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Big Eye IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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1,102 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,102 | Ratings: 4,240
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 Dewey0603
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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Photo of ShrLSU
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A beautiful golden amber hue with a thin white head. THe head settled down nicely leaving only slight white patches around the edges.

S- Great fruity hop scent. A slight note of malt but overall just a nice citrus hop scent. A little floral as well.

T- Great flora and citrus hop taste. Its nice and sweet and bitter in the end. There is a nice hidden malt taste as well.

M- Medium bodied and slick. It coats the mouth well but is very lightly carbonated. It fits the style well.

D- This is a great session beer. Ballast Point makes some killer IPA's and this one doesnt disappoint.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade with bkrefetz...thanks Brett!

A- Poured into pint glass. Nice dark golden amber color to it. Little 1/4 inch head that went away rather quickly leaving nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Nice fruity hops smell right off the top along with a little malt background. A little floral smell to it as well.

T- Nice hop profile to this. A little more bitter than I expected which was a nice suprise. Alcohol taste creeps up on the backside of the taste. Nicely hidden up till the end. Citrus/floral hop taste along with a nice underlaying malt taste.

M- Nice medium mouthfeel. Oil from the hops clings onto the palate leaving a nice bitter aftertaste that sticks around for a while. Carbination is just about perfect I think for the style. Nice full feel to it.

D- Nice drinking beer that I wish I had more than one of. Even though this isn't a "session" beer I could see myself treating this one as one.

To be honest I didn't know what to think when I got this bottle. I am glad I cracked it open though. I should have realized that you can't really go wrong when you are drinking a west coast IPA.

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

Got as an extra from a real sporty San Diego BA. 7% ABV listed on label. Clearish orange in appearance with a solid two fingers of cream colored froth. Aroma of sweet, tangy grapefruit. Floral and lemony at first, with a nice bitter middle. Mouthfeel chalky hopped, nice peppery bitterness. Feel this one in the teeth. Wheat-thin maltiness. Great webbed lacing in the glass. Very drinkable...would love a keg of this.

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Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single of this at Total Wine in Greenville, SC.

Pours a bright copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head dissipates into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of citrus hops with a pale malt backbone. As it warms mild amounts of tropical fruit waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Pale malt flavors up front followed by good amounts of citrus and tropical fruit hop flavors and ending with a solid bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation that makes this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing the bottle and could have a few more.

Overall this is a solid IPA from Ballast Point. It's not terribly unlike SN's Torpedo. Worth a shot.

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Photo of klewis
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours golden with a big bubbly head. Moderate lacing.

S: Resiny hops balanced with a honey aroma.

T: A wallop of hops as soon as it hits the tongue. Resiny, piney, and intensely earthy. Slightly astringent with little malt balance.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Sticky with a dry finish.

D: A bit too intense. The hop bitterness annihilates whatever other flavors might be in this one.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in a standard pint glass. Poured a translucent amber with a half inch frothy, off-white head - good retention and cascading strands of lacing. Nose reveals some malt and piny hops. Taste was bitter and resinous with a medicinal finish; however, there's also a hint of citrus and a malty/biscuity quality that seems to form the backbone. Mouthfeel falls between light- and medium-bodied; carbonation is really prickly throughout, with a slight, residual oiliness that coats the tongue. I'm sure this brew has the makings of what a very good American IPA should taste like; however, it's a bit too bitter for my liking.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours amber orange with huge inch+ thick head that seemed to last a bit. incredible retention.

smell was light, i did not get much besides a pine citrus scent with light biscuit malts. maybe the head was hiding it?

taste was very bitter, very resin like with huge hints of citrus, mainly orange. light pine and grassy flavors.

mouthfeel was pretty perfect. i hands down prefer this over the dorado for mouthfeel. light carbonation and very light.

a good IPA overall, easy to drink, slightly more bitter so probably after a few i would want something else. a decent IPA and that has a flavor of its own.

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Photo of rwdkosak
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter lightly chilled produced a decent head over dark gold color. The nose of this beer is fantastic with full floral and hop sweetness which certainly hightens the flavor which again is hop and floral though with a lemon/citrus middle and only slightly bitter dryness on the finish. Mouthfeel was good and certainly this is a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of atsprings
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Corsendonk tulip a hazy orange with a nice off-white head. Aroma is some slight sweet malts and citrus hops. The taste is a decent amount of bitter citrus hops with sweet malts backing it up. The beer is light and crisp with decent carbonation. This is an enjoyable IPA to say the least, but there's really nothing all that special about it.

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

Pours a clear golden orange color with a two finger head.

A strong smell of minneola tangelo hits the nose right off the bat. Citrus and floral notes are also very present.

This is very tasty. The smells definitely carry over into the flavor. Oranges are very strong in the flavor with tangelo juice taking the forefront.
Nice and crisp and clean. Very good mouth feel and nice hoppy finish make this one very balanced and very drinkable.
Even at 7%abv its almost sessionable.

This is one of the more tastier IPA's i've had in a while. Being my first example from Ballast Point i'm impressed and am looking forward to trying more from said brewery.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Flying Fish pint glass.

A- Big eye has a copper color with a bright orange thrown in as well. Some bubbles seen slowly rising. A nice amount of white bubbles stayed afloat then morphed into a smaller thick cap of foam. Nice spray paint streaks of lace.

S- A burst of west coast hops giving off a powerful floral, citrus blast. Melon and grapefruit. This is backed by some strong malts. Some lemon thrown in as well. This is one of the better smelling IPA's out of a bottle no less, in recent memory.

T- Nicely hopped while they give off a huge fruity taste consisting of oranges and grapefruit. A mouthfull of pine is here while the pale malts does it's best to round out the assult. Overall, a bunch of citrus taste which is great. This gives off a bitter aftertaste but a pleasant one.

M- Nice and not overbearing. A few steps above light bodied with high carbonation, a tad too much. This is quite creamy while the flavors are not hard to find at all. The 7% on the bottle is undetectable. This was a pleasure to drink.

D- I wish I picked up a few bottles as this one tasted fresh. While some american IPA's could tire after a few, I could drink a bunch of this as the alcohol is not too high. I've had Sculpin and then having this I can see where Ballast Point get's it's inspiration from and that is citrus.

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Photo of prototypic
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Watch out for this one. The cap cracked very loud and a careful pour yielded at least four fingers of foamy, vanilla colored head. Carbonation is off the chain. Perhaps it should be renamed "Big Head IPA." It'd be more fitting. It features a lightly hazed orange stained amber color. The orange hue is very bright. Needless to say, the cap was extremely slow to recede. It's kind of annoying. Thick, wavy sheets of lace clung to the glass.

The nose is nice, but isn't stunning. It's very citrus heavy and features strong orange, grapefruit, and pineapple scents. A mix of caramel and pale malts is noted. But, they're clearly weaker than the citric hop aromas. There's a slight pine aspect to the hops, but they're primarily citric. Alcohol isn't noticeable at all. It's nice, but it falls a little short of elite for the style.

There's no doubt it's a very citrusy IPA. It's sweet and features a broad array of flavors. Primarily, there's orange and pineapple. Grapefruit seems to be buried in the back a little. It's the reverse of ideal, at least for my preference. Hops are nice and bitter with a slight resiny and piney flavor. Pale and caramel malts are noted, but don't interfere in any way with the intense hop flavor. Alcohol goes unnoticed. My bottle indicates abv is 7%. I was expecting at least a hint, but it's masked well. Nice bitter, dry finish.

Its body leans medium and suffers a little from overcarbonation. It's buzzy and distracting. Despite that problem, it's almost smooth. Drinkability is good. Big Eye IPA is a nice, easy drinking IPA. There's quite a few superior IPAs out there that I enjoy more, but this is a good choice nonetheless.

Ballast Point's got a pretty solid IPA with Big Eye. One thing's for sure, those guys at BP know how to brew extremely citrusy IPAs. Big Eye and Sculpin are easily two of the most citrus intense IPAs that have ever crossed this palate. Big Eye is good, but Sculpin is far superior. This one's way overcarbonated and isn't quite as appealing in the hop department. At least that's my take. But, it's more than a solid release and is well worth a purchase.

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

Poured from a 22 Oz bottle into a pint glass.

Purchased at Town and Country Liquors in Rancho Cucamonga

A: Rich copper color

S: Citrus and pine

T: Lots of hops here; pleasing bitter finish

M: Full, almost creamy

D: This is the third or fourth time I've brought this home. Definitely add this to my rotation when I can get it. Overall, a delightful IPA.

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A hazy copper, brown, peach color into my Unibroue tulip glass. Poured from a 22 oz bottle that I *stole* from Gary's Wine in NJ for $2.99. Can that be right?

Thin white head that subsides to razor thin head leaving an impressive and noteworthy lacing - a pattern to be proud of.

From the brewery web site...
American Centennial hops are used exclusively to bitter, flavor, finish, and dry hop the Big Eye. Its full hop flavor is guaranteed to please the palate of the true hop head.

Aroma has a full, fruity hop aroma with some malt sweetness. Very nice aroma from the Centennial hops.

Flavor comes across fine. Some acidity on the finish. Nice flavor from the hops. Very light toasty, toffee-like flavors of the malted barley (per the label description).

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

Thanks Steve for bringing this back from a recent Asheville trip. A nice IPA with some aggression that proves challenging.

The beer certianly looks the part with a solid copper color. As expected, this IPA showcases a lot of lacing left behind the stubborn head formation/retention.

The beer has a lot of fruitiness going on; part from the citrusy hops (grapefruit, orange zest) but also from the yeasty esters (oranges, appricots, apples). This makes for a nicely complex character that accompanies the maltiness in both the nose and taste.

The maltiness may not be as crisp and cracker-like as I like in the tasted and mouthfeel. It remains a touch sweet with caramelized, unattenuated malts. It doesn't kill the beer but it starts to give the impression of a Barleywine.

Though the malts are sweet and a bit weighted, the beer demonstrates the hop dominance that an IPA demands. Dry, citrusy, and a little grassy in the finish (dry hopping?). Perhaps they went a little nuts with the high-alpha acid hops, which give a bitey metalic note (maybe not the cream of the hop crop?) Still, bright and fresh from nose to finish.

The alcohols give a larger impression than the listed 7%. They begin to give an ethynol taste and bitterness that interfere with the crisp hop flavor from time to time.

I'd prefer a little drier and crisper in the finish, and with a more subtle alcohol impact. Otherwise the beer hit the marks on good IPA's.

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Photo of roan22
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The ABV on this beer is 7% according to the bottle... BA has it listed as 6%.

Pours an amber/orange color..typical of IPA style. Lacing and head is very nice..off white, pillowy head with big bubbles.

Aroma is huge..citrusy hop blast and intermingling caramel.

Taste is even bigger. a maltyness gives yield to puckery grapefruit blast of hops...then the pine resin aftertaste kicks in for a long time...also a nice numbing, severely bitter dryness on the tongue and finally a peppery note from the booze.

I really enjoy the mouthfeel of this beer but I am a hophead and I could see how it could be hard to drink for others.

Drinkability is affected a little by the sheer strength of this delicious ale. Can't drink a lot of these in a session. 3-4 is an enjoyable number for me at home.

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

Pour is not very foamy...almost no head, even with a more aggressive pour the second time. Pours a coppery almost rusty color. The beer leaves lacy rings all the way down the glass.

Smell is pretty darn good. Centennial hops are immediately evident. I can smell some balancing caramel malts and toffee in the background. Also notes of citrus and pine, balancing the centennial hops.

The taste is a big hop kick, with some toffee and caramel up front. The hops pretty much overwhelm this beer, but as you let it linger, the malts begin to come through and show a beer with a great bit of balance. The supporting hop undertones also come through, adding a twist and some more character to the drinking experience.

Despite the mellow pour, the body is nicely carbonated and the experience is enjoyable. Almost a sessionable IPA. I recommend it.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden/orange with a frothy white head and just a faint lacing.

Big, fresh citrus hop aroma wafts from the glass. Additional aromas of pine, citrus, and fresh grass.

A sweet caramel malt up front that is almost wiped out by the big hop flavors to follow. Also some sweet fruit, like apple, but also copper/borderline metallic, and again the pine/grass combo present in the aroma.

There is a pleasant chewy/liquid combination in this brew to accompany the generous carbonation and medium body.

The bottle does not lie, this is an intensely hopped brew, certainly one for the hop head, but the balance is just enough for all to enjoy.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle tried 20 Mar 2009. Courtesy of jtrockchalk, thanks!

Poured in Sierra Nevada pint glass. Large thick lacy beige head. Slightly carbonated. Clear burnt orange color. Aromas of orange blossoms and resin. Flavor is quite juicy, fruity sweet with strong resin. Pineapple bitterness. Finish is a bitter hop bite but the aftertaste is again a back and forth between juiciness and hop flavors. Medium light body, moderate alcohol.

Tasty, would definitely get this again.

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Photo of jlb307
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint from the tap.

A: Deep copper color, for the most part clear. Just a slight haze. Poured a nice thick off-white head which retained for a long time. Very sticky lacing on the glass.

S: Very strong hop and pine scent with just the slightest undertone of the alcohol content. Not to pungent, and actually had a semi-sweet note to it.

T: Very bold and well balanced with the hops and malt. Pleasantly bitter aftertaste which lingers for a while too. As it starts to warm, hops is all you taste.

M: Good feel, kind of chewy. Very smooth with a nice cool finish.

D: A very good tasty beer, I would gladly have this again.

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

3/11/09 Served in a pint glass

Appearance is a clear amber caramel color with a finger of head.

Smell is quite hoppy with a hint of caramel.

Taste is hoppy but well balanced. On the "dark" side of the hop spectrum with hints of citrus.

Mouthfeel is smooth and balanced.

Drinkability is excellent, almost too good for 7% ABV as shown on my bottle (although I have had 6% ABV bottles previously). Highly recommended, especially for hopheads.

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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 4,240 ratings.
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