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Tower 20 Double IPA | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

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Tower 20 Double IPATower 20 Double IPA
BA SCORE
3.65/5
Good
97 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#32,804
Reviews:
28
Ratings:
97
pDev:
12.05%
Bros Score:
3.58
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
26
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 97 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of Jason
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
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 -1.9%
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 -18.9%
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 -12.6%
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 +6.3%
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 -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Halcyondays
3.22/5  rDev -11.8%
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 +9.6%

Photo of HopHead84
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
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 Lucnifter
2.96/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of markgugs
3.51/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of khargro2
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of rawfish
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
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 CHickman
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours clear gold color with bubbles and carbonation racing up the brew to a2 finger eggshell white head that was full of bubbles and faded very slowly, leaving great thick foamy lace rings as it went down.

Smells of cereal, grains, caramel, wet bread, light grapefruit and some floral hops; I really had to bury my nose in the glass to get any piney hops as the citrus hops come through but can’t overtake the malt base. Not very hoppy as I expected a lot from a San Diego DIPA, and it’s rather weak smelling overall – timid may actually describe it best.

Tastes like it smells for the most part, with the malt controlling the flavor and seeming much more like an English IPA than a West Coast/San Diego DIPA. This is a mix of sweet malt, cereal, caramel, grains, toffee, cracker/biscuit, light spices like pepper and brown sugar, mild grapefruit, orange peel, light flowers or floral hops, metallic yeasty, copper/penny and a dash of dry piney hops. This is like a beer bimbo, great looking but no substance.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, but yet again almost boring feeling with very mild carbonation, a medium body and a slightly bitter aftertastes where the hoppy grapefruit flavor fades and turns malty and grainy as the sweetness lingers.

I had high hopes for this but was disappointed overall. The only thing this beer does very well besides looking great is hiding the high ABV; this is much easier to drink than a 9.5% ABV beast should be.

 1,463 characters

Photo of vermilcj
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-oz. bomber into a pint glass. About two fingers of head. Color was caramel honey toffee. Brownish white lacing with some bubbles on the top. Wet, uneven and sporadic film on the sides.

Smelled lemon citrus hops up front. Also some lime piny notes in there. Sweet floral notes. Fairly malty, but still refreshing on the nose.

Very balanced taste, could hardly taste the alcohol. Lemon citrus hops really came through here. The maltiness seemed to balance the citrus hops out. So smooth.

Medium body. Average carbonation. Slight bitter, but smooth finish. Refreshing feeling.

Really liked this beer as I do with most of the ones from Karl Strauss. Smoot h and very drinkable.

 695 characters

Photo of Wowcoolman
4.09/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of elNopalero
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This pours a tan golden color. Light hop aroma, drying hoppy finish. Not too exciting, and judging from my notes I didn’t have all that much to say about it when I tried it either.

 182 characters

Photo of ItsYourBoyBlue
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mrcraft
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of srandycarter
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got very curious when I saw the Tower 20 come out.

A- Pretty copper, fair off white head, some cling.

S - Bandaids. Hops. Malt underneath it all.

T - Large malt caramel center, wrapped by hops.

M - Medium body, good carb, ok balance.

D - Nice offering. Def. sessionable.

 275 characters

Photo of Kiniey01
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of kristougher
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Tower 20 Double IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 97 ratings
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