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Carolina India Pale Ale - Carolina Brewing Company

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Carolina India Pale Ale
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132 Ratings

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Ratings: 132
Reviews: 95
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 9.63%
Wants: 5
Gots: 1 | 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)
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Ratings: 132 | Reviews: 95 | Display Reviews Only:
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
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 hooliganlife


3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

pours a copper orange with a light fluffy head, light lacing and some retention.

nothing really, some light biscuit malts but thats about it.

very earthy and resin with a bitter pine. light citrus in the finish. malts are quiet. not too much going on here. lacks some depth.

nice moderate body with a carbonation bite.

ehh, not too impressed here. its not bad, i will easily drink it, but i doubt i ever seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2010 00:49:36 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of Onenote81

North Carolina

3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a single of this at A1 Brews in Burlington. Best by date, 3/10/10. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a very dark amber/orange with just a paper thin off-white head on top. Tiniest bits of lace cling to the glass. The nose is much maltier than expected. Notes of toffee, bread, and crackers. Minor floral tones present, but overall this is weak for an IPA.

The body is moderate-to-full, with a good representation of carbonation. Flavor profile is average at best. There's some bitterness present, but it's rather bland and boring. No real depth to this. Some light malts balance it out, but the citrus and hoppy aspect is tamed down for sure. This is a really simple IPA. It's not bad, but there are many, many more IPAs out there that I would get instead.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2010 18:57:22 | More by Onenote81
Photo of jonziefle

North Carolina

3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured a golden amber. One finger off-white head that with decent body; not much head, but it reduces down to nice thin coating. Very little lacing.

Smell: Strong fragrance of fruity and juicy hops. Citrus flavors (grapefruit and orange) and light hints if pine. Vey well rounded. No harsh or bitter flavors, but not completely “mild”, either.

Taste: Definite hop flavor, but consisting of a few off flavors (soap in particular). The grapefruit flavor comes through the most, but doesn’t taste fresh and appealing like in the smell. It’s not bad, but could use more flavor. The off flavors tend to linger more than the hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Slightly harsh feel.

Drinkability: Okay IPA. Smells great, but the taste is a let down. Little harsh on the mouthfeel as well. Not a bad beer, but could be better.

Buy Again: Yes, but only because I’m a sucker for local beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2010 03:18:19 | More by jonziefle
Photo of Risser09


2.75/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner - fridge - bottled 9/2/2009 - best by 12/2/2009

Appearance: I notice right away that the beer level is 2" from the cap of the bottle. A little suspicious...here goes. Golden orange color, orange highlights, ample carbonation, 2" light gold head. Great retention and caked on, spongy lace all over the glass

Smell: Some hop aromas, without much bitterness. Mostly pale malt and some cereal aroma. Not much more beyond that.

Taste: A cereal flavor and texture is without much bitterness. The beer tastes like an ESB with it's maltiness, but lacks enough bitterness to seem like an IPA. A grainy, mineral flavor could be contributed by the hops. Strange.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, slightly bitter, mostly pale malt, with some odd flavors in there. There is some carbonation, some alcohol, and an earthy, lingering bitterness.

Drinkability: Not really an IPA in my opinion. The hop profile needs work. I've had hombrewed beer that showcased the style more completely.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2009 18:37:24 | More by Risser09
Photo of rapidsequence


3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

Appearance: Looks nice-- slightly hazy prange with a nice thick head that fades but never disappears. Nice lacing.

Smell: Smells very earthy. Also grassy and a little pine. Nothing sweet or fruity about the hops profile.

Taste: Grassy and piney hops bitterness at first along with some bicuity tasting malt. Pretty balanced and easy drinking. Finishes surprisingly clean for an IPA-- almost watery on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Its about right I guess. Even though the taste finished a little watery, it doesn't feel at all watered down. Its well carbonated and not too thick or syrupy.

Drinkability: This is one of those that drinkability is the highest of the 5 scores. It doesnt really excel anywhere, but it a very easy drinking, cheap, accessible beer without any major faults. This is the way most of CBCs beers are. I downed a bunch of these at the beach this summer. Very refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2009 02:01:56 | More by rapidsequence
Photo of porterwoobie

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: orangish amber color. thin, white head. good lacing

S: good balance of malt and hops. the hops have a citrusy aroma. also get hints of apricots.

T: the malt sweetness is detected at first, rapidly overcome by the hop bitterness, although not as pronounced as a typical american IPA. very tasty though.

MF: light body, medium carbonation. smooth drinking.

Drinkability: this is a good beer. its a little lighter hop-wise than lots of other IPA's out there, so it has its own character, but still a beer i will go to again and again.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2009 01:47:08 | More by porterwoobie
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 HopDerek


3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kegatron for this gift.

Pours a clear amber color with 1.5 fingers of foamy off-white head. Good retention left some decent lacing stick behind. Smells of sweet cereal malt, herbal and spicy hops, grass, lemon, and light piney notes. Tastes of earthy hops, spicy hops, and lemon zest with a pretty good balance thanks to some caramel and sweet bready notes. Finishes with some dry grass elements and more of the earthy and spicy hop lingering. Medium in body with moderate but poppy carbonation. Smooth and semi-sticky with a pretty good lingering bitterness with a slightly metallic feel. A good earthy IPA, easy to drink and session. I'd have no problem polishing a few of these off.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2009 19:51:31 | More by HopDerek
Photo of BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from Total Wine and More, Raleigh.
Blue label with a yellow, roaring lion (same as above). Best by 4/25/09, "CBC turned ten years old on July 3, 2005. All it takes is a liver and a dream!"
Dark copper orange color, no head just a few floating bubbles. Some floral hop aromas, hoppy but not really as strong as expected from an IPA. Hop bite to start, but lots of sweetness in the end.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin and light. Good drinkability for a lighter hopped IPA. Not the overwelming big hop flavor from other IPAs.
Enjoyable, enjoy the subtle hops flavor.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2009 02:47:10 | More by BigBry
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 Kegatron


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

12 oz into a pint glass.

Pours a clear golden amber with 3 fingers of smooth off-white head. A solid foamy retention leaves a creamy latticework of sticky lacing back. The aroma is fresh herbal hops that are a bit dank and earthy with spice and a touch of pine. Underneath lies a sharp zip of caramel and citrus that adds some thickness to the bouquet.

The taste is moderately hoppy with an overall spicy, herbal, and a dry bitterness that lingers on the palate for a while. This is well balanced by a silky mix of caramel, bread, and tangy citrus. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a pricklier carbonation up front that moves into a creamier and slicker feel underneath.

No complaints here. Solid all around IPA with well balanced flavors and good drinkibility. I'd have no problem making this a hoppy go-to if it was local.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2009 00:28:47 | More by Kegatron
Photo of ATPete

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 21:20:12 | More by ATPete
Photo of mechamifune

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2009 21:32:39 | More by mechamifune
Photo of cnjohn19

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - beautiful dark orange color...if rating just this would be a 5.0...but attained absolutely no head...

S - you get just a bit of the florals you would expect from an ipa...beyond that it was tough for me to get much more (but i'm new to the beer rating too so who knows)

T - experiencing just a tad bit more sweetness than i would expect, which is nice...i have been used to tasting very hoppy beers lately and this is certainly not one of them...

M - slightly thin and light...

D - very enjoyable for a lighter ipa...would buy again and could enjoy several in one sitting...nice for a lighter ipa drinker...

Overall you can appreciate the time spent brewing this beer...taste is distinct, but not overwhelming...would have enjoyed a more apparent aroma...

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2009 03:06:19 | More by cnjohn19
Photo of skeeordye11

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2009 18:45:59 | More by skeeordye11
Photo of drums4matt

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2009 23:49:58 | More by drums4matt
Photo of hopdog


3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

Poured a medium medium amber color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of citrus, light pine and a little earthy. Tastes of citrus / oranges and light caramel. Very lightly bitter. I found this to be thinner and weaker for an IPA.

Notes from: 10/20/06

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2009 19:16:58 | More by hopdog
Photo of PatrickJR

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Murky, orangish/amber in color. A half inch head recedes quickly leaving minimal lace. Not exactly what I'd expect from an IPA.

S - Now we're back on familiar territory. There's a nice bready, caramel aroma providing the backbone which I prefer in my IPAs. The hops contribute a wide range of frangrances including pine and citrus, but the most obvious aroma is fruits in the range of apples, peaches, and apricots.

T - My first impression is how extremely well balanced this IPA is. Some folks like pthat in an IPA, and some don't. I happen to be of the former. The caramel malt is most obvious and the hop flavors are a bit secondary to what could almost pass as a red ale. Grapefruit peel is ever-present around the edges with a flavor best described as pine plus apple. Virtually devoid of any bitterness.

M - An extraordinary mouthfeel. Very low carbonation with a silky, medium body. This brew goes down as smooth as any IPA I've ever had.

D - To start with, I really, REALLY liked this beer. Several of these wouldn't be a bad way to spend a night with friends. To be fair though, it's quite removed from the prototypical IPA. The malt character is competing (and possibly winning) with the hop profile which isn't what an IPA is about. In general the hop element is subdued greatly, and with so much malt focus it's hard to say this is a great IPA. Still though, it is a fantastically tasty brew that I hope to revisit time and time again.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2009 10:20:00 | More by PatrickJR
Photo of GJ40

North Carolina

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

Sampled from a 12oz bottle in a standard pint glass.

A - An almost amber color with good clarity and a thick, creamy head. Great lacing.

S - A nice blend of malt sweetness and floral hops. Not huge but nice.

T - The malt sweetness dominates the experience. There are some citrusy hops and a slight bitterness but it's just not enough. A good flavor with no flaws but just too mild and meek for an IPA.

M - Decent body. Nice low carbonation.

D - Very easy to drink but not compelling enough. It's an IPA for the masses, not IPA lovers.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2008 21:28:57 | More by GJ40
Photo of SaCkErZ9


3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dispensed from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Light amber in color with a tight little eggshell colored head. Great lacing down the side of the glass but little head retention.

Aroma is mostly earthly with some citrus and pine notes as well. A little light for an AIPA. Slightly fruity with big caramel presence. A little more citrus or american hop aromas would make this one killer.

Nice flavors. Fruity and hoppy on the palate first with some bready and grainy qualities finsihing out the flavor. A decent hop bite is felt toward the end and leaves a slight tingle on the palate. A little bit of acridness but nothing overwhelming.

Slight thin on the mouthfeel but a nice beer. A little more hop aroma and hop flavor and we are looking at a great beer. Certainly an easy drinker and a solid sessioner.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2008 18:07:58 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of JDV


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

Bottle courtesy of emacgee. Thanks man!
Pours a dark hazy amber with a light offwhite head. Smell is fresh, bright malt, and citrusy, fruity hops. Taste is really nice and fruity with citrusy sweet hops. Very drinkable and a good semi-rich body with nice refreshing carbonation. Nice crisp bitterness. This is a very underrated IPA, I think, and a classic example of what I want in the style. Thanks again for this one!

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2008 19:36:48 | More by JDV
Carolina India Pale Ale from Carolina Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 132 ratings.