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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

836 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 836
Reviews: 374
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10.79%
Wants: 28
Gots: 69 | 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: 836 | Reviews: 374 | Display Reviews Only:
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%

Photo of Hophead101
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

nice cloudy brownish orange with great size off white head. leaves a nice top film and awesome lacing in the glass.

nice hoppy smell with a substantial malt background.

taste is nice - both malts and hops. buttery creaminess. moutfeel is nice, mild carbonation with good balance - creamy overall.

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

A: Pale straw yellow as it pours. In the glass it is a slightly hazy pear color. Good solid white head on the top.

S: Classic American hop aromas come out right away. Grapefruit, and resinous pine. Behind that there is a touch of a biscuity aroma as well as some caramel notes. It may just be my imagination but do I smell a gentle sea breeze as well?

T: Hoppy. The grapefruit follows through in to the taste. The bitterness is evenly distributed through the beginning, middle, and end of the flavor. The aftertaste has a touch of pine. Nice amount of caramel throughout.

M: Actually perhaps just a bit of the thin side for me. Medium light in body, carbonation may is about average, and a touch dry, though not much.

O: Overall I think it is a really nice IPA. Good bitterness, lots of hop flavor, and it balances out fairly well so nothing dominates the flavor. Although the mouthfeel is a tad thin for me.

Photo of Nugganooch
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big Swell – canned 11/22/11 (freshest I can find at the moment) Do canned IPA’s fade???

Notes from 02/16/12
12oz. can to pint

A: Pours a super clear light goldenrod color with a massive cakey foam head

S: Pop the top and aromas of pine, grapefruit, and pineapple emanate. Some light sugary malts and a bit of tarty fruit esters. Smells nice.

T: Hops are predominantly citrus fruits and some prickly pines with a relatively low bitterness factor. More flavor and aromas here. Sticky hemp. Taste does have somewhat of a sugared malt cracker forwardness to it. Might be the age on these cans but its just not as vibrant as I recall. Some alcohol flavs. Still very nice and crushable.

M: Lighter body with a slight creamy texture. A bit resinous with hop oils that coat the palate. Manages a light crisp in the finish.

D: A real nice IPA. Very drinkable and I do respect the can. Will probably look to find a fresher sample eventually.
Still hoppy and delicious but wasn’t quite the Big Swell I remember. Maltier.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

nothing special here. pours a lighter looking orange color with a lacey white head. smells like bitter hops, very american in style. flavor is just kind of boring, everything in fine proportion, but not an interesting brew. the hops are just bitter, not lots of subtle flavors there. feel is alright, lighter in body and good carbonation. overall not a beer i would buy again

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

It has a huge, foamy-white head that leaves a ton of lacing. There are a few big bubbles going up the side. Clear gold color...crystal clear. Hoppy scent with a mild lemon and malt undertone.

Very intense taste. It feels like a banana infused with some hops. There's a mild fruitiness to it, dark fruit like grape with a hint of watermelon. Complex all-around. Has a banana bread feel to it. Nice and complex for a simplish beer.

Photo of marct
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of cornucopia
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of theformula
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of sharpski
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

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

This is a solid IPA with a DIPA level flavor and intensity. Poured into a pint glass as a coppery orange color with a medium size white head. Head retention is average and there are good strong bands of lacing on the glass.

Good strong aroma of citrus and floral hops...very nice!!!

Taste is very robust....good hops bitterness, Citrus hops up front and some floral hoppiness as well. Some balancing sweet malts.

Mouthfeel is good as well, nicely carbonated, crisp with a nice hops bite.

Very good IPA, would drink this one any time!!!

Photo of Chaney
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Welcome to DC Maui Brewing Company!

Served in a tulip.

A: Poured about half the can into my glass and the other half filled up with an almond colored head. Yikes! The liquid itself was a beautiful clear, gold color.

S: Lots of yummy hop air freshener here! This one has that rare gift of floral, hop sizzle, and candy sugar trio, with the hops winning by a country mile. If someone put this up to my nose without me knowing who made it, I would've guess it came from California.

T: The taste wasn't quite a intense, yet was still tasty. The citrus was substantially muted by a cushion of yeast and the finish wasn't nearly as dry or bitter as I was expecting.

M: The carbonation was fairly low, but still prickly enough and my glass looked like it went through a car wash with the windows open.

O: This was damn good stuff in a market saturated by great IPAs.

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

The beer pours with a frothy, three finger thick, pale tan tinged, off-white colored head that leaves some spotty, layered lacing on the sides of my New Belgium globe glass. The beer is a red stained copper color that shows a brilliantly clear, slightly orange tinged, pale copper hue when held up to the light. The beer has more of a dank herbal character in the aroma than the Hi.P.Hay had, this is backed by a bright, Curacoa orange zest character. There is a dusty, dried malt and dried hay like note here as well, though this plays a purely supporting role and there is also a suggestion of golden-toasted crackers. The herbal hop aromatics almost have a peppery note to them at time and while the citrus / fruit character is the dominant note here, it isn’t quite as juicy and ripe as in the Hi.P.Hay. Still this is a very nice aroma, it is actually a bit more balanced than the Hi.P.Hay, but I find that I like it just a smidgeon less.

Big citrus fruit flavors dominate the flavor profile, these are backed by a solid, though not aggressive bitterness, a peppery, dry, somehow dusty herbal character that is a mix of menthol, pine, and “hemp” oil as well as just a hint of garlic chive; this last note is quite subdued and adds to the complexity rather than detracts as this type of note can often do. The beer has a fairly light body, though there is clearly enough malt body to accentuated the hop fruitiness; I wouldn’t say this is on the dry side for an IPA, but it certainly attains the easy / dangerous quaffability that a good IPA should have. The finish really dries out substantially from the bitterness, a biting pine needle flavor as well as a woody, spicy black pepper like note; all of these make you feel like taking another sip so that the touch of sweet malt and big hop fruit character has a chance to coat the palate again.

As the beer warms up it picks up even more fruitiness in the flavor, but this is still balanced by the drier, herbal / bitter character that defines the finish of this beer. This is a very nice IPA, I have been impressed by both IPAs from Maui, but I think I prefer this one for its slightly more complex approach and less focus on crystal malt.

Photo of RepMichigan
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of themisanthrope
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 836 ratings.