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Big Swell IPA | Maui Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
86
very good
405 Reviews
THE BROS
67
poor
Read the review
Big Swell IPABig Swell IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Maui Brewing Co.
Hawaii, United States
mauibrewingco.com

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
50+ IBU

Added by GClarkage on 01-19-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
405
Ratings:
1,043
Avg:
3.83
pDev:
17.23%
 
 
Wants:
37
Gots:
166
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 405 | Ratings: 1,043
Photo of Beernf
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cans purchased at BevMo in Santa Monica, CA

I dig this beer. A very unpretentious IPA that isn't overpowering with hops. Well balanced and goes great with burgers. Can is good for drinking out of, and you get a lot of conversations started when people see you drinking from a can. Usually goes something like, "Hey man. I thought you were a beer snob, what gives with the can?" And then you get to educate them all about the upcoming can revolution and how it really seals the flavor of the beer in better, etc and they think you are really cool. I can put several of these down in a row and feel good. Very drinkable and not skunky like some IPAs. I have pals who are very anti-IPA but will occasionally drink this one.

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

Pours a nice one finger head, the body is very light, it almost looks like a lager. Looks like it is leaving good lacing. Smell is very hoppy and citrusy, it smells very good. Hmm, very interesting flavor, I don't get the hops as much as I thought I would. I pick up some hops for sure, but also a bit of malts. Regardless, it is very smooth, easy drinking. For sure a lighter IPA here, but they pull it off, it's a good beer and they did a good job on it here!

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Photo of herman77
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Golden, darker yellow with a thin white head that dies off pretty quick. Okay lacing.

S: Mainly citrus hops and a bit of carmel malt. A little weak on the nose. Not too old canned 12/15/10

T: Pretty damn hoppy. Starts out a bit hoppy, mainly citrus, pine and a bit of grapefruit with some carmel malt sweetness. The hoppiness progresses and intensifies as it goes across the different tastebuds.

M: Medium to lighter body. Moderate to soft carbonation. Feels pretty smooth.

D: Decent drinkability. Reminds me of summer. How I wish it was summer...

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

Thanks to THECPJ for this one.

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange with a solid 2 finger head. Dissipated in a few minutes to layer of white on top. Very nice lacing around the entire glass.

S: Very heavy on the citrus, lots of grapefruit and some orange. A little bit of bready malts break through, but mostly hops here.

T: Citrus up front, but not overwhelming. A nice sweetness in the middle is very nice, some caramel malt as well. Slightly bitter finish, but overall the flavor seems to drop off a bit at the end.

M/D: Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Crisp and clean, nice balance. Overall, an easy drinking IPA. Doesn't do anything to make it stand out, but its solid. If it was available to me, could be a fridge staple, especially in cans.

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

A - Amber with a slight chill haze. The head on this sucker is foamy and loves to leave lacing all over the glass.

S - Dank hop resin, earthy hops and a little bit of citric hops... I think I know what this beer is going to be all about.

T - Mango, citrus, pineapple right on the tongue without an overwhelming sensation of bitterness. The finish is slightly harsh with a touch of astringency. Not my favorite hop-bill, but pretty decent.

M - Lighter than expected with a decent amount of carbonation in order to get those hops to really pop on the tongue.

D - Very refreshing, I can see that Maui wanted to go with a very beach-ready IPA, and they delivered. I love trying new IPAs and am glad I traded for this one.

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

Sampled 1/13/11. Can, Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass.

A: A lighter colored IPA, a golden straw color. Looks refreshing. Slightly hazy and effervescent. Minimal half-finger head and some lacing.

S: Citrus hops on the nose. Smells clean and floral, with a little carmelly/bready sweetness from the malts.

T: Subdued grapefruit and orange/orange peel, very pleasant hop presence, really only slightly bitter. I think I can taste the bready malt backbone too, a little doughy and sweet. The flavors are quite level and even, nothing is overwhelming. Very pleasant.

MF: Only slightly biting, with a light crisp & carbonated mouthfeel.

Pretty darn drinkable IPA.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz can. Pours a clear yellow gold with a thinnish white head that quickly goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet caramel malts with fruity piney hops.

The flavor is some sweet malts with solid fruity (grapefruit, orange), resiny, piney, hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation, slightly watery.

Overall, a very solid IPA, albeit a bit pricey at $11 a 6 pack. It was brightest cold...as it warmed it faded some IMO.

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Photo of angelmonster
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a big 1 inch white head, body is a clear dark gold. Head retention and lacing were mediocre.

Smell is of floral, earthy hops. Sweet malt and honey is also there. For only 6 percent abv, no alcohol is detected.

Taste is of sweet, caramel malts mixed with grassy hops. Getting lots of herbs, fresh cut grass, and finishes off with some bitter citrus. No alcohol is present.

Mouthfeel is light and well carbonated. Head didnt last too long which knocked down the score a little.

Drinkability was high with this beer. Very sessionable and since it comes in the can, could knock down 3 or 4 of these by the pool without having to worry about breaking any rules. Biggest downside to this beer was that since its coming from Hawaii, it's a bit pricey compared to the tons of other Ipa's available in Colorado.

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

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a light golden color with a few orange highlights. Light pearly white head formation, breaks down to a film. Small amount of lacing. Lightly bubbly. Very clear.

S - Very strong citrus hop nose, very potent. A floral and fruity lean, not edgy or piney. Grapefruit, orangey.

T - Starts off very balanced, some 2 row sweetness but also a big bitter bite. Lots of fruit like hop notes. Maye some caramel here, but it is a secondary flavor. Mid-stream a huge piney edgy note, almost fresh hop like, comes in. Bitterness is strong. Aftertaste is a sticky bitterness.

M - Moderate body, strong carbonation. Lots of bubbling textures. Finishes very oily and clinging.

D - Moderate drinkability. The ABV is not out of line for a good American IPA. The bitterness is pretty palette wrecking. Somewhat filling.

A pretty aggressive IPA - good to have in the rotation.

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Photo of freeboard
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this at a restaurant in Waikiki during the holidays and I really liked the sweet and bitter taste of this IPA. Both seems to balance out after a few sips of the beer. At first the sweet and fruity taste / smell seemed strong however; after you drink the beer the bitter and sweet balance out. This is a good beer on tap in Hawaii, so, I can't speak for the cans or bottles. This is similar to the Kona Castaway however; you can only purchase the Kona Castaway at a Kona brew Pub. It's good to see this Maui Brew is sold to the public and worth a try if you like Hawaii IPA beer. We don't get a large choice in Hawaii, so, this IPA is on the top of my list for local brews and it's FRESH out of the tap.

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

Usually Maui doesn't make its way into PA, so when I saw a fresh, sole can on the shelf, I swooped up it. The only other Maui beer I have had was Coconut Porter. That is one of my favorite porters, so I had high expectations for this.

A: As I crack the can, foam seeps out of the aluminum and down the side of the can. My hands got sticky as I grabbed the wet can and poured into a Great Lakes Brewing Co pint glass. A nice, clear light amber with a two finger sticky white head. While it is clear, it seems a touch hazy, almost as if looking with a film on your eyes. Very nice look.

S: Smell is very nice. Predominantly citrus (mango and orange) with a touch of tart grapefruit. Nice dry scent with loads of fresh fruit bitterness.

T: Surprisingly very good. Nice and sticky mouthfeel, which I like in my IPAs. So much hop resin that yields a blast of orange and grapefruit bitterness. Not the most bitter IPA, but very well integrated with the malt backing.

Overall, I really enjoyed this. A very pleasant IPA that I would buy more of.

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Photo of alli4051
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into a SA perfect pint.

Pours a dull, hazy, burnt orange with an off-white head. Head is frothy and rocky, dissipates slowly and leaves tons of lacing. Scent is pleasantly hoppy, lots of citrus. Taste is piney, citrusy and resiny. Definitely very hop forward but not quite hop bomb level as there is a hint of malt in the finish to kinda round things out. On the lighter side of medium bodied and well carbonated. Not sure if it was the fact that I'm a sucker for new arrivals or the fact that the first major storm in Colorado implored me to buy beer from a warm tropical location but I am glad I picked this one up. Probably will again too.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice yellow color, looks delicious. Good lacing on the glass and a very hoppy aroma, clean. The flavor is bitter and hoppy, very clean and right up my alley. Unfortunately it costs $11 per sixer and the value just isn't there for me. There are several other IPAs I can buy for $8-9 so I won't be buying this again.

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Photo of beagle75
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft pour into a half-pint glass at Beachwood BBQ.

A: Clear, medium golden color with one finger of white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Hay, sawdust, and faint black pepper make up this beer's weak and unimpressive smell.

T: Begins off-dry, with pilsner malt and spicy/minty herbaceous hop aromatics that pack a definite snap. Flavors become more dry in the middle, which can be described as brief but very clean. The finish demonstrates restrained bitterness and a whiff of honey.

M: Thin viscosity, wet on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D: This is an interesting beer that struggles with its style identity. Between the noble character of the hops and the honeyed finish--not to mention the overall clean, smooth character--it could pass more easily as an imperial/extra pilsner than as an American IPA. Despite the underwhelming aroma qualities found here, this is a beer that tastes good and keeps the attention of the palate, all while staying crisp and refreshing.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kk73 for another Hawaiian treat.

12oz can poured into standard pint.

A- Pours a light copper that is completely transparent. A nice bubbly two fingers worth of head dies down quickly but leaves some good lacing.

S- Big west coast hops. Nice and tropical which fits the locale. Some sweet malts are also present.

T- Pretty much the same as the nose. Big, tropical hops and a strong malt backbone. A little bitterness but nothing overpowering. There is also a slight bready quality as well.

M- Medium bodied with a dry finish. Some good carbonation but doesn't really tickle the tongue.

D- Fittingly enough it comes in cans so it can be taken onto the beach. Like a few other brews, I enjoyed a bunch of these in Hawai'i. Good tropical flavors and good balance make this a pretty good offering on the Island.

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Photo of gtn80
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the can into a glass.

Appearance is a nice golden orange color, with a tiny one finger head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma is of a big IPA, lots of malt in the aroma. Balanced by big, juicy, grapefruit hops.

Taste is very well balanced. Juicy, grapefruit hops up front, lots of bready malt. Flavor is crisp before hop bitterness hits, and it hits heavily.

Mouthfeel is good, carbonation lifts beer off your tongue.

Drinkability is really high for a big IPA.

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Photo of warmstorage
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

EDIT 11/30/2010: Had this again, and found it much more interesting. The hoppiness was more pronounced, in a good harsh sort of way, made me think of Chinook. Definitely glad I tried this again! Bumped taste from 3.0 to 4.0, and smell from 3.0 to 3.5.

===
2008 REVIEW:
12 ounce can was $2.00 from Liquor Collection, Honolulu.

Appearance: medium orange to light red, fairly hazy, but off-white to light beige head that leaves little to no lacing.

Aroma: Some earthy / resiny hops, and a little sweet malt, but underwhelming.

Taste: Again, earthy resiny hops, a slight citrus hop note. A little tiny bit soapy. Some orange notes in the finish.

Mouth: Somewhat warm and slightly sharp, but moderate to light carbonation.

Overall: A drinkable beer, interesting, but unremarkable. Would I drink it again if my other choices were Bikini Blonde, or Kona's Longboard Lager? Absolutely. Would I buy it again given other options? No.

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Photo of PDXHops
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap in a nonic at Humpy's Big Island Alehouse. Deep see-thru golden body with a bright white soapy head and fairly plentiful lacing.

The utilitarian glassware can't blunt the nose. West Coast all the way- Grapefruit, orange and pine with hints of the sticky icky. A steady stream of bitterness from sip to swallow, but it never approaches palate-wrecking level and doesn't overwhelm the wonderful hop flavors. Grapefruit zest and juice, pine, hints of mango and pineapple. Just-right touch of lightly sweet malt provides a bit of contrast. (Not to be confused with balance; this is a hop showcase). A bit of ganja in the dry and sticky finish.

Overall impression: My favorite beer during my week on the Big Island. I was inspired to by a couple of sixers of cans immediately after lunch to stick in the cooler. Highly recommended.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in can and tap in Maui in Sept 2010. Maui Brewery Brewpub in Lahaina

Appearance: mild amber color with 1 1/2 finger head that sticks around for a while. good not great lacing.

Smell: I know there have been mixed reviews, but I loved the smell of this one. great hop aroma in the noise. very pleasing.

Taste: again, really enjoyed this one. good hop finish and overall flavor. similar to the DFH 60 min that I know and love.

Mouthfeel: VERY easy drinking. on honeymoon there and had a steady supply of this in both hotel rooms in Maui and Kauai.

Drinkability: definitely would have this one again. might seek in a trade. not the best, but will always remind me of the trip.

Cheers.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, mellow orange citrus hops. In the taste, starts a dry pine to orange citrus hops with a nice malt backing. A a small hop bite but mainly smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry small citrus hop in the aftertaste. Nice hops and easy to drink.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.85/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine July 2007.

It's nice to see an IPA in a can--especially one that's "brewed with huge amounts of American hops."

Pours a chill-hazed orange-and-copper color, with a good head and seemingly eternal creamy white lacing. Herbal as hell--nose is full of resins, near-pungent florals (but in a good way), some pine and a big dose of grapefruit. The combination really sets the pace for the experience and gets your glands pumping. Smooth, with a creamy, even mouthfeel and a firmness that runs throughout. It's all about hop flavor here, so it's not overly bitter, but there's certainly a citric edge that snaps through a sweet malt character with some dextrin and light toasted notes. Yeah, major hops going on here! Grapefruit, sticky oily resins; intense flavors of herbs, pine, pith, earth and wood. Flavor becomes flowery and tea-like as it wanes. Woody, bark-like and dry in the finish, with a thin coating of oils.

Pretty heavy-handed on the hops, which is fine by us, but it seems to lack balance and depth of malt to help round the experience off and increase the beer's drinkability. Finish is pretty harsh, too.

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

Thanks to Onenote81 for giving me a can of this.

This is one of my fist IPA's. Poured a cloudy burnt-orange with a 1/2 inch of head. Good lacing throughout. Definite notes of citrus in the nose. I know there are hops there as well, but not really knowing that hops smell like, I can say authoritatively.

Just the right amount of carbonation, which is at times unusual from a can. Also retains a full mouthful, not thin. Deep notes of citrus run parallel to a bitter flavor. The citrus comes first and fades into the bitterness.

This is very drinkable--providing a depth of flavor beyond what I expected.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce can into a Thomas Hooker pint glass.

A: Mild, hazy, golden amber-yellow color manages decent clarity and a frothy, two-finger head of beige foam which settles to a creamy ring of lace.

S: Floral, citrusy sweet and filled with some musty spices. Fruity notes of pineapple, orange, lemon and guava.

T: Smooth, mellow, fruity sweetness up front with a blend of tropical fruits and sticky cereal malts come to a halt around mid-palate. Sticky, resinous and bitter citrus and herbal hops bombard the palate leaving a slick, fruity and slightly hot finish. Aftertaste is a bit of lingering fruity flavor with bitter, oily hop resins.

M: Medium-full bodied and fairly smooth before the somewhat acrid hop sensation settles in. Some slight chewiness and inexplicable, watery fizz just before the finish.

D: The 6.2% ABV throws a bit of heat, as does the swell of bitter hop resins. Not the best balance, but a pretty good, fruity hop indulgence. Love craft in a can and a bit surprised to learn a quality craft outside of Kona hails from Hawaii. I'd be interested to try some other Maui styles and would recommend Big Swell to citrus hop heads with confidence.

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

A. Pours a clear orange with a one finger off white creamy head that leaves tons of residual lacing around the glass.

S. Like a pine tree in Hawaii. Pine/grass hops with some tropical fruits - pineapple, mango.

T. Grapefruit dominates upfront with some sweet caramel malt to balance on the tail. As it warms the grapefruit backs off a bit and some pineapple and mango bitterness with some malt sweetness come in to play.

M. Medium body with a medium to high carbonation.

D. Quite drinkable. An interesting balance for an IPA. It seems that the bitterness tends to dominate when it's colder, but as it warms the sweetness comes in more and more. I really liked this initially and then enjoyed the subtle sweetness. As it warmed and the sweetness grew, it became more and more difficult to enjoy. I still enjoyed this brew, but I'd recommend drinking it a bit on the colder side.

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Photo of Briken
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy orange amber with big tan frothy head with great retention although it ended with clumpy lacing and peaks and valleys. Effervescent sweet citrus and grassy aromas. Nicely balanced yet bold, bright flavor following the nose with the grassy bits being in the end and caramel citrus taste up front. Creamy yet very bubbly mouthfeel.

Something about the aroma in this one is good although not strong or complex it's extremely clear and bright. Citrus flavors are sweet like orange and tangerine with just a splash of grapefruit. There is a nice hop linger but it's not overdone. Really well done simple IPA that is a joy to drink all the way around.

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Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 1,043 ratings.
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