSD
2.75/5  rDev -24.5%

Tower 20 Double IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.