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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: 1,028
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orange-copper color with a small head that provided decent lacing down the glass.

Smells of sweet citrusy hops. The Maori sweetnes comes through. A little more hop aroma would be nice.

Taste is kind of sweet but with a hoppy kick. Pretty good if you ask me. Wish there was a little more hop flavour.

Mouthfeel is kind of thin to me. A little watery in the end.

Drinkability is good because it is easy drinking. I will have this again.

 448 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can: Poured a bright orangey color ale with a rather large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus and grapefruit hops seems very fresh with a subtle caramel malt base. Taste is also dominated by some green citrus and grapefruit hops with a subtle malt base sustaining quite well the hops profile. Full body with good carbonation. Better then expected and very well done for a West Coast IPA.

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Photo of jpalarchio
4.19/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a sampler pack from the brewery and brought it back home. Didn't have time to try this one on draft.

Yep, it's in a can. I can't remember the last time I popped a can open. I've heard some small breweries are going in this direction, this is my first experience.

Even from the small opening of the can, the hoppy smell is strong; pretty much exactly the strength that I like in an IPA.

Pours a bit cloudy, almost a neon-orange color.

Taste is excellent. I was concerned how this beer would travel the long flight back, especially given an overnight delay that we had.

I have to say this is one fine beer, I'd be open to consuming many more if it were available locally. The can format would be nice for snowboarding, very easy to carry in a backpack. Can't say I would know it came from a can.

Good job Maui Brewing Co., a quality beer that you have here.

Oddly enough, while on Maui it was really a hunt to find any decent beer. About half-way through our trip I was finally able to locate some Rogue beers. Not sure why the local brewery isn't more readily available, distribution seemed to be small.

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

Poured from a sweet looking can with a date of 082508 on the bottom. I'm a little leery being that I bought the six pack from BevMo and its been sitting at a warm room temperature since August. Looks magnificent in the glass. A beautiful, hazy, deep golden color with a thick white head and excellent lacing. Just looking at the pint glass is making my mouth water.

Tons of pine in the nose. Grapefruit, tropical flowers, orange peel, with a hint of fresh baked bread.

A tidal wave of hops hits the palate first. Very piney with tart and sour citrus notes. Papaya and spearmint enter the mix and its ends with lightly bitter hop notes and a bread dough aftertaste.

This one was a huge surprise. Probably one the best IPA's I've ever had. Excellent flavor and balance and very refreshing. And its in cans! I know what I'm taking to the beach this summer.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden orange color with a stark white head that looks nice and holds pretty well leaving good lacing.

Nose is alot of west coast hops. Mostly a pine resin flavor and some perfume.

Taste is pretty mellow. Very floral taste profile. Alot of soapy, perfumey hop flavors, along with some WC pineiness. A bit of grapefruit, but pretty weak. The finish is not near bitter enough and doesnt make a big impression.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, a bit slick. Good carbonation.

Drinkability is solid. Not the greatest, but not bad at all.

Overall this is an "ok" IPA. Not horrid, but really nothing special. It has a weak hop profile, and subdued bitterness, but is certainly a drinkable beer that will be enjoyed by many.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can. Pours a cloudy orange with a thick, foamy white head. Aroma of bitter hops, light citrus, and slight floral hops. Flavor is weaker, with a sweet finish, some citrus, and grassy hops. Nice and very drinkable. Slightly high carbonation. Aroma was better than the flavor, but still a good one to try.
7/4/7/4/14 (3.6/5)

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

A - Pours a medium orange with yellow highlights. Thin white head retains well but lacks dimension. Some lacing appears.

S - Blend of mango, pineapple, and orange peel. Seems appropriate for a beer brewed in Hawaii. Hard to detect the malt presence.

T - Moderately bitter, mango and fruit loops, nice dry finish, clean malt and fermentation character.

M - Medium. Moderate-high carbonation. Smooth.

D - Quite high. Could put back a few cans or more without much trouble. Good balance, pleasingly dry finish.

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Photo of Kadonny
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a can that was sent back from a friend vacationing in Maui into a small tasting glass.

A: A medium to dark copper color with a nice off whited thick head. I couldn't really get much lacing in the tasting glass.

S: Nice hops on the nose with citrus and a floral aroma. Sweetness is mixed in also.

T: Hops are pretty forward with flavors of citrus fruits, some light floral flavors and a bit of deeper pine. A real caramel maltiness holds an equal balance to the hops mid way through and the finish his bitter. Very nice balanced IPA.

M: A bit thin, but crisp. No alcohol detected.

D: Medium to high. This is an easy drinking IPA.

Overall a very good beer from a small brewery in Hawaii, who would have thought? If I ever visit Maui I would gladly drink these all day long. Nice.

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

Can courtesy of a traveling colleague. It's strange being a fan of craft year and being aware of the stigma beer has compared to let's say wine. However, even knowing how off-base the bias is, I tend to apply a similar stigma to canned beer. This beer went a long way in breaking that stigma. Anyway, the beer pours a mostly clear dark amber-orange color with a thich and foamy light beige head that diminishes slowly. Small patches of lacing on the glass. Hoppy aroma with notes of citrus and malt. Medium-bodied with flavors of grapefruit, hops, toffee and malt. The finish is dry with a grassy hops aftertaste that lingers awhile. Solidly above average all around.

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

Golden with a white long-lasting head. Big citrus nose, but there is also some malt balance on this one. Taste has lemon, grapefruit, and other citrus flavors. The malt backbone comes through moreso in the taste than in the aroma. Medium bodied and carbonation. Thanks to marchcow for sharing.

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Photo of magictrokini
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Again, I can't get used to a great beer coming from a can, but Maui Brewing may convert me. Pours an oily gold with a big white head. Fresh hop aroma with lots of pineapple and grapefruit. More grapefruit, pineapple, mango and orange hops in the taste with a subtle caramel malt back. Light, sweet, and bitter all in one package. A great IPA.

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Photo of HopDerek
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up while out in SoCal earlier this month.

Pours a nice gold color with amber highlights. Two fingers of foamy eggshell colored head has good retention, leaving nice sticky lacing and some foamy clumps on top of the beer. Smells like a West Coast hop lovers dream, citrus fruits like oranges, pineapple, grapefruit, and mango mixed with some spices, honey, grain, and pine resin. Tastes of sweet citrus fruits like pineapple, oranges, mango, and a touch of grapefruit with some light biscuit and caramel. Finishes with a good amount of resiny pine notes. A little bit weaker than a sniff or two envision, but still very good. Medium in body with nice carbonation. Sweet with a touch of spice and a nice lingering bitter finish. A great canned IPA that I'd definitely take with me if I was camping or hanging out poolside or on the beach, and it wouldn't be too shabby to drink just sitting around the house either.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. can into DFH specialty glass on 12/8/08

A - Clear orange body with moderate carbonation and almost two full fingers of rocky white head that settled into a thin ring of retention but decorated the glass with all kinds of sticky lacing.

S - Right off the bat, this IPA opens with a huge smack of citrus hops featuring a predominant grapefruit character with hints of orange and pineapple. Malt is sweet and caramely with a subtle toasted grainy character in the back.

T - Again, this IPA is all about the citrus. We're talkin' tangy grapefruit, sweet pineapple and juicy orange. Scrumptious! Hops are kept in check by a sturdy malt backbone with sweet caramel and toasted grains.

M - Medium body with a slight syrupy texture, yet so smooth and creamy. Carbonation is pretty soft initially, but provides a slight prickle the longer you swish it around. Finish is moderately bitter with some residual hop oils deposited on the palate.

D - Fantastic IPA with a bold citrus character and enough of a malt presence to keep things in balance. This one definitely screams West Coast. Simply a great, all-around IPA.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can into a pint glass. Thanks to brentk56 for this in the Secret Halloween '08 BIF.

Pours a hazy golden orange with 2 fingers of foamy off-white head. The retention is fizzy and clumpy, almost looking like bunched up sea foam (which I found appropriate given the name of the beer) that leaves massive, sticky, hop lacing behind. The aroma is a total West Coast bouquet, that is a real pleasure to just sit here and smell. Pine cones, floral hops, spice, and underlying malt sweetness. Very pleasant and well balanced for an IPA.

The taste is solid but isn't blowing me away like the aroma did. It's still a well rounded mix of resinous hops with some tangy and juicy citrus character and silky caramel sweetness. The hops really pop in this but are thankfully held well in check but they do make a return in the finish with a long, ligering bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creamy carbonation that spreads out well with just a smidge of alcohol being present.

Hoppy and tangy with an extremely smooth drinking nature and easy portability in cans, this is one solid West Coast IPA that would definitley be a hoppy go-to if I had easier access to it.

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Photo of blklab2007
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

can poured a golden amber color with a thin white head that left pillows on the surface once settled. aroma has nice hops,(pine, citrus peel, grapefruit, and light tropical) medium malt base, and some sweetness. mouth feel is thin with high carbonation. flavor moves in the bitterness and malted direction. pines, citrus rind,and resins from the hops are well balanced. sweetness is just right and the finish with some lasting bitterness and hop resins. easy to drink and very smooth.

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

Pours a clouded orange hued amber with a creme head. Nose is all pine and citrus hops. Flavor brings the same with an earthy backbone it seems. A fair amount of malts are present it seems. Feel has a thicker liquid body. Carbonation is full. This is a fairly easy to drink IPA. Thick enough flavor to keep it interesting, but not so ridiculously obnoxious that it puts it in another level.

Thanks to srroos for this one!

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Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for the hitchhiker TorchedNoodle. Pours deep golden yellow, initially lots of white head that dissipitates. Grapefruit aroma, and taste. Average mouthfeel, very drinkable and satisfying. A bit stinging on the tongue, comment on the carbonation? Mildly astringent.Above average for style.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce can from O'Shea's, on to the beer:

Big and rocky is the head (more than two finger's thick and retaining well), the beer is copperish, but more orange. The smell...a smackdown of hops from the can, more mellow and balanced from the glass. Piney and metallic with a bit of malt mixed in. As for taste, this has a good malty backbone to support this hoppy monster. The oily and smooth texture is nice, but lacks some carbonation IMO. Leafy hop and notes of green tea. A squirt of citrus comes in, then the hops smackdown on the palate and stick to it in the aftertaste.

Do cans mute some of the flavor of hoppy beers? I had a similar though when I tried Gordon. This beer was good, but seemed like had it more life than it showed. Go ahead and give it a go.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - This is a light orange-brown in color with an awesome head. The foam isn't all that big but it is super-thick and leaves a whitish film on the inside of the glass.

Smell - The hops in the nose are big. There is a very even-handed mix of sharp orange rind and pine resin along with some rich grapefruit and maybe just a bit of grass. The sweet malt aroma is very big as well. It almost smells like a DIPA.

Taste - The hops lose something at the taste. Don't get me wrong it's still plenty hoppy, but the nose announced a monster and the taste is more like a medium IPA. The deep sweetness is there, especially a strong sense of brown sugar, and the malt base keeps this from falling apart.

Mouthfeel - This is medium-bodied and a little clumsy in the mouth. The bitterness level is actually pretty stiff but the big sweetness mitigates the effect.

Drinkability - This is fine for the hop-lovers and it's definitely the biggest IPA I've had out of a can but I can't see sessioning the six-pack.

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

Maui Brewing Co. Big Swell I.P.A. (can)

A: snifter. Pours a slightly opaque bright, vibrant orange with a slight reddish hue. Nice light tan, slightly orange hints involved. Good lacing and a mild retention level.

S: smells like simcoe and Amarillo hops off the bat. Absolutely amazing nose. Big, bold, and absolutely delightful.

T: big nose but not as much flavor in my opinion, maltier than expected with the huge hop nose. A little lackluster for me, but a great flavor over all. The nose is the best part of this. Good citrus hops but they faded a little too much, and the malts are big and bold. Cotton Candy flavors once it warms up a little.

M: mild body with a lower carbonation level. Not as much bite as expected from the nose.

D: good brew, but the nose made me think it was bigger than it was. My own fault at prejudging by aroma. Great IPA and well worth getting.

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Photo of dippy
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had in a pool swim up bar in Maui:


Reddish amber beer with a rocky off white head. Slight lacing on the glass.

Smells citrus and floral.

The hop taste is piney up front and grapefruit in the back. There is also some sweetness in the finish to round things out nicely.

The body of the beer was fairly watery. The least inpressive part of the beer.

I drank this beer plenty throughout my time in HI. It was good but not great.

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Photo of johnd513
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Ducksfan for this one!
I had this one a while back in Hawaii and I am glad to have a chance to finally review it. This beer pours a hazy orange color with a nice fluffy offwhite head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. Smells piny and citrusy with grapefruit and pineapple. The taste has big pine flavor up front and then follows through with some nice tropical fruit flavors which makes this beer unique. The mouthfeel is bitter, dry and citrusy with medium body and nice carbonation. Drinkability is good, the abv is low enough so that it would be easy to throw a few of these back. Overall a good easy drinking IPA

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Photo of OStrungT
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a hazy golden color, with a thick, fluffy, yellow tinted head. The head fades slowly, leaving a pretty good lacing.

The aroma from this beer assults the nose during the pour. It smells citrusy. Some pineapple, and grapefruit aroma dominate. The pineapple isan aroma I dont usually get from a beer, and it is pleasent.

This beer has a fruity citrus hop flavor matching its aroma. Pineapple. Behind that, it has a mildly malty flavor. Very nice, but subtle.

This beer is crisp and refreshing, low in carbonation, and leaves a pineapple like aftertaste.

I think this beer would make an excelent session beer. Moderate alcohol content, and mild flavor make it a winner in my book.

Overall: This beer was great. I had it straight from the can on the beach in Hawaii, and liked it. This is the only one I have been able to enjoy in a glass, and it is better than I remembered. To bad it is my last one.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can,

A: Pours a lightly hazy amber with a medium white head, a bit fizzy, good head retention.

S: Moderate smell of hops, grass, tropical fruit.

T: As one would expect from an IPA made in Hawai'i, there is a lot of tropical fruit flavour in this, most notably pineapple. Significant grapefruit and lawn clippings there as well. Malt is lightly toasty and provides a good counterbalance. All around solid flavour.

M: Lighter bodied for the style, silky, creamy, light carbonation.

D: Middle of the road IPA for, not great, not mediocre either. I could see myself buying a couple cans in the future, but $10.99 a sixer is pushing it.

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

Pours a light amber/orange. Smells like citrus, grass, and maybe a bit of sweeter, tropical notes. Decent aroma.

Taste is not quite as bold as I would like, but it's definitely a drinkable IPA. Some grapefruit, a bit of grass, maybe just a tad (a real tad) of sweeter mango/pineapple ... which I kind of hoped there'd be more of.

Could use a bit more "stickiness" to it, but a solid IPA.

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Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 1,028 ratings.
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