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Big Man IPA - Cambridge Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Man IPABig Man IPA

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

162 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 162
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 13
Gots: 5 | 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:
Formerly known as Big Man Ale.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Man IPA Alström Bros
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Ratings: 162 | Reviews: 55 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -24.6%

02-04-2012 16:50:15 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -5%
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 brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +16.3%
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 nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

09-03-2013 17:53:49 | More by nmann08
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

05-08-2014 22:08:38 | More by acurtis
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
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 MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -2%
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 Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
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 Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
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 jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
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 Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
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 oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
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 smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +5%
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 Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
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
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
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 rab53
rab53

Washington

4/5  rDev +0.5%

11-25-2012 18:55:15 | More by rab53
Photo of Kelp
Kelp

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

04-29-2013 06:12:56 | More by Kelp
Photo of PEIhop
PEIhop

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

11-30-2012 21:22:22 | More by PEIhop
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
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 Rhettroactive
Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +0.5%

04-28-2014 01:20:56 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -24.6%

11-25-2012 14:01:46 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

05-12-2014 16:07:35 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of bpfrush
bpfrush

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

11-14-2011 16:38:03 | More by bpfrush
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.18/5  rDev +5%
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 VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Big Man pours a dark copper color. Body of the beer is extra clear. Slow bubbles lazily rise to the odd head. Head is an odd consistency. Wet and suds but quite thin. It leaves near solid lacing that seems to dry and stiffen along the glass.

S-Well balanced is the first thought that crosses the mind. The hops are big and incredibly perfumey. Smells a bit like cream soda in an odd way. Lighter notes of candied citrus and pine needles. Malt is toffee and caramel. Quite sweet but definitely unique. Caramel dipped flowers.

T-Very malty at first but then a slicing axe of pine and grass amputate the malty limbs. One of the most blatant and extraordinary flavor shifts I have experienced. Just sweet bread and caramel and candied treats followed by a rushing wave of bitter hoppiness. Quite cool. Florals come out too. Damn that flavor evolution really caught me off guard. Its as if my tongue was the catalyst for some sort of dramatic chemical reaction.

M-Resiny and full on the palate. Soft carbonation. Almost feels like it was casked. The heavy maltiness thickens the body as well. Substantial bitterness. Light twinge of alcohol.

O/D-Definitely unique! I would have to be in the mood for this to try it again. A great IPA for the cooler months. A bit too balanced and the hops aren't really on my side of the spectrum but this was definitely worth it. In a world filled with too many boring IPAs this one really deserves points for its individuality. Cambridge Brewing Co. makes awesome beer; thanks for bottling it guys.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 02:58:59 | More by VelvetExtract
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Big Man IPA from Cambridge Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.