Big Eye IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

1,110 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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,110 | Ratings: 4,276
Photo of bum732
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a burnt orange, decent head that dissipates quickly. Smells of citrus fruits, tropical fruits such as mango, even some dark fruits like prunes and figs, grapefruit rind. Tastes of sweet caramel like malt followed by a good wave of tropical fruits. Some dark fruits with the bitterness as well as some caramel. Finishes fairly sweet with more tropical fruits.

A good beer, definitely hop forward with just enough malt backbone to counter the hops. That said, i kind of got tired of the centennial hops in this beer, really hits you over the head with the fruitiness. I appreciate the effort, just not my type of IPA.

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Photo of hardy008
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up at Friar Tuck Beverage in Springfield, IL. Pours a hazy orange color with an off white 2 finger foamy head which leaves a nice sticky lace on the glass. The aroma is of citrus hops, orange and grapefruit. The flavor matches the aroma. The taste is bitter, but there is more sweetness than I expected. There is a nice malt backbone. Medium bodied, nice carbonation, and good drinkability. I would buy this again if it were available in Minnesota.

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Photo of joshuadlight
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I drink different kinds of IPAs all the time, to the point that they all run together. But the Big Eye stands out. Bronze or copper with great foam and awesome sticky lacing. The aromas consists of juicy citrus hops. The taste is better though with an awesome balance that still allows the hop bitterness to be the headliner. Sweet, but hoppy. Smooth, but sticky. Great beer, I wish it was more readily available in my area.

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Photo of jxhill
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with very little head. There are immediate grassy and fruity hops aromas. Tasted a very fruity and sweet hops flavor which I associate with heavy dry-hopping. Hop character even borders on tart, without much bitterness either in the sip or the aftertaste. Despite the intesnity of the aroma, the flavor is much lighter. Body is medium. Taste fades quickly toa bright and light aftertaste. Head dissipates, leaving little lace. Nice IPA.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A 12 ounce bottle picked up at the Beer Stop for around $2. Poured into my nonic pint glass. Big Eye appears a hazed medium amber color with about an inch of fluffy bone white head. Aromas and flavors consist of tons of citrus fruits such as orange and grapefruit, just about the right amount of caramelized malt, floral hops, some resinous pine as well. The IPA is a notch or two better than medium bodied with ample carbonation for the style. Damn my glass was empty rather quickly! Perfect drinkability and yes, it's better than Sculpin.

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

Pours a light amber, the color of iced tea, orange highlights. I can smell a good amount of citrus from several feet away. Also, sweet red fruit, a bit of a resinous smell from the bittering hops on the back end.

Slightly lower carbonation than most examples of this style. Sweet malt and red fruit up front. Some pineapple, some tartness, decent malt background. Interesting hop profile. Some bitterness, but on the low end for an APA.

Dry finish, medium-body. I don't like the tartness, whether it's an 'off' flavor or intentional. Otherwise, this beer'd be an 'A.'

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Eye see what you did there! Pours a mostly clear light amber color with a noticeable orange hue throughout. A soft white head with good retention and lacing but both did not make it through the full tasting.

The nose is along the lines of a West Coast IPA. Piney and orange hops come out with a light floral and herbal aroma. Some bready notes with a light biscuit aroma on just detectable in the back ground. Some esters, rose peddles and a hint of cloves specifically.

The taste is a bit more balanced but still scream west coast. The malt is a bit sweet up front with a bready and biscuit-esk flavor. This is quickly replaced by a noticeable grapefruit and citrus hop flavor. Some orange and more lemon herb hop. The bitterness comes out strong, almost a bit too much as it lingers into the finish. Some chalky notes are finish that leaves a odd finish. Some honey notes in the finish but nice dry finish.

The carbonation is a bit low but any more would enhance the bitterness already as is. Some astringency from the hops. Overall a good west coast ipa but just slightly off balanced. Would like more finishing and less of the bittering.

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

On-tap at the OBF!

- Ever so slightly cloudy caramel, brown, amber... usual.

- Bursting with floral and citrus hop, roasty caramel... and extract.

- Citrus sweet explosion... smooth, caramel, cotton candy... sucrose... not too bad... but a bit 'extracty'.

- Sticky.... really sticky... some oil.. sweet. Gummy...

- Not too bad... love the Dorado much better now as I write this review....

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Photo of supercolter
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was not an IPA that I got really crazy about.
I don't think I appreciate the separation of flavors that some IPA's such as this have. I am all for complexity, however this beer smells and tastes like sweet caramel, mixed with dried biscuits- and then almost immeadiately kills this flavor with an attempt at creating an IPA with only Centennial Hops. Not all that impressed for the most part. However, I did raise my scores a bit as I realize this is partially a preferance within a style.

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Photo of hmmmmmm
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours medium amber into my tulip with a fingers worth of white head that disappears after about a minute and leaves fine lacing. Smells of bright citrusy hops with a nice sweetness in the rear. The first sip reveals a very well-hopped brew, with more pine notes shining through than citrus. A pleasant hint of alcohol comes towards the finish. Mouthfeel is light, with adequate carbonation that lends to the drinkablitlity of this nice offering.

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

Had this last night from a 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Solid, fluffy, 2-inch white head on top of a very appealing orange-copper brew. Pretty IPA for sure.

Smell: Citrusy, aromatic hops dominate the nose with a very mild plum or raisin undertone. The character of the smell develops as it opens up as well, opening to a bit more herbal scents as well.

Taste: Slight pine with an oily, hoppy, and citrusy taste that eventually gives way to a bit of the malts, but finishes on the swallow with more hops due to the oily texture. Bitter, but not quite in DIPA territory, but solid, tasty, and flavorful.

Mouthfeel: Definitely a wetter beer, as the flavors coat the tongue with a thick and heavy coat of hop oil amongst solid carbonation. I know this isn't some people's cup of tea, but I really dug it and loved the resiny coating.

Drinkability: Slows a bit on the finish due to the thick and resiny nature but still very drinkable. I really liked this beer, more than I was expecting I would. I have the Sculpin from BP in my fridge too and if that's much better than this (which all indications are that it is supposed to be) I'm really in for a treat. Solid beer, tasty from start to finish, and a great example of a San Diego IPA.

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

Pours a clear bright orange with a huge gchunky offwhite head with staying power. Leaves a nice chunky lace.

Big citrus aroma that reaks of oranges. slightly piney, with a hint of bubblegum. Sweet toasty toffee aromas come from beneath the hops.

Tastes like it smells. Big tangy oranges with a hint of pine/bubblegum. A tasty light toffee and bread malt character really pushes the hops forward. Floral bitter resinous aftertaste.

Med bodied, dry, a bit sticky, nicely carbonated, very smooth

For such a hoppy beer, not as much bitterness as other big IPAs, lots of late additions of centennial hops without a lot(an excessive ammount) of early boiling hops. Malts are tasty and balanced for its purpose: to showcase the centennial hops. Which it does to great effect. This is one Big Orange hoppy IPA. Very drinkable and delicious. I could drink this one for breakfast...

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

Purchased as a single from Charleston Beer Exchange and poured into a Sierra Nevada Hop Tulip glass.

A: Pours a bright clear orange color with a small head that never completely disappears. The small amount of head that is there leaves behind huge sheets of lacing with each swallow.

S: It has a very nice nose. It has big citrus aromas that seems to be predominately made of orange. There is a bit of pine in the aroma as well as hints of caramel malt.

T: The caramel malt gives it a bit of an initial sweetness that does not last long at all. Waves of bitter malt flavors sweep it away quickly. Just like the aroma, the main flavor seems to be of orange with a bit of pine resin along for the ride. The finish is just a little too far on the bitter side to be as enjoyable as it could be for me.

M: The feel is extremely smooth and the body is medium for the style.

D: The over the top bitterness that was around in the beginning seems to calm down as the session progresses. Once that diminishes the beer starts to disappear quickly.

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Photo of mwa423
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got in trade with kmurray8621, 12 oz bottle poured into a Perfect Pint glass.

A - The color is a hazy red/brown with a a two finger head that almost overflowed in the glass. The head stuck around for a good amount of time.

S - Hoppy, citrus and lots of pine

T - The taste wasn't nearly as much hop as I expected. More malty sweetness then hop bite. Exceptionally well balanced.

M - Good, but nothing to write home about, goes down easily enough.

D - It's not the best IPA I have had but eminently drinkable

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Photo of GbVDave
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a clear, coppery, autumn-orange color with a creamy, eggshell-colored, two-finger head that disappears quickly, but leaves beautiful lace in the glass. Carbonation is lazy.

S: Big nosefull of pine and citrus that leads right into some caramel and/or toffee. Touch of toasted bread at the end.

T: Awesome range of hoppy flavors. The first thing to whack my tongue is pine, followed by grapefruit, tangerine, and orange rind. Mixed into the middle of that are flavors of homemade caramel, toasted bread crust, toffee, and a sprinkle of brown sugar.

M: Pretty much covers all bases. Juicy fruitiness, spicy/oily hops, dry toasty malt, and an overall astringency that takes over during the finish.

D: What a fantastic and refreshing IPA. HeatherAnn and I stumbled upon some Ballast Point stuff at a liquor store on the IL side of the Mississippi River by Dubuque, IA and we're very impressed by what we tried. Too bad we have to go so far to get it!

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

On the darker side of the IPA spectrum. Nice oily head hangs around for half of the pint.

Aroma is soft, revealing a good balance of ingredients. A bit of granola and orange.

Indeed, the taste is balanced! Hop flavor falls on the herbal side of things. A bit of hay and grass counters the sweet crystal malt. The grain gives a steady base and rivals the hops on your palate.

Great mouthfeel ... medium carbonation. A fantastic ale all-around. I would not have identified this as an IPA, and I think that speaks positively to this brew.

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Photo of joepais
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle pored into a pint glass produced a nice marshmallow head that lasted quite a lone time then it settled to a thick lace . The color of the body of this brew was a clear copper brown.

Aroma of citrus and pine are up front followed by a slight floral hop. The flavor is hop forward but nicely balanced by the malts. Good medium mouthfeel with amble carbonation for your tongue

I think that the drinkability is good for an IPA. This is probably a better beer fresh from the tap but an average bottled IPA to me, not my favorite Ballast Point

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

Bottle purchased at Buyrite Liquors in South Plainfield, NJ.

Appearance: Beautiful hazed orange with honey lemon corners. A huge 3 finger off white crown with loads of retention and lace. The crown is really frothy and gets nice and dense like whipped cream after you let it settle and repour a few times. This is what I want my IPA's to look like.

Smell: A large burst of floral and citrus hops fill the nose. Grass, mandarin orange, lemon zest, lightly toasted malt.

Taste: Resiny pine hops, toffee, citrus zest, and of touch of astringency.

Mouthfeel: A touch thin

Drinkability: Not hard to kick back because of the thin mouthfeel but the flavor isn't that enjoyable.

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

Thanks to the 'rents for bringing me back this 22 oz. bomber from their vacation to San Diego. Poured into a Sam Adam's perfect pint glass & shared w/ trep.

Big Eye pours a crisp & clear, golden-orange hue. Typical IPA appearance, but still quite attractive with a large cap of custard foam that retains well and leaves behind a few spackles of lacing. Delicious, hoppy aroma of fresh citrus and pine needles. Orange peel and tree sap blend with a solid backbone of crystal-caramel malts that suggests biscuit and honey.

The taste mirrors the aroma nicely, with a slightly more aggressive palate of raw hop cones drizzled with pine resin. Loads of citrus fruits, too, as well as some yeasty esters of mango and pineapple. A crisp, caramel malt backbone balances perfectly with the hoppiness. Mouthfeel is phenomenal, with a spot-on carbonation level that gives the semi-chewy, medium body some pep to the finish. Big Eye is the epitome of a West Coast IPA--heavy on the hops, but with enough malt balance, and ever so drinkable. A superb beer!

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Photo of thain709
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A deep caramel body...rocky off white head that slowly settled into a cap that lasted the entire glass...good lacing

S - All hops...a nice balance between citrus and pine

T - Starts off a little are greeted with a nice caramel/toffee malt flavor...doesn't last long until you are hit with nice bitter hops...grapefruit flavors are there but the winner is the piney hops...tastes like smelling a sweet Christmas tree...the malts help take off any huge bitterness

M - Medium bodied...the pine made this one refreshing and the oils helped to coat the palate

D - Until I took a sip of this one I thought it was going to be average...this is a great IPA...big on the pine...I'm looking forward to trying Sculpin or Dorado Double

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

BPBC Big Eye IPA pours up with a dirty white head that persists above the slightly hazy, orangish-amber colored body. The hop accenuated aroma is mildly citrusy from the varietal Centennial hops. The overall character is fairly big, somewhat fruity (blood orange, clementine, pummelo) with some evergreen undertones. There's a moderate graininess with hints of biscuits, crackers & raw sugar. The flavor starts off with a light caramel sweetness that's derailed by a rather firm bitterness. The lightly warming finish is fruity, yet interestingly spicy. This medium bodied American IPA is solidly firm & superbly hand-crafted by the crew at Ballast Point. Here's to landing yourself a Big Eye!

CHEERS! Beertracker

*Taster's Note: Thanks to RodBurg for the opportunity!

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Rattle n' Hum, NYC.

Poured a medium amber hue with one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and good lacing.

The smell featured earthy and citric hops with a solid caramel malt.

The taste was well balanced and tilted toward the earthy and herbal hop.

The mouthfeel typical of the style on cask with a dry finish.

Overall a tasty and quaffable IPA.

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Photo of biker30x
2.71/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured hazy honey golden into a pint with a decent course off-white head. Nose was sour fruit with a hint of mildew. Very first taste was a pleasing assault of hops and bitterness. But the finish hinted at citrus and sour yeast. The second sip was astringent sour lemon a la lemonheads (without the sweetness). This appears to be an IPA for folks who love saisons - slightly reminiscent of Victory's Wild Devil (only less of everything). Finally finished with a lemon dish soap chemical feel.

Drain pour.

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Photo of jsh420
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

notes from 5/26 blind ipa tasting

pours light copper orange 1 finger head that left lacing

smell is big pine - my kind of ipa

taste was pine upfront then grapefruit hops - i did not pick up any malts at all but i didnt mind

mouthfeel - the pine hops sting the mouth plent of carbonation crisp finish for a medium body beer

drinkability - just what i look for in an ipa pine which might kill you taste buds but that what i like

over this beer finished tied for 3rd in blind tasting
rankings on tasting 1-8 GFlash-2Hrtd-BigEye=Hop3-CorneDuDiable-60min=AlphaKing-Hdevil

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Photo of projectflam86
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rbald42 for this one. Cheers!

A- Pours an amber orange color with a thick creamy off white foam head that settles to a nice ring leaving sticky lacing.

S- Strong floral and pine hoppy scents. Lots of citrus (orange peel, grapefruit, resin) and earthy bitterness. Light sweetness detectable.

T- Bold hop taste initially with lots of pine and earthy resin flavors. A very noticeable malt backbone creates a balancing sweetness with caramel and toffee additions. Very balanced.

M- Medium body with a nice amount of carbonation.

D- Not a traditional 'hopbomb' but well balanced with a nice flavor. Easy to drink.

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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 4,276 ratings.
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