neepsntatties (1035) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 30, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Got to try this thanks to, "hannont". I must say, I was wary of anything from Karl Strauss as my only experience with their beers was their hideous amber lager which I paid $8.00 for in Disneyís California Adventure because I was desperate for a beer! I later found out I could get some decent craft beers or imports at Uva Bar in Downtown Disney (Whew!). Colour... amber-orange with a thick white head. Nose... sweetly hoppy and quite resinous. Palate... lightly cloying, with pineapple, stone fruits, candied citrus, grapefruit zest and a medium length finish
trokini (1025) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 27, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours hazy auburn with a thick white head. Dank hops with wood, wet leaves, and grapefruit in the nose. Sharp, biting herbal/peppery hop bitterness up front that rapidly shifts to a bitter grapefruit flavor. I was torn on this one; some sips were great, others were grainy and musty. Rating may not be as high as my 3.4, or it may be too low. The beer is too inconsistent to rate.
Chad9976 (1025) - 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.
Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - AUG 19, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap @ Hamiltons. This is possibly the best smelling beer I have ever consumed. The hop nose is so profound, itís almost addictive. Very nice beer, with lots of what I presume to be amarillo and Simcoe hops. Far and away, the best beer Karl Strauss has ever produced.
BMMillsy (974) - Florida, USA - JAN 25, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a cloudy orange with small head that dissapates rather dast. Bit of lacing left. Smell of sweet malt, sugar, orange zest, and a bit of grapefruit. Smells super sweet. Bitter up front with a lemony pine finish. Some serious malt backbone and lots of sweet caramel malts. Very solid and on the malt side of the spectrum for the style. Makes for a relaxing Friday night.
hapjydeuce (912) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 21, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Karl Strauss Beer Gardens in the Mira Mesa area. Dark amber color. Big, thick and lacy beige head formation. Kind of a subdued aroma of caramelized sugars, crystal malt and a medium hops spicyness. Flavor is a lot less bitter than I expected for a double. Notes of cinnamon and caramel. Hops stand out more in the finish. Not bad.
deekyn (864) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 2, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
A - pours golden orange with high fluffy white head. Some lacing. S - very malty nose. Sticky sweet caramel and doughy malts. Over ripe pineapple juice, blood orange, soap and pine notes as well. Definitely a malt heavy beer. M - medium body, very round creamy mf. High carb. Smooth on the palate, bitter and drier on the end. T - soapy and piny hops up front. Fruity, citrus notes, pineapple, pear, with a strong caramel and bready malts on the palate. Bitter hops, vegetal notes, lemon zest and tea bitters. O - why are so many "big" dipas just malt madness. Pretty well balanced up front, but the palate is over malty. Pretty good dipa. 3.4
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
GarrettB (851) - La Jolla, California, USA - FEB 6, 2013
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
February 12th, 2012 - The draw with Karl Straussí Big Barrel Double IPA is the strange and exotic hops that the brewers brought to bear on this tall hop bomb. Itís a clear and bronze brew, like so many other hoppy beers, but a study of the carbonation is a little disquieting. Too few bubbles suggests a heavier, murkier palate and too little shielding from the wave of IBUs about to crash into my palate. The aroma is strikingly fruity and piney, with juicy touches of mango and, strangely, even some cacao nibs. The folks at Karl Strauss werenít kidding when they said the addition of New Zealand hops would give the Big Barrel a tropical air. A lot of this South Pacific bliss disappears in the flavor, where the Big Barrel takes on a milder, slightly sweet yeasty and bread profile, more like a saffron roll than a drinkable hop cone. Still, that aroma is something Iíll remember for a long time to come, and a mild IPA is always welcome on my beer shelf.
oRos (840) - sacramento, California, USA - SEP 25, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from capitol beer. Aroma is boozy color is copper with no head. Taste is very sweet an you can taste some oak
daleharshman (832) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 1, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber from Beverages 4 Less ($6.99). I had heard about this and saw the pretty good reviews here. I had to try it and see if Karl is finally ready to join its fine San Diego brethren and make some real beer. Pours a clear amber with two fingers of frothy white foam. The head has quite good retention and leaves some nice lacing. Nose is mellow and lightly sweet with citrus (tangerine, lime) and grass aromas. Flavor is initially more bitter than I would have thought considering the nose but it mellows out with a nice bit of sweetness near the end. Hop flavors abound (tropical fruits, pine) with a sufficient amount of malt to take the edge off. The 9% is well concealed. This brew really ups Karlís ante in terms of both ABV and IBU. It will be interesting to see if this starts an overall move for Karl toward bigger and better beers. (226, 48)