Carolina India Pale Ale - Carolina Brewing Company

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Carolina India Pale Ale
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BA SCORE
84
good

141 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 141
Reviews: 95
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 9.65%
Wants: 5
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Carolina Brewing Company visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: GCBrewingCo on 05-19-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 141 | Reviews: 95 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of senttochris
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of tastybeer
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Straight up amber color, and nice soapy looking hop oily head. Straggely bits of lace move around the glass. Nose is an ultra balance of floral and earthy, pine and citrus hops smoothed into sweet toasty caramel and bready malts. Quite pleasing. Taste is layered and full. Similar variety of hops with a healthy amount of gritty, full maltiness. A very well blended well done IPA. Very enjoyable. Fairly basic, but thorough in flavors. I like the mouthfeel a lot too. There's a good solid medium, almost full body. It hold the flavors together great. The carboation holds up just right. It is moderate and lasts steadily throughout and tingles on the tongue after the finish. Nice and smoothly full too. Drinkability is great, what can I say.

Thsi took me by suprise a little. I expected it to be decent but it hs proved to be way more than just decent. Balanced to the extreme.

Photo of loren01
4.4/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours clear copper/orangish color, small white head, slight lace down the glass.
S: Smell is very sweet, slight hint of hops.
T: Taste is pretty much same as smell...very sweet with a little bit more hops than what you would think. But definatly dominated by malt.
M: Light to medium bodied. Goes down very easy, good session beer.
D: this is my kind of IPA...a lot of people would even consider this an IPA seems like more of a straight up pale ale, nevertheless this is my kind of beer. very drinkable, would drink this quite often if I could get a hold of it. thanks to limesmut for this one

Photo of wedge
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clean amber color with a really nice looking sticky, soapy off-white head that leaves behind some loose lace. Ahhh...the aroma actually brings memories of Ipswitch IPA - dark, earthy hops, citrus and sap with a more than solid malt backing. Flavor is delicious as well with its oily floral hop profile and a generous amount of gritty malts to balance it perfectly. Real nice texture in the mouth, medium-fullish with a rock solid bitterness.

Wow, I have a feeling this one's going to be in my fridge a lot. I could picture a Mercury Brewing label on this. It doesn't go out of its way to be over-the-top, out of control hoppy, it just has fantastic balance.

An excellent IPA with influences in both America and England.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(800th review)

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear golden with a slight amber hue. The head was off-white tall and frothy lasting well to coat the glass.

The aroma was nicely malty with a floral and fruity hop aroma and a slight DMS. The hop aroma was low and citrusy with a caramel and slight toffee malt presence.

The flavor was malty and nicely accomplished with an excellent hop and malt balance. The beer starts with some caramel and malty sweetness on the palate but that is quickly defeated by the hop bittering and later by the hop flavor. The hops are slightly grassy and citrusy and the flavor is very well done with the hops not being overly assertive.

The finish was just dry with lasting hop bittering and grassy/citrusy hop flavor long into the aftertaste and beyond. The body was medium and very well done. The combination of all the factors created an incredibly drinkable beer.

12 ounce bottle from a sixer purchased at the brewery (thanks Mark G!). This was last year's summer recipe http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/1499/17818/, but I enjoyed this beer much much more!

Photo of Zebatar
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorites. The Carolina Brewing Company is about two miles up the road from me and these guys don't add any preservatives. I get it fresh and it makes other beers that I have tried pale in comparison (no pun intended).

I would recommend this fine example of craft brew to anyone who likes an IPA with a nice grapefruit hop edge. I love it!!!

Photo of drums4matt
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally it's time to rep my hood with this beer. 12 oz longneck into a tulip - hey, man, this one needs some respect! Perhaps I'm biased as this comes from about 20 minutes down the road from where I sit. Come to think of it this may have been my crossover to microworld.

A - What a beauty! Darker than expected, this one's nearly garnet over a bronze base color. Pours out clear with a two finger, slightly off-white head which fades after a few sips to a solid ring and a translucent white lace cap with several small, white bubbly patches from the glass's nucleation points (EDIT: this was on a HARD pour). Nice sticky lacing gets an immediate ring all the way around from the fade of the preliminary head and leaves tightly-laced spots half way down the glass.

S - It's hard for me to even get a solid, stand alone whiff as I feel compelled mid-snuff to take a gulp. Upon full sniff there's citrusy, floral, leafy hop character with a well-anchored malty sweetness. Very clean. There's just a breath of spice/alcohol present.

T - Glory goes to the hop here, but in the fashion of a DFH 60min there are very present malty notes with a bit of grain and a nice, clean hoppy finish - not at all overly drying. The hops come into the picture first with a citrusy grapefruit thing going on - a bit of sweetness whose origin is hard to distinguish; could be some sweet hop character or the malty backbone showing through or a combination thereof. The spicy flavor character of hop oil lingers on the palate. There's really a lot going on here - more than a local brew like this will often get credit for.

M - Really nice. Not palate-destroyingly acidic like many really beefy IPAs but nice and drying but still sweet, bubbly and quite pleasant.

D - What more can a locavore hop head want, really? Totally sessionable and not overly drying but enough to satisfy my hop cravings. I hesitate to bring price into this because it truly is not a factor for this beer - it can hang with any micro - but at 8 dollars to the cent (?!?!....after taxes even!) this should be every pale-blue sky loving, mountain-to-sea North Carolinian hop head's go to beer. At the same time, I'm content to keep this one a local secret for those in the know in the Triangle region.

Photo of Caesar1pup
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours with a deep golden color with orange hues. The head was off white and ended thin but was long lasting.

Aroma: The hop aroma was surprisingly low for an IPA however it was citrusy. There was nothing overly exciting about the aroma nor unappealing.

Taste: Well balanced bitterness but not as hoppy as I had hoped. A little heavy on the malt flavor for an IPA and perhaps that overpowered the hops a bit but nonetheless, the taste was very good.

Overall: Very drinkable, very good and I would definitely buy this IPA again. Without a doubt this is the best IPA that I have found to date from a North Carolina brewery. Thank you Carolina Brewing Company!

Photo of beerinator
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden orange, sparklingly clear pretty beer. Whispy off-white head leaves good lacing.

Aroma: Hoppy, citrus twists accompanied by malty nuttiness. The house Carolina Brewing Company aroma is present. The beer smell gives off the impression that the mouthfeel here will not be very full for some reason.

Taste: The bitterness seems very balanced. The sweet breadyness is not overpowered, yet the bitterness starts subtle and dwells on throughout the taste. The mouthfeel is solid, but not too heavy. The finish is crisp and pleasant.

Notes: Solid beer. Very drinkable IPA. I often crave hoppier beers than this one, but the bitterness here holds it's own against many other IPA's. Thanks AKSmokedPorter for the gift of beer!

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a pint glass at one of the saturday 'tours' at the Carolina Brewing Company itself in Holly Springs, NC.

A: Clear golden color with about 1/2" of soapy white head. Moderate lacing.

S: Great floral hops dominate the nose with faint malty undertones. Not much else gets through the hops.

T: Great balance between malt flavors and hops with a bit more of the latter. Even thought the malt flavors come through, I was surprised at how dry the brew was and how well it complimented the other flavor components. The linger has the nice hoppy bitterness that you would expect from an IPA but it doesn't over do it. Very nice.

M&D: Mouthfeel is about perfect for the style, with just the right amount of carbonation to accentuate the flavors - lighter in weight, lively bubbles, and level finish. This would be a good session beer, especially on a hot day. Nice.

Photo of mechamifune
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am a bit bias as this was the first NC beer i tried upon moving down here 4 years ago. However, many many beers later it is still my favorite ipa. A large reason for that may be that i'm able to drink it very fresh, as the brewery itself is just a few miles away from me.

For me the biggest distinction for this ipa is that is maintains a sense of crispness through the entire bottle and is very easy to drink while still maintaining a very hoppy/citrus texture. I've had a lot of ipas, particularly bottled ones, where the sense of cripsness is non existant or dies off towards the end of the beer.

In general the brewery does a good job of keeping it consistant, though I admitedly have had a couple bottles that tasted a bit "off". Still, this is without doubt my favorite local ipa and still my go to beer when i don't feel like trying something new.

Photo of cracgor
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beautiful frothy head of small but soft velvety quality. Glass sticking lace. Dark amber body.

Smell: Piney, must be west coast hops. just what I'm looking for today.

Taste: Right at where I expect an IPA. not crazy over the top and well balanced with a sweet malt.

Mouthfeel: Nothing special. Just what it should be. Mediumbody and a little astringent.

Drinkability: for an IPA something that won't bore me but I can drink well.

Photo of NCSUdo
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As I live about 5 miles from the brewery, I always try to have their product in my fridge. Their IPA is, in my opinion, there best year-round brew, so I try always to have some on hand.

A: Pours a light copper with an OK head. I'm sure I could get more out of it with a more vigorous pour, but who has the time for that? The head dies down after a bit and leaves bits of lace in my glass.

S: Nothing overpowering, but nice none the less. A deep undertone of earthy hops, almost dirt like. Some mild fruit and maltiness up front to act as slight foils to the hops.

T: Again, not overpowering, and as far as an IPA goes, not that complex. The tastes really blend well, very balanced if I do say so. Matliness eventuall turns into a grassy, bitter hop flavor that doesn't overwhelm. Much like the smell, nothing overpowering. As far as IPAs go, this one can be considered tame, but this will contribute to its drinkabilty.

M&D: Nice mouthfeel. Really what a beer should feel like. Slight carbonation, medium body. Feels like you could just let it wander in your mouth for as long as you wanted and it would still be a nice beer. Drinkability is excellent. If ever there was an IPA that I could sip while relaxing or take to a tailgating session, this one is it.

What can I say? I've put off reviewing this beer for a while because I didn't want to do it any injustice. I still feel my review is lacking, so this is one I will definately revisit as I develope my reviewing skills. I really love this beer, probably the first I have really taken a keen liking to. Is it perfect, of course not. But it's absolutely a great beer from pretty damn good brewery right in my back yard. I can't recommend it enough if you are looking for a nice IPA for any occassion.

Photo of ElGordo
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent golden amber with a half-inch creamy white head. Subtle aroma of spicy hops, robust ale yeast, and a hint of light citrus. Palate is mostly sweet malt up front, developing into a strong, piney hoppy flavor towards the end as it approaches a pleasantly bitter finish. Nice medium body is appropriate for the style, although can be a little foamy if swallowed too quickly. Overall, while not exactly a west coast hoppy monster, but it's an impressive effort nonetheless. Very drinkable, and for the price, almost an unbeatable deal.

Photo of ATPete
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased in North Carolina, thanks Mike!!

Pours a slightly chill hazed orange brown color with a large sticky off white head. Fresh juicy hop aromatics started happening here as soon as the cap was popped and continues longer after i pull my face from the glass. Fruity at first, peaches, apricot and some juicy citrus fruits, balanced mid palate with a smooth malt under body and crisp carbonation. The bitter finish is more than welcomed, i found this IPA to be very drinkable.

Photo of skeeordye11
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Orange-red color with a light tan head that sinks into the beer leaving good lacing along the glass and a few bubbles on the surface.

S: Smells very balanced with good malt AND hop presence in the nose.

T: Delicious malty sweetness up front and finishes with wonderful citrusy and floral hop bite on the back end. The malt has a toasty note as with most of the beers from Carolina Brewing Co. I trait I find very appealing.

M: Medium/full bodied beer that starts sweet and finishes with a fair amount of dryness. Good carbonation for the style. Spot on all around for an IPA.

D: Love this beer. Just had it over the weekend at the brewery and the bottle is just as good. Just gotta love fresh beer! I could drink this beer everyday. Perfect example for the style in my opinion. Highly recommended to those that can get their hands on it!

Photo of NCBeernut
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smells of tasty hops with a slight malty edge. More on the fruity side of it. Taste is citrusy hops, earthy, a bit grassy. Green tea flavors. Caramel and toffee malts that come out more as it warms a bit. Very well balanced. One of the most refreshing and drinkable IPAs I have had. Not incredible, but it would be great for a hot day or tailgate. Even sessionable at such a low ABV for an IPA. This is becoming one of my regular IPA purchases at only 7 bucks a sixer, and very fresh, since I live less than an hour from the brewery.

Photo of Luigi
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber and slightly hazy. Two finger head at first and then settles down a little. Head retention is great. Sticks a little bit around the glass and stays for the whole life of the beer.

The aroma is hoppy. Hints of floral hops and pine. The taste is a bitter pine hop up front that is balanced out nicely with a touch of malt. Dry bitter hop finish that lingers around the tongue for a while.

Medium bodied and an awesome drink ability. I must say, I am impressed! A very balanced American IPA that is brewed only ten minutes away from my hometown.

Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a nice fluffy white head that drops down to a film after a few minutes but leaves plenty of lacing coating the sides of the glass

Smell: Fruity citrus nose with underlying malt

Taste: The malts lay down a platform for the hops to do their thing; citrus grapefruit and slightly floral bitterness right through to the finish; metallic taste detracts slightly at the very end

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a refreshing amount of carbonation

Drinkability: A solid IPA that is just right at the end of a hot day

Photo of joe1510
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Bottled 4/23/08

This was an extra in a recent trade with beavers, thanks a lot Mike! Carolina's IPA pours amber, a little darker then the usual IPA. The body is clear with a minimal amount of carbonation rising slowly to the surface. A fingers worth of creamy white head formed on the pour and left some chunk lace on it's settling to a cap.

The hops are the first thing to pop showing citric qualities. Orange and lightly sweetened grapefruit are the first two that come to mind along with a squeeze of lemon. There's an earthiness I pick up here and there but isn't constantly present. The earthiness goes away as this beer warms up. The maltiness seems to be on the caramel side but is in back letting the hops do their thing.

Flavor follows the aroma stride for stride. Sweet orange peel and lightly sweetened grapefruit show up after the caramel sweet start and lead through the finish. A touch of lemon flashes through occasionally adding to the citric hoppy touch. This is a good IPA.

I'm really digging the mouthfeel of this beer. Medium body with a good silkiness but a noticeable carbonation that massages the tongue nicely. Leaves a growing bitterness behind.

This is an IPA I would have no problem drinking a few at a time. The lower abv (compared to others of the style) and silky mouthfeel keep this beer flowing freely.

This is a very solid IPA from Carolina Brewing. Good hop characteristics along with a muted maltiness and high drinkability make for an enjoyable beer. I would buy this often if available in my area.

Photo of atsprings
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice slightly hazy amber with a diminishing head that still leaves spotty lacing. The aroma is a nice balance of light pine hops and sweet caramel. The taste is a decent balance that is just barely dominated by citrus and pine hops. The beer is light to medium bodied with low carbonation. This is a very enjoyable standard IPA, nothing extraordinary, but worthy of me supporting a local brewery.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Color caught me off-guard, as this ale is a coopery gold, like I haven't seen in an IPA in a while. A continual torrent of bubbles rush to the the top, where thin white layer foam holds it down.

Aroma speaks of pine and citrus notes, but quietly. Very distinctive, however.

Hops buzz about the palate right off the bat, leaving a trail of bitterness, spilling all over the mouth. The body's a bit light for all this, though, making it feel a bit one-dimensial, missing a match from malt. For me, though, that's not a problem. Finish is dry, and still bitter.

Very easy to drink, and just tasty enough. I like it.

Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear rich copper with a tight one finger white head,herbal/grassy hop dominates the aromas with an underlyin sweet fruit maltiness,well rounded and balanced IPA flavor wise there is a healthy dose of grassy,herbal hop but is matched with a lightly sweet malt backbone.Fruity and herbal not to big just right makes it easy to drink and savor,one of the better North Carolina brewed IPA's in my opinion.

Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of fdrich29
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Silver0rlead for the bottle.

I am a firm believer that an IPA should be smooth, easy drinking with some clean bitterness. This brew puts that all together. There's something to be said for breweries that don't try to overpower you with hops for the shock value. Carolina delivers a tasty brew you can drink without even thinking about it. I get the flavor of the beer and yet can still enjoy my dinner and taste what I'm eating.

Nice little session beer. I could drink this all day long.

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Carolina India Pale Ale from Carolina Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 141 ratings.