Big Swell IPA - Maui Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Big Swell IPABig Swell IPA

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very good

629 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 629
Reviews: 227
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 31
Gots: 58 | 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: 629 | Reviews: 227 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of depechemode1983
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of drewba
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of Kelly88
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of beerman207
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of russpowell
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Mages64
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of brew3crew
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of canucklehead
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Beernf
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of LiquidCucumber
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Photo of Scotchboy
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Photo of angelmonster
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of katan
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of freeboard
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Photo of ArrogantB
3.78/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of beagle75
3.78/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of gtn80
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of warmstorage
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Photo of PDXHops
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
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.


Photo of OWSLEY069
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 629 ratings.