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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,106 | Ratings: 4,258
Photo of Biggness
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear amber with no head and mild lacing. The smell is of citrusy and grassy hops. The taste has a very nice hop profile, but too much for the amount of malt in it, a little unbalanced in my opinion. The mouthfeel is ok, carbonation is a little low and there is a pretty distinct dry feeling after swallow. Ok on the drinkablility, but I would prefer something a little better balanced to session with.

 420 characters

Photo of MemphisSooner
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Amber/Orange with an off white head. This is a darker than normal IPA

S: Big citrus/apricot nose, with piney astringency and pungent hops. If this tastes like it smells, have mercy.

T: Citrus fruit, pine, lemon grass, and peach like flavor. Its big in the flavor component. There is enough malt to bring balance and backbone, but this is a hop monster. Superb IPA.

M: Smooth with medium carbonation. Not to slick or oily, not quite sessionable. A couple of these would suffice, but any IPA worth drinking should meet that criteria.

O: This is an excellent IPA. Sculpin is the darling at the Ballast Point ball, but Big Eye is the underrated hot girl that doesn't get enough press. This beer would be the flagship at 90% of the breweries out there. Well done Ballast Point!

 779 characters

Photo of OldSwampy
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pale ale that doesn't get in its own way.

Dark amber with an off-white head. Nice balanced but hop-forward nose, with a taste to match. Resinous and somewhat aromatic hops are dominant. The balance in ways makes this a quintessential pale ale. Some waxing and waning of flavors, smoothly. Slick oily mouthfeel, but never overwhelming, just right for the style.

Bottle date 16123 (Julian). Drank 3 June 16.

 413 characters

Photo of BrewMaven
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Wife came home with this in a mixer-sixer.

Nice rich looking amber in the glass with a receding, lace leaving head.

Nose full of hops on the sniff..just smelling this beer makes me want to wallow in it!

Very hop-forward American IPA..Lots of citrus...grapefuit and tangy orange. Malts are sub rosa and finish is more hops and somewhat dry.

Medium body..a bit sticky with moderate carbonation.

I really enjoyed this and will place it on my return to list!

 459 characters

Photo of PieOhMy
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass

A. Orange/amber. Clear. Nice layer of white foam.

S. First hit is malt. Sweetness. Some pine. Floral aroma. Lemon zest. Hops.

T. Very malty. I like this. Sweet and zesty. Just follows the smell. Citrus peel. Floral and piney. There is a big bitter hop bomb in the end. This is amazing!

M. Medium but very thick and creamy for the style. Crisp. Finishes with a remarkable lingering hop bite.

O. Wow! Was not expecting this. Thinking this is the Jan to Sculpin's Marsha. Not the case. So good and balanced. Two sides - the malty sweet fruity to the enormous hop explosion. Super IPA!

 609 characters

Photo of soulfly1492
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep gold, cloudy. Thick creamy white head dissipates rather quickly. Good lacing. Ok retention.

Smell: White grapefruit, citrus, caramel pine. Can detect some alcohol.

Taste: Grapefruit, citrus, caramel, burnt sugar.

Mouthfeel: Oily for the most part but turns to dry due to the massive dose of bitter hops. Little carbonation

Overall: Super hoppy, yet somewhat balanced. Good bit of malt presence. Wasn't expecting the sweet burnt sugar.

Note: leaves quite the spicy/bitter taste on the tongue. Lasts a long long time.

 537 characters

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Poured a light amber with a two-finger white head which dissipated into a lasting coating. Lacing was not heavy but present 'til the last sip. Nose was pine and citrus (lemon, grapefruit, orange). Taste was apricots, citrus (grapefruit, lemons, oranges), and caramel. You can notice the alcohol, but it is not unpleasant. This is a nicely balanced IPA for sure. Mouthfeel was medium, a bit oily but with a clean, dry, and mildly bitter hop bite in the finish. Carbonation is healthy, by observation and by feel. I was pleasantly surprised by this and will definitely have more - now and later.

 633 characters

Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is a nice orange-amber capped by a thick white head. The head fades pretty quickly though. Nice lacing. Loads of citrus (orange and grapefruit) hit the nose upon opening. The taste isn't quite a citrusy as the smell might suggest. Piney and herbal hops are in the forefront, and a bit harsh to the tongue, but sweet caramel malt flavors are noticeable. A pretty good IPA, but not among the best.

 401 characters

Photo of paulozanello
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost crystal copper color with a creamy beige head that recedes after a few minutes leaving a thin layer of foam on top of the liquid. Lacing is average/moderate.
Aroma is of citric hops and candy.
Taste starts with sweet fruits and slight caramel malts. Citric hops soon appear with tangerine, grapefruit and orange. There is a lot of candy sweetness going on. Bitterness kicks in later with mild bitter aftertaste. Also get some grassy hop presence somewhere in the middle.
Body is medium with moderate carbonation. Dry finish.
Overall a good IPA with nice citric notes a sweet/bitter balance.

 606 characters

Photo of JosiahS
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass, 1 finger head with a nice white frothy head, lacing looks to be pretty good. Color is a dull orange with an almost glowing effect from the lightly hazy color and sunlight coming through it.

Aroma smells initially like starbursts! On closer inspection I get pineapple, orange, a little lemon followed by a bit of pine, lemon zest and flowers. It's also slightly dry. The malt is lending light notes of bread and caramel.

Mouth-feel is medium-bodied with light carbonation.

My first impression of the taste is that this IPA has a nice malt presence to balance it out! Initially bitter with floral hops up front followed by burnt sugar, pineapple, grapefruit and lemon rind. Ending soon after with floral pine-like hops and a great bread/biscuit flavor. Pine and burnt biscuit linger on the back of the tongue. Alcohol is slightly noticeable.

Overall, this IPA is great. I love IPAs that don't leave malt behind for the sake of the style.

 965 characters

Photo of mattsdenney
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On draft at Rita's Folly Beach.

Light amber in color, clear, bubbly with little head. Strong hop presence, grassy, earthy, piney. Great hop flavor. Medium bodied, slightly dry, refreshing. Overall a solid ipa, very flavorful and drinkable. A solid ipa that is what you'd expect from the style.

 294 characters

Photo of Prufrock
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle into a pilsner.

clear amber orange with half an inch of head that's very close to white but not quite. leaves thin sticky webs of lace.

fantastic aroma. sweet, rounded citrusy aroma with the barest hints of caramel. grapefruit rinds, pineapple, and a hint of tropical fruits. bits of sweet tangerine and apricots as well.

taste is nice if a bit one-dimensional. a slightly raw, mildly abrasive wave of piney, pithy hops, a touch of malt, then an assertively hoppy bitter finish. smells a bit better than it tastes. rather heavy feel for an IPA. hops linger on the palate for quite a bit.

the bomber moved pretty quickly, although the bitter finish slows the drinkability down. a very good, but not great, IPA.

 726 characters

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

Received from AndySR15. Thanks Andy.

Big Eye pours a nice rustic amber color with a good sized and slightly off-white head on it. It left spotty lacing on my pint glass. The smell is packed full citrus fruits with notes of oranges, tangerines, and lemon peel. There is some slight caramel notes coming out of the malt as well, but not well pronounced. I don't think I am giving the nose justice there, but this is complex and wonderful nose on this IPA. The scents leads right into the flavor profile with the bitter hops upfront flooding with flavors of grapefruit, pine needles, lemon zest, and finally the caramel soaked bready malt comes out in the finish. The flavors meld very well together and create a unique and balanced IPA for a hop-lover. I would think a non IPA drinker would find this offering quite harsh though, but not me. The mouthfeel has plenty of carbonation for this medium bodied beer that leaves no detectable alcohol in the finish. The drinkability for a hop lover is excellent and would also be quite session able at only six percent.

 1,062 characters

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

Poured into a nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a clear golden color with copper highlights. 3 full fingers of head gives way to chunky, thick sheets of lace.

S: Lots of citrus. Orange and lemon zest with some grapefruit. Fairly large sweet caramel malt mutes some of the hop character.

T: I wish these had dates on the bottle. Toffee and caramel make up the fairly strong malt overtones. Orange zest and some pine push through the malts to give a nice bitter bite.

M: Moderate, prickly carbonation and medium body. Resinous hop flavor.

D: Good, easy drinking IPA. A little malt-forward for my preferences.

 604 characters

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

12 ounce bottle poured into my standard curved shaker pint glass. No freshness date that I can find on the bottle, so I'm forced to work under the assumption that this guy is *fresh*. Let's hope for the best. I've never had this beer before, so I have no frame of reference or former experience with this brew.

A: Pours a hazy-golden/light orange color with a thick, lively white head on top. Very nice.

As I worked through the bottle, this beer left great lacing on my glass.

S: Moderate smell of grapefruit hops, I can already tell this beer has some potential for me.

T: Very nice hop presence, with plenty of bitterness and grapefruit. This beer allows the malts to step out a briefly say "hello" at the start, before they are quickly pushed aside by a moderately strong hop bitterness/grapefruit finish, which swoop in quickly and dominate all the way to the finish.

This beer has a little more grapefruit and a little less *bitterness* than Stone IPA, but going from memory in many ways I find them to be fairly similar.

M: This beer is gently carbonated, with a nice hop-oiliness on the finish. It's consistency is a little lighter than normal.

D: High.

 1,167 characters

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

Appearance - Golden body with a beige foam head - splotchy lacing coats the sides.
Smell - Lots of floral and citrus notes.
Taste - Floral hop bite. Rich hop flavor.
Mouthfeel - Moderate carbonation, somewhat crisp. Medium-bodied.
Drinkability - Quite enjoyable and easy drinking for a beer with this flavor profile.

 316 characters

Photo of Emersonio
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: 12oz bottle into a nonic pint. Appearance: Deep amber with a thick white head. Aroma: Grassy and hoppy notes. Taste: Big and bold hop flavors upfront. Aftertaste: Slightly peppery with a hoppy bite. Overall: Solid and consistent offering. Very good: 4 out of 5.

 267 characters

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

Picked up a bottle from South Bay Drugs. Thanks Joey!

Poured 22oz bomber into a shaped pint glass

Appearance - Transparent golden copper orange. Constant strings of carbonation rise from the bottom of the glass. It produced a 1 1/2 finger, white foamy head that slowly dissipates to a thin crown. Nice bit of lacing is left behind. Good looking beer.

Smell - Great hop aroma from this one. Very floral, tropical and citrusy - lemon and grapefruit rind, all with a hint of pine. Very resinous. There is a nice malty undertone, caramel-like and sweet. A really great scent on this one.

Taste - Crackery and caramel-like malts show up in the initial flavor, intermingled with a honey-esque sweetness that gives way to a great hop flavor. Citrusy orange, lemon, and grapefruit rind hop flavor take over, and leads into grapefruit and pine-like hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel - This beer feels pretty good going down - slick and oily as it runs over the tongue. The carbonation level is just where I like it to be, a nice moderate level. It provides just enough of a prickly sensation on the tongue to keeps things interesting.

Drinkability - This is a pretty damn good beer. Ballast Point has never disappointed me. It is easy to drink, smells great, and tastes pretty good. Its too bad that they don't distribute out here in Texas.

 1,329 characters

Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Bright orange look

S- smell citrus and hops.

T- A strong bite of hops and citrus tones very balance.

M- Semi-dry hop bite and citrus notes through out the sip.

D- Very good ipa not like it's big brother Sculpin but still a good IPA.


 250 characters

Photo of Vendetta
3.44/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Original Rating Date:
September 27, 2008

Pours cloudy orange with a very thin, soapy head. Strong, grassy hops pours from the bottle on opening and the glass on the pour. Super big hop bitterness punch. The Ratebeer profile says 55 IBUs but it tastes waaayyyy stronger which leads me to doubt that measurement. Strong, unbalanced hop flavor, fabulous for hop heads. A must try for IPA fans.

 391 characters

Photo of Mississipping
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz poured into a tulip:

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden amber color with a large off-white, sticky head that dissipates slowly and settles to a sticky foam, leaving behind decent lacing.

S: The initial smell is flora and fruity ... citrusy and somewhat sweet ... and also quite malty. Just a bit of hops and booze behind the sweeter start.

T: Sweet orange and tangerine, with a bready/biscuity malt profile dominate. Starts less sweet than the smell would have you believe. Taste transitions quickly to bitter grapefruit, grass, and pine, along with the hoppieness. Just a hint of booze. Bitter, hoppy, pine finish that lingers. While it's all there, it seems a little muted; less aggressive.

M: Slightly thicker mouthfeel than some other IPAs. A bit resiny, yet still bubbly and lively on the tongue. Medium level of carbonation which complements the stickiness quite well. Slightly drying effect at the finish, but not overwhelming.

D: Drinkability is high ... alcohol is hidden fairly well, mouthfeel is great, and the flavors are a little mild. Less to appreciate here so it goes down very quickly. Still recommended.

 1,133 characters

Photo of Trueant1
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orange color with a thick rocky two inch head that stays around. No carbonation seen and a clear beer.
Smells of pine hops with warm alcohol. Also smelled pineapple and citrus and nice sweet carmel.
Pine resin, and oil taste. Some citrus and sweets come through.
Bitter hops remain for a while on the aftertaste.
Oily, resins, and a bitter mouthfeel.
I like the design on this bottle..a big collector one for me.
The beer seemed a little two one sided for me. Just my personal taste. The pine/oil hops were just a little to much for me..but i still know this is a good beer.

 590 characters

Photo of ahq514
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip.

Pours a dark golden color that is slightly clear. A little over a finger white head. Seems to have moderate carbonation. Gobs of lacing.

Hop aromas are loaded wirh floral, piney notes, with a light citrus touch. Lingering behind the hops is a nice caramel malt backbone.

Spicy, piney hops dominate the palate right up front, followed by a quick appearance of grapefruit hops. Next comes a little bit of sweet malt. The finish is mostly bitter hops.

Medium body and moderate carbonation. Average drinkability.

A good ipa, but not well balanced enough in my opinion. Needs more malt to balance out the bitterness of the hops. Other than that, its a very solid beer. Prefer sculpin.

 721 characters

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

A - Crystal clear orange-amber, decent head and lacing

S - Definite citrus, pine, and an apparent tuti-fruity bubblegum aroma (in a good way); a very subtle malt-grain aroma in the background

T - Grapefruit bitterness nearly countered by a sweet caramel malt character; the hops win though as the bitterness lingers in the best possible way

M - Smooth carbonation, tiny bubbles, doesn't interrupt the flavors and enhances the aromas

Overall - One of my favorite go to IPAs...makes me wish I lived near the brewery so I could have it fresh from the tap any day of the week. Definitely one of my top 10 regularly available American IPAs. Give Big EYE a try!


 668 characters

Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

A: Pours a deep amber with one finger of white head. Head fades rather quickly to a thin layer that rests atop the brew, also leaves behind some nice lacing.

S: Citrus, tropical fruit, bready malts, caramel, pine, and earthy hop grass like aromas.

T: Caramel, bready malts, pine, of resiny hops up front, then some lemony citrus, earthy hops, and a slight buttery tone with a great bitterness on the finish.

M: Medium bodied, moderately carbonated, smooth and slightly creamy. The resiny bitterness lingers around for awhile.

O: This is a great beer through and through. It gets lost in the shuffle of great IPA's considering the juggernaut of an IPA also brewed by Ballast Point. While it may not be as mind blowing as Sculpin it is still a great beer and deserves some love.

 809 characters

Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 4,258 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

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.