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Big Swell IPA - Maui Brewing Co. (Brewpub)

Not Rated.
Big Swell IPABig Swell IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

221 Ratings
THE BROS
66
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 221
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 17
Gots: 17 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Maui Brewing Co. (Brewpub) visit their website
Hawaii, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: atigerlife on 12-16-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 221 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by IronDjinn:
Photo of IronDjinn
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my buddy Paul for passing this along to me. From a 355 ml can. Pours out a slightly hazed honey apricot hue, tall dense off-white head that slowly settles.

Grapefruit rind and pith at first in the aroma, some dry grainy malt, dry herbal and pine notes, and some tangerine citrus.

Dry clean flavour, at least up front. Dry grains at first, then a bready/honey-like sweetness pops up in the middle while tangerine, grapefruit pith and pine join it. Sweetness lingers into the finish, with more orange and some dry earthy and pine hop character.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, thick texture with moderate carbonation.

A nice diversion when it comes to this style, some interesting tweaks, although to my palate it doesn't all quite gel together to set it apart from the crowd moreso. Still a good offering, I wouldn't say no to more.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - This is a light orange-brown in color with an awesome head. The foam isn't all that big but it is super-thick and leaves a whitish film on the inside of the glass.

Smell - The hops in the nose are big. There is a very even-handed mix of sharp orange rind and pine resin along with some rich grapefruit and maybe just a bit of grass. The sweet malt aroma is very big as well. It almost smells like a DIPA.

Taste - The hops lose something at the taste. Don't get me wrong it's still plenty hoppy, but the nose announced a monster and the taste is more like a medium IPA. The deep sweetness is there, especially a strong sense of brown sugar, and the malt base keeps this from falling apart.

Mouthfeel - This is medium-bodied and a little clumsy in the mouth. The bitterness level is actually pretty stiff but the big sweetness mitigates the effect.

Drinkability - This is fine for the hop-lovers and it's definitely the biggest IPA I've had out of a can but I can't see sessioning the six-pack.

Photo of ExtraStout
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at the Westin in Maui, about 3 miles from the brewery.

Beer Facts: 6.8% ABV, 82 IBU's.

It begins with a smooth and malty flavor followed with a burst of hop. One improvement I would like to see would be making it less "thin bodied" but given where the majority of this stuff is consumed, it is just right.

This beer is not retired. It's back at 6.8% ABV, not at 6.3% ABV as is on recorded.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.8/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine July 2007.

It's nice to see an IPA in a can--especially one that's "brewed with huge amounts of American hops."

Pours a chill-hazed orange-and-copper color, with a good head and seemingly eternal creamy white lacing. Herbal as hell--nose is full of resins, near-pungent florals (but in a good way), some pine and a big dose of grapefruit. The combination really sets the pace for the experience and gets your glands pumping. Smooth, with a creamy, even mouthfeel and a firmness that runs throughout. It's all about hop flavor here, so it's not overly bitter, but there's certainly a citric edge that snaps through a sweet malt character with some dextrin and light toasted notes. Yeah, major hops going on here! Grapefruit, sticky oily resins; intense flavors of herbs, pine, pith, earth and wood. Flavor becomes flowery and tea-like as it wanes. Woody, bark-like and dry in the finish, with a thin coating of oils.

Pretty heavy-handed on the hops, which is fine by us, but it seems to lack balance and depth of malt to help round the experience off and increase the beer's drinkability. Finish is pretty harsh, too.

Photo of Beaver13
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz can. Pours a clear yellow gold with a thinnish white head that quickly goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet caramel malts with fruity piney hops.

The flavor is some sweet malts with solid fruity (grapefruit, orange), resiny, piney, hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation, slightly watery.

Overall, a very solid IPA, albeit a bit pricey at $11 a 6 pack. It was brightest cold...as it warmed it faded some IMO.

Photo of badbeer
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden with a white long-lasting head. Big citrus nose, but there is also some malt balance on this one. Taste has lemon, grapefruit, and other citrus flavors. The malt backbone comes through moreso in the taste than in the aroma. Medium bodied and carbonation. Thanks to marchcow for sharing.

Photo of bsp77
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from can into clear plastic cup.

Appearance: Bright amber-orange with sustained white head and lacing lines.

Smell: Strong grapefruit, with light citrus, pine and toasted malt.

Taste: Semi-sweet toasted malts countered by bright citrus and grapefruit. Ends somewhat bitter with an emphasis on pine.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, semi-dry finish (I prefer drier in an IPA).

Drinkability: Solid IPA overall that is a trifle too sweet for my personal tastes, but has a fantastic flavor profile.

Photo of magictrokini
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Again, I can't get used to a great beer coming from a can, but Maui Brewing may convert me. Pours an oily gold with a big white head. Fresh hop aroma with lots of pineapple and grapefruit. More grapefruit, pineapple, mango and orange hops in the taste with a subtle caramel malt back. Light, sweet, and bitter all in one package. A great IPA.

Photo of jminch
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of OStrungT
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a hazy golden color, with a thick, fluffy, yellow tinted head. The head fades slowly, leaving a pretty good lacing.

The aroma from this beer assults the nose during the pour. It smells citrusy. Some pineapple, and grapefruit aroma dominate. The pineapple isan aroma I dont usually get from a beer, and it is pleasent.

This beer has a fruity citrus hop flavor matching its aroma. Pineapple. Behind that, it has a mildly malty flavor. Very nice, but subtle.

This beer is crisp and refreshing, low in carbonation, and leaves a pineapple like aftertaste.

I think this beer would make an excelent session beer. Moderate alcohol content, and mild flavor make it a winner in my book.

Overall: This beer was great. I had it straight from the can on the beach in Hawaii, and liked it. This is the only one I have been able to enjoy in a glass, and it is better than I remembered. To bad it is my last one.

Photo of cisteve
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of harkjohnny
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to my buddy from the island of kauai for bringing home a sampler six-pack. poured from their nice looking 12oz can a bit cloudy light-copper with great head retention and decent lacing. aroma is smack full of citrusy grapefruit at first, then some earthy pine begins to poke through. taste is not over the top 'american ipa' like some but rather laid back and smoothly bitter. medium chewy malt serves as a good base and the citrus-grapefruit hops show up again at the back. Alcohol is perceivable after a few sips. Overall easy drinking and more like a strong pale ale than an IPA.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden orange color with a stark white head that looks nice and holds pretty well leaving good lacing.

Nose is alot of west coast hops. Mostly a pine resin flavor and some perfume.

Taste is pretty mellow. Very floral taste profile. Alot of soapy, perfumey hop flavors, along with some WC pineiness. A bit of grapefruit, but pretty weak. The finish is not near bitter enough and doesnt make a big impression.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, a bit slick. Good carbonation.

Drinkability is solid. Not the greatest, but not bad at all.

Overall this is an "ok" IPA. Not horrid, but really nothing special. It has a weak hop profile, and subdued bitterness, but is certainly a drinkable beer that will be enjoyed by many.

Photo of aval89
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: honey colored with a big 2 finger head.. settles & sticks at around a 1/4 inch head.. nice lacing as well..

s: fresh hops! pine for sure.. wet, leafy green hops!.. floral notes as well.. bready sweetness to round out.. nice..

t: more hops on the taste. quick malt sweetness upfront.. resiny pine bitterness swipes across the tongue.. some lemon peel as well.. finish has sweet caramel notes with hints of bread.. lingering resiny finish.. like chewing on a hop pellet

mf: medium bodied with a smooth easy drinking feel.

o: a nice brew.. hop heads wont be disappointed.

Photo of MiScusi
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a stone levitation tulip. I poured the whole thing and though I knew it is a live ale I didn't think there would be that much yeast. Well there is. Th head is a very big, sticky, rocky, and airy. Some lacing around the top of the glass is left. The smell is a bright combination of floral and citrus, reminding me most of the Ballast Point Big Eye IPA. I'm thinking centennial hops were used quite a bit in this. The taste is really balanced but still assertive as an IPA should be. The malt (and yeast in this case) hit you up front but the hops balance it enough to keep it from being sweet. It has a very apparent lightly caramelized malt taste to it, almost more toasty than sweet. The hops become a little floral and leave hardly a bitterness. The mouthfeel is very good, maybe due to the added body and smoothness from the yeast. A nice IPA overall. A hophead might be disappointed but this is a very drinkable and lively IPA.

Photo of Kegatron
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can into a pint glass. Thanks to brentk56 for this in the Secret Halloween '08 BIF.

Pours a hazy golden orange with 2 fingers of foamy off-white head. The retention is fizzy and clumpy, almost looking like bunched up sea foam (which I found appropriate given the name of the beer) that leaves massive, sticky, hop lacing behind. The aroma is a total West Coast bouquet, that is a real pleasure to just sit here and smell. Pine cones, floral hops, spice, and underlying malt sweetness. Very pleasant and well balanced for an IPA.

The taste is solid but isn't blowing me away like the aroma did. It's still a well rounded mix of resinous hops with some tangy and juicy citrus character and silky caramel sweetness. The hops really pop in this but are thankfully held well in check but they do make a return in the finish with a long, ligering bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creamy carbonation that spreads out well with just a smidge of alcohol being present.

Hoppy and tangy with an extremely smooth drinking nature and easy portability in cans, this is one solid West Coast IPA that would definitley be a hoppy go-to if I had easier access to it.

Photo of HalfFull
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz can into a pint glass. Pours a hazy orange/amber with a half inch of head. Retention and lacing are present but light.

Nice earthy hops on the nose along with some citrus notes. Taste is slightly malty yet well balanced and helps explain the relatively amber color of the brew versus my local dry golden/orange IPA's. Carbonation is good.

A well balanced IPA, nicely hopped with a decent light malt structure. Not too sweet and offers a very smooth finish. Neither chewy nor drying, the finish gives this brew great mouthfeel and drinkability for an IPA.

Say what you will about the snorkeling at Mile 14, but I'll be there under a tree in Olowalu soon. And with a can of Big Swell, a book and a beach chair, I'll enjoy a beautiful day. Ouch! Damn crabs!

Photo of JamLand
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a gold/amber tint with a nice white head. Nose is stereotypic fresh pineapple.

Mouthfeel is medium thin and decently balanced but with no real character or appeal.

Flavors are medium full sweet to bitter but without a bright character. A kind of dull fruity bitter that then goes to a grapefruit skin bitter. Not bad - just nothing special. The flavors and character are bold but not all that appealing.

Finish is best character. Long bitter grapefruit that goes on and on.

Photo of 655321
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a sixer of the cans from Bevmo for $10. I think the price is my biggest problem. It's a good IPA but at that price it should be better if not a knockout. I've paid less for much better. (Lagunitas is a fine IPA that would probably get more scrutiny if I couldn't get it by the case at Costco) I need to find some good beer in cans for a rafting trip, but at this price I have to look elsewhere.

Photo of ChrisCage
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Comes out of the can a slightly hazed golden-orange color. It has a beautiful marshmallow puffy head that is eggshell color and retains excellently...slowly settling to a thick layer of dense foam. Good lacing encompasses the glass as well, and there appears to be modest carbonation in this one.

S- The aroma is very much made up of fresh, citrusy hops. Beyond this, the smell consists of flowery/herbal earthiness, maybe some cedar bark and a hint of malt sweetness blended in there but overall a saliva inducing bitterness.

T- The flavor profile is much the same as the aroma lets on. Bittersweet citrus pulp blended with the rind, leafy herbal like hop cones (lots of 'em) and some balancing malt sweetness on the finish. I kind of like how this starts bitter and ends sweet....and speaking of which, this is actually much more malty on the finish than I would have expected. The aftertaste has a bit of a cloying viscous hop oil feel that just hits on the back of the throat.

M- Actually, rather than this being real thirst quenching, the brew is creamy and somewhat cloying on the finish, due to the very big maltiness that shows up. A solid medium body with modest carbonation, which is what I thought it would be based on the look.

O- I think this is a decent offering, everything considered. The alcohol is well hidden by the hops, and I find this is a well balanced beer! I think this is a great beer for those, including myself, who are trying to break into the big IPA's of the world, as I find this is sweet enough on the palate to keep me coming back, yet bittering to the point that it keeps me interested in breaking down the individual components of that extreme.

Photo of Rutager
4.53/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Gold with a hint of amber and a little haze. One finger of sticky looking white head.

Smell. Pine and sweet papaya with a little white grapefruit. Awesome

Taste. Bitter, piney hops. Some light toasty grains and a little grapefruit rind. Pretty dry. Not really what I expected from the smell, but NICE.

Mouthfeel. Light-medium body with medium SMOOTH carbonation. Crisp and dry.

Overall. Love this stuff. Thinking of booking a trip to Hawaii after drinking this one.

Photo of Takahiro
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bought a 6pack on KAUAI. Brought back 3 cans, and has been sitting in my fridge for 2 months. Here is the review

Appearence: light amber/brown. clear brew. nice foamy, white head to stay for a while.

Smell: A huge citrus aroma upfront. Nothing else

Mouthfeel: starts out with hop bitterness. smell of intense citrus hop aroma at the beginning. some maltiness may be felt, at the same time. This maltiness seem to increase with serving temperature yielding a better balance. Flavors dissapear rather quickly, leaving a dry feeling.

Drinkability: It is a good session beer, since it seems dry on mouth. do not expect IPA (bitterness that is) from this beer.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from a 6 pack of cans from BevMo in Mira Loma, CA in April 2008, although I enjoyed this one back at the brewery on Maui in 2006. I think the 6-pack was $10.99. Just finding it took me back to my last Hawaii trip....

Pours a clear, clean orange-golden with a nice creamy head that sticks around as a decent cover throughout. Aroma is a nice mix of sour orange citrus fruitiness and a bit of sharp bitter hops.

Flavor follows through- a very nice, easy drinking IPA that has fruit and the more herbal/piney/oily hop mix that is quite nice, and a malt backbone that keeps it in decent balance.

One of my preferred IPAs, easy drinking- not necessarily an "out there" hop bomb IPA, but quite enjoyable. Recommended.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can brought back to Boise from coworker and fellow Newsie Michelle E. I hoped Michelle would honor my requests for Maui goodness.. she more than accepted the challenge. Tonight, I am enjoying the Big Swell from my New Belgium snifter.

Brew is a very pretty albeit slightly hazy orange... pillowy 2 finger head drops fast .. but some spotty lacing is left behind.

Aroma is way better than I expected.. American hops abound.. citrus and pine way out front of toasted bready and caramel malts.

Flavor is piney with an oily hoppiness only expected out of the big IPA's.. Lime leaves and biscuity malts melt away to a long citrusy finish. Body is perfect for a very drinkable IPA.. Very smooth and enjoyable across the board.. I forgot a long time ago that this brew came from a can... Long Live the Canning Revolution!!

Michelle E. has a treat or two or three coming to her before we leave work on Thursday.. Again, she is a BA and she just doesn't know it yet.

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Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co. (Brewpub)
86 out of 100 based on 221 ratings.