Big Swell IPA | Maui Brewing Co.

very good
412 Reviews
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Big Swell IPABig Swell IPA

Brewed by:
Maui Brewing Co.
Hawaii, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
50+ IBU

Added by GClarkage on 01-19-2008

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 412 | Ratings: 1,078
Photo of cfalls
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L - nice head, good retention, almost clear, classic west coast look

S - mild, floral, lemon cleaner, new car smell

T - malt forward, piney grassy finish with moderate bitterness

F - high carbonation, typical thickness

O - well made but nothing stands out as great

 268 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost clear golden color with off-white head. Aroma has herbal hop flavors and some grainy malts in the background. Taste follows, grainy, slightly herbal, chai, medium bitterness on the finish. Medium body, smooth carbonation. Pretty good IPA with an interesting hop profile.

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Photo of BillyX
2.41/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Well, it's all about taste, no? Sour (not in a good way) almost to the point of skunkiness. All hops, no malt; an extremely poorly balanced ale. However, the can date was 060316 and so it just may have been too old. Overall BA score is not too bad, the Bros score is very low, so I wonder if it's the beer, quality control issues, or something else. Would I try it again? Not if I was buying.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sparkling gold with a soft white blanket.

Smell is tropical with pineapple and mango, lots of hops, and slightly dank.

Taste is more grounded, with cracker, slight dankness, orange, grapefruit, and Trix.

Dry yet crisp.

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

Hazy orange. 3 fingers frothy white head. Excellent lacing. Strong hops upfront. Pine, tropical fruits, mainly pineapple. Malty aromas. Very strong bitterness and some sweetness that cracks bitter flavor. Caramel. Medium bodied. Watery to oily. Some saltiness. Long lasting, bitter finish. Nothing special. Decent IPA. Nothing to complain, but nothing to excite.

Best before: 08.2017

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Photo of MFMB
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky copper. Nose is of citrus, light Mellon and pine needles. Taste of bright citrus, light mango and pine gum. Decent malt base. Has that sticky character that I appreciate in a IPA! Medium to light body. A nice IPA imo.

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz can with canning date of October 4th 2016 into standard pint glass.

L: Hazy golden copper, finger width off-white head with solid retention. Speckled lacing.

S: Citrusy hop aroma with orange and grapefruit, also some piney and herbal aroma from the hops. Slight malt presence.

T: Citrus hops make themselves present here big time, not much malt to balance this but still quite good.

F: Light bodied and a harsh aftertaste.

O: Disappointed in this beer, could be better balanced and the aftertaste is bad.

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Photo of avalon07
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a can to a pint glass. Had a bright orange color and a cloudy consistency. There was a half inch of foamy head that lasted a fair amount of time. Very good lacing.

S: A decent aroma of hops, light, tropical fruit, and some pine.

T: Tasted of a bit of citrus (orange, in particular), a good amount of hops, light pine notes, a bit of grassiness (this is negated by the other ingredients), malt, and a tinge of caramel. A pretty solid flavor that's light, fruity, and just hoppy enough. It does have its flaws (the grassy quality), but is still enjoyable.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat slick finish. Light-bodied.

O: This is an uneven beer, it's definitely drinkable. This would be a good, light summer beer.

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Photo of Kinger22
4.53/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer was kimd of surprising in its taste - in a good way. I was expecting a more tropical IPA, but this was a good, balanced beer. The taste is hops, but with a nutty undertone, and some citrus hints. The smell is a hop/malt balance. Although earthy, it's an easy-drinking IPA.

 282 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz can, canned on 05/25/16, served in a milkshake pilsner glass.

Appearance: Initial clear gold, but after the end of the pour, some sediment came along and evened the beer out to a translucent gold. Thick white head with lots of lacing all over the glass.

Smell: Citrus, orange zest/rind, and a hint of tropical fruit.

Taste: Hoppy. Citrus/pine bitterness combined with some bready malt for balance.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation. Definite hop oils sticking to the teeth. Good thickness underneath - a bit chewy.

Overall / Drinkability: A solidly hoppy AIPA. Quite tasty and went really well with pork tacos. Easily drinkable and I would not have minded having another one. Well done.

 712 characters

Photo of Act25
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Why ship average IPA from Hawaii? This is my last one.

A) The beer pours a hazy golden orange body with a one finger white head that sticks around and leaves chunky rings of lace.

S) The smell is very good: dank pine, herbs, grass, earthiness, with floral and citrus bright points.

T) Taste follows smell with a long, bitter finish. Fresh and multi-faceted hops.

F) Feel is light to medium, chewy, sticky and resinous.

O) Overall a solid beer. Wouldn't be my first choice IPA, especially given the cost to ship.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a vibrant hazy golden orange color with a dense, one finger off white head that sticks around forever and leaves chunky rings of lacing in its wake.

The smell is dank pine, herbal earthiness, some floral and some citrus, most notably grapefruit.

Taste is the same with a bitter finish. There is a lot of hop flavors going on, but they work nicely together.

Feel is light side of medium, very sticky and resinous.

Overall a very solid beer. Wouldn't be my first choice IPA, but I certainly wouldn't turn one down either.

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Photo of Buck89
3.14/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Nice amber-golden color, slightly hazy. A frothy white head with nice retention. Aromas as expected: citrus, grapefruit, pine, white bread. The wheels fell off with the first sip: a prominent band-aid phenolic flavor that dominated the otherwise classic IPA notes. I tasted this on tap, and in two cans as well; wonder if there is an issue with their water. A big shame as I like their other brews.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
3.12/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I'm on Oahu a couple weeks a year to visit family. Picked up a chilled 6 pack from Foodland. I remember first seeing a 6 pack for $16.99 years ago so glad to see it more affordable at $10.99. Whatever price - I'm not a fan. Golden brown pour with a nice moderate head. Little lacing to speak of outside of spots of foam. Aroma is herbal and slighty minty and nutty. No floral or citrus notes to speak of. Taste is herbal tea, caramel malt and bitter hops. Again - I don't pick up any fruit, grass or pine; it's like those flavors are smothered by the malt base. Finishes pretty clean with that herbal taste lingering for a bit. Stick to the west coast options when on Oahu.

 673 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a medium off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma caramelized malts, earthy hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel and citrus. Then a hearty malt character comes in. The hops presence is earthy and a bit on the weak side for the style but still brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid IPA to drink for a while.

 699 characters

Photo of Spike
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz can.

Hazy, golden orange. The one finger, bubbly head recedes quickly but leaves rings of lacing.

A relatively restrained nose for such a hoppy ale. Lots of resin and brown bread offset by tropical fruits and satsuma.

The flavour is all pine and spice. The fruit in the aroma is not reflected in the taste. A little one-dimensional.

Medium body. The finish is drying and astringent, with more than a hint of hop burn. Mouthfeel is harsh.

Not a thirst-quencher. This is a punchy IPA. I like it but more than a couple of cans back-to-back would be challenge.

 580 characters

Photo of TequilaTom
3.44/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy light gold with a 1 finger light tan head with thick lacing. Smells of tropical fruit and light caramel malts. Taste is crisp and clean with a nice bitterness. Goes down way too easy! A good summer brew worth trying.

 238 characters

Photo of BB1313
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Canned on 5/25/16. 12oz can poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy golden with a fluffy eggshell white head that slowly falls leaving great thick retention and very sticky lacing. The aromas have a nice amount of citrus. Malts are present. The aromas are on the subtle side, but still smells nice. The flavors are clean and refreshing. Lots of orange and lime notes. Grapefruit is present as well. Lots of pine notes too. Malts are present, but doesn't diminish the hops. Solid bitterness. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's on the lighter side of medium-bodied with active carbonation. Very smooth and easy to drink.

This is a solid IPA. It's very sharp, crisp and refreshing. It's nothing too crazy, but it's well crafted and very enjoyable. I like it.

 769 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Nifty can pours into a goblet with a hazy golden body and a large white crown. That head rises up very tall to about three fingers staying there for quite some time. A massive amount of lacing sticks around the glass at each stop.

S- Pale cracked barley, honey and slight caramel malts arrive beneath a wave of citrus hops like ripe orange peel and grapefruit. Pine and earthy hints from the hops as well.

T- Loses a lot of the brightness the nose had with pine hop resin taking over for the most part and leading the way with the spicy barley, slight caramel and honey sweetness. A touch of orange but less than the aroma indicated. Sweets linger in the finish for quite some time. Earthy, herbal tea, floral and grassy hints in the finish.

MF- Creamy and puff with a smooth consistency on the palate. Carbonation drops towards the high side with a zesty and crisp feel. Finishes with a medium-high resinous bitterness.

A promising aroma leads to a muddled taste with malts competing with, and not in a harmonious way, the big piney hops.

 1,046 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can. Canned 01/13/16...wish I had a fresher sample...

Pours typical looking hazed lighter amber, under a large and pillowy head, fades to a fine bubble film, slow sheeting and respectable fine sheeting

Just a hit of grainy hops on the nose

Middle of the road IPA..nothing great..nothing terrible..Prolly lost something during the flight....

 350 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

drank a bunch of cans/drafts of this while on vacation in Maui

darker golden in color, big white head. well rounded hop aroma - pine, grass, floral. slightly bitter, but still easy drinking. medium bodied.

 210 characters

Photo of hotmailmsn
3.46/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

6.8% abv, 82 ibu, draught.
A - hazy light orange with finger head.
S - honey, pineapple, earthy.
T - smooth, tropical, honey. enough bitterness which wanted from an ipa.
O - indeed really Hawaiian, with the taste of pineapple, I can feel the sunshine, lol

 255 characters

Photo of Suds
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

One of my last reviews from the family vacation to Hawaii, this beer, from a twelve ounce can, is a burnt gold with some cloudiness. The aroma is all hop...pine and resin. The taste is balanced, but with a notable mid taste bitterness. Full in body and drinkable.

 264 characters

Photo of JackieKu
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can. Canned on 2015-05-28.

A: Hazy pale amber. Poured 3 fingers high of head with long retention.
S: Moderate citrus (grapefruit), zest. Moderate pineapple.
T: Pineapple and grapefruit. Some sweet hints. High bitterness. Dry.
M: Moderate body. High carbonation.
O: Decent IPA.

 283 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Hits the amber copper color, 1/3" white head. Retention below average. Good dry hop aromas smacking of Amarillo.

Light body, well hopped, toasted pale malts, simcoe, amarillo, centennial would be my guess. A little bit, very small caramel, crystal malt sweetness. IBUS prolly stay in the 50-60 range. A little bit of that tropical fruitiness. A little more expensive than your average ipa, but I guess shipping all that stuff back and forth adds up. Has a good shelf life.

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Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 1,078 ratings.
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