Big Ern
Castle Island Brewing Co.

Big ErnBig Ern
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
IPA - Imperial
Ranked #229
Ranked #2,001
4.33 | pDev: 5.31%
Castle Island Brewing Co.
Massachusetts, United States
Big ErnBig Ern
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 74 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Davepoolesque
Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Both have tons of orange zest, passion fruit, pear, mango and white peach. Cracker malt base. Dry, zesty bitter finish. Bigger Ern is a bit too much. Boozy and overall heavy but still good. Big Ern is dynamite.

May 23, 2018
Photo of FFFjunkie
FFFjunkie from Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look is burnt apricot with 2 fingers of nice white head.

Smell is dank and sweet tropical fruit. Orange and something else in there as well.

Taste is on point. Starts out nice with orange and tangerine. Then BIG sweet overripe tropical fruit comes rushing in. Really low bitterness.

Feel is soft and creamy.

Overall this is a fine beer that definately fits the NE style. It isn't as hazy as the big names but this beer is also somewhat cleaner on the palette.

Jul 01, 2017
Photo of Damian
Damian from Massachusetts

4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 16 fl oz can purchased at Castle Island Brewing Co., Norwood, MA
Canned on 04-25-17
Served in a snifter

The ever-so-slightly hazed, pale golden amber liquid was topped by a fizzy, bright white, finger-tall crown that quickly dissolved. A thin collar encircled the liquid. Minimal streaky lacing stuck along the glass.

The nose was ridiculously hoppy and dank. This very well might be the most weedy smelling beer I have ever encountered. Really fruity and juicy too. Overripe tropical fruits came through strong. Big stewed mango and papaya notes. Bit of passionfruit. Needless to say, the Mosaic hops were definitely in full effect.

The flavor profile was fantastic as well. Super fruity and juicy. Big orange and tangerine notes up front. Sweet tropical fruits came through in the center. Mango again for sure. Some peach too. Orange peel appeared on the back end and in the finish. Bit of ruby red grapefruit. Just the slightest hint of bitterness. Overall, amazingly well balanced.

Super smooth and frothy mouthfeel. Medium bodied for the style. Fluffy on the palate. The liquid contained a fine, zippy effervescence. Really creamy and slick.

This offering by Castle Island displayed many characteristics of a typical New England-style DIPA but had a cleaner appearance, and perhaps a flavor profile to match. An amazing overall offering from these relative newcomers. Keep up the great work.

May 03, 2017
Photo of NolaHopHead
NolaHopHead from Louisiana

4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can. Clean golden pour with finger white head and soapy lacing. Sweet tropical al aroma jumps out the glass, this one's a sniffer. Great balance in this DIPA, on the sweet side but not malty, fruity juicy hops with mild bitterness. Excellent feel, slippery. Got this as an extra, would live to drink again.

Sep 24, 2016
Photo of ThrewRedButter
ThrewRedButter from Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

L - transparent dark orange with less than a finger of white head

S - candied orange and acidic grapefruit with subtle black pepper

T - Bitter up front with a dessert-like sherbet or creme in the middle. Transitions to dank hops and pine. Sweet malts throughout

F - feels like a big DIPA, but not syrupy. No alcohol or warming and drink incredibly easy for 8.5%

O - Great DIPA from these guys. One of their best. High drinkabiity for a big Double IPA and strikes a good balance between juice bomb and hop-heavy.

Aug 19, 2016
Photo of lic217
lic217 from Connecticut

4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: yellow and orange, slightly hazy with lacing
Smell: tropical with a little resin
Taste: tropical hops with a little resin and pine, slight alcohol, starts sweet ends bitter and dry
Feel: a little thin, nice carbonation
Overall: a nice beer

Aug 16, 2016
Photo of ManapuaMan
ManapuaMan from Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a four pack canned a couple weeks ago, split with friends within the week. Outstanding fruit-forward DIPA that has all the hallmarks of the NE movement. Hazy, though not turbid, orange gold pour follows a distinct aroma of guava and passion fruit bursting from the can. I poured 2/3 of the can into a glass and it yielded a nice fluffy head that lingered and noticeable fingers of lacing that slid down the side of the glass. The other third I drank from the can which I ended up enjoying even more. Go figure. Maybe I don't need all that damn glassware after all. Taste is passion fruit, guava and a bit of kiwi followed by a smooth malt profile that feels like wheat. Really soft mouthfeel brings it all together; ABV is nowhere in sight. Finishes almost crisp without a lingering bitterness. Outstanding imbalanced DIPA.

Aug 14, 2016
Photo of Klinical11
Klinical11 from Massachusetts

4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is another delicious New England DIPA. It's so smooth you have no idea it's 8.5%. Citrusy and smooth, just enough resin and pine taste. Great aftertaste too! Hidden gem, not for long!

Jul 09, 2016
Photo of jhavs
jhavs from New York

4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting at the brewery, then from a can purchased at the brewery poured into a tulip.
Golden, slight, tiny bit of yellow haze. Bubbles rise into a foamy white head an inch or so thick. The head settles into a ring around the glass with some floating islands. Sticky lacing.
Big pine, earthy and resinous aroma followed with some bitter citrus. Grapefruit rind, bit of juiciness and malt sweetness in the background.
Little bit of sweetness, little bit of crackery malt, but mostly big earthy hop flavors. The citrus and hop spiciness take the forefront, but everything is balanced nicely into a tasty, bold but refined DIPA.
Moderate carbonation and medium mouthfeel. Pretty easy drinking for a brew this size.
Overall another great DIPA from the area. Good price, great brew.

Jun 11, 2016
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Microbrew pour. This was another good entry to Castle Island's new frigate of offerings. Really intense and deep in both aroma and flavor. Similar in structure to their Causeway Imperial IPA but different hops. I can't likely say which one I enjoyed more but they both do it for me. Less Galaxy, more Citra according to the descriptions.

Jun 09, 2016
Photo of REVZEB
REVZEB from Illinois

4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap. Mosaic and citra, a wonderful combo as always. Smell features pine, peach, mango, orange, and caramel. Taste is fuller and really lets the dankness of the hops come out more in the finish. Add some grapefruit, sticky malt, and hop resin to the middle mixture in taste. Feel is sticky, resinous and refreshing, drinks easy. Will have to try these guys again

Jun 05, 2016
Photo of mickyge
mickyge from Massachusetts

4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours fairly clear orange gold with a thin head that disappears. Smells kind of different some pine some citrus and some dare I say cat urine, but I mean that in a good way. The semi clear color is deceiving because it has a fairly big mouth feel of some carbonation, a bite and then some sticky. It's really well balanced and finishes slightly bitter dry. I feel this is one of those hidden jewels right now. I've had 3 beers from Castle Island recently and so far they all have been good to awesome.

Jun 05, 2016
Photo of Flounder57
Flounder57 from Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pale yellow color with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Grassy, herbal, spicy, stone fruit, resiny, tangerine, and grapefruit hops followed by caramel, biscuity, and cracker hops.

Taste: Stone candied fruit, hrassy, earthy, herbal, citrus, tangerine, piney hops followed by biscuity, toasted, cracker, and caramel malts. Light light bitterness and light alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium bodied, medium carbonation, light light bitterness, and a little alcohol.

Overall: I like this DIPA a lot. Super smooth, tasty, and delicious. I'll revisit it again for sure.

Jun 02, 2016
Photo of WillieThreebiers
WillieThreebiers from Connecticut

4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear light honey with a finger of head that settles to a collar with some sticky lacing. Catty, pine resin, and tangerine on the nose. Mostly resinous taste. Well balanced with just a trace of bitterness in the end. Really quite wonderful.

May 25, 2016
Photo of mnj21655
mnj21655 from Massachusetts

4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a crystal clear pale copper in color with near two fingers of long lasting head. Looks a bit more like a traditional IPA/DIPA as opposed to the Hazy NE IPAs that are in vogue right now. Aroma is lots of mosaic hops: herbal, pine, mango, and citrus notes. Taste hits the same hoppy notes as the aroma, it's a great mix of topical fruits with supporting citrus and herbal notes, decently juicy but not overwhelmingly so. Medium body and moderate carbonation. This drinks real easy for 8.5%, alcohol is well hidden. Overall an excellent beer that compares quite favorably to certain DIPAs from Vermont. Bottom line: Big Ern is legit.

May 22, 2016
Photo of JonnyJuicebox
JonnyJuicebox from Massachusetts

4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: coppery, caramel. Looks like a malt heavy ipa akin to dogfish head. Not exciting by any means, but at the end of the day never judge a book by its cover.

S: bright. Juicy, sweet. Bubblegum for days. Some sort of herbaceous or parsley or something fresh like that. If I closed my eyes I'd say I was holding Julius light.

T: thick mouthfeel. Deceptive given the appearance. Feels unfiltered and creamy. Lots of exotic hops. Mosaic all up in your face. Juicy, piney and resinous. A great balance of NE and west coast ipas

O: did I seriously just stroll into the brewery and pick this up right away? I've waited hours in line for lesser beers. Snag it while you can, and I'm sure one day I'll see you jerks in line.

May 21, 2016
Big Ern from Castle Island Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 74 ratings