BarrelHouse Boss Cox Double Dark IPA | Barrel House Brewing Company

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BarrelHouse Boss Cox Double Dark IPABarrelHouse Boss Cox Double Dark IPA
84 Ratings
BarrelHouse Boss Cox Double Dark IPABarrelHouse Boss Cox Double Dark IPA

Brewed by:
Barrel House Brewing Company
Ohio, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Dogbrick on 05-25-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 |  Reviews: 81
Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, close your eyes, take a sip. Nothing dark about this beer early on. The bold hop flavor (oranges, lemons, grapefruit, lemongrass, pine) deliver a delicious balance of a herbal, fruity boquet that floats above a firm pillow of malts. The malts do gain intensity as the hops subsite and nestle into the back of the throat. Toasty, bready, malty sweetness rises to balance the hop bitterness and complement the resiny flavors right before the hops tear into astringent textures. Quite soft and has a good weight to it, with enough alcohol to cut throught the thickness, and before the hops dry the beer out too much. Now open your eyes. It's a dark amber hue with impressive head formation and retention. I liken this beer to North Coast Red Seal, but just bigger in every aspect and a more rounded hop character. Another home run by my neighbors to the North.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a hazy ruby color and a tan head that leaves some lacing

Smell: Modest roasted aroma

Taste: Roasty milk chocolate start that is joined, mid-palate, by a harsh bitterness that persists into the finish; this bitterness is almost medicinal but, as the beer warms, is joined by a sweet toffee aspect

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This is one schizophrenic beer! A valiant, though flawed effort, it is ultimately marred by the harsh, grainy finish; it's like a black and tan using an IPA and a Porter and is worth sampling, however

On tap at Kaldi's, which should be commended for its focus on local beers - and to think its not even listed on BA, yet! (I just sent it to the bros for approval.)

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.45/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired from nlmartin courtesy of Birthday Club 2, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color with a large light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, citrus and dark fruit along with a good amount of hops.

T: The taste is quite well-balanced with flavors of caramel, dark fruit, citrus and a good amount of roasted malts. There’s a very strong hops presence, which when I debated whether or not this was a “Double Dark IPA” or a hoppy porter or stout, made me realize it was definitely the former and not the latter.

M: Very smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is pretty clean.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, very nice kick, good representation of style while adding a twist to it, this is certainly a most intriguing beer that has a lot of different aspects to it, but it also has all of the favorable qualities to make this beer as drinkable as any beer can be. The only thing I don’t like about this beer is that it’s not available in my area.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.11/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, medium bown body with a small white head.

Smell: Faint, malty aroma with a light brown sugar quality to it. Hints of citrus.

Taste: Mild dark toffee sweetness with more mild hints of citrus and finishes with a tea-like bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Soft carbonation.

Drinkability: What an odd duck. Could use a bit more sweetness to offset the bittness, but then again, when don't I say that?

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Double Dark IPA is definitely dark, but it isn't 'Double Dark'. Boss Cox is an appealing 'autum leaves' combination of brown, red and orange that looks like rusted bronze (if bronze could rust). The golden orange cap looks to be full of hop resins due to the wonderful display of Belgian lace that is currently sticking to all available surfaces.

After perusing the ingredients listed on the brewery's website, the nose is something of a letdown. This should be a caramel malty, tropical fruity IPA of the highest order, but it's too tame to be more than just pretty good. A toffee-like background is complemented by a citric hoppiness that doesn't favor any one member of the hop bill (Perle, Cluster, Cascade, Saaz and Simcoe). What are those Czechoslovakians doing in there?

I had my taste buds set on a beer similar to Stone 11th Anniversary Ale. That is, a black IPA. Boss Cox is more of a brown IPA since the darker malts (darker than caramel malt, anyway) weren't used. I know that I'm splitting hairs, but it tastes most like an especially hoppy brown ale. Given the lack of viscosity and a decent job of alcohol masking, it weighs in somewhere between a standard brown and an Imperial brown.

That's all fine and dandy, but is it good? Yeah, kinda. The maltiness has a semi-earthy vibe (like an Oktoberfest) rather than a sweetish caramel vibe, which is the biggest reason why my enthusiasm is somewhat blunted. I'm also reminded of leather and tobacco as the beer warms. In addition, none of the hops really shines in terms of flavor transfer. It's hoppy and nicely bitter, it just isn't bursting with distinctive lupulin flavor.

The mouthfeel is American IPA appropriate. The thing is, I think BarrelHouse designed it to be bigger than that (if the ABV is any indication). Things are acceptably smooth, but not overly creamy, with a hint of mouthcoating on the swallow.

Boss Cox Double Dark IPA, although interesting, doesn't quite come together as well as I'd hoped. My suggestion is to add a meaningful amount of chocolate/black/roasted malt and to add even more hops. That should result in a beer that delivers on the promise of its name.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.36/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Liquor Barn, Decanted cellar temp into my Dupont Session glass.

A - Deep chestnut brown w/ good clarity and a nice beige 3 finger head w/ a very fine bead. Smatterings of lace speckle the glass.

S - Light metallic odors w/ vegetal and floral hints. Slight spice and citrus w/ a touch of medicinal aroma.

M - Very thin for the strength, slightly boozy w/ a touch of dry powdery malt and tart stone fruit..

T - Caramel and a subtle note of quince and bitter orange w/ a toasted grain and lemongrass flavor. The taste has more boozy and ruby red as the al verges on room temperature. The sugary malt and leafy hop w/ a hint of pine in the final tastes. Nice citrus and crystal malt w/ a nice brown sugar and citrus twist.

D - This is a nice darker malt Ipa a bit big for its britches, but still not something I would pass up, a nice blend of malts and acidity/sweetness in the flavor. I think the abv shows a little and the mouthfeel left something to be desired.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this one up when I was last in Ohio. I stopped in when Rick was still there and was able to hang out for a while with him, and got this one directly from the source, along with a fine sampling of the rest of their lineup. Nice 22oz bomber that was pour generously into my Imperial pint glass at cellar temperature.

Appearance - The pour was very dark, with almost a dopplebock color to it, a rich dark brown, with decent enough clarity to let a little bit of a light shine through on the bottom and sides of the glass. A decent two inch head of off white foam then came up over the top and gradually settled down to a decent crown that stayed across the top and a nice amount of side glass lacing.

Smell - The aroma was a malt bomb, at least at first, with rich cereal malts and earthy tones that were dominating the aroma. S it warmed there was a decent touch of pine that started to come out, and that was nice, and helped balance it out much better. Still though, this was a very malty big IPA.

Taste - The flavor was very similar to the aroma, and being driven entirely by the malts put in. There was a deep cereal like bready quality I picked up on, with dark roasted malts thrown in. A touch of a light smoked flavor. Very dark, with the hops not showing up too well at first. Letting it warm seems to have brought out a touch of caramel, and a resin like pine hops that we were looking for. It was somewhat overshadowed again by the caramel and smoky malts, but it was still very good.

Mouthfeel - A very thick beer, especially for the style, I was a bit surprised by how full this actually was. Nice creamy smooth texture and a good carbonation never let it feel dull in anyway and kept the profile lively.

Drinkability - It was a hefty beer coming in at around 9%, but the alcohol was remarkably well covered up. A nice touch of warming from it, but otherwise, this was very drinkable and a very solid beer.

Overall I thought this was very good, and very different from what I have seen in the style before. I would recommend giving this one a shot as it is more then decent and relatively cheep. A solid beer.

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Photo of Billolick
3.82/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber bottle, no freshness/bottling info, but I do like the label's indication showing that this is a hoppy and dark brew. Pours dark mohogony amber, under a short lived tan head, that morphs to a tiny bubble film with a ring remaining around the edges of the glass. Nose is mostly of sweet malt, with some earthy hay mixed in. Easy drinking, sessionable, dark,mostly malty and tasty creation. I like my "IPAs" on the hoppy side and this one could you more of a crunch of that type to make me reach for this one again.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
2.96/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Okay. You know this is all getting out of hand when it isn't just a double IPA. Now it's a Double DARK ipa. Ahhh. I wonder how many adjectives are out there to use.

Pours a darker brown. Tan head that falls and leaves a very small layer on the top of the brew. Nose is, well, boring. This is a DIPA. I mean a DDIPA. It should have at least something interesting going on the nose. Bad show, my friend. Bad show. Flavor is going to take some work to nail down. My first impressions were along the lines of: "ack!", "bleh!", and "what the hell?" Bitter is the theme here with mild caramel fighting for some space on the palate. It's not even worth getting into. Feel has so much carbonation that it very much interferes with the flavor profile. This is not drinkable. And I will not be finishing it. Waste of $.

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Photo of Gavage
3.03/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: copper in color with a 1/2" head that lingers around awhile. No lacing develops.

Smell: caramel and a hint of alcohol was not not as pleasant as it should be.

Taste: loads of caramel, citrus, big malt sweetness, and a large hop bitterness are picked up by the tastebuds, but they seem unbalanced and overbearing. Mild alcohol tones rounds it out.

Mouthfeel: smooth with a light crispness at the start. Medium-heavy in body. Long aftertaste as the sweetness and bitterness linger around awhile.

Drinkability: average beer here. The flavors try to be big but they just don't marry well. Not one I would recommend.

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

Thanks to Dave Schuster for tossing this into a Darkness Day deal. Poured into one of my trusty steins. I suppose it's appropriate that this is a Dark IPA...

A - Huge tan head, tons of lacing, excellent retention - so why only a four? The color is hideous, a kind of drab murky brown, with only nice cherry wood coloration at the fringes.

S - Sweet citrus hops with a bit of lemon and pine, but also some caramel & toffee flavors. Smell is rather understated and doesn't leap out of the glass.

T - Taste is...not what I expected. There some toffee-like sweetness, some smoke character, a bitter hop aftertaste, and a boozy flavor in there for which I don't care much. It's not bad, but not great either, and definitely doesn't taste like an IPA (American or British).

M - A little chalky, thin, and over-carbonated for my liking. Minor complaints as it's otherwise smooth, creamy, and solid.

D - It's OK - I finished a bomber by myself. It tastes like an 8.6% beer. Kind of interesting as a novelty, but not something I'd seek out again.

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Photo of brandoman63
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of bluejacket74
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a mahogany color with about an inch tan head. It smells like grassy and lemony hops, with some caramel malt in there too. Not an overpowering aroma, but still nice. Although this is an IPA, it's a pretty balanced beer as far as the taste goes. The taste is pretty equal in hops and malt, tasting like grassy/citrus hops, caramel, sweet malt and bread. Mouthfeel is light/medium with medium carbonation, and it's a bit slick and smooth. Drinkability is OK, it goes down easy and the alcohol isn't very noticeable at all. Overall I think it's a decent beer. Not great, but certainly drinkable.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.86/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

(Served in a bottle)

A- This beer pours a crystal clear but a bit dense body of warm brown and a creamy thick light tan head. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles that keeps the head going for a bit.

S- This beer has a bright green pine hops flavor with some pungent hop note at the finish. As the beer warms there are some faint hints of dark toasted malts but they smell a bit watery.

T- This beer has a bitter pungent green hops taste that is followed by a hint of sweet caramel and a more faint hint of dark toasted malt. There is a slight sour note to the hops and a plastic flavor but the finish is pure bitterness. The bitterness in the hops is a soft dandelion bitterness without the flavor. That bitterness lingers a bit after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture and a faint alcohol finish.

D- This beer is all bitterness in the hops and very little malt flavors. I enjoy big hops but there was no flavor to the hops only bitterness. I couldn’t finish this beer it was just not worth it.

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Photo of DrJay
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of mikesgroove. Thanks!
Clear, light brown in colour with a bit of a reddish hue. The pour produced a two finger cap of dark beige bubbles that settled very slowly. Chunky clumps of foam clung to the glass. The initial aroma was a combination of brown sugar and mild pine. As it warmed, notes of honey, cereal grains, and a bit of fruit appeared. Bitterness was solid, but not overbearing, with a bit of a kick towards the end along with some piney hops. The flavour was mostly malt, some toffee and grain, apples, maybe a hint of cherry in the finish. Just a bit of alcohol was also apparent in the finish, along with some warmth. Medium bodied with average carbonation, but nicely integrated. This is really an odd duck. There were things I really liked about it and things that I couldn't put my finger on that didn't quite sit right. Definitely an interesting beer.

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Photo of Viggo
3.91/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, opened by my main man grub!

Pours a slightly hazed red/brown, thick tan head forms, very nice lace, good retention, sticks around. Smell is caramel and honey, fruits, some sugars, apples, a little weird. Taste is grains, some toffee, bread, citrus, brown sugar, molasses, apples, very interesting! Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, very smooth going down, pretty neat beer, with good points and not so good points. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of TurdFurgison
2.86/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into pint glass. The appearance was dark burnt copper with a nice 2-3 finger foam on top. Not bad so far, but everything falls apart once I smell and taste it. I didn't know what to expect froma "double dark IPA", but I guess I expected at least a definable IPA flavor if not a DIPA flavor. Instead I got what seemed to be a strange experiment with homebrew. The aroma was hoppy I guess (there were several types of hops in there based on the bottle description) but not really appetizing. Maybe that's too subjective, let's say I expected more hops in there. The hops that I did detect were competing with raisins in the aroma. The flavor was bitter but without a compensating sweetness from malt, it was just badly done in my opinion. I didn't like it at all.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.23/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rich transparent reddish brown, it generates a very thick and fluffy tan head when poured. Aroma is strong and hoppy, with a hint of spice and a touch of molasses. Flavor is mainly hoppy but surprisingly the bitterness level is low; there is a hint of sweetness. Texture is very smooth, and aftertaste has nice mix of hop bitterness and treacle-like sweetness.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cask version at Barley’s 4th Annual Mini RAF (05/13/06): Easily the darkest IPA I have ever seen. Pours brownish-amber with a thick and foamy beige head with good retention. Sticky, spotty lacing. Strangely sweet aroma of malt, cotton candy and caramel. Medium body with some bitter hops character that is at war with the oddly sweet elements. More malt and caramel flavors are found throughout. The finish is moderately bitter with a citrus aftertaste. I am curious if this is a blend of IPA and Brown Ale or something along those lines. Definitely interesting, however it doesn’t quite come together. I am all for Barrelhouse continuing to experiment like this though.

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Photo of prototypic
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It pours a clear, dark reddish brown color. Head is a massive two fingers. Retention was great and a thick coat lace lined the glass.

Smell: Very sweet up front. Great combo of caramel-toffee malts and citrus sweetness (mostly grapefruit, lemon, and mango). Hops are piney and strong.

Taste: Caramel malts and citrus flavors are sweet initially. Hops do provide a bitter factor to it, but not quite like I was expecting. Malt actually balances it out a little too much. Somewhat yeasty and leaves the palate quite dry.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: It's medium bodied. Carbonation is okay. Relatively smooth and drinkable. Drinkability is somewhat limited by its strength. Overall, it's a pretty good effort.

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Photo of gford217
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber courtesy of zapata poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear deep ruby reddish brown with a small off-white head. Head lingers a little bit leaving only a trace of lacing.

S: Smell is dominated by smeet malts with a bit of caramel. I only get the mildest hop aroma.

T: Taste is a slightly stronger version of the smell. Big caramel malt taste up front with some fruits, maybe raisins, mixed in. The hops are present at the finish, but this is a really sugary sweet brew that doesn't much resemble an IPA.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth with moderate carbonation. There's no hop bitterness that I can detect.

D: This is a decent sweet malty beer that I have a hard time comparing to other IPAs. It's drinkable enough but that's about it.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single, 22 oz bomber copped from New Beer Distributors on Chrystie Street in Manhattan...
First-ever beer from this Ohio brewery...
In terms of appearance, this brew poured very dark for an IPA... Color was a ruddy, ruby-red with a copper tint that left no head and very minimal lacing...
Aroma was hoppy with hints of alcohol that pervaded from the hefty 8.6% ABV...
Taste was dominated by slight hops, caramel, vanilla and balanced out by a hint of malts... The finish was very sweet and not at all bitter, leading me to question the assertiveness of the hops in this brew...
Medium-bodied, subdued hop flavor with slight alcohol on the tongue...
Loose, slightly watered-down mouthfeel...
Not the best depiction of the style...

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Photo of hopdog
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottles acquired in a couple of trades.

Poured a deeper mahogany color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, citrus, butterscotch candies, and some pine. The caramel and butterscotch dominate. Tastes of caramel, citrus, and a little earthy. Malts dominate with the hoppiness taking a back seat. Alcohol well hidden. Weaker body.

Notes from 8/30/07

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Photo of Kendo
3.36/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: From a bomber into a Duvel oversized tulip. Body is dark brown, becoming almost ruby-red when backlit. There's a 1-finger tan head that settles quickly. Some splotchy lacing.

S: Sweet: caramel malt, ripe apples and dark fruit, with a hint of citrusy hops. Also a solvent-like smell, presumably from the alcohol, that at times reminds me faintly of glue.

T: Like the nose, it's mainly sweet: dark fruit, caramel malt and roasted malt. Overall impression is that it's fruitier than expected. Finishes with a slightly tart bitterness that calls to mind green apples.

M: Lighter in weight than exected -- call it lighter side of medium.

D: OK.

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Photo of merlin48
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle pours a clear chestnut body with a generous beige head. Some sheet lacing adorns the glass. Aroma is grapefruity citrus hops, a hint of milk chocolate, and caramel. Nicely carbonated with a medium body. Taste is bitter grapefruity hops, caramel, mild roast, chocolate, and caramel malt. Not exactly an IPA but I don't know what else you'd call it. Very tasty and quite drinkable.

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BarrelHouse Boss Cox Double Dark IPA from Barrel House Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.61 out of 5 with 84 ratings