1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Redhook Big Ballard Imperial IPA - Redhook Ale Brewery

Redhook Big Ballard Imperial IPARedhook Big Ballard Imperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

85 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 85
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 12.12%


Brewed by:
Redhook Ale Brewery visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
In 1982 Redhook was born in a converted transmission shop in the Ballard District outside of Seattle, WA. After 28 years of brewing, Redhook is paying homage to its roots by releasing Big Ballard Imperial IPA. Big Ballard has a rich, deep golden and a very assertive hop character that hits you in the nose before reaching your lips. The flavor and aroma are balanced with complex malty undertones. While it has a friendly side, make no mistake - Big Ballard is brewed for diehard IPA fans.

73 IBU

(Beer added by: barleywinefiend on 04-24-2010)
View: Beers (45) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 85 | Reviews: 57 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one is a bit heavy on the malty side with a minimal amount of hop and spice influence. Even though the malts are too prominent and there needs to be a greater hop influence, the beer still works, as far as drinkability goes. Just doesn't really do much for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 21:02:22 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

amber color with a ton of orange highlights mixed in throughout. haze and a nice two inch foam top that never wanted to settle.

sticky, resin like hops all the way. Oodles of pine aroma, mixed in with some rich orange and tangerine. Sight hint of a sweet malty base around here as well. pine hops, sticky with a resin like flavor and a good bready and biscuit like base to it. Nice balance here, but still way leaning towards the hops in terms of a definte direction

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 00:35:43 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Seanibus
Seanibus

California

3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big and kind of blunt, though not bad.

Pours a slightly hazy orange with a fluffy head and a sticky, fluffy head. The aroma is overripe and sweet apricot. The flavor follows, with a distinct apricot and papaya character, a bit tropical. The mouthfeel is thick, like apricot juice, with a big bitter kick with an orange edge.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 02:05:52 | More by Seanibus
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was a sample that I had at the ACBF 2010. The brew poured out at a nice copper color, the head was white and strong looking. The smell of some very nice citrusy hops flooded my nose along with some tropical fruit aromas too. The taste of the beer had a good tingly pine flavor and some sweet citrus zest as well in the mix. The mouthfeel wasn't bad but I think it could have been just a hair thicker. Overall this beer is quite good, I've never seen it again since the festival... Hope it's still out there somewhere.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2011 20:58:27 | More by Knapp85
Photo of warbird07
warbird07

Michigan

3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to BigE90 for this extra...poured into a hotel red wine glass(best I could do)...

Appearence is hazy tangerine with a nice foamy off-white head..,nice lacing..

Smell is a bit muted...not really an out of date bottle...some citrus malt aroma, fruity malty..I expected a bit more..

Taste is good..a bit on the malty side..fruity, sweet, bitter..pretty nice..

I was not disappointed with the mouthfeel..real nice..nice carbonation..very good for the style..

Good beer..would love to try one super fresh..but very drinkable..

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 22:20:55 | More by warbird07
Photo of Scotchboy
Scotchboy

Idaho

3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle to NB snifter. Bottled on March 14th.

A: Copper hazy rust color. Not much head but good lacing on the glass, some alcohol feet as well.

S: Smell is a pretty good mix of ripe soft fruit and pine. Over-ripened pineapple, blood orange, papaya, spices, alcohol, pine. There is an earthy/herbal characteristic, like ripened fruit flesh.

T: Pretty piny. There is a good amount of bitterness. Some of the malt sweetness and fruit sweetness make it through. No real alcohol heat.

MF: Dry-ish, medium mouthfeel, good carbonation.

O: Just ok, pretty drinkable at 8.6%.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2011 16:55:50 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad

Colorado

3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this one up at Lee's in Mesquite, Nevada, primarily as I remember drinking the original Ballard Bitter years ago. This one was kind of a disappointment. Poured a hazy orange with a finger or so of somewhat off-white foam. On the nose, aromas of sweet malt and grassy hops. On the palate, it was medium bodied with flavors of sweet malt and grassy hops.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2011 21:15:44 | More by emmasdad
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate

New York

3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours pale dusty orange with a thin film that clings and webs. Straight orange blossom (Amarillo?) hops nose. Strawberry Starburst with faint tangelo hops and a slight tingle of IBUs. Dead finish and a tingly linger. Light to med, soft, thin, no cling but no burn. Pine sap and some burn comes out as it warms.

Light-bodied, underhopped and insubstantial; flavors don't live up to the nose. This is especially dangerous because it's thin enough to knock back, which leads to trouble with 8.6%.

Not really Double anything.

Thanks to Ina for bringing this back from Seattle.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2011 09:36:56 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of Glibber
Glibber

Idaho

3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice looking copper colored beer with a decent white head. I can smell the Munich hops and grapefruit, and the front end has some citrus and some good carbination. The pine and hops come out in the back end. Tastes a bit like the original Ballard bitter with a little more fruit/grapefruit. The 8.6% is hidden quite well. Too hoppy to drink all night long, but goes down quickly.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2011 02:06:20 | More by Glibber
Photo of Rutager
Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours gold with a little red and a touch of haze. One finger of bubbly white head.

Smell. Fruity hops and sweet, light toasted malt. A little citrus fruit juice. Yum.

Taste. Rich malt with a good hit of bitter, citus and grassy hops. Clean, bitter herbal finish takes over the thick malt. Not bad for such a malt-heavy ipa.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium carbonation. Some warming alcohol.

Drinkability. As with all malt-heavy ipa's, the drinkability suffers a bit for me. That being said, this beer pulls it off pretty well and was gone quick enough.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2011 03:49:57 | More by Rutager
Photo of gkunkle
gkunkle

Oregon

3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with a one finger head that has decent retention considering the ABV. Smell is strong pine hops. Taste fisrt sones in the form of some citrus and pine hops, then you get a light touch of malt, then the finish is a good hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is in the heavier side of medium with light carbonation. Overall, decent beer, not outstanding, but a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 02:29:04 | More by gkunkle
Photo of Hatzilla
Hatzilla

California

3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this 22 ounce bomber for 3.50 at the local BevMo. Bottled 10/25/10. Consumed 1/31/11.

A - Clear orange pour with a one inch quickly dissipating head, leaving some decent lacing in its wake.

S - Not much aroma to speak of. Some caramel malt, honey and orange.

T - Taste follows the scent - Muted malts, honey and orange.

M - Medium carbonation, good mouthfeel.

D - Drinkability is decent for this DIPA, but the hops are sorely lacking. I will revisit this beer and update my review when I can find a fresher bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2011 03:23:36 | More by Hatzilla
Photo of ManuelHerrera
ManuelHerrera

California

3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have to admit my only exposure to Oregon's Redhook Ale is there ESB - which is a good safe 6 pack to pickup if you want to "buy American" but get British flavor. Here they expand the brand to the "higher end" mark (read: Stone territory) with Big Ballard Imperial IPA.

Overall...it's pleasantly surprising, however it's also a safe bet. Imperial IPAs aren't terribly aggressive by nature, yet they manage to pull of an enjoyable drinking experience.

The beer's hazy tangerine pour with a foamy head has an almost hef-like quality. Not too much aroma to speak of, mostly yeast and ripe citrus.

The flavor profile is heavy on orange rinds and alcohol with a balanced malt/plum finish. The beer's ticklish carbonation makes this easy drinking.

Overall it's a safe choice if you want to branch out, but not go too far out of your comfort zone. Serve it cold and you have a very refreshing brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2011 05:13:59 | More by ManuelHerrera
Photo of BaronRogue
BaronRogue

California

3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first Imperial IPA... poured from a bomber into my chalice-type glass. It was nine months old and non-refrigerated, but i wanted to try it and it was a good price.

Appearance is akin to raw honey, a murky golden. Strong head and good lacing. After the head dissipates there is a tiny layer of bubbles on top that never goes away, along with a slightly thicker layer of bubbles around the edge of the glass.

Smells like prunes and alcohol, not really my favorite.

Taste surprised me... I was not expecting it to be so sweet! Although the higher alcohol content cheap malt liquors are sweet, and this clocks in at 8.6... woah. Tastes like prunes and alcohol as well, with lots of maltiness as well. I was definitely impressed with the aftertaste... such a good taste is lingering on my tongue. I like this beer more with every sip.

Mouthfeel is good, the tiny bubbles dance around your mouth and make it a little thick tasting.

Drinkability is quite good, although pacing yourself is a must. If you slam this one, you will be feeling it. I'm halfway through the first 12oz. and the alcohol is definitely making itself known.

Wouldn't really get this one again, but is definitely a solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2011 04:07:03 | More by BaronRogue
Photo of BardofBeer
BardofBeer

Oregon

3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nothing special(other than the classic label)to
make this stick out amongst all the other Imperial IPAs popping up. On the other hand not
any obvious flaws. Sweet, malty aroma,No hop aroma detected. Tastes of malt up front, finishes with hop bitterness on the tounge.
All in all an enjoyable beer that I will have again.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 21:50:35 | More by BardofBeer
Photo of shakeheap
shakeheap

Oklahoma

2.8/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I really wanted to like this beer. It was good to see that Ballard Bitter logo reappear lo this many years since the emergence of the long hammer. But it's not to be.

It pours a nice cloudy amber and gives off a full, hoppy aroma. Unfortunately for me I didn't get any of that citrusy hop flavor for which I was hoping.

It's crisp and not entirely unpleasant. For me it leaned a little too bitter and was mostly unremarkable which is not a desirable quality in an Imperial IPA.

And alas, no return for my gateway IPA. Red Hook swears to me they didn't mess with the recipe when they changed the name to Longhammer...but I remain skeptical.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2011 23:00:25 | More by shakeheap
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1

California

3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy golden-orange color with a finger of foamy off-white head. The head did not last long and quickly retreated to a ring with okay retention.

S - The aroma is full of a very fruity/citrusy hop aroma. Lots of orange and grapefruit elements are present. There is also a bit of floral and grassy hops aromas present. There is also a touch of sweet malt smell joining the hops.

T - Taste starts off with a building citrus hop flavor with a touch of sweet malt. The floral and grassy hop flavors join a strong citrus (orange/grapefruit) flavor with some bitterness through the middle of the taste. The aftertaste is a mix of the sweet malts and some of the citrus hops. The beer and aftertaste in particular are well balanced, just could be a bit stronger overall.

M - Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation to keep the beer feeling fairly crisp. The beer is fairly assertive on the tongue in the beginning feeling fairly sharp, but mellows out a bit.

D - Fairly drinkable beer. The taste is fairly well balanced, just a touch too subtle overall. The citrus and floral elements work very well together along with the sweetness from the malts. The mouthfeel also helps create a crisp and refreshing beer.

Serving type: growler

01-05-2011 02:09:32 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of mikechance
mikechance

California

4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very nice beer. It's not a over-the-top Imperial IPA, but it's certaining not lacking interesting characteristics.

I had the first 10 oz when it was nice and cold. This was very enjoyable and brought out the hoppiness. The remainder of the bomber was enjoyed about 45 minutes later after the beer had warmed up a little. Allowing the beer to warm up changed the taste slightly and brought out more variety in it especially the bitterness.

For $4-5 for a bomber it's a very good beer!

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 19:46:59 | More by mikechance
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho

Washington

3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: nice golden-orange hue with just the tiniest touch of haze. Moderate effervescence with one finger of frothy ivory head. Not bad.

Smell: nice, balanced mixture of funky, citrusy and piney hops which I rather like. There's some sweetness from the malt, but this aroma is all about the hop contribution.

Taste: big, rich malt with a solid hop flavor component. Hops are kind of oily (in a good way), providing a rich bitterness and a continuation of the piney and citrusy flavors. The flavors are approaching strong ale territory, yet the beer remains balanced. I like it.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent carbonation. It's OK, though it could use improvement.

Drinkability: I'm finding the particular combination of hops here rather moreish. I could probably drink a couple of these despite the rather large ABV. Good stuff!

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 08:46:04 | More by flagmantho
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber beer with an orange tinge. Head is small and white. The color falls in the "IPA Orange Spectrum."

Smells sweet and herbal with a pleasant citrus aroma hat is more orange than grapefruit. Picking up menthol and mint from this one, expected grapefruit and pine are mostly missing.

Starts out sweet and sharply bitter. A fairly bitey IPA Sweetness hold off the hops but it does sting the tongue a bit. Citrus and wood flavors, not a lot of subtlety here, more like being hit with a shovel.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is questionable. Good flavor but that tongue sting thing is annoying, I give it just average.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2010 04:16:12 | More by Zorro
Photo of CHickman
CHickman

New York

3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear amber orange in color with a 1 finger creamy off white head that faded quickly; decent lacing that slides down the glass.

Smells of sweet malt, floral hops, citrus hops, grapefruit, lemon and light caramel; the citrus hops dominate the aroma.

Tastes of lemon, floral hops, citrus hops, piney hops, caramel, orange peel, grapefruit and light spices like pepper. Pretty tasty brew overall with a crisp and dry finish.

Mouthfeel is crisp and creamy, with medium carbonation and a medium body. Pretty drinkable and quenching, I liked this beer and will have it again.

Note: Had this on tap over the summer (of 2010) and just found these notes, so I will have to try this beer again when I come across it.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2010 04:43:58 | More by CHickman
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is a mix of perfume, flowers, citrus and some toffee malt. The flavor is orange and caramel malt with some perfume and flowery hops mixed in. There is a lot of different flavors going on in the beer but they don't really work together too well. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I am not sure what it is, but something with this beer is not working for me. Not a terrible beer, but you can do much better in the Double IPA category.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 05:04:36 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Gosox8787
Gosox8787

New Hampshire

3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 10 oz. pour served in a Redhook tulip at the brewery in Portsmouth.

Appearance: Bright orange in color and slightly cloudy. Very small, less than a finger, white head with not much retention.

Aroma: Grapefruit notes upfront. A touch of sugary sweetness here too. Not too strong.

Taste: Grapefruit is definitely the dominant note from the hops. Some herbal and pine notes too. Slight malt backbone of caramel. Pretty clean finish. Not very strong. Slightly soapy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with some slight carbonation. Some crispness.

Drinkability: The ABV is hidden pretty well and the flavors are light enough so that I can drink a couple of these.

Overall, a forgettable, but decent Imperial IPA. The flavors are on the lighter side and the hop profile has a sort of odd taste to it in parts. Not bad, just not a stand out.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2010 17:21:45 | More by Gosox8787
Photo of bunnyhustle
bunnyhustle

Illinois

3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into a tulip glass. Pours murky golden with 2 finger head and some retention and lacing. Had to do a pretty rough pour to get any head at all. Smell is mainly of a caramel malt with some sweetness to it. Some hops of course but they weren't overly dominant, bit of a grapefruit presence. Taste was a dry malt at first followed by a somewhat bitter west coast hop kick. A citrusy and bitter hop taste. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and very smoother going down. Overall a good beer and the ABV was very well hid. Better than I thought but not the best Imperial ever.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2010 04:27:22 | More by bunnyhustle
Photo of CHILLINDYLAN
CHILLINDYLAN

Washington

3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear orange, golden edges. Big smooth frothy offwhite head. Great organic lacing.

Kind of muted for a IIPA. But there are some hop aromas. Orange, Grapefruit, lemon, grass, pine. And a muted toasty caramel malt backing.

Juicy orange citrus, bitter grapefruit. Toasty, bready, and a sweet caramel. Above average bitterness, grapefruit rind.

Med body, slightly sticky and dry. Slow/low carbonation.

Good drinkability. A bitter, tasty, balanced, and average IIPA.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2010 22:51:20 | More by CHILLINDYLAN
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Redhook Big Ballard Imperial IPA from Redhook Ale Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.