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Big Eye IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Big Eye IPABig Eye IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,526 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2526
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
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Ratings: 2,526 | Reviews: 936 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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

Bottle at Mondiale 2008. Some citrus aroma and citrus taste. A good representative American IPA, but also another and similar American IPA. Lacey, after well drinking through its orangey coloured body.Some astringencey yet satisfying.Yet a beer I did not and would not seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2008 04:08:58 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours a clear copper with a foamy beige head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and grapefruit juice. Taste is much the same with a citrus zest flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2013 09:03:07 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy, bright pumpkin orange-amber. The larger than average head is dark cream in color, finely pitting and firmsticky. I'm already seeing loads of fine lace in intricate patterns, ultimately in thin rings. Beautiful hoppy nose. Man I love Centennial! The citrus fruitiness seems to be more orange and lemon than grapefruit. I've smelled a lot of IPAs lately and this aroma is up there with the best.

This may be the most 'orangey' tasting IPA that I've ever had (actually, it tastes more like tangerine juice than orange juice). There's also the unmistakable flavor of grapefruit pith and pine sap that I love so much. The hopping is pretty well done, perhaps a little harsher than I'd like, but not bad. Pale malt is appreciated, but is playing second fiddle for sure. The finish is long, hoppy and bitter and the mouthfeel is full for the style.

Big Eye is a pretty darn good IPA. It doesn't get into my upper tier, but it's still heartily recommended. Especially if you're of the hophead persuasion.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2004 18:27:41 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass and served right out of the fridge.

A – Poured a very nice and dark orange colored amber with a big three finger high head of foamy white colored lace on top. Very nice retention as this hung around for a good few minutes before finally settling down and leaving a thin film across the top of it. Very nice residual side glass lacing was evident throughout the session as was great carbonation. There were streams of carbonation coming up from the bottom of this one throughout the entire session replenishing the top of the glass repeatedly. The clarity was also superb, being nearly crystal clear throughout the entire session but keeping its orange tinted amber hue.

S – The aroma on this one was enormous, seriously one of the strongest smelling IPA’s I have seen in a good while. Huge floral and citrus hops leaped forward right out of the gate to take command over the direction this was going to go. Lots of orange and tangerine, grapefruit like aromas blending together with a good dose of sugary sweetness and piney resin like thickness gave it really a very full profile. There was a certain amount of freshness you could pick out of it as well. Very big here and really very nice, classic west coast IPA so far.

T – The flavored followed up the aroma perfectly. As soon as the first sip hit my tongue I knew where this one was going. It had the great super dry and bitter hop presence. You know the one where you think your lips are going to stick to your teeth, just classic. Big hops all the way with great orange and grapefruit notes leading the way and never really letting anything else in. As it warmed it got a touch sweeter and maybe some of the maltiness that was hiding underneath tried to sneak in, but nit much as this one maintained its teeth throughout the entire session. Really great finish as well as it just sucked the moisture out of your mouth and left you with this long lasting intensely dry and bitter citrus taste that you knew the only thing that was going to make it any better at all would be to take another sip.

M – Very nice I would have to say a light to medium bodied ale, as there was definitely a little weight to it for sure. The carbonation was superb. Not overly saturated with it causing it to become a fizzy mess but just about right keeping it from thickening up too much and turning into a syrup like drink, which when this many hops get involved can sometimes be a challenge.

D – Again it depends on who you are, but for me this is a session ale. Yes it has 7%abv, but who cares. If you love big tasting west coast hop bombs this one is right up your alley. I had no issue polishing this off and could have easily gone for another. Never came across as mouth shredding and no hint of alcohol in the flavor. Really very nice to drink and went perfect with dinner.

Overall this was a really great IPA. This is the style I love and I was very impressed with the example presented here. This was a classic west coast IPA from the moment I popped the cap on it, and I would gladly accept another one of these any day!

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2008 01:50:55 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail


3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a copper color with a fluffy white head and some mild lacing.

S: Lots of citrus hops on the nose and not all that much else. A bit of pine and bread in the background. Quite a pungent aroma, actually.

T: The flavor is less intense than the nose would let on, unfortunately. I still got the citrus and pine, but they were not quite as powerful. A bit of bread and sweetness, too.

M: The body is medium with a moderate carbonation. The finish is mildly bitter.

D: One of the first IPAs I had back when I got into beer, and to be honest, it's a little better than I had remembered. Not my favorite by any means, but it's still a good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2010 21:57:56 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy light amber color with a rocky head that leaves a few shards of lace

Smell: Caramel malt aroma with strong wafts of tangerine pith and pineapple

Taste: Starts with a nice blend of caramel and citrus fruit, with building levels of tangerine and pineapple by mid-palate; after the swallow, the fruity bitterness builds with some pithy elements; nice sweet and bitter finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with moderate to low carbonation

Drinkability: Just a superb IPA; hits all my buttons for the style

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2007 23:16:24 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear bright golden color ale with an average sixe foamy head with OK retention and minimal lacing. Aroma consists of bitter and lightly citrus notes are dominant thought not as powerful as expected. Taste is also dominated by bitter and citrusy notes with a lightly sweet malt base. Body is about average with OK carbonation. Well brewed thought I was expecting a more powerful hops profile.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2010 20:53:06 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect


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

Thanks Steve for bringing this back from a recent Asheville trip. A nice IPA with some aggression that proves challenging.

The beer certianly looks the part with a solid copper color. As expected, this IPA showcases a lot of lacing left behind the stubborn head formation/retention.

The beer has a lot of fruitiness going on; part from the citrusy hops (grapefruit, orange zest) but also from the yeasty esters (oranges, appricots, apples). This makes for a nicely complex character that accompanies the maltiness in both the nose and taste.

The maltiness may not be as crisp and cracker-like as I like in the tasted and mouthfeel. It remains a touch sweet with caramelized, unattenuated malts. It doesn't kill the beer but it starts to give the impression of a Barleywine.

Though the malts are sweet and a bit weighted, the beer demonstrates the hop dominance that an IPA demands. Dry, citrusy, and a little grassy in the finish (dry hopping?). Perhaps they went a little nuts with the high-alpha acid hops, which give a bitey metalic note (maybe not the cream of the hop crop?) Still, bright and fresh from nose to finish.

The alcohols give a larger impression than the listed 7%. They begin to give an ethynol taste and bitterness that interfere with the crisp hop flavor from time to time.

I'd prefer a little drier and crisper in the finish, and with a more subtle alcohol impact. Otherwise the beer hit the marks on good IPA's.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2009 22:05:00 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429


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

Pours a nice golden color with a decent-sized head. Some lacing as it goes down. The nose is mostly citrus hops with some orange coming through the strongest. A bit of sweet caramel malt. Taste is similar, with the hops being the dominant portion, as the malt brings only a little bit behind. Medium bodied with good carbonation ad a nice hop dryness. Good drinkability all around.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2010 02:13:46 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: It poured clear amber-orange in color with a one finger head that has a good amount of retention. A moderate level of carbonation is visible.
S: There are moderate aromas of piney hops in the nose and some hints of citrus.
T: The taste is primarily filled with bitterness from the piney and citrusy hops, although the malts lend some hints of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate. There is also a lot of dryness, particularly in the finish.
D: The beer is very drinkable if you like hops; it almost seems like it is a Double IPA.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 00:18:42 | More by metter98
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

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

Poured into a standard pint glass a deep burnt orange color with tight formed but rather quick to fade one finger white head.Good complexity in the nose,citric hop aromas along with some alcohol dipped apricot, mixed with some hard water and caramel/biscuit.Pretty well balanced with the healthy hop dose winning the day,big citrus and resin mixed with a big hefty sweetish caramle base.Its good but not out of the main stream American IPA realm,thats not a bad thing by any means,just sayin.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 22:57:18 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

I feel like I'm in the aquatic section of a pet store when perusing the labels of these Ballast Point beers. Anyway, this stuff pours a clear sunset brass topped by a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises sweet biscuit, pine needle, and very light menthol. The taste brings in more of the same, without the menthol character and with a hint of lightly-spicy greens. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a nice enough IPA, nothing to exclaim about, but nothing offensive, either.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2013 20:51:27 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A hazy golden-orange rests beneath a creamy white head that holds quite well and leaves lots of thin, splashy lace at the outset. Limited amounts of tiny bubbles can be seen streaming to the surface through a thick, proteinaceous haze, helping to maintain its creamy white lid. The malty/fruity/piney/floral/citrusy nose is rather interesting with a combination of sweet, lightly caramel-drizzled dough; apricots; citrus rind; wild flowers; dull pine; wet earth; and dried leaves. It's quite unique, and is even reminiscent of bourbon in a way. It's gently crisp on the tongue before warming to become just slightly creamy with a medium-full body and very fine, natural carbonation (it's bottle conditioned). In the flavor, fruit appears and vanishes quickly, followed by piney hops atop a toasty, caramel-drizzled malt base. It's well-balanced by a solid bitterness, and it finishes drying with some more of its floral and citrus-rind flavors amidst a lightly sticky malt.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2004 19:49:29 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, 6% ABV on the batch sent to Canada...

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium copper colour, with lots and lots of rocky, foamy light beige head, which leaves some decent random lace around the glass as it slowly recedes. It smells strongly of pine and citrus hops, with a reserved caramel maltiness in the background. The taste is more malty upfront than I was expecting, but the bready caramel is soon eclipsed by that nice bitter pine/citrus hoppiness, with some mild herbal notes rounding things out. The carbonation is moderate, and the body full, smooth, and creamy. It finishes off-dry, with the hops increasingly overshadowing the fading toffee malt.

Always nice to see west coast IPAs available north of the border - especially from the San Diego environs, as Stone and Green Flash have whet my appetite for IPAs from that region. Ballast Point's effort doesn't disappoint - a good balance of the basics - and the hop tendencies allow the exclusive use of Centennial to shine through. Good stuff - I get the point!

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2010 01:19:04 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk


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

Clearish, golden/amber hue, fiercely carbonated, under a slim ring of creamy foam.

Hugely hoppy aroma, grassy, piney, bursting with fruit, orange and apricot, lemon zest...lime peel...fresh, and inviting.

Full-bodied, juicy, delicious. Fresh, invigorating, with brash and bitter hops, matched well with judicious malt. Toasty and sweet. Constant deployment of tastiness, jettisoned again and again onto the tastebuds. Tangy, tart, and well-tempered. Sticky puckering bitterness never quite quits. Citric feel remains dominant, hops ever-lasting.

Killer diller IPA. Reminds of Two -Hearted, no shocker as they're both all-Centennial. But, still quite it's own beast. Sure to please any hoppy ale afficianado. It just never stops tasting good!

I'll be back for more!

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2007 09:15:30 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

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

Acquired from rayjay courtesy of the BA Secret Santa 2007, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is a good mix of floral hops, citrus, caramelized malt and a touch of vanilla.

T: The taste is well balanced with flavors of citrus & caramel, sweetness and a pale hops bitterness. The hops presence strengthens as the beer warms. The malt character is hearty but stays on the light side. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a good IPA to drink for an entire evening.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2008 05:16:00 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of emerge077


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

Pours a high clarity orange, nice ring of drippy lacing. A little skim of foam sticks around for a few minutes. An aroma of caramel and toffee is dominant over any hop presence, but there's an herbal component there also.

Round feel to it, ample carbonation producing a dry frothiness toward the finish. Bitter herbal & vegetal hops in the finish, not fruity, more the sprucey pine sap variety. Full bodied for the style, but the flavor isn't really doing it for me. There is alot of caramel malt there, and the hops really are only there for bttering it seems.

Regardless, it's well put together, and it's very drinkable anytime.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2008 01:29:36 | More by emerge077
Photo of russpowell


3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bombers pours an effervescent amber with 2 fingers of sand colored head. Great lacing & good head retention. good looking IPA

S: Oily, piney & orange hops, plus breadyness. I get floral hops later & they are really really the only scent that persists throughout

T: Leafy hops by the bunches, some grapefruit hops too & bit of breadyness up front. Some honey malt, piney hops & more leafy hops as this warms. Finishes with a touch of honey malt, then more leafy & tobacco hops (too much) & some grapefruit

MF: Medium bodied, sort of creamy & pretty good balance

Drinks good, but there's the wrong mix of hops to make me happy. I could probably have 2 or 3 before moving on. Solid, but not my cup of tea

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2008 23:59:19 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a beautiful amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice, malty aroma that boasts of pale, crystal and bisquit malts along with a pretty damn fine hop scent. The taste is good. It has a well balanced flavor that's equally bitter and malty. The malt bill offers up as complex array of flavors including caramel, bisquit, and pale malt tastes. The hop character is good. It has a massively bitter, citrus hop taste that hits you up front and carries on through to the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine IPA. It's more complex than your typical citrus hop bomb. The malt bill adds good balance.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2010 03:35:39 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a duvel tulip. Beer was bottled on "CA CASH REFUND VALUE 10c".

Beer is amber and mostly clear. Forms a thin white head of small bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is low. Looks good.

Aroma is strong. Mildly sweet, earthy and piny in the aroma.

Beer is medium bodied and mildly sweet. Its mildly dry at the back end but overall highly drinkable. The bitterness in the back is mildly grainy but its quite a pleasing overall IPA. The pine wins in the hop race here. I'd have it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2010 03:36:37 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000


4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark orange with a large, white head. The first smell is pine and citrus from the Centennial hops, but you can also smell some malt. The taste follows the smell, but is considerably more balanced. While this is certainly a hoppy beer, the malt is right there neck and neck with the hops. This is much less hoppy than some other West Coast IPAs, but I think that makes it more drinkable. This is easily a beer I could see myself having several of.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2009 21:03:32 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80


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

A - Poured out an orange/amber color with a small, fizzy, off-white head that left some lace.

S - Citrus is the dominant aroma with some floral and grassy notes.

T - Nice balance of hop bitterness and sweet, biscuity, malt.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good IPA. The balance of flavors is outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2008 17:59:15 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this guy as an extra from Imperialbeachbrw. Another great one from San Diego that I have yet to review but love to enjoy. Poured into my usual DFH oversized snifter.

A: Pours with a nice sized 1 finger frothy head with bubbles popping pretty quickly. An amber autumn brown color with a rustic feel to it, pretty clear but not perfect.

N: Not super ridiculous on the hops, but they definitely dominate. A good piney hop presence and some light citrus to contrast it. A light crystal malt aroma seems to back it up as well. I also get a slight caramel smell on the back end. Otherwise its just a nice hop aroma, but the hops aren't really heavy on the nose.

T: Caramel malt taste starts off this guy with some sweet malt taste. It is followed quickly with some piney hops and bitterness. There's a good chewy taste in the middle. Some fruit and citrus line the middle as the malt shifts to hops. Lots of pine and a little citrus and touch of spice are what seem to constitute this hop bite.

M: Semi thick with a slight stickiness and decent carbonation.

F: Finishes pretty bitter and sweet. It didn't seem to dry off as I had expected. It also got an almost metallic hop taste to it as the bitterness builds and then fades. I get a slight juicy hop taste at the very finish of the liquid as I swallow, just as the metallic taste starts to wane. Then the bitterness fades like some dream in the night, off just as a distant memory that seems to disappear the more you try to think of it. That is, until the next sip.

Final thoughts: This is a great IPA IMO. It starts with a great malt character thats not too malty or light, then hop flavor starts off as the malt fades and then finishes with a nice bitterness. It is a little too sweet if anything, but being 7% alc and hiding it well also helps. Not being overly bitter or hopped and not too high on the alcohol makes this a more likely candidate for drinking regularly than most big time IPAs. I like to reach for this when I just want a nice bitter and slightly malty IPA without breaking the bank, my tongue/taste buds, or my liver.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2009 00:53:10 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude


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

Pours a brilliantly clear, copper amber color and is topped by and initially 1.5 finger thick pale tan colored head. The aroma is immediately of American hops; as I pour this brew I get a note of candied orange peel. As I go in for a deeper smell I get pungent notes of lemon basil, grapefruit, and mandarin orange. The citrus notes are definitely the dominant aspect of this aroma, which is quite smooth and appealing.

The beer is lightly chilled and has a light sweetness up front. The hops in this beer immediately take hold and are dominant from beginning to end. Notes of candied orange peel are dominant up front, but a gripping, solid bitterness soon takes hole and lingers on in the finish. Towards the end of a sip a herbal note similar to mint, or perhaps menthol would be a better descriptor, starts to become noticeable. A certain resinous, almost pine-like note also is found lingering on in the finish. There is a touch of malt here as well, perhaps some caramel, and something like toffee; these notes though only serve to accentuate the citrus components of the hop character. This is a nice beer, easy drinking, though it perhaps has a bit too much astringent, herbal bitterness to be truly quaffable. It is certainly enjoyable though and is worth trying if you like hops.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2006 03:21:43 | More by Gueuzedude
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
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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,526 ratings.