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Carolina India Pale Ale - Carolina Brewing Company

Carolina India Pale Ale
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127 Ratings

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Ratings: 127
Reviews: 95
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 9.89%

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)
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Ratings: 127 | Reviews: 95 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the RDU airport main terminal - Vintage Wines store, but always 4 good micros on draft. Server didnt seem too excited about walking me through the though.

But I digress - pours a medium amber, with good foam, and a decent stickiness. Strong pine/grassy smell. Taste is a firm hop, but with a good malt balance that blends in really nicely. Good carbonation - the whole beer comes together very nicely. Very drinkable, and an excellent pre-flight option.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2011 21:10:33 | More by KTCamm
Photo of PaulfromNoVa


3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drinking local at a Wilmington NC pub. Came to table after long walk from bar with an inch of clingy head that dissipated slowly, body of clear burnt amber, sitting pretty.

A balanced fragrance of malt - I thought, grape nuts - and some citrusy hops. Taste similarly balanced, with edge going to the sweetness of the malt: a bare predominance, no hoppy bite, little bitterness, barely an American IPA in my ken, crisp, clean, a pleasant tasting beer that I could drink a few of. Agreeably foamy in the mouth with a subtle lingering finish of hops.

Not a great beer and, at just over 5 ABV, a bit too much for a session beer, but I could easily have enjoyed several more over a longer stay. Complemented the pub fare - dry-rubbed wings, burgers, and salads - beautifully.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2011 04:43:09 | More by PaulfromNoVa
Photo of JDH2000


4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Corolla Brew Pub in NC.

A- poured a coppery amber with a thin head that quickly dissipates to the edge of the glass.

S- nice hoppy aroma--pine and some grass--followed by light caramel malts.

T- The hop flavors come across first then the nice balance of the caramel malts.

M- medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation.

D- overall, a really tasty beer. I was trying to buy only local brews and this was definitely a good pick.

Serving type: on-tap

09-06-2010 23:28:53 | More by JDH2000
Photo of tempest


3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a pint at the Corolla Brew Pub (it's just a beer bar) for $5. The clear amber beer was on the simpler and more drinkable end of IPA's, but it was still a pleasure to drink. The nose and taste focused on bright, piney hops with a little caramel malt in the aftertaste. There seemed to be a very slight, papery oxidation note, but otherwise this was a fine IPA for drinking in the summer heat.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2010 15:16:25 | More by tempest
Photo of nsmartell


3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this beer while on a lay over at the Charlotte airport. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours orange in color with a thin off-white head that did not last long.

Smell: Nice grassy nose.

Taste: Just as the smell suggests, very grassy but balanced with bready malt.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium-bodied with nice carbonation.

Drinkability: Not a bad beer for waiting for a flight. Would drink again if ever back in the area.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2009 01:14:29 | More by nsmartell
Photo of Durge


3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one is a dark carmel color, a bit hazey with a modest white fizz for head and pretty scant lacing. The aroma is a nutty caramel with a spritz of piney hops, clean and crisp but not real hoppy. The flavor is not typical IPA, sort of heavier toffee grass and subtle hop bitterness laced throughout. Suggests a brown ale / strong ale with a bit of extra hop influence but not an IPA by my standards. It is nicely and finely carbonated, crispy refreshment but that doesn't suit the flavor as well as a brighter, hoppier deal might have. It's not heavy in body though, fairly drinkable. Not much alcohol noted. The grassy bitterness lingers well on the tongue, a little dry. Interesting as a brown ale, a bit disappointing as an IPA. I guess it depends on your preferences and expectations. Not bad at all, worth a try if your in the Carolinas.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2009 04:33:58 | More by Durge
Photo of SIRIUS2

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-17-2008 01:37:52 | More by SIRIUS2
Photo of wagenvolks


3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at 42nd Street Oyster Bar in Raleigh, NC.

Waitress brought out an amber-orange colored ale with a thin khaki head that retained well and left fantastically dense lacing down the sides of the pint glass. Aroma was so-so, with watered-down notes of hops, citrus, and sweet caramels.

The taste was pretty spot on for an IPA. Lots of sweet caramel notes and a big, bitter hop presence. This beer surprised me, as it's one-thousand percent better than Carolina Brewing's Pale Ale (blech!). Anyway, the mouthfeel was crisp and refreshing, with a medium/thin body that left a great bitter finish that lingered long enough to compliment the meal. I'd definately have this again, but I get the feeling that the bottled brews probably leave a bit to be desired, so I'd only go for another draught.

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2007 16:36:43 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of DrMaturin

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at 42nd Street Oyster Bar where the lighting was poor.

Decent head; medium amber color. Hop character was on par with pine and citrus in the aroma.

Ritz cracker malt holds up a nice hop forward taste. The sweetness of this brew was relatively long lived staying around while the moderate bitterness of the hops subsided.

A well harnessed and very drinkable IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2006 03:08:59 | More by DrMaturin
Photo of Neehan

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is an enjoyable American IPA. It is a nice, hazy light amber pour and a nice smell of citrusy fruits and hops. The taste begins with sweetness and then is dominated by bitter hops into the aftertaste, above average for this style of beer. A crisp mouthfeel with a good balance of the carbonation. It was easy to drink the first, the 2nd was nice as well but I don't know how many more I could have had.

If you have the opportunity to try this brew, go for it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-31-2006 00:23:56 | More by Neehan
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2005 21:45:03 | More by oberon
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a fairly clear brassy-gold color with a nice white head that sticks around pretty well.

Smell is doughy malt with a strong, bitter hop presence that doesn't wipe out the nose, but makes itself felt. A little bit piney, a little bit floral.

Flavor is pretty subdued for an IPA, but it's a nice change of pace. The hops have a nice balance of citric flavors with spruce/pine-resin bitterness in the finish, and there's a nice caramel/biscuit malt in there that sticks up pretty well.

Mouthfeel is firmly medium.

Overall: Not the most aggressive IPA, but a tasty one. I'd love to have it again.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2005 02:37:25 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, slightly hazed, dark caramel coloring with a thin, sparse, off-white surface coat of head. Nose of tropical fruit forward, with pineapple, mango, and grapefruit. Backbone of tangy sweet caramel, with some roasty notes, too. Flavors are bitter and resin forward, with a cedar tassel characteristic, light fruit sweet and tart, and a solid caramel backbone. The palate is kept light by an effervescent body, with a sweet, slightly bitter aftertaste. The finish is slightly lingering, with a more malt-centric flavor left behind. Easy to drink, and very balanced.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2013 23:41:17 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of Brenden


3.54/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Very clear and pretty much the epitome of amber, this brew's head is impressive. When it comes down from a massive height after the pour, its settling is just less than two fingers. The proud-looking eggshell white crown is heavy, craggy, thick and dense. It leaves a heavy ring at the top of the glass, and that's followed by some impressive patching. It finally settles to its final stage at half a finger. It may be malts more than anything, but it's impressive.
Malts it is. I don't get any real pungency out of this beer; in fact, it's hard to smell much of anything. When I do, I get biscuit, caramel, a bi of a tinny note, and a little citrus rind.
There's definitely more hop flavor, though. Citrus zest, as found in the nose, is followed by some pith, some leaf, and a bit of a woody dryness. This does balance well with malts, which add some caramel sweetness as a touch of a fruity note makes its way through.
This beer has a creamy flow to it with a nice crisp touch in a medium body that's almost light. Carbonation is a bit fluffy but is kept in check.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2013 14:31:31 | More by Brenden
Photo of dpodratsky3

North Carolina

3.36/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Absolutely crystal clear dark orange, copper, head is nice film of pure white

S: Resiny and floral hops are only aroma

T: Hop forward with resin dominating, other than that its hard to discern much in the way of malt flavors, finishes a little hot from pure hop bitterness, lacks flavor throughout entire taste

M: Medium body, decent carbonation, very dry

O: Ok, doesn't stand out in a crowd but doesn't have any bad characteristics

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2013 02:27:18 | More by dpodratsky3
Photo of netrioter


2.95/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

9.99 for a growler from Quick Mart in Chapel Hill N.C.

was driving through Chapel Hill near the university and noticed a "questionable" convenient store and i told my girlfriend that i would bet her 100 bucks that you can find drug pipes,condoms,porn and "alternative" herbal smoking blends due to being so close to campus...she would have lost that bet.

They also have a outstanding import and local beer section.

They had 6 different growlers from Carolina Brewing so i picked one up.

Impression from opening....EXTREMELY SKUNKED...im thinking because of bad refrigeration,ive had this on tap before and it wasnt this skunky....it was foul smelling.... i just dropped 10 bucks on it so i threw it in the freezer for 2 hours....here it goes...

Good bitterness,orange hue and even though it was kind of smelly the taste came through.

If youre a Dogfish Head IPA fan you may like this as well.

if you see this in the bottle its worth a try. I think it goes for 6-7 a 6 pack

Serving type: growler

11-17-2012 20:46:13 | More by netrioter
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours an orange color with a 1" head that lasts a bit.

Smell: caramel and some earthy tones are easily detectable.

Taste: caramel, mild bitterness, soft citrus, and a mild earthiness creates a very mild flavored IPA.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout. Short lasting aftertaste.

Overall: a very mellow and mild IPA that is easy to drink but leans more towards a pale ale for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2012 18:00:03 | More by Gavage
Photo of prototypic


2.9/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Carolina India Pale Ale pours a lighter gold color with slight orange highlights. It’s slightly hazy and has a few yeasty particles swimming about. Backlighting gives it more of an orange look. It’s capped with a soft white head that rises to just over a finger in height. Retention is on the shorter side and lacing is extremely light. It’s not bad, not quite good either.

The nose is honestly a little below average. It’s weak and desperately needs more strength. It kicks off with a bit of earthy scent, which is interesting. You don’t encounter than in an IPA often. It’s a little bread-like, as well. Hops don’t come through very strong at all. There are some faint fruity notes of orange and grapefruit. For an American IPA, that’s not a good thing. Alcohol is very light and is mostly unnoticeable. Meh.

The flavor is slightly better. Enough to warrant a score bump. The malt base is bready and biscuit-like. There’s a touch of sweet caramel, but it’s subtle. Hops have a light citrus grapefruit and orange flavor. They’re not all that strong. It is a little bitter, but not all that much. It has an interesting earthy flavor. It is somewhat reminiscent of aspirin, as well. Kind of odd. Alcohol is light and doesn’t come through strong. Finishes with a biscuity, slightly bitter flavor.

The body is lighter. Carbonation seems light and soft, but it’s too thin to attain any level of smoothness. I’m splitting the growler, but could probably finish it solo. Although, I’m not sure I’d want to.

Carolina India Pale Ale is an okay release from Carolina Brewing Company, but does very little to distinguish itself amongst a sea of great American IPAs. It’s just not all that hoppy or tasty. Needs work in that department. It’s not horrible and might be worth a try. That’s about it.

Serving type: growler

08-12-2012 03:57:23 | More by prototypic
Photo of KajII

North Carolina

3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Shaker glass]

The pour was a medium copper amber with an average sized (1-2 finger) white fluffy head that reduced to a medium cap which lead to some really nice streaky lacing.

The aroma was of a mild straw malt, floral and citrus hops and an earthy yeast with notes of caramel and citrus (grapefruit and orange peel).

The taste was moderately bitter with a mild sweet maltiness and a touch of caramel early on, and then progressed into this hoppy bitter taste that had a good note of citrus towards the end. The flavor lasted for quite a long while with the hoppy citrus flavor fading nice and slow.

Mouthfeel was just above light in body with a decently dry texture and a moderate carbonation.

Overall an IPA that gets back to the basics: hops, citrus and a mild caramel malty taste. You really don't need much else...

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2012 19:13:12 | More by KajII
Photo of VncentLIFE

North Carolina

3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

part of a sampler pack from Mark, the owner. Thanks!

Pours deep amber, almost deep orange. Initial swirling head, disappears and leaves nothing. No carbonation, no head, nothing.

Its actually very light for an IPA. Good bittering hop feeling, hints of pine, loads of earthy herbal hops. Metallic earthy hops, i mean it bears repeating. Bitter bite from the hops. Finishes dry, with more earthy medicinal hops coming upon exhale.

Very clean, which i wasnt expecting for an IPA.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 19:51:15 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of Cyberkedi


3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, coppery amber, almost mahogany, that is crystal clear and has a fairly thick, fluffy and somewhat persistent off-white head. Aroma is hoppy and fruity, not strong but still appetizing. Hoppy flavor has subtle woody and fruity notes and minimal bitterness. Texture is smooth, firm-bodied and fairly fizzy. Not spectacular, but still enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 21:36:53 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale amber with an orangish hue. There's a short lived, foamy head. The smell is citrusy hop aroma and orange peel with faint malt. The taste is malty but sweet, almost apple-like, with faint citrus, earthy hop notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, though a little thin at times, and smooth.

This beer has solid hop character, but has weak malt content to back it up. It's a little thin and underwhelming for me.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 01:31:45 | More by tdm168
Photo of AngusOg

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After all the double IPAs and hoppy IPAs I've been drinking lately, it has either jaded me a bit or this one is just much more subdued. I was waiting for that hop punch to hit me over the head, and it just wasn't there. This one reminded me more of a British IPA, much more balance. In fact alot of maltiness in the nose and flavor, with just some hop bitterness in the finish. Still, not a bad brew at all, quite enjoyable and sessionable. Not one i will seek out again, but solid for sure.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2011 02:48:53 | More by AngusOg
Photo of Beejay


3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ewright for this.

A: Clear orangish amber. A nice white head, though it dissipated to a bunch of large bubbles rather quickly.

S: Nice amounts of pine and grass. Note of citrus, along side the piney punch. There is a slight biscuity flour smell that I usually associate with English Yeast strains.

T: Bready and biscuit flavor come right out. The hops pack a bitter punch of grassy Piney goodness. Definite focus on the bittering in this one.

M: A little on the watery side, carbonation seems to work out.

D: I prefer a little more hop flavor in comparison to the bittering, but it is still good. A touch watery, but not a bad beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2011 03:20:48 | More by Beejay
Photo of BeerAdvocate


3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine May 2007.

What's up with beer labels? Some are great, while others look like this one: an ugly lion roaring and crawling out of an egg--what the hell?

Pours a bright amber color with dark orange hues. Head is creamy, frothy, a bit clingy, and healthy looking. Big, fresh, pale malt aroma, and a nice dose of citric hops underneath; grapefruit and orange. Very smooth and creamy on the palate--almost silky with an even malt body. Touch of bicarbonate and dryness mixed with some moderate carbonation that's held back by a semi-chewy viscosity. Sweetness is thin but there, and a nice citric snap breaks through the biscuity malt character with notes of grapefruit, pine, lime rinds, and grass. The hops are indeed present, but they're soft and balancing as opposed to overpowering, as many hopheads have come to expect. Some spiciness pulls through, along with suggestions of rye and a hint of hoppy soapiness. Finish is a bit drying and leafy, with the lingering herbs wrapped in a dusting of malt powder and a residual soapy character.

Nothing that'll knock your socks off, but it's a rather solid IPA that's flavorful and highly drinkable thanks to its balance and moderate alcohol content. That soapy character isn't as bad as it sounds, but we'd prefer it not to be there, if only for the sake of a more dialed-in hop profile.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 18:12:30 | More by BeerAdvocate
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Carolina India Pale Ale from Carolina Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.