Big Daddy IPA | Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

482 Reviews
Big Daddy IPABig Daddy IPA

Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Big Daddy IPA is a hop-head's delight, a generously dry-hopped yet surprisingly drinkable American-style India Pale Ale. Poured into a standard American pint glass, the beer is a golden straw color, with tight carbonation and a slightly off-white head that leaves a lovely lacing. The aroma is floral, fresh grass, pine needles, grapefruit, and a some subtle notes of fresh bread.

Added by OldFrothingSlosh on 10-02-2001

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Reviews: 482 | Ratings: 1,380
Photo of maximum12
1.99/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Thanks to lurpy1 for yet another bottle from the sunny confines of Sacramento. Hehehe. I said sac. 22 oz. bottle split into two tulips.

Opener. Cap. Pop. FIZZZ! The bottle overflows before I can blink & a bunch of foam ends up on the wood. Black mark. Pours a light orange/amber with, not surprisingly, a massive head (what didn't spill, of course). Bright citrus greets the nose, & a side of spring flowers. Nice.

Big Daddy IPA disappoints. What happened to that lovely nose? Massive bread crusts, melted rubber, & a horrific iron aftertaste violate the palate. WTF? Tastes like licking my fingers after changing a tire. There's more, but I'm not going back in for fear of having my face freeze like this. Three sips maxes me out.

Blech. Sorry, but this has to be an off bottle, because it's awful. My wife can't drink her half either. To the drain.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.06/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours with a good head, nice carbonation and lace. Golden color and not hazy. Nose is clearly hops and like the brewer says this is loaded with hops. Could not find any malt. Too hoppy and too bitter for me.

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Photo of vfgccp
2.26/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Medium grade golden honey. Nice frothy head.

S - Very mild. Some sugar, maybe orange PEZ?

T - Malt up front with a pine character mid profile. Flavors feel flat though. They're not that powerful and don't hold up well throughout the profile. Some yeast in the aftertaste.

M - Medium body, but poor carbonation. Aftertaste holds some lingering booze and pine.

D - Poor flavor and mouthfeel will make you more likely to put down your first than pickup a second.

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Photo of DiscerningDude
2.38/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

It's certainly not "big". It's barely an IPA.

The initial taste is floral and overpowered by the taste of alcohol even though it is only rated at 6.5. The bite is not at all like what should come from a nice hoppy IPA but seems more like what one would expect from a cheap gin.
The hop taste is bitter but very much like "hot" is when you are eating a ghost pepper. No redeeming qualities. Really. None. It barely sits on your tongue long enough to search for something positive.

The aftertaste is similar to what Band-aids smell like. Rubbery and fortunately short-lived.

I am sorry for giving this beer such low rating and I am amazed at the positive reviews gained so far. This is one of the most unfavorable beers I have tasted in a long time and I am typically much more forgiving. Perhaps I got a bad batch or just a bad bottle?

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Photo of Boxus
2.45/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Bottle to glass, I detect a mild, unimpressive scent of coppery hops. Appearance is clear tan with a nice bubbly head. I go for a sip...

Ugh. That stale, musky hop flavor again. I notice this happens a lot with Speakeasy beers. Usually when I get the stale hop flavor, I just figure my bottle sat on the shelf too long. Indeed that may be an issue now, since this one was bottled close to four months ago. But with this beer in particular, I've noticed that stale, musky flavor every single time I've tried it - probably five or six times in all.

I can only conclude that something is amiss with the brew itself. The flavor has barely a hint of the bright, floral hop bite I expect from a Cali IPA. Instead it's bitter in an unpleasantly dank and musky way. It tastes like cardboard and multivitamins. Totally unpleasant and disappointing.

Again, this may be due in large part to a lack of freshness. But I've noticed that same stale flavor in almost every Speakeasy beer I've had. And I can't help but wonder, living in Oakland, why it would be so difficult to get fresh beer from a brewery in San Francisco.

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Photo of freed
2.45/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

First try with this brewer. 12oz bottle with a somewhat silly label. Pours a clear golden with a rapidly dissipating head. The foam laces the glass as it subsides. The smell is somewhat grassy, like my freezer. Must have a big hop, like a nugget.

The taste is somewhat off, there's a surprisingly unbalanced bittering level that outbalances the aroma hop and malt. The taste is much like arugula, or some bitter green. The mouth is left with a sweet and sour feeling, but there's no evidence that there was any body to the beer. The bitterness and taste really take away from its drinkability.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.47/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, bottled on 8/14/13. Pours clear golden orange with a big rocky off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet biscuity crystal malt with some grassy hops.

The flavor is sweet biscuity caramel malts with a good amount of grassy bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, an OK IPA - too much sweet biscuit malt and grassy hops.

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Photo of TheDeuce
2.48/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Speakeasy Big Daddy IPA….on tap at Burger and Barrel in Manhattan, NYC….

Appearance-came to me in a normal pint glass, golden color with a two finger head sitting with sticky lace. Normal by all appearances.

Smell-sweet honey like aroma with sticky hops surrounding it. Pine and light citrus on the nose as well, malt and alcohol are there but sort of lost in the shuffle.

Taste/Mouthfeel-piney hope flavor up front, thin consistency throughout, alcohol and bread arrive and disappear quickly. More hops appear and stay with the beer all the way down. One dimensional and not that enjoyable, the sticky sweetness isn’t balanced.

Drinkability-no catastrophic issues but flavors are one dimensional and not that enjoyable.

Overall-further proof that just loading a beer with hops isn’t good enough anymore and there has to be more going on. Just barely passable and there are many West Coast IPAs that blow this one out of the water. Pass.

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Photo of DrJay
2.51/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Hazy dark yellow with a thin, bright white head composed of fine bubbles. Fair head retention with some lacing present. Very mild aroma, mostly citrus and grassy with a little bit of caramel. Mild bitterness with a thin malt flavour. Some citrus and caramel, earthy, with lingering bitterness. Light bodied, a bit watery, with moderate carbonation. It was also very dry, definitely on the astringent side. Needless to say, I wasn't impressed. It lacked depth of flavour in both the malt and hop departments, almost like they're skimping on ingredients. Bad batch maybe? Thanks Zithal!

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Photo of winomark
2.54/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pale gold, lighter than I remember, with a thick, bone-white head. Good hop citrus and spice dominate the nose. Mild sweet tones also noticable. Hop flavors control the palate, with an unpleasant vegetal and wet bandaid finish. Dry crisp finish, but nothing special. Pretty disappointing beer. I remember this tasting much better when I tried it in San Francisco. Not as good as their other offerings. I actually dumped out half of this beer. Purchase at your own risk.

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Photo of lvbs
2.55/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

As usual, the hop-heads liked this IPA a lot more than the hop-haters (who largely gave it ones), but even the IPA fans were a little unimpressed with this beer's bitterness. As one female taster put it, "I prefer IPAs to grab me by the balls I don't have." The "sweet smell" gives way too easily, and it "loses its flavor towards the end."

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Photo of warmstorage
2.6/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

serving: 12 ounce bottle, $1.39 at high-end grocer, poured into beer clean bell pint glass.

Appearance: medium straw colored, filtered and easy seen through in a glass. Poured with a significant white-ish head, but died down quickly. Leaves limited lacing on glass sides. Uninspiring.

Aroma: smells nice, slightly resinous, but with a hint of flat or metallic smell. Slightly sweet alcohol hints.

Taste: hop presence, hints of grass and hay, lingers long with a nice citrus bitterness, but overall a very underwhelming flavor. Tasty, drinkable enough, but absolutely not an overpowering IPA, west coast style or otherwise. Hop presence is barely sufficient to call it a legitimate IPA; hops present more as bitter tang than as hoppy, floral, or citrus.

Mouthfeel: spritzy, significant carbonation, sweet slightly hoppy alcohol makes it a pleasant tangy taste to leave in my mouth.

Overall: underwhelming. A nice hop bitterness, but more like an overly bitter, tangy APA than an IPA. Certainly doesn't stand up to numerous other West Coast style IPAs available.

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Photo of CortexBomb
2.64/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours what I'd consider a 'standard beer' yellow with a moderate head. Scent is the typical floral assault that one would expect from an IPA.

Taste continues the flavour, but that's it. This is a very shallow beer, the hops are there, and in quantity and it has a grapefruity effect, but the same flavours just seem to sit, linger, and finally die with little variation. As it warms a definite rindish flavour starts to come in, and then starts to become dominant, making this beer suffer some further score loss.

Mouthfeel is purely average, drinkability seemed good when I started the beer, but was getting down there by the end.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
2.64/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was a bit disappointed with this. I wasn't expecting a world class beer, but i was expecting some nice hope flavor and aroma. I didnt get it. Maybe i had an old bottle, couldn't tell though, as there was no discernable freshness date.

Clear golden color with bubbly carbonation, head receded fairly quickly leaving a ton of lace. Smell was pretty non existant, taste had bitterness from the hops and not much malt or hop flavor--very disappointing. Carbonation and body were good for the style, drinkability hampered mostly by the mostly bitter flavor profile and the fact that i wouldn't really be interested in another bottle.

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Photo of Cresant
2.68/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Stone IPA glass. No date on bottle. The body was a hazy butterscotch color with three fingers of fine, off-white head. Delicate lacing remained.

Smell was grassy green. Sweet grainy malts (mild). Alcohol aroma gentle appeared as it warmed further.

Taste was somewhat juicy, and somewhat bitter, but rather pallid overall. Not bad just one note--dull grassy bitterness. (Maybe an older bottle?--purchased at Jungle Jim's).

Mouthfeel was medium to thin. Mild to medium carbonation. Not one I will seek out again.

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Photo of Husenator
2.68/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Golden straw, fairly cloudy though. Nice lacing.

S - Citrus and honey, I picked up a chemical aroma (goo gone?)
something was a bit off.
T- Hops are heavy up font as they should be, but after the grapefruit and pine with a bit of sweetness I picked up a solvent aftertaste.

M - Medium with a stickiness.

O- Drinkable but I have had much better.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.69/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served on-draught into a plastic cup at Speakeasy's decrepit warehouse - I mean - brewpub. Reviewed from notes. Instantly I'm turned off to the beer because the brewers see no problem with serving it in a plastic cup.

A: Pours a one finger head of decent slight cream, okay thickness, and downright bad retention. Colour is a clear yellow-gold.

Sm: Slight malted barley. A mild strength aroma.

T: Light hops and barley. Rather simple, to say the least. Decently balanced and built alright; there's just not much there to describe.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Suits the (lack of) flavours decently, but doesn't feel custom-tailored to them by any means.

Dr: Pretty drinkable and offered at a decent price. I wouldn't get it again on account of its low quality.

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Photo of MonkeymooTJ
2.75/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3


Golden yellow with a decent foamy white head. Lacks the good retention that makes you look forward to the first sip. Low carbonation level


Herbal/grassy hops. Cascade perhaps? Sweet maltiness is very apparent as well


Low bitterness level, especially for an IPA. Initial light herbal hoppy bite is followed by a very mellow finish down the back of the throat. Lacks any crispness. There is an imbalance towards the sweet side.


A very light/dry beer. Lack of carbonation does not help with this situation either. Theres not much excitement


Bottom line is this beer lacks kick. The hop bitterness just isnt there. Way to sweet for an IPA. Lack of carbonation only adds to this. Not the worst thing Ive ever drank, but I probably wont be having another one anytime soon.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.81/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a plastic goblet (desperate times/measures).

4.0 A: Lightly hazed dark yellow/light orange color. A finger (appropriate for the glass size and shape) of creamy white head with decent retention and a good bit of lacing.

3.0 S: Citrus and floral (definitely cascade in this) with emphasis on orange and mango. Malts are fairly weak, but they team up with the yeast to give a light breadiness. A little anemic here, but not bad.

2.5 T: This beer isn't necessary bad, but it's boring to the point that I'm forgetting about it before I'm done drinking it. Light breadiness with a moderate bitterness and not much else. Hop flavor is even more subtle in the nose than it is in the taste. Small amounts of orange and pine.

3.5 M: Solid medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Decently creamy and a bit chewy from the yeast.

2.5 D: Completely forgettable beer. I've had a bunch of good brews while I was in SF, but this isn't one I'm going to tell my friends about back home.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
2.87/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

22 oz Bomber.Smell is grapefruit and hops.Very middle of the road ipa.At 6.5 once again middle of the road.Nothing special about this.Taste is average at best.At 4.99 a bottle not bad.But there are a lot better out there.

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Photo of TheEremite
2.88/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I remember this beer being better than it was. I bought a six pack and expected a decent hoppy IPA. What I tasted was an oxidized malty amber. It is not a bad beer, just not a great IPA. I would have one if I was handed a bottle, but I don't think I will grabbing it off of the shelf any time soon. On the other hand, the wife loves it, so it may show up in our fridge anyway.

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Photo of trumick
2.9/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale orange color with a thin head that stays and lots of lacing.
Scent is nice with lots of piney hops, but very little swwetness from the malt.
Taste pretty much follows the nose all hops and very little malt, however the malt is slightly more present than in the nose. Dry piney/grassy hop finish with maybe too much grapefruit zest flavor. The flavor doesn't stick with the palate like most really good IPAs. Not enough balance for me. This makes Two Hearted seem balanced.
Mouthfeel is average with crisp light feel. There seems to be too much carbination and not enough smoothness. I think thats due to the lack of malt sweetness. It's too thin.
I will only ever try one of these, and this one's it.

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Photo of RedDiamond
2.9/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This bottle of IPA looks like one of those snow scene bubbles. You know -- those little water-filled toys you shake to create a snowy scene. That’s what Big Daddy’s yeast content looks like when you pour it in the glass. No measure of restraint could hold back the slurry of yeasties this bottle contained.

Big Daddy is very pale for an IPA, almost the color of lager. It has very low carbonation and produces a slight, thready head. The aroma is crisp and floral with a few meaty off-notes. The taste is a modest B-average.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with the flavor of this beer and it might make for an easy session beer. But it is visually unappealing and otherwise uninspired.

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Photo of Jwale73
2.91/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Courtesy of bstyle. 12oz. bottle served in an American Pint. Bottled on 09.26.13 indicated on the label. Pours a translucent orange-gold with a loose, half-inch, cream-colored head. Nose expresses citrus zest and perhaps a hint of tangerine. Taste expresses bitter citrus zest, light malts and a slightly metallic flavor towards the back and a trace of wet cardboard. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a prickly carbonation and a slight acidity. Same impressions as my review of Prohibition Ale - not sure if it's a bad bottle, old bottle or just a bad beer, but not something I need to try again any time soon. At least it looks nice in the glass.

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Photo of number1bum
2.93/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of NEPA BC Split #1.

Pours from a thick, heavy reusable bottle...hazy golden color, not clear at all. Unfiltered maybe?...stuff floating. Thin off-whtie head, leaves a bit of lacing. Smell is soggy, rotting citrus. Odd...I don't particularly like it. Taste is also odd. Some citrus, good malt presence and a hoppy bitter finish. Hops overall are weak, though, for an IPA. Medium-bodied, finishes dry and there's a bit of a bitter aftertaste.

I wouldn't pick this up again. I have had the Double Daddy Double IPA and it's a lot better than this. There are a lot of IPAs I prefer to this's just a strange representation of the style. Based on the average ratings going back in time, I wonder if maybe this is an off-batch? The ratings seem to be going downhill of late.

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Big Daddy IPA from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
3.73 out of 5 based on 1,380 ratings.
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