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Big Eye IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Eye IPABig Eye IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,995 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,995
Reviews: 960
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 105
Gots: 246 | FT: 5
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: 2,995 | Reviews: 960 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kflorence


3.55/5  rDev -12.6%

A: Pours a light, copper color with hues of gold and amber. A fair amount of frothy, white head sits atop. Carbonation levels look solid and there is plenty of lacing around the edges of the glass as you drink it down.

S: Lots of floral and pine hops with a bit of citrus. There is a sweet, bready malt presence in the background. Very bitter and quite potent.

T: Lots of hops, mostly pine and citrus. Lots of grapefruit, but a bit of lemon in there as well. The citrus in this one is a lot more bitter than the Sculpin, which had a bit more of a sweet, tropical fruit flavor. There are some malts in the background, as in the Sculpin, but they are more subtle and not as prominently roasted. This finishes with a citrus and sweet malt character that lingers on the tongue for a long time.

M: This is a medium bodied brew with good carbonation. It goes down smooth and has a good amount of chewiness. I found this to be a little bit thicker than the Sculpin, which I quite enjoyed, though it is definitely a lot more astringent and sits a bit heavier in the stomach.

O: This is a solid I.P.A. with good drinkability and a fair amount of complexity. I didn't find it as balanced or flavorful as the Sculpin I.P.A., which I was really blown away by. I also found this to be a bit heavier, more astringent and harder on the stomach than the Sculpin. That said, this is definitely a quality brew and you really can't go wrong here; I just prefer the less bitter more balanced and more flavorful Sculpin. Ballast Point continues to impress, though. Cheers!

07-02-2011 23:43:37 | More by kflorence
Photo of juhl31


4/5  rDev -1.5%

-dark orange, on the auburn end. white head that looks good in all aspects. some sedi up in there which makes me believe it is a hint old

-good floral hop nose. if this beer has lost any hop character, it is not much. there is a malt sweetness in the smell as well

-the hop flavor is of pine and grapefruit, both of which i enjoy. the malt aspect comes in quite quickly, but blends in nicely with the lingering hop flavor and bitterness

-good, medium body. there is a solid carb feel, yet not overdone

-this is an all around "good" beer. i had a hard time giving it any other grade. there is nothing exemplary about it, but tasty nonetheless

07-02-2011 02:03:26 | More by juhl31
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.47/5  rDev +10.1%

Big Eye IPA is a bespeckled amber that appears reddish at some angles, like it had a light shake of cinnamon. The top of the glass looks like an omelet and, although it gradually faded out after the first pour, this second go-round seems like it will be permanent. It leaves lacing in ludicrous quantities; it looks like the sand right where the surf breaks over it.

Whereas Sculpin IPA is all rainbows and sunshine, Big Eye IPA is much more down to earth, literally: Columbus and Centennial hops pack fewer bright colours and much more gritty, herbal, leafy, floral pungency. This thing smells like a forest floor blanketed in rotting citrus fruits. It is identifiably bitter, with a strongly-steeped green tea-like herbal quality.

Without resorting to much exaggeration, there actually is enough maltiness to suggest flavours of bread and toffee. Make no bones about it, however: this is one hoppy son-of-a-gun through and through. It tastes as though grapefruit, tangerine and mango have been tossed with dill and edible flowers and served alongside a strong herbal tea.

While they are each impressively hoppy, Big Eye IPA is much grittier (read: bitter) than Sculpin IPA. The citrusy component tastes over-ripened rather than bright and juicy and a pungent grassy/herbal character carries over into a dry, pithy aftertaste that strangles the palate like overgrown brush. It also tastes much closer to its true alcohol strength.

Brewing an IPA is not splitting the atom. All you need is a boatload of hops and, should you chose, some malt to balance it out a bit. The "IPA for Dummies" book only need be a page long. That said, Ballast Point makes a masterpiece of it; between the flagship Big Eye and award-winning Sculpin IPA, these guys really set their hoppy offerings apart from the pack.

06-27-2011 03:55:25 | More by biegaman
Photo of Hatzilla


3.93/5  rDev -3.2%

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.

06-26-2011 23:28:10 | More by Hatzilla
Photo of Janderson91


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%

Excited about this one. I've had Sculpin but this is my first Big Eye. No freshness info on the bottle. Enjoyed on 06/20/11.

A - Nice slightly cloudy amber color. Somewhere between orange and red. A one finger white head with big bubbles forms and recedes pretty quickly leaving good lacing already. Some big bubbles stick around on top for the duration of the tasting.

S - My favorite part of the beer. Piney, citrusy, grapefruity all in one. A nutty sweet maltiness is also present but the hops are the star of the show.

T - Sweet initially, but then recedes to a good grapefruit hop bitterness through the middle. Finishes with some of that nutty malt sweetness balanced by a citrus bitter flavor. Pretty good stuff but not blowing me out of the water like Sculpin. Could be more complex.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty good. Could be a little creamier. Carbonation is spot on.

O - Overall, this is a good IPA. I enjoyed it for sure but it's definitely Sculpin's little brother.

06-20-2011 18:27:27 | More by Janderson91
Photo of WanderingFool


3.68/5  rDev -9.4%

Big Eye IPA pours a crystal clear bronze color with a small, frothy off white head. The foam fades quickly leaving behind spots and lines of lace on the glass.

The aroma is sweet and hoppy. Notes of caramel malt, bready yeast and grapefruit citrus and pine are all present.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is oily with a firm carbonated fizz. The flavor is more malty than I expected. Caramel and pale malt are followed by orange and pine citrus hops. Fairly well balanced, but the malt is more pronounced. It finishes bitter with a lingering orange citrus flavor when gone.

An easy drinking IPA that's somewhat sweet for the style. Could use a touch more more bitterness and hop flavor.

06-19-2011 20:47:44 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -2%

Pours a lightly hazed golden amber, moderate cap of frothy white head, decent lacing. Scent is straightforward piney and grapefruity hops with a lightly sweet malt backbone. taste is again basic but solid and follows scent. Medium bodied, decent carbonation, lightly dry. A nice, straightforward IPA that is not overly aggressive.

06-06-2011 15:34:40 | More by rfgetz
Photo of Penguin3200


3.25/5  rDev -20%

Poured this bottle into a bomber mug. Pours bright golden copper with minimal lacing, legs, and head. Absolutely transparent and clear though.

Smell is very cloying and sweet but pine comes in at the end.

Taste is malty and piney and the bitterness hits quick. Not my favorite, as things seem a little out of balance.

Mouth feel us soso with a bit astringent finish.

Overall I like it but inwould go sculpin over this every day.

06-05-2011 20:52:48 | More by Penguin3200
Photo of grover37

District of Columbia

3.58/5  rDev -11.8%

12oz bottle into a DFH snifter. A friend picked up a sixer for me from Total Wine in Virginia, and I think it was about $14.

Appearance (4): A very clear, dark orange amber color. Pours with a finger and a half of light cream head which reduces to a very thin, patchy later. There is thick lacing around the top of the back edge but only patches further down.

Aroma (3.5): An overwhelming sweet caramel and crystal which is not to my liking. This is tempered a bit by some pine and grapefruit, maybe some mango or a hint of passion fruit.

Taste (3.5): Sweet and pretty bitter up front. A little too much so actually. The sweetness and the bitterness really are the centerpiece here instead of flavor or aroma hops. More bitterness and caramel in the middle followed by a lingering citrus that finally comes around. The hops only really show in the end, but are similar to the nose with pine, grapefruit, and mango.

Mouthfeel (4): Creamy but bitter up front. Pretty smooth bitterness through out which is very pleasant, especially for its intensity. Medium bodied (on the full side of medium) and medium carbonation. This may be the highlight of the beer for me.

Overall (3.5): A solid IPA, but it feels more like an East Coast IPA. A lot of sweetness balances out the bitterness, but I'd prefer it dryer and more aromatic. The beer is very well crafted however, even though it's not my favorite take on the style.

05-31-2011 04:25:45 | More by grover37
Photo of AdamBear


4.56/5  rDev +12.3%

A-transparent amber with a nice frothy cream colored head. some lacing

S-a good scent of creamy hops and some grapefruit. its a decently strong scent.

T-wow it hits the mouth with an extreme bitterness. it then comes with creamy hops and leaves with a taste that reminds me exactly like a really bitter grapefruit juice. the taste of grapefruit rinds lasts as an after-taste.this is quite a bitter an memorable IPA.

M-light bodied with a creamy medium carbonation and only a slightly dry finish

O-the bitterness seems to tame down as the drink goes on. this is definitely an interesting IPA that I'd recommend. its definitely a good drinker as well. i'd say the sculpin is still beyond this though.

05-30-2011 21:16:46 | More by AdamBear
Photo of PhageLab


4.35/5  rDev +7.1%

22oz bomber poured into a weizen glass. When did Ballast Point get distribution in VA? I don't know, but I'm glad they did.

A - Transparent deep amber coloration which produced a big pillowy head. Retention and lacing were nice.

S - Pine hops and citrus notes, and plenty of both.

T - Big pine hop bomb, numbing, but there is a good enough malting that it doesn't seem all that one sided. The sweetness rounds it out almost perfectly.

M - Oily medium body, nice carbonation, bitter on the finish.

D - Well constructed, lives up to the hype. Looking forward to not only revisiting this one, but also trying out some of their other brews. Reco.

05-29-2011 17:34:44 | More by PhageLab
Photo of ramseye4


4.08/5  rDev +0.5%

So Ballast Point magically appeared in the area I live in recently, and I for one could not be happier! If only I could dig up some sculpin around here...anyway, onto the review.
A= Great looking bottle, which a giant tuna fish on it. Ballast point has some of my favorite labels out there. Pours a copper golden color with a one finger head that doesn't linger. Good lacing, though.
S=Citrussy hops and lemon zest
T=Citrus hops and a well balanced malt backbone, the taste feels almost "prickly" across the tongue, to borrow the term from the Alstrom brothers. Great bitterness in the aftertaste
M=Highly carbonated and full bodied.
O=Outstanding. Ballast point is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.

05-28-2011 04:41:58 | More by ramseye4
Photo of emmasdad


3.68/5  rDev -9.4%

Pours Dark gold, with a nice white head. This one has a nice huge hoppy aroma (some light citrus, pine). On the palate, I get some nice, big earthy hop flavors. Good malt presence tempers the bitterness a little, but it is still quite prevelant. A nice hoppy/bitter IPA.

05-27-2011 23:26:03 | More by emmasdad
Photo of richkrull


4.65/5  rDev +14.5%

Got this one from Crabbicuss in N00b BIF 4. Thanks a lot man.

Poured a rich copper color with quite a bit of beige head on it. Great lacing as well.

Smell is malty at first with the hops coming through to spice it up.

Taste is very balance with a great bitter spicy hop flavor throughout. Really good tasting beer.

Mouthfeel is light with good carbonation. Smooth easy drinking beer.

I really enjoyed this beer. I wish it was available in Wisconsin. Luckily I can trade for it from the great BAs on this site.

05-27-2011 21:46:53 | More by richkrull
Photo of magine


4.35/5  rDev +7.1%

Poured into a seidel mug.

Pours a hazy orange copper, has a fluffy off white head. Head is chunky and settles to a nice finger thick the whole drink. Good sticky lacing. Island stays massive and moves as you drink. Very good looking brew.

Brew smells of big fruit hops, resiny floral hops as well. Good flavors come out. Good smelling brew.

Brew is peppery initially; good mix of hops here. Herbs, floral, citrus maybe even some grapefruit. A smooth brew in the middle and finishes a tad bit dry and a little bitter. Some biscuit malts balance the flavors and smooth things out. Very balanced and great tasting brew.

This is my first from Ballast Point and I am a fan for sure. This is case worthy drink anything stuff here. Excellent.

05-27-2011 01:12:52 | More by magine
Photo of alf212


4/5  rDev -1.5%

Appearance: light and clear amber body. Not much head.

Smell: Orange citrusy hops

Taste: Some sweet caramel malt from middle to end but its mainly very citrusy hops and quite bitter. Complemented my steak perfectly

Overall: Very drinkable beer with little carbonation but not too little.
Decent beer just not sure if it's an A for me. Has some difficulty acheiving a novel original taste. I'd nearly call it a basic or "typical" IPA which is why I didn't give it an A. I'd drink it again but I wouldn't go to great lengths to get it.

05-23-2011 00:35:36 | More by alf212
Photo of tlbarsh


4/5  rDev -1.5%

A: Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams glass. Amber in color with two finger white head.

S: Sweet citrus smell of orange and grapefruit.

T: Taste is very similar to the smell. Orange and grapefruit with some sugar followed by the bitterness of the hops.

M: Medium body with little carbonation. Bitterness coats the tounge after every drink.

O: This is a great IPA. The only drawback is that afer a few it may be a little too sweet.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2011 14:44:49 | More by tlbarsh
Photo of Sensaray


4.7/5  rDev +15.8%

Fairly loud fizzly pour to a off white bubbly finger length head. Reddish hued amber color. Good color in my opinion.

Fresh hoppy scent. This just came to the store today and it smells really good. Sweet caramel undertones accent citrus and pine resin character.

Light spice note hits first bringing on an orange piney caramel sweet which leads to a fairly aggressive bitter finish thats pretty tasty. Hints of some spicy fruity characteristics.

Smooth and nice medium mouthfeel. Carries this beer well.

Umm, yeah. This is very good. Hoppy, balanced, this has some characters of bigger beers and its really tasty. This really sometimes could be mistaken for a dipa. Im thinkin I really like centennial hops. A lot.

05-20-2011 07:02:39 | More by Sensaray
Photo of Clydesdale

District of Columbia

4.68/5  rDev +15.3%

A: Pours a mostly clear orange-amber color. The tall, foamy head is of medium density, with a light amber tint. Retention is very good, and excellent lacing sticks to the glass.

S: The faintest caramel sweetness tops a primarily pale maltiness. Very citrusy hop notes of orange juice/lemon oil are prominent, but there's also an underlying grassy/herbal character present to provide some depth.

T: Very faint caramel - this is mostly a sugar cookie-ish pale malt profile. Hop bitterness is firm but not bracing. Prominent notes of orange and lemon, with fainter grapefruit. There's also a definite grassy/herbal undertone - perhaps from dry hops?

M: Medium-firm body. Carbonation is extremely smooth and supple. Some oily hop presence precedes a fairly dry finish. A well-done mouthfeel overall.

D: A very enjoyable, extremely well-brewed IPA. Centennial and Columbus work extremely well here to provide a big citric presence with a nice herbal/floral secondary note. I'd been reluctant to pick one up here on the East Coast because I wasn't sure how fresh it would be, but this is excellent beer.

05-20-2011 02:11:10 | More by Clydesdale
Photo of MrVonzipper


4.3/5  rDev +5.9%

Nice golden caramel color with a nice frothy egg shell colored head.

Piney, floral-rose petal and light caramel notes on the nose

Medium bodied. Light piney flavor to start with a wonderful finish with notes of truffle.

Nice smooth mouthfeel. With a nice floral and piney aftertaste.

Overall this could be one of my favorite IPAs. Very nice balance. It's not over complicated. Very nice floral and piney notes with an amazing truffle finish that makes me want to take another quick sip just to get to the finish. Aftertaste is very pleasant. This is a well made IPA that I look forward to sharing with others.

05-18-2011 21:08:41 | More by MrVonzipper
Photo of drowninginhops

South Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +7.9%

Served in a pint glass. Review from notes.

A: Slightly hazy amber with 1 1/2 finger tan head. Gobs of lacing.

S: Grapefruit up front. floral hops, caramel, a little grassy. Good so far.

T: See smell.

M: Smooth, well carbonated.

D: ONe of my favorite IPAs, Highly recommend, high drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 23:21:02 | More by drowninginhops
Photo of ADZA


4/5  rDev -1.5%

This brew pours a pale copper hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind a two finger head and sporadic lacing,the smell is very nice with aromas of sweet brown sugar,resiny piney hops,boiled candy and sticky toffee,it has a medium bodied well carbonated mouthfeel and has tastes of sweet caramel,pineapple,piney hops and finished with a stone fruit bitterness and overall a very pleasant AIPA and very enjoyable definately recommend.

05-15-2011 08:12:05 | More by ADZA
Photo of CHickman

New York

4.1/5  rDev +1%

Pours hazy amber color with a massive 2 finger tan foamy head that was full of bubbles and faded slowly, leaving great foamy lacing that sticks to the glass and left rings; a good looking brew.

Smells hoppy up front, with citrus hops, orange peel, grapefruit, pear, floral hops, sweet malt, caramel, brown sugar, light grass and biscuity grains; aroma has nice balance for an IPA.

Tastes of like it smells with citrus hops, orange peel, grapefruit, pear, lemon, hop spices like pepper and coriander, floral hops, sweet malt, caramel, brown sugar, grass or herbs, biscuit and just a touch of alcohol heat. The hops give may to some malt sweetness, but then come back and coat the tongue with fruity flavors like pineapple and herbal flavors like tea, ending slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel was creamy and chewy, with high, crisp carbonation, a medium body and a smooth, easy feel as it flows over the tongue and leaves a buttery residue. This is a great session beer, especially for an IPA, and a solid overall IPA which I recommend trying.

05-14-2011 03:40:04 | More by CHickman
Photo of brew3crew


4.03/5  rDev -0.7%

A- nice amber color with white rings down the side. Great head retention
S-great bitter smell. Lots of fruity hops and good on the nose.
T-alot like it smells. Very crisp and bitter. Like it alot
M-medium body and smooth. Great bitter aftertaste
O-solid brew. Wish it was in my area

05-05-2011 23:59:04 | More by brew3crew
Photo of LSUPT


3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

22oz bomber split two ways. Mine into a Bruery tulip. Beer and glass generously provided by DearthVader.
Gorgeous brew, for me this is the ideal IPA appearance. I personally could have used more than the 1 ½ finger head that was yielded, but the color and clarity were superb. A crystal clear copper amber that leaves surprisingly good lacing throughout.
Smell is a bit of a letdown. Distinct smell of the Columbus hops with a crisp malt character as well as a subtle metallic scent.
Taste boasts a pretty good mix of pine and citrus flavors but nothing too special. Mild grapefruit and roasted malt.
Mouthfeel isn’t impressive either. Medium-low carbonation and I could use some more bitterness.
Overall, this beer was highly drinkable despite its flaws but it doesn’t stand up to Sculpin or other West-coast IPAs I’ve tried.

05-03-2011 05:42:27 | More by LSUPT
Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,995 ratings.