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Jamaica Sunset India Pale Ale - Mad River Brewing Company

Jamaica Sunset India Pale AleJamaica Sunset India Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

214 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 214
Reviews: 140
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.37%

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
Ratings: 214 | Reviews: 140 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BDIMike


3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice look for an IPA. This brew is called a Sunset IPA and that is exactly what it looks like. A great hazy unfiltered brew the colors of a sunset, red-orange on down to yellow. There is a fairly thick white head that laces all the way down the drink.
Smell doesn't have a ton going to it. There is a bit of citrus hops, but also a slight toffee malt to it as well.
Taste is good, but a bit subtle. A good balance of tastes between malt that is taken over by a very nice hop taste.
Mouthfeel is nice for an IPA. A good smooth thickness.
Drinkability is very nice. I didn't realize til after quickly taking down a bottle that this beer was 7% ABV. There is a good balance and an easy drinker. Nothing crazy or special, but a nice session IPA.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 02:58:49 | More by BDIMike
Photo of captenaj


3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I found this in a Total Wine store in Fort Myers, Florida.

Appearance: A nice copper color with practically no head. Slightly cloudy.

Smell: Hops, orange, fruity.

Taste: A flat, hoppy flavor initially overpowers anything else. After a while, a slight orange flavor comes through.

Mouthfeel: Thin and rich at the same time.

Drinkability: Too much alcohol to make more than one or two of these a possibility in one sitting. But very refreshing on a hot day.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 21:14:38 | More by captenaj
Photo of GClarkage


3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

01/12/09- Purchased at Total Wine in Roseville, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, forgot to look for freshness info. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Darker golden in color approaching amber. Unfiltered as I can see lots of clouded yeast in the pour. About a one finger head and light spotty lace left behind.

Smell- A lighter nose of toasted malt and some grapefruit pith hops.

Taste- Well rounded in malt and hops, but nothing really jumps out as outstanding. More grapefruit rind in the hops rather than the juice. Malt is nicely toasted and melds well with hops.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level with a short lived hoppy bitter aftetaste.

Drinkability- Middle of the road IPA, not great, not bad...just there.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2009 16:52:44 | More by GClarkage
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2009 01:59:22 | More by Vancer
Photo of jwc215


3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a rich off-white head. Nice head at first, but it descends to an isolated patch with minimal lacing.

The aroma is pretty mild for style - floral and orange citrus with a pale malt, slightly caramelish, backing.

The taste is pale/caramel maltiness with floral and orange/citric overtones. Sharp herbal bitterness in the finish, but in a balanced way.


A nice, but nothing particularly special, IPA, with a mix of floral and orange notes. Mild, but yet sharp, and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2009 02:56:02 | More by jwc215
Photo of ewright

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2008 23:51:12 | More by ewright
Photo of WakeandBake


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

NOTES 9/12/08
Nice cloudy orangish pour with one finger of fluffywhite head. Very nice floral hop,and citrusy aroma. Flavor is of varied hop notes,floral,citrus, and a nice malt background,maybe a touch of honeyall with a nice dry finish. Very enjoyable,and drinkable

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2008 21:27:02 | More by WakeandBake
Photo of magictrokini


3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A VERY fruity IPA. Copper pour with sediment and a big whitish head. Spicy aroma with hops, wood, and sweeter fruits. Grapefruit and citrus hops take over the palate, but without the IPA bitterness. Lots of hibiscus and passionfruit give this a tangy sweetness. Dry and light on the back end. I like it, but it really is not that good of an IPA.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2008 18:27:37 | More by magictrokini
Photo of BMoney575


3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 11-23-08

Pours a super cloudy bright orange, with a filmy head and light lacing.

Smell is all sweet hops, deeper and more complex than usual. Unbelievably good.

Taste is surprisingly buttery and sweet, I wonder if I've got an older one. Still, decently complex and very tasty.

Mouthfeel is great, smooth and creamy.

Drinkability is decent, though the sweetness is a bit much.

Overall, a good beer, but I can't wait to have a fresh one.

After reading other reviews, I'm thinking that this is as good as it gets. Too bad.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2008 03:19:34 | More by BMoney575
Photo of pmcadamis


3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A cloudy glowing deep ruddy orange brew is capped with small layer of khaki foam that reduces pretty quickly to a collar with some wispy haze on the surface of the brew. Some nice lace is left on the glass, and a quick swirl builds the initially flimsy head up to a nice fat finger.

S - Mandarin orange and orange blossoms. A nice thick biscuity malt background allows the mellow citrus and floral note to play out. Some melon and cantaloupe are in there too. This could stand to be a little more assertive though, it's very weak.

T - This has a little more horsepower (hop-power?) in the mouth than in the nose. Again, mellow mandarin orange and cantaloupe. Sort of like a mixed fruit cup initially, then the bitter hops really kick in and give this a very grassy finishing note...like bitter greens.

M - Medium bodied with a very sedate level of carbonation that prickles the tongue just enough to keep this lively. The finish is a really nice herbal/grassy bitter flavor that reminds me of parsley in the aftertaste.

D - A good IPA for sure. I really like the nice off-dry finish more than anything. This one is above average, but not show-stopping by any means.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2008 18:40:23 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of rtratzlaff

North Carolina

3.05/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sunset IPA pours a slightly cloudy orange body with carbonation bubbles providing a slightly thin white head.

The aromas present are a decent hop aroma providing citrus character, but not a ton going on in the nose for an IPA.

Flavor is slightly subdued for what I expected in a 7% IPA. A bready malt is matched and overtaken by bitterness that finishes slightly dull rather than crisp and vibrant.

The mouthfeel is rather smooth with lighter carbonation.

Perhaps this bottle isn't the freshest. I hope to give this a try when I know I am getting it fresh. The hop character just doesn't seem to slap me in the face like a good IPA should.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2008 01:34:04 | More by rtratzlaff
Photo of BattleRoadBrewer


3.05/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served cool from a brown 12 oz stubby into a small pilsner glass.

Pours orange and hazy with a rocky tan head.

Aroma is fruity and slightly malty.

Flavor is cloying with caramel sweetness.

Moderately bitter and decent weighty mouthfeel.

Drinkability is pretty poor. I've brewed better. IPAs aren't that difficult--commercial brewers should try harder than this example.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2008 01:08:38 | More by BattleRoadBrewer
Photo of froghop


3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a cloudy dark amber-orange with a small dirty white head, good lacing.

smell is of grapefruit, caramel, citrus, floral, some malt in the back.

taste is mellow grapefruit hops, caramel, citrus, some roasted nuts, some spice, end is nicely bitter.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2008 00:09:17 | More by froghop
Photo of argock


3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date.

A: Murky honey-orange with respectable off-white, sticky head and tons of fine reticular lacing, mostly at the top of the glass but some down the sides as well.

S: Pretty mellow for an IPA, but this is still a raw hops edge to the aroma. Sweet caramel and lightly toasted malts are present in addition to some soft floral and citrus fruit aromas.

T: Solidly malted without a doubt as this beer has pretty equal parts sweetness and bitterness. The sweetness is up front with a more leafy + fruity hops bitterness coming through in pretty dry finish.

M: Good mouth-coating feel that is not overly oily but thick as this beer is majorly malted. Aftertaste is bitter with leafy and soft fruity hops.

D: A really nice IPA (-) -- pretty malty and a little underhopped to be a true-blue IPA, but it is a well-crafted beer that has received a lot of attention from its makers. The high-quality malting is evident and the flavors are very nicely blended -- I'd put it as a hard-edged APA in my book.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2008 04:55:07 | More by argock
Photo of daliandragon

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an Arcadia IPA glass I snagged from my brother a few years ago when I moved out of Mom and Pop's place. Features an attractive bright orange amber with a thick but brief head and plenty of carbonation on the body. Nose is sweet with yeast,, vanilla, and citrus and present but not overpowering hops in the shadows.

The taste is dry with a nice closing bitterness and tones of vanilla, citrus, and mild pepper. Alcohol is on the field but not the superstar. The finish is aggressive and lined with withering citrus hops. Mouthfeel is balanced and slightly oily. Not my favorite IPA but a good choice for the curious and worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2008 03:36:38 | More by daliandragon
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
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...

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2008 20:05:54 | More by dsa7783
Photo of malty


3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a glowing copper/amber with a tiny amount of micro-suspended yeast particles floating about. The off-white thick head settles down to about an inch. Lots of fine visible uprising carbonation. Some lace working.

Lovely vanilla sweet malty backdrop in the nose with a lush and syrupy floral hop greeting, (though a bit fainter than I would have hoped).

...everything looks and smells quite nice.

The flavors are here, somewhere, but they seem to be hiding from me. (after a few more gulps and swishes...) The bitterness from the hops is felt in my mouth and on my tongue to a point where it's a bit chalky, but the hop flavor is VERY faint. The maltiness of this IPA is reminiscent of an English IPA whereas it creates a solid platform for the hops to take center stage, but sadly the hops in this ale must be experiencing stage fright.

The mouthfeel of this ale is very unique. It has a very thick, dense fullness, which is great. The fine carbonation is felt quite wonderfully. Almost full bodied but still has a somewhat watery feel - very peculiar.

Drinkability is good, and would pair well with a hearty rueben with a spicy rye bread.

Overall a very interesting and unique IPA. The look, smell and texture are great. I'm sorry the (layers of) hops didn't surface and showcase they way I look forward to. I'd love to try this fresh on tap at the brewery as I'd bet this might have suffered from some careless handling, (but I don't have proof of this).

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2008 21:00:37 | More by malty
Photo of July2Nov


4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2008 05:19:44 | More by July2Nov
Photo of cjgator3


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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a cloudy orangish amber color with an off-white head. The aroma is sweet malt with some caramel, a touch of biscuits and citrusy hops. The taste starts out pretty smooth bodied with fruity malt and a nice dose of citrusy hops in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Overall, Jamaica Sunset IPA is a pretty solid West Coast styled IPA that is recommended. It is not overly hoppy, but contains enough hops to satisfy most hop cravings.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2008 04:40:26 | More by cjgator3
Photo of hellcatsjg


4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2008 22:52:48 | More by hellcatsjg
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice copper amber with a thin off-white head that left spotty lacing. Aroma was slight citrus hops. The taste was a decent blend of citrus hops and caramel malts. The beer is medium bodied yet light and crisp. This is an enjoyable beer, but with many better IPAs out there, I don't see myself choosing this one again.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2008 05:49:47 | More by atsprings
Photo of cswhitehorse


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

The Sunset India Pale by Mad River poured a hazy burnt orange color maybe of the sun with a good foam head of a couple fingers and some washing machine suds.

The aroma was hops and citrus. The taste was tiny bit malty then hoppy all the way through. In the mouth it left a nice bitterness on the tongue. It was a very enjoyable American IPA.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2008 02:54:49 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of woemad


3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased at the Rocket Market in Spokane. No freshness date.

Poured a slightly hazy shade that is just dark of copper, with an inch of white foam. Sheets of foam retreat down the glass, leaving streaks and spots behind.

When first opened, this beer had a very bitter, herbal nose. Allowed to warm, it takes on a more melded, citrus-bitter scent.

Moderately bitter and citrusy hops hit the tastebuds closely melded, with the bitterness maintaining a slight lead. The fadeout is quite dry.

Slightly oily, prickly mouthfeel. About right for the style.

While not a beer that really wows my tastebuds, I find this to be quite drinkable, and I could consume several pints of it were it to appear at my local. It's a little too high to be a session beer, though, and it doesn't quite stand up to the flavor of the other IPAs I'm able to procure on a regular basis.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2008 08:16:56 | More by woemad
Photo of JayQue


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

Good solid IPA. Pours a hazy orange with a big white head and good lacing. Nice hoppy, bitter smell. Tastes good as well. Hoppy up front with a malty finish. Nicely done and not boring as "balanced IPA" usually means to hopheads.

Mouthfeel is rich and crisp. Drinkability is good. This one goes down easy and, while a bit strong for a session beer, would still be a good candidate for a second one.

I would seek this one out again. My second good beer from Mad River.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2008 00:26:48 | More by JayQue
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2008 03:21:54 | More by Overlord
Jamaica Sunset India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 214 ratings.