Big Eye IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

1,081 Reviews
For Trade:
Big Eye IPABig Eye IPA

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-22-2000

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,081 | Ratings: 4,148
Photo of scottbrew4u
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear copper color with a two-finger light-tan, fluffy head. Nice lacing as this goes down.

S: Caramel, roasted grains, fresh biscuits make up the malt profile. Hops come as a citrus explosion, herbal, grassy and flowery all coming together fresh and aromatic.

T: Bitter orange peel and zest, herbal and grassy notes hit first and sharply. Some toasty and toffee like malt flavors. Finish is floral, spicy and a bit dry.

M: Medium body with moderate bubbly carbonation. Some noticeable alcohol warmth.

D: Intense bitterness but great for a hop lover. It is a bit off balance for me but still very tasty. Would stop after 2 of these though.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice clear bright orangey color... Almost like dark honey. Nearly white head cones up a finger and half before relaxing into a frothy cap of giant bubbles. Lacing is really thick and impresssive.

Smells of slight caramel malt, with a great hoppy presence-- more piney than citrusy. A big amount of earthiness. Like dirt on a summer day. Usually I love a grapefruit bomb, but this bouquet actually works pretty well.

Taste starts sweet. Then gets dry and earthy. Finishes dry, little piney, and more earthiness. This isn't lively and exciting... It's kind of dull. My taste buds are still hoping for some huge flavors of citrus or grass or floral bites--- but no. I just got a slight hint of apple juice on the finish though.

Feels really nice. Great carbonation. Light to medium-light body is pretty smooth and refreshing.

I would never turn one of these down, and I'm glad to have tried it, but I won't be trading for this again. It isn't bad, by any means, and I could understand what they were going fir and why poeple might like it... But thus just isn't my favorite take on the style.

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Photo of jeff1973
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a Sculpin pint glass. Canned date was 7/13/13, about 2mos old at this point.

A - Clear burnt orange. Classic West Coast IPA color. Eggshell head leaves good lacing.

S - Orange, grapefruit, peach, catpiss. Can smell a little breadiness. Also some black tea.

T - All the hop profiles in the aroma come out in the taste also. They seem a little muted, but this is a little old of a can. They would probably pop much more if fresher. Malt comes in at the end, kinda of a dark bread flavor. Dries out nicely.

M - Medium, nice and creamy. Carbonation is also medium. This is really nice.

O - An above average IPA, that is very easy to drink. Probably much better fresher (need to start checking the dates at the store). Bought a 6pk and I'm not regretting it.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up a fair amount of head with even better retention. The head is slightly off-white with hints of yellow while the body is a medium amber which glows a pale to medium amber when held up to the light. Considerable lacing is left behind.

Nose- Lots of presence, very rich. Lots of promise. Starts off with citrus (orange and lemon) with some subtle pine, followed by caramel and honey- definite floral and nectar notes. Not exactly complex but still quite nice.

Taste- A little different from the aroma. Hits you with a good amount of bitterness upfront- wood, pine, and resin. A little bit of matchstick. Some caramel and honey appears, alongside citrus of orange and lemon but it's really dominated by the hop bitterness. However, the caramel and matchstick blend well near the finish which has some earwax that extends into a linger with wood and spice. Lemon, orange, and grapefruit somewhat soar on the finish with the earwax. Solid IPA but then again, it's another IPA.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium bodied with minor hints of syrup in the texture. A good amount of carbonation which matches well with the spicy resin of the finish.

Drinkability- Sizable bitterness and a lot of the earwax variety. A little stultifying but not too much. No heat present.

Overall- Good beer. Solid IPA. Definitely worth giving a try. I'm a little burnt out on your basic West Coast IPA so it's hard to be enthusiastic about this beer. I almost wish there was more caramel or some sort of malt bill- what heresy!

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Photo of GJ40
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle in a tulip glass.

A - A deep golden ale with good clarity and a thick off white head with good lacing.

S - Lots of hops aroma with citrusy, floral and piney elements. Some malty sweetness too.

T - A complex rich and malty flavor with hop bitterness, malt and alcohol. I didn't think the hop flavors had a prominent enough role.

M - Thick and chewy consistency. Good carbonation.

D - A good beer but not as smooth and balanced as I like in a west coast IPA.

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Photo of 1sophrosyne1
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from a bottle, poured into short taster glasses, and consumed over 35 minutes.

Orange amber with fine clarity interrupted only by carbonation. Head is fairly thin with fine lacing, and just an occasional bubbly clump.

The nose is full of hop citrus and mild spruce. Grapefruit, musty pineapple, and mango are evident. There's a subtle spice note, too, that comes out in the mouth.

Flavor profile is heavy on citrus early, nice and clean; but turns somewhat funky as the fibrous burn of fruit folds. There's a peppery mid-palate streak, but it gets smothered by the cheese a bit too early. Though there is sufficient length to rescue the experience with hop oil bitter sweetness that's pleasant enough to encourage another gulp.

The mouthfeel is both astringent and juicy, but not quite as chewy as would be desired--the feel is a touch sharp as a result. It is lively in the mouth in positive ways, though, too, and rather clean in contrast to the dank taste notes.

Overall, I'm glad to have tried this good-reputation creation. I can't say I'm enthralled, but it's a solid representative of a region that does this style consistently well.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Imperial Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

Pours a nice golden amber color. Kind of like a sunset. Big, two-finger plus, head of thick, creamy white foam. Great retention and excellent lacing.

Big citrus and floral hops dominate. There appears to be some sweet maltiness in there, but it's buried. Smells like it's going to be bitter. Grapefruits and oranges, mostly. Some pine notes and hints of lemon zest.

A little more balanced than expected. You get to taste a touch of sweet maltiness, briefly. Then you get hit hard by the bitter hops.
Slight notes of toffee are followed by big blasts of grapefruit and pine. All of this is enshrouded by floral hops notes. Light butterey biscuit notes.

Actually maintains it's crispness, while being a touch creamy, also. Very nice carbonation level. Fairly smooth and easy to drink.

This wouldn't be the first IPA that I'd reach for, but it's a top twenty for sure, maybe a top ten.
Refreshing and creamy, together, is a good combo.

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Photo of PhiGDeltaBrewman
3.72/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

poured the 22 oz bottle

smells amazing, looks great, with good carbination

the flavor let me down, the initial impression was stellar but followed by a light bodied lingering hop flavor that doesnt seem to justify the body style of the beer.

very drinkable beer tho considering the body style, carbonation but i wish it had a a little more umph to it, understandable tho for roughly 6.0%

i would buy it again but first impressions arent everything with this beer

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Photo of xymyl
3.72/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color: Pale copper/gold very light head (seemed slightly pink), head stays around a little while.

Aroma: Hops, Alcohol & Malt, nothing complex but it smells nice. The typical resin/sap, spice etc...

Taste & Body: Light and refreshing, clean and simple. A textbook American IPA, or should I say benchmark? It's no surprise at all, but it's enjoyable and very well made. I'll buy it from time to time.

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Photo of LSUPT
3.72/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bomber split two ways. Mine into a Bruery tulip. Beer and glass generously provided by DearthVader.
Gorgeous brew, for me this is the ideal IPA appearance. I personally could have used more than the 1 ½ finger head that was yielded, but the color and clarity were superb. A crystal clear copper amber that leaves surprisingly good lacing throughout.
Smell is a bit of a letdown. Distinct smell of the Columbus hops with a crisp malt character as well as a subtle metallic scent.
Taste boasts a pretty good mix of pine and citrus flavors but nothing too special. Mild grapefruit and roasted malt.
Mouthfeel isn’t impressive either. Medium-low carbonation and I could use some more bitterness.
Overall, this beer was highly drinkable despite its flaws but it doesn’t stand up to Sculpin or other West-coast IPAs I’ve tried.

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Photo of tigg924
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: orange-yellow in color with 1/2 inch head, clear

Smell: citrus hops and caramel malt. This has the generic smell I associate with the style

Taste: citrus hops, caramel, biscuit, and a bit of pine hops--a lot more complex than the smell

Mouthfeel: medium/light body, moderate carbonation, bitter with a sweet backbone

Drinkability: When I smelled this brew I was like not again--same indistinguishable American IPA. However, this beer opens up just about as much as any beer I have had when tasted. There are a lot of layers here. A nice and complex beer, I could have two or three.

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Photo of Wer34truh
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The appearance has a one-head finger with a beautiful clear dark amber color.

The smell is quite subtle, with notes of malt and hops. With some pine and citrus in there. The taste follows suit. The pine is noticeable immediately, with the hops developing over time. Both the feel and the carbonation are quite light.

This beer hardly blew me away, but it's a well-balanced and enjoyable IPA. Paid $11 for a six-pack.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of RobbDogg
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A cloudy amber with a big half inch foamy head that dissipated to a thin but lingering head. Very nice lacing. Malt forward scent, not my favorite profile. Malty taste, lacking in the big fruit/floral hops that I prefer. A nice bitter finish. Solid but forgettable for me.

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Photo of BTodd
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A-Pours a clear, gold/amber with less than a finger of fine bubbles.

S-pine, citrus with some floral notes as well.

T-reflective of smell with some spiciness. Nice bitterness with some of the hop characteristics shining through. Maybe some biscuit as well.

M-Fairly light. Nice carbonation. Fades pretty quickly. Easy drinker.

O-A nice IPA that is not quite as complex or powerful as those I like a little more. However, it's a nice drinker and I will buy it from time to time.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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Photo of Biggness
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear amber with no head and mild lacing. The smell is of citrusy and grassy hops. The taste has a very nice hop profile, but too much for the amount of malt in it, a little unbalanced in my opinion. The mouthfeel is ok, carbonation is a little low and there is a pretty distinct dry feeling after swallow. Ok on the drinkablility, but I would prefer something a little better balanced to session with.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: Best by 6/16/2013
Glass: Tulip

Big Eye balances the caramel malt base with its aggressive hops (Cascade?) quite well, the emphasis on the caramelized malt flavors slightly dominating the others. With so many IPAs out there, this one mostly stands amongst the rest, one that I might return to if seeking a caramel-grapefruit bomb.

Pours a 2cm head of slightly off-white bubbles, mostly small in size, average length of slightly over one minute in its retention. The foam descents to a thin ring around the beer with a modest island floating atop the body. Lacing is significant, with substantial rows of intriciate patterns affixed to the interior of the glass, almost like a geologic strata. Body is a caramel-orange color, with light bringing out copper orange hues. Carbonation is visible through the slightly hazy (20-30% opaque) body,

Aromas of caramel malt with modest grapefruit and pine hop aromas. Not unpleasant at all, but fairly simplistic for a West Coast IPA.

Dominant flavors of caramel malts, grapefruit, and hop bitterness. Front of palate picks up caramel malt sweetness melded to grapefruit rind fruit esters and mild pine resin. Mid-palate continues the flavors of the front, with strong caramel malt ad grapefruit-like hop contributions, with significant hop bitterness, and lesser pine resin flavors. Back of palate tastes continued caramel malt sweetness, grapefruit and pine hop contributions, and medium-intensity hop bitterness. Lingering aftertaste of substatial hop bitterness with caramel malt and grapefruit-like flavors.

Beer is medium-bodied with carbonation of medium intensity, resulting in a mouthfeel that is quicklky fizzy, modestly foamy, and overall smooth across the palate. Closes dry, with substantial stickiness from the malt heaviness lingering across the palate.

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

Received from bspringer as a very generous extra.

A - Clear amber color with a white head that left some random stick on the sides.

S - Decent amount of hops, mostly citrus and grapefruit, with a little bit of pine.

T - Interesting taste, almost tastes wet-hopped, which I'm not a huge fan of. Little bit sweet, grapefruit taste and pine hops are the dominate flavors here.

M - Crisp, lighter bodied, pretty refreshing.

D - Not a bad beer, but doesn't compare to Sculpin for me, although I'm sure it's not supposed to. Solid, but I wouldn't drink this regularly.

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Photo of maximum12
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to lothore for dropping this in as an extra in a recent trade. Ballast Point knows what to do with their hops, so as soon as I popped this, the Vikings scored. Good beer!

Nice light amber, with racing carbonation. White flippy top bubbles up. Hop smell is nice & harsh with a bite of grapefruit.

Big Eye is all about the bitterness. Taste is dominated by the grapefruit hops, if the grapefruit was laced with cyanide. Very oily, sticks to the tongue, teeth, & gums. That's all. No malts, no bread, nothing. Hops.

Very good beer. Anyone who likes hops, will like this.

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

12oz bottle into a Corsendonk tulip a hazy orange with a nice off-white head. Aroma is some slight sweet malts and citrus hops. The taste is a decent amount of bitter citrus hops with sweet malts backing it up. The beer is light and crisp with decent carbonation. This is an enjoyable IPA to say the least, but there's really nothing all that special about it.

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Photo of mchegash
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

L: Medium orange-red. Quite clear, several fingers of light tan head. Slightly less than average amount of carbonation visible rising up the beer.

S: Pine, very funky resin. Small hints of citrus. Not incredible strong aroma, had to practically stick my nose in the beer to detect anything.

T: The main taste is a funky resin. There is also some malt flavor and slight citrus aspects

F: Very smooth, slightly fuller than medium-full body. Light carbonation.

O: This is a decent IPA overall, but I would prefer the Sculpin to this any day.

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

on an easy pour the head roars forth from the bottle quickly stacking up into a full 3 fingers of head, as time passes the head dissipates into larger bubbles slowly retreating toward the brew itself. the color dances somwhere 'tween orange and amber, well carbonated, clean/consistent looking.. she's a looker (now let's see what's under the skirt)

piney fresh hops tempt the olfactory sense, the sweetness of the malt is just barely peeking through, IPA? yep... American-ized... for shizzle...

taste etc...
nice mouth feel.. right on, medium bodied all the way through, pretty high on the bitterness scale but not over powering for this hop lovin' fool, the malt does come through allowing this to not just be hops.. but let's face it, hops are the key. The centennial hops have a touch more "brown" flavor to them than some of the other high alpha hops we find running a muck these days, something about this hop becomes a bit distracting as I get further in...

tasty. a good AIPA with better marks in certain categories, not worth pawning off grandma's dentures but worth checking it out if available locally

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-nice golden amber color, pretty hazy, two fingers of thick white head, nice lace left behind

S-big toasted caramel malt nose, not much in the way of hops coming from this bottle

T-sweet caramel malt up front, hint of toasted malt, some citrus and a good bit of bitterness throughout

M-full bodied and thick, pretty smooth and quite crisp

D-its pretty well balanced for an IPA, which I actually don't like. I want a full on hop assault with an IPA, save the balancing act for other styles.

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Photo of snogglethorpe
3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is like someone started out to make an American-style IPA (a style I love), and somewhere in the middle of brewing, went insane.

It has that grapefruity bitter hoppy taste -- usually a positive point for me (I hate too much malt) -- but SO much so that it actually tastes like grapefruit juice. I'm not exaggerating, it really does. I kept expecting the taste to mutate as I drank, since that so often happens with good beer, but nope, it was grapefruit juice, beginning to end.

Luckily I like grapefruit juice too, and as grapefruit juices go, this was quite excellent -- lots of bitter, not too sweet. It was quite a refreshing glass. But as a beer, even as an american IPA, it's downright weird, and could do with at least a little more subtlety and balance.

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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,081 ratings.