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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 273 |  Reviews: 180
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 rmank
1.75/5  rDev -57.4%

Photo of dtx00
2/5  rDev -51.3%

Photo of BartholomewRoberts
2.83/5  rDev -31.1%
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 -30.7%
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 -29.4%
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 Dracook
3/5  rDev -27%

Photo of jtosch
3/5  rDev -27%

Photo of leftoverburrito
3/5  rDev -27%

Photo of marine1975
3/5  rDev -27%

Photo of sharpski
3/5  rDev -27%

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.15/5  rDev -23.4%
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 -23.1%
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 -21.9%
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 -20.9%
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 wembly13
3.25/5  rDev -20.9%

Photo of scruffwhor
3.25/5  rDev -20.9%
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 -20.2%
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 womencantsail
3.28/5  rDev -20.2%
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 -19.7%
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 elgiacomo
3.38/5  rDev -17.8%
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 -15.3%
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 -15.3%
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 -15.3%
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 amnesia85
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

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