1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Big Swell IPA - Maui Brewing Co.

Big Swell IPABig Swell IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

491 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 491
Reviews: 221
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.05%


Brewed by:
Maui Brewing Co. visit their website
Hawaii, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
50+ IBU

(Beer added by: GClarkage on 01-19-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 491 | Reviews: 221 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Hibernator
Hibernator

Massachusetts

3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Big Swell IPA
12 oz can
Canned 011514 in jet ink on the bottom of the can
Served in an 8 oz hotel glass

I picked up a 6 pack of Big Swell IPA on the way back from an ATV tour at Kipu Ranch earlier today. After being in the sun for the past few hours, this IPA is quite refreshing.

Pours a hazy and golden light orange with a fluffy white head. Awesome trails of sticky lace form on the side of the glassware.

After my first whiff I detect a floral and hoppy nose with some maltiness in the background.

There is a caramel malt backbone with some sugary sweetness. The finish provides a nice hop profile with flavors of oranges and limes. A solid IPA with an unsuspecting ABV level of 6.8%.

Serving type: can

03-22-2014 02:34:15 | More by Hibernator
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89

California

4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours an opaque straw color with a short white head that fades slowly to a few big bubbles.

S: A bit of malt, a lot of orange, fruity ale esters, grapefruit peel and honey tangerine in a slightly dull nose.

T: Taste is quite a bit sharper with lots of grapefruit peel up front, orange and orange rind over a light malt backbone, turning into honey tangerine and orange zest in a nectary, sweet, fruity finish. Out of the can, it's a bit quicker transition with a lingering sweetness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with less than average carbonation for an IPA.

O: I really liked this beer. It's very citrus-forward, and I like the specifically honey tangerine taste and scent it has. I love regular tangerine, but honey tangerine is even better to me. Body is nice and smooth for an IPA, too, which is always a plus for me. Definitely recommended.

Serving type: can

03-07-2014 07:40:09 | More by BierJager89
Photo of jtierney89
jtierney89

New Jersey

3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed orange glow with tight bright white head that's about two fingers high.
Super floral nose and super resinous as well. Lots of bitter citric fruit rinds. Quite a pungent nose.
The flavor is a hop assault. All of what's on the nose comes through on the palate from front to back. Bitter citric rind all the way with a bit of sweet biscuity malt beneath but in no way is this brew balanced. Slightly slick finish with really clean bitterness. Brisk and bitter. I like it but the price is outrageous.
On the lighter side of medium bodied. Lots of deep hidden hop flavors. Oranges grapefruit and citrus very floral with hints of pine as well.

Serving type: can

03-04-2014 04:50:30 | More by jtierney89
Photo of beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Solid gold color with lively carbonation and a thick, frothy white head. Floral and citrus hop aroma hits you right off and then slowly fades with a more pronounced malt nose. Big hop bitterness dominates the flavor and aftertaste; slightly juicy with a light malt character. Medium bodied, crisp, clean and dry finish.

A big hop bitterness is the highlight of this IPA. Not much of an overt malt presence in the taste, but there is enough to keep the hop bitterness from completely running away with things. Zesty and delicious.

Serving type: can

02-11-2014 02:59:24 | More by beergoot
Photo of Tsekouratos
Tsekouratos

Greece

4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sparkling orange color with a white head that left lacings on the glass. Aromas of pine, citrus and tropical fruits at first. The taste was pretty much the same, more intense with bitter orange and maybe lemon. Holding the sip in the mouth for a couple of seconds added a nice sweetness to second the hops. The aftertaste was long and dry and very pleasant. The body was light to medium and the carbonation was medium, maybe the only disadvantage. A very nice beer!!

Serving type: can

12-26-2013 02:36:07 | More by Tsekouratos
Photo of abeeronthebeach
abeeronthebeach

Washington

3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - An orange-tinged gold with a decent looking white foamin' head.

S - A healthy dose of citrus and hops.

T - Not as aggressive as I'd feared, although I was gagging slightly by the end of my pint (poured 2 cans into a glass). Robustly hoppy, with refreshing grapefruit segments. Got really bitter for me on the aftertaste towards the end.

M - Pretty nicely balanced, seemed to keep up with the tongue.

O - IPAs really aren't my thing, but I'm trying to change that which is why I went for the Big Swell. I was pleased not to be overwhelmed by the bitterness, and I always appreciate a nice grapefuity edge. Perhaps this style is starting to grow on me.

Serving type: can

10-19-2013 09:12:45 | More by abeeronthebeach
Photo of ADZA
ADZA

Australia

3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another can offering and pours a clear golden hue with the fluffiest three finger billowing head and tight lacing everywhere,the smell is pineapple,guava,boiled candy and a slight touch of piney citrus,the mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and has tastes of piney citrus bitter hops first up followed by the briefest cameo of caramel malts and finished with a solid grapefruit bitterness and overall it's a solid IPA that's all about the hops but its nothing stand outish either cheers.

Serving type: can

07-30-2013 11:56:59 | More by ADZA
Photo of Hendry
Hendry

Vermont

3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy amber with a 2 finger off white head,decent lacing.

Aroma is mostly candied citrus with sweet malts dominating the mix.

Flavor is malty like the nose,some hopiness trying to break through with little success.

Medium moutfeel,grainy from the high malt content,not overly dry in the finish.

Another beer promising a huge amount of hops, yet the malts override: meh!

Serving type: can

07-18-2013 02:59:17 | More by Hendry
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing

California

3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned on date of 04/10/13

Appearance - Pours a fairly clear golden orange with a white, frothy 2 finger head. Retention is decent, and leaves a thin film of microbubbles across the surface. Spotty lacing with good stick.

Smell - More malty than one would expect; biscuit and touches of caramel met by mellow, tropical hop notes. Mild pineapple and orange.

Taste - Malty upfront. Aforementioned biscuit is also found in the flavor, along with hints of caramel. Mild earth and tropical fruitiness... and then the Hops really kick in(!) about mid-taste, really driving this thing home with an ever-strengthening grapefruit pith bitterness that extends into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with low to moderate carbonation. Smooth and drinkable. Slightly slick.

Overall - Good thing this beer didn't suck, because with a name like Big Swell, it's got 'Big Swill' nickname potential written all over it. Jokes aside, it's a fairly good IPA, but it is this reviewer's opinion that for $10-12 bucks per sixer, there are better IPA's out there for much better value.

Serving type: can

06-25-2013 02:11:41 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of Moose90
Moose90

Colorado

4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned 030413
Tasted 061713

A – Pours a somewhat hazy light orange color with a good sized fizzy white head. Fades quickly but leaves a nice thin coating and laces down the inside of the glass.

S – Lots of pineapple on this one, some mango as well, not very citrusy, get more tropical fruit notes, papaya as well. A little bit of pine is present. Nicely sweet.

T – More citrus comes through on this front, some grapefruit notes mostly. Nicely bitter overall, leaves you wanting to come back for more. Nice sweet notes of pineapple and light caramel malts.

M – Perfectly medium bodied with a finish that is astringent yet nice.

O – Not bad at all, nicely balanced, simple and approachable. The flavors here are great, and this tends towards the juicier side of the IPA spectrum. Very nice.

Serving type: can

06-17-2013 21:47:06 | More by Moose90
Photo of delta490
delta490

Virginia

3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- clear light gold. No head retention. A little lacing.
S- earthy.
T-similar to aroma. Earthy with subtle pine and malt. Tasted better than I thought it would.
M- easy drinker. Thinner but not bad with its flavor.
O- well above average with an interesting taste profile

Serving type: on-tap

06-17-2013 11:43:18 | More by delta490
Photo of ckollias
ckollias

Maryland

3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed this 12oz can out of a craft beer glass.

A: Pours a light orange-copper hue with a thick, white, 2-finger head that slowly dissipates, leaving a great trail, and solid persistent lace.

S: Hoppy aroma with a citrus background.

T: Extremely bitter and hoppy flavor - touch of citrus and malt – finishes on the bitter side.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Solid IPA – nice and hoppy.

Serving type: can

06-16-2013 04:28:03 | More by ckollias
Photo of dannydetox
dannydetox

California

2.96/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

revisited this beer today, and my opinion hasn't changed. from the can into the glass, the beer poured a hazy, pale amber with a frothy white head. significant lacing remained on the sides of the glass after each sip. aromas are faint, to say the least; vague pine and floral notes with a background of some malts. on the palate the big swell greats with noticeable sweet chocolate malt and something fruity. bittering hops make a subtle appearance at the finish, but this bear is barely an ipa to me. drinks and tastes like a pale ale, and the 50-something ibu seems generous. while not unpleasant, this offering disappoints for the style, and is less representative of American ipa brewing.

Serving type: can

05-30-2013 02:04:24 | More by dannydetox
Photo of BeerRefugee
BeerRefugee

Oklahoma

3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy orange color. Big white head with good retention and lacing. Very nice aroma of citrus and piney hops along with some caramel sweetness. Flavor is similarly well-balanced. The caramel malt is a little more noticeable, but really enhances rather than detracts from the hoppiness of the beer. Medium-full bodied and a touch undercarbonated for my taste, but a really very good beer.

Serving type: can

04-30-2013 21:14:40 | More by BeerRefugee
Photo of iSip
iSip

Colorado

2.68/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Maui Brewing Big Swell IPA: This beer pours with a clear golden body and decent head. The aroma is fruity. And the flavor is very fruity as well, I taste passionfruit or something like that. No hop bitterness. All in all, not bad for something different, but not up to par with the many competing IPA's out there when you are in the mood for a great IPA.

Serving type: can

04-16-2013 17:20:14 | More by iSip
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned 12/10/12

A: Pours a clear amber with a good sized fizzy white head. Slowly fading head leaves minimal fluffy bits of lacing behind. Decent retention.

S: Mild grapefruit. A little caramel.

T: Again, mild grapefruit up front. Surprisingly sweet with a nice caramel backdrop. Brief wave of bitterness in the middle. Finishes with mild grapefruit and that sweet caramel pervading.

M: Medium bodied with a bit of a drying finish.

O: Hmph, not bad. Nicely balanced but simple. I enjoyed the flavors, they meld well and it goes down easily.

Serving type: can

04-12-2013 03:13:58 | More by Dope
Photo of rawfish
rawfish

California

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear copper with a slight chill haze forming a billowing two and a half finger high head. Retention is average but leave nice streaks of lacing on the glass.

Smell is a bit light and rather sweet. Caramel malts and honey under a hop profile of oranges, mango and pine agitation brings the aroma up some make it more floral and bright.

Solid malty backbone, caramel malts slightly sweetened by molasses. Hop flavor is primarily pine which stays at an even keel while welcoming in notes of grapefruit rind and oranges. Very smooth taste, bitterness is present but not overly bold. Finished clean without much drying. Grapefruit rind lingers in the aftertaste.

Smooth across the palate with appropriate carbonation and body. Could dry better but finishes neatly.

Appropriate for a can, an IPA that is solid all around and you wouldn't be missing any of the aroma or flavor by sacrificing the glass. Good canned beer, one of Hawaii's best.

Serving type: can

03-26-2013 02:56:49 | More by rawfish
Photo of Justin_Neff
Justin_Neff

Ohio

3.59/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep orange color with 2 finger fizzy head. Laces the glass well. Medium amount of cloudiness.

S: Strong pine, citrus, and hops. Grapefruit and some malts that come off as caramel and toffee notes.

T: Follows the nose. Not overly bitter, but also not a ton of hop domination. Orange and grapefruit rind and peel taste. The hop taste is there, but it struggles to shine against the high amount of malt character.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. A strong bite that comes off as a little dry.

O: This one is ok, but the malt character outshines the hoppiness, and I prefer a little more hop flavor in a good IPA. It didn't balance extremely well. Good citrus and pine notes, however. Glad I tried, but probably wouldn't buy and have again if I saw it on the shelf.

Serving type: can

02-28-2013 01:09:05 | More by Justin_Neff
Photo of ummswimmin
ummswimmin

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I poured this can into my tulip glass. I like the relatively clear-orange coloring on this beer. It looks nice when held up to the light. There was copious amounts of sticky foam on top of this one.

I really enjoy the hop-forward aroma on this one. You get a decent amount of citrus.

I'm a little mixed on the flavor of this beer. You get the same hops as in the nose, but there is also some fruityness in there. I don't get much malt, and the mix of flavor leaves some imbalance.

This was an interesting beer. I would try it as a change to the stock IPA's that are plentiful out there.

Serving type: can

02-08-2013 19:07:20 | More by ummswimmin
Photo of endovelico
endovelico

Portugal

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This enticing, slightly foggy tangerine brew packs a bold, exotic smell with a lot of grapefruit, mango, flowers and orange blossom aromatics. Unfortunately the tongue doesn't seem to follow up on the nose closely enough. At the tongue, you get a lot of what i can only call lupulin dust, which is basically what causes that bitter pollen taste. You still get the exotic and citrusy character but not enough as it gets completely back staged.

Unfortunately, this lupulin character is just not working for me; Which is a shame as this beer is pretty well made otherwise. The palate for instance is spot on! They did great work in hiding the ABV and hitting the body, carbonation, sweetness and bitterness.

It's still one of the best straightforward tropical fruit & citrus IPAs I've had, It just tastes a bit off to me, unfortunately.

Serving type: can

01-27-2013 20:34:54 | More by endovelico
Photo of EmperorBevis
EmperorBevis

United Kingdom (England)

4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a golden body with good thick foamy white head.

You can smell this baby next door, huge aromas of pine disinfectant, honey and grapefruit.

This must be the hoppiest beer I have had yet, all those smells are there multiplied adding an extra dimension of menthol throat lozenge and a hell of a bitter kick.

For such a heavy kicking taste and the kind of booze effect that goes straight to the head it is so easy drinking due to a fine mouthfeel and superb carbonation.

Is it true they have stopped brewing

For Shame as this is a most triumphant brew.

Serving type: can

01-25-2013 23:47:12 | More by EmperorBevis
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

2.95/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Canned 31OCT12

Nice golden raisen ale with an etched surface and a rim of light white foam. Excellent clarity. Smells kinda weak, some pine, peach and a healthy crystal malt sweetness. Taste is bitter and carries grapefruit pith, some dry orange peel, some biscuit and sweet malts. Medium bodied and moderate carb with a dry finish. It seems like a par for the course beer.

Serving type: can

01-20-2013 05:05:56 | More by harrymel
Photo of MikeB20
MikeB20

Delaware

3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

P: 12oz can into a perfect pint glass.

A: Pours a nice golden yellow with a big foamy off white head. Very nice looking beer in the glass.

S: Hoppy, pine and citrus with some rind. A little malt but it's subdued by the hops. Caramel becomes present as the beer warms in the glass.

T: A solid malt backbone that's supported by some nice hop flavors. The pine and citrus aroma carries through to the flavor with the citrus hops having a rind-like taste. I like my IPA's to have a nice malt base to support the hops and this beer does a pretty good job.

M: Slick, moderate body and carbonation. It's what I would expect from the style.

O: This s a nice IPA. It doesn't do anything new but what it does is right for the style. I might not actively seek out this beer but I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again if I saw it on the shelf.

Serving type: can

01-19-2013 18:52:41 | More by MikeB20
Photo of facundoCNB
facundoCNB

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a nice clean copper pour with visible carbonation, 2 fingers of foamy white head leaving behind nice amounts of lacing. smells of pine, grass, grapefruit, caramel, rum. a sweet malty ipa with an overall piney hop flavor. hints of caramel and oak. medium body with moderate carbonation.. a bit rough on the tongue with the bitter flavor (confuse it with alcohol the way it sits on the tongue).
a solid ipa, but again it feels like the hops are fading and could be a bit fresher. the backbone malt profile of the beer is excellent though.

Serving type: can

01-15-2013 01:29:06 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of flyingpig
flyingpig

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A mild amber colour with a pinky sized, bubbly white head that halves in size over the course of the first minute and then remains that way for the duration.

Sweet and hoppy with a nice floral base and a good mix pine and grapefruit. There was some citrus and a faint whiff of caramel malts right at the end.

Grapefruit and pine hops to kick things off, along with some nice bitterness and a hint of citrus. Very much like what you'd expect from the style with the hops dominating with some spice and again some light caramel malts.

Lively carbonation and a medium body with plenty of hops on the palate resulting in a slightly dry feel. It's quite a smooth beer and one that goes down well.

A very typical America IPA taste and exactly what I was expecting from this one, strong and in your face hops that are present from the second the can is opened. Definitely one I can recommend and one that I would have again.

Serving type: can

01-08-2013 12:05:51 | More by flyingpig
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 491 ratings.