rumproasts (5544) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - MAR 26, 2014
tap. Amber with small head. Medium malt body and substantial hops. Aboverage for the style. Dig the hops. TheHOFF43 (2052) - 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. jehoesefat (366) - 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. beerbastard (844) - 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 don’t like my Imp IPAs too malty, but there is almost enough hop to counter this. 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!
krumbum (1109) - 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. BrownALEx (459) - 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. Blairgus (4613) - 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 ChadPolenz (1847) - 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.
Nik925 (795) - USA - AUG 30, 2013
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 don’t. 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 don’t think I’ve 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 children’s cereal or bubblegum or powdery candy like Sweet Tarts. But at the same time I also taste sharp, dry bitterness. It’s so intense, actually, that it almost seems to be salty. If this were an old bottle I could understand, but it’s quite fresh. That’s not to say the beer isn’t enjoyable, quite the contrary. The sweetness, while strong, is not sickly or cloying - just flavorful enough to enjoy while it’s 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. It’s full-bodied with constant flavor, but it’s delivered via a comfortable body. The mouthfeel is soft, calm and smooth with an aftertaste that’s relatively clean (just a subtle dryness). At 9% ABV, "Big Barrel" doesn’t feel nearly as big as it is since there’s no alcohol warmth or distracting qualities. Highly recommend to pair with food to offset the palette.
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.