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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.
very good

559 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 559
Reviews: 223
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 27
Gots: 43 | 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: 559 | Reviews: 223 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mulder1010


3.3/5  rDev -12.9%

It is thanks to Mr. Kennedy night. Much appreciated for bringing this back from Hawaii.

12 oz can into a tulip (craft beer and can's, what a ment to be combo)

A-- Poured a light honey gold/ straw color. Almost hazy looking. Two fingers of cloud white head that settled to just under half a finger. One good sized 3/4 ring of lacing and a couple strands of lacing on the sides of the glass. Good retention on swirling. Head holds it's shape pretty well before receding and leaving a full thick circle of lacing.

S-- Soft tropical notes backed by some Carmel. Mango, passion fruit, peach and orange blossom. Quite soft and quite delicate to me. Not as in your face as others.

T-- Peach, orange and lemon tasting with Carmel notes. Quite soft and laid back. Interesting as that it is just soft and profile reminds me more of a Pale Ale and not an IPA.

M-- Do get Orange and Grapefruit in the mid and back of mouth. Not overly bitter but more fresh and somewhat muted. The characters are there but not in full force until this warms up. Finish is long lasting somewhat bitter grapefruit. Lighter medium bodied and medium carbonation.

O-- Clicks a lot of boxes but kind of like a bigger version of a Pale Ale to me. Not robust enough and somewhat dainty in a way. One, maybe two in a sitting. I can see that this beer would grow on me though. Given the climate in Hawaii this may be the perfect IPA to have as it seems more of a hybrid and bigger/ bolder IPA's with higher IBU's would not go over as well.

05-31-2011 12:56:51 | More by mulder1010
Photo of spicelab


3.2/5  rDev -15.6%

Thanks to Mr Kennedy for carting this back to Oz.

Almost crystal clear light copper with a monstrous rocky head (might have something to do with having cycled home with it in my bag). Leaves rather haphazard lace.

Orange, mango, melons and some earthy pine. Unfortunately there's a kind of pungent, chalky, not-quite-sweet solvent character that mars any real freshness and presence these hop aromas might otherwise have. Some generic caramel malt is kind of here and there.

Taste is a bit muddled and homogeneous. Moderately bitter grapefruit, mint and indistinct malt. The tropical hop notes in the nose have gone AWOL. Pretty ordinary.

A tad overcarbonated, but a quite acceptable lingering mild bitterness and medium mouthfeel.

Not really inspired by this. Doesn't shine on any single characteristic and at the same time doesn't manage to achieve high drinkability as consolation.

05-31-2011 11:14:10 | More by spicelab
Photo of jzeilinger


3.48/5  rDev -8.2%

A - Pours a bright, vibrant clear gold color with a two fingered foamy and very creamy head. The head is fluffy and looks like clouds and it sticks to the sides of the glass like sticky cotton candy. Moderate amount of carbonation.

S - Smell is weak and not much more than very worn out citrus and malt. I really have to dig to find much in the way of aroma; uneventful for an IPA.

T - A little better than the nose. The flavor is pretty balanced with very faint grapefruit and pine through most of the sip along with a slight roasted caramel biscuit malt, and towards the end the flavors break apart to finish with a moderately mild pine bitterness.

M - Light medium body, smooth and gentle on the tongue with minimal and mild pricklies. Finishes dry on the back of the tongue and causes the front of the tongue to salivate.

O - I'm not blown away or impressed with this IPA, don't hate it, don't love it. However, I suspect this can maybe peaked because I'm not getting the same tropical fruit intensity of flavor that other reviewers are. I had to go through some previous reviews to make sure it's me or it's this particular can. My conclusion, I think it's this particular can. That being said, I'm open to trying this one again and adjusting my review. Most beers deserve a second chance and this one definitely does. On the positive side, I really love IPA's and at 6.2%, Maui dialed the ABV in perfectly, IMO. You're not trashed after one can and it's tame enough to enjoy a "few" cans opposed to stick with one or two all night because of the strength.

05-25-2011 20:13:43 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of tone77


3.63/5  rDev -4.2%

Many thanks to woodychandler for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a rich golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is citrus up front, some hops. Taste is the same, lots of citrus and hops, just a tad bitter, not detecting much malts. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a quality beer.

05-21-2011 13:42:45 | More by tone77
Photo of jbphoto88


3.08/5  rDev -18.7%

Pours from the can hazed and washed out rust orange. The head is colored like lightly aged paper and fades to a skim of slightly sticky suds. Say that seven times fast.

Nose is average for an IPA. It's got some citrus to it and a light sugared malt but not as bold as I'd like from an IPA.

Taste is also average for an IPA with the same failings as the nose. Flavors are kind of there but fall short and undefined. Hints of citrus and fresh grain are overpowered by the yeasty, bread like flavor that kind of tastes like a Belgian brew but not as good.

Mouthfeel is the best part of this brew with a firm and sharp bitterness. Mild carbonation really let's the hops and bitterness shine but not enough to over come the other short comings. I don't hate this one but there isn't anything clean, crisp or distinct about it. Frankly I can take it or leave it and in this world of great beers the average get passed by. Not one I'd buy again.

05-14-2011 18:38:11 | More by jbphoto88
Photo of depechemode1983


4.1/5  rDev +8.2%

Pours a deep golden color with a two finger off-white head. Very good retention on the head and it leaves rings of sticky lacing. Smell is grassy and piney with a bit of citrus grapefruit rind. There is only a touch of sweetness. Taste is very bitter. Hops dominate here. Tons of bitter grapefruit but also some sweet orange that comes through in the middle and sticks around to the finish. mouth feel is medium bodies and very well carbonated which makes for a very refreshing mouth feel. Overall this is a very good IPA. Its something I would go for if i needed a hop fix.

05-12-2011 00:14:41 | More by depechemode1983
Photo of drewba


3.88/5  rDev +2.4%

A - Hazy, golden orange. Pours with a great fluffy white head that turns into a sturdy ring with some nice looking bubbles on the rim. The lacing is like glue and barely breaks.

S - Very floral with some grassy characteristics. There are hints of pine and citrus that want to come out and play, but they're very low and muted. Pine and citrus are fucking buzzkills!

T - The buzzkills that were the dull pine and citrus in the smell finally make an appearance in the taste and really compliment the huge floral and grass notes. A buttery-caramel and nut flavor comes in the middle, providing some balance, then the finish is straight pine bitter, but in no way overpowering.

M - Stunning. Medium body with creamy, small bubbly carbonation creates a super satisfying mouthfeel. The carbonation is a touch low, but it doesn't bother me because the body blankets over my mouf and makes it feel rich.

O - the can date is 02/02/11, so while this isn't the freshest beer, it's still quite enjoyable. Fresh, or 3 months old, I'm pretty sure I could crush a 6 pack of cans in a sitting.

05-07-2011 03:21:58 | More by drewba
Photo of twiggamortis420


4.3/5  rDev +13.5%

12 oz can pours a hazed light copper color with a creamy, small tan head. Lacing is nice.

Hops are tropical and citric but what is surprising to me is the bold, rich malt backdrop. Nutty as hell with some bready and caramel aromas. Pretty unique smelling IPA, I swear I smell some coconuts in here.

Biscuity, nutty maltiness continues to amaze in the flavor profile. So smooth. Plenty of hop bitterness and flavor, tropical of course. Mouthfeel is very nice, creamy even. This is an awesomely unique IPA experience, fun beer to drink. I think I actually like this better than the CoConut Porter!

05-01-2011 21:37:54 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of Kelly88


3.65/5  rDev -3.7%

Poured from a can into my bells tulip. Thanks to J2brew2 for the sweet extra.

A- gorgeous golden yellow with a one and a half finger yellowish white head. Great looking beer. Semi translucent with nice fizzy bubbles hopping to the top.

S- very nice nose. Grassy earthy Good dirt hop kick. Faint candied malts. Almost some orange lemon concoction going on here as well.

T- earthly grassy hops. Lemon is more noticeable as a zesty hop bite. Nice balance of malts are included with tastes of toffee and slight butterscotch. Flavors are a little weak.

M- very light and smooth, maybe a Tad to light. Carbonation is somewhat low But I like it.

Overall a nice ipa. Very Well balanced and enjoyable to drink. Flavors are light maybe even weak. I like this beer but their are better options

04-24-2011 23:21:34 | More by Kelly88
Photo of beerman207


4.05/5  rDev +6.9%

A: Light yellowish orange in color - nice white head.

S: Nose is hops, floral hops, pine hops, slight malt

T: Taste is right on for an IPA - big bitter up front, malt presence to balance it out

M: Good carbonation.

O: Good beer from Maui Brewing Company. Haven't had one from them I haven't enjoyed.

04-23-2011 02:31:05 | More by beerman207
Photo of SWMeyer4141


3.85/5  rDev +1.6%

Always good to find something new on the shelves at specs, especially in cans.

Appearance-I had a tough time pouring this beer, no matter how slow I poured it, alot of head was forming. Pours a hazy light brown, with a very thin head, some head remains.

Aroma-It's not bad, but I'm not getting all that much. A little citrus, a little sweet malt, and some pine. Nothing very predominant though.

Taste-Up front a nice amount of citrus and pine. I was hoping I'd get some tropical fruits coming from Hawaii, but not detecting much, just some nice citrus. A very nice bitter hop finish, but not too bitter. Could be a tad bit more balanced with some sweetness. Either way I like it.

Mouthfeel-Tons of carbonation and bubbles. Not very drying, I'm actually on my second beer during this review.

Overall-10.50 for an IPA six pack, I can find a few better ones for the same price, but all in all not bad, will probably have had 4 or 5 before the nights over.

04-22-2011 03:34:39 | More by SWMeyer4141
Photo of russpowell


3.83/5  rDev +1.1%

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

04-19-2011 05:54:27 | More by russpowell
Photo of Mages64


3.65/5  rDev -3.7%

poured from a can into a 12oz tulip glass. Canned 12/3/10

A: clear darker yellow, almost twilight sun color
S: Citrus nose with a slight hint of resin or tree sap
T: largely citrus but not in an assertive way. there is a super sweet finish that I don't care for but it isn't unpleasant. Bitterness follows the quickly fading sweetness.
M: wonderful carbonation leaves a positive impression and although it isn't full bodied by ANY means, it certainly isn't thin. Quite a balanced ipa.
D: due to the unpleasant(to me) finish, I wouldn't go run out to buy more however its really balanced and a beer I'd absolutely bring a 6pk with me to a party due to the well made and non-offensive nature of this beer.

02-25-2011 05:06:45 | More by Mages64
Photo of brew3crew


3.6/5  rDev -5%

Can dated 7/21/10

A-yellow. Somewhat orange with white lacing and head.
S-piney hops.and some malt character come out in the taste.
T-alot like it smells. Piney and malt. Not so fresh but still solid
M-medium body and smooth
D-Solidly drinkable. If it were fresh I would imagine it being better

02-25-2011 03:51:58 | More by brew3crew
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +9.5%

Part of a mixed six pack this is a big IPA that has a great citrus hop nose and settles into a well rounded beer that never forgets the hops. You need a glass to really appreciate this beer but the can is great. With the lager and the porter in the mixed six this shows a real nice range from the brewery

02-23-2011 05:12:44 | More by canucklehead
Photo of Beernf


3.9/5  rDev +2.9%

Cans purchased at BevMo in Santa Monica, CA

I dig this beer. A very unpretentious IPA that isn't overpowering with hops. Well balanced and goes great with burgers. Can is good for drinking out of, and you get a lot of conversations started when people see you drinking from a can. Usually goes something like, "Hey man. I thought you were a beer snob, what gives with the can?" And then you get to educate them all about the upcoming can revolution and how it really seals the flavor of the beer in better, etc and they think you are really cool. I can put several of these down in a row and feel good. Very drinkable and not skunky like some IPAs. I have pals who are very anti-IPA but will occasionally drink this one.

02-06-2011 03:35:54 | More by Beernf
Photo of mdaschaf


4/5  rDev +5.5%

Thanks to THECPJ for this one.

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange with a solid 2 finger head. Dissipated in a few minutes to layer of white on top. Very nice lacing around the entire glass.

S: Very heavy on the citrus, lots of grapefruit and some orange. A little bit of bready malts break through, but mostly hops here.

T: Citrus up front, but not overwhelming. A nice sweetness in the middle is very nice, some caramel malt as well. Slightly bitter finish, but overall the flavor seems to drop off a bit at the end.

M/D: Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Crisp and clean, nice balance. Overall, an easy drinking IPA. Doesn't do anything to make it stand out, but its solid. If it was available to me, could be a fridge staple, especially in cans.

01-31-2011 02:08:26 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of LiquidCucumber


4.1/5  rDev +8.2%

A - Amber with a slight chill haze. The head on this sucker is foamy and loves to leave lacing all over the glass.

S - Dank hop resin, earthy hops and a little bit of citric hops... I think I know what this beer is going to be all about.

T - Mango, citrus, pineapple right on the tongue without an overwhelming sensation of bitterness. The finish is slightly harsh with a touch of astringency. Not my favorite hop-bill, but pretty decent.

M - Lighter than expected with a decent amount of carbonation in order to get those hops to really pop on the tongue.

D - Very refreshing, I can see that Maui wanted to go with a very beach-ready IPA, and they delivered. I love trying new IPAs and am glad I traded for this one.

01-23-2011 05:46:29 | More by LiquidCucumber
Photo of Scotchboy


4.1/5  rDev +8.2%

Sampled 1/13/11. Can, Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass.

A: A lighter colored IPA, a golden straw color. Looks refreshing. Slightly hazy and effervescent. Minimal half-finger head and some lacing.

S: Citrus hops on the nose. Smells clean and floral, with a little carmelly/bready sweetness from the malts.

T: Subdued grapefruit and orange/orange peel, very pleasant hop presence, really only slightly bitter. I think I can taste the bready malt backbone too, a little doughy and sweet. The flavors are quite level and even, nothing is overwhelming. Very pleasant.

MF: Only slightly biting, with a light crisp & carbonated mouthfeel.

Pretty darn drinkable IPA.

01-14-2011 16:45:26 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of angelmonster


4/5  rDev +5.5%

Pours a big 1 inch white head, body is a clear dark gold. Head retention and lacing were mediocre.

Smell is of floral, earthy hops. Sweet malt and honey is also there. For only 6 percent abv, no alcohol is detected.

Taste is of sweet, caramel malts mixed with grassy hops. Getting lots of herbs, fresh cut grass, and finishes off with some bitter citrus. No alcohol is present.

Mouthfeel is light and well carbonated. Head didnt last too long which knocked down the score a little.

Drinkability was high with this beer. Very sessionable and since it comes in the can, could knock down 3 or 4 of these by the pool without having to worry about breaking any rules. Biggest downside to this beer was that since its coming from Hawaii, it's a bit pricey compared to the tons of other Ipa's available in Colorado.

01-12-2011 04:52:42 | More by angelmonster
Photo of katan


3.98/5  rDev +5%

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a light golden color with a few orange highlights. Light pearly white head formation, breaks down to a film. Small amount of lacing. Lightly bubbly. Very clear.

S - Very strong citrus hop nose, very potent. A floral and fruity lean, not edgy or piney. Grapefruit, orangey.

T - Starts off very balanced, some 2 row sweetness but also a big bitter bite. Lots of fruit like hop notes. Maye some caramel here, but it is a secondary flavor. Mid-stream a huge piney edgy note, almost fresh hop like, comes in. Bitterness is strong. Aftertaste is a sticky bitterness.

M - Moderate body, strong carbonation. Lots of bubbling textures. Finishes very oily and clinging.

D - Moderate drinkability. The ABV is not out of line for a good American IPA. The bitterness is pretty palette wrecking. Somewhat filling.

A pretty aggressive IPA - good to have in the rotation.

01-09-2011 23:54:15 | More by katan
Photo of freeboard


4.03/5  rDev +6.3%

Tried this at a restaurant in Waikiki during the holidays and I really liked the sweet and bitter taste of this IPA. Both seems to balance out after a few sips of the beer. At first the sweet and fruity taste / smell seemed strong however; after you drink the beer the bitter and sweet balance out. This is a good beer on tap in Hawaii, so, I can't speak for the cans or bottles. This is similar to the Kona Castaway however; you can only purchase the Kona Castaway at a Kona brew Pub. It's good to see this Maui Brew is sold to the public and worth a try if you like Hawaii IPA beer. We don't get a large choice in Hawaii, so, this IPA is on the top of my list for local brews and it's FRESH out of the tap.

01-05-2011 04:09:30 | More by freeboard
Photo of ArrogantB


3.78/5  rDev -0.3%

Nice yellow color, looks delicious. Good lacing on the glass and a very hoppy aroma, clean. The flavor is bitter and hoppy, very clean and right up my alley. Unfortunately it costs $11 per sixer and the value just isn't there for me. There are several other IPAs I can buy for $8-9 so I won't be buying this again.

12-29-2010 03:41:39 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of beagle75


3.78/5  rDev -0.3%

Draft pour into a half-pint glass at Beachwood BBQ.

A: Clear, medium golden color with one finger of white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Hay, sawdust, and faint black pepper make up this beer's weak and unimpressive smell.

T: Begins off-dry, with pilsner malt and spicy/minty herbaceous hop aromatics that pack a definite snap. Flavors become more dry in the middle, which can be described as brief but very clean. The finish demonstrates restrained bitterness and a whiff of honey.

M: Thin viscosity, wet on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D: This is an interesting beer that struggles with its style identity. Between the noble character of the hops and the honeyed finish--not to mention the overall clean, smooth character--it could pass more easily as an imperial/extra pilsner than as an American IPA. Despite the underwhelming aroma qualities found here, this is a beer that tastes good and keeps the attention of the palate, all while staying crisp and refreshing.

12-09-2010 19:21:44 | More by beagle75
Photo of Wisconsinality


3.98/5  rDev +5%

Thanks to kk73 for another Hawaiian treat.

12oz can poured into standard pint.

A- Pours a light copper that is completely transparent. A nice bubbly two fingers worth of head dies down quickly but leaves some good lacing.

S- Big west coast hops. Nice and tropical which fits the locale. Some sweet malts are also present.

T- Pretty much the same as the nose. Big, tropical hops and a strong malt backbone. A little bitterness but nothing overpowering. There is also a slight bready quality as well.

M- Medium bodied with a dry finish. Some good carbonation but doesn't really tickle the tongue.

D- Fittingly enough it comes in cans so it can be taken onto the beach. Like a few other brews, I enjoyed a bunch of these in Hawai'i. Good tropical flavors and good balance make this a pretty good offering on the Island.

12-09-2010 16:01:17 | More by Wisconsinality
Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 559 ratings.