Sunflower IPA - McMenamins

Not Rated.
Sunflower IPASunflower IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

42 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 42
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 14.45%
Wants: 0
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
McMenamins visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.71% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-07-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (65) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 17
Reviews by wombaman:
Photo of wombaman
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Went to the grand lodge in forest grove, OR for first time. Go the sampler. This IPA is pretty light compared to most of the IPA's I have tasted but it has an interesting aftertaste. I can't even describe the aftertaste so it's kind of useless to describe. There is a slight hint of cheap beer taste in there somewhere. Other then that just another basic IPA, nothing special. the smell is hoppy with a slight hint of urine. Goes down easy and feels easy on the palate.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Thrasher
3.87/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled at Bagdad Theater in Portland. I think the IPA recipe varies amongst the different McMenamins breweries so I can't say if this should be compared to other IPAs served at other McMs locations. A bright hazy gold with minimal head and lacing. Equally bright citric hoppy aroma. The malts are mellow, smooth, sweet and tasty but certainly do not get in the way of the bold grapefruit hops. The beer is bitter but fortunately not overwhelming. The finish is decidedly sharp and citric but not especially dry. Mouthfeel is a little too fluid and not very exciting. A fine McM beer, not as juicy as some hoppy IPAs go, and not as malty and robust as some of the more imposing examples go. Still it's quite drinkable and likable, and doesn't skimp on hops.

Photo of Magpie14
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: lightly hazed yellow and golden, kind of reminds me of a hefeweizen in appearance, in some regards. Only a fizzy ring of white foam where the beer and glass meet. Lace was just a ring at the very top

S: light presentation to the senses. Floral, grassy, and fruits of mostly lemons and oranges

T: citrus hops and a very light malt profile. Fruits show up drizzled with caramel and sweets. As far as an IPA this boy is a bit timid and subdued. The dimensions are in the mix but never show a full potential or make their stand. Hops seems stale towards the finish and a faint oiled hop finish on the tongue just seems a bit wry

M: light to mild body and gets a bit foamy just before the swallow. Not a bad drink by any means

D: a little more hops and if the tongue worked a little harder we would be on the way to a great IPA. Otherwise a tricksy showing

Photo of Spikester
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I visited the Murray and Allen Blvd. location in Beaverton to have lunch. I ordered a Pale Ale and got this instead. I knew from the first sip this was an IPA.
A pale hazy gold with a one finger head. Not many lacings. Aroma was nice and hoppy. Taste was Nice bitter hops with a simple malt sweetness bringing up the rear. Mouthfeel was fine and it finished with a medium dry bitterness. Not a beer I would rush out to buy but it well well with the fish and chips.

Photo of jmbranum
4.16/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright yellow gold liquid with a white head (one of the prettiest beers I've seen in some time, reminds me of a gold coin in the sun) Enchanting hoppy aroma.

Flavor is excellent. Long lingering hops with a slight (very slight citrus backbone). Hops are dominant though. A classic Pacific Northwest IPA that is making me a believer.

I highly recommend this to all hopheads.

(enjoyed at McMenamins Six Arms in Seattle)

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
4.38/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost a two finger head into my standard pint glass. The head is maybe just a tiny bit off white and poured so fluffy that it towered over the rim of the glass and spilled a tiny bit, reminded me of those boston lager commercials. Like I said the head is very fluffy and pretty dang creamy too. Mostly all small bubbles. We'll see about lacing, I can't quite tell yet. The body is maybe just a little bit lighter than a standard IPA appearance, but non the less it's pretty close to the norm. The beer is pretty cloudy, just like a good IPA should be. The carbonation looks about medium-high. Visibility is pretty low due to the cloudiness. The head retention is excellent so far, I still have a full finger of head left and it's beer here for almost five minutes. We will see how the lacing goes, but I'm really really liking the look of this beer so far. The smell is very nice as well, very floral and sweet smelling. It has that sweet alcohol smell that a double IPA would have, I'm not a huge fan of it, but it's not too strong, it has enough other aromas to even things out. There is a very nice hop note and a decent malt note as well. A little bit citrusy, but mostly it's all about the floral scent, and the sweet scent. It's a very nice smell, not taking any huge leaps, but it does have more floral aroma than more IPA's I've had. Wow, that's a really good IPA. WOW that's good, it's got a lot of flavors going on, so lets see if I can break it down. It's got a really nice hop character, for sure enough for an IPA, but at the same time it is somewhat easy drinking and maybe even sessionable. I don't really like breweries making a "sessionable" IPA, because they tend to skimp out on flavor and hops, but this beer is very easy drinking and there is PLENTY of taste in it at the same time. It has a very nice malt note in here, very very well balanced with the hops and with the rest of the beer. Then there is the floral flavor, I'm going to go beyond calling it a floral flavor and say that they just strait up brewed this with some kind of flowers, it is called Sunflower IPA after all. It's an amazing addition to this beer, it's not overly sweet like I thought it would be, it's not just a sweetness added, it has some flavors to it as well. It adds an element that most IPA's don't have, and it really balances everything out perfectly. It does a great job of making the hops less rough around the edges and making it an easier drinking beer, while at the same time adding a flowery flavor, and some sweetness that isn't over the top. Some may think that this is a bland IPA, or a weak one, but you can tell if you look close enough that the lack of hops and malts isn't really a lack of them at all, they just take a little bit of a back seat to the flowery taste. This would usually irritate me, but the hops and malts are still totally up in your face, they haven't really gone anywhere, they are just now combined with the flower flavor. It's really an amazing beer, I find myself second guessing myself and thinking that the taste is a little light, an the flowery flavor isn't making up enough for the loss of hops and malts, but they are still there for sure. None the less, it doesn't deserve a 5, because I am skeptical about parts of the beer. I'll give it a solid 4.5 because it's so damn tasty, unique, and well done. The mouthfeel is almost perfect as well. The carbonation is just perfect, medium, not too high at all. The body is just perfect as well, thick, but not too thick, and for sure not watery at all. I guess the only reason I'm not giving this beer a 5 on mouthfeel is because it's maybe not quite as thick as I want it to be, I dunno, it's a really awesome mouthfeel. Like I said before the drinkability on this beer is great, it's not too heavy, it's really tasty, and even though it has a good amount of hops, it remains easy drinking. Overall this is a very surprising beer, because I haven't heard amazing things about McMenamins beer, but this beer is freaking awesome. For sure one of the better IPA's I have ever had, and very unique. What more can I say? Awesome beer!

The appearance turned out to be fantastic, the lacing followed me all the way to the bottom of the glass. The body was solid from beginning to end, no problems there. The only reason this beer isn't getting a 5 is because the head wasn't there at the bottom of the glass. Still, an AMAZING appearance, for sure top five best lacing I have ever gotten.

Photo of draheim
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Note: This review from memory from a late lunch earlier today.

On-tap in an imperial pint glass at The Spar in Olympia (now a McMenamins joint).

Copper color with minimal head.

Aroma is floral hops and a little citrus.

Taste follows nose, floral, slightly bitter. A traditional take on a Northwest-style IPA.

Photo of jclovebrew
4.3/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at McMenamin's Six Arms in Seattle.

Appeared a cloudy straw color. Somewhat earthy hop aroma. Light bodied and light malt nicely balanced with English hops and medium bitterness. Very enjoyable IPA. I would have stuck to drinking these IPAs all night, but I wanted to sample some of their other brews.

Photo of chumba526
2.02/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appears golden with a small white head.

It has almost no smell. This is ridiculous: IPAs should have a bold smell and this has almost no smell to it. I guess I smell a bit of a very faint citrusy and herbal smell.

It has a mild taste to it. There is a slight citrus orange flavor, a very mild caramel flavor and a metallic flavor. The taste ends with a very mild bitterness. This is not bitter enough and lacks the flavor of an IPA. The body is lighter than most IPAs. This seems to be an IPA made for drinkers of bud light.

The carbonation is medium and it has a watery texture to it.

Overall, a horrid IPA that is below average. This is one of the worst IPAs I have had. The flavor of this beer is not nasty but this is not what an IPA should be.

Photo of ybnorml
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly hazy amber/orange beer. Has a small creamy eggshell white head and good lace. The aroma has a spicey hop note at first. Then some nice malty sweetness and a hint of grapefruit hops in the background. The taste starts with a nice hop nip with a good balancing off set of carmel malt in the middle. With a smooth dry hop finish. This was my first on tap Northwest beer during my trip to Seattle. I expected an over the top hop character. This was nice anyway.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.91/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First appearance is a cloudy feisty orange IPA with an apricot hue. Dense beige head sticking to the glass. *UNFILTERED* Nice!

Light sweet aromatic scents of an IPA.

First swigs: Feisty cascade hops with serious tongue sizzle mojo. Citrous orange taste and lemon bite. which is quickly smoothed over by big sweet complimentary malts. This is USA IPA.

Feel is slightly gritty, (not bad) full bodied IPA, with lucious particles suspended.

Last swigs: Pez candy fresh & oranges IPA. Quite a palateable IPA with bawls.

Photo of RJLarse
3.89/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap the McMennamins Edgefield Pub. Served in a pint glass.
Pours a gold color and hazy. Small foamy head.

Smell is a nice sweet citrus scent. Lemon blossoms.

Taste is citrusy. A hint of malt and grape fruit up front with pine notes on the finish.

Mouthfeel is crisp well carbonated and clean. Bit of a metalic aftertaste.

.Nice drinkable IPA.

Photo of RedDiamond
2.61/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The McMenamins Empire generally features an IPA available at most times at most of its locations (52 pubs and counting). There are no less than 21 actual brewpubs within the empire and brewers at each of them are given free reign to produce an IPA. This accounts for an enormous degree of disparity between any given IPA at any given moment, making any definitive review an unlikely representation of the product as a whole.

Be that as it may, I sampled a pint at the Bagdad Café recently and regret to report that my serendipitous encounter with McMenamins IPA was characterized by disappointment. The aroma was at first crisp and fragrant with essential hop properties. This mild though distinct feature soon turned skunky and strained. The IPA had a light head with nice wall-to-wall lace though it was fairly dark for its style – the color of wet cinnamon. The taste too was heavier than an American IPA usually is with the hop profile dense and heavy. Like a bud that hasn’t fully bloomed, the essential properties are there but have not arrived at their potential.

This is a competitive world we live in, and next door to the Bagdad is the Bridgeport Alehouse where a pint of a world class IPA can readily be had. I’ll give the McMenamins IPA another chance, but given a standard of inconsistencies my random visitation may say a lot about the variability of the product as a whole.

Photo of HochFliegen
3.43/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Color was a bright orange hue with a thick crisp white head that quickly departed. The smell was citrus and hoppy with very little malt scents detectable.
In the flavor there wasnt much of a balance between the malt flavors and the hops. It tasted like hopped water with very little other elements to it. The hop charcter however was nice. Very lemon and orange like. Would have liked more malt flavor in there IMO.

Photo of charlatan
3.31/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slight cloudy and light coloured (can't be clearly than that since I was drinking in this in their cellar bar) with very little head. Its high point is a fresh, sweet nose with an acidic twang which reminds me of rhubarb. This isn't as watery as most McMenamins ales, but could still do with being beefed up a bit. The flavour is pleasant though: a nice fruity, hoppy mix coupled with a rather grainy flavour and feel.

Photo of cjgiant
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: cloudy, dark golden with mildly sustaining head; moderate lacing
S: floral meadow and orange notes, but not very strong.
T: starts crisp with a little honey and orange-blossom. The hops are floral/citrus in nature, little tangerine, orange-lemon, maybe a little pineapple.
M: the pull is very mild, slightly carbonated, but there is the slightest of tug on the sides of the mouth.
O: a very enjoyable IPA, not overpowering at all. Some might consider it lacking depth, while I don't feel it's one dimensional, it's not too complex either.

Photo of MrNuggets
3.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at Thompsons in Salem.
Not much of a head here. Golden body with a touch of haze. Small dose of beer smells in the nose. Some good balance going on here. Easying drinking to the max. So easy drinking that I had to take home a growler. When its all said and drank, this is not up to par with the other IPAs coming from the region. I don't have a problem drinking alot of this very fast. Which seems like the point of alot of the McMenimans brews.

Sunflower IPA from McMenamins
81 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.