India Pelican Ale | Pelican Pub & Brewery

180 Reviews
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.

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Reviews: 180 | Ratings: 273
Photo of diablo14
1.12/5  rDev -72.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

this beer just won best overall beer a the australian international beer awards and it merely backed up my belief that most people have no clue about what an IPA is supposed to be. i heard people outside raving about this brew and i told them they had rocks in their heads. i told them if they wanted a real IPA get sammy smiths or trafalgars. this brew was just tragic.

im only giving the appearance a 3 because it looked like an average IPA. darker golden color, some feirce bubble action and solid head formation. but everything else was terrible. as soon as it was poured all i could smell was something like a garage full of MJ. the taste was overpowering in the hops stakes, and very dry and biting. i said to my drinking companion, if i wanted something like this, i'd just go and have a few bongs. what really annoyed me is that the overuse of hops still didnt mask the fact it was a very dismal beer behind it, with barely any of the malt character an IPA is supposed to have. it was just hops hops hops. i was completely disgusted with this effort.

i know our u.s BA's love their hops, but i tasted plenty of american brews that night that had excellent hops backed by a very fine beer. this was just a dismal attempt to brew a 'micro' for the masses that ended nothing more than a very very ordinary sellout. i wouldnt drink this if it was the last beer on earth. if you want a beer to showcase great hops, get something from kent or yorkshire, not this rabble of a brew.

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Photo of BartholomewRoberts
2.83/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Overly aggressive dry hopping ruined the experience for me. Grassy, abrasive aftertaste. No subtly. Gave me indigestion. FYI to contemporary brewers: hucking hop pellets into partially fermented wort is not the height of your craft. Beautiful bottle art. If only the contents possessed a comparable level of understated balance.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.85/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bomber into a glass. Purchased at John's Marketplace in Portland, shipped down by ramnuts. Thanks Frank!

A: Pours a slightly cloudy amber / orange body with a huge, fluffy off-white head that fills most of the 1L glass. It collapses into a thick clump on top of the brew, and leaves substantial sheets of lacing and register marks down the glass.

S: Lots of citrus fruit, some earthy notes, and a light biscuit malt profile. Not very pungent.

T: It starts off with a nice citrus note, mostly grapefruit, but then starts tasting more like orange rind and transitions cleanly into a very earthy profile. Progresses into a nutty, toffee-like, and caramelly flavor. Finishes slightly bitter and grassy, with just the tiniest hint of resin (but otherwise a clean aftertaste).

M: Light-to-medium bodied, with somewhat high carbonation that makes it pretty crisp. It isn't very sticky and doesn't coat the mouth too much, but it's somewhat oily. Well-masked ABV though.

D: Pretty good balance, but the heavy earthy flavor weighs down after a while. It cost me $7 to get this bad boy, even in Portland (can't find this in the Bay Area yet). If I saw it again I'd just skip it. ramnuts has been working very hard to impress me with Pelican's lineup, but so far I'm 0 for 3 here... Sorry Frank!

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Photo of maximum12
2.9/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to pwnzilla for this bomber, I've been looking for this elusive IPA for a while. 22 oz. bottle poured into two glasses.

Appropriately orangish IPA color, clear/ly filtered. Nose offers a gentle combo of citrus, piney bitterness, & a too-healthy portion of malts.

India Pelican Ale isn't quite what I was looking for. This beer is covered with earthy, black-dirt hops that leave an aftertaste like a windy day after plowing the farm. A tang of pine is the only distinct flavor. Adequate bitterness, underhanded sweetness. Half a bomber might be a chore.

I'm bummed because I was looking forward to this one, & it barely reaches the level of a pedestrian IPA (my wife hates it). Completely forgettable, light on flavor, unimpressive aftertaste. I can only hope this is an off bottle. Comes up short of mediocre.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.15/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a transparent light gold color with a nice white cap

S: A nice hop boquet of citrus, light pine and flowers

T: The nose outmuscles the flavor and lets me down. While there is a nice, clean smooth tropical fruit/citrus taste it is not as dominant as the nose would have you believe. Has a clean taste with just a tad of hop oils

M: Medium body

O: An average IPA

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.16/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of drabmuh. Served in a Bruery tulip during a nice Wednesday night get together.

Pours a moderate golden-apricot color with a good white head and a bit a lacing as it moves down the glass. The nose is pretty plain with a bit of light grainy malt plus some very mild citrus character from the hops. A bit of pine in there as well. The flavor is equally lacking with a bit of a hop presence and some mild booze in there as well. Feel is medium with a bit of a dryness, though not too much bitterness. Drinkability is decent enough, though not likely something I'd come back to on my own.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.21/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5


Received in a trade with mykie73, thanks! Bomber into my Moonlight pint glass.

A: Pours a perfectly clear bright golden orange with a monstrous off white head that lingers for a long, long time, and leaves thick sheets of lacing all over the glass when it finally recedes.

A: Floral with perfume notes. Fruit notes are of grapefruit and orange, flesh and rind, and there's a hint of pine. Malt is caramel in character, and does well in balancing the hops. I'm not sure of the bottle date on this, but the hops are quite muted.

S: Upper moderately bitter and quite dry, with grapefruit rind and orange pith notes. Some pine resin is noticeable, but the hops are mostly grapefruit and orange with a touch of sweetness midpalate. The malt doesn't have much influence in the flavor. Again, somewhat muted and mostly bitter without much backing hop flavor.

M: Medium body with good carbonation. Crisp, sticky, and dry mouthfeel.

Overall: Not sure how old this is, but it comes off as bitterness without much flavor or aroma. There are so many better options I'd recommend skipping this one.

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Photo of harrymel
3.25/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled in July sometime as indicated by the "7" written on the cap in Sharpie. Purchased at the brewery.

A: pours an orange ale with brilliant clarity and about a single finger of toasted cream foam. This falls slowly to a quilt of the same, and is consistently served via a central column of evident bubbles. Ropey lace.

S: Pine, grapefruit rind, resin, some sage and bitter orange. Hops dominate over the biscuit malts under there somewhere.

T: My initial thought is there is a little bit of soil in this beer - has a flavor like raw dirt or the aftertaste I get when I eat a carrot without washing it first. Plenty of bitterness, some alcohol, sweet malts with a hint of powdered sugar flavor.

M: A bit heavy for the style with interesting carb: the carbonation is quite high when it hits the palate, but this dies out quite quickly and the beer then feels thin and nearly flat. Interesting; not sure I dig it.

O: Interesting take on a style that makes or breaks a brewery it seems. I like the nose, the look is good, but the taste and flavor leave something to be desired for me. Definitely unique and therefore worth seeking, but I won't be seeking a second time.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.25/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a medium copper amber with a quick spongey, off-white head. Some orange zest and light sweetness toasted malts mixed in to the aroma. The taste starts bitter and lasts throughout until the next sip. Bitter orange peel, and sweet toasted, biscuity malts. But the hops trump the malt in the end. An almost metallic ping from the heavy hand of hops in this palate. Not bad, but a little hard to finish.

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Photo of Thrasher
3.28/5  rDev -20%
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 womencantsail
3.28/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Aaron for sending this one.

A: The beer pours a clear golden color with a big white head.

S: Pine and citrus peel hop notes are present right away. Plenty of grapefruit and some mild grass and floral notes are also present, as is a bready malt aroma.

T: Quite bitter with a very green flavor, almost like undercooked potatoes. Slightly woody with lots of grass and citrus peel. Not as much citrus flavor as I had anticipated, given the aroma.

M: Medium in both body and carbonation.

O: A pretty strange flavor, and I wasn't the hugest fan.

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Photo of BillyB
3.3/5  rDev -19.5%
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 elgiacomo
3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, appears to be bottled in April of 2012 (a "4" written in sharpie on the cap). Served at around 40F.

Pours clear amber with a two finger off-white head that leaves some decent lacing behind and holds a small creamy cap.

Aroma starts with some pineapple and mango, then moves more towards floral hops and caramel malt. Good, but not great strength.

Flavor features floral and resinous hops, a bit of fruit and citrus, decent bready/caramel malt backbone. A hint of sweetness in the middle, but finishes with nice bitterness and a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, oily, good carbonation.

The first sniff was great, but then became more subdued after that. Pretty good IPA, but not blowing me away...

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Photo of Docer
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Snagged my first bottle of this.. have never been to their pub. Bottle seemed a little expensive.. and I can see why..

- Dark caramel clear ale, some yellow... frothy white head a few fingers deep... even dumped a bunch accidently on a heavy pour.. fluffy white head.. slight lacing.

- Huge hop scent right at opening the bottle. Up close this is a hop bomb... pine, resin of hop... and roasty burnt hop... and hops. Slight sweet malt and grain... but this is all hops.

- Flavor is a rich sweet syrupy cascade hop.. like throwing fresh hops into a juicer... way too hop forward for my taste... and not my favorite kind of hop... but I could manage it. Reminded me of the overplayed 21st amendment IPA.. just too strong and cooked. Almost had a cotton-candy aftertaste.

- Very sticky and oily... but not overly bitter.. just sweet stomach turning hop madness.

- Drinkable, and I can see how this would be a favorite of a huge hop head that really likes cascade hops. I for one like a more bitter hop without all the sweetness and grassy roasted notes.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into HOTD tulip. Thanks for sharing, AutumnBeerLove.

A: Pours a clear golden color with a greasy, bubbly, off-white head that held decent retention.
S: I get notes of biscuit malt, honey sweetness and pine hops. Not super complex.
T: Piney hops, pale malts with a touch of grass and resin. Flavors are cleanish but not very smooth. A bit on the malty side. Light bitterness lingers.
M: Low carbonation, tingly slightly harsh mouthfeel, and a medium and greasy body.
O: An average ipa. I love that I got to try this beer but it’s not all that memorable.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer was just OK, I think I liked it slightly more than my confederates but overall it is a disappointment.

Beer is amber and mostly clear. Small head of small bubbles, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is malty with some pine hops in there, smells fine.

This beer is more malty than hoppy, this is it's primary problem. Lead off is malt with some moderate bitterness in the back but a clear lack of hops in the midpalate. I don't know, I doubt I would have it again.

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Photo of robsee
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank on tap a week ago at Bailey's taproom in Portland.

A solid and thoroughly enjoyable classic example of the style.

Good head, nice golden color - good floral aromatics that were appopriate but certainly not to any extreme. I have an easier time describing what it isn't - not overly dank, not overly grapefruit, not overly bitter. Hits the right notes but I do like my IPA's more extreme than this example.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours thin with a light copper hue to it. Very clean and refined with small bubbles rising to the surface. Head is a healthy ½ inch of oatmeal colored bubbles.

S: Citrusy notes with a hint of red wood bark. Decent balance of orange, grapefruit and musty old lime peel.

T: Starts off mildly sweet which gets walloped by a strafe of bitterness. The sweetness is mostly comprised of sugar snap peas, OJ and melon…but it doesn’t last long before the bitterness sets in. Really tears across the palate, destroying most of the other flavors in the process. When it finishes, massive resin flavors are left across the tongue of the dull pine varietals. Finishes with solemn red apple and minor metallic tones.

M: Medium body, somewhat thin.

D: A bit off kilt for my tastes. Not even sweetness to counterbalance the rigid bitterness.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.51/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Golden in color, clarity slightly obscured. 2/3" white head, very soft. A little bit of grapefruit in the aroma, old school hops. Not super aromatic.

Good dry body, hearty bitterness and alcohol warmth. Cold Oregon coast stuff. Lacks sweetness or syrupy aspect from crystal malt that too many 7%+ ipas fall into. A little bit of pine in the mouthfeel.

Bomber format and price kinda sucks for a beer like this.

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Photo of beertunes
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pored into straight pint glass. Poured a clear, clean, bright, light gold color with about an inch of white head that had good retention and lacing.

Bright pine hop scents are the first thing that hits the nose. Behind that comes a solid shot of citrus fast on its heels. There were also some floral notes dancing around in the background. I didn't pick up any grain or malt scents, and I would have liked some for foundation and balance. On the tongue, things are pretty much the same, although the citrus flavors dominate over the pine, which showed up mostly in the middle of the tongue. The beer had a very bitter grapefruit finish that lingered a long time, a bit too long for my tastes. The malt profile was virtually non-existent. Again I would have liked some malt foundation to support all those strong hops.

The body was exactly average, for the thinner bodied of the West Coast-style IPA's. Drinkability was very good, my 22 went down quickly and I would have liked another, but sadly this wasn't a six-pack, which would have allowed me to have another brew. Overall, a very good example of this style, perhaps not in the very top percentile, but not far away either. This is a must try brew if you see it.

Dear Pelican, please put this (and the rest of your brews) into six-packs. The 22 is a terrible format. A sixer of this would have a spot in my regular rotation, 22s only come home out of necessity and I rarely buy a second bottle of a beer when it's only in 22s.

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Photo of scootpolute
3.62/5  rDev -11.7%
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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Photo of mjl21
3.64/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. No abv or bottling info is given. The number 4 is handwritten on the bottlecap. Purchased from Bear Creek Beers in Medford, OR for $6.70.

A-A beautiful looking beer. Pours a clear amber with lots of orange shining through. Starts with a huge 2 finger off white head that dissipates into a nce 3/4 finger level. This one has great head retention. Lots of bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom. Some good streaks of lace are left.

S-When first cracked open, a faint dusty/musty smell is detected. Caramel malt comes trhough as it warms. There is some citrus in there, but the malt holds it back. After being in the glass for about 30 minutes, the citrus finally makes an appearance, but is not strong.

T-The caramel malt is very noticeable when this one first hits my mouth. The citrus flavor hits midlevel and it is primarily grapefruit from the Cascade hops that are used. I also get some pineapple, mango, and orange. There is a nice level of bitterness at the end.

M-Medium bodied and smooth from the lingering head. The carbonation makes it crisp and it finishes quite dry.

D-The higher abv is well hidden. It reminded me more of an English IPA meets one from east of the Rockies.

I feel a tad let down by this one. This is a brewery that I have been excited to try for a few years. In fairness, I don't know how fresh this bottle is due to the brewery not putting a date on the bottle. I plan on seeking this one out on tap when I am in Oregon. I have a feeling the scores will be higher.

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Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 650 mL bomber purchased at Liquid Solutions.

A: The ale is a crisp, clear amber color, betraying equal parts orange and red. The head is quite huge on pour, weighing in at almost 3 fingers. As the head recedes, it leaves a strong lacing.

S: The aroma is piney, resiny and thick with hops. Frankly, the intensity of the pleasantly surprised me.

T: The IPA has a subtle, almost nondescript malt base, somwhat grainy and biscuity. The hops are the real focal point in the beer. They are big and spicy with a thick pine element. There is an additional citrus component present as well, adding some tangerine and apricot to the profile. The hops are big initially but quickly taper off to a bitter hop finish.

M: The hops are big and vibrant but fall a little short at the end of a sip. The profile is fairly big though.

D: The ale is easily drinkable, showing a big hop profile that grabs you early.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle courtesy of vwcraig, thank you sir. Bright orange color, decent lacing but a short head. This smells malty with a bit of spicy fruit. The flavor is crazy like flowers with a bit of bitter at the finish. This was cool but either I had an older bottle or this needs more hops...

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Photo of Florida9
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazey amber in color. A good two fingers of small bubbled head reduces down to about a 1/4" of creamy foam. No lacing. Smell is a little muted. There is some yeast and light malt along with dry citrus hops. Flavor is malty and bitter. There is some citrusy hops, but caramel malt predominates followed by a bitter finish. Mouthfeel is a little creamy.

Overall a decent beer. Nothing too exciting, but better than average.

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India Pelican Ale from Pelican Pub & Brewery
4.1 out of 5 based on 273 ratings.
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