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: 1,381
Photo of RBorsato
4.77/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bright yellow-gold with a full pillowy off-white head and slow carbonation. Nice big citrusy hop aroma !! Nice citrusy hop flavor with just enough malt to balance... clearly on the hoppy side. Medium-full bodied and smooth with a lightly dry bitter finish.

Excellent West Coast hoppy brew I've had a few times and consistent over many years... As good as I remembered albeit a bit pricey.

'003' under "Whose Your Daddy?" (?)
Tasted: 08/10/04

($1.61 / 12 oz. bottle)

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Photo of beerinator
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden peach colored. The slightly off-white head left very nice lacing on the glass that stuck around for a while.

Aroma: Sharp grapefruit surrounded by heavy malty caramel sweetness. The aroma is very pleasant if you like hops, and super pleasant if you're a fan of American citrusy hops.

Taste: Upfront the flavors are malty and a bit fruity, but the bitterness kicks in during the last of the sip. The hops are slightly sharp a tiny bit harsh. But overall it seems like a nice hefty balance. The finish is a bit longer than I would like, because the bitterness fades and leaves a very small bit of a twangy metal flavor. The body of this beer is on par for a pale ale or IPA.

Notes: This is a nice beer to drink. The aroma is a bit better than the actual taste, but it's very solid and drinkable.

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Photo of putnam
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

These guys (gals?) are just using way too aggresive a yeast strain. Or should they be adding more varied carbohydrates (ie. "adjunct")??? Something must be changed to slow down this brew. One can tell from the nose that it is ripe enough and has been seasoned with some very high-quality hops. I mean, these are hops flavors to die for: sticky chunks of lamb's bread, lemon liqueur and wild herbs de Provence.
But in the mouth it is unforgivingly dry and awkward. Tanned honey flavors, biscuit and tree bark tease the palate before rigorous, unrelenting, lean dryness takes away the fun. Medicine and ashphalt linger. This isn't green tea folks!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.57/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Minimally hazy golden amber. The smallish head is off-white in color and doesn't look nearly as firm, as creamy or as sticky as a good IPA head should look. A slim collar of lace is the only glass coverage.

The aroma is pretty nice and is dominated by sweet, zesty citrus fruit peel. It could be a bit stronger though, I can't appreciate much until I get my nose almost into the glass. Big Daddy is definitely not a top-notch IPA. The hop flavor is too understated, especially in comparison to the degree of hop bitterness.

In addition, the body/mouthfeel is too light and too carbonated for the style. The finish is harshly bitter and overly dry. I haven't been all that impressed with Speakeasy's other beers (none of them even sniff 'great'), but neither were they the disappointment that Big Daddy is.

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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 sinistersteve
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Spiffy looking bottle that seems to look back at to say I quickly poured this into my trusty, spy-free glass to calm my cronic parania.

Color poured to a somewhat thin, transloucent amber. Not a very thick head, but the carbonation seems to be decent enough to leave a constant, yet thin head that leaves a certain amount of lace against the edges of the glass that others could leave..

Aroma was citusy. Could easily recongize that hops were a main ingrediant in this tasty brew.

Taste and mothfeel are good. Seems to have that full-flavored feel, yet isn't a huge palate dystroyer.

Drinkability is good...I would have no problem buying this one again.

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Photo of ark57
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours a dark gold with some chill haze and a white head. There is some decent lace left on the glass. The aroma is mostly all hops (earthy, floral, minty, citrus) but it does not come off too strong. There is also some fletting vanilla and grain in the nose. The body is thin and it is not balanced well. I like hops and a lot of them, but I need some sort of body to drink them with, not just a hop tea. It finishes with an earthy, minty bitterness and is almost astringent. The bitterness seems to linger forever.

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Photo of kmcnair
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big Daddy IPA pours a rich golden color and creates a thick white head. Smell is fruity, estery, piney and an accent of citrus. Taste is quite bitter, slight notes of diacetyl and is spicy. It is adequately hopped. Medium to full body and is thick on the palate. This is an above average IPA, but not my favorite... an easy drinker none the less.

My 20th review!

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Photo of MobBarley
4.65/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, this brew is ful of light and butterscotch hues. Cloudier than most American IPAs, it has an average head composed mostly of large bubbles turns into a frothy sea atop the glass, leaving a fine, strong sheet of lacing most of the way down. Gorgeous to behold.

The aroma is, well...this is my favorite smelling beer to date. Smells nice, hoppy and herbal. Very herbal, green, piney and grapefruity. Malt? yeah, I think I smelled some of that in there, (clinging to life in a sea of bitter glory). If I could rate it above five I would.

The taste is a hopehead's dream. Big and citric all the way through, a filmy hop-oil goodness dominates at the end. Somewhere in the middle, in the eye of the Lupulin storm, there is a bready (almost nutty) maltiness that is deluged out of existence as quickly as it came. Undeniably attention grabbing and absolutely mouth-watering.

The mouthfeel is big, but a little disappointing and on the thin side for the style. A bit more of an oily aspect would have put this brew near perfection. Carbonation moderate and perfectly complimentary.

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Photo of granger10
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden yellow in appearance with a moderate off white head. Lots of lacing. This beer had a huge hop strike up front. Very acidic and tart in mouthfeel. The hops were lemony and slightly floral. I actually liked the initial hit but the flavor faded bigtime by the finish. In the end there was nothing, where did the flavor go? This was quite a disappointment considering the upfront flavors. Apparently the lack of anything other than hops was this beer's downfall. Still went down easily and is something I might consider getting again.

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Photo of merlin48
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz "Stone" style bottle pours a clear, medium yellow, with an attractive, offwhite head of small, tightlyknit bubbles. The head fades rather quickly, leaving islands of splotchy lace all over the glass. Aroma is westcoast hops(Cascades?), resiny pine, lemonrind, and a hint of grapefruit. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated, with a potent hops bite on the tongue. Taste begins with bitter piney hops, and a crisp dryness. Some sweet fruitiness emerges midway through. Tasted like apples at first, then took on a pink grapefruit character. The fruity sweetness gets swatted into the background with a vengeance, with the powerful hopping of this ale. Pine hops and bitter, lemonrind dominate the flavor profile. I couldn't pick up any malt notes in the aroma or the taste. Finish is dry and crisp, with a bitter aftertaste. Alcohol is not noticed, but there are enough hops in this to mask anything. Still, a likeable westcoast style IPA.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.02/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pssst! Big Daddy sent me...ah-hem...“The wet dog sighs by the dry fire.” After allowed in to this Speakeasy, I was greeted by slightly pale & apricot colored pour without carbonation bubbles except for the good sticky head, plenty of unevenly sized bubbles, antique white lace that sticks and slides down the glass.

First, I was met by grapefruit hops and macerated Maraschino cherries aroma. Next I turned a dark corner, which lead to flavors of apricot, and hints of straw. Dry, fairly complex IPA guesswork calls for this Speakeasy to be raided for closer scrutiny. Excellent body mouthfeel swirls to a highly swigable citrusy grapefruit rind. When the cops showed up, this brew slid to the back of the tongue, escaping to my belly. No awl-kee-hawl is detected at all. Citrusy, bitter dry finish, little aftertaste. Fresh cut grass-like hops dry off the finish, and make a clean getaway.

Last swigs: For $36 buckeroos to hush up the man, this undated 24 x 12 painted bottle 6.5% ABV case was a welcomed (Rice-a-roni, the San Francisco) treat that repealed Amendment XVIII, allowing for Amendment XXI to be passed. Bottom’s up!!! A solid IPA that stands up with the usual suspects but is fingered as the guilty party…and I mean party. Gotta git me hands on more Speakeasy brews!!!


My neighbor tried a SPEAKEASY IPA as his first intro to hoppiness. He liked it. Also, I found other SPEAKEASY: Untouchable Pale and Prohibition Ale.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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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 Mitchster
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours to a light yellow, medium gold with a slight haze, forming an average sized white head with poor retention and no lacing. Aroma is fruity and vibrant with citric sweet hops, oranges, grapefruit, darjeeling tea, a hint of sulfur and husk. Mouthfeel is semi-dry with a pronounced acidity and medium body. Carbonation is medium. Taste is much the same as aroma, with a peculiar grapefruit rind bitterness and a delicate darjeeling tea quality. The harsh acidity lasts and lasts and assaults the tastebuds like most west-coast pale ales. Agressively hopped with a resinous bitterness, intense beyond my liking, but not as intense as a Stone or Lagunitas. Not even an attempt at being balanced...just over the top hops. No off-flavors are discernible beneath the pungency.

Typical for west-coast IPA's, but not my cup of tea. A quality brew, but despite being a hophead, I demand some balance in a beer.

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Photo of belgianbeerlover
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with no dating to be found.

A vigorous pour left a thin, creamy head that deflated rather quickly. It did retain a thin cap down to the bottom of the glass though. A beautiful, rich amber in color. The aroma is not too complex, sweet and hoppy. The taste is all about hops, living up to it's heritage as a West Coast IPA. That said, I was surprised by how smooth the finish was. I'd definitely recommend trying this beer if it's available, but don't know as if it's something I'd go out of my way to try and find.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours super clear, yellow with golden overtones. Large white head settles down quickly but leaves oodles of lace on the pint glass.
Aroma is oily hops and some citrus with some crystal and pale malt way in the background.
Flavor is pungent and oily bitter hop in the first wave. Incredibly bitter and almost develops a metallic note on the taste buds. As a second wave the citrus hop notes prevail and smooth it out a bit. A bit of grain and hint of pale malt show up only to be overrun by a very bitter end.
Mouthfeel is pucker city, overdoes of hops, so much it fact it really dries the palate and beer loses some it refreshing quality. Mid mouthfeel is quite nice when the citrus comes through but the beginning and end are not that appealing.
Drinkability loses some marks as the bitter metallic taste really detracts from nicer hop notes.

Notes: Yikes! Slam, kick, punch and impale the mouth with hops. This beer does not even give you a chance to get ready or recover, some might say “out of balance” but hop heads might say “just enough”. Absolutely a kicker of a west coast IPA.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured crystal clear pale golden. The head was just slightly off-white and lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was very well done with huge grapefruit and citrus. A malty aroma resided in the background.

The flavor was bitter, but missing a malt component. The hop flavor dominates the flavor that is present. The flavor is tasty, but not very complex.

The finish was dry and slightly bitter which plesantly lasted into the aftertaste. The body was medium to medium light.

I suspect they filter this beer within an inch of it's life and it loses some flavor and body in the process, however it is very easy drinking and the bottles are definitely cool! I'd love to sample this beer prior to filtering.

12 ounce bottle.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.74/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This brew is a very clear yellow color. Almost looks like a macro. I was a little surprised by this. Bright white head is present and hangs out. Also some tight latticework is evident.
The aroma is dominated by floral hop scents, very appealing even to a "malty" like me. The brew is actually fairly thin in body but exhibits fairly sharp carbonation. Overall the texture is a little watery but very drinkable.
Flavor is pretty much dominated by hops from start to finish. I do get a slight drying effect on the finish. Very crisp and refreshing brew. This reminds me more of a pilsner than an IPA.

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Photo of oberon
4.09/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well I was in a hoppy state of mind and wanted a fix and I sure got it in this beer,pours a light golden color with a light head that does leave some decent lacing,aroma is hugely piney and carammely very appetizing.Taste was very resiny and piney to be expected but not as harshly hoppy as I had thought it would be from the other reviews,but this beer is for hop heads for sure and malt mavens who are looking for a hop fix.Well done.

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Photo of nomad
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very little head despite a vigorous head, this beer has this strange blondie light-orange color with a murky haze I've never seen in an IPA. Occasional lace. Every time its an eerie beer to look at, though.

Smells of pine - dry, chalk-like, and fairly pungent. Some honey-ish malt behind it, but the pairing is unfortunately altogether far from assertive. Taste is full of northwest hop flavor without being too drying, as pine flavors with plenty of biting herbal accents are everywhere, eerily similar to Stone IPA. These are well balanced by a nice pale-ish malt body.

A simple profile but appreciated in its fashion, not terribly tasty but at the same time not terribly noxious. Surprisingly laidback for a Caliornia ale, and thus very easy to drink. A truly great session IPA.

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Photo of quetzpalin
4.69/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have to admit that I am a sucker for a really, really dry, really, really hoppy IPA, and this beer certainly is that. What really grabs me about this beer is that it manages to be so smooth, refreshing, and drinkable while maintaining the strength of the hops flavor. In that way, it can be a quite versatile bottle; able to be by turns eminently downable, such as on a hot day, and surprisingly and crisply filled with hoppy bite. In fact, this has become my regular, everyday default in the fridge beer. It helps that I live in SF, and get it at the corner liquor store for $6.49. I love this beer, and have, as of yet, failed to take it for granted.

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Photo of beernut7
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a copper color with a mottle thin head. Huge spruce pine aroma with hints of caramel. Initial moderate bitterness with a citrus sharp hop spice. The body is thinner that usual with the thinnest hint of oak wood on top of an almost indistinguishable malt presence. Not a great IPA. Light on the malt, heavy on the grassy, earthy hops.

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Photo of ChappyCubsFan
3.41/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew has a fairly good hop taste, but the problem is the hops just overpower the malt and you're left with a fair IPA overall. This was one of the beers I judged at Lucky Baldwin's 2003 IPA Festival, and it did only fair against some big name IPA's. Certainly nowhere near the class of the top notch California IPA's such as Stone, Bear Republic, and AleSmith.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Good looking clear pale golden brew that pours with a frothy white head, that dissipates to a bubble collar, and leaves a lot of foamy lace. The appearance does not scream IPA, as this could be easily be mistaken for one of the mass brewed lagers. I am used to the East Coast (English Style) IPAs, and the hops used in this beer did not appear to be overly aromatic. The hops did have a typical West Coast style bitter snap and spiciness to them. The beer also suffers from a mouthfeel that is a bit too thin and use of pale malts that are not too sweet and devoid of a lot of complexity. This however is an exceptionally refreshing and drinkable beer that can easily be downed in mass quantities by the side of a pool. Thanks resirob for letting me try one.

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Photo of dmarch
3.87/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden color with a large white head. Hoppy aroma, mostly grapefruit and pine. Taste is mainly citrusy hops. Not much malt character in here. This one is primarily hops. The bitterness and light body make it refreshing, but not my ideal IPA. A little more malt to balance this out and this could be fantastic.

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Big Daddy IPA from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
3.73 out of 5 based on 1,381 ratings.
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