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Flagship IPA - Carolina Brewery

Not Rated.
Flagship IPAFlagship IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

153 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 153
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 12.75%
Wants: 3
Gots: 12 | 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:
87 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-05-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 153 | Reviews: 50 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by beerinator:
Photo of beerinator
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper clear. Very retentive cream colored head.

Aroma: Vegital herby. Sweet malt predominate, hop aroma seems secondary. Smells a bit earthy.

Taste: English Style IPA. Malt and hops mesh nicely. Session style. Slight bitterness lingers on finish. Tingles on tongue are left from the hop bitterness.

Notes: Solid session IPA. This is definately one of Carolina Brewery's most popular beers. They don't brew a Pale Ale, instead they brew a mid-grade IPA that is a very good beer.

beerinator, Jun 15, 2004
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its been a few months since I had a real cask ale so I ran to the tent yesterday serving it up.this poured a rich copper with a nice creaminess to the head.Aromas of caramel and some nuttiness hops were not as prevelant as I thought but it was appetizing enough.Taste is highly hopped but it didnt knock me out with em there was a nutty malt presence in the background that I picked up keeping it from going over the edge.A worthy cask ale my first NC on the engine very solid and well made.

oberon, Sep 27, 2004
Photo of ROBORB
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap, this beer poured a nice copper color with a 1 finger head. The smell was not overpowering but there were faint aromas of citrus, hops and malt. The hop profile is not overly drying and I found myself ordering it again and again. This was a very easy to drink IPA. Get it on tap if you can find it.

ROBORB, Apr 08, 2009
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Carolina Brewery. Light copper in color. Thick and long-lasting off-white lace coats the glass. Prominent notes of grapefruit in the nose. Very nice. Flavor is HOPPY! In your face, teeth-rattling bitterness is all that comprises the flavor. Nothing so much as shows itself to try to tame the hop landslide assaulting your palate. Almost to the point of being unbalanced. Finishes very bitter, with a splash of grapefruit juice squatting on the palate to remind you what this is made of. Biting mouthfeel but still drinkable. Not for the faint of heart.

OldFrothingSlosh, Mar 29, 2004
Photo of dankjohn
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

dankjohn, Dec 21, 2013
Photo of Soonami
2/5  rDev -43.3%
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

Soonami, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of chinchill
3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

chinchill, May 14, 2012
Photo of LXIXME
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

LXIXME, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of Brenden
3.69/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Brenden, Sep 17, 2013
Photo of twowheelssoar
3/5  rDev -15%

twowheelssoar, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of ipc2000
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

ipc2000, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of RockyTopHeel
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bold amber in color with a thin, wispy film of bubbles atop it (possibly because it took my waitress a while to get the beer to my table...), my IPA arrived as a nice appetizer before a big meal of meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

Crisp and hoppy in the nose, this beer is bright and bitter, with a nice clean finish and slight floral and fruit notes in between. Solid all around, but nothing to really sing about. Still, I liked it and I'll have it again.

RockyTopHeel, Jan 10, 2004
Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

tdm168, Mar 05, 2012
Photo of WoodBrew
2.85/5  rDev -19.3%
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!

WoodBrew, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of VAbrookiechaser
3.72/5  rDev +5.4%

VAbrookiechaser, Sep 02, 2014
Photo of woodchip
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

woodchip, Nov 15, 2014
Photo of nickd717
3.53/5  rDev 0%
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.

nickd717, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of silver0rlead
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a coppery golden color with a thick, foamy white head. Smell is light citric hops with a sweet caramel malt background. Taste is light floral and citrus with an oily mouthfeel. It ends with a sweet but mild caramel malt, and leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste that is gone quickly. A highly drinkable IPA, that is not quite as complex or hoppy as it's main North Carolina IPA competitors (Hoppy Hour and Big Boss), but a good attempy none the less, and I definately see the English IPA style as being apropriate.

silver0rlead, May 14, 2005
Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Off-white head. Beer's a light caramel color.
Unique grassy hop aroma. Sweet malt as well.

Unique taste that didn't hit the spot for me. Fruity, grassy hops and sweet pale malt. Decently balanced. Maybe I had apricots on the brain as my buddies were drinking DFH Aprihop, but I detected a touch of apricot.

Good mouthfeel.
A bit odd to be real drinkable.

Overall, a solid IPA. Big thanks to AKSmokedPorter for bringing a growler up to Ohio!

PhantomVodoo, Apr 16, 2004
Photo of rvajohn
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

rvajohn, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of Keith_R
2.75/5  rDev -22.1%

Keith_R, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of dvmin98
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

dvmin98, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of Pookie
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Pookie, Sep 18, 2013
Photo of akorsak
3.6/5  rDev +2%
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.

akorsak, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of KevinGordon
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

KevinGordon, Dec 23, 2012
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Flagship IPA from Carolina Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 153 ratings.