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

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

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Hops: Amarillo, Centennial, Simcoe
Malts: 2-row, Biscuit, Crystal

Added by tgdigital on 06-17-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 223 | Ratings: 316
Photo of Sammy
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks for bringing Jason. Second time I have had this, so about time to rate it. grapefruit colour with a little white head. Medium bodied. A lot of hops and there is a malt offset, but its not balanced. Astringency from the hop bomb. Drinkable though.

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Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a somewhat cloudy, copper color with a small, tan, head of foam. It left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled grassy and malty. Notes of caramel increase as it warms.

T - A malt forward DIPA with a biscuity, bready taste. It has a picy heat with some mild citrus flavors.

M - It was crisp and smooth with a sticky mouthfeel. A medium to heavy bodied beer.

D - This is an okay Imperial IPA. It's just doesn't have what I'm looking for in the style.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.58/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Appearance is amber with a short white head and not too much lacing. The nose brings some citrus hops and a bit of a tropical character with a lot of sweetness. Some hop flavor in the taste, but this is overly sweet, taking the East Coast DIPA style to the extreme. Taste is slightly cloying. I was able to drink this but it is not at all as advertised.

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Photo of mothman
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a imperial nonic a deep rich bronze color with a tight formed one fnger slight off white head that stuck well to the glass as it settled into a creamy mass.A mix of alcohol dipped fruit and citric,resiny hops,neither win out but both make a good presence.Pretty boozy on the palate,some pear-like fruit soaked in sweet alcohol flavors with overripe tropical fruit,an underlying resiny note in the finish.Its boozy and can be a bit hard to drink after half a bottle but I have had worse beers of the style.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$5.39 (after discount) at State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD.

Carefully poured from a long-standing bottle, it's a clear dark copper with an orange cast. Secondary pours are a bit hazy as it's bottle-conditioned and the yeast gets disturbed. The frothy off-white head holds well, and it leaves excellent rings and tattered sheets of lace in its wake.

The aroma is not as boldly hoppy as one might expect of a double IPA, but it does deliver some very nice bready and sweetly caramelish malt along with a hint of soft fruit (apricot, peach, melon, tangerine, grapefruit/citrus rind, pine).

In the mouth it's full-bodied and remarkably smooth and supple with just a light caress on the tongue from the very-fine bubbled natural carbonation.

The flavor reveals more hops than the flavor suggests, but it's still very malt based - and that's OK. Although there are clearly some American hop varieties present, this has more of an English -style bent. It's malty, caramelish and biscuity, but also clearly infused with leafy, fruity, and grassy hop flavors. And it's kind of soft, at just 75 IBU's (given its girth of malt). The 10.5% alcohol never really shows, although a bit of spiciness is present here and there towards the last third of the serving, and a bit of it does show in the finish beyond that point. And, despite its maltiness, it finishes dry with an edge of bitterness, pine, and mild citrus rind.

Overall, it's very nicely rounded, and fairly well balanced. Accessible to the masses!

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Photo of chinchill
3.44/5  rDev -7%
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

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Photo of Kegatron
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, some hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out a little sweet with flavors of caramel and citrus up front, followed by a significant alcohol sting. Then a strong hops bitterness comes in along with a hearty but not too heavy malt character. However, there doesn't seem to be much harmoniousness or balance amongst the flavors. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, it's not a bad beer but there are a lot of other 2IPA's that I would choose over this one.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a clear, dark amber body with a frothed, sudsy, off-white head.

Smell: Fairly sweet-scented malts with faint caramel and candy in the nose rounded out by hop notes of tropical fruits, citrus, and light pine. There's a little hint of ripe strawberry I can't seem to get away from in here.

Taste: Pale malts with some simple caramel and crystal malt sweetness. Pinch of strawberry-flavored cotton candy. Hops impart some tropical fruitiness, a needed touch of oily lemon peel, and an underlying earthy pine flourish. Medium-plus bitterness, but comparatively mild in retrospect. Some alcohol greets you at the end - it's noticeable but, thankfully, not painfully evident. The finish is smooth, warming, and bittersweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. It's chewy and even oily in the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I was fully anticipating a bold, brash hoppiness to knock me flat like that thing rolling down that cave that Indiana Jones had to escape! Not the case here. If you're a true hophead looking to put some fresh blisters on your tongue this may not be for you, but if you'd rather have a more easy-going, downright good-natured DIPA, then this could work for you.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Glazed terra cotta that is almost ruddy enough to be considered russet. Generous bonfire orange edges are seen below, while a hefty chunk of golden sandstone colored foam sits up top. Sticky bridges connect head and glass, leaving thick sheets of lovely looking lace when they break.

The nose is what craft beer drinkers have come to expect from most American DIPAs. It's melted caramel malty, with a less than robust amount of citrus fruit hoppiness and a whiff of unmasked alcohol. It smells like more of an American barleywine than a true Double IPA, but that's a discussion for another time and place.

Given the date of the first review, my bomber of Heavy Seas The Big DIPA is no more than three months of age. The lack of explosive hoppiness tells me that it wasn't a lupulin bomb to begin with. 75 IBUs say otherwise, but when there's this much (borderline cloying) malt sweetness, there needs to be two tons of hops, not just one.

Flavors include melted caramel-toffee, candied orange peel, candied grapefruit peel, pine sap and a small splash of white rum. This is one case, among many, where an ABV of 8.0% would have resulted in a much better beer. For the millionth time... DIPAs are about HOPS, not malt and alcohol.

The same thing that hurts flavor helps mouthfeel. If you like them full, sticky and nougat chewy, jump aboard this pirate ship and prepare to be pampered rather than keelhauled. Again, I would gladly trade sugars for more and better hop flavor.

The Big DIPA is a heavy-handed version of the style that is big in all the wrong places. I am anxiously awaiting the day when American craft brewers start concentrating on maximizing hop flavor and bitterness in their DIPAs rather than continuing to release high-ABV sugar bombs. This isn't bad beer, but enough is enough.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of billab914
2.69/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. Poured a dark copper color with a small white head covering the top of the beer. The head stuck around pretty well and left some excellent lacing on the sides.

The aroma has a lot of hoppy citrus flavors but they are almost hiding behind the huge malty, sugary, alcohol flavor I'm getting from it. Not really a good start for me, would have much preferred the hops take the forefront in a DIPA.

The taste also has a strong candy sugary taste to it. I can taste the citrus, pine and bitterness that I expect from a DIPA but it really is almost buried behind the overwhelming sweetness.

Drinkability isn't good, I doubt we will be finishing the bomber. It's way too sweet and not in a caramely malty good way, more in a sugary candy type way that really didn't mesh well with the hoppy flavors.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Steady and thick off-white head; two-fingers thick. Clear with a neutral amber color. Good ring lace.

Earthy and hoppy nose. Overall, well-balanced aroma. Pine and citrus notes.

The taste has more alcohol warmth than I expected based on the smell. Great hop as a counterbalance. Borderline extreme. The body is as I expected. With the alcohol level, I couldn't have many of them, but I am enjoying this one.

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Photo of stakem
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange with a slightly yellowish head. Minor lacing. Smells of mellow citrus and floral hops mixed with malt. Taste is bitter upfront and a solid sweet malt backbone supporting throughout. Warming finish and a bit oil-like. Medium feel and low carb. The 10% alcohol starts to show more as the beer warms.

I was very happy to sample this with an offering friend. It is enjoyable and i'd drink it again but nothing extraordinary to remember about it.

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Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber w/o freshness info, from Ninety 9 Bottles in Norwalk, Ct. Pours dull, murky, dark orange infused amber, the head is medium tan, frothy, long lasting and then leaving ungodly amounts of thick sheeting and blobby lacing. Dense nose of dark whole wheat, more orange, and citric hops. Solid DIPA, with waves of luch malts and a more then ample hopped up top coating. Pine, mint, more citrus, smoothly meshing with the doughy and sweet malts. Tastes like an on tap west coast style hop bomb and that is a good thing. Well done CCB

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, the beer is a slightly hazy ruby-orange coloring with a three inch thick, foamy, dense head that is a yellowish color. Nose is heavy and thick with caramel malty aromas and peppery spice, with some slightly sour characteristics. Heavy and thickly viscous brew in mouth, and the body is perfect for the flavors. Heavy, resinous, green hops in the deepest parts of the brew, with the hearty malt character to balance. Slight citrus highlights and spice on the tip of the tongue when you finish each sip. The beer is smooth on the finish, which is nice with the heaviness it has throughout. Slight, dark sweetness to the aftertaste which is pleasant. All the flavoring covers any traces of the increased ABV. Let this one warm up a bit before you drink it...it's very much worth the patience.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to a Duvel Tulip.
No apparent brewed on date or freshness date of any kind.

A - Deep amber colour with a small amount of light white head.

S - Bitter up front with a huge caramel malt backbone. The hops are piney and citrus.

T - A well balanced palate of malts and bitter hops. The hops have pine and floral notes and the finish is bitter with some sweet citrus. As I continued to drink this beer the malts became more and more prevalent and the hops became only noticeable in the finish. Too much malt for my linking. I thought this was a fresh bottle but without a visible freshness date of any kind, I may have a somewhat old bottle that has suffered from some hop fade.

M - Medium body, nice chew, lightly carbonated.

D - A good DIPA but not one that I would ever seek out again given the heavy malt profile. The 10.6% ABC was heavily masked.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark gold/amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale, Carapils, and bisquit malt scent along with a mild floral hop aroma. It's incredibly balanced with moderate bitterness. The taste is good as well. It has a very bitter hop bite that melds well with a complex array of malts. It goes down easy with some bisquity malt flavors and a bitter hop finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It's a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tasty brew with loads of character. It has a bit more malt complexity than most DIPA's, but sometimes a change of pace is welcome.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a light amber color with a white head. The aroma is toffee with some citrus hops. The flavor is caramel malt, orange, toffee and brown sugar. This is a heavily malted double IPA that is low on the bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of John_M
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

On cask at Max's.

As with the regular version, the beer pours a fairly dark amber color with OK head retention and lacing. Unlike the DIPA I had on CO2, I get a lot on the nose with this beer, primarily pine, sweet malt and some underlying citrusy bitterness. Likewise, this beer tastes considerably better on cask, except if anything the beer is even more barleywine like. This beer is very sweet and syrupy, but with some underlying hoppy bitterness, making this beer taste something like a hoppy BW. Mouthfeel is likewise much better out of the cask, with a soft, smooth flavor profile. Unfortunately, drinkability is as bad as ever. The beer finishes with a sweet, alcoholic bite that is hard to take.

This is just not a very good DIPA, though God knows it's easier to take out of the cask. Still wouldn't be tempted to order this one again.

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Heavy Seas - Big DIPA (2009-2011) from Heavy Seas Beer
3.7 out of 5 based on 316 ratings.
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