India Pale Ale - Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
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Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
1.68/5 rDev -37.1%
Orangish amber. On second thought, lets make that amberish orange with a small, strange looking, off-white crown. The head isn't foamy or creamy so much as it is a loose collection of brittle bubbles that would almost resemble blown insulation if it was pink. There's quite a bit of lace... that doesn't look so hot either.
I'll bet that I could have identified this as an organic beer if blinded. Note that I didn't say an organic 'IPA'. There's a sour fruitiness emanating from the glass that doesn't smell the least bit hoppy. What it smells like is hard to say, but it doesn't smell appetizing.
The flavor is no better (and might be worse since it lingers, unlike the aroma). What in the bloody hell is this supposed to be? An India pale ale? Hardly. Yeah, there's bitterness, but it could just as easily have been achieved by adding crushed aspirin to the brew kettles.
Brewed-on or best-by dates don't usually appear in my reviews, but I'll make a exception in this case because, amazingly enough, the beer is relatively fresh (bottled on 8-17-07). It tastes like it's been aging in a rain barrel for the past several years.
The flavor profile... whoa boy! Sour apricots, lemon juice, moldering grain, potter's clay and aspirin. The mouthfeel is horribly thin and is grossly undercarbonated to boot. Why didn't I go with the 'bottom of the barrel' score'? Because I can imagine worse.
It's hard to be so critical of a brewer who is obviously trying to brew good beer. However, Santa Cruz India Pale Ale isn't good in any way, shape or form. And that's coming from a hophead who probably cuts beer of this style more slack than most. To the BA who sent me this bomber: don't forget, I know where you live.
01-20-2008 16:39:24 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.45/5 rDev +29.2%
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.)
10-02-2009 01:36:40 | More by GRG1313
2.83/5 rDev +6%
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.
10-26-2011 04:31:11 | More by mactrail
2.93/5 rDev +9.7%
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.
07-12-2007 06:47:42 | More by Halcyondays
2.58/5 rDev -3.4%
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.
04-19-2006 16:11:47 | More by GClarkage
3.98/5 rDev +49.1%
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.
12-25-2011 01:30:16 | More by John_M
2.23/5 rDev -16.5%
A- Pours a slightly hazy orange/amber color with an off-white head.
S- Pretty weak nose for the style, with faint malt and citrusy hop notes. There is also a really weird off-flavor like old socks and chalk. This is a West coast IPA, wheres the big hop aroma?
T- The taste like the aroma has that old sock flavor, with faint malt and hops. The off-flavors are just a mess. There is some bitter hops in the finish, but like the aroma the taste is severely lacking in the hop department.
M- Solid mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel and appearance are the only two decent parts of this brew, which are the least important in my opinion.
D- Not very good, pretty hard to finish the bottle.
Overall, this one needs to go back to the drawing board. I'm not a huge fan.
08-24-2008 03:39:59 | More by cjgator3
3.03/5 rDev +13.5%
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.
07-16-2008 19:35:16 | More by illidurit
3.03/5 rDev +13.5%
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
01-24-2006 07:15:18 | More by TheLongBeachBum
3/5 rDev +12.4%
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.
11-25-2006 04:37:53 | More by blitheringidiot
1.68/5 rDev -37.1%
Poured into a pounder glass it forms a rather loose and untidy head that fades to a ring leaving behind sporadic slide lacing. Golden body and a bit of a haze.
Comes accross almost like an English IPA in that its hops are the drying variety and aren't dominating like its American counterparts. Nothing wrong with that at all if its done with some precision. Faint orange peels creep into the scene and mix with some rather lackluster malts that are doughy and really an afterthought.
Notes: Well I'm done with the Santa Cruz lineup for the time being. Three offerings and they were all limp.
08-15-2006 04:19:14 | More by DogFood11
2.4/5 rDev -10.1%
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 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.
07-20-2012 21:52:20 | More by charlzm
2.3/5 rDev -13.9%
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.
02-27-2006 16:04:47 | More by marc77
2.38/5 rDev -10.9%
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.
12-16-2008 17:25:52 | More by magictrokini
2.93/5 rDev +9.7%
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.
10-15-2006 18:28:51 | More by IntriqKen
2.63/5 rDev -1.5%
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.
03-13-2009 05:04:23 | More by htomsirveaux
2.88/5 rDev +7.9%
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.
03-23-2009 03:06:16 | More by ThreeWiseMen
2.15/5 rDev -19.5%
The India Pale Ale was poured into a glass and it started off looking okay. The color was a clear dingy brownish orange with a 3 finger foam head.
The aroma was sweet with an initial apple smell then as it warmed up you got a citrus tinge. The taste was harsh and of fusels. It was hard to get a hold of this one as it was purely off. It had a burnt taste to it with a not so good after taste as it burned the tongue. Overall I would not buy this again.
11-25-2008 01:46:23 | More by cswhitehorse
India Pale Ale from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
66 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.