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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
86
very good

542 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 542
Reviews: 223
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10.79%
Wants: 26
Gots: 40 | 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: 542 | Reviews: 223 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LiquidCucumber
LiquidCucumber

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: can

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

Idaho

4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: can

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

Colorado

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: can

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

Colorado

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: can

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

Hawaii

4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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

Colorado

3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: can

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

Iowa

3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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

Wisconsin

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: can

12-09-2010 16:01:17 | More by Wisconsinality
Photo of gtn80
gtn80

Maine

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

Poured from the can into a glass.

Appearance is a nice golden orange color, with a tiny one finger head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma is of a big IPA, lots of malt in the aroma. Balanced by big, juicy, grapefruit hops.

Taste is very well balanced. Juicy, grapefruit hops up front, lots of bready malt. Flavor is crisp before hop bitterness hits, and it hits heavily.

Mouthfeel is good, carbonation lifts beer off your tongue.

Drinkability is really high for a big IPA.

Serving type: can

12-07-2010 05:20:27 | More by gtn80
Photo of warmstorage
warmstorage

California

3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

EDIT 11/30/2010: Had this again, and found it much more interesting. The hoppiness was more pronounced, in a good harsh sort of way, made me think of Chinook. Definitely glad I tried this again! Bumped taste from 3.0 to 4.0, and smell from 3.0 to 3.5.

===
2008 REVIEW:
12 ounce can was $2.00 from Liquor Collection, Honolulu.

Appearance: medium orange to light red, fairly hazy, but off-white to light beige head that leaves little to no lacing.

Aroma: Some earthy / resiny hops, and a little sweet malt, but underwhelming.

Taste: Again, earthy resiny hops, a slight citrus hop note. A little tiny bit soapy. Some orange notes in the finish.

Mouth: Somewhat warm and slightly sharp, but moderate to light carbonation.

Overall: A drinkable beer, interesting, but unremarkable. Would I drink it again if my other choices were Bikini Blonde, or Kona's Longboard Lager? Absolutely. Would I buy it again given other options? No.

Serving type: can

11-30-2010 22:41:44 | More by warmstorage
Photo of PDXHops
PDXHops

South Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap in a nonic at Humpy's Big Island Alehouse. Deep see-thru golden body with a bright white soapy head and fairly plentiful lacing.

The utilitarian glassware can't blunt the nose. West Coast all the way- Grapefruit, orange and pine with hints of the sticky icky. A steady stream of bitterness from sip to swallow, but it never approaches palate-wrecking level and doesn't overwhelm the wonderful hop flavors. Grapefruit zest and juice, pine, hints of mango and pineapple. Just-right touch of lightly sweet malt provides a bit of contrast. (Not to be confused with balance; this is a hop showcase). A bit of ganja in the dry and sticky finish.

Overall impression: My favorite beer during my week on the Big Island. I was inspired to by a couple of sixers of cans immediately after lunch to stick in the cooler. Highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2010 13:35:10 | More by PDXHops
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77

Delaware

4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in can and tap in Maui in Sept 2010. Maui Brewery Brewpub in Lahaina

Appearance: mild amber color with 1 1/2 finger head that sticks around for a while. good not great lacing.

Smell: I know there have been mixed reviews, but I loved the smell of this one. great hop aroma in the noise. very pleasing.

Taste: again, really enjoyed this one. good hop finish and overall flavor. similar to the DFH 60 min that I know and love.

Mouthfeel: VERY easy drinking. on honeymoon there and had a steady supply of this in both hotel rooms in Maui and Kauai.

Drinkability: definitely would have this one again. might seek in a trade. not the best, but will always remind me of the trip.

Cheers.

Serving type: can

11-24-2010 18:18:43 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

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

Pours a hazy yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, mellow orange citrus hops. In the taste, starts a dry pine to orange citrus hops with a nice malt backing. A a small hop bite but mainly smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry small citrus hop in the aftertaste. Nice hops and easy to drink.

Serving type: can

11-19-2010 17:26:58 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of ClarkPinnock
ClarkPinnock

North Carolina

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

Thanks to Onenote81 for giving me a can of this.

This is one of my fist IPA's. Poured a cloudy burnt-orange with a 1/2 inch of head. Good lacing throughout. Definite notes of citrus in the nose. I know there are hops there as well, but not really knowing that hops smell like, I can say authoritatively.

Just the right amount of carbonation, which is at times unusual from a can. Also retains a full mouthful, not thin. Deep notes of citrus run parallel to a bitter flavor. The citrus comes first and fades into the bitterness.

This is very drinkable--providing a depth of flavor beyond what I expected.

Serving type: can

11-12-2010 02:45:54 | More by ClarkPinnock
Photo of BeerAndBourbon
BeerAndBourbon

Ohio

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

A. Pours a clear orange with a one finger off white creamy head that leaves tons of residual lacing around the glass.

S. Like a pine tree in Hawaii. Pine/grass hops with some tropical fruits - pineapple, mango.

T. Grapefruit dominates upfront with some sweet caramel malt to balance on the tail. As it warms the grapefruit backs off a bit and some pineapple and mango bitterness with some malt sweetness come in to play.

M. Medium body with a medium to high carbonation.

D. Quite drinkable. An interesting balance for an IPA. It seems that the bitterness tends to dominate when it's colder, but as it warms the sweetness comes in more and more. I really liked this initially and then enjoyed the subtle sweetness. As it warmed and the sweetness grew, it became more and more difficult to enjoy. I still enjoyed this brew, but I'd recommend drinking it a bit on the colder side.

Serving type: can

11-02-2010 00:19:46 | More by BeerAndBourbon
Photo of Bfarr
Bfarr

Washington

4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy orange amber with big tan frothy head with great retention although it ended with clumpy lacing and peaks and valleys. Effervescent sweet citrus and grassy aromas. Nicely balanced yet bold, bright flavor following the nose with the grassy bits being in the end and caramel citrus taste up front. Creamy yet very bubbly mouthfeel.

Something about the aroma in this one is good although not strong or complex it's extremely clear and bright. Citrus flavors are sweet like orange and tangerine with just a splash of grapefruit. There is a nice hop linger but it's not overdone. Really well done simple IPA that is a joy to drink all the way around.

Serving type: can

11-01-2010 23:49:49 | More by Bfarr
Photo of Onenote81
Onenote81

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received a 6-pack of this from the great trader, scottfrie. Thanks, Scott!

Can poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark orange with a thick bone-white head on top. Excellent retention; leaves some sticky globs of lace behind. The nose is underwhelming to say the least. Light citrus tones waft out, but nothing is standing out. Not as hoppy as I'd like.

Good smooth mouthfeel with a crisp finish. Carbonation level is good. I've noticed sometimes that beer poured from a can loses some depth in the mouth, but not this one. Retains a nice firm feel. Great bitter hops right off the bat. A sweet kick in the middle with mango and orange flavors. Finish is slightly bittering as well. The flavors don't take a back seat to the bitterness though, great citrusy sweetness that I really dig. I'm glad I got a sixer of this. Great beer.

Serving type: can

10-26-2010 16:32:37 | More by Onenote81
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into pint glass - thanks to mrmiles for this during the nice cans II BIF

A - Pours a orange-yellow with a thick, bubbly head about two fingers high. Retains nicely with plenty of ringed lacing while drinking.

S - Some grassy hops with hints of tropical fruit and slightly sweet malts.

T - Plenty of juicy, fruity hops in the beginning with notes of citrus zest and apricot. Sweetness creeps in along with some toasted biscuit hints. The malt backbone is lighter but defined, as the beer finishes hoppy with some lingering dryness.

M - Lighter medium body, easy on the carbonation, some creamier tendencies for the style.

D - Quality flavor, little alcohol presence, not overpowering.

A nice IPA in a can for sure, although the nose was pretty subdued.

Serving type: can

10-19-2010 01:03:24 | More by xnicknj
Photo of devilben02
devilben02

North Carolina

3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Maui's IPA pours with a hazy, golden, medium-yellow color and a foamy white head, making it look similar to (albeit a bit darker than) the brewery's lager. The similarity stops there, though, with the aroma being packed with a fresh and bold combination of floral and earthy hops. It honestly smells like slicing open a vacuum bag full of hop pellets for a new batch of home brew. The flavor is similarly bursting with a dominant and bold hop bitterness with very little sweetness to balance. The texture is resinous and tongue-coating, letting the hoppy bitterness linger for a few moments. Unfortunately, although the hops are bold and distinct, it comes across as a bit one-dimensional.

I almost expected this to have more pineapple and tropical fruit hop characteristics or even some local botanicals like red ginger or hibiscus, maybe because those kinds of things would have been the obvious gimmicks from a brewery based in Maui. As I noted, though, the hop profile is more woodsy than tropical, and I respect that they didn't give in to gimmicks and chose to make a solid, straight-up IPA instead. In the end, though, I might have preferred the gimmicks to make this one more memorable.

Serving type: can

10-14-2010 20:16:41 | More by devilben02
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lightly hazy golden-orange topped with a thick carpet of off-white suds. They linger a bit and leave thick rings of lace.
It noses primarily of tropical fruit, apricot, guava, and orange. These are backed with some minty bitterness and a doughy malt base, and a touch of honey sweetness.
The bready malt rolls onto the tongue first. Doughy for the most part, but it gradually grows toastier and nuttier deeper in. The malt/hop interplay brings a fruit punch of pineapple, tangerine, peach, and apricot. It's an outstanding combination, but lacks a bit in clarity and volume. A low-level, pasty bitterness (a la wet aspirin) is the obscuring factor.
Medium bodied with a slow carbonation, gives this a sleekly beefy, almost cask-like feel.
This is a perfectly pleasant, pleasing IPA and was my go-to during my stay on Maui.

Serving type: can

10-07-2010 08:02:25 | More by cokes
Photo of alleykatking
alleykatking

Indiana

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz can. Review from notes...

A- Pours a hazy orange yellow color. One finger white head shows medium retention. Streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Citrus hops mostly grapefruit and tangerine forward cover the entire aroma. There is some light bready malts that poke their head out from time to time. Piney earthy hops toward the backend but even these are faded when matched up with the citrus hops.

T- Light citrus hop bite in the front. Expected a little more bite from the aroma. Sweet caramel malts shine in the middle adding to the overall sweetness of the beer. Bitter piney hops on the backend help to almost balance this beer out. A little faded in the backend I thought..nothing over the top but a decent IPA.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation was good for the style. Light citrus hops with caramel malts left on the palate. Some malts and piney hops left long into the aftertaste. Clean flavors overall with everything blended together fairly well. Alcohol drying on the palate.

D- A good easy drinking IPA. Almost balanced but the sweetness helps this from making it so. I've had this beer a couple of times now and tend to enjoy it and maybe one day I'll trade for a six pack of it!

Serving type: can

09-09-2010 14:08:49 | More by alleykatking
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz can into pint glass.

A: Light orangey amber with a two finger white head that reduced down into a film leaving decent lacing.
S: Sweet smell for an IPA. Very sugary sweet like candy or sugar cane. Fairly hoppy; citrusy rather than piney with tangerine notes.
T: Exotic fruits. Tangerine, guava, papaya. Very sweet. Hops come in near the end with a bit of bitterness but the beer still finishes sweet. Lots of citrus sugar like ripened sweet fruits.
M: Perfect carbonation. Not too bubbly, nice, smooth and tingly.
D: To sweet to be my favorite IPA, but the beers got a good sweet fruit juice taste. Not nearly as hoppy as they claim though. I might buy this again if I find it for cheap.

Serving type: can

08-20-2010 04:32:05 | More by scottfrie
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a light golden color with good carbonation and a nice white head

S: Citrus, perhaps some tropical fruits

T: A good tasty IPA, plenty of lighter citrus and tropical fruit and some caramel

M: Nice, refreshing with a subtle hop bite

D: Nice and drinkable

Serving type: can

08-15-2010 21:04:50 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of tr4nc3d
tr4nc3d

Kansas

4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12fl oz can poured into my pint glass

The pour produced a light golden to slightly light orange color with a huge four inch frothy slightly off-white head. Great head retention that seemed to never want to die down. As it finally did it left bits amount of lacing clinging to the sides of my glass.

The aroma on this one was of slight citrus flavors of tangerines and grapefruit. Floral aromatics of pine and herbal earth like smells followed with a bit of malts.

Taste upfront was of citrus grapefruit and tangerines with a pine bitterness that is slightly high. Slight herbal characteristics show up with a touch of malts in the finish.

Medium bodied with slightly high carbonation.

This IPA is a little on the bitter side but pretty good and something I recommend to try.

Serving type: can

08-10-2010 14:40:36 | More by tr4nc3d
Photo of u2carew
u2carew

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can!
A) Pours with a finger thick head - wispy, white. Lacing is thin and sticky. Clear body. Bronze in color.
S) Grapefruit. Piney notes.
T) Sharp grapefruit and mixed with mellow caramel malt up front, then mellows considerably by the finish leaving just a mild hop bite that sweet like a peach.
M) Smooth. Medium body on the lighter side. Finishes dry.
D) A great American IPA. I would recommend to others - for sure.

Serving type: can

08-04-2010 01:49:27 | More by u2carew
Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 542 ratings.