Big Eye IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

1,106 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

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Reviews: 1,106 | Ratings: 4,259
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at Mondiale 2008. Some citrus aroma and citrus taste. A good representative American IPA, but also another and similar American IPA. Lacey, after well drinking through its orangey coloured body.Some astringencey yet satisfying.Yet a beer I did not and would not seek out again.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 1.5 finger head. Amber and clear. Nice lace

S: Fairly pungent. Hoppy and spicey odor. Very nice introduction for the taste you get next.

T: Pine and citrus. A strong hop flavor. Floral and peppery notes.

M: Medium bodied. Mild carbonation. Stings the nostrils a bit.

Overall: I have been pleased with most of Ballast Pointe's offerings. I have had 5 or 6 of their brews now though this is the first I am reviewing.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours a clear copper with a foamy beige head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and grapefruit juice. Taste is much the same with a citrus zest flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a really good ipa, but after sculpin, ballast point cant really top it. this is by all means a great beer, and uniquely hopped with shades of pine and a great punchy bitterness, but it pales in comparison to sculpin, which is one of the finest crafted anywhere. red malts balance this out a little better, and its got a beautiful red glow to it beneath a white foamy head with excellent retention. pine is the hops family, but not as aggressive as some, this is more of a session beer to me, although it does pack a bit of an alcohol punch after a few. I had this at blue tuck in Syracuse amongst several other great india pales, and it stood up well to all of them. carbonation is excellent and this is a well made brew overall, but its nothing compared to a sculpin.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out as a light hazy yellow color with a creamy white colored head on top. The lacing wasn't too bad but could have been a little better I thought. The smell of the hops came through pretty well but were a bit muted I think. The taste wasn't too bad. The hops were softer than expected but I feel that this happens to most IPA's from a cask. The mouthfeel was soft and had a light creaminess to it. Overall this beer was pretty good, I have a feeling that it would be better on regular draft.

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Photo of metter98
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: It poured clear amber-orange in color with a one finger head that has a good amount of retention. A moderate level of carbonation is visible.
S: There are moderate aromas of piney hops in the nose and some hints of citrus.
T: The taste is primarily filled with bitterness from the piney and citrusy hops, although the malts lend some hints of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate. There is also a lot of dryness, particularly in the finish.
D: The beer is very drinkable if you like hops; it almost seems like it is a Double IPA.

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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.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Boy was I glad I tried this one. One of the better IPA's I've had and starting to like these left coast beers. Just a very smooth, balanced beer overall that you could just drink all day. I'm surprised my go to beer store has such a random beer from a well established Cali brewery and I wish they could get some more... this was a damn good IPA.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, @6% ABV for the batch sent to Canada, and procured at a surprisingly well-stocked Vernon, BC bottleshop last week or so.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, yet bright medium copper amber colour, with lots and lots (and lots) of puffy, rocky, and mildly bubbly off-white head, which leaves some randomly broken spiderweb lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells strongly of wet pine needles and orange and red grapefruit citrus notes, with a reserved bready and somewhat crackery caramel maltiness, some weird chalkiness, a further strange sense of white pepper spice, and less overt leafy, floral, and grassy hop bitters. The taste is more malty upfront than I was expecting, but that wan bready caramel is soon duly eclipsed by some pleasantly acrid piney and citrusy bitterness, with some tame herbal and leafy green hop notes rounding things out.

The carbonation is moderate in its laid-back beach bum frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and mostly smooth, with a tacit creaminess that is wholly dependent on the current whim of the hops. It finishes off-dry, as the hops increasingly seem prone to overshadow the fading sweet caramel/toffee malt.

Always nice to see these West Coast IPAs available north of the border - especially from San Diego's environs, as Stone and Green Flash have whet my appetite for Stateside IPAs for a while now. Ballast Point's effort here doesn't disappoint - a pleasant balance of the basics - and the hop tendencies allow the exclusive use of Centennial to shine through. Good stuff - I get the point!

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Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy light amber color with a rocky head that leaves a few shards of lace

Smell: Caramel malt aroma with strong wafts of tangerine pith and pineapple

Taste: Starts with a nice blend of caramel and citrus fruit, with building levels of tangerine and pineapple by mid-palate; after the swallow, the fruity bitterness builds with some pithy elements; nice sweet and bitter finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with moderate to low carbonation

Drinkability: Just a superb IPA; hits all my buttons for the style

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Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber in color with perfect clarity in the usual Ballast Point fashion. A two finger head slowly settles into a half-inch cap.

Smell: A huge aroma of centennial hops - citrus and pine in equal portions. Unmistakable as I just brewed with them this week.

Taste & mouthfeel: So damn hoppy and flavorful, it's like chewing on a hop flower (minus the palate-wrecking bitterness). The bone-dry malt profile really brings out the citrus flavor in the hops. The body is light and the crisp dryness is remarkable; I wish every IPA was like this. Bitterness in the finish is moderate but not enough to overpower the actual hop flavor, which lingers on the palate long after the glass has emptied.

Drinkability: I had to slow myself down while drinking this one.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.2/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Bet before 05/17/13. Acquired as part of a six pack at a local Von's grocery store. 7.0% ABV confirmed. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Expectations are high given the brewery, whose Sculpin IPA I hugely respect. Reviewed live.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger beige colour head of nice cream, decent thickness, and above average (~3 minute) retention for the above average ABV. Body colour is a clear translucent pale copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Standard fare for the style; there's nothing unique or special here. But there are no overt flaws either.

Sm: Oily piney hops, heavy floral hops, pale malts, messy grapefruit citrus zest, mango and more tropical notes, pineapple, and light nectar hops. Something's off; it doesn't come off fresh or refreshing. It's messy and the flavour profile isn't what I like and expect from a great IPA. Still, it's clean and more complex than most other IPA aromas. Not at all too hoppy, though some hop bitterness is evident. An above average strength aroma.

T: Lots of juicy crisp fruity hops, redolent especially of tropical fruit like mango and pineapple. Pale malts form the clean somewhat refreshing foundation. Unfortunately, hop bitterness does creep out on the climax and in the finish - a severe flaw. Floral hops. Light hop nectar. It's not the oily hop extract core of an IPA like Lagunitas; the profile is much more tropical than most IPAs. Anyone who claims this is exactly like Sculpin is out of their gourd. It's clean and pleasant but lacks the body and complexity of a superior IPA (like Sculpin). Not too hoppy at all. I kind of like that though; it's not trying to be a double IPA. No malty sweetness or backbone; it's more cut and dry hoppy. Fairly balanced but lacking the complexity and subtlety it needs. I like it, but it's far from fantastic. No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Too thin and weak, lacking body and presence. Carbonation is slightly overdone. Suits the flavour profile generally well, but doesn't feel custom tailored to it.

Dr: A pretty good IPA that hides its ABV well, but it's nothing to write home about. $11 in a grocery store feels rather steep. I wouldn't get it again with Lagunitas' offerings next to it on the shelf, but it's a passable beer for the style. Ballast Point does far better. I don't understand the comparisons to Sculpin; this don't hold a candle. Still, it's worth looking into for fans of the style. It's quite drinkable; I'll have no trouble polishing off the six pack I picked up.


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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear bright golden color ale with an average sixe foamy head with OK retention and minimal lacing. Aroma consists of bitter and lightly citrus notes are dominant thought not as powerful as expected. Taste is also dominated by bitter and citrusy notes with a lightly sweet malt base. Body is about average with OK carbonation. Well brewed thought I was expecting a more powerful hops profile.

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Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a high clarity orange, nice ring of drippy lacing. A little skim of foam sticks around for a few minutes. An aroma of caramel and toffee is dominant over any hop presence, but there's an herbal component there also.

Round feel to it, ample carbonation producing a dry frothiness toward the finish. Bitter herbal & vegetal hops in the finish, not fruity, more the sprucey pine sap variety. Full bodied for the style, but the flavor isn't really doing it for me. There is alot of caramel malt there, and the hops really are only there for bttering it seems.

Regardless, it's well put together, and it's very drinkable anytime.

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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 Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden color with a decent-sized head. Some lacing as it goes down. The nose is mostly citrus hops with some orange coming through the strongest. A bit of sweet caramel malt. Taste is similar, with the hops being the dominant portion, as the malt brings only a little bit behind. Medium bodied with good carbonation ad a nice hop dryness. Good drinkability all around.

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Photo of nickfl
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of off-white foam on top of a dark copper colored body. The head settles quickly and leaves nice lace on the glass.

S - Pine, grapefruit and a hint of sweaty hop character with caramel malt in the background.

T - Thick, toasted malt up front with lots of pine hop flavor. More pine and some citrus character in the middle as a bit of caramel is added to the malt profile. The beer finishes with thick, bready malt and more orange and pine hops as well as moderate, balancing bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - A very well balanced and drinkable IPA. There is plenty of hop character but it is matched every step of the way by thick malt and a good dose of toffee.

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

Poured into a standard pint glass a deep burnt orange color with tight formed but rather quick to fade one finger white head.Good complexity in the nose,citric hop aromas along with some alcohol dipped apricot, mixed with some hard water and caramel/biscuit.Pretty well balanced with the healthy hop dose winning the day,big citrus and resin mixed with a big hefty sweetish caramle base.Its good but not out of the main stream American IPA realm,thats not a bad thing by any means,just sayin.

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

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating(got it recently from Ohio though, so we should be ok). Pours a lightly cloudy orange amber color with a nice 2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some nice soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, herbal, floral, pine, grass, orange, mango, pineapple, honey, caramel, citrus rind, and bread. Very nice and well balanced aromas with good strength; slightly more herbal and piney than I am used to as well. Taste of big grapefruit, herbal, pine, floral, grass, mango, citrus rind, pineapple, caramel, honey, and bread. Fair amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, herbal, pine, tropical, honey, caramel, and bread on the finish for a good bit. Very nice malt/bitterness balance in this; with a nice balance and complexity of hop flavors. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slightly crisp mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden with pretty much no warming at all noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very excellent IPA. A bit more malty than your typical West coast IPA, but I am not complaining. Great hop flavor balance, and very smooth to drink. Great stuff.

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Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this guy as an extra from Imperialbeachbrw. Another great one from San Diego that I have yet to review but love to enjoy. Poured into my usual DFH oversized snifter.

A: Pours with a nice sized 1 finger frothy head with bubbles popping pretty quickly. An amber autumn brown color with a rustic feel to it, pretty clear but not perfect.

N: Not super ridiculous on the hops, but they definitely dominate. A good piney hop presence and some light citrus to contrast it. A light crystal malt aroma seems to back it up as well. I also get a slight caramel smell on the back end. Otherwise its just a nice hop aroma, but the hops aren't really heavy on the nose.

T: Caramel malt taste starts off this guy with some sweet malt taste. It is followed quickly with some piney hops and bitterness. There's a good chewy taste in the middle. Some fruit and citrus line the middle as the malt shifts to hops. Lots of pine and a little citrus and touch of spice are what seem to constitute this hop bite.

M: Semi thick with a slight stickiness and decent carbonation.

F: Finishes pretty bitter and sweet. It didn't seem to dry off as I had expected. It also got an almost metallic hop taste to it as the bitterness builds and then fades. I get a slight juicy hop taste at the very finish of the liquid as I swallow, just as the metallic taste starts to wane. Then the bitterness fades like some dream in the night, off just as a distant memory that seems to disappear the more you try to think of it. That is, until the next sip.

Final thoughts: This is a great IPA IMO. It starts with a great malt character thats not too malty or light, then hop flavor starts off as the malt fades and then finishes with a nice bitterness. It is a little too sweet if anything, but being 7% alc and hiding it well also helps. Not being overly bitter or hopped and not too high on the alcohol makes this a more likely candidate for drinking regularly than most big time IPAs. I like to reach for this when I just want a nice bitter and slightly malty IPA without breaking the bank, my tongue/taste buds, or my liver.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A hazy golden-orange rests beneath a creamy white head that holds quite well and leaves lots of thin, splashy lace at the outset. Limited amounts of tiny bubbles can be seen streaming to the surface through a thick, proteinaceous haze, helping to maintain its creamy white lid. The malty/fruity/piney/floral/citrusy nose is rather interesting with a combination of sweet, lightly caramel-drizzled dough; apricots; citrus rind; wild flowers; dull pine; wet earth; and dried leaves. It's quite unique, and is even reminiscent of bourbon in a way. It's gently crisp on the tongue before warming to become just slightly creamy with a medium-full body and very fine, natural carbonation (it's bottle conditioned). In the flavor, fruit appears and vanishes quickly, followed by piney hops atop a toasty, caramel-drizzled malt base. It's well-balanced by a solid bitterness, and it finishes drying with some more of its floral and citrus-rind flavors amidst a lightly sticky malt.

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Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle

Pours clear amber with a towering, over-size, and surprisingly thick head. Plenty of sticky lacing left on the glass.

A: sweet malt; spicy hops, herbs and alcohol esters.

T: Herbal and spicy hops dominate the flavor, although a solid malt base is easily detected. Not aggressive or particularly bitter for style, but has adequate hop flavor and presence.

M: medium body; nicely smooth and well carbonated.

O: Centrist in style but at the same time, unique due to the particular mix of malts and hops. I appreciate the quality here but prefer IPAs that are at least a little more fruity.

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

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear, golden amber with a finger of off-white head. Retains nicely into a beautiful thin layer across the top that leaves a HUGE latticework of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma is nice blast of fresh piney hops and citrus with a some spicy notes and a little sweetness behind it.

The is just more of the same. Resinous, biting hops and zesty citrus followed by a just perfect amount of sweet caramel to even things out. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fantastic slick feel from all the hop oils and nary a trace of the 6% ABV is to be found.

Wow, this is just a great West Coast IPA from Ballast Point! Just tons of fresh pine and citrus notes with an awesome slickness, that coupled with the undetectable ABV, helps this one go down as easy as anything. I'll definitely be seeking out a six-pack of this next time.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from rayjay courtesy of the BA Secret Santa 2007, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is a good mix of floral hops, citrus, caramelized malt and a touch of vanilla.

T: The taste is well balanced with flavors of citrus & caramel, sweetness and a pale hops bitterness. The hops presence strengthens as the beer warms. The malt character is hearty but stays on the light side. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a good IPA to drink for an entire evening.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear medium copperish amber in color with very light amounts of active visible carbonation rising slowly from the bottom of the glass and some brassy highlights. The beer has a two to three finger tall dense foamy (almost pillowy) light beige head very slowly reduces to a finger thick cap covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a very thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Slightly stronger than moderate aromas of hops - specifically pine and citrus/orange.

T: Upfront there is a light flavor of slightly sweet grainy and caramel malts which has a light overall amount of sweetness. That is followed by more than moderate amounts of pine and citrus/orange hops which contribute a slightly stronger than moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Light to medium bodied with slightly less than moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness towards the finish.

O: Enjoyable and a nice example of the style though with a touch too much lingering bitterness for this one to be an easy drinker in my opinion. Definitely worth grabbing if you come across but perhaps not one that I would actively go out of my way to find.

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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 4,259 ratings.
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