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Big Eye IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Big Eye IPABig Eye IPA
4,318 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,318 |  Reviews: 1,119
Photo of chargerfanjess
4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap Big IPA great different hop notes from pepper to pine could be columbus and chinook. Nice big head and copper clear look with tight little bubbles. Excellent malt backbone of munich taste and perfect bitterness. Great finish for a great brew.

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

If you want to know what Centennial hops smell and taste like than get this beer. The aroma was full, resiny slightly citrus with a tinge of caramel. It had a wonderful head that would not give up with great lacing. The bubbles were medium sized. The color is gold/copper and it was very clear. The flavor is very bitter and resiny but there is some malt seetness for the hops to hold on to. I did not get much yeast flavor contribution. I was slightly surprised by the finish b/c I expected a crazy hoppy dry mouth but it was pleasant. Don't get me wrong, when I burped later I could still taste it and was happy for that. To me a sign of a good American IPA is that the belch later reminds you of the beer. The mouthfeel was smooth with medium CO2, a little CO2 bite, med body and a slight alcohol warmth. I found this beer very drinkable and a great way to showcase Centennial hops. (one of my favorite hops!) As a critique I would suggest using some other hops to give a more complex flavor. However since this IPA comes from San Diego, where IPAs seem to rule it cool that they decided to keep it simple and even put it on the label that it's all one type of hops.

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Photo of sloejams
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber

This looked great in my pint glass: a nice orange canvas with a thick eggshell head, nicely lacing throughout. It had a nice hop smell – but not the “ripping lines of hops of the mirror table” that I’ve become all too familiar with (and a habit I don’t see myself kicking). There were citrus notes – the familiar orange and grapefruit, but also something a bit more tropical. The flavor is wonderful – complex hoppiness rounded with the fruit finish. It was slick and creamy and delicious.

I think were I not so recently bombarding my palate with absurdly hoppy offerings – I would find this to have a more than generous kick. Now it’s almost a session beer.

Sadly, even though I’m only a few hours from Ballast Point, the only place around LA that I ever see their fine products is BevMo. Next BevMo trip, I’mma load up on this.

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

Presentation: 22 oz bomber with a large fish on the label. ABV and beer description, but no freshness info.

Appearance: An overly rough pour elicits a huge frothy white head that takes quite a while to fade. Color is orangish with just a hint of haze.

Smell: Strong hop aroma, with just a bit of bready malts in there as well. Citrus seems to dominate.

Taste: The hops are definitely more dominate in aroma than they are in bitterness. Taste is fairly balanced, with some roasted malt and bready flavors balanced out with the floral and citrus hops.

Overall impression: Well balanced IPA - definitely not what you expect coming out of the San Diego area. This definitely doesn't mean it isn't a quality beer though - it is well made and tasty.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber thanks to KingG...
Beautiful clear copper color with a full finger and a half of bright white head that sticks around forver and produces some thick webbed lace.
Sweet at first sniff with a nice dose of fruity hops...citrus mostly with a mango splash.
Taste is quite solid and is borderline IIPA IMHO...glad to see the sweetness take the back seat to the bitterness that is quite extreme from finish to end. Alcohol is slightly detected as it warms, but by no means distracting.
The mouthfeel is above average for the style and the carbonation is a twinge too high for me to make this a true session brew.
Either way, a solid offering and a great first impression from the folks at Ballast Point...must find some of their others.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to eyechartbrew for the gifty-poo. Bomber served chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Orange honey topped by a yellowish, rocky, and frothy head. Crystal clear. Head receded to a small layer and not much lacing was left on the glass.

Smell: Grapefruit citrus hops with a good dose of pine. Very zesty and fragrant. Hints of caramel malts.

Taste: Caramelized malts in not quite harmony with piney coniferous hops. Nutty notes here and there. Overall, pleasant, but not wowing.

Mouthfeel: Mildly oily, medium bodied beer. Lingering hop bitterness, but not scraping your tongue.

Drinkability: When you make an IPA in SD, best make it hoppy. This is certainly and enjoyable and well made beer, but I can see why ecb thinks this brewery/beer gets overlooked when you consider what else is available in the immediate area. I'd probably pick it up occasionally if I lived in the region.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle. Pours a very clear light copper/orange color. Thick pillow of white fluffy head. Lots of tiny streaming bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. Good head retention. Nice patches of lace stuck on the sides of the glass. Floral slightly spicy aroma of Centennial hops. Caramel malt backed up solidly by floral and citrusy hop flavor. Good amount of bitterness. Finishes sort of dry. Medium body. Very enjoyable. Big thanks to EyeChartBrew for bringing this one to me from the West Coast!

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

11/15/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info on the label. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Copper-amber colored pour with a 3/4 inch head. Almost a 1/4 inch remains throughout the entire glassfull. Patchy lace here and there.

Smell- At first a large bitter piney or woodsy hop scent. Exploring deeper you find a caramle malt base with a nice lemon and orange fruity scent.

Taste- The two things that jump out at first are the nice caramel fairly dark malt base followed by a quite large bitterness. The malt has a darker nutty taste to it. Pine tree hops with a touch of grapefruit rounds out the flavor.

Mouthfeel- A touch creamy with a medium carbonation level.

Drinkability- Another good IPA that has a bigger malt background than expected. Quite drinkable at it's 6% abv level.

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

The pour is a brilliant honey color. The big white head has great retention. Piney, citrusy- grapefruit and orange hops fill the nose, accented by sweet malts. This beer manages to not be overly pale while having a sharp hoppy bite that's nice and bitter. I like me some Centennial hops.

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

Honey hued amber color and moderately clear with some very slow bubbles within. Nice tall cap of ivory fluff sits on top after a medium pour. Laces very well with rings of left over patchy foam and broken sheeting, some thick, some thin.

Aroma is heavenly plump with a high ended but well rounded citrus tone of lemon and orange peels surrounded by a parched and toasted grapefruit and slight piney bittered residue coating. Carries a partially sweet under tow of malts leaning in a candied melon and caramel aura. Tends to pick up a bit of grassy spices as it warms.

Taste is mildly crisp and clean with a very tender and easy bitterness to its hop tone. Toasty controlled parts of citrusy hops and malts really take a step towards a quick drying parchment as it cruises across the palate leaving traces of dried lemon, grapefruit, orange peels, and lightly spicy grasses along with a high grained toastyness of added bittering bite. Maintains a fairly balanced approach in the bitterness but takes a bit of an overload of the toasted dryness. It squeezes alot of dryness in while keeping just a nudge of sweetness underneath keeping its all-together firmly set hop tone of drying bitterness from going too far. It seemed to change balance from certain sips to others with the parching dryness as it warmed.

Feel is calm and smooth with a clean, unwavering medium body and a yielding tone of bitterness. Dryness is apparently the dominant characteristic, but tends to change some as it warms. Piney, parched finish with a slightly sweet and toasted background.

A firm standing IPA. A pretty decent showing thats drinkable to the extent of getting use to its overall parching dryness that tends to fade in and out as it warms.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance draws you in. Nice frothy head and copper body with sticky lacing. Massive carbonation never lets the head waver at all. Very drinkable as nothing is too pungent or strong. Light hoppy flavor lends this beer to other flavors. A bit of light citrus based fruit..pineapple? a lingering aftertaste. Not much warming/alcohol taste which is nice refreshing for an IPA. I will buy this beer many times and hope to have it on tap soon.

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Photo of BeerAngel
4.54/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear brilliant copper color with a very tight 1-1/2 finger head. The smell consists of a pungent bouquet of citrus and floral aromas with a light hint of biscuity malt in the background. This aroma will make you slobber on yourself! The flavor is a repeat of the smell with more of a pronounced hop punch and a nice burnt caramel malt backbone. This beer has a lighter bodied mouthfeel and finishes dry with each swallow making you more than ready for your next. Thanks xlperro!

Notes: Superb IPA! This is one of the most drinkable IPA's I've ever had!

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

Mmmm, I dont know why I dont drink more of this... damn good. I poured from a 22oz bomber into my pint glass. the color was a nice warm orange-golden color. The smell was great... I dont know if it was a mix between an earthy citrus crossed with pine but i really liked it... It reminded me of Hitachino Nest Anniversary Ale. The taste was incredible. i could really taste the hops, yet it wasnt rough... hoppy and flavorful. I had a what seemed to be a rather carbonated bottle which gave me a nice sensation in my mouth. I certainly didnt mind it because everything was just tasting damn good. As for the drinkability, well, I'm going to buy more for the weekend and i really am wondering why i havent been drinking more of this.

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Photo of alexgash
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bright, golden copper-orange with a large, cottony light sandy head. Great lacing. As the thunderous head recedes a little, I'm picking up big hop aromas--juicy, citrusy, and even piney. Not a big malt presence though; just a light sugary biscuit. Taste starts off with big hops as well. Juicy pineapple and grapefruit right out of the gate. Acidic and bitter pin pricks all over my tongue. Nice hop flavor. Near the finish, the toffee/sugary biscuit malt body show up, but can't stand up to the hop onslaught. Finish is bitter with traces of sugary malt. Big, lively feel to this one. A very nice IPA.

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

Appearance: Carmel-colored body topped off with a single finger of rocky off-white foam. The clarity of this brew is simply excellent.

Aroma: Oooh...hoppy goodness right off the bat. Although this beer was poured a tad too cold, she had no problem strutting in and announcing her arrival in a glorious bouquet of Centennial perfume.

Taste: Mouth quenching goodness from the start. The sharp hop bite is closely followed with quality malt...only to yield to a wonderful hop-medly finish.

Mouthfeel: Like most dry-hopped Left-Coast IPA's...this baby bathes the mouth in hop juice.

Drinkability: A superb IPA which I highly recommend.

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

22oz bomber. Bubbly copper with a solid inch of puffy white head. Surprisingly this is an extremely heady beer. The 2nd pour from the bomber yielded an enormous cloud atop! Aroma is beautiful, a rich, resinous, citrus pine juicy hop thing going on. Flavor is not nearly as hoppy as the aroma, but its extremely well balanced. Has a very earthy, woody flavor with a nice caramel malt flavor. The Centennials come in very nicely in the finish as well. Crisp mouthfeel, and an extremely drinkable IPA.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazed orange appearance. Thin and cream bone white head. Lacing is adequate. The nose is very nice. Big whiffs of pine and citrus and passion fruits backed up with a nice toasted malt aroma. Wow! There's a nice bitterness to this one. A little coarse, but inviting to me nonetheless. The hops adds some rind-like properties and grapefruit and pine resin to the mix as well. The malts back everything up with some nice toasted malt and caramel tones. The carbonation provides some nice scrubbing characteristics to your palate and the body seems to be about medium-full. Solid effort.

I thank the Gentleman from Long Beach for such a nice gift from a brewery I had yet to sample.

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Photo of joecast
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

enormous off white head that may be as dense and firm as i have seen, with a glowing orange color.
smells just like a bowl of diced peeled oranges. now i know what others mean when they describe the citrusness of centenial.
feels like drinking orange juice as you lift the glass. just plain mouthwatering.
the bitterness hits strongly right up front but its not harsh. almost manages to overshadow any maltiness at all, but that manages to find its way out.
by the end of the bottle, some dryness comes out a bit. the finish though always seems very crisp.
one of my new favorite ipa's. the centenials really are the strong point of this, and i like it.

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

Slightly hazy, bright pumpkin orange-amber. The larger than average head is dark cream in color, finely pitting and firmsticky. I'm already seeing loads of fine lace in intricate patterns, ultimately in thin rings. Beautiful hoppy nose. Man I love Centennial! The citrus fruitiness seems to be more orange and lemon than grapefruit. I've smelled a lot of IPAs lately and this aroma is up there with the best.

This may be the most 'orangey' tasting IPA that I've ever had (actually, it tastes more like tangerine juice than orange juice). There's also the unmistakable flavor of grapefruit pith and pine sap that I love so much. The hopping is pretty well done, perhaps a little harsher than I'd like, but not bad. Pale malt is appreciated, but is playing second fiddle for sure. The finish is long, hoppy and bitter and the mouthfeel is full for the style.

Big Eye is a pretty darn good IPA. It doesn't get into my upper tier, but it's still heartily recommended. Especially if you're of the hophead persuasion.

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

Pours a medium copper-gold color with a large (2 inch) head of small bubbles. As the white to off-white head settles, the head is left with odd-looking large bubbles supporting much smaller bubbles on top. Aroma is intensely hoppy, herbal "in the woods after a rainstorm", somewhat musty, and oh, yeah, hops. Pretty nice! Flavor is grass, some citrus (lime & grapefruit?). The hop profile is pretty nice, not as overwhelming a some I have tasted. Mothfeel moderate, with a nice creaminess. Overall a very nice IPA that I look forward to trying again.

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Photo of Zorro
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy brown brew.

Smell is malt and strong pine and grapefruit from the hops.

Taste is well balanced for an IPA. The taste of the malt isn't obliterated by the amount of hops used. Mildly sweet with a strong flavor of hops. The flavor comes through as a tasty fruity flavor. This isn't one of those IPAs with only a pine and grapefruit flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

Outstanding Drinkability for an American IPA. Tasty balanced and not so hoppy that is shocks your tastebuds.

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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 Dmann
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another winner from a San Diego brewery. This one poured a sunset orange color with a dense white head that left some nice lace. The smell was big on citrusy hops with a slight scent of malt way in the background. As for the taste, this has to be one of the more balanced IPA's I've ever had and would be a good session IPA for sure. The flavor is hoppy for sure, but it is balanced out very nicely by a thick malt backbone and a nice hearty mouthfeel. A great beer that I will revisit soon.

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

Thanks to Drewbage for this beer.

The beer pours an orange tinged yellow that is not quite clear. The head is nice, big, and fluffy and lasts. This is kind of weird, but I swear I saw a smiley face in the foam after about half a glass. :)

The smell is of orange blossoms, floral and citrus hops. Very pleasant. Reminds me of Essencia dessert wine.

The taste is solid. It is not over the top or in your face. It is a nice beer that slides down smoothly. The orange-tinged hops are apparent and appreciated.

Mouthfeel is smooth and slightly oily. A little acid tinge.

This beer is very drinkable at (only) 6.0% alcohol. Will try to get more somehow.

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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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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 4,318 ratings
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