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Jamaica Sunset India Pale Ale - Mad River Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

233 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 233
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.09%
Wants: 7
Gots: 6 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-30-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 233 | Reviews: 144 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BigEZ_VZ
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

BigEZ_VZ, Jul 01, 2014
Photo of Erik-P
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Erik-P, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of Vancer
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A bottle conditioned brew, she pours a hazy amber orange after giving it the swirl. A lazy ivory head pops up, and quickly resides. It goes leave sticky ring laces.

Aroma is big pine and citrus, west coast style. Quaff gets done in the dirt, with an earthy and woody backbone. Finishes clean and crisp, just a slight oily note. A funky kick of rotten orange drops the taste average down.

Not the tastiest IPA I've ever had, but still a solid contender.

Vancer, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of UncleAddie
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

UncleAddie, Mar 27, 2014
Photo of bzach
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

bzach, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of baconman91
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

baconman91, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of pokey44
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

pokey44, Oct 02, 2013
Photo of BigTrubble
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

BigTrubble, Mar 15, 2014
Photo of yankeeheel
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a chill hazy golden light amber with a nice thick white head. Solid lacing. Smells slightly estery with the hops being quite floral. Moderately sweet hoppy first wave followed by that slightly lingering classic IPA burn. Very subtle if not slightly underhopped for an IPA. Moutfeel and carbonation are moderate. Solid all around beer but not one I'd seek out.

yankeeheel, Oct 07, 2004
Photo of Knapp85
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This IPA pours out on the copper side, a little bit hazy and has a decent white head on top. The smell is pretty hoppy for just a standard IPA. The taste to me was ok, I found it to be just a little on the weak side. The mouthfeel was pretty good, it had some good transitions from hoppy to malty. Overall I found this beer to average to say the least. Would drink again if the price was right but wouldn't try too hard to get it again.

Knapp85, May 17, 2011
Photo of sweethome
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle purchased at Chevy Chase beverage in MD.

Pours slightly hazy gold. Nose is honey and carmel mix. Medium mouthfeel. Carmel malts. A tea flavor also. Bittering is subdued. Really surprised at the lack of a bitter finish for a CA IPA.

This is not what I remember from this beer - enough flavor, but limited hop bittering.

sweethome, Jun 27, 2007
Photo of garthwaite
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orangish, with aroma of peppery hops & a lot more sweet malt than I anticipated. In the mouth, this tastes of sweet fruit (pineapple & grapefruit) with some unfortunate sour notes. Finish is ho-hum, with mild citrusy hops. Medium bodied & fairly drinkable, but not an IPA I get too excited about.

garthwaite, May 09, 2004
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dull pear looking brew with a lot of haze to it. Head is minimal with sparse streaks of off white bubbles across the top of the body.

S: Ripe strawberries, caramely dough and really minor sugary orange.

T: Tastes almost exactly how it smells. Cooked strawberries, egos and caramel dominate. Its really one dimensional and frankly should not be called an IPA. As the flavors go thru the cycles, orange a earthy pine pop up with a strong bitter was finish it off. Last moments are hints of juicy fruit, apple juice and pear.

M: Medium body, with hard with some carbo sting

D: Come on…this isn’t an IPA. Especially not from Cali.

Westsidethreat, May 10, 2007
Photo of 99bottles
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served off a handpump at cask temperature.

Appearance: In a pint, the body had low levels of carbonation and the head was a tightly packed clump of off white with less than average retention. A light golden-yellow body was most noticeable, reminiscent of a Bell's Two Hearted.

Smell: The nose of this beer was very light, very sweet. Most IPAs give huge hop notes, whereas this one lends more fruit and malt in the nose. I detect pineapple and carmelized sugar, with some light lemon/orange.

Taste: This is simply an average beer, nothing exceptional going on here. The taste is quite sweet and malty for an IPA. As in the smell section, the hop character and bitterness seem to be muted. They still exist faintly in the aftertaste, but the sweetness of the malts, especially carmel, stands out as the defining flavor of this beer. Not bad, but not really an IPA taste to this one.

Mouthfeel: The cask conditioning makes this super smooth and creamy. This beer drinks like fuzzy water. It's very easy to sup, and the sweetness and syrupy malt begins to cloy only slightly at the end.

Drinkability: It was fine, but again, nothing earth shattering. WIth so many IPAs out there, and others that highlight the hops so much better, I doubt I'll revisit this unless changes are made. Not bad though, just not good.

99bottles, Feb 01, 2005
Photo of Bierguy5
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. Hazy copper color, with a white rocky head. Good head retention, and some nice sticky patches of lace at the end.

Nice citrus, floral and slightly grassy hop aroma. Good malt backbone in the aroma as well.

The taste is where things seem to drop off. Starts overly sweet and cloying. Bitterness seems very harsh. Citrusy and herbal flavors.
Still, the sweetness is too much.

Good body, with adequate carbonation. Just seems rough, and too sweet.

Bierguy5, Jul 14, 2007
Photo of mrfreakybig
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

This is a pretty good, IPA. It pours a cloudy golden color, and is floral and fruity from hops. I doesn’t really stand out, but it’s not a bad beer. I enjoyed it all in all, and it's certainly worth having if it's around, but I don't think it's something I'd seek out.

mrfreakybig, Jul 25, 2012
Photo of yelterdow
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served a few degrees over fridge temperature in a pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a nice, luminescent gold with millions of tiny particles in suspension... they look like granulized hops reduced to the size of a needle's tip. Very impressive head here, too... it just won't go away. Lacing is sticky, but scarce.

Smell- Floral and perfumy, the hop profile carries the malt right behind it, syrupy and rich smelling.

Taste- The malt backbone is adequately pronounced, with the hops bittering the back and sides of the tongue quite nicely. The tannic character suggests that this bottle may have some long months behind it.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Lively, restrained carbonation that certainly works. The heavier body and big malts keeps this from joining the ranks of the extremely drinkable IPA.

yelterdow, Jan 04, 2007
Photo of Spikester
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours deep amber with 1" cream color head, few lacings. Aroma pine needles, resins, herbal. Taste is good amount of citrus hops with sweet rich malts. Pretty well balanced for an IPA. Some winey qualities due to 7% abv.
Unknown age when reviewed.

Spikester, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of alexgash
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden apricot with a small, soft, off-white head. Smells largely of malt. Big butterscotch taffy sweetness, followed by limited, resiny hops. I'm not sure if I like this much butterscotch. Taste is much the same; big butterscotch/cake batter malt up front, followed by very backgroundy resinous hops. Bitterness hits very late and the hops don't have an enormous amount of character, other than latent bitterness. This malty IPA really coats the mouth, and is almost cloying. Finish is sticky, with hints of sweet vegetables, and bitter. Not bad, but I've had many better IPAs from the West Coast.

alexgash, Oct 15, 2004
Photo of bark
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The liquid is a bit hazy; the colour deep copper-amber. The head is two finger thick, firm and pale yellow.

There are notes of grape fruit, lime and green bananas. I found some mildly dry chemical sour note of wheat loaf, too.

My first thought drinking this beer was “This beer does have some hops!” Then I noticed fruits: Bananas, pineapples, apricots, peaches, parsley and avocado. The taste is overall dry and surprisingly delicate for this kind of beers, is got some character but it is not extreme in any way. Some vegetables in the finish.

The carbonation is gentle, the liquid medium thick and the bubbles small.

This beer didn’t convince me as I thought it got too much of fruit salad, not enough of body.

bark, Jun 26, 2007
Photo of ewright
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass with very little head that dissipated within 30 seconds. The beer is a rather murky copper color.

S: Moderate hop nose with equal parts citrus peel, mint and a musty note. Hints of tangerine peek out.

T: The bitterness is not apparent up front, nor is it a clean bite late... it shows up strangely in the middle. Grapefruit peel dominates the bitterness, the malt is there for balance, but contributes no obvious notes to the palate.

M: The one word that keeps popping into my head is round. This beer starts off mellow, gives a good kick in the middle, then finishes too mellow. Moderate to low carbonation makes it feel just a bit dull as well.

D: This is an easy drinker, not challenging except for the odd timing of the flavor elements. It's a slightly above average IPA, but nothing spectacular.

ewright, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, hops, mainly pine with a hint of citrus. In the taste, pine hops and a nice malt, not too over the top hops either. A hop bite and medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry pine hop in the aftertaste. Quite mellow for an IPA, but nice and enjoyable.

OWSLEY069, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of HappyHourHero
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thick, creamy, resinous white colored head leaves some big patches of lace as it fades. Hazy golden beer with very fine bubbles rising along the walls of the glass. The aroma is very light, hard to pick up, maybe some sweet hops and a smidge of alcohol. Mild flavored beer, hops edge out the light malt flavor. The bitterness picks up towards the end dominating the solid finish. Mouthfeel is slick, too much for me. There's a good amount of flavor but nothing special, the aroma is on the light side, but to put it blunt I'm just not enjoying this one.

HappyHourHero, Oct 01, 2004
Photo of oberon
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into the pint glass a sorta murky brown/orange color with a white one finger head that settles quickly leaving a trace amount of lace behind,I was really suprised at how subdued the aromas were being this is a California IPA some orange,citrus notes but they dont really jump out ya.It took a little while for the flavors to grow on me pretty raw with a real big caramelly malt backbone that cuts thru the citrusy slightly resiny hop.Gets a little sweet after awhile but the flavors meld together pretty well,this is not a real big west coast IPA but flavorful none the less.

oberon, Oct 13, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Every other beer that I've had from Mad River has been excellent, I'm surprised to see this one fall a bit short. A golden / copper hue give a head retention that boarders on fizzy, but does not completely fall. Aromas of medium citrus, slightly moderate malt, and mild esters seem to lack complexity or depth. The tastes deliver much the same. A medium malt sweetness is underplayed by medium hop flavor of orange rinds, grapefruit, and grass. The hops eventually take on metalic notes; and as the malt fades away, the beer becomes increasingly astingent (never is off, putting but is low-point in the session). The body remains low for the intensity of the flavors which aids the bite-ey flavors and textrues that are perceived. Would finish clean if not for the sharp astringency. In all, the beer is fine. I find this comparable to Harpoon IPA. Good, but lackluster.

BEERchitect, Aug 03, 2007
Jamaica Sunset India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 233 ratings.