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Big Eye IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

1,091 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: 1,091 | Ratings: 4,196
Photo of smcolw
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a neutral amber; crystal clear. Moderate sized (off white) head that dissipates slowly and leaves nice ring lace.

Very nice fresh hop aroma; slightly creamy, like frothed milk.

Initially, not overwhelmingly hoppy, although you would not mistake the style--just nice balance. Seems like they use crystal malt to give a strong base. Good body and carbonation. The finish is all bitter hop which lasts long after the swallow.

This is Ballast Point's best offering I've tried thus far. The beer is fresh, flavorful and easy to drink.

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

A - One solid finger of khaki cream forms above a cloudy russet-amber brew. The color calls to mind pumpkins and autumn leaves. The head dissipates quickly, leaving only a wispy haze, but it leaves behind some dusty dun colored lace on the glass. Swirling builds up a health head again, and this time it sticks around for a bit longer.

S - Wonderfully hoppy citrus aromas leap out at my nose! Mandarin orange, regular old orange, and apricot. I also smell some peach cobbler in this malty and fruity nose, and there is a slight hint of pine needles too. Wow.

T - As great as the nose is, I was expecting a bit more from the falvor, but it's still really great. The fruit is apparent here too, albeit with a ton more pine sap and maybe a hint of mint and anise. This is like eating peaches and grapefruit while picnicking in a pine forest.

M - Full bodied and slightly syrupy with a bit of prickle from the carbonation, this has the weight and feel of a DIPA, and the hops could almost put in that category if the ABV were a bit higher. The finish is grapefruit and pine, with a wondefully gritty and thick feel, like wet sand.

D - A great IPA, simply impressive really. I'm not a big fan of sessioning IPAs, but I do love a nice hop fix to sip on, and this is delivering pleasure in truckloads.

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

22oz. brown bottle

A: Nice reddish tint, mostly transparent, good creamy head with excellent retention and lacing.

S: Smells like a pine forest. Only one hop type is used (Centennial) according to the bottle, but that does not take away from the aroma at all. Some grapefruit and grass-like scents.

T: Another delicious west coast IPA. Plenty of hop taste and bitterness for you hopheads out there. Malty flavors try to make an appearance, but hops dominate.

M: Nice carbonation, lingering bitterness lasts for a while.

D: Excellent drinkability for hop lovers.

It seems like Double and Imperial IPAs are the big thing these days, but if you are looking for a solid traditional American IPA with loads of hops give Big Eye a try.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber color with a thin white head in my sam perfect pint. Aromas are good, not great for a west coast IPA. (I am addicted to the Green Flash IPA, as we have just got these two beers in MA- YEAH!) Decent aromas of piney hops. Beer is very drinkable- a nicely balanced IPA- you get the rush of hops but then the beer smoots out with some caramel or toffee malts. Then I get the bitter finish and aftertaste. A very good beer, not a hop bomb by any means.

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

22oz standard brown bottle, capped. Pours out a beautiful copper color with a solid white head that lasts and lasts. One of the best looking bottled beers I have seen in awhile.

Smell is lovely, pine and spice notes. Lots of sweet apple and malt coming through as well.

First thing I notice about the taste is how smooth it is. Rows and rows of flavors just keep coming at you. Beginning is piney and sweet giving way to some smokey notes. Finishes with tons of glorious bitterness that goes on and on. A solid 30-40 second aftertaste.

This is a wonderful beer. My first from Ballast but not my last. So full of layers of flavor yet retains is drinkability. Reminds me a lot of SN Celebration. Bravo Ballast Point!

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

Paid $4.49 for a bomber from BevMo in San Jose, CA. Poured into a pint glass to review for a second time about 14 months after my first review. The first bomber I reviewed was $3.69 from the same store. Looks like the moderately increased the prices. The ABV is 6% as noted on the bottle, not 7% as listed on this site.

Large head of about two inches. Head is off white in color and consistent of relatively large bubbles. Decent carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. Rather transparent light copper color. Excellent head retention and

Smells very clean of fresh hops. A nice balance between pine and citrus.

There is a malt backing in the taste that I did not originally detect in the nose. The hops still dominate this one, but don't stick out to me as being out of the ordinary.

Clean mouthfeel. Medium bodied. Medium finish of fresh hops. Well carbonated. Moderate oily feel. Quite drinkable.

Either my tastes have changed or last year's batch was better. Regardless this is a solid IPA and certainly fair priced.

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

Beer pours a pale amber color with a small white head.

Smells of piney hops and a little citrusy hops.

Taste up front is the piney hops mixed with a little citrus and sweet malts for balance. It leaves a nice hoppy aftertaste.

This beer is thicker than most IPAs and not quite as easy drinking as I'd prefer. It's still very tasty and worth trying several times.

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

Bomber poured into my new Short's 20oz. pint glass.

A - Frothy light tan head atop a medium-amber/orange body. Like Sculpin, big bubbles of carbon dioxide penetrate the head. Lacing.

S - Lemon and piney hops with a light caramel undertone. Maybe a touch of DMS, but nothing major. Smell's good, but not phenomenal.

T - This is well-balanced, leaning toward the malty side of things. Not much of a bitter finish. Taste's more of a hoppy ESB than an IPA.

M - Light body, light to medium carbonation, slick.

D - For me personally, the maltiness limits the drinkability for me. I probably wouldn't session this, nor would I go out of my way for it.

Notes: This is a nice try, both for tasting and the brewery, but not one I'd revisit again. It's not a bad IPA by any means, but it's also nothing I'm freaking out over. Sculpin > Big Eye.

EDIT: I had this a couple more times and enjoyed the hell out of it. I think the first bottle was a little old. Updated my scores accordingly.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright, pretty reddish amber color with no head to speak of. The nose is that of a big-time West Coast IPA -- lots of piney hops, with some grapefruit and some heat. On the palate, brisk bitterness from the get-go, which grows in intensity through the middle and into the finish, which has significant length. Aside from hop bitterness, you get some herbal notes that are hop derived and more than a little sweetness from the malts and alcohol. Mouthfeel is definitely rough around the edges, but it's also got some nice malt smoothness and, in a nice change for the style, not too much carbonation. Overall, this is a good IPA in the West Coast mold, with plenty of hops that take center stage. Well done.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle served in a shaker pint. Poured a clear dark gold with a thin fine bubbled white head. Fruity/piney hop aroma with some berry. Aggressive hop bitterness balanced with plenty of malt. Some caramel. Long dry hoppy finish. A really solid IPA.

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Photo of tayner
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle purchased yesterday.

Pours a crystal clear orange/copper color with a sticky bright white head that laces everything it touches.

Smell, from the moment i cracked the cap was floral, citrus, lemon-y hops. Smells very fresh and strong.

Taste is up front a floral/citrus bitter hop bite. In the mid palate there is a biscuit like malt character that tries to hold its own against the bitterness of the hops but just does not quite succeed. This one is a hop heads delight as it is, IMO, pretty unbalanced leaning toward the hops.

This one is a little heavier than a hoppy pale ale, which is to be expected, and it is a bit oily feeling in the mouth as well.

If you love hops, this will be more than drinkable for you. I finished the bomber, but i dont want another now, or for awhile. The bottle says it is made exclusively with american centennial hops, which i think, after having this bottle, may just be the type of hops that give me the worst heartburn LOL

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.31/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours into my glass very deep, somewhat hazy amber red. A healthy inch of creamy off white head on top that leaves sticky patches of lacing in its wake. Aromas are big on rich caramel and toffee malts. Floral, herbal, slightly citric hops are not far behind. Quite perfumy. There's somewhat of a biscuity quality here as well.

First sip brings a slightly sweet caramel/toffee malt body upfront. I get a touch of biscuit flavor in there as well. The floral, perfumy hops move in with a green, herbal tinge to them as well. Good bitterness follows and provides a nice respite from the sweetness. Finishes with lots of lingering caramel and toffee flavors, really too much for me in this instance.

Mouthfeel is creamy and medium bodied. Goes down smooth and is a pretty easy drinking IPA. Mellow carbonation throughout. Overall, this one seemed a little malt forward to me and the caramel/toffee was quite intense. Not something I would actively seek out but I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it. Thanks to Overlord for tossing this one my way.

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Photo of dza360
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

very nice IPA..

Appearance: on the darker side for an IPA, a golden amber with a white to off white head that left good lacing.

Smell: I spent a long time taking this one in, lots of floral notes, very aromatic

Taste: everything you love in an IPA, hopps come on strong, a little more on the piney side, with some grapefruit.

Moutfeel: Nothing to complain about here, solid, a little thick compared to other IPAs.

drinkability: Wow... this says 6.00%, but I think that might be a bit of an understatement. Still nice and jolly after the beer, makes me want another.

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Photo of medic25
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first experience with a Ballast Point offering. Pours a clear copper color, with a huge frothy white head that lingers nicely, giving a little bit of a mustache on the first sip. Clean hoppy aroma. Taste is a nice piney hop offering, without being overpowering. Good hints of citrus, and a touch of malt. Very clean drinking beer; great example of the style.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty good looking although somewhat thin at times copper colour with a mid-sized, foamy head that leaves thick rings on the glass.

The aroma is hoppy, dirty, oily. There's a good amount of citrus here that blends fairly evenly with an overall earthiness that leads to some bread like qualities as well.

The flavour is more of the same, although perhaps a bit more tame than the aroma would lead on. Hops certainly dominate once again, with citrus blending equally with the earth notes. What stands out here is the bread flavour that sneaks through more noticeably at the finish of each sip, where it meets a bit of caramel sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with some pop to it and a bit of slickness as well.

This is just a solid all around beer. It's big but not over the top in any way and hits the mark just right for a standard American IPA. I'm certainly curious to try their other offerings, and Ballast Point seems to be a nice addition to the New Jersey market. Definitely try this one.

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Photo of ncvbc
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber, steady carbonation and a medium white head leaving stick rings of carbonation down the glass. Smell is lighter on the hops compared to Sculpin but very well balanced. Big fresh hops up front, mostly citrus with a sense of pine in there and floral hints. A nice bready malt with some caramel to it. Taste is a good balancing act of hops and malt. The hops come out on the winning end as they should but the malts put up a good fight. What am I talking about, they're working together, right? Kind of sticky to the tongue and bitter mouthfeel with the slightest dry finish. Very nice stuff. Overall good drinkability on this one. A top notch regular IPA. Doesn't stand out too much in any regard but a go-to in my book.

Thanks to seaoflament for the extra!

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Photo of jwc215
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours amber with a thick white head that descends to a thin creamy cover, leaving lacing on the glass.

The smell is of floral and citric rush on the nose - gotta love those Centennial hops! Very aggressive with toffeeish notes way in the back.

The taste is - well...not that's an IPA! Juicy, bitter citric and floral hops tied together with a sweet toffee maltiness. Very nice use of a single hop - Centennial - no complaints here! Finishes with a well-controlled bitterness.

Full-side of medium-bodied and creamy with a lingering aftertaste of tangerine.

If I could drink this all day I'd be a happy man!

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Photo of quad07
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I paid $4.99 for a 22oz brown bottle/bomber with a pry off cap from Friar Tuck. No bottled date. 7%ABV.

This brew poured into my 23oz beer glass a burned orange amber color producing very little head that appeared an off white color with very tight little bubbles. This was a vigorous pour too. There was some nice lacing clinging to the glass as I drank it.

I could smell green hops up front with some citrus overtones and yeast. It smelled a little fruity too.

The first thing I noticed after tasting it was grapefruit and some floral hops with a mild green bitter after taste. As it started to warm caramel, toffee and some bananas were coming through. Bitter sweet!

It had some carbonation feel on the tongue and a heavy/thick moth feel with a crisp finish. Not a strong alcohol presence at all.

I could easily drink two of these but one was nice with my lunch.


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Photo of gmfessen
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a beautiful orange-red color with a two finger, frothy off-white head. The smell is a wonderful perfume of American hops. Lots of citrus present; lemons, oranges, grapefruit and pineapple all come to mind, also some grassy pine. The taste is a floral bouquet of hops, balanced nicely with a biscuity, slightly toasted malts. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a silky smooth carbonation. Overall, this is an excellent IPA, not overboard on hops but satisfying and drinkable.

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

It pours a very clear coppery orange, almost like cognac. Two fingers of light beige head dwindle gradually. Splatters of lacing sparkle the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, the hops rule but don't overstate, with pine, citrus, more specific orange and lemon, and a backing of light floral perfume. A touch of caramel malt just manages to poke through.

Upon tasting, the malt is well more out front, with caramel, some mild sweetness, and a fetching note of baked biscuit. The hops are nicely crisp and mitigate with resiny pine, mandarin orange, and crisp, pulpy grapefruit. Residual grain is again slightly crusty and toasted. The finish is aptly bitter, crisp, clean, and dry, lingering just long enough. It's a well-balanced blend of good IPA flavor.

Medium bodied, it flows right and leaves a crisp, clean glow behind for the effort.

This is an instance when balance and easy blending outweigh in-your-face hops blasts. Sure, the hops assert, but they do so tastefully and with due respect for the able malt. The crisp, clean persona makes it enjoyable and drinkable. It's easy to like, and not all beers can make such a claim. Now that Ballast Point is here, I'm looking forward to whatever I might sample next.

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

on an easy pour the head roars forth from the bottle quickly stacking up into a full 3 fingers of head, as time passes the head dissipates into larger bubbles slowly retreating toward the brew itself. the color dances somwhere 'tween orange and amber, well carbonated, clean/consistent looking.. she's a looker (now let's see what's under the skirt)

piney fresh hops tempt the olfactory sense, the sweetness of the malt is just barely peeking through, IPA? yep... American-ized... for shizzle...

taste etc...
nice mouth feel.. right on, medium bodied all the way through, pretty high on the bitterness scale but not over powering for this hop lovin' fool, the malt does come through allowing this to not just be hops.. but let's face it, hops are the key. The centennial hops have a touch more "brown" flavor to them than some of the other high alpha hops we find running a muck these days, something about this hop becomes a bit distracting as I get further in...

tasty. a good AIPA with better marks in certain categories, not worth pawning off grandma's dentures but worth checking it out if available locally

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Photo of jaxon53
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally, Ballast Point comes to the Nutmeg State. Served this one chilled, in a pint glass, from a twelve ounce brown bottle.

Appearance: Pours out a beautiful copper amber color, that is crystal clear. A somewhat hard pour yields about a finger of fluffy white head. Head faded rather quickly into a thin white gob. Some thin, white, clingy lace was left behind.

Smell: Nose starts out with a moderate blast of hops. Nice orange juice and lemon zest aromas. Grassy with a bit of yeast and a slight touch of tobacco. A massive maltiness finishes the nose nicely.

Taste: A nice hoppy bitterness up front, very herbal like. Some faint grapefruit and orange peel. Has a flowery, grassy flavor. A nice thick maltiness sweetens this up a bit, and balances it almost perfectly. Finishes dry with a bit more of the hops. Definitely has that West Coast flavor to it.

Mouthfeel: Has a pleasant medium bodied mouthfeel to it. Very crisp and clean. Perfectly carbonated.

Drinkability: Awesome drinkability. Very refreshing. A great IPA overall. I can't wait to try more Ballast Point brews.

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

22 ounce bomber, no freshness dating offered. Great to see this fine S.D. beer available on the east coast. Pours almond/orangy amber, clear under an off white tiny bubble head, that leaves great looking fine sheeting/lacing. The unmistakable freshness of the hopped laden nose, brings back those lazy days on the left coast, yum. Way Citric, piney, resiny, hop lovers will love this one. Not over poweringly crunching (Ruinationlike) but 'SD" style all the way. Smooth, flavorful, high quality. Welcome to the neighborhood.

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

A: Poured a clear, beautiful tangerine orange with a 1 finger creamy, light beige head that was moderately lasting leaving a fair lacing behind. Visible carbonation was very soft.

S: fresh citrus and grapefruit.

T: The initial flavor was sweet and dry with pine/citrus and a dry caramel woodiness. There were some dry oranges and a sharp, pronounced hoppiness in the finish providing a very nice subtle fade of floral. The bitterness was very smooth with slight sweet caramel and grapefruit hints in the finish.

M: medium with a nice dry floral bitterness that was left on the tongue along with some dry sour oranges and sticky pine.

D: Very drinkable, very nice and an great example per style and one you could easily enjoy all night with no complaints.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a brownish-amber color with a creamy off-white head with decent lacing.

Smell: Piney hops and very sharp grapefruit aroma.

Taste: Malt background with astringent pine and grapefruit. Really sharp finish with a somewhat odd bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Somewhat smooth.

Drinkability: The taste really tires me out.

I'm personally not to keen on this beer. I don't like the extremely astringent grapefruit taste in this American IPA.

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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,091 ratings.
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