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Big Barrel Double IPA | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding
97 Reviews
Big Barrel Double IPABig Barrel Double IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company
California, United States
karlstrauss.com

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by LongBeachHopHead on 11-15-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
97
Ratings:
265
Avg:
4.11
pDev:
16.79%
 
 
Wants:
50
Gots:
49
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 265
Photo of armock
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a copper color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of a lot of grapefruity hops

T - Follows the nose with grapefruit hops

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - Its a good beer overall a little average for a DIPA from San Diego I'd get again its worth a try

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Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a nice looking golden color with a bit of orange to it and a finger's worth of white head.

S: Quite a bit of sweet caramel maltiness with some slightly grassy and citrusy hops. A little maltier/sweeter than I like, but not too bad.

T: The hops have really died out from the flavor. A bit of grass and citrus with only a mild pine on the finish. Quite sweet and malty, lots of caramel.

M: The body is nice and a bit on the full side for an IPA. Moderately carbonated.

D: As I noted in the aroma, this is a bit on the sweet side for my tastes. Still not bad, but I would prefer a bigger, more pungent hop character.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

6/3/2010

On tap at Churchill's during game 1 of the NBA Finals. The beer is dark golden with a big white head and scattered lacing.

The nose is mostly Nelson hops, with notes of grape, grapefruit rind and flesh, and a little pine. There's a solid caramel malt foundation beneath the hops. Nice aroma.

The flavor is also strongly off Nelson hops, with a moderate bitterness, a little alcohol, and a near balancing caramel malt base. The hop flavor is of grapefruit, grape, orange, and a touch of pine. The finish is dry with lingering bitterness, grape, and grapefruit. A nice Nelson hop Double IPA and a noble effort from a normally lackluster brewery.

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Photo of emagana
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this one at BevMo in simi valley. Pours a copper orange with about a finger worth of head.
the aromas really take hold after the pour and the pinny citrus really calles you in. the aroma as you near is subtle and not over powering. hints of great fruit and citrus.
starts off smooth and not harsh which is a plus . follows with a subtle hop resin bitterness. well balanced and a definite plus. cant beleive this is in the 9 percentile abv.

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Photo of Overlord
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, Karl Strauss really stepped their game up with this one!

Pours a bright glowing orange. Big four or five inch white foam head. Long lasting foam and bubbles. Nice juicy yet appropriately carbonated mouthfeel.

Smells like funky grapefruit-y ... ganga-ness ... and some tropical juices. Surprising amount of caramel in the flavor.

Well, it's certainly not a hop-forward DIPA, but rather a balanced, pleasantly drinking one. Juicy tropical notes, some grapefruit, a bit of pine, but not much (it ain't very bitter), and a grain-y caramel malt backbone. Interesting. Unexpected.

I'd recommend.

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Photo of jlindros
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this interesting looking guy thanks to imperialbeachbrw.

A: Fluffy white 1 finger head fades slowly over a mostly clear dark amber orange color with a touch of haze.

N: Lots of chewy hops, some fresh musty citrus, little wet hop resin, touch of pine, some malts, sweet malts, with a bit of aged hops gives it that slight nougat aroma, a touch of barrel aroma. I'm really enjoying this nose.

T: Pretty bitter with some chewy hops, dry taste and mouth, touch of tingly booze. Some heavy sweet malts. A little fresh hop resin, touch of citrus, but overall mostly just bittering hops that give quite a bit of bitterness.

M: Medium body with decent carbonation.

F: Mostly dry mouth that accentuates the heavy bitterness that hits. My mouth is bombareded with hops and bitterness. A little tingly booze and lingering malty sweetness (just the taste of it not the actual sweetness). A little hop resin also lingers. A bit more hop character rather than just bitterness would have bumped this one up a bit. Also drinks really well for 90 IBUs and 9% abv.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So A growler of this one shows up on my porch last week and I could not have been happier. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 05/15/2010.

Nice pour, rich amber in color with a nice level of carbonation that could be seen streaming up toward the top of the glass. A smallish head of maybe an inch or so capped the top of the glass and settled down slowly with a light lacing all down the sides.

Deep citrus aroma, pineapple, mango, grapefruit are all represented quite well. Warming brings out some nice mellow and well balanced malt notes sprinkled in throughout now as well. Really again very nicely done. Crisp and biting hops are right up front, piercing the palate with tons of clean and bitter fruit notes. Each sips seems to get better and better as the medium feel really lets the flavor coat the palate and soak in. Final sips are long and drawn out and full of citrus spikes.

Overall this is one of the better doubles out there. You really should give this one a try if you can.

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Photo of gford217
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to turboedtwo for this bottle.

It's a gorgeous pour with a deep clear amber body with a steady stream of bubbles feeding a rocky off-white head that shows excellent retention and lacing.

The aroma is a combination of citrus fruits, pine and white grapes. There is some sweet malty aromas and a hint of earthy spices as well.

The taste has an even spicier character up front with some pine resin and the distinctive Nelson Sauvin chardonnay-type thing going on. The finish is sticky with pine resin hops.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and sticky with moderate carbonation.

I don't have much experience with this brewery but I really enjoy this one. It's a great DIPA with a distinctive spicy character that makes it fairly unique.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a amberish copper into my tulip with a good finger head that had pretty good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lovely hop aromas right away on the first whiff but not over bareing that also allow the some sweet malts to come thru.

T: nice hoppy bang with good bitterness and again not too sweet which had a pretty good balance between the hops.

M: meduim to full body with some good carbonation.

D: will definitely be drinking this one again and glad that I can go to the local liquor and pick some up.

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Photo of natelocc787
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light caramel color, lacing was extravagant. I consumed this in my Duchess beer/wine glass and when the beer was gone, a blanket of lace covered every inch of the inside surface. I am seriously tempted to upload the pic and post a link. Rivaled by none, equaled by few. Very, very smooth drink, very mellow with candied bitter citrus fruits crusted with white and brown sugar. Lots of caramel and lots of hops although this is balanced almost perfectly. Mouthfeel is heavy, thick and smooth with understated carbonation. Very impressive from a brewery I have not been very impressed with up until this point.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.85/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a New Glarus pint glass from a growler.

A: A mix hued of copper and gold, this brew exhibited a massive off-white head. The lacing was pretty foamy as well.

S: Tons of pine and wet forest smell that is followed up by a sweet malt aroma. Amazing! Reminds me so much of Alpine's Nelson. The Nelson Sauvin hops are beautifully displayed in this beer.

T: Nelson Sauvin hop juice, sweet and sugary malt body, and a little hot. One of the better balanced DIPA's out there...with tons of flavor of course.

M: A little oily and creamy in the beginning, but then develops a nice dry finish.

D: Literally had 2/3 of a growler to myself! Yeah, that good!

Overall: I might have to put this over Alpine's Nelson. A must try. Cheers!

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can you have too many big IPA's from San Diego? Karl Strauss now has one. 22 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

Shines to a light, the beer features a glowing orange color to it, a darker orange hue really. The head is thick and creamy, shows little sign of going down, and is leaving lots of creamy, spotty lacing in the glass. Yep, those hops seem faded. Don't worry, there's still some good stuff. Faded tropical notes with some resin and pine. It can still taste good.

I agree with Halcyondays that by now, Big Barrel DIPA is more barleywine-like at this stage. That's not a bad thing though. The Nelson Sauvin hops are still noticable in the tasting notes, with moderate intensity. Easy resin and tropical notes. The beer isn't really bitter at all, creating a smmoth and easy drinking beer.

Being aged, this DIPA is worth a try. Being fresh, this beer must make a hophead scream with joy. I'd love to try this fresh.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.86/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber, picked up at Mr. Kegs for $5,

A: Pours amber with an long lasting thick white head, full of lacing.

S: Standard DIPA - bitter melon, cantaloupe, white grapefruit. Mango and banana are secondary, but come out a lot more when the beer warms.

T: Sweet candy malt/toffee initially with a lot of orange action. More bitter pine and citrus flavours come in on the back end with mango (which I remember as a distinct note in the Nelson Sauvin Mikkeller IPA). At 6 months or so, we're starting to get a barleywine.

M: Resiny, sticky, chewy, long and full aftertaste. Soft carbonation which I liked.

D: A sipper and an interesting one at that. A unique DIPA, I wish I could have tried it on release, but I can't go back in time.

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a three finger head that leaves all matter of lace around the pint

Smell: Those Nelson Sauvin hops really have a unique aroma - a combination of citrus and sauvignon blanc grape

Taste: Opens with a nod to the biscuit and then off we go on a bitter hop trip, with citrus pith, pineapple and mango; after the swallow, the sauvignon blanc grape character adds a vinous and vegetal complexity

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Even as the beer approaches the six month mark, there are plenty of hops to make this a delightful quaff; kudos to Karl Strauss for this one

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Photo of guinness310
4.54/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This iIPA poured into a snifter delivers a dark orange body with lots of bubbles streaming inside it and a full fluffy off-white head that leaves nice lacing. head dessipates fairly quickly.

The nose is of wonderful Orange zest and aromatic hops. ethyl alcohol is barely visible on the scent.

Nice citrusy mouthfeel with a slight tartnes. Orange/Peach flavours arouse the tounge as bittering hops tingle the palate. Ethyl is subtle in this mild bodied beer. Good lacing.

A very drinkable and enjoyable treat.

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Photo of DennisD
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz...
Appearance: Amber/orange, good head
Smell: Piney, grapefruit, pleasant
Taste: Bitter, citrus, hoppy, refreshing, slight malt undertone, pleasant piny aftertaste
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, nice
Drinkability: Very nice. Really enjoyed this beer and will buy it again.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.53/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into my pint glass.

Quite dark honey/amber/orange in color. Very Clear. Monstorous 2 and half finger slightly off white head. Head retention is fantastic (about a one finger head remains) with very nice lacing hanging around.

Smells of sweet honey malts as well as some dank, very pineapple/mango hop fragrance. Mostly the mango/pineapple smell coming through. Nice big nose.

Tastes follows smell. Bread and barley up front. Then mango/grapefruit hops dominate the honey malt backbone. Very nice resiny hop bitterness comes through on the back end.

Medium bodied, lots of tiny prickly bubbles. Carbonation is good, nice crisp finish. Smooth and creamy.

Very drinkable DIPA. Gotta tip my hat to Mr. Strauss on this one. I tried red trolley ale once, and pretty much wrote the brewery off as another "micro" with a tendency to try to appeal to the masses. This one is ready to satisfy the most discerning beer drinkers though.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber that I got from South Bay thru ummagum into a tulip. No dating info on bottle but was a seasonal release in Oct 09 so fresh but probably some hop fading. Was a hazy amber orange color with good central carb streams. It had a large fluffy off-white head that slowly settled into a small foam cap and thick collar. Great lacing with most sticking.

The aroma, even though faded a bit, is still excellent. Citric hops with tropical fruit twist from the Nelson Sauvin hops. Also grapefruit, pine and sweet malt. Good sniffer. The taste follows the aroma with the unique taste of the Nelson hops out front. Good pine levels with good malt balance. Starts out sweet then the hops kick in and then finish slightly bitter. Really enjoyed this one. Mouthfeel is creamy with resin and good carb levels. Good after taste.

Overall, an excellent ADIPA that I highly recommend. Very comparable to Ballast Points Nelson which also highlights the Nelson Sauvin hops. Good hop aroma and flavor and not too bitter. Rotation[N/S:C] - seasonal and not available here in TX. Got thru South Bay. If here, couple a season.

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Photo of Sideswipe
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. The beer is a hazy orange, amber color with three fingers of off white foam. The head stays on this one, dissipating to one finger that remains as I drink. The hop aroma is instantly apparent, strong citrus notes, grapefruit, orange, very nice. Pine is largely absent, but that's ok, this beer smells great as is! The malt makes it's presence known at first sip. Sweet caramel, followed by a tounge punch of bittering hops. This beer gets better with every drink. Hops hang around making the finish dry and bitter. Mouthfeel is right on for the style, carbonation is not overpowering. ABV is well masked, making this a very drinkable beer for me. An excellent DIPA offering from Karl Strauss. Reccommended!

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Photo of MasterSki
4.26/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Hophead84 for sending a bottle of this my way. There's no date on the bottle, but I'm guessing it's from November based on the other reviews. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip glass.

A - This is pretty much the perfect DIPA pour. Three fingers of soapy white foam that dissipates slowly and leaves glass-coating lace and a thick cap. Slightly hazed golden-copper body with a fiery glow and a stream of bubbles rising up the middle of the glass. This is reference quality for DIPA appearance.

S - The hop character has obviously faded since this was fresh, but there's still a nice amount of tropical fruit and grape hop character. There's not a ton of citrus or pine, but that's not surprising with a hop bill heavy in Nelson Sauvin, Warrior and Ahtanum. At this stage the malt backbone has moved to the forefront, with spicy caramel and rum-soaked cake flavors. I wish I got to try this fresh, but as it stands its still pretty interesting.

T - Again, the caramel malt is starting to take over, but there's some fierce bitterness mixed in. Reminds me a little of fruit punch actually, with the mix of grape, tropical fruit, and sugary malt backbone. The taste has aged better than the smell, although it's approaching a heavily hopped barleywine. Alcohol is extremely well-hidden, and the finish and aftertaste are filled with strong residual bitterness. Probably more of a 4.25, so I'll be generous in other areas.

M - Great enamel-melting sensations. Very soft, creamy texture, with only a bit of mild carbonation tingle. Medium body that's appropriate for the ABV. Not much heat at all. Pretty much what I want from a DIPA.

D - A pleasant surprise form a somewhat under-the-radar beer. I had no problem downing the bomber on my own. I hope I get to try this one again when the make a fresh batch. Best Karl Strauss beer I've tried so far.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Beer is reddish and slightly hazy. Forms a thin white head of small bubbles. Head falls away and break into a diffuse thin layer. Head leaves a lot of lacing behind. Looks good.

Aroma is really weak and disappointing. Its a snifter, it should help the aroma. There is some hops and a little malt.

Beer is medium bodied and has a really odd almost cannabis flavor to it. Its the hops I'm sure but its really pot like. There isn't a lot of sweetness and its surprisingly drinkable. Not my favorite (I don't like the flavor of cannabis) but its pretty good. There are some good citrus flavors.

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Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Darker amber color with finger of white head.

S - Caramel, brown sugar, Pine, and tropical fruit.

T - Tastes of Caramel, Toffee, apple, and apricot.

M - Mouthfeel is above average with good carbonation and nicely balanced.

D - Very drinkable especially considering the 9% ABV.

I will be going out to buy another is a week or so.

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Photo of mjl21
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle poured into a tulip. Comes in at 9%. No bottling info is given.

A-Pours a semi opaque amber with lots of orange when held up to the light. It has a two finger off white head that rests at half its starting level. It leaves some decent patterns of lace.

S-Lots of juicy citrus, particularly grapefruit and orange, along with some dried grass. There is some caramel sweetness. Deserves a 4.25 score.

T-Like the nose, it has lots of juicy citrus flavor upfront along with some grassy flavor. The fruit/grass flavor gives it a unique flavor as compared to other WC DIPAs. There is some lingering peppery spiciness. The caramel malt is noticeable and contains the advertised 90 IBUs. I found it to have a nice bitterness level that was not over the top.

M-It falls on the low end of the medium spectrum and is a touch watery. It is smooth and well carbonated.

D-A pretty good DIPA that is not in the upper echelon of great SD DIPAs. I would say the hops have begun to fade a little on this bottle.

My first bottled offering from these guys. I would have loved to try this a month or so earlier as the hops have lost some of their flavor. Would love to try fresh from the tap.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber bought at LaBodega in Riverside, CA., for $5.99 in January 2010.

Pours a golden-copper color, slightly hazy, with an initial burst of carbonation, which quickly dies off.

Aroma is definitely a DIPA hop profile, but generally thinner and lighter than the typcial West Coast variety- more IPA like in its intensity.

But when tasted, the full flavored DIPA profile is there- rich bready malts, and grapefruity bitter hops. For me, with DIPAs, I often look for balance amongst the hops, rather than balance of the overall beer. By that I mean a mix of sweet, fruity, oily, and piney notes in the hops. This one leans to the more sour/bitter fruits (grapefruit over orange), with the other elements well represented. Maybe it's me, but I miss the sweeter orange notes. But I can't be too critical, this is still a well made DIPA.

Not my favorite, for which I have lowered my overall score, but still quite good regardless. You won't go wrong with this one, especially at this price point- a good value for a very good beer.

Recommended.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glowing bonfire orange with bright butterscotch borders. The pour produced three fingers of foam that is best described as lemon-accented ivory. The milkshake creamy, bubblicious texture of the foam is fantastic, as are thick sheets of cheese grater-like lace.

The nose is an intriguing combination of tropical fruit juice, ganja-like dankness and cheesy funkiness. Yes, it smells much better than it sounds. The responsible parties include Nelson Sauvin, Warrior and Ahtanum... to the tune of a mighty 90 IBUs.

Big Barrel Double IPA does not enter the upper echelon of San Diego DIPAs (or San Diego-style pale ales, or whatever name is preferred), but that's only because the competition is so stiff. This is still well-brewed beer that is growing on me with each rapidly passing ounce.

The malt bill includes England's own Maris Otter with a touch of caramel, and that's exactly how it tastes. There's just enough mid-range malt to give the beer a lightly toasted quality that adds character. Hop flavor is pretty much the same as hop aroma. My bottle is still a fresh bottle, so alpha acids are at full boil (without being punishing).

White grapefruit is dominant. There's also an herbal pepperiness that is keeping my taste buds fully engaged. The white grape-like quality of Nelson Sauvin barely survives intact. Forget the final sentence of the previous paragraph. The bitterness is cumulative and is beginning to work its buzzsaw-like magic. Hopheads only need apply. At least when the beer is this fresh.

The body/mouthfeel score is a tweener. Although it's a little light for the style, it's coming into its own now that the bottom of the bomber as been breached. In the end, it doesn't quite have the chops to get the bigger score.

Karl Strauss Breweries may not be able to compete with the AleSmiths, Stones, Alpines and Ballast Points of the world, but the opening salvo in the Coastal Reserve series is a hoppy humdinger. Thanks to Joey for the recommendation.

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Big Barrel Double IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
4.11 out of 5 based on 265 ratings.
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