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Big Eye IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Big Eye IPABig Eye IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,537 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2537
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: 2,537 | Reviews: 936 | Show All Ratings:
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2008 01:42:05 | More by Packforever1976
Photo of Hatzilla


3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: A clear amber pour with a fluffy 2 finger head that recedes slowly, leaving substantial lacing.

Scent: Scent is a combination of orange citrus and malt. Definitely not as pungent as others in the style due to the strong malty backbone.

Taste: Again, this IPA has a strong malt presence, too much so for my liking. The citrus hops are fighting for taste bud real estate with the robust malt, and the hops are losing the battle. At the back end some earthy hops make their presence known.

Mouthfeel is smooth, oily and has nice carbonation.

Overall: A nice IPA if you are not a hop head, preferring a balance of malts and hops. If you want a tongue-thrashing of citrus hops pick up a Sculpin instead.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2011 23:28:10 | More by Hatzilla
Photo of jbhuxley

South Carolina

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

Pours hazy, rusty orange in color with 2" of creamy copper tinged head. The retention is very impressive. Big chunks of pillow like foam stick around for several minutes. The chunky lacing sticks around to the finish.

The aroma gives off a nice caramel honey fragrance, with tropical citrus, and a touch of pine.

There is a strong taste of bitter, burnt caramel. The taste is not nearly as sweet as smell. The bitterness is very earthy, slightly grassy. The pine and citrus that stands out in the aroma isn't really present in the taste.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, yet somewhat dry. Very drinkable. The abv is relatively low for the style, making it nice to enjoy a few.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2009 03:15:56 | More by jbhuxley
Photo of carpezytha


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in Chalice

A: Good head, straw body.
S: Nose does not hint a lot at the grapefruit bomb that awaits. Wet driftwood and grapefruit rinds.
T: Grapefruit bomb reels you, but this is not a one hit pony. With enough maltyness to balance it out, this gives you a lot to think about. The booze never really introduceds itself in a forward way but it is such a big beer in terms of flavor. I was really impressed with the hop balance (apparently there are 4 hop varieties including the relatively new "citra". Starts tight and then becomes expansive. It may be the heat getting to me but this is the best ipa I've had in long time.
M: Carbonation and hops drive, and some subtle malt controls from below.
D: Hot day, give me one or five.

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2010 05:06:42 | More by carpezytha
Photo of ChappyCubsFan


4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the five best IPA's in California. A great beer from a great San Diego brewery. I sampled this beer while touring the brewery. If Big Eye has any weakness at all, it may be too smooth. I like an IPA that has a bite to it, but Big Eye delivers a constant and refreshing balance of hops and malt with no surprise finish.

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2003 05:24:57 | More by ChappyCubsFan
Photo of ken2cart1


4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

served in my sam adams perfect pint glass.

a- light amber, dark orange, big 2 inch frothyy/ messy head

S- very citrusy not too bitter or grapefruit smelling

t- pungent grapefruit upfront, some citrus, all tropical hops, solid malt backbone which balances the hops. more of balance malt/ hop ipa compared to sculpin. some nice caramel malt. very nice hop profile non-the-less. not too much bitterness very smooth ipa.

d- very drinkable, great ipa, drink this all night

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2010 02:08:27 | More by ken2cart1
Photo of grannaniwa


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

Hops: Columbus, Centennial

Nose is crystal-clear strong, citrusy, clean hops. First taste matches the aroma perfectly. Rounds out with some malts in the second half, never quite gets sweet. Then drops into a brief bitter taste before dissipating quickly. Very dry finish. High alcohol is definitely undercover and doesn’t out itself at all.

Definitely fits into the Ballast Point style, next to the Sculpin and the Calico. Little brother of the Sculpin.

Overall: B+, crisp, clean, easy-drinking IPA

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 02:30:25 | More by grannaniwa
Photo of gleemonger


4.78/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mostly clear, deep yellowish orange & red with a nice off-white head. Some lacing, but not much, and not much retention.

Not a huge aroma, so might be a little out of date. Some pine and citrus with sweet malt. Hard to pick up much else.

First hit with some sweet yet toasty malts, but mixed with some tasty, piney, citrusy, grapefruit hops. Each of these flavors pretty well linger into the aftertaste, leaving a nice, refreshing toasty malt with not much bitterness, but just a good little punch. The very last thing to stick around is a pleasant bitterness. Super well balanced and tasty, in more of a non-West Coast kind of way, but also not overkill on the caramel malts like many of the East Coast varieties are.

Moderate body with fairly light carbonation, but just enough to keep it crisp and refreshing. Smooth and fairly creamy.

This was one of the first IPA's to break me through into loving IPA's and every time I revisit it, I still love it. I remember there being more aroma in the past, so I might have faulted it too much in that dept, but I have to review the one I'm reviewing right now. Will have to try again, maybe on tap if possible, to see if the fresher version has more aroma. For a maltier, more "balanced" version of an IPA, this one definitely stands out to me.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2012 19:41:47 | More by gleemonger
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 rwdkosak


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

Poured into snifter lightly chilled produced a decent head over dark gold color. The nose of this beer is fantastic with full floral and hop sweetness which certainly hightens the flavor which again is hop and floral though with a lemon/citrus middle and only slightly bitter dryness on the finish. Mouthfeel was good and certainly this is a very drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2009 10:32:14 | More by rwdkosak
Photo of Hullabaloo2


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

Aroma - Wonderful citrusy (somewhat floral) aroma from the centennial hops! Below the hops is some fruity esters, and a subtle malt sweetness. The aroma is very present, but not strong.

Appearance - Pours a brilliantly clear amber, with a creamy head that was about two fingerwidths. The head settled quickly to one fingerwidth, and then slowly down from there. It stopped at about 1/4 fingerwidth. Good lacing.

Flavor - There is a smooth bitterness that accompanies a surprisingly malt forward flavor (much more than the aroma would have you believe). There is noticeable hop flavor, but the centennial hops produce more bitterness in this beer. The malt character is not very sweet, certainly not cloying. The flavor is well ballanced, but differently than many IPA's. There is a bit of a piney, resinous, bitter finish. This bitterness lingers, but is not too harsh.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, good carbonation. The bitterness is througout the experience. Little to know perceived alcohol. Less dry than other IPA's, but again not very sweet.

Overall Impression - First, I love centennial hops so I was very excited to try this beer. The aroma is great! In my opinion one of the best in its style. The beer visualy presented itself well. I would say the only thing that hurts this beer for me is that I would like to have seen it slightly more dry. It's just a bit on the sweet side for what I like in an IPA. I will say that it is better than a number of other IPA's that I can think of, and if it was distributed around where I live I would buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2009 06:45:10 | More by Hullabaloo2
Photo of biophiliadude


4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to Pint

A: 1/8 bright white head, cloudy orange, lacing.

S: Hops, flower, grapefruit.

T: Hops, danish, grapefruit again on the end.

F: Smooth, foams the tongue, tickle of bubbles.

D: Delicious but on the heavier side of a medium-bodied IPA. Very bitter, a very well made IPA. Lots of flavor as it slowly warms, but sometimes the bitter bite takes away from it at tad. Need to find it's perfect serving temperature. Recommend, a must for all HopHeads!!

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2009 06:47:27 | More by biophiliadude
Photo of robhunta


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I loved this beer.

A - a bit hazy orange with a hint of brown. pours a nice 1.5 fingers of head, disipates to leave a nice thin lacing across the whole top of the beer

S - floral, hoppy hoppy hoppy. good thick malt aromas too, some sweetness.

T - boatloads of hops, but well balanced. I've certainly had more bitter beers but maybe not as well balanced.

M - a nice thick mouthfeel, a bit chewy, almost feels more like an imperial.

O - I loved this beer, great flavors and balance.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2011 23:31:05 | More by robhunta
Photo of Bowers-Brew


4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Nice dark orange color, almost red. Unusually dense head for style.

S - Pine, citrus, and slight vanilla scent. Not sure if my nose is off or actually smelled vanilla?

T - Bold hop flavors. Nice smooth finish.

M - Nice carbonation produces thick tingly gulps.

O - I like the Sculpin a tad better for it's drink-ability and sweet finish. However, this is still a great beer and another reason that Ballast Point is moving towards the top of my list of favorite breweries. Prost.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2013 22:27:47 | More by Bowers-Brew
Photo of BamaViper1


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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Ballast Point's Big Eye IPA pous golden amber and slightly opaque into the glass. A 1/2 inch, milky white head forms from the pour, and each sip leaves a gorgeous amount of lacing.

This beer has a fruity nose with aromas of grapefruit and pineapple with hints of banana. A grassy hop note comes through the fruit as well as a nice bit of malt.

This beer is full of bitter hoppy goodness, a grassy funk enveloped in strong bitterness. Hints of grapefruit peak through as well as the slight detectable presence of the malt. This beer seems to be all about the hops, and that is a good thing. The finish is very clean with hints of grapefruit and a tiny bit of bready malt.

This is a medium-bodied beer with a good bit of carbonation, almost frothy when chewed. The finish is long and is a tiny bit lighter than the beer itself.

Overall, the Big Eye IPA is a lovely beer - easy drinking with fantastic flavor. At 7% ABV this IPA drinks much lower. I'm glad to try this San Diego brew and hope to have it again.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2011 04:33:59 | More by BamaViper1
Photo of FlyingBull


4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer many times; this time from a 22 oz bomber. This is following a Port Wipe Out IPA to compare.

This beer was poured into a glass from Gordon Biersch that held almost all 22 oz! Medium amber color; clear, 1" light tan head that was persistent throughout the drink with lacing on the sides. Has a lightly resinous aroma with a light citrus aroma but I find a the dominant aroma to be cotton candy-like. There is some caramel and malt aroma too. The mouth feel is medium to medium full bodied; normal carbonation. The initial or front taste is sweet malt with candy hops quickly followed by resinous hops followed by citrus - grapefruit mostly to me. My better half says it's very floral - very flowery overall. :-) The back end is a mild nice lingering bitterness.

This beer is totally different from Wipe Out IPA. Although this beer is also 7%, there are NO alcohol flavors. it's also not as spicy as Wipe Out - doesn't have that Amarillo hop spice in it. It's more typical "West Coast" but it's very good - very solid. I like it and will drink it again...and again.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 04:06:51 | More by FlyingBull
Photo of towersfall

North Carolina

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

Appearance: Pours a slightly burnt orange/hazy amber color with a whopping fluffy white head that sits beautifully throughout the session. Lacing clings to the glass as well.

Smell: A slight citrus smell blended with caramel malts and floral hops.

Taste: Moderately hoppy with a nice blend of malts. Leaves a slight bite but a big enough one to turn away the casual drinker.

Mouthfeel: The citrus attacks the palate and leaves a crisp feeling in the mouth that isn't too "earthy".

Drinkability: Due to the lack of the hoppiness in this brew, it paves the way for you to carry a six pack into a party and want to keep it all to yourself. Crisp and refreshing with a clean feeling left in the mouth.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2010 21:19:58 | More by towersfall
Photo of WolfsbaneBloom


4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with three fingers of creamy beige foam.

Smell: A clean lemon and pine aroma cuts through a sugary, sweet citrus (orange, pineapple and grapefruit) backdrop.

Taste: Much like Sculpin, this is a bitter beast. Lots of pine, floral notes, grapefruit rind, and a bit of a soapy lemon flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, crisp and tingly carbonation that coats the tongue.

Overall, I enjoyed this quite a bit. It's definitely a bold and bitter IPA and, like Sculpin (it's bigger brother), it teeters on being unbalanced. But as intense as it is, it's also bursting with flavor.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2013 03:10:59 | More by WolfsbaneBloom
Photo of weiserr


3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber purchased at Gordon's Yellow Front in New London, CT. Thanks to FarmingtonRiver for the tip!

Poured a reddish-orange w/ very little head that diminished fairly quickly. Not a cloud in sight, the forecast for this IPA is clear skies. Some sticky lacing is present.

Nose is a mixture of spices, pine, and a bit of fruit action going on. The bottle claims to have hints of toffee, but I didn't pick it up.

Taste is much of the same with the bitterness of hops of front, a mixture of pineapple and grapefruit character in the middle, and a decent malt character providing run support in the back of the order.

Bordering on oily and medium-bodied. Finishes hoppy and a bit dry.

I'm glad I had the opportunity to try another IPA from the San Diego, CA region. Having said that, I don't find Ballast Point's Big Eye IPA in the same league as some of the other premier IPAs from that area. This statement doesn't detract from its overall quality because overall, it was a good IPA. I would drink this again, but I don't see it becoming a member of my greatest hits collection.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2008 00:01:31 | More by weiserr
Photo of bigdonniebrasco


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

09-18-2010 01:58:32 | More by bigdonniebrasco
Photo of biker30x


2.68/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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

Drain pour.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2009 02:07:17 | More by biker30x
Photo of BeerFiend2002


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

Poured into draft glass

Amber-orange, almost flame-colored body with a frothy 3 finger off-white head. Nice head retention.

Smells like a big bowl of oranges, with floral, pine and grapefruit notes as well.

Bitter. The Columbus hops give it a strong kick. The centennials usher in the grapefruit and orange. A sweet malt also comes in there to balance out the bitterness. Finishes dry with a lingering bitterness. Very pleasant.

Medium-bodied brew with a smooth, but not watery mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

I really like this one a lot. I've heard all the hype about the Sculpin and it deserves all the hype it gets, but this one is a very worthy beer itself. Ballast Point produces winners and this is no exception. Another fine West Coast IPA that I have had the pleasure of enjoying.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 23:59:04 | More by BeerFiend2002
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 Popp24


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

A - Ruby; not much head at all.

S - Nice citrus smell along with hops. Just what I look for in a IPA.

T - Nice citrus taste along with caramel malts. Love the taste on this one.

M - Stickiness that cots your mouth. Nice body to it.

O - I really like this one and it could easily become a go to IPA for me in the future.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 02:34:08 | More by Popp24
Photo of TeddyBG


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

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Cloudy dark amber with a creamy off-white head. Decent lacing.

S: Wow! Strong citrusy (grapefruit) with floral notes.

T: Grapefruit with bitterness. Slight touch of malt with bitter hop finish that lingers.

M: Thick with strong carbonation. Maybe a bit too much but still very good.

D: The carbonation may get to you after a while. ABV is good.

Another great West Coast IPA.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2008 20:58:00 | More by TeddyBG
Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,537 ratings.