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Big Man IPA - Cambridge Brewing Company

Big Man IPABig Man IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

149 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 149
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 9.73%


Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Formerly known as Big Man Ale.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 149 | Reviews: 55 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of smcnulty1981
smcnulty1981

Rhode Island

4.98/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: bright copper color with a very slight haze has a 2 finger off white very light brown head that sticks around for a bit with a good ammount of lacing

S: hints of caramel and malt with a good hop aroma lots of resin, piney wood and citrus on the nose a good mi. Of hops no alchol detected

T: good malt backbone followed by a good ammount of hop bitterness more citrus and a hint of oak no alchol Tate at all

M: good full body and finishes very nicely very drinkable

O: great beer overall on of the best ipa's that I've in a long time

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2013 16:21:37 | More by smcnulty1981
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a dark copper color and a sturdy white head that retains extraordinarily well and leaves sheets of lace

Smell: Rich caramel malt and citrus hop aroma

Taste: Starts with a solid caramel backbone; mid-palate, the grapefruit hop flavors emerge and blend together to produce a superbly balanced finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Extremely flavorful and one of the most well-balanced full-flavored beers I have encountered - a triumph

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2007 04:45:47 | More by brentk56
Photo of BeTheBall
BeTheBall

Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 14 oz. tulip. Dark amber color with a small head. Aroma of big citrus hops and some malt. Yumm, could just smell this stuff for a while. Taste begins as a great hop smack, well balanced on the finish with malt. Mouth feel is smooth, no preceptible alcohol taste despite the 7%. I just love this taste and could drink a few. Drove 30 miles from my home for this release, and glad I did. Not as in your face with hops as an IPA or DIPA, but delicious; a treat for any hop head; but not for the faint of heart.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2007 14:14:11 | More by BeTheBall
Photo of soundbarrier
soundbarrier

Ohio

4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Nice pour from cask at the CBC in Cambridge with a medium off white head.

Smell: Great bouquet with nice hoppyness and malt combination. If you like ales you will not be disappointed.

Taste: Great hoppy taste with a smooth finish. Fruity on the palate but not overpowering. Good beer to drink while eating.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean with little aftertaste.

Drinkability: Great taste, had it both on tap and from cask. Tasted great on both. If you have the chance to try it you should.

Serving type: cask

12-17-2007 01:51:34 | More by soundbarrier
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: On tap.

Appearance: Tawny, reddish brown, with a nice off-white lace. Head suggests that the brew is crisp.

Smell: Fruity, yet mild. Sweet hop aroma with a hint of tangerine, hop floral and leaf. Mild esters.

Taste: Big beer taste; rich, extremely smooth, malty sweet that gets abruptly interrupted by a sharp pungent grapefruit hop flavour "hello!" The flavour lingers, puckers, dries. As soon as the bitterness fades, caramel malt sweetness and an underlying nuttiness line the palate.

Notes: Big and bold, push your taste buds around and keeps in the classic micro Strong Ale style. Well balanced, extremely drinkable, all of which is excellent and rare for most big beers.

Serving type: on-tap

09-22-2000 00:00:01 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of DIM
DIM

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: Big Man is a hazey caramel brown color with a few floaties thrown in. It pours with a medium light tan head; decent lace.

s: Big aromas of pine, molasses, brown sugar, and vanilla. Smells fresh and inviting.

t: This has the big piney hop profile of an east coast DIPA, but without the obnoxiously sweet malt backbone. Instead, the malts provide a moderate balance and taste of molasses and maple syrup.

m: The body is crisp and abrasive, with lively and lush carbonation.

d: Huge thanks to DrDogbeer for the chance to try this fantastic brew. I love a fresh, agressively hopped beer like this! I'm almost sorry I shared this one.

Serving type: growler

03-07-2008 10:49:11 | More by DIM
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light reddish brown with a thin but stable off white lace. Balanced aroma of malt and hops with a faint side of fruity esters. Big malty palate with waves of hop bitterness and flavour. Toasted malt is quite predominate though the hops don’t hold back either with a grassy citric bitterness. Slight alcoholic ester with a mild fruitiness brings things together and shows the real size of this ale.

I’d have to say this brew should be served at Cambridge Brewing more often … I just can’t get enough of it.

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2002 17:13:02 | More by Jason
Photo of angrybabboon
angrybabboon

Rhode Island

4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 12/30/12, post delayed due to site maintenance

Note: Batch 01, Nov 2012

Appearance: Somewhere between dark orange and light amber - very clear - pours with a small, off-white head - leaves a nice web of lacing

Smell: Caramelized malts, citrus, and pine - nicely balanced - light amber and pale malts, with crackers and biscuits - big, yet non-aggressive hop profile, with grapefruit and orange flesh, and pine needles - very floral, clean, with a touch of malty sweetness

Taste: Balance, glorious balance - smooth orange and grapefruit flesh, with a touch of oily zest - above-average pine character, with some resin and pine needles - very, very floral, and the medium level of bitterness is tempered by an excellent malt profile - crackery, biscuity - lots of caramel and a touch of toffee - lightly sweet, works very well with the level of hoppiness - fantastically balanced, even in the aftertaste - clean, refreshing

Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth, low carbonation, highly drinkable

Overall: Big Man, Big Win

This is decidedly not a hop bomb. Instead, this is an extremely drinkable, extremely balanced IPA with a lot of charm. This reminds me of some lovely IPAs brewed in the Midwest. The bomber was easy to finish, but I know I would buy a lot of this if it came in another format. Obviously, tallboys.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 18:47:21 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of koopa
koopa

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

NOTE: This is a "Winter IPA" as per CBC's website, not an American Strong Ale as the BA profile states. I've reported this update and hopefully it will get corrected.

http://cambridgebrewing.com/beer/seasonal/

Appearance: Pours a deep copper to deep iced tea color with a rocky yet frappy (making up words now!) 2 finger slightly off white (buttery) crown that displays moderate retention and good lace. This unfiltered beer remains crystal clear.

Smell: Nice rich caramel notes and fruity malt notes counterbalanced by Columbus, Cascade, Centennial, and Amarillo hops.

Taste: Same as nose. Very balanced. I'd give it a 4.3 if I could so I'm rounding up a bit. So flavorful despite the 6.8% abv. Nice amount of smooth bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: All day and all of the night.

Serving type: growler

03-11-2011 22:57:47 | More by koopa
Photo of Truh
Truh

New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Kicked some sand in the faces of some scrawny geeks with this one on 2/7/2007. 16-oz. shaker pour at Christopher’s in the heart of Porter Square.

Just a coverlet of marbled sheeting to try and hide things; almost no lacing, though perhaps this was due to the manner in which the restaurant/bar treats its glassware. Big malt hit on the nose with some background tintinnabulation of plum juice, golden raisins, and maple syrup. Hue is a very deep mahogany with some sun splashes in the lower depths where the glass thins. Hops want to jump on the tongue but they seem to be tamed by the malt that quickly performs a hit-and-run on the palette, hoovering things up and out. Medium body, not overly wrought.

Extremely drinkable and session-worthy; glad to have found it on tap somewhere other than the brewpub. Just wish they would serve something like this at some of their other accounts, like Grendel’s. It will be like discovering Atlantis the day I walk into Grendel’s and see something other than the Amber on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2007 01:29:15 | More by Truh
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub on 2/21/09. Served in a cervoise.

Pours a hazy cranberry amber, with a thin head of brite-white foam. Good tight retention here, that flares up well, leaving a solid cascade of spotty lacing back. The aroma is very hop forward and most excellent, with notes that are floral, spicy, and citric, along with a sweet undercurrent of caramel and bisquits.

The taste is the reverse of the aroma, with thick caramel notes and toasted biscuits up front giving way to a fierce hop profile that takes control in the back, evening out the profile and ending things with an EXTREMELY dry lingering bitterness that just stays in the mouth for a good bit. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an overall sharp and prickly feel that nicely accentuates the hops in this. A good warming touch of the ABV is felt in the body but for the most part, it was nicely hidden.

Wow, I was really suprised by this! While I appreciated the warmth and bready sweetness that this brought to the table, the delicious and fresh hoppy nature of this is what shocked me. This was a fantastic winter style warmer that I was very glad to have tried.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2009 18:04:17 | More by Kegatron
Photo of BillyBrew
BillyBrew

Maine

4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another interesting offering from CBC. This brew has a deep copper or ambery-brown colour with a light-tan head and a creamy lace that generates a few rings. My nasal sense was blunted, but a friend told of a hoppy, floral sweetness. A nice big, toasty malt and nuttiness fill the palate and are followed by a mixed bag of hops. This brew is balanced, but the toasty, nutty malt is boss. A deep, medium body with a vibrant hold on the tongue. A big and toasty brew with a touch of the ol' alcohol in it. I imagine this beer best with a complinment of food to cut the malt and alcohol, but a treat anytime. Cheers.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2002 16:16:17 | More by BillyBrew
Photo of NEhophead
NEhophead

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from the BP; served in a snifter.

Pours a hazy caramel but settles to a much darker, nearly opaque molasses. Creamy, faint off-white head that clings to the snifter's sides and settles as a milky, bubble-filled sheet. Pindrop lacing with good strength.

Grapefruit and peach notes of sourness; hop resins abound with lots of bright pine. Mild touches of semi-rich caramel in the background. Whaffs of fresh bubblegum.

Burnt floral hops with an intense presence of pine and spruce. The hop character is juicy and oily. The tartness in aroma is nearly absent in the flavor, and is replaced by a slightly buttery, toasted maltiness. Earthy flavors and hints of caramel follow a rough, hop-intensified bitterness.

Almost full in body; creamy, smooth; yet filmy due to to the intense hop character. Very mellow despite some big flavors.

A dynamic and complex ale more reminiscent of a malty IPA. Smooth and unencumbered; thankfully, I chose a growler!

Serving type: growler

03-05-2007 02:23:02 | More by NEhophead
Photo of TrevorGW
TrevorGW

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Asgard in Cambridge. Dark brown, not much head.

Great clean aroma. Straightforward malt and hops. Bread and pine intertwined for a nice soft smell.

Taste is perfected balanced and wonderfully assertive. Caramel and toffee hints are kept in check by some smooth pineapple notes from the hops. Dry finish is spot-on. The clean and bright flavor masks the somewhat high ABV.

Full-bodied and still quite refreshing.

A really great example of a Double Pale Ale.

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2009 18:30:14 | More by TrevorGW
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap at deep ellum, in allston, massachusetts.

dark amber with slight haze. nice foamy head which retains for a while, then recedes to a wispy layer. some moderate lacing, with a nice webby top ring after the first few sips, but very little later on.

citrusy hop aroma with a hint of pine. fruity esters peek in for a moment, then caramel from the malt - almost candy-like for a second. whiff of diacetyl? whiff of grassy notes.

taste is hoppy, piney and citrusy with bold bitterness and resins. caramelized malt is still very present and gives a sweet balance. citrus fruit can be found in the hoppy, resinous finish, which again features that bold bitterness. malt still peeks through here as well.

slightly thin, but drinks decently smooth, with some resins in the finish. spritzy carbonation can be prickly.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2009 07:29:46 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of JustinAniello
JustinAniello

Connecticut

4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark opaque brown with a thin head. Dissipates to a nice lacing that sticks to the sides.

S - Very heavy pine and a light citrus, it is all hops on the nose.

T - Surprisingly much different from the aroma. Sweet roasted malts, light at first, becoming heavier on the swallow. Nice hop bitterness in the finish, with the roasted malt still lingering.

M - Medium body and carbonation, good for the style.

O - A very nice IPA, good malt flavor that isn't overpowered by the hops like in many other IPAs. Went very well with the meal I had, nice winter offering.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2011 01:37:56 | More by JustinAniello
Photo of Chincino
Chincino

Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had a Big Man Ale at the Cambridge Brewing Company. It poured to be amber in color.

The aroma was of citrus (lemons/oranges) and earthiness (pine). This beer has high drinkability-could definitely drink more than one in a session.

Big Man Ale is worth a try if you go to the CBC!

Serving type: on-tap

01-25-2011 02:51:02 | More by Chincino
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap yesterday with the Bros and other fellow BA's at Bukowskis!

The Man has a rich dark copper color, with plentiful ruby and chestnut tinges. The topping was an off-white, creamy mass, with good staying power and excellent sticking on the glass sides.
The nose gives off a pleasing grapefruity aroma, though not over the top like some big IPAs.
This bier has an oh-so-nice feel! Body was more than medium, getting into the full-figured range, and it was way smooth on the tongue! Oh yeah!
The malt and hops flavors were both present in substantial amounts, with the hops dominating somewhat. Toasty malt flavors strike the first blows, assisted by a good caramel backing. Then then second wave arrives, in the form of a grapefruity assault, with even a spicy little twang bringing up the rear. A real nice CBC offering! Easy drinking!

Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.2
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5

526

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2003 08:18:18 | More by Bierman9
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Modest head but it leaves substantial lace. The color is light brown and is nearly clear.

Great blend of deeper, darker malts and lightly floral hop. Inviting.

Comes across as a more toasty, slightly burnt, form of of the IPA style. This may be the darkest version I've ever had. Not quite an overhopped Porter, but close. Plenty of hop bitterness, but it isn't too strong. The body is accurate for the style--the carbonation elevated slightly. Overall, this is a complex IPA with an unusual roasted malt base. Worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 01:28:39 | More by smcolw
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a creamy off white 1/2 finger head that fades at a med pace, some lacing, over slightly clear darker cranberry mahogany burnt-sienna color.

Nose is very nice, a nice citrus cuts right through, with a bit of a tropical fruit juicy aroma, hint floral grassy hops, etc, then a big malty base aroma, sweet candy malts, caramel, toffee, etc, leading to a light candy hop like aroma. There is also some light pine and spicy hop character. Lots of hops, and as it warms a sweet nutty caramel candy aroma really comes through, lots of toasty sweet amber malts and more earthy hops.

Taste starts with a sweet malt at first, sweet candy, caramel candies, toffee, little amber malt, etc. Which leads into hops eventually, so first comes the candy hops, light candied orange peel hop, before it quickly moves to spicy hops, some pine and chewy hops, with a fair bitterness. The bitterness ramps as it goes but is balanced well by the sweet big malt flavors. Light citrus in the background, with no fruits otherwise this time. It brings some grainy malts towards the finish as well, before the malts just drop off the face of the earth on the finish. It doesn't really get very dry, in fact a little sticky still, but dries enough so the hops and bitterness explode, more pine, citrus, earthy spicy hops and lots of bitterness lingering for a while, with just a bit of candied hops.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, nice carb, a faint hint of background warming booze.

Overall pretty nice, a renewed effort of what East Coast IPAs are, with just a bit of a west coast touch. Although, East/West coast IPA styles are starting to disappear, this is more of what the classic East Coast was with a nice hop flavor and bitterness, mostly earthy spicy pine and a bit of citrus, with a big malty sweet balancing candy flavor. Long bitter finish, tasty but a big beer at the same time. I almost want a bit more booze in this one as it seems it will have it but never really comes. Would like to try this on tap sometime.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2012 01:18:32 | More by jlindros
Photo of rousee
rousee

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown apricot color. Forms a fairly small head of compact bubbles that cling to the glass nicely.

Smell is a good balance of malt and hops with some fruit essence. Smells a little chalky too. Of the hops that are noticed, they smell like wood and earth more than say citrus or pine.

Taste-wise--initially there is a balance of hops and malt with the hops taking over pretty quickly. Notes of barleysugar with fruit and pine accents also. Somewhat coating and chalky in mouthfeel but not in an overbearing way. Good drinkability. Quite a pleasant winter ale and a refreshing break from the more common winter beers.

Serving type: on-tap

01-24-2007 03:25:34 | More by rousee
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Freshly bottled (apparently the first bottled review in fact). Batch 01, bottled November 2012.

A: Pours a hazy deep amber with a big effervescent tan head. Fades slowly with an impressive island of foam that remains behind. Big fluffy tendrils of lacing everywhere.

S: Citrusy with lots of grapefruit. Nice caramel malt backing it up. Just a touch of pine.

T: Nice fresh grapefruit and citrus up front. Get a bit of melon in there too, like cantaloupe in the middle. Nice solid caramel malt in the middle. Finishes with more melon and a touch of orange as well as a brief wave of bitterness.

M: Medium bodied, crisp and smooth.

O: Nice crisp, clean and fresh IPA. Nicely balanced, not a hop bomb. Balance and smoothness lends to excellent drinkability. Nice melon to mix it up with the citrus too.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2012 05:27:21 | More by Dope
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a dark golden brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, earthy hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts with sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. Then a hearty malt character comes in along with a significant subdued hops bitterness creating a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a very solid beer to drink for a long time.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 22:31:56 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Pours a clear copper color, darker than most ipas. Smell has some sweet fruity notes along with malt to back up the hops. More hops in the flavor, but the fruity malt backing up the hops really makes the flavor. Grapefruit hop bitterness in the finish. The head leaves nice lace on the glass.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 22:35:32 | More by oline73
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear dark copper in color with a 1" head. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: malt sweetness and grapefruit citrus tones are up front and easily detectable. Some softer floral bitterness hides in the background.

Taste: caramel, grapefruits, nice bitterness, and a touch of pepper spiciness at the finish. The overall maltiness of this beer was nice but a bit grainy. Alcohol is not noticeable at all.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp throughout. Very short aftertaste despite the bold flavors. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: this is a solid ale that I found quite enjoyable. This one should be tried if you see it on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2007 11:37:30 | More by Gavage
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Big Man IPA from Cambridge Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 149 ratings.