beertholomeus (1682) - California, USA - APR 27, 2013
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 28, 2013 Pours golden color with frothy white head. Citrus, fruit and hop aromas. Citrus, hop and fruit flavors. Bitter hop finish. Easy to drink for a double IPA.
ChadPolenz (1675) - Lakeland, Florida, 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.
DocJitsu (1623) - Pensacola, Florida, USA - MAY 4, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a shade darker than a classic golden color. The liquid is crystal clear. An eggshell colored, fat, clumpy head forms quickly. Butterscotch, lemon esters, and somewhat earthy bouquet. Mouthfeel is full, cottony, slick, and maybe a bit oily. Some mild butterscotch (not diacetyl) and some sweeter citrus esters in the flavor. The alcohol appears by itself after the finish, which tends to taint the experience a bit.
haddon90 (1612) - Costa Mesa, California, USA - JAN 6, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours a clear copper color with a nice frothy head. Nice hoppy aroma with some grapefruit and lemon zest in the background. Tart, tangy flavor with a strong sense of hops and a hit of the alcohol. Not bad for a double IPA but I was hoping for more hops.
SuzyGreenberg (1603) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 13, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bomber - thanks riverside; pours a vibrant hazy orange with thick white head fading quickly; grassy hop aromas with some lemons, spicy hops, a little fruit; sticky, dry finish; lovely grassy notes with eathy malts; get some creamy caramel too; smooth, bitter, well rounded and damn tasty
trevor211 (1599) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUN 27, 2010
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Picked this puppy up from a bottle shop outside San Diego, and boy is it tasty. Pours a cloudy honey amber with a mid-size head, and packs a knockout punch of an aroma - intense citrus and piney hops, countered by an ice-cream sundaeís worth of caramel. Tons of ingredients in here. Flavor is equally punchy - sticky sweet, barely kept dry by all the hops and the high ABV. If youíre a lover of palate-bombs, this is up your alley. If you like íem mild, find something else. I thought it was dang tasty.
brewblackhole (1588) - Muskego, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 19, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Fresh grapefruit aroma,citrus marmelade,caramel aspects come throughflavor is carmelly bitter,muted pine oil one of those well done "balanced" Double IPAís
GMCC2181 (1587) - Newark, Delaware, USA - MAY 10, 2011
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from HH22... Great nose on this beer. Lots of tropical grapefruits, orange, and pines notes. Reminded me of 3F Dread. Decent pour....orange in color, average head. Taste is decent.... bet its great on tap. Pine notes, orange, tropical juices.. little on the sweeter side but not sugary. Malty notes as well. Medium body, average carbonation. Overall: wish I could have this on tap.... but still a nice dipa. thanks Tim
Dixonian (1562) - Plano, Texas, USA - MAR 2, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Light orange pour capped off with some white head. Hop bitterness approaching the unbalanced side but still nice. Grapefruit and other citrus hop aromas and flavors. The nelson sauvin hop is very interesting and smooth - I seem to enjoy every brew that employs it.
Rusty (1545) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - JUL 11, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a hazy orange with a creamy off white head that leaves sticky lacing. Aroma is grapefruit, hops, a goo dose of malt and some spices. Flavor is grapefruit, grass, bitter pine resin, tropical fruits linger with the bitterness in the finish. Nice DIPA.