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Big Eye IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Eye IPABig Eye IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,048 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,048
Hads: 3,927
Avg: 4.06
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 182
Gots: 802 | FT: 4
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-22-2000

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Eye IPA Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,048 | Hads: 3,927
Photo of RenzoD
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

There is nothing standard about this beer, but it is what an American IPA should taste like. Feel, taste, smell. All around excellent beer and one of the best of this style.

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Photo of ElJacobian
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This tastes just like the Mexican spicy dried fruit candies. If you haven't had one before, think spicy apricot. Not a very sessionable beer in my opinion, but I enjoy the unique taste very much. It has a resiny, spicy and fruity aftertaste, with the malt holding its own as well.

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Photo of Ri0
3.89/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This IPA has a combination of citrus and pine hop notes to go along with bready malts. The grapefruit and orange hit up front, with some sweater bread like malt in the middle and a nice pine finish.

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Photo of KidDoc
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into std pint glass. Thick head with medium retention and light lacing. Crystal clear light coppery Amber color. For some reason, I can almost pick up a hint of the ocean in the aroma. Flavor profile and mouthfeel are about as expected for a nice west coast IPA. Oddly, since I am on the East coast, I usually get these in cans or bottles and I do prefer the Sculpin in comparative tastes. I have once tasted them at the Ballast Point pub in Little Italy in SD, and the gap was much closer so freshness probably counts for a lot. In any event, give it a try if you can find it.

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Photo of teromous
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle: no freshness date that I can see

Appearance: Very transparent dark copper body that looks beautiful under a very thick off-white head.

Aroma: I get a very strong orange zest aroma. There's a bit of a pine aroma in there as well. It smells very fresh.

Taste: I get a light bitter grapefruit flavor, and the aftertaste has a grain flavor.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is off-dry with a good amount of bitterness that doesn't linger.

Overall: It was a really good IPA. I live on the East Coast and this is a beer brewed in CA, and it tastes very fresh. I am impressed by that. I would buy it again.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no bottle date; Wisconsin just started getting distribution so presumably this is fresh like the Sculpin are. Served in a snifter glass 2/9/2015.

A- Clear, dark copper body, two finger white head with excellent retention and very nice nets and rings of lacing.

S- Grainy pale malt, citrus zest, floral notes, even a touch of spices. Pine as well.

F- Grapefruit, crackers, freshly toasted grains, citrus zest, pine, floral notes. The grainy crackery sweetness kicks in even more towards the end, which is actually quite nice as it gives a nice respite to the piney bitterness that it transitions from. Very tasty, nice complexity, well-hopped.

M- Medium bodied, a bit sticky but not syrupy. Good carbonation, smooth and very easy to drink. I enjoy the combination of flavours that starts out aromatic then sweet then bitter then sweet. It's a very nice progression that is most evident when the beer is at more of a cellar temperature.

O- Very nice IPA, not the best I've had but one of the better ones that I see on the shelves in Wisconsin. Ballast Point makes very solid pale ales and I'm glad to have them here.

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Photo of hoagzzz
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For some reason never had this brew. Picked up a single at craft bottle shop by Oxford valley mall. Overall, very familiar taste though I can't place it. Good not great. Enjoyed it.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle: hazy and bright amber with a quickly receding off-white head; very nice lacing on the glass. Per the brewery, this ale was bottled on the 218 day of 2014 so it has some age.

This aroma was very unique and rather dank. It is unlike any beer aroma I have encountered until I realized Stone's IPA has a remarkably similar aroma. It has been several years since I have enjoyed a Stone IPA but that aroma is unmistakable; it is almost like a tomato.

The flavor has a strong, but not very distinctive hop punch with the abrasiveness tingling on my tongue. As the ale warms, there is a nice sweet, caramel flavor that gives the ale some balance. As with the aroma, the flavor profile is unique. Unlike most American IPAs I have tried, I cannot detect any citrus or pine flavors. The aftertaste does have some faint marmalade like flavors. I am enjoying the taste profile, it just seems a little odd.

The ale has a medium body with moderate carbonation and a lingering, tangy and sweet mouth feel.

Another good ale from Ballast Point, though rather strange and unique.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a globe.

A: Hazy Amber color. Creamy off white head retains well at an inch in height. Sticky webs of lacing cement themselves onto the glass.

S: Earthy. Resin. Wet leaves and dank bud. Tangerine and apricot. Toast and caramel malt base.

T: Tangerine and apricot are juicy and vibrant on the tongue. Pine and earthy bitterness is firm but gentle. Lemon pith. Passion fruit. Toast and caramel malt base. Sweet bud, pine, passion fruit, and toast on the finish.

M: Medium bodied. soft and creamy texture with a bite of fine carbonation. Astringencies lay that gripping film on the tooth enamel.

O: I really find it amazing that this beer gets no love or recognition. It's always stuck playing second fiddle to Sculpin. Most breweries would kill to have an IPA like this. Superb stuff.

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Photo of Decko
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy deep gold appearance. Big hoppy aromas which dominate and not surprisingly this comes through in the taste strongly. As it warmed in the glass I got a little of the alcohol coming through. Nice enough IPA but feels a little unbalanced to me with the hops overdone and the alcohol mouthfeel. I'm probably not used to the more gutsy west coast IPAs but would have it again but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of DucksFan16
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

No bottle dating, so I am unsure of whether this is actually a fresh IPA or has been sitting on the shelf for some time. Aroma is not strong at all or very pleasant, The taste is primarily bitter with hardly any fruity notes.

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Photo of MTLDOG
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice IPA. Poured into a pint glass. Clear copper color with white head. A little lacing. Smells earthy and spicy. A little caramel and citrus and definite spice that sticks to your palate and lingers almost making you hungry. Very west coast hoppyness. Finishes with a flurry of flavor, hops, spices, lemon pith. A good one, a tad boozy though.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark orange, misty, small frothy white head.
Caramel stands out in the smell, pumping up the rich citrus feel (sweet orange, tangerine, pomelo, kumquat), with nice perfumey hints of tropical mango and papaya, faint pineapple. Some pine resin on the nose too, but not too much passes through sweetness.
Taste balances things out more, tho still the sweet side more than slightly overpowers the bitter pine resin. A sticky sweet fruity note, with (surprisingly) melon popping up first, nice mango, papaya, maracuja, apricot, overripe orange, tangerine, light pineapple, sitting on top of a mild caramel malt backbone, not as thick as the smell induced. Generous pine resin in the finish, spicy, nice and bitter, but not entirely dry.
So a bit of caramel/fruity sweetness passes in the aftertaste, keeping those tropical notes strong and alive. There's pine, a bit of honey and lingering bitterness too. Medium body, a bit sticky, medium carbonation.
A really great IPA with a long finish and big tropical notes. Had high hopes for these Ballast Point brews, started off on a really great foot.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was going to review another beer but Ballast Point with their endless nautical references and their 7% ABV IPA caught my eye (the big one) and you know what? F**k it! Let’s do this (s)hit! Let’s give this highly rated brewer a stab at glory (in my mind - which is another deeply philosophical discussion for another day, but the jist is: I think = I exist). Apparently this beer put West Coast San Diego IPAs on the map... which is in South California, near Mexico (in case you were wondering).

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Hazy (with yeast sediment floating around doing its thing - making beer awesome) orangey/coppery/amber body with a chunky off-white 1cm head that appropriately reduces to a spider web of lace. 8/10.

S: Harsh San Diego hopping (think K-S Tower 10 IPA) produces an aroma that is 99% hop goodness with notes of: Pine resin, forest floor, earthy and grapefruit hops. A bare glimmer of some sweet caramel malt peeks through the dense hop fog. 8/10.

T: Clever bastards! The bold hopping (both wet and dry) in the aroma covers up a nice dense caramel malt base which balances the aforementioned aggressive San Diegan hops. The hop characters, as expected, are: Pine resin, earthy/forest floor, grapefruit, and a woody/dry note comes through towards the finish. It’s San Diego in a glass, impressive. I didn’t find it all that bitter, but then I’ve wrecked my taste buds with hundreds of IPAs now, and I’m a fairly bitter/cynical person to begin with. 8/10.

M: Medium bodied with a nice (but not Founders nice) carbonation. 7/10.

D: This was a big one for me as a mate did rave on about how good it was, expectations were high, there is a lot to praise about this brew but ultimately if you’re going to compete with the likes of Founders Centennial IPA or Sierra Nevada Torpedo (not to mention the amazing beers that I haven’t tried like Heady Topper), you had better bring the big guns to the table. This is a bazooka to Founders/SN’s 88mm Anti-tank gun... close but not even in the same vicinity. 8/10.

Food match: This piney/earthy brew would be just at home with a Pad Thai as it would with a Recette de Côte de boeuf sauce bordelaise et cèpes en persillade (Prime rib with porcini mushroom and parsley).

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Photo of Creepee
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Appearance : Cloudy amber

Smell: Citrus, Pine

Taste: Actually quite smooth for an IPA, nothing overly complex, all the elements blended perfectly.

Drink-ability: Easy to drink, calm and mellow, but still retains that ballast point signature.

Comments: Great IPA recommend it highly.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BOD 241/14. Pours a very slightly hazy medium amber with a light dark ruby cast. As it warms, the chill haze disappears. Above average head volume and retention, world class lacing. Outstanding nose of sweet tropicals (pineapple, mango and tangerine) over caramel with a peppery note. Light medium body with a nice smooth texture that approaches slick. Well carbonated with a effervescent rush from the middle to the finish. The outstanding flavor profile is intense, very well balanced and complex in terms of hop flavor. It begins with a burst of blended hop flavor that separates into the tropical components as it fades into a caramel sweetness. Interestingly, a grapefruit rind flavor is also noted as it flows into the mild bitterness of the middle coupled with a pepper note. The finish is a slow fade from residual caramel sweetness into a rind like mild lingering bitterness.

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Photo of beergoot
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle label data: BE 477 14263

Deep, copper-orange hued body with a thick, sticky, frothy white head. Rich caramel-smelling sweetness combines with strong citrus and pine sap hop aroma. Excellent marriage of delicate caramel malt flavors with a gentle, fruity twang and a robust, orange and citrus hop bitterness. The body feels medium-heavy in weight with a slick, not-quite syrupy quality; mostly dry finish.

This west coast IPA offers a lot for the hop head beer fiend. The bitterness and aroma are the epicenter of this tasty brute. The malt sweetness and stickiness nicely complement the hop character. An excellent and highly recommended IPA.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into glass. 7% abv.

Appearance- Cloudy orange amber. Two finger head with good retention.

Smell- Heavy aroma of citrus. Very fruit like with notes of pineapple and grapefruit.

Taste- The citrus notes arrive to the palate first, fresh grapefruit cuts right through. Midway, a heavy malt prescence takes over and definitely has a noticeable caramel quality to it. This blends into a solid bitter and dry finish that lasts awile.

Mouthfeel- Medium to medium heavy in body. Lively carbonation.

Overall- A solid IPA from a great brewery. I agree this one is just a tad bit below Sculpin in rank. Plenty of flavor and done correctly.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: clear; bronze colored; 1 finger off white head that receded to an uneven cap; very nice lacing;

S: all hops - tropical fruit;

T: like the nose, it's all tropical fruit; a slightly astringent bitterness kicks in at mid-palate and stays through the finish;

M; medium bodied; moderate bitterness;

O: a complete hop bomb; I with the bitterness wasn't astringent;

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer has a beautiful balance of bitterness and sweetness. Citrus hits the nose first, giving way to lots of bready aroma. The taste is more geared towards the maltiness with a touch of noticable alcohol burn.

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Photo of osant37
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. can at 45 degrees F. into a tulip style ipa glass.
A - golden blossom honey with a slight haze . 1 finger of clingy soapy foam that sticks around. alcohol legs are present around the glass.

S - Tropical fruits are strong, mango, pineapple & mandarin oranges. sweet, sweet malty / honey notes.

T - bitter tropical smash to the pallet. mid mouth sweetness from the malts almost like a frosted donut with tropical fruit salad on top. this is absolutely delicious.

M- full bodied. coats the mouth in flavor and leaves a delicious resiny aftertaste.

O - This Beer is fucking awesome. I can drink this IPA everyday. And IMHO is just slighty better than sculpin. I would buy this and many other of the fantastic offerings by Ballast Point Brewing whenever possible. happy to have a great ipa like this for my 300th beer.


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

Enjoyed out of a 22 oz brown bomber that I happily found on my trip to Hawaii. Reviewing from notes after drinking on 10/22. The label is marked with a Julian date code of 14258, which translates to 9/15/14. Poured into a stemless wine glass.

Appearance (4.25) - Pours a jewel-like brassy orange that brings to mind a darker version of amber (fossilized tree resin). Not really any haze, with the only obscuring produced by a lazy stream of carbonation rising up to the top to replenish a towering three fingers of off-white creamy looking foam. Retention is excellent, leaving spotty sheets of sticky lace covering the sides of the glass and an island of frothy bubbles floating on the surface as the head slowly recedes.

Smell (4.0) - Rich notes of pine wood and resin are the predominant aromas, with some subtle notes of earth and cedar come through as well. There are also complementary notes of citrus zest, but that is definitely secondary to the pine. Underlying it all is a pleasant malt backbone, with some caramel and grain lending a sweet counterpoint to the hop profiles.

Taste (4.0) - Many of the same characteristics are present in the taste that were part of the smell. This time, the notes are a little more straightforward than I detected in the aroma, with a lot of the subtle undertones giving way to pretty clear notes of pine resin and some hints of bright citrus zest with a faint grapefruit pith on the finish. The malt is again there to provide a base for the hops, with barley and bready sweetness.

Mouthfeel (4.0) - Medium-bodied and moderate carbonation with a slightly prickly mouthfeel and a mostly dry finish with just a hint of sweetness.

Overall (4.0) - This is an excellent take on the IPA style, and I'm actually impressed that Ballast Point has managed to make two IPAs that differentiate from one another without sacrificing quality. Any other brewer would be happy to have a citrus-forward IPA like Sculipin or pine-forward IPA like Big Eye in their portfolio. I'll definitely have to try this one out of cans sometime.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz Bomber.Nice pour with a 1 finger head.Smell is Grapefruit.The taste is grapefruit and a slight lemon taste with a little bitterness but not to much.This is a solid IPA with a good 7.0ABV.Not quite as good as Sculpin but pretty good.Give it a try.Thanks to Mr Renteria for giving this one to me.

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Photo of majorbase2
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep amber color with a big, light brown foamy head that stays for a bit and results in some similarly foamy lacing. Pretty good retention. Lots of citrus in this one. Grapefruit, orange, and pineapple. A bit of pine resin. Some very light caramel and bready/grain malts as well. The first thing noticed with the taste is the bitterness, which pairs excellently with the grapefruit aroma an taste. Some lemon zest and sour orange give this one a very unique taste. The pine isn't as present now; it's still there but the flavors allow the citrus to dominate. Not as hop heavy as I expected. Overall the taste isn't overpowering but it is very well done. The only negative thing I have to say about this beer is that, in my opinion, it is a bit overcarbonated. It could've benefitted from a bit less. Sticks to the tongue a bit and leaves a pleasant aftertaste. Overall a very good, easy drinking IPA suitable for any occasion. A good alternative if you're not in the mood to get knocked over by Sculpin!

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep-golden amber color with a one finger head of just off white foam. The head has a great level of retention, slowly fading to leave a tons of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma of the brew is quite heavy of pine and grapefruit hops with the pine being the biggest and giving a very resinous smell overall. Along with the hops comes some aromas of a bready and slightly crackery nature as well as a hint of a grassy smell being there as well.

Taste – The taste begins rather bready and more fruity flavored with tangerine, some peach and apricot, as well as some mango like flavors all being there and mixing with a decent showing of a grapefruit hop presence. As the taste advances the grapefruit stays strong, but is joined by some other hop flavors of a pine and earthy nature. While these two hops begin rather light they both gain intensity as the flavor advances with the pine really stepping it up. While the pine increases it can never really out compete the grapefruit hop however. With the fruity flavors fading a bit and some light crackery flavors coming to the tongue, one is left with a moderately sweet and bitter grapefruit but moderately resinous flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thicker and chewier side with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower to average side. For the mix of fruity, malty, and blend of grapefruit and resinous hop, the feel is very nice creating a thick and robust base for all the flavors to be taking in rather well.

Overall – This was a tasty brew. Ballast Point knows there IPA’s well, at least from what I can gather from the Big eye and Sculpin. While the Sculpin may beat this one out by a bit, this one is very nice none the less, and depending on my mood, may give Sculpin a run for its money.

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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,048 ratings.