Flagship IPA - Carolina Brewery

Not Rated.
Flagship IPAFlagship IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

52 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 52
Hads: 179
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 6.63%
Wants: 3
Gots: 32 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Carolina Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-05-2003

87 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 52 | Hads: 179
Photo of gatornation
3.21/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear golden yellow color with a white head a bit of lacing, smell is light on citrus hops a cracker malt smell is present,light hops hit the palate with touches of citrus and pine,medium carbonation with a dry and somewhat bitter finish , this one is an average IPA it got some kick ,if nothing else on tap or curious then its one to try (346 characters)

Photo of fscottkey
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: [3.50] Beer pours a nice dark copper color. This is definitely on the darker end of the IPA spectrum. The beer forms a decent 1/2 finger head of white bubbles. The beer lists a best by date of (7/11/15). There is no listed ABV.

S: [4.25] Caramel and bread-i-goodness. Definitely toffee strong on the the end of the nose.

T: [3.50] The hops and the malts are well in balance. I get toffee and brown sugar early. This fades out and gives way to the hops for a bitter finish.

M: [3.00] Decent body. The finish is bitter (not over powering) with a buttery feel to it. The dry/bitter feel goes on long after the beer is gone.

O: [3.50] This beer presents in reverse of typical IPAs. It is malt forward and then backs it up with the hops. I think with color, smell and taste this follows the English IPA route nicely. I have a 6 pack of these and I will be enjoying them in the future. My only hang up with this beer is the lingering bitter. It is there way after you finish a sip. It is longer lingering. (1,022 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

12 oz can, poured into pint glass. Had a couple of these with dinner.

appears a medium copper color with head that fades fast. mild, but pleasant hop aroma - a mix of citrus and pine/earthy. taste is well balanced with some caramel malt flavor to balance the bitterness. medium body and carbonation. (306 characters)

Photo of patre_tim
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

A: Copper and cloudy with lots of sediment, 4 fingers of creamy head leaving a frothy honeycomb lacing.


S: Malts and black pepper, red pepper, light fruity citrus orange and grapefruit.


T: Caramel, malts, the big dull lingering bitterness I love, so typical to this style.


M: Medium thick resinous body, medium low peppery carbonation.


O: Excellent. Been a while since I’ve had a traditional IPA, and this one nails it. Bought in NC, drank in New Hamburg ON. Wish I didn’t have to rush this one, but I have a flight today and limited luggage space. (563 characters)

Photo of Sburkhardt99
4.51/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

IPA IPA IPA...They are in fashion now. Sadly most of the newer IPA's just add a ton of hops in an attempt to out hop the competitor. Oh you think you have hops well...

Carolina Brewery a small brewery in NC with two stores has in my humble opinion the best IPA to date. What is "best". My measure is a balanced approach. Simply put Color, nose, taste, and finish in this brew are extremely well done and each are distinct and compliment each other. The only ding if I had to give one would be the nose. There is not as much floral to this IPA as others but perhaps I am dinging nature in as much that any other hops in an attempt to lend a floral note would significantly change the taste. Nose be damned!

I will finish with this. This a perfectly balanced IPA that is drinkable all day long.

Enjoy!

Scott. (812 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Flagship is darker than I expect, sort of a thick brown-orange. It's too dark and thick to be seen through, though I can see yeast loating around this unfiltered brew. The off-white head doesn't reach very high and is mostly a foam, although at least a consistent one. It does manage to leave spotty as well as thinly ringed lacing.
The nose is fresh and raw, not exactly clean but pretty pure. It's essentially lots of leafy and herbal green bitterness with a touch of caramel sweetness and bread from malts while a light grainy character runs underneath.
More hops come out in the flavor, which also has a bit more complexity to it as citrus flesh and zest are revealed along with an earthiness to go with the leafy, floral and herbal rawness that's balanced by yeasty notes, caramel, and biscuit.
The feel is good, a medium body holding some firmness and a steady carbonation allowing for a nice flow between a crisp bite and congruous smoothness. (950 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
2.83/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

The Flagship IPA poured a nasty unfiltered amber with thick white head that is leaving a lace. The scent and taste are synonymous with most English IPA. I am pissed that this beer has chunky yeasty balls in it which means I will not finish it. The taste is bitter and not too bad from what I have tasted. Would like to try this off the tap to avoid the stuff that gives the craps! (380 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Sampling a cellar temp can poured into a snifter.
The beer pours a slightly hazy copper hue with a fluffy offwhite head of 3 cm foaming up even with a gentle pour.
The head recedes slowly leaving some windowpane lattice and creating craters on the surface of the beer.
Aroma is bitter medicinal notes, with some pine sap and general herbal tea scents. I get just a little toffee, but something just isnt quite right in the balance of the nose. There is a bite that is slightly off-putting to the nose.
First sip reveals a fine rolling carbonation and average body, nothing too exciting on the physical components, but not thin and watery either.
Flavor is a little grainy and then rolls to some pine and floral notes and again some herbal tea hits. Finish is dry and generally astringent.
Overall this is a straightforward, not over the top beer that is easy to drink. The nose seems a little off, but otherwise I enjoy it for what it is, a good IPA that could be sessionable in the right situations. (1,000 characters)

Photo of orsulacp
3.91/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Real nice balance of malt and hops. The taste has a good caramel sweetness to start and then the bitterness comes on and lingers, really well balanced. The aroma is mostly floral, not much of the malt gets through. Overall a pretty good English ipA. (252 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served on-tap a Mediterranean Deli in Chapel Hill, NC

A: Pours a clear copper in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation and moderate orange highlights. The beer has a finger tall light beige head that quickly reduces to a very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of floral and citrus/orange hops with some lighter notes of caramel malts.

T: Upfront there is a light amount of caramel malts with very little sweetness which is followed by moderate flavors of both floral and citrus/orange hops. Moderate amounts of bitterness which are sharp at first and fade slowly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable, just a touch too much ABV and bitterness to be sessionable but paired really nicely with the mediterranean food. (938 characters)

Photo of dpodratsky3
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: True copper orange, large fizzy head fades to just a film, white in color, should be crystal clear but my can had a TON of floaters

S: Not too hoppy, actually has some dominant malt aromas, bready sweet, hops are mild with a resiny and herbal aroma

T: Again, mild, malt is present in background, herbal and resiny hops again, hops at least provide the main flavor here but don't pack much of a punch

M: Medium body, slightly dry finish, pleasant mouthfeel

O: Ok, but it tastes faded, the date from Total Wine says 12/14/12. I'm guessing that is the shelved date (I reviewed this beer Jan. 23) so it shouldn't be THAT faded. (667 characters)

Photo of 5thOhio
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a typical IPA color, golden amber. Thin head that dissipates quickly leaving a light ring of foam. Not much in the way of lacing.

Nose is light, fresh floral and slightly herbal. Mouthfeel is medium, appropriate for an IPA, with delicate prickly carbonation.

Taste begins with the floral and herbal hop notes, then a strong bitterness overwhelms with underlying subtle notes of malt. The heavy bitterness makes it hard for me to detect the specific flavors of the malt, but it's there notwithstanding.

For an English IPA, I would expect more balance. However, it's still a decent IPA, probably better on tap. (617 characters)

Photo of CHickman
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beer review from a can on 8/23/12: pours clear amber color with a foamy 2 finger white head that faded slowly and left very good spotty lacing and rings as it went down.

Smells of sweet malt, caramel, biscuit, toasted grains, floral hops, toast, wheat and buttery cracker; malty overall and the hops are an accent like an English IPA.

Tastes of sweet malt, caramel, biscuit, toasted grains, floral hops, toast, wheat, lemon, light citrus hops, buttery cracker, toast and/or dough; malty overall with light citrus hops and lemon to compliment the malty biscuit flavors which handle most of the flavor. If this is an English IPA, then this is spot on - if not, then it's a decent IPA.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with light carbonation, a medium body and a slightly bitter malty finish that's on the sweet side. Average overall, so I wouldn't seek this out again. I like hoppy American IPA's better, but this was worthy of trying while in NC. (939 characters)

Photo of Pencible
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a cloudy copper with some off white head and chunky sediment.
S: It smelled like faint copper hops and bready malt, with some orange.
T: It tasted like bitter resin and copper, with some herbal hops and bready yeast. It had a bitter metallic aftertaste that was somewhat clean.
M: It was fairly thick with moderate carbonation. Good full body.
D: This was a decent English IPA. The scent and taste were fitting for the style, but not really my preference. The body was very nice, but the finish was a little harsh, so it was not the easiest to drink. Nice to try once, but easily forgettable. (607 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

tap

Pours a light amber gold color with a white head.

Piney hop nose with some malt under there.

Strong hop profile, but much more floral than the nose suggested. Bready malts round out the taste.

Medium body with light carbonation.

Pretty good IPA, I liked this one a lot. Good hop character without being too bitter, works for me better than just a hop assault. On top of that, thirst quenching and almost sessionable. (425 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served by a brewery rep. at the NC Brewers Fest.

A: Pours with an amber-orange body and a medium size, off-white head.

S: Hoppy more than malty, although there is a bit of breadiness present.

T: Has a fine, weedy/herbal hop flavor; only mildly bitter in the mouth, it leaves a more bitter aftertaste. 3.75

M: Near medium body; excellent carbonation.

O: a fine English style IPA. (386 characters)

Photo of Durge
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ran across this at Margaux's in Raleigh, North Carolina. It's a clear quiet amber/copper color with just a breath of some little white bubbles on top and modest lacing. The nose picks up a nice citrus nutty pine. The flavor follows suit but adds a peppery grass that’s a little on the harsh side but not bad. Carbonation is sharpish, very fine and body is between medium and light. Drinks easily and is pretty refreshing with a tingly feel that maintains fair constitution. The citrus bread flavor holds on through the finish. Definitely worth a try as a satisfying hop refreshment. (584 characters)

Photo of JimKal
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a pint glass with a two finger white head, a slightly cloudy amber. Head dissipates quickly leaving behind some nice lacing.

It has a faint citrus aroma.

This presents with a nice hoppy taste. The hops, for me, dominate the taste profile here.

Mouthfeel is aggressively hoppy. Not over the top like some of the west coast styles but these hops will sty with you for a while.

For me, this is a nice local (North Carolina) IPA that meets IPA standards and is worth a repeat (and it comes in a can). (523 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub on 3/3/12.

Pours a slightly hazy orange with a soft layer of creamy, white head that has decent retention. The nose is spicy and citrusy. The flavor opens with a faint malt note that mildly bready and then finishes with a strong citrusy, grapefruit hoppiness that's smooth and pleasing. There is also a good bit of spiciness that adds a bite to the hop character and to the finish. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, smooth, and a little crisp.

This is a decent, balanced, intriguing beer. The crispness and spiciness work well together to add an extra degree of drinkability. I will definitely have this again. (641 characters)

Photo of JayQue
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on tap at Pamlico Jack's in Nags Head. Served in the ubiquitous frosted beer mug so the head suffered a bit. A small white cap on the glass...faded quickly. Light amber/copper color. Smell is fairly robust. Citrus hops primarily.

A balanced IPA. Citrus hops and some caramel malts. Mouthfeel is crisp with some good hops bitterness.

Plenty hoppy enough for an English IPA. Light enough to accompany dinner without overpowering it. Not bad at all!! (462 characters)

Photo of MtnmanMcFee
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I throughly am enjoying this beer at the moment. It poured a a nice light brown color like most other IPA's. Nice foamy head that settled after about a minute. Leaves a good lacing down the side of the glass. Nice smooth taste yet still has the bitterness you would expect from an IPA all in all a farily good beer. (315 characters)

Photo of nickd717
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub.

Pours a clear bright copper color with a white head, nice retention and lacing.

Herbal and citrusy hops on the aroma along with a little bit of sweet malts and maybe even a tropical note.

A bit of passionfruit comes through on the flavor to go with the orange/citrus from the hops, and a substantial caramel maltiness sits behind that.

Medium-bodied with some hop resins on the palate.

Now here we've finally got a decent beer from these guys. This one is not bad. (492 characters)

Photo of Soonami
1.95/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This beer was just awful. I hate to write a review like this too because I received a growler of this as a gift from a friend, but it was truly horrendous. I was already expecting the worst when I saw an IPA bottled into a CLEAR GLASS GROWLER! If you think Heineken is skunky, think about how much worse it would be with 4 times the amount of hops and crystal clear glass. The beer looked just fine before it was poured, a very hazy orange. But once the skunk genie was let out of the bottle I was wondering how I could possibly finish this beer. The funny thing is that my uncle says, "I didn't know that they made this kind of beer here in America, it tastes like an imported beer..."

I know that some may say it's not fair to judge this beer because it was probably pretty good leaving the brewery. Carolina packaged this beer in their own labeled clear growler that is very spoil-prone then they deserve this kind of review. Beer people know that clear glass is terrible for protecting beer and that's why even BMC prefers to package in cans or at least brown bottles, but a naive consumer might think that a growler-packaged beer is fancier and higher-end. They would've spent good money expecting a good beer to only be disappointed by something that should be poured out. I think this is awful and Carolina should be ashamed of putting such a poor product on shelves. The retailer, Total Wine & More in Raleigh, shares some of this burden of shame too, but I had other growler beers from that store and they were fine. This was definitely Carolina's fault and I hope that they would address it. I will contact the company shortly (1,637 characters)

Photo of DmanGTR
1.9/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The third in a series of beers sampled at the brewpub.

Alrighty! I was excited for this one, being their "flagship" beer and one that has supposedly won awards for the brewery. Poured a somewhat hazy tangerine-ish color. Nice head that laced all over the glass. Very pretty. I was excited until I smelled it. Hello? Hello? Is anybody home? Where's the aroma? Where's the pine and grapefruit and citrus rinds and pine resin and fresh cut grass? Shit, son, the Trolley Brown had more aroma than this! I get hardly anything except a very light graininess and a bit of earthiness. And I'm struggling to find these aromas so I can put something down for it! Dude, where's my hops? The flavor is weak. That's the best way to describe it. Subtle honey and nuttiness, hint of esters, and much bitterness in the finish, but did they not use any flavoring or aromatic additions in the recipe? This is pathetic. We don't have a hop shortage any more, use the damn things! I honestly think they forgot to add hops towards the end of the boil. No citrus, no pine, none of those hop characteristics that supposedly define IPA's. Fail.

With that said, however, the body was decent; moderately thin but decently carbonated. I still can't get over the lack of hops. If you like this type of thing, it would drink well I suppose. But I'm not a fan. With the bitterness there and nothing to complement it, I'm glad I only got a sample or it would be a tough time finishing a pint of this. (1,471 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pint glass served at the Corolla Brew Pub (not Carolina's Brewpub in Corolla, the actual name).

A: The IPA is a coppery amber color, orange accented and translucent. The initial pour had a head that measured less than a finger but, as I worked my way through the ale, strata of lace developed like rings on a tree.

S: The nose starts off with a pleasant hop bite, a little citrusy floral dose. Behind that are caramel malts, plenty to go around. The hops are never quite as fresh as in the first sniff.

T: As with the nose, the first sip delivers a flowery citrus hop presense that quickly fades into the caramel malts. The base of the ale is strong, bready with plenty of residual sweetness. The hops, though not as strong, are still present throughout with citrus driving the flavor.

M: The mouthfeel is hoppy but not without its malt side for balance. The mouthfeel benefits from the scrubbing effect of the high carbonation levels.

D: A decent IPA, not one that I'd seek out on a regular basis but as a vacation refresher it works. (1,042 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Flagship IPA from Carolina Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.