Big Eye IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

1,104 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: 1,104 | Ratings: 4,249
Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow, my friend said this was real good, but this is real good. definitely this is exceeding my already high expectations. poured into a nonic, this is a glowing orangey light amber with just a teeny slight haze and no sediment. creamy white head persists to a collar and the lacing clings down the glass. as the label suggests, the aroma is floral and citrusy with resined, honeyed characteristics to boot. the toffee flavors noted on the label are, thankfully for me, not noted. there is, however, a nice honeyed/bread dough malt sweetness washed out by a prominent and lingering, but not harsh or astringent, hop bitterness. really nice. nicely carbonated, creamy and prickly mouthfeel. medium to full in body, this one almost smells/tastes/feels like a DIPA-but it's only 6%! to sum up, this was/is some really good fucking shit.

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

Bronze colored beer with a wispy head of foam that lasts well. Very nice hop aroma that gives notions of spruce, pine, lemon, hop oil....It's pure and quite nice. Flavor is super hoppy. Big on flavor hops, but light on bitterness, not in a bad way. Woody hoppiness, with well structured notes of lemon, grapefruit, spruce and pine. Really nice beer. Beautifully hoppy and impressive. Up there with some of the best SoCal IPA's.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Copper color with thick three finger foamy head after very non-agressive pour. Head slowly fades leaving foam all over the glass.

S - Phenomenal aroma of citrusy and piney hops, primarily the citrus. Hints of grapefruit and something slightly more tropical.

T - Taste is actually a little dissapointing after the awesome smell. A little sweet up front before a mildly astringent citrusy hop bite comes through. Very strong hop taste, but not a very clean hop taste.

M/D - Medium to full bodied and slightly too much carbonation. A decent IPA but a little bit of a let down after all the hype and the great smells.

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

Received from AndySR15. Thanks Andy.

Big Eye pours a nice rustic amber color with a good sized and slightly off-white head on it. It left spotty lacing on my pint glass. The smell is packed full citrus fruits with notes of oranges, tangerines, and lemon peel. There is some slight caramel notes coming out of the malt as well, but not well pronounced. I don't think I am giving the nose justice there, but this is complex and wonderful nose on this IPA. The scents leads right into the flavor profile with the bitter hops upfront flooding with flavors of grapefruit, pine needles, lemon zest, and finally the caramel soaked bready malt comes out in the finish. The flavors meld very well together and create a unique and balanced IPA for a hop-lover. I would think a non IPA drinker would find this offering quite harsh though, but not me. The mouthfeel has plenty of carbonation for this medium bodied beer that leaves no detectable alcohol in the finish. The drinkability for a hop lover is excellent and would also be quite session able at only six percent.

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

Pours a slightly hazy orange/gold/copper color with a decent, off white head that retains very well. Smells juicy, citrusy, tropical, malty caramel, ...smells delicious. Taste is also very impressive. Tropical notes, grapefruit, caramel up front and is quickly taken over by a HUGE bite of bitterness that maintains control. Very dry, astringent finish. Medium bodied, good carbonation. This beer is crazy bitter. Wow. Very enjoyable and pretty drinkable if you dont mind your taste buds being fried.

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

Quite a peachy-amber color, hazy too. A modest off-white pillow-like head tops it off. A most peculiar aroma of fruity seafood. The hops I mean. They have some citrus, some orchard fruit, and this slight whiff of fresh seafood. Maybe it's the fish on the label. These smells continue on the flavor with the addition of sweet malts. Soft medium body. Hoppy marmalade on the finish. The finish leads back to the start. I like it.

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

12oz bottle serveed onto a nonic glass poured with a generous very creamy off-white head slowly fades to a thick pillowy layer leaving thick rings of lace down the glass.

Strong carmelled aromas with some burnt notes. Strong hop aromas as well with resinous pine and citrus.

Tastes as it smells no suprizes here. Well balanced with a strong resiny pine finish and a touch of a heat feel.

Suprizingly drinkable very creamy and leaving a nice sticky hop coating of the roof of the mouth. Very intense ipa,could easily pass for a double. stronger than a lot the the doubles i've tried.

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

This is a very aggressive beer for you hop-heads.
Poured from a bottle into a goblet. Aroma is immediate hops hops hops. Pine and citrus complete the intense aroma. Pours very rich copper with a substancial orange head that leaves lacing to the bottem of the glass. Head holds up fairly well. Flavor is strong bitter hops up front balanced out by citrus and some malt in the middle and leaving a definate pine resin in the end with just a touch of alcohol to warm the throat. Bitterness lingers. In the mouth the tongue is coated with the pine resin which takes away slightly from drinkability for me but for west coast IPA lovers this would be plus. The flavors do blend nicely in the mouth. At 6% alcohol a bit lower than some IPA's which would make this a good choice to enjoy more than one.

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

Thanks to mrkrispy for tossing this one my way.

Pours a reddish orange with a one-finger creamy light tan head that fades slowly to a thin cap and leaves spotty lacing.

Smell is earthy floral hops and citrus fruit (orange peel and grapefruit) with some resinous pine notes.

Taste starts with some bitter floral hops and grapefruit flavor that is quickly balanced by some biscuity malts and sweet toffee. It finishes bitter with some pine and more grapefruit flavor, and some warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and creamy.

Pretty good drinkability, but I wish the ABV was just a tad lower to make this one a little bit more sessionable. I could easily see myself trying to knock back a sixer of these.

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

Purchased a bottle at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Reddish copper hue. Brilliant clarity. Not much head. Sticky lacing.

S: Strong citrus grapefruit aroma. Good malty aroma that is sweet and sugary. Hop aroma is slightly resiny. Some perfume/floral character from the hops.

T: Biting grapefruit flavor is very strong and long lasting with a bitter aftertaste. Clean and sweet malty base. I would say the bitterness in this beer borders on harsh.

MF: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Dry mouthfeel.

D: A fitting West Coast IPA full of grapefruit flavored hop character. Due to its bitterness I did not find it particularly drinkable.

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

I finaly got to try this beer after drooling over it and could never find a variety case of it.

Pours a copper color with a small white head.The color turns to a burnt orange with no head.Nice lacing left on my glass.

Piney hops is pretty much all you smell.

Very tasty,piney hops lead to piney bitterness.I dont taste any other type of hop presence.

Perfect carbonation.Taste perfect.This is a sipper and savorer.

Great ipa and beer in general.I will check this stuff out again soon.

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Photo of Seanibus
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is a noble effort, but comes off a bit out of balance - slightly syrupy and sickly sweet, more like a run-of-the-mill double IPA.

Pours a hazy golden with a lively head and excellent lacing. The aroma is great - grainy and hoppy. You can smell this beer coming from some distance.

Unfortunately, the flavor is a relative disappointment. It has plenty of citrusy hop character, but the overall effect is too sweet and sticky, too malty, as if the brewer were struggling to tame the hops with an artless blast of malt. The flavor is toffee-like and carmel-ish, but with a hint of burn on it. There is a good dose of hop bitterness on the back end, but it takes a while to develop and is masked by the syrupy character of the malt.

The mouth feel is strong and smooth, with a bite of carbonation on the front of the tongue.

Overall, this beer is a disappointment. It isn't bad, but judged against its competitors, particularly its fellow San Diego brew, Green Flash's West Coast IPA, Big Eye clearly shows its flaws. This is not a beer I will be coming back to.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very impressive looking IPA, deep orange-red tinted amber color. Bright and crisp looking.

The fruity hops is obvious right off, red and dark berries, slightly sweet with a citric edge in the hops. The malt is also very pungent with a sweet but toastie effect.

The hop dominated flavor is very complex. Red, dark fruits hits first, only semi-bitter, much more fruity and citric than herbal. There is an herbal, and earthy flavor but it's in the back ground. The balance of tastey, buttery and slightly sweet malt is a real treat. This one is crisp with a bite and smooth going down.

a very nice IPA.

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

Served on tap at Shady McGrady's in Harrisburg, PA.

A: The ale is an amber color, lighter towards the golden orange end of the spectrum. A finger plus of head blankets the top of the ale.

S: The aroma is thick with citrusy hops and caramel malts. The hoppiness is grapefruit with touches of pepper and flowers.

T: Lots of hops, citrusy goodness, defines the beer. Grapefruit and floral sweetness defines the first few sips. As the hoppiness fades, caramel malts in the backbone arrive to save the day and keep the whole thing together. The hop bitterness' absence is fleeting and it quickly returns to see the ale away.

M: The ale is much better on tap than in a bottle. I had written it off before grabbing this pint. A mouth full of monster hops.

D: The moderate alcohol and full hoppy flavor are big winners. I was underwhelmed by the bottle but on-tap it really works.

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Photo of gford217
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, deep amber with a big dense two-finger head, much of which hangs around for the duration. Lacing is extremely nice. This is a fine looking IPA.

S: Smell is big floral and citrus hops up front with grapefruit, oranges and a hint of pine resins at the end. The hops are complimented nicely in the aroma with a sweet malt backbone.

T: The taste is a floral hop bitterness up front giving way to the sweet caramel malts in the middle before the pine hops come back for a bitter finish.

M: Mouthfeel is medium to full with high carbonation and just a tad sticky with pine hops lingering on the palate.

D: The pronounced malt presence makes for a very balance and dirinkable IPA. Not quite in the same class as the Sculpin, but I really enjoyed this one.

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

This is a tasty IPA. Pours a clear orange color with a good size white head. Head retention is good and leaves thick lacing on the glass. Good strong IPA aroma - hops and grapefruit.

Some hint of citrus pine and even floral hops. I know this was made with just one type of hops, but there is some variety in the flavor. This one does not hit you over the head with bitterness (not that there's anything wrong with that). It is balanced enough for others besides hop heads to enjoy

Mouthfeel is rich. Drinkability is excellent. Lower than many IPAs in ABV, but packs a strong flavor and aroma.

I enjoyed this one!!

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

Shinny reddish copper, excellent clarity, topped by two fingers of fuzzy white level foam. Fuzzy lace.

Assertive pine aroma and citrus background. Inviting and enticing.

Peasantly solid toffee malt start lays a strong foundation. Burst of juicy fruit before big hop bite at the swallow. Pleasant bitterness lingers on and on.

Medium-plus mouthfeel coats the tongue and fills the throat.

Good drinkability, though one bomber at a time will suffice. The long lingering bitterness makes this a good evening finisher.

Another tasty IPA from down San Diego way (RIP Phantom).

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Photo of trackstar1043
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a hazing and heavy golden orange, with a massive 2 in rocky off white head that left extensive lacing thoughout.

S - Robust wild aroma of fresh strong hops, pine, a citrus kick. Very earthy and envirograting aromas.

T - Just as big and sharp as the nose, the wild flavors of bitter hops, evergreen pine and sweet citrus with a creamy finish is a fantastic.

M - Med bodied with a creamy finish, a bit untamed on the palate.

D - Great IPA a bit earthy for an everday beer but a great beer.

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

Poured a slightly hazy yellow-amber with a nice head that fell to a thin cap. Some lacing on the glass.
This seemed to have more orange rind than grapefruit, but both were present. Hints of pine and grass. Some honey/caramel malty sweetness.
Orange rind again seemed to be the dominant flavor with the hints of grapefruit, pine, and grass. Not as malty as the Racer 5 I had before this, but the malts do make themselves fairly evident. More honey than caramel, but both were appreciated.
Good medium-dry mouthfeel. The sweetness doesn't hang around and the hops weren't so resiny as to coat the mouth.
Lower ABV helps make this very drinkable. Good flavors also keep you interested.
A good, balanced West Coast IPA. I'm glad to see West Coast breweries starting to care about their malt profiles as a compliment to the hops.

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Photo of buffettfan
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured with a nice light, off white, thick head. Nice looking beer in a reguler pub pint glass.
Smell was dominated by hops, and then some cirtus.
Tasted of mostly citrus, some bready notes. Well balenced, tons of hops! Loved it.
A nice drinkable, after dinner beer.

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

Appearance: Amber in color with perfect clarity in the usual Ballast Point fashion. A two finger head slowly settles into a half-inch cap.

Smell: A huge aroma of centennial hops - citrus and pine in equal portions. Unmistakable as I just brewed with them this week.

Taste & mouthfeel: So damn hoppy and flavorful, it's like chewing on a hop flower (minus the palate-wrecking bitterness). The bone-dry malt profile really brings out the citrus flavor in the hops. The body is light and the crisp dryness is remarkable; I wish every IPA was like this. Bitterness in the finish is moderate but not enough to overpower the actual hop flavor, which lingers on the palate long after the glass has emptied.

Drinkability: I had to slow myself down while drinking this one.

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Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an orange/amber color with a small, fizzy, off-white head that left some lace.

S - Citrus is the dominant aroma with some floral and grassy notes.

T - Nice balance of hop bitterness and sweet, biscuity, malt.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good IPA. The balance of flavors is outstanding.

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

Poured from a fresh bottle into a standard pint glass. This is my second review of this beer, the first being from tap.

A: A deep amber orange color with a nice deep off white head. Minimal glass lacing.

S: Deep earthy hops with pine, flowers and some citrus with a bready biscuity malt sweetness. Much more going on here nose wise than the tap version.

T: Again, the taste is significantly different than the tap version. Tastes of hops upfront, but more flavors of earth, floral, pine than the citrus. The tap was just the opposite, more citrus flavor. Also in the bottle the malt is much more noticable with a much stronger sweetness of caramel, toffee biscuity bready flavors. As I said earlier, a much more overall earthy flavor than on tap.

M: Meduim mouthfeel as the beer is still very creamy and smooth. No real noticable alcohol flavors.

D: High. These taste great and are very enjoyable.

Overall another beer that tastes significantly different than from the tap. The tap has a much more citrus fresh hops presence with the bottle showing much more earth tones. Still, both are delicous but no doubt I prefer the tap version.

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

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. 7% ABV. No freshness date.

Appearance: Copper-colored with some yellow and / or amber depending on the light. A lot of nice and sticky lacing after the head dissipates, with less and less bubbles slowing toward the top as time goes on.

Smell: Grapefruit rind bitter hops and mild citrus, along with earthy and dark bread aromas, mild caramel and toffee and roasted, darker malt sweetness. A nice balance between the two.

Taste: Initial grapefruit rind bitterness from the hops, which quickly sinks into some citrus sourness, visceral earthiness, and darker malt flavors, slightly burned and roasted, and more than many brews from the style like to give, meaning the malts seem to take a heavy place in the richness here too. Fairly singular in that sense. Finish is semi-dry, with earthiness, and hop bitterness and sourness into some mild roasted and sweeter malt flavors, maybe some light chocolate and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Lighter to medium-bodied, and seems a bit watery at first before the carbonation kicks in.

Drinkability: A solid IPA, and I'm glad I bought a 6-pack. I'd never had anything by nor heard of this brewery before I bought this, but I'm looking forward to hopefully trying some more of their beers in the future.

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Photo of tmitch75
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another one I picked up in Tahoe. Nice clear orange color with a huge fluffy head.

Oily piney hop smell dominates. My nose tells me that my hop jones will soon be addressed...

Resinous piney hop flavor with a bit of a floral note too. Hops hops hops baby. A bit of sweet malt too, but I wasn't looking for balance today.

Good medium body.

Awesome. My hop jones is satiated, at least temporarily. I really wish this stuff was available in IL, I have tried a couple of other beers from Ballast Point and they have all been fantastic.

Tasted on 5/1/08.

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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 4,249 ratings.
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