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Big Eye IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Eye IPABig Eye IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,034 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,034
Hads: 3,864
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 8.6%
Wants: 175
Gots: 759 | 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: 1,034 | Hads: 3,864
Photo of Frozensoul327
3.64/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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. (794 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours a clear orange amber with a medium white head that quickly diminishes to a thin film that laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet candy sugar, melons and pine.

The flavor is biscuity malts and sweet melon with piney peppery hops that have a decent amount of bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some sharp carbonation.

Overall, a fine IPA. I got excited by the all Centennial, but this wasn't nearly as good as Two-Hearted. It is still solid. (472 characters)

Photo of PerHops
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured a 22 ounce bottle into a pint glass. No freshness date listed, I am guessing this one is about two months old. A dark shade of amber with a pencil thin head that leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass as it is being drunk. The smell is nothing too special, but I am sure age played a part in that. Very little citrus, a fair amount of pine, some herbal notes and carmel on the nose. The taste follows the nose but finishes quite a bit more bitter and dry than I expected. Drinks very well. Sculpin takes the cake as far as a citrus forward IPA, but this is a very well balanced IPA and has a great finish. Another solid offering from Ballast Point. (662 characters)

Photo of jslot38
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big fan of Sculpin, so I have high expectations for this offering.

A: Golden amber body, with a large white pillowy head. Sticky lacing.

S: very clean aroma with not a lot going on. Lemon grass is the primary aroma, with hints of orange and grapefruit.

T: Pretty simple IPA, as with the aroma this is very clean. Some grass, little bit of tart fruitness. This is followed by a biscuit and grain aftertaste.

M: mid level of carbonation, soft on the tongue.

D: at 6% this is a drinkable ipa, bomber won't be an issue. (521 characters)

Photo of JDV
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
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. (374 characters)

Photo of offthelevel_bytheplumb
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear, dark golden with a rich finger length head that dissipates into a cap. A lot of visible carbonation and mild lacing left behind. Nose is incredibly piney, with lots of spice and lemon zest very much there. Hops are also the story on the tongue, from start to finish. Light toasty malts are detected in the middle, but bitterness is the story with this bad boy. If you can handle big bitterness, this is very easy to drink and goes down clean, but I can't imagine anyone being able to drink more than 2 or 3 if that is the goal.

Overall: Piney IPA done well. If you like piney IPAs, check this one out. (643 characters)

Photo of Blakaeris
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very light copper with a frothy white head that leaves a ton of lacing before dwindling to a thin sheen.

Aroma is bursting with juicy citrus hop over a caramel malt base.

Taste is bready caramel malt and a hint of brown sugar. Hops are aggressive with resinous pine and fruity elements of tangerine, and pear. Finish is dry and clean.

Mouthfeel is light to medium. Crisp with a hint of hop oil residue. I would prefer a little more body.

A well made IPA. Pleasant and unified flavor lets this one go down easily. A good session brew. (545 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours amber with tall, long lasting, fluffy white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of citrusy hops, orange marmalade and caramel malt. Body is medium and crisp. Citrusy, herbal hops, caramel and bready malt and ripe fruit fill the mouth. Finish is long, dry, and grapefruity. I liked Sculpin much better. (316 characters)

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)

Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,034 ratings.