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Big Nose IPA - Swamp Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Big Nose IPABig Nose IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

40 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 40
Hads: 227
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 21.29%
Wants: 18
Gots: 34 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Swamp Head Brewery visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: drabmuh on 12-23-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 40 | Hads: 227
Photo of Kelly88
2.25/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a Growler a few times into my bells tulip.

A- dark orange brown, kind of mahogany. White head that is initially good that transforms into a wispy scattered cap with a strong encompassing ring of foam.

S- not very good. Very unpleasant metallic smell that reminds me of rust. Metallic smell is all I'm getting and its really off putting.

T- metallic flavors return but are also accompanied by a slight citrus hop profile. Soapy and rusty would be my best descriptors. Weird.

M- light crisp and nice carbonation. This is a great feel to bad the flavors don't make you want to drink more.

Overall I am very disappointed. One of the strangest tastes I've come across make this difficult to drink. Take this review with a grain of salt. This beer traveled a very long distance and I'm sure that has something to do with it. I just recorded what I tasted.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from quart-sized growler into a Westbrook pint glass.

A: Deep gold, nearly bronze; mildly hazy. Forms more than a finger's worth of white head atop medium visible carbonation.

S: Pine resin, grassy, and floral hops over a noticeable bready malt backbone.

T: Juicy citrus/orange, pine resin, grass and floral hops up front, then the bready malts come through. Only moderately bitter, and a short hop bitter hang.

M: Low carbonation sensation, medium body but almost creamy mouthfeel. The alcohol presence is well-hidden.

O: I'm disappointed. Not that it was awful or anything, but I've had this at festivals before and rather enjoyed it. It just doesn't shine here - it seems like it suffered from the growler fill, but I personally watched the guy fill the growler at the brewery less than six hours ago. Not sure what happened here. I'm sure I'll try it again and update the review if needed.

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Photo of breakingbland
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Beautiful deep golden with a ring of foam.

Aroma: A slight malt can be detected. The hops contribute a piney, citrus component.

Taste: Hoppy without being over-the-top. Maltiness comes through and has a toasty component. There is an astringent grapefruit aftertaste. 

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is low to moderate with fine bubbles. This beer has a fairly light body.

Overall: As one who prefers malty beers, I enjoyed this IPA as it had an interesting and not overpowering hops profile that let the maltiness come through. I'll look for this beer again while we're in Florida.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer served on draft. Beer is hazy and dark amber / almost dark orange. Forms a thin white head that is broken and made up of tiny bubbles and a few really large soapy bubbles. Carbonation is moderate, leaves almost no lacing on the glass.

The beer is called "Big Nose" so I'm expecting a lot from the aroma. There is a strong citrusy hop aroma to the beer. I am also picking up on some malt in there. Kind of oversold the aroma a bit. With a name like "Big Nose" I should be able to smell it from across the table.

Beer has a lot of great hop flavor and nice back of the mouth bitterness but there is a lot of malt in there. The malt character is a little too high for my tastes in an IPA. Beer has a medium body, drinkability high and good. Its a pretty good American IPA.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

32 oz. growler poured into a pint glass. Thanks to nmbr0ne for this growler!

Appearance - Amber bodied with a small white head. Not great retention, but lots of sticky lacing down the sides.

Smell - Pine hops predominantly, but there's a good deal of malt to the nose as well. It is aromatic, but not in the best way. I suppose there's an equal blend of citrus and pine to the nose, but it isn't as inviting as other IPAs.

Taste - Similar hop profile. Citrus and pine. Strong malt backbone, but it's secondary to the hops, which I enjoy. It's just enough to combat an intensely bitter finish, which is slight pervasive.

Mouthfeel - That bitter finish is overwhelming. Not uncharacteristic, but strong. Low carbonation makes it feel very smooth, almost like a cask IPA. I've had this in other forms and it was similar in consistency, so I don't think it's the growler that does it.

Overall - Solid, but unremarkable. I'd drink this regularly partially to support local breweries and partially because it's pretty tasty.

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Photo of Callmejfunk
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a really nice beer. It's not too florally hoppy and not to heavy. This is the kind of IPA you can have many of and not feel too full. I just had it in a twelve beer sampler at Engine 15 in Jacksonville Beach and I think it came in second only to a giant of IPAs from Green Flash. BTdubs - the other Swamphead beers were also good representations of their type and quite tasty. I'll be taking a trip to Gainesville at some point...

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Photo of chinchill
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery.
The pour was clear and dark amber, with a very durable off-white head that left a moderate amount of sticky lacing on the glass. The nose features piney and, to a lesser extent, citrus hop notes. Given this, the flavor is less harsh than expected, with a solid if subtle malt base. Relatively full bodied for an IPA, with near medium carbonation. ABV partially hidden.

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Photo of tpd975
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Cigar City.

A: Pours an amberish shade of brown with a nice solid white head. Nice retention and some lace.

S: Aromas of caramel malt, light citrus, and a big blast of herbal hops.

T: Nice sweet caramel and hints of bread. Mild citrus rind, and a bitter herbal grassy hoppy finish.

M: Medium in body, smooth, tasty.

D: Good, a steal at $3 a pint.

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Photo of Lerxst
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Brewers Pizza

A-Pours a clear amber/copper with a sizable head that has good retention and left lace all the way down.

S-Not as prominent as I would like, especially since it is called Big Nose, but what I can pick up is pleasant enough. Citrus and pine hops with a slightly sweet maltiness. Pleasant, but understated.

T-Hops are more prominent here than in the nose. Citrus and pine hops bite the tongue and there is a nice balance here with the caramel malt coming in the middle rounding things out. Its good. Not outstanding, but good.

M-Medium body, slightly oily yet with a dry finish.

O-A nice beer from a young brewery. Shows promise.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger head, clear amber golden color

S: light grapefruit, pine. I definitely was thinking the name alluded to a strong aroma but that was not the case.

T: more piney than sweet, nice mildly complex hop character and caramel notes.

M: full bodied, peppery and moderate carbonation.

Overall: a solid IPA. Pretty drinkable. Not too bad.

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Photo of unclejimbay
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap @ Kickbacks
Appearance was golden copper with fluffy head and enduring lace.
Mild aromas of hop citrus and a hint of pine.
Tastes as it smells on a solid malt/caramel backbone. Citrus hop flavors are less than I expected, perhaps this is not the freshest batch?
Mouthfeel was medium-full for an IPA, appropraitte carbonation.
Drinkable IPA for sure, but I seemed to prefer the Stumpknocker APA much more. The Stumpknocker has a big huge citrus aroma and flavor that was lacking in this offering. I am willing to bet this IPA is just as awesome as the APA when it is fresh. Overall a great brew, just not the best offering in my experience to date.

Additional info;
I ttended a Swamphead Beer dinner at Kickbacks here in Jacksonville Florida 12/13/2010. The lineup overall impressed me, brews were appropriatte to style and well done across the board. I most notably enjoyed the Hoe Hoe Hoe Wit, Tupelo Cream Ale, Stumpknocker APA, and 10-10-10 Whiskey Barrel Aged as standouts for the evening. Overall a very talented brewery across the entire lineup. I had chance to meet Luke the owner who was a great guy, and Craig the brewer who was passionate and open to share his processes. Both were knowlegdable and I am very excited about this new Florida Brewery.

Here is are most of the Swamphead brews that were offered at the dinner;
Hoe Hoe Hoe Winter Seasonal - a Belgian style specialty ale with cranberries, ginger and orange blossom honey
Wild Night Tupelo Honey Cream Ale
Cottonmouth Belgian Style Wheatbier
Stumpknocker American Pale Ale
Big Nose IPA
Saison du Swamp - Florida Style Saison with rye
10-10-10 Imperial IPA
10-10-10 Imperial IPA aged in Palm Ridge Whiskey barrels
Midnight Oil Oatmeal Stout with locally roasted organic fair trade coffee
Alderwood Smoked Porter
Chipotle Smoked Porter
Stumpknocker infused with Chipotle peppers
Catherine's Inspiration - Russian Imperial Stout
Catherine's Passion - Russian Imperial Stout infused with organic cocoa nibs and Midnight Oil coffee

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I have had this a number of times as I live down the street from Swamp Head. Pours a light golden copper color with a creamy one finger white head. Aroma of tropical fruits and grapefruit, some light caramel aroma from the malts. Flavor is rather balanced, with a nice light caramel malt sweetness in the background of some nice tropical notes. Very pleasant and smooth drinking with a clean finish. Slick, with medium body and medium carbonation. A very drinkable IPA and glad they are canning this one now.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Cabana Bar (Disney) in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

A: Pours a crystal clear dark amber to copper in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a two finger tall dense off-white head that slowly reduces to a thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer. Significant lacing is observed.

S: A light aroma of caramel malt sweetness that is then dominated by intense citrus hop aromas - both orange and grapefruit.

T: This starts out with some sweet malt flavors, caramel and molasses but then the hop flavors take over. There is a lot of citrus hop flavor in this beer - orange and grapefruit are both big. There is alight underlying tropical hop flavor as well, almost pineapple but not quite. Light lingering bitterness but not as aggressive as one might have thought.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with a touch of dryness in the finish.

O: Best beer that I have had so far on this trip to FL. I found the beer to have a great smell and wonderful taste, it was easy to drink but might be a little strong to be sessionable in the heat down here. Definitely one to have again on this trip.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Copper-amber hue, with a good frothy white head.

S - The smell is herbal and piney at first, but it seems to then meld with the sweetness of the malt to elicit a fruit punch impression. Really. I was thinking Tahitian Treat or perhaps Hawaiian Punch. The suggestion was subtle, but it was more than enough to pique my interest.

T - The flavor diverges from the aroma, especially in terms of the fruit punch fruitiness. But that is probably a good thing. It is more of a straightforward IPA, well-balanced, with a rich malt offset by significant amounts of bitter hops. A suggestion of pineapple is apparent on the finish. Very enjoyable beer, impressive.

M - Fairly full-bodied, well-carbonated, substantial.

D - I am impressed. A lot of IPAs are made these days; this one is really interesting and good.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: golden with a solid head retention

smell: very bold and assertive hop presence. pine and citrus

taste: nicely balanced IPA

mouthfeel: medium bodied to full bodied IPA,

drinkability: I tried this at the kickbacks Swamphead dinner among many others. This brewery in new and going in the right direction. Solid beer from a solid brewery. I would love to have this again.

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Photo of GallowsThief
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the House of Brews.

A – Poured out a slightly cloudy amber/orange. A finger of white foamy head was produced that settled fairly quickly. Good lacing left down the glass.

S – Nice aroma with citrus, hope and pine.

T – Started with an almost sweet taste of caramel and molasses but quickly makes its way to the citrus with grapefruit and orange. Pineapple as well. Bitter but not overly.

M – Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Touch drying but very smooth.

O – Very nice and drinkable brew. Goes down easy and is well balanced. Well worth a try.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Josh for shipping this one up. Sample bottle filled at brewery.

Pours a crystal clear dark Caramel 120L with visible carbonation, light lacing around the glass. Very Clean looking.

Smell of strong caramel, pineapple, grapefruit, pine

Taste of strong pineapple, sweet malt grain bill from caramel and pale malts. For a 7.5 IPA, if that number is correct, this IPA is dangerously drinkable and possibly bordering on IIPA territory, but no cause for alarm. Seems to be slightly subdued in the hop bill, perhaps just a slight adjustment on the aroma hops to sweeten it up, but it is delicious. There is no dry astringent bite at the end as some other American IPA's seem to gain as the hop bill goes up. Fair amount of carbonation for a counter pressure filled bottle, and the mouthfeel seems to be just right.

This is a highly drinkable American IPA.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap at BJ's Restaraunt & Brewhouse. Pours a nice copper color with an off-white head. The aroma is a lot of citrusy hops and some malty notes as well. The taste like the aroma is dominated by the hoppy bitterness in the finish but has a nice amount of malt as well. Overall, Big Nose is a solid IPA that I will definitely purchase again.

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Photo of fmccormi
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Straight pour from a 32oz twist-off growler CO2-purged, filled, and plastic-wrap-sealed at the brewery this past Sunday afternoon, now two days ago. Poured into a teku.

Appearance (4.25): A solid three fingers of beautiful, cappuccino-colored foam that’s tight around the edges with fat and crackly bubbles near the middle comes off of the pour, capping a rich, burnt orange-amber body with just a chill haze. The head dies down at a moderate pace, leaving a few wisps of lace here and there, plus a few thick half-collars and arcs, etc. Retention is average but the lacing is surprisingly really, really solid.

Smell (4.0): Spicy resin tones, fresh orange peels and orange oil with a strongly acidic component, toasted country bread, some caramelized sugar, some fresh grass, and something green and “herbal” hanging out in back. It’s a nice, well-rounded nose, and I like the orange peel thing going on.

Taste (4.0): Follows the nose in a lot of ways, though the resin takes a backseat to the oily orange peel aspect, which bridges hop flavor and bitterness smoothly, with good, acidic orange flavor blurred with bitter citrus oil, which in turn meshes well with the toasted character of the malt body: moderately-toasted whole wheat bread and some caramelized sugar, like on an old-school cinnamon bun (not the sticky kind). The hops leave a nice aftertaste, with the hop oiliness leaving a resinous finish that feels gaseous. This IPA isn’t screaming with novel, trendy hop character, but it’s just a well-crafted, citrusy, classic American IPA. If there’s any booze, it’s woven into that oily finish and masked well.

Mouthfeel (4.25): Soft, easily-foaming carbonation tingles lightly and evenly all over, matching a medium-weight body with a nice, chewy midsection and a solidly dry finish. Drinks exactly like a well-hopped IPA at 7+% ABV should.

Overall (4.0): Super well-rounded and generally very well-crafted, as the style goes. Even if it isn’t the most insanely dry-hopped IPA and doesn’t utilize any particularly trendy varieties, it’s just a really solid, solid example of the style, and in the end that counts for a lot. A 4.0 is pretty much a dead-on score for this beer, overall. I dig Swamp Head.

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Photo of ZBowden
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours hazy golden amber with a large cream colored head, smells of pine citrus grapefruit with a slight malty sweetness, tastes of hoppy grapefruit with a fair malt backing with a candi or syrup like sweetness with a dry bitter grapefruit finish and slight hint of bubblegum, mouthfeel is moderate with slight carbonation.

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Photo of Portertime
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: this one was picked up at Tall Paul’s here in Gainesville. It was served chilled in an American pint glass. There is a nice burnt honey hue teeming with hundreds of flittering bubbles. This is a good presentation of a full flavored IPA. Unfortunately, with getting a beer on tap it is very hard to get an accurate head, which can add depth to the appearance of the beer. In this case, taste trumps appearance and a suitable head can be achieved at home with the proper pour and serving vessel.

Nose: there are strong grapefruit notes as well as mango, pine resin, and a hint of ripe pineapple. The aroma hops were probably Cascade here, which give off a Satsuma like scent and is good for people who want to explore the world of IPAs but do not want a bitter hop bomb.

Taste: there is great balance. The grapefruit hangs in the foreground with some caramel malts peeking through then fades into a Mandarin orange like finish. Big Nose is a nice tropical fruity IPA that is not overly hop oily and very pleasant to drink.

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Photo of Dolphinsmarlins1
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I recieved this can in a trade as an extra. It was a pleasant surprise, as I had never heard of this brewery before. As a New Englander, it's hard for me to find an IPA that rivals the NE hops, but this one would be a wonderful treat when and if I'm ever in Florida. The taste is well balanced; it's not overly bitter, but it still packs a punch you'd expect from this style. Great citrus aromas. Overall, a good tasting brew.

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Photo of Holland
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a beautiful amber/orange/gold color with a 1 finger head and a layer that stays throughout the glass. Sticks to the sides, too.

S: piney hops, some sweet brown sugar notes, and malt.

T: bitter counterbalanced with some sweetness and a lot of malt. Pine flavors come through with a hint of fruity flavor.

M: medium body with medium but fine carbonation. It feels wonderful.

O: very good beer from Swamp head. It's on par with the best IPAs of the south (Hop Art, Jai Alai). Definitely something to try if you get a chance to grab a growler during your time in Gainesville.

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Photo of cambabeer
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an absolutely fantastic IPA. It's everything you want in an IPA, bordering on Imperial IPA. Lots of hops in the taste and nose. Super fruity and citrusy, nutmeg and chives, a little spicy and herbal in the finish. I have a swamp head growler and this is what I usually fill it with. Just great beer.

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Photo of Gemmell
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Lots of grapefruit and citrus flavor. The name suits the scent. Very fruity. Not a whole lot of hops but packed with juicy fruit flavored and citrus. There seems to be a lot of malt sweetness on the back, but it fits the grapefruit well. Overall very decent and hope to drink again soon.

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Big Nose IPA from Swamp Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.