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Big Swell IPA - Maui Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Big Swell IPABig Swell IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

375 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 375
Hads: 905
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 29
Gots: 105 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Maui Brewing Co. visit their website
Hawaii, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: GClarkage on 01-19-2008

50+ IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Swell IPA Alström Bros
Reviews: 375 | Hads: 905
Photo of ckollias
3.81/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of BryanCarey
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Maui Big Swell IPA has a nice appearance. It pours to an orange/tan colored hue and a moderate pour is all that is necessary to create a fluffy head of white foam. The beer has an interesting nose that showcases scents such as citrus, floral, and a touch of pine.

Moving to the taste, this beer has a lot going on. Pine and bread greet the taste buds first, followed by herbs, citrus, and earthiness. The beer finishes a little bit harsh, but still with a good bread/biscuit aftertaste.

I love IPA and I don’t mind the occasional brew that calls itself IPA but deviates somewhat from the norm. This beer seems to be doing just that. It isn’t all about the citrus, like so many other American IPA. It is much more to share, and its less bitter profile could make it a hit with those who are otherwise non- IPA fans.

However, this beer in many ways seems to have a little too much going on. It may offer a good deal of complexity, but it goes a little further than an IPA really should. It is also a little harsh in the finish, and that could be enough to turn IPA fans against it.

This beer isn’t the all- out hoppy brew that the manufacturer claims, and that could prove both good and bad depending on who you ask. Let’s just say that it’s an okay beer but not one of the greatest I have tried and in some ways a little too eccentric for its own good. It’s fine to try, but there are much better American IPA available.

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Photo of dannydetox
2.95/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

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Photo of BeerRefugee
3.89/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of jibbyvonjibb
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange-copper color, fairly pale for the style. Aroma is medium intensity. Grapefruit and pine. Some soapiness, which is a tad off-putting. Light body. Clean finish. Little hop bitterness. Slight acidity. A refreshing, light IPA (almost a Pale Ale). I was hoping for a more vibrant freshness, but it's still a good session beer.

Try again? Maybe.

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Photo of iSip
2.7/5  rDev -29.9%
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.

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Photo of Dope
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of rawfish
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of Justin_Neff
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of endovelico
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of harrymel
2.94/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

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Photo of MikeB20
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.89/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance has a slightly cloudy light golden color supporting a healthy head leaving fair lace. Smell of caramel malt, citrus grapefruit having a nice aroma of floral hops. Taste has a nice balance of sweet caramel malt, grapefruit bitter with the hops definitely present but not overpowering. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. A very nice easy going IPA that I would love to try on tap.

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Photo of nimrod979
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden orange. Average one finger white head. Decent retention and some lacing here and there.

Aroma: Floral and piney with a nice dose of tropical fruity hops. Some crystal malts take a backseat here.

Taste: Similar to aroma, as far as the hops go. Solid IPA with no real tricks but it's one that I can dig. Malts seems a little more toasty and bready and prevalent in the flavor than in the aroma. Somewhat vegetal. I'm sure would be a bit better if it were more fresh.

Mouthfeel: Average for an IPA. Medium body with a slightly high carbonation. Lingering bitterness in the finish.

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Photo of emerge077
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
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!

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Photo of Dave1999
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light orange, mostly transparent with a small foamy head.

The smell is Citrus and a little pine.

The taste is bitter, citrus,a little spicy Evan.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall a pretty tasty IPA to drink in Hawaii. I preferred this to konas IPA.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - light yellow appearance with a thick white head. Nice big bubbles that disappear pretty quickly.

S - Piney hops up front with some biscuit in the back end.

T - Strong hop bite that's pretty bitter. A little bit of floral taste on the back end along with some pine. Not a lot of malt in the taste.

M - Nice carbonation with a hop taste that lasts a while.

O - Very drinkable IPA but there are plenty of better options. I do think this beer drinks great out of the can though.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can(!) poured into a tulip glass

A: Slow pour results in big foamy head, takes a while to subside and leaves sheets of sticky lacing and a bit of a cap. Beer is the cloudy amber IPAs are supposed to look like.

S: Grapefruit, citrus, pine - the classic smells of an IPA.

T: Sadly, doesn't live up to the promising beginning. Some citrus, some pine, lots of hops, but very unbalanced. Despite medium alcohol content, you pick up quite a bit of it.

M: Good at the beginning, but quickly leads to a bitter dryness. Pretty highly carbonated as a result of being in the can and fresh. Quite drinkable, though.

O: Taste really knocks this down; they need to work on the overwhelming bitterness and meld it with the other flavors. It's still quite drinkable and refreshing and I like the can for IPAs, but this is a long, long way from Heady Topper territory.

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Photo of NudeManOnPatrol
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this little gem of a can at the BierKoning in Amsterdam.

Pours out with a thin white head that lingers. Pretty decent lacing throughout. Grapefruit and lots of pine notes are in the taste. Also got a bit of lemongrass. The carbonation is about perfect, which gives the beer some body. Bitter aftertaste.

Overall a pretty nice IPA, but could use a bit more malt to round it out. Some of the flowery/fruity notes could be a bit more balanced.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my buddy Paul for passing this along to me. From a 355 ml can. Pours out a slightly hazed honey apricot hue, tall dense off-white head that slowly settles.

Grapefruit rind and pith at first in the aroma, some dry grainy malt, dry herbal and pine notes, and some tangerine citrus.

Dry clean flavour, at least up front. Dry grains at first, then a bready/honey-like sweetness pops up in the middle while tangerine, grapefruit pith and pine join it. Sweetness lingers into the finish, with more orange and some dry earthy and pine hop character.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, thick texture with moderate carbonation.

A nice diversion when it comes to this style, some interesting tweaks, although to my palate it doesn't all quite gel together to set it apart from the crowd moreso. Still a good offering, I wouldn't say no to more.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Nearly fully clear medium orange color. Two fingers of frothy off-white head. Retention is a hair short of average and only a few whisps of lacing are left.

3.5 S: Floral foremost, then citrusy, then spicy and grassy. Powerful and pleasant. Just a light neutral maltiness and a touch of crystal malt. Quite clean overall.

3.5 T: The hops in the taste take on a more spicy vibe, which is then followed by a bit of pine, grass, and then citrus. Light sugariness. Again there's just a bit of neutral malts and a touch of crystal. Clean overall and tasty.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Nice creaminess and super smooth.

4.0 D: Super easy to drink with no negatives and some good flavors.

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Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 375 ratings.