Tower 20 Double IPA | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

BA SCORE
81
good
97 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good
Read the review
Tower 20 Double IPATower 20 Double IPA
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

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

Added by mactrail on 10-28-2011

BEER STATS
Ratings:
97
Reviews:
28
Avg:
3.53
pDev:
13.03%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
25
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 97 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.2/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

 567 characters

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of brentk56
3.46/5  rDev -2%
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

 602 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of dmorgan310
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of largadeer
3.03/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Fred. Thanks, Fred. This was bottled about a week ago.

Appearance: Dark amber body with great clarity, topped by a lasting frothy head. Looks fine, but it's too dark for the style, as though copious amounts of crystal malt were used; an ill omen.

Smell: Smells like...malt. Very sweet, very crystal malt dominant. Pretty clean yeast profile. Some orange and grapefruit hop character, subtle floral notes. Surprisingly bland for a 9.5% DIPA.

Taste & mouthfeel: Sweet caramel malt with some breadiness. Pine and grapefruit hop flavors buried beneath layers of syrupy malt. Mild finish, not much bitterness or bite. Alcohol is well hidden, which is fairly impressive I guess.

Overall: Incredibly boring and blah, but very clean and expertly brewed. Just a completely lackluster recipe.

 798 characters

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of mactrail
4.32/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sensationally spicy. Rich, tangy, and full of aromatics. So hoppy, but so much more floral and spicy than it is bitter. Sweet and malty but with a tanginess. More like sweet orange than the usual citrus of IPAs. However, it swings into balance with the sharp flavors against the flowers and malt. Golden amber in the glass. Nice lacing.

Brewed for the reopening of the La Jolla location after remodelling this summer. Supposed to be a double version of Tower 10 IPA. In any case it's my favorite DIPA this year. Loads of hops but missing the crazed bitter payback.

 567 characters

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.

 513 characters

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.

 305 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
2.96/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

 310 characters

Photo of MasterSki
3.19/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

 1,271 characters

Photo of tobelerone
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

 1,444 characters

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.56/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Halcyondays
3.22/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

 584 characters

Photo of Raziel313
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of HopHead84
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

3/8/2012

Bottle picked up at Karl Strauss Sorrento Valley for $9.50, which is probably 50% more than it will retail for, if history is any indication. I couldn't be happier with the situation. Snifter.

A: Very dark orange and completely transparent with a mountain of beige froth. The head lasts for a minute and yields scattered lacing.

S: Pronounced bread and sweet caramel blend with orange, grapefruit, and tangerine flesh aromatics. It reminds me of an IPA from the Northwest. Pine resin is evident. This is the definition of balance.

T: Very malty. Bready sweetness is balanced by soft orange and grapefruit notes. Caramel makes an appearance. This is not only excessively malty, but the hops are pretty dull as well. It's also a little too alcoholic in the late palate through the finish.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Overall: This is not a Tower 10 take on a Double IPA. It's much maltier than I expected. I was definitely hoping for a much drier beer and not a Northwest style Double IPA. This comes across as bland and uninspired with excessive use of Crystal malt. It's not terrible, but with the hoppy choices I have in San Diego a beer grasping for mediocrity is one I will not buy again.

 1,220 characters

Photo of markgugs
3.51/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Lucnifter
2.96/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of khargro2
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of rawfish
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Careful pour nets a rocky two finger high head of off white foam. Retention is near infinite, got to the bottom of the glass and the head was still nearly half a finger. Leaves some sticky lacing on the glass.

Pretty even battle between malts and hops, a touch bready that moves towards sweet honey and blends seemlessly into tangerine, orange and pine resin. Centennial hops add earthy tones. Overwhelmingly orange citrus, earthy and sweet.

Crystal malt provides alot of heft in the malt bill along with sweet rolls, and honey. Hop profile is strong orange citrus and pine, not overly resinous, good bitter kick but the finish is quickly overwhelmed with some abrasive solvent alcohol. Dries well in the finish with some bitter pine and residual caramel sweeteners.

Medium bodied, adequate carbonation and very smooth going down. Loss of some points for alcohol rearing its head on the end of the drink and a rather stick sweet mouth coating.

Pretty decent beer, the parts are all there but it's delivered in parts, malt, hops, booze. Could be a bit tighter. Perhaps a bit overly sweet as well though I'm not bothered by it, Karl Strauss does a good job keeping the ABV down in the nose and the head retention is amazing.

 1,226 characters

Photo of vermilcj
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Tower 20 Double IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
3.53 out of 5 based on 97 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.