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
Photo of Shaw
4.73/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My mother brought me a bottle of this wonderful IPA back from her trip to Oregon. Thanks, Mom!

Man, I love this beer. It's a wonderful bright -- almost glowing -- copper color with a white head that reduces to a thin layer but doesn't vanish. It leaves lovely lacing in my glass.

The smell is all hops: Floral, herbal and citrus hop aromas all mix together. This is the type of beer I associate with the West Coast. The hops used should stir the blood of beer geeks: Cascade, Magnum, Centennial.

The taste is excellent. It's quite bitter with great hop flavors and just enough malt flavors. Balanced? Nope. But who cares? Balance would only hurt this beer.

The body is chewy and bubbly. The carbonation dances over my tongue, leaving a great prickly feeling.

This is Pelican's best beer, and the only one they bottle any more. I can see why. Bottle your star. If you are a hophead, make the effort to try this beer. Pelican's Web site lists the places that sell it. They are few, but worth the trip. Seek ye India Pelican Ale, and ye shall be rewarded.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from weefisheads via trade. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head above the clear copper brew. Head stays static for a long time, with ample random bits of lace. Aroma is hops, hops, hops, lemony pine is about all, and that's just fine. Taste is just what the nose indicated, light malt sweetness upfront, quickly overcome by intense citrus and pine hops character. But the hops, while dominant, don't go over the line into "just bitter for bitter's sake", which is great. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, and drinkability is very pleasing. Another excellent NW IPA, ho hum. I could be bored by beers like this for a loooong time.

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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 Dogbrick
4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to cmaruschak for providing me with this superb IPA. Pours a bright bronze/orange color with tiny rising bubbles and a medium white fluffy head. Nice lacing streaks the glass. Big citrusy hops aroma. Medium-bodied with an excellent hops flavor. Citrus and a bit of malt and herb flavors are very well-balanced. The finish retains the flavorful hops throughout. This is probably the best "regular" IPA I have had, beating out even Alesmith and Buckeye Hippie IPA. Excellent!

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Photo of GClarkage
4.57/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11/07/05- Purchased at John's Marketplace in Portland, OR.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness dating. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Golden/orange pour with a larger creamy white head. Better than average lace abounds.

Smell- Huge and I mean huge fruity cascade hop scents. Grapefruit up the wazzo. Malt is a bit hard to smell through the hops. Awesome scent though.

Taste- Ahhh, the malt does come through in the taste though. Large grapefruit flavored hop hit. Comaparbly to Indica from Lost Coast. Medium toased malt follows through nicely.

Mouthfeel- Semi-creamy with an average carbonation level.

Drinkability- Can see how this won a gold medal. Although, there are others I like better, this one is right up there.

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Photo of doubleipa
4.82/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My wife and I both throught this was the best IPA we had on our trip to Oregon. We had this at the Pelican on a beautiful afternoon at the beach.
Wonderful hazy orange appearance with a decent head. Serving temperature was just right. An exceptional grapefruit smell that matched the wonderful hoppy taste. Hop taste lasts throughout, but also a distinct malteness. I could drink this beer all day. Unfortunately I didn't have any room left to bring some bombers back to Atlanta.

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Photo of bcm119
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz bottle, this poured a nice copper orange color with a fine white head. Aroma of caramel malt with hints of flowery esters. The nose is flowery and malty, with a solid hop bite that lasts through a clean finish. Gets a bit sweeter as it warms, but its never sticky. Nicely balanced. Its a very good IPA and its best trait is a refined unity of floral malt sweetness and hop astringency.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks erik for the sample

pours a hearty golden orange color, clear and visibly carbonated. not much head at all. thin foam. extremely floral in the nose and aromatic hops become half of the flavor with a citrus kick- initially like drinking perfume but your taste buds warm up after a sip or two. aggressive in bitterness and flavor without being chalky at all. an achievement. great caramel notes in the nose as this beer warms. serious but drinkable.

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Photo of revdrjbob
4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to David Logdson of WYeast for this brew, yet another beer unavailable in Oz. Sampled with Scottdog, Jane and Teaser.

Poured a hazy orange from the bomber bottle, thin (1cm) white head that clung to the glass all the way down, great lacing. The haze could be chill haze, as it cleared as the beer warmed.

Huge malt and hop aroma, wow. An almost candy like malt character, with hop aromas of citrus, pine, and that definate Cascade aroma to boot. Intense hop follows, with that big aroma of specialty malt aswell.

Great tasting brew. Malt, hop, hop, an intense bitterness that lingers long after you swallow. A hint of fruit cake(?) like malt, citrus and pine from the hops again, and an unending bitterness that make this beer a great drinker, and something I'd like to try again.

I did sample this brew first at the AIBA in 2004 when they picked up Grand Champion, and it's easy to see why.

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.57/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In comparison to the bottled version, Pelican’s India Pelican Ale is notably improved on tap. The grapefruit-citrus hops evince clarity and purpose. The aroma dances upwards like a genie from a bottle. And all the accoutrements – the ghostly lace, the slender film of head, the more-than-casual mintiness to the aroma and taste – align in beatific harmony. The body is characteristically clear and 24 carat gold.

Gives new meaning to the phrase “balance of power.”

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

Thanks go out to BA cmaruschak for the chance to sample this tasty west coast rarity. This would be a regular in my rotation if available.

Appearance: Crystal clear brick red pour with a sticky white cap. The cap fades slowly and rings the glass nicely.

Smell: Nice balance of citrus and carmel. Each one exerts itself at certain points but neither one overpowering the nose. Very pleasant.

Taste: Nice balance of carmel, citrus hops, some tea-like hop bitterness, as well as some flowery hop notes here and there as the beer warms. It finished on the sweeter side of things with almost a flowery after taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and slighty slick with a nice tight and dry finish.

Drinkability: A definite challenge for the palate. This is a great beer but I would pair it with some spicier foods to balance out the strong citrus flavor of this big beer. Strongly recommended.

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Photo of mjohn27603
4.59/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purhcased direct from the brewpub and transported back via airplane to Michigan. Pours a dark golden color. Absolutely clear in the glass with no impurities or chill haze whatsoever. Smell is perfect. Aroma is full of citrusy sweet hops smell. Head contrasts well with a very white appearance against the golden colored beer. Taste is a treat. Very sweet citrusy grapefruit flavor without too much bitterness. The sweetness rings off the tongue in a delightful aftertaste. After trying Tsunami Stout on tap vs. this in the bottle I'm convinced this is the star of Pelica Pub. More sips reveal a bit more bitterness. This is nearly a perfect IPA. One of the best beers I've had in a long time.

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Photo of germaniac
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby tinted orange, blasting the immediate area with the citrusy sweet scent that is the calling card of a good NW IPA.

The hop bite sinks it's teeth in and doesn't let go till the end, slipping in a light citrus taste along the way to relieve the monotony.

Still manages to be refreshing despite the bitterness, though.

Since my taste buds are one step from overload, a follow up pint is pretty much out of the question for now.

musical accompianment - Corrosion of Conformity- In The Arms Of God

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Photo of charlatan
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought this on-tap from the Basement Pub in SE Portland. My proper (that's imperial to you) pint had a grand copper hue, and a head which stuck around for a while, leaving a little lacing.

It had a strong citrus smell, and the flavour for once confirmed my nose's suspicions. This is a potent IPA (the brewery's website claims 7.5% abv) with a definite accent on the citrus over bitterness. This is dirty red ruby grapefruit all the way. I happen to love grapefruit, so, coupled with a pleasant well carbonated feel, this makes for a grand pint.

It doesn't score a particularly high mark for drinkability because although it slides down smoothly I don't need more than one proper pint of it.

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Photo of freed
4.59/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My previous tasting of this beer wasn't that great so I think I may have acquired a bad bottle or had a really off night. I've recently bought a couple more of these from the brewery and I can't be happier with the quality.

The pour is a crisp copper with an excellent bright white cap of foam. As the beer is sipped, it leaves a nice lacing down the glass.

The aroma of just the foam is nice, but once it settles down, the freshness and wholeness of the hop aroma on this is astounding. Primarily generous citrusy smells, you get the sensation you've just broken the glands of a recently cut grapefruit. There's a mild bit of grass/pine on the back end, but the overwhelmingly attractive aroma is quite the lure.

The taste is equally pleasing though not halo wearing. Its got a robust enough malt body that the gamut of hop tastes have a platform on which to stand. There are tart bitters, sweet bitters, citrusy bitters and nearly acrid bitters. Its really a beer you need to be prepared for, but it really is a showcase of hops.

The mouth-feel is something that might require being a hophead to understand. Its all over the taste spectrum but leaves a tart and sour flavor that requires you to drink more.

Though it would be a rare meal that I would pair this with, its delightful on its own. Be careful what you follow it with though. You're likely to be disappointed.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my favourite pubs to visit in Oregon and their IPA is pretty darn good. Mid amber in colour this is a hoppy offering that has the body to back it up. The finish is bitter but this beer maintains its drinkabiltiy by providing a decent balance. Not world class but worth the search.

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

Ok beer bought while camping near Newport,OR.
Comes in the usual plain brown Pelican bomber.
Very nice looking ale when poured, its slighly darker than the usual IPA..almost amber with a huge creamy/frothy off white head
Wonderful spicy hppy aroma.Very pungent but extra fresh.
Mm this is a "hop heads"IPA..very strong Cascade hop presence..though there is a noticable malty background..but really its hops,hops, hops on this baby.
Very nice and smooth on the palate,nice warm after taste.
Nice and drinkable especiually after drinking "swill".

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.82/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Rich rustic orange, lightly hazy. The cap is pale toffee in color and is average in size despite a vigorous pour. Even so, it's in no hurry to deflate and remains humped and rocky in the center when it eventually does so. As well, it leaves an abundant quantity of high-quality lace on the glass.

There's a lovely Cascade-soaked aroma that has some power behind it. When the cap is down to a thin film, it becomes even more hoppily pungent, spritzing aerosolized grapefruit zest and pine sap up my nose. Well done Pelican.

The flavor is enjoyable--especially if you love hops--but isn't out of this world amazing. I don't run across beer like this often, but I think its major fault (if I can even call it that) is that it's insufficiently supported by malt and is, consequently, overbalanced toward hops. It's a fine line sometimes with heavily-hopped IPAs, but in this case the hoppiness is too sharply bitter and is borderline harsh.

The finish is long, tangily grapefruity and quite bitter (and I'm someone whose doesn't perceive bitterness in the vast majority of well-hopped IPAs). Recent reviews seem to agree with my impressions, while reviews from several years ago appear to be describing a different beer altogether. Recipe change perhaps? The body is acceptable, but more malt would give it the full creaminess that it needs.

It's rare when I call for more malt in a IPA, but India Pelican Ale (IPA, get it?) is one of the few that would benefit greatly from just such an addition. It's simply too sharply, tongue tweakingly bitter. That's a shame because those Cascade hops, with a little reining in, would be some kind of delicious.

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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 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 beerguy101
4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange gold color. Medium head. Aroma is grapefruity and floral hops. A full-bodied IPA. The hops dominate in this beer. There is some subtle malt sweetness going on here. The hops are mostly grapefruity, but there is also some floralness and pineyness as well. Excellent example of a Pacific NW IPA. Smooth taste with a dry finish, Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is smooth and dry. Aftertaste is bitter. Etched/painted beer bottle.

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Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bemused deep amber color, the head is planetary in size, spumescent in texture, a winsome light beige in color and after desiccation, a thick glutinous sheet of lace is left behind to hide the glass. Sweet floral aroma dominates the nose, citrus crisp and fresh, quite a treat to the olfactory senses with a thickly malt sweet start, the top a bit thin for my liking. Finish has a delectable hop spiciness, the acidity tolerable, quite dry and the hop bitterness stays to the very end, a middle of the road IPA, and quite drinkable.

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Photo of marc77
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Crystal clear light copper hue. Covered by a roughly textured, loosely bubbled but persistent head that leaves soapy lace. The aroma is a balanced, placid combination of a pine tip laced grapefruit hop nose along with light caramel sweetness and mildly grainy, dextrin malt. Overall impression of brown sugar sprinkled pink grapefruit aromawise. Slightly buttery, toffeeish caramel sweetness immerses the palate initially, then is ensued and rinsed by moderate citrus zest tinged hop bitterness. Hop bitterness becomes briefly sharp and pith like mid palate, but is then immediately tapered and contrasted by a resurgence of malt, this time of a lightly bready, basemalt and dextrin presence. Moderately bodied overall, but soft, full, and approaching creamy in mouthfeel. Well calculated attenuation. Finishes cleanly bittersweet, with a pleasant, coating viscosity along with ghostly tangerine. Although not assertive in hop character, India Pelican Ale possesses fine balance. It straddles the hazy boundary between American pales and west coast IPAs. Tasty and highly quaffable.

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