I love Big Eye IPA, even if it is named after a fish

by Justin D'Olier on January 28, 2011 | Comments Off on I love Big Eye IPA, even if it is named after a fish |

In one of life’s great ironies, I do not particularly care for seafood and one of my favorite breweries names all their beers after fish.

Ok, it’s not a particularly great irony, in fact, it’s probably more of a coincidence. Regardless, the incongruity of my aversion to consuming marine life and my love affair with Ballast Point Brewery remains. Because I love me some fish beer.

I went to Whole Foods on Monday to pick up a carton of vanilla soy milk, which was a huge mistake. Walking into Whole Foods and expecting to leave with only a carton of soy milk is like opening a bottle of Jagermeister and expecting not to vomit on your shoes later that evening. (Hint: It’s not gonna happen.)

Ballast Point Big Eye IPA

Mmmmmm.... Fish Beer

A quick detour past the beer aisle – for business reasons, of course – led me to stumble upon a new beer from Ballast Point: 22 oz Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter. It sounded awesome, had a cool skeleton pirate on the label and, best of all, wasn’t named after a fish. I was about to leave the beer aisle with my new favorite non-Ichthyoid brew, when I saw another beer from Ballast Point that I had not yet sampled: Big Eye IPA. On the downside, it was named after a finned sea creature, but on the plus side, it came in a six pack and was cheaper per ounce ($16.99 for six 12-ounce bottles vs. $9.99 for a one 22-ounce bottle) than Victory At Sea. In the end, my frugality overcame my distrust of marine vertebrates and I purchased the Big Eye.

I did not regret my decision.

Ballast Point Big Eye IPA is a hop lovers wet dream. Non-IPA fans need not apply. It has a beautiful golden amber color, thick rich white head, and a strong aroma with notes of grapefruit, pine needles, and malt. The flavor is a rich balance of bitterness, malt and citrus. It is deceptively smooth and drinkable for a beer with 7% alcohol by volume. The finish lingers delightfully on the palate with a light pine, lemon, and grapefruit aftertaste. Much like Maui Brewing Company Big Swell IPA, it would pair extremely well with a sunset, light offshore winds, and light saltiness from drops of sea water trickling down your face.

Ballast Point Big Eye IPA is a phenomenal beer and I recommend it without reservation, even if it is named after a fish.

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