India Pale Ale - Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing

Not Rated.
India Pale AleIndia Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
66
poor

36 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 36
Hads: 61
rAvg: 2.56
pDev: 16.41%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 01-24-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 36 | Hads: 61
Photo of John_M
3.97/5  rDev +55.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap the SCMB taproom today.

The beer pours an orange amber color, with fairly good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, with something of a light brown sugar, dry citrus, and light sweet malt aroma. The flavor profile replicates the nose, with something of a grainy, cereal flavor, light malt and dry citrus finish. The beer is well balanced with a decent amount of bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and the beer finishes well with no trace of alcohol.

This is a decent IPA, one that reminds me very much of the IPA made by the McMenamin brothers up on Oregon. It's nothing mindblowing, but for what it is, this is a solid, easy to appreciate IPA. (683 characters)

Photo of ronricorossi
3.75/5  rDev +46.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Shocked to see the level this beer is being reviewed at. Wondering if there's any way this isn't the same beer, because the beer I had today was a Good to Very Good IPA, nicely balanced by a warm background sweetness framing the hop bitters, and nice flavor. Should be reviewing in the mid-eighties, not the high sixties.

Maybe it's a new batch? Did they tweak it recently? I don't know. All I can say is, based on what I just drank, this beer is underrated. (460 characters)

Photo of duluoz
3.58/5  rDev +39.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very nice golden orange color. Nice lacing and some retention.

S - Smells of bitter hops, some peach, and a little sour.

T - Tastes like it smells, with the addition of an earthy, dirty, wooden quality. You could almost guess it was barrel aged. Doesn't taste much like most IPA's, which I'm guessing is reflected in the poor reviews. But otherwise I actually like it. Loses some of its appeal as it warms up though.

M - Pretty good mouthfeel -- not too light nor too thick, and nice carbonation.

Perhaps not a great example of the style, especially among so many great West Coast IPA's... but still a nice beer that I'd buy again. (640 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
3.43/5  rDev +34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a lively clear and bright dark orange with a nice but fast fading white head.

Nose is a light citrus/orange soda nose-nice but simple and soda pop sweet to the nose.

Mouthfeel is medium body and with no real distinguishing characteristic.

Flavors are one dimensional but not bad. Flavors are of grapefruit and grapefruit skin with hints of pine resin in the finish.

This is a very acceptable India Pale Ale, especially in the finish which is bold with grapefruit skin and resin. Good but nothing distinguishable, although very drinkable and I think most people that like somewhat of a hoppy IPA would like this. This is not Sculpin or Pliny but it's good.

I went back to see some reviews after I treid this. My opinion, better than most of the prior reviews give credit. Just my opinion. Worth at least a try if you like IPAs.

(I went back and actually read the prior reviews. I'm thinking that this is a new batch that I've tasted or other people may have simply jumped on the "bad" bandwagon. The batch that I've tried and reviewed is simply not a bad beer...period. My opinion.) (1,097 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.06/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fresh from a newly filled keg at the brewery. Pours a murky orange-goldenrod with a frothy off-white head. Aroma is earthy and, well, very 'organic.' Flavor misses the style mark, with more bay laurel and chalk notes than citrus/pine. Again, very earthy and lemongrassy. Not a lot of bitterness. Mouthfeel and drinkability are fine. (332 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.05/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Standard brown glass 22 ounce Bomber. Neck label has a Whale spouting water through its blowhole with the words ‘Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing’ encircling it with the words ‘Hand Crafted’ and ‘Dry Hopped’ either side. The Main label lists the brew as ‘India Pale Ale’. Certified Organic and Listed at 7.5% ABV on the label. No discernable freshness date.

Main label blurb states “From the cliffs of Seabright beach, wind your way up San Lorenzo River to where the sun filters down through the redwood branches on the Santa Cruz Mountains. Call up your sense of adventure and appreciation for the lusty flavors of organic hops and try our India Pale Ale.”

Appearance: Hazed orangutan golden body. White creamy head has flecks of light tans interspersed between the bubbles lending a dirty white feel to the crown cap.

Nose: Earthy tones, organic hops certainly smell better in this offering than the previous two Santa Cruz offerings. Dough laden middle with a freshly proved finish that has some liquid orange and toasted biscuits in the ending.

Taste: Soft bitterness, citric rinds and orange zest punctuate the entrance. Bitterness never rises above normal, tanks mainly in part to the toasted biscuit malts that run, neigh, ruin this one. The hops are nice but never get chance to display their wares, the jealous toasted biscuit malts ride rough shod through the middle and finish, utterly destroying any IPA character which one would expect. Sadly the cloying biscuit finish is not even good, detracting and ruinous, it leaves one with the feeling, “what if !?”, the organic hops would be left to do their thing. Way too much dry biscuit and cloying malts. Spices tangle with the “biscuit bovver boyz” in the warming brew, but the hops fade too quickly for my liking.

Mouthfeel: Average body with a dry, powdery biscuit texture that reminded me of the time I ate three wholemeal Ryvitas without a drink. Parching dryness with an annoying cloying wholemeal drudgery.

Drinkability: I managed the whole Bomber; it would unfair and remiss to say that I did not. But it was a close call. Boredom sneaks in, like waiting for the Dryer at the Laundry to complete its cycle I almost wanted to pop the door open and put myself out of my monotonous misery.

Overall: All three of the Santa Cruz brews that I have sampled to date have exhibited the same characteristics. Nice looks, reasonable nose, grainy tastes and ultimately very boring and rather forgetful. This one is no different.

Music: “In A Little While” – U2 (2,568 characters)

Photo of Rumrunner
3.03/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle. Imperial pint glass.

My bottle poured a glazed golden color. Plenty of floaties about the glass. No problem there. I have never been one to scoff at floaties. The lacing is weak but the overall color is nice. A quality looking beverage.

Sadly the scents are weak. I sniff out some grain and earth. Not much else. I was hoping for some hops in the scents but they are far in the back for this IPA.

The flavors exude some hops but not much. The IPA is mainly focused on the grain type flavors. Very dry bread comes to mind. There is some citrus but the drying effect of the bread quality on the palate really detreacts from any bitterness the IPA has to offer. Sad because there are some quality flavors in the beer, they are just in the background instead of in the forefront where they should be. In my opinion this IPA needs the background flavors at the forefront and the grain and malt flavors in support. If this was the case, this would be a top notch IPA. Give this one a kick in the pants Mr. brewer.

A very easy drinker. No problems there. I would have to say a few tweaks in the brewing process and it could be one solid IPA. Until then it is a beer to have when the rest of the lot is absolute swill. (1,238 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
2.97/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber,

A: Cloudy yellow-orange, with a thick white creamy head that isn't going anywhere. This baby's stickin' around 'til the end of the glass. Beautiful thick lacing adds to a gorgeous beer experience.

S: Piney, earthy hops, some wet hay, almost peaty, adequate for an IPA.

T: Taste is pretty good, doesn't blow me away. Hops are of earth and spruce predominately, not the best flavor in the world but interesting, very dry for an IPA.

M: Smooth, creamy, good body, it has a nice oily hop character that keeps it together.

D: I've never had anything by this brewing company before, and I thought their IPA was a solid effort, one of the best looking IPA's I've ever seen. (686 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
2.94/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bright peachy hazy flaxen hued pour topped with a frothy coating that becomes a settled ivory thin collar. Some drippy lace left in the glass.

Nose is a tangled apricot and leafy celery that really could benefit from a bolder hop focus. A meld of honey and sugary candy.

First swigs: Mix of light apricot and candy sweet lolipop malt. A simple yet tasty flavor developing. Just a mix of light vanilla and peach ice cream. Kind of a peaches and cream ale. A tiny tad bit of caramel creeps in.

Feel is soft and gntly carbonated. Medium bodied. Clean finish with a linger of hazy Jell-O.

Last swigs: It's organic...don't panic. Worthwhile IPA. Their Belgian Pale rocked 'da house, yo! Cheap IPA bomber clockin' in at 7.5% ABV. Keep up the good work Santa Cruz. (771 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
2.91/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a cloudy golden yellow with a nice white head that slowly melted to a ring of very sticky lacing.
Aroma is a weak hop scent with something like bready yeast but not quite. Sort of powdery...Goldorak described it as 'starchy'...that is probably the best description.
Taste hits suddenly with citrus hop bitterness and very little offsetting sweet malt. Hops linger in the mouth but can't be identified. Either numerous hops were mixed together in the hopping or some sort of hop extract was used. The hops are nice but lack that 'fresh, green, piney' attribute I like to see in a good IPA.
Aftertaste is pleasant...
...but nothing in this brew to remember. Neither good nor bad. (688 characters)

Photo of mactrail
2.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This has a sourish hint to the earthy flavors. At the same time there is a decent touch of sweetness. Starts out nice enough but it is overwhelmed by the strange composted taste which makes me think of decaying bitter vegetables. It also gives a dose of plasticky decaf coffee. It's enough to give bitterness a bad name. Odor is actually kind of nice-- fruity and perfumey. Quite attractive head and golden amber color. Otherwise virtually undrinkable and too strongly flavored to mix with anything.

It's funny that this makes me think of the Eel River and Bison "organic" beers which are so dirty and unpleasant. Maybe they just can't get decent organic hops. (661 characters)

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
2.86/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Hazy orange-amber body, with thin sticky white head. Decent lacing.

Smell: Gummy sugar-covered orange candies (or something of that nature), caramel malt, juicy mandarin oranges, and possibly (POSSIBLY!) some piney hops. Lots and lots of sugar in the aroma.

Taste: Lots of the same sweetness mentioned above, but with a notable hop bitterness in the finish. Also some toasted bread and added tang that I had trouble finding in the smell. Definitely odd tasting. Imagine eating those sugar-covered orange wedge candies, but having them finish tart and bitter. I'm struggling to give this one a quality description...

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is higher than average; produces a little bit of an unpleasant sting. Pretty damn sugary (and sticky) as well. Pretty thin body.

Drinkability: All in all, this is not a terrible beer. Funny tasting? Yes. Poor representation of the style? I'd say so. Hard to drink? Not really. If I could pick out a "girly" IPA, this would be it. (984 characters)

Photo of sloejams
2.76/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

In the thumbs-up / thumbs-down world that we like to live in - I have to go with down. I struggled with it, but this is just isn't good enough.

It starts well enough - looks like an IPA. The smells has not enough hops to warrant it though. Lots of malts and not very balanced. The malt character has a sweetness that is pleasant. It's not the worst beer - it's just doesn't scream "West Coast IPA" to me.

In California, with some many delicious IPAs to choose from - I'd skip this one. (492 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
2.65/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle tried 10 Mar 2009. This had been hiding in the back of the dbf for a while, date of 012308 over the UPC.

Poured in a Sierra Nevada pint glass. Large yellowish thick head. Lightly carbonated. Golden straw color. Aroma is a bit stale, but some decent caramel and toffee, not much hops though. Starts with a bit of light malt, turning to earthy bitterness. Hint of buttered popcorn. Aftertaste is just a bit of lingering bitterness. Body is a bit watered down. Ethanol is fairly light.

Might have been slightly better when fresh but doesn't seem like it ever had much hop character. (596 characters)

Photo of Goldorak
2.59/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Golden yellow, the lively and bubbly carbonation helped maintain a sturdy head on it.

Smell: Yeah it's hoppy, but a strange kind of hop, one that seems starchy, like when you boil potatoes and leave the lid on, and it boils over and burns on your stove. I've detected this before in some other Beer, who knows what causes this but I doubt it's intentionnal.

Taste: Mid carbonation on the tongue, it's got a decent if non-descript hop bite, but there's nothing on the malt side to give it any character or complexity. Not that IPAs need to be real mind-benders, so this one only gets barely a passing grade, but for a west coast IPA it's well below average. (674 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
2.59/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

04/18/06- Purchased at Nuggett Market in Vacaville, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, no bottling info listed. Poured into my Sebastopol Brewing pint glass.

Appearance- Medium golden pour. 3/4 inch semi-foamy head, leaves better than average lacing. Pour is a bit cloudy. Pretty sure it's bottle conditioned.

Smell- Off fruity hop scent. Notice high toasted malt, but a strange, maybe rancid fruity scent.

Taste- Do I not like this because it's organic, or because it's just plain not good? Hops a muted, mild fruit flavoring, maybe a touch of lemon. High roated malt flavor followed by a largely stale wet cardboard taste.

Mouthfeel- I like the carbonation level, but the taste kinda ruins the experience.

Drinkability- I did manage to finish the bottle, so I guess it's not that horrid. But, I would never try this one again. Just didn't care for it. (868 characters)

Photo of magictrokini
2.43/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Just when I thought it was safe to drink "organic" beers again. Looks and smells like a decent IPA. Good hops in the nose, with some wooden aromas to make it interesting. The taste is completely unbalanced. A good amount of hops circulates in and out, but there is always a funky, earthy taste that will not go away. Its like I'm drinking this beer out of a wooden cup that has sat in the mud for several days. Damn hippies.

Disclaimer: for some reason, the aroma and appearance give my grade a boost to a "C-." In no way do I recommend this beer or think it is average. The taste is ass, avoid. (596 characters)

Photo of bcm119
2.39/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is one of those beers that catches your eye in the store with its elegant label, but tastes like bad home brew. Muddled aroma of wet grain and old hops. The nose is sweet with a not-so-fresh malt syrup flavor, followed by a disconnected hop bitterness. Hops are robust but their flavors are flat and one dimensional. A definate miss, especially considering the $4/ 22 oz price. (382 characters)

Photo of charlzm
2.38/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Consumed June 30th, 2012 at the brewery.

Beer is a relatively light yellow. Slightly cloudy with a fine crown of white foam around the top.

No aroma.

No real malt flavor... or much of any kind of flavor, actually. Some orange rind bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is slightly tingly, slightly parching. Medium bodied.

Nothing much to see here. Move along. (364 characters)

Photo of brewski101
2.38/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this one as part of a taster - which was probably why the pour was not done very well.
The appearence was as expected for an IPA. It tasted a bit thin - not really what you'd expect for an IPA. If it had not been labeled as such, it could have passed for a pale. Mouthfeel was also a bit "thin" but I suspect that was due to a taster pour. (343 characters)

Photo of marc77
2.34/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Lightly chill hazed dark auric hue. Ample, frothy, dogged porcelain white head yeilds dense lace. Light toffee, mint, and marzipan upfront in aroma with a grassy, lemony hop undertone. Metallic hints surface as the beer warms. Not enticing aromawise. Incipient in flavor is a rough, quinine like hop bitterness. Midpalate is a muddled melange of wet hay, bread crust and notes of lemon infused caramel syrup. Fairly full bodied, albeit with a chalky, seemingly gritty mouthfeel. Notions of toasted almond (perhaps from oxidation) arise late. Finishes minerally, dry and tannic. A most unimpressive IPA. Unbalanced, harsh and with several "off" flavors. Finishing the bomber was difficult. It seemed to be an attempt at an original British IPA, but fell well short of its goal. Skip this one. (791 characters)

Photo of chumba526
2.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appears sold orange in color with a large off white head.

It smells of sweet citrus (mostly oranges) I get a strong overpowering caramel flavor. There is a bit of an earthy hop smell.

It tastes pretty sweet. There is a sweet caramel flavor and a sweet orange like flavor. I get a noticeable bitter flavor. This is pretty boring, sweet and one dimensional. It is a bad example of an IPA but it does not taste that bad.

There is a low carbonation to the beer.

This is an ok beer I guess but it is not very smooth and is not a good example of an IPA. (552 characters)

Photo of mbunje
2.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured to a pint glass.

Appearance is good. Dark gold, mild cloudiness. Bone white head was small but left medium lacing.

Smell. Not much. malty. vanilla. My son (6) says it smells like pizza (we are eating pizza) So nothing overpowering about it. He has told me some IPAs smell like oranges.

Taste. first impression it tastes like latex paint. Don't freak out, this is an IPA and should have an identity. But generally, I don't like it. Tooo piney. Not enough citrus. NO malt balance (even though it smelled malty???)

Mouthfeel is thick, heavy. Not much carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good for 7.5%ABV but it tastes so bad I won't have another.

Overall: I would take about 20 IPAs over this one. It says "organic" but what beer isn't? That's the best thing about beer. Its fermented earth and it gets you happy. Is there an inorganic process to brewing beer? If so, mail me. (911 characters)

Photo of FallinDeck
2.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured a golden wheat body with a small white head that left very little lacing throughout the beer. It's a good thing the smell is very light, because it smells of rotting fruit with a hint of pine behind that. The mouthfeel leaves something to be desired (like BEER); it has good carbonation but no real taste. This beer finishes ok with that pine taste coming through. I think a root beer soda represents beer better than this india pale ale. (445 characters)

Photo of mattffrost
2.3/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle poured into glass.

Appearance Beer is a cloudy amber with a tint of orange. Head is off white.

Smell I get what almost smells like a strong apple. Some citrus smell.

Taste. I wanted to really like this beer since its close by and organic but I has really disappointed in the taste. Beer makes my mouth pucker in a bad way. I don't think the beer finishes bitter but rather sour. I dont get the fruitess I was expecting at all. Very unclean taste that is burnt.

Mouthful Really makes my mouth quiver not good.

Drinkablity. Not very drinkable to me. (562 characters)

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India Pale Ale from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
66 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.