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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

168 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 168
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.33%
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Man IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 168 | Reviews: 55 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thekevlarkid
3.85/5  rDev -3%
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.

thekevlarkid, Feb 03, 2009
Photo of Burt
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Burt, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of WanderingFool
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

WanderingFool, Feb 08, 2013
Photo of waiting4lunch
4/5  rDev +0.8%

waiting4lunch, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of Monkeyknife
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Monkeyknife, Feb 03, 2014
Photo of PatGreer
4/5  rDev +0.8%

PatGreer, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of buzzy
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

buzzy, Monday at 03:39 AM
Photo of trevorpost
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

trevorpost, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of doremite
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

doremite, Jul 19, 2013
Photo of Drknight
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Drknight, Jun 11, 2014
Photo of Rekrule
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Rekrule, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of NEhophead
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
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!

NEhophead, Mar 05, 2007
Photo of morebeergood
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

morebeergood, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of jschott75
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

jschott75, May 04, 2014
Photo of AnitaBrewski
4/5  rDev +0.8%

AnitaBrewski, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of 2GOOFY
4/5  rDev +0.8%

2GOOFY, Apr 02, 2014
Photo of kvgomps
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

kvgomps, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of Bilco
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Bilco, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of Cramerican
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Cramerican, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of SixpointJMH
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
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)

SixpointJMH, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of angrybabboon
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

angrybabboon, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of jbertsch
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

jbertsch, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of tai4ji2x
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

tai4ji2x, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of AdamP
4/5  rDev +0.8%

AdamP, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I’ve enjoyed every one of the beers I’ve tasted from Massachusetts’ own Cambridge Brewing; glad this one showed up at the bottle shop. Cheers!

Bottled 12/27/2013, about a month and a half before the date of this tasting.

A: Burnt-orange body, slightly hazy, with a thick, foamy head of beige soap bubbles. After about a minute of fizzing and popping it’s down to a half-inch of retention, though some chunky lacing is left in the wake.

S: Well balanced hop and malt complexity gives this nose a deep character, with strong tones of oily, resinous pine weaving in and out of a thick vanilla and caramel maltiness. These two hefty tones play well off each other, as do some supplemental notes of citric hops and fruity cereal (think Fruity Pebbles) from the grain bill.

T: I’m getting the fruit character much more pronounced here than in the nose, especially seeing as it’s the first thing I can taste: notes of grape, melon, and apricot, like what you’d get from a hoppy wheat beer (here’s looking at you, Gumballhead). But what comes next is a subtle malt palate that comes off with an earthy, inoffensive sweetness, a nuanced blend of vanilla icing, cinnamon pastry, and pecan. Finishes with a bright citrus flavor, moderately dry in a lemony hop fashion.

M: Outstanding – the foamy carbonation seen on the first pour provides a wonderfully drinkable froth to the body, a texture that’s enough to set this beer even further apart from your standard IPAs. Light-to-medium body.

O: It’s unfortunate that this beer comes in nothing but a relatively expensive bomber; price and package it like Two-Hearted and this would be a go-to. As far as IPAs within this palate and ABV range, it might even beat out Torpedo – and that’s saying something.

BarryMFBurton, Feb 10, 2014
Big Man IPA from Cambridge Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 168 ratings.