overall
97
89
style
RATINGS: 242   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.72/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
To kick off this series of intense hoppy beers, we wanted to go big. Imported New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops provide a vibrant tropical aroma that raises eyebrows and expectations. Aggressive amounts of Warrior and Ahtanum hops produce an assertive bitterness that stands out against a firm malt backbone. Balanced even at 90 IBUs, Big Barrel leaves a considerable first impression that serves as a prelude of things to come. According to a brewery rep, the beer will be distributed throughout Southern California and theyre planning on doing 1,000 cases of 22s. Specs: Color 15.4 SRM ALC 9.0% IBU 90 PLATO 20

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3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
TheHOFF43 (2049) - Robbinsdale, Minnesota, USA - FEB 24, 2014
Bottle from brewery. Pours a nice orange with white head. Not really digging the nose--citrus and malts, lacking what I have tasted elsewhere recently, including in other KS beers. Solid, but stale seeming, though it was a fresh bottle.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jehoesefat (365) - Poway, California, USA - FEB 19, 2014
Sweet caramel aroma. Pours clear amber with a thick white head. Well balanced flavor, finishes very sweet and long with a hint of sourness.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
beerbastard (843) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - NOV 1, 2013
UPDATED: NOV 2, 2013 22oz. Bottle. Golden amber, with nice big fluffy head, which hangs on to the sides. Malty nose mixed with fruity hops. Big flavors of sweet malts with fruits like mango and pineapple. Hop flavors along with well balanced bitterness. Some burn in the finish. Usually I dont like my Imp IPAs too malty, but there is almost enough hop to counter this.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
viyh (73) - San Luis Obispo, California, USA - OCT 17, 2013
Really tasty beer! This IPA is fruity and piney, and for 90 IBUs, it only seems like 50. Really smooth and hints of pineapple, apple cider, and a bit on the sweet side. I highly recommend this one!

4.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
krumbum (1105) - truckee, California, USA - OCT 13, 2013
Super hazy amber. Crazy Hop Melon smell. Piny grapefruit hop front that mellows to a slight sweet finish. Smooth with a great bite.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BrownALEx (453) - Portland, Michigan, USA - SEP 29, 2013
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.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Blairgus (4416) - California, USA - SEP 13, 2013
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

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ChadPolenz (1784) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - AUG 31, 2013
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 dont. 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 dont think Ive 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 childrens cereal or bubblegum or powdery candy like Sweet Tarts. But at the same time I also taste sharp, dry bitterness. Its so intense, actually, that it almost seems to be salty. If this were an old bottle I could understand, but its quite fresh. Thats not to say the beer isnt enjoyable, quite the contrary. The sweetness, while strong, is not sickly or cloying - just flavorful enough to enjoy while its 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. Its full-bodied with constant flavor, but its delivered via a comfortable body. The mouthfeel is soft, calm and smooth with an aftertaste thats relatively clean (just a subtle dryness). At 9% ABV, "Big Barrel" doesnt feel nearly as big as it is since theres no alcohol warmth or distracting qualities. Highly recommend to pair with food to offset the palette.

2.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Nik925 (791) - USA - AUG 30, 2013
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.

3.1
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
tkrjukoff (4332) - SWEDEN - AUG 29, 2013
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.


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