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Big Eye IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

1,092 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,092 | Ratings: 4,197
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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Photo of HalfFull
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a roomie(room temperature) pint glass. Pours a clear golden copper color, thin head but offers nice yet fleeting lacing through the entire glass.

Smells of earthen hops, rather welcoming. Wood, pine and peat without the sour, a hint of deep grapefruity citrus.

T/M - Decent bodied IPA with a moderately bitter flavor. Carbonation is mellow and enhances a nice malt finish, though perhaps a tad too rich. This brew grows on you.

Wish I had another...

Edit: 10/18/2009
I sense a recipe change here. I've heard this is no longer an all centennial hopped brew. Is something else afoot. A revisit shows a lighter color yet with richer lacing. A bit of a lighter malt sense though of similar ilk. Overall I sense this beer got a little 'San Diegoafied'. I've adjusted the nose down 1.0 and the taste 0.5 as a result. Not impressed with this move but will check back once more to seek some validation. 3/31/10 confirms with a decreased feel as well, bit too watery. Nose is more malt than hops. Light and pleasant but hardly IPA worthy. Flavor is thinner in body as well. Pleasant but just missing the passion. Label still notes 100% American grown Centennial in this beer..

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Photo of vtfan77
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice golden orange with a small white head that doesn't stick around long.

S- Hoppy as all get out. Citrusy and herbal hop oils dominate the aroma. This smells bitter.

T- Actually, not as bitter as I would have guessed based on the smell. It's slightly sweet at first, but it soon turns bitter as the hops overwhelm the malts. Still, a decent balance is struck between the cracker-like malt and the citrusy hops. The finish is bitter, but not overly.

M- Medium-bodied with a good level of carbonation.

D- Pretty good. The ABV isn't too high. I'd have a couple.

Enjoyable, if unspectacular IPA. This is one of those beers that tastes good and is well-made, but there's really nothing about it that makes it stand out. I wouldn't seek it out, but I could see myself buying some more if the mood struck me. Recommended.

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Photo of EStreet20
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber, 16 ounce shaker pint.

A - Clear golden color with a finger thick foamy near white head.

S - Big time citrus, grapefruity hop smell. Some earthy tones in there as well.

T - Taste is definitely hoppy, but also has a nice balance. A nice earthy flavor comes through with sweeter malts, all while allowing the citrusy hops to come to the forefront. A nice tea like finish/aftertaste cleans up in the end.

M - Fairly light bodied, but it really works here with lively carbonation.

D - No complaints here. Some nice hop flavors, nice hop bitterness, and a decent malt bill to back it. A nice IPA overall.

Notes: Always exciting to see another reknowned brewery hit NJ. This one is definitely for the hopheads, but is still nice and drinkable. Could be a nice quenching IPA for the summer months.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark golden-orange with a nice 2 finger topping of head. Incredibly sticky lacing, coating the glass.

S: Somewhat floral aromas, along with grapefruit and slight evergreen scents. A surprising caramel maltiness is almost tough to miss!

T: An herbal/citrus peel flavour, again featuring a notable maltiness that is quite nice.

M + D: Big and full, this is one you almost take a bite out of. In terms of alcohol, it's not a monster, but in terms of flavour, there's a punch. Nice to nurse this one for a while.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gold, crystal-clear honey/butterscotch body with semi-sparse carbonation rising to soapy, foamy dulce de leche-colored head with nice Florentine lacing.

Oh yeah - LOTS of floral and citrus (Grapefruit) hops in abundance. Sweet, oily malt is abundant in backbone.

The floral hops come up big with a bit of citrus but the caramel malt is much more abundant that with your typical standout hop bomb. Very viscous and enjoyable - sweet alcohol brings a kicker. Hops get more grassy with warmth.

Mouthfeel is a little more earthy than expected. Alcohol and carbonation tingle. A little astringency shows up, masking deep, grassy hop finish.

This is one of the good ones - a little heavy on malt and alcohol but borderline sessionable.

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

Bomber into my SA glass

A: copper with a nearly two finger off white head. nice lacing

S: aroma is citric, mostly oranges, but some grapefruit is in there as well. floral and faint pine

T: malt is quite pronounced, caramel. oranges, ripe pear. I'm also noting a roasted flavor

M: medium body with moderate carbonation. hoppy but not overly bitter. dryish

D: solid brew.

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Photo of far333
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear apricot colored with a bumpy and frothy off-white head. Streams of bubbles quickly rise up.

Bright and inviting aroma of big citrus and floral hops. Full and rich, but not overly sharp.

Flavor is not as hoppy initially as the aroma might suggest. Starts out with some malt sweetness, some cinnamon and toffee, but morpshs quickly to floral hops, then sweet citrus and finally to a piney bitter. No one flavor nuance overpowers the other, they move in and out fairly evenly. A grapefuit rind bitter lingers.

Full and round mouthfeel, finishes a bit dry, maybe a little tannic. Pretty drinkable, nice to have a hoppy beer that doesn't knock me down.

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Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at Mondiale 2008. Some citrus aroma and citrus taste. A good representative American IPA, but also another and similar American IPA. Lacey, after well drinking through its orangey coloured body.Some astringencey yet satisfying.Yet a beer I did not and would not seek out again.

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Photo of NolanGTI
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was really taken back by how good this beer was. First pint out of the keg it was ridiculously fresh. Poured nice and copper, 2 fingered head. Tons of lacing on the way down.

Smell was a nice mix of pine and citrus. Mouthfeel was very nice with an amazing blast of fresh fruity hop goodness. I could drink a lot of these. One of the better IPAs I have had in a long time.

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

Pours a clear amber with a creme head. Flavor is almost like a malty rye. Extremely smooth with a nice bite. Much different than some of those other San Diego Ales that blast your mouth with hop oil and flavors. Fairly full carbonation and a nice liquid feel. Very easy to drink. You could easily make this a regular in your lineup.

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Photo of nohead02
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark for an IPA and almost orange in color. Big foamy head and lots of bubbles rising to the top upon pouring. The aroma is slightly citrusy and not particularly big. This leads to a surprise because this is a powerful IPA that fills the mouth big time. I like hoppiness but would prefer a little more complexity over the fairly one-dimensional flavor of this stuff. If you don't like big Left Coast IPA's this isn't for you. Overall I liked it but will probably pick something else off the shelf next time I go for an IPA.

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Photo of illidurit
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pint glass. Standard copper color with a nice tan head that sticks around forever. Some good lacing too.

Candied pineapple aroma, along with a rather sugary maltiness. Tropical and alluring.

Flavor is of resinous citrus hops that blend seamlessly with the caramel maltiness. Bitterness is kind of low, which keeps this on the sweet, wemi-cloying side.

Body is chewy and sugary, with modest carbonation. Tastes and feels almost like a weak west coast barleywine overall.

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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,092 ratings.
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