Heavy Seas - Big DIPA (2009-2011)
Heavy Seas Beer

Heavy Seas - Big DIPA (2009-2011)Heavy Seas - Big DIPA (2009-2011)
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IPA - Imperial
3.74 | pDev: 13.64%
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Heavy Seas - Big DIPA (2009-2011)Heavy Seas - Big DIPA (2009-2011)
Notes: Hops: Amarillo, Centennial, Simcoe
Malts: 2-row, Biscuit, Crystal
Reviews: 223 | Ratings: 316 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of gcamparone
gcamparone from Rhode Island

3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Duvel glass. Received this as a gift from Andrew and Sara, thank you guys!

A- Pours a hazy dark orange body with a nice fluffy white head that reduces very slowly and leaves heavy lacing. Very nice looking.

S- Pretty floral and piney, somewhat soapy, caramel and breadyness, maybe a hint of vanilla and oak.

T- Upfront light piney notes, a bitter hop astringency, some some vanilla and caramel on the finish from the oak. The aftertaste is an unbalanced bitter flavor.

M- Medium body and carbonation.

Overall it was alright. Nothing special, a little unbalanced and the hops really don't work well with the barrel, which was almost nonexistant.

Jun 07, 2014
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jcewin from Maryland

3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Nice amber color. Good clarity. Minimal head with decent lacing.

S: Slight oak and caramel with some of the heat from the alcohol wafting up.

T: Good balance with the oak, hops and malt. Some oak aged beers seem overly dry or just too oakey. Sweet Caramel with a good heat behind it. Leaves a slight spice on the back and palate afterwards.

M: What you'd expect from a big IPA. Thick mouthfeel that is balanced by the hops and alcohol rather well.

O: I think Heavy Seas has better beers from their normal selection. For a more premium brew, I was honestly expecting more. I don't think it's poor execution, it's really the concept that seems lacking. That being said, I'm half way through this bomber and starting to like it more. That tends to happen with big beers :). What stands out is the nice caramel flavor, wrapped in that heat from the 10.5% ABV. While the concept of an oak aged DIPA doesn't really thrill me, the execution is very balanced and well done.

May 25, 2014
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barczar from Kentucky

3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy amber with a quarter inch fleeting cream head that leaves minimal lacing.

Sweet caramel malt, booze, muted citrus, and hints of dark fruit form the initial aroma. Floral notes accompany oak, bruised cherry, figs, and dates. There's a significant caramel malt backbone.

Flavor is boozy. Fairly oaky and resiny at the finish. Deep caramel notes accompany slight fruit character and toasted malt. Citrus is muted by bitterness.

Body is moderate to slightly full, with moderate carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

Very boozy brew. The hoppiness is overtaken by oak and alcohol. Decent caramel malt base, but doubt this will improve with time. Somewhat cloying. Glad I bought a point and not a 17 dollar bottle.

Apr 27, 2013
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BlurryVisi0n from New York

3.54/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter glass. Fresh 2013 batch.

Appearance: Looks simple but good, transparent amber with very little bubbles on the body. Head originally off-white, rose to maybe 1/4", looking pretty good so far.

Smell: Hoppy and with light pine scent, light leaving you pretty quick.

Taste: Real bitter and a little light, the bitterness disapears quickly that's where I am going at. Heavy alcohol feel, missing the true floral feel I believe any IPA should have.

Mouth: Smooth, but heavy alcohol almost woody after taste. Medium felling a notch light.

Overall: This beer tries to be great I am not saying it isn't good but it could use some tweaking. It is probably the most mellow DIPA I have had period and I am not looking for easy when it comes to DIPAs. I want complexity, I want pure the pure taste of hops and grapefruit. Heavy Seas, you make great beers time to reinvent yourselves. Salud!

Apr 25, 2013
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.44/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

On cask at Growlers Pour House in Charlotte.

A: Hazy golden-amber with a creamy and very durable off-white head that leaves a full coat of sticky lacing on the glass.

Does not smell or taste as expected. First, the hop mix Is an unusual (but not in a bad way in the aroma) and rather grassy mix of hops, with some spicy, earthy and faint citrus aspects. Second, the hops are not as forward or aggressive as expected in a DIPA; in fact, they are a bit mild even for an IPA. High ABV is partially hidden, but contributes to a mildly harsh feel. Taste is bready too.

O: unusual DIPA with a markedly grassy character. I found this a bit disappointing

Apr 24, 2013
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larryi86 from Delaware

4.29/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle, 2013, poured into a DFH IPA glass

A- A clear copper color with a three finger off white head.

S- Floral hops, oak, some citrus, caramels malts.

T- Citrus hops up front with a nice caramel malt back bone, some earthiness, nice piney bitter hop finish with a nice oak character. Touch of alcohol, very well balanced.

M- Smooth, medium body, nice carbonation.

O- A solid beer worth picking up. Really enjoy what the oak brings to this beer. Alcohol is slightly noticeable, but doesn't hurt the beer.

Apr 24, 2013
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nUgZ from North Carolina

4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber poured into a snifter. 2013 Vintage

A: Pours a clear dark amber color with a one finger head and some lacing.

S: Slight hops up front along with a nice sweet malt aroma following closely behind.

T: Sweet malts, caramel, a little oak, some hops, and a touch of alcohol.

M: Medium to heavy bodied with good carbonation. Smooth.

O: This is not your typical DIPA. Not very hoppy at all. It's almost like a Barleywine or Strong Ale. Not bad...actually very enjoyable. Not what I was expecting though.

Apr 16, 2013
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CloudStrife from New York

3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into a tulip. 2013 vintage.

A: Rigorous pour yields a clear dark amber brown with a two finger dense slightly yellowed head. Just a little bit of visible carbonation. Head really sticks around for a while and leaves some nice lacing.

S: Fresh floral hops are the first thing I notice. Also a citrusy grapefruit tone to the hops. Real freshness to the smell. A hint of sweetness and a touch of oak. As it warms the malt starts to dominate the aroma.

T: One of the maltier double IPA's I have had recently, this reminds me of a barley wine. Carmel sweetness and a bold earthiness take up most of the flavor. Hops are in there but fairly muted by the strong malt bill. On the sweeter side but that seems to do a good job hiding the booze.

M: Thick body with low carbonation. Comes across very syrupy with ample stickiness to it. Very warming and a beer you sip on.

Overall a tad lacking in the hop department to be an outstanding double IPA. The oak spirals didnt seem too add too much to the flavor either. Could actually picture aging this one. Worth a try for big beer fans.

Apr 14, 2013
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youradhere from Washington

3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a hotel plastic cup, smell is cherries, vanilla, toffee, slight citrus, cinnamon, oak; smells like a nice Flanders. Taste is pumpkin, cherry, slight funk, tea like tannin, honey, quite nice yet in IPA like. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy enough, good flavor, but this is nothing like what a "traditional IPA" tastes like, however it is probably what a classic IPA tastes like. Slight barrel funk on a rich beer base makes this a great tasting brew, different, yet not quite IPA like.

Apr 13, 2013
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Rast from Maryland

4.43/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 Uncharted Waters series. Bomber on m' parents' back porch on a second consecutive unseasonable summery spring evening. Buona sera indeed.

In art as in brewing it's impossible to be totally unique. Otherwise one would have to invent multiple words just to describe the subject. There'd be literally no comparison, no point of reference. While the Big DIPA is not indeed totally unique, it's one-of-a-kind in the world of IPAs... or DIPAs for that matter.

Pours a decent reddish amber, nothing out of the ordinary, tho certainly darker than yr average IPA. Lacing is ho hum for a mighty 10.5%, tho the head was so thick I accidentally stuck my nose right into it when I was smelling some muted malts and earthy, soft hops. Not what I was expecting: a wet fizzy nose and no bursting bitterness. Uh... this IS a dbl IPA, correct?

Taste is a clever blend of malt and hop. This is where English, and my limited experience, fail me. Yes, malt and hop are what beers taste like, but the blend here is what intrigues me and defies proper explanation. Initial taste is 75/25 on the malt/hop ratios. (I'm literally having to take 5 sips per sentence to try to describe this.) Hops settle in nice, then the oak character really comes in on the aftertaste for an extraordinarily smooth and easy hop-"dominated" flavor. Really hop-centric. Nothing dominant abt any aspect of this beer other than the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is aight. Semi-smooth and nice and lower-middle carbonation. Nothing to write home abt.

If you've made it to this point in this long-winded review, I commend thee. I defy you to write it any shorter with so little idea of exactly what yer tasting for the first time. Hopefully Heavy Seas is brewing this in 20 years when I know how to use English to describe complex brews.

Apr 11, 2013
Photo of KattM2013
KattM2013 from North Carolina

4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Orange/amber color with a creamy white head; however, I had this beer on cask and the head was not quite as full as a keg pour would have produced.

S: Aroma brings notes of caramel as well as a floral hops and a sugary sweetness.

T: Up front the taste is of bready malt and floral hops which quickly morphs into and intense grapefruit hop and finishes with a boozy caramel sweetness.

M: This is definitely a full bodied brew that goes down smoothly but watch out for the alcohol bite at the end!

O: Overall this is definitely a brew worth having for any fan of Double IPA's!

Apr 10, 2013
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken from New York

4.4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Quick notes: had the 2013 (?) release. From their website:
"When we decided to resurrect the Big DIPA, we knew that we needed to make it bigger and better. We’ve brought the beer back with the same 10.5%ABV as before, the same massive amounts of hops as before, but this time, we’ve aged it on oak spirals. Oak spirals suspended in solution allow more surface area to come into contact with the beer increasing the oak presence without increasing exposure time. This results in a smoother oak flavor and further compliments the extraordinary hop characteristics. Cheers!"


A: clear medium amber beer in a tulip; tan head of a finger-or-so. Sparse, slight motes of lace

S: floral and citric aroma, woodsy pine accentuated (I suppose) by the barrel aging

T: nice and big maltiness underscores the flavors that accompany the hops on the nose; some caramel sweetness balances the bitter hops; the barrel aging adds an elegance to the experience

M: weight like you'd expect from a DIPA, but the barrel-aging lightens the feel somehow; moderate carbonation; clean finishing - bitterness here is balanced by an almost evaporative quality from the oak

O: I think my only other barrel-aged DIPA is Burton Baton, which is epic. I didn't want this beer to pale, and it did not. A very well-crafted ale. Would totally buy this every time it comes around.

Apr 05, 2013
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 ounce bottle, 2013 Uncharted Waters series. Served in a tulip, the beer pours a clear reddish/amber color with about an inch off-white head. The head retention was good, and there was a lot of lacing. The brew smells like citrusy (tropical fruit, orange) and floral hops, oak, vanilla, and sweet malt. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like citrusy and floral hops, caramel malt, oak, bready malt and light pine hops. Seems pretty balanced between the malt and hops, and it does have a lingering bitter finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's syrupy and slick with moderate carbonation. I thought this was a good brew, glad I got to try it. $7.99 a bomber.

Mar 30, 2013
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mothman from Minnesota

3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the ale house. Snifter

Beige head. Copper amber in color. Lots of lace.

Flavor is of big juicy hops. Pine with some floral notes. Grapefruit citrus. Fairly tropical. Some hop resin stickiness. A little bit of caramel sweetness.

Mouthfeel is better and sticky. Medium bodied.

Overall, a solid dipa. This must be a new batch because it says it is retired. I like this one.

Mar 24, 2013
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ThickNStout from Georgia

3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle from Total Wine (Kennesaw, GA). 5.99. If the smeared numbers on the bottom of the bottle are any indication, this appears to have been bottled 2/18/13. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

Pours deep, clear red-orange with a finger and a half of manilla head that leaves a good bit of lace behind.

The nose seem muted. Faint whiffs of orange, earthy floral hops and oak.

Tastes of bitter citrus peel, pine, flower petals and soft oaky vanilla. Plenty bitterness with sweet malty body and very little alcohol apparent in the flavor.

Slick, medium feel with wispy carbonation. Slightly oily. Dry, bitter sweet citrus hop finish.

Though far from my favorite, The Big DIPA is a smooth, easy drinking occasional treat. Not sure if the oak aging is new for this year (I don't recall any mention of barrels in the last batch) but it's nice. I know bombers are not value buys but as far as 22oz bottles go, you could do worse for more money. I'll most likely continue getting a my annual bottle with each release.

Mar 24, 2013
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CrazyEasyBartender from Maryland

4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- amber/caramel color one and a half finger head that settled to a half finger head. Constant layer of lacing rings are not spaced out very much. Nucleation in he glass helps retain the head.

Smell- citrus hops, wood chips, smokey, caramel, subtle malt. Hop aroma isn't as instense as a dogfish head IPA but hop profile is average. Slight alcohol in the nose but doesn't overpower the overall aroma.

Taste- complex with a nice smoked wood bite at the front. Hops linger in the back but a cleaner finish than some hop forward beers I've tasted. Aging in oak makes the earthy dark flavors linger slightly after but seems balanced, not crushed with hops and not overly sweet. Alcohol is masked in the taste and barely lets you know it's there.

Mouthfeel- not super carbonated and very drinkable with a slight syrupy feel.

Overall- never was able to try the first batch of Big DIPA but very glad they brought it out of retirement. The oak aging adds some nice subtleties without overpowering the beer. Would purchase again and thank the employee at Heavy Seas for remembering me and giving me a bomber when I came in. My magic Afro powers.

Mar 22, 2013
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doughanson78 from Washington

3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to nmann08 for this one.

A: Golden copper in color with decent clarity. One finger off white head with alright retention and decent lacing.

S: Floral hops with light citrus notes. Big caramel malt backbone.

T: Big caramel up front. Then a weird floral and citrus hop profile. An off mixture. Not to bitter. Finishing slightly grassy with an alcohol bite.

M: Medium light body. Medium high carbonation. Slightly slick. A touch dry.

O: Not a great DIPA, but it is decent. The hop profile is a very odd flavor. The alcohol has a bit of a bite in the finish that I’m not fond of. This isn’t a bad beer just not one I would purchase on a regular basis.

Nov 11, 2011
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thagr81us from South Carolina

4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Green Man snifter. Poured red-orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to half a finger slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, alcohol, earth, and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, caramel, subtle fruit, alcohol, and wood. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. There was definitely a lot of things going on in this brew in both the aroma and flavor. It was quite complex and well balanced, but nothing really took off and made me want to seek out another bottle of this one. But I do suggest that if you have not tried it that you do so at least once.

Nov 08, 2011
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

3.49/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Had this one a while back. Left notes on Word.

A-Pours a darker copper. Smaller head. Head bubbles off a bit and leaves splotchy lacing.

S-Citrus and pine. Along with the former, I get a big dose of sticky, sugary maltiness. The nose is not strong. Whiffs of alcohol too. Aroma is decent, but it is fairly mellow.

T-Quite sweet. Sticky sweet sugar/caramel. Citrus/grapefruit is the most prevalent hop in the flavor. This one is balanced but also kinda leans toward the sweet side. Gets worse throughout the bomber.

M-Syrupy from the sugary. Medium bodied. Alcohol burns pretty powerfully here.

O/D-Doesn't get much love on BA but I liked this one for some reason. It is not a great DIPA but it holds a special place in my heart because it was one of the first DIPAs I had ever tried.

Oct 25, 2011
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TheBrewo from New York

2.93/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

We pour a richly colored brew of deep maroons and ruby browns. It holds a one finger head of tan bubbles, receding at a medium pace into a thick film across the liquid. Bits of lacing stick here and there. There is no real haze or sediment, and the carbonation is minimal. The aroma is sickly sweet, with the biggest component being huge buttery diacetyls. Adding to this are massive toasted caramel malts. Hops are bright with grapefruit, and there is an added sweetness of cantaloupe. Bringing up the rear is a heavy, peppery booze. This really smells quite like a doppelbock. As we sip, burnt caramel and brown sugar sweetness pound up front. There is a bitter slickness of hops, giving resin and pine. Through the middle we have a milky creaminess, giving more sweetness. The booze appears at this point, hiding amongst a mixture of roasty and caramel malts. The finish continues with this, with a peppery, alcoholic bite. The hops show a comeback of pine, balancing with the sweeter malts. The aftertaste breathes with metallic coin, cooked butterscotch malt sweetness, huge booze, and a roasty coffee flavoring. The body is full, and the carbonation is medium. There is huge slurp and smack with each sip, and a big froth despite the lack of any real head. The mouth is left coated thickly, and cooled. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks as a sipper.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the rich coloring and nice frothy film over the top. The hops in this one were way underplayed, with the malts as the dominant players. This made it hard for us to even consider this a DIPA, when it smelled and tasted much more like a maibock or a doppelbock.

Oct 16, 2011
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AgentMunky from New York

4.28/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St Bernardus goblet. From notes. Reviewed 20 June 2011.

A: Generous head, more than a finger. Deep orange, with a gorgeous hue. Barely clear.

S: Vegetal hops and pleasant citrus. Grapefruit and/or lemon peel. Strong and enticing.

T: An excellent DIPA! Hugely malty with lots of alcohol. Strong hops balance the beer and carry the drinker on to a bitterly excellent conclusion. Nice beer. Sweet-big sugars have glorious traces of bitterness around the edges.

M: Substantial and pleasing. Light carbonation. Both wet and bitter. I love it.

O: I'm a big fan of this one! Strong -- very much so -- but, if not drinkable, still delicious. Recommended as a big-hitting, tasty Double IPA. I've enjoyed every bottle of the Mutiny Fleet I've purchased, and have started wondering why my reviews of these Heavy Seas beers are often much higher than the average. Ah, well, try it for yourself and vindicate my opinion!

Oct 09, 2011
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bucklemyshoe from Georgia

2.96/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: This pours a clear tea color with two fingers of cream-colored head that laces well.

S: Stong caramel maltiness, over-shadowed floral hoppiness, and a little citrus.

T: This is simply an over-malted and too-heavily-boozed DIPA.

M: The body is thick, syrupy, and has some alcohol heat.

O: This is like a hot, out of balance barleywine.

Sep 20, 2011
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brewdlyhooked13 from Ohio

4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours an orange amber with a good solid finger of sticky manila foam on top. Excellent stick, pretty good staying power all around on the head.

Aroma - heavy caramel and syrupy citrus. Good resilience as well.

Taste - chewy caramel malts play into some orangey hoppiness. This is an aged sample so the character is a little to the barleywine side, but great hop profile here. Big citrusy side, some mild pine in there. It's got a big flavor but still allows the sweet side of the malts to come through on the swallow. A slight abv heat on the aftertaste. Great malt/hop balance. No hint of the 10.5, impressive.

Mouthfeel - smooth, slightly heavy. Not bad for the style, couldn't hurt to have eveb more body though.

Drinkability - a really enjoyable bomber. A fine sipper after working at Cincy Beer Fest tonight. A way better price too. ;-)

Sep 10, 2011
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JDizzle from Indiana

3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a Bomber of this tonight and here's the notes.

Pours a clear golden copper with a nice off white head. A thin ring stayed with the glass the whole time and it had some legs.

The smell came through with a lot of malt and of course the hops. There is a sweet carmel scent, as well as some alcohol that pleases the nose.

At 75 IBU, it's not the most bitter DIPA I have had, but it's very balanced. You get a big alcohol presence on the front end and a bitter finish. Close to a Barleywine as far as DIPA's go. Pretty good for this style, not great.

For a 10.6% ABV, this is a very drinkable beer. I may seek this out again, especially for the price-$6.49-22oz

Sep 02, 2011
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vandemonian from Maryland

3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Heavy Seas Big DIPA is a great double IPA in every respect except one: flavour.

A: Orange colour and 4 cm head that fades to excellent lacing. 4.5

S: Nice hoppy smell: floral; citrus and pine. 4.5

T: Malty with mild piney hop seasoning. Some bitterness in the finish. Not much hoppy flavour. Not a great DIPA. 3.5

M: Foamy. 4

O: Lacks a delicious flavour. 3.5

Aug 03, 2011
Heavy Seas - Big DIPA (2009-2011) from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 316 ratings