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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

72 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 72
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
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pin
3/5  rDev -17.4%

pin, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of Teleweizen2
3.01/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

Teleweizen2, Apr 28, 2013
Photo of Brennanleroy
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Brennanleroy, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev +10.2%

mhaugo, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of hooliganlife
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

hooliganlife, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of MasterSki
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

MasterSki, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of fishburn
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

fishburn, Nov 12, 2012
Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
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

brentk56, Oct 26, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of Halcyondays
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Halcyondays, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of RblWthACoz
2.98/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

RblWthACoz, Aug 24, 2012
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
2.9/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

OBeerMeGreatOne, Aug 22, 2012
Photo of pepelemofo
4/5  rDev +10.2%

pepelemofo, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber in color with a finger of off-white head. Kind of past its prime, it seems. Sweet caramel and toffee malt with some bready malt. Floral hops and a bit of citrus, but not all that hoppy. A little bit herbal and piney with some floral notes. Sweet toffee and bread, but overall just kind of meh.

womencantsail, Jul 30, 2012
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
Tower 20 Double IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.