Jamaica Sunset India Pale Ale - Mad River Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
81
good

247 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 247
Reviews: 145
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 12.85%
Wants: 7
Gots: 9 | FT: 1
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 247 | Reviews: 145
Photo of cswhitehorse
4/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of woemad
3.67/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of JayQue
4/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of Overlord
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

Photo of plaid75
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a murky deep copper hue with a half finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a sweet caramel malt and an earthy hop.

The taste was upfront sweet malts, some estery yeast and an earthy hop. Some toasted malts as well.

The mouthfeel was of average fullnes but undercarbonated.

Overall a decent AIPA. A bit subdued hop wise for me though.

Photo of merlin48
3.47/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy apricot body with a very small offwhite head that quickly vanishes with only a few spotty rings of lace. Subdued aroma has some caramel, citrus, and a hint of grassiness. Mouthfeel is medium in body and carbonation. Taste is mostly caramel maltiness with a balancing hop bitterness that has hints of grass and citrus. Decent enough, but rather pedestrian.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.66/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Overall, a below average IPA. Murky orange appearance, due to yeast on the bottom of the bottle: I was unaware of the fact as I was dispensing. Small, light grapefruit colored head, little retention, no lacing.

Hardly any hops in this one. More malt than anything, and that aint what Im looking for in an American IPA. Sweet smelling, slightly alcoholic. The hops are so minimal, I hardly see how this passes as an AIPA. Not impressed at all.

Alcohol is noticeable in the barely medium mouthfeel. Dry finish and an acohol burn at the end.

This beer was not good from the get-go. Looked bad, didnt really smell at all, and the taste was very unremarkable. This will certainly be the last sixer I purchase of this beer.

Photo of Brent
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

Photo of Shaw
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the color of honey with a bit of sediment. It has a white head that turns into a ring in my glass.

It has a light aroma of citrus and hops and a bit of mustiness. The aroma could be a bit stronger.

The flavor is nice an hoppy with a good balance of sweetness from the malt. There is also a nice tea-like flavor in this ale.

The body is smooth and has the substance I like. It's not watery.

Overall this is a fine IPA and worth buying. Is it worth seeking out? Not quite.

Photo of kirok1999
3.46/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice hazy orange with sticky thin lacing. Not a lot of smell, what's there is mild piney, citrusy hops.
Taste is mild hops, like the nose. Nice body, not at all thin but a little mild in taste. I expected a few more hop notes. The malt backbone is well done, it just needs a little punch.
Feels thick and smooth.
Very easy to drink at it goes down smoothly, has a pleasant taste; nothing outstanding or overpowering.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of JDK
4.35/5  rDev +21.5%
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!

Photo of Bierguy5
3.4/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of bosco7
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy orange with minimal head.

Burnt sugar with some cascade hop aroma.

Starts with lots of caramel, bread, and molasses flavors followed by orange marmalade, pineapple, citrus juice, and floral flavors. Starts sweet and finishes with a just a bit of dryness. Bitterness is definately low for style. Tastes more like a hoppy Pale Ale.

Big malty mouthfeel with low-medium carbonation. I could drink a few of these and be pretty satisfied.

Photo of sweethome
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Photo of bark
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Photo of BeerTruth
3.49/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Zorro for this one.

12 oz. stubby bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a hazy burnt orange with a white one finger fluffy head that slowly dies down a thin layer. Stickiness is pretty good with spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. Smell is very peppery/spicey hop odor, not too appealing. Almost has a rancid lemon like smell to it. Taste wasn't what I had expected after the smell. Starts off with a very smooth mild earthy hop flavor, very pleasing. Taste then smooths out with some malty goodness and finally ends up quite dry and bitter, pretty complex flavors. Light to medium chewy mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. I could probably drink a few of these as long as I didn't smell them.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is typical- amber body with thin white head. The head fades quickly and not much lacing is left behind. Smell is pretty fruity and malty. Taste is not as aggressive as most IPAs. Its somewhat sweet and malty with hints of hops in the aftertaste. The Jamica Red from this brewery is much more agressive then this brew. Although it is atypical for the style it is still pretty drinkable and enjoyable. The malty and fruity backbone are brought forward in this brew while the hops take a back seat. Similar (though less hops) to the balance that you would find in a DIPA rather than a typical IPA

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Photo of bradybeer
3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy deep orange with a cream colored head . Little aroma either in its hops or malt. Taste is a bit odd for me-I know BA says it is a IPA but I don't taste IPA when I am drinking this beer-it is good but I don't think of it as an IPA-perhaps a red ale?

Mouthfeel is medium with a bit of chewyness-drinkablity for me is OK-I can't say I could drink a few of this during a session

Photo of stephendr
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle- color of golden amber , with a thick off white head - dry nose of mild hops , spruce , caramel , and resin – taste of decent hops , salty , semi floral , spruce , and with malted background - body is dry , and with medium carbonation – aftertaste of dry hops , slight malt , and short

Photo of jcdiflorio
2.97/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into a nonic glass from a 12oz stubby brown bottle with a twist-off cap.

Cloudy,reddish/orange color with a 1" white head quickly dissapating into a slight coating of foam. Minimal carbination the beer is full of tiny particles suspended in the beer.

Clean,moderate aromas piney with mild grapefruit notes. Malt aromas of toffee/carmell.

Grapefruity citrus with pine tastes,tart,a semi-sweet toffee/carmell, very good balance. Finishes with a perfect blend of hops and malt. A good taste,a bit on the bland side.

Light mouthfeel for an IPA, some tangy,juicyness. Very easy drinking,smooth, could drink a lot of this not as filling as most IPA's. I had a lot of Pale Ales with more flavor. Mediochre

Photo of mattd017
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tumbler. Pours a hazy brown with a thin light head. Smells of pine and caramel with some almost toffee hints. Tastes of light hops, slight sweet maltiness, and ends with a dry bitterness. A semi-thick liquid filled with tiny bubbles. Not the hop bomb as many west coast beers, Still very drinkable with a 6.4% ABV...

Photo of rkuhnel
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a local brewery so I want it to do well. Poured in a pint glass this was very attractive gold with little suspended particles that looked like pieces of gold. Nice big fat white head that left great lacing. Great start.

Nose was mostly of hops with overtones of pine, grass, and citrus.

Palate was crisp and clean, but does not hide the alcohol well.

Flavor was much of malts with hops jumping in. There is an odd metallic aftertaste that keeps this from joining the ranks of the top IPA.

Overall, it shapes up as a decent but far from great IPA.

Photo of yelterdow
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Jamaica Sunset India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 247 ratings.