Big Whig | Noble Ale Works

very good
30 Reviews
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Big WhigBig Whig

Brewed by:
Noble Ale Works
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UCLABrewN84 on 10-03-2012

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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 258
Photo of EricSS
3.14/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served on draft at obriens in san diego

Apperance - golden amber with haze. No head , but lace forms down the glass

Smell - floral hop aroma, slightly sweer, not complex. Very hard to pick out anything else.

Taste - while not bad, its nothing to write home about. Slight piney hop taste on the front with a pure bitterness on the back end. Some grain does push through right before the final biterness, but its hard to catch.

Mouthfeel - it has a medium body. Mouthfeel is better than taste in my opinion.

Overall I have only tried this beer on tap and their "IPA" from bottle before. I lthought the normal IPA was better. They may be the same beer with a new name. I have no idea if this beer is old and has lost hop profile, but I will most likely not order again. I feel like the bitter finish is not balanced out by anything else. Which some people may like, but I prefer slighly more balanced IPAs. In San Diego that's not hard to find.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.16/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at a local SoCal beer store and served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; I'm not big on the beers I've had from this brewery so far. I try to support locals. Cost was $5.00.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger beige colour head of decent cream, nice thickness, and good (~4-5+ minute) retention for the fairly high ABV. Body colour is a dull unfiltered cloudy yellow-copper. Abundant floating yeast are readily visible. No bubble show. Decent for the style, but there's nothing unique or special here.

Sm: Heavy dominant grapefruit, with some underlying pine hop character. Pale malts, resins, honey. Floral hops. Intriguing, but I'm not sure the hop selection here was ideal. A bit of biscuity yeast when I look for it. No alcohol is detectable. A bit of hop oil. A mild to moderate strength aroma.

T: Hm. Grapefruit hop character, resinous floral hop character, and a bit of nectary hop oil. The light citrus is interesting, and it works well with the simple pale malt body. Honey lightens it and adds a pleasant balancing sweetness, but it never gets too sweet. Nor does it get too interesting; it's a rather simple IPA. No yeast character comes through in spite of the abundance of visible yeast particles noted in the appearance. No alcohol comes through, thankfully. I can see what they're going for - an IPA that conforms to the image of "West coast IPAs" in order to sell bombers at $5 a piece. And hey, it worked here for me. But it's not a bold or experimental beer, and by chasing others they've created a boring product. Decently balanced, but fairly pedestrian.

Mf: I like the softness, but it's too thick for its lack of deep and/or diverse flavours. Overcarbonated. Smooth and wet. A bit oily. Decent presence on the palate.

Dr: An uninspired IPA that will likely gain acclaim for its conformity. It seems more effort was put into the label and marketing than into the beer - which is kind of the point. Many people will happily spend $5 per bomber for this stuff, but I will not be one of them. An enjoyable if forgettable IPA. There's potential here, but this brewery needs to focus on innovation. Hides its ABV well. Drinkable stuff. I do like it, but it's poorly priced for its quality in a market oversaturated with better cheaper beers.


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Photo of SierraFlight
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into shaker pint. Amber to gold graduated top to bottom with a ring and islands of off-white foam. Aroma is of grapefruit, piney hops, caramel malt, and floral notes. Taste is strong floral and piney hop bitterness and light citrus and caramel sweetness. Medium body, slightly resinous and creamy texture, moderate plus carbonation, bitter, dry finish.

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Photo of travolta
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: A quickly dissipating head with no retention. Lacing is almost nil. Color is an opaque tangerine.

Nose: Bright rosemary, lemon, orange, and lime.

Taste: A crisp and slightly dry mouthfeel. Dryness at the end. Some resinous syrup in the middle. Beautiful hop oils and orange juice.

Notes: I liked that this was a strong (abv) IPA billed as such. They did not try to sell this one as a double, or imperial. This is their IPA and it is very nice!

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice lil West Coast hop bomb from the west side. Been a while since Raul went back to his roots, and this lil sucker done him right fine. All West Coast here like Tupac screamin, "Hit em Up." Raul done like this lil sucker nice and good.

Not Mila Kunis heavenly, but a solid Kira Knightly.

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Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Venice Ale House, Venice, CA

A: The beer is hazy yellowish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that gradually died down.
S: Light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose along with some hints of pine resin hops. The piney hops become stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell except that the pine resin hops stand out more prominently. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a nice IPA that has a good mix of citrusy and pine resin hops.

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Photo of jooler
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Smells pretty good. I just wish it tasted like how it smelled. The initial taste is very bitter with a nice crisp mouthfeel, but I wish there was a more sweeter backbone to it

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tasting notes from 22oz bottle – tasted on 07/23/2013 with my FW snifter glass

A: Big Whig pours a dense golden-orange hue with low overall clarity. Delicately holding head of khaki cream on top that leaves behind some wisps of ribboned lace down the glass.

S: Smells of pine and tangerine fruit with a real floral spiking. There is a dash of caramel malt sweetness detected. Mostly fruity here with citrus being the predominant theme. Pretty nice nose actually.

M: Flavors remain firm with tangerine peel, sappy pine, and more candied citrus fruits. Malt is just some light dry cracker and nearly nonexistent There is a moderately high bitterness to the beer and only some slightly noticeable alcohol. Very light and fruity with citrus fruits again as the main component. Blends of grapefruit and orange in there with some lightly tropical florals. All in all this is a pretty decent IPA.

T: Light to moderate heft in the body with a surprisingly dry finish. Frothy cream like texture overall with a moderately to high amount of peppery bitterness and light resinous after effect.

D: Very drinkable, light, dry and packed with citrus fruit flavors. Almost unique in that way. This is a really decent brew.

Didn’t completely blow my minds but for the local prices I will likely be grabbing this one again.

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Photo of IPAGeorge
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a tulip

A. A nice amber color and hazy. 2 finger foamy white head.

S. Not very big big aroma here. But I do get sweet bread malts and some pine.

T. Same as nose. Mostly piney and sweet malts. Some bitterness.

M. 4 out of 10 on the body. Nice carbonation. Finishes mostly clean.

O. A decent beer. It's hard to make an IPA nowadays. So many good ones.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Beer Belly in Los Angeles, CA.

A- Clear amber-copper body, one finger white head with nice retention; eventually dropping into a thin-medium collar. Rings of lacing persist for a while as the beer goes down. Looks like any other west-coast IPA that I've been seeing lately..

S- Oranges and pine are the predominant hop aromas. Mild, dry crackery malt rounds it out. Not too complex, but it's clean and solid.

F- Citrus, grapefruit, slight stone fruit flavour on the palate with a dry malt backbone evoking crackers and biscuits. Good balance, nothing too complicated. Again, this is a dry finishing west-coast style IPA.

M- Thinner-medium bodied, good carbonation, as stated before this finishes dry with a bit of citrus resin. Not getting as much pine as I have in other west-coast IPAs. Solidly drinkable.

O- Pretty straight-forward west coast style IPA. I'm starting to think that if you've had a couple, you've had them all- with the exception of the likes of Russian River and Alpine. Still, this is a fairly solid IPA with good flavour and aromas.

Final score: 3.80

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap for the 4th Annual LA Beer Week Beer Festival at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear golden orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a medium hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and refreshing.

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Photo of OlieIPA
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Firestone Walker Pub glass and served in the low 50 F range.

A: Light and clear copper hue. White frothy head that descends into a thin layer foam a few minutes after the initial pour. One note: Hazy appearance when poured at the brewery itself. Decided to cold crash and seemed to clear out the beer.

S: Mild hints of pine and grass with some biscuit malt backbone. Reminds me of an Alesmith or Taps like least in approach.

T: Very well balanced. No significant or stand out flavors. This particular beers signature feature is its clean flavor profile.

M: Typical; slightly dry and light to medium body.

O: A good beer; true to style. Beers like this make this an up and coming brewery. Keep up the good work Evan!

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Photo of brentk56
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a two inch head; streaky lacing left behind by a head that retains itself nicely

Smell: Malty and piney; dank, with a hint of pineapple and citrus pith

Taste: A touch of the biscuit underpins from the outset, with the pineapple and piney hops asserting themselves from start to finish; rather bitter in the aftertaste with a bit of honey in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: In a crowded world of IPAs, this one does not really stand out; nicely hoppy but the hop bill seems undistinguished

Thanks, fthegiants, for the opportunity

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Photo of Getalegup
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent IPA.
Classic light caramel color with a half inch of foam.
Smelled floral briefly then fades a bit quickly.
Tasted like a classic west coast dank ipa, grapefruit but balanced with just enough sweetness and light carb to make it easy to drink
Overall, a good first beer experience from Noble Ale Works. Easy to drink dank ipa.

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Photo of RyanK252
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours deep golden amber with a frothy off white head that settles and laces well.

S: Citrus, some caramel malt sweetness, and an interesting kinda fruity note that reminds me of not fully ripe strawberry.

T: Pine and citrus hops, light grapefruit, tangerine, a bit of herbal spice, maybe a hint of melon, and light caramel malt sweetness.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Pretty tasty brew, but with a few notes I'm still trying to figure out.

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Photo of JohnCassillo
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh bottled the other day; poured in a tulip glass for serving.

A: Beer has a splendid golden-brown hue, barely any noticeable head and is actually more transparent than you'd think.

S: Big hop profile, considering it's a standard IPA. Very flowery and piney, which is its most outstanding aspect.

T: Crisp and light -- actually less bitterness than you'd anticipate given the aroma. Over time in glass, taste seems to settle on the backend of each sip.

M: Airy with mild carbonation. Body's not too heavy, which keeps it refreshing.

O: High quality beer for the price you're paying ($4.99 for a 22 oz. bomber). If you're focused on hop flavor and aroma as big elements to your brew, this is worth a try for sure.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap @ Library Alehouse.

A: Pours a clear peach with 1/2" white head which leaves rings and spots of lace.

N: White peaches, grapefruit/citrus. Very floral.

T: Citrus (grapefruit), juicy fruits, with some malt for good balance.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Dry and semi-bitter finish.

O: Enjoyed and would have again.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Recess @ 4th Street Market - Santa Ana, CA
A - copper colored ale with a foamy ivory head
S - tropical citra hops with caramel malt and toasty grain
T - orange zest, mango, pine, caramel, grain
M - lighter bodied, assertive hop oils stick to the palate, dry bitter finish with pine and orange zest lingering
O - nice refreshing IPA. Perfect for a midday lunch at a cool place.

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Photo of jakecattleco
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Wife brought back a bottle from Socal dated 081916...didn't have high expectations. Poured into a tulip glass, viewed a vibrant bronze with 1+ finger of white medium density head that left scattered lacing. Nose was still nice and poppy, plenty of Citra tropical attributes. Taste wasn't as mute as I'd expected, really matched the nose very tropical...I can only imagine how nice this beer must be when fresh. Mouthfeel attributes, including the finish, were very soft. I'll attribute that to age. I really want to revisit this beer fresh, and applaud Noble as they must really take great care in their bottling process as this beer for its age has some great flavor and aroma attributes.

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Photo of wdberkley
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Easy drinking beer! Smells like a fruit basket - citrus, tropical fruits. Hoppy but not over the top. Little booze, but not hit you over the head. Enjoyed it.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Spiegelau IPA glass. Bottled June 25th 2014

Nearly crystal clear body, with a bright amber orange body color. Nice thin and minimal carbonation lines, with a three finger head that is creamy bright white with soapy retention. A little bit of staying power, but manages to sink a little quickly, with spotty lacing.

Great hop aroma. Juiced up tropical notes, hints of peach, tangerine juicy orange, and mint warmth. Subtle sweetness, with a bit of chewy action. An interesting bit of earthy smoke is on this as well too. Real nice delicious bouquet on this guy.

Another juicy palate follows, with the middle palate filling the tropical sweetness with mild hop bitterness. Washes clean but also a little fleeting with not much aftertaste or coating. A fairly dry powdery sense a bit, with very minimal carbonation feel. VEry faint malt angle, something akin to white bread toast and very subtle if at all distinct.

Overall the fruit and juiced tropical angle hinted on the nose isn't as big or prominent in the palate. It comes off fairly neutral but also solid simple and decent.

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Photo of JohnnyYuma
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

To me, this beer is a standard bearer for the burgeoning LA/OC beer scene -- simple, bitter West Coast style IPA that doesn't leave you with an enormous over-impression of taste, but also tastes unpretentious enough to have another. Fairly widely available, excellent paired with food. This is just a really lovely beer that doesn't get enough credit.

On draft at the Lost Knight Pub

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Photo of Catracho5
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass

A: Dark orange amber honey color with lots of lacing, head retention was minimal, while there, head was off white and creamy, not getting a lot of carbonation, looks good.

A: Grapefruit, mango, pineapple, onion/garlic aromas, nice aromas, no alcohol, not picking up much malts, smells big.

T: Grapefruit rind bitterness, pineapple, guavas, balance bitterness, not much on malts, all citrus, slight pine, earth notes, finishes dry.

M: Chewy mouthfeel, dry bitter finish.

O: This is very good, nice citrus notes on the taste and aroma, chewy mouthfeel, bitterness is not overwhelming, alcohol is well hidden, would definitely pick this up again, very good.

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Photo of BenwayPHD
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a golden yellow with a two finger, white head. The nose is delicious. I love these tropical hops. Pineapple, papaya, lemon pepper, herbs, a faint malt sweetness. The flavor is very good as well. Strong bitterness, mild sweetness, and a mellow numbing of the tongue (I get this from certain hops. Not sure if it's common). The mouthfeel is light and sharp. Very solid ipa.

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Photo of Joncasso
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this on two separate occasions. The first instance I drank it while watching Night of the Living Dead and felt the film was "Hard to Follow." I drank the beer over an hour or so, enjoying every sip. The beer changed flavors half way through for me. I really like this IPA. This is my go to IPA.

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Big Whig from Noble Ale Works
3.92 out of 5 based on 258 ratings.
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