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IPA - Rubicon Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

180 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 180
Reviews: 104
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 7
Gots: 10 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 180 | Reviews: 104
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.07/5  rDev -43.3%
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.

Photo of GJ40
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a 22oz bottle at Bev Mo while in the SF area and took it home with me.

A - A lighter golden color with good clarity. A thick, creamy off white head. Some lacing.

S - Very nice floral hop aroma. As good as it gets for a bottled beer.

T - Nice hop presence with a good grapefruit taste (just as I like it). It echoes in your tastebuds long after you've swallowed it. It's a bit on the sweet side though.

M - Nice low carbonation with a good body.

D - This is very much my style and it's very easy to drink. It may be a bit on the sweet side but I really enjoyed this beer.

Photo of beerbrewerdan
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat cloudy copper orange. The bartendress suggested the beer was unfiltered. Very nice grass and citrus nose. Flavor hits with hops. Bitterness is subdued and the malt is present though slightly drying at the end. Could drink a lot of this. Short review for a very good beer.

Photo of Deuane
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep golden amber with a slight haze. Thin white head that sticks around and leaves nice lace.

S-Rich perfume like citrus twinged hops. Nice amount of sweet caramel following.

T-Another malt/hop battle....with hops just pulling it out. Good citrus kick with a tangy acidic background.

M-Medium body, tangy with a good lingering bitterness.

D-A nice citrus tangy, malt balanced IPA. This isn't quite west coast to me but it gets close. Easy quaffable in large amounts.

Photo of ffejherb
4/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Photo of dbONE
4.4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Fresh mowed grass attacks the sinuses as the cap flies off and the 22oz bottle is poured into a standard pint.
The head is clean and white with little strength but stays long enough to coat the top of the beer. The flavor from the tinted golden color produces a rice-esque note that flushes into a more malty character that mellows into an erratic hop blend that takes over. Some rye spice seems to come through with a clean grassy flavor that remains on the palette. This is a great IPA at a bargin price that will keep you drinking them on any hot day.

Photo of MiScusi
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Right off the bat this beer reminds me of Ballast Point Big Eye IPA in almost every regard. The appearance is similar- a golden-amber-orange color. The smell is similar- floral yet distinctively sweet malt. The taste is similar, has a big malt backbone that I don't normally see in IPA's, except by East Coast brewers who don't dry their IPA's out as much as most West Coast brewers. It delivers a nice floral hop flavor with a moderate resiny bitterness... went well with my chili and spicy nachos but overall the malt is just a bit too much here for me to really love it.

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.96/5  rDev -18.9%
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.

Photo of Zorro
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Photo of Bubba83
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass at 45-50 degrees fahrenheit.

Decent amount of head on a medium pour, about 2 inches worth infact. A nice brunt orange hue with slow rising bubbles and bright white head. Leaves good lacing down the glass.

Smells piney, with a tart grapefruit character and a side of ink. Faint caramel is barely present.

Tastes a bit inky in those sips where the head is still in abundance, the yeast seemed to have given that slightly inky character to the beer, but it wasn't too bad. Actually pretty nice and sweet at first with some caramel flavors that continue on into bright citrus, then tart grapefruit pith and finally pine after the beer is swallowed and the residual oils are left.

Feels a bit thinner than you'd expect from the full flavor. I wouldn't call it watery or anything, just a bit thin. Pretty low amount of carbonation, but this is actually a nice thing as far as I am concerned.

It finishes dry and almost cloyingly bitter, not as clean finishing as some of my most favorite IPAs. The alcohol is also pretty apparent at the end and in the burps that are sure to follow.

Overall an IPA that I would recommend trying, and a nice introduction to Rubicon Brewing.

Photo of Murchmac
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Like the mighty rubicon river that caeser crossed. This beer flows easily into a pint glass.

Big head, some lacing, that follows the glass down.

Malty sweet smell, some macro smell.

Hop taste, kinda watery, not sacramento river watery, but light.

Decent mouthfeel. Leaves a piney aftertaste.

Ok, dont go out of your way, but good.

Photo of cerveza5150
4.11/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served poured from a 22oz bomber into a small sampling glass, a bit on the cold side, I'd say...40 degrees or so.

Head is razor thin and diminishes somewhat on pouring. CO2 is present, but not over active. The appearance isn't that impressive, to be honest.

The smell is pretty good, with hops present, as well as some sweet, caramel malts.

The taste is really, really, good! I held off from giving the taste a 5, due to the lack of a CO2 backbone. Lacing is present down the sides of the glass.

I'm thinking the lack of CO2 is probably due to the age of this bottle. It was going on 6 months, so I think it's seen better days! The taste was really good, so I'm looking forward to sampling a fresher offering from this brewery.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of DogFood11
4.85/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber. Poured into a tulip it fors a late charging eggshell white head. Solid retention and plenty of ring lace. Brushed golden body. Impressive appearance.

First pull and once again impressed. Bountifull sticky grapefruit and sharp citrus snap. This whacks the palate and yes its fairly one sided and I loved it. This is right up there with some of the better single IPA's I've had. The way it lingers just long enough to completely coat the palate and show its bitter side to finish things up is awesome. As it warms a bit the malt bill shows its face but nothing more. Liquid gold my friends...liquid gold.

Notes: A kick ass IPA. This brewery caught my attention. First offering from them and will definitely seek out more in the future. Get this while its still priced modestly.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of BeerTruth
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber purchased from Joey poured into a nonic.

Pours somewhat murky rustic amber hue with a thin fluffy off-white head that dies down to a thin layer of bubbles. Lacing leaves thin layers of webbing on the sides. Big citrus in the nose up front; grapefruit, lemon, oranges. I'm loving the smell, but I'm sure many would argue for a bit more of a malt presence. Taste is an interesting blend between rotten grapefruit and dirty earth flavors, not sure I really enjoy it. Some pine flavors emerge towards the end and linger in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a full medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Not a bad IPA, typical west coast offering.

Photo of Floydster
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber purchased from Cooke's Market in El Segundo for $3.79, split with my dad tonight

Poured into a Firestone pint glass with a golden orange color and 1/2 inch white soapy head, left pretty good amounts of lacing

Smell was full of pine and strong hop aromas, could also smell some toffee and small hints of sweet malt

Taste was dry and very nice, some citrus, oranges in particular, nice faint sweetness fades into a bitter finish, very similar to Rubicon's black IPA that I just had at Beachwood BBQ earlier this week, this one did not taste as strong, pretty standard IPA with a nice orange twist, charcoal-like aftertaste that I have learned to love

Could drink a couple bottles of this, no problem, pretty light on the stomach and about six percent alcohol is not bad at all

Recommended and generally cheap for a bomber, worth trying, great brewery from Sacramento, I am bumbed I did not discover their beer before, add another good IPA to my list of tastings this past year

Photo of BlindPig
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- About a 1 1/2" light tan head on a cloudy orange copper body.
S- Big grapefruit hop aroma, hints of lemon and oranges, and light pine. Just a huge hop aroma with some caramel hidden behind it.
T- Big hop flavor with a pretty decent balance of malt body. Grapefruit and light pine come through like in the aroma and leave a nice size bitterness all over the tongue.
M- Medium/thin body with medium carbonation.
D- It is a good west coast IPA. Not a whole lot to make it stand out from the crowd but just a solid IPA.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Photo of Stoneman78
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass
A- Pours a translucent deep dark orange with amber highlights, head is huge, white, creamy, and cumulus-like once dissipated, lacing is thin but sticky on the glass
S- Nice big hoppy profile, balanced by pine resin and grapefruit citrus, hints of bread and caramel in the back
T- Initial taste is big grapefruit and pine hops followed soon by a nice balance of caramel malts, tones of grass and floral hops, finishes with subtle dry and bitter hops
M- Light/medium bodied beer, oily texture coats the mouth, good carbonation
D- Solid and easy-drinking IPA with a hefty hop profile that is very well-balanced, good all-around IPA, I can't find many flaws with other than it lacks any particular boldness or craziness that is found in several other west coast IPAs
Buy Again? Probably
Personal Score- 85/100

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clean hammered copper color with a refined feel to it. Only a few bubbles spawn from the bottom of the glass. Head is fairly nice, good vanilla colored creaminess.

S: Good balance of grapefruit rind, pine tar and caramel.

T: Starts mildly fruity with nips of red fruits, old orange juice and aluminum. Bitterness comes on hard and unyielding, really attacking the tongue and not allowing the other flavors to come through. Little bit of pine and pear can be perceived through the bitterness. As the bitterness subsides, alcohol becomes present in an aloof sort of way. Finishes with some red apple and lingering dirty bitterness.

M: Very prickly.

D: This is an old school IPA, very different than the new, ultra-diverse IPA’s that are hitting the market now adays. This is a drinkable beer but totally outclassed by the new age brews hitting the market.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A newly bottled option, picked up in September 2007 at Hi Time Wine in Costa Mesa, CA. for $3.49 (22 oz). I've had this one on tap at the brewery on several occasions over the past 4-5 years, and always enjoyed it.

Pours a medium orange-golden, very clear, with minimal head or carbonation.

Aroma of flowery, slightly oily hops. Flavors follows through, with a grapefruit citrus dancing with a light sweetness. Decent tasting, an IPA I'm happy to drink. Not intense, but solidly hoppy. Full rich mouthfeel for the style.

Good stuff.

Photo of tonistruth
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap @ Stone's Bistro in Escondido, CA

A- 1 finger white head with good retent, clear auburn brew, silky lace

S- caramel, hops, citrus, bready

T- hops dominate front to finish. grassy, leafy, earthy. bready and toasted malts, caramel, citrus rind at finish

M- medium body, slight hop abuse to palate, lingering hop after

D- very nice and decently balanced IPA, good flavor, nice mouth feel, and attractive, give this brew a try

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IPA from Rubicon Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 180 ratings.