overall
97
89
style
RATINGS: 240   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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4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
neepsntatties (1843) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 30, 2010
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 Disneys 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

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DocJitsu (1823) - Pensacola, Florida, USA - MAY 4, 2013
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.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
LtDan (1806) - Los Angeles County, California, USA - NOV 3, 2009
Appearance: Pours a clear orange amber with a retaining white 1/4 inch head. Aroma: Grapefruit,pineapple and pine. Taste: Bitter, citrusy and herbal hop flavor backed by sweet caramel like malts. Has a sage like after taste that I enjoy. Mouthfeel: Full bodied. Not thick or syrupy though. Overall: Another Rookie of the Year Candidate.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BMMillsy (1788) - Florida, USA - JAN 25, 2013
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.

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
beertholomeus (1773) - California, USA - APR 27, 2013
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.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ChadPolenz (1747) - 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.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
RedSox2004 (1743) - Pacific Palisades, California, USA - OCT 15, 2016
Hazy creamsicle orange with a one-finger bright white head and very nice lace. Aroma is all about the hops - kind of citrusy up front, but more piney after a bit. Same sensation on the palate, though there is a nice balance with the malt sweetness, and the alcohol becomes evident. Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, supre creamy mouthfeel and a crisply bitter finish. Big, bold and beautiful.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
chicagodri (1683) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 15, 2010
Picked up this bottle while in San Diego. Pours copper with a white head. Nice strong hoppy aroma with lots of citrus. The 9% ABV is well hidden without being overly sweet. Great citrus flavor. Nice work.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
trevor211 (1651) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUN 27, 2010
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 sundaes 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 youre a lover of palate-bombs, this is up your alley. If you like em mild, find something else. I thought it was dang tasty.

2.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
gEUS (1637) - Linden, BELGIUM - SEP 11, 2015
500 ml bottle at home. Pours hazy light orange with a thick fluffy head. Nice refined pine nose, typically Nelson Sauvin. Body is rather harsh pine of the sme hops, and getting unagreeably bitter and dry towards the end. Taste is very hard bitters, green unripe appel, and even sour yoghurt. Hurts the stomach.


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