Big Eye IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Eye IPABig Eye IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,026 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,026
Hads: 3,805
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 4.42%
Wants: 173
Gots: 730 | 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:
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: 1,026 | Hads: 3,805
Photo of StJamesGate
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask at the GBBF.

Dry-hopped with Palisades for the Great British Beer Festival.

Pours lemony amber with speckles of lace. Ruby red grapefruit nose with underlying ginger cakes. Caramel malts with branch and mulch cut by orange Angostura bitters hops with fruit candy notes. Searing IBU finish and astringent linger. Some burn, medium, chewy.

What the heck are Palisades? They seem to have ruined what I've heard is a great beer.

Bitterness over hop flavor and the malts are there, so it's not a question of balance. I know SDPAs bring the pain, but I get none of the fruit that should come from dry-hopping.

Disappointing. (632 characters)

Photo of TwoPack
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful rusty-amber color. Light head with limited lacing. Approach brings heavy hop flavor- wow. Good, rich mouthfeel that finishes very dry. Impressive bitter taste for a traditional IPA. Would purchase this again. Pros: Hop-head's dream Cons: Low flavor complexiity. (279 characters)

Photo of MaximalC
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a transparent amber color with a bountiful head of coarse, cream-colored foam. Aroma smells of grapefruit and biscuity malt with hints of pine resin and bubblegum. Impressively thick gobs of lacing cling to the glass as the beer recedes.

The taste follows the nose, with grapefruit pith, pine resin, and bready malt, with a definite slant toward the bitter side. My first impression is very reminiscent of Angry Bastard. Alcohol adds a little bite on the back end but is mostly under control. Medium body and carbonation lend a slightly loose yet drinkable, semi-creamy mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a no-frills, well-executed, bog standard IPA. (656 characters)

Photo of welldigger888
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a wonderful orangish copper hue with a thick foam stand of 3+ fingers an off white caramel color.

Malty caramel goodness, and after a few pints the hop aroma is a bit muted.

A nice bitter base with lotsa maltiness bringing the heat, west coast style late hop flavor is nice. Burps very west coast as well. NICE.

Medium bodied creamcicle hop like mouthfeel has been best part.

Well, I got my growler filled for a great price and if it lasts will get more. Have had WAY better from ballast point but a good beer. (522 characters)

Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a super clear amber with nice white head. The head quickly fades but leaves great lacing.

Smell isnt over powering but of fruity citrus notes.

Taste seems kind of off to me. Its very bitter but leaves a coppery taste in your mouth. You get slight malt on the back as well.

Overall Ive just never been very impressed with this beer. To me it is a run of the mill IPA. Not bad not great just eh. (402 characters)

Photo of greencovesteve
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark golden red. Pour with a very thin head.

S: hints of pine blend nicely with subtle hints of fruit. A sweet grape smell stands out.

T: hard to pin this one down. Seems like there's going to be so much more, but it's not a complete disappointment. Very smooth going down, laking in initial hop bite then going overboard with the bitter at the end. The true lack of complexity is what makes this a good beer.

M: truly a roller coaster for your mouth. Light smooth carbonation leading into a near sour bitter.

O: fair price for a fair beer. Surprisingly bitter for such a smooth lead in. (598 characters)

Photo of Murchmac
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a sun kissed copper with not much a smell but packs a great taste and is less filling. Not a big west coast IPA, but still gives you a bang for your buck with a nice balance. Sweet taste, hoppy sting like a bee but light like a butterfly. I think their porter is the best beer they make but this is a great balanced IPA to enjoy without being overwhelmed. (368 characters)

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Arbitrator for this generous extra.
12oz bottle poured into SA perfect pint.

A- A nice golden orange that is crystal clear. Two finger's worth of head that recedes quickly but leaves some good lacing on the side of the glass.

S- A big burst of hops, piney and citrus. Maybe a little orange and some sweet malt in there as well.

T- Some subdued hops of the pine variety. Some nice floral and grassy notes as well. Just the slightest amount of malt presence.

M- Medium to light bodied that has a nice hop bite to it. A dry finish that feels slightly rough on the throat.

D- Lighter bodied IPA that is crisp and offers that nice bite but doesn't kill the palate and allows for multiple beers to be drank. (716 characters)

Photo of mithrascruor
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
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. (540 characters)

Photo of Boto
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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. (644 characters)

Photo of Seanibus
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is a noble effort, but comes off a bit out of balance - slightly syrupy and sickly sweet, more like a run-of-the-mill double IPA.

Pours a hazy golden with a lively head and excellent lacing. The aroma is great - grainy and hoppy. You can smell this beer coming from some distance.

Unfortunately, the flavor is a relative disappointment. It has plenty of citrusy hop character, but the overall effect is too sweet and sticky, too malty, as if the brewer were struggling to tame the hops with an artless blast of malt. The flavor is toffee-like and carmel-ish, but with a hint of burn on it. There is a good dose of hop bitterness on the back end, but it takes a while to develop and is masked by the syrupy character of the malt.

The mouth feel is strong and smooth, with a bite of carbonation on the front of the tongue.

Overall, this beer is a disappointment. It isn't bad, but judged against its competitors, particularly its fellow San Diego brew, Green Flash's West Coast IPA, Big Eye clearly shows its flaws. This is not a beer I will be coming back to. (1,067 characters)

Photo of BZero007
3.59/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Total Wine in Springfield, VA

Pours a extremely clear amber hue with perfect head formation. The look of this beer is amazing and should be the rule of thumb. The aroma is not very strong but carries the usual hoppy citrus, and flower/fruit aroma. mouth feel is great as the brew does not rip your mouth apart with extremly bitter hops and no flavor...quit the opposite. The brew has a perfect carbonation level that helps push the great hops citrus and fruity flavors threw. It is not an intense flavor out of control, but restrained. This makes this beer very drinkable at 7%. Would keep this beer in my fridge for company to try. (648 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
3.59/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, I am getting the sense this bottle might have a little age on it. Without a bottle date I can't tell. There are no OFF flavors, but the hop character is certainly muted. After looking back at some other reviews, I see others are speaking in glowing terms of the fresh hop presense...
I'll post this since there isn't a defect in the beer, but I'll eventually try to get one I know is fresh and post an update...

Very good looking beer. Fizzy & substantial head with decent retention. Lots of lacing remains in the glass as you consume the beer. Perfect clarity with a sparse amount of visible carbonation. Deep amber color with some orange tints.

Aroma is really muted, caramel and pineapple notes.

Very smooth and fruity flavor. Some light toasted malt or cracker notes. Very smooth
Lots of honey notes. Some hop bitterness at the finish. More pine in nature.

Body is fairly light and texture is smooth.

Nicely drinkable. Yet I would love to try it with the fresh hop flavor.

I'll be back.. (1,004 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a roomie(room temperature) pint glass. Pours a clear golden copper color, thin head but offers nice yet fleeting lacing through the entire glass.

Smells of earthen hops, rather welcoming. Wood, pine and peat without the sour, a hint of deep grapefruity citrus.

T/M - Decent bodied IPA with a moderately bitter flavor. Carbonation is mellow and enhances a nice malt finish, though perhaps a tad too rich. This brew grows on you.

Wish I had another...

Edit: 10/18/2009
I sense a recipe change here. I've heard this is no longer an all centennial hopped brew. Is something else afoot. A revisit shows a lighter color yet with richer lacing. A bit of a lighter malt sense though of similar ilk. Overall I sense this beer got a little 'San Diegoafied'. I've adjusted the nose down 1.0 and the taste 0.5 as a result. Not impressed with this move but will check back once more to seek some validation. 3/31/10 confirms with a decreased feel as well, bit too watery. Nose is more malt than hops. Light and pleasant but hardly IPA worthy. Flavor is thinner in body as well. Pleasant but just missing the passion. Label still notes 100% American grown Centennial in this beer.. (1,205 characters)

Photo of nitro0292
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Been dying to try Big Eye IPA as it has a good reputation. Moderately pour produced a big three finger head with very respectable retention above a nearly transparent copper-gold liquid. Lacing is average.

Smell was a little disappointing...I wanted more hops but got rather sweet malts. Unfortunately I don't know how old this bottle is, but it does not smell like 85 IBUs.

Taste follows the smell. Not overly sweet, but certainly does not taste like 85 IBUs. Reminds me of a light(er) DFH 90. I suspect that this bottle is not fresh. A very slight bitterness remains after consuming.

Mouthfeel could use a touch more carbonation, but is certainly light enough to be refreshing. Not syrupy, oily or lingering.

As I have alluded above, I expect a bottle that is more fresh will have greater hop presence. With 85 IBUs and 7.0 ABV, I should be experiencing hop wonderfulness. I am not.

I will try again, but it would be nice if they gave best by dates so I know if this bottle is old or they need to do a better job of late hop additions and dry hopping. (1,058 characters)

Photo of avalon07
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a slightly cloudy texture. There was about a half inch of foamy, long-lasting head and some good lacing.

S: Had a fruity, floral scent, combined with some mild hops.

T: Not nearly as hoppy as most IPAs you come across. Tasted of grapefruit and some other fruits, but the hops were muted. Tasty nonetheless.

M: A pretty high amount of carbonation and a smooth, dry finish. Above medium-bodied.

D: This beer is slightly odd for an IPA, but oddly drinkable. It's not classic in style, but has a tasty and complex quality to it. (592 characters)

Photo of grover37
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a DFH snifter. A friend picked up a sixer for me from Total Wine in Virginia, and I think it was about $14.

Appearance (4): A very clear, dark orange amber color. Pours with a finger and a half of light cream head which reduces to a very thin, patchy later. There is thick lacing around the top of the back edge but only patches further down.

Aroma (3.5): An overwhelming sweet caramel and crystal which is not to my liking. This is tempered a bit by some pine and grapefruit, maybe some mango or a hint of passion fruit.

Taste (3.5): Sweet and pretty bitter up front. A little too much so actually. The sweetness and the bitterness really are the centerpiece here instead of flavor or aroma hops. More bitterness and caramel in the middle followed by a lingering citrus that finally comes around. The hops only really show in the end, but are similar to the nose with pine, grapefruit, and mango.

Mouthfeel (4): Creamy but bitter up front. Pretty smooth bitterness through out which is very pleasant, especially for its intensity. Medium bodied (on the full side of medium) and medium carbonation. This may be the highlight of the beer for me.

Overall (3.5): A solid IPA, but it feels more like an East Coast IPA. A lot of sweetness balances out the bitterness, but I'd prefer it dryer and more aromatic. The beer is very well crafted however, even though it's not my favorite take on the style. (1,423 characters)

Photo of Goliath
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, rich, amber color with an inch slightly yellowed head. Good retention, and some lacing.

Aroma is ok. Definitely hoppy, with some citrus and honey. However, there is also a bit of pineapple in there.

Taste is ok. Certainly, hops are present. A bit citrusy, and some bitter pine. Also a little pineapple sweetness. Not my favorite IPA.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation tingle.

Drinkability is moderate. Drinks fairly easily, but flavors are sub par IMO. (492 characters)

Photo of mltobin
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip.

Appearance is cloudy amber tone with one finger of head. This IPA from Ballast Point has a nose with orange, caramel, grapefruit and some light herbs. It has a taste of hops right away, more of those citrus fruits and a fair amount of malts. The mouthfeel is medium, some appropriate bitterness in the finish, but not overdone. With everything being considered, a good IPA, but nothing worth making a special trip to pick up. (472 characters)

Photo of squaremile
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Ballast Point taproom in San Diego. Pours a clear golden yellow with a small head that remains for the pour. Nose is milder pine and grapefruit, and the taste is more of the same but cranked up a bit in intensity. Some hop bitterness on the sides and a pretty dry finish. (289 characters)

Photo of hardy008
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up at Friar Tuck Beverage in Springfield, IL. Pours a hazy orange color with an off white 2 finger foamy head which leaves a nice sticky lace on the glass. The aroma is of citrus hops, orange and grapefruit. The flavor matches the aroma. The taste is bitter, but there is more sweetness than I expected. There is a nice malt backbone. Medium bodied, nice carbonation, and good drinkability. I would buy this again if it were available in Minnesota. (464 characters)

Photo of bfields4
3.57/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

nice frothy uneven head. a little hazy golden amber.

Grapefruit citrus hop smell. Seems like a light malty sweetness too.

Balanced a little more floral hoppiness with a bitter citrus twang. Fades to a malty earthy taste.

A good beer all in all. Wish i could try it fresh afraid the hops are a little faded. (309 characters)

Photo of Nipitato
3.57/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Purchased a bottle at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Reddish copper hue. Brilliant clarity. Not much head. Sticky lacing.

S: Strong citrus grapefruit aroma. Good malty aroma that is sweet and sugary. Hop aroma is slightly resiny. Some perfume/floral character from the hops.

T: Biting grapefruit flavor is very strong and long lasting with a bitter aftertaste. Clean and sweet malty base. I would say the bitterness in this beer borders on harsh.

MF: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Dry mouthfeel.

D: A fitting West Coast IPA full of grapefruit flavored hop character. Due to its bitterness I did not find it particularly drinkable. (653 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.57/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoy by date 10/27/13. Poured into straight pint glass. Poured a clean, clear, coppery amber color with over 1/4 of just off-white head that had decent retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma was a little sweet up front, then gave way to some very nice pine and floral hops. No real malt or grain in the nose however. There was a bit of sweetness at the front of the palate as well, then big, bright hops took over. The above mentioned floral and pine notes across the front and middle, with some gently bitter citrus on the back.

The body was a bit fuller than average, and had a bit of light stickiness. The citrus lingered a few moments at the end. Drinkability was good for a 7% IPA, not a quick, smooth drinker, but one that's a nice companion during a couple innings of a ball game. Overall, a pretty nice brew. One that's not particularly different or outstanding from so many others, but a beer that's certainly worth your time. (940 characters)

Photo of beernut
3.56/5  rDev -12.5%
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. (388 characters)

Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,026 ratings.