Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Big Daddy IPA - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Big Daddy IPABig Daddy IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

467 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 467
Hads: 1,302
Avg: 3.73
pDev: 20.64%
Wants: 41
Gots: 247 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: OldFrothingSlosh on 10-02-2001

Big Daddy IPA is a hop-head's delight, a generously dry-hopped yet surprisingly drinkable American-style India Pale Ale. Poured into a standard American pint glass, the beer is a golden straw color, with tight carbonation and a slightly off-white head that leaves a lovely lacing. The aroma is floral, fresh grass, pine needles, grapefruit, and a some subtle notes of fresh bread.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Daddy IPA Alström Bros
Reviews: 467 | Hads: 1,302
Photo of Tone
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear, copper/amber color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight earthy malt, slight caramel malt, hint of alcohol, and hint of hops. Does not seem to fit the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight earthy malt, slight caramel malt, hops, hint of wheat, and a hint of pine. Overall, not hopped nearly enough to be considered an IPA, but otherwise a decent brew that is malt-centric.

 533 characters

Photo of justintcoons
3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Gold with 1 finger of white head. Excellent clarity with low carbonation.

Pink grapefruit, florals and caramel.

Pink grapefruit and florals with a zesty bitterness. Thin honey and caramel backbone that balances the hops well. Touches of pine and lemon zest.

Medium bodied, crisp and semi-dry.

Fairly simple IPA. However, exceptionally easy drinking and tasty.

 443 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a very good beer in opinion. The aroma is very fragrant. It's dry hopped so there is bold and pungent floral and pine aromas.
The appearance is up to the task too with a pretty golden amber color, a medium size off white head. There was some lacing but not a whole lot.
Taste was sweet dry and bitter. Some bready malts and bold fruity hops.Delicious.
I lucked out and got a fairly fresh one. Date said 7/13. Not bad.

 426 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber with a healthy three finger white head with good retention and tons of pillowy lacing. Nice aroma of citrus and light piney hops, sweet malt. Flavor follows, with citrus hops with ligth notes of herbal and piney hops, supported by a good caramel malt body. Finishes with citrus and lingering herbal and citrus hop bitterness. Medium bodied. A nicely made, well balanced IPA, nothing out of the box, but a pleasant hoppy sipper which I enjoyed. This is a solid, dependable brewery.

 561 characters

Photo of MikeWard
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Bottled on date of 5/3/13, so coming up on 5 months old.

poured a faintly hazy yellow, with more than a finger of bright white head. Some carbonation, and some lacing. Head eventually dissipated to a faint covering, but maintained throughout.

After opening the bottle, I got a good quick wiff of hops, and after pouring the beer, it was still detectable. All right, thought I, this could be decent. Sadly, it was to be the only evidence of hops in this beer.

Taste was completely bland. Not unpleasant at all, no sour aftertaste, no bite, just...nothing. Kept trying hard to gain any aroma, only the faintest of yeast smell came through. But absolutely no taste. No hops, no malt, no fruit, no nothing.

Mouth was around medium, and was the only thing that kept it from tasting like water. Pleasant water, but not even a mild nip of hops around the edge of the tongue.

Overall, it would appear that Speakeasy beers do not retain any original flavor at close to 5 months after the bottling date. (Had Prohition earlier today,similar bottling date, beer not much better) These beers were not on the shelf at my usual bottle shop on my last visit at the end of August, and were picked up yesterday, 9/27/13. I've had many a good IPA 3-6 months after bottling date. This was certainly not one of them. Sorry to be harsh, but other than the cool labels, I find nothing to recomend about this brewery.

 1,458 characters

Photo of mikeg67
3.89/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Zippelin Bier Garten, Jersey City. Pours golden with long lasting, foamy white head and lively carbonation. Aroma is of citrusy hops, orange marmalade and biscuit malt. Body is medium and crisp. Taste is of citrusy hops, biscuit malt and some ripe fruit. Finish is long and balanced. Nice, not too hoppy, balanced IPA.

 328 characters

Photo of Beaver13
2.47/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, bottled on 8/14/13. Pours clear golden orange with a big rocky off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet biscuity crystal malt with some grassy hops.

The flavor is sweet biscuity caramel malts with a good amount of grassy bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, an OK IPA - too much sweet biscuit malt and grassy hops.

 414 characters

Photo of rickyleepotts
4.04/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

This is the only beer on the list from this brewing company, but I am excited to drink it. The history of this brewing company is cool, and I have an interest in the Prohibition. I mean… Imagine a time without alcohol. That's just silly! It is cool to see bars popping up that are themed like an old speakeasy. We went to one in Las Vegas that was pretty cool, and there is one here in Old Town Scottsdale that we like. The one in Scottsdale has a list of rules you must follow. They mean business, too. Their drinks are a little overpriced, but it's a neat place to take someone that is from out of town.

I think my favorite part of this beer are the eyes on the neck of the bottle. The same eyes are even on the side of the brewing company. Oh, and Big Daddy, the original big daddy, is named Dave Keene. One of my golf buddies is also named Dave Keene. Get this… Dave just called me! Random. Anyway, it's time to drink. I'm thirsty. Cheers!

In the Glass: The beer pours a nice golden color, and leaves a lovely three finger head with impressive lace for an American IPA. The lace is sticky and I just want to lick it off the side of the glass so I don't miss any hoppy goodness. The tasting notes promised a nice citrus aroma. Let's see.

Nose: I am definitely getting some nice citrus notes on the nose. I am talking straight grapefruit juice. Speaking of grapefruit juice, I really like grapefruit juice. Grapefruit juice and vodka is the best!

Flavor: That's a good IPA. The hops aren't overwhelming and I am getting some serious citrus notes on the palate, too. The mouthfeel might be my favorite part, though. But we will get to that. This beer is also really easy to drink and I could see myself finishing off a pitcher of this in no time. I am not sure if this is the same recipe they used during Prohibition, but I will pretend it is!

Mouthfeel: As I drink this, the front of my palate has a nice thick almost creamy feeling and as it hits the back of the palate the carbonation really starts to kick in. For a baseline American IPA, this beer has quite a lot of complexity. The bomber is almost gone it is so good.

Aftertaste: The hop flavor keeps on going, but as I continue to swallow it begins to dry out. I just can't get over how much complexity there is in this beer. They use a pretty nice array of hops in this, but nothing outrageous. The beer tastes so good I have a hard time letting it sit before taking another sip!

The beer really isn't anything to write home about, but it is a great example of the style. The aftertaste keeps me going back for one more sip. This beer also tastes great ice cold. I am sure some more hop flavor would open up as it heats up, but it is tasty cold. I bet this would be great on tap. Most beers are. Here's to another good example of an American IPA. Cheers!

 2,830 characters

Photo of Boxus
2.45/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Bottle to glass, I detect a mild, unimpressive scent of coppery hops. Appearance is clear tan with a nice bubbly head. I go for a sip...

Ugh. That stale, musky hop flavor again. I notice this happens a lot with Speakeasy beers. Usually when I get the stale hop flavor, I just figure my bottle sat on the shelf too long. Indeed that may be an issue now, since this one was bottled close to four months ago. But with this beer in particular, I've noticed that stale, musky flavor every single time I've tried it - probably five or six times in all.

I can only conclude that something is amiss with the brew itself. The flavor has barely a hint of the bright, floral hop bite I expect from a Cali IPA. Instead it's bitter in an unpleasantly dank and musky way. It tastes like cardboard and multivitamins. Totally unpleasant and disappointing.

Again, this may be due in large part to a lack of freshness. But I've noticed that same stale flavor in almost every Speakeasy beer I've had. And I can't help but wonder, living in Oakland, why it would be so difficult to get fresh beer from a brewery in San Francisco.

 1,112 characters

Photo of DiscerningDude
2.38/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

It's certainly not "big". It's barely an IPA.

The initial taste is floral and overpowered by the taste of alcohol even though it is only rated at 6.5. The bite is not at all like what should come from a nice hoppy IPA but seems more like what one would expect from a cheap gin.
The hop taste is bitter but very much like "hot" is when you are eating a ghost pepper. No redeeming qualities. Really. None. It barely sits on your tongue long enough to search for something positive.

The aftertaste is similar to what Band-aids smell like. Rubbery and fortunately short-lived.

I am sorry for giving this beer such low rating and I am amazed at the positive reviews gained so far. This is one of the most unfavorable beers I have tasted in a long time and I am typically much more forgiving. Perhaps I got a bad batch or just a bad bottle?

 838 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.99/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Speakeasy Big Daddy is a good sessionable IPA...It poured a clear copperish orange with light fizzy head which is leaving a spotty lace. The smell includes fresh hops of citrus and hints of pine. The taste is well balanced throughout....there is enough sweet malt to keep the bitterness at bay but yet enough to remind you that you're drinking an IPA. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall it would be a beer I would recommend.

 456 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.14/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in an Ohio State shaker pint glass.

Flashbacks to Wiggum, PI... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear brass topped by a finger of sandy off-white foam. The nose comprises grass, grapefruit peel, light mint, and a backbone of sweet biscuit. The taste brings in more of the same, with the grapefruit peel not only superseding the grass but also becoming a bit funkier, some earthy (read: dirty) greens coming in, and the biscuit hardly coming through at all. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a decent IPA at best, one that just comes across as unbalanced with unfavorable hopping. It's not altogether bad, just not all that good.

 689 characters

Photo of Michael_DaBeers_IV
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Wow! The usual suspects hit it off again. I love getting their 12 pack variety packs. You can't go wrong. Definitely try. I'm about to go get some across the street right now. Very reasonably priced for their quality, and super sick design/12 pack artwork.

 256 characters

Photo of KTCamm
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours golden, clear, with 1/4 inch patchy white foam/. Early lacing observed. Leaves islands. Lemon pine nose, sharp. Grapefruit taste, firm hop, even throughout. Latent citrus. Very dry finish, flavorful IPA.

 263 characters

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic pint glass.

Appearance: super clear yellow/gold with light bubbles on the body. Head is a straight white with no tint rising about 1/3".

Smell: honestly it feels like a strong floral, and after my first sniff it was more like a forest. Honestly no complaints.

Taste: heavy floral, feels light at points granted I am pairing this with an excellent chicken dinner. The hops are strong, definitely room for improvement but still pretty good.

Mouth: medium to heavy, consistent stickiness to the beer.

Overall: good beer and honestly will be ordering another. Have had it before and honestly thought I wrote a review a long time ago about it but I apparently didnt. Salud!

 696 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a mason jar pint... Because, why not? Consumed on 05/12/13. Review is from my notes.

Produces a golden-amber straw color, complete with 2.5 fingers of head depending on how aggressive the pour was. Some bubbles rise to the top, but luckily the head never fully goes away. No lacing to speak of. Not too viscous in nature, but does look like a thickened IPA as far as the ingredients go. Seems a bit paled, however, and I do prefer my IPAs to shine and glow.

The aroma immediately threw me off with an acrid, skunky earthiness and faded hops, almost to the point where I thought the bottle had been oxidized or was past its prime. However, as I let it sit, the initial off flavors changed for the better, and I got some subtle yet warm lemon rinds, some slight oranges, and an undeniable pine/grass combo from the hop profile. However, this may be TOO subtle, especially when considering the style at hand here. There's a bit of malty sweetness, as well as brief astringency from the hop resins, but otherwise this is not too complex by any means. I wouldn't say it's necessarily "balanced" either!

There's a rush of floral, grassy hop notes, as well as lemon, that melds decently into the crisp grainy profile and finishes with a touch of sweetness and bitterness that is mild yet inoffensive. Slightly earthy, but nothing wrong, unlike the initial skunked phenols in the initial aroma. Not as fruity as I usually like my IPAs, and I'd go as far to call this a golden ale with extra aromatic dry hops included in it. Definitely not too astringent, but the initial burst of floral hops is rather nice. The body is relatively thickened, and to me is the biggest strength of this beer, which makes this easy to drink, if relatively underwhelming.

I remember having Big Daddy in bars across SF years ago when I was first getting into craft and found it to be overwhelmingly mediocre (given the fanboyism that went around for it), but it seems that it might have changed for the better here. There's less of that prickly graininess from the original recipe and little bit more balance here, as well as extra charm added to the hop profile. However, it's not something I'd really have again unless offered.

 2,235 characters

Photo of draheim
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle into a tulip. Pours a pale copper w/ a big sudsy bright white head that leaves behind some nice big sticky clumps of lace.

Aroma is a clean blend of floral and piney hops, a little muted but I don't know how old the bottle is.

Taste is also a bit subdued. Pale biscuity malt and American hops with a mild bitterness on the finish. A hint of lemon. This could almost be an APA, I'm thinking it might be a few months past its prime. Still, drinkable and refreshing.

Mouthfeel is clean, light, and crisp.

Overall a decent but unremarkable IPA.

 556 characters

Photo of JG-90
3.37/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

220z into glass

A -Clear and bright copper color. Pours a medium creamy/bubbly head that slowly recedes and leaves heavy lacing

S - Mostly dark malts, not a huge nose, just a touch of hops

T - Starts with a slight orange flavor, then hoppiness, with a bit of a heavier malty finish. Has a very clean finish, very drinkable.

M - Medium body and carbonation, with a bit of creaminess

O - Maltier than I expected for a west coast IPA, but still balanced and drinkable

 469 characters

Photo of Dbrown144
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark copper or amber with an average foam head.

S: smells great. Smells like piney hops with a little citrus and barley.

T: has a strong, but far from overpowering hoppy flavor, definite hints of citrus, and a decent malt backbone.

M: goes down very nicely and has exceptional consistency to it. As the bottle says, it does have a strong hoppy flavor with a clean dry finish.

O: one of my very favorite beers.

 416 characters

Photo of constantine_272
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Highly carbonated. Dark copper with a thick head with great retention. The average bubble diameter is quite small lending to great color uniformity of foam.

S: I smell oats and barley. A touch of earthiness with hemp.

T: Sweetness up front followed with soft caramel and nutty walnut flavors. The taste finishes with a mild floral hop and mild fruit. I get a hint of raspberry on the slightly tangy fruit finish, usually only a flavor from darker stouts. The tanginess is slightly citrusy, predominantly orange peel. After a few more drinks I get a metallic copper flavor that builds.

M: Mostly clean finish, a little residual flavor from the hops is to be expected. A bit heavier than your average ipa in consistency. No doubt due to the extra malts.

O: Quite a unique ipa. I like the sweetness and the odd mix of fruit tones from the malt but not the copper flavor. Overall a nice ipa that sets itself apart from the other thousands quite well.

 953 characters

Photo of ElSid
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Beers of California


Bottled Date: 2/14/13

A: Clear, pale yellow with an ephemeral white head. The head reduces to a layer of white with decent layering on the glass.

S: Fresh spring flowers, pine, citrus zest, and touch of black pepper along with some honey and caramel sweetness.

T: Clean hop bite with earth, pine, and lemon peel. The spice also has elements of pepper and garlic. The fruit that is there is predominantly citrus and much more muted relative to the nose. The malt is barely there with honey and caramel breadiness. The finish is puckering.

M: Oily linger that coats the mouth with a feel that is ale medium and carbonation that is faint to medium.

O: A decent IPA with nice bitterness but little complexity. This brew is not much to look at and the label of 'good' can barely be applied here. Although decent and drinkable, this beer is not quite an IPA regular in the refrigerator.

 916 characters

Photo of BryanCarey
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Golden/amber in color, this beer has a nose that is floral, spicy, a little bit citrus- like, with some caramel and pine. The foam level is nice, sits atop a clear body, and does hold its own for a while, even though it leaves only a small amount of lacing.

Moving to the taste, this IPA offers flavors consistent with other west- coast IPA. The taste of citrus, piney hops dominate, but they rest on the solid malt backbone that adds some caramel malt, pale malt, and bread flavor to the mix. The body of the beer is medium and the ale has a long, dry finish that mellows out with each passing minute.

I love a good IPA and Big Daddy IPA is certainly a beer worthy of a try. With its citrus and floral hop- accented flavor, this IPA is much like other American west coast IPA. At the same time, however, this IPA actually offers a good degree of balance and its malt contributions, while trumped by the flavor of the hops, are still noteworthy and they offer a good, solid base to support the hops.

This IPA is a tasty one for certain and I recommend a six pack if you can track one down. Its distribution base is still somewhat limited, but Speakeasy Big Daddy IPA is certainly a beer worth taking some effort to find.

 1,226 characters

Photo of lordofstarside
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz to a pint glass. Bottled on 10/30/12, a little over three months old, should still be pretty fresh. Just finished reading Elie Wiesel's "Night" along with a book about Clinical Ethics. Needless to say, even though it's only 3pm I could really use a beer :(

Pretty interesting bottle art, the colors and theme make for a nice presentation. The beer pours a nice consistent light gold with a perfect two fingers of head. It receded down to one finger pretty quickly, and is retaining a finger of foam. Mild carbonation stems from the bottom of the glass against perfect clarity with the lacing almost up to par. Nearly a flawless looking beer, a bit more color would have a perfect score. There's an aroma of thick piney hops among a consistent floral citrus base. Notes of orange zest meld well with some grapefruit that comes together with a a solid bready malt. At 6.5% no alcohol comes through, leaving this an above average smelling brew. Taste of moderate hops come along with a rigid malty base. Not much of the citrus from the nose translates well across the palate, leaving the beer a little bland. Feel, like most other beers, is done well, with a crisp body that's a little on the light side. Little to no alcohol in the taste makes this pretty easy to drink, with a dry finish. Overall this is a bit mild for a west coast ipa in the sense more efforts seem to be taken to balance the beer. As always I'm sure the beer would have a stronger hoppy profile fresh off the tap opposed to three and a half months in a bottle, but the malt detracts from much of the other flavors. Still pretty good though, though I've had many better I've had even more a lot worse. Pick it up and give it a try if you have the chance

 1,727 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.74/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Two finger of fluffy head on a medium straw colored body.
It has a strong aroma of lemon and pine. Really nice.
The taste has good malt backbone with medium lemon bitterness. It's smooth and straightforward.
A softer texture with moderate carbonation and medium body.
A solid, go-to IPA.

 288 characters

Photo of BeerLover99
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: cloudy dirty orange, trace off-white head, quite solid lacing

S: orange jam, grassy, malt, sugar/candy

T: orange jam/peel, hint of grassy, malt, sugar/candy
slow bitter finish

M: med body, oily mouth

O: Nice IPA offering. Perhaps good intro
for newbie. Would buy again. Nearly sessionable
American IPA, fine balance. New to this brewery;
love to explore and support new craft breweries.


 422 characters

Big Daddy IPA from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
84 out of 100 based on 467 ratings.