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Big Man IPA - Cambridge Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Man IPABig Man IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

57 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 57
Hads: 188
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 20.84%
Wants: 13
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2000

Formerly known as Big Man Ale.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Man IPA Alström Bros
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Reviews: 57 | Hads: 188
Photo of tai4ji2x
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of Chincino
4.22/5  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!

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Photo of TrevorGW
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of BillyBrew
4.23/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.27/5  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!

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Photo of Truh
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of koopa
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
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.


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.

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Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of JohnPolino
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Blackstrap BBQ in Winthrop, MA....Wow! Blown away. Poured darker than expected, but had an excellent citrus nose. Grapefruit. well balanced and delicious. I'm a fan!

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Photo of DIM
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of soundbarrier
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of BeTheBall
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
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

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Photo of smcnulty1981
4.97/5  rDev +23.3%
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

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Big Man IPA from Cambridge Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.