Beer of the Weekend #737: Big Eye

The beer tonight is Big Eye, brewed by Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits of San Diego, California.

Big Eye pours a hazy honey-amber into a tulip. (A tulip is used on the beer’s webpage so I thought it was a worthy glassware recommendation.) A finger-and-a-half of dense, buttery, bubble-spotted, eggshell-colored head settles slowly and mostly evenly, leaving trails of lacing stuck to the glass. It has that bold, West Coast-style IPA aroma with arbor, citrus, and tropical fruit vying for prominence. There are scents of pine, grapefruit, mango, and caramel malt. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, and the finish is dry. The hops provide a lasting bitterness that continue to coat the taste buds long after each sip. The flavor is not as arboreal or citrusy as the aroma, though pine, grapefruit, and mango are present. Instead, the flavor is much more balanced with caramel and toasted malt playing a bigger role. The bitterness starts to outshine everything, but it mellows as the beer continues to warm. It still lingers in the aftertaste, though. Hints of alcohol begin to creep in after a while, but it is not distracting.

Fun facts about Big Eye:

• Style: American IPA.

• Price: $1.99 per 12-ounce bottle at the Hy-Vee on Waterfront Drive in Iowa City.

• Alcohol content: 7 percent ABV.

• Food pairings: Recommended on the beer’s webpage are Hawaiian-style tuna poke, panang curry, and curred meats.

• IBU: 71.

The Quiet Man’s grade: A-.

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