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

Heavy Seas - Big DIPA (2009-2011)Heavy Seas - Big DIPA (2009-2011)
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
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
Reviews by jophish17:
Photo of jophish17
jophish17 from Georgia

2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

Dec 24, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of Pencible
Pencible from Virginia

4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured clear, dark copper with some light tan head. It smelled like peach and cherry and floral hops, with sweet caramel malt. It tasted like peaches and cherries, with some rose and honeysuckle and sweet caramel, and a bit of burnt barley. It was somewhat thick with moderate carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste. Overall I can definitely see why some people say this is more like a barleywine than a 2IPA. But it's still very enjoyable. Its big scent and taste weren't the cleanest or most succulent, but they are very well balanced and tasty. It almost seems intentionally brewed that way, and that it would improve with age (again like a barleywine). It had good body and hid the alcohol very well too, so it was surprisingly easy to drink. It's nice to have a 2IPA that's not a pure hop bomb for a change!

Aug 06, 2009
Photo of jnn4v
jnn4v from Virginia

3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Right on the line between brown and orange. If I were to break out my Crayola set, I'd call it burnt sienna. About 1/2 inch of cream / light tan colored head. No sediment. Mild haze.

S: Rust / copper metallic scents, followed by orange and tangerine up front. After a minute or so, some grapefruit began to come out.

T: I can sort of see why some people think this is too sweet or is a syrupy mess, but I personally disagree. It is definitely sweet, but it has a decent amount of citrus flavor and some bittering hops as well. It's no hop bomb, but if you like candied orange flavor, you're in for a treat.

M: Very thick, heavy texture to it, but with enough carbonation to keep it relatively balanced. It's appropriate for the style and for its ABV.

D: Quite drinkable for a 10.5 ABV beer. There is a slight burn in the aftertaste, and some may find the sweetness to be cloying after a while. My wife and I enjoyed it, though.

Aug 25, 2009
Photo of prototypic
prototypic from Ohio

2.96/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big DIPA looks like a caramel and rust collision. It's clear and has an orange tint when held to light. An off-white head sits on top and stands about two fingers tall. It fell relatively quickly, but left thick chunks of sticky lace behind.

The nose is alright, but isn't great. This thing smells chock full of caramel malt. I know it's not uncommon for the style, but I still am not a big fan. Frankly, the overwhelming sweet smell covers much of what else might be here. There are faint notes of grapefruit and orange, but they don't come through very strong. It's obvious that the hops are consumed by the wealth of caramel malt. Alcohol is noted. It's probably not strong enough to suggest a plus 10% beer, but it is here. It doesn't smell overtly bad, but it could be much better.

After a whiff or two, my expectations aren't very high. One sip confirms it's everything I expected. It is very sweet and full of caramel malt flavor. I'm not a big fan of that in DIPAs. There is at least some evidence of citric hops. Grapefruit and orange flavors are subtle and too weak, but they are noted. Unfortunately, there's hardly any bitterness at all. That's a bad, bad thing. It's difficult to tell if Big DIPA is just excessively malt heavy or hop deficient. Either way, it's not good. Alcohol is easily detectible, but isn't quite warming. I still don't think I would've guessed in the 10% neighborhood. It finishes sweet with some light citric flavors. Disappointing overall.

Big DIPA has a medium body that is pretty smooth. That's not surprising given the wealth of malt. Carbonation is about mid-range. The feel is honestly Big DIPA's strongest asset. Drinkability is very average, and that might be a little generous. It is rather big and strong at 10.6%. But, the flavor is sub-par for DIPA and makes it somewhat of a struggle to get through.

Big DIPA is a release that needs to walk the plank. It's not terrible, but it's quite disappointing. There's some hop flavor, but it's not strong enough and there's very little to no bitterness. That doesn't work well for a DIPA in my book. I'd suggest taking a pass on this pirate excursion. It's not very good.

Nov 21, 2009
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer from Georgia

3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours orange/amber with good clarity and a decent head. Smells quite malty, with loads of sweet, honeyed malt. The taste has that same malt slam, but there is also quite a bit of piney hops wedded to the malt. Overall its a bit unbalanced in the malt direction, but still fairly satisfying.

Aug 29, 2009
Photo of BeerSox
BeerSox from Virginia

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

22oz bomber into nonic.

Very dark amber hue, clear, with a one finger light tan head that slowly settles to a thin cap, leaving behind sticky lacing on the walls.

Loads of sharp and spicy grapefruit which covers pretty much everything, including the alcohol. The malts add a light caramel aroma in the background.

Spicy, citrusy, and somewhat herbal hops in the flavor. The alcohol is surprisingly well hidden, although it adds a slight warming feeling in the back of the throat in the finish. The malts have a toasty characteristic. Full bodied.

I think this is a rather good DIPA. I like the "Big DIPA" (Big Dipper) pun. The label says it's bottle conditioned but there is very little sediment and the beer is rather clear, not even hazy. Careful with this one, the alcohol can sneak up on you. Recommended.

Aug 02, 2009
Photo of FickleBeast
FickleBeast from New Jersey

4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into a Rock Bottom Rocktoberfest pint glass

10.5% ABV, 75 IBU. Bottle claims 5 lbs of hops used per barrel.

A - pours a clear orange color with one finger of sticky foam clinging to the glass. Sheets of lace cover the glass as I drink.

S - citrusy hop bitterness up front, sweet crystal malts also poke through

T - initial burst of sweet wort flavor that is quickly consumed by a rush of hop flavor and finished with a sharp bitterness.

M - very chewy, bready, thick. Bitter sticks around with you for a while.

D - I don't detect any trace of the 10.5% abv
- this is very sneaky drinkable. The sweetness really masks any alcohol flavor

An excellent DIPA. I prefer mine a little drier and more hop forward, but can appreciate the balance of malts that power this beer. Much better than Prosit!

Sep 12, 2009
Photo of tpd975
tpd975 from Florida

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

Sampled at Mellow Mushroom Brandon.

A: Poured a nice orange hue with a touch of haze. Nice tall creamy head that exhibited pretty good retention and some lace.

S: Nice sweet malt aromas. Mostly caramel but a touch of darkened brown sugar as well. The middle is very fruity and sweet. Hints of sweet pine as well.

T: Nice sweet toasted malt, bold caramel, light toffee. Apples in the middle pretty sweet with lots of citrus and sweet tangerine. The finish has a touch of citrus and grass. Did I mention it was pretty sweet?

M: On the fuller side of medium, great carbonation from the tap really carries the sweetness.

D: One glass is enough. A good DIPA, but not great.

Sep 01, 2009
Photo of atsprings
atsprings from North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a Duvel snifter pours a crisp bubbly dark orange with a decent khaki head that diminishes to a thin layer and leaves decent lacing on the glass. Aroma is a nice amount of pine hops with slight caramel malt. The taste is a great balance of pine hops and burnt caramel with a nice lingering finish. The beer is slightly heavy with a some boozy alcohol, but not too much. This is a very respectable DIPA, one that will likely be a barley wine after a month or two, so drink it fresh!

Aug 13, 2009
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: It's clear and amber in color and there's a thin layer of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There's only a faint to moderate smell of hops.
T: The taste is rather malty, and has less hop flavors than I had expected given their presence in the aroma. The hop bitterness comes across a little more in the finish.
M: It feels medium bodied and crisp on the palate.
D: It's relatively easy to drink and the alcohol is well masked. I'm not sure if I would have this again because the smell and taste didn't stand out that much.

Apr 16, 2010
Photo of Lunch
Lunch from Maryland

3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a bomber purchased at The Perfect Pour in Columbia, Maryland (10/23/09). Served in a Great Divide snifter at the appropriate temperature.

Appearance: Pours a relatively hazy burnt amber color with a two finger off-white head.

Smell: A caramel malt dominates the bouquet with a slight flutter of a citrus hop. The nose is fairly muted and far less hoppy than most DIPAs.

Taste: Again the malt dominates the palate with caramel, toffee and currant(?) with fair a amount of sweetness. The hops take a backseat and provide a citrus piney flavor that almost completely lacks bitterness. Lacks hops for a DIPA, but is still quite flavorful and a welcome addition to its more malt-forward DIPA cousins.

Mouthfeel: Moderately thick mouthfeel with a syrupy and oily texture combined with good carbonation.

Drinkabilty: Pretty good if you are a fan of malt-forward DIPAs, but the sweetness and 10.6% abv will most likely limit drinkability.

Overall this is a solid beer that is seemingly well crafted and quite flavorful, but in a category with several exceptional beers Big DIPA fails to really make that much of a name for itself. It's lack of hops which may turn some off, but if your a fan of malty DIPAs and you happen to come across it (before its lost to the Heavy Seas forever) it is certainly worth a look.

Oct 23, 2009
Photo of DIM
DIM from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: This was a clear coppery/peach color. It poured with a large off-white head that quickly faded to sheets of lace.

s: Lemon rind and grapefruit hops, vanilla sugar cookis, and just a trace of warmth. On the subtle side for a DIPA, but I love the lemony sugar cookie smell.

t: The hops are on the mild side for DIPA, but the lemon comes through strong enough. Fortunately, the malts that fill in the void aren't the astringent, overdone toffee or caramel I often find in DIPAs. Instead I tasted sugar cookies with a little vanilla. This pairs very well with the lemony hops. As it warms, the finish does become fairly astringent, so drink this one on the cold side.

m: Gentle, creamy carbonation and a nicely chewy body.

d: Best brew I've tried from these guys. Bit of a different take on a DIPA, but it works pretty well to me.

Aug 29, 2009
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this at Brewhouse Grille in Camp Hill on tap. Served chilled in a pint.

A - Gently hazed copper w/ thin white cap. The carbonation is visible, the bead is fine. A nice light haziness like iced tea w/ lemon squeezed in. Lots of tiny bubbles rise upward and the head is about 1/4 inch which revives slightly when swirled in the glass.

S - Pleasant citrus aroma w/ a mild caramel scent and juicy grapefruit nose. Somewhat floral w/ a high amount of alcohol and orange notes

M - A crisp carbonation upfront leads to a full bitter texture and bit of alcohol w/ sting of hops leading into a sweet candy-like malt texture and the warmth of alcohol follows the hop acidity. There is smooth sweet malt which gives a residual syrupy texture

T - A fruity citrus hop juiciness w/ the flavor of grapefruit rind and orange pepper/peel taste. A green taste of fresh herbs w/ orange juice acid in the taste leads to a pine flavor whichhas sweet leafy notes. The malt is sweet like many east coast IIPA's but cushions the intensely bitter hop profile and adds a candy-like sweet tip to the warmth of alcohol. The taste is highly alcoholic as you may have seen in other reviews but the taste isn't as detrimental in this aspect as its drinkability

D - An DIPA that really doesn't hide the high 10.6% abv at all. It is sweeter than I prefer and is not one I would return to most likely except perhaps to compare to the bottle. The alcohol gets a bit medicinal after one serving, I would rather have a dry tasting IIPA with milder abv personally.

Jul 29, 2009
Photo of ffejherb
ffejherb from Pennsylvania

3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber into goblet on 7/28/09. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Poured a slightly hazy amber/orange body with a reddish tint and a slim, creamy white head that settled into a thin film and patchy lacing.

S - Initial aroma is pretty heavy on burnt sugar, caramel and toffee. This is followed by a waft of alcohol and some citrus hops, the latter of which emerged as the liquid warmed up a bit.

T - Very alcoholic and warm initial flavor. You can definitely taste the 10.5% ABV. This is also a very malt-forward DIPA with toffee, caramel and burnt sugars. There are some citrusy hops in there, but they are buried.

M - Medium bodied with a sticky, syrupy texture and fairly creamy mouthfeel overall. Carbonation is actually pretty soft. Lots of alcohol heat is present. Finishes with lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue.

D - Not bad overall, but I find this DIPA to be a bit too warm and malty for my tastes. Also, the hop profile is decent at best.

Aug 28, 2009
Photo of sneaks2210
sneaks2210 from New York

3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

Apr 17, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove from South Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a pretty clear nice burnt amber with a big off white head and a nice bit of lace that flowed down the glass. The smell was dominatd y alcohol, as was the taste. Once it warmed some decent hints of citrus hops were brought forward and could finally be smelled. Lots of hop presence and a nice sweetness that tried to balance it out.The taste was smooth, albeit overpowering with the strong alcohol flavors. Overall this was a good brew, however I think this may be one that was so brought up on ABV that really didnt need to be, and that brings down the drinkibility a bit.

Apr 30, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84 from California

3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed on 8/28/2009 and poured into a snifter. Thanks Checkii. The beer appears amber with a fluffy beige head and good retention. The head hangs around for a long time and leaves some nice lacing.

The nose is sweet caramel malt and a touch of sugar. The hops impart some pine and a small amount of citrus. The booze is readily apparent.

The flavor is malty caramel and sweet, with pine and a moderate-high level of bitterness. There's a lot of hop bitterness but not much flavor, but the malt seems to make up for that. The booze is noticeable throughout. The finish is sweet and bitter with lingering alcohol.

A boozy well balanced Double IPA.

Aug 30, 2009
Photo of rapidsequence
rapidsequence from Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber bought from Kroger right here in Lynchburg.

Appearance: Dark orange- gold with a slight haze. Nice little white head leaves pretty good lacing. Chunks of yeast are loosely settled and come along well before the bottom of the bottle.

Smell: Very sweet smelling with caramel malt and citrus and slightly floral hops.

Taste: Big and malty sweet. Hops are orange, a little piney, and grassy. Finishes with a little bitterness and long biscuity flavor.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick and a little syrupy. I'd actually like a little more carbonation.

Drinability: This is the second one I've bought, and I'll buy it again. Pretty cheap and grocery store available makes it nice. Its a solid, but not especially interesting DIPA.

Oct 08, 2009
Photo of Lothore
Lothore from California

3.26/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clear copper color with a nice, 1.5 finger frothy head.

S- Smell sweet and malty with hints of caramel.

T- Very sweet, caramel, hints of piney hops. A bit of a mettalic aftertaste.

M- Thick with low carbonation.

D- This was a fairly drinkable beer however I think it was a little off balance in the malt department which made it a little harder to drink.

Oct 12, 2009
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile from District of Columbia

3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle from Wine Source in Baltimore poured into a tulip.

Clear amber, slightly orange color with a light tan head. Minimal streaks of lacing and head diminishes fairly quickly to a film and ring of bubbles. Strong aroma of pine hops, little alcohol presence, and caramel malt. As expected for style but nothing exceptional so far. First impression is that this is too sugary sweet. Starts with a sharp pinch of carbonation and hops before the body is overwhelmed by caramel and sugar sweetness. Citrus hops take over in the finish and linger. Body feels slightly thin for the style and lacking carbonation, but overall this is very drinkable for the style and ABV. I had very high expectations for this and it falls somewhat short. Certainly an above average DIPA and excellent offering for Clipper City, but my first experience with the bottled version was lacking balance, too sweet and too high in alcohol for my taste.

Jul 11, 2009
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron from Pennsylvania

3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a beautiful crystal clear amber, that is topped off with a tight finger of slightly off-white colored head. Retains with a thin, yet rich look, that just absolutely COATS the sides of the glass with thick cascade of creamy lace. Great DIPA look here. The aroma is very even smelling, with big notes of floral hops, spice, sticky pine, rich tropical fruit sweetness, and grainy malts. As this warms, the heat starts to rise, with beefy alcohol warmth threatening to overtake the profile.

The hops are big and bold in the taste, with a sharp spiciness and a cutting resinous edge. Balance comes courtesy of a beefy backbone of toasted grainy malts and lush citrus, which really seems to give up a lot of the sweetness in this. The finish is sticky and spicy, with an intensely bitter finish that just completely dries the mouth out. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a creamier carbonation up front that then gives way to slicker and flatter feel, which carries a lot of the warmth and sweetness. There is a pretty heady alcohol presence to this. I don't know if I would call it completely rampart or anything but it does impart a good bit of a sting to the taste and body. This actually does feel like the ABV might be a bit more heftier than what is posted on the bottle.

Well I can't say that I was too surprised by this, as it came off as a typical East Coast DIPA to me. There isn't a lack of hops, but the higher alcohol (i.e. too high) presence makes the sweetness in these pop just that much more, making for a medicial feel that can be hard to take. I figure that your enjoyment of this will depend on how well you can handle the heat. Personally, I think that splitting a bomber with a friend would be perfect.

Jul 17, 2009
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi from Georgia

4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a luscious clear honey golden with a fine-bubbled white head. Rich, hoppy aroma has an undertone of honey and a hint of evergreen. Fiercely hoppy, evergreen flavor is quite bitter but pleasantly so. Smooth, fizzy, edgy texture leaves behind a nice tingle.

May 16, 2010
Photo of argock
argock from Virginia

3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz brown bottle into Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased at Beer Run (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.69.

A: Rusty amber with 1-2 finger off-white head with good retention and ornate lacing.

S: Sweet with a raw malt character that is not harsh accented with orange and floral notes with a decided spicy element

T: Malty to a fault. It is syrupy sweet in flavor without much depth or complexity of the malt. Hops are mainly earthy and spicy with mild orange and floral notes. Alcohol is noticeable but not over the top. Unfortunately, the flavor is mid-pack without much to distinguish it.

M: Good coating quality owing to the big maltload. Aftertaste is earthy and a tad overly sweet.

D: Overall a decent DIPA but not hoppy enough to set itself apart much. Not a bad value, but I think Lagunitas still has them in this department. A bigger hops addition with a bigger citrus component would help offset the huge maltiness.

Nov 23, 2009
Photo of younger35
younger35 from Minnesota

3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this brew recently from masterchiefMD in a recent trade. Can't say I remember ever drinking anything from Clipper City so I look forward to trying. Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale flute.

Appearance- Pours a semi hazed reddish orange with a decent one finger head that is creamy and ivory in color. A super puny cap is left along with a so-so collar that somehow manages to leave a bit of lacing.
Smell- Has a fairly pungent smelling bitterness with a big fruity grapefruit and orange peel aspect. Maybe even a touch of key lime before the malt kind of washes over. A bit of candied peach and red licorice is detectable as it sort of melds with the caramel.
Taste- The alcohol is very noticeable upfront before a wave of bitterness washes over my mouth. Crab apple and white grapefruit are at the forefront as a bit of candied orange peel creeps in. The bitterness sort of turns from semi citric to piney and earthy as it settles. There is almost an underlying sweetness that tries to tame the bitter but it sort of fails in the end. A touch of red licorice and bubblegum to finish but it's fleeting.
Mouthfeel- Very crisp and fairly full bodied with a slight bit of hoppy oiliness.
Drinkability- I think the alcohol is a bit much in this brew but otherwise it's pretty tasty. It's more brashly bitter than I like too but for some reason I'm totally not caring. Maybe it's the 10%? Who cares? Thanks much Chris!

Sep 10, 2009
Photo of fatbatcat
fatbatcat from Georgia

2.75/5  rDev -26.5%

Jul 07, 2012
Heavy Seas - Big DIPA (2009-2011) from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 316 ratings