Big Eye IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

4,303 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,303 |  Reviews: 1,118
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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Photo of KingSlender
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ballast Point's Big Eye IPA is one of the best IPA's in Southern Cal. I usually try and keep my fridge stocked with Big Eye along with some of Ballast Point's other brews, such as Yellow Tail Pale and Calico Red. Big Eye pours a dark orange and gives off a HUGE hop nose immediately out of the bottle. A thick, creamy off-white head accompanies the orange nectar very well. The taste comes at you quick and strong with citrus hooks and hop jabs. The hop comes into play throughout the sipping excursion and seems to rest on the back of the tongue between drinks. This is a big and bold IPA and hop heads will enjoy it's bounty.

The King recommends drinking this beer with a Bar-b-que chicken pizza.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Orange amber body with a monsterous cream colored head very creamy texture to it, awesome retention that forms into specks of lacing down the sides of my glass. Aroma: Aggressive dose of hops is the main act here with big grapefruit notes and woody herbal flowery hop bursts some caramel malts are here to contrast the hops. Taste: Great mixture the hops are there doing their thing, but the balance of a bready yeast and specialty malts blended is a nice break from the amount of Centennials they used here. Hops are floral with a piney grapefruit edge to them very nice stuff, nice cohesion here like a well oiled machine. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied ale creamy smooth texture even carbonation. Drinkability: Very solid all around IPA glad I got ahold of this sample through a beer trade, thanks Chap.

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Photo of saskguy
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I guess I just expect an west coast IPA to be full of hop aroma and flavour.

This IPA has little hops in the aroma and moderate amount in the flavour. A few years ago, I would have found this to be a great beer.

This is a good beer, one to train up those people leery of a stong IPA.

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

This brew pours our a clear copper colour with a huge head of rocky white foam. The aromas are of bready/biscuity malts and nice citric and floral hops. The taste is wonderfully hoppy, yet not bitter at all. The nice light biscuity malt backbone of this brew works really well. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, and this stuff is damn easy to quaff. The drinkability is great!

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

Appearance – Beautiful and cloudy orange in color with a modest but stubborn head.

Smell – Wonderful mix of floral, pine, and citrus hops. There’s also a lovely toasted malt base to this one.

Taste – This ale is so complex it is simple. The numerous hops, which I can’t identify, work in perfect harmony. The malt base is there but in the background. The flavor is very subtle yet strong. This is a nice IPA.

Mouthfeel – About medium in the body and extremely refreshing. This one is extra smooth yet crisp and clean.

Drinkabilty – This was one of the most drinkable IPAs that I have had to date. This would be a great one to give to a friend as an introduction to the style.

Comments – Another wonderful offering from Ballast Point. Mickeymac was kind enough to send me this one. Sadly, this was the last of the awesome care package that he sent. Ironically, I think this also puts me over 500 karma points and gives me another dash of ale. How fitting.

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Photo of Rumrunner
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz. bottle.

This IPA pours a clear deep copper color. A big solid white head that shrinks but hangs until the finish. Very healthy and abundant lacing. The scents are very floral, with a bitter hop and rind. Heavy hops. Some mild malts.

A numerous assortment of flavors. Big dry hops. Bitterness a plenty in the beginning. Fruity and floral. Some rind and pineapple. A slight leafyness. As it warms a caramel malt reveals itself and smooths out the bitterness at the end. I really enjoyed the way this IPA was structured and how it altered as it changed temperature.

A bold medium bodied IPA. Carbonation is a poppy presence. There is a smoothness to the finish. This could be a session IPA.

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Photo of winomark
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep copper color with a thick white head.

Aroma: Lots of citrus, with malt giving a backbone.

Taste: Good spices and hoppiness throughout. Nice and crisp on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Dry, but very satisfying. Good bitterness and maltiness balance well.

Drinkability: Could drink this one all day long. Great IPA. Can't wait to try more beers from this brewery.

P.S. While drinking this, it more than once reminded me of Two-Hearted Ale from Bell's.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presented in a 22oz. bottle as depicted in the picture. On the side of the label reads "2002 World Beer Cup Bronze Medal Winner in India Pale Ale category".
Big Eye poured a hazy orangey amber color with a robust foamy off-white head that had decent retention and left nice lace. The nose is dominated by citrus and pine hops with a mild aroma of caramel malt in the background. Big Eye sports a lot of hops on the palate, specifically a strong grapefruit-like citrus and some floral hops. There is a modest level of caramel and toffee to keep things in balance but the hops deliver a lasting bitterness in the finish. The feel was medium- to full-bodied and smooth.
Big Eye IPA is a solid West Coast style IPA. Long on hops, it has a nice balance of malt that sometimes is lost with other American IPA's. A nice offering from Ballast Point Brewing.

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

One of the five best IPA's in California. A great beer from a great San Diego brewery. I sampled this beer while touring the brewery. If Big Eye has any weakness at all, it may be too smooth. I like an IPA that has a bite to it, but Big Eye delivers a constant and refreshing balance of hops and malt with no surprise finish.

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

Deep golden and clear with a thick foamy head. Aroma is piney hops but with a nice sweet malt presence. I can really smell the grains in this one. This is one of the maltiest IPA's I've had. Otherwise similar to many California IPA's I've had recently. Body is full and smooth and finishes with only a slight bitter aftertaste. Bites back a little bit at the end. This is another nice IPA from Cali. I'm impressed.

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Photo of cretemixer
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, orange-amber in color with a dense, off-white head. It lingers for quite a while, leaving a clingy lace.
The aroma is sharply hoppy. Sweet & piney with a bready malt note.
Clean hop taste. Grapefruit juicy bitterness that settles in nicely. A good tasting IPA. Not overpowering and pretty well balanced.
A very refreshing beer. Medium body, lightly carbonated and very drinkable. I'd like to try some of their other offerings someday. Very solid-not mindblowing-but solid.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orange amber color. Medium head. Aroma is grapefruity, piney and malty. A medium bodied IPA. A big, bold, hoppy west coat IPA. Hops are very prevalent, bitter, grapefruity and piney. Balanced by nutty and sweet malts. For a west coast IPA, its only slightly overbalanced towards the hops. Perhaps a touch too bitter, but a nice drinkable IPA. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is dry. Aftertaste is bitter.

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

Originally sampled on 26 January 2003. I am writing this review from my notes. This brew has lots of lemon & grapefruit in the nose. It pours a clear golden color w/ a quickly diminishing head. Lots of hops up front that taper off to a smooth finish.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.41/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper in color with a thick, long-lasting off-white head. Great spiderweb of lac down the glass. Citric hops dominate the aroma, undergirded by a light malt sweetness and with a hint of floral hops detectable on the margins. Flavor is peppy, lots of citric hops all the way through, though the Centennial hops lend it a milder, more grapefruit-like character than some of the Cascade-based IPAs. Interesting choice in malt, too. Much more toasty than caramel, and sweetness in the beer is accordingly low. Still damn drinkable! A nice, and subtley different IPA.

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

It's a good-looking copper with a decent sized off white head. The smell of Centennial hops is a very pleasant departure from the usual Cascades. It also has a slightly sweet bready smell. The taste is quite nice and complex. In addition to a bit of dough-like flavor, notes of flowery hops are present. This is a very nice IPA, and I'm looking forward to trying other Ballast Point beers.

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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 4,303 ratings.
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