Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...

Big Jim IPA | Northbound Brewpub

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Very Good
61 Ratings

Brewed by:
Northbound Brewpub
Minnesota, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jera1350 on 10-23-2012

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 61 |  Reviews: 11
Photo of xmorgan
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Copper color with a ivory colored head that faded quickly leaving a fare amount of lacing.

S: Big citrus, grapefruit but a little sweet.

T: Big Hoppy beer with a nice hop / malt balance / body. I mean HOPPY but smooth and quite easy to drink 1 or 4 pints of this beer. It is a little too strong to be a session beer, however I have turned it into such. I am thankful for Growlers as I can take the beer to the safety of my home.

M: Nice bitter finish, yet not so dry it remains refreshing and that is it's dangerous point, it is a little high ABV for such a refreshing beer.

O:Is it the best IPA in MLPS? There is no Best, they are all &%^@#A tasty. Point being stick me on a desert isle with BIG JIM and an ugly women, come back in 10 years and your have a basketball team and a happy family.

I rate a beer on it's own merits for appearance, smell etc. So very often I rate high. As if I like the beer and enjoy it I then I rate it a 5. So if I like the beer and it looks, tastes, smells and feels good, I WRITE A LOT OF PERFECT ratings. Though clearly I may prefer certain beers to others if I was putting them on a scale and I would never do that. Kinda like picking lovers, all are great (if your humble, though you may prefer one to another depending upon your mood.) Perhaps I find there are so many *S$&#(&!! GREAT BEERS, that I almost always fall in love with each beer for what it is and each brewer/team/family is putting in all their love into and how it fits a style.

I believe it is possible to connect with a brewery via the labors of the breweries love.

 1,595 characters

Photo of Stevecoop86
4.73/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Strong hop flavor similar to two hearted. Solid level of bitterness while maintaining smooth flow and pleasant aftertaste.

122 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours bright gold under a ½” white foam collar.
S: Light fruit, perfumy, very floral – they do a nice job with the hops.
T: starts with malt and fruit and then finishes with a nice citrus rind hop accent. Malt is there, provides a good backbone, light but not overpowering.
F: Medium body and carbonation.
O: Goes really well with their smoked egg salad sandwich.

 374 characters

Photo of Cooper
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of Bonerbrewing
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of sacrelicio
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of Localdrinklax
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of KarlHungus
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer arrives a hazy amber-orange color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes slowly into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is apricot, passion fruit, tangerines and grapefruit. The taste is similar to the aroma, but fuller. This is one juice beer, but that is balanced nicely by a firm bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with lively carbonation, and a silky texture. Overall, this is a fine IPA that I will surely order again.

 468 characters

Photo of Umdrunner
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DavidSchaal
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of gatornation
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of zeledonia
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of millelacsmark
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of SortaAmbivalent
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of R1nzl3r
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of DaveMiller
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of MonkeyPilates
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Kenai4
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of mpdavis
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of LXIXME
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Miketwolf21
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Read Edit (5/10/13)

I really wanted to like this one. The brewery is in a great area of town and seemed to nail the description of what I want from an IPA.

A: Coppery while being slightly on the gold side. The ivory colored head faded as I got ready for my first smell, then sip.

S: Wow, way more caramel than I was expecting from this 90 IBU beer. Crystal 60 seemed to battle for my attention like a 6 year old drama queen. The hops did come through and presented a nice combination of herbal and sweet citrus goodness. Just too much one noted crystal malt in the aroma for my liking.

T: From the aroma I knew that the my preconception of a hop-forward ale needed to be thrown away. The taste was rather malty sweet with large impressions of caramel and toffee. The hops did come through as the beer reached the back of my tongue with a quick uppercut of Columbus hops (spicy, herbal, and a touch of citrus). Still every flavor seemed to be anchored by the incredible amounts of caramel malt that were used. Maybe if they had a more aggressive yeast to dry out the malty sweet taste a bit...

M: I was impressed by how the carbonation thankfully cut through the chewy, thick body of the IPA. Just right. Still the IPA was a tad too syrupy.

Overall, this is a slightly above average IPA. If they could tone down the crystal malts used, I would personally like it much more. The hops just have no chance to sing. Still with excellent local IPAs and hoppy beers (Surly Furious, Town Hall Masala Mama, and Indeed Daytripper) I will probably pass on another trip to Northbound when I am in search of an IPA. I tried their Pacific Jade double IPA that seemed to have much more citrusy hops, but plagued by massive amounts of caramel malts.

It seems as though they may have worked a few kinks out in the system and have polished their previously under attenuated product. Now it is ripe with flavors of ripe cantaloupe and grapefruit instead of that overriding malt sweetness. The body has thinned to something more expected for the style.

 2,050 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

NB SM Big Jim IPA. Named for brewer/owner Jamie Robinson's father, who was not a tall man at all. This one was a big seller from the start, and used to run out so quickly that it took a few visits before I could find it. When it was erased from the chalkboard, boos ensued, and it's readmission to the ranks on tap caused great cheering and exultation. Neighborhood beer lovers threatened to burn the building down when they were alerted to it's absence, and gangs of disgruntled beer geeks roamed the streets looking for Jamie, noose in hand.
(okay, that last sentence is entirely invented.)

Lightly hazed. Color edges between orange and red, with a nice, white, lacy head that unfortunately, with this pour at least, drifts down too quickly.

Aroma: moderate hop presence, with notes of grapefruit and orange, with sweet malt presence beneath.

Taste: Big, fat hop attack at the fore, pleasantly bitter and juicy and once. Bitterness hangs on the tongue, gets cozy, relaxes, and hangs out in the back. Citrus fruits are largest in the flavor, with portions of pine joining in. There's another factor in the flavor: deliciousness. Malt presence has something to do with this, I'm sure.

Here's how Jamie describes it on the website: "With Town Hall’s Masala Mama and Surly’s Furious, it seems as though there is a new Minnesota style of IPA emerging. Because these are two of my favorite interpretations of the IPA style, I decided to make my own intense IPA. Cascade, Mt. Hood, and an enormous amount of Columbus hops late in the brew and in the fermenter give this beer the hop punch IPA lovers crave. There is also a significant malt backbone and complexity to this beer to stand up to the hop intensity. At 7.2% ABV and roughly 90IBUs, this is my tribute to the style I call the Minnesota IPA."

I tell you what: this gets tastier the more I drink it, and, yeah, it does remind me quite a bit of Masala Mama, and a little bit of Furious. The juicy and the fruity starts to lead the bitter, and they make a terrific tango. No wonder this is a hit at the brewpub, for we are for damned sure a city full of hopheads. Makes me wonder what might have happened if Surly came out with a scotch and an amber ale, instead of Furious. We're dyed-in-the-wool hop freaks here, make no mistake.

 2,294 characters

Photo of jera1350
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the Northbound website:

With Town Hall’s Masala Mama and Surly’s Furious, it seems as though there is a new Minnesota style of IPA emerging. Because these are two of my favorite interpretations of the IPA style, I decided to make my own intense IPA. Cascade, Warrior, and an enormous amount of Columbus hops late in the brew and in the fermenter give this beer the hop punch IPA lovers crave. There is also a significant malt backbone and complexity to this beer to stand up to the hop intensity. At 7.2% ABV and roughly 90IBUs, this is my tribute to the style I call the Minnesota IPA.

Served in a pint glass. Golden in color, rocky off-white head of foam.

Intense and pungent hop filled nose. A citrusy, piney, maybe dank, nose. Bright and hoppy.

The taste is big and at 90 IBU's, it's pretty noticeable. I even had some hop head friends that said it was "intense". Hop forward is an understatement, but their is a light malt presence in the background. Not a west coast style per say, as it has more of a malt presence. The hop profile is pretty darn complex though.

Medium feel that is pretty resiny sticky.

This is one big IPA and will garner some big eyeballs from unsuspecting patrons. I wish they would have went this route with their smoked porter. This is truly a hop head type of IPA and I would grab one again for sure.

 1,359 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Big Jim was a big beer. The beer poured a clear copper with white head that left a spotty lace. The scent and taste carried pine and citrus. The mouthfeel was fuller in body with good carbonation. Overall this is a solid offering.

 238 characters

Photo of PlacementSix
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Big Jim IPA from Northbound Brewpub
Beer rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 61 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.