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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.

225 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 225
Reviews: 141
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.09%
Wants: 6
Gots: 4 | 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: 225 | Reviews: 141 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Another6Pack


3/5  rDev -16.4%

11-22-2011 01:11:27 | More by Another6Pack
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

3/5  rDev -16.4%

11-21-2011 19:02:11 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of PthPndr


4/5  rDev +11.4%

11-17-2011 23:10:17 | More by PthPndr
Photo of 57md


3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy light orange with a thin head that quickly dissipates. There is a light floral aroma that is quite pleasant and a light, but present hoppy flavor upfront. The finish is dry and slightly bitter, but this offering lacks the hop punch that I like to have in an IPA.

Bonus: This beer is proudly union made by the men and women of the IAM.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 19:30:00 | More by 57md
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

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

Pours a hazy orangish amber with 1/2" of loose, bubbly head that has good retention. The nose has notes of bread, pineapple, grapefruit, and faint soap. The taste is light, bready malt, pineapple, and faint yeast in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with good carbonation.

The bready malt and pineapple are a nice combination, but overall, this beer comes across a little one dimensional. It's really drinkable though, and it's easy to have more than one.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 14:00:34 | More by tdm168
Photo of californiakebab


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

Pours a dark orange, tawny amber, reddish golden hue with a dense white head that leaves ample lacing around the glass. I pick up hints of tropical fruit, orange, grapefruit on the nose, with a slight cat-pee sort of thing as well unfortunately. This beer tastes of fruity hop flavors and has a decent bite from the hops. There's some light caramel malt in the background for balance. Weight medium on the tongue, with good carbonation for great drinkability. Overall this is a very enjoyable west coast IPA, but as a hophead I would prefer more aroma hops, and maybe a more complex malt profile.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2011 22:26:27 | More by californiakebab
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a very nice head that leaves quite a few swaths of lace behind; impressive retention

Smell: Rather balanced aromatics with both caramel and piney hops commanding attention

Taste: Caramel malt, up front, followed by a piney hop flavor that evolves in a bitter aspirin direction by mid-palate; after the swallow, the beer becomes more malt-dominant, though there is still an lingering hop aspect on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Surprisingly malty for an IPA, this is a decent beer but will not inspire the committed hophead

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 19:13:56 | More by brentk56
Photo of BucannonXC5


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

Poured from a bottle into a pink plastic cup. Tough to see in the pink plastic, but the color appeared to be amberish. Maybe ¾-inches of head, light film and light lacing.

Smelled sweet and citrusy. A bit hoppy sniff as well.

Initial taste was sweet and lemony, followed by an alcohol bite.

Medium body, high carbonation. Bitter ending, but the sweetness makes it slightly refreshing.

A so-so beer. I thought it was going to be a bit better, but I was feeling it after three of them. There are much better IPA’s out there.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 01:28:25 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of kflorence


3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a translucent amber with hints of orange and red. I poured this one aggressively and got about half an inch of frothy foam atop that dissipated to a thin layer of film that leaves a bit lacing around the glass as you drink. Carbonation levels look solid.

S: Lovely citrus and pine hop aroma with a bit of malt in the background. There are also some floral notes and maybe a bit of spice.

T: Taste follows the nose well. Hops hit first, predominantly citrus but definite pine notes in there. Roasted malts come through towards the end of the palate. Finishes dry and bitter with a bit of residual sweetness.

M: This is medium bodied with good carbonation and a bit oily on the tongue. A bit thin for an IPA, but not watery as it has a tiny bit of chewiness to it. I could use a bit more substance, but the thinness of the brew does keep it smooth and easy to drink.

O: Overall, I found this to be a very solid, refreshing take on the American IPA. While this one won't win you over with originality or complexity, it is quite palatable and would make a good session IPA. Some may find the hop levels to be a bit low comparatively to other West coast American IPA's, though I found it to be enjoyable. Another decent brew from Mad River. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2011 04:26:17 | More by kflorence
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2011 06:50:48 | More by Spikester
Photo of meeekyh


4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
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.


Serving type: bottle

06-13-2011 22:44:30 | More by meeekyh
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a little bit of a hazy yellow, almost homebrew looking for its lack of attractiveness, yet nothing glaringly 'wrong' with it either, you'll just be thinking you might have a hefe or pale wheat thing going at first. Good woodsy aromatic cascade hop aroma it would seem.

Good cascade bittering hop flavor as well. Light blonde body pairs well with the hopping. Not balanced, in a good way. One of the first ipa's I had back in the 90s that brought out tropical fruit flavor that paired oh so well with the hoppiness and light body. Really was one of the first ipa's in CA that was being bottled. Still a good choice, but its amazing to drink it now and think how this used to be one of the hoppiest beers around.

Today its just middle of the road in terms of its hop quotient, but it doesn't make it any less of a beer, its still a good choice. Freshness dating would be nice, as I have got an old bottle or two of this unintentionally before.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2011 18:44:32 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of emmasdad


3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Back in the olden days of craft beer, there wasn't the overwhelming number of unique and original beers on the shelves we enjoy today. Therefore, I had the time to sample quite a few of the pedestrian offerings from Mad River (getting better these days). This one was a rather uninspiring IPA, lightly hopped, more malty than most West Coast IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2011 05:56:13 | More by emmasdad
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2011 03:00:35 | More by Knapp85
Photo of pitasoup


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

Thanks to flexabull for this bottle.

A: Golden and slightly hazy with half an inch of foamy white head. This was clear in the bottle so the haze might be from the chill, but I did also notice some sediment at the end of the pour. 3.5

S: Hops. Pine and earthy hops. A bit of malty sweetness as well. Towards the end, fusel and oxidized notes come out. 3.5

T: Bam, tons of pine cone bitterness. A fair bit of grapefruit as well. It is as if I stuck my face into a forest. Lingering citrus, faint lemons on the tongue towards the end. Certainly american hops, perhaps simcoe and then a little fuggle? 3.5

M: Medium body. Head is consistently fine and this helps for a smooth mouthfeel. Slight alcohol as this warms. 4.0

O: Pretty fair IPA/DIPA. There was a lot more hop bitterness and not enough aroma to balance it - this could be a freshness issue. Still, this is very drinkable, I could pound quite a few of these, but I have a feeling the abv is deceptive. 4.0

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 01:00:37 | More by pitasoup
Photo of CHickman

New York

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

Pours cloudy orange gold in color with a 2 finger foamy/bubbly beige head that fades slowly and looks like a cloud as it goes down, leaving very good lacing and foamy rings; a fine looking beer.

Smells of citrus hops, sweet malt, sweet citrus fruit like grapefruit and orange peel, light grains, lemon zest, coriander and light spices, maybe some pepper, some funky yeast and a faint wet bread odor; a very nice and well balanced nose that smells very good.

Tastes of citrus hops, grapefruit, lemon, orange peel, floral hops, flowers, sweet malt, grass, hay, light grains, coriander, light spices like pepper and brown sugar, yeast, wet bread, tobacco, herbs and some minor hop spice heat; this is a very tasty and well balanced IPA that basically has a matching nose and taste, which are both very good. Not the hoppiest beer for an IPA, but a definite session beer.

Mouthfeel is creamy and crisp at the same time, with a zesty tingle on the tongue that washes down with a light bitterness and citrus bite as the hops give way to bready malts; the body is medium with very mellow carbonation and a real easy flow that makes this a great beer to drink all night. Very enjoyable overall, this is a sold beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2011 02:45:18 | More by CHickman
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

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

another out of a mixed six pack at whole foods. i had been trying to get through their lineup forever.

nice pale amber color with a smooth even head of white and a clear consistency that allowed the carbonation to stream to the top rather nicely. aroma was nice light citrus hops with hints of orange, tangerine and touches of light grains and bready malts bouncing around. smooth and clean flavor with a bite up front that mellows and collapses into a nice dry finish with hints of citrus.

overall a nice solid ipa. nothing mindblowing but it will certainly work.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2011 01:31:56 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of flexabull


3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy orange color with a pretty nice white head.

Aromas are of hard candies, grapefruits, it also a bit flowery, and dusty.

Taste starts out a bit bitter, with mostly grapefruit notes. Bee then settle into crystal malts, that are a bit sweet, and creamy. Finish is dry, with some mixed fruity citrus and aspirin like bitterness. This beer is certainly on the bitter side, but the malts balance it fairly well.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, nice crisp carbonation, and decent body.

All in all, a pretty good beer, but a bit below others in the style. This comes off as just a bit one dimensional and lacking anything to make it really stand out. Still a pretty decent beer, at a fair price.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2011 23:24:05 | More by flexabull
Photo of Hatzilla


3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: A clear amber body with a one inch foamy head leaving some lacing in its wake.

Scent: A malty, bready scent with some inviting (but not overpowering) earthy citrus hops.

Taste: More bready malts, with more of the aforementioned earthy hops appearing in the taste than the nose.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, nice mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

Overall: A nice, inexpensive IPA (7.99 for the 6 pack). Worth seeking out for the budget-minded IPA fan, especially if overpowering hops are not your thing.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2011 22:28:20 | More by Hatzilla
Photo of Bfarr


2.9/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hazy orange amber with some sunny edges and medium frothy head with great retention and good lacing. Little citrus and malt aroma. Big spicy/peppery hop evens out quickly with a low to moderate lingering that's slightly unpleasant. Sharp bite and a little foamy.

I like the peppery taste but not much more than that. Taste dissipates rapidly and doesn't offer anything but a tacky linger.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 13:27:32 | More by Bfarr
Photo of felipe2toes


3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper orange with thick white head--leaves plenty of lacing and crust.

Smells of floral hops, some sort of fruity sweetness, though very mellow for IPA.

Some pine and citrus flavors, maybe even some sweet honey, but not the usual in-yer-face hoppiness in American IPAs. still good.

Good mouthfeel as well, medium-bodied, crisp finish.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2011 03:59:22 | More by felipe2toes
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 13:47:05 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of Morey


3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper-orange color with a one finger off-white head that hangs around a bit, and produces some pretty decent lacing.

The aroma is on the mild side for an Ipa (although I'm not sure how fresh this bottle is). Some hops in there for sure, but there is also a mello earthy maltiness going on too.

Taste is pretty balanced. Nice hop bitterness up front, but the malt backbone quickly comes in to round things out. No big citrusy flavors here, but it taste pretty good none the less.

Medium body, with a good carbonation level.

I could easily drink several of these. My bottle says that this Ipa is 7%, so Mad River must have recently upped the alc. content on this one.

Morey's Bottom Line: A pretty good Ipa. Nothing ground breaking, but a solid representation for sure.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2011 23:29:21 | More by Morey
Photo of WYVYRN527


4.18/5  rDev +16.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2010 02:29:58 | More by WYVYRN527
Photo of beerphan


4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle -> goblet
no date

Pours a cloudy bright orange with a thick tight white head that settles to a rocky blanket and sticks around until the very end. Chalky lines of laces. Carbonation appears steady and abundant.

Nose: Floral, a tad soapy

Creamy smooth body. Starts with a quick toffee centered malt base that ends up caramelly and sweet. Grapefruit and oranges kick in quickly. Good rich balancing bitterness completes the brew.

A lighter IPA that borders on APA or perhaps a tad hoppy version of an English IPA. Will drink again, would be interested on trying a pint or three or 6 on tap.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 01:52:19 | More by beerphan
Jamaica Sunset India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 225 ratings.