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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.
very good

593 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 593
Reviews: 226
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 29
Gots: 49 | 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: 593 | Reviews: 226 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RedBrewer83
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass...

A: Pours a golden yellow with hints of amber orange. Head is huge, four fingers of creamy off white head that refuses to fall, very sticky and lingers throughout the duration of the beer.

S: Surprisingly it is kind of muted...not a lot going on here. Faint citrus and pine with a faint malt backbone....Does smell fresh though.

T: Lots of citrus hops, grapefruit with a hint of tangerine. Faint piney hops lingering with the malt. Tastes fresh as if off draft. Very nice, not overly complex though. Wish it had a little more to offer.

M: Medium body, slightly watery unfortunately...carbonation is crisp but slightly weak. The head offers a slight creaminess that is pretty nice.

D: Drinkable as a beverage, needs a little more depth to keep me coming back for flavor experience. Pretty good overall, expected more for the price....

RedBrewer83, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of srandycarter
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Clar light honey small head some sudsey cling lace.

S - Piney hops are huge. Malt back notes, fresh and nice.

T - Taste follow smell not as hoppy or flavorful as smell, though.

M - Med body, heavy on hops for balance,

D- Nice beer, could have a hour or two with it.

srandycarter, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this one out of the fridge to start the weekend at Lunch today. Served in a pint glass cold out of the can, this one was consumed on 12/12/2009.

Nice pour, classic amber color with a nice head of white dropping in on top at a height of around two inches, faded back into a broken crown but left some nice lacing around the edges of the glass. Aroma is sharp, citrus hops all the way, even after warming pineapple and orange are the dominant aromas here for sure. First sip is just what I needed. Sharp citrus bite right off the bat just jumps right out at me, classic. Crisp, clean with a nice buttery malt profile coming through mid palate and a nice sharp, lightly dry finsih and superb drinkability.

Overall a classic west coast IPA with a smooth, crisp, clean finish and solid all around taste. I would be happy to throw down a sixer of this one anyday

mikesgroove, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly hazy Sunkist orange that indicates something darker than pale malt has been used. The golden ecru colored crown has tremendous texture, with all sort of visually interesting topography and a lovely array of lace on the upper reaches of the glass.

The nose is wonderfully aromatic. That's to be expected with a lupulus lineup that includes Columbus, Amarillo, Centennial and Cascade. Not a bad one in the bunch. Specifics include grapefruit, orange and a ganja-like dankness that is usually due to aged Cascade.

If you like hoptastic American IPAs, then Big Swell will probably hit you the same way it's hitting me. This is damn good stuff that I made sure to review within several weeks of having acquired it. All 65 IBUs feel like they're present and accounted for.

The beer crashes over the tongue in a wave of alpha acids, but it's far from abusive. The pale (and lightly toasted) malts provide just enough background sweetness and flavor to give the little green cones some contrast. White grapefruit rind is still going strong (classic Centennial) and the rest of the flavor rundown doesn't change much from the description seen above.

The body/mouthfeel easily keeps pace. It's substantial right out of the gate, stays strong along the backstretch and barely eases at the wire. Wonderful carbonation is, no doubt, most of the reason why.

Although all of the Maui canned beers are good, Big Swell IPA is my clear favorite. As a certified hophead, that's probably to be expected. This is a classic example of the style that has no (count 'em... zero) faults. Too bad this single isn't a sixer.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of Lothore
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep, clear, copper color with a 1 finger off white head.

S- Caramel, big and malty with hints of floral hops.

T- Malty up front, lots of caramel leading to a small hop kick.

M- A little thick and creamy. Lots of carbonation.

D- Not a bad beer but not one that I particularly enjoyed.

Lothore, Nov 05, 2009
Photo of jhoban19
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap, served in a room temp tulip.

A: a bit hazy, bubbly orange. not quite 2 fingers of off-white foam with decent lacing.

S: a good balance of malt/bread/hops, more so than my sample form the 12oz. can. honey and lemon also present. that said, I'm not sure if it was the serving type or the chilled vs. room temp glass. I say this because I had another serving from the can in a room temp glass and the smell/taste was similar to that of the draft whereas the hops were overpowered in the chilled glass. maybe the first sample was old... anyway....

T: again, a very good balance of hops and malt. the hops are more prevalent this time around and present throughout. a nice citrus feel as well.

M: well carbonated, dry on the finish, hops really linger at the back of the tongue.

D: this sample was considerably better than my first sample from the 12oz. can. maybe this was simply fresher. overall, a very good IPA.

jhoban19, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of snaotheus
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz can poured into a little hotel glass.

Looks an orangey amber color, medium to low head. Smells of honeysuckle and tropical fruit with hops in the background.

Taste is sweet and hoppy, very floral, slightly citrus, nice sour-bitter hops background.

Mouthfeel is light, very drinkable, especially on a hot humid day in Hawaii.

snaotheus, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of callmescraps
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been checking out the sweet cans for months, finally got around to trying it.

Appearance - Orange copper color. Two inches of tan foamy head. It laces some, but not great.

Smell - Hoppy citrus and grapefruit. Definitely a hint of apricot. There is a definite caramel malt back. It's a nice smell, but not overwhelming. Didn't knock my socks off.

Taste - Follows the smell. Really quite nice. The light citrus and apricot comes through. There is a nice biscuit following. The aftertaste leaves something to be desired. Caramel sticky sweetness on the end.

Mouthfeel - Good and creamy, without being syrup. Very nice.

Drinkability - Definitely solid. Wish I had another sixer.

This is a really underrated beverage. Well, maybe properly rated but under discussed. It's a great west coast IPA, and possibly my favorite IPA from a can. (If Gordon is an IPA, then this is probably second by a hair). A very pleasant surprise. I'll be having it again.

callmescraps, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a sturdy whipped egg white head that leaves a nice ring of lacing

Smell: Resinous, but primarily grapefruit juice; a real smell from the tropics, with pineapple undertones

Taste: Opens with a nice biscuity flavor that qiuckly moves in a sweet and fruity, floral grapefruit direction by mid-palate; the swallow is pure grapefruit with hints of pineapple; rather sweet, but I like it

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Sweetness rules, by golly, and this is one refreshing IPA; very tropical and I wonder if Maui has considered mixing a little coconut into the concoction to make a pina colada IPA to match their Coconut Porter

Thanks, atigerlife, for the opportunity

brentk56, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of woodychandler
4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had some of this last year while staying with LaiLani in Oxnard, CA but since my notes are with a transcriptionist, I decided to go with the "No Time Like the Present" fall-back position. That and the fact that my CAN-CAN days may be ending simply because I am running out of new beers to review. The next series will be a nautical theme in deference to my standing as a retired enlisted person in Uncle Sugar's Canoe Club aka the US Navy. Stand by!

The wide-mouth can poured like a champ, creating two fingers' worth of French Vanilla-colored head, but with only mild retention. Boo hoo. Color was a cloudy, hazy sunshine yellow. Nose was very piney with hops. My mouth immediately began to water. Mouthfeel was medium with a really hoppy presence on the tongue. My jones started to fade. Damn the pusher man who first turned me onto American IPAs! Bless those who provide me my fix! Feeling like a champ, I swallowed, allowing the hops to just coarse through my veins and quiet that howling freakin' monkey on my back. Ohhh my. Let's just say that I got right off of this and leave it at that. Say, anybody help a brother out with a coupla bucks for some IPA? This Hawaiian shiznit was kinda expensive, you dig? Dang good, though. I'm goin' back for another hit, I mean, CAN.

woodychandler, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of Genghis22
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stamped 04-09-09 on the bottom.

A - Pours a clear bright golden yellow with a big frothy white head.

S - A blast of hops right as I popped open the can. The nose is full of big floral hoppy goodness. There is a touch of something sweet at the end, perhaps pineapple.

T - Smooth mellow malt at first, with a big punch of hops afterwards. Lots of strong piney grassy hops, and dry bittering hops in the finish. The aftertaste has a bit of sweetness to it, again I taste just the faintest little bit of pineapple.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. This one goes down pretty easy though, very crisp and refreshing.

D - Aloha! I could put this baby away all day long. More please!

Genghis22, Jun 30, 2009
Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Who knew that two of the best beers I would have all day would be from cans! This as well as the 21st Amendment Watermelon Wheat.
This beer pours a light golden amber in color. A very nice inch or two of head forms on the pour and sticks around for a while. Plenty of hops in the nose. Taste is very balanced and hoppy at the same time. Very good hop profile and very well balanced and put together.
Very easy drinking and quite enjoyable. I could see myself drinking quite a few of these. Perfect for fishing trips in these cans. Well done.

FtownThrowDown, May 27, 2009
Photo of illidurit
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can poured into a pint glass. Golden amber color, good clarity, nice off-white cap of foam. Aroma is orange and grapefruit hoppiness, with a little pine and a little neutral malt. Flavor is rather muted. Tastes like a 'diet IPA.' The orangey tropical hops are there, and the pine is there, and the pale malt is there, but there's no robustness. Watery, a little soapy, and with low bitterness. Above average but not a great IPA by any means.

illidurit, May 18, 2009
Photo of surfer4life
4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz can.

A - Pours a transparent golden with a huge fluffy white head which recedes to a small layer of foam that hung around a while, good lacing.

S - While there is the scent of hops in the nose, the caramely malt comes through big time. Even some hints of citrus fruits, not the typical grapefruit though...even some apple.

T - Wonderful balance on this one, proves to be hoppier than was detected in the nose. Front as nice sweetness. Getting some caramel and apples in this big time. Finish is nice and hoppy not overpowering at all, but what you would expect from a well balanced IPA.

M - The body is medium with a medium carbonation, excellent drying.

D - I would say this could quite possibly be my perfect session beer, comes in the can, perfect balance and 6%. A sixer would do it. Great beer.

surfer4life, May 16, 2009
Photo of aforbes10
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sixer of nice looking cans from the Davis, CA Co-Op. Pours a nice orange yellow with perfect clarity and a tall white head that falls off relatively fast. Sticky remnants of head cling to the glass, and the beer produces a good amount of bubbles rising throughout. Mix of floral and citrus hops on the nose, as well a good, obvious sweet malt presence. Flavor has a lot of hop taste, definitely more of a citrus character here. Malt backbone backs it up and makes it sweet and caramel-like. Bitterness on the finish is obvious but still reserved enough not to dominate the flavor. medium bodied. A nice drinker, I love that it's another great craft beer that i can get in cans.

aforbes10, May 15, 2009
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours out a hazy, orange-gold color. Loose, fluffy, off-white head sits on top and drags nice web-like lacing. Nice retention to boot.

Smell: Sweet citric hops, caramel, mild pine, and some butterscotch? Yep, butterscotch. Toasted malt in the beginning, caramel, and possibly even nuts in the back. Smells tasty and quite sweet.

Taste: Juicy pineapple, orange, and grapefruit along with some honeydew melon. Tangy. Good deal of bitter hops, but they're balanced nicely by caramel and toasted malt. Some spice, dusty pine, and honeysuckle as well. Nicely done.

Mouthfeel: Spicy and actively carbonated. Creamy, medium bodied, very well balanced, and just... fun. Crisp, with a long lasting aftertaste. Very smooth and enjoyable.

Drinkability: Hell yes! This is a great summertime IPA.

Nick: =4.4
Justin: =3.925
Average: =4.1625

Wiseman Justin reviwing on May 9, 2010; poured into a nonic pint glass. Reviews were averaged.

Appearance: Looks like some delicious beer. Pours out a thick two finger head that doesn't hang around all that much. Fluffy lacing sticks tot he glass. Cloudy honey colored beer that is spot on for the style. 4.5

Smell: I'm getting something sweet although it is too mild to identify. Slight citrus. This is either weak or boring. I've been hit in the nose before with an IPA. This beer does not do that. 3.0

Taste: I get some caramel ? The citrus is definitely there. A strong malt component rounds the beer out at the end. This IPA is very light and tasty. It's called "Big Swell" but it's not big at all. It's great and light. This beer would pair well with many foods. I get a strong oak finish. Very good! 4.0

Mouthfeel: Not as chewy as I like in this style, it's got some 'chew' but nothing to talk about. For a pale ale this is perfect. For an IPA I want something a little more. 3.75

Drinkability: How can I complain about this light, wonderful tasting, very drinkable beer? 4.5

ThreeWiseMen, May 11, 2009
Photo of ckeegan04
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Cloudy golden yellow with a big foamy head. Excellent retention and lacing. Very active carbonation bubbles quickly rising to the top.

S - Citrusy aroma dominates, lots of hops. A light candied fruit sweetness underneath. No noticeable malt mixed in.

T - Light sweetness initially before a very strong, but not overwhelming citrus hoppiness comes through. Excellent mix of grapefruit and tangerine dominate. Light biscuity sweetness underneath. Mildly astringent.

M/D - Medium bodied with a light chewiness. Well carbonated, almost too much so. Easy drinking.

ckeegan04, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of MasterSki
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in the recent Secret Bunny BIF - thanks Kevin (mymrnngjckt)! Served in my Surly pint glass.

Biases - I love beer from a can, Lahaina, and baseball (it's Opening Day), so I may be a little manic today.

A - Two fingers of frothy white foam that takes forever to dissipate and leaves tons of soapy lacing. Hazed glowing golden color with a few tiny bubbles. Among the best looking IPAs I've seen (and I've seen a lot).

S - I was worried this might be old as it came all the way from Maui somehow, but after one whiff my fears where quelled. Loads of tangy bitter citrus (lemon, grapefruit) with some pine as well, over top of some light biscuity malt. Very refreshing!

T - The taste is a bit more subdued - lots of pine and floral hoppiness with a hint of lemon zest. There's a fair bit of bread and biscuit maltiness as well. Very balanced - I'm guessing it has a little bit of age on it (1-2 months) - but it's still quite nice. I'd have scored it higher if I'd been told it was an English IPA. Very mild bitterness in the aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied, and very creamy and smooth. I don't think I've ever said this before for an IPA, but it's actually kind of undercarbonated - a little bit syrupy. Lots of residual oily hop resin.

D - This will be my session beer if I ever get back to Hawaii. Just a really solid IPA - nice flavor, feel, aftertaste. I definitely feel warmer after drinking it.

MasterSki, Apr 06, 2009
Photo of jackorain
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a cloudy dark colored straw. Held up to the light, I see a swirling sediment almost like a hefe. Stark white head hung around a little while and fell to a tall collar and splotchy coat.

Caramel malt, biscuit malt and citrus hops up front. Deeper whiffs bring a more complex citrus hop profile with tangerine, grapefruit, and orange rind.

Sweet caramel malt first, which is followed by orange peel with a bit pith as well. The middle brings a moderate amount of bitter grapefruit. The finish is a lingering light to moderate bitterness combined with a syrupy sweetness.

A bit watery with a light body and very light carbonation. Very wetting on the palate.

I could easily drink a few of these but there are better IPAs

Thanks for Reading

jackorain, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very cool extra from Floydster in a trade!

A- Body is a bright, vibrant amber color that has minimal fogginess. Pours with a nice approximately 1 finger slightly off-white head. Head eventually fades to a thick collar and some lacing can be seen down the glass.

S- This has a nice crisp, hoppy nose. Piny hops dominate but there are some citrus hops in the background.

T- Good, classic, West Coast IPA flavor. Lots of hop flavors upfront that are mostly citrus and pine with a slight sweet malty background. The finish is all refreshing piny hop flavor and no bitterness lingers. Pretty clean all the way through.

M- Light body with medium carbonation. Body is a bit lighter than most IPAs but not thin in any way and offers some hop oils.

D- This is one awesome IPA. Its not the biggest, or the hoppiest, or the most complex, but it sure is one of the most enjoyable. Great classic West Coast IPA with nothing crazy going on.

PittBeerGirl, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of drgonzo3705
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A: Pours a light copper color with a fluffy white head that recedes to a thin head but leaves nice sticky lacing in its absence.

S: Very citrusy. Grapefruit light pine and a little pineapple. Very pleasant.

T: Just like it smells. It seems to lose a little flavor on the back end though.

M: Light to medium body. Nice and hoppy.

D: I could drink this all day! Very easy drinker here guys give it a shot!

drgonzo3705, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of willjschmidt
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz can into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Pours an orangish light copper color.

S: Some light citrus and pale malt.

T: A good IPA. Light citrus in the form of orange. Very well balanced over a nice pale malt. The finish is some slightly spicy hops.

M: Medium bodied, average carbonation.

D: A good IPA, extra points for coming in a can.

willjschmidt, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of BigBry
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mike and Brandee for bringing it back a mixed 6 pack, and for sharing. 12 oz can as pictured above.
Poured a deep golden color, with a thick white head. Long lasting foam, and good looking lacing. Lots of hop smells, piney, grapefruit, even picked up some sweet pineapple aroma. Very solid hop kick, piney, sour citrus, nice fruity bitterness to finish. Lots of flavor, but still within balance. Good body and texture, appropriate carbonation. We all agreed that this was a very nice suprise, a very good IPA. Add another can to my collection.

BigBry, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orange-copper color with a small head that provided decent lacing down the glass.

Smells of sweet citrusy hops. The Maori sweetnes comes through. A little more hop aroma would be nice.

Taste is kind of sweet but with a hoppy kick. Pretty good if you ask me. Wish there was a little more hop flavour.

Mouthfeel is kind of thin to me. A little watery in the end.

Drinkability is good because it is easy drinking. I will have this again.

PeprSprYoFace, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can: Poured a bright orangey color ale with a rather large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus and grapefruit hops seems very fresh with a subtle caramel malt base. Taste is also dominated by some green citrus and grapefruit hops with a subtle malt base sustaining quite well the hops profile. Full body with good carbonation. Better then expected and very well done for a West Coast IPA.

Phyl21ca, Feb 06, 2009
Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 593 ratings.