Big Eye IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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1,098 Reviews
Big Eye IPABig Eye IPA

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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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Reviews: 1,098 | Ratings: 4,226
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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Photo of JohnQVegas
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into red wine glass, courtesy of Scott (calinalu). Much appreciated! 50 degrees and up.

Pours clear dark copper, with a thin fluffy head that quickly settles into a soapy layer. decent stickage.

Nose is grapefruity, rind, light caramel and a bit of toffee. Lots of fruity esters coming out.

Taste has a bit of a prickly bite up front, dry, a bit astringent, with an underlying sweet malt body coming out around mid-palate that carries notes of caramel and toffee, maybe some Maris Otter? Fruity towards the finish. Finish is long, fairly bitter, fruity.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, bit syrupy, dry, prickly carbonation.

Drinkability is ok. The bit of astringency in there is a drawback for me, but overall a nice IPA.

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Photo of nuggetnectar01
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a medium copper color with a three finger slightly brown foamy head. Little bubbles are left on top of the beer scattered around. Average head retention with great lacing left behind.

Smells of apricot, honey, lemons, grapes, caramel, biscuit, and bubblegum, it sure smells delicious.

Taste is full of citrus upfront with a nice malt backbone to balance it out, nice hop bitterness shows up at the end. Very balance beer IMO. Wonderful taste.

Medium bodied with just enough carbonation.

This is one great beer. I can drink this beer all throughout the summer. Great find and recommended. Reminds me kind of Alpha King from Three Floyds.

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Photo of CJthirty7
3.27/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving: Ceramic Coffee Mug
Place: Work
Music in the background: Someone on hold.

All I have to say is tang. Hoppy sour apple tang. Does make the work day go by though. Head, smell, color is all normal. I'm almost wondering if I left some 3-day old coffee in the bottom of my mug.

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Photo of Hullabaloo2
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma - Wonderful citrusy (somewhat floral) aroma from the centennial hops! Below the hops is some fruity esters, and a subtle malt sweetness. The aroma is very present, but not strong.

Appearance - Pours a brilliantly clear amber, with a creamy head that was about two fingerwidths. The head settled quickly to one fingerwidth, and then slowly down from there. It stopped at about 1/4 fingerwidth. Good lacing.

Flavor - There is a smooth bitterness that accompanies a surprisingly malt forward flavor (much more than the aroma would have you believe). There is noticeable hop flavor, but the centennial hops produce more bitterness in this beer. The malt character is not very sweet, certainly not cloying. The flavor is well ballanced, but differently than many IPA's. There is a bit of a piney, resinous, bitter finish. This bitterness lingers, but is not too harsh.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, good carbonation. The bitterness is througout the experience. Little to know perceived alcohol. Less dry than other IPA's, but again not very sweet.

Overall Impression - First, I love centennial hops so I was very excited to try this beer. The aroma is great! In my opinion one of the best in its style. The beer visualy presented itself well. I would say the only thing that hurts this beer for me is that I would like to have seen it slightly more dry. It's just a bit on the sweet side for what I like in an IPA. I will say that it is better than a number of other IPA's that I can think of, and if it was distributed around where I live I would buy it again.

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Photo of nc41
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very decent IPA. Pours nice, great color, nice initial head and it stays pretty well. Citrus kick but not grapefruit, more like orange/ tangerine which is also very nice, very similar to Two Hearted, but not quite as full flavored. It;s also a little pricey. Over all a very nice IPA that I would love to drink if someone else is buying, for my money I'll stick to 2H.

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Photo of BDLbrewster
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Courtesy of Jettanbass9

Pours a hazy amber-orange with a whole butt load of visible carbonation and some sediment. Huge white frothy head that seems to take for ever to dissipate, leaving thick bubbly lacing.
Prevalent pine notes with some hints of orange pith in the smell.
Tastes like grapefruit juice cut with some piney hop bitterness. A ton of citrus and no real noticeable malt notes to be found. The mouth feel is great, not at all syrupy and a very balanced amount of carbonation. Drinkability is pretty huge on this one, low ABV and tasty to boot. Crisp and hugely refreshing.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On guest tap at Willimantic Brewing. Pours a clear amber/brown with a small white head. Aroma of resiny hops, grassy hops, and citrus. Flavor is fairly malty with lots of bitter resiny hops in the finish and some iced tea notes. Decent, but not great.

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Photo of callmescraps
3.21/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this as a consolation prize after Sculpin eluded me. I do love centennial hops though, so I'm hopeful.

Appearance - Very nice deep copper/amber color. A solid almost two inches of soapy off-white head. Nice lacing. Looks great.

Smell - Some nice grapefruit up front. Some floral and citrus as well. But it's all overwhelmed by burnt candy malts. Ton of sweet malt smell, just overpowering.

Taste - Like the smell. It starts off w/nice citrus and hop. But then it goes down a sweet candy malt road that I don't feel like following. It finishes very, very bitter. Much more pine than expected. Not a ton of balance here. Also, a weird wangy astringency.

Mouthfeel - A tad thin, but not too bad.

Drinkability - It's not hard to drink if this is your style of IPA, but it isn't mine.

Color me disappointed. Too much malt, too much bitterness, not enough balance for me. Just not a great beer. Seems to be lacking a lot of complexity. I'll have to wait and see if Ballast Point has something better to offer.

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Photo of bfields4
3.57/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

nice frothy uneven head. a little hazy golden amber.

Grapefruit citrus hop smell. Seems like a light malty sweetness too.

Balanced a little more floral hoppiness with a bitter citrus twang. Fades to a malty earthy taste.

A good beer all in all. Wish i could try it fresh afraid the hops are a little faded.

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Photo of jmz62565
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark amber with a medium tan foamy head.The head lasts forever and leaves great lacing.The smell is pungent with citrus hops and a very strong "bisquity" aroma. The taste, like the smell,has citrus hops,bread yeast,carmel,and hop bitterness.The m/f is light with all the flavors mixing well. Like all the other Ballast Point beers I've tried, this IPA should not be passed up.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.59/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, I am getting the sense this bottle might have a little age on it. Without a bottle date I can't tell. There are no OFF flavors, but the hop character is certainly muted. After looking back at some other reviews, I see others are speaking in glowing terms of the fresh hop presense...
I'll post this since there isn't a defect in the beer, but I'll eventually try to get one I know is fresh and post an update...

Very good looking beer. Fizzy & substantial head with decent retention. Lots of lacing remains in the glass as you consume the beer. Perfect clarity with a sparse amount of visible carbonation. Deep amber color with some orange tints.

Aroma is really muted, caramel and pineapple notes.

Very smooth and fruity flavor. Some light toasted malt or cracker notes. Very smooth
Lots of honey notes. Some hop bitterness at the finish. More pine in nature.

Body is fairly light and texture is smooth.

Nicely drinkable. Yet I would love to try it with the fresh hop flavor.

I'll be back..

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Photo of ryrust5301
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - A pretty beer. Dark gold with a hazy orange fading in from the back. Head was a thin off white ring on the top.

Smell - You can't get much better than the nose that this beer offers. Bursting with hops and a sweet honey, it blends well with the citrus fruit and melon that can be picked up in the background.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Falls a little short from what the nose offered up. Hops are not as big as I originally thought, but if you like more citrus fruit in you beer, then this is the one for you. Tons of orange, grapefruit, and melon attack the tastebuds. Wonderful honey sweetness levels things out, but it doesn't help calm what seems like an overly bitter taste. Feel can be a little harsh at times, but does soften up when it needs to.

Drinkability - I was pleasantly surprised at that depth of this ipa. Even though it was bursting with flavor it seemed just a touch off in some places. Still a great ipa for sure.

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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 4,226 ratings.
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