Do you like ginger? I know I do. It’s a wonderfully delightful spice, so pungent and robust in its flavor and aroma. So, you can imagine my excitement when I heard about Ballast Point Big Eye IPA with Fresh Ginger Root, a variant on their Big Eye IPA. Usually, it’s their Sculpin IPA that gets all the love and special ingredients (Habanero Sculpin, Grapefruit Sculpin), so it’s about time the often-overlooked Big Eye got some consideration.
Ballast Point Big Eye IPA with Fresh Ginger Root is draft only, so I snapped it up post haste when my local Taco Mac here in Canton got it in. That’s one of the benefits of having a sports bar with over 100 taps just a few scant miles from your house you see. Anyway, I had high hopes on the ginger end, since the Sculpin beers certainly didn’t skimp on the grapefruit or habaneros.
From the brewery website:
We take our year-round production Big Eye IPA and infuse fresh skinned, sliced ginger root into the beer post fermentation. The spicy Centennial hops used in Big Eye go very well with the spicy taste and aromatics from the fresh ginger root. The solid malt backbone of Big Eye also lends itself well to ginger, almost adding a candied component as it blends across your palate.
Ballast Point Big Eye IPA with Fresh Ginger Root has an alcohol content of 7% by volume with 71 IBUs. I paid $7 for a 20-ounce mug at Taco Mac, whi8ch to me is about $1 overpriced. Points off for that.
My mug of Ballast Point Big Eye IPA with Fresh Ginger Root arrived a bold orange amber color with a medium sized head of foam and, surprisingly, not all that much going on in the nose. A sip, however, reveals a medium malty body followed by a huge fresh ginger flavor, pungent and aromatic and the leading character right into the finish. Do I get the hops customary to Big Eye? Perhaps they do poke through a bit in the finish, but to be honest, the fresh powerful ginger notes really obfuscates them. Still, the beer finishes slightly bitter and quite dry from spice.
That’s OK, though, because I really love ginger, and as per usual for Ballast Point, they don’t skimp. If you love ginger too, you’re going to really enjoy this beer. It seems to me a natural pairing with Asian cuisine. I would give it 4 ½ out of 5 stars with a ½ star demerit for price.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.