Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

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: 3,869
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 8.6%
Wants: 175
Gots: 763 | 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
Reviews: 1,034 | Hads: 3,869
Photo of froggyfrog
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Burnt orange color with plenty of head that lasts and lasts.

Very unique aroma. Hops smell creamy. Flavor is toasty. Very reminiscent of Stone's Arrogant Bastard. Mouthfeel is robust. Plenty of malt and a strong alpha bitterness. Piney, resinous hops. Some cattiness in the nose and on the palate.

An exceptional American IPA. (Send more please.) (352 characters)

Photo of Talisker
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A beautifully crisp IPA from one of the great SoCal breweries.

Pours from the 22oz bomber (purchased at BevMo Bayshore in SF) a crystal clear orangish tan. A dense head of small bubbles that lends a nice lacing throughout. Smell is piney hops with a nice edge, not too much malt. Taste follows with a strong hop edge, but definitely stays within style - no wannabe syrupy DIPA here. Simple - in a good ways, unidimenstional but honest flavor - even as it warms up, the taste stays a consistent, almost single-hop like texture. Finish slightly over bitter, keeps you from wanting too much more. But the crisp edge is refreshing in almost a lager-ish way - a nice quality in a California IPA.

Superb beer, and one I'll be happy to encounter again. Ballast Point hasn't misfired yet... (788 characters)

Photo of PA-hunter
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into glass. 7% abv.

Appearance- Cloudy orange amber. Two finger head with good retention.

Smell- Heavy aroma of citrus. Very fruit like with notes of pineapple and grapefruit.

Taste- The citrus notes arrive to the palate first, fresh grapefruit cuts right through. Midway, a heavy malt prescence takes over and definitely has a noticeable caramel quality to it. This blends into a solid bitter and dry finish that lasts awile.

Mouthfeel- Medium to medium heavy in body. Lively carbonation.

Overall- A solid IPA from a great brewery. I agree this one is just a tad bit below Sculpin in rank. Plenty of flavor and done correctly. (647 characters)

Photo of C20Percent
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

*Review taken from notes*

A: Hazy dark bronze. Eggshell color head with amber hues. Noticeable bubbles.

S: Nice pine / citrus mix. Fresh aroma!

T: A sweet-sour citrus flavor. Like a tangerine-lemon. Crisp. Nice earthy aftertaste. Refreshing.

M: Medium to heavy body.

O: Reminds me a bit of the Steelhead Double IPA, but not with the enhanced citrus flavor that beer had. This is a good beer overall, but there's nothing too special, IMO. A bit on the malty side, which distracts from the flavor, but a better than average brew. (532 characters)

Photo of spree92
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Right from the start, I knew I was going to like this one.

A- Started off golden and eased into a nice, deep gold. Fades away to a yellowish pale color on the egdes. There was a tight, creamy head that greeted the nose as you go in for the first drink.

S- Grapefruit, westcoast hops, citrus peel. A real fresh smell to it. Bottle date of BE236, BJJGJ?. A touch of honey has started to rise from the depths of this great beer.

T- A lot the the smell translates over in the taste. Again, has a freshness that is so great.

M- Bitter. Just like an IPA should be, right. Lingers, transforms and grows as time passes. Carbonation is exact and will last until the glass is emptied.

D- For 6%, the Big Eye packs a punch. Hits hard and doesn't back down. I can feel it starting to weigh me down, but that won't stop me from drinking this great California beer. (859 characters)

Photo of Pittsburgh
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good west coast IPA, everything is on point as far as the pour, color, freshness, and it is a reasonable price as well. Taste is lacking a little in the hop department for me, personal preference though, this is not for hop heads, but if you want a good IPA with less hop bite this is it. Still has the stickiness required for and IPA and has a small bitter finish, taste a little citrus/fruitiness going down as well....good mix of flavors.

I do think they did a good job of balancing the hop and the malt, and I like it for a change, a bit smoother tasting IPA, goes down easy. This is a welcome break from the hop-heavy IPAs I am used to, and I would buy/recommend this beer.

Has my stamp of approval....I'll see how this finishes and probably update the review.

One of the fruitier and maltier IPAs I can remember having, but a success IMHO. Finished just as good as it started and easy to drink. (905 characters)

Photo of MasterfulIdiot
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Poured into a Riedel tulip glass. The liquid is a semi-transparent amber/orange. The pour kicks up a thick, frothy head that leaves a good amount of lace and takes several minutes to die down.

Aroma is wonderful, wonderful hops! Grapefruit, weed, onions, with the good support of some caramel malt. Slight astringent flavor of cat pee, so it hits all the aroma notes I always hope for in IPAs!

Flavor delivers all the hoppy goodness promised on the nose. Bigtime citrus/grapefruit juice, bits of weed, onions, grass, and resin supported by a light touch of caramel malt. Finish is very bitter, but the caramel malts come out more on the aftertaste to balance it out. Really great flavor notes!

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with plenty of carbonation - accurate for the style.

Overall, really incredible flavors, and an amazing bang for your buck! I wasn't expecting it to be this wonderful what with the lack of any hip new hops in the hop bill, but it really eceeded my expectations! (994 characters)

Photo of Aaron_Ramson
4.26/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Growler fills of Calico Amber and Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewery in San Diego. Big Eye features an amazing nose of herbal, piney, slightly earthy hops; slight currant and blackberry at the end. Light copper color with a fluffy white head that dissapates into an intricate web of lacing around the glass. Nice carbonic bite with a medium body. Flavor is ALL herbal/piney/earthy hop taste. No sweetness, very little citrus to be found. Malt body is very much in the background; lightly biscuity and bready. Hard to take any real notes in flavor other than the pungent hop overload. This is definitely for hop heads. Sculpin IPA seems to be a little less dank in terms of pungency, I prefer it to Big Eye. (710 characters)

Photo of SwillinBrew
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mmmm, I dont know why I dont drink more of this... damn good. I poured from a 22oz bomber into my pint glass. the color was a nice warm orange-golden color. The smell was great... I dont know if it was a mix between an earthy citrus crossed with pine but i really liked it... It reminded me of Hitachino Nest Anniversary Ale. The taste was incredible. i could really taste the hops, yet it wasnt rough... hoppy and flavorful. I had a what seemed to be a rather carbonated bottle which gave me a nice sensation in my mouth. I certainly didnt mind it because everything was just tasting damn good. As for the drinkability, well, I'm going to buy more for the weekend and i really am wondering why i havent been drinking more of this. (731 characters)

Photo of gyllstromk
2.58/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear, light amber. Nose is a very woody, earthy hop with light citrus and watermelon. A peculiar smell that piqued my interest. Taste starts with a hop resin, moves to an intense bitterness, and concludes with cloves and a strong earthy flavor. The hop flavor is poorly balanced, pungent, and cloying like drinking a perfume or eating a raw hop. I love the hoppy beers but this one seems like hop extracts stirred into water. Feel is perhaps wetter than the average IPA. Drinkability suffers from the intense bitterness.

Nonetheless, I can say this is a very unique beer and may impress some. It's really not my style, though, and I love American IPAs. I've heard good things about their Sculpin and can't wait to try it. This one is really out there, though. (769 characters)

Photo of SouljaSaia17
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just got this beer two days ago and was surprised I was able to find it, and especially for $5. I wanted to save it, but im foregoing my pumpkin beers to drink this.

A: This beer pours a deep, orange reddish color with a solid 2-in bright, white head, that is sure to leave some lacing, but is slow to dissipate.

S: Aroma comes right out of the glass with the scent of citrusy pine, some apricot and a small trace of honey at the end.

T: Very sweet citrus on top, not a lot of bite, like I was expecting for a beer this hard to come by, but is consistent with the smell. I get apricot and pine through the middle of the taste, with some honey and yeast notes at the end. Does have a bitter, dry finish!

M: Sweet, yet tart. Very flavorful and rich of citrus and pine. Of course its drinkable!

O: My only complaint about this beer is the lack of hop bite. It didnt throw me on my ass, but it was rich in flavor and drinkability. I guess this would be considered a big beer by IPA standards, but is not the total package like I was expecting. (1,047 characters)

Photo of nomomentwasted
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this last night from a 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Solid, fluffy, 2-inch white head on top of a very appealing orange-copper brew. Pretty IPA for sure.

Smell: Citrusy, aromatic hops dominate the nose with a very mild plum or raisin undertone. The character of the smell develops as it opens up as well, opening to a bit more herbal scents as well.

Taste: Slight pine with an oily, hoppy, and citrusy taste that eventually gives way to a bit of the malts, but finishes on the swallow with more hops due to the oily texture. Bitter, but not quite in DIPA territory, but solid, tasty, and flavorful.

Mouthfeel: Definitely a wetter beer, as the flavors coat the tongue with a thick and heavy coat of hop oil amongst solid carbonation. I know this isn't some people's cup of tea, but I really dug it and loved the resiny coating.

Drinkability: Slows a bit on the finish due to the thick and resiny nature but still very drinkable. I really liked this beer, more than I was expecting I would. I have the Sculpin from BP in my fridge too and if that's much better than this (which all indications are that it is supposed to be) I'm really in for a treat. Solid beer, tasty from start to finish, and a great example of a San Diego IPA. (1,259 characters)

Photo of ikantspel
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams lager glass
Best by of 8.15.13

Pours a clean clear copper color with a tan bubbly head

Lemon city's zest, heavy hop aroma, bubblegum in the nose

Earth and pine in the taste, with some grapefruit and pineapple.

Super balanced, not an overpowering ipa for the amount of alcohol. (311 characters)

Photo of OskarL
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a amber/copper color with some hazyness and a off-white head that leaves lacing.

Smells hoppy with pine, citrus, orange and biscuits.

Taste is piney, lemon, orange which is balanced by a biscuty-like maltiness and little pepper. Finishes with a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, medium carbonation, creamy and smooth. (342 characters)

Photo of SDtastentune
4.39/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Ok, I think I may have got a bottle conditioned 6-pack with some age to it. Its FULL of sediments top to bottom! Kinda whiter sediments, floating through out. Weird I know! Other then that... Gold bronze with little hazy head and some ok lace.

S - Smell is richer apricot sweet hop'lishious. Little bit of bitter grapefruit and alcohol back there.

T - Taste is rich, starts off with bitter apricot mixed in with some orange peel and grapefruit. Pretty hopped up and has a apricot orange peel bite, different then on tap from old Grove brewery. Large aftertaste of orange peel.

M - Medium to larger carbonation, but not fizzy. Goes down smooth with out problem.

O - Overall, this was interesting, a very different Big Eye then I am use to. I usually drink this stuff like water at Old Grove BP here in San Diego and rarely get this in bottle form... Especially from a off liqueur store off the wall in the middle of San Diego. I swear this was bottle conditioned for a few months at least?? (998 characters)

Photo of Hokies
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pour glass. Pours a nice golden amber color with a nice white head that lasts to the bottom with a decent amount of sticky lace left on the glass.

The aroma is filled with grassy and piney hop notes. Underneath the hops their is a strong caramel malty note.

The hops are nice and comparable to the taste being piney and quite chewy. In the middle the malt balances out the hops until the strong hop tastes takes over and leaves a strong hop bitter finish.

Nice IPA that could use more balance to raise the drinkability. (554 characters)

Photo of PirateUlf73
3.15/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a mug.

A: Comes out clear and golden amber. Got about two fingers of sticky, white head that refused to die. Quite good, quite good.

S: Hops of a citrus and grassy variety jump out and take over. Seriously, I could smell little else. Hops had a nice floral quality which I liked.

T: Again, hoppy. The taste was a bit more piney and resin-like than the nose suggested, and the aftertaste was extremely bitter, bordering on unpleasant. There was dominating, astringent quality that put me off somewhat.

M: On the heavier side of light-bodied. Carbonation was crisp and the malt construction helped was down the hop bitterness with admirable gusto, minus the aftertaste.

D: Certainly very drinkable. Went down fairly smooth.

I had this beer a while ago and thought that it tasted funny. With this tasting, I can proudly say that my previous assessment has stayed exactly the same. For what it's worth, this is a very well constructed beer. However, something about the taste did not agree with me. Others might feel differently though. I like IPAs as much as the next guy, but I'm not sure I'd pick this up again. (1,128 characters)

Photo of 1sophrosyne1
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from a bottle, poured into short taster glasses, and consumed over 35 minutes.

Orange amber with fine clarity interrupted only by carbonation. Head is fairly thin with fine lacing, and just an occasional bubbly clump.

The nose is full of hop citrus and mild spruce. Grapefruit, musty pineapple, and mango are evident. There's a subtle spice note, too, that comes out in the mouth.

Flavor profile is heavy on citrus early, nice and clean; but turns somewhat funky as the fibrous burn of fruit folds. There's a peppery mid-palate streak, but it gets smothered by the cheese a bit too early. Though there is sufficient length to rescue the experience with hop oil bitter sweetness that's pleasant enough to encourage another gulp.

The mouthfeel is both astringent and juicy, but not quite as chewy as would be desired--the feel is a touch sharp as a result. It is lively in the mouth in positive ways, though, too, and rather clean in contrast to the dank taste notes.

Overall, I'm glad to have tried this good-reputation creation. I can't say I'm enthralled, but it's a solid representative of a region that does this style consistently well. (1,153 characters)

Photo of nitro0292
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Been dying to try Big Eye IPA as it has a good reputation. Moderately pour produced a big three finger head with very respectable retention above a nearly transparent copper-gold liquid. Lacing is average.

Smell was a little disappointing...I wanted more hops but got rather sweet malts. Unfortunately I don't know how old this bottle is, but it does not smell like 85 IBUs.

Taste follows the smell. Not overly sweet, but certainly does not taste like 85 IBUs. Reminds me of a light(er) DFH 90. I suspect that this bottle is not fresh. A very slight bitterness remains after consuming.

Mouthfeel could use a touch more carbonation, but is certainly light enough to be refreshing. Not syrupy, oily or lingering.

As I have alluded above, I expect a bottle that is more fresh will have greater hop presence. With 85 IBUs and 7.0 ABV, I should be experiencing hop wonderfulness. I am not.

I will try again, but it would be nice if they gave best by dates so I know if this bottle is old or they need to do a better job of late hop additions and dry hopping. (1,058 characters)

Photo of begforme4484
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright amber orange with a finger's width off white head sitting on top.

Smells of floral and citrus hop notes. Unlike Sculpin, the floral is mixed in with the citrus, instead of being mainly citrusy. Slight bready scent in there as well.

Taste of big centennial(I think) hops. Bitter, dank, with a nice touch of citrus hops coming through. Nice toffee undertones as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and dry. Bitter, and lingering somewhat.

My second BP brew and I'm impressed.

Cheers! (498 characters)

Photo of roan22
4.57/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The ABV on this beer is 7% according to the bottle... BA has it listed as 6%.

Pours an amber/orange color..typical of IPA style. Lacing and head is very nice..off white, pillowy head with big bubbles.

Aroma is huge..citrusy hop blast and intermingling caramel.

Taste is even bigger. a maltyness gives yield to puckery grapefruit blast of hops...then the pine resin aftertaste kicks in for a long time...also a nice numbing, severely bitter dryness on the tongue and finally a peppery note from the booze.

I really enjoy the mouthfeel of this beer but I am a hophead and I could see how it could be hard to drink for others.

Drinkability is affected a little by the sheer strength of this delicious ale. Can't drink a lot of these in a session. 3-4 is an enjoyable number for me at home. (792 characters)

Photo of BradBLR
4.79/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a nice amber color, orange highlights when held up to the light. The head was slightly off white and lasted the whole beer with good lacing. Wow, the aroma was a very strong floral scent you could smell while pouring it, the sign of good things to come.

The taste was all hops, accompanied by a light toffee malt taste. The hops were very strong and flavorful. The mouthfeel was good, but the CO2 was just a slight bit too weak, but nothing worth complaining about.

A great beer. One of the top 5 IPAs I've had. Give it a try if you get a chance. (569 characters)

Photo of pigc
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours nearly a tangerine orange color with several yeast sediment floaties having a party of their own.

S - Grapefruit, bready malts, orange, pine.

T - Good hop bitterness up front followed by the malt backbone. Flavors of grapefruit rind, pine and a bit of orange and pineapple.

M - Medium bodied with semi-dry finish.

O - Solid IPA from Ballast Point although not in the same tier as Sculpin. Lacks that mango/citrus quality that I love in my IPA. (457 characters)

Photo of sjverla
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Piraat tulip glass.

Nose: Sweet -- candied dark fruits. Hops and yeast take over. First blueberry scone, then grapefruit and musty pine. It smells somewhat larger than a typical IPA.

Appearance: Deep orange/almost copper. Didn't kick up much head.

Taste: Very complex. Yeasty at first, then hops and might fight it out before the big, dusky hops takes over. A little boozy tartness comes in at the end as the bitterness lingers.

Overall: There's a ton of beer in this beer. So much flavor packed into an IPA I'd almost think it was a Double. (557 characters)

Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

A: Pours a deep amber with one finger of white head. Head fades rather quickly to a thin layer that rests atop the brew, also leaves behind some nice lacing.

S: Citrus, tropical fruit, bready malts, caramel, pine, and earthy hop grass like aromas.

T: Caramel, bready malts, pine, of resiny hops up front, then some lemony citrus, earthy hops, and a slight buttery tone with a great bitterness on the finish.

M: Medium bodied, moderately carbonated, smooth and slightly creamy. The resiny bitterness lingers around for awhile.

O: This is a great beer through and through. It gets lost in the shuffle of great IPA's considering the juggernaut of an IPA also brewed by Ballast Point. While it may not be as mind blowing as Sculpin it is still a great beer and deserves some love. (809 characters)

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