Big Eye | Ballast Point Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Big EyeBig Eye
4,338 Ratings
Big EyeBig Eye

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,338 |  Reviews: 1,120
Photo of Beerzebub
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear copper. Egg shell head, goes down but remains attractive. Good lace.

Smells fruity, hoppy, malty - wonderful. Fresh pineapple is on the front line, with grapefruit. Custardy papaya and mango (thanks, previous reviewer), floral honey. Plenty of caramel. Delicious.

Tastes of pineapple and citrus hops, tropical fruit, flowers, honey, caramel. Restrained hop bitterness, somewhat floral, medicinal. Remarkably balanced.

Somewhat sticky, malty mouthfeel. Carbonation is well restrained, never too fizzy. Very drinkabale, refreshing.

Great, balanced IPA, with a tropical character. Cascade hops are great, but so is variety.

 646 characters

Photo of dhchatfield
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received as part of a beer karma shipment from a West Coast brother BA. The Christmas lights are up, my days work is done, it's time ....poured into my Duvel Tulip.

A - An inviting coppery/red. Very clear. Nice active carbonation. Not as much head as I was expecting from a West Coast IPA.

S - Very nice. West Coast all the way. Strong hoppy blast. Citrus, papaya, a little mango as well. Get's better and better as the beer warms. [edit] as things got warmer still, a strong jasmine aroma revealed itself...yummy

T - The strongest point of this offering. Very smooth, yet broad across the palate. A very sweet finish. The hops are well presented but not to the point of overwhelming the other forces at work. Fantastic hoppy burps.

M - As I am accustomed to DIPA's, I am still getting my mind around the nuances of their "less big" cousins. Bigger is not always better is what I am learning, and this beer reinforces that feeling.

D - Very, very drinkable. The 6% ABV would be a definate invitation to have a few of these at a sitting. This is a beer I could get used to having in the fridge.

All in all, a very nice, tasty IPA. A little less aggressive than some of the other west Coast IPA's, but in a good way. I wouldn't mind having a case of this stuff to keep me out of trouble with its' low ABV. I have a DIPA from this same brewery in the cellar. I can't wait to try it. Thanks to my West Coast buddy for the "gimme".


 1,455 characters

Photo of Morris729
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy deep burnt orange color with a tall light tan head that slowly recedes into a very thick and rocky lace that coats the walls of the glass as it fades. Nose is strong floral hops with notes of fresh pine. Taste is bitter citrus rind and oily hop resins but there is enough of a malt backbone to support the hop profile. Very nicely done.

 349 characters

Photo of thaichile
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber gold with a decent head floating on top. Nose is piney and citric along with some caramel notes. Flavor is bold and hoppy, malts making a valient effort to survive before the hops get their man in the bitter finish. Mouthfeel is sticky and syrupy which carries out the sweet background. A nice IPA, closer to a 2IPA on the continuum than the paler, more exclusively hop-driven IPA's. Thanks to Solomon420 for this bomber.

 440 characters

Photo of hunteraw
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Bright orange, pours very clear. Big rocky head with good retention that leaves a ridiculous amount of lace. Just how you expect an IPA to look.

Smell: Huge aroma I can smell from a couple of feet away. Sweet citrusy hop smells, like tangerine, apricot and pineapple. As it warms malts become more present.

Taste: Tart but fairly lifeless at first, but then a wave of bitterness washes over your mouth. Caramel sweetness. Taste is decidedly more grapefruit-y than the aroma. Slight toastiness to the finish. Finish is dry. Interesting and unique taste.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Carbonation is just on the low side of medium. As for drinkability, each component was decent, but the whole falls short, somehow.

Thanks to intriqken for shipping this one my way.

 783 characters

Photo of BlindPig
2.95/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- 1/2" off white head. Clear amber copper color.
S- Citrus hops, malts in back and thats pretty much it.
T- Citrus hops seem a little unusual in flavor. Malt in back. Some floral hops too. Light bitterness aftertaste.
M- Medium body, light/medium carbonation
D-Kind of blah. Almost tastes off but I don't think it is. Don't like it much at all.

 350 characters

Photo of scottoale
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 22oz. brown bomber pours a coppery-orange ale with a fat finger of tan, foamy head. Good lacing and decent carbonation give this brew a rather handsome look.

Right off the top is a strong citrus with a mingeling pine essense followed by a subdued maltiness. A very hoppy of an IPA smell...mmm.

Sweet that turns instantly bitter, with a heavy grapefruit flavor carrying through to a citrus orange middle and finishes clean and piney...a nice rendition of an IPA bar none.

Solid medium body with a healthy dose of alcohol all lead to a highly drinkable, very tasty IPA of the West-coast style, that's worth it's weight in hops...don't miss it.

 659 characters

Photo of Pooba001
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a great reddish coppery color that looks very appetizing. Love that color on an IPA. Decent head, fades fast though. Smell is an eye opening citrus aroma with some grassy and grainy hints. I love the Centennial hop, I actually debated give this a 5 on smell.

Taste is Centennial hop as well, citrus and grass with a little bit of caramel maltiness backing up the hops. I'm tasting more yeast than I'd like on this though, I think something a little cleaner would suit this beer quite well. Yeast keeps this from being rated higher for taste.

Mouthfeel is ok, thinner than ideal. My drinkability notes says "pretty darn good", and the awesome scent of this beer outwieghs my slight demerits for mouthfeel. This is an IPA that I could really quaff a serious amount of.

 778 characters

Photo of MiScusi
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22oz bottle purchased in July 06 into a standard pint glass. Appearance is an almost clear copper with not too much of a head. Streams of bubbles rising from the bottom which never stops and keeps a small couple millimeter thick cap the entire sitting. Lots going on in the aroma with lots of flowers and grass, some citrus, and sweet caramel.

Taste is lots of hop resin and floral plus maybe a bit of a grassiness. There is also caramel noticable, but not too much. This beer is just balanced enough to the hop side to be pretty hop intense, yet still a touch of malt. A floral bitterness lingers in the aftertaste. Lacing is pretty good.

Mouthfeel is medium and slightly slick with a little bit of dryness in the finish. Overall a tasty and very hoppy IPA.

 771 characters

Photo of Imstillthegman
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Zorro for this bomber.
Big Eye IPA pours a crystal clear rusty amber color with a fingers worth of tan head. A ton of lacing remains as I drink my way to the bottom of the glass.

The smell is delicious! Grapefruit and lemon zest blend with a freshly made toffee scent. Behind it all is a perfumy floral aroma. Maybe I can get my wife to dab some of this on her neck. When I close my eyes I can imagine walking through a local farmers market past the fruit stand, flower stand, and the lady selling homemade candy.

Flavorful citrus blend mixed with malty caramel/toffee sweetness. Floral notes come through on the finish. Bitter, but not burning, aftertaste and the floral qualities at the end are a nice addition to the tingly citrus.

Creamy, medium body with a slick feel left behind in the mouth. I could drink one of these everyday. Only wish they would ship to Delaware. Looks like I am going to have to work out a trade for this one....soon.

 966 characters

Photo of xymyl
3.72/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color: Pale copper/gold very light head (seemed slightly pink), head stays around a little while.

Aroma: Hops, Alcohol & Malt, nothing complex but it smells nice. The typical resin/sap, spice etc...

Taste & Body: Light and refreshing, clean and simple. A textbook American IPA, or should I say benchmark? It's no surprise at all, but it's enjoyable and very well made. I'll buy it from time to time.

 405 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fluffy head cap pillow that leaves a sturdy lace.

Aroma is cascade and lemon.

First swigs: Dry tart lemon with a citrus blend. Some crisp lemongrass maybe imparted by Saaz. Quite hoppy and near double IPA. Thanks to the recomendation of BA.

Last swigs: Touch of lemon dry and delicate pine.All Centennial. Wow!

 319 characters

Photo of mentor
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by OStrungT as part of BIF33. Thanks for the opportunity! Pours a strong finger of tan head over a clear light brown-rust liquid. Smells beautiful citrus hoppy. Orange oils and grapefruit pith. Woody tangerine and caramel sweet.

Tastes delicious. Nice citrus hop flavor with a supporting malt and fruity esters. Hop bitterness is in line with an oily dry co-humulone. Hop flavors are oranges, tangerine dryness, and modestly pink grapefruit. Pith dry at the swallow. Malt is a faint caramel that'sactually mostly colored by the hop flavors. Esters are buried under the hops but come across as peach and some apricot. Thick mouthfeel could comes across as syrupy, except the hop bitter and woody dryness keeps the sticky ending from being an overly sweet aftertaste. Still a thin layer of head on top of the liquid. Nice lacing on the inside of the glass.

Today is a hot sunny summer Sunday afternoon. I was looking for a brutal IPA to lead me into a nap. This was just the thing. I even tipped the bottle on edge so I could get the last dribble out of the bottom.

 1,085 characters

Photo of bennetj17
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Light clear copper color, white foam is short with weak retention, decent carbonation.

S: Nice and strong, good west coast hop aroma with sweet citrus tang.

T: Begins with sweet grapefruit/citrus hop flavor, but quickly fades leaving only a strong bitterness and light sour taste. Alcohol not evident.

MF: Light, perhaps a bit watery, carbonation comes off slightly weak.

D: Still an easily drinkable IPA, alcohol is low, and light body goes down easy. Flavor starts out well but could use more in the finish and mouthfeel. Definitely try it...

 561 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliantly clear, copper amber color and is topped by and initially 1.5 finger thick pale tan colored head. The aroma is immediately of American hops; as I pour this brew I get a note of candied orange peel. As I go in for a deeper smell I get pungent notes of lemon basil, grapefruit, and mandarin orange. The citrus notes are definitely the dominant aspect of this aroma, which is quite smooth and appealing.

The beer is lightly chilled and has a light sweetness up front. The hops in this beer immediately take hold and are dominant from beginning to end. Notes of candied orange peel are dominant up front, but a gripping, solid bitterness soon takes hole and lingers on in the finish. Towards the end of a sip a herbal note similar to mint, or perhaps menthol would be a better descriptor, starts to become noticeable. A certain resinous, almost pine-like note also is found lingering on in the finish. There is a touch of malt here as well, perhaps some caramel, and something like toffee; these notes though only serve to accentuate the citrus components of the hop character. This is a nice beer, easy drinking, though it perhaps has a bit too much astringent, herbal bitterness to be truly quaffable. It is certainly enjoyable though and is worth trying if you like hops.

 1,292 characters

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clean amberish golden orange color. Not really much head, just a touch of lace.

S: Pine, cinder cone with a malty back drop.

T: Nice herbal bitterness. Loads of cedar resin with undertones of vanilla and toffee. Light remnants of citrus.

M: Decent body with good carbonation

D: I hate "standard" IPA's. You know those ones that just don't stand out, just another assembly line IPA? This one has something different and worth drinking.

 449 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite pale, amber color. Grassy and citrusy aroma-not as big as some other IPAs for sure. Very hoppy and intense bitter flavor-very upfront but not overpowering. Some malt flavor. Good body overall-not as "oily and "slick" as some others can be. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Well worth a try.

 293 characters

Photo of babyhobbes
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bottle in the most recent US Beer Trade!! Thanks!

Has a small light beige head. Beer itself is a light amber/orange color. More orange than amber.

The smell is all hops. It's citrusy and well....hoppy.

Taste isn't quite as hopped up as the aroma, but still good. There is a bit of sweetness which is evident in the slightly thinker/maltier mouthfeel. I can definitely taste the alcohol, which is a bit of a shock as I don't expect much alcohol in my IPA. Still good, just a bit of bite in the throat. Mouthfeel is all bubbly.

This is a reasonably drinkable beer. I wouldn't want to have liters and liters of it, but I would keep some around if it was available in my area.

I recommend this IPA as a change from all the IIIPA we have so much of anymore.

 780 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
3.1/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep clear amber color with a medium white single finger head of largish bubbles that melts rather quickly to a very fine lacing.
Aroma is immediately sweet oranges or tangerines with maybe a little carmel.
Mouthfeel is full with tiny carbonation and a faint alcohol burn as you swallow.
Taste is strangely different from aroma....a rich sweet malt followed immediately with sweet orange or tangerine finishing with a citrus peel drying and bitterness.
Not a favorite of mine for an IPA, but mainly because of the discrepency between aromas and taste taking away from an otherwise balanced brew.

 608 characters

Photo of OStrungT
4.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a clear golden yellow, with a thick fluffy off white head. The head has orange tints in it. It fades slowly, leaving a lot of laces.

This beer has a pleasent grassy hop aroma. It has a slight lemon citrus aroma also. It has a very slight piney aroma.

This beer has a very good grassy flavor. It has just a touch of citrus in the flavor. It has avery slight bready malt flavor, but only just a little.

This beer is very smooth. It leaves a grassy aftertaste. It is carbonated to perfection.

This beer would be a great session beer. It is not overly high in alcohol. Also, the flavor is not aggressive. Also it tastes great. This is a very fine beer from the Balast Point guys. I am surprized it took me so long to review it.

 752 characters

Photo of chargerfanjess
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
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.

 253 characters

Photo of beersabound
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

 1,169 characters

Photo of sloejams
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

 865 characters

Photo of rowew
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 756 characters

Photo of warriorsoul
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

 747 characters

Big Eye from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 4,338 ratings