Big Eye IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

1,110 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,110 | Ratings: 4,276
Photo of atsprings
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Corsendonk tulip a hazy orange with a nice off-white head. Aroma is some slight sweet malts and citrus hops. The taste is a decent amount of bitter citrus hops with sweet malts backing it up. The beer is light and crisp with decent carbonation. This is an enjoyable IPA to say the least, but there's really nothing all that special about it.

 360 characters

Photo of BigMike
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear golden orange color with a two finger head.

A strong smell of minneola tangelo hits the nose right off the bat. Citrus and floral notes are also very present.

This is very tasty. The smells definitely carry over into the flavor. Oranges are very strong in the flavor with tangelo juice taking the forefront.
Nice and crisp and clean. Very good mouth feel and nice hoppy finish make this one very balanced and very drinkable.
Even at 7%abv its almost sessionable.

This is one of the more tastier IPA's i've had in a while. Being my first example from Ballast Point i'm impressed and am looking forward to trying more from said brewery.

 652 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Flying Fish pint glass.

A- Big eye has a copper color with a bright orange thrown in as well. Some bubbles seen slowly rising. A nice amount of white bubbles stayed afloat then morphed into a smaller thick cap of foam. Nice spray paint streaks of lace.

S- A burst of west coast hops giving off a powerful floral, citrus blast. Melon and grapefruit. This is backed by some strong malts. Some lemon thrown in as well. This is one of the better smelling IPA's out of a bottle no less, in recent memory.

T- Nicely hopped while they give off a huge fruity taste consisting of oranges and grapefruit. A mouthfull of pine is here while the pale malts does it's best to round out the assult. Overall, a bunch of citrus taste which is great. This gives off a bitter aftertaste but a pleasant one.

M- Nice and not overbearing. A few steps above light bodied with high carbonation, a tad too much. This is quite creamy while the flavors are not hard to find at all. The 7% on the bottle is undetectable. This was a pleasure to drink.

D- I wish I picked up a few bottles as this one tasted fresh. While some american IPA's could tire after a few, I could drink a bunch of this as the alcohol is not too high. I've had Sculpin and then having this I can see where Ballast Point get's it's inspiration from and that is citrus.

 1,336 characters

Photo of prototypic
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Watch out for this one. The cap cracked very loud and a careful pour yielded at least four fingers of foamy, vanilla colored head. Carbonation is off the chain. Perhaps it should be renamed "Big Head IPA." It'd be more fitting. It features a lightly hazed orange stained amber color. The orange hue is very bright. Needless to say, the cap was extremely slow to recede. It's kind of annoying. Thick, wavy sheets of lace clung to the glass.

The nose is nice, but isn't stunning. It's very citrus heavy and features strong orange, grapefruit, and pineapple scents. A mix of caramel and pale malts is noted. But, they're clearly weaker than the citric hop aromas. There's a slight pine aspect to the hops, but they're primarily citric. Alcohol isn't noticeable at all. It's nice, but it falls a little short of elite for the style.

There's no doubt it's a very citrusy IPA. It's sweet and features a broad array of flavors. Primarily, there's orange and pineapple. Grapefruit seems to be buried in the back a little. It's the reverse of ideal, at least for my preference. Hops are nice and bitter with a slight resiny and piney flavor. Pale and caramel malts are noted, but don't interfere in any way with the intense hop flavor. Alcohol goes unnoticed. My bottle indicates abv is 7%. I was expecting at least a hint, but it's masked well. Nice bitter, dry finish.

Its body leans medium and suffers a little from overcarbonation. It's buzzy and distracting. Despite that problem, it's almost smooth. Drinkability is good. Big Eye IPA is a nice, easy drinking IPA. There's quite a few superior IPAs out there that I enjoy more, but this is a good choice nonetheless.

Ballast Point's got a pretty solid IPA with Big Eye. One thing's for sure, those guys at BP know how to brew extremely citrusy IPAs. Big Eye and Sculpin are easily two of the most citrus intense IPAs that have ever crossed this palate. Big Eye is good, but Sculpin is far superior. This one's way overcarbonated and isn't quite as appealing in the hop department. At least that's my take. But, it's more than a solid release and is well worth a purchase.

 2,121 characters

Photo of WindUpBird
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 Oz bottle into a pint glass.

Purchased at Town and Country Liquors in Rancho Cucamonga

A: Rich copper color

S: Citrus and pine

T: Lots of hops here; pleasing bitter finish

M: Full, almost creamy

D: This is the third or fourth time I've brought this home. Definitely add this to my rotation when I can get it. Overall, a delightful IPA.

 358 characters

Photo of Yetiman420
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A hazy copper, brown, peach color into my Unibroue tulip glass. Poured from a 22 oz bottle that I *stole* from Gary's Wine in NJ for $2.99. Can that be right?

Thin white head that subsides to razor thin head leaving an impressive and noteworthy lacing - a pattern to be proud of.

From the brewery web site...
American Centennial hops are used exclusively to bitter, flavor, finish, and dry hop the Big Eye. Its full hop flavor is guaranteed to please the palate of the true hop head.

Aroma has a full, fruity hop aroma with some malt sweetness. Very nice aroma from the Centennial hops.

Flavor comes across fine. Some acidity on the finish. Nice flavor from the hops. Very light toasty, toffee-like flavors of the malted barley (per the label description).

 762 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Steve for bringing this back from a recent Asheville trip. A nice IPA with some aggression that proves challenging.

The beer certianly looks the part with a solid copper color. As expected, this IPA showcases a lot of lacing left behind the stubborn head formation/retention.

The beer has a lot of fruitiness going on; part from the citrusy hops (grapefruit, orange zest) but also from the yeasty esters (oranges, appricots, apples). This makes for a nicely complex character that accompanies the maltiness in both the nose and taste.

The maltiness may not be as crisp and cracker-like as I like in the tasted and mouthfeel. It remains a touch sweet with caramelized, unattenuated malts. It doesn't kill the beer but it starts to give the impression of a Barleywine.

Though the malts are sweet and a bit weighted, the beer demonstrates the hop dominance that an IPA demands. Dry, citrusy, and a little grassy in the finish (dry hopping?). Perhaps they went a little nuts with the high-alpha acid hops, which give a bitey metalic note (maybe not the cream of the hop crop?) Still, bright and fresh from nose to finish.

The alcohols give a larger impression than the listed 7%. They begin to give an ethynol taste and bitterness that interfere with the crisp hop flavor from time to time.

I'd prefer a little drier and crisper in the finish, and with a more subtle alcohol impact. Otherwise the beer hit the marks on good IPA's.

 1,439 characters

Photo of roan22
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The ABV on this beer is 7% according to the bottle... BA has it listed as 6%.

Pours an amber/orange color..typical of IPA style. Lacing and head is very white, pillowy head with big bubbles.

Aroma is huge..citrusy hop blast and intermingling caramel.

Taste is even bigger. a maltyness gives yield to puckery grapefruit blast of hops...then the pine resin aftertaste kicks in for a long time...also a nice numbing, severely bitter dryness on the tongue and finally a peppery note from the booze.

I really enjoy the mouthfeel of this beer but I am a hophead and I could see how it could be hard to drink for others.

Drinkability is affected a little by the sheer strength of this delicious ale. Can't drink a lot of these in a session. 3-4 is an enjoyable number for me at home.

 792 characters

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour is not very foamy...almost no head, even with a more aggressive pour the second time. Pours a coppery almost rusty color. The beer leaves lacy rings all the way down the glass.

Smell is pretty darn good. Centennial hops are immediately evident. I can smell some balancing caramel malts and toffee in the background. Also notes of citrus and pine, balancing the centennial hops.

The taste is a big hop kick, with some toffee and caramel up front. The hops pretty much overwhelm this beer, but as you let it linger, the malts begin to come through and show a beer with a great bit of balance. The supporting hop undertones also come through, adding a twist and some more character to the drinking experience.

Despite the mellow pour, the body is nicely carbonated and the experience is enjoyable. Almost a sessionable IPA. I recommend it.

 844 characters

Photo of CHADMC3
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden/orange with a frothy white head and just a faint lacing.

Big, fresh citrus hop aroma wafts from the glass. Additional aromas of pine, citrus, and fresh grass.

A sweet caramel malt up front that is almost wiped out by the big hop flavors to follow. Also some sweet fruit, like apple, but also copper/borderline metallic, and again the pine/grass combo present in the aroma.

There is a pleasant chewy/liquid combination in this brew to accompany the generous carbonation and medium body.

The bottle does not lie, this is an intensely hopped brew, certainly one for the hop head, but the balance is just enough for all to enjoy.

 649 characters

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle tried 20 Mar 2009. Courtesy of jtrockchalk, thanks!

Poured in Sierra Nevada pint glass. Large thick lacy beige head. Slightly carbonated. Clear burnt orange color. Aromas of orange blossoms and resin. Flavor is quite juicy, fruity sweet with strong resin. Pineapple bitterness. Finish is a bitter hop bite but the aftertaste is again a back and forth between juiciness and hop flavors. Medium light body, moderate alcohol.

Tasty, would definitely get this again.

 478 characters

Photo of jlb307
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint from the tap.

A: Deep copper color, for the most part clear. Just a slight haze. Poured a nice thick off-white head which retained for a long time. Very sticky lacing on the glass.

S: Very strong hop and pine scent with just the slightest undertone of the alcohol content. Not to pungent, and actually had a semi-sweet note to it.

T: Very bold and well balanced with the hops and malt. Pleasantly bitter aftertaste which lingers for a while too. As it starts to warm, hops is all you taste.

M: Good feel, kind of chewy. Very smooth with a nice cool finish.

D: A very good tasty beer, I would gladly have this again.

 637 characters

Photo of MickeyHops
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

3/11/09 Served in a pint glass

Appearance is a clear amber caramel color with a finger of head.

Smell is quite hoppy with a hint of caramel.

Taste is hoppy but well balanced. On the "dark" side of the hop spectrum with hints of citrus.

Mouthfeel is smooth and balanced.

Drinkability is excellent, almost too good for 7% ABV as shown on my bottle (although I have had 6% ABV bottles previously). Highly recommended, especially for hopheads.

 445 characters

Photo of Deuane
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bottle tucked away in my cellar. I know this one has a bit of age on it but lets see how it has held up.

A-Slightly hazy copper with medium off-white head that starts out very nice then reduces to a thin cap and leaves very nice clingy lacing.

S-Sweet caramel in the forefront with a background of lemon and spicy pine. I am sure this one has lost a bit of its hop pop.Regardless it still has a nice aroma.

T-Spicy, resinous pine and citrus hops still lead the charge. Sweet caramel balances this one nicely.

M - Medium body with a nice lingering hop bitterness.

D-A well balanced but still hop forward ipa. This one is well done and easy to drink. One that I would have at hand all the time as a go to beer.

 717 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to barleywinefiend.

A - Amber, copper with thin white head and sticky lacing clinging to the sides of the glass.

S - Pungent citrus and spicy, piney hops. Some sweet caramel in the background creates an orange cream type aroma.

T - Juicy, resiny citrus hops with a mix of grapefruit. Sweet caramel balances this one nicely.

M - Medium body and creamy with a dry lingering hoppy finish.

D - A touch resiny compared to my favorites in the style but it still makes for a tasty bold, nicely balanced ipa.

 512 characters

Photo of itcomesnpints
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Golden and clear with frothy lace.

Great smelling IPA bursting with citrus and pine.

Bitter and tasty. Some orange flavour.

Light to medium mouthfeel with a crisp, dry finish.

This is a damn good IPA and a satisfying introduction to Ballast Point. Now I just need to find the Sculpin...

 291 characters

Photo of gyllstromk
2.58/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear, light amber. Nose is a very woody, earthy hop with light citrus and watermelon. A peculiar smell that piqued my interest. Taste starts with a hop resin, moves to an intense bitterness, and concludes with cloves and a strong earthy flavor. The hop flavor is poorly balanced, pungent, and cloying like drinking a perfume or eating a raw hop. I love the hoppy beers but this one seems like hop extracts stirred into water. Feel is perhaps wetter than the average IPA. Drinkability suffers from the intense bitterness.

Nonetheless, I can say this is a very unique beer and may impress some. It's really not my style, though, and I love American IPAs. I've heard good things about their Sculpin and can't wait to try it. This one is really out there, though.

 769 characters

Photo of JBogan
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one is a slightly darker than expected copper color with a beautiful creamy white head which left a large amount of lacing clinging to the glass. One of the nicest looking IPAs I've seen.

Smells of pine and citrus, no surprise here.

Tasted of piney hops and grapefruit but balanced nicely by malt. I liked the fact that it's not an "in your face" type hop experience.

Very smooth and thick mouthfeel, certainly one of the better IPAs in this regard.

If you're an IPA fan then you really need to check this one out. One of the better bang for the bucks.

 561 characters

Photo of Hokies
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pour glass. Pours a nice golden amber color with a nice white head that lasts to the bottom with a decent amount of sticky lace left on the glass.

The aroma is filled with grassy and piney hop notes. Underneath the hops their is a strong caramel malty note.

The hops are nice and comparable to the taste being piney and quite chewy. In the middle the malt balances out the hops until the strong hop tastes takes over and leaves a strong hop bitter finish.

Nice IPA that could use more balance to raise the drinkability.

 554 characters

Photo of albern
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The good news about this beer is that there is a very bready middle to the beer that balances well with the very acerbic and biting hop. That's the high point. On the other hand, the hops are extremely bittering, acerbic and tart, slighly grapefruity, but they linger way too far in to the aftertaste. The beer does look good with a lightish clear coppery color with a decent white head, some lacing and retention. The nose on the beer is nice pungent estery and oily hop, with some florals hidden underneath. The taste of the beer doesn't bring out the hoppy florals nearly enough, but more like the bittering ends of the fruit. The beer is medium bodied, decently carbonated, and the plus, the big plus is the nice balance with the bready malts in the mid section. Not my favorite IPA by a long shot. The 7% ABV is well hidden. The hops will clear out the palate but will linger longer than is warranted.

 906 characters

Photo of beachbum1975
3.49/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Happy 34th birthday to me! This is my first beer of the night. Picked this one up at Bruisin' Ales in Asheville, NC. Great place - if you are in the area, definitely check them out.

Pours an attractive, crystal clear amber with a light tan, big and frothy head with big bubbles. Good head retention and nice sticky legs.

Average nose of light citrus hops trailed by sweet, bready malts. I was expecting a little bigger nose, but onto the taste.

Nice... Much like the nose. Bready, sweet malts mix with a nice, average portion of citrus hops. Medium bodied and medium flavored. Finishes bitter with a nice, clean end.

No freshness date on the bottle, so I wouldn't be surprised if it was a few months old and getting just past its' prime.

A nice, average example American IPA. Easy to drink example with no frills.

 818 characters

Photo of kish002
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoy this IPA, nice amber color with about 2 fingers of head, smell is nice; hops with citrus/pine. Taste is very grapefuity, but not too bitter, some malt to balance out the citrus. Not too watery or too oily, nice mouthfeel and great drinkability!

 259 characters

Photo of Jayli
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours our a clear copper color with a huge 2 finger head of rocky white foam. Nice head retention throughout with thick lacing. The nose is of citrus and floral hops followed with some bready malts. The taste has a healthy well mixed balance of hops, though not bitter. The finish is where you find the malts. I found this to be a very well balanced beer. Mouthfeel is crisp, clean, on the lighter side of a medium body but not watery. This is certainly a beer worthy of sitting down with for an evening.

 514 characters

Photo of chinabeergeek
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. no date found.

classic golden amber with straw tones. clear. nice head recedes slowly to a thin layer. great, delicate lacing.

grapefruit and fresh pine aromas, with caramel and toffee underneath. hints of floral notes. simple, but very fresh and fragrant.

flavor is hoppy (citrus and pine) at first, but quickly backed up by robust caramel maltiness, then more citrus zest and tropical fruitiness. bold, but not overly aggressive bitterness is well-balanced. finish starts with interplay of hops (bitterness, zestiness, and even fruitiness) and malt, with hint of yeast, then it all cleans up with some light resins.

smooth, with medium to substantial body, and lightly resinous texture in the finish. lively but moderate carbonation.

very good.

 764 characters

Photo of ffejherb
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler into Imperial pint glass on 2/4/09. Obtained via Growling at the Moon BIF courtesy of d0ggnate.

A - Poured a clear amber/orange body with tons of tiny carbonation bubbles and one finger of creamy bright white head that transformed into thin, sticky web-like lacing.

S - Pungent fume of citrus hops with a big smack of resiny pine and tree sap. Oh yeah, there's some sweet caramel malt too. This puppy is bordering on a DIPA nose!

T - Initial flavor is juicy citrus hops with predominant grapefruit character blended with a bit of pine and resin notes. This is a well-balanced IPA with a sweet caramel malt backbone.

M - Medium body with an oily texture and moderate carbonation. Finish is dry with a lingering bitterness on the palate.

D - Bold and flavorful, Big Eye is a fantastic IPA that actually is meandering into DIPA territory, in my opinion. Ballast Point makes incredible hoppy beers, and this one is no exception.

 942 characters

Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 4,276 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.