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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
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Ratings: 214 | Reviews: 140 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of merlin48


3.48/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2007 13:35:41 | More by merlin48
Photo of SaCkErZ9


2.68/5  rDev -25.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2007 22:24:05 | More by SaCkErZ9
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2007 13:03:00 | More by Brent
Photo of Shaw


3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2007 02:14:44 | More by Shaw
Photo of kirok1999


3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2007 23:59:37 | More by kirok1999
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2007 03:03:12 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of JDK


4.38/5  rDev +22%
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!

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2007 20:58:38 | More by JDK
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2007 13:36:49 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of bosco7


3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2007 01:49:05 | More by bosco7
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2007 02:16:36 | More by sweethome
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2007 16:50:36 | More by bark
Photo of BeerTruth


3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2007 01:15:46 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of PittBeerGirl


3.58/5  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

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2007 04:18:03 | More by PittBeerGirl
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2007 04:42:22 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of bradybeer


3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2007 02:31:54 | More by bradybeer
Photo of stephendr


3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2007 05:14:53 | More by stephendr
Photo of jcdiflorio

West Virginia

2.98/5  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

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2007 03:39:18 | More by jcdiflorio
Photo of mattd017


3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
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...

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2007 21:11:35 | More by mattd017
Photo of rkuhnel


3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2007 01:31:20 | More by rkuhnel
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2007 00:31:00 | More by yelterdow
Photo of tgbljb


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

Poured a hazy apricot color with moderate whiye puffy head. Good lacing.
Smell is predominately hops, with strong notes of pine, grass, and citrus fruits.
Taste foloows through on the smell with a nice piny hop taste, combined with a light malt presence.
Finishe is all about the hops, with a firm ending dryness.
Nice enjoyable beer. Another winner from Mad River.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2006 00:33:21 | More by tgbljb
Photo of sponberg

New York

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

Pours a cloudy gold (unfiltered?) with a white head that falls asleep quickly, yet rises from its slumber when schwirled. Aroma is bready malt and citric hops.

There's that marzipan thing again - must be a yeast ester or some sort of fermentation product. Same flavor as in the Barleycorn. Not a bad thing, just different. Beyond that is a pretty tasty IPAcaramelly malt, some alcohol in the middle-end, and a citrusy hoppiness (grapefruit rind) that rides along thruout. Nice body - rounded. I could drink a few of these, but I wonder if the marzipan (the curse of growing up German - you learn what almond paste tastes like early and often!) would eventually get to me.

Thanks again to BA JeffKrenner for the brew!

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2006 03:26:52 | More by sponberg
Photo of

3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle. Poured a hazy gold, with a large off-whte head. Aroma was very appealing, hops (citrus), honey soaked mead, and hints of alcohol - just what I like in an IPA. The flavor was disappointing. The hops came through strong at first, but quickly faded into the malt. The alcohol flavor keeps popping through in the middle. All of this was great, but then there was a medicinal flavor in the aftertaste that just ruined it for me. Mouthfeel was light, with medium to high carbonation. Very drying, with slight alcohol warming. Front part of the flavor was good, with a nice balance between the hops and the malt, but the aftertaste just didn't work at all.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2006 18:19:13 | More by
Photo of DogFood11


2.1/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a pilsner glass it forms a decent but lackluster eggshell white head that leaves behind some lacing. Hazy orange body, medium carbonation.

Blah and boring in the nose. sweetened grain mostly.

Hops come through in the taste with a splash of citrus. Bready, Doughy malts are really a dud and a bigtime buzzkill for this brew. A bit chalky and medicinal in the backend and mouthfeel. I'm heading to Washington for a much needed vacation and this is one beer I will leave here in SoCal with pleasure.

Notes: Not for me. Closer to a pale than an IPA but thats neither here nor there and doesn't affect my account of this offering.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2006 01:04:24 | More by DogFood11
Photo of IntriqKen


2.65/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a cloudy orange/amber with a one finger head that ends up in nice lacing.
Aroma is sort of weird to me....musty...tropical fruit...a little sweet.
Taste is again sweet on the tongue to start followed by heavy cloying tropical fruits, then a nice bang of hops.
Mouthfeel is full an thick with a nice alcohol burn going down.
I don't think this is very drinkable, being somehow too sweet in the tropical flavors and a little strong in the alcohol

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2006 22:28:41 | More by IntriqKen
Jamaica Sunset India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 214 ratings.