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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
86
very good

828 Ratings
THE BROS
67
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 828
Reviews: 371
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10.79%
Wants: 29
Gots: 65 | 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:
Beer added by: GClarkage on 01-19-2008

50+ IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Swell IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 828 | Reviews: 371 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cosmicevan
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

retired, really? seems like some recent reviews and the can is stamped canned on 01-31-2012. thanks to my suitcase carrying friend for providing this night cap post tasting! enjoyed from an urthel oversized tulip.

a - brew poured a transparent orange with the classic huge ipa head and mega milkshake like chunky lacing.

s - somewhat musty with some citric hops and a nice malt backbone...bearing in mind that this was canned just over 3 months ago, still relatively nice hop presence, but definitely tamed back, as expected for the age.

t - some faded citric hops...great malt backbone, bitter finish. kind of barleywine like.

m - body is medium and a bit syrupy. some bitterness in the finish.

o - overall, a nice IPA, although i bet this was better fresh...the malts are more prominent and the hops are in the backseat...but a nice flavor profile. would prefer a bit more fresh, but i'll take it...great night cap. assuming that this was more hoppy fresh and considering the age, this is pretty good. thanks for the tick!!!

Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
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!

Photo of Zimbo
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good ripe raw grapefruit nose at first which it quickly extinguished, this builds an fairly easy one inch head (which surrrenders no lacing at any point) and gives a gold to slightly orangy colour.

Bit fizzy, medium bodied with surprisingly well balanced and integrated malty centre and a nice bitter end makes for well bitter integrated whole. Nice ripe aftertaste too.

Can't help but think if this was brewed on the mainland it would be much more highly regarded. Instead its just 'mookalokakiki come on you wanna lay me'.

Photo of SrMonkey
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of ryantho00
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taken from notes in Kauai.

Has a nice golden and orange tan with a 2 finger that laces glass nicely. I get a fresh hoppy, citrus nose, not overpowering. This had a nice fresh, drinkable, citrus, piney hop laden zest that led to some toasted malts and great balance. Got a little orange mixed in.

Great traditional IPA.

Cheers!!

Photo of jsh5771
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of C20Percent
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly pale golden-orange color with a semi-bubbly dark(er) egg shell head. No real complexity in the color or the body. Average lacing. BUT (and this is what makes it more than average) it looks very inviting and refreshing. It screams, "Drink Me." And, that intangible, as wild as that sounds pushes this feature past average.

S: A very sweet hoppy aroma with a mix of pine and citrus with a smooth smelling malt background. A very balanced aroma with crisp characteristics. Can't really give this feature a 4 because I think they played it safe here. I'm looking for something that pulls at my nose, and I gotta look real hard here.

T: A very refreshing hoppy, earthy splash gives way to a malty, bitter finish. There is a very subtle citrus flavor way in the back, but make no mistake, this is an earthy malt flavor. Not a biscuit malt, which I'm not a fan of, but a smooth piney, caramel malt that I tend to enjoy. Digging the taste.

M: This, for me, was the best feature. Quite a wonderful feel. Light, airy body makes this brew very drinkable. Nice carbonation, and although I wouldn't call this beer chewy, it does coat your mouth nicely. I can't say enough about the way this beer drinks. I know it's out of Hawaii, and -- YES -- this is the beer I want with me on the beach.

O: On one hand -- I think this is a "play-it-safe" IPA. On the other hand -- I think this beer was meant to be drank on the beach in the hot sun. And, since I can judge the brewer's intent, I'm going to give this a 4 instead of a 3.5. Really good beer. Makes me want to purchase all the other offerings MBC has to offer. Bravo.

Photo of Gabany
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

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

Poured from a 12oz can into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- Two finger frothy white head. Nice retention for a middling ABV. Pale golden-orange color with nice clarity. Nice lacing.

S- Citrusy and well balanced hops. Some tropical fruits in this? I don't know but I like it.

T- Piney and citrusy hops, well balanced malt character underneath. Some bitterness but extremely well layered.

M- Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Finishes slightly dry.

O- Well balanced and tasty.

Photo of steamboatbrewer
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of BradAleFlow
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of Mora2000
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a golden-orange color with a white head. The aroma has a lot of orange and pineapple notes from the hops, as well as some sweet bubblegum notes. The flavor has quite a few hop notes, with some grass, pine and pineapple. I also get some sweet bread malt and a low amount of bitterness. Soft, low carbonation and medium mouthfeel.

Photo of sukwonee
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of cisteve
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of x0darap
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

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

Really enjoyed this one when in Maui last year for a buddy's wedding. Picked up a sixer.

A - The beer, poured from an un-dated can, to a pint glass pours a golden orange color with a nice 1.25 finger white bubbly head. Good retention and lacing.

S - The aroma is very hop forward with a lot of citrus hop character: grapefruit, tangerine, lemon. On the tailend there is a malty sweetness hiding with a slight biscuit aroma. Hop dominated.

T - Just like the nose the beer starts very hop forward: An immediate medium citrus bitterness together with a distinct tart flavor. Strong fruity citrus character: grapefruit, tangerine, lemon. The middle of the beer brings the biscuit malt character found on the nose, though it is still overwhelmed by the hops. Not all-together balanced, though still pretty solid flavor.

M - Lighter end of medium bodied with adequate carbonation. Silkly in mouthfeel.

D - A pretty good IPA but not spectacular. I liked the hop character but was yearning for a bit more complexity and malt. I'd gladly drink again though.

Photo of alwaysplayin
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Bilco
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of ernestenvy
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of output01x
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Dan3279 for yet another hookup.

Poured from a 12 oz. can (Canned 12/06/11) into a pint glass.

A strong pour yields a 1 1/2-finger cream-colored head that quickly recedes to a thick, clumpy dusting and thin foam collar. The body is a perfectly clear golden amber with a good amount of small, randomly appearing carbonation bubbles. Some light lacing can be seen trying to cling to the glass throughout consumption but is incapable of sticking around long.

A fair amount of citrus and pine hops cut through a strong bready malt presence, giving the nose a very balanced aroma. The citrus aromas that are able to poke through offer up notes of tangerines and grapefruit.

Just like the nose, bready malts lay the groundwork for an abundance of citrus flavors. Notes of tangerines and grapefruit are joined by piney and grassy hops flavors. Upon swallowing, the hops flavors peak with more of an emphasis on the grassy hops. These flavors last long after each sip as a slightly bitter aftertaste.

The medium body coats the mouth well without becoming sticky. The carbonation is only slightly fizzy, allowing the drinker to really experience the flavors while maintaining good drinkability. The swallow foams up just a bit but keeps a decent crispness. The bitter aftertaste of the beer does a decent job of drying the mouth, beckoning the drinker to keep reaching for the glass.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from can I purchased at state line liquors into tulip. Canned on 9/7/11. Its a bit old for an IPA but that's what I got.
Pours a hazy orange brown. Some slight head but sticky.
Smells of malty fresh hops.
Taste is very malty for an IPA...too malty for me. The hop flavor is nice, but mild and is hidden by the overpowering malts.
Its slightly bitter, dry, and "heavy". Its not bad just a bit diffferent.
Overall, not exactly what I'd expect from an IPA but its a good tasting brew. We can't get it in NY, but with soi many better options, I'm not really missing it. Glad I was able to try though.

Photo of angrybabboon
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for giving me a can of this for no reason

Appearance: Golden, dark orange - hazy - above-average, frothy, white head that results in some sticky lacing

Smell: Citrusy hops and sweet malts - floral citrus, a little grassy, pine, some orange and grapefruit rind - some slight pineapple, too - malts are pale and caramel - some fruity/sugary sweetness and something that kind of smells waxy

Taste: Pretty good - grapefruit rind, some pine, and some light fruitiness that may or not be hop-related - grassy and herbal - malts are caramel, pale, provide a foundation - a lingering sugary characteristic, too sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth, but overly sticky

Overall: Good, not great

Big Swell has some interesting qualities, but it's not what I want in an IPA. It's too sweet and too grassy. But the tropical notes are nice, and I wouldn't mind drinking this on the beach.

Photo of adamk1978
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of MatJones
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 828 ratings.