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Big Swell IPA | Maui Brewing Co.

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very good
403 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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 403 | Ratings: 1,029
Photo of Newmerator
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

6 pack cans

pours a golden ale color, white fluffy head with little to no lacing.

Smells a very medium bodied hoppy. not too complex. almost smells like a home brew i made.

tastes pretty mellow and well balanced. not enough hops for me

mouthfeel is very light to me. medium to low bodied

drinkability is pretty decent. I'm not longing for another.

a Tasty brew for the beach.


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Photo of bboven
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, golden, little head but some lacing.

Lots of hops, a bit of yeast in the nose.

Taste is more bitter hops than flavor hops, but enjoyable.

Surprisingly dry mouthfeel, but nice carbonation.

Definitely enjoyable, one I would get again and I love seeing good beers in cans!

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Photo of Genghis22
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stamped 04-09-09 on the bottom.

A - Pours a clear bright golden yellow with a big frothy white head.

S - A blast of hops right as I popped open the can. The nose is full of big floral hoppy goodness. There is a touch of something sweet at the end, perhaps pineapple.

T - Smooth mellow malt at first, with a big punch of hops afterwards. Lots of strong piney grassy hops, and dry bittering hops in the finish. The aftertaste has a bit of sweetness to it, again I taste just the faintest little bit of pineapple.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. This one goes down pretty easy though, very crisp and refreshing.

D - Aloha! I could put this baby away all day long. More please!

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 12oz can into my hotel room glass. Poured golden with a nice white head that leaves some scant lacing. Smells grainy and citrusy with a touch of pine. On the maltier side. Tastes grainy, earthy, piney, and even a bit beefy. Bizarely, it also tastes just a bit salty to me. Finishes with a long bitter ending. Mouthfeel is fairly thick and grainy. Not my favorite IPA, but nice to see more micro cans.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Who knew that two of the best beers I would have all day would be from cans! This as well as the 21st Amendment Watermelon Wheat.
This beer pours a light golden amber in color. A very nice inch or two of head forms on the pour and sticks around for a while. Plenty of hops in the nose. Taste is very balanced and hoppy at the same time. Very good hop profile and very well balanced and put together.
Very easy drinking and quite enjoyable. I could see myself drinking quite a few of these. Perfect for fishing trips in these cans. Well done.

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Photo of flexabull
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright gold color with a nice big white head.

Aromas are spicy with very floral nose. Some light citrus, mango? and some candied sweetness.

Taste is creamy up front, with some light caramel malt sweetness. Beer then settles into the hop flavors, mostly an earthy floral hop bite on the finish. Very fresh, crisp and clean tasting IPA.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, not bad though.

Drinkability is good. This is a very nice IPA, and in my favorite vessel to boot! I'd be more than happy tossing a few of these in my backpack the next time I head up to the mountains.

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Photo of BeerManDan
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color when poured was amber with a nice amount of foam that stayed nice and full for awhile. The piney smell of american hops and barley malts were very evident in the aroma of this IPA.

The taste was very mild and tasty for an IPA. Not a lot of piney flavor, but a nice flavor of hops and barley malts without the overpowering bitterness. Again, a pleasant bitterness that is not over powering. I just love this IPA in a can. At the brewery, you can only purchase this IPA in a can or on tap!

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Photo of illidurit
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can poured into a pint glass. Golden amber color, good clarity, nice off-white cap of foam. Aroma is orange and grapefruit hoppiness, with a little pine and a little neutral malt. Flavor is rather muted. Tastes like a 'diet IPA.' The orangey tropical hops are there, and the pine is there, and the pale malt is there, but there's no robustness. Watery, a little soapy, and with low bitterness. Above average but not a great IPA by any means.

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Photo of surfer4life
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz can.

A - Pours a transparent golden with a huge fluffy white head which recedes to a small layer of foam that hung around a while, good lacing.

S - While there is the scent of hops in the nose, the caramely malt comes through big time. Even some hints of citrus fruits, not the typical grapefruit though...even some apple.

T - Wonderful balance on this one, proves to be hoppier than was detected in the nose. Front as nice sweetness. Getting some caramel and apples in this big time. Finish is nice and hoppy not overpowering at all, but what you would expect from a well balanced IPA.

M - The body is medium with a medium carbonation, excellent drying.

D - I would say this could quite possibly be my perfect session beer, comes in the can, perfect balance and 6%. A sixer would do it. Great beer.

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Photo of aforbes10
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sixer of nice looking cans from the Davis, CA Co-Op. Pours a nice orange yellow with perfect clarity and a tall white head that falls off relatively fast. Sticky remnants of head cling to the glass, and the beer produces a good amount of bubbles rising throughout. Mix of floral and citrus hops on the nose, as well a good, obvious sweet malt presence. Flavor has a lot of hop taste, definitely more of a citrus character here. Malt backbone backs it up and makes it sweet and caramel-like. Bitterness on the finish is obvious but still reserved enough not to dominate the flavor. medium bodied. A nice drinker, I love that it's another great craft beer that i can get in cans.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours out a hazy, orange-gold color. Loose, fluffy, off-white head sits on top and drags nice web-like lacing. Nice retention to boot.

Smell: Sweet citric hops, caramel, mild pine, and some butterscotch? Yep, butterscotch. Toasted malt in the beginning, caramel, and possibly even nuts in the back. Smells tasty and quite sweet.

Taste: Juicy pineapple, orange, and grapefruit along with some honeydew melon. Tangy. Good deal of bitter hops, but they're balanced nicely by caramel and toasted malt. Some spice, dusty pine, and honeysuckle as well. Nicely done.

Mouthfeel: Spicy and actively carbonated. Creamy, medium bodied, very well balanced, and just... fun. Crisp, with a long lasting aftertaste. Very smooth and enjoyable.

Drinkability: Hell yes! This is a great summertime IPA.

Nick: =4.4
Justin: =3.925
Average: =4.1625

Wiseman Justin reviwing on May 9, 2010; poured into a nonic pint glass. Reviews were averaged.

Appearance: Looks like some delicious beer. Pours out a thick two finger head that doesn't hang around all that much. Fluffy lacing sticks tot he glass. Cloudy honey colored beer that is spot on for the style. 4.5

Smell: I'm getting something sweet although it is too mild to identify. Slight citrus. This is either weak or boring. I've been hit in the nose before with an IPA. This beer does not do that. 3.0

Taste: I get some caramel ? The citrus is definitely there. A strong malt component rounds the beer out at the end. This IPA is very light and tasty. It's called "Big Swell" but it's not big at all. It's great and light. This beer would pair well with many foods. I get a strong oak finish. Very good! 4.0

Mouthfeel: Not as chewy as I like in this style, it's got some 'chew' but nothing to talk about. For a pale ale this is perfect. For an IPA I want something a little more. 3.75

Drinkability: How can I complain about this light, wonderful tasting, very drinkable beer? 4.5

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Cloudy golden yellow with a big foamy head. Excellent retention and lacing. Very active carbonation bubbles quickly rising to the top.

S - Citrusy aroma dominates, lots of hops. A light candied fruit sweetness underneath. No noticeable malt mixed in.

T - Light sweetness initially before a very strong, but not overwhelming citrus hoppiness comes through. Excellent mix of grapefruit and tangerine dominate. Light biscuity sweetness underneath. Mildly astringent.

M/D - Medium bodied with a light chewiness. Well carbonated, almost too much so. Easy drinking.

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

The key to the Big Swell IPA was how it paired with the Mahimahi Fish and Chips (Hula Grill - Kaanapali). I like to sprinkle my F & C with malt vinegar and needed a beer to stand up to that without ruining the meal.

Big Swell IPA performed great. The golden brown color was attractive. The citrus smell was pleasant (considering the malt vinegar was coming off the fish and chips) and the extra alcohol finish of the beer cut through the maltiness of the meal.

I especially liked the mouthfeel of the beer as it washed down the mahimahi.

I tried it again a couple of nights later without the malt vinegar on the fish and chips and it worked just as well, which leads me to believe that the beer just works well with fried food.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.16/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in the recent Secret Bunny BIF - thanks Kevin (mymrnngjckt)! Served in my Surly pint glass.

Biases - I love beer from a can, Lahaina, and baseball (it's Opening Day), so I may be a little manic today.

A - Two fingers of frothy white foam that takes forever to dissipate and leaves tons of soapy lacing. Hazed glowing golden color with a few tiny bubbles. Among the best looking IPAs I've seen (and I've seen a lot).

S - I was worried this might be old as it came all the way from Maui somehow, but after one whiff my fears where quelled. Loads of tangy bitter citrus (lemon, grapefruit) with some pine as well, over top of some light biscuity malt. Very refreshing!

T - The taste is a bit more subdued - lots of pine and floral hoppiness with a hint of lemon zest. There's a fair bit of bread and biscuit maltiness as well. Very balanced - I'm guessing it has a little bit of age on it (1-2 months) - but it's still quite nice. I'd have scored it higher if I'd been told it was an English IPA. Very mild bitterness in the aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied, and very creamy and smooth. I don't think I've ever said this before for an IPA, but it's actually kind of undercarbonated - a little bit syrupy. Lots of residual oily hop resin.

D - This will be my session beer if I ever get back to Hawaii. Just a really solid IPA - nice flavor, feel, aftertaste. I definitely feel warmer after drinking it.

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Photo of jackorain
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a cloudy dark colored straw. Held up to the light, I see a swirling sediment almost like a hefe. Stark white head hung around a little while and fell to a tall collar and splotchy coat.

Caramel malt, biscuit malt and citrus hops up front. Deeper whiffs bring a more complex citrus hop profile with tangerine, grapefruit, and orange rind.

Sweet caramel malt first, which is followed by orange peel with a bit pith as well. The middle brings a moderate amount of bitter grapefruit. The finish is a lingering light to moderate bitterness combined with a syrupy sweetness.

A bit watery with a light body and very light carbonation. Very wetting on the palate.

I could easily drink a few of these but there are better IPAs

Thanks for Reading

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Photo of natasharai
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured with some nice frothy off white head that dissipated leaving some lacing at the top of my glass. The beer is a yellowish-golden hazy color.

Smell: flowery, citrus, spicy earthy, sweet caramel and a small amount of alcohol.

Taste: Flowery, citrus orange, sweet caramel, small malt, finishing with a small amount of alcohol and bitterness accompanied by the flowery taste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, smooth tingle on the tongue, leaves mouth slightly alcoholy then turns into a sweet coating.

Overall: Decent drinkability, the alcohol at the end makes it a bit less than perfect. Good hop character, provides flavors that are different from other AIPAs. Strong flowery hop presence which provides a bit more spicy smell/flavor to this beer.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Truth in advertising. The can says, "Big, Hoppy, Bold, SMooth and Hoppy." It's that. The hoppy isn't over the top on the taste (it's huge, just not over rthe top), but the hops aftertaste is one of the strongest and best.

I think I can undoubtably say that this is the best beer I have ever had in a can. It's one of my favorite styles, and they pull it off. I am not sold that this wouldn't taste better in a bottle, but if it were sold that way I'll bet you couldn't tell in a blind taste test.

I think the hops could also disguise more malt. They should try another heavier version.

This wins as my favorite Hawaiian beer. My trip to Hawaii is going to be short, but I will do what I can to drink a bunch of this while I am here. I have a few others to sample, but I am pretty sure none will beat this. That isn't to say that the other HAwaiian beer has been bad. It's not at all bad. If a state as small as Hawaii can brew beer this good, why can't the entire huge country of Mexico produce any decent beer.

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Photo of seanbhudson
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy orange gold color with a huge white rocky head that dissipates slowly. Very long lasting sticky lacing.
Big aroma of sweet citrus, pineapple and floral honeysuckle. Light biscuit like malt.
Surprisingly light taste. Light caramel, citrusy fruit and apricot. There is some light lingering piney hop bitterness.
Light bodied beer with a slightly syrupy texture. Light Fizzy carbonation.
Very light and easy drinking IPA. It smells and looks like an Imperial IPA but tastes like a light pale ale. This would be a nice session beer, especially due to the fact in comes in a can.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very cool extra from Floydster in a trade!

A- Body is a bright, vibrant amber color that has minimal fogginess. Pours with a nice approximately 1 finger slightly off-white head. Head eventually fades to a thick collar and some lacing can be seen down the glass.

S- This has a nice crisp, hoppy nose. Piny hops dominate but there are some citrus hops in the background.

T- Good, classic, West Coast IPA flavor. Lots of hop flavors upfront that are mostly citrus and pine with a slight sweet malty background. The finish is all refreshing piny hop flavor and no bitterness lingers. Pretty clean all the way through.

M- Light body with medium carbonation. Body is a bit lighter than most IPAs but not thin in any way and offers some hop oils.

D- This is one awesome IPA. Its not the biggest, or the hoppiest, or the most complex, but it sure is one of the most enjoyable. Great classic West Coast IPA with nothing crazy going on.

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Photo of tpd975
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a light yellowish orange hue. Head pours big and foamy. Little retention but lots of lace.

S: Very light aroma. Lots of floral. Light Jasmine, with hints of grapefruit and a touch of pine.

T: Rather mild, more malt than hops. Nice sweet caramel malt with notes of biscuits and bread. Light hopping in the finish. Slight citrus with floral notes.

M: Medium to light in body, smooth with good carbonation.

D: Light in flavor, not much hops. Sessionable if that is your style of IPA. It's not mine though.

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Photo of drgonzo3705
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A: Pours a light copper color with a fluffy white head that recedes to a thin head but leaves nice sticky lacing in its absence.

S: Very citrusy. Grapefruit light pine and a little pineapple. Very pleasant.

T: Just like it smells. It seems to lose a little flavor on the back end though.

M: Light to medium body. Nice and hoppy.

D: I could drink this all day! Very easy drinker here guys give it a shot!

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce can fresh from the west coast. The appearance coming from my shaker glass is a hazy golden amber color with about a finger of fluffy off - white foam. Slight lacing is left on the inside of the glass with each sip. Smells of fruity hops such as orange, pineapple, and lemon as well as caramel malts. Tastes mimics the nose with the addition of piney, grassy hops. Medium in both body and carbonation. if this were available here, it would be a staple in my rotation.

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Photo of willjschmidt
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz can into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Pours an orangish light copper color.

S: Some light citrus and pale malt.

T: A good IPA. Light citrus in the form of orange. Very well balanced over a nice pale malt. The finish is some slightly spicy hops.

M: Medium bodied, average carbonation.

D: A good IPA, extra points for coming in a can.

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Photo of henrysunset
4.29/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

smell hit me before the taste. a big, sweet floral bouquet attached my nostrils as i poured the very first drop. very nice and inviting. (Amarillo? cascade? not sure.)

look is a little thin, yelloish-orange, light and crystal clear of sediment. head is big and off-white.

flavor is light and moderately sweet. Floral flavors in the aftertaste. A little bisuity/breadiness in the aftertaste too. Damned pleasent and pretty easy to drink.

(If only I can find their CoCoNut Porter in Seattle. We brought this can of IPA back from our trip.)

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Photo of BigBry
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mike and Brandee for bringing it back a mixed 6 pack, and for sharing. 12 oz can as pictured above.
Poured a deep golden color, with a thick white head. Long lasting foam, and good looking lacing. Lots of hop smells, piney, grapefruit, even picked up some sweet pineapple aroma. Very solid hop kick, piney, sour citrus, nice fruity bitterness to finish. Lots of flavor, but still within balance. Good body and texture, appropriate carbonation. We all agreed that this was a very nice suprise, a very good IPA. Add another can to my collection.

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Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 1,029 ratings.
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