Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "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.

Big Daddy IPA - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Big Daddy IPABig Daddy IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

474 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 474
Hads: 1,327
Avg: 3.73
pDev: 20.64%
Wants: 43
Gots: 266 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
California, United States | website

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: 474 | Hads: 1,327
Photo of DovaliHops
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden color with a medium white head that goes down quickly. Scent is quite inviting with some decent hoppiness and floral notes. I get a bit of citrus as well. Taste is not quite as good as it smells. The hoppiness I was hoping for is not there and there is a stronger malt profile. The citrus is there, but overwhelmed by some sweeter fruit flavors. Not very bitter with some some hop flavors, but not very great. Mouthfeel is full bodied with a crisp finish. Drinkability is fairly high, as it is very refreshing, just not a great example of an IPA (especially for the west coast).

 599 characters

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

(Served in an American pint glass)
A- pale golden color with a crystal clear body and strong carbonation. The head is a thin soapy white which fades to a ring on the edge of the glass.

S- crisp citrus, floral hops very clean overall.

T- big hops of grapefruit and some other mild citrus hops. The malt is very pale and is very subtle.

M- light body with a bit of fizz that helps to increase the body. No astringency or alcohol warmth.

D-Pretty nice IPA but it is a little one-dimensional. I would like to see a more complex hop character or some more malt to give it depth. Nice for a thirst quencher beer but needs a few improvements.

 652 characters

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

First had: on tap at House of Brews, NYC, NY

Despite the terrible service at House of Brews, I eventually got this beer. Served on tap in a pint glass, it was clear golden yellow in color with a small white head that laced fairly well. Aroma was very light, consisting of floral and citrus hops with an underlying sweetness. More citrusy hops in the taste, giving a certain crispness from beginning to end. Pale malt sweetness in the background. Very light and grassy. Light-bodied, not overly flavorful, but still crisp and refreshing for an IPA, if you're not in the mood for anything over the top.

 601 characters

Photo of bosco7
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden/pale color with creamy head.

Caramel, lots of candy orange, peach, and some vegetal aromas.

Bland flabby hop flavor; I am thoroughly unimpressed already with this IPA. Flavors include canned peaches, orange, lots of malt, and a bit of butterscotch.

Slightly watery mouthfeel with prickly mouthfeel.

Okay at best, there are so many better IPAs on the market. Not bad tasting but there is more hop character in something like a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

 478 characters

Photo of sinistersteve
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Spiffy looking bottle that seems to look back at you...safe to say I quickly poured this into my trusty, spy-free glass to calm my cronic parania.

Color poured to a somewhat thin, transloucent amber. Not a very thick head, but the carbonation seems to be decent enough to leave a constant, yet thin head that leaves a certain amount of lace against the edges of the glass that others could leave..

Aroma was citusy. Could easily recongize that hops were a main ingrediant in this tasty brew.

Taste and mothfeel are good. Seems to have that full-flavored feel, yet isn't a huge palate dystroyer.

Drinkability is good...I would have no problem buying this one again.

 676 characters

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

on tap @ Freakin' Frog in Las Vegas, NV

A- dark straw with a 1/2" white head, disappointing retent, nice lacing though

S- grassy, hops, toasty

T- grassy, hops, citric, toasted malts, grassy hop in aftertaste, hop oils, grassy is dominant hop flavor followed by citrus

M- medium bodied, smooth, leaves palate slightly abused

D- rather mellow for a speakeasy brew, but still tasty, drinkable, pretty straight forward, sessionable IPA

 436 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 crookedhalo
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours up a lightly hazed pale goldenrod color with thin off white head. Aromas mostly of piney, citrusy hops with a light malt sweetness underneath. Slightly bitter upfront and moving towards a malt sweetness mid-palate and swaying back to a bitter, astringent finish. Trace amount of mineral flavor. Not overpoweringly bitter, but it is certainly within IPA standards. Maybe a slight bit undercarbonated. Not my favorite IPA to date, but a good one that has a west coast feel to it. Maybe a little too thin, but it's hot out and the beer's cold. Cheers.

 554 characters

Photo of aaronh
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark golden color, with a minimal off-white head. The aromas are mostly citrus with a hint of malt. The taste is somewhat hoppy, but the bitterness is a bit too agressive. Perhaps a poor combination of hop varities, or just a bad balance with the malt. The mouthfeel is good, but a little too thin to hold up to the bitterness. The aftertaste is mostly bitter citrus and a bit unnerving. However, it is still a decent beer, just not all that well balanced.

 474 characters

Photo of Mitchster
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours to a light yellow, medium gold with a slight haze, forming an average sized white head with poor retention and no lacing. Aroma is fruity and vibrant with citric sweet hops, oranges, grapefruit, darjeeling tea, a hint of sulfur and husk. Mouthfeel is semi-dry with a pronounced acidity and medium body. Carbonation is medium. Taste is much the same as aroma, with a peculiar grapefruit rind bitterness and a delicate darjeeling tea quality. The harsh acidity lasts and lasts and assaults the tastebuds like most west-coast pale ales. Agressively hopped with a resinous bitterness, intense beyond my liking, but not as intense as a Stone or Lagunitas. Not even an attempt at being balanced...just over the top hops. No off-flavors are discernible beneath the pungency.

Typical for west-coast IPA's, but not my cup of tea. A quality brew, but despite being a hophead, I demand some balance in a beer.

 907 characters

Photo of boelker62
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a room temperate fluted glass from a bottle.

A - perfectly clear, crisp body that plops down a thick white head oiver topo this fizzy yellow body. Extraordinary for an IPA. Different at least.

S - the constant carbonation consistently releases strong grapefruit (not ruby red, though, rather the more bitter variety) overtones and the head keeps them there for you after each sip.

T - where I think this brew lacks is the complexity or discovery in the translation from aroma to flavor. There are no hidden secrets unveiled. Some may appreciate that, but I like the layers of a good IPA.

M - very light, crisp bite before the mostly watery, fizzy body. I appreciate an oilier brew in an IPA.

D - less than one would think, but the metallic finish doesn't sit well with me.

 800 characters

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 GJ40
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sampled from a 12oz bottle.

A - Golden and crystal clear with a moderate head and lots of lacing.

S - Citrusy and floral hops with a hint of alcohol and yeast.

T - Toasted malt flavor with piney and grassy hop flavor. Not my style of IPA.

M - High in carbonation and a bit thin.

D - Not bad but not one I'd rush back to. It looks much better than it tastes. A bit too piney for me.

 386 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Golden with a mild haze and a quarter inch of soapy, off-white head. Floral hop aroma with underlying biscuit aroma and an odd, fruity sweetness. Hops and cleaning solution. Spritzy carbonation. Eh...

 200 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours gold with a light soapy white head. Some lace, solid retention.

S: Lemon zest, some earthiness, not terribly fragrant.

T: There is some lemon and citrus, but it's not too full flavoured. Definite earthiness/soil flavours on the back end with some astringency.

M: Medium-bodied, soft and crisp carbonation, nice feel.

D: An OK IPA, but there's tons better out there at the price point.

 413 characters

Photo of blackc5
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a 12 oz bottle I received as a gift. This was a pretty mild IPA in my book, in all aspects. The color seemed a bit on the golden side, and the aromas were fairly mild. What was there was the expected scents of citrus and floral notes, with a bit ot bready malts.

Flavors matched this profile as well, no real changes from the aroma when you taste, other than the hops being a bit milded than they should be in comparison to the malts. I found it to be a decent, but fairly predictable IPA all around - by no means a great IPA.

 553 characters

Photo of jhartley
3.24/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an over-sized wine glass. Bottled on 09/09/2013.
Body is a clear, filtered golden yellow color. 1/2 a fingers worth of head that quickly dissipated and left a small amount of lacing at the top of the glass.

Smells of citrus, lemon, some spiciness and slight alcohol. Malty aromas come out as it warms.

Hops right up front with a malty sweetness on the end. Not a lot of bitterness. Pine. Lemon. More alcohol burn than I would expect from a 6.5% abv beer.

Very easy drinking IPA. Fairly balanced, bottle claims "...a clean dry finish..." which is pretty true, not something I really want from an IPA though. Would like something a little more aggressive with the hops to have a little more lingering pine or citrus taste on the tongue.

Overall an OK IPA that is pretty tasty, but not one I would search out again. (I received this one as a gift.) It seems to have lost a little something as it warmed up. I was expecting more from this based on previous reviews and the high marks, but was a little disappointed.

 1,049 characters

Photo of RedHaze
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a mildly hazy pale orange, with a thin white head that fades quickly to a spotty cap and ring. The lacing is actually a big thicker than I was expecting.

Smell; mostly citrus, with grapefruit and lemons. There's an underlying malt presence with a little bit of bread dough and caramel. Overall though, nothing really stand s out all that much in the aroma.

Taste; grapefruit is the primary flavor, but some lemon dose come through just a bit. Some bready, and caramel malts are present. If possible, the flavor is even more subdued than the aroma was, and that's not really such a good thing for an American IPA. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, and the drinkability actually takes a hit for me due to the lack of flavors. I don't think I would ever pick this one up again.

 789 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark golden with a fairly short head that disappears just a little too quickly. On the plus side, there is some lacing. Smells bready and a bit sweet with some light citrusy hops on the end. I think the hop levels are fairly fine, but that the beer is perhaps a bit too malty for the level of hops in the mix to really zing like a ood West Coast IPA should. The taste has a bit more hop flavor than the smell indicated, and the hops themselves aren't bad. Some citrus and pine lend an earthy bitterness that is still somewhat mild, but it does linger a bit. Mouthfeel is a little sharp and prickly, which is somewhat surprising given all the malt. Not bad, but there are so many better West Coast options. Overall, the bitterness and malt are a bit out of balance and what hop flavor there is is mostly just bitterness without the wonderfully resinous qualities that one expects from brews out here.

 907 characters

Photo of kellyst
3.22/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Billowing white head, light colored for an ipa, yellow with an orange hue.

S: Citrusy hops. Now malt.

T: Grassy hop taste. Some citrus. Not real bitter for an ipa. Tasety, but very one dimensional. It could use more malt to back it up. A drinkable thirst quencher, but I wouldn't seek this one out.

D: High

 312 characters

Photo of Bcant
3.21/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brasey color, small white head. Not a particularly strong smell, slightly matelic with citris notes- pink grapefruit rinds. Like the smell, the taste is not very distinctive. It starts a little alcoholic, sour middle, and strong hop finish. The hoping does a decent job at masking the sweetness an alchol but little else. The beer finishes biter but does not have complex a flavor. Still, for a beer this strong it feels ok and is rather easy to drink

 451 characters

Photo of OStrungT
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a pale straw yellow color with a thin white head. The head fades quickly, leaving almost no lace.

This beer has a very subtle grassy hop aroma. I can also detect a slight citrussy aroma. It smells a little sweet as well. All the aromas are very subtle and rather boring.

As witht the aroma, this beer tastes booring. I tastes some citrusy hops, and grassy hops, but only slightly. That is about all I taste.

This beer is very smooth, due to the slight lack of flavor and aroma. It is a little undercarbonated. It leaves a slight citrusy aftertaste.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. It is not overly high in alcohol, and the flavor is very mellow.

Overall: As with most from Speakeasy, this beer is boring. I would not waste my money on it again. It is not bad, but there are just so many other good beers available.

 864 characters

Photo of pjwilson
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

one word: disapointing. disapointing i got a sixer of this instead of speakeasy's prohibition ale. disapointing i didn't a get a different ipa like anderson valley, lagunitas of nectar ipa which were the same price. now granted i ended up drinkin' 'em and the artwork is very cool. but i can;t recomend this. the bitterness is high but this flavor is bad overall...one of the poorer ipa's i've tried. Good thing I tried prohibition first 'cuz otherwise i might have sworn this company off.

edit: retried it 6 months later and i like it more than last time.

 559 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to THECPJ for this one!

A: Pours a clear, light orange/yellow color with a one finger head that dissipates to a layer of bubbles on top. Very nice lacing.

S: Get a little bit of floral hops and some citrus fruits, a little lemon. I get lots of caramel malts on the back end.

T: Very little hop taste, a slight floral flavor in the beginning. I do get a lot of caramel and breadiness. It is a bit unbalanced. There is also an off putting aftertaste.

M/D: Medium bodied with good carbonation, but bad aftertaste. A disappointment. It is possible that the bottle is a little old, so I would give this one another chance should it arise.

 647 characters

Photo of loren01
3.17/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Slightly cloudy orangish color, 1 finger width white head, good lace down the glass
S: smell is of toffee, caramel. Very sweet candylike citrusy smell..
T: Much the same as the smell. Toffee and sweet candylike hoppiness. Citrusy and maybe some pineapple as well
M: Full bodied, harsh bitter mouthfeel that is not very enjoyable really
D: Not a horrible beer but nothing I would willingly buy again. The sweetness in this beer and the puckering bitterness in the aftertaste was strange.

 489 characters

Big Daddy IPA from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
84 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.