Big Swell IPA - Maui Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Big Swell IPABig Swell IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

874 Ratings
THE BROS
67
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 874
Reviews: 381
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 29
Gots: 90 | 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
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Ratings: 874 | Reviews: 381
Photo of Dave1999
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light orange, mostly transparent with a small foamy head.

The smell is Citrus and a little pine.

The taste is bitter, citrus,a little spicy Evan.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall a pretty tasty IPA to drink in Hawaii. I preferred this to konas IPA.

Photo of ThePaleRider
3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - light yellow appearance with a thick white head. Nice big bubbles that disappear pretty quickly.

S - Piney hops up front with some biscuit in the back end.

T - Strong hop bite that's pretty bitter. A little bit of floral taste on the back end along with some pine. Not a lot of malt in the taste.

M - Nice carbonation with a hop taste that lasts a while.

O - Very drinkable IPA but there are plenty of better options. I do think this beer drinks great out of the can though.

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can(!) poured into a tulip glass

A: Slow pour results in big foamy head, takes a while to subside and leaves sheets of sticky lacing and a bit of a cap. Beer is the cloudy amber IPAs are supposed to look like.

S: Grapefruit, citrus, pine - the classic smells of an IPA.

T: Sadly, doesn't live up to the promising beginning. Some citrus, some pine, lots of hops, but very unbalanced. Despite medium alcohol content, you pick up quite a bit of it.

M: Good at the beginning, but quickly leads to a bitter dryness. Pretty highly carbonated as a result of being in the can and fresh. Quite drinkable, though.

O: Taste really knocks this down; they need to work on the overwhelming bitterness and meld it with the other flavors. It's still quite drinkable and refreshing and I like the can for IPAs, but this is a long, long way from Heady Topper territory.

Photo of NudeManOnPatrol
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this little gem of a can at the BierKoning in Amsterdam.

Pours out with a thin white head that lingers. Pretty decent lacing throughout. Grapefruit and lots of pine notes are in the taste. Also got a bit of lemongrass. The carbonation is about perfect, which gives the beer some body. Bitter aftertaste.

Overall a pretty nice IPA, but could use a bit more malt to round it out. Some of the flowery/fruity notes could be a bit more balanced.

Photo of IronDjinn
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my buddy Paul for passing this along to me. From a 355 ml can. Pours out a slightly hazed honey apricot hue, tall dense off-white head that slowly settles.

Grapefruit rind and pith at first in the aroma, some dry grainy malt, dry herbal and pine notes, and some tangerine citrus.

Dry clean flavour, at least up front. Dry grains at first, then a bready/honey-like sweetness pops up in the middle while tangerine, grapefruit pith and pine join it. Sweetness lingers into the finish, with more orange and some dry earthy and pine hop character.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, thick texture with moderate carbonation.

A nice diversion when it comes to this style, some interesting tweaks, although to my palate it doesn't all quite gel together to set it apart from the crowd moreso. Still a good offering, I wouldn't say no to more.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Nearly fully clear medium orange color. Two fingers of frothy off-white head. Retention is a hair short of average and only a few whisps of lacing are left.

3.5 S: Floral foremost, then citrusy, then spicy and grassy. Powerful and pleasant. Just a light neutral maltiness and a touch of crystal malt. Quite clean overall.

3.5 T: The hops in the taste take on a more spicy vibe, which is then followed by a bit of pine, grass, and then citrus. Light sugariness. Again there's just a bit of neutral malts and a touch of crystal. Clean overall and tasty.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Nice creaminess and super smooth.

4.0 D: Super easy to drink with no negatives and some good flavors.

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Just got back from Oahu Yesterday, had a pretty fresh 2 beers from the can, then a pint at the Yard House on Lewers street.

Big on the Grapefruit, weird hop spice to it, and on tap...it was a bit bready. The Torpedo I sampled in a taster was much better than the pint I had of Big Swell. Don't get me wrong, the pint of Big Swell was fine, but too bready.

Not a bad representation of the style. Enjoyable actually. But coming from California and having Fresh PtE, Blind Pig, Union Jack and Sculpin as regular offerings...this was a "good" IPA.

Better fresh out of the can than on Tap IMHO. If I were reviewing a fresh can, a 4.0 might have been dealt, but I'm reviewing a pint for appearance issues and what I thought would have been fresher and better, so here ya go...

Glad I tried it both on tap and in can. Not a bad IPA by any means...

Photo of AdamBear
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark gold with a big cream colored head.

S-great smell. Fresh grassy hops. Medium strength. 

T-comes in with a very mild taste of sweet grassy hops an a decent amount of bitterness. The after-taste is mostly bitter. 

M-medium carbonation with a dry finish

O-it's a very mild ipa, one for the distance. The flavors are good but subtle. It's a good beer to drink, very tasty, just not something I'll lust after.

Photo of TechTriumph
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes on 04/17/12:
Canned: 09/07/11; Poured in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - One inch off-white, lightly fluffy head with decent retention; Light caramel/copper in color with a slightly hazy appearance; Pretty good webs of lacing left behind

S - Nice, hoppy aroma with a good amount of citrus and lighter amounts of floral, piney, and tropical fruit hops; Just a bit of caramel comes through

T - Like the nose, there's a solid, hoppy punch here, though I think the malts hold their own more in the taste; Citrus hops are fairly dominant with a lighter dose of pine, pepper, and onion; Nice amount of toasty character and subtle sweet caramel compliments the hop flavors; Mild wave of peppery bitterness comes forward and lingers

M - Moderate, lively carbonation; Medium bodied; Pretty smooth going down and leaves the mouth feeling fairly dry

O - I really enjoyed the level of drinkability from this Maui Brewing offering. It's got enough hops and bitterness to bring some satisfaction to that craving, while also supplying some nice toasty character to bring a bit of balance. I would definitely consider grabbing this beer again when in the mood for a solid canned IPA.

Photo of argock
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz can into a clear Donegal mug. 121511 stamped on the bottom of the can. Received from my good NDN Walker.

A: Slightly hazy golden with 2-finger white foamy head with decent retention and sticky lace all over the glass.

S: Very caramel malty aroma with spruce/pine and floral hops.

T: Overly malty with too much caramel maltiness, almost meaty. It seems like a super-powered APA. The hops have definitely faded with some pine and floral character, a little fruity orange citrus.

M: Solid medium-bodied mouthfeel with low carbonation and medium-dry finish.

O: Time has been not that kind to this beer. Too much maltiness still regardless of age. Doubt this could be too fresh coming from thousands of miles aways.

Photo of kojevergas
2.62/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz aluminum can with a fantastic grip (seriously, every can should feel this way in your hand - just check out the top) served into a generic stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger beige colour head of fair thickness, fair cream, and below average retention. Colour is a nontransparent fairly vibrant copper. Non-opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Floral hops. Clean malts. That's it. An average strength aroma.

T: Floral hops and clean malts. Maybe some cream and slight caramelization. Unbearably simple and bland. I guess hardcore IPA fans might enjoy it, but I find it rather mundane. Not at all complex or subtle. Not particularly fresh either. It's alright. No yeast or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Adequate carbonation. Okay thickness.

Dr: A drinkable but very unremarkable IPA. I wouldn't get it again. Horribly boring and bland. A disappointment from Maui brewing. IPA fans can safely skip this offering.

C-

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 355ml can with a canned-on date of April 2012. Picked up recently from my local beer specialist (they have a bunch of Maui beers hidden in a fridge at the front). Time to catch a wave....

Poured into a Delirium chalice. A golden-amber hue with faint haze and decent carbonation. Forms a smallish head of white foam that lasts for a minute or two before subsiding. Aroma of sharp grapefruit and citrus, underpinned by sweet, grainy malt and earthy yeast. Nice.

Tastes of tangy citrus with a dry, bitter finish. Notes of grapefruit, citrus, subtle pine, grainy malt and earthy yeast. Considerable bitterness upon swallowing. The alcohol is well hidden. Mouthfeel is pretty dry and tingly, but rather thin and feels overcarbonated. Highly astringent. Aftertaste of sharp citrus and yeast.

A tasty IPA, though not the best I've tried. The biggest let-down is the mouthfeel, which just seems too watery and prickly. The aroma/flavour are good but lacking in depth - the hoppy character seems monotonous. However, it's tasty and goes down easily. If it was cheaply available I'd probably grab another. Worth sampling if you come across it.

Photo of Duff27
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Very nice looking head just short of an inch in height. Body is a light orange. Drink-by-drink step lacing. Great head retention throughout.

S- Whiffs of orangey citrus.

T- Citrus/hop bitterness is there but not overpowering in the least. Thirst quenching. Hides it's 6.8%ABV very well.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation fits the bill.

D/O- Very drinkable IPA here, one that I wouldn't mind sippin' on a whole 6 pack throughout the course of a long evening. Consider this kid impressed. Worth checking out.

Photo of HoppySailor
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a New Belgium snifter. Canned date of 12/15/2012.

A- Pours a pale gold/straw color and has a nice-looking off-white froth that dissipates quickly and leaves a decent lacing. The brew is cloudy and I am told it is can conditioned, but I do not know for sure. Need to look that up.

S- Yum. It smells like someone just sliced open a fresh grapefruit and splashed juice everywhere. I love it when an IPA smells like grapefruit.

T- The taste is terrific. Very refreshing with a mixture of citrus (grapefruit and pineapple, maybe orange peel) and biscuit. Maybe a hint of malt sweetness but mostly just hoppy citrus. There is some pine in there, but the citrus chases everything else right out off the tongue.

M- The mouth feel is NOT true to IPA style, but I cannot give it bad marks all things considered. It has a LOT of bite, instead of the usual IPA "flat" feel. (I wouldn/t classify this one as "medium body" as many here have) This beer is traditionally enjoyed in warm climates on beaches under hot sun, and this bubbly bite would be a great asset there. I still prefer the real ale feel of traditional IPA, but this one could be enjoyed after an hour of yardwork or while sweating buckets under and umbrella on the beach whereas a normal IPA would not be suited for such conditions.

O- As this one warms the bitterness of the simcoe and cascade hops starts to come out in the finish. Two things would prevent this from becoming my new "go to" IPA - The price (12.99 for six) and the mouth feel. That said, I will still invite this great IPA to any tastings I host and will feel obliged to enjoy it in the future, especially when outdoor activity in warm weather is involved. This is a top-notch brew. It should have it's own class - "warm weather IPA".

Photo of kemoarps
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy straw colour. Bubbly white head that dissipates but sticks around just enough to lace the sides beautifully.

The nose is almost a honey sweet with that citrusy/floral hop background bringing it along. This is a delicious smelling beer. Good balance on the aroma.

The taste follows the smell fairly well, expanding on the themes presented and filling out to be a well balanced IPA. The hops are somewhere between floral and grapefruit bitter, with an earthy maltiness running along underneath. The more I drink of this beer, the more I like it.

Smoothe. I'm drinking it on a 100 degree day, and it seems just about perfect. Well balanced and drinkable, though I feel that if I had more than one or two in a sitting it might get overbearing and lose some of its enjoyability. Definitely pick it up if it's available in your area and you have even a passing interest in it.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Maui Brewing Big Swell IPA. "Big, hoppy, bold, smooth, and hoppy…did we mention hoppy?" ALC 6.8% by VOL.

Hazy, bright golden hue, Small tight ring of white foam, leaves some lace.

Aroma: pungent and hoppy, plenty of pine and citrus, lemon and orange ahoy! Plenty of bitter, with a hint of sour, and a touch, just a touch, of the sweet. Wonderful complexity.

Taste: Mmmm. Yeah. Boom, there it is. Citrus zest all over the palate, but never too much, not too bitter, not too strong. Hangs on the palate long, slight astringency, but, yeah, smooth, drinkable, and delicious. So nice. Medium-bodied. Tasty tango of bitter and sweet. Downable, indeed, full of hoppitude and hoppiness. Nice stuff.

Photo of cosmicevan
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
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 +9%
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 +4.2%
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 ryantho00
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
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 C20Percent
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
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 Murrhey
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
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 Mora2000
3.46/5  rDev -8.7%
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 hopfacebrew
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
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 output01x
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 874 ratings.