“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Well, when in California, do as the Californians do, and drink IPA! After a long day (was up at 5:00AM and out the door by 6:00) at Joshua Tree National Park (INCREDIBLE!) and the Salton Sea (EERIE!) I returned to my “cell” at the Waldorf-Astoria La Quinta Resort and cracked open a bomber of Ballast Point Big Eye IPA.
While last night’s Lagunitas IPA was surprisingly balanced for a West Coast IPA, Big Eye fits a little more of the stereotype of hop-forward Left Coast beers. This beer clocks in at a cool 6.8%ABV and I was drinking it from my little hotel wine glass (decent shape for beer, and it’s glass, so no complaints here!).
The pour was a nice, hazy, orangey-gold color with decent head retention. Aroma is malty with a good amount of citrus hops. Enjoyed next to the pool (which was 5 feet from my hotel room door on a 79° January day with zero humidity) it seems like the perfect beer! LOL It is very hop forward and has a LOOOOOONG lingering bitter hops aftertaste, which I happen to enjoy. A bomber is a little much for me to handle of this beer, though, what with palate fatigue and all.
The hops are slightly resiny and plenty piney, but the dominant characteristic is straight-up West Coast grapefruit pith. Eat some of that white stuff that is between the peel and fruit of a grapefruit, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what Big Eye tastes like, especially in the long aftertaste (but in a good way). Balance it with some malt and you have a nice IPA to be enjoyed on what could only be considered a perfect day.