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Big Eye IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Eye IPABig Eye IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,070 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,070
Hads: 4,074
Avg: 4.06
pDev: 18.72%
Wants: 201
Gots: 924 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: 1,070 | Hads: 4,074
Photo of jaxon53
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally, Ballast Point comes to the Nutmeg State. Served this one chilled, in a pint glass, from a twelve ounce brown bottle.

Appearance: Pours out a beautiful copper amber color, that is crystal clear. A somewhat hard pour yields about a finger of fluffy white head. Head faded rather quickly into a thin white gob. Some thin, white, clingy lace was left behind.

Smell: Nose starts out with a moderate blast of hops. Nice orange juice and lemon zest aromas. Grassy with a bit of yeast and a slight touch of tobacco. A massive maltiness finishes the nose nicely.

Taste: A nice hoppy bitterness up front, very herbal like. Some faint grapefruit and orange peel. Has a flowery, grassy flavor. A nice thick maltiness sweetens this up a bit, and balances it almost perfectly. Finishes dry with a bit more of the hops. Definitely has that West Coast flavor to it.

Mouthfeel: Has a pleasant medium bodied mouthfeel to it. Very crisp and clean. Perfectly carbonated.

Drinkability: Awesome drinkability. Very refreshing. A great IPA overall. I can't wait to try more Ballast Point brews.

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Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber, no freshness dating offered. Great to see this fine S.D. beer available on the east coast. Pours almond/orangy amber, clear under an off white tiny bubble head, that leaves great looking fine sheeting/lacing. The unmistakable freshness of the hopped laden nose, brings back those lazy days on the left coast, yum. Way Citric, piney, resiny, hop lovers will love this one. Not over poweringly crunching (Ruinationlike) but 'SD" style all the way. Smooth, flavorful, high quality. Welcome to the neighborhood.

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

A: Poured a clear, beautiful tangerine orange with a 1 finger creamy, light beige head that was moderately lasting leaving a fair lacing behind. Visible carbonation was very soft.

S: fresh citrus and grapefruit.

T: The initial flavor was sweet and dry with pine/citrus and a dry caramel woodiness. There were some dry oranges and a sharp, pronounced hoppiness in the finish providing a very nice subtle fade of floral. The bitterness was very smooth with slight sweet caramel and grapefruit hints in the finish.

M: medium with a nice dry floral bitterness that was left on the tongue along with some dry sour oranges and sticky pine.

D: Very drinkable, very nice and an great example per style and one you could easily enjoy all night with no complaints.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a brownish-amber color with a creamy off-white head with decent lacing.

Smell: Piney hops and very sharp grapefruit aroma.

Taste: Malt background with astringent pine and grapefruit. Really sharp finish with a somewhat odd bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Somewhat smooth.

Drinkability: The taste really tires me out.

I'm personally not to keen on this beer. I don't like the extremely astringent grapefruit taste in this American IPA.

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

22 oz. bomber purchased at Gordon's Yellow Front in New London, CT. Thanks to FarmingtonRiver for the tip!

Poured a reddish-orange w/ very little head that diminished fairly quickly. Not a cloud in sight, the forecast for this IPA is clear skies. Some sticky lacing is present.

Nose is a mixture of spices, pine, and a bit of fruit action going on. The bottle claims to have hints of toffee, but I didn't pick it up.

Taste is much of the same with the bitterness of hops of front, a mixture of pineapple and grapefruit character in the middle, and a decent malt character providing run support in the back of the order.

Bordering on oily and medium-bodied. Finishes hoppy and a bit dry.

I'm glad I had the opportunity to try another IPA from the San Diego, CA region. Having said that, I don't find Ballast Point's Big Eye IPA in the same league as some of the other premier IPAs from that area. This statement doesn't detract from its overall quality because overall, it was a good IPA. I would drink this again, but I don't see it becoming a member of my greatest hits collection.

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Photo of cbl2
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

3/20/2008 $4.55 22 oz. 6.00% No best by date.


Pours a relatively still copper/orange with just a rim of white around the edge of the glass.


Sweet citrus hops with grapefruit dominating the nose.


Slightly chewy mouthfeel with a blast of grapefruit hops lead off. Some caramel sweetness creeps in midsip, followed by a transition to pinier hops flavors. Finish is dry and clean.

This is highly drinkable, and a great example of an IPA (it could even pass for a DIPA as far as the hops are concerned!).

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

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear, golden amber with a finger of off-white head. Retains nicely into a beautiful thin layer across the top that leaves a HUGE latticework of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma is nice blast of fresh piney hops and citrus with a some spicy notes and a little sweetness behind it.

The is just more of the same. Resinous, biting hops and zesty citrus followed by a just perfect amount of sweet caramel to even things out. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fantastic slick feel from all the hop oils and nary a trace of the 6% ABV is to be found.

Wow, this is just a great West Coast IPA from Ballast Point! Just tons of fresh pine and citrus notes with an awesome slickness, that coupled with the undetectable ABV, helps this one go down as easy as anything. I'll definitely be seeking out a six-pack of this next time.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 Fl. Oz bottle purchased from Super Saver in Somerville for $4.99...
"Handcrafted and bottled in San Diego, California, 2002 World Beer Cup Bronze Medal Winer"... On the logo sticker...
Upon opening the bottle, I was instantly greeted by a wave of pine, citrus, and grapefruit notes that really shook the frame...
Great aroma consisting of the above-mentioned essences...
Pours a clean, clear, lucid, copper, dark-amber colored hue with a modest head that exhibited adequate staying power before slowly receding...
An extremely well-balanced, flavorful, rich IPA, filled with wonderful flavors including toffee, caramel, vanilla, hops, pines, citrus, lemons, grapefruit, and florals... Very distinct, clear, and refreshing taste, nicely balanced out and easily drinkable without any alcohol detected at all... As far as American IPA's are concerned, this is up there with some of the best... Great aroma, taste, mouthfeel, and easy drinkability make this a superb rendition of the style...

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Photo of Gehrig
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I grabbed this today at the sterling Sun Singer, and a fine grab it was, if I may say so. Two generous fingers of white froth top a yellow-orange body, with dense rings of lacing adorning the pint glass--excellent. In fact, after I was finished, I could count my sips of Big Eye by the rings seemingly etched on the side of the glass--like rings inside a tree; amazing. The nose is strong, rife with citrusy hops, particularly orange and grapefruit.

The taste brings out a good deal of citrus, but is nicely complemented by a robust malty taste--lots of roasted caramel. It really is very well balanced, which says a lot given the dense hop content. The mouthfeel is terrific, with a fair degree of hop grit offset by the smooth, malty texture.

Just an excellent IPA--complex, balanced, and very satisfying. A must-try.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ballast Point- Big Eye IPA

A- Golden orange brown with a thickwhipped cream head. Heavy lacing!
S- Very sweet sugary malt with an equal dose of swett grapefruit hops.
T- Sugar laden grapefruit with a nice balance caramel. Slight piney oily residue in the end.
M- At first very sweet and cloying but let it warm a bit and the oily sticky hop resin fcomes through bittering this 1 up.

Overall- A solid IPA worthy of the $5 bomber. Another good Ballast Point beer.

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Photo of beermanbrian
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice bronze color with a short white head. Sticky lacing. Nice piney hops smell that is balanced with a nice caramel malt backbone. Taste gives a little more of a citrus note than the smell. Nice balance. Some puckering pine on the finish. In a market flooded with IPA's this is one that can hold it's own. My first Ballast Point brew and I'll gladly come back for some more.

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

12 oz. bottle pours a nice clear amber into my trusty Troeg's pint. Excellent and appealing clarity with the slightest hint of haze. Wonderful subdued hop aroma - strong but in no way overwhelming.

Taste is exceptional. Hoppy, but not an extreme hop bomb, Very well balanced.

Mouthfeel is oily hops with a dry finish.

Outstanding drinkability - several of these would be no problem at all.

An exceptionally well balanced representation of the style.

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Photo of joe1510
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber

A big thanks to brentk56 for sending this as an extra in a recent trade. This was one of those slow gushers that created a gigantic head when first poured. Big Eye empties into my glass a moderately hazy pale orange. Large random carbonation bubbles make their way to the surface. After I was able to pour a glass the head was meringue-like and left huge sticky patches as it eventually settled. The head alone makes for a good looking IPA.

The nose is unmistakably full of centennial goodness. I always find centennials to bring a big nose of juicy ripe pears along with some tartness from green apples. Very reminiscent of orchard fruits. There's plenty of malt in the background mostly in the form of toffee and caramel. Makes my mouth water after each whiff.

While Big Eye is certainly a good IPA it just doesn't live up to the aroma. Those juicy ripe pears are in the aroma but caramel coated with a side of toffee. The flavors just seem a little rough around the edges and there's a slight alcohol present that seems to cut right through everything else.

Moderate body with perky carbonation. The carbonation will kick start the tastebuds. Finishes smooth with a nice sweet hop kick.

A fairly easy drinking IPA. The bomber is no problem at all to finish on my own.

Another quality IPA from the Left Coast. I'm a fan of both Big Eye and Dorado from Ballast Point.

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Photo of JDV
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to fordest for this nice IPA.
Slight hazed amber pour but mostly transluscent still, with a big long lasting white head. Nicely fresh hopped smell with good sweetness coming through in the way of sweet fruity pine. Taste is piney bitterness, some sweetness behind that, with a somewhat astringent soap finish. Above average hoppiness I'd say, and a good overall IPA.

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

Finally, an IPA that's hoppy, but doesn't try to beat you over the head with them. A fine looking beer, ever so slightly a step under crystal-clear, with a lot of foam on the top. Smells of hop oil and some citrus. Tastes about the same, hops, and some citrus, with a certain herbal quality that keeps things interesting.

Finishes cleaner than expected, making this a very drinkable beer. I'd recommend it.

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Photo of bashiba
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice clean Copper with a thick sticky head.

Smell was strong and nice with fresh grapefruit mixing with nice fresh sourdough bread maltyness.

A very nicely balanced strong IPA, a big blast of grapefruit, juniper, and mint from tasty centenial hops mixing with a nice toasted malt base.

Mouthfeel is Slick and oily with a lingering drying finish.

Very solid IPA, it could become a mainstay in my fridge if it wasn't for the 22oz only format.

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On CASK at O'Brien's

Appearance is a murky amber-orange hue, thin layer of bubbles and no lacing (cask)

Smell is fresh green hops, heavy orange/citrus emphasis, some raw pale malts, honey sweetness rounds it out

Taste is a perfect mix of malts and orange-forward hops, some sour grapefruit and cotton candy in the middle, finishes smooth and bitter

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, watery-to-slick texture, mild carbonation (cask)

Drinkability is good, a nice and sweet IPA that hold up well in the cask version, low alcohol presence in the session range, the hops shine through but there is great balance here

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Photo of bcm119
3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tasted blind along with 5 other California IPAs: Lagunitas, Drakes, Anderson Valley, Stone, and Racer 5.

Thinnest head of the bunch. Aroma is candied tropical fruit. Nose is sweet, dark fruity malt followed by a surge of juicy citrus hops mid palate. Coarse, damp grain malt bill. Medium body- heavy for the style- with oily, coating hops towards the finish that leave a juicy orange aftertaste. Juicy fruit is almost bubblegummy and not very refreshing.

Overall this IPA is a bit of a blundering mess-- too sweet and slightly cloying. It is neither clean nor crisp, and there seems to be an overabundance of finishing hops and not enough bittering hops. Least favorite in the blind tasting.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Overlord.

Brownish golden pour with a small head and some carbonation present.

Smells very hoppy yet malty at the same time. Actually reminds me of a barleywine with the way it smells. There is a definite presence of some fruit in the smell.

Tastes pretty hoppy but there's that dark fruit again. Man, this reminds me of a hoppy barleywine. Not crazy about the hops in this one. They taste sort of off to me.

Glad I got to give this California regional a go. Decent IPA but certainly not elite. Thanks for the bottle, Overlord!

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

Acquired from rayjay courtesy of the BA Secret Santa 2007, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is a good mix of floral hops, citrus, caramelized malt and a touch of vanilla.

T: The taste is well balanced with flavors of citrus & caramel, sweetness and a pale hops bitterness. The hops presence strengthens as the beer warms. The malt character is hearty but stays on the light side. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a good IPA to drink for an entire evening.

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Photo of tonistruth
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap @ PB Taproom in San Diego, CA

A- copperish orange with a solid holding 1 finger fluffy white head

S- citrus and floral, hop oils

T- citric, pine, and spicy notes from hops, toasted malts are there and noticeable but its easy to get lost in the tasty hop bitternesss

M- slick with a dry after, hops numb up tongue a bit

D- i wouldn't session but i would drink this again, wonderful mouthfeel, very west coast, top notch IPA

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Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a high clarity orange, nice ring of drippy lacing. A little skim of foam sticks around for a few minutes. An aroma of caramel and toffee is dominant over any hop presence, but there's an herbal component there also.

Round feel to it, ample carbonation producing a dry frothiness toward the finish. Bitter herbal & vegetal hops in the finish, not fruity, more the sprucey pine sap variety. Full bodied for the style, but the flavor isn't really doing it for me. There is alot of caramel malt there, and the hops really are only there for bttering it seems.

Regardless, it's well put together, and it's very drinkable anytime.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to sirhc for the chance to try this fine brew.
Orange/amber in color. Thin lasting sticky head with lot's of sticky lacing.
Excellent aroma. Nice mixture of citrus and floral smells.
Good toasty malt backbone but this beer is all about the hops. Grapefruit rinds and pine trees.
Somewhat abrasive in the mouthfeel. This is the only knock that I have on this beer as it's an excellent example of a West Coast IPA. I've tried both of the Ballast Point brews that sirhc sent me and I'm very impressed. I wonder why I haven't heard more about this brewery.

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Photo of Enola
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was a nice orange with a good sized head. There was plenty of lacing. The smell was piney hops. The taste was bitter, with a nice aftertaste of hops. A nice smooth beer. The mouthfeel was sticky. I could drink this beer again anytime. A mighty fine ipa. Thanks to wcudwight for sharing.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass and served right out of the fridge.

A – Poured a very nice and dark orange colored amber with a big three finger high head of foamy white colored lace on top. Very nice retention as this hung around for a good few minutes before finally settling down and leaving a thin film across the top of it. Very nice residual side glass lacing was evident throughout the session as was great carbonation. There were streams of carbonation coming up from the bottom of this one throughout the entire session replenishing the top of the glass repeatedly. The clarity was also superb, being nearly crystal clear throughout the entire session but keeping its orange tinted amber hue.

S – The aroma on this one was enormous, seriously one of the strongest smelling IPA’s I have seen in a good while. Huge floral and citrus hops leaped forward right out of the gate to take command over the direction this was going to go. Lots of orange and tangerine, grapefruit like aromas blending together with a good dose of sugary sweetness and piney resin like thickness gave it really a very full profile. There was a certain amount of freshness you could pick out of it as well. Very big here and really very nice, classic west coast IPA so far.

T – The flavored followed up the aroma perfectly. As soon as the first sip hit my tongue I knew where this one was going. It had the great super dry and bitter hop presence. You know the one where you think your lips are going to stick to your teeth, just classic. Big hops all the way with great orange and grapefruit notes leading the way and never really letting anything else in. As it warmed it got a touch sweeter and maybe some of the maltiness that was hiding underneath tried to sneak in, but nit much as this one maintained its teeth throughout the entire session. Really great finish as well as it just sucked the moisture out of your mouth and left you with this long lasting intensely dry and bitter citrus taste that you knew the only thing that was going to make it any better at all would be to take another sip.

M – Very nice I would have to say a light to medium bodied ale, as there was definitely a little weight to it for sure. The carbonation was superb. Not overly saturated with it causing it to become a fizzy mess but just about right keeping it from thickening up too much and turning into a syrup like drink, which when this many hops get involved can sometimes be a challenge.

D – Again it depends on who you are, but for me this is a session ale. Yes it has 7%abv, but who cares. If you love big tasting west coast hop bombs this one is right up your alley. I had no issue polishing this off and could have easily gone for another. Never came across as mouth shredding and no hint of alcohol in the flavor. Really very nice to drink and went perfect with dinner.

Overall this was a really great IPA. This is the style I love and I was very impressed with the example presented here. This was a classic west coast IPA from the moment I popped the cap on it, and I would gladly accept another one of these any day!

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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,070 ratings.