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: 1,383
Photo of bball208
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall, this wasn't a bad beer. For $5, great value for the type and style of beer for a 22 oz. bomber. aroma wasn't crazy, got more malt than hops. Taste was bready, malty, and had some hoppiness come through. It did get better as I kept drinking, and the warmer it got. Would drink again, but wouldn't ever actively search for this one. It's your plain jane IPA.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.37/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Originally sampled on 26 June 2002. This IPA actually looks like a pilsener, but looks can be deceiving. It has nice up front citrus hops. The aroma is perfumy/citrussy. The taste is balanced w/ a clean finish. This IPA is very nice, but not one of the great ones.

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Photo of JG-90
3.37/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

220z into glass

A -Clear and bright copper color. Pours a medium creamy/bubbly head that slowly recedes and leaves heavy lacing

S - Mostly dark malts, not a huge nose, just a touch of hops

T - Starts with a slight orange flavor, then hoppiness, with a bit of a heavier malty finish. Has a very clean finish, very drinkable.

M - Medium body and carbonation, with a bit of creaminess

O - Maltier than I expected for a west coast IPA, but still balanced and drinkable

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Photo of gimmehead
3.37/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured gold with a very thin head that dissipated quickly. Smelled mostly of fruity citrus. Tasted much like the smell, mostly citrus hops, but with smoky(?) finish. Well balanced. Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Not a bad beer ( one I hadn't heard of before), I don't think I'll buy more but won't push it away if offered.

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Photo of TaySuth
3.36/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Surprisingly clear, amber color. Huge white four finger head slowly recedes down to two fingers and then lingers. Massive lacing.

Smell: Good hops aroma. Inviting but not amazing.

Taste: Great grain character although the hop flavor is a little less than expected.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is very good but the body is a bit light.

Overall: A good beer that has some exceptional qualities but lacks in other areas.

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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 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 strengthdoc
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the glass to reveal a light golden color. The aroma brought fourth was light and flowery. The mouthfeel was moderate. The taste had a mild grapefruit component that was pretty consistent throughout the finish and aftertaste. This is generally one of my favorite breweries. The was an OK IPA, but I like most of the Speakeasy beers I have tried better.

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

Pours a clear golden color with a medium white head that goes down quickly. Scent is quite inviting with some decent hoppiness and floral notes. I get a bit of citrus as well. Taste is not quite as good as it smells. The hoppiness I was hoping for is not there and there is a stronger malt profile. The citrus is there, but overwhelmed by some sweeter fruit flavors. Not very bitter with some some hop flavors, but not very great. Mouthfeel is full bodied with a crisp finish. Drinkability is fairly high, as it is very refreshing, just not a great example of an IPA (especially for the west coast).

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)
A- pale golden color with a crystal clear body and strong carbonation. The head is a thin soapy white which fades to a ring on the edge of the glass.

S- crisp citrus, floral hops very clean overall.

T- big hops of grapefruit and some other mild citrus hops. The malt is very pale and is very subtle.

M- light body with a bit of fizz that helps to increase the body. No astringency or alcohol warmth.

D-Pretty nice IPA but it is a little one-dimensional. I would like to see a more complex hop character or some more malt to give it depth. Nice for a thirst quencher beer but needs a few improvements.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at House of Brews, NYC, NY

Despite the terrible service at House of Brews, I eventually got this beer. Served on tap in a pint glass, it was clear golden yellow in color with a small white head that laced fairly well. Aroma was very light, consisting of floral and citrus hops with an underlying sweetness. More citrusy hops in the taste, giving a certain crispness from beginning to end. Pale malt sweetness in the background. Very light and grassy. Light-bodied, not overly flavorful, but still crisp and refreshing for an IPA, if you're not in the mood for anything over the top.

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Photo of bosco7
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden/pale color with creamy head.

Caramel, lots of candy orange, peach, and some vegetal aromas.

Bland flabby hop flavor; I am thoroughly unimpressed already with this IPA. Flavors include canned peaches, orange, lots of malt, and a bit of butterscotch.

Slightly watery mouthfeel with prickly mouthfeel.

Okay at best, there are so many better IPAs on the market. Not bad tasting but there is more hop character in something like a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

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

on tap @ Freakin' Frog in Las Vegas, NV

A- dark straw with a 1/2" white head, disappointing retent, nice lacing though

S- grassy, hops, toasty

T- grassy, hops, citric, toasted malts, grassy hop in aftertaste, hop oils, grassy is dominant hop flavor followed by citrus

M- medium bodied, smooth, leaves palate slightly abused

D- rather mellow for a speakeasy brew, but still tasty, drinkable, pretty straight forward, sessionable IPA

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Photo of magictacosinus
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a mason jar pint... Because, why not? Consumed on 05/12/13. Review is from my notes.

Produces a golden-amber straw color, complete with 2.5 fingers of head depending on how aggressive the pour was. Some bubbles rise to the top, but luckily the head never fully goes away. No lacing to speak of. Not too viscous in nature, but does look like a thickened IPA as far as the ingredients go. Seems a bit paled, however, and I do prefer my IPAs to shine and glow.

The aroma immediately threw me off with an acrid, skunky earthiness and faded hops, almost to the point where I thought the bottle had been oxidized or was past its prime. However, as I let it sit, the initial off flavors changed for the better, and I got some subtle yet warm lemon rinds, some slight oranges, and an undeniable pine/grass combo from the hop profile. However, this may be TOO subtle, especially when considering the style at hand here. There's a bit of malty sweetness, as well as brief astringency from the hop resins, but otherwise this is not too complex by any means. I wouldn't say it's necessarily "balanced" either!

There's a rush of floral, grassy hop notes, as well as lemon, that melds decently into the crisp grainy profile and finishes with a touch of sweetness and bitterness that is mild yet inoffensive. Slightly earthy, but nothing wrong, unlike the initial skunked phenols in the initial aroma. Not as fruity as I usually like my IPAs, and I'd go as far to call this a golden ale with extra aromatic dry hops included in it. Definitely not too astringent, but the initial burst of floral hops is rather nice. The body is relatively thickened, and to me is the biggest strength of this beer, which makes this easy to drink, if relatively underwhelming.

I remember having Big Daddy in bars across SF years ago when I was first getting into craft and found it to be overwhelmingly mediocre (given the fanboyism that went around for it), but it seems that it might have changed for the better here. There's less of that prickly graininess from the original recipe and little bit more balance here, as well as extra charm added to the hop profile. However, it's not something I'd really have again unless offered.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours up a lightly hazed pale goldenrod color with thin off white head. Aromas mostly of piney, citrusy hops with a light malt sweetness underneath. Slightly bitter upfront and moving towards a malt sweetness mid-palate and swaying back to a bitter, astringent finish. Trace amount of mineral flavor. Not overpoweringly bitter, but it is certainly within IPA standards. Maybe a slight bit undercarbonated. Not my favorite IPA to date, but a good one that has a west coast feel to it. Maybe a little too thin, but it's hot out and the beer's cold. Cheers.

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Photo of aaronh
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark golden color, with a minimal off-white head. The aromas are mostly citrus with a hint of malt. The taste is somewhat hoppy, but the bitterness is a bit too agressive. Perhaps a poor combination of hop varities, or just a bad balance with the malt. The mouthfeel is good, but a little too thin to hold up to the bitterness. The aftertaste is mostly bitter citrus and a bit unnerving. However, it is still a decent beer, just not all that well balanced.

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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 boelker62
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a room temperate fluted glass from a bottle.

A - perfectly clear, crisp body that plops down a thick white head oiver topo this fizzy yellow body. Extraordinary for an IPA. Different at least.

S - the constant carbonation consistently releases strong grapefruit (not ruby red, though, rather the more bitter variety) overtones and the head keeps them there for you after each sip.

T - where I think this brew lacks is the complexity or discovery in the translation from aroma to flavor. There are no hidden secrets unveiled. Some may appreciate that, but I like the layers of a good IPA.

M - very light, crisp bite before the mostly watery, fizzy body. I appreciate an oilier brew in an IPA.

D - less than one would think, but the metallic finish doesn't sit well with me.

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Photo of Tone
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear, copper/amber color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight earthy malt, slight caramel malt, hint of alcohol, and hint of hops. Does not seem to fit the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight earthy malt, slight caramel malt, hops, hint of wheat, and a hint of pine. Overall, not hopped nearly enough to be considered an IPA, but otherwise a decent brew that is malt-centric.

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Photo of GJ40
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sampled from a 12oz bottle.

A - Golden and crystal clear with a moderate head and lots of lacing.

S - Citrusy and floral hops with a hint of alcohol and yeast.

T - Toasted malt flavor with piney and grassy hop flavor. Not my style of IPA.

M - High in carbonation and a bit thin.

D - Not bad but not one I'd rush back to. It looks much better than it tastes. A bit too piney for me.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Golden with a mild haze and a quarter inch of soapy, off-white head. Floral hop aroma with underlying biscuit aroma and an odd, fruity sweetness. Hops and cleaning solution. Spritzy carbonation. Eh...

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours gold with a light soapy white head. Some lace, solid retention.

S: Lemon zest, some earthiness, not terribly fragrant.

T: There is some lemon and citrus, but it's not too full flavoured. Definite earthiness/soil flavours on the back end with some astringency.

M: Medium-bodied, soft and crisp carbonation, nice feel.

D: An OK IPA, but there's tons better out there at the price point.

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Photo of blackc5
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a 12 oz bottle I received as a gift. This was a pretty mild IPA in my book, in all aspects. The color seemed a bit on the golden side, and the aromas were fairly mild. What was there was the expected scents of citrus and floral notes, with a bit ot bready malts.

Flavors matched this profile as well, no real changes from the aroma when you taste, other than the hops being a bit milded than they should be in comparison to the malts. I found it to be a decent, but fairly predictable IPA all around - by no means a great IPA.

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Photo of jhartley
3.24/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an over-sized wine glass. Bottled on 09/09/2013.
Body is a clear, filtered golden yellow color. 1/2 a fingers worth of head that quickly dissipated and left a small amount of lacing at the top of the glass.

Smells of citrus, lemon, some spiciness and slight alcohol. Malty aromas come out as it warms.

Hops right up front with a malty sweetness on the end. Not a lot of bitterness. Pine. Lemon. More alcohol burn than I would expect from a 6.5% abv beer.

Very easy drinking IPA. Fairly balanced, bottle claims "...a clean dry finish..." which is pretty true, not something I really want from an IPA though. Would like something a little more aggressive with the hops to have a little more lingering pine or citrus taste on the tongue.

Overall an OK IPA that is pretty tasty, but not one I would search out again. (I received this one as a gift.) It seems to have lost a little something as it warmed up. I was expecting more from this based on previous reviews and the high marks, but was a little disappointed.

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Big Daddy IPA from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
3.73 out of 5 based on 1,383 ratings.
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