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Jamaica Sunset India Pale Ale - Mad River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Jamaica Sunset India Pale AleJamaica Sunset India Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

147 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 147
Hads: 250
Avg: 3.59
pDev: 13.09%
Wants: 8
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-30-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Jamaica Sunset India Pale Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 147 | Hads: 250
Photo of sashavasko
4.53/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Saturated deep velvety taste. Nicely balanced without bitterness. Somewhat sweet with a rich bouquet. I've never been to Jamaica, but I can imagine why its named so. Would definitely drink again. Better tasting at room temperature.

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Photo of JDK
4.35/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very cloudy apricot color with a 2 finger head that quickly disappeared. Very light lacing that didn't last long either.
Smells a nice citrus with hints of spice-very nice.
Medium mouthfeel with a lingering orange/grapefruit taste.
A very good overall ale.

On a side note, I just received my Sam Adams glasses and they are the bomb! What I thought was going to be a gimmick turned out to be my favorite glass to drink from, it's perfect for doing reviews!

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Photo of MisterClean
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From total wine

A - Pours an unfiltered and hazy orange with 2 fingers of off-white head. Dissipates slow and leaves really nice lacing.

S - Honey, grapefruit, and citrus.

T - Honey, citrus, and bittering hops. Tastes like I just bit into a grapefruit.

M - Full-bodied and hop dominated.

D - An excellent quaff. This should be a standby for an IPA.

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Photo of hellcatsjg
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Slightly cloudy orange with a thin layer of foam that lasts most of the glass.

Smell: Crisp scent of citrus and piney hops along with a nice sweetness.

Taste: Nice hop flavor of citrus and pine and a nice sugary sweetness in the middle. Slight bready malt flavor on the back.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Mild flavor left behind after the swallow, finishes very clean.

Drinkability: Very good beer, not too overpowering in bitterness or ABV, which is not a detriment, but makes this brew quite drinkable. Very nice beer that you could easily drink several of.

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Photo of whatthehull
4.28/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a wine/snifter/tulip glass from a 12oz bottle

A - Golden copper in color, thick slightly off white head and some sticky lacing/legs

S - Sweet smelling island flowers, must/funk, mango, pineapple, guava, very malty, nice sugar note, fresh cut wood, loads of cooked grains, bread yeast. The smell is refreshing in and of itself.

T - Floral/island fruits right up front, huge malt, nice bittersweet hop, oven roasted grains, matzo crackers (yeast), tastes like I would imagine a beautiful warm tropical day would be, has a nice funky/musty finish.

M - Medium plus body, medium minus carbonation, medium acidity, nice balance, generous complexity and a very nice malty sugary sweet beautifully hopped finish.

D/O - Sitting here on a warm summers day this beer is fitting well with the scene around me -- it isn't sitting on a Jamaican beach with beautiful sites and smells surrounding me, but it will do. This IPA kinda takes you there -- the beer I imagine Corona is actually describing in their commercials. Refreshing, smells and tastes lovely a very nice experience.

Final Thoughts - The price I was very surprised by around $7-8 (sixer) depending on the store/bottle shop you go to. You can even find a single bottle for $1-2 a pop. With a very nice smell/taste and a perfect 7% ABV this one can be enjoyed again and again

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Photo of meeekyh
4.27/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have been a fan of Jamaica Red ale for a long time now and was searching for the Serious Madness. Having found only one of the latter I opted to try the IPA offering from this really good beer producer.

I grabbed a pilsner glass and it reveals a orange hued golden beer, sunset colored if you will, with a light tan head that is full but leaves little lacing and dissipates quickly.

Smells are the grapefruit hops I remember liking in the Red, some wafting alcohol and fresh green grass.

Taste is bitter and lightly sweet with a nice malty roundness and a medium mouthfeel that holds the beer up for inspection and allows the flavors to linger. Clean citrus is the last note and the overall finish is dry.

This is a great IPA with awesome malt character reminding me that beer is essentially malt and that the hops are always going to be the follow-up act. Attempts to rewrite this paradigm fail regularly.

This is another outstanding offering form what has reasserted itself as among my favorite brewers. Well worth the premium for this very good IPA.

I would also like to note that my bottle indicates the beer is at 7% ABV as opposed to the 6.4% listed at the time of my review on this website.


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Photo of 1whiskey
4.26/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz twist off. Fairly aggressive pour yields a barely-there head. Minimal lacing. Unfiltered, cloudy honey gold color. Nearly glows.

Smell is of a fruit salad. Mango, cantoloupe, citrusy hops, lime rind. I can hardly wait to taste.

Ah..delicious! Taste reflects the fruity aroma, but is not too sweet. Some typical cascade pine/citrus hop flavor. Some yeasty bread flavor, pale malts, finishes clean and dry. Medium to light body with very active carbonation.

This would be great for just chilling with friends on a summer day. It's not real hoppy but is extremely well balanced and very refreshing.

Well it's definately not your average IPA but is absolutely worth a try. Enjoy.:)

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Photo of dsa7783
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Short, fat, stout, single, twelve-ounce bottle just copped from New Beer Distributors on Chrystie Street in Manhattan...
Pours a hazy, murky, tawny, ruddy, dark-copper hue with a modest head that quickly receded and deposited a thin flim of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Thick, hop-based, citrus-filled aroma with hints of vanilla and caramel thrown about in the mix...
Taste: Superb, hop-filled, citrus-dominated aroma with strong nuances of lemon, lime, and lemongrass... Supremely refreshing with an impressive 6.4% ABV...
Excellent rendition of a classic American IPA...
Highly recommended...

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Photo of Overlord
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow, I was expecting to see a much higher cumulative rating for this beer. Considering I'm such a gigantic fan of Jamaica Red, I must be partial to this brewery.

Pours a cloudy orange with big loads of sediment on the bottom. Slightly offputting in an IPA. Big white head.

Smells of floral notes, hops, and tropical fruit. Taste has much bigger than expected sweet caramel malt and orange?, mango?, or some other sweeter offering. There's hops in here, but this is pretty balanced. Definitely not your standard IPA, but I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of russpowell
4.17/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was strange beer for me, I could taste all kinds of hops, but little evidence of hops smell, I checked my nose against some other household items (soap, candle &pepper they all checked out normal), so here goes:

Appearance: Thick white fluffy head, with great head retention. Body was golden to amber with crystal clarity.

Smell: Presence of malt and honey and lurking way in the background, some hops.

Taste: Great balance of malty body and hoppy bitterness intertwine all the way down the throat with a great finish.

Mouthfeel: Optimum carbonation combined great hops and malt balance

Very drinkable, I still recommend this one despite the hops aroma being AWOL

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Photo of Zorro
4.17/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear gold colored beer.

Smell is VERY citric hops and a supporting fruit scent of grapefruit and pineapple. Malty and yeasty scents in the background.

Taste is dry and a little tart. Nice malt background to this main flavor is the citrus hops.

Mouthfeel is Good.

A VERY good American IPA, Packs loads of hop flavor in to the taste and avoids the bitterness you gets sometimes.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.14/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a 12 ounce bottle.

A: This beer pours a hazy orange color with a frothy white head that leaves decent lacing. As with other brews from Mad River, this one also throws some serious sediment.

S: The aroma is well balanced, although hops call shotgun in this beer. Floral, with notes of tropical fruit and citrus. Malts lend a sweet, caramel-like aroma in the backround.

T: Taste is bright and vibrant with a rush of citrus, pineapple, and mango up front, but mellowed out by sweet malt notes reminiscent of caramel, honey, and fresh baked bread. The finish is dry, with a pleasant bitterness that stays on the palate for some time.

Notes: Jamaica Sunset IPA is a medium bodied brew that is full of flavor, yet balanced to the point where everything melds together perfectly. Alcohol gives some warming character, but it's low enough that makes this beer incredibly easy to drink. Very well-made!

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Photo of July2Nov
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy burnt orange hue with a slight head. Nice lace.

Smell: The sweet hops are very apparent. Has a nice buttery biscuit scent as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Has that hops kick that only an India pale ale can give you. Spikes at the beginning, then gives way to a mellow aftertaste. Very soothing. Good pine taste too (if your into that sort of thing).

Drinkability: Nice version of an Indian Pale Ale and it's one that I will come back to again...I just wish it didn't cost $13 out here.

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Photo of Brent
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not having any prior experience with this brewery, I approached this with a bit of skepticism. The "Jamaica" name was prominent, but then the label noted in two or three other places that it was "made in the USA." Wondered if this was some beer marketing gimmick to make people think they were buying Jamaican beer, but then disclaiming it to stay out of trouble.

All my concerns turned out ot be for naught, as this was a fine beer. Seemed to land somewhere between an English and American IPA - not as stodgy as an English and not quite as over the top hops as anl APA. Nice, solid hopping, with a bit of fruityness shining through. Good malt presence. Wish the abv were a touch lower, as this would be a good session ale.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a fresh 2010 bottle which happens to be 7% abv now

A - Bit of a haze on the light amber but I did get a half inch of foamy white head.

S - Semi hoppy with a nice malt backbone. Sort of more pine forward.

T - Sharp bitter pine at first then it rounds to a moderate bit of bready goodness with a sweet malt but falls back to a bitter pine finished. Enjoyable.

M - Moderately medium body but is very hoppy.

D - Man California has some great beers and this is one great one as well. Not sure how old it is but it has a pretty nice hop forward goodness. Could have a few a sitting no problem.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Fairly cloudy dark orange color. Head starts out fizzy but turns foamy quickly. With that said, there isn't too much as far as lacing or head retention goes.

Smell - Sweet Floral Hops with some equally sweet caramel and toffee notes. The yeasty scent in here are also fairly strong along with a slight malty smell

Taste - Caramel sweetness with floral hops and bread/biscuit flavors. The malts are also alot stronger here than they were in the smell, giving it just the right amount to balance out the flavor. Very sweet tasting IPA!

Mouthfeel - Medium body with a slight thickness, but it's got very little carbonation which allows you to really get a sense of the rich flavors thanks to it's smooth and slightly creamy feel.

Overall - It's an IPA that flavors sweetness over hops, but does so in a way that works out surprisingly well! It's easy to drink which in return allows you to savor the flavors this IPA has to offer, and it's a good beer to introduce IPA newbies to.

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Photo of JahNoth
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Slight floral hopnose, pours a cloudy golden color with some head and minimal lacing. Nice apricot fruit flavors with a good hop zest. Very bubbly and tingly with a refreshing hop aftertaste. Sort of light for an IPA, but so what. I like it. If this beer was called as it was intended, East Indies Pale Ale, the ratings would be much higher.

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Photo of Billolick
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ouncer sampled, no freshness dating on the label. Pours a slightly cloudy and hazy, yellowy light amber. Head is moderate, white and tiny bubbly. Respectable, scattered lacing and some sheeting left on the glass. Nose is herbal, musty, hoppy with a hint of gin and fusil alcohol.. This is a heady, flavorful, medium/full bodied brew. Pleanty of funky, citric hoppy notes. Smooth, coating mouthfeel. Its called "Jamaica Sunset" and this one evokes notions of a hot tropical afternoon, with spicy jerk chicken on the grill, soulfull reggae in the air, all with a northern California slant, nice Amer.

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Photo of sjverla
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose: Plenty of citrus. A little pine resin. Bright and fresh with mild esters of strawberry jam.

Appearance: Very hazy orange-gold. Thin, frothy head sticks well to the edges.

Taste: A solid malt backbone upfront - crisp, like Nilla Wafers. Strong, earthy, green bitterness on the back and sides. A little bit of alcohol heat in the nose.

Overall: This hits all the bases. Well balanced with big flavors.

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Photo of ordybill
4.04/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Malt, hops and citrus. . . pretty good
Appearance- Pours a dark red-brown with an off-white head.
Taste- Citrus and hops, good flavor
Overall- A really good IPA, very enjoyable

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Photo of braski
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance- very naturaul cloudy orange color with a white foamy head.

smell- suttle sweet malts with lots of citruis hops,

taste- lots of hops up front that fad away to a sweet non bitter end.

moutfeel- very smooth medium to light and wet start to finish.

overall- a tasty ipa that is very drinkable and true to the style.

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Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a cloudy consistency. There was an inch of creamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A very hoppy aroma, with a hint of citrus as well.

T: Tasted of hops - a pretty high amount - along with malt, citrus and a slight grassy tinge in the finish (this last element isn't as prevalent as you'd think). Slightly hoppier than a typical American IPA, but this isn't a bad thing. A straightforward, focused flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A solidly made beer. Not really groundbreaking, but very likeable.

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Photo of Todd
4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz short brown bottle. No freshness date.

An unfiltered offering, this poured a cloudy, dirty blonde coloured beer topped with ample white lace with a bit of stick and stay.

Musty, fruity/estery aroma with notes of yeast and a floral bouquet of hops.

Very smooth. Big malty/sweet body. Crisp, tingly carbonation backed by a spicy alcohol presence that stings the palate with its presence, warms and melts into your brain. Luscious ripe fruit flavours of sweet pineapple, peach, mango, even some mandarin oranges ... very tropical, overall. Hops flavours are herbal and spicy, embracing and blending very well with the alcohol notes. Big pale malt sweetness in the end with a collective linger of flavours, plus some yeast.

Whoa! Unexpected. A majorly flavourful, powerful and fruity IPA! Like a fruit salad soaked in alcohol, with a garnish of hops. Todd like.

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Photo of Gusler
4.01/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color on the pour a hazy orange with the head frothy and considerable in size, color is bright white after erosion a thick and concealing sheet of lace is forms to meld with the glass. The aroma of the hops out front, sweet malt and clean and fresh as I expect my IPA’s to be a real treat to all the senses also the start sweet and malt laden with a middling in feel to the palate top. Finish is leniently acidic, the hops persistent in their spiciness, quite dry aftertaste that lingers on and on. A very drinkable IPA, but not overpowering, just a plain good drinking beer, and one worth a sample for IPA lovers

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Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz short brown twist bottle with no freshness date to be found. Thin layer of sediment on the bottom of the bottle.

Appearance: True gold colour with a mild chill haze, big frothy white lace with spider web like trails down the glass.

Smell: Fruity citrusy hop aroma similar to a fresh cut orange, very fresh in the nose with hops due to the dry hopping.

Taste: Medium body with a smooth rounded carbonation, strong armed hop bitterness. Raw lightly astringent bitterness, malt palate struggles a little to balance though seems to make it to the end. Suggestions of tangerine and mango within the fruitiness, faint biscuit malt in the finish. Esters and alcohol are a bit noticeable. Long lasting hop bitterness. A tad on the sweet side though the astringency from the hops pucker the mouth.

Notes: A great American IPA, big on the raw hop character without going too overboard. A beer to keep a hophead content and any beer lover occupied. 6.4% abv.

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Jamaica Sunset India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.