krumbum (752) - truckee, California, USA - OCT 13, 2013
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Super hazy amber. Crazy Hop Melon smell. Piny grapefruit hop front that mellows to a slight sweet finish. Smooth with a great bite.
BrownALEx (375) - Portland, Michigan, USA - SEP 29, 2013
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Big thanks to Paulie T. for this one. Rated from memory during the Michigan vs. UConn game. Wow did that not go the way it was supposed to. Nice hoppy aroma. Pours a brilliant dark amber with a thick white head. Taste is rather malty, some alcohol comes through as well. This is a beer you will want to try if you can get your hands on it.
Blairgus (3571) - California, USA - SEP 13, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
13 sept 2013, bottle. Yellow, clear, no bubbles. Nose is moderate alcohol, faint raisin, resin hops. Med body and mildly fizzy. Sweet granola malt and raisin alcohol. Pretty good.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Chad9976 (1504) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 31, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
I poured a 22oz bottle into a goblet. It seemed to have a freshness date of June 24. I got this at #BBC13.
Appearance: Bright orange hue over a hazy body, though carbonation is visible. Forms a good sized, ivory, frothy head which laces and retains well.
Smell: Remarkably sweet for the style with a flowery, candy-like aroma plus fruit juice concentrate.
Taste: Sometimes I like balanced IPAs, other times I donít. Karl Strauss Big Barrel Double IPA makes me question which is better since it has both hop bitterness and malty sweetness to an extremely high degree. I donít think Iíve encountered a brew of the style that was so strong in both aspects simultaneously. This makes for an interesting beer to say the least. A great beer? Not so much.
This beer confuses my tongue. Initially, I taste a sweetness not unlike childrenís cereal or bubblegum or powdery candy like Sweet Tarts. But at the same time I also taste sharp, dry bitterness. Itís so intense, actually, that it almost seems to be salty. If this were an old bottle I could understand, but itís quite fresh. Thatís not to say the beer isnít enjoyable, quite the contrary. The sweetness, while strong, is not sickly or cloying - just flavorful enough to enjoy while itís in the mouth. The bitterness is perhaps even stronger, but it never flies out of control. The Nelson Sauvin hops also create for some subtle fruity characteristics, which are pleasant. Overall, this is a beer whose eccentricities are both attributes and flaws.
Drinkability: This is a beer that definitely lives up to its "Double IPA" name. Itís full-bodied with constant flavor, but itís delivered via a comfortable body. The mouthfeel is soft, calm and smooth with an aftertaste thatís relatively clean (just a subtle dryness). At 9% ABV, "Big Barrel" doesnít feel nearly as big as it is since thereís no alcohol warmth or distracting qualities. Highly recommend to pair with food to offset the palette.
Nik925 (779) - USA - AUG 30, 2013
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Huge battle between grapefruit flavors (mostly) and reallly, reallllly off flavors. Hop abuse. This coming from the hop capital of the world (?) SoCal. Just funky, off, odd, hops. Rather hard to drink. Karl knows how to make great beer, but it looks like overusing hops alludes him.
tkrjukoff (4229) - SWEDEN - AUG 29, 2013
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours clear amber with a small lacing off white head. Aroma and flavor, hmmm hard boiled egg... sulfur off flavors maybe. Fruity bitter hoppy citrc and malty.
deaconmike (438) - Roswell, Georgia, USA - AUG 28, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at the brewpub. Rather piney, but balanced by caramel malts and finishes with grapefruit bitterness. Good body and carb. Not stellar for the style, but good.
blipp (7361) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 19, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft. Pours orange with a thin white head. Piney and citric hops, lightly sweet malts, and a medium bitter finish. Refreshing and easy drinking.
PorterPounder (6535) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - AUG 8, 2013
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Universal City, Ca. - on Tap at their Universal City Walk location - part of their August Sampler. Medium copper pour, light off white head, nice lace. Spruce-like aroma with a nutty bent. Flavor has some malty caramel notes, a touch of grapefruit bitterness, some nuttiness. Thickish mouthfeel.
mcberko (10569) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - AUG 5, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: AUG 6, 2013 22 oz. bottle, pours an opaque vibrant orange with a small off-white head. Aroma brings out lots of tropical fruits, particularly oranges, followed by mango and pineapple, some resinous hops, and a touch of caramel malt. Flavour brings out loads of oranges upfront, followed by loads of resinous an citrus hops, and ending on notes of residual sugar notes and citrus hoppy bitterness. There is a bit of tanginess as well, likely due to the Nelson Sauvin hopping. This is a big n bold IIPA with a solid caramel malt backbone that never quite overdoes it. Great stuff, but still a bit chewy for a IIPA.