Beer Review: Ballast Point’s Big Eye

My awesome cousin, Tyler, just moved to San Diego (which I’ve heard means “a whale’s vagina”) and sent me a trio of Ballast Point craft cans. So thanks, Tyler. I owe you some of the Northeast’s finest ASAP. The first one I’m checking out is the Big Eye IPA. According to the can this is a “big hoppy brew, thanks to an abundance of Columbus and Centennial varieties we use to flavor and dry hop.”

Ballast Point Big Eye 1

From Ballast Point:

If you have fallen for the IPA style like we have, Big Eye will be a welcome addition to your repertoire.  You’ll revel in Big Eye’s bitter, hoppy flavor thanks to the American Columbus and Centennial hops that are used to flavor and dry hop our flagship IPA. We thank our hops every day that the English loved their bitters—or else the IPA style may not have been born to help the beer survive the journey from Cape Hope to India back in the 18th century.

Availability Year-round in 12oz, 22oz,  & draft
Bitterness 75 IBU
Alc. by Vol. 7.0%
Serving Temperature 40-45 Degrees

Let’s check the stats…

Beer Advocate: 91, 95
RateBeer: 98, 98
Untappd: 3.73

Appearance: Big Eye comes in a light amber to copper hue, It is clear With a big off white head that fades pretty quickly and leaves some nice lacing along the glass.

Smell: A nice strong nose of hops, especially some citrus notes from the Centennial hops. I also get some caramel and sweet malt smell as well. Some resiny, herbal/spicy notes, too.

Taste: The bitterness of the hops is perfectly balanced by sweetness of the malt. There’s spice and citrus and some caramel. There’s a bitter fruit character to it. It tastes “juicy” if that makes sense (it doesn’t). 

Mouthfeel: A nice firm body (insert your joke here) with good carbonation. The mouth feel is solid without being heavy. It coats the tongue without overwhelming it. The bitterness is present but it isn’t palette-shredding.

Final Verdict: 4.0 out of 5. Buy it.

This is everything a West Coast IPA should be. It’s better and substantial without being overwhelming or cloying.

Ballast Point Big Eye 3


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