On a trip to San Diego, we stopped at one of the six Karl Strauss Brewing Company restaurants and I opted for the sampler. The first selection was the Woodie Gold. The second was the Wind and Sea Wheat Hefeweizen. The third selection was the KS Amber Lager. Number four was the Red Trolley Ale. Number five was the Conquistador Dopplebock. And, my final beer was the Blackball Belgian IPA.
From the Karl Strauss site.
“A Belgian-inspired India Pale Ale brewed with coriander and Curacao for a robust fruity and spicy character. A blend of Cascade and New Zealand hops add a tropical aroma and citrus hop bitterness that lingers through its crisp, dry finish.”
The Blackball has the following characteristics
- Appearance: Clear, dark amber color. A lot of foam. Good lacing.
- Aroma: A strong, spicy scent with a lot of hops.
- Taste: Medium carbonation with a full mouthfeel. Full body with a full flavor of fruit and spice and then the bitter hops leading to a bitter finish.
- ABV: 8.5%
When sampling a craft brew, I try to pick a quality name product that the brewer is attempting to replicate. In this case, Karl Strauss may have been aiming for a Brasserie d’Achouffe and they came pretty close. This was a very good beer but I would caution that the higher alcohol content could lead to problems if this was a session beer.