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IPA - Rubicon Brewing Company

Not Rated.
IPAIPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

105 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 105
Hads: 182
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 13.71%
Wants: 7
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rubicon Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-21-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 105 | Hads: 182
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear light orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus fruit, citrus zest, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with a slight malt finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that tastes better than it smells and is easy to drink. (556 characters)

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried on tap at stone brewery and then again in a 22 oz bottle. Pours a nice copper/amber color with a nice 1/2 inch head. The foam died off over the course of a minute or so and laced the glass nicely. There were a few bubbles coming out of solution. The beer smelled of fresh hops and sweet malt, mostly hops though. The taste was half malt half hops with a good amount of bitterness, a little above average for an IPA. It was a bit less bitter out of the keg but who knows how old it was. The mouthfeel was good and thick. Very drinkable if you're a hop head. I'm going to get a case or so of this stuff. (607 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear honey color with a huge head that sticks well and leaves quite a bit of lacing, too

Smell: Pithy grapefruit and a hint of pineapple and biscuit malt

Taste: The hops don't waste any time dominating the biscuit on this beer and they continue to build through mid-palate, although a slight metallic tendancy is noted; after the swallow, the flavor is slightly more balanced, but this beer is a West Coast IPA through and through

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This beer will wear out your tongue but it is still a very nice example of the West Coast style (614 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright orange with honeycomb highlights. A fine yeasty haziness is barely disturbed by a handful of slowly rising bubbles that plink... plink... plink... into the underside of a sticky, yellowish ivory crown. Plenty of lace is created as multiple foam bridges break in slow motion.

What's not to love about a pale malted IPA that shows off a bumper crop of American hops? The orange, grapefruit and ganja-like qualities of Cascade are front and center, while the citric spiciness of Chinook is less apparent. This should be a good one.

At the risk of stating the obvious, it pays to drink IPAs soon after bottling. Rubicon India Pale Ale is now just short of 4 months of age and is a lip smackingly delicious beer that any hophead should enjoy. There's a ton of fresh hop flavor and a healthy amount of bitterness. It's impossible to do so accurately, but I'd put the IBUs somewhere in the neighborhood of 60.

There's just enough pale malt to keep the hops from being too abrasive. The malt sugars attempt to soothe the tongue, even as the alpha acids dig in with authority. The orange juiciness, the white grapefruity pithiness and the cheesiness of this particular hop bill is fantastic. Then again, any of the C-hops, alone or in combination, usually result in beautiful beer.

The mouthfeel matches the flavor profile extremely well and makes the beer gulpable in the extreme. That's why it's been rewarded with a good score in spite of being slightly lighter than the style average. Warming improves things considerably and provides a pleasing, luscious creaminess.

I had no idea what to expect from Rubicon IPA, but it definitely delivered the goods. This is an ale that fits my ideal of what an American IPA should taste like. It's stunning that a brewery unknown to most people outside of the Sacramento area can produce beer this delicious. (1,854 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - A clear copper color with a two-finger, khaki-colored head. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of citrus and pine. Some bready notes.

T - Burnt toast maltiness with sweet caramel and toffee. Good piney bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. Medium bodied.

O - The only Rubicon beer I've ever seen. It was pretty good. (357 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber body with a thin, wispy off-white head.

Smell: Caramel maltiness with some honeylike hints and scents of citrus and pine.

Taste: Caramel malts with a drizzle of honey and a medium level of sweetness. Forward hop flavors of citrus and pine. Moderate hop bitterness. Slightly acidic. Finishes expectantly dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Not exactly the most memorable beer around, but it's still a solid representative of the style. (502 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What should really be said here? Rubicon's IPA is a very straightforward amber-colored American style IPA. It has an aroma of citrusy Cascade hops combined with softly sweet biscuity and caramelish malts. The flavor is basically the same with some more pine-like hop character (it's a bit floral as well). It's solidly bittered but balanced. If anything, it could be a bit more refined (the bitterness does tend to stick at the back of the throat), but as it is, it's still far more in-check than many of the examples on the market today. A straightforward, balanced, and drinkable American IPA. (595 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice foam on the orange amber brew. Poured in a tall glass, lots of lacing. Modestly carbonated in the mouth.

Fruity, flowery, and resiny flavors dominate over the bittering hops. Quite earthy and herbal. Medicinal aftertaste. Starts out nicer than it finishes. Rather woody and sets my teeth on edge. Pine sap and some spoiled fruit. Nice nose of pine boughs and fresh laundry. GEtting more and more bitter.

From the 22 oz bottle. Plenty of flavor for the modest alcohol content, and more richness in the body than many other more powerful IPAs. (548 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The hop tones on this are one dimensional and pedestrian. Slightly salty and very mildly earthy. But the consistency is nice. There is a touch of a citrus edge here that provides the only flavor diversion. Overall, it's s pretty nice ale. Nothing that's going to blow you away, but it's not too bad. (299 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at Lucky Baldwin's IPA festival, June 2007
This beer is topped by a two-finger thick, pale tan colored head. The beer is a brilliantly clear, deeply red, copper color. The aroma is fresh and hoppy with notes of clean, sweet citrus (made up of grapefruit and orange peel). Malty aromatics towards the end contribute notes of biscuits, soda crackers and perhaps a wisp of crystal malt / caramelized aromatics.

The flavor is quite bitter with lots of pine & menthol flavors that I did not notice in the nose. There is still an ample citrus character in the flavor; notes of sweet citrus, tangelo, lychee and grapefruit all play a role here. This beer has a good balance between the citrus hop notes and the sharper, herbaceous hop character. It also has a nice, lingering bitterness in the finish. It is fairly light bodied, which really helps it to be easy drinking. It does have a certain malty fullness to it that helps to carry the dominant hop flavors. I get a hint of caramelized malt sweetness and a hint of toasty malt character in the finish. I also like that this is fairly dry, though with enough sweetness to accentuate the citrus notes. The dry character helps to accentuate the biting bitterness and the herbal notes over the citrus character. (1,266 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Pours a dark yellow, with a full cask head, cascades to make a nice looking pint, leaves a mound of lacing instead of just traces.

S: Nice floral hop aroma, wildflowers, some honey, grapefruit.

T: Grapefuit pith and lemon, light citrus character, with a bready malt character as well.

M: Light, low in carbonation, I know this is a cask ale, but it still felt kind of watery for this serving type.

D: A nice beer, haven't had it in the bottle yet, should buy a bottle to compare, a nice beer. (548 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.76/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at The 6740, on to the beer:

Yellow-orange colored beer with long lasting head and a few patches of lacing sticking around. Not particularly aromatic beer, a little tinge of pine and grapefruit, but its taste makes up for it. In classic West Coast form, the strong hoppy flavors make notes of tangerine, pine, and white grapefruit, while the malt just sits there and lets the hops do the work. Medium bodied and smooth with a tiny prick of alcohol, this beer has little trouble going down.

Delightful IPA. One of many IPA's from California that are such. (564 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Chill hazed orange amber color, your basic "IPA Orange" color. Small off-white head forms and falls.

Smell is sweet and malty for an AIPA. Muted citrus, pine and pineapple aromas and woody and tea bags scents. Smells muted to me.

The taste starts out neutral and woody with a sharp bitterness and a teabag astringent taste. Strong woody flavor and something that prickles the tongue that I am going to call astringency. Malt sticks around here and doesn't get over powered by hops.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Drinkability is just so so. This beer just seems to be a bunch of parts and not a combined beer. Not something I will likely try again. (638 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a slightly hazed, copper-bronze coloring with a dense, foamy, big bubbled, off-white head with good cling and staying power. Aromas of sweet caramel, tropical fruits, tart grapefruit, and a subtle resinous character. Flavors are smooth, with a tropical (pineapple and mango) and citrus (grapefruit and orange) blend forward, a roasted and richly sweet caramel backbone, and a solid bitter and resinous hops characteristic at the end. Tangy and bitter throughout, with the tart citrus notes to cut through. Smooth, mid-bodied, with a tangy sweet and dank, bitter aftertaste. The finish is smooth, slick, with a solid bitter resinous linger. Tasty and drinkable brew. (718 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.07/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark burnished orange-gold with a rocky head of meringue-fluff off-white foam. Lots of tiny carbonation bubbles around the edges. Not much lacing.

Piney hop resin character on the nose, with a very unpleasant undertone of diacetyl. Yuck! Menthol and citrus are there, but the sickly sweet butterscotch character burrowing underneath just puts me off. Blech!

Taste is unfortunately rather similar. Really unpleasant caramel sweetness infiltrates what is otherwise a clean hoppy IPA bitterness. Truly, the sweet character in this is unwelcome, and hopefully unintentional. Mouthfeel is ok, light sparkling character, good for an IPA, but it doesn't have much to work with here.

Too much sweetness, and even if the hops do try to cover it, they don't succeed, and it tastes like there's something fundamentally wrong here.

Did I get a bad bottle? Is this a bad batch? Or is it just a bad beer? Well, with so many other beers to try, and much better IPAs out there, I'd be wary of even giving this one a second chance. Sorry, Rubicon IPA, you blew it in my book. (1,070 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewpub the other day.

The beer pours copper amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive as always, with considerable dry citrus and leafy tobacco to bouy the moderate malty sweetness. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, with the beer showing pretty decent bitterness and good balance. There's a decent amount of sweet malt in this beer, but it has sufficient bitterness to counter and balance that malty sweetness very well. The finish is fairly long , and there's good bitterness at the end. The beer comes across as almost heavy on the palate after a glass of the monkey knife fight, but for all that, this is a very drinkable, completely uncomplicated IPA.

Have drunk quite a lot of this IPA over the years and have always been a fan. While it doesn't excite me the way it did when I first sampled it back in 89 (and when the beer was winning gold medals at the GABF), this is still an enjoyable, always dependable IPA. Very glad to have the opportunity to sample it again after all these years. (1,070 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.96/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a light golden color, lots of carbonation, dirty head. Smelled of citrus and floral. Taste was rather astringent and bitter from beginning to end. Yep..not a fan. Tasted like it had some english malts in there too. Mouthfeel was so bitter I couldnt wait to get it down. No smoothness to this brew at all. (311 characters)

Photo of Viggo
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this 22 oz at a Bevmo in San Francisco.

Pours a hazy golden copper, nice thick white head forms, drops a ton of lace on the glass, good retention, looks like a solid IPA. Smell is okay, citrus and grapefruit, some caramel, light pine, bit of brown sugar, lightly fruity, a bit subdued which makes me believe this bottle isn't as fresh as it should be, but the aroma is decent. Taste is sweet and malty, caramel, some orange, grapefruit and tangerine, a bit sugary, herbal bitterness in the finish, quite balanced. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Standard IPA, would like to try this fresher because I would think it has some potential. (666 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.32/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper colored liquid, looks like it has a little more viscosity, might be in for a caramel malt bomb, but being that this is Rubicon, who has shown the ability to deliver good west coast hoppy beers, I dunno. Smell was a little subdued, pithy notes of citrus can be picked up, but they aren't as sharp as they should be.

Usual suspects in the taste, bitterness, caramel, mild sweetness. Hops just aren't out in the forefront like I hoped for. No bottle date, who knows how old this is, especially when purchased at a Bevmo. Really came off similar to most run of the mill to decent ipa's out there. Does Rubicon just make extra special batches for Bistro's hop events, or did I just get a less than desireable aged ipa bottle? (729 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: brilliant gold, 1” fluffy off-white head that dissipates to a thin film S: citrusy, resiny,
T: Strong malt gives way to citrusy hops – lemony, grapefruit, grapefruit rind, some astringency in the finish from the hops. Starts lightly sweet and then dries out in the finish.
F: Creamy, soft on the palate, fine soft carbonation, medium body.
O: I’m happy with this, the aftertastes are rich, long lasting and awesome. The long lingering aftertastes are a major selling point. (486 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, a somewhat faint dry grapefruit citrus rind. In the taste, grapefruit citrus hop and a small malt balance. A hops bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry grapefruit rind hop in the aftertaste. Kind of like a west coast Dogfish Head 60 minute. Nice hop and flavor, but not too much. (367 characters)

Photo of maximum12
2.68/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to lurpy1 for schlepping a suitcase full of beer back to the cold steppes...some of it was even for me. 22 oz. bottle dumped into a pair of pint glasses.

Pours a clear pale golden that could be mistaken for a macro on a good day. Nose cut off to spite someone's face, because it's missing. A few stray grains if I sniff like a junkie.

Rubicon IPA was billed as a good Sacramento local; I'm going to be contacting my attorney over that claim. Heavy on the whole wheat grains, spritz of lemon Pledge, but no hops were harmed in the brewing of this beer. As much bitterness as your average hefe. Easy to drink. I guess that's its strong point.

Not a bad beer, but there's just nothing here to even criticize. Bland. Blah. Dull. As inoffensive a beer as I've ever met. Might nick mediocre, but that's a big word for such a little beer. (844 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a pint glass. Hazy goldenrod with a light beige head that leaves some wispy film behind. Aromas of pineapple and toffee. Not especially robust. Flavor is malty and woody with zero citrus. Some hop bitterness but not a lot of hop flavor. Some herbal notes and astringency as well. Very dry on the palate. Tastes like an IPA that hasn't been stored properly. (375 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber into 12oz. glass. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Hazy burnt orange body with slim white head that retained quite well and seemed to swell up with each swirl of the glass and left some sparse lacing. Minimal bubbles of carbonation.

S - Perfumy aroma with sweet floral hops and some peppery spiciness as well. Malt is primarily caramel with a mild burnt quality and some sweet syrupy qualities.

T - Starts off on the hoppy side with a perfumy hop profile and some floral attributes, then quickly melds into more malty territory with hints of burnt caramel and a mild toasted grain character. There's also some bitter citrus rind in the finish.

M - Medium body with a smooth, creamy texture and moderate carbonation. There's also a bit of alcohol warmth on the palate. Finish is mildly metallic and moderately bitter on the tongue.

D - Good IPA with more of a floral/perfumy character. While I prefer IPAs with citrus and piney hop profiles, I found this to be quite drinkable and balanced. Overall, this is a solid brew. (1,040 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A: Pours a clear copper color. The head is two fingers high, with an off-white shade. While the texture is both dense and creamy, it doesn't seem to have very good retention. However, it also leaves behind plenty of sticky, persistent lacing.

S: Smells like an archetypal west-coast IPA, just one that seems watered down. I get notes of grapefruit, melon, and more general citrus, along with a slight malt backbone. Actually, just about everything in the nose is slight. Nothing wrong with it, it's just too weak aromatically.

T: The focus is both on grapefruit-laden hops - good - and crystal malts - not so good. But, there's also a healthy, welcome bitterness on the back end - also good. But it seems a bit weak in flavor - also not so good. Still, it's bitter (but not generically so) finish helps earn it some points back.

M: While it's fairly crisp, there's too much malt intrusion on both the texture and finish to give it that drinkability I love. The texture is rough, both from the hoppy bitterness and the crystal malts. Carbonation is surprisingly gentle, all things considering.

O: It's okay. It kind of drinks like a poor man's Sculpin, which isn't the worst thing in the world to be. Still, there are many superior (and more local) IPAs I'd easily pick over this one.

3/5: The quintessential average IPA (1,357 characters)

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IPA from Rubicon Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.