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Big Swell IPA - Maui Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Big Swell IPABig Swell IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

373 Reviews
THE BROS
67
poor

(Read More)
Reviews: 373
Hads: 895
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 9.02%
Wants: 29
Gots: 99 | 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: 373 | Hads: 895
Photo of kevinboyer
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured out of the can into a Stella Goblet (it's the only goblet I've got)

A - Burnt Orange/ember haze

S - mild Fruity(peach) hops dipped in maple syrup

T - Peachy Grapfruit foretaste with a refreshing not too-hoppy aftertaste

M - Just a tad on the resiny side, but not horrible. A tad effervescent.

D - For me, it's not the most drinkable IPA, based on the mouthfeel, but I could definitely have a few.

Good beer. Next time I'm in Maui, I'll be stopping by the brewpub for sure! (485 characters)

Photo of Murchmac
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can Can, like pizza pizza.

Pours with a big one plus finger head that retreats like the sun setting over the pacific. Kindve a cloudy looking orange.

Smells like a DIPA? Citrus hops and stingy pine at the end, some caramel and malted sweetness, like a hop and caramel sundae.

Very piney hoppy at first, making way for some bready sweetness. It grows on you.

At first a very thin beer, but the more you drink it the more it coats your tongue and you realize it's almost a perfect balance of richness, sweetness, hops, and beer.

I have a feeling this beer tastes like being in a warm bath, eventually you'll pee yourself and not know it or care... (651 characters)

Photo of stephens101
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew begs the question. Why cans? I'll tell you why. Aside from the damage light can do to a brew and all that, cans are damn easy to take to the beach! Do you need a better reason to put beer in a can? I didn't think so. This one poured a light amber with a 1-finger tan head that stuck around for a fair bit. Smelled of huge, crisp citrusy hops and was big on the lemons with a floral essence to top things off. Tastes of big hops, sweet bread, grapes, and a bit of candy and malts to round things out. This is a complex, interesting and somewhat unique IPA. With it's medium body, smooth moutfeel and high drinkability you would have to be pretty darn particular to find fault here. (690 characters)

Photo of OlieIPA
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very golden...awesome!!! Descent lacing...head retention was okay.

Smell: Piney!!! and...Piney!!!...with hints of Pine....in good way.

Taste: Suprised by the bitterness...especially after the estery/piney aroma this beer gave off. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Medium body...descent carbonation.

Drinkability: Easy on the mouth and mind.

Overall: Excellent beer...perfect for a late spring/summer day. Would most graciously buy if I saw it on the shelves. (464 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to cstrack for this brew.

Pours a very nice cloudy dark orange color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger foamy off-white head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, with some malt notes, citrus and slight pine. The taste is sweet, malty, hoppy, nice citrus notes, with some pinyness. Medium body. Drinkable, this one surprised me, very nice brew, thanks Casey. (402 characters)

Photo of Tdizzle
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into one of them fancy Sam Adams pint glasses.

A- This beer pours a slightly hazy golden-orange color with a soapy, off-white head that gradually settles to a thin layer, leaving some spotty lacing on the glass.

S- Lots of multi-dimensional hop aromas: mainly piney, but also grapefruity, spicy, and very floral. There is a rather sweet scent of juicy oranges in the background too. The malt backing starts to show as the beer warms.

T- The flavor of this beer is very well-balanced, with the moderate, and very spicy, hop bitterness being supported by a sweet malt backbone. There are flavors of orange juice and citrus rind towards the finish, which is dry and leaves a nice lingering bitterness on the palate.

M- The mouthfeel is oily and slick with moderate carbonation.

D- The balanced flavor of this beer and the 6.3% ABV make this one of the more sessionable IPA's that I've encountered. (925 characters)

Photo of bbothen
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber color with a small less than 1 finger head.

Smells a big aroma of grassy, earthy hops. Scents of citrus as well. Crisp. Nice.

Bready malty flavor up front before a tidal wave of grapefruit hop flavor knocks the malt off it's board. Some sweetness rides through the tube as well.

Feels a but yeasty with a lingering medicinal hop flavor on the tongue. Kinda sticky.

Overall enjoyable IPA. Hope it stays readily available in these parts. Tasty brew in a can! Nice & portable. Cool. (504 characters)

Photo of Floydster
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce can that was part of a six pack purchased from Beverages and More for about ten dollars, reviewed from notes taken a few days ago, poured into an old mug

A-Medium orange and copper color, 3/4 inch off white head, decent retention, very nice lacing
S-Pine and citrus hoppiness, caramel, brown sugar, some toasted malt, fresh cut grass later on, and
T-Big pine flavor up front, bitter in the middle with a tiny bit of chewiness, citrus hoppiness causes a somewhat sweet finish that still has a greatdry quality, love the balance in this one, not too malty at any time
M-Dry, bitter, and citrusy mouthfeel, thin to medium body, very crisp and quenching, nice amount of carbonation
D-Very light on the stomach, ABV is not high at all, makes a nice session beer, goes down easy, refreshing

I love IPAs and really enjoyed Coconut Porter, so this had two things going for it before I even cracked it open, blew me away how good it was, I do not say that much about any other India Pale Ales other than the ones I find here in Southern California, will be drinking more of this in the future, especially because it is available here now, ironically drank this and the blonde a few days before going to Maui after I heard the brewpub would be closed for a remodel, definitely recommended and is one of the best beers over in Hawaii from my recent experience (1,361 characters)

Photo of rsawyer
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am sitting in Waikoloa overlooking a beautiful beach from our condo, looking at Jobs on the Big Island and thinking about selling it all and going Jimmy Buffet on everyone!

Poured from a 12 oz can...
And a can (and I quote Maui Brewing Company-) because:
1) Cans eliminate light damage and reduce the risk of oxidation, keeping Maui Brewing Co. beers fresher than in bottles.
2) Cans are lighter, chill quicker, and can be enjoyed on (*topless) beaches and in sensitive environments. Aluminium us the most recycled and most eco-friendly material.
*Topless is my wording, and I like it

A- The beer pours a deep copper with little to no head. The beer lacks the clarity that I expect from an IPA (but who gives a damn, the lady in front of my just took off her top!)

S- The beer smells of strong cascade hops. Fresh, florally, and earthy- just about right for a Hawaii beer!

T- Not as intense as the nose. but beautiful none-the-less. The hops are not as demanding as they are in the nose. That being said, the barley background comes right around and creates a lovely balance where aftertaste of vanilla,brown sugar, and biscuit are found.

M- Perfectly smooth and light. Carbonation is felt by not a burden to the beer.

D- Great beer. Goes down easy, taste great after a long day of ingesting saltwater. (1,310 characters)

Photo of Deuane
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to CoreyRhoads for the hook up on a sixer of this fine nectar!

A-Slightly hazy dark-orange copper with a medium off-white head that reduced to a thin cap leaving moderate lace.

S-Big wafting of spicy/piney citrus. Really nice hop aromas melding together being dominate over a background of caramelized brown sugary malt..

T-Big and juicy pine and bitter citrus hops transition into a sweet ride to the finish. The taste is a bit reserved compared to the aroma but it still packs a nice hoppy punch. Very tasty and well balanced.

M-Medium-light body. Very refreshing, crisp and thirst quenching. This is a well done beer for it's tropical home.

D-A well done session IPA. Lovely aroma and a nice sharp hop pop in the mouth. If I could get this beer with ease it would give Sly Fox Phoenix Pale Ale a run as my "Bud". Totally drinkable and approachable...well done! (879 characters)

Photo of athensbeermaster
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cool new plastic black carrier that just hugs the top of the cans very tight. The appearance:Large tan frothy head that hangs around for some time. The lacing is thick and holds on to the glass. The color has a nice amber orange hue. The nose had fresh tropical fruits mixed with a faint mineral scent. The taste of fresh pineapple, kiwi, star fruit. The malt backbone is very strong with a sweet brown sugar punch that is quickly matched with a blast of citrusy hop attack. The real secret to this brew is the water source. I get a great mineral aftertaste in the finish. This CAN beer would make anybody a happy camper! (621 characters)

Photo of bkett01
3.36/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured with an inch thick frothy white head from the can. Color is a murky amber/orange and I'm not seeing much carbonation.

Both smell and taste lack a big hop character, instead a sweet malt is detectable. This is a very average IPA that is extremely drinkable. Glad I got a chance to try it but not overwhelmed by it. (321 characters)

Photo of orcasteve
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

great flavor and extreamley hoppy. had the purfict ballance of malt followed by a heaping helping of hop. the carbonation was just right.
this one is a top shelf beer for sure "a taste as big as the waves of hawaii", find a way to get this one, trust me!!! (256 characters)

Photo of 655321
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a sixer of the cans from Bevmo for $10. I think the price is my biggest problem. It's a good IPA but at that price it should be better if not a knockout. I've paid less for much better. (Lagunitas is a fine IPA that would probably get more scrutiny if I couldn't get it by the case at Costco) I need to find some good beer in cans for a rafting trip, but at this price I have to look elsewhere. (398 characters)

Photo of beereality
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz.can. Beautiful orange hazy pour.big fat fine white head that dissapears quickly. some fine light lacing. Very nice smell! Hoppy, biscuity,malty wonderous.nice smooth feel. wow I could just smell this all night! you know that smell.nice bitter dry finish, that makes you want more. sorry I only have one more can. but fortunate to have it. (358 characters)

Photo of JDV
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of hopdog in trade. Thanks!
Pours an attractive dark, murky amber with a lasting beige head. Smell is nice and fruity with citrus, peaches, and grapefruit scented hops in particular. Taste is sweet and fruity with a hoppy backing to it. Very nice fruity taste of peaches and sweet ruby red grapefruit with a good dose of refreshing hops to it. Very well balanced and super drinkable. Full mouthfeel, slightly creamy and nice moderate carbonation. Add the fact that it comes in a can and this is one hell of a fun beer to drink. Really solid all around. Thanks again for this one! (595 characters)

Photo of Stoneman78
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a solidly dense orange-amber hue, one finger of soapy white bubbles sustains, moderate lacing

Smell is big caramel/sweet bread malts battling with equally large citrus hops, hints of pine resin and light fruit, delicious!

Taste is mostly pine and citrus (orange/lemon) hops initially, nice balance of sweetbread and caramel malts soon after, tones of toffee, brown sugar, floral, and grapefruit, finishes more sweet than bitter

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, thick resiny texture, moderate to high carbonation level

Drinkability is moderate, this is a solid single IPA with a very admirable malt/hop balance, the flavor tends to slip away a bit too quickly, but at 6% you can make sure your drinking of it is more constant, very sessionable (755 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz can into a pint glass. Pours a hazy orange/amber with a half inch of head. Retention and lacing are present but light.

Nice earthy hops on the nose along with some citrus notes. Taste is slightly malty yet well balanced and helps explain the relatively amber color of the brew versus my local dry golden/orange IPA's. Carbonation is good.

A well balanced IPA, nicely hopped with a decent light malt structure. Not too sweet and offers a very smooth finish. Neither chewy nor drying, the finish gives this brew great mouthfeel and drinkability for an IPA.

Say what you will about the snorkeling at Mile 14, but I'll be there under a tree in Olowalu soon. And with a can of Big Swell, a book and a beach chair, I'll enjoy a beautiful day. Ouch! Damn crabs! (779 characters)

Photo of m1ked
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My wife brought this home from her trip to Maui, along with their CoCoNut PorTeR. Am I lucky or what !?

A- Pours a translucent sandy color with a significant off white head. Head shrinks down to a generous foamy cap with minimal lacing. Besides casks, I can't think of too many IPA's that are this hazy.

S- Now I am used to rhe SD IPA's punching me in the nose with hops/piney/citrus aromas. This one is definetly not that aggressive. I do appreciate a more subtle, yet balanced combination of some pine bitterness with some sweet maltiness.

T- This is where the balance really is apparent to me. Clean crisp hoppy bitterness (but not over the top hops) up front smoothly blending into some sweet malt. I can't help but think there is some cane sugar in there, but I am sure that is the power of suggestion working on me.

M- As said before this is well balanced to me, and it actually is a little thick on the tongue (thats what she said) .

D- I don't know if it is the tropical origin, the departure from the SD IPA's I am accustomed to...but I really enjoyed this brew. I wonder when we will start seeing more cans. (1,123 characters)

Photo of BrewMonkey
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out of the can medium amber with lots and lots of foamy light tan head. Aroma of hops with tons of citrus and a hint of melon, some grassiness but not unpleasant. Suprisingly malty taste with tamed bitterness, something more IPA's could take a note from. Definately hoppy, but not painfully bitter. Oddly, where the bitterness is tame, the hop flavor is nearly pungeant, creating a wierd situation of hop pungeancy verging on sour, rather than bitter.

The mouthfeel is a little strange, not terribly carbonated for an IPA, and a slight watery mouthfeel combined with a kind of slickeness from the hop resin. Pretty drinkable, if strong. Oddly good beer coming from a can. (678 characters)

Photo of DrDogbeer
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Coreyrhoads for the extra! poured into a sam perfect pint.
Pours a deep orange with a decent off white head. Smells of grassy hops with some citrus. Big hop flavor. Not too bitter, though, the malt dulls it a bit. Good malt backbone. Very drinkable. Nice beer from maui. (280 characters)

Photo of cerveza5150
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a red/golden color with a soapy head and ample carbonation.

The smell is really nice, with grapefruit from the hops present immediately.

The taste is fantastic, but the hops bite so much at the end, it ends up only hurting, the overall impression of the ale. This is a great IPA from a brewery who's managed to bring me back to the idea of good canned brews. I can't wait to try their coconut porter!! (409 characters)

Photo of dfillius
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a tall waterglass. Purchased at Princeville, Kauai Foodland.
A: 1.5 fingers of foamy off-white head. Clearish golden-brown. Very pretty.
S: Very sweet with a good hoppy highlight of tropical fruit and citrus/pine. Alcohol lurking around in the background.
T: Alcohol dominates unfortunately. Some hops present as well as some very fruity off tastes.
M: Heat with a bit of off taste coating my mouth. Decent bitterness.
D: Smells great, but doesn't follow through with great flavor and mouthfeel. Tasty-ish, but I'm not inspired to have another right away. Not a session beer. (587 characters)

Photo of turbine2475
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to BrewBakerE for the chance to try this beer:

A - Murky honey color with a dense 2-finger white head which dissipated slowly leaving a spotty lace.

S - Lots of pine and some sweet citrus hops. Toffee and brown suger are also present.

T - Lighter hop punch then the scent implied, but still good. Balanced pine and citrus hops with a caramel malt backbone.

M - Murky with a low carbonation and a lingering sour.

D - Good beer. Not a hugely hoppy IPA, but a nice canned option when portability is a must. (515 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can brought back to Boise from coworker and fellow Newsie Michelle E. I hoped Michelle would honor my requests for Maui goodness.. she more than accepted the challenge. Tonight, I am enjoying the Big Swell from my New Belgium snifter.

Brew is a very pretty albeit slightly hazy orange... pillowy 2 finger head drops fast .. but some spotty lacing is left behind.

Aroma is way better than I expected.. American hops abound.. citrus and pine way out front of toasted bready and caramel malts.

Flavor is piney with an oily hoppiness only expected out of the big IPA's.. Lime leaves and biscuity malts melt away to a long citrusy finish. Body is perfect for a very drinkable IPA.. Very smooth and enjoyable across the board.. I forgot a long time ago that this brew came from a can... Long Live the Canning Revolution!!

Michelle E. has a treat or two or three coming to her before we leave work on Thursday.. Again, she is a BA and she just doesn't know it yet. (967 characters)

Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 373 ratings.