India Pelican Ale | Pelican Pub & Brewery

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India Pelican AleIndia Pelican Ale
273 Ratings
India Pelican AleIndia Pelican Ale

Brewed by:
Pelican Pub & Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
17 degrees Plato
Alcohol: 7.5% by volume
Bitterness: 85 IBU
Color: 15 lovibond

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-10-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 273 |  Reviews: 180
Reviews by scootpolute:
Photo of scootpolute
3.62/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P: 1 Pint, 6 FL OZ. brown bottle into tulip with a cool pic of a pelican readily found in the wild combing the oregon & WA coastline...

A - Pours semi-cloudy golden, with a nice white head...- some good lacing.

S - Hops and lots of sweet citrus - some orange & grapefruit tones...also some bread, burnt toast perhaps, with a touch of cinamon spice...

T - Smooth, great hop kick at the top, followed by malts and spice (from the alcohol)some citrus, then ending with more pine-like spices...a suprisingly dry finish...

M - The carbination is good There's a good fullness. Present, but not 'too' much fruity/sweet flavors...The final pine/spice balances the beer out wonderfully, although the VERY dry aftertaste threw me...I was expecting a fruitier/hoppier finish...

O - This one good, but not as 'GREAT' as so many others claim...Not to 'poo-poo' the Bros, but 'c-mon...OK...I agree this is still a great example of a NW American IPA, but there are far better ones out 'here' than the hype of this one...I just didn't like the over-dry ending notes...perhaps better on tap, eh?!...Chasin' Cheers :~)

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More User Reviews:
Photo of TheIPAHunter
4.6/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one made the journey all the way from Tillamook, Oregon. It landed in my fridge via a commercial airline and ensuing 60-minute convoy by privately owned vehicle. The IPA Hunter stops at nothing to obtain the world's finest India Pale Ales. Special thanks to Sabrina for bringing the plan to fruition.

So, where was I? Ahh...yes. The nuts and bolts. The mascot of this IPA is its pelican, Phil. Phil does nothing to diminish the longstanding reputation of his Pelecanidae brethren, yet instead of carrying babies in his pouch, this water bird delivers an impressive ensemble of hops.

Water vapor condenses on the glass to form patterns resembling fern frost. Density and longevity of the beer head is beyond reproach. Tangerine and Vermilion pair to form one of the most impressive aqueous solutions to date.

Persian limes and Mandarin oranges, complimented by grass tennis lawns and pine forests. Cascade hops create an inviting fragrance that implores the consumer to indulge. Faint spices and bready malt are subdued by the overwhelming scent of citrus.

Acidic taste of "grower's pick," Ruby Red grapefruit and fresh hops. Burnt cloves and lightly buttered toast assert their character, but subtract nothing from the outcome. Honey-like malt is the bridge to a "hoppy" ending. Some IPAs march to the beat of their own hops, but this one waxes poetic in the same vein as Michael McDonald. Whereas, with each sip, I was hearing, "I Keep Forgetting". Whenever I think about branching out to other styles (despite the fact that I have), I still choose to exclusively review the straw that stirs the drink.

The mouth is scorned by the relentless taze of hops. Light to medium bodied; the palate receives exponential pinches from the pelican's beak.

Phil and I recede (go back) like male pattern baldness. We met once, and became instant friends.

Things will never be the same again.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume III, Issue II:

Bright and clear copper color, foams up right to the rim of the glass and crowns the inside with a stunning lace. Big aromatics from the hops; orange rind, ruby red grapefruit, spearmint and light pipe tobacco. A little bready and fruity in the nose, but the hops are obviously dominant here. Smooth and slick on the palate with a medium to full body. Hops slowly drop a hammer of bitterness that oozes of hard citric, tobacco and woodsy flavors. The malt opens up enough to get through the hops for a brief moment to lend some bready and caramel flavors. Alcohol is deceiving until a few sips in, as the slight warmth sets in and the faint tropical fruitiness materializes on the tongue. Bitter finish, but not bitter enough to hinder us from going back (and back again).

This is a big American IPA, a bit of old-school PNW flavor. We splashed the last few drops on us like aftershave, wishing for more--yet we were left with an empty feeling when it was finished, with only memories of such a great beer.

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Photo of NWer
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From my Pelican stash I picked up at Belmont Station during a recent roadtrip to Portland.
Poured into my Deschutes Brewery tulip from a bomber.
Nice golden appearance. Abundant off-white head retains very well. Nice lace.
Tastes a little flowery up front with lemon zest feel on the back side.
Very flavorful. Definitely an American or European vs. India pale ale.
Pleasant. I enjoyed this beer immensely and will definitely be more aggressive in my purchases the next time I venture South.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.36/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to Chris for tapping this one as I enjoyed lunch today...
Served a golden copper color with a full finger of off white head...most fades but some tight, striated lacing forms as I work my way thru the pint.
Sweet caramal malt and citrus hops in the nose...very pleasant.
The taste is a bombardment of hoppage...citrus and piney goodness crush the pallet. Just enough malt to avoid a total onslaught, but starts and finishes abusively bitter. The bartender that tasted it actually stated that it "burned" which to your typical hophead is a bit overstated.
Not sure of the abv, but has to be close to 7% IMO.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation is perfect...drinkability is of the best IPA's out there, but not for the faint of heart. You have to really appreciate hoppy beers to truly enjoy this one.
Simply solid.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by blutt59 and sampled at thirdeye11's birthday bash.

Beer pours dark yellow with a white head. The aroma is strong hops, come citrus and pine. The flavor is strong pine hops with a good amount of malt as well. This is a very hoppy American IPA that is very drinkable. Outstanding beer that I hope to try again.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to Dubbercody for this brew for the BA Anny Club.

Pours amber with a slight head. Some lacing on the glass as I drink it. Sweet hoppy smell. Taste is dominated by citrusy hops with some malt base. Mouthfeel is smooth without a hint of alcohol. Very drinkable IPA. Highly recommended. I would like to snag another if I get the chance.


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Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Thrasher
3.28/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

As evidenced by the reviews below, this is a somewhat controversial beer. Some people love it, others loathe it. It's one of those beers I heard about many times when I first moved out to Oregon. The dive bar across the street used to serve it, at a very chilly temperature, and I think the first time I ordered it, I decided I hated it. Having said that, I think I ordered it every time I went in there. (They've since rotated the tap to something else.) I'm not at the bar now; I'm in the peace and quiet of home, drinking it from the bottle poured into a glass, at an appropriate temperature (VERY important). I do like hops but not necessarily bitterness, and this beer is a bit too bitter for me. From what I've gathered, it's 70 IBUs, which isn't the max, but with scarcely any malts to speak of, it's audaciously severe. It is also distractingly resin-y, as others have pointed out: sticky in the mouth and not incredibly easy to drink. I can't think of an IPA that's as overly bitter and hoppy as this, except maybe Ruination (which I personally think is just a stupid, pointless beer). IPelicanA is gold with a tint of orange, smallish but sturdy head with medium lacing. Aroma of hops. That's all. Just hops. Not much subtlety. Maybe a slight rainy day mustiness from the yeast. The flavor begins and ends with hops. Prolonged, bitter, astringent. Malts are cowed into total submission. You know, for the right time, place, and mood, this beer would be absolutely perfect. It's just not an everyday drinking IPA. Too bitter, too resin-y, too much. Still, it has a perverse appeal. You can forget about food pairing with this big boy, unless you're noshing on a monstrously powerful cheese. The aftertaste is good and long, and there are moments when the bitterness subsides, and a crisp, juicy, fresh, sweet, citric tang takes over the flavor. During those brief, isolated moments, the beer is wonderful. It also gets better the more you drink it, and the more your taste buds become desensitized. It does make the back of your throat itch, though, almost like sucking down pine sol. I'm guessing a cask at the brewery would even the brew out. I'm also curious as to what would happen to this beer after a long cellaring period although the malts probably aren't substantial enough.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.69/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A hazy gold pour. Soft white head. Citrus aroma, not over the top, but behind the scenes. Won't catch it in the bottle, must pour to release.

Clean and light body, good hopping, spice to pepper to citrus, sweet to bready at times. Stays away from the wood feel you get with some sweetness in ipa's as they age. Pine develops, nothing is over the top, there's a lot going on, but nothing out of the ordinary, just a lot of what represents the style.

Not worth $8 a bomber though.

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Photo of niz
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours transparent light amber with 1/2" of white fluffy head
smells of cloves, hops and slightly metallic
very smooth malt in the front, slight caramel and hop oils, still malty in the finish.
mouthfeel is great, slightly chewy, smooth and oily.
drinkability is also good, had a big bottle, could have another.. or maybe not,.... its 7.5% cant taste it at all... NICE

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Photo of kevwcamp
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of pwoods
3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kels for sharing the bottle.

22oz. brown bomber poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a slightly fiery amber with good clarity. Decent sized head with decent retention. Pretty decent lacing.

S: Plenty of citrus with a bit of acidity. Pine and light resin. Lightly sweet malts to add a bit of balance but not too much :)

T/M: Good bitterness level, high hop with somewhat low malt. More of the citrus with the acidity bite added further with the carbonation. More of the pine and resin. Malts are lightly sweet with some biscuity flavor. Body is medium with kinda high carbonation.

D: ABV is on the high side and the bitterness along with the acidity is a bit harsh when mixed together. Tasty brew, though, and makes you come back.

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Photo of sloejams
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After seeing so many reviews of this, I had to trade for some. Thanks to bootylicious, this was able to happen.

It pours a copper orange with a generous head. The aroma was exceptional - big West Coast hops (Cascade, I'd fathom). Sugary scents of cotton candy mixed with a bouquet of pine. With all of that I was a bit surprised how much more subdued the taste was. It was like the aroma presence cut in half. All of the aroma flavors were there, just less far less intense. As the glass warmed a bit and as the beverage disappeared down my gullet, the subtle flavors were more enjoyable.

This is a fine West Coast IPA. It's a little bit unique. Unfortunately, I had only 2 bombers and it's not sold down here in Southern California. I'd like to re-explore this sometime soon

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Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bomber pours a cloudy medium apricot hue, with tons of thick, foamy, eggshell white head, which leaves some nice spidery lace around the glass as it duly recedes. It smells strongly of grapefruit, orange rind, and pine needles, with some sweet background caramel/toffee malt. The taste is big and bitter right up front - palate-drying, aggressively bitter citrus and pine hops, while the fairly mute biscuit/caramel malt lies beaten and bruised by the roadside. The carbonation is average, the body a bit on the light side, a tad creamy, with some mild alcohol warming. It finishes crisp and zingy, the hops riding off without even a sympathetic backwards glance.

I must have been drinking too many balanced (read: usually underwhelming) Canadian versions lately, as this came as a bit of shock, and not-so-gentle reminder of where the term "West Coast Style" comes from when describing IPAs. That said, I lurve me some big hops, and this pleasantly assaulted my tastebuds, making me wish I had more.

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Photo of HugePlume
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the pub and brewery in beautuful Pacific City. From notes.

A- A short foamy white head atop a light tangerene orange body of ale. Tails of hop oils dangle enticingly. Quite light around the edges, almost golden.

S- Very sweet nose. Fruity, very perfumy, almost too much so. Unique.

T- Hops and booze all the way, but balances as she goes. Bitterness is dialed in to perfection, ever present, strong of hand but smooth of persuasion. The alcohol makes itself known throughout but its not offensive. A good reminder to take it easy lest you imbibe too much.

M- Very light body, light carbonation, just enough to pull some bitterness off the tongue for a very clean finish.

O- Excellent choice for a hophead, but abv keeps you to one or two at most.

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Photo of scrizo
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Orangy/ Golden look with a 2 finger head poured into a pint glass. Sticky lacing remained on the glass as I drank.

S: Sweet smell of pineapple, mangos, malt and a little piney

M: Leaves the mouth dancing. Spicy, tingly after taste is delicious

T: Tastes of sweet fruit dominate fading slowly to a spicy, piney after taste. This beer is definitely a balanced west coast IPA.

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Photo of BillyB
3.3/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a nice gold/orange with ruby highlights. Thick white head. Nice lacing.

Smell is big fruity, citrusy, cascade hop scents. Strong Grapefruit aromas.

Maltiness comes through in the taste. Providing a nice balance. Big grapefruit taste.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy. Decent carbonation.

Very smooth drinkability. Creamy, crisp and pleasant.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very light golden-amber in color -- lighter and less orange than most IPAs I've had, with a short, lacing beige head. Big nose of sticky, piney, citrusy hops - grapefruit, lemon, pine sap.

Nice hops bite, with very strong bitterness - more pine, more lemon, more grapefruit - but pithy/rindy, not sweet fruit.. Incredibly bitter -- the taste makes you think this beer would be a deep orange-amber, but there it is, as light as can be (well, for an IPA). A touch of cloying sweetness at the end of each sip pulls at the mouth.

This is a damn good beer. I'm really glad Pelican started distributing in Chicago...

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Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pleasant IPA, bitterness well under control, smooth drinker. Grapfruit-orange colour with head, hop aroma. A bit above average mouthfeel. Cascade treat, grapefruit peel and fuit.Great accompaniment with food.Balance without overt sweetness, however honeyish.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Liquid is a brilliantly clear selective yellow with a thin stream of carbonation continuously feeding the soapy ivory-tinged finger of foam riding on top. Thin sticky legs break up the lacing into small frames of micro-bubbles.

A zesty aroma of citrus, mild pine, and a little grass-flower or sage form the nose. Very slight candy coating smell as well (almost like skittles).

Rich, potent bitterness assaults the palate entry, which quickly leads to grapefruit, orange pith, and tonic water flavors, counter-balanced mid-palate by an almost cedar-like malt presence. Strong but classic NW Cascade profile. Light toast/caramel note, pursued into the rather dry finish by the hops. Well balanced, and distinctly regional.

Well carbonated, medium-light bodied, but fairly effervescent and mildly resinous lending a creamy sensation to the finish.

Good on its own, but pairs wonderfully with shellfish and fried foods.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from the 22oz bottle a bright golden orange color topped by a half-inch or so of creamy white head. Aroma is huge on tangy, floral hops - the Chinooks really shine through. Not much else, other than a faint hint of orange. Palate is more of the same - huge, dry, bitter floral hops with a little citrus twinge. A bit lacking in the malt profile, but you know what? If I want a balanced beer I'll go drink an ESB. Body is a touch thin, I suppose, but it conveys the flavor quite well. Wow, this goes down easily. I only wish it weren't quite so expensive. Maybe a keg is in order.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, bottleworks, #9 noted in marker on the cap

appearance: served in tyranena nonic pint, glowing orange body, creamy beige head with a well retained lace, well carbonated

smell: pungent hoppy aroma - citrus and sugar, pulpy grapefruit - the hop oils in this one are quite aromatic

taste: fresh hop bouquet - pink grapefruit, orange zest, lemon rind, belgian sugars, bitter hop oil. Fantastic NW IPA - need some more of this

mouthfeel: moderate bitterness, medium oily body

overall: high quality

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Photo of tempest
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I split a bomber at Bailey's Taproom... but ended up enjoying most of it. Despite the extra strength, it hardly felt like a heavier IPA. In fact, I had no problem finishing my pint. What I really loved about this beer was that it covered a lot of different hop flavors - floral to earthy to citrus - and balance them all well to make a slightly juicy, and wholly delicious IPA. Yum.

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Photo of dbossman
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden amber with a huge frothy head and okay lacing

S: Lots of tropical fruits, some grassy and weed smelling hops; a touch subdued but they play well off the grainy and bready undertones

T: Bitter--almost astringent--hops up front: citrus, pines, grass but enough of a bready sweetness comes out underneath to balance things out...a bit, but don't kid yourself this is a hop forward beer

F: Sticky, oily, balanced carbonation; medium body--really a nice mouth feel for an IPA, though perhaps a bit dry on the finish

O: A solid hop-forward IPA; my first beer from this brewery since I really got into beer and I'm glad to try it and hop to try more Pelican brews again

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India Pelican Ale from Pelican Pub & Brewery
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 273 ratings