BobbyAnalog (334) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 20, 2010
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
The title of Karl Strauss’ Big Barrel Double IPA isn’t really tongue in cheek when it comes to the massive hop content. I really like the bottle design, as it looks like, from the minimalist colors, a band poster for a show at a local venue. The flesh of a peach would be the best way to describe the velvety-orange glow that the beer provides upon the initial pour. A strange candied pecan taste envelops the bitterness, which, if you slosh it around it your mouth enough, adds a sort of depth that other IPA’s don’t provide. A lot of ample complexity from the selection of hops makes for a unique and delicious juggling of flavors. And that aroma is like your nose is getting hit with a bouquet of grassy notes. Yes, yes and yes!
drunkenpolack (319) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - FEB 3, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
This DIPA pours a clear copper color with a ton of bubbles floating up top. Fluffy white two finger heads. Good lacing throughout the glass.
Now since Alpine Nelson is the only beer I can think about when I think about Nelson hops, you might hear me compare this beer to Nelson. Alpine Nelson was a much more balanced mix of a APA and an IPA. This beer is a full on DIPA. Alcohol is definitely noticeable and it’s a beer that is rough around the edges. Still a fantastic mixture hops, malt, and fruits. Mango, grapefruit, citrus, and grape undertones. There are other kinds of hops used this beer and you’ll pick those up to in the aroma and taste of pine. The backbone is primarily caramel malt.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied and more on the heavy side of medium. It’s smooth and goes down really nice. There’s a very bitter aftertaste that just sits on your tongue.
jehoesefat (299) - Poway, California, USA - FEB 19, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Sweet caramel aroma. Pours clear amber with a thick white head. Well balanced flavor, finishes very sweet and long with a hint of sourness.
BrownALEx (283) - 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.
Hoptagon (239) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - AUG 8, 2010
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22oz. Bottle. This one has a deep honey orange color with a small layer of white bubbles. The nose is fairly mild, but I think this may have been in the bottle for a couple months already. The remnants of the aroma are mostly pine needles and a small note of grapefruit. I don’t associate either of those flavors with the Nelson hop so I’m assuming the nose would have been more pungent when originally bottled. Would consider this one to be slightly on the sweet side for the style with a subdued bitterness that reminds me of the East coast style DIPAs. Definitely shows a fair amount of malt with some sweet caramel and a slightly doughy character. The hop bill gives a tropical fruit profile reminiscent of mango, grapefruit and lemon zest. The bitterness hits late and is quickly subsumed by the malt. The palate is oily with a heavy resinous texture and a persistent carbonation. Overall a pretty respectable showing from a brewery that I have never otherwise been impressed with. Wish I could have had this on draft when it was first released.
bsierra (213) - Vista, California, USA - APR 1, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Karl’s joint. Poured with a very nice golden orangy hue with a killer citrus/hoppy nose. Very interesting combination of hops that really smoothes out the high abv, which is barely noticable. Has a great long lasting finish and was quite a nice IIPA.
LiMuBai (187) - - JUL 18, 2014
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pine resin aroma and a dark golden color . Wonderful hop flavor with a nice finish. Wonderful beer.
evr1dr (145) - Virginia, USA - AUG 24, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours medium hazy orange with thick pillowing head yet only a thin lace. Smell of maple, caramel, malt and spice. Taste of watermelon, honey, pine and hay. This beer met expectations.
gotbeach (139) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 18, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle @ ks sv. Pours ruby amber with nice off colored white head. Nice smooth hop aroma with some earthy dank grassy notes but not too much. Good smooth body which hides the alcohol nicely. Keep brewing more agressive beers please. Rip Karl.
thickfreakness (132) - AUSTIN, Texas, USA - OCT 19, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Growler from natedogg on BA. Thanks. Pours slightly hazy bright orange with a nice lasting off white head that leaves some lacing. Grapefruit and sharp pine on the nose. Grapefruit, spicy pine, and some caramel malts with a little bit of alcohol in the finish. Nice and dry with plenty of carbonation. This one was a real surprise. Quite delicious.