Blackball Belgian IPA | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

BA SCORE
88
very good
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
Ratings:
80
Reviews:
28
Avg:
4
pDev:
11%
 
 
Wants:
17
Gots:
10
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 80 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of rawfish
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy amber, with a small-ish finger high head. Decent retention that leaves plentiful spotty lacing upon the glass.

Fruity esters of apricot and nectarine blend well as the hops come in with a lemon zest and light pine aroma. Distinct Belgian spices on the end that increases as the beer warms, clove and yeast.

Solid malt profile of bready grains and a touch of honey that part easily to a pine and citrus hoppiness that lays it to you in the flavor rather than the bitterness. Spices and yeast on the after taste, clove and some soap and powder as it warms. Drying finish.

Average body that gets a bit heavy near the finish, fantastic, active carbonation that ends crisply without much drawn bitterness or aftertaste.

Bold hops, just enough Belgian spice and phenol influence to keep it interesting on the palate. Very refreshing and clean delivery. Enjoyed this quite a bit. These specialty beers are cut above Karl Strauss' regulars. Keep it up.

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Photo of BucBasil
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of retry4z
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%

Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.2/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of Jason
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Bright brassy color, great clarity and a massive dollop of head on top ... a sight to see. Peachy fruitiness runs over the top on the nose, warming peppery alcohol, leafy hop, sweet grain and some phenols and yeast within. Big fruity sweetness upfront of malt and smashed over ripened peaches, that slowly breaks away to let in the alcohol, phenols and more important ... the hoppiness that relies more on flavor than its bitterness even though it does have a big enough sting to break through the beer.

Pretty drinkable for its size, still sippin it though. Job well done here, very enjoyable.

 638 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of 2dogbrew
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of the_encinitan
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of myelo
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

On tap at Strauss restaurant in downtown San Diego. Very interesting beer -- fruity spiciness with coriander and Belgian yeast with some malt backbone and citrus hops. Medium body with moderate ethanol warmth. Worth seeking out, at least on tap.

 245 characters

Photo of TheDrunkenDeer
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear coppery colored ale with a small yellowish white colored head.

Smell is strong hop and coriander in about equal proportions. Spicy with a strong herbal scent and more than a little tobacco leaf scent. Herbal with a honeysuckle malt scent and a strong black pepper aroma on the alcohol fumes.

Starts out malty and a bit woody, lots of caramel aftertaste. Bitter like biting down on a whole black pepper corn with something of the same mild burn and strong pepper taste. Aggressive coriander flavor, slightly tongue numbing in fact. Strong spice bite at the beginning of the taste with a much more mellow aftertaste. Tasty and aggressive BIPA.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall really more of a 4.25 than a 4.5. Tasty and aggressive BIPA, just needs a little more caramel in the malt to really be something special.

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Photo of crvcac
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer on cask last night at Karl Strauss downtown. Don't think it's even available for purchase yet!

A: Gold copper in hue with a slight chill haze. Can't truly comment on the head seeing as it was on cask, however, I have a feeling this is going to be a sticky one with nice lacing.

S: Smells fantastic. Reminds me of their Big Barrel Double IPA with a belgian twist. Lots of grapefruit, orage zest, curacao, tropical fruits, belgian spices.

T: Amazing. This is a great rendition of a Belgian IPA. The perfect blend of spices and tropical fruit flavors. The orange and grapefruit are bold and compliment each other nicely.

M: Very well balanced. Malts provide the needed backbone to balance the beer while the hops lend a very appropriate and highly quaffable bitterness.

D: Smooth. Dangerously smooth. The 8.5% is hardly detectable. This one will get you if your not careful. Pour me another please!

 917 characters

Photo of Dsimenson
4.32/5  rDev +8%
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 hoptrip619
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up an $8 growler fill from their downtown brewery yesterday.

A- Poured a bright golden bronze with a sticky off white head.

S - Very floral aroma with some tangerine, melon, and bubblegum coming through .

T- Very fruity upfront with tropical notes, orange, and cantaloupe. An assertive hop bitterness combines with peppery Belgian spice towards the middle, lingering into a dry finish.

D - I enjoyed this quite a bit. I love the level of complexity and appreciate the balance. I'll definitely be picking up some more next Friday.

 542 characters

Photo of The_Mike_Hay
4.44/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Armand
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was actually a good beer. Had this when I went out for a beer to a bar with some friends, but there was nothing on tap that I'd like. I think there was amber Karl. I just went home and had this as I needed a beer, and wanted something good.

A: Blonde/brown with some light that snuck it.
S: Nice and hoppy.
T: This was actually really good. Citrusy.
M: Went down smooth.
O: Will have it again for sure. Wish this was on tap when I'm up for a good hoppy brew.

 465 characters

Photo of OCSA_1978
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of danwho
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of henryhampton
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of jjh19
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of kenzak
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of pepelemofo
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of sergio1va
4.7/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle. Great foam appears as you transfer this beer from bottle to glass and the great aromas of hop extract emerge, inviting you to savor this beer. No sign of the IBUs on this brew but after a few sips it seems to hover around 50 to 60.
The color of this brew is of a light copper color with a white foam head. The immediate reaction on the palate is that of a definite hop profile and a subtle dry finish. A spicy flavor is definite in every sip but overall well balanced so as not to discourage finishing this great beer. Wouldn't mind re-buying this beer for a second take, only problem is that it will be hard to find.

 648 characters

Photo of jdougherty
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of BrewTasting
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

Blackball Belgian IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 80 ratings.
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