1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

3,042 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,042
Reviews: 965
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 107
Gots: 257 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Eye IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,042 | Reviews: 965 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bgraney
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%

Almost clear amber, moderate carbonation, thick foamy head.
Aroma hits immediately upon opening the bottle. Huge fruity aroma, kind of a grapefruit/lemon hybrid.
Extremely bitter, even for a west coast ipa. Every aspect of the flavor is dominated by hops. This makes for a tasty, although not particularly well balanced, ipa.
As expected the massive hop presence is what lingers on the tongue and expands through the mouth long after the sip is finished.
I'm a hop lover and I enjoy this but I wouldn't drink a lot of it.
I did find that by the end of the glass the flavors had settled down somewhat and the thought of having another seemed more reasoable than after the first few sips.

bgraney, Jul 17, 2007
Photo of Boto
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%

22oz bomber: Thanks to Vac for this one. It pours a slightly orangish-amber color. There was a small off white head that didn’t hang around too long. It didn’t leave too much lacing wither. The aroma is mainly pine hops, but not overly done. Some caramel malts and floral notes also. The hop bite is somewhat subdued in the taste. There is a dryness to the flavor also, as well as a somewhat biscuity taste. An interesting mouthfeel. It isn’t silky, and I’m not quite sure that I can put my finger on it. Someone else said soapy in their review. It isn’t quite that, but along those lines. It doesn’t make it bad, just a little different.

Boto, Jul 12, 2007
Photo of garymuchow
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%

Aroma is hop sweet, fruity, grassy and a little citrus. Fairly fresh. Nice complexity that changes throughout the drink. Fruity malt too plus some toastiness. Nice.
Good amber and a very dense head that becomes rocky. Clear. Lots of lacing.
Long dry flavors with moderate bitterness on the finish with bits of flavor included. Very nice malt background for balance and taste - a little sweet and a touch of roast. Hops of fruitiness too, especially orange.
Even with the hop bite on the smooth side overall. Nicely carbonated and moderate feel.
Well rounded, flavorful, complex and interesting. I like it.
Thanks John.

garymuchow, Jul 04, 2007
Photo of bosco7
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Deep amber with perfect clarity and a chunky head.

Odd tropical fruit, peach, caramel, and metalic aromas. Almost off-putting.

Lots of caramel and toffee flavors upfront. Grapefruit pith, orange, and some pine flavors arrive on the palate towards the middle of the sip. Hops flavors were mildly vegetal; not bright or fresh tasting. Not really in the same vein as other IPAs coming out of San Diego, this is more balanced and tastes a bit old. Still decent.

Nice malty mouthfeel with some bite. The balanced nature of this brew makes it highly drinkable. I might buy this again but there is so many execptional IPAs from the same region (not to mention the entire state) that I would prefer.

Edit 5-14-2008

Have had many times since my initial tasting and I must say that the hop character is much more pronounced. I believe I had an older bottle. Tons of grapefruit and pine. The weird tropical fruitiness has not been present in any of the following bottles. Increased smell and taste to 4.0 from 3.0. Very good IPA that I would recommend.

bosco7, Jun 17, 2007
Photo of BeerTruth
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%

Huge thanks to sirhc for this one!

22 oz. bomber poured into a nonic

Pours a clear copper hue with a two finger fluffy off-white colored head that takes forever to die down. Stickiness is crazy good, all over the glass, love how this one looks. Smell...damn I love it. Such a fresh pine odor mixed perfectly with a crisp grapefruit. I could smell this one all night, but I'm getting thirsty. Taste is actually maltier than I had anticipated. Starts off very smooth on the tongue with a pale malt then quickly the hops take over and leave the mouth feeling very dry from the bitter citrus hop flavors. Probably one of the most balanced IPA's I've had. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with little carbonation. I really want the DIPA now from Ballast, who wants to trade? Please.

BeerTruth, Jun 16, 2007
Photo of drseamus
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%

This is a great looking beer. I poured it into a Chimay goblet and it is a very clear dark amber reddish color. The only downside is that it had very little head. The aroma is filled with grapefruit. The flavor is a good strong blast of grapefruit with slightly more bitterness than the big hop flavor. Behind the grapefruit there is some grassy flavor too. There is a good bit of sweetness as well. This is a good IPA but the bitterness adds up so I can't drink too much of it.

drseamus, Jun 07, 2007
Photo of Vancer
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%

First Ballast Point brew, thanks to bennetj17 and nvsblman
for bombers sent for secret santa and BA annv. Thanks mucho, gents!

I can see how this rates such good points here on BA – from the pour to the quaff this is just standout suds. Clear amber pour, fine ivory head. Aroma just grabs you by the nose and shakes it around with the citrusy orange hops.

Oily and juicy with the strong hop presense, this would certainly rate as a DIPA for me – except the alcohol may be a tad weak. No hint what-so-ever of a 7%. The oil subsides quickly, leaving a dry finish. Pretty nice drinking IPA, glad I had the chance to savor this tasty treat.

Vancer, May 28, 2007
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%

Clearish, golden/amber hue, fiercely carbonated, under a slim ring of creamy foam.

Hugely hoppy aroma, grassy, piney, bursting with fruit, orange and apricot, lemon zest...lime peel...fresh, and inviting.

Full-bodied, juicy, delicious. Fresh, invigorating, with brash and bitter hops, matched well with judicious malt. Toasty and sweet. Constant deployment of tastiness, jettisoned again and again onto the tastebuds. Tangy, tart, and well-tempered. Sticky puckering bitterness never quite quits. Citric feel remains dominant, hops ever-lasting.

Killer diller IPA. Reminds of Two -Hearted, no shocker as they're both all-Centennial. But, still quite it's own beast. Sure to please any hoppy ale afficianado. It just never stops tasting good!

I'll be back for more!

feloniousmonk, May 27, 2007
Photo of froggyfrog
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

Burnt orange color with plenty of head that lasts and lasts.

Very unique aroma. Hops smell creamy. Flavor is toasty. Very reminiscent of Stone's Arrogant Bastard. Mouthfeel is robust. Plenty of malt and a strong alpha bitterness. Piney, resinous hops. Some cattiness in the nose and on the palate.

An exceptional American IPA. (Send more please.)

froggyfrog, May 23, 2007
Photo of yemenmocha
4.91/5  rDev +20.9%

Glorious dark copper color with thin micro-bubble head that retains well.

Nose is sharp/prickly citrus, maybe orange peel or tangerine. Enticing nose for sure.

On the palate is a notable (pleasant) black Darjeeling Tea taste from the malt sweetness with an ESB-like quality to the ale. This is very clean, refreshing, with most of the hop character towards the end.

Creamy characteristic across the palate. The nice head probably enhances this (good foam onto the palate at first, especially). More body than expected.

Finish is firm and somewhat dry with a smooth chalky, tea-like sweetness with hop dryness. Very satisfying!

One of my favorite and more unique IPA's. Worth seeking out!

yemenmocha, May 05, 2007
Photo of Frozensoul327
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%

A: Dark bronze color with a smaller head of sticky white foam. Lots of lace. Medium levels of carbonation.

S: Oh God, I love West Coast IPA's so much. Rich, powerful, bursting-at-the-seams hops, citrus, pine, sweet bitter earth notes. Reserved malt note. Interesting afterthough of strawberries. Nice.

T: Mild base malt flavor gives way to a developing hop flavor, with mild citrusy sweetness, followed by a dry pine cone note. Woody textures and flavors are present toward the finish.

M: Medium bodied, and far lighter than I would've expected for such a hop blast. Mild carbonation on the palate. Slighty oily. Appropriate for the style.

D: Not bad. Probably not a sessioner, but a good fix for a mild hop addiction. Worth trying.

Notes: Special thanks to KingG for the sample.

Frozensoul327, May 05, 2007
Photo of WeisGuy
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%

Bomber courtesy of metallitone1.

a - deep golden color, big fluffy ivory head with great retention and lacing, pretty hazy

s - semi-grassy hops with lots of citrus, slight pine, some lemon and orange zest, no alcohol

t - big citrusy and sweet hop flavor up front, body has a nice malty backbone that balances out the hops, finish has lots of orange flavor along with a grainy maltiness, not much alcohol detectable

m - medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, hop oil coats the mouth well, not an overly dry finish

d - very drinkable, 7% abv is a bit high for a session IPA, but I could certainly drink this all night, the finish isn't overly dry so as not to destroy the palate

Very good IPA...not on the top tier, but not far behind. Well worth seeking this one out.

WeisGuy, Apr 20, 2007
Photo of Cresant
4.1/5  rDev +1%

First of all thanks to Flexabull for providing this beer. Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Stone IPA glass. The clear body was golden brown with a white head that left clumpy lace. Straightforward and very pretty.

Smell was of citrus and pine. Very aromatic. There was a light biscuity substrate. 100% Centennial hops.

Taste was tasty green bitterness. Understated sweetness with a long bittering finish. Classic West Coast DIPA. Very drinkable, not harsh.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied. Somewhat oily, medium carbonation. Very well done. I wish I had regular access to this one.

Cresant, Apr 04, 2007
Photo of montageman
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Poured into a pint glass. Very clear, rich amber color with a nice white head that is quite sturdy and leaves some nice lacing all over the sides of the glass. Smell is predominantly pine and floral notes with a touch of citrus rind. Taste is heavy on grapefruit juice/rind, pine, & hops - very nice. Mouthfeel is both crisp & thick - good carbonation and a slight oily character make this very good. This is a hop punch to the face, but it's really well done - an easy drinkin' hopbomb. Highly Recommended.

montageman, Apr 01, 2007
Photo of blitz134
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%

Small head on the pour, quarter inch of dirty white foam of varying bubbles sizes reduced to a skim layer with sporadic lacing. Body is a light caramel color that sparkles in the light.

Aroma is sweet with bubble gum and cotton candy while this is colder and transitions to a bit more caramel as it warms. Floral and citrus hops really come out as well, not overly grapefruity though, a touch more tropical. A nicely put together, simple, aroma.

Taste is pretty good. Quite balanced. Has some slightly toasted malts that go with a touch of biscuit and some crystal malts add a slight touch of sugar, but not really sweet. Hops are still floral and citrus but this time come across with a more assertive resin, grapefruit bitterness, especially in the finish. Burps are quite hoppy the second time around too, hehe.

Nice medium bodied mouthfeel that is heavy and sticky enough to coat the tongue but not overwhelming. Carbonation adds just the right amount of crispness.

Super easy to put down, a nicely balanced beer in my opinion with a nice bitter edge to it, realitively full bodied, but still crisp. All of this really help with the drinkability here.

blitz134, Mar 30, 2007
Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%

Thanks to nvsblman for this brew for the BA Anny Club. It looks like me and blackie had the same idea!

Pours with a one inch head. A little light in color for an IPA and a huge smell of citrus hops which both remind me of Nugget Nectar. Tastes like a true West Coast hop bomb with a dominant citrus taste. Mouthfeel is smooth and this is very drinkable. Top notch IPA.

Cheers.

SkinnyElvis, Mar 17, 2007
Photo of blackie
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%

Go Pack

appearance: Pours a light khaki one finger head, pretty fluffy and persistent. Nice retention after the initial recession, even some nice lacing. The beer is the color of polised old copper.

smell: Love it. Biiig tropical, pine, and floral hop aroma with a worthy caramel-apple malt backbone. The hop aroma in itself is complex, and the malt compliments perfectly with a moderate caramelized sweetness.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is really smooth, just around or under medium...and the body a full medium. Maybe heavy for the style, but it works really well for me.

taste: Really nice malt/hop balance going on. Tropical fruit hop flavors abound, just barely getting the edge on the caramel malt. Some floral notes and sappy pine astringency, but the hops are primarily tropical. Moderate-high bitterness in the finish. Love an IPA big on both hops and malt.

drinkability: quite easy, highly recommended...doesn't seem to have gotten much love recently for some reason

from nvsblman in Get Bombed

blackie, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of msubulldog25
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%

A: Clear amber/red with a thin 1/2 finger of eggshell-colored creamy head. Medium carbonation and attractive sticky lace.

S: Caramel malt and sugar, strong and sweet, blended with juicy citrus hops. At one point I noted an odd over-the-top confectioner's sugar smell that I'd say resembled chalky PEZ candy.

T: Bracingly sharp citrus bitterness, grapefruit and orange peel mostly, and an herbal/medicinal dry finish. Hop forward with a backing of grainy toasted bread.

M: Enticing syrupy thick mouthfeel, notable for a relative light gravity IPA. Bitterness clings hard and fast to the back of the tongue and cheeks - salivation inducing. Carbonation is not very noticeable. Sticky sweet residue on the lips.

D: Nice IPA with ample body and good flavor/smell. Wouldn't mind having this again - recommended.

[Review from notes] Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a tumbler in January 2007. Received from flexabull - thank you, Paul.

msubulldog25, Mar 13, 2007
Photo of Talisker
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%

A beautifully crisp IPA from one of the great SoCal breweries.

Pours from the 22oz bomber (purchased at BevMo Bayshore in SF) a crystal clear orangish tan. A dense head of small bubbles that lends a nice lacing throughout. Smell is piney hops with a nice edge, not too much malt. Taste follows with a strong hop edge, but definitely stays within style - no wannabe syrupy DIPA here. Simple - in a good ways, unidimenstional but honest flavor - even as it warms up, the taste stays a consistent, almost single-hop like texture. Finish slightly over bitter, keeps you from wanting too much more. But the crisp edge is refreshing in almost a lager-ish way - a nice quality in a California IPA.

Superb beer, and one I'll be happy to encounter again. Ballast Point hasn't misfired yet...

Talisker, Mar 09, 2007
Photo of hopsaplenty
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%

22oz brown bottle, no date information.

Glowing golden amber. Puffy soft tan head of mixed size bubbles that eventually falls to a meringue-like cap which deposits splotchy chunks of lace on the glass. Big aromas of grapefruit peel and orange rind are sharp and crisp, and indicative of fresh picked fruit. There is some blossomy fragrant sweetness as well as a faint whiff of alcohol. Lots of bitey citrus hop juice up front riding along a nice medium body. The finish is long and sticky and filled with plenty of grapefruit as well as having a bit of pine sliding in at the end. The carbonation is low, lending a softness to the feel. This is nice and an easy drinker.

hopsaplenty, Feb 26, 2007
Photo of bradybeer
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Pours a deep gold/brown with a good head that sticks around for a time. I pick up a hoppy resin aroma with a bit of citrus orange.

The taste is sweet with citrus hops coming through at the finish. Mouthfeel is good and the drinkability is up there for any IPA I have had. Nice beer from So-Cal

bradybeer, Feb 22, 2007
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Pours copper colored with a short head but very good lacing. Smells lightly hoppy and a little grainy. There is also a slight soapiness. The taste has piney hops up front followed by stone fruit and bubblegum. Fairly balanced with bitter hops and grainy malt. The mouthfeel is a little grainy for my taste but with good weight and carbonation. Quite drinkable

Georgiabeer, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of brewandbbq
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%

Pours dark copper and clear, no chill haze.
A white head developed to a peak of a quater inch, and retreated fairly quick to reveal some light lacework and whisps on the surface.
Aromatics are filled with citrusy and tropical fruits. Tangerine, peach, and grapefruit atop a crisp, light malt accent. The nose continues with pear skins and pine resin.
Mouthfeel is crisp and snappy, with lingering bitterness.
The pallet is juicy and hoppy with a mild alcohol note. Citrus fruits with marmalade and grape jam fill the lupulin bill, with a drying, crisp, refreshing quality.
Finishes with a smooth, lingering bitterness and additional hop resin.
While the aromatics or flavors of the hopping aren't blastingly pungent, Big eye gets high marks for drinkability.

brewandbbq, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of ReDave
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%

Nice IPA.
I've had several very nice IPA's lately, and this is one of them.
It's nice that while they are all similar, they each have their own nuances, even though i can always pinpoint, at least verbally, the differences.
Nice amber color [slightly darker than some] Creamy head that seems to last a little. Nice lace all the way down.

Tastes good, full of hoppy goodness. Fairly well balanced.

I'd add this to regular rotation, but it's not available locally, and that's OK too.

ReDave, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of bjohnson
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%

Thanks to nvsblman for including this in my ba anniv. package. I appreciate the opportunity.

A: Pours a clear amber color with a frothy one finger white colored head. Excellent retention. Amazing Jackson Pollock painting like lacing with tiers to it.
S: Excellent fruity hop notes, mostly of grapefruit and orange peel. A bit of malt underneath.
T/M: Fruity hop notes of grapefruit, orange peel, lemon zest, and slight tang. Subtle malt profile of sweet caramel that creeps in before a nice long bitterness that leaves the mouth dry. Despite the dryness in the finish, it's quite smooth and coating on the palate as it's coming across the tongue.
D: A very excellent easy drinking IPA. Nice and smooth with a decent abv that's not too high. Well balanced with a good body.

bjohnson, Feb 04, 2007
Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 3,042 ratings.