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India Pale Ale - Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing

Not Rated.
India Pale AleIndia Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
66
poor

55 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 55
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 2.67
pDev: 21.35%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 01-24-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of duluoz
3.58/5  rDev +34.1%
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.

duluoz, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of berebrando
1.83/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

got this IPA from hi times in costa mesa. twenty two ounces to myself. I've had some impressive IPA's and this one is far from impressive. color is good... looks like an IPA, orange, yellow, no head to speak of. smell is hoppy but nothing special. taste is hops and a strange dirty earthy flavor - far from good. taste was very unimpressive... mouthfeel was spoiled by the smell and taste. all in all, not good.

I have had a few other santa cruz mtn beers, gingwe, the hef and pale ale - I'd recommend any of those over this one...

happy holidays.

berebrando, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of GRG1313
3.45/5  rDev +29.2%
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.)

GRG1313, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of FallinDeck
2.35/5  rDev -12%
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.

FallinDeck, Apr 16, 2009
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
2.88/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

ThreeWiseMen, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of htomsirveaux
2.63/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

htomsirveaux, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of FACEMEAT
2.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a cloudy light amber with a two fingers of white head that left nice lacing.

S: Smells of hops and unripened peaches.

T: There's something just not right about this brew. It's got an unpleasant metallic sourness that overwhelms any good character it might be possessing. Blech.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a nice level of carbonation.

D: With such a foul taste, I couldn't stomach more than half a pint before pouring the remainder down the sink. Avoid at all costs.

FACEMEAT, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of magictrokini
2.38/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

magictrokini, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of cswhitehorse
2.15/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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.

cswhitehorse, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of mattffrost
2.25/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

mattffrost, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of djk7
1.55/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This beer starting a bit disappointing, and went downhill from there. Served from a 22oz. bottle into a small hotel room glass. Label had a bottling date about 2 1/2 months prior. Appearance was the best thing it had going for it. The first glass was very mediocre, did not have a typical IPA bite, and had some off, earthy flavors. The second pour had a more astringent taste, with lots of off flavors, and for the first time in years, I gave up and decided I just couldn't finish the bottle. Pouring bottle out into the sink, I saw there were chunks of sediment that looked more like mud than anything I have ever seen come out of a beer bottle. There were at least a dozen pieces the size of a grain of wild rice (1/4 - 3/8" long and 1/16 thick), and lots of smaller pieces. I would give this one a wide berth, and probably be pretty wary of anything from the same brewery.

djk7, Oct 22, 2008
Photo of cjgator3
2.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle

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.

cjgator3, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of illidurit
3.03/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

illidurit, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of TheLiterati
2.03/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

There are a ton of AIPA's out there on the market. That said, if you are a brewer and decide to throw your AIPA hat in the ring, wouldn't you brew something memorable?

I'm sad to say that's just not the case here.

Poured amber in color with a minimal cream-colored head. Smell seemed to lack the citrusy aroma usually associated with an IPA, which was more than a bit off-putting.

Still, in the name of good beer hunting, I pressed on.

I'm not really sure what to say about the taste...I sipped, swirled and swallowed, and waited for the slightest bit of a spicy bite, but it never came.

Mouthfeel walked a thin line between smooth and flat.

Drinkable? Yes. Would I have another, or recommend it to an IPA newbie?

No.

TheLiterati, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of rkuhnel
2.2/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

From a 22 oz bottle this poured a cloudy gold with a reddish center. A big fat head, but oddly not much lacing. Nose is of caramel malts and light floral hops. Mouthfeel is a bit acrid, and the flavor is a unpleasant bitter. OK. so how do you combine sourness and bitterness in the same finish. This one managed it, and it is kind of hard to go for the next sip. I usually love IPA's but this one came up short for me.

rkuhnel, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
1.68/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

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.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
2.93/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

Halcyondays, Jul 12, 2007
Photo of sloejams
2.78/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

sloejams, Mar 02, 2007
Photo of mbunje
2.25/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

mbunje, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of blitheringidiot
3/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

blitheringidiot, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of goschool
2.2/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I got this from the BevMo in Thousand Oaks, CA. I saw a few styles from this mysterious brewery (mysterious to me at least) and I picked the IPA to check out, because sub-par breweries will accidentally churn out decent IPA's from time to time.

Appearance: The pour is a slightly hazy gold with a long lasting white head.

Smell: The nose is hoppy, but there's a strange aroma that I can't detect. I don't think this is something that anyone would want in their beer.

Taste: The strange aroma has a taste and it's in the flavor profile, but I still can't put my thumb on it. It's like sour cascade or fuggle hops, maybe lemon. The malts don't play much of a roll in this beer unless they are actually the origin of the off-flavor. The finish is spicy, but the off-flavor sticks around to mess up any ground the beer might have made in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel has good carbonation, but I can't get past the off-flavor.

Drinkability: Nothing about the flavor makes me want to finish the rest of the bomber.

goschool, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
2.93/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

IntriqKen, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of Goldorak
2.63/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Goldorak, Oct 06, 2006
Photo of DogFood11
1.68/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

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.

DogFood11, Aug 15, 2006
Photo of bcm119
2.4/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

bcm119, Jul 12, 2006
India Pale Ale from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
66 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.