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Big Eye IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Eye IPABig Eye IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,034 Reviews
THE BROS
96
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,034
Hads: 3,857
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 4.42%
Wants: 175
Gots: 757 | FT: 4
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-22-2000

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Eye IPA Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,034 | Hads: 3,857
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
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. (284 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.01/5  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. (532 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 1.5 finger head. Amber and clear. Nice lace

S: Fairly pungent. Hoppy and spicey odor. Very nice introduction for the taste you get next.

T: Pine and citrus. A strong hop flavor. Floral and peppery notes.

M: Medium bodied. Mild carbonation. Stings the nostrils a bit.

Overall: I have been pleased with most of Ballast Pointe's offerings. I have had 5 or 6 of their brews now though this is the first I am reviewing. (421 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.81/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (546 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (381 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a really good ipa, but after sculpin, ballast point cant really top it. this is by all means a great beer, and uniquely hopped with shades of pine and a great punchy bitterness, but it pales in comparison to sculpin, which is one of the finest crafted anywhere. red malts balance this out a little better, and its got a beautiful red glow to it beneath a white foamy head with excellent retention. pine is the hops family, but not as aggressive as some, this is more of a session beer to me, although it does pack a bit of an alcohol punch after a few. I had this at blue tuck in Syracuse amongst several other great india pales, and it stood up well to all of them. carbonation is excellent and this is a well made brew overall, but its nothing compared to a sculpin. (768 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
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 (532 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -14%
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. (498 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev -1%
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. (1,439 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
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. (409 characters)

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

Appearance: Amber in color with perfect clarity in the usual Ballast Point fashion. A two finger head slowly settles into a half-inch cap.

Smell: A huge aroma of centennial hops - citrus and pine in equal portions. Unmistakable as I just brewed with them this week.

Taste & mouthfeel: So damn hoppy and flavorful, it's like chewing on a hop flower (minus the palate-wrecking bitterness). The bone-dry malt profile really brings out the citrus flavor in the hops. The body is light and the crisp dryness is remarkable; I wish every IPA was like this. Bitterness in the finish is moderate but not enough to overpower the actual hop flavor, which lingers on the palate long after the glass has emptied.

Drinkability: I had to slow myself down while drinking this one. (767 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
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! (1,038 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev -1%
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. (634 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +2%
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. (1,017 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (364 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
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! (3,114 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (492 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
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. (655 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of off-white foam on top of a dark copper colored body. The head settles quickly and leaves nice lace on the glass.

S - Pine, grapefruit and a hint of sweaty hop character with caramel malt in the background.

T - Thick, toasted malt up front with lots of pine hop flavor. More pine and some citrus character in the middle as a bit of caramel is added to the malt profile. The beer finishes with thick, bready malt and more orange and pine hops as well as moderate, balancing bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - A very well balanced and drinkable IPA. There is plenty of hop character but it is matched every step of the way by thick malt and a good dose of toffee. (748 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%
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. (573 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
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. (973 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear, golden amber with a finger of off-white head. Retains nicely into a beautiful thin layer across the top that leaves a HUGE latticework of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma is nice blast of fresh piney hops and citrus with a some spicy notes and a little sweetness behind it.

The is just more of the same. Resinous, biting hops and zesty citrus followed by a just perfect amount of sweet caramel to even things out. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fantastic slick feel from all the hop oils and nary a trace of the 6% ABV is to be found.

Wow, this is just a great West Coast IPA from Ballast Point! Just tons of fresh pine and citrus notes with an awesome slickness, that coupled with the undetectable ABV, helps this one go down as easy as anything. I'll definitely be seeking out a six-pack of this next time. (879 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (2,096 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (825 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this on draft at the Fridge in Lancaster served chilled in a pint.

The color is beautiful, golden and has a thick creamy pale cap, the lace clings in thick rings on the glass. The bead is fine and there is visible carbonation. The smell is very good with some moderately vibrant citrus rind elements, very orange-y which brings to mind centennial hops, but only a mild malt element in the nose which is gentle and accents the intensely aromatic hops. The feel is great...just as close to perfect as it gets for an American IPA in my opinion. The bitterness is right on without going too far toward Imperial IPA bite and the alcohol is there without outpacing the slight oily texture from the hops. There is moderate carbonation and the feel finishes with a mostly dry quality.

The taste of this IPA is very citrus yet there are other elements that come off as herbal/floral without much in the way of vegetal, just a mild amount of hop spiciness. The citrus starts grapefruity but seems to hit the lemony side and verges toward orange rind zest in the middle when the malt sweetness is a little more noticeable. The flavor lasts well after the swallow with a mild peppery quality which blends well with the mild alcohol which seems to add a dry quality to the overall flavor, very juicy throughout and the flavor really rocks, I find the bitterness to be very smooth. Overall you can't find many better IPA's in the west coast style. This is a solid beer through and through. I don't think there can be much in the way of improving this I put it pretty close to the top. (1,586 characters)

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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,034 ratings.