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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.

3,054 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,054
Reviews: 966
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 110
Gots: 263 | 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: 3,054 | Reviews: 966 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clean orange-ish to yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, citrus, mango, pineapple, and orange. In the taste, starts pine like hops to a orange citrus end, with a nice balanced malt all the way through. A hop bite and medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry citrus hop in the aftertaste. Nice hops and it could be a daily drinker.

OWSLEY069, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of drtth
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a standard shaker pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a bright clear orange/amber color with a ¼" head that recedes relatively soon. Sipping leaves some modest lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: The aromas are faint but piney with some citrus fruits added into to the mix. There seems to be some grapefruit here but touches of something else, maybe a touch of tangerine?

Taste: The flavors are much as expected from the nose in that there's a lot of pine resin and grapefruit, modulated with some additional orange or tangerine zest. The malt backbone stays in the back ground and serves to prevent the beer from rasping over the tongue and balances without dominating the bitterness and flavors of the hops.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium to light bodied, with a good level of carbonation. The finish is moderately long, but crisp and clean with a piney bitterness that fades to dryness.

Drinkability: While I enjoyed this beer I also found myself wishing once in a while that the malt sweetness would assert itself just a bit more and pop in once in a while to break up the grapefruit/pine resin bitterness. That said I'll be happy to have this one again next time I find it since it is a good, well made beer with few things to fault.

drtth, Feb 25, 2011
Photo of jzeilinger
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a reddish orange color with lively carbonation and lots of suspended sediment (my fault for a bad pour). The white foam head is pretty thin.

S - Faint graham cracker crust and citrus and citrus fruit. Perhaps this bottle sat in my fridge too long or was already on the way down when I bought it? I expected much more aroma coming from this beer.

T - Much better on the tongue - tropical fruity spiciness, subdued flowery bouquet, some honey appears at moments. The balance is off center with a nod going towards a hoppy profile, but in a very good way. The malt is still there, but seems like it's always a few steps behind the hops and never catches up. Taste stays even accross the entire palette until the last drop runs down the throat to create a gentle warming sensation. Big Eye leaves a spicey tropical fruit - tangerine, papaya, grapefruit coating in the mouth that is long lingering and dry.

M - The body is a little on the thin side for an IPA that pushes D-IPA Territory, could stand to use more body. Carbonation is prickly on the tongue and lively.

D - Very good and got better as it warmed up.

jzeilinger, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of Mississipping
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz poured into a tulip:

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden amber color with a large off-white, sticky head that dissipates slowly and settles to a sticky foam, leaving behind decent lacing.

S: The initial smell is flora and fruity ... citrusy and somewhat sweet ... and also quite malty. Just a bit of hops and booze behind the sweeter start.

T: Sweet orange and tangerine, with a bready/biscuity malt profile dominate. Starts less sweet than the smell would have you believe. Taste transitions quickly to bitter grapefruit, grass, and pine, along with the hoppieness. Just a hint of booze. Bitter, hoppy, pine finish that lingers. While it's all there, it seems a little muted; less aggressive.

M: Slightly thicker mouthfeel than some other IPAs. A bit resiny, yet still bubbly and lively on the tongue. Medium level of carbonation which complements the stickiness quite well. Slightly drying effect at the finish, but not overwhelming.

D: Drinkability is high ... alcohol is hidden fairly well, mouthfeel is great, and the flavors are a little mild. Less to appreciate here so it goes down very quickly. Still recommended.

Mississipping, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of HipHop5
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

always a treat to have a big eye in my refrigerator.
Here we go: Good one finger head on a heavy poor. It falls down quickly.

Murky dark copper amber tones with a thin lacing on my first choice witch is a tulip.

Great citrus, mango,passion fruits resin bouquet. Not to aggressive up front but hop bite show up in after taste. Sticks to the back of the tongue pretty strongly:) Nice!

Medium/ fare carbonation level, perfect to open up taste buds to rich and sweet hop flavors.

Resin Pine is predominant in mouth and nose as the temperature of the glass rise up.

Extremely smooth in the mouth and, as I said earlier, great one to keep in the home stach.


HipHop5, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of warnerry
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours translucent amber orange with a good 2-3 fingers of head and leaves a trail of sticky lacing behind. Big sweet floral aroma and citrus hops with a nice complement of malt make for a great scent. Was expecting more hops (don't see a bottled on date), though there is a nice crisp hop presence, again with citrus and florals dominating the hop profile. Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side for an IPA, but some slightly oily feeling is there. Carbonation level is good, and the finish is dry with a lingering bitterness that is very pleasant. Very enjoyable, this is going down pretty fast. Alcohol is well hidden.

warnerry, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of greenmonstah
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into DFH Snifter

A - A copper color with half a finger of white head. Dissipates quickly. Great head lacing.

S - Maltier and sweeter than Sculpin. Just a touch of grapefruit hop, but primarily earthy hops.

T - Grapefruit citrus, sweet malt base, and caramel sweetness. A finish of dry grain and caramel.

M - Medium body with a perfect dry finish. Sticky and sweet.

D - Goes down easy. Again I find myself wishing I could get more. The strengths of this beer complement the weaknesses of Sculpin, I'd love to try a beer that combined Sculpin's nose and taste with the appearance and feel of this beer, and hell while we're at it let's bump it up to a double IPA. You do that and you've got a real challenger for PtE.

greenmonstah, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of Ynot2
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 0z bottle into a pint glass. A light golden oragne color with a cream colored head that lasted well into the beer.

A nice blend of the sweet malts and citrusy hops with some piney aroma mixed in. The citrus wins in the end, but not overpowering the malt or the pine.

The taste follows the nose. I can really pick up the grapefruit, but it is balanced well with the sweet malt and the resiny of the pine. The end has just a slight bitterness to it.

Kinda chewy for an IPA, sticks to the mouth more than I am accustomed, but a nice carbonation.

Very drinkable, not as good as Sculpin to me, but at 7% it is an easy drink that hits the spot.

Ynot2, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of spree92
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

spree92, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of Avantyawn
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap tonight from the Blind Tiger, NYC. I got my pour and was a little dismayed as it had no head and was a bit flat and not super fresh tasting. I wonder if it was the end of the keg...

A: Red amber orange see-thru, no head.

S: Fruity pungent hoppy scent. Potent and sweet.

T: This is a very sweet and tangy tropical fruit sort of IPA. It is the kind of beer that tastes good and is impressive, yet is a bit over the top in sweetness for my taste. It has a tart candy flavor to it, much like Cigar City's Jai Alai IPA. I think this would be superior if it were a fresher keg as I know Ballast Point is a fine brewery.

M: It has a very balanced feel to it. A little thin in the mouth though. Again, if this were fresher it might be a bit meatier and hearty tasting.

D: I can't rate it very high as far as drinkability as the sweetness and tartness makes it hard for me to stomach and this keg doesn't seem too fresh. I hope to try this under fresher circumstances sometime.

Avantyawn, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of GarrettMD
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - So much better than Sculpin as far as appearance. Light amber hue with half a finger eggshell white head that stays around.

S - Malt aroma melds with the earthy hops. Not too much hop aroma, maybe some hints of citrus, but not what you would expect from a west coast IPA

T - Malts still dominate, but hops are more present. Citrus hops are the main flavor, mainly grapefruit. Some slight earthy pine hops as well, but not too noticeable. Very sweet tasting, almost too sweet, but still slightly balanced.

M - Medium, slick body. Sticks slightly to your mouth. Good carbonation. Finish is sweet, sticky, and a very late bitterness. Bitter pine hops show up well after the sweetness fades away.

D - Very drinkable. Sweet, but not too sweet. I definitely want to keep going back for more. I almost feel that if you combine this beer with sculpin, you would have one of the best IPAs. All of the strengths in this beer are the faults in Sculpin.

GarrettMD, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of 100floods
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Initially a two finger white head, slowly dissipates. Burnt orange, light amber hue. Very clear. Fruity-sweet bouquet. Some distinct floral and hop flavors. Not malty sweet. Pretty thick texture, juicy and chewy, very nice. I'm sensing a dominance of finishing hops in this beer. I'm getting a mix of peaches and oranges. It's not so much bitter as it is flavorful. The malt backs up those flavors but doesn't distract. This reminds me of the Marin IPA, which I like a lot for the same reasons. Big on flavor, not on bombarding your taste buds.

100floods, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of TylerJones62
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great example of an IPA. As far as IPA's go I have two controls; Stone's IPA and Anderson Valleys Hopottin.

For me, I prefer IPAs that have a more berry/fruit/citrus type of bitterness to it, where as Stone IPAs have the more floral/perfumey taste. This beer leans more towards the fruit/berry side of the track. As far as the bitterness goes, its quite moderate, not as harsh as I was expecting(from the smell).

Overall a very good beer, I would definitely recommend trying this one if your an IPA fan.

TylerJones62, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of beagle75
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft service into a shaker pint glass at Selma's in Rancho Santa Margarita.

A: Clear, light amber color with one finger of diminishing white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Pungent grapefruit citrus and pine foliage form a perfect marriage of hop aromas, yet allow a glimpse of toasty grain. This beer smells exactly like an American IPA should.

T: Begins barely off-dry, with mild caramel malt and juicy grapefruit hop aromatics. The middle is drying, toasty, and strikingly herbaceous--generally clean. Bitterness surges in the finish, becoming bracing at its peak and tasting strongly of grapefruit peel. The level of astringency in the finish becomes distracting at times.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly sticky on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D: Probably better known as "Not Sculpin" by IPA seekers, this beer fulfills a necessary position in the Ballast Point pantheon and sends a clear message that the brewery is so dedicated to the IPA style that they will successfully produce and market two versions of the style. Maltier than Sculpin or Green Flash's West Coast IPA, this beer reminds of some of the better IPAs commonly encountered in Oregon--Deschutes Inversion IPA comes to mind. (The most similar IPA from the San Diego area is Port's Wipeout IPA.) A very solid brew, but a little more sweetness early and less astringency in the finish could improve appeal even further.

beagle75, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of inlimbo77
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a simple pint glass. Purchased at Capone's in Norristown, PA.

A: Pours a clear (filtered) amber color. One finger, off white head, which disapates quickly. Good carbonation and bubbles throughout drinking.

S: Citrus and piney hop nose. Mild malts. Not crazy aggressive.

T: Good hop flavor, as noted not aggressive. Good bit in the middle of the sip. Nice pucker aftertaste.

M: Good mouth coating, chewy taste.

D: Very easy drinking beer. I would have thought this was a 5% ABV brew when consuming. Nicely hidden.

Overall, a solid beer. The Ballast Point Sculpin is MUCH better, but this is found more easily in our parts. Good by-product if you can't get the Sculpin.

inlimbo77, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of madvermin
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Soft white, foamy head tops a glassy orange/amber body. Head laces well on the glass and looks good doing it.

Aroma is of grapefruit + the rind, with some malty sweetness behind it. Hop bitterness is evident in the smell as well.

Taste is really great blend of malt and hops after the initial hop kick, as the middle of the taste is a juice-like concoction of sugar and citrus. Finish is not as clean as some other IPAs due to the sugar quality, but it makes up for it with the taste in the middle anyways.

Body is thinner than average, but enough that it isn't watery. Drinkability is pretty high, as the finish may not be perfect, but the rest of the drink is very pleasant and easy, although the abv may be too high to call this a session beer. Really nice sweet/bitter combination, and a welcome change of pace.

madvermin, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

Poured on tap into a simple pint glass. An interesting almost yellow/cream head, with a real gorgeous copper body. Giant retention and huge head on this beer out of the bottle. It bursts into fist size proportion. Leaves a giant cap looks like a heck of fun. Big bountiful and sexy.

The Bouquet is very simple as I remember it just like on tap. Straightforward of mild grapefruits and a simple good hop nose.

Taste is a first sweetness of fruit citrus, then goes to a great mild sugar and hop mix. I remember more fresh orange juice quality when I had this but that seems to be missing on the bottle. Body is not as dense but still very good.

A solid real great tasting IPA out of the bottle.

smakawhat, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of unskinnyhop09
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

If you like the taste and lingering flavor of columbus and centennial bitterness and dry hopping, then this is the beer for you.

it has a perfect amber appearance with a perfect head and lacing that say: hey, i'm here to impress.

the smell is all hops...in fact, i would say it is an outstanding smell. very clean, sharp citrus--not unlike grapefruit. again, dry hop centennial with a decent malt balance.

the taste is not the best ever, but it is one that you will remember because how good it is. it compounds with the consumption of ounce after ounce.

mouthfeel is good. i personally like thick and oily. this one is a hint in that direction without being overbearing (but it might still be intimidating to some). i really like it.

the drinkability depends on the tolerance of the drinker. i could drink this all night, but one who is new to 7+abv should take heed.

big eye is a great brew.

unskinnyhop09, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of steelerguy
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber color with a moderate head and carbonation. The head sticks around for a bit and also coats the side with it sticky goodness. Quite a bit of particulate matter even with an easy pour.

S - Lot of citrus and early hops, with a bit of light caramel sweetness.

T - Citrus up front with some pine notes in middle and to finish. More malty then I was expecting with a little bread note to go with the caramel and base malt.

M - Moderate body, the alcohol and carbonation with a little tingle and warmth to let it finish clean.

D - Very balanced IPA, not to heavy handed, good bit of bitterness but lots of aroma also. Nice body really makes this is great IPA to enjoy a few of.

steelerguy, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of ocelot2500
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orange copper with a tight white head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smells of bright citrus hops with some underlying sweetness.

Tastes of a delicious hop character with a solid malt backbone. Hops have notes of grapefruit, grass, lemon peel, and some pine as well. Hop bitterness makes its presence known as well. Malts are there, but a little buried, offering up caramel notes. Fruits also come through and add to the citrus from the hops. Sweetness is moderate, but does not interfere with hop glory. I do notice some alcohol, which is a little surprising.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

ocelot2500, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a shaker. Poured yellow-orange with a one finger slightly off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, pine, citrus, and pine hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, pine, citrus, and citrus hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a not a bad brew at all. Definitely had a big hoppy profile going on here in both the aroma and flavor aspect of it. The followthrough on this one was very crisp with a good flavor and aroma. This one is a must try if you have not already.

thagr81us, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The wife grabbed me a 22oz bomber from Olive Tree Market here in OB for $3.99 and I poured it into an Old Speckled Hen pint glass.

A: Pours a clean copper hue with a fat head that lingers, slightly effervescent, leaving exceptional lacing from start to finish.

S: Sweet earthy hops - very piney and fresh (cascade?) followed up by a bit of malt and fermented fruit, but the hop dominates, which is a good thing!

T: Good amount of hop up front (which is what you would expect from an IPA brewed by Ballast Point) - earthy moss, grapefruit rinds that are resinous and bitter, dark chocolate and toasted grains, finishing sweet and malty.

M: Medium bodied, slightly sticky but finishing dry and smooth - good carbonation for the style with a nice lingering bitterness from the hop.

D: This is what I consider an all night drinker as far as IPA's go. I could and have posted up on these all night.

DeanMoriarty, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of prdstmnky
3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a fairly clear, golden amber body and a nice 2 fingers of frothy white head that has a few minutes of retention and leaves lots of lacing on my pint glass. Some citrus in the nose, but I seem to be getting more malts than I care to in an IPA. I get a nice hop bite on the tongue initially, but gives way to the caramel malts I detected in the nose. I do get a bitter, dry finish on this which is nice but I just cant get over the malt forward flavor in this beer. Medium bodied with decent carbonation.

I have no idea how fresh this is, since there is no dating. This is the 2nd time trying this beer (once with the old label, and this with the new labeling). I think I heard that Ballast Point will be dating their offerings sometime this year, so maybe I'll give it another try then with a re-review...until then, please date your beers (especially hoppy styles) brewers!

prdstmnky, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of Neecee513
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into pint glass.

A- Medium copper, slight head, minimal retention

S- Fruity aroma

T: Med hop flavor, piney hop finish

M: Med carb; dry, slightly bitter finish, med body

D: Very nice! All around a great beer. Good amount of hops and a subtle malt finish.

Neecee513, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

6.6% ABV. Poured into a dimple glass from a 12oz bottle. Appearance gave off a dark amber color. Smelled sweet floral hops. Tasted very smooth, citrusy, some caramel, and hoppy. Mouthability gave off a big foamy head, and was medium-bodied. Drinkability was a nice smooth malty character. I really liked this over the more popular Ballast Point Sculpin' IPA.

CuriousMonk, Jan 14, 2011
Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 3,054 ratings.