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Big Eye IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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1,101 Reviews
Big Eye IPABig Eye IPA

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-22-2000

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,101 | Ratings: 4,234
Photo of mnrider
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a medium amber with a slight reddish tint. Mostly clear with one finger of
light tan head. Nice retention with a small amount of lacing.

S: Pine. Pungent. Biscuits. Malt. Spices.

T/M: Hops. Pine. Bitter. Dry. Spicy. Some chewy malts. A little citrusy. Medium bodied
with a faint alcohol feel. The finish is hoppy and dry.

O: Great IPA. Big hoppy taste. Love the pine and spices. Well made nothing fancy beer.


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Photo of jbhuxley
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy, rusty orange in color with 2" of creamy copper tinged head. The retention is very impressive. Big chunks of pillow like foam stick around for several minutes. The chunky lacing sticks around to the finish.

The aroma gives off a nice caramel honey fragrance, with tropical citrus, and a touch of pine.

There is a strong taste of bitter, burnt caramel. The taste is not nearly as sweet as smell. The bitterness is very earthy, slightly grassy. The pine and citrus that stands out in the aroma isn't really present in the taste.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, yet somewhat dry. Very drinkable. The abv is relatively low for the style, making it nice to enjoy a few.

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Photo of nomomentwasted
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this last night from a 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Solid, fluffy, 2-inch white head on top of a very appealing orange-copper brew. Pretty IPA for sure.

Smell: Citrusy, aromatic hops dominate the nose with a very mild plum or raisin undertone. The character of the smell develops as it opens up as well, opening to a bit more herbal scents as well.

Taste: Slight pine with an oily, hoppy, and citrusy taste that eventually gives way to a bit of the malts, but finishes on the swallow with more hops due to the oily texture. Bitter, but not quite in DIPA territory, but solid, tasty, and flavorful.

Mouthfeel: Definitely a wetter beer, as the flavors coat the tongue with a thick and heavy coat of hop oil amongst solid carbonation. I know this isn't some people's cup of tea, but I really dug it and loved the resiny coating.

Drinkability: Slows a bit on the finish due to the thick and resiny nature but still very drinkable. I really liked this beer, more than I was expecting I would. I have the Sculpin from BP in my fridge too and if that's much better than this (which all indications are that it is supposed to be) I'm really in for a treat. Solid beer, tasty from start to finish, and a great example of a San Diego IPA.

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Photo of sentimetal
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I've been eyeing Big Eye for quite a while. This will be the 4th beer from BP that I've tried. All have been exceptional - Sculpin has kind of become the staple for west coast IPAs as of late and even my less hop-friendly friends enjoy it. That being said, I had no idea what to expect from Big Eye. When people think of BP, they think Sculpin. I assumed I'd be drinking another citrus-heavy IPA with little malt back bone. Don't get me wrong, Sculpin is great, but west coast IPAs tend to blur together if you don't give yourself a break. Anyway, let's talk about Big Eye - a rather complex, grapefruit-heavy, malty IPA.

Look [4.5] - A deep copper/amber color with a creamy off white head. Looks a lot like SN Torpedo or VIctory Hop Devil, which are both fantastic IPAs in my experience. A good looking IPA, not as golden colored as the past few I've had.

Smell [4] - First note is a toasted, grainy malt smell followed by slight lemon and then grapefruit. The malt stays persistent throughout the scent, making the "total package" almost dark fruit-esque. You could escape the scent for an imperial red ale or barley wine. Love it.

Taste [4.25] Like the smell, your initially hit with a good amount of malt, but it soon meshes well with resinous pine and grapefruit. I love how the beer's malt is present throughout the taste. The scent holds true to the taste - a slight lemon followed by pine and grapefruit. It's a very complex tasting beer, and if I didn't know any better, I'd think I was drinking a mild barley wine.

Feel [4] Slight carbonation followed by a very smooth, drinkable feeling. This a complex IPA that has very good drinkability in terms of mouth feel. I can't believe I haven't tried this beer before. Leaves a bit of a sting on the tongue due to the hoppiness that comes along in the mid/later stages of the taste.

Overall [4.75] A malty, yet well balanced yet intense IPA. A beer I've slept on way too long. This beer comes from a brewer known best for their west coast IPA - Sculpin, but this beer brings more to the table than your typical west coaster. It's intense in all aspects, and for that I love it. Anyone who is a fan of Sculpin will love this beer - same with with anyone who is a fan of Hop Devil IPA. This is a fantastic IPA for anyone who craves some rather [intense] IPA balance in their beer.

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Photo of Gusler
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer as it immigrates from the “Brown Bomber” to my special mug a transpicuous deep amber color and no slight is intended to that master of pugilism, “Joe Louis” who was the real “Brown Bomber”! The head is modest in its stature, the texture spumous and the color a beauteous light tan with the resultant lace a silky sheet to cover the glass. Nose has a mild hop floral spiciness at the front with a sweet malt middles, the back is fresh and crisp, and start is ambrosial with a nice malt presence, which leads us to the middling top. Finish is benevolent in its acidity; the hops survigrous in their spicy bite, droughty aftertaste continues the spicy floral bite from the hops, a quaffable brew, and a palate pleaser. I’m always quite impressed with their labels and think them an excellent brewery.

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Photo of jmd1978
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice amer color with an inch of head. Nose pineapple, grapefruit, floral with hints of malt and citrus. Taste grapefruit, melon, orange and resin. Hoppiness rounds it out on the back end. Nice clean finish. Once again Ballast Point never disappoints with their IPAs. Will happily drink again.

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Photo of Redneckwine
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%

12oz cold can w/freshness date into tulip

Appearance - Clear ruddy golden/orange, 2 finger head recedes into a nice foam cap and leaves ample sticky lacing

Smell - Very orange juice forward and citrusy; sour orange, orange rind, lemon/lime zest. A bit floral and perfumey. Caramely sweet malts deep in the background.

Feel/Taste - Medium body with plenty of gentle carb is smooth and creamy. Taste up front is a big, moderately bitter blast of citrusy hops; tons of orange and grapefruit flavors coat the tongue, a touch of pine, then the malts sneak in mid-palate with some slightly sweet biscuit and caramel action to help balance the hop onslaught. Finishes long and strong with assertive hop oil bitterness coating palate.

Overall - This is a big, bad, bold IPA that punches your mouth with massive citrus hop flavor and pronounced bitterness. Drink this, and you will know damn sure you're having a modern west coast IPA. While the bitterness is pronounced, it never gets overwhelming - which may be this beers most impressive quality. A damn fine IPA, and sure to please any hop-head.

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Photo of WolfsbaneBloom
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with three fingers of creamy beige foam.

Smell: A clean lemon and pine aroma cuts through a sugary, sweet citrus (orange, pineapple and grapefruit) backdrop.

Taste: Much like Sculpin, this is a bitter beast. Lots of pine, floral notes, grapefruit rind, and a bit of a soapy lemon flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, crisp and tingly carbonation that coats the tongue.

Overall, I enjoyed this quite a bit. It's definitely a bold and bitter IPA and, like Sculpin (it's bigger brother), it teeters on being unbalanced. But as intense as it is, it's also bursting with flavor.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I am trying not to be overly critical or give this one as high as a review as the Sculpin, its really good, but but to my recollection not as good as the Sculpin, and the price is justified, but this is a damn good IPA for sure.

Appearance: Golden light bronze. Nothing remarkable from the standard color scheme of the style.

Smell: Just like the Sculpin, I could smell this one all day, its not quite as floral, but its still very nice. Fruitiness, tropical fruits, in the aroma.

Taste: Much more here than in the aroma really, tropical fruits, mango, grapefruit, but a hop assertiveness is definitely going on here. I detect some pine resin but not as dank as anything Stone puts out, this is a well balanced IPA. Very drinkable.

Overall: I am still a fan of Ballast Point. I am happy with my purchase. So. Cal is really pumping out some of the best beers right now. At least I think so. Thank god we are here in this time to experience these!

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Photo of Jason
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz brown bomber with a blurb about the beer on the side of the label, no freshness date.

Appearance: Clear copper-orange colour with a hearty off white lace that leaves small patches all of the glass.

Smell: Fairly bristly hoppy aroma with a fruity back round, rather malty underneath the hops with hints of caramel.

Taste: Beefy medium body with a moderate carbonation and smooth and creamy mouth feel. Aggressive prickly hop bitterness with a juicy fruit character both from the hops and yeast. Suggestions of tangerines and pineapple on the tongue, caramel maltiness middle to end though has difficulty getting through the big hop presence. Hop flavour leaves an everlasting finish of raw herb and a touch of earth that helps dry in the end.

Notes: Hopped with a single variety of hop called Centennial, well structured to make for a great American IPA with an outstanding balance and drinkability.

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Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 6pk at Capones in Norristown, PA. Thanks Ray for the heads-up that I was so close to Capones while I was at his house for a Labor Day picnic.

Price - $12/6pk

Enjoyed in a DFH Signature Glass

A - Pours a amber/copper color. A massive two finger, fluffy beige colored head on the initial pour. Semi-transparent with noticeable "floaties" mixing in with the carbonation bubbles. Good amount of sticky lacing left on the side of the glass.

S - A classic IPA smell with great citrus and pine aromas. Great hop aroma.

T - A top-notch IPA. Massive flavors of pine and grapefruit are backed up with a great hop bite. The caramel-like sweetness from the malts round out this brew. The alcohol is barely noticeable. A rather noticeable bitter aftertaste is left after each sip but I love it!

M - Medium carbonation. A medium consistancy.

O - A really great IPA. This ranks as one of my new favorites. I had never seen it before but thanks to my trip to Capones I was able to pick it up. If you enjoy hoppy beers, pick this one up. Recommended!


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Photo of GbVDave
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a clear, coppery, autumn-orange color with a creamy, eggshell-colored, two-finger head that disappears quickly, but leaves beautiful lace in the glass. Carbonation is lazy.

S: Big nosefull of pine and citrus that leads right into some caramel and/or toffee. Touch of toasted bread at the end.

T: Awesome range of hoppy flavors. The first thing to whack my tongue is pine, followed by grapefruit, tangerine, and orange rind. Mixed into the middle of that are flavors of homemade caramel, toasted bread crust, toffee, and a sprinkle of brown sugar.

M: Pretty much covers all bases. Juicy fruitiness, spicy/oily hops, dry toasty malt, and an overall astringency that takes over during the finish.

D: What a fantastic and refreshing IPA. HeatherAnn and I stumbled upon some Ballast Point stuff at a liquor store on the IL side of the Mississippi River by Dubuque, IA and we're very impressed by what we tried. Too bad we have to go so far to get it!

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Photo of dsa7783
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 Fl. Oz bottle purchased from Super Saver in Somerville for $4.99...
"Handcrafted and bottled in San Diego, California, 2002 World Beer Cup Bronze Medal Winer"... On the logo sticker...
Upon opening the bottle, I was instantly greeted by a wave of pine, citrus, and grapefruit notes that really shook the frame...
Great aroma consisting of the above-mentioned essences...
Pours a clean, clear, lucid, copper, dark-amber colored hue with a modest head that exhibited adequate staying power before slowly receding...
An extremely well-balanced, flavorful, rich IPA, filled with wonderful flavors including toffee, caramel, vanilla, hops, pines, citrus, lemons, grapefruit, and florals... Very distinct, clear, and refreshing taste, nicely balanced out and easily drinkable without any alcohol detected at all... As far as American IPA's are concerned, this is up there with some of the best... Great aroma, taste, mouthfeel, and easy drinkability make this a superb rendition of the style...

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Photo of anotherpg
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an overall excellent IPA and, at 7ABV, it's close to a double. The color gives it away: this sucker is nearly orange, with a nice white lace noted elsewhere, although it's not uber-hopped -- for a high-end of the AIPA abv, my tongue was not in pain but great pleasure drinking this one.

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Photo of PhxHorn
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark yellow color, plenty of foam which sticks to the glass. Smells of citrus, tastes of citrus, more orange than anything, with some grapefruit in there too, bitter aftertaste. Good amount of carbonation. Tastes great, and could drink lots of it. First rate IPA.

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Photo of JayQue
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a tasty IPA. Pours a clear orange color with a good size white head. Head retention is good and leaves thick lacing on the glass. Good strong IPA aroma - hops and grapefruit.

Some hint of citrus pine and even floral hops. I know this was made with just one type of hops, but there is some variety in the flavor. This one does not hit you over the head with bitterness (not that there's anything wrong with that). It is balanced enough for others besides hop heads to enjoy

Mouthfeel is rich. Drinkability is excellent. Lower than many IPAs in ABV, but packs a strong flavor and aroma.

I enjoyed this one!!

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

6.6% ABV. Poured into a dimple glass from a 12oz bottle. Appearance gave off a dark amber color. Smelled sweet floral hops. Tasted very smooth, citrusy, some caramel, and hoppy. Mouthability gave off a big foamy head, and was medium-bodied. Drinkability was a nice smooth malty character. I really liked this over the more popular Ballast Point Sculpin' IPA.

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Photo of rayjay
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great brew from this brewery. Their beers don't always do it for me, but this one is a real gem.

Ruby copper beer with an oily head. Sticky and resiny. Fair sized malt body, just big enough to add some kick, supporting a huge hop presence- full-sized hop nose, big-time hop kick, and plenty of sticky hop oils. Cascades and other NW hops.

Good mouthfeel that adds to the sheer refreshing drinkability. Alcohol probably lightens it up a bit; at 7% this ale has a noticable body but hasn't crossed the line into hot booze. A good compromise, for both those who like big chewy malts and for those who prefer malt not to interfere.

Great definative American IPA. Slam dunk from Ballast Point. This is my favorite flavor of beer right now at the local store. Don't be put off if their Dorado 2xIPA is too sticky and sweet-this may be right up your alley. Cheers!

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On CASK at O'Brien's

Appearance is a murky amber-orange hue, thin layer of bubbles and no lacing (cask)

Smell is fresh green hops, heavy orange/citrus emphasis, some raw pale malts, honey sweetness rounds it out

Taste is a perfect mix of malts and orange-forward hops, some sour grapefruit and cotton candy in the middle, finishes smooth and bitter

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, watery-to-slick texture, mild carbonation (cask)

Drinkability is good, a nice and sweet IPA that hold up well in the cask version, low alcohol presence in the session range, the hops shine through but there is great balance here

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Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an orange/amber color with a small, fizzy, off-white head that left some lace.

S - Citrus is the dominant aroma with some floral and grassy notes.

T - Nice balance of hop bitterness and sweet, biscuity, malt.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good IPA. The balance of flavors is outstanding.

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Photo of thain709
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A deep caramel body...rocky off white head that slowly settled into a cap that lasted the entire glass...good lacing

S - All hops...a nice balance between citrus and pine

T - Starts off a little sweet...you are greeted with a nice caramel/toffee malt flavor...doesn't last long until you are hit with nice bitter hops...grapefruit flavors are there but the winner is the piney hops...tastes like smelling a sweet Christmas tree...the malts help take off any huge bitterness

M - Medium bodied...the pine made this one refreshing and the oils helped to coat the palate

D - Until I took a sip of this one I thought it was going to be average...this is a great IPA...big on the pine...I'm looking forward to trying Sculpin or Dorado Double

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber with a creme head. Flavor is almost like a malty rye. Extremely smooth with a nice bite. Much different than some of those other San Diego Ales that blast your mouth with hop oil and flavors. Fairly full carbonation and a nice liquid feel. Very easy to drink. You could easily make this a regular in your lineup.

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Photo of ChrisSimpson1968
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quite a good IPA here. Pours a deep orange-amber into the glass, with a small cap that diminishes to a thin ring, leaving nice soapy lace. A large amount of citrus and pine comes through in the floral bouquet. The flavors, impeccably balanced, weave a blend of soft caramel malt, citrus and rind zest, some grapefruit and moderately peppering bitters. The finish lasts nicely, bringing back grapefruit and zest, closing with lingering pine resin. Everything about this brew is refreshing and clean. The mouthfeel is crisp and quaffable, with well-integrated carbonation levels. Very fine example of the style, and I’m so glad I picked up a case to enjoy for some time to come. Superb.

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Photo of Kendo
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is clear, honey-amber in color with a small off-white head that disappears quickly. Some splotches of lace.

S: Hops, but not terribly strong. Juicy citrus.

T: Very nice. Juicy hops from the citrus family: grapefruit, clementine oranges and oranges. Also grass & pine. Touch of honey-ish malt underneath provides some balance, but it's mostly about the hops. Finishes with a bite of pine needles, which linger into the aftertaste.

M: Juicy, but slightly gritty in feel, presumably from the resiny hops. Call it medium in heft, maybe slightly on the lighter side of medium.

D: Excellent. Highly quaffable, especially if you like hops.

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Photo of sholland119
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden amber with a thin white head and a little bit of lacing.

Aroma is of citrus hops with just a whiff of malt sweetness.

Taste follows the nose with an aggressive grapefruit bitterness at the start and finish, balanced in the finish by a malty sweetness.

Good medium carbonation with some lingering bitterness. Appealing taste combined with moderate ABV makes this a highly drinkable, even sessionable, IPA.

Very tasty.


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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 4,234 ratings.
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