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Big Swell IPA - Maui Brewing Co. (Brewpub)

Big Swell IPABig Swell IPA

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

216 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 216
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.44%

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: 216 | Reviews: 154 | Show All Ratings:
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2011 22:54:50 | More by aval89
Photo of johnd513


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

A big thanks to Ducksfan for this one!
I had this one a while back in Hawaii and I am glad to have a chance to finally review it. This beer pours a hazy orange color with a nice fluffy offwhite head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. Smells piny and citrusy with grapefruit and pineapple. The taste has big pine flavor up front and then follows through with some nice tropical fruit flavors which makes this beer unique. The mouthfeel is bitter, dry and citrusy with medium body and nice carbonation. Drinkability is good, the abv is low enough so that it would be easy to throw a few of these back. Overall a good easy drinking IPA

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2008 00:49:33 | More by johnd513
Photo of JDV


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

Bottle courtesy of hopdog in trade. Thanks!
Pours an attractive dark, murky amber with a lasting beige head. Smell is nice and fruity with citrus, peaches, and grapefruit scented hops in particular. Taste is sweet and fruity with a hoppy backing to it. Very nice fruity taste of peaches and sweet ruby red grapefruit with a good dose of refreshing hops to it. Very well balanced and super drinkable. Full mouthfeel, slightly creamy and nice moderate carbonation. Add the fact that it comes in a can and this is one hell of a fun beer to drink. Really solid all around. Thanks again for this one!

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2008 22:21:11 | More by JDV
Photo of Stoneman78


4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a solidly dense orange-amber hue, one finger of soapy white bubbles sustains, moderate lacing

Smell is big caramel/sweet bread malts battling with equally large citrus hops, hints of pine resin and light fruit, delicious!

Taste is mostly pine and citrus (orange/lemon) hops initially, nice balance of sweetbread and caramel malts soon after, tones of toffee, brown sugar, floral, and grapefruit, finishes more sweet than bitter

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, thick resiny texture, moderate to high carbonation level

Drinkability is moderate, this is a solid single IPA with a very admirable malt/hop balance, the flavor tends to slip away a bit too quickly, but at 6% you can make sure your drinking of it is more constant, very sessionable

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2008 07:51:44 | More by Stoneman78
Photo of arizcards


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

A friend of mine went to Hawaii at the end of March and brought back a couple of cans for me.

Beer poured a cloudy orange with a very well sustaining head. Nose is what an west coast IPA should be, plenty of hops with plenty of citrus aroma. Taste is very similar to the nose, lots of citrusy hop action with a little bit of malt that blends in lightly in the background. Mouthfeel is lighter than most IPA's and is fairly smooth when crossing the palate. Drinkability is good. If Da Boss and I ever get to Hawaii I will be sure to seek this brew out!

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2007 01:48:48 | More by arizcards
Photo of Tone


3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy, maize color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of hops, sweet malt, earthy malt, slight fruit, and a hint of pine. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong hops, slight pine, slight hop oil, earthy malt, and slight fruit. Overall, good appearance and body, but too much earthy malt for my taste.

Serving type: can

12-13-2013 14:25:24 | More by Tone
Photo of BryanCarey


3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Maui Big Swell IPA has a nice appearance. It pours to an orange/tan colored hue and a moderate pour is all that is necessary to create a fluffy head of white foam. The beer has an interesting nose that showcases scents such as citrus, floral, and a touch of pine.

Moving to the taste, this beer has a lot going on. Pine and bread greet the taste buds first, followed by herbs, citrus, and earthiness. The beer finishes a little bit harsh, but still with a good bread/biscuit aftertaste.

I love IPA and I don’t mind the occasional brew that calls itself IPA but deviates somewhat from the norm. This beer seems to be doing just that. It isn’t all about the citrus, like so many other American IPA. It is much more to share, and its less bitter profile could make it a hit with those who are otherwise non- IPA fans.

However, this beer in many ways seems to have a little too much going on. It may offer a good deal of complexity, but it goes a little further than an IPA really should. It is also a little harsh in the finish, and that could be enough to turn IPA fans against it.

This beer isn’t the all- out hoppy brew that the manufacturer claims, and that could prove both good and bad depending on who you ask. Let’s just say that it’s an okay beer but not one of the greatest I have tried and in some ways a little too eccentric for its own good. It’s fine to try, but there are much better American IPA available.

Serving type: can

06-07-2013 04:09:50 | More by BryanCarey
Photo of jibbyvonjibb


3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange-copper color, fairly pale for the style. Aroma is medium intensity. Grapefruit and pine. Some soapiness, which is a tad off-putting. Light body. Clean finish. Little hop bitterness. Slight acidity. A refreshing, light IPA (almost a Pale Ale). I was hoping for a more vibrant freshness, but it's still a good session beer.

Try again? Maybe.

Serving type: can

04-21-2013 03:22:42 | More by jibbyvonjibb
Photo of CwrwAmByth

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 355ml can into a Fullers snifter glass.

Pours a deep golden colour with a decent but quickly dissipating head.

Smells very malty forward.

Taste reflects this. There's a big hop punch at the start but no lingering bitterness. Light biscuity sweet malts.

Overall a bit of a disappointment. To be fair as this is an American IPA in the UK, it's probably a few months out of date.

Serving type: can

01-05-2013 15:05:32 | More by CwrwAmByth
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-21-2012 22:56:16 | More by ExtraStout
Photo of IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

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.

Serving type: can

08-18-2012 04:52:05 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of Zimbo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

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

Good ripe raw grapefruit nose in the can which disappears quickly for the pour. Relatively easy white one inch head (which surrenders no lacing at any point) caps a golden to slightly orangy coloured body. Bit fizzy, meium bodies with surprising malt centre and a nice bitter end makes for a good sweet bitter balance. Good ripe aftertaste too. Actually, quite a beer of substance.
Can't help bu think if this was brewed anywhere else on mainland AMerican soil it would be more highly regarded.

Serving type: can

06-15-2012 19:23:03 | More by Zimbo
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

retired, really? seems like some recent reviews and the can is stamped canned on 01-31-2012. thanks to my suitcase carrying friend for providing this night cap post tasting! enjoyed from an urthel oversized tulip.

a - brew poured a transparent orange with the classic huge ipa head and mega milkshake like chunky lacing.

s - somewhat musty with some citric hops and a nice malt backbone...bearing in mind that this was canned just over 3 months ago, still relatively nice hop presence, but definitely tamed back, as expected for the age.

t - some faded citric hops...great malt backbone, bitter finish. kind of barleywine like.

m - body is medium and a bit syrupy. some bitterness in the finish.

o - overall, a nice IPA, although i bet this was better fresh...the malts are more prominent and the hops are in the backseat...but a nice flavor profile. would prefer a bit more fresh, but i'll take it...great night cap. assuming that this was more hoppy fresh and considering the age, this is pretty good. thanks for the tick!!!

Serving type: can

05-10-2012 04:56:19 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of Amalak

New York

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

It has a huge, foamy-white head that leaves a ton of lacing. There are a few big bubbles going up the side. Clear gold color...crystal clear. Hoppy scent with a mild lemon and malt undertone.

Very intense taste. It feels like a banana infused with some hops. There's a mild fruitiness to it, dark fruit like grape with a hint of watermelon. Complex all-around. Has a banana bread feel to it. Nice and complex for a simplish beer.

Serving type: can

02-25-2012 02:04:08 | More by Amalak
Photo of JayQue


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

This is a solid IPA with a DIPA level flavor and intensity. Poured into a pint glass as a coppery orange color with a medium size white head. Head retention is average and there are good strong bands of lacing on the glass.

Good strong aroma of citrus and floral hops...very nice!!!

Taste is very robust....good hops bitterness, Citrus hops up front and some floral hoppiness as well. Some balancing sweet malts.

Mouthfeel is good as well, nicely carbonated, crisp with a nice hops bite.

Very good IPA, would drink this one any time!!!

Serving type: can

02-15-2012 03:42:24 | More by JayQue
Photo of hopfacebrew


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

look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Really enjoyed this one when in Maui last year for a buddy's wedding. Picked up a sixer.

A - The beer, poured from an un-dated can, to a pint glass pours a golden orange color with a nice 1.25 finger white bubbly head. Good retention and lacing.

S - The aroma is very hop forward with a lot of citrus hop character: grapefruit, tangerine, lemon. On the tailend there is a malty sweetness hiding with a slight biscuit aroma. Hop dominated.

T - Just like the nose the beer starts very hop forward: An immediate medium citrus bitterness together with a distinct tart flavor. Strong fruity citrus character: grapefruit, tangerine, lemon. The middle of the beer brings the biscuit malt character found on the nose, though it is still overwhelmed by the hops. Not all-together balanced, though still pretty solid flavor.

M - Lighter end of medium bodied with adequate carbonation. Silkly in mouthfeel.

D - A pretty good IPA but not spectacular. I liked the hop character but was yearning for a bit more complexity and malt. I'd gladly drink again though.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Reviewed on: 03-29-2011 18:47:53

Serving type: can

01-25-2012 17:40:48 | More by hopfacebrew
Photo of jamescain


3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a nonic tumbler.

Appearance: Clear yellow-orange with an off white head about a centimeter thick that leaves a thin lacing over the top.

Aroma: Citrus, pine, and a touch of grapefruit, nothing that really stands out and screams "I'm an IPA"

Taste: Mostly citrus with a slight malt backing, that is reminiscent of adjuncts and has a buttery finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body with medium carbonation and a dry finish with a buttery aftertaste.

Overall: The first time I had this beer I enjoyed it more, could be the age of the can but I'm not sure.

Serving type: can

11-18-2011 21:23:20 | More by jamescain
Photo of TippySelenoid


3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a pint glass.

This beer is a dark gold color with a white head and a decent amount of bubbles.

It's heavy on the citrus with some pine notes being secondary.

It's very citrusy, maybe a bit astringent. Some nice pine note and a decently malty backbone.

It's a medium bodied ale with a nice amount of carbonation.

Had this on a cruise ship. It was ok, nothing I loved but didn't hate. I prefer the Bikini Blonde over this one.

Serving type: can

11-06-2011 21:39:30 | More by TippySelenoid
Photo of dedrinker


3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy golden color with a decent white head that don't last too long.

aromas of cat litter box (a new variant on the cat pee of cascade provenance?) and a hint of rubber cement. Somewhere in the back is a citrusy aroma that keeps me from thinking I am losing my freaking mind or something.

Kinda citrus, herbal, tropical fruit taste of hops that anchors the beer down and gets me back in reality.

Medium body that finishes with hop bitterness and more rubber cement.

Serving type: can

09-27-2011 04:16:43 | More by dedrinker
Photo of KeefD


4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another can courtesy of woodychandler. Pours a bright orange color with golden edges, small white head that fell quickly, no lacing. Aroma is citrusy, light pine, a bit of orange, and some bready malts in the background. Flavor is nice and bitter up front but slowly gets washed away by a toasty sweetness, with tons of hop flavor, predominately pineapple and mango with a touch of resinous pine. There's also a bit of orange that was present in the nose. I really love these IPAs that have the pineapple/mango quality. It's centered around hop flavor, not hop bitterness. Tasty. Medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation. Really just a tasty IPA, doesn't kill the tastebuds, and has greathop flavor.

Serving type: can

09-07-2011 15:52:17 | More by KeefD
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne


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

Pours a nice orange with just under an inch of head. Not much lace.

Pale malts and citrus dominate the smell, some caramel and grass follow, floral background.

The grassy and floral hops hit first on the taste. Pale malts and citrus follow. Slightly unbalanced, but not in an unpleasant way. The mouth is a bit thin.

Good IPA, great canned IPA. I'll grab some more for a show I'm going to at the end of the month.

Serving type: can

09-04-2011 02:01:47 | More by OBeerMeGreatOne
Photo of pzrhsau

District of Columbia

3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: The body has a nice bright off orange/rich golden hue with a robust white colored head that sticks to the glass well.
S: The beer has a nice subtle pine resin aroma that also reminds me of citrus and orange peel.
T: The pine hop flavor is still very evident when you first taste the beer but you also get a nice sweetness from the malt that reminds me of a honey. It blends well and gives you a sensation of a tea.
M/O: Decent carbonation and mouthfeel. The hops and alcohol are very well balanced which may or may not be to ones liking. A hop fan might see this as a little short on the biting hop character they were expecting. Overall it was appealing to me because it had great rich flavors without overpowering the palate.

Serving type: can

08-30-2011 23:53:12 | More by pzrhsau
Photo of chugalug06


3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Big white foamy head! Slightly foggy copper color.

S - BIG mellow citrus! Lots of fresh fruit! Pineapple, papaya, pear, orange, lemon... Great scent! A cross-bread West Coast IPA. Some smaller banana scents too...

T - Very aggressive. Big alcohol bite! Not a whole lot of hop balance. Big aggressive hops stick out big time.

M - Very dry and bitter... A little on the over carbonation side.

O - An interesting take on an IPA. Not bad but, not overwhelming.

Serving type: can

08-19-2011 01:15:04 | More by chugalug06
Photo of HopHead84


3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


On tap at High Dive.

A: Appears dark golden orange with a small white head. Good clarity.

S: Aromatic orange flesh blends with pith and tangerine. There's a little grapefruit as well. Subtle caramel malt lingers beneath the hop characteristics. There's a dash of bread.

T: The beer has a moderate level of dry bitterness with pronounced citrus flavors: orange pith, orange flesh, tangerine, and peach. The beer doesn't have much malt to speak of, but what's there reminds me of caramel. There's noticeable alcohol in the finish.

M: Lower medium in body with high carbonation. Mouthfeel is dry and sticky.

Overall: This won't blow you away, but there aren't any real flaws aside from a slightly stronger than desirable level of alcohol in the finish.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2011 20:54:04 | More by HopHead84
Photo of azdback


3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Surly pint glass. Bright, filtered orange color. Tons of explosive carbonation bubbles lead to a three finger head that is bright white and soapy looking on the edges, but creamy looking from the top. Laces the glass beautifully in a ring pattern.

Smell is at first bright piney smells, but some dankness comes with it too. Some mild sweet from the malts is there but you have to fight the dank for it.

Taste is not even as great as I had hoped from the smell. It is all dank Columbus hops or some sort of a European yeast. Mostly soggy bread. Some citrus and pine, but it is very hard to find behind the dank mustiness . This is not my kind of IPA.

The mouth is respectable though. It does hold up it's flavor to the end. Nice carbonation and par for the style.

Overall I was expecting something more West Coast. I got more East Coast or Europe. If you like IPA's brewed with Columbus hops or dank yeast, then this is your IPA. If you are like me... save your $2.50/can and buy something like Union Jack.

Serving type: can

07-11-2011 05:01:00 | More by azdback
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Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co. (Brewpub)
86 out of 100 based on 216 ratings.