1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Big Eye IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Eye IPABig Eye IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,140 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,140
Reviews: 972
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 117
Gots: 291 | FT: 3
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Eye IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,140 | Reviews: 972 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Redwood21
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: i really enjoy the ruby color with the white sticky head, a very good mix

S: nothing too strong but a solid malty hop aroma

T: there is a touch of alcohol over an ester of fruit and citrus hops. the bitterness comes in at the end this is a classic and solid ipa

M/D: i really enjoy this ipa and in a cluttered category it does a good job of being different while not being too different

Redwood21, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of canucklehead
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New to BC and joining its neighbour Green Flash on the private stores shelves.( Where's Stone?)

Nice dark gold colour with monster head ( almost too much head). Hops on the nose but this not a hop monster ( ie. this is less hoppy than Green Flash's IPA) but rather a balanced West Coast IPA that has a strong malt backbone. Mouthfeel is on the thick side but suits the beer. I could drink a few of these and not find it overly bitter. Nice drinking IPA with enough hops to keep it interesting

canucklehead, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of Ezekiel81923
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a case from Beeryard back in the day on a recommendation from one of their guys. First offering from BP I got the opportunity to try poured into a Sam perfect pint.

Appearance: Pours a nice amber/yellow/brown kind of color with a nice 1.5-2 finger foamy white head that lasted quite some time. Hard to keep off my nose while drinking.

Smell: Piney and citrusy hops. Fairly subdued, not overwhelming. Some caramel malt and subtle sweetness in there as well, but mostly hops.

Taste: A light, sweet caramel malt segues to a bitter, piney hop flavor. Some citrus flavors blend in as well. A nice chewy feel and bitterness are felt about half way through and follow through to the end, which was a kind of "dirty" bitter from what I recall. Not a bad thing. Also finishes a little sweet with sometimes a metallic hint to it.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, bitter, and medium carbonation. Slightly chewy, somewhat sticky/resinous.

Drinkability: Decent. The medium body, relatively low ABV and nice balance of hops and malt make it a pretty easy drinker.

I do enjoy this beer, a nice break from Sculpin and Dorado which are much more hop forward.

Ezekiel81923, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

More reviews from a great brewery. 12oz bottle poured into a Goose Island pint glass.

A: Pours out a crystal clear golden orange, really sort of remarkable how clear this beer is, its like looking through a beer stained window. Two inch head settles rather quickly into a quarter inch cap while leaving behind some sticky curtains of hop filled lace.

S: Can easity smell this thing a foot from my nose as I poured it out of the bottle. Christmas trees with touches of lemon rind with a burnt caramel with a dash of cinnamon and biscuity maltiness to keep the unrelenting hoppiness under control.

T/MF: Loads of malt, perhaps the hops have faded slightly from the front end of this beer as the bitterness sure makes itself known in the finish. Yet there is still enough bitterness here to let you know this is or at least could be a first rate IPA, tons on piny and spicy bitterness mixed together on top of an incredible sweet maltiness.

D: Goes quite fast, a few sips and the whole glass is nearly gone. Glad that I have more than one of these.

bluemoonswoon, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of ommegangpbr
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first thought is that this reminds me of Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye. This sort of beer isn't what I would grab first if I had a hankering for an IPA but this is a tasty beer.
From a 22 ounce bottle into my Chimay chalice it pours a muddy, hazy warm brown. Not much head forms, some lacing is left on the glass.
Scents are toffee malts and floral hops. Deeper, sweeter flavors than typical IPAs. I'm guessing it's the use of only Centennieal hops in here that gives the beer its character. Not what I personally prefer in a flavor profile but it is well used.
Paired with a spicy, meaty stew, this beer cut through all the strong flavors of the stew and then some. Might be a bit too aggressive whenst consumed all by itself? Still worth a look.

ommegangpbr, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of cgstarry
4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is an outstanding brew.

I found it while on vacation in San Diego and am bummed that I can't get it here in Minnesota.

The appearance is clear and slightly amber. There is nice colorful artwork on the label and when ppoured it leaves nice lacing on the way down.

The smell is bright and hoppy. Almost citrus but with a sweet malty unlerlayment.

The taste is complex and very enjoyable. Starts sweet and finished bitter and clean.

Drinkability is excellent. Too excellent. This is a strong beer and is dangerously delicious. Wnjoy with this in mind!

cgstarry, Oct 05, 2009
Photo of cavedave
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, gorgeous golden, topped by a thick and lasting head of light beige. It recedes and leaves clinging sheets of wondrous lace.

The smell is a very strong, clean mix of sweet citrus (orange peel, lemon, grapefruit) effervescent pine, light and herbal floral notes, lighter toasty hints, with a pungency that is marvelous. The aroma has set my taste buds into high alert.

Wowwww, what a blast of great hop flavor. Bright, clean citrus fronts the sip, carried into pine, sweet floral, gentle herbal, subtle toasty notes, and finishes as clean as it started with lingering bitter and citrus that is remarkably brilliant and delicious. As the brew warms the flavors sparkle even more brightly, the finish gets even more wonderful. This is an IPA of amazing zest, balance, and clean fresh flavor.

The mouthfeel is light, even though the brew sticks to the palate, and the flavors last. It is obviously pretty medium bodied and resinous, but somehow the feel of it is light and refreshing. Nothing cloying or metallic here, it is a pureness that is rare in such a hoppy beer.

Drinkability is off the charts. Given enough of a supply, I could enjoy this without pause until global warming makes my ridgetop home into beachfront property.

cavedave, Oct 03, 2009
Photo of beernut
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

pours a golden/orangish color with a fluffy almost orange tint 1 inch head. aroma is grapefruit, hoppy, pine as well. taste is a real nice bite, very good. has also citrus/piney floral notes. the bitterness stays around for a while. than i get another taste that doen't really go away. it is somewhat of a metallic taste and i do not like it. maybe i got a bad bottle, but will try again.

beernut, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of Anthony1
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice golden orange with a big, fluffy, snow-white head that leaves a good bit of sticky lace.

S: Whoa... its a citrus hop party - pineapple, grapefruit, orange peel, mango, peach. The aroma is absolutely delicious!

T: Hops are big-time - some pretty heavy pine comes through with some grapefruit peel; not much sweetness from the malts, yet not overpoweringly bitter; alcohol kind of peeks through from time to time with a little hotness.

M: Not as heavy/resinous/oily as some other DIPA's; medium-bodied with a pretty crisp carbo zing.

D: One of the more drinkable DIPA's I've had, but still pretty heavy duty stuff

Anthony1, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of jlindros
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this guy as an extra from Imperialbeachbrw. Another great one from San Diego that I have yet to review but love to enjoy. Poured into my usual DFH oversized snifter.

A: Pours with a nice sized 1 finger frothy head with bubbles popping pretty quickly. An amber autumn brown color with a rustic feel to it, pretty clear but not perfect.

N: Not super ridiculous on the hops, but they definitely dominate. A good piney hop presence and some light citrus to contrast it. A light crystal malt aroma seems to back it up as well. I also get a slight caramel smell on the back end. Otherwise its just a nice hop aroma, but the hops aren't really heavy on the nose.

T: Caramel malt taste starts off this guy with some sweet malt taste. It is followed quickly with some piney hops and bitterness. There's a good chewy taste in the middle. Some fruit and citrus line the middle as the malt shifts to hops. Lots of pine and a little citrus and touch of spice are what seem to constitute this hop bite.

M: Semi thick with a slight stickiness and decent carbonation.

F: Finishes pretty bitter and sweet. It didn't seem to dry off as I had expected. It also got an almost metallic hop taste to it as the bitterness builds and then fades. I get a slight juicy hop taste at the very finish of the liquid as I swallow, just as the metallic taste starts to wane. Then the bitterness fades like some dream in the night, off just as a distant memory that seems to disappear the more you try to think of it. That is, until the next sip.

Final thoughts: This is a great IPA IMO. It starts with a great malt character thats not too malty or light, then hop flavor starts off as the malt fades and then finishes with a nice bitterness. It is a little too sweet if anything, but being 7% alc and hiding it well also helps. Not being overly bitter or hopped and not too high on the alcohol makes this a more likely candidate for drinking regularly than most big time IPAs. I like to reach for this when I just want a nice bitter and slightly malty IPA without breaking the bank, my tongue/taste buds, or my liver.

jlindros, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a fresh six pack at Ballast Point tonight. This was once an all Centennial beer, but not anymore. Consumed on 9/26/2009 and poured into a pint glass. The beer is dark orange with perfect clarity and a 1.5 finger white head. Retention is good and some lacing is left behind.

The beer is dominated by grapefruit. Some light peach and orange notes are evident, but grapefruit is the primary citrus hop component in the nose. The malt is caramel and it provides just enough balancing sweetness (slightly sugary). Some pine is noticeable, combining with the malt to form resiny caramel.

The beer opens up with big Centennial grapefruit notes, as well as some orange and pine. Strong caramel notes are evident, and while the malt doesn't balance out the high moderate bitterness, it does provide a welcome sugary sweetness, a temporary respite from the hops. The 7% is well hidden. The finish is bitter, crisp, and dry, with a touch of sweetness. This is wrecking my palate for a single IPA. Great stuff.

HopHead84, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of bamadog
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this one in the closet for a couple of months now and I figured I better drink it before it gets too old as IPAs don't have too much of a shelf life, but damn, I wish I drank this one sooner and got a bunch more to go along with it as I feel it's very solid. Pour is from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Light orange and coppery in color; comes with a short one finger white head that fades to a thick and uneven head with chewy looking spots floating on the surface of it all; body is hazy and shows pretty strong carbonation; full rings of sticky lacing cling to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Smells like juicy orange and orange peel; slight piney aspect; really firm and sweet, sugary even, malty backing.

Taste: Hoppy bitterness right up front with the strong elements of juicy orange and the bitter aspect of the peel of said fruit; nice and sugary sweet malty backing provides just enough balance but really allows the bitterness to dominate the flavor like a great IPA should; strong orange peel flavors in the lingering aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Nice, full and sticky body; plenty of hop resin leaves a full coating which helps hold the flavors in the mouth.

Drinkability: Pretty dang high - a great beer that I could enjoy year round but I'm sure I would prefer moreso in the warmer summer months. I really love the juicy flavors and the smell is great and compliments and adds to it all the more. Easily one of the more solid IPAs out there in a world that's very full of them.

bamadog, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up this 650ml bottle from Friar Tucks in Peoria a few weeks ago. The opening act for this beer (Boulevard Double Wide) was miserable and left me hoping for the best. Thankfully Ballast steps up when needed. The beer is chill hazed, light copper colored, with a thin foam that laces in thin rings. The aroma is well balanced between malts and hops, more than I'd like as a hophead. Kind of a light citrus style of hops, lemon and orange more than grapefruit, very nice. The taste is sweet to begin with, it seems to me that the sweetness comes from malts but still is appreciated. Delicious hops citrus flavors in the middle and a mild bitterness in the aftertaste. I'd say that the aftertaste leaves a lot of flavors, a little pine resin and toffee, again a strong balance of malts and hops. I found the body to be mildly carbonated, giving a soft mouthfeel that matches IPA's well. Overall well done, maybe a little too balanced but it could be that the hops faded with time or something. Very nice IPA.

TurdFurgison, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of KevinBrewer
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light, clear amber with a tall white head that lasts, leaving plenty of sticky lacing.

Aroma of pineapple and toffee with a damp green leafy undertone.

Flavor profile: toasty, bready malt, toffee, and a slight hint of sour red grapes. Fruity hops, and a good amount of hop bitterness. Aftertaste of fresh cut grass, grapefruit, toffee, and leafy hops.

Medium-light body, light carbonation, semi-dry finish.

This is a very tasty and drinkable IPA. It would be great out of a cask, possibly with more hops added to the barrel.

KevinBrewer, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of ATPete
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

20oz pour @ Rattle & Hum

Pours a glowing, chill hazed orange color. A small peachy/off white head leaves some stickage on the imperial pint glass. Big, juicy West Coast hop aroma booms from the glass. Good balanced is achieved in the mouth while still keeping the immense hop character center stage. Oily and slick still with some ample carbonation. Very nice, the draft offering blows the bottle away, IMO.

notes taken from my IPod, 9/14/09

ATPete, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of MisterClean
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at total wine.

A - Poured copper orange with 3 fingers of orange-white head. Dissipates slow and left beautiful lacing.

S - Honey, grapefruit, and nectar esters.

T - Honey, grapefruit and bittering hops.

M - Medium bodied, hop dominated, and dry. There is a lingering of bitter hops.

D - Good. Bittering hops in mouthfeel was a bit much.

MisterClean, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of bruachan
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the beer pours with an attractive merengue head. tall early and with good retention and lacing. a nice copper color, as well, from the modicum of yeasties that made the leap

gorgeous NW hop aroma; caramel sweetness; buttery; piney. all in all a fairly complex malt aroma

i have heard drinking outlandishly hoppy brews likened to licking a rusty can, and this may come close. strong bitterness: citrus and very herbal hop aspects. sweetness abounds from juicy hop (quite sweet, the hop, really) and malt alike. a bit of mint buried in herbal contributions

nice, representative IPA: mega-hopster with a decent malt backbone (a tough on the light side, but this perhaps is a function of beers with a hop schedule like this typically being a little more robust)

bruachan, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of jdg204
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was in the mood for some hoppy brews on my latest trip to Abe's Cold Beer in Bethlehem. After perusing the shop I came across a well rated Ballast Point offering and I decided to give it a shot.

A: Pours a hazy light amber color with a rocky head that leaves a few shards of lace.

S: Caramel malt aroma with strong wafts of citrus and pineapple.

T: Starts with a nice blend of malty caramel and citrus fruit, with building levels of pineapple by mid-palate. Nice sweet, floral and very bitter hoppy finish (pushed the balance a twinge out of whack).

M: Medium body with moderate to low carbonation.

D: A rock solid West Coast IPA, really well put together (you can taste the San Diego influence). A very impressive first offering from Ballast Point, I can see we're gonna be good friends and I'm excited for some more offerings. The hops were just a pinch too much for the malt or else the balance would've been superb. If you're looking for a prototypical West Coast IPA, this is for you.

jdg204, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of egreenbery
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Drank on tap 8.17.09 at the S*** G*** in Northampton,MA. I don't want to slam their local competition by name, but as far as reasonable prices and attitude go, this is place for great craft brew on draft in Noho!

Pours a rusty amber color. Slightly hazy, but mostly clear---looks like a West Coast IPA, though darker than some (like Stone IPA for example). Small but long-lasting head, great lacing remaining on the side. Perfect "West Coast" citrusy aroma like you'd expect, but not extreme like some. Full of hop flavor without high bitterness, moderate malt backbone; the hops seem to dominate the taste buds here. Medium mouthfeel due to the very moderate malt character and 6.0% ABV. Extremely high drinkability; it would be easy to session the Big Eye IPA because it's so delicious, but at the same time isn't too bitter on the palate and has an alcohol level which is lower than most in its IPA class.

egreenbery, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of donniecuffs
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an American pint glass. Nice orange/amber hue, with a good head. The nose was very citrusy but also had malty sweetness which hinted at good balance. This was certainly the case with the flavor; not an overpoweringly flavorful beer, but very very balanced from start to finish, between citrus/malt/hoppiness. The feel was moderately carbonated, but a little thin for an IPA. Very good session beer.

donniecuffs, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of william5586
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear dark golden color with a finger of fluffy head that left rings of sticky lace. This looked really good.

Nice citrus and floral hoppy smell.

Tea like malt opens up and hangs around just long enough to balance out the citrus hops very nicely. Bitter finish but it's not overpowering, and the malt finds a way to sneak back in. Very well balanced IPA.

Exceedingly smooth medium body.

The balance and the smooth mouthfeel make this beer very easy to drink.

william5586, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of GilGarp
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this one up for one reason: Sculpin. It's the closest thing we have so I want to give it a try.

Served cold in a pint glass. It pours a pretty amber red color with very good clarity and long lasting creamy white head.

Aroma is slightly sweet hoppy goodness with a heavy-on-the-citrus west coast flair.

Flavor is definately big on the hops as well. In fact, given the mild mannered aroma, the flavor is a downright kick in the mouth. Lots of pine and bitter citrus melding with an amber malt body works really well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with mild carbonation. This beer seems to coat the mouth and stick to the teeth with hop resins. Impressively strong in flavor for a standard IPA. More like those trendy "extra" IPAs.

No date on the bottle so there's no way to tell how fresh it is. If I go by the taste alone, I would say it was bottled in the past 3 months. So much for satisfying my jones for sculpin - this beer just made me want it more.

GilGarp, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of jbhuxley
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.

jbhuxley, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of barnzy78
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. Poured bright copper-amber with a slight haze and was topped with a fairly thin, foamy, off-white head that left some sticky lacing on the glass. Aromas were of floral and citric hop with a hearty malt bill. Tastes were similar to other Ballast Point offerings - especially the biscuity malt character. Sweet up-front followed by juicy citric hop, mainly grapefruit, with plenty of piny bitterness and spiciness on the finish. Mouth-feel was medium bodied and the hop oils coat the palate well along with ample carbonation. Another well-rounded, well-balanced ale from Ballast Point!

barnzy78, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of Morey
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper-orange color with a nice fluffy cream colored head that sticks to the glass nicely. Good Clarity.

Smells is a touch on the malty side for and IPA...more of an English style smell.

Taste is a really nice blend of hops and malts. Almost 50-50. You get a nice bitterness in the front, and then the malt flavor kind of takes over. There is a bit of a lingering hop bitterness though.

Medium mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

I could definitely drink a few of these.

Morey's Bottom Line: Not good enough to be in my top 5 hoppy beers, but darn good none the less. Reminds me a bit of Loose Canon.

Morey, Aug 25, 2009
Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 3,140 ratings.