India Pale Ale
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing

India Pale AleIndia Pale Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
IPA - American
Ranked #7,149
ABV:
7.5%
Score:
71
Ranked #49,723
Avg:
2.72 | pDev: 21.69%
Reviews:
36
Ratings:
64
From:
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
 
California, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  0
Gots
  1
SCORE
71
Okay
India Pale AleIndia Pale Ale
Notes:
Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 64 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum from California

3.05/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Standard brown glass 22 ounce Bomber. Neck label has a Whale spouting water through its blowhole with the words ‘Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing’ encircling it with the words ‘Hand Crafted’ and ‘Dry Hopped’ either side. The Main label lists the brew as ‘India Pale Ale’. Certified Organic and Listed at 7.5% ABV on the label. No discernable freshness date.

Main label blurb states “From the cliffs of Seabright beach, wind your way up San Lorenzo River to where the sun filters down through the redwood branches on the Santa Cruz Mountains. Call up your sense of adventure and appreciation for the lusty flavors of organic hops and try our India Pale Ale.”

Appearance: Hazed orangutan golden body. White creamy head has flecks of light tans interspersed between the bubbles lending a dirty white feel to the crown cap.

Nose: Earthy tones, organic hops certainly smell better in this offering than the previous two Santa Cruz offerings. Dough laden middle with a freshly proved finish that has some liquid orange and toasted biscuits in the ending.

Taste: Soft bitterness, citric rinds and orange zest punctuate the entrance. Bitterness never rises above normal, tanks mainly in part to the toasted biscuit malts that run, neigh, ruin this one. The hops are nice but never get chance to display their wares, the jealous toasted biscuit malts ride rough shod through the middle and finish, utterly destroying any IPA character which one would expect. Sadly the cloying biscuit finish is not even good, detracting and ruinous, it leaves one with the feeling, “what if !?”, the organic hops would be left to do their thing. Way too much dry biscuit and cloying malts. Spices tangle with the “biscuit bovver boyz” in the warming brew, but the hops fade too quickly for my liking.

Mouthfeel: Average body with a dry, powdery biscuit texture that reminded me of the time I ate three wholemeal Ryvitas without a drink. Parching dryness with an annoying cloying wholemeal drudgery.

Drinkability: I managed the whole Bomber; it would unfair and remiss to say that I did not. But it was a close call. Boredom sneaks in, like waiting for the Dryer at the Laundry to complete its cycle I almost wanted to pop the door open and put myself out of my monotonous misery.

Overall: All three of the Santa Cruz brews that I have sampled to date have exhibited the same characteristics. Nice looks, reasonable nose, grainy tastes and ultimately very boring and rather forgetful. This one is no different.

Music: “In A Little While” – U2

Jan 24, 2006
More User Reviews:
Photo of mbunje
mbunje from California

2.31/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured to a pint glass.

Appearance is good. Dark gold, mild cloudiness. Bone white head was small but left medium lacing.

Smell. Not much. malty. vanilla. My son (6) says it smells like pizza (we are eating pizza) So nothing overpowering about it. He has told me some IPAs smell like oranges.

Taste. first impression it tastes like latex paint. Don't freak out, this is an IPA and should have an identity. But generally, I don't like it. Tooo piney. Not enough citrus. NO malt balance (even though it smelled malty???)

Mouthfeel is thick, heavy. Not much carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good for 7.5%ABV but it tastes so bad I won't have another.

Overall: I would take about 20 IPAs over this one. It says "organic" but what beer isn't? That's the best thing about beer. Its fermented earth and it gets you happy. Is there an inorganic process to brewing beer? If so, mail me.

Feb 18, 2007
Photo of cjgator3
cjgator3 from Florida

2.24/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle

A- Pours a slightly hazy orange/amber color with an off-white head.

S- Pretty weak nose for the style, with faint malt and citrusy hop notes. There is also a really weird off-flavor like old socks and chalk. This is a West coast IPA, wheres the big hop aroma?

T- The taste like the aroma has that old sock flavor, with faint malt and hops. The off-flavors are just a mess. There is some bitter hops in the finish, but like the aroma the taste is severely lacking in the hop department.

M- Solid mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel and appearance are the only two decent parts of this brew, which are the least important in my opinion.

D- Not very good, pretty hard to finish the bottle.

Overall, this one needs to go back to the drawing board. I'm not a huge fan.

Aug 24, 2008
Photo of djk7
djk7 from Florida

1.64/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This beer starting a bit disappointing, and went downhill from there. Served from a 22oz. bottle into a small hotel room glass. Label had a bottling date about 2 1/2 months prior. Appearance was the best thing it had going for it. The first glass was very mediocre, did not have a typical IPA bite, and had some off, earthy flavors. The second pour had a more astringent taste, with lots of off flavors, and for the first time in years, I gave up and decided I just couldn't finish the bottle. Pouring bottle out into the sink, I saw there were chunks of sediment that looked more like mud than anything I have ever seen come out of a beer bottle. There were at least a dozen pieces the size of a grain of wild rice (1/4 - 3/8" long and 1/16 thick), and lots of smaller pieces. I would give this one a wide berth, and probably be pretty wary of anything from the same brewery.

Oct 22, 2008
Photo of rkuhnel
rkuhnel from California

2.23/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

From a 22 oz bottle this poured a cloudy gold with a reddish center. A big fat head, but oddly not much lacing. Nose is of caramel malts and light floral hops. Mouthfeel is a bit acrid, and the flavor is a unpleasant bitter. OK. so how do you combine sourness and bitterness in the same finish. This one managed it, and it is kind of hard to go for the next sip. I usually love IPA's but this one came up short for me.

Mar 09, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0 from California

2.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Dec 28, 2012
Photo of illidurit
illidurit from California

3.06/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fresh from a newly filled keg at the brewery. Pours a murky orange-goldenrod with a frothy off-white head. Aroma is earthy and, well, very 'organic.' Flavor misses the style mark, with more bay laurel and chalk notes than citrus/pine. Again, very earthy and lemongrassy. Not a lot of bitterness. Mouthfeel and drinkability are fine.

Jul 16, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays from California

2.97/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber,

A: Cloudy yellow-orange, with a thick white creamy head that isn't going anywhere. This baby's stickin' around 'til the end of the glass. Beautiful thick lacing adds to a gorgeous beer experience.

S: Piney, earthy hops, some wet hay, almost peaty, adequate for an IPA.

T: Taste is pretty good, doesn't blow me away. Hops are of earth and spruce predominately, not the best flavor in the world but interesting, very dry for an IPA.

M: Smooth, creamy, good body, it has a nice oily hop character that keeps it together.

D: I've never had anything by this brewing company before, and I thought their IPA was a solid effort, one of the best looking IPA's I've ever seen.

Jul 12, 2007
Photo of DelmarAle
DelmarAle from New York

2.59/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Disappointing. Very little taste with only a sharp hops bite

Jan 08, 2015
Photo of cswhitehorse
cswhitehorse from California

2.18/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The India Pale Ale was poured into a glass and it started off looking okay. The color was a clear dingy brownish orange with a 3 finger foam head.

The aroma was sweet with an initial apple smell then as it warmed up you got a citrus tinge. The taste was harsh and of fusels. It was hard to get a hold of this one as it was purely off. It had a burnt taste to it with a not so good after taste as it burned the tongue. Overall I would not buy this again.

Nov 25, 2008
Photo of duluoz
duluoz from California

3.58/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very nice golden orange color. Nice lacing and some retention.

S - Smells of bitter hops, some peach, and a little sour.

T - Tastes like it smells, with the addition of an earthy, dirty, wooden quality. You could almost guess it was barrel aged. Doesn't taste much like most IPA's, which I'm guessing is reflected in the poor reviews. But otherwise I actually like it. Loses some of its appeal as it warms up though.

M - Pretty good mouthfeel -- not too light nor too thick, and nice carbonation.

Perhaps not a great example of the style, especially among so many great West Coast IPA's... but still a nice beer that I'd buy again.

Nov 02, 2010
Photo of charlzm
charlzm from California

2.38/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Consumed June 30th, 2012 at the brewery.

Beer is a relatively light yellow. Slightly cloudy with a fine crown of white foam around the top.

No aroma.

No real malt flavor... or much of any kind of flavor, actually. Some orange rind bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is slightly tingly, slightly parching. Medium bodied.

Nothing much to see here. Move along.

Jul 20, 2012
Photo of LXIXME
LXIXME from New Mexico

3.25/5  rDev +19.5%

Oct 26, 2014
Photo of Rayek
Rayek from Colorado

3.25/5  rDev +19.5%

Jun 09, 2014
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
ThreeWiseMen from California

2.86/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Hazy orange-amber body, with thin sticky white head. Decent lacing.

Smell: Gummy sugar-covered orange candies (or something of that nature), caramel malt, juicy mandarin oranges, and possibly (POSSIBLY!) some piney hops. Lots and lots of sugar in the aroma.

Taste: Lots of the same sweetness mentioned above, but with a notable hop bitterness in the finish. Also some toasted bread and added tang that I had trouble finding in the smell. Definitely odd tasting. Imagine eating those sugar-covered orange wedge candies, but having them finish tart and bitter. I'm struggling to give this one a quality description...

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is higher than average; produces a little bit of an unpleasant sting. Pretty damn sugary (and sticky) as well. Pretty thin body.

Drinkability: All in all, this is not a terrible beer. Funny tasting? Yes. Poor representation of the style? I'd say so. Hard to drink? Not really. If I could pick out a "girly" IPA, this would be it.

Mar 23, 2009
Photo of mattffrost
mattffrost from California

2.3/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle poured into glass.

Appearance Beer is a cloudy amber with a tint of orange. Head is off white.

Smell I get what almost smells like a strong apple. Some citrus smell.

Taste. I wanted to really like this beer since its close by and organic but I has really disappointed in the taste. Beer makes my mouth pucker in a bad way. I don't think the beer finishes bitter but rather sour. I dont get the fruitess I was expecting at all. Very unclean taste that is burnt.

Mouthful Really makes my mouth quiver not good.

Drinkablity. Not very drinkable to me.

Nov 23, 2008
Photo of aanth
aanth from District of Columbia

2.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Sep 16, 2012
Photo of FACEMEAT
FACEMEAT from California

2.22/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a cloudy light amber with a two fingers of white head that left nice lacing.

S: Smells of hops and unripened peaches.

T: There's something just not right about this brew. It's got an unpleasant metallic sourness that overwhelms any good character it might be possessing. Blech.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a nice level of carbonation.

D: With such a foul taste, I couldn't stomach more than half a pint before pouring the remainder down the sink. Avoid at all costs.

Jan 04, 2009
Photo of berebrando
berebrando from California

1.86/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

got this IPA from hi times in costa mesa. twenty two ounces to myself. I've had some impressive IPA's and this one is far from impressive. color is good... looks like an IPA, orange, yellow, no head to speak of. smell is hoppy but nothing special. taste is hops and a strange dirty earthy flavor - far from good. taste was very unimpressive... mouthfeel was spoiled by the smell and taste. all in all, not good.

I have had a few other santa cruz mtn beers, gingwe, the hef and pale ale - I'd recommend any of those over this one...

happy holidays.

Dec 25, 2009
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313 from California

3.43/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a lively clear and bright dark orange with a nice but fast fading white head.

Nose is a light citrus/orange soda nose-nice but simple and soda pop sweet to the nose.

Mouthfeel is medium body and with no real distinguishing characteristic.

Flavors are one dimensional but not bad. Flavors are of grapefruit and grapefruit skin with hints of pine resin in the finish.

This is a very acceptable India Pale Ale, especially in the finish which is bold with grapefruit skin and resin. Good but nothing distinguishable, although very drinkable and I think most people that like somewhat of a hoppy IPA would like this. This is not Sculpin or Pliny but it's good.

I went back to see some reviews after I treid this. My opinion, better than most of the prior reviews give credit. Just my opinion. Worth at least a try if you like IPAs.

(I went back and actually read the prior reviews. I'm thinking that this is a new batch that I've tasted or other people may have simply jumped on the "bad" bandwagon. The batch that I've tried and reviewed is simply not a bad beer...period. My opinion.)

Oct 02, 2009
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
RBassSFHOPit2ME from California

3.25/5  rDev +19.5%

Jul 05, 2013
Photo of FallinDeck
FallinDeck from California

2.31/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured a golden wheat body with a small white head that left very little lacing throughout the beer. It's a good thing the smell is very light, because it smells of rotting fruit with a hint of pine behind that. The mouthfeel leaves something to be desired (like BEER); it has good carbonation but no real taste. This beer finishes ok with that pine taste coming through. I think a root beer soda represents beer better than this india pale ale.

Apr 16, 2009
Photo of mactrail
mactrail from Washington

2.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This has a sourish hint to the earthy flavors. At the same time there is a decent touch of sweetness. Starts out nice enough but it is overwhelmed by the strange composted taste which makes me think of decaying bitter vegetables. It also gives a dose of plasticky decaf coffee. It's enough to give bitterness a bad name. Odor is actually kind of nice-- fruity and perfumey. Quite attractive head and golden amber color. Otherwise virtually undrinkable and too strongly flavored to mix with anything.

It's funny that this makes me think of the Eel River and Bison "organic" beers which are so dirty and unpleasant. Maybe they just can't get decent organic hops.

Oct 26, 2011
Photo of chumba526
chumba526 from Oregon

2.33/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appears sold orange in color with a large off white head.

It smells of sweet citrus (mostly oranges) I get a strong overpowering caramel flavor. There is a bit of an earthy hop smell.

It tastes pretty sweet. There is a sweet caramel flavor and a sweet orange like flavor. I get a noticeable bitter flavor. This is pretty boring, sweet and one dimensional. It is a bad example of an IPA but it does not taste that bad.

There is a low carbonation to the beer.

This is an ok beer I guess but it is not very smooth and is not a good example of an IPA.

Mar 19, 2011
Photo of brewski101
brewski101 from California

2.38/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this one as part of a taster - which was probably why the pour was not done very well.
The appearence was as expected for an IPA. It tasted a bit thin - not really what you'd expect for an IPA. If it had not been labeled as such, it could have passed for a pale. Mouthfeel was also a bit "thin" but I suspect that was due to a taster pour.

Aug 27, 2011
India Pale Ale from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
Beer rating: 71 out of 100 with 64 ratings