Blackball Belgian IPA | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

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Blackball Belgian IPABlackball Belgian IPA
BA SCORE
4.04/5
Exceptional
80 Ratings
Blackball Belgian IPABlackball Belgian IPA
BEER INFO

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

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by crvcac on 03-04-2011

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#5,578
Reviews:
28
Ratings:
80
pDev:
10.64%
Bros Score:
4.23
 
 
Wants:
17
Gots:
10
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 80 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of MickeyHops
4.12/5  rDev +2%

Photo of NickMunford
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of HalfFull
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh bomber poured into a large wine glass. I mistakenly thought this would be a Black IPA, or perhaps the first Belgian Cascadian Dark Ale. Alas, it's just a Belgian IPA, and that's a good thing. Pours a clear light amber with a tinge or orange and sports an inch of nearly white foam. Decent retention and lacing follow.

Nose is a blend of citrusy cascade hops and some belgian yeast notes. A definitive malty sweetness permeates the equation for balance. Notable spice notes abound.

Flavor is a bit subdued relative to the nose and with a generic citric maltiness drowning out the spicy/yeasty/ hoppy notes to a large degree. Becomes a bit more spicy/effervescent with some warming.

Feel is thin initially, warming to add some spice and a spritzy feel of carbonation. Finish is pleasant yet a bit brief throughout the spectrum. Overall a nice take on the style; decent yeast profile and added spice, bit malt forward and somewhat subdued in the hops department however.

 976 characters

Photo of impending
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of codynevels
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of retry4z
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%

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

Picked up two growlers from Karl Strauss Brewery downtown for $17. and poured them into a Westmalle chalice.

A: Pours a clean deep copper hue with a good head that lingers for a while, but leaves very little in the way of lacing.

S: Nice floral hop aroma up front - herbal earthy pine, very familiar Belgian yeast strain in the mix as well - possibly La Chouffe or something along the same lines, wood and just a hint of spice at the very end - no trace of booze (very nice for an ABV of 8.5%).

T: On point with the nose, but even more bitter hop that is earthy and resinous, followed by a good balance of sweet malt and Belgian yeast - really good take on the style. I have to say though - at the end of the day, this is just a really good take on a traditional Belgian Tripel and not so much a Belgian IPA.

M/D: Medium-bodied, sticky with a mellow carbonation that lends nicely to the style - finishing smooth and creamy - very drinkable; polished the 1st growler on my own no worries - had to struggle to leave the other one for tomorrow night.

 1,051 characters

Photo of beagle75
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint glass.

A: Clear, light amber color with one finger of persistent off-white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Subdued caramelized grain with a pronounced aroma of savory herbs--but stops short of crossing into herbal caricature. Faint peppery phenolics become more assertive as this beer warms, but no alcohol is detected.

T: Begins fairly sweet, with substantial crystal/aromatic malt and dynamic yeast metabolites that contribute some needed savoriness to balance the sweet. Acidity is mild, staying agreeable, adding just a touch of a citric edge. The middle is dominated by husky caramelized malt that is accented by subordinate black pepper. Moderate bitterness, featuring the most focused herbaceous hops of the entire taste, develops in the finish. No alcohol is detected.

M: Medium viscosity, slightly syrupy on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: This is a very malt-focused, yet surprisingly appealing, strong IPA. Belgian character is present, but not far-ranging, developing some well-placed black pepper qualities that remove it far enough from standard IPA territory to keep it from being mediocre.

 1,177 characters

Photo of Booner818
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Eriktheipaman
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow all 4's haha.

Pour this one lightly because it gives off a giant white head that leaves amazing lacing.

The smell is very sweet. A nice blend of herby esters and a citrus from the hops. Very complex.

As someone stated below I agree it is almost more of a Triple. The taste is of the Belgian yeast but with a pretty high bitterness. You can also pick up on the herbs on the back as it warms up and also creates a dryness.

A good beer that is exactly what I would expect from a "Belgian IPA".

 498 characters

Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of kingmaker
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of anon
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of fox227
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of danwho
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of gshak
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of halo913
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of BucBasil
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a tulip at Karl Strauss Universal City, CA.

A: The beer is a dark orange/amber color. Head was offwhite or very light tan and had ok retention.

S: Fruity and slightly piney. Citrus rind and spices. Light malty character underneath and a light sweetness that might have come from a touch of yeast.

T: I'm not sure how this is a Belgian style IPA. It's a bit more fruity I guess than a regular IPA and with a hint of creaminess in the back. A bit of spice in there as well and a biscuity malt balance atop a big citrusy and floral hop character. I'm a fan.

O: Very drinkable and refreshing. If the ABV weren't so high this could be an "All day IPA" It's everything I want from an IPA, but I'm still not sure what specifically makes it "Belgian." It doesn't match up with Poperings or De Ranke. I think this might be better off just being an IPA. It almost reminded me of DFH 90 Min in that it was balanced with a good kick. No matter how it's classified, it's an excellent beer.

 999 characters

Photo of BreweryRun
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of GregSVT
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a snifter

A: Pours a nice hazy golden orange with a big white head that fades to a layering and leaves a ton of sticky lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is belgian candied sugar, sweet malt, and some citrusy hops. Very sweet smelling but the hops balance it out a bit.

T: The taste is bitter grapefruit hops, sweet sugary malt, cloves, and that belgian yeast flavor. The bitterness lasts on the finish but this is also pretty sweet.

M: The feel is medium bodied and creamy.

O: My first Karl Strauss beer and it was pretty tasty. Decent belgian and ipa flavors. Recommended if you like the style.

 617 characters

Photo of MadCat
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes

Appearance: Nice yellowy color with good white head

Smell: Fruity, with some hop, nice maltiness, a little alcohol, and some nice yeasty phenols

Taste: Fruity and malty up front, then some alcohol and phenols, finally nice hoppy notes. Some bitterness, but mostly flavorful hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, full carbonation

Overall: Very good, interesting take from a non Belgian brewer. Would be interested in seeing some other Belgian style brews from Karl Strauss.

 487 characters

Photo of the_encinitan
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of Dsimenson
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap served in a pint pilsner. Half inch creamy head, then lovely concentric rings of lacing down the glass. Aroma is rich and heavy, hops, citrus, and a bit of caramel. The flavor of this IPA is truly amazing, creamy, complex, balanced, with hops, malt, and a hint of vanilla that I have not detected in other IPAs. Mouth feel is about the thickest creamiest IPA I have ever had. Overall I rank it as high as Dogfish Head 90 min IPA, although it has a slightly different character. Outstanding!

 497 characters

Photo of miadw3
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of raulazzer
4/5  rDev -1%

Blackball Belgian IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 80 ratings
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