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Big Eye IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

1,084 Reviews
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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: 4,160
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 farrago
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fine froth of micro bubbles, so tiny that it's hard put to become strong lacing. Red amber color, more yellow around the rims, very aggressive bubbles beneath the surface, more a storm than beads. Hoppy nose with sour lemon and orange citrus zest, wheat, straw, tea leaf, some biscuit or barley, minimal caramel or toffee, pinch of cherry fruit, the nose actually shows a good deal of restraint and tactful length. Full-bodied, not overly dense but together the high level of carbonation plus its overall dryness increase its mouth presence a lot. Lemon, white grapefruit citrus adds more tartness. Here, though, the tea and tobacco leaf aspects sweeter. Touch of molasses helps add balance. Biscuity, bready ending, especially as it warms. Not bad but comes off as a bit one-dimensional.

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Photo of ironlung
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not my first big eye...not my last for sure. Pours clean with wheatever head you want (depending on pour strength). Has that very clear burnt orange look to it, and smells like a nice citrus bomb. The taste reminds me of a lighter, more well done union jack. This beer is a classic session beer, and at under 4 bucks a bomb should not be passed up.

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Photo of CoolJosh
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up at Oaktree in NJ almost 3 months ago with no idea what to expect. I placed it in my cellar, and forgot about it. Why do I always do this with IPA bombers?!?!

Nice pink and orange blend, with no head from an aggressive pour.

Very light caramel scent with citrus hops and a grainy scent. Some older tea scents which i am attributing to the alcohol.

Very crisp and light. Grainy texture and feel all through out. Nice aggressive citrus and pine hops. Still there though hop fading was present in the smell. Above average in here.

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Photo of tastybeer
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Coppery, red-orange color is bright and vibrant. Mostly clear brew topped by a soapy textured, off white colored, modestly sized (for an IPA) head. Head is too slick for lace to grab the glass however the deep pretty colored, juicy look to this beer helps make for that a bit. The smell is great; Pleasurably sniffable indeed. Its packed with juicy hops held up by a solid malty base, smelling of candied oranges, apples, pine, leaves backed by various woody aromas, melons, tangerines, peaches, etc, etc, etc... Taste is also pretty good but doesn't stand out as much as the nose for me. It has more pronounced pine scents, some mint perhaps and still piles of oranges. Elongated bitterness begins shortly after the beer hits your tongue and lasts throughout the finish until you're ready for your next sip. Slick, somewhat hop oily-like mouthfeel with slight resinous qualities as well.

This was enjoyable and perhaps I'll pick it up again some another day.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours a clear orange amber with a medium white head that quickly diminishes to a thin film that laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet candy sugar, melons and pine.

The flavor is biscuity malts and sweet melon with piney peppery hops that have a decent amount of bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some sharp carbonation.

Overall, a fine IPA. I got excited by the all Centennial, but this wasn't nearly as good as Two-Hearted. It is still solid.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark gold-orangle color with great carbonationa nd a huge white head. LOOKED GREAT!aNose is floral bitter hops(hence Centennial). Taste is floral, hop bite and little citrus all the way through. I like single hop IPAs and this is a good one. Another really good one is Lengthwise Centennial Ale.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. First time trying. Pours a very nice copper with an inch head. Lacing begins early, head remains about half way through and forms a ring thereafter. Very floral and hoppy nose. I pick up citrus aromas very strongly. Taste is strikingly similar to a Stone IPA, which is a very good thing. Very well balanced IPA. This is the second offering I've tried from Ballast Point and so far I have not been disappointed. Hopheads should give this one a whirl. Very nice beer.

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Photo of merlin48
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce bottle, from Bruisn-Ales in Asheville, pours a clear copper/orange body with a medium beige head. Good retention with some sticky patch lacing.

Succulent aroma of grapefruit and orange, edged with pine and toasted caramel.

Medium body and carbonation with a slick hop oil presence.

Taste has an assertive citrusy hop bitterness with a pine cone note underneath. Toasty caramel malt balances well. Grapefruit hop presence rules the finish and pervades the aftertaste.

This could be a "go to" American IPA if it were widely available. Very well done.

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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 DoubleJ
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Here it is, my hoppy beer to extinguish the spice from the soup I just ate. Here we go, 12 ounce bottle from Total Wine in Tustin, on to the beer:

Nearly amber in color with orange and reddish hues, the head is 2 fingers thick, froathy, and continuing to hold. Aroma...smells like an IPA. Mild tropical fruits, nothing "bitter' about it. Fruity, bready, caramely, "gummi" if you will, like gummy bears. No qualms on the flavor either. For (especially a San Diego) IPA, this has a good balance in its favor. Bready and sweet on one side, on the other side is a rush of fresh lusious hops and sweet citrus. A brush of pine hits and sticks to the palate. Drinkable? The bottle lists it as 7% ABV, but there's no way a beer like that could this quaffable.

Not as big as other San Diego IPA's, but certainly the most sessionable. Amazingly, I can find this for as little as $6.99 a six-pack in my area. Next up, the search for Double Dorado.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A= amber color with a nice fluffy white head and some delicious lacing
S=sweet hoppiness like oranges smaller amounts of pine and toffee malt
T= woah hops! Pine and citrus but the orange sweetness is gone just gets more rough and intense awesome
M= high carbination with a smooth and crisp finish
D= high. I wanna say thanks to kadonny for this one. Its great for someone who likes hops. The smell tricked me but the taste is amazing

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Photo of lynx1245
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a beautiful dark amber-orange with a 1 finger white head that leaves some good lacing.

Smell: Reminds me of Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale. Big grapefruit smell up front followed by a nice malty finish.

Taste: No skimping on the hops here which I love. However, I think the hops kind of take over the show. While I can initially detect some malty sweetness, it is quickly overpowered by the hops.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp taste, maybe a bit too much. I don't know exactly what it is, maybe too much carbonation? Still hop oils coat the mouth well and it has a nice full body.

Drinkability: I wouldn't mind drinking a few of these, but it probably wouldn't be my first choice for an IPA. If I'm looking for a good hop blast then I might consider it.

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Photo of SpecialK088
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thatnks to Golith on this one, poured into a tulip

A-Nice amber tone with a good 2 finger head great laceing all the way down the glass.

S-Big earthy hops nose with grapefruit and citrus notes, can also pull out some malt with a big inhale.

T&M-Same as the nose for the most part, has a fantasic hop complexity, little oiliy in the mouth and goes down very nice and smooth, Big standard IPA.

D-Makes me wish I could get this where I live it qould be in my fridge all the time

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Photo of Risser09
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a mexican tulip - Fridge temp - 2008

Appearance: Pours a clear orange color with a 4" tall cream colored head. Great retention on these foamy bubbles. Tons of sticky lace.

Smell: Lots of grapefruit and pine aromas. They are very strong. Malt has taken a far and long backseat to the hops.

Taste: Malty base is swamped by hoppy flavors. Bitter pine is smooth at first, and carries a distinct astringency from there on out. The taste is one dimensional because of the bitterness. It's almost as if they just chose to load the hop profile up to prove a bitter point.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and easy going initially. This feeling gives way to ample bitterness and a tiny alcohol zing.

Drinkability: This beer had potential but ended up being very one dimensional. I felt like I was eating the hop pellets. More complexity would make it a charmer.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Imperial Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

Pours a nice golden amber color. Kind of like a sunset. Big, two-finger plus, head of thick, creamy white foam. Great retention and excellent lacing.

Big citrus and floral hops dominate. There appears to be some sweet maltiness in there, but it's buried. Smells like it's going to be bitter. Grapefruits and oranges, mostly. Some pine notes and hints of lemon zest.

A little more balanced than expected. You get to taste a touch of sweet maltiness, briefly. Then you get hit hard by the bitter hops.
Slight notes of toffee are followed by big blasts of grapefruit and pine. All of this is enshrouded by floral hops notes. Light butterey biscuit notes.

Actually maintains it's crispness, while being a touch creamy, also. Very nice carbonation level. Fairly smooth and easy to drink.

This wouldn't be the first IPA that I'd reach for, but it's a top twenty for sure, maybe a top ten.
Refreshing and creamy, together, is a good combo.

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Photo of kwakwhore
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Coppery pour with a nice off white head, good retention and lacing.
Hoppy grapefruit perfumes make up the aroma. Blossoms with the scent of the hops and a honeyish malt. Close to a double IPA in its smell but this doesn't translate to the flavor which is
bracingly bitter with some malty undertones. But not to worry, the hops come back and beat back any hint of maltiness in a deliciously hoppy finish.
Nice amount of carbonation in the mouthfeel, very pleasant on the tongue.
I could drink a lot of this beer if I had more than one bottle.
This is a really fine example of a west coast IPA, one of the two or three best I've tasted.

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Photo of noknife83
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very good beer full of big hop flavor, great aroma, high alcohol percentage. When I drink an IPA this is what want in a beer. It is very hooping has a nice bit to, and just enough sweetness but not too sweet to where it gets like syrupy. I also like that it has a abv of 7%, when I drink a beer I don't want to have to drink a whole 12 pack to get buzzed. So far I've had two and I've got a nice buzzed feeling. All in all if you're a fan of IPA's from CA and OR you'll probably like this one. For anyone who is a fan of Stone IPA or Lagunitas IPA then you'll like this too.

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Photo of wedge
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed orange with a small, tightly creamy head. Smells like a couple handfulls of Centennial hops...Two-Hearted-esque. Fresh, juicy oranges, flowers, sugary malt, and some grassy dry-hop notes. Tons of juicy citrus flavor, peaches, pineapple, and toasty caramel malt. Rock solid body, hefty bitterness. Very nice IPA...I'll be back for more.

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Photo of causey007j
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this gem at the Beer Yard in Wayne...after looking for Harpoon's Glacier Wet Hop Ale (that had not been released yet). It was my contribution to our weekly Trivia night/ monthly Beer club. I bought it sight unseen and untasted....

The pour was nice with a hint of lacing. A nice nose with citrus and pine. The mouthfeel was full, but not over powering. This is an IPA with a lot of flavor but does not destroy your taste buds as overly hopped beer can.
Nice find.

Thanks for the suggestion Matt.


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Photo of Packforever1976
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured chilled into my british pint glass.

A: Pours a slightly cloudy medium amber. Smallish slightly off-white head recedes quickly, leaving a small layer on top. Good lacing.

S: A nice marriage of sweet maltiness and hoppy goodness. I get the sweet malts right away, with some nice grapefruit/floral hops following. Very nice.

T: Tastes alot like it smells. Sweet malts up front, with some bitter grapefruity hops in the back, with a balanced finish. Tasty stuff.

M: Proper level of carbonation and thickness. Very balanced, coats my mouth nicely.

D: Drinkability is good. This one goes down very smooth and is very balanced. A very tasty IPA for sure.

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Photo of Biggness
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear amber with no head and mild lacing. The smell is of citrusy and grassy hops. The taste has a very nice hop profile, but too much for the amount of malt in it, a little unbalanced in my opinion. The mouthfeel is ok, carbonation is a little low and there is a pretty distinct dry feeling after swallow. Ok on the drinkablility, but I would prefer something a little better balanced to session with.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ballast Point is a new arrival in the area and damn, is it fine. My comrade-at-arms and fellow RLNBA TheWolfOfMibu gave this brewery and this particular brew his official Heathen Stamp of Approval long before I ever saw it in these parts, so in honor of the hopsucking little fiend (who is quite smugly up to his ears in San Diego's finest brews), I figured I'd give it a spin.

Pouring a 12-ounce bottle into my Reissdorf Kolsch cylinder reveals a hazed golden fire-orange body topdressed with a huge cap of pillowy white foam. The foam settles into sticky, ragged-top lacing that coats the glass in a sheet of fine-bubbled creamy film.

The aroma is fragrantly fruity with spicy orange blossom honey notes. A twang of citrus zest mingled with sweet pineapple joins a shifting bouquet of lime and grapefruit atop a mild toasted malt base.

The drink is crisply bitter with a malingering, sticky finish. The mild toasted malt noted in the aroma has a much bolder presence in the flavor profile, and now apparently has toasted brown sugar on it, but still exists only for the hops onboard the bottle to do their potently citric thing. It just so happens that the thing they do here is kick a lot of ass in a melange of tangy fruit and toast, pausing briefly to take names and rub in the everlasting grapefruity bitterness. As the drink warms, sweet toffee joins the overmatched malt team, kicking some tuckered-out hop ass of its own, but the effort goes really for naught as the oily bitterness quickly reasserts itself, engulfing the sweetness, and doing so in very fine style.

The drink is medium-bodied with nice carbonation and is highly drinkable. I hate to say it, but I think Wolfie *might* know what he's talking about!(well, this one time, anyway)

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to SaCkErZ9 for this one.

Poured from the bottle a slightly hazy orange gold with a thin but bubbly off-white head.

Juicy hop aroma of grapefruit and pine resin upfront. Malts and biscuit are there in support.

Oh yeah, big taste of grapefruit, tangerine, and piney hops along with some sweet caramel maltiness and biscuit. Very well-balanced.

Medium bodied, smooth and oily, with a moderate carbonation.

So drinkable. I wish I had more. A top notch IPA from the folks at Ballast Point.

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Photo of Vendetta
3.44/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Original Rating Date:
September 27, 2008

Pours cloudy orange with a very thin, soapy head. Strong, grassy hops pours from the bottle on opening and the glass on the pour. Super big hop bitterness punch. The Ratebeer profile says 55 IBUs but it tastes waaayyyy stronger which leads me to doubt that measurement. Strong, unbalanced hop flavor, fabulous for hop heads. A must try for IPA fans.

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