1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Big Eye IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Big Eye IPABig Eye IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,536 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2536
Reviews: 936
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%

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

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-22-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 2,536 | Reviews: 936 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Knapp85


3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out as a light hazy yellow color with a creamy white colored head on top. The lacing wasn't too bad but could have been a little better I thought. The smell of the hops came through pretty well but were a bit muted I think. The taste wasn't too bad. The hops were softer than expected but I feel that this happens to most IPA's from a cask. The mouthfeel was soft and had a light creaminess to it. Overall this beer was pretty good, I have a feeling that it would be better on regular draft.

Serving type: cask

10-28-2011 20:18:58 | More by Knapp85
Photo of woodychandler


4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am not about to trump a Cask review with a CAN review, although I wish that we still had the capability to review multiple serving styles.

At long last, nepotism rears its ugly head on The CANQuest (TM)! For those not in the know, I write for Ale Street News (and others) while my cousin, Colby Chandler, is the specialty brewer at Ballast Point B.C. It has been a closely-unguarded secret for some time and I have written about our relationship as well as making appearances with Colby at various venues and events. He knows of my affinity for CANned beer and especially craft CANs, so when they began CANning their beers, he knew precisely who to send some for a fair and balanced review.

I first heard of Big Eye IPA when Colby's late father, my Uncle Rick, came home for my late father's funeral in July 2001. Rick brough t-shirts along and as a burgeoning hophead, I opted for the one depicting that beer. After that, I was elated when Ballast Point broke into the East Coast markets and for a long time, Big Eye actually supplanted Victory Hop Devil as my go-to IPA when out and about. I remain a big fan of this beer and am equally elated to see it in a CAN!

From the CAN: "Handcrafted & CANned in San Diego, California"; "Dedicated to the Craft"; "The Beer That Helped Put San Diego IPAs on the Map"; "our Big Eye IPA is a big hoppy brew, thanks to the abundance of American Columbus and Centennial varieties we use to flavor and dry hop. While the English originally added extra hops to preserve their beers for sea travel, we do it for the love of all that bold, intense flavor that makes India Pale Ale one of our favorite styles."

Speaking of dry hopping this beer, pictures exist of me on a ladder in the back of the original HomeBrew Mart dry hopping a batch in the spring of 2002. Yowza!

Once again, the Crack revealed a brimful CAN and little of it even splashed out to greet me like a puppy upon its master's return. Down, boy! The inverted Glug was marvelous, literally, as I marveled at the pseudo-cascade followed by the establishment of two dense fingers of tawny head. Color was a deep-amber, not quite coppery, with NE-plus quality clarity and I am now obsessed with living to be 50 y/o so that I CAN celebrate my birthday with Val MidWest in Lincoln, NE, birthplace of the term. The head was gently falling, leaving sticky lacing in its wake. Nose was redolent with hops, and while I may not yet know the difference between the two varieties, I plan to get smarter this summer. Suddenly, the Hops Monkey on my back began his incessant chattering and I realized that I was ready for a hit. Mouthfeel was medium and the immediate jolt of hops on my tongue allowed this hop junkie to take a deep breath. Man, then I really got the hops along with a butterscotch sweetness which I assume was intentional. My eyes rolled back in my head and I fell off the chair, curling up in the fetal position, sucking my thumb and crying for my mommy. Oh, man, all of those hops and all at once! I didn't start out with this habit, it just developed over time, man. I had it kicked for a while but just like that dude in "The Godfather", every time that I think that I am free, I keep getting pulled back in. It's not fair, I tell ya! Beer should not be this good that I would kill everyone in sight for just a sip. Finish was dry, with the hops just lingering - in my sinus cavity, on my palate, in the back of my throat. Jesus, I hope that nobody thinks that they are getting any out of my sixer of CANs. This is too good to share. Not with the Old Lady, not with Val MidWest, not Sam Knocken, tone77, anybody. Nobody. I may delete this review so that others will never have any idea how good it actually is. Now the pigs are bangin' on my door! Who tipped them off, man?!? You see why it is such a bad idea for me to fix like this?

CAN scores: ALL 5s! Does this rating system go up to 11?

Transcribed from notes dated Sa, 26 June 2010 at TJ's in Paoli.

Not just cask, but a gravity pour. My notes mention that it was Simcoe dry-hopped.

It arrived with a finger of soapy light-tan head that was already working to create some nice lacing. Nose was like standing in a pine forest and taking a deep whiff. Color was a slightly hazy orangish-amber. Mouthfeel was silky smooth with a great pine-hops bite that really got my attention. It was like having the dentist grab my tongue with pliers and then get at it with a scrub brush. One new palate later, the finish left me gasping for breath. Zounds!

Serving type: cask

12-12-2010 12:40:08 | More by woodychandler
Photo of orangesol


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

Served on cask at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours a clear, dark, amber with a solid one finger head that leaves thick lacing down the entire glass.

S - Lots of tropical hops in this one. Lots of mango, grapefruit, and tangerine flavors. Some sweetness from the malt and a bit of bready yeast at the end. Seems very similar to normal sculpin but still a very nice nose.

T - Strong, sweet, malt profile up front quickly giving way to a strong citrus hop presence. Flavors are similar to the nose. Fairly well balanced once all the flavors blend together. A very nice cask IPA.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Fairly bitter finish lingers on the pallet for some time.

D - I enjoyed this one quite a bit but I think even with all the additions they made it is still only on par with the regular version of sculpin.

Serving type: cask

11-17-2010 21:01:10 | More by orangesol
Photo of StJamesGate

New York

3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask at the GBBF.

Dry-hopped with Palisades for the Great British Beer Festival.

Pours lemony amber with speckles of lace. Ruby red grapefruit nose with underlying ginger cakes. Caramel malts with branch and mulch cut by orange Angostura bitters hops with fruit candy notes. Searing IBU finish and astringent linger. Some burn, medium, chewy.

What the heck are Palisades? They seem to have ruined what I've heard is a great beer.

Bitterness over hop flavor and the malts are there, so it's not a question of balance. I know SDPAs bring the pain, but I get none of the fruit that should come from dry-hopping.


Serving type: cask

08-05-2010 22:53:16 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of johnmichaelsen


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

From a firkin at Tj's the other day. This was the Big Eye with simcoe hops version (thought there might be a separate entry, but I don't see one).

The beer pours a copper amber color with good head retention and lacing. The simcoe hops really sing on the nose with this one, resulting in a spicer, hoppier version of this beer (IMHO). Otherwise, I get some pepper, dank earth and light pine. This smells as if it will be on the dry side. Flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, though I don't get the earthiness I got on the nose. Also, this IPA is no more than moderately hoppy, and I don't think the simcoe adds a whole lot to the flavor profile. The beer has a medium bodied mouthfeel with a fairly long, lightly bitter finish. Drinkability is pretty good, with the alcohol well integrated and barely noticeable.

Nothing extraordinairy here. Just a good, solid west coast IPA (light sweet malt is well balanced by the hoppy bitterness, making for a very dry IPA). Carbonation was surprisingly lively I thought for a beer from a firkin. Cask conditioning didn't hurt this IPA at all.

Serving type: cask

06-27-2010 17:38:47 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of DefenCorps


4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask with Simcoe hops, served at TJ's yesterday.

Hazy amber with a dense, off-white head with great retention and lacing, this looks *very* good. The nose is big and bright, with the Simcoe hops really shining. Mango and papaya are present by the bucketful, with the Centennial backbone shining through with citrus and floral character. Malt is non-existent, though there is a touch of fruity sweetness. Very perfumey too, once it warms up.

The palate opens big and hoppy with a moderate bitterness and LOTS of hop flavor. Plenty of tropical fruit with the Simcoe overpowering the strong floral and citrus hop character.The palate is medium--light and while the carbonation is low, it also feels a little too smooth and slick. Drying and hoppy on the finish, this is very nice.

Serving type: cask

06-27-2010 12:01:39 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of plaid75

New York

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Rattle n' Hum, NYC.

Poured a medium amber hue with one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and good lacing.

The smell featured earthy and citric hops with a solid caramel malt.

The taste was well balanced and tilted toward the earthy and herbal hop.

The mouthfeel typical of the style on cask with a dry finish.

Overall a tasty and quaffable IPA.

Serving type: cask

06-16-2009 17:02:43 | More by plaid75
Photo of Stoneman78


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On CASK at O'Brien's

Appearance is a murky amber-orange hue, thin layer of bubbles and no lacing (cask)

Smell is fresh green hops, heavy orange/citrus emphasis, some raw pale malts, honey sweetness rounds it out

Taste is a perfect mix of malts and orange-forward hops, some sour grapefruit and cotton candy in the middle, finishes smooth and bitter

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, watery-to-slick texture, mild carbonation (cask)

Drinkability is good, a nice and sweet IPA that hold up well in the cask version, low alcohol presence in the session range, the hops shine through but there is great balance here

Serving type: cask

02-02-2008 19:28:21 | More by Stoneman78
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.89/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear medium copperish amber in color with very light amounts of active visible carbonation rising slowly from the bottom of the glass and some brassy highlights. The beer has a two to three finger tall dense foamy (almost pillowy) light beige head very slowly reduces to a finger thick cap covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a very thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Slightly stronger than moderate aromas of hops - specifically pine and citrus/orange.

T: Upfront there is a light flavor of slightly sweet grainy and caramel malts which has a light overall amount of sweetness. That is followed by more than moderate amounts of pine and citrus/orange hops which contribute a slightly stronger than moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Light to medium bodied with slightly less than moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness towards the finish.

O: Enjoyable and a nice example of the style though with a touch too much lingering bitterness for this one to be an easy drinker in my opinion. Definitely worth grabbing if you come across but perhaps not one that I would actively go out of my way to find.

Serving type: can

04-12-2014 02:42:43 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Bone53


4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter at around 45°F

Appearance: Pours an amber copper color with a one finger frothy off white head.

Smell: Earthy pine hops, oranges; Bold aromas

Taste: Resiny pine hops with some tropical notes in the back end

Mouthfeel: Full bodied for an IPA; Moderate to heavy bitterness that lingers on the palate.

Overall: As others have mentioned, this reminds me of Torpedo, but even more on the bold, resiny pine, floral side. This may not be as highly respected as Sculpin, but it's a great AIPA in its own right, focusing on different aspects. I will be picking this up the next time I see it. Recommended

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2014 05:03:49 | More by Bone53
Photo of dar482

New York

3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a deep reddish amber color. Very much like a red IPA with a foamy 2 finger head.

The aroma is very hoppy with orange zest, sweet citrus, and lots of sweet bready caramel malt.

The flavor has some juicy peach notes in the front, a good caramel bready malt, and then straight to pine needle and grapefruit pith.

This an extremely hoppy brew. It's certainly for hop heads, but those who prefer some sweet bready malt and lots of pine. A very piney beer in general.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2014 02:59:54 | More by dar482
Photo of xungmound98

New York

4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from can into pint glass. 1” head that gradually recedes to a foamy 1/4” layer with clouds of sticky lacing. Deep, clear orange/copper color. Smells of sharp piney resin, brown sugar and floral notes. Taste follows the nose, with bitter hops, sugary malt and a bit more floral presence. The hops stick around on the palate after each sip. Medium-to-full-bodied, creamy with moderate carbonation. Overall this is a solid West Coast IPA with starring roles for Centennial and Columbus hops.

Serving type: can

04-04-2014 02:06:35 | More by xungmound98
Photo of tnrambler


4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a glass. Left a good, thick head with plenty of lacing.

The aroma was hoppy with a mix of pine, grapefruit and earth.

The taste was powerfully hoppy and did not disappoint since I was looking for a beer that was heavy in the hops department. This was my first beer from Ballast Point. I doubt that it will be my last.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2014 22:30:16 | More by tnrambler
Photo of FLima


4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Amber color with a thick head with good retention and leaving laces.
Nice citrusy aroma with notes of passion fruit, grapefruit, mango, slightly toasted malts, caramels and bread.
Bitter flavor which granted me a series of sneezes. Notes of earthy hops, caramels, tea leaves, grapefruit, mango, lemon, pine, lemon grass, perfume and spicy yeast. Very dry aftertaste with a long lasting bitterness.
Medium body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 7% has coward it against its power.
Very good IPA, but I still preferred their Sculpin with a more tropical hoppy profile. Though I did like its bold hoppy punch and good complexity. Recommendable, especially for the hoppy nation.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2014 21:03:36 | More by FLima
Photo of admiral


4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

An excellent example of a quality American IPA

aroma: citrus/malt/caramel/grapefruit. Caramelised hops come to mind - very pleasant.

taste: pine, orange peel citrus, grapefruit, nutty caramel, orange candy and orange/caramelised hops - delicious.

A go-to quality IPA, with the big bonus being that it isn't too hard to find in Australia.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2014 07:22:36 | More by admiral
Photo of Hoptometrist


4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served from the bottle into a mason jar.

A- Poured a hazy dark orange color with fluffy white head that left some webbed lacing.

S- Huge pungent grapefruit notes, lots of peach and mango, some malt sweetness, and light pine notes. This smells like a classic West Coast IPA.

T- Big pungent grapefruit notes, lots of peach, mango, and orange citrus hop notes. Quite a bit of sweet caramel malt note, finishes with some piney hops notes, and finishes with high bitterness.

M- Very smooth, soft carbonation, very dry, refreshing, and medium body.

O- This is an awesome West Coast IPA. I actually thought I was getting a Sculpin when I saw Ballast Point IPA on the beer menu and I will say this is definitely in the same league as Sculpin.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2014 03:12:12 | More by Hoptometrist
Photo of Dools9


4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can into a tumbler pint glass, canned on Matrch 1st, 2014.

A: Gorgeous clear amber orange color with a thick frothy, slightly off white head, excellent retention and lacing, looks very nice.

S: The aroma is piney, grapefruit, orange rind pithy graefruit, think centennial hop vareity.

T: Big grapefruit peel and pine, orange rind, this is where this beer differs from its brother Sculpin. This one is more resinous, more earthy pine, grapefruit peel. Big dry finish. Has a nice caramel malty back to it that keeps the bitterness in check.

M: Medium bodied, smooth carbonation.

O: Solid IPA, might prefer Sculpin a bit more though. Reminds me of Sierra Nevada Torpedo a bit.

Serving type: can

03-29-2014 22:11:47 | More by Dools9
Photo of Paincane


3.49/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Golden body topped by a lingering beige head. Good lacing.
S: Floral, pine and citrus aromas. Hint of grapefruit and biscuity malt.
T: Grapefruit flavors, malt backbone, lemon peel & piney bitterness.
M: Dry, crisp body with moderate bitterness that lingers a good while. It is a clean IPA.
O: Balanced good IPA that is not as memorable as Sculpin from Ballast Point.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 22:31:06 | More by Paincane
Photo of Tenor


4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I was at Whole Foods and noticed an IPA from Ballast Point, which I had not heard of before..I was not disappointed.

Served on tap in a pint glass.

A- Golden orange with half a finger of foam....a little cooler than I would have liked.

S- Citrus, pine, grapefruit

T- Winner winner chicken dinner! Slight malt presence with hops that are in your face yet not overbalanced. It is what I like in an IPA

M- medium carbonation, slightly syrupy

Overall, I give this beer a 4.75...I would love to try a few more to get a better handle on it. This is a great example of an IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2014 13:05:48 | More by Tenor
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

355ml bottle poured into pint glass 26/3/14

A clear light copper, loads of tiny particles being moved around by steady streams, finger of foam slowly falls to a thin film but leaves zero lace

S grapefruit peel, dried apricots, some pine, lots of burnt brown sugar, faintly floral, nothing really jumps out with intensity

T more pine, a little lemon, and more citrus in general, still has plenty of brown sugar, tastes stronger then it smells, a slight improvement

M mild bitter bite, creams up a little from the bubbles, lots of grit, leaning towards full, brown sugar, pine and rind linger, booze is just noticeable

O decent beer but a bit of a let down for me, I was hoping for another Sculpin but this one falls a little short

5 months to the BB date I thought this one would be a little fresher, I'm guessing its 7 months old at this point not the one I was hoping for. It's far from bad beer and I do like it but my one other offering from this brewery was a memorable hop bomb.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2014 06:59:46 | More by wordemupg
Photo of 57md


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with a finger of head that took some time to completely dissipate and left some lace behind when it finally faded away. The nose has both hop notes and malt notes. The malt backbone is not a prominent in the flavor profile as the nose might suggest. The finish is semi-dry and pleasantly hoppy. This is a solid IPA, but it simply can’t come close to its cousin – Sculpin.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2014 03:36:22 | More by 57md
Photo of KornWallace

New York

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Date: 3/19/14
Location: Hock and Hops
Draught/Bottle: Can
Glassware: Delirium Tremens Tulip
Appearance: An amber/brown colored beer with a huge head pour. The head stays for a while as you watch the carbonation settle down immensely.
Aromatics: The smell is of oranges, grapefruit the hops dominate my nose. Much larger smell of malts then Sculpin as well. Missing a lot of the aroma because of a cold though.
Flavor: The oranges are what hit me with this beer. I feel like they are all over my palate. I'm also getting a lot of the hops in a more resin kind of way. The tongue feel is more bitter because of the hops. The malts are there in the background a good bit.
Finish: The hop resin holds to my mouth and helps to keep the orange flavor to my tongue. I'm also getting a load of carbonation just sitting there also.

Serving type: can

03-19-2014 16:30:11 | More by KornWallace
Photo of GCBrewery


3.18/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Lots of floating sediments, off white head, pretty cloudy, not typical for a non-bottle conditioned IPA

S- Piney and orangey, pleasant enough

T- Starts fair and pleasing, picking up bitter orange peel and pine, finishes way too bitter for my liking, almost like a chemical bitterness

M- Kind of flabby but and lots of carbonation, nothing special

O- Definitely expecting more out of this beer, maybe a poor or outdated batch? (couldn't find a bottling/canning date). Maybe will give it a chance of redemption in the future with a new batch but wouldn't buy this again.

Serving type: can

03-16-2014 00:17:53 | More by GCBrewery
Photo of sobuf

New York

2.85/5  rDev -29.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2014 18:59:55 | More by sobuf
Photo of SteveB24

New York

3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

appearance; hazy, brownish orange with medium carbonation, pours a decent amount of white head that settles into lacing that tightly hugs the glass.

smell; very basic IPA smell, hoppy, slightly fruity.

taste; generic hoppy flavor, quite malty,slight sweetness, a touch of bitterness.

mouthfeel; medium body, but also slightly creamy and some crips dryness in the finish, with medium carbonation cutting through.

overall; an overall positive experience, but for me, along with stone IPA, it falls under the category of IPA's that dont distinguish themselves, i wouldnt buy it again in the foreseeable future.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2014 04:14:17 | More by SteveB24
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,536 ratings.