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Jamaica Red Ale - Mad River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Jamaica Red AleJamaica Red Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

452 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 452
Reviews: 253
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.79%
Wants: 20
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-23-2001

Our legendary red ale. This mahogany hued ale brings an intense spectrum of spicy aromatic hop character balanced by a full-bodied caramel richness. 2011 Silver Medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival in the American Style Amber/Red Ale category.

IBU: 45.3
Malts: 2-Row Pale, Crystal 70/80, Wheat, Black Patent
Hops: Columbus, Chinook, Cascade, Willamette, Summit
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 452 | Reviews: 253 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BDIMike
4.26/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brownish-red color with some suspended yeast. It has an inch-thick head with a light tan head with great retention.
The smell has a surprisingly strong hop smell to it. A little bit of citrus, grapefruit smell to it as well. A good caramel malt smell as well.
The taste has a great malt taste immediately taken over by a great hop taste, with nice grapefuit tones.
The mouthfeel is amazing. One of the smoothest ambers I have ever had.
This amber has an exceptional balance of malts and hops and finishes with an amazing smoothness, making it incredibly drinkable.

Photo of erosier
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L: Pours an amber brown color with a tall and thick tan colored head that takes a long time to fade. It laces the glass a lot on the way down.
A: Sweet roasted malts followed by nice hoppy bitter aroma.
T: Sweet roasted maltss underneath a complex layering of different hops for a nice amber ale taste.
M: Very crisp and refreshing
D: Very nice.

Photo of Moxley
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a hazy amber with a 1 inch tan head that settled quickly.

S - A strong hop and grass aroma - that's it.

T - Hops up front with a grassy, earthy, bitter finish.

M&D - Clean finish, medium bodied ale with a good amount of carbonation. Decent summer beer. Nothing spectacular but drinkable.

Photo of allengarvin
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint mug, this beer is a rich dark mahogany color with a small head but nice lacing. Nice grassy and resinous hop aroma, with toasted malt underpinning. Excellent flavor. There's plenty of maltiness, toasty, with some breadcrust notes, and light caramel. And there's also plenty of delicious bitterness, earthy and piney. The flavors blend together and balance quite well, complimenting each other. A fruity yeast character becomes apparent just before the dryish finish.

Excellent beer!

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours red with a touch of orange and little head. Nice clarity. Nice citrus hoppiness and some toasty malt in the background. Juicy and appetizing aromas. Taste is very nocely balanced citrus and slightly sweet malt. Really very tasty and although not overly complex, very enjoyable. Mouthfeel is clean, but perhaps a tad sweet and a bit like seltzer at the finish- carbonated and thin as it drops off a bit in body. Very drinkable and pleasant.

Photo of nasty15108
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Poured a cloudy amber color with an off white head. Good lacing throughout.

S - Malty and hoppy. Very floral with spicey notes for pine and citrus.

T - Malty up front followed by a perfumy hoppiness. Definate hints of cirtus and pine throughout.

MF&D - Medium bodied, and slightly oily. Not a bad ale, check it out.

Photo of hyland24
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank with the Mox whose tasting skills clearly outweigh her ability to play Hold em' after a couple of beers.

Poured from a short stubby funky lookin bottle into a pilsner glass. Poured a nice smokey amber with a short off white head. Had a sweet hoppy fruit smell with hints of apricot, citrus and malt. The taste was similar to the smell with a nice spicy hop bite followed by a sweet malty bread like taste. Finished clean and crisp. Had a nice crisp clean feel. A good summertime BBQ beer. Definitely worth picking up a sixer.

Photo of Minkybut
3.44/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was a cloudy orangey color and poured a light mahoganny/tan head. The smell of this beer was really great. I thiught it smelled like a nice nut brown ale and caramel wafted out the top of the tumbler. the beer had a bit of a hop bite to it that was a tad to much for me. Very interesting brew but I will not buy again.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a deep red, almost crimson like with good carbonation and a nidrty white head

S: Caramel, grass and thats about it for the nose

T - Caramel with some floral hop notes

M - Medium bodied, light booze, pretty dry

D - Worth a try, not bad, not good.

Photo of cswhitehorse
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Jamaica Red from Mad River pours a lovely copper color that had a solid two finger foam head with some wicked sticky lacing. It has some good head retention.

The aroma was malty with pineapple and other tropical fruit smells. The taste is malty all the way through. It leaves a biter resin hopiness on the tongue. There was some toffee as well. Overall a wicked solid Red amber. I will buying more of this one.

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very strong pour gets only an inch of creamy light tan fuzz for head. Body is a brownish amber murky hue rather dark for the style, but nice. Nose is an almost meaty mineral based feel. Some dark vegetable notes are also there with red tomato and rubarb pie. Cream and smooth with a bit of nuttiness as you take first sip. A nice hoppy feel is slightly bitter but long and stable on the palate as well as smooth. A mineral sweetness develops on the back of the tongue and adds nice balance. Mouthfeel has a raw vegetable feel with some thickness to boot. sessionable and nicely drinkable. Very good red ale, right on for the style.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Foothills pint glass.

Jamaica Red pours well, filling the pint with a thick, raspberry iced-tea colored beer. The head is sizable, rising slowly out of the syrupy body and receding just as slowly, until a thin sheet of unsorted bubbles remains. Excellent lacing. The aroma is phenomenal for an Amber. Juicy, grapefruit hops and tropical fruits (banana, mango, pineapple) are balanced well with a blend of caramel and toffe malts.

The flavor is good...not exceptional, but complex and drinkable. Bitter, resinous, fruity hops coat the palate at first while a smaller, toffee malt note adds some balance. Mouthfeel is heavier than expected for a Red, as the body feels thick and sticky with a low carbonation level. Good hoppiness lingers around for the aftertaste. Overall, this was a pretty decent beer...I'm surprised I went so long before trying it, as it's distribution is fairly widespread in Raleigh.

Photo of jcivetz
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a nice beer that is very hoppy and flavourful. acidic and thirst quenching. nice coloring and smell and drinkability. this beer is a must have before reggae concerts. i like this beer in the morning and the night. it makes me feel all right. most red ales are too watered down, but this one is more dark tan and light brown to be called red. give thanks and praise!!!

Photo of atsprings
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served a nice copper red with a thin head that quickly diminished to a ring. The aroma was some pine hops and caramel malts, but a little weak. The taste was a decent balance of caramel malts and some undertoned earthy hops. The beer is light, crisp and refreshing. This is an enjoyable amber ale, just not something I'd seek out on a regular basis.

Photo of dnichols
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer at the Portland Spring Beer and Wine Festival on March 21, 2008.

A: It poured a cloudy and reddish brown body with a robust tan head that supported a nice curtain of lacing.

S: It produced a lightly toasted sweet malt aroma that was balanced and complemented by a crisp citrusy hop smell. Very refreshing and pleasant.

T: It was very creamy and malty with a noticeable shop accent that was zingy and added an orange flavor to the back side of each sip. Overall it was well balanced and finished clean and with a clean aftertaste.

M: It was a medium bodied beer with a zippy, tangy orange flavor that balanced well with the sweet malty profile of the beer. It finished clean and there was little aftertaste.

D: This is a great summer brew. It was well balanced and could easily stand up as a session beer.

Photo of SargeC
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy, muddy brown brew with an amber head.

Smell: Caramel, toffee, good hop presence and a touch of alcohol.

Taste: Sweet, with a good hop presence for balance. Caramel flavors mix with hints of tobacco and citrus accents.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, slightly chalky with a satisfying density.

Drinkablity: Very tasty. A solid brew that comes across bold and balanced, without being heavy.

Photo of tiger88
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I received this in my Beer on the Wall monthly shipment. This pours a deep copper-red. A lot deeper red than you would expect. Lacey white head that hung around a couple minutes (average). The smell is that of an average IPA and not so much that of a red ale. The taste is excellent. It was a lot hoppier than one would expect as was evidenced by the aroma. Caramel stands out with this one. I really enjoyed this beer and hate that I'm out of it.

Photo of JDV
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Fordest on RB for this nice amber. Thick muddy brown pour, with a medium lasting beige head. Smell was a nicely rich smelling and balanced hop and malt mix. Taste was full flavored, with a thick-ish mouthfeel especially for an amber. Nicely carbonated and nice darkish almost chocolately flavors, with a good hoppiness. Mildy bitter finish with some unique richness and qualities for the style. I very much enjoyed this beer.

Photo of JayQue
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good one!!! My first Mad River beer. Very tasty and sessionable. Pours a dark amber / bronze color with a nice size light tan head. Head retention is good. Leaves good lacing on the glass. Nice looking beer. Smell is nothing special.

Tastes good. Smooth, malty and not too sweet. A little hops bitterness to balance things out. Mouthfeel is rich and crisp. Very drinkable, don't have to be that cold to enjoy. The flavor holds up, no annoying chalkiness or sweetness.

At 6.0 abv and tasty, I see this as a session beer. A slow sipper with potential for mass quantities in an evening!!

Very enjoyable experience...I would like to try this on tap as well.

Photo of ccrida
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic, Jamaica Red is a dark bronze with a medium sized bone colored head that quickly subsides to thick skim, leaving heavy lace.

Smell is earthy hops and toasted bready malt.

Taste is nice and flavorful, malty and just sweet enough, with a citrus hop flavor that I swear is very much like watermelon, and comes across a bit tinny the first few sips. This is a very tasty amber - I mid-way though a big amber tasting and this one stands out. Slight lingering bitterness in teh back of the throat.

Mouthfeel is pretty creamy, medium body.

Drinkability is pretty high, I've been drinking every amber I can find lately and this is one of the first that I honestly enjoyed!

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: solid, clear ruby color, with a white head that dissipates quickly. good lacing.

S: beautiful aroma of hops, smells fresh and of cascades/pine trees.

T: shockingly sweet at first, hops linger for a while. Great well-balanced malt to hops ratio.

M: bitters in the right place and the sweetness really balances it out.

D: i love this brew. Mad River is a solid brewery and this brings me back to Reggae on the River.

Photo of OtisinAZ
3.39/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A hazy red ale, as to be expected from a bottle conditioned brew. Strong citrus and pine notes even before raising the glass.

Good mouth feel with a pleasant caramel after taste.

The head faded rather quickly. All around a decent beer to be enjoyed in numbers.

Photo of Dogbrick
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a dark cooper color with a medium thin orange-beige head that dissipates steadily. Stringy lacing. Citrus fruit, toffee and malt in the nose, dominated all the while by moderately bitter hops. Medium-bodied and somewhat dry with resiny hops and toasted malt flavor, along with touches of citrus and pine. The finish is equally malty and hoppy. Above average all around.

Photo of July2Nov
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Muddy copper red.
S: Deep malts with a sweet buttery biscuit scent.
T&M: Silky smooth at first sip then turns to a rich malty spikiness. Leaves the pallet with strong sense of spicy heaviness...probably due to the higher alcohol content. Overall...very satisfying.
D: First time trying this, but I could see myself downing a few more throughout the night. Good find.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a amber/ copper color with a tan head. Aromas are big grapefruity hops. In the taste, a sweet malt and a small bitterness. A very smooth bitter-ish mouthfeel with a small bitter yet clean aftertaste. A nice beer, great aroma, nice mellow bitter, smooth and easy to drink.

Jamaica Red Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 452 ratings.