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

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Reviews: 1,104 | Ratings: 4,250
Photo of climax
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours an amber orange with a large tan head. The retention is pretty good and the lace very good.

Big Eye is Ballast's more robust IPA, boasting 85 IBU's. The aroma doesn't necessarily portray that upon first impression. It's comprised of a large sweet citrus profile with an assertive caramel malt background. Bready pizza crust, sweeter butterscotch and caramel distracted me from the hop bill. Ripe grapes and some astringency follow up as well.

The malt in this beer has a good roasted yet sweet presence. It may be a big too big though IMO, and takes away from what this one was aimed at, the hops. Caramel and butterscotch flavors really keep this one on the sweet side. However, that flavor begins to shift as the bitter finish takes over. The passion fruit, pine, and soapy aftertaste is where the hops begin to pop.

The body is bold, and carries a nice soft thickness. The carbonation is on the mild side, but ample. I that helps bring out the viscous feel.

It really is a refreshing beer, with such a sweet and juicy flavor. Being a 7% IPA, it could have definitely taken me longer to finish, so Big Eye has got that on it's side. A good beer for sure, just not an awesome 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 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 tmm313
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Clear orange in color. Poured a quickly dissipating, creamy 1 finger head. Pretty good soapy lacing.
S- Bitter grapefruit, rich toffee, pine. There's something funky in there I can't find a name for. Is this the “cat piss” I've read about?
T- Bitter grapefruit and pine over a subdued malt backbone. Slight wave of sour before a big, bitter finish. There's a little peppery spice, too.
M- Medium light body. Smooth and oily with medium carbonation.
O- I bought this because of my high regard for Sculpin. To me, it didn't come close to the same quality. It was pretty good, just not something I can picture myself drinking again.

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle without freshness or bottle date into standard pint glass.

L: Slightly hazy copper color with thick two finger off-white head that recedes slowly into a fluffy blanket under a finger thick. Great lacing.

S: Citrus, pine and floral hops with a good malt backbone.

T: Citrus and pine hops at the forefront with a hint of floral. Good fruitiness to this beer. Toasted biscuits and caramel in the malt range that has to fight a little to be shown.

F: Medium body, prickly carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

O: A really solid beer overall and another job well done by Ballast Point.

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Photo of DaveJanssen
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a 22 two ways, poured into globe glasses. Reviewed 11/27/2009.

Ar: strong citrus, grapefruit, orange, pine, delicious, very resinous, lightly toasty/nutty, light earth, light vegetative, floral, I've smelled this before...

Ap: Clear light coppy, medium head, off white/light tan, fair retention, light lacing

T: Spicy citrus, floral, pine, resin, strong hop resin, nice floral/citrus mix, orange, toasty malt, clean, light caramel, good malt presence, spicy hops, light grassy, herbal, light lemony/lemongrass character but not obtrusive, vegetative, light celery aftertaste, light alcohol

M: Mouth coating resin, medium body, medium carbonation, too vegetative, alc in finish, light bitter burn

O: i like the hop character a lot, great floral/citrus resin, tastes fresh, rather vegetative, rougher with wamrth

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Photo of ManekiNeko
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to eyechartbrew for the gifty-poo. Bomber served chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Orange honey topped by a yellowish, rocky, and frothy head. Crystal clear. Head receded to a small layer and not much lacing was left on the glass.

Smell: Grapefruit citrus hops with a good dose of pine. Very zesty and fragrant. Hints of caramel malts.

Taste: Caramelized malts in not quite harmony with piney coniferous hops. Nutty notes here and there. Overall, pleasant, but not wowing.

Mouthfeel: Mildly oily, medium bodied beer. Lingering hop bitterness, but not scraping your tongue.

Drinkability: When you make an IPA in SD, best make it hoppy. This is certainly and enjoyable and well made beer, but I can see why ecb thinks this brewery/beer gets overlooked when you consider what else is available in the immediate area. I'd probably pick it up occasionally if I lived in the region.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Bert's
Pours a mostly clear deep golden color with a huge bubbly off white head. Solid toffee and bready caramel maltiness with plenty of earthy pine and hints of citrus. Solid old school IPA.

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Photo of ZAP
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Greeted with a strong but not overwhelming citrus aroma of oranges and tangerines. But just as impressive is the obvious toasted maltiness.

Taste is different than what I expected....not much of the juicy citrus...just more of a sharp piney bitterness...also the malt is hardly noticable on the taste.

Body is medium...reallly a dry finish to this...

Nice enough....aroma is top notch...the rest is fine but not memorable. Would purchase again but would not seek.

As I settle into this beer the malt re-enters with a toffeeish flavor...all in all a nice I finish it, it feels more english ipa than west coast

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Photo of FishGetter
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep orange-copper color with a thin frothy head. Slight haze. Nice lacing left on glass.
Very fregrant floral citrus tones, some biscut aroma too, sweet malt undertones.
Sweet malted barley flavors first hit the taste buds, soon to follow is a smooth citrus hop sensation, not too spicy. Slight orange peel finish that disapated quickly leaving the mouth clean. Maybe a little dryness at the end.
A little on the thick side for mouthfeel, seems to be an abundance of carbination doesn't help to thin mouthfeel out.
Overall a competitve offering here. Mouthfeel was a bit of a head scratcher, but regardless was a smooth drink

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange color with a medium rocky off-white head that has fair retention. Large spots of lacing on the glass. Buttery hops aroma with hints of grass and cedar. Medium body with flavors of hops, sweet caramel malt and fruit. Dry, hoppy finish with a lingering buttery aftertaste. Unique and interesting overall.

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

A - Pours rich gold with thick creamy head. Lots of lacing adorn the side of the glass as the head subsides.

S - Lots of citrus in the nose, lemon peel, tart apple, citronella candle

T - Crisp tartness slaps you in the tastebuds. A Hint of caramel sweetness follows. Alot of orange pith on the back of the tongue, with the tart apple closing before the swallow

M - Nice refreshing carbonation, not as creamy as the head wants you to believe.

O - Great beer, the citronella candle thing is kinda confusing. It comes into play in the aroma and also in the taste. Not unpleasant. Definitely work seeking out.

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

I picked up a bottle of Ballast Point's Big Eye IPA for $1.89 at The Lager Mill. I've been wanting to try this beer for a while, so lets see how it goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks good, it goes great with the name and it's eye catching. It poured a fairly clear amber color which took on more of an amber color when held to the light with a little over half a fingers worth of bubbly off white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed til the end and it left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness with some fruity hops being the first to show up and they impart a nice citrus and juicy aroma with a little bit of floral hops showing up in the background. Up next comes the malts which impart some pale malts and sweet malt aromas with the sweet malts sticking out the most. This beer has a pretty nice aroma, but it's a little too sweet.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but not as sweet and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of sweetness with the hops being the first to show up and this time they impart more of a floral aspect with citrus rinds showing up in the back ground. Up next comes some doughy yeast followed by the malts which impart some sweet malt aromas with some pale malts showing up towards the end along with a slightly higher amount of medium bitterness with a floral and citrus rind hop aftertaste. This is a pretty nice tasting beer, but I wish the hop profile was as fruity as it was in the aroma.

M- Smooth, a little crisp, a little clean, medium bodied with medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is nice and it works well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and I thought it was an above average example of the style, it was true to style, but it was still just a little rough around the edges. This beer had nice drinkability, I think a couple would be my limit, it might start to wear on me after that. What I like the most about this beer, that it's just nice and true to style IPA. What I like the least about this beer is that the fruity hops didn't carry over from the aroma to the taste. I might buy this beer again when in the mood for an IPA and I wouldn't turn it down. I would recommend it as a solid IPA. All in all I was happy with this beer. Good job guys, this is a tasty IPA.

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

bottle to HFS sniffer

A: Golden to brown honey colored with some thin white head that leaves a thick white lacing. It is almost completely clear translucent as much as an ipa can be.

S: There are definitely hops in there, but there seems to be a lot more mal then i expected comparing this to the scalpen this is much less balanced smelling as the sweetness of the malt is much more powerful and the dominant smell in this case.

T: follows the nose in terms of the malt the taste is almost completely malt dominant not what I was I what expecting at all as I always look for hops in a IPA and here they are almost non existent with a little bit of bitterness in the finish though other then that nothing there. i really do not think I will ever understand the malt forward ipa. it really isn't that bad just not to style in my opinion at all.

M:The feel is really oily to the point were it almost slides down your throat, but smooth is not a word that I would use to describe it. There is a little carbonation but not much as well as a little bit of resin but not enough to hang around to complement the bitterness.

O: This is a decent malt forward ipa, I hate malt forward IPAs that being said I did not hate this beer but it definitely was not my favorite. If malty ipas are your thing then give it a try but if you have some dick throw in two big eye's in your scalapen six pack without you noticing before you got home you have the right to be pissed off.

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3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Carlos for this brew.

Pours to a hazy prange amber body with a fuzzy off white head with full bubbles that last a couple of minutes. Leaves nice lace as it fades. Nose has a lot going on with notes of pine, dill, citrus, and peppery spice. Enters the mouth and really wakes up the taste buds with a shrill sour bitter that is initial but calms down quickly to a mild long bitter richness. The mouthfeel is a nice fullness comprissed of dry malt and nippy earthy bitter feel. Solid drinkable IPA with a consistant hop presence throughout.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear copper with one finger head. Aroma is a nice grapefruit pine. Very nice. More malt flavor than expected. A sweet soapy flavor taste along with some dried apricots, something a bit muddled going on here in the taste. Dry finish with medium light yet slick mouthfeel. Clean apricot finish. Somewhat unique flavor profile. Not bad but not really what I was expecting after loving Sculpin.

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Photo of russpowell
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bombers pours an effervescent amber with 2 fingers of sand colored head. Great lacing & good head retention. good looking IPA

S: Oily, piney & orange hops, plus breadyness. I get floral hops later & they are really really the only scent that persists throughout

T: Leafy hops by the bunches, some grapefruit hops too & bit of breadyness up front. Some honey malt, piney hops & more leafy hops as this warms. Finishes with a touch of honey malt, then more leafy & tobacco hops (too much) & some grapefruit

MF: Medium bodied, sort of creamy & pretty good balance

Drinks good, but there's the wrong mix of hops to make me happy. I could probably have 2 or 3 before moving on. Solid, but not my cup of tea

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Photo of Sixofsigmas
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to reviewing this one. I skipped it for a while because of how fantastic Sculpin is.

Appearance is nice. Angry burnt orange color with a fluffy head that doesn't run away. Even the lacing is fluffy.
Smells typical of the style: Piney, citrus(more towards lemon/orange than grapefruit), caramel malt, notes of earth and bread.
Taste is as expected. Citrus infused bitterness mixed with some caramel and bread for balance. Overall very good.
Mouthfeel was very pleasant with medium carb, essentially a light to medium body, hops were not particularly sticky, kind of a slick feel.
Drinkability is high. Not a heavy beer, enjoy responsibly.

Overall this is an excellent IPA, but as the IPA competition continues to ramp up so do expectations. This beer while very good did not particularly stand out to me. Not a slam.. just an observation.

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Photo of BB1313
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours your average deep golden, nice fluffy white head, nice lacing and retention; good looking. The aromas are nice, just a bit subtle. Lots of orange, lemon, and pine. The flavors taste pretty good, much more robust than the aromas. There's a loud bitterness to this one, which is pretty enjoyable. More pine and citrus. Not as tropical as some, but still really nice. Very crisp. Dry. Mouthfeel is really nice, creamy, right amount of carbonation, medium-bodied. Alcohol goes unnoticed and it's pretty easy to drink.

This is more of a standard IPA. Really good, better than alot, but not mind blowing. Maybe it's just because I had Sculpin for the first time yesterday. They're completely different. Either way, it's pretty nice and is one to try.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear copper color with a two-finger light-tan, fluffy head. Nice lacing as this goes down.

S: Caramel, roasted grains, fresh biscuits make up the malt profile. Hops come as a citrus explosion, herbal, grassy and flowery all coming together fresh and aromatic.

T: Bitter orange peel and zest, herbal and grassy notes hit first and sharply. Some toasty and toffee like malt flavors. Finish is floral, spicy and a bit dry.

M: Medium body with moderate bubbly carbonation. Some noticeable alcohol warmth.

D: Intense bitterness but great for a hop lover. It is a bit off balance for me but still very tasty. Would stop after 2 of these though.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice clear bright orangey color... Almost like dark honey. Nearly white head cones up a finger and half before relaxing into a frothy cap of giant bubbles. Lacing is really thick and impresssive.

Smells of slight caramel malt, with a great hoppy presence-- more piney than citrusy. A big amount of earthiness. Like dirt on a summer day. Usually I love a grapefruit bomb, but this bouquet actually works pretty well.

Taste starts sweet. Then gets dry and earthy. Finishes dry, little piney, and more earthiness. This isn't lively and exciting... It's kind of dull. My taste buds are still hoping for some huge flavors of citrus or grass or floral bites--- but no. I just got a slight hint of apple juice on the finish though.

Feels really nice. Great carbonation. Light to medium-light body is pretty smooth and refreshing.

I would never turn one of these down, and I'm glad to have tried it, but I won't be trading for this again. It isn't bad, by any means, and I could understand what they were going fir and why poeple might like it... But thus just isn't my favorite take on the style.

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Photo of jeff1973
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a Sculpin pint glass. Canned date was 7/13/13, about 2mos old at this point.

A - Clear burnt orange. Classic West Coast IPA color. Eggshell head leaves good lacing.

S - Orange, grapefruit, peach, catpiss. Can smell a little breadiness. Also some black tea.

T - All the hop profiles in the aroma come out in the taste also. They seem a little muted, but this is a little old of a can. They would probably pop much more if fresher. Malt comes in at the end, kinda of a dark bread flavor. Dries out nicely.

M - Medium, nice and creamy. Carbonation is also medium. This is really nice.

O - An above average IPA, that is very easy to drink. Probably much better fresher (need to start checking the dates at the store). Bought a 6pk and I'm not regretting it.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up a fair amount of head with even better retention. The head is slightly off-white with hints of yellow while the body is a medium amber which glows a pale to medium amber when held up to the light. Considerable lacing is left behind.

Nose- Lots of presence, very rich. Lots of promise. Starts off with citrus (orange and lemon) with some subtle pine, followed by caramel and honey- definite floral and nectar notes. Not exactly complex but still quite nice.

Taste- A little different from the aroma. Hits you with a good amount of bitterness upfront- wood, pine, and resin. A little bit of matchstick. Some caramel and honey appears, alongside citrus of orange and lemon but it's really dominated by the hop bitterness. However, the caramel and matchstick blend well near the finish which has some earwax that extends into a linger with wood and spice. Lemon, orange, and grapefruit somewhat soar on the finish with the earwax. Solid IPA but then again, it's another IPA.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium bodied with minor hints of syrup in the texture. A good amount of carbonation which matches well with the spicy resin of the finish.

Drinkability- Sizable bitterness and a lot of the earwax variety. A little stultifying but not too much. No heat present.

Overall- Good beer. Solid IPA. Definitely worth giving a try. I'm a little burnt out on your basic West Coast IPA so it's hard to be enthusiastic about this beer. I almost wish there was more caramel or some sort of malt bill- what heresy!

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Photo of GJ40
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle in a tulip glass.

A - A deep golden ale with good clarity and a thick off white head with good lacing.

S - Lots of hops aroma with citrusy, floral and piney elements. Some malty sweetness too.

T - A complex rich and malty flavor with hop bitterness, malt and alcohol. I didn't think the hop flavors had a prominent enough role.

M - Thick and chewy consistency. Good carbonation.

D - A good beer but not as smooth and balanced as I like in a west coast IPA.

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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 4,250 ratings.
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