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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 donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

3.05/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

"He's a big, strong man with a child's mind, don't you take his booze away!" - Dropkick Murphys

@ Atwoods, Sommerville MA. Found an extra $20 that I didn't know I had so I took my ladyfriend out for a beer.

Hazy copper color with a thin white head. Momentary thin skim throws up a few lacey splashes before dying out. Honestly, it wasn't a great pour.

Floral and citrus hop aroma with bubble gum. There's a very faint, mild fruit malt under there somewhere.

I didn't get the citrus bomb that many reviewers described but rather a clean, juniper and spruce bitter. Bubble gum pops up here and there with a piney caramel fade. Hoppy burps that tastes like I swallowed a pine tree.

Odd malt character: I can feel it but it seems to be a tasteless vacuum, almost like a stock ale. Website claims it was made with 770 pounds of malt (the combined weight of three brewers/managers).

Overall this beer seemed to be everywhere and lacked focus. Not a fan.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2010 18:38:45 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

First had: on tap at CBC

I was kind of thrown off by this one. Poured a clearish darker amber color with a white ringlet. Aroma was oddly dominated by sweetness, caramel malts, a little brown sugar, with some herbal and floral hops notes in the back seat. Similarly, the taste was fairly sweet, caramel malts, and light fruit essence up front, nearly making me doubt this was a DIPA, followed by light herbal and citrus hops. Hmm. Body was medium and a bit chewy, not exactly what I expect for the style. And at less than 7%ABV, this came off more as an APA or even a beefed up amber ale than an IPA of any kind.

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2013 03:25:47 | More by Rifugium
Photo of dashirey
dashirey

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received from Dr. Dogbeer in the Growlerhog edition of Growling at the Moon. Thanks!!

A - Beer color is somewhere between copper and brown. Looks like a glass of iced tea. The pour from the growler creates a pretty fluffy head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

S - Some malt and some more hops. Not a bad smell, but nothing extraordinary either.

T - Overall very balanced from start to finish. I really enjoyed the beer and the taste, but just like the smell nothing jumps out and says look at me...or in the case taste me.

M - Medium bodied with carbonation that stings the tongue a little at the end, but generally good.

D - Despite not being blown away by the taste or smell. I really liked this beer and it was easy to drink. I would drink this one regularly if I had access to it.

Thanks again!!

Serving type: growler

01-29-2009 02:26:53 | More by dashirey
Photo of muttyd
muttyd

Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler purchased at the brewery.

Poured into a pint glass. Copper / amber body with a big off-white head. Piney/citrusy hop aroma. Some sweet caramel malt aroma as well. Classified as an American Strong Ale, but smells more like a malt forward IPA. Flavor is focused more on the malty sweetness and more of a florally hop flavor. Moderate carbonation and medium body. Very drinkable, "sessionable" ale.

Serving type: growler

12-13-2010 00:53:03 | More by muttyd
Photo of WanderingFool
WanderingFool

Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Big Man IPA pours a clear, dark copper color with a moderate, creamy head on top. The foam leaves a fair amount of netted lacing on the glass.

The aroma is faint and is on the malty side. It has notes of caramel malt, rye bread, orange/grapefruit citrus and some tropical fruit.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is creamy with soft carbonation. The flavor is begins with caramel malt, a touch of bread, and a little dark fruit (red grape?). The malt is complimented with some pine and citrus hops and a bitter finish. Once gone the caramel and bitterness lingers on the palate.

This beer was more malty than I expected. It's tasty and easy to drink and would go great with a burger.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2013 21:36:35 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of Monkeyknife
Monkeyknife

Missouri

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle a deep mahogany color (very dark for an IPA) with one finger of rich ivory head. Sheets of sticky lacing left behind.

Faint aroma of ripe fruit, bread, and caramel malts.

Tasted of citrusy orange and ripe fruit with a caramel malt backbone. Finished with a tinge of bitterness.

Medium bodied and sticky with a moderate carbonation.

A much darker and maltier IPA than I expected. It's good but not great.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 22:14:11 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of Beerenauslese
Beerenauslese

California

3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An IPA that is big on brown malt and hops, sort of in the early west coast style. I suppose a winter IPA should be darker and maltier rather than light and refreshing. I found this beer drinkable, but my overall impression was that it was sort of a harsh combo of hops and malt.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2014 02:49:42 | More by Beerenauslese
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice amber color with a good head and nice lacing. The nose brings some sharp citrus hops as well as some floral notes, which then lead into a moderate malty sweetness. Taste is not quite as powerful and the hops lose a bit of their edge. At the same time, the feel is pretty bitter and balances the sweetness well. Drinks quite well and is certainly a strong ale.

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2010 11:55:41 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of ThaFATkid
ThaFATkid

California

3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to wobblymailman for this one!

Served in a snifter from a 22 oz bottle labeled batch 01 NOV 2012

Appearance - is a darker amber brown with a light white head.

Smell- right off there is a sweet malty scent that is masked with a some what of a alcoholic ester and with a hop overtone.

Taste- is relatively mostly of a sweet malt character with a big hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel- more of a medium to light medium feel.

Overall- a sweet malty ipa similar to trying a ipa that has "aged" but in a good way (not that you want a aged ipa) less hop smell and more malty taste something that would be suggested for someone just getting into craft beer. A great beer nonetheless! First from CBC

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2012 05:15:52 | More by ThaFATkid
Photo of Pinknuggets
Pinknuggets

Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to custom pint glass

A: dark amber color looks dark for an ipa with a tan white head

T: smells how it looks with a ton of malt in the smell toasty with no real hop smell

S:again following the nose and look it is a malty ipa not a malt bomb though so it wasn't too over powering but there is really no hop taste so I can't say it's well balanced

M:it is slightly oily with a light carbonation and goes down pretty easy

O: I don't like malty ipas this one isn't the worst I've ever had but I didn't like it IMO hops need to at least have a present in ipas but if malty ipas are your thing go for it

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 08:33:33 | More by Pinknuggets
Photo of thekevlarkid
thekevlarkid

Maryland

3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at American Flatbread. This perfectly clear, copper-colored beer was delivered to my table with one finger of khaki-colored head. Great retention and it laced in thick, slightly-torn-up sheets. The aroma was rather understated, caramel malt and some leafy hops were all I could discern. The flavors however were quite enjoyable. The caramel malt was well balanced by the Fuggles dry-hopping which added a strong note of orange rind. This was a little bit root-like, especially at the end when the finish became distinctly bitter but crisp. I could tell it was punchy, but the taste was bold enough to make the alcohol seem appropriate. The mouthfeel was a little prickly, the carbonation lively and the body medium.

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2009 14:18:00 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the source.
Pours a slightly hazy golden to amber color with a decent off white head that displays moderate retention and minimal lace. Smells of citrus, lots of grapefruit and juicy floral hops. Bready toasty malt provides enough of a backbone to keep this in check. Taste is slightly harsh in bitterness with a bunch of pine and citrus. Malts sweep in bready caramel and toasty to balance this out a little. Medium body and carbonation level with a slick resinous mouthfeel. I enjoyed this one its a nice flavorful IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2011 04:02:40 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of morebeergood
morebeergood

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap this past weekend at the Washington Sq Tavern. Comes served in a CBC pint glass. Looks like any old beer when it arrives. Dark brown in color, thin white head. Not a lot of lacing. Smells a bit piney with some hops present. But the taste was a surprise. I just remember thinking, am I at CBC? Damn, that tasted fresh. Must have been tapped that afternoon. Very frothy and smooth in the mouth. Great earthy, piney, hoppy taste with just enough malt in the back. Didn't even notice the abv. I could have definitely had a few of these. This beer just got better the longer it was in my hand.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2009 00:29:59 | More by morebeergood
Photo of beerbiatchMD
beerbiatchMD

Maine

3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at CBC into a tulip glass.

A: dark reddish brown, minimal white head, reasonable lacing.

S: lots of pininess, hops for sure but not overly done.

T: citrusy hops, grassy earthy taste there as well.  Decent malt backbone underneath the hops with some caramel tones.

M: crisp, good carbonation, no complaints.

O: a good IPA, would recommend for sure but there are certainly better IPAs out there.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2011 03:56:00 | More by beerbiatchMD
Photo of PeterIngemi
PeterIngemi

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a duvel glass

A: pours much darker then I was expecting, a slight hazy dark reddish brown with a finger of slightly browned head, leaves tons of sticky lacing.

S: citrusy grapefruit and lightly toasted grain, a hint of pine as well, big malty backbone. Rather mild aroma over all.

T: pleanty of citrusy hops over a deep grainy malt body, a bit of caramel sweetness and lightly toasted Grain along with a touch if pine.

M: heavy medium body with a bit of graininess... Well rounded overall.

O: a good ipa, one of my favorite brews that I've had from CBC

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2012 05:43:52 | More by PeterIngemi
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Reagan1984. Served in a Half Acre pint glass. Batch #1 from November 2012 - unclear when, but this is at most 2 months old.

A - Two fingers of off-white foam settles to a thick cap, leaving behind a few stray splotches of lace. Very, very dark for an IPA; a transparent deep amber body with a few stray bubbles moving upwards.

S - Fairly malt-forward, with red fruits, caramel, and crystal malt immediately apparent. Hops are pine and herbal, with a touch of citrus zest in the background, and they grow in intensity as the beer warms up.

T - The taste has a bit more biscuit and toasted malt to it, and isn't as sweet as the aroma. Hops are earthy and piney for the most part, with a touch of grapefruit. Bitterness is somewhat intense, and while it doesn't bother me I can imagine it laying waste to less acclimated palates.

M - Zesty and somewhat harsh carbonation. Medium body, fairly smooth and chewy once you get past the bubbles. Finish is toasty and dry, and there is a touch of residual oily hops. There's also a bit of alcohol warmth that is surprising for a 6.8% beer.

D - To be fair, the bottle states this beer is 'big and malty', so it's not a lack of brewing ability here. This is an extremely retro American IPA, that verges into American Strong Ale territory in the vein of Arrogant Bastard. This wasn't at all what I was expecting, but it was still relatively easy to finish the 22oz bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 06:47:48 | More by MasterSki
Photo of guinness33
guinness33

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice looking, bold amber to brown colour with a mid-sized, slightly off-white head.

The aroma holds a nice balance between hops (which are more plentiful than expected) and malt sweetness from the likes of caramel. There's also a bit of roastiness here as well from the malt.

The flavour is quite similar to the aroma but a bit harsher (in a good way). There's sweetness here (maybe even more so than the aroma as a bit of fruit jumps into the mix), but the ruggedness from the malt is nicely blended as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit lighter than expected, but still nice overall.

I dug this one. It was probably my favourite of the brews that I sampled on my latest trip to Boston. Worth a try if you can find it on tap around the city (or certainly at the CBC)

Serving type: on-tap

03-16-2007 17:51:00 | More by guinness33
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear deep copper in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and some deep mahogany highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy foamy beige head that reduces to a couple of small thick patches of larger bubbles surrounded by a mottled very thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of caramel malts with a touch of light fruit sweetness (apple + pear) followed by moderate aromas of citrus/grapefruit zest hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of caramel malts with a light to moderate amount of sweetness including some light fruit flavors from the yeast (apple and pear stand out). There are moderate flavors of hops towards the finish which definitely linger - initially it is citrus/grapefruit zest followed by an earthy pine note. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness which linger for a short amount of time.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Initially it is a little prickly from the carbonation but then it becomes relatively smooth and just a touch of chewiness. Hints of dryness in the finish.

O: This American IPA is right on the border of an American Strong Ale (similar to beers like Stone Arrogant Bastard)... There is a lot of big maltiness to match with the hop profile turning out a fairly well balanced beer. Easy to drink, I had no issue putting down the 22 oz. bottle by myself. Alcohol is well hidden and this is enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2014 00:46:33 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of ichorNet
ichorNet

Massachusetts

3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A pretty dark color for an IPA; dark orange/rusty copper with great lace and a solid, retentive cap of off-white foam

Scent: Citric rind and caramel malt wrap around a revolving cast of wooden scents, sweet honey, fresh bread and some light fruity esters

Taste: Though the palate is shocked and numbed by bitter hops (mainly C varietals, mind you), malts are complex, vibrant and strong

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is middling, tending towards passive but never completely unengaging. An interesting body allows this to stand out

Drinkability: Not amazing but pretty satisfactory. There’s solid balance but also some very strong, periodic pulls in different directions that let it down

Overall: A pretty great "Winter seasonal IPA" from a fantastic brewery, Big Man occupies a space that is at once very necessary and yet utterly unsupported; Winter IPAs are a style that should be easy to recreate but which are often left behind for more marketable varieties such as warmers. I applaud CBC for sticking to their guns even through their bottling operation and creating large format bottles of beer for those who would wait out the cold season in hoppy, bitter and balanced style.

Read full review @ http://blogs.lowellsun.com/beer/2012/12/20/cambridge-brewing-big-man/

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2013 06:28:38 | More by ichorNet
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes last week at CBC.

A- Dark red body that allows almost no light to get through besides at the edges. Poured into a goblet from the tap and a one finger, off-white head forms atop the beer. Decent retention anda small ring leaves drizzle and spotty lace.

S- Fairly bright hops off the top bring a mix of tropical, pine, floral, fruity, herbal and spicy hop notes. Substantial malt balance with tones of cereal grains, nutty, toast and just a bit of yeast bread in here as well.

T- Malts open up nicely even for an IPA and balance out well with the chosen hops. Hops have a lot of pine and resin feel although there is some grapefruit, floral and earthy/spicy characters. Malts are as in the aroma and balance out the hops just about in equal strength.

MF- Creamy and frothy moderately bodied IPA. Carbonation is at a medium level and the overall texture is smooth. Medium bitter finish. Works with the flavors present.

Good balance of hops and malts with pine and toasted grains joining together. Mouthfeel is my favorite part and helps the flavor shine.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2014 04:11:49 | More by cbutova
Photo of JMScowcroft
JMScowcroft

Vermont

3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Cambridge Brewing Company - Big Man IPA, poured into a Boulevard tulip.

Look - Pours a cloudy deep caramel amber, real dark, good sized foamy head that dissipates quickly. Chunky lacing abound.

Smell - Rich sweet malt with juicy hops. Bready.

Taste - Big sweet malt with juicy and bitter hops that are definitely resiny.

Mouthfeel - Sticky malt. Heavy-medium bodied with low carbonation. Chewy, bready, and bitter.

Overall - Solid brew, would call this a cross between a Winter ale and an AIPA. Winter IPA?

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2014 18:00:05 | More by JMScowcroft
Photo of u2carew
u2carew

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Cambridge Brewing Co. Consumed 2/6/10

A) Thin head. Hazy body. Amber in color. Lacing is non-existent, but looks are deceiving with this exceptional brew.
S) Caramel. Floral sweetness. Cascade hops - just a guess.
T) Sharp hop bite up front - wow! Bitter but pleasant with a well balanced mix of malty sweetness. In the middle some mild nuttiness and floral tones. Finishes with the original hop bite that lingers into the aftertaste.
M) Crisp yet smooth. Medium to full body. Definitely some girth.
D) A great brew. I'd definitely drink more.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2010 01:11:46 | More by u2carew
Photo of sstackho
sstackho

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bukowski's in Boston (16oz for a paltry $2 with their dinner special!). I had this one after having the Great Divide Hercules Double IPA, so I had concerns that the taste from the heaven-in-a-glass that was the Hercules was going to linger in the mouth and overpower the Big Man Winter Ale. Well, that was an unnecessary worry. This one more than held its own against stiff competition. Rich, full and surprisingly hoppy. I guess I was expecting a more typically malty "winter ale" and was pleasantly surprised with what I got.

Serving type: on-tap

02-08-2007 23:26:42 | More by sstackho
Photo of Duhast500
Duhast500

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a pint glass.

The color is a hazy gold with about two and half fingers of white foamy head with some nice lacing.

The smell is a floral flavor with some citrus flavor. A nice mix of grapefruit and lemon is really nice.

The taste is pretty piney and has a great sharp hoppy flavor that is pretty enticing. I liked the good malty finish that evened out this beer and really made a great flavorful experience.

The feel of this beer was light and really even. There was some hops that wanted take too much of a stab at the easy drinking of this beer but it was all just washed away in the end.

Serving type: on-tap

02-08-2010 04:42:34 | More by Duhast500
Photo of perrymarcus
perrymarcus

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap at CBC.

color is a dull, hazy burnt orange / amber tone, glass arrived with maybe a 3/4" white head. good retention and lacing.

fragrant nose delivers a big citrus (notably grapefruit) hoppy presence with evidence of a sturdy malt backbone.

flavor follows the nose. plenty of balancing malt but the hops really shine through. citric / florally with a touch of pine. a little more bitter than i typically look for in my IPAs. medium bodied mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

overall a flavorful, enjoyable IPA. not one of my personal favorites but i would welcome a revisit anytime.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2011 01:25:41 | More by perrymarcus
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Big Man IPA from Cambridge Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 149 ratings.