Big Eye IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

1,106 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

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Reviews: 1,106 | Ratings: 4,258
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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Photo of NEhophead
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 fl oz brown bottle; served in a tumbler.

Pours a clean, neutral copper in color with noticeable carbonation. Densely foamy, white head that stands at least an inch high. The slowly receding rocky foam leaves thick, ringed lacing in it's wake.

Fresh, clean citrus; semi-sweet pear, melon, and apricot. Subtle hints of spice with a burnt, toasted malt. Warm whafts of alcohol within a faint mustiness.

Resin-filled floral hop spice with a slick hop oil character that soon follows. The alcohol flavor is a little hefty for the IPA's balance. Slick toasted malt base that adds a nice breadiness without the astringency. Notes of tropical fruit along with the sweet citrus, hop profile.

Medium in body; smooth with a malty slickness that is aided even more by the somewhat hefty alcohol presence.

A flavorful IPA with a few flaws regarding balance, but enjoyable and quite tasty. Flavorful enough that I would order another pint.

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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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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 4,258 ratings.
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