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Heavy Seas - Big DIPA (2013) - Heavy Seas Beer

Heavy Seas - Big DIPA (2013)Heavy Seas - Big DIPA (2013)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

117 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 117
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.2%

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
When we decided to resurrect the Big DIPA, we knew that we needed to make it bigger and better. We've brought the beer back with the same 10.5%ABV as before, the same massive amounts of hops as before, but this time, we've aged it on oak spirals. Oak spirals suspended in solution allow more surface area to come into contact with the beer increasing the oak presence without increasing exposure time. This results in a smoother oak flavor and further compliments the extraordinary hop characteristics. Cheers!

(Beer added by: MasterSki on 05-03-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 117 | Reviews: 19 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of larryi86


4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle, 2013, poured into a DFH IPA glass

A- A clear copper color with a three finger off white head.

S- Floral hops, oak, some citrus, caramels malts.

T- Citrus hops up front with a nice caramel malt back bone, some earthiness, nice piney bitter hop finish with a nice oak character. Touch of alcohol, very well balanced.

M- Smooth, medium body, nice carbonation.

O- A solid beer worth picking up. Really enjoy what the oak brings to this beer. Alcohol is slightly noticeable, but doesn't hurt the beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2013 00:08:16 | More by larryi86
Photo of RickS95


4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The pour is an attractive shade of orange. Kind of a dull, brownish orange. Has more clarity than I expected. The head isn't as frothy as I expected, nor does it retain well, but at 10.5%, not unusual for the style. It's a dingy, yellowy white that leaves behind a substantial lace.

You can tell from the nose this thing means business. ABV, pine and oak come wafting from the snifter. Very earthy and robust. Aggressive hopping is obvious. Imminent bitterness presents.

The nose doesn't lie. The tongue picks up the alcohol, oak and pine, along with plenty of malt. Very bready. You can almost taste dough. The alcohol is, um, INTENSE in the swallow.

It is what it is, a massively hopped and malted DIPA. It starts off with a nice, gentle smoothness. Just a touch of fruit. Then the hops take over and as you approach the swallow, a burst of flavor fills the mouth, right as a punch to the gut of alcohol comes raining down. There's complexity, with a variety of layers to it, but in the end, both the hops and malt really come through. Full bodied, with a sharp, dry finish. Pine, oak and alcohol are the dominant players.

Overall, it's a really good beer. Certainly a sipper, but relatively smooth til the swallow when all hell breaks loose. I know by the end of this bomber I won't be able to feel my tongue or throat and I'll be bumping into walls on the way out of the mancave, but each sip will be enjoyable...and manly.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 02:27:39 | More by RickS95
Photo of Oakenator


4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep brown to orange color. Some head initially lingers well for this ABV. Also good lacing at this strength.

S: Smells good but more faint pale ale. Hops not coming through on this DIPA as one would expect.

T: Definite woody flavor, hops muted but still present via a bitter sweet taste on the backend.

M: Lighter than expected.

O: Good beer but characteristics of various parts interfere more than complement.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2013 22:10:06 | More by Oakenator
Photo of ckollias


4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this bomber bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark copper hue with a thick, frothy, white head that slowly dissipates leaving a good trail and solid lace.

S: Strong malty sweet alcoholic aroma.

T: More sweet than bitter – almost like a barley wine. Slightly hoppy middle and finishes on the dry side of sweet.

M: Very strong and boozy. Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Solid imperial ipa. A little on the sweet side – could have used a little bit more hops to balance it a little better.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2013 01:19:18 | More by ckollias
Photo of wvsabbath

West Virginia

4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Tannish brown with a ruby tint, nice 2 inch foamy head and tons of lacing.

Smell - Sweet yeasty sugars, caramel malts, orange, pineapple, grapefruit, lemon, oak, wood, some spices and alcohol.

Taste - Really sweet mix of yeasts and citric fruits, with oak and malt backbone. Loads of orange, pineapple, tangerine, lemon, mango and grapes really jumps out at you with first sip. Caramel malts add even more sweetness. The oaked flavor mixes in well with the malts to give it a smokey like flavor. Spices add a peppery note along with some warmth from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel - First the hops nail your tongue with citric flavors, then the malts and oak coats your mouth and palate with sweet, bold flavors. The finish brings alcohol warmth. The aftertaste is sweet, hoppy and strong.

Overall - This is a nice beer, tons of flavor and loads of sweetness. Slightly unbalanced due to the sweetness of the hops and caramel malts overpower the oaked flavor somewhat. Still, that's my only negative cause its really enjoyable to drink. Doesn't drink like a 10.5% beer, very smooth, and worth a drink for sure.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2013 03:23:13 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of superspak


4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2013 bottling. Pours fairly crystal clear orange copper color with a 2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of big orange zest, orange rind, tangerine, grapefruit, caramel, floral, light pine, oak, honey, toast, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity of hop flavors; with a very balanced malt backbone and light-moderate oak presence. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, tangerine, orange rind, floral, light pine, grass, caramel, honey, oak, toast, and floral earthiness. Light floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus rind, caramel, floral, grass, pine, honey, oak, toast, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity of hop and malt flavors; with a very balanced malt backbone with oak that isn’t overdone, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice oak aged DIPA. All around great balance and nice complexity of hop/malt/oak flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2013 03:37:53 | More by superspak
Photo of jondeelee


3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Big DIPA opens to a surprisingly malty nose for a DIPA, the larger aromas those of yeasty rising whole wheat dough, toast crust, biscuit, Grape Nuts cereal, and floury baguette. The hops are present, of course, with pine and grapefruit and lemon, as well as lesser notes of dandelion stem and mint, but are largely subsumed beneath the malts. The oak aging lends a slight vanilla and oak overtone, but one that would be easily overlooked in a blind smell test. After sitting open and warming for a few minutes, the hops do finally begin to emerge, with bright pink grapefruit, lemon, and light pine bubbling to the surface, mixing well with a sweet assortment of fruit esters, including orange, berry, cherry, and apricot, these being present in near-hard-candy potency, leaving the bottle’s mouth sticky. Shades of brown and candi sugar add further sweetness. As a whole, the nose is very nice, but even after the beer warms for a while, it’s difficult to tell that this is a DIPA; it comes across more as a big, sticky red, full of sugars and fruit esters, with bulbous citrusy pink grapefruit from the hops for nuance. The aromas are still wonderfully enticing, just not what is expected, and the oak aging is largely lost.

On the tongue, the hops are present in, thankfully, larger quantities, with pink grapefruit and grapefruit rind mixing with pine and lemon, as well as lesser mint and eucalyptus notes for bitterness. These are joined by orange, berry, cherry, and apricot fruit esters, as well as brown and candi sugar, the emphasis here being clearly on sweetness. Bits of toast crust and biscuit, as well as Grape Nuts cereal, linger far below, but are largely overwhelmed by sugar. The oak aging is, again, mostly lost, and would be easily overlooked in a blind taste test, adding only faint strands of vanilla and wood. The flavors do hold up over the course of several sips, the sugars and hops still cranked up, and the breads struggling to keep pace. An alcoholic note rides atop everything, like faint berry vodka vapors, lightly singing the nose and soft tissues. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main mouthful’s sugariness, with some bitterness still present. Mouthfeel is a sticky medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is good beer, but not quite what is expected, since this is not the hop bomb that many DIPAs are, nor is the oak aging immediately obvious. Instead, this is a largely sweet and sugary beer, with the hops and oak aging more seeming to act as tethers to keep the sugary balloon from rising into the atmosphere and exploding. The result is still delicious, and worth trying—your lips will be sticky-sweet for a while afterwards—but don’t expect your standard DIPA fare.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 00:31:34 | More by jondeelee
Photo of Mongrel


3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Hardly "pale," more like amber, almost brown, with big, frothy lacing.

S - Cool hops, grape and sweet malts on the nose. Grape is so prevalent, it could almost pass as a white wine.

T - Sweet for an American DIPA. Big and rich. A touch of pine and a nice big grape note at center. Not overly complex, but very satisfying. Flavor profile is mellower than than your typical American DIPA, skewing more toward the malty, English (and oaked) profile also exhibited by Burton Baton.

M - Full, silky mouthfeel.

Great brew - almost as good as Burton Baton. Incidentally, I've aged one of these for about two years before and the result was spectacular, yielding even more concentrated grape flavors and and a lot of nuance all around.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2013 20:39:46 | More by Mongrel
Photo of mattcrill


3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Aroma: Sugared orange slices up front. Toasty burnt caramel notes. Light floral notes with a whiff of alcohol. Aroma strikes me as more American Barleywine in nature but clean and inviting.

Appearance: Deep brick red pour with a sticky off white cap. Head retention is great.

Flavor: Lots of crystal malt flavor up front. Quickly followed up by leafy and earthy hop bitterness. A touch of oak and vanilla but very muted and understated. Balance is firmly bitter although the malty and crystal like sweetness assert themselves up front. Finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and slightly oily. Medium-high carbonation with a slight bit. Warming alcohol numbs the tongue.

Overall impression: Got this as a gift and wouldn't have bought it on my own. "Barrel Aged IPA" always seems like an oxymoron to me. Kind of like jumbo shrimp or military intelligence. However, as long as I kept telling myself "American Barleywine" I found myself enjoying it immensely. A perfect example of a good beer that is outside the style parameters.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2013 22:14:38 | More by mattcrill
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Fresh bottle from Premier. Initially getting creamy orange hop flavour and some oak, then much booziness. The booze just attacks and attacks, rather than the hop in your face flavour. Still good drinkability for a late nightcap. Appropriately carbonated.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2013 03:03:08 | More by Sammy
Photo of metter98

New York

3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear dark amber-orange in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige colored head that quickly died down, leaving some patches of bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Aromas of sweet toasted and caramel malts are present in the nose along with notes of oak and hints of alcohol.
T: Like the smell, the beer seems rather malty with flavors of oak and vanilla with additional hints of pine resin hops and a light amount of associated bitterness. While hints of alcohol are also perceptible, these do not really detract from the taste.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and a bit sticky on the palate with a moderate amount of visible carbonation.
O: If you're thinking this is an IPA, you'll be in for a big shock because it seems to share more similarities with an English Barleywine compared to an American Double / Imperial IPA and is more of the type of beer you should slowly sip from a snifter glass.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 02:18:41 | More by metter98
Photo of Alieniloquium


3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance - Deep amber. Nice white head. Chunky white collar. Nice wisping.

Smell - Sweet, a little boozy. Hoppy, but the malt is potent. Oaky, too.

Taste - Very sweet. Oaky. Lots of caramel. Hoppiness is secondary. I still kinda like it. A little bit alcoholic.

Mouthfeel - Heavy. Sweet. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Reminds me a lot of Burton Baton. Same oak and sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2013 22:34:27 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of timmy2b

New York

3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Was darker than I expected, almost a brown/dark amber color. Head was off white and fairly foamy. Head dissipated and when it did the hoppy scent that was present with he head disappeared. Taste was heavy on malt for what was described by the bottle, but that could be from age. The malt was easy to drink which also leads me to believe that this was a little old but was able to drink and was very easy to drink for the alcohol content and the style. I would like to try this fresh and on draft, but I was impressed with the balance.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2014 02:41:35 | More by timmy2b
Photo of Yoopermk


3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Was fortunate enough to wander into the taproom on Big DIPA release night and got to try some of the Cask beer. Also picked up a couple bottles to go. The cask was fantastic. Nice creamy mouthfeel. The bottle is also a very good DIPA. Although nothing groundbreaking it's a quality brew that H.S. should keep around.

Serving type: cask

04-09-2014 00:30:58 | More by Yoopermk
Photo of cindyjeffsmith


3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: deep clear red. Nice plush red head on the pour that recedes but still lingers. Pale ale in name only but no complaints. Quite the looker.
Smell: maybe this will open up as it warms. Right now, very subdued grapefruit but not much more. Not picking up any oak.
Taste: a little more depth than in the nose but still not a lot happening. Again, not picking up any oak characteristics.
Overall: a good beer but I recall a previous experience with the oak big dipa being much better. Alcohol is certainly well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2014 23:51:44 | More by cindyjeffsmith
Photo of DavoleBomb


3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Clear orange amber color. One and a half fingers of creamy beige head. Retention is about what you'd expect from a beer this big and a short ring of lacing is left.

3.5 S: What we have here is a balanced DIPA. Strong maltiness blends quite well with nearly as strong hoppiness. Tons of caramel in this with a toasty backbone. Hops are primarily floral with some citrus, herbalness, and earth underneath. The oak is a nice bonus adding in it's unique flavor and hints of vanilla. Booze is supremely well hidden. Overall it's fairly simple, but it's pleasant.

3.5 T: Like the nose, this is balanced in the taste. Toasty malts featuring layers of caramel, apple, and notes of peach. Mild to moderate bitterness. Hops are again floral in nature, but there is some orange and a touch of pine and earth. The oak again brings it all together. Booze is well hidden.

3.25 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Sticky, resiny feel here, which I'm not crazy about. Otherwise, good enough.

3.5 D: Decent beer worth a try. There a good balance here, but neither the hops nor the malts are particularly spectacular. Still, not bad.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2013 01:43:55 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of beatenbyjacks


3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - red amber color. lots of bubbles as it sits. thick head with lots of lacing.

Smell - lots and lots of malts on this one. I do not get too much of the oak or any real hoppiness for a DIPA

Taste - very very malty and no real oak taste, similar to the smell. good beer, but I just am missing the oak.

Mouthfeel - nicely carbonated for sure. Dry finish on this one as well.

Overall - I did not get much oak at all. I am also a bigger fan of Citrus DIPAs, but this was not a bad beer either.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2014 15:07:54 | More by beatenbyjacks
Photo of VelvetExtract


3.39/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a mostly clear, dark orange color. Thinner, creamy head retains well and leaves light lacing rings.

S-First sniff makes me think Barleywine. A sturdy balance between deep caramel and candied citrus hops. Quite like the older version but with the obvious oak addition.

T-Again, I'd peg this as a lightly oaked Barleywine. Huge caramel and wet toast along with pine and candied grapefruit hops. The oak adds an extra flavor layer and it works well. However, each sip becomes harder to get past.

M-Full and bitter. Hot and hard to drink to be quite honest. Sticky.

O/D-I liked the original Big DIPA better; it was one of my first craft beers actually. This one doesn't do it for me. Its probably because my palate has advanced and I don't like the mixture of oak and hop generally.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 13:31:34 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of happy4hoppybeer


3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into snifter:

Dark, hazy amber/orange with creamy, white head about half-finger thick. Mediocre retention and lacing.

Big nose of pineapple, citrus and hops!! Throw in some caramel and the oak barrels to go with it and bam!! Very pleasant, too good to be true aromas here.

Lots of malt on the tongue. I don't know, but there's just a lot of malted barley and caramel in the mouth here. The hops are secondary as another reviewer put it. Kind of a let down for a DIPA.

Body is about the average medium to thick, with average carbonation levels.

This one could be better. It's not bad, but it's not the greatest DIPA either.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2013 20:06:59 | More by happy4hoppybeer
Heavy Seas - Big DIPA (2013) from Heavy Seas Beer
88 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.