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Big Eye IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Big Eye IPABig Eye IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,524 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2524
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: 2,524 | Reviews: 936 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Fcip78


5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There are a million IPAs out there, but this is in a class of US gold standard ales. Ballast Point may get more beer geeks to praise their Scuplin IPA, but big eye deserves more love out there. It's a perfectly balanced malty hop spicy and citrus infused masterpiece of an ale. At 7% abv, it just teeters at edge of session ales, but gives plenty of kick without stepping into imperial ipa land.

A must have for ipa fans! One of my favorites.

Serving type: can

01-16-2014 03:19:04 | More by Fcip78
Photo of Goliveidaho


4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Every time a try a new Ballast Point beer I am amazed at the craft the brewers must have there. This IPA pours to a mellow amber glow. The head small, thin, lacing tracing the glass like cirrus clouds viewed from a California shore. The aroma floral ,more on the citrus side. Mouth banged by a ballanced hop bomb, mellowed in a herbal oil spill. Great carbonation keep the flavors pumping. Orange and lemon, lime, grape fruit. The finish a huge chorus of MORE!!! Craft beer at its finest. A Big Eye that never winks. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 21:37:12 | More by Goliveidaho
Photo of mfnmbvp


3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. Another new beer to me from Ballast Point, acquired this bottle as part of a mixed six pack at the local Binny's. My fourth beer from Ballast Point, I believe. Expectations are good based on the brewery and this beer's current high ratings.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a bright golden citric orange colored body with just over a finger of fluffy bubbly khaki foam for a head. Some spotty lacing on the way down. Looks pretty nice. Some fine sediment floating around in there when you look hard enough.

S - Smell is big and citric - grapefruit rind, fresh cut herbal grassiness, lemon flesh, some soapiness, some earthy yeast presence, and a bit of natural peppery graininess. Herbal, tropical, and very floral hops, but nothing too over the top.

T - Smell follows the nose: dry bready malt, caramel malt, some coppery metallics, lemongrass, herbal / floral hops, pine, grapefruit, some sweetened herbal tea leaf presence. Pretty nice.

M - Feel is crisp and sticky, with some resinous / fruity bitterness, and some dry bready malt. Fairly average. Light-bodied and easy drinking for 7.00% abv.

Overall, a fairly average IPA, although it is a nice drinker for being 7.00% abv. Not nearly as goo as fresh Ballast Point Sculpin IPA is, but this is well enough for what it is. Not exactly sessionable with a borderline high abv, but a solid sipper.

Ballast Point Big Eye IPA ---3.5/5.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 03:41:53 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of scotorum


4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoy by 4/14/13, so this is ancient. Bought recently, but it had dust on it. I probably should have known better but I was anxious to try it after reading comments by a few BA's over the past few months who said they prefer Big Eye to Sculpin.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Harpoon IPA glass.

a: Translucent amber with a white head more than an inch tall which receded to even surface foam and patchy lacing.

s: Fragrant floral and grapefruit. Yummy.

t: Grapefruit biting hops. Bitterness builds and lingers, but not particularly irritatingly so.

m: Moderate. Good body for an IPA.

o: I realize this is probably a distance from what it was like fresh, but I was impressed by the strength of the hops and also the citrus and floral notes, which I enjoy. This is an IPA with character, and I can uderstand why some like Big Eye even better than Sculpin. I'll definitely be looking for a 2014 version soon.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 00:05:29 | More by scotorum
Photo of BryanCarey


4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pouring to an orange/tan color, Big Eye produces a small amount of foam and a nose that is citrus- like with bread, flowers, and pine in the background. The body of the beer is clear, but I did notice some very small particles floating within.

This beer has a very pleasant IPA flavor profile. The tastes of grapefruit, pineapple, and tangerine make their presence known, backed by flavors of toasted malt, pine, and a hint of caramel. The flavor is balanced nicely for the style, but the taste that dominates is the citrus. No matter how much I try to focus on other flavors, my attention continues to come back to the flavors of fruit. The fruit sensation is the taste I notice and remember best with each passing sip.

This is a very clean, very likeable IPA that reminds me of several other west coast versions of the style. It has a very juicy, very tasty hop flavor profile that will thrill hopheads and I find myself enjoying my second bottle even more than my first. Great to find Ballast Point beers in my local stores now and I can’t wait to try more.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 05:13:28 | More by BryanCarey
Photo of MagicJeff


3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Light Copper

S: Pineapple, wet grass, resiny citrus

T: Kind of reminds me of SN Torpedo--resiny grapefruit, piney citrus notes

M: Medium Bodied, kind of an alcoholic burn/aftertaste but still drinkable

O: Solid offering from BP, especially good value too. Definitely preview Sculpin but this is definitely a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2014 02:59:09 | More by MagicJeff
Photo of patpbr


4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Copper colored with a full two finger head.
S - Citrus and pine with hints of malt.
T - Similar to the smell, grapefruit with a bitter bite. Sweet carmel malt flavors compliment the hops.
M - Medium body with a crisp finish.
O - Sculpin might be a bit ahead of Big Eye but impressed with both of the IPAs

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 21:26:59 | More by patpbr
Photo of 1sophrosyne1


3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 02:04:30 | More by 1sophrosyne1
Photo of bnes09


4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Slight hazy orange colored ale. Huge, frothy head does not give up and literally blankets the glass in creamy, wavy lacing.

Big citrus and rye bread aroma. Spicy and malty.

Very spicy, pungent hop flavor right away with grapefruit, pinesol, herbs and spinach leaves. Dense malt backbone hinting at rye bread. Well balanced.

Sturdy medium body. Ample carbonation. Smooth and creamy with a dry finish.

Solid IPA and definitely showcases the west coast nuances.

Serving type: can

12-20-2013 01:24:25 | More by bnes09
Photo of BeerDocT


3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Never seen this beer before until it popped up at my local Kroger. Made damn sure it wasn't brewed in "Rochester, NY" before purchasing it (this due to previous bad experiences with new brands that were being brewed by the mega-brewery in the Empire State). San Diego! Yes!

Appearance 3.75: Poured out a rich, golden color. Slightly opaque. Nice sized head, but was obviously CO2 powered as it quickly dissipated.

Smell 4.25: Very interesting bouquet on this brew. Hops dominate -obviously-- but there is something else here that is intriguing. Very green, very chlorophyllic...lots of citrus notes, pine resin, biting alkaline notes. Fabulous.

Taste 4.0: Front is dry with a pleasant and equally dry hit of mid-palate hops. Middle has much more of a malt sweetness, but this is very restrained. Hops also dominate at this taste level, but this is constructed in such a way that the taste fades into the...finish which is where a very pleasant and refreshing burst of grapefruit-rind flavored hops floods in with a cleansing and taste-altering focus. The aftertaste is short, dry and brings even more hop goodness to the fore as it seems to creep in from the sides of the mouth to the center of the palate.

Mouthfeel 3.5: I honestly thought it could be more creamy. The basic CO2 conditioning was not bad, but certainly was not anything special.

Overall 4.0: Excellent IPA. I cannot imagine sitting down and trying all my top IPAs back to back. It might make it impossible to differentiate. However, this baby would stand out for its emphasis on bitterness and on different levels of hops. It's almost as if they decided to just go hop crazy and make an IPA and then dry-hop the heck out of it as well. Highly recommended for fans of the style. You will be hard-pressed to find an IPA so distinctive.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2013 07:01:04 | More by BeerDocT
Photo of heartofgold


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

Beer pours with a luscious warm amber, building and maintaining a thick creamy head. The aroma is relatively subtle with piney and resinous notes; there are little flowery characters in the nose. On first sip, I realized that I had just drenched my thirsty chasm with sticky needles and sap that could take an afternoon to peel off my palate. Subsequent tastes allowed the malt to come through, but the bitterness dominates.
Moving the hops towards later addition would better match the style, or perhaps a bit more malt sweetness of of a DIPA for the hops, but this bitter representation of a west coast IPA is quite satisfying, as long as you live at the far end of Vinnie's "Lupluin shift". Overall, given my own penchant for hoppy beer, I enjoyed this one; it provides an honorable analog to a peaty Islay scotch, which similarly delivers enjoyment to a few, dedicated aficionados.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2013 05:25:52 | More by heartofgold
Photo of barczar


3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a fairly clear copper penny with a billowing cream head that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky lacing.

Aroma is skunky, resiny, dank, with sharp grapefruit and a slightly fecal note that thankfully disappears relatively quickly.

Muted grapefruit forms the base of the flavor profile, with tangerine and lightly toasted, bready caramel malt offering a touch of sweetness to counter. The finish is fairly bitter and resiny.

Body and carbonation are moderate, with light alcohol warmth surfacing.

Minus the fecal note, a great example of the style. Good balance of flavoring and bittering hops, though the bittering is a little more than I prefer.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2013 20:54:37 | More by barczar
Photo of South2NW


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle to Sierra Nevada IPA Glass

A: Golden amber color with about a 2" creamy head.

S: citrus dominates the aromas with a nice balance of caramel malts.

T: a nice balance of citrus/floral hops. A nice bitterness countered by a malty backbone.

M: crisp, medium body, high carbonation.

O: not quite on the level of sculpin, but still a delicious IPA.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2013 02:16:56 | More by South2NW
Photo of JednoPivoProsim


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 FL. OZ. bottle into a pint glass. Bottled on day 298 (Oct 25) of 2013.

Appearance: Pours a rich amber body with a thick white head. Soft carbonation, slight haze.

Smell: Malty and caramel aroma. Pine hops are subdued, yet present.

Taste: Big, rich, malty IPA. Reminds me of a Sierra Nevada Torpedo. Malt dominates, but the hops are there for counterbalance. Not sweet nor syrupy. Pine cone IPA all the way. Very bitter.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body with a strong bitter aftertaste.

Overall: Like Sculpin better - but this is a good IPA too.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2013 19:47:00 | More by JednoPivoProsim
Photo of cindyjeffsmith


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: clear golden. Fairly thick off white head. Messy, lingering lacing.
Smell: juicy fruit. Some floral and pine notes. Quite a rich impressive nose.
Taste: wow. Layers of flavors. All the flavors from the nose. The finish is quite a production, with a couple of discernible waves. Finally, a finish with a gentle bitterness.
Overall: this one is up there with 2 hearted IMO. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2013 00:09:10 | More by cindyjeffsmith
Photo of vickersspitfire


3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This IPA pours out a beautiful burnt orange color with copper tones, its topped off with a thin white head that quickly forms a ring around the beer. Great lacing marks every sip you take. The aroma is mildly hoppy and citrus fruits like grapefruit, lemon and orange zest come through. Light and crisp when it first hits your tongue, this IPA is slightly bitter at first and then warms up your mouth as the hops become more present. The hops are very well handled and are the main point through this beer, the alcohol is barely detected even in its aftertaste. This is a well-balanced IPA and goes down quite well.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 02:32:42 | More by vickersspitfire
Photo of RaulMondesi


4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at some über bougie restaurant on Balboa Island during Thanksgiving dinner.

Like a box of Tricuits at midnight, this one treated Raul right well. And Big Eye is exactly that; it's no organic cheddar bunnies, it's not a bag of GMO free Jalapeño Kettle Chips... It's just a solid, easily available IPA that won't make you holla, but you'd definitely snap for the butler to bring another.

Clean, crisp, and smooth. Like my baby mama after a hot wax, Big Eye is just clean, crisp and smooth.

Serving type: on-tap

11-30-2013 07:36:28 | More by RaulMondesi
Photo of blackcompg


4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a finger of light golden eggshell foam, body is a translucent light orange amber, steady carb from the base,

Smell - Slightly sweet citrus hops, semi-sweet grapefruit, pineapple, mango, light floral.

Taste - Wow, really nice clean citrus flavors, much like the nose - semi sweet grapefruit, slightly under ripe pineapple, mango, slight mandarin orange, lots of floral flavors towards the end of the quaff, finishes with slightly dry citrus peels and grapefruit pith. All of this rides a backbone of natural citrus sweetness, no carmel flavors here. Alcohol is perfectly hidden.

Mouthfeel - About medium, almost juicy mouthfeel from the bright citrus, carb is medium but light and crisp, leaving nice sharp edges on the sides of the tongue, finish is somewhat dry and just barely puckering, with juiciness in the mouth corners - begging the next sip.

Overall - Really an excellent ipa, nice complexity and extremely well balanced. Very drinkable, with a tendency to want to sip quickly to continue the wonderful citrus flavors. Sculpin is a great ipa, but this is a very close second - save yourself 5 bucks and pick up a sixer of Big Eye - no regrets, and a must try.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 04:31:25 | More by blackcompg
Photo of tmm313


3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Clear orange in color. Poured a quickly dissipating, creamy 1 finger head. Pretty good soapy lacing.
S- Bitter grapefruit, rich toffee, pine. There's something funky in there I can't find a name for. Is this the “cat piss” I've read about?
T- Bitter grapefruit and pine over a subdued malt backbone. Slight wave of sour before a big, bitter finish. There's a little peppery spice, too.
M- Medium light body. Smooth and oily with medium carbonation.
O- I bought this because of my high regard for Sculpin. To me, it didn't come close to the same quality. It was pretty good, just not something I can picture myself drinking again.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2013 15:42:47 | More by tmm313
Photo of M_C_Hampton


4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, orange amber colored with a large off white head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: heavy pine resin hops, nice malt sweetness to balance, citrus and floral

T: bitter grapefruit peel up front, middle moves to a honey like sweetness, finish is dry pine needles

M: medium body with good carbonation

O: first BP I've seen in GA, nice WCIPA from a solid brewery

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2013 13:58:32 | More by M_C_Hampton
Photo of magictacosinus


3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

After enough ups and downs with Sculpin, I decided it was finally try to move on and try some of the canned versions of Ballast Point's other year-round offerings that have started to rain upon my area. Poured out of a 12oz can into a tulip glass. Canning date is listed as "13255," or September 12th of this year.

Pours a darkened amber color that's actually a bit cloudy, complete with a frothy, off-white head that rose all the way to the top of the glass at the equivalent of five fingers high. Lacing isn't too big at the top, but it still leaves behind some foam clinging to the glass as the head dissipates. Carbonation is medium leveled, and while I can't make out any noticeable sediment in the cloudy body, there's definitely some high quality force at play that keeps the head going the entire time. A commonplace, if not slightly better than average West Coast IPA.

Smells pretty good - classic elements of hoppy San Diego beers as well as some caramel and toffee as the backbone. Pine, grapefruit, apricots, and orange peel are the main flavors at play, as well as some earthiness and nutty spices that soon follow. The caramel is quite present at the finish, but the star here really is the pine/grapefruit combo that comes in so vividly, yet never overpowers other essential elements of the beer. There's a short sweetness at the back, as well as a little bit of booze, but the hops and malts do a good job masking it up.

The flavor is more of the same, although it's definitely far maltier than I expected it to be at the finish. While this is a little over 2 months old, the can definitely has done its wonders to protect the precious hop oils at hand. Pine sap, grapefruit, orange peel, orange blossom, apricots, and green melon make their way towards the front, with some almonds, caramel, toffee, and earth following quite instantly. The more this warms up, however, the more herbal the finish becomes, with notes of sage and cannabis taking over particularly well. The malty backbone does indeed provide a bready characteristic that makes this easy and creamy to drink, but I do wish I could have those resinous hop flavors cutting through a little bit more vividly. Otherwise, it's very well carbonated and well built - a no-frills IPA that gives you everything you want in the style without taking too many risks.

This is a good IPA that I'd love to re-visit fresh on tap, and in all honesty, it seems that us folk up north get the better experience of this brewery's offerings straight out of the keg rather than the bottles (or cans, for that matter). Still, this is definitely one of my new favorites, and I'll gladly have another when the time comes. It seems to fall off quicker than others that are readily available, however, so time is quite the factor in rating its enjoyability.

Serving type: can

11-23-2013 07:50:57 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of MattyBones

New York

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

After falling in love with Sculpin I had to give this a whirl.

appearance: pores a golden copper color with a pretty decent head about a finger and 1/2 thick with moderate carbonation.

Smell: gives of the scents of citrus, pine and a solid amount of malts.

Taste: Hops forward with the taste matching the nose, a good amount of citrus and pine but finishes with a strong malty background. The malts over take the hops in the end.

Mouthfeel: smooth and creamy, the hops hit but then vanish thanks to the malts.

Overall: Another decent offering from Ballast Point. Great flavors in the beginning but I prefer the malts to either balance it out or intervene very subtle rather than overtaking the taste.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 21:05:30 | More by MattyBones
Photo of alaimoa


3.64/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can bought in NY and roughly 40 days since canning. Poured a clear copper with a bit of offwhite/copper undertone soapy head. Smells of citrus with some grapefruit rind. Taste is solid with upfront orange/grapefruit and a lingering semi-bitterness. Good solid mouth feel. Tasty overall

Serving type: can

11-21-2013 22:48:23 | More by alaimoa
Photo of Omnium


4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle > Sensory Pils Glass

A - Nice rich gold color with a two finger fluffy white head, thick lacing.
S - Big fresh orange juice aroma lots of citrus up front some caramel and biscuit malts, a little hop spice.
T - Citrus flavors forward, then you get a nice creamy sweet blend of malts, fades to a dry tart bitterness on the end.
M - For 7% it treats your palate nicely, not overly bitter or sweet.
O - Great IPA from BP, people rant and rave about Sculpin, which is still good, but this is an excellent IPA from them as well.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 03:56:20 | More by Omnium
Photo of jsprain1


4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Coppery orange. Two finger white head lasts well. Big carbonation bubbles.
S- Citrus hop aroma, and some balancing malt. Actually a bit more balanced than I would have liked. Hop profile was nice but would have liked even more.
T- Hops bring more bitterness here than the nose suggested. More assertive here, but the hops brought more bitterness and less citrus than would have liked. Malt profile is sweet and supportive of hop profile.
M- Medium body. Medium-high carbonation.
O- This is a good beer. I liked it quite a bit, but would have liked just a bit more citrus in taste.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 02:47:00 | More by jsprain1
Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,524 ratings.