Big Eye IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Eye IPABig Eye IPA

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3,343 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,343
Reviews: 991
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 126
Gots: 376 | FT: 2
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: 3,343 | Reviews: 991 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dbossman
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden brown with a huge frothy billowing head; lacing is good

S: Lots of floral and citrus hop aroma; a bit of a burnt sweet malty quality as well; this is a big, strong aroma that shoots out of the bottle as soon as it's cracked but there is something a bit funky through the heart of it

T: Pleasant citrus hop quality that adds a nice bitterness to an otherwise sweet malty beer; a bit of a burnt flavor at the end

F: Decent mouth feel; smooth and lightly, though pleasantly, carbonated

D: A good, refreshing west coast IPA

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

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is clear, honey-amber in color with a small off-white head that disappears quickly. Some splotches of lace.

S: Hops, but not terribly strong. Juicy citrus.

T: Very nice. Juicy hops from the citrus family: grapefruit, clementine oranges and oranges. Also grass & pine. Touch of honey-ish malt underneath provides some balance, but it's mostly about the hops. Finishes with a bite of pine needles, which linger into the aftertaste.

M: Juicy, but slightly gritty in feel, presumably from the resiny hops. Call it medium in heft, maybe slightly on the lighter side of medium.

D: Excellent. Highly quaffable, especially if you like hops.

Photo of IPAIPA
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a joy! Introduced on a rainy Saturday and I make sure never to run out of it. Has a very nice body and just enough hop feel to the pallet. This is one of the most consistent IPAs I have tried on the market and a personal favorite of mine. Pours fairly light in color with a slight head. Aroma is decent at pour. Balance of malt and hops ids perfect as body and hop linger on the pallet is what makes this beer truly exceptional.

Photo of shand
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a relatively fresh (probably about two months old) bottle into a nonic pint.

Pours a still amber color with about a finger and a half of head. Head doesn't retain well, and the beer leaves a few traces of lacing on it's way down. It smells of resiny, piney hops, grass, grapefruit, and pepper. This beer tastes a good deal better than it looks or smells though. It's a very smooth IPA, the resiny hops and grapefruit comes through loud and clear, but there's a pretty solid malt backbone keeping everything held together.

The mouthfeel on this beer is fairly thick, but it still goes down smoothly. The drinkability is about average of the style (which I usually find quite drinkable to begin with). A solid IPA, but not a standout like Sculpin is. Still worth drinking though.

Photo of SteveO1231
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with the new black label. No freshness date. Pours a a bright coper with amber highlights and a thin layer of off-white foam. The brew has a very mild aroma, funky, grassy hops, peppery, some fresh baked honey-wheat bread, and caramel. Medium to full bodied brew, very thirst quenching, some slickness. Nice caramel sweetness slides down the sides of the palate, some carmel and tangerine, perfectly balanced by citrusy hop bitterness. The beer finished with a grassy and herbal dryness. Really a perfect IPA.


Photo of Khazadum
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Love this creamy pure white cap. Many many tiny bubbles make up this covering. It rests gently above a blood orange body that is perfectly clear. This reveals the massive amount of carbonation that keeps the retention going strong on this one. It is a pharmaceutical grade emulsion from above, and rushing river bed around the edges of the glass. Only complaint is this could use a bit stronger lacing to linger around the edges.

Malty hoppy heaven. This is delicious! Mangos in the beginning dominate. Some pineapple tang creep up from here. Final notes are a mixture of biscuit with grapefruit and pine branch... Smashed into a pulp and thrown across the room to dry on the wall. The leftover strength is what the finish attacks with.

Flavor Profile
First notes are sweet fruits. Mango again with a citrus sheen more along oranges than grapefruit. Malty sweetness following the fructose sugars. It is delicious through and through. The malts are predominantly of the sweet style with caramel hints with biscuit flavors and bready nature taking a backseat.

The bitter hop presence is on the opening and begins to fizzle as soon as I notice it dissipating to a very minor contribution on the finish. It has power in the middle still, but nothing like most APA's or IPA's.

Oral Sensations
Medium bodied with ultra smooth nature. In fact, I will call this one creamy! Lingers with sweetness and a bitter nature that I want to share with everyone. It isn't overwhelming, but helps bring out the nature of this beer positively.

East coast IPA? APA? It definitely has the malt profile to be an APA... I'll go with APA, definitely have to be. It is a really good one. I love it. This twelve ounces could easily be a bomber with no complaints from me. Low alcohol, of course... maybe even a high sixer, I'm feeling a bit fuzzier than normal after my normal review period, but that could be all the candy from earlier.

Photo of Duff27
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Two fingered white head on top on dark golden/light amber beer that leaves drink by drink lacing throughout.

S- Citrus, sweetness.

T- Orange, mango. Quite the alcohol kick. Hops bitterness clears the sinuses.

M- Loved the way this one felt in the mouth. Medium bodied mouthfeel. Leaves the mouth watering.

D/O- The alcohol is apparent in this beer. My second delicious IPA from Ballast Point. I prefer the first, Sculpin, but then again I'd take that over any IPA. Recommended.

Photo of psuKinger
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into my standard curved shaker pint glass. No freshness date that I can find on the bottle, so I'm forced to work under the assumption that this guy is *fresh*. Let's hope for the best. I've never had this beer before, so I have no frame of reference or former experience with this brew.

A: Pours a hazy-golden/light orange color with a thick, lively white head on top. Very nice.

As I worked through the bottle, this beer left great lacing on my glass.

S: Moderate smell of grapefruit hops, I can already tell this beer has some potential for me.

T: Very nice hop presence, with plenty of bitterness and grapefruit. This beer allows the malts to step out a briefly say "hello" at the start, before they are quickly pushed aside by a moderately strong hop bitterness/grapefruit finish, which swoop in quickly and dominate all the way to the finish.

This beer has a little more grapefruit and a little less *bitterness* than Stone IPA, but going from memory in many ways I find them to be fairly similar.

M: This beer is gently carbonated, with a nice hop-oiliness on the finish. It's consistency is a little lighter than normal.

D: High.

Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy, nice amber in color. Loads of carbonation. A pleasant, creamy two fingers of head coats the glass in foamy lacing. Brilliant thus far. Deep grapefruity-hoppy arromas dance around the glass and fall into your nose. This has a fruitier, sweeter aroma than most West Coasters of the IPA-suasion. I love this. This is top notch, hop heady ale thus far. Even some warmer, rounder, more muted aromas like almond. Awesome. Oh wow, the pineapple and grapefruit notes in the flavor just blast off. There is also some other, more nuanced notes tap-dancing around on your tongue. This is world class beer. One of the best I've ver had. Unique and complex, hoppy like a Left-Coaster should be. It would take all day to pull out all the interesting flavors that are in this. It';s like trying one beer, then another and saying "If I could take this and this out of these two, you'd have a fantastic beer!" Well, that fantastic beer is this beer. I'm gonna have to try their Sculpin, because people swear by that one, but this is to Sculpin what Blind Pig is to Pliny - probably the better of the two beers, after all is said and done. This is likely one of the three or four best IPAs I've ever had. Drinkable to a fault, most could get well hammered off a bunch of pints of this. At $10.99/sixer it's also decently priced. Find this beer at all costs folks, it's worth every penny.

What I like most: Everything - I can't find fault in it.

What I like least: Nothing.

Verdict: World class IPA and one of the best beers I've ever had.

Photo of Chaney
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought and drank lots of this stuff last year when it came in 6ers and bombers. I think it's totally awesome (and so do many) that we at least have limited Ballast Point distribution in the DC area now!

A: The brew itself poured an almost crystal clear, dark amber color. The head was about... gulp... gulp.... gulp ... 6-7 fingers +! However, I did pour that sucker pretty hard though.

S: Candy sugar, with hop bitterness, and an ENORMOUS amount of citrus fruitiness. In this case, the fruit was pomegranate.

T: Hmmm... This tasted eerily like FFF Alpha King. However, I didn't find it quite as addicting. Still, the hoppy, West Coast-style sizzle dominated the very fabric of my existence!

M: Nice and thick citrus explosion, with just the right amount of bitterness to give the tongue a challenge, and the pixie stick dust-wrapped booze was totally state of the art!

D: Baby-Sculpin's got game!... that's for certain. If I were at the Ballast Point brewery and it was the end of the night and was ready for my last round... I think this would be my finale!

Photo of letsgopanthers
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

It pours a darker translucent copper color. Much darker than I was expecting based on reviews from friends.
Two-Finger head with medium density.

Smell of citrus originally with an immediate transfer to butterscotch on the second waft.

There is a hoppy jolt on the first sip but the malt chosen allows for the hoppy flavor to vanish within seconds. A very butterscotch flavor clearly kills most of the citrus flavor that makes it more of an average IPA to me.

Has a smoother flavor than most malt-heavy IPAs but very different than the IPAs from the IPA Mecca of San Diego.

Overall, a good beer but I wouldn't go out of my way to get it again.

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours a clear orange with a one finger creamy white head that dissipates leaving tons of residual lacing clinging to the glass.

S. Tons of citrus hops on the nose - quite a beautiful combination of orange, grapefruit, and lemon zest. Some caramel aromas break out as it warms.

T. Very bitter initially. Toffee and caramel malt flavors come in to balance out the flavor. Some orange zest gets mingled with the caramel and gives way to some lemon zest. A very interesting mix of sweet and bitter flavors dancing back and forth on the palate. I quite enjoy this.

M. Medium body with a fairly high level of somewhat biting carbonation. Clears the palate nicely.

D. It's very interesting how the flavors play with each other, but by the end of the bottle it's almost like a wrestling match on your tongue, which is to say not terribly pleasant. That said I did enjoy this beer - I just wish I'd consumed it a bit quicker and slightly colder.

Photo of woodychandler
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am not about to trump a Cask review with a CAN review, although I wish that we still had the capability to review multiple serving styles.

At long last, nepotism rears its ugly head on The CANQuest (TM)! For those not in the know, I write for Ale Street News (and others) while my cousin, Colby Chandler, is the specialty brewer at Ballast Point B.C. It has been a closely-unguarded secret for some time and I have written about our relationship as well as making appearances with Colby at various venues and events. He knows of my affinity for CANned beer and especially craft CANs, so when they began CANning their beers, he knew precisely who to send some for a fair and balanced review.

I first heard of Big Eye IPA when Colby's late father, my Uncle Rick, came home for my late father's funeral in July 2001. Rick brough t-shirts along and as a burgeoning hophead, I opted for the one depicting that beer. After that, I was elated when Ballast Point broke into the East Coast markets and for a long time, Big Eye actually supplanted Victory Hop Devil as my go-to IPA when out and about. I remain a big fan of this beer and am equally elated to see it in a CAN!

From the CAN: "Handcrafted & CANned in San Diego, California"; "Dedicated to the Craft"; "The Beer That Helped Put San Diego IPAs on the Map"; "our Big Eye IPA is a big hoppy brew, thanks to the abundance of American Columbus and Centennial varieties we use to flavor and dry hop. While the English originally added extra hops to preserve their beers for sea travel, we do it for the love of all that bold, intense flavor that makes India Pale Ale one of our favorite styles."

Speaking of dry hopping this beer, pictures exist of me on a ladder in the back of the original HomeBrew Mart dry hopping a batch in the spring of 2002. Yowza!

Once again, the Crack revealed a brimful CAN and little of it even splashed out to greet me like a puppy upon its master's return. Down, boy! The inverted Glug was marvelous, literally, as I marveled at the pseudo-cascade followed by the establishment of two dense fingers of tawny head. Color was a deep-amber, not quite coppery, with NE-plus quality clarity and I am now obsessed with living to be 50 y/o so that I CAN celebrate my birthday with Val MidWest in Lincoln, NE, birthplace of the term. The head was gently falling, leaving sticky lacing in its wake. Nose was redolent with hops, and while I may not yet know the difference between the two varieties, I plan to get smarter this summer. Suddenly, the Hops Monkey on my back began his incessant chattering and I realized that I was ready for a hit. Mouthfeel was medium and the immediate jolt of hops on my tongue allowed this hop junkie to take a deep breath. Man, then I really got the hops along with a butterscotch sweetness which I assume was intentional. My eyes rolled back in my head and I fell off the chair, curling up in the fetal position, sucking my thumb and crying for my mommy. Oh, man, all of those hops and all at once! I didn't start out with this habit, it just developed over time, man. I had it kicked for a while but just like that dude in "The Godfather", every time that I think that I am free, I keep getting pulled back in. It's not fair, I tell ya! Beer should not be this good that I would kill everyone in sight for just a sip. Finish was dry, with the hops just lingering - in my sinus cavity, on my palate, in the back of my throat. Jesus, I hope that nobody thinks that they are getting any out of my sixer of CANs. This is too good to share. Not with the Old Lady, not with Val MidWest, not Sam Knocken, tone77, anybody. Nobody. I may delete this review so that others will never have any idea how good it actually is. Now the pigs are bangin' on my door! Who tipped them off, man?!? You see why it is such a bad idea for me to fix like this?

CAN scores: ALL 5s! Does this rating system go up to 11?

Transcribed from notes dated Sa, 26 June 2010 at TJ's in Paoli.

Not just cask, but a gravity pour. My notes mention that it was Simcoe dry-hopped.

It arrived with a finger of soapy light-tan head that was already working to create some nice lacing. Nose was like standing in a pine forest and taking a deep whiff. Color was a slightly hazy orangish-amber. Mouthfeel was silky smooth with a great pine-hops bite that really got my attention. It was like having the dentist grab my tongue with pliers and then get at it with a scrub brush. One new palate later, the finish left me gasping for breath. Zounds!

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

Poured into a nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a clear golden color with copper highlights. 3 full fingers of head gives way to chunky, thick sheets of lace.

S: Lots of citrus. Orange and lemon zest with some grapefruit. Fairly large sweet caramel malt mutes some of the hop character.

T: I wish these had dates on the bottle. Toffee and caramel make up the fairly strong malt overtones. Orange zest and some pine push through the malts to give a nice bitter bite.

M: Moderate, prickly carbonation and medium body. Resinous hop flavor.

D: Good, easy drinking IPA. A little malt-forward for my preferences.

Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a yellow orange color with a thick white head and tons of lacing left over. Smells of strong hops aroma with a ton of citrus in there. Tastes of orange zest with tons of hops to overpower a small amount of malt. Mouthfeel is nice and bubbly. Drinkability is pretty good.

Photo of climax
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours an amber orange with a large tan head. The retention is pretty good and the lace very good.

Big Eye is Ballast's more robust IPA, boasting 85 IBU's. The aroma doesn't necessarily portray that upon first impression. It's comprised of a large sweet citrus profile with an assertive caramel malt background. Bready pizza crust, sweeter butterscotch and caramel distracted me from the hop bill. Ripe grapes and some astringency follow up as well.

The malt in this beer has a good roasted yet sweet presence. It may be a big too big though IMO, and takes away from what this one was aimed at, the hops. Caramel and butterscotch flavors really keep this one on the sweet side. However, that flavor begins to shift as the bitter finish takes over. The passion fruit, pine, and soapy aftertaste is where the hops begin to pop.

The body is bold, and carries a nice soft thickness. The carbonation is on the mild side, but ample. I that helps bring out the viscous feel.

It really is a refreshing beer, with such a sweet and juicy flavor. Being a 7% IPA, it could have definitely taken me longer to finish, so Big Eye has got that on it's side. A good beer for sure, just not an awesome IPA.

Photo of babaracas
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark amber with creamy two finger white head, fades to quarter inch leaving splotches of chunky lace. Smell: slightly minty, pineapple, leafy and herbal, background caramel. A little mellow and off mainstream but nice enough. Taste: caramel and a little sweet melon beneath lemon, pineapple, and herbal hops. Nice carbonation, fairly creamy. Pretty damn good for ones standard IPA. Unreadable bottling code.

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

A: Big Eye is a light orange color. The liquid is transparent and filled with rising bubbles. The head is about an inch thick and has good staying power. Considerable lacing coats the glass. Overall, a much improved appearance from the bottled versions I have had.

S: Hop aromas with citrus, notably grapefruit.

T: Again, a marked improvement from the bottle, but not quite enough to earn the higher score. This beer is fresh and delicious.

M: Nice feel with moderate bitterness and no harshness.

D: If you see this on draft, it's worth it.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear bright golden color ale with an average sixe foamy head with OK retention and minimal lacing. Aroma consists of bitter and lightly citrus notes are dominant thought not as powerful as expected. Taste is also dominated by bitter and citrusy notes with a lightly sweet malt base. Body is about average with OK carbonation. Well brewed thought I was expecting a more powerful hops profile.

Photo of foureyedgeek
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into nonic/British pint or whatever its called.

Pours bronze with a huge off white head, though that may have been from me pouring from 12 inches off the the rim of the glass. Nice lacing for the entirety.

Smell is super sweet and hoptastic.

Taste is much the same, not that theres anything wrong with that. Well balanced IPA with a very hop forward finish. Pretty much par for the course as far as this item goes.

At first I wasn't sure about this one, but I am definitely coming around to it. Mouthfeel is slick and not too thick.

Drinkability is a-ok. I could have a few of these just fine without wearing down my palate.

Photo of anotherpg
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an overall excellent IPA and, at 7ABV, it's close to a double. The color gives it away: this sucker is nearly orange, with a nice white lace noted elsewhere, although it's not uber-hopped -- for a high-end of the AIPA abv, my tongue was not in pain but great pleasure drinking this one.

Photo of orangesol
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on cask at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours a clear, dark, amber with a solid one finger head that leaves thick lacing down the entire glass.

S - Lots of tropical hops in this one. Lots of mango, grapefruit, and tangerine flavors. Some sweetness from the malt and a bit of bready yeast at the end. Seems very similar to normal sculpin but still a very nice nose.

T - Strong, sweet, malt profile up front quickly giving way to a strong citrus hop presence. Flavors are similar to the nose. Fairly well balanced once all the flavors blend together. A very nice cask IPA.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Fairly bitter finish lingers on the pallet for some time.

D - I enjoyed this one quite a bit but I think even with all the additions they made it is still only on par with the regular version of sculpin.

Photo of kbutler1
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a darker golden color with a big fluffy slightly off white head. Aroma is more malty than hoppy but the hops presence is more of a citrus variety then pine. The taste is more malty than I thought it would be but it does have a nice hops character to it. Nice lace left on the glass. Lingering bitterness with a touch of sweetness. Very easy drinking.

Photo of aubuc1
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured in to a goblet.

Pours a clear orange with a nice off white head.

Smell is a huge orange citrus with a biscuity malt.

Taste is a delightful combination of hoppy bitterness, hoppy sweetness, biscuity malt.

Mouthfeel is right on and this tastes so good the drinkability is great.

Truly a world class IPA.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a nice off-white head that leaves nice lacing. The aroma has some citrusy and grassy hops upfront with a piney background, along with some caramel and orange marmalade, fruity esters, biscuit and some alcohol. The flavor also has bright piney and citrusy hop notes with some grassy flavors as well, along with biscuit and caramel, fruity esters, a chalkiness and some alcohol. The mouthfeel is on the thick side and drinkable is decent. A very tasty IPA, not super complex or drinkable but hits all the right notes.

Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 3,343 ratings.