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Big Eye IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

1,084 Reviews
For Trade:
Big Eye IPABig Eye IPA

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-22-2000

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,084 | Ratings: 4,157
Photo of Chico1985
2.39/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz to pint glass. Pours a clear amber with a super creamy off-white head. It retains very well and leaves nice lacing. I should have been suspicious of the noticeably little amount of bubbling going on. At least it looked great.

Mostly just getting toasty malt in the scent, very little/no hop presence.

Toasted malt/caramel is more or less the only flavor here, unless you count booze. Maybe the tiniest, tiniest bit of floral hops. Mouthfeel is syrupy on the brink of flat. Just really off, I can only assume this is a bad bottle. It has the '10' notch on the bottom so I figure it's fresh though..

Edit: Had it again on-tap, presumably fresh...not as offensive as the bottle taste, but to me still a very dull IPA. Just not getting much hop flavor here.

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Photo of ClaudeHenrySmoot
2.45/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

L- Pint glass via bottle. Crisp, clear(ish) amber. More browns than the reds that I usually associate with the color amber.

N- Average citrus and floral notes upon pour, but were muted as soon as the head settled. Difficult to zero in on distinct notes at that point but found balanced mute floral notes.

T- Super-soft, balanced florals that aren't in every drink. No unordinary, nor distinct back-end that one's Busch Light-drinkin' cousin doesn't experience after a 12pack of The Mountains.

Overall- Very middle of the road...which could also be synonymous with balanced. No overpowering nose, no overpowering ingredient in its taste, so yes...awesomely balanced. Good beer. I would likely ease aforementioned relative into, as he labels them, *hipster beers with this left coast staple.

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2.46/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Not my choice.
I didn't like the malt. I thought i was getting an ipa that i would love. Instead i hated it.
Looked good in glass. Felt good in mouth. But the horrible aftertaste is a turn off. .wanted to love it. Alcohol taste and weird aftertaste is enough to have me give it away and regret my purchase of this 6 pk

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Photo of gyllstromk
2.58/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear, light amber. Nose is a very woody, earthy hop with light citrus and watermelon. A peculiar smell that piqued my interest. Taste starts with a hop resin, moves to an intense bitterness, and concludes with cloves and a strong earthy flavor. The hop flavor is poorly balanced, pungent, and cloying like drinking a perfume or eating a raw hop. I love the hoppy beers but this one seems like hop extracts stirred into water. Feel is perhaps wetter than the average IPA. Drinkability suffers from the intense bitterness.

Nonetheless, I can say this is a very unique beer and may impress some. It's really not my style, though, and I love American IPAs. I've heard good things about their Sculpin and can't wait to try it. This one is really out there, though.

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Photo of Czequershuus
2.67/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a beer that perfectly exemplifies the problems of many IPAs. It is overly sweet, using a caramel quality to hide the bitterness, rather than showcasing and embracing it. The hop flavors are masked by muddy malts. I just cannot get behind a beer like this, especially from such a remarkably good brewery.

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Photo of biker30x
2.71/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured hazy honey golden into a pint with a decent course off-white head. Nose was sour fruit with a hint of mildew. Very first taste was a pleasing assault of hops and bitterness. But the finish hinted at citrus and sour yeast. The second sip was astringent sour lemon a la lemonheads (without the sweetness). This appears to be an IPA for folks who love saisons - slightly reminiscent of Victory's Wild Devil (only less of everything). Finally finished with a lemon dish soap chemical feel.

Drain pour.

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Photo of dcall384
2.8/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't know if I got an old beer in a mixed six or what happened, but this beer was just not that great. The after taste was really bad. Seemed really sharp on the tough, not in a good way either. Overall just not impressed.

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Photo of bark
2.83/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

The colour is deep gold (24 EBC), the liquid is clear. The two finger head is off-white, it sinks quickly to a thick lid leaving some lacing on the glass.

The smell is sweet, fruity and hoppy. Hints of onions and olive oil. Grapefruits, oranges, apricots, green bananas and a touch of marzipan. Some bitterness.

The taste starts with a robust bitterness, some green berries and fruits. Oily notes of rubber, garlic and onions. Medium body. The aftertaste is smoother with some dry citric flavours, lemon and lime. Caramel-sweetness and some biscuits. The finish is bitter, dry and a bit harsh.

The carbonation is medium to mild, the shirt-lived bubbles smooth. The liquid is a bit thick and quite sticky.

A thick and oily AIPA with some disturbing garlic flavours.

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Photo of sobuf
2.9/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

So I was on a Ballast Point quest this weekend. I had Bigeye first, then tried the over-hyped Sculpin. But lets touch on the Bigeye. I don't really care what my beer looks like, it's all about the taste. And this ale is VERY average, kind of bland, and forgettable. Much like Sculpin, the bitter aftertaste is extremely off-putting. In fact, the bitterness of this offering over-powers any other taste. If somebody offered me this beer, I'd drink it, but would never go out of my way to buy it again. I've been completely disapointed with Ballast Point - there's so much hype - but so little to take from the ales. Other than bitter and hard to drink. A craft brew should be exceptional - to be honest a larger brewery like Sierra Nevada has offerings that blow this away. (think Torpedo). Not to mention a top end crafter. Do't go out of your way to try this one.

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Photo of VMWhelan
2.94/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 16oz Sierra Nevada tumbler.

Pours a cloudy deep amber color with very little head and some pretty solid lacing.

Smells very sweet, not incredibly hoppy. Definite orange notes and a little bit of caramel.

Slightly bitter, hop presence is light in the taste as well. Orange is prominent in this one, especially in the finish: more natural than artificial. Not agressive in the least bit.

Mouthfeel is medium to light. Medium carbonation as well.

Drinkability is average. They go down pretty easily and I could drink a few, I'm just not sure I'd want to.

Overall this is a pretty average IPA. I've had worse but I've had much better. That said, I think IPAs are pretty standard for the most part, only a few really stick out, but those that do make the style one of my favorites. Big Eye is not one of those IPAs.

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Photo of BlindPig
2.95/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- 1/2" off white head. Clear amber copper color.
S- Citrus hops, malts in back and thats pretty much it.
T- Citrus hops seem a little unusual in flavor. Malt in back. Some floral hops too. Light bitterness aftertaste.
M- Medium body, light/medium carbonation
D-Kind of blah. Almost tastes off but I don't think it is. Don't like it much at all.

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Photo of RockyRaku
2.96/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The appealing coopery color poured with a thin creamy head at first with nice lacing. The head diminished. The aroma hit me with a sweet estery (more sweet than spicey) aroma, slightly bready. Overall appealing nose. The taste was piney..earthy bitter on the back of the tongue that seemed to sustain itself between swigs. Light-medium body with light and crisp carbonation.

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Photo of Minkybut
3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was cloudy with a bit of an orange hue to it. The beer was hoppy smelling and hoppy tasting ike it ought to be I guess. The beer also had great lacing up and down the glass. I guess this must be a great IPA according to the ratings, however I did not care for it and will not buy again.

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Photo of hwwty4
3.01/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Overlord for this one.

I've always been hesitant to buy Big Eye IPA in the stores in KS because it never seems to ever move. I was happy to find this in my recent package from Overlord. Poured a 12oz long neck into my Brother Thelonious goblet. This beer pours a aged pumpkin orange with a bright creamy 3 inch cap that threatens to over pour at any minute. The nose is very orangey. Orange pith with a bit of grapefruit. More like fresh oranges then sweet orange juice. Fairly one dimensional. The flavor is very similar. Very orangey, a bit of tangerine and pith. A mild sweetness hits the back of the palate for a fleeting second. Almost a candy sugar sweetness. The mouthfeel is disappointing. Its light and airy, slightly full and fades rather quickly. Not very dry. Overall, this would really fall under the average craft section. Its a shame, cause I love me some Sculpin.

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Photo of rdilauro
3.03/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok, right from the start I know I was not going to be impressed. I guess it started with the package label. Something about it, just throw me off a bit.
While pouring, I couldn't detect any real outstanding aromas. There was some hops, a decent amount, I could almost feel the barley, but for me it was just put together.
The taste was a taste thats it, not bad, not great.
The one part I was disappointed in was the after taste. Basically there was none. And I always want a strong finish.

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Photo of DNICE555
3.06/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up this bottle at Julio's in MA

Amber with a crazy head. Nice lacing.

S - Floral, heavy on the citrus.

T - Bitter citrus. Not a huge fan. Not as hoppy as I'd like.

M - Too heavy on the citrus. Almost makes my mouth pucker.

D - Couldn't have too many of these.

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Photo of AnthonyMcConnell
3.08/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is my first review!

A - Warm/clear Copper, well-carbonated, nice lace on glass

S - Citrus, slightly piney

T - Grapefruit, mild hops

M - Moderate, sticky

O - Very great IPA! More hops please! I am always impressed with Ballast Point. I prefer Sculpin over Big Eye but really enjoyed each.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep clear amber color with a medium white single finger head of largish bubbles that melts rather quickly to a very fine lacing.
Aroma is immediately sweet oranges or tangerines with maybe a little carmel.
Mouthfeel is full with tiny carbonation and a faint alcohol burn as you swallow.
Taste is strangely different from aroma....a rich sweet malt followed immediately with sweet orange or tangerine finishing with a citrus peel drying and bitterness.
Not a favorite of mine for an IPA, but mainly because of the discrepency between aromas and taste taking away from an otherwise balanced brew.

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Photo of prdstmnky
3.11/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a fairly clear, golden amber body and a nice 2 fingers of frothy white head that has a few minutes of retention and leaves lots of lacing on my pint glass. Some citrus in the nose, but I seem to be getting more malts than I care to in an IPA. I get a nice hop bite on the tongue initially, but gives way to the caramel malts I detected in the nose. I do get a bitter, dry finish on this which is nice but I just cant get over the malt forward flavor in this beer. Medium bodied with decent carbonation.

I have no idea how fresh this is, since there is no dating. This is the 2nd time trying this beer (once with the old label, and this with the new labeling). I think I heard that Ballast Point will be dating their offerings sometime this year, so maybe I'll give it another try then with a re-review...until then, please date your beers (especially hoppy styles) brewers!

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Photo of mpedara429
3.13/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Poured out an amber color with two fingers of frothy, off white head. Good retention, only a little bit of lacing.

S: Malty and floral with a little pine and citrus. A little faint.

T: Sweet citrus and bitter pine. Very well balanced. A boozy bite at the end.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. A little sticky.

O: A good IPA, but I won't go for it again. I was truly expecting more out of it. It was pretty basic for something so pricey. There are better IPA options out there.

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Photo of CHSLBrew
3.14/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap on the patio at Coronado del Mar in San Diego. Poured into a clear plastic cup, but whatever, the beer still tasted good :D

A-Nice, consistent off-white head, maybe not the largest when it arrived due to a full-glass pour. Beer was an attractive, glowing amber, with a hint of chill haze.

S-Bright citrus-piney aroma, with not much for a malt presence.

T-Dripping with a piney hop flavor, with a splash of citrus. Malt flavors are quite dry, biscuity with a hint of toastiness. Hop flavors continue to assert themselves into the finish, which remains firmly bitter and lightly fruity. Overall, quite a lot of hop bitterness.

M-Nothing spectacular. Carbonation seemed a bit high, but the body was about right.

D-Drinkable enough. As stated, it's certainly not a spectacular beer, but it's still solid and enjoyable.

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Photo of PirateUlf73
3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a mug.

A: Comes out clear and golden amber. Got about two fingers of sticky, white head that refused to die. Quite good, quite good.

S: Hops of a citrus and grassy variety jump out and take over. Seriously, I could smell little else. Hops had a nice floral quality which I liked.

T: Again, hoppy. The taste was a bit more piney and resin-like than the nose suggested, and the aftertaste was extremely bitter, bordering on unpleasant. There was dominating, astringent quality that put me off somewhat.

M: On the heavier side of light-bodied. Carbonation was crisp and the malt construction helped was down the hop bitterness with admirable gusto, minus the aftertaste.

D: Certainly very drinkable. Went down fairly smooth.

I had this beer a while ago and thought that it tasted funny. With this tasting, I can proudly say that my previous assessment has stayed exactly the same. For what it's worth, this is a very well constructed beer. However, something about the taste did not agree with me. Others might feel differently though. I like IPAs as much as the next guy, but I'm not sure I'd pick this up again.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.18/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 1/1/2009 (bottle):

Pours a clear golden amber color body with a huge foamy whitish head, big bubbles and good lacing. Piney citrusy aroma, lemon. Some bitter dryness. Hoppy bitter maltiness. Watery palate, a little bitter. Some biter maltiness. Goes okay with buffalo chicken.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.2/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Just like its big brother, the Dorado IIPA, this was a very disappointing IPA. Not the least bit balanced. It's like they added the entire amount of hops in the recipe as soon as the wort began to boil, and to hell with aroma hops.

The beer pours to a golden amber color with a thin white head. Retention could be better, and lacing is fairly spotty. No visible carbonation. Even a tad bit hazy.

The smell is good, but nothing to write home about. Smells like over caramelized sticky sweet malt with a rough cohumulone hops bitterness. Has the distinct floral scent of centennial hops, but it is very feint in comparison to the malt profile.

The taste is just as I expected. Sweet caramel malt up front. Followed by a rough bitterness. Only a hint of floral hop aroma in the rear with a lasting bitterness. Very ashy. I love hops, but where is the balance? Tastes more like a double IPA, and still not a good one at that.

The beer seems over carbonated on the palate, making it difficult to distinguish the consistency of the body. On top of that, the over caramelized malt tends to clash with the hops. There is a bit of piney bitterness that lingers forever, leaving a very dry and ashy feeling in my throat. I will struggle to drink the whole bomber. I took a chance buying this beer after not liking the Dorado IIPA, but I don't think I will ever bother with the rest of the Ballast Point line-up.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.2/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Bet before 05/17/13. Acquired as part of a six pack at a local Von's grocery store. 7.0% ABV confirmed. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Expectations are high given the brewery, whose Sculpin IPA I hugely respect. Reviewed live.

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

A: Pours a one finger beige colour head of nice cream, decent thickness, and above average (~3 minute) retention for the above average ABV. Body colour is a clear translucent pale copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Standard fare for the style; there's nothing unique or special here. But there are no overt flaws either.

Sm: Oily piney hops, heavy floral hops, pale malts, messy grapefruit citrus zest, mango and more tropical notes, pineapple, and light nectar hops. Something's off; it doesn't come off fresh or refreshing. It's messy and the flavour profile isn't what I like and expect from a great IPA. Still, it's clean and more complex than most other IPA aromas. Not at all too hoppy, though some hop bitterness is evident. An above average strength aroma.

T: Lots of juicy crisp fruity hops, redolent especially of tropical fruit like mango and pineapple. Pale malts form the clean somewhat refreshing foundation. Unfortunately, hop bitterness does creep out on the climax and in the finish - a severe flaw. Floral hops. Light hop nectar. It's not the oily hop extract core of an IPA like Lagunitas; the profile is much more tropical than most IPAs. Anyone who claims this is exactly like Sculpin is out of their gourd. It's clean and pleasant but lacks the body and complexity of a superior IPA (like Sculpin). Not too hoppy at all. I kind of like that though; it's not trying to be a double IPA. No malty sweetness or backbone; it's more cut and dry hoppy. Fairly balanced but lacking the complexity and subtlety it needs. I like it, but it's far from fantastic. No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Too thin and weak, lacking body and presence. Carbonation is slightly overdone. Suits the flavour profile generally well, but doesn't feel custom tailored to it.

Dr: A pretty good IPA that hides its ABV well, but it's nothing to write home about. $11 in a grocery store feels rather steep. I wouldn't get it again with Lagunitas' offerings next to it on the shelf, but it's a passable beer for the style. Ballast Point does far better. I don't understand the comparisons to Sculpin; this don't hold a candle. Still, it's worth looking into for fans of the style. It's quite drinkable; I'll have no trouble polishing off the six pack I picked up.


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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,084 ratings.