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Big Swell IPA - Maui Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Big Swell IPABig Swell IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

577 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 577
Reviews: 223
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 29
Gots: 44 | FT: 0
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
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Ratings: 577 | Reviews: 223 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for the hitchhiker TorchedNoodle. Pours deep golden yellow, initially lots of white head that dissipitates. Grapefruit aroma, and taste. Average mouthfeel, very drinkable and satisfying. A bit stinging on the tongue, comment on the carbonation? Mildly astringent.Above average for style.

Sammy, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Canned on 8/23/11.

Pours a slightly murky honey gold with a 2 inch foamy orange-white head that settles to a craggy head. Foamy chunks of lace cling to the glass on the drink down. Smell is of caramel malt and some pine/herbal hops. Taste is of piney and herbal hops up front with a malt finish. This beer has a medium amount of bitterness that sits on top of the tongue with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slight crispness and a medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good IPA with huge hop flavors and bitterness but in that regard it's pretty one dimensional.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

zestar, Aug 08, 2014
Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

nmann08, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a sturdy whipped egg white head that leaves a nice ring of lacing

Smell: Resinous, but primarily grapefruit juice; a real smell from the tropics, with pineapple undertones

Taste: Opens with a nice biscuity flavor that qiuckly moves in a sweet and fruity, floral grapefruit direction by mid-palate; the swallow is pure grapefruit with hints of pineapple; rather sweet, but I like it

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Sweetness rules, by golly, and this is one refreshing IPA; very tropical and I wonder if Maui has considered mixing a little coconut into the concoction to make a pina colada IPA to match their Coconut Porter

Thanks, atigerlife, for the opportunity

brentk56, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly hazy Sunkist orange that indicates something darker than pale malt has been used. The golden ecru colored crown has tremendous texture, with all sort of visually interesting topography and a lovely array of lace on the upper reaches of the glass.

The nose is wonderfully aromatic. That's to be expected with a lupulus lineup that includes Columbus, Amarillo, Centennial and Cascade. Not a bad one in the bunch. Specifics include grapefruit, orange and a ganja-like dankness that is usually due to aged Cascade.

If you like hoptastic American IPAs, then Big Swell will probably hit you the same way it's hitting me. This is damn good stuff that I made sure to review within several weeks of having acquired it. All 65 IBUs feel like they're present and accounted for.

The beer crashes over the tongue in a wave of alpha acids, but it's far from abusive. The pale (and lightly toasted) malts provide just enough background sweetness and flavor to give the little green cones some contrast. White grapefruit rind is still going strong (classic Centennial) and the rest of the flavor rundown doesn't change much from the description seen above.

The body/mouthfeel easily keeps pace. It's substantial right out of the gate, stays strong along the backstretch and barely eases at the wire. Wonderful carbonation is, no doubt, most of the reason why.

Although all of the Maui canned beers are good, Big Swell IPA is my clear favorite. As a certified hophead, that's probably to be expected. This is a classic example of the style that has no (count 'em... zero) faults. Too bad this single isn't a sixer.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can: Poured a bright orangey color ale with a rather large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus and grapefruit hops seems very fresh with a subtle caramel malt base. Taste is also dominated by some green citrus and grapefruit hops with a subtle malt base sustaining quite well the hops profile. Full body with good carbonation. Better then expected and very well done for a West Coast IPA.

Phyl21ca, Feb 06, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this one out of the fridge to start the weekend at Lunch today. Served in a pint glass cold out of the can, this one was consumed on 12/12/2009.

Nice pour, classic amber color with a nice head of white dropping in on top at a height of around two inches, faded back into a broken crown but left some nice lacing around the edges of the glass. Aroma is sharp, citrus hops all the way, even after warming pineapple and orange are the dominant aromas here for sure. First sip is just what I needed. Sharp citrus bite right off the bat just jumps right out at me, classic. Crisp, clean with a nice buttery malt profile coming through mid palate and a nice sharp, lightly dry finsih and superb drinkability.

Overall a classic west coast IPA with a smooth, crisp, clean finish and solid all around taste. I would be happy to throw down a sixer of this one anyday

mikesgroove, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Texasfan549, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer pours a light amber color with a frothy white head which leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is slightly sweet and malt forward, but not terribly so. Decent citrus notes to it, particularly grapefruit and orange. A mild fruitiness gives the beer a bit more sweetness.

T: A nice fruitiness to the beer with hints of tropical fruits, but mostly it's citrus. There is a bit of pine and a moderate bitterness as well as a light floral quality. Some toasted bread and caramel malt sweetness.

M: Medium in body with a medium carbonation.

O: Not a bad beer, but like a lot of the Maui products, not amazing.

womencantsail, May 31, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

ygtbsm94, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

spycow, Apr 28, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

kylehay2004, Jun 28, 2014
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +5.5%

jaydoc, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clearish, dark amber body with a fizzy, off-white head.

Smell: Herbaceous, pine needle-strewn scent with notes of grapefruit segments. Some pale malts as an afterthought.

Taste: Sharply herby, with further hop flavors of pine and citrus. Not too terribly much in the way of malt or sweetness, which exaggerates the medium bitterness. Piney, herbal hints in the bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation. Slightly oily mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Decent enough for an IPA.

ChainGangGuy, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of emerge077
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Canned 8/14/12 on the bottom of the can.

Earthy vegetal hop aroma, slightly floral, a touch soapy. Super bright clarity, jewel tone light orange. Thin veil of white foam, it breaks after the first couple sips. A bit of flat grainy malt in the initial taste with some herbal and floral hop notes toward the end. Mild bitterness. Light bodied and drinkable but ultimately not too hoppy or memorable.

Thanks Chris for sharing this one!

emerge077, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of largadeer
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Always nice to see canned IPAs. 12 oz can to glass, the beer is copper-colored with a moderate haze. Nicely carbonated, the small white head retains well.

The nose has a juicy tropical fruit aroma, almost like Juicy Fruit gum, with notes of fresh herbs and citrus. I also pick up a faint metallic aroma beneath the hops.

Surprisingly light on the palate, there's a fair amount of juicy, fruity hop flavor but little bitterness to back it up. Sweetness is at a lower moderate level, fruity in character and pleasantly light on the palate. I get a mineral twang up front, but it's quickly washed away by malt and hops. The finish is lightly bitter, with lingering leafy hop flavors and a touch of biscuit-like malt. Very mild and accessible stuff, enjoyable but far from transcendent.

largadeer, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz can. Not making it to this particular island on this trip, so best I grab one from the ubiquitous local convenience stores in Waikiki.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden amber colour, with two fingers of foamy, somewhat creamy off-white head, which leaves a pretty consistent array of webbed, bike-chain lace around the glass as it lazily sinks away.

It smells of bready caramel malt, decent grapefruit and orange citrus, with a surprising, but quite enjoyable, biscuit cereal aroma wafting up in the middle of it all. The taste is nice biscuity caramel/toffee malt, a little more coy citrus hops than in the nose, but still holding the room with their zippy goodness, aided in part by a slight herbal/pine sideshow. No excess sass from the big (for a straight IPA) ABV either.

The bubbles are pretty agreeable as they go about their pedestrian job, the body a sturdy medium weight, and delectably smooth, even with those prickish hop interlopers. It finishes good and hoppy, the citrus and leafy pine turning out for a last hurrah, but not without a serious sidelong glance from the attendant bready malt sweetness.

A pretty swell (I kid, I kid) IPA, really. And big, did I mention that? Anyways, awesome in a can - can I really bring these to the beach? Gonna sure as hell find out soon!

biboergosum, May 08, 2012
Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clouded orange hued amber with a creme head. Nose is all pine and citrus hops. Flavor brings the same with an earthy backbone it seems. A fair amount of malts are present it seems. Feel has a thicker liquid body. Carbonation is full. This is a fairly easy to drink IPA. Thick enough flavor to keep it interesting, but not so ridiculously obnoxious that it puts it in another level.

Thanks to srroos for this one!

RblWthACoz, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of nickfl
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

nickfl, Oct 31, 2013
Photo of russpowell
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up in CO a few days ago...

Pours an effervescent honey color with 2+ fingers of cream colored head. Average head retention & above average lacing

S: Grapefruit, pineapple, honey & faint breadyness

T: Grapefruit & pine with some breadyness & a bit of a grainy edge up front. Some woody hops & caramel sweetness as this warms, plus a touch of apricot. Finishes with citrus hop notes, grainy breadyness & grassy hop notes

MF: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, good balance

This is very drinkable & I believe is better than the sum of its parts

russpowell, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in the recent Secret Bunny BIF - thanks Kevin (mymrnngjckt)! Served in my Surly pint glass.

Biases - I love beer from a can, Lahaina, and baseball (it's Opening Day), so I may be a little manic today.

A - Two fingers of frothy white foam that takes forever to dissipate and leaves tons of soapy lacing. Hazed glowing golden color with a few tiny bubbles. Among the best looking IPAs I've seen (and I've seen a lot).

S - I was worried this might be old as it came all the way from Maui somehow, but after one whiff my fears where quelled. Loads of tangy bitter citrus (lemon, grapefruit) with some pine as well, over top of some light biscuity malt. Very refreshing!

T - The taste is a bit more subdued - lots of pine and floral hoppiness with a hint of lemon zest. There's a fair bit of bread and biscuit maltiness as well. Very balanced - I'm guessing it has a little bit of age on it (1-2 months) - but it's still quite nice. I'd have scored it higher if I'd been told it was an English IPA. Very mild bitterness in the aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied, and very creamy and smooth. I don't think I've ever said this before for an IPA, but it's actually kind of undercarbonated - a little bit syrupy. Lots of residual oily hop resin.

D - This will be my session beer if I ever get back to Hawaii. Just a really solid IPA - nice flavor, feel, aftertaste. I definitely feel warmer after drinking it.

MasterSki, Apr 06, 2009
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Maui Brewing Big Swell IPA. "Big, hoppy, bold, smooth, and hoppy…did we mention hoppy?" ALC 6.8% by VOL.

Hazy, bright golden hue, Small tight ring of white foam, leaves some lace.

Aroma: pungent and hoppy, plenty of pine and citrus, lemon and orange ahoy! Plenty of bitter, with a hint of sour, and a touch, just a touch, of the sweet. Wonderful complexity.

Taste: Mmmm. Yeah. Boom, there it is. Citrus zest all over the palate, but never too much, not too bitter, not too strong. Hangs on the palate long, slight astringency, but, yeah, smooth, drinkable, and delicious. So nice. Medium-bodied. Tasty tango of bitter and sweet. Downable, indeed, full of hoppitude and hoppiness. Nice stuff.

feloniousmonk, May 22, 2012
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

nothing special here. pours a lighter looking orange color with a lacey white head. smells like bitter hops, very american in style. flavor is just kind of boring, everything in fine proportion, but not an interesting brew. the hops are just bitter, not lots of subtle flavors there. feel is alright, lighter in body and good carbonation. overall not a beer i would buy again

StonedTrippin, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +5.5%

oline73, Nov 16, 2011
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Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 577 ratings.