Carolina India Pale Ale | Carolina Brewing Company

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Carolina India Pale AleCarolina India Pale Ale
163 Ratings
Carolina India Pale AleCarolina India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Carolina Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GCBrewingCo on 05-19-2005

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Ratings: 163 |  Reviews: 96
Reviews by NCSUdo:
Photo of NCSUdo
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As I live about 5 miles from the brewery, I always try to have their product in my fridge. Their IPA is, in my opinion, there best year-round brew, so I try always to have some on hand.

A: Pours a light copper with an OK head. I'm sure I could get more out of it with a more vigorous pour, but who has the time for that? The head dies down after a bit and leaves bits of lace in my glass.

S: Nothing overpowering, but nice none the less. A deep undertone of earthy hops, almost dirt like. Some mild fruit and maltiness up front to act as slight foils to the hops.

T: Again, not overpowering, and as far as an IPA goes, not that complex. The tastes really blend well, very balanced if I do say so. Matliness eventuall turns into a grassy, bitter hop flavor that doesn't overwhelm. Much like the smell, nothing overpowering. As far as IPAs go, this one can be considered tame, but this will contribute to its drinkabilty.

M&D: Nice mouthfeel. Really what a beer should feel like. Slight carbonation, medium body. Feels like you could just let it wander in your mouth for as long as you wanted and it would still be a nice beer. Drinkability is excellent. If ever there was an IPA that I could sip while relaxing or take to a tailgating session, this one is it.

What can I say? I've put off reviewing this beer for a while because I didn't want to do it any injustice. I still feel my review is lacking, so this is one I will definately revisit as I develope my reviewing skills. I really love this beer, probably the first I have really taken a keen liking to. Is it perfect, of course not. But it's absolutely a great beer from pretty damn good brewery right in my back yard. I can't recommend it enough if you are looking for a nice IPA for any occassion.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear rich copper with a tight one finger white head,herbal/grassy hop dominates the aromas with an underlyin sweet fruit maltiness,well rounded and balanced IPA flavor wise there is a healthy dose of grassy,herbal hop but is matched with a lightly sweet malt backbone.Fruity and herbal not to big just right makes it easy to drink and savor,one of the better North Carolina brewed IPA's in my opinion.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a pint glass at one of the saturday 'tours' at the Carolina Brewing Company itself in Holly Springs, NC.

A: Clear golden color with about 1/2" of soapy white head. Moderate lacing.

S: Great floral hops dominate the nose with faint malty undertones. Not much else gets through the hops.

T: Great balance between malt flavors and hops with a bit more of the latter. Even thought the malt flavors come through, I was surprised at how dry the brew was and how well it complimented the other flavor components. The linger has the nice hoppy bitterness that you would expect from an IPA but it doesn't over do it. Very nice.

M&D: Mouthfeel is about perfect for the style, with just the right amount of carbonation to accentuate the flavors - lighter in weight, lively bubbles, and level finish. This would be a good session beer, especially on a hot day. Nice.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine May 2007.

What's up with beer labels? Some are great, while others look like this one: an ugly lion roaring and crawling out of an egg--what the hell?

Pours a bright amber color with dark orange hues. Head is creamy, frothy, a bit clingy, and healthy looking. Big, fresh, pale malt aroma, and a nice dose of citric hops underneath; grapefruit and orange. Very smooth and creamy on the palate--almost silky with an even malt body. Touch of bicarbonate and dryness mixed with some moderate carbonation that's held back by a semi-chewy viscosity. Sweetness is thin but there, and a nice citric snap breaks through the biscuity malt character with notes of grapefruit, pine, lime rinds, and grass. The hops are indeed present, but they're soft and balancing as opposed to overpowering, as many hopheads have come to expect. Some spiciness pulls through, along with suggestions of rye and a hint of hoppy soapiness. Finish is a bit drying and leafy, with the lingering herbs wrapped in a dusting of malt powder and a residual soapy character.

Nothing that'll knock your socks off, but it's a rather solid IPA that's flavorful and highly drinkable thanks to its balance and moderate alcohol content. That soapy character isn't as bad as it sounds, but we'd prefer it not to be there, if only for the sake of a more dialed-in hop profile.

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Photo of drums4matt
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally it's time to rep my hood with this beer. 12 oz longneck into a tulip - hey, man, this one needs some respect! Perhaps I'm biased as this comes from about 20 minutes down the road from where I sit. Come to think of it this may have been my crossover to microworld.

A - What a beauty! Darker than expected, this one's nearly garnet over a bronze base color. Pours out clear with a two finger, slightly off-white head which fades after a few sips to a solid ring and a translucent white lace cap with several small, white bubbly patches from the glass's nucleation points (EDIT: this was on a HARD pour). Nice sticky lacing gets an immediate ring all the way around from the fade of the preliminary head and leaves tightly-laced spots half way down the glass.

S - It's hard for me to even get a solid, stand alone whiff as I feel compelled mid-snuff to take a gulp. Upon full sniff there's citrusy, floral, leafy hop character with a well-anchored malty sweetness. Very clean. There's just a breath of spice/alcohol present.

T - Glory goes to the hop here, but in the fashion of a DFH 60min there are very present malty notes with a bit of grain and a nice, clean hoppy finish - not at all overly drying. The hops come into the picture first with a citrusy grapefruit thing going on - a bit of sweetness whose origin is hard to distinguish; could be some sweet hop character or the malty backbone showing through or a combination thereof. The spicy flavor character of hop oil lingers on the palate. There's really a lot going on here - more than a local brew like this will often get credit for.

M - Really nice. Not palate-destroyingly acidic like many really beefy IPAs but nice and drying but still sweet, bubbly and quite pleasant.

D - What more can a locavore hop head want, really? Totally sessionable and not overly drying but enough to satisfy my hop cravings. I hesitate to bring price into this because it truly is not a factor for this beer - it can hang with any micro - but at 8 dollars to the cent (?!?!....after taxes even!) this should be every pale-blue sky loving, mountain-to-sea North Carolinian hop head's go to beer. At the same time, I'm content to keep this one a local secret for those in the know in the Triangle region.

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Photo of Kappakoosh
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of fdrich29
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Silver0rlead for the bottle.

I am a firm believer that an IPA should be smooth, easy drinking with some clean bitterness. This brew puts that all together. There's something to be said for breweries that don't try to overpower you with hops for the shock value. Carolina delivers a tasty brew you can drink without even thinking about it. I get the flavor of the beer and yet can still enjoy my dinner and taste what I'm eating.

Nice little session beer. I could drink this all day long.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle courtesy of AKSmokedPorter.

Nice-looking dark copper in color. Buff-looking white head. Lots of lace. Aromas are hefty: pine oils, stong citrus notes. Flavor is a malt-balanced hop dance that isn't too overpowering, but each flavor is clearly defined. More of a ctirus characer here, with a nice lasting bitterness. Clean and dry finish. Good mouthfeel and drinkabilty. I like a good AIPA and this one does not disappoint.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer of this beer while vacationing down on the Outer Banks was in a long neck brown bottle with a crimped cap,served in a nonic glass.

Light to medium amber color with a cloudy/hazy apperance. 1" slightly off white head quickly dissapated to just a coating with a slight amount of carbination.

Grassy/flowery with a moderate resiny pine note with light sweet malty notes. The aroma was a bit faint for an ipa.

Grassy,dried malt.astrigent with sweet toasty malt flavors,some light piney resin with citrus notes. Very nice balance finishes with a light smooth citrus peel edge.

Tangy and juicy,a touch on the light side for an ipa. One of those beers that grows on you with every sip. Good,solid drinkable ipa with have no trouble finishing the sixer i bought.

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Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appears a bright copper golden large off white cream colored head leaves fine even lacing around my pint glass. Aroma just a touch of floral hops with tame biscuit malt sweetness a touch of mineral qualities very clean and a bit subdued. Flavor is interesting some grain offness blended with a sweet rolling caramel biscuit malt sweetness with bitterness based around perfumey floral hop flavors pretty brash really. After the inital sweetness I get the grainy nut flavor with citrus peel and floral hop flavors that's about it. Mouthfeel is medium bodied a touch of slickness but by no means oily and even carbonation no complaints there. Drinkability is okay by no means poorly made this is solid drinking IPA and I'm sure I would drink more of this if it were my only hoppy selection around but I see more hop character depth in standard IPAs that I revisit regularly.

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Photo of Brenden
3.54/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Very clear and pretty much the epitome of amber, this brew's head is impressive. When it comes down from a massive height after the pour, its settling is just less than two fingers. The proud-looking eggshell white crown is heavy, craggy, thick and dense. It leaves a heavy ring at the top of the glass, and that's followed by some impressive patching. It finally settles to its final stage at half a finger. It may be malts more than anything, but it's impressive.
Malts it is. I don't get any real pungency out of this beer; in fact, it's hard to smell much of anything. When I do, I get biscuit, caramel, a bi of a tinny note, and a little citrus rind.
There's definitely more hop flavor, though. Citrus zest, as found in the nose, is followed by some pith, some leaf, and a bit of a woody dryness. This does balance well with malts, which add some caramel sweetness as a touch of a fruity note makes its way through.
This beer has a creamy flow to it with a nice crisp touch in a medium body that's almost light. Carbonation is a bit fluffy but is kept in check.

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Photo of InfernoBoss
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Carolina- IPA

Thanks to Pimpp for this 1!

A- Nice golden caramel bron with a small sticky head.
S- Nutty malt with a touch of pine hops.
T- An immediate nutty (pecan and walnut) malt with a delicate pine hop finish.
M- Creamy and malty with just a touch of oily pine bitterness, becomes slightly cloying in the end.

Overall- A simple, but easily drinkable IPA. A session beer here.

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Photo of tastybeer
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Straight up amber color, and nice soapy looking hop oily head. Straggely bits of lace move around the glass. Nose is an ultra balance of floral and earthy, pine and citrus hops smoothed into sweet toasty caramel and bready malts. Quite pleasing. Taste is layered and full. Similar variety of hops with a healthy amount of gritty, full maltiness. A very well blended well done IPA. Very enjoyable. Fairly basic, but thorough in flavors. I like the mouthfeel a lot too. There's a good solid medium, almost full body. It hold the flavors together great. The carboation holds up just right. It is moderate and lasts steadily throughout and tingles on the tongue after the finish. Nice and smoothly full too. Drinkability is great, what can I say.

Thsi took me by suprise a little. I expected it to be decent but it hs proved to be way more than just decent. Balanced to the extreme.

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Photo of Griffith
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of tdm168
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale amber with an orangish hue. There's a short lived, foamy head. The smell is citrusy hop aroma and orange peel with faint malt. The taste is malty but sweet, almost apple-like, with faint citrus, earthy hop notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, though a little thin at times, and smooth.

This beer has solid hop character, but has weak malt content to back it up. It's a little thin and underwhelming for me.

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Photo of Caesar1pup
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours with a deep golden color with orange hues. The head was off white and ended thin but was long lasting.

Aroma: The hop aroma was surprisingly low for an IPA however it was citrusy. There was nothing overly exciting about the aroma nor unappealing.

Taste: Well balanced bitterness but not as hoppy as I had hoped. A little heavy on the malt flavor for an IPA and perhaps that overpowered the hops a bit but nonetheless, the taste was very good.

Overall: Very drinkable, very good and I would definitely buy this IPA again. Without a doubt this is the best IPA that I have found to date from a North Carolina brewery. Thank you Carolina Brewing Company!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark copper in color. Short white head. The thin, just slightly sticky lace receeds leaving cobwebs and spots.

In the nose the yeast lends notes of fruit, including apricot. The hops are grassy, herbal and leafy, and perhaps a bit piney. The malt is sweetish and bready with a caramelish base.

In the mouth it's delicate, fine-bubbled carbonation caresses the tongue. Medium bodied and smooth.

The flavor basically follows the aroma, with a restrained bitterness that balances it nicely, leaving an edge of caramelish and bready sweetness.

Easy drinking. Enjoyable.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent golden amber with a half-inch creamy white head. Subtle aroma of spicy hops, robust ale yeast, and a hint of light citrus. Palate is mostly sweet malt up front, developing into a strong, piney hoppy flavor towards the end as it approaches a pleasantly bitter finish. Nice medium body is appropriate for the style, although can be a little foamy if swallowed too quickly. Overall, while not exactly a west coast hoppy monster, but it's an impressive effort nonetheless. Very drinkable, and for the price, almost an unbeatable deal.

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Photo of prototypic
2.88/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Carolina India Pale Ale pours a lighter gold color with slight orange highlights. It’s slightly hazy and has a few yeasty particles swimming about. Backlighting gives it more of an orange look. It’s capped with a soft white head that rises to just over a finger in height. Retention is on the shorter side and lacing is extremely light. It’s not bad, not quite good either.

The nose is honestly a little below average. It’s weak and desperately needs more strength. It kicks off with a bit of earthy scent, which is interesting. You don’t encounter than in an IPA often. It’s a little bread-like, as well. Hops don’t come through very strong at all. There are some faint fruity notes of orange and grapefruit. For an American IPA, that’s not a good thing. Alcohol is very light and is mostly unnoticeable. Meh.

The flavor is slightly better. Enough to warrant a score bump. The malt base is bready and biscuit-like. There’s a touch of sweet caramel, but it’s subtle. Hops have a light citrus grapefruit and orange flavor. They’re not all that strong. It is a little bitter, but not all that much. It has an interesting earthy flavor. It is somewhat reminiscent of aspirin, as well. Kind of odd. Alcohol is light and doesn’t come through strong. Finishes with a biscuity, slightly bitter flavor.

The body is lighter. Carbonation seems light and soft, but it’s too thin to attain any level of smoothness. I’m splitting the growler, but could probably finish it solo. Although, I’m not sure I’d want to.

Carolina India Pale Ale is an okay release from Carolina Brewing Company, but does very little to distinguish itself amongst a sea of great American IPAs. It’s just not all that hoppy or tasty. Needs work in that department. It’s not horrible and might be worth a try. That’s about it.

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Photo of tempest
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a pint at the Corolla Brew Pub (it's just a beer bar) for $5. The clear amber beer was on the simpler and more drinkable end of IPA's, but it was still a pleasure to drink. The nose and taste focused on bright, piney hops with a little caramel malt in the aftertaste. There seemed to be a very slight, papery oxidation note, but otherwise this was a fine IPA for drinking in the summer heat.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.02/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

pours a copper orange with a light fluffy head, light lacing and some retention.

nothing really, some light biscuit malts but thats about it.

very earthy and resin with a bitter pine. light citrus in the finish. malts are quiet. not too much going on here. lacks some depth.

nice moderate body with a carbonation bite.

ehh, not too impressed here. its not bad, i will easily drink it, but i doubt i ever seek it out.

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Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz into a pint glass.

Pours a clear golden amber with 3 fingers of smooth off-white head. A solid foamy retention leaves a creamy latticework of sticky lacing back. The aroma is fresh herbal hops that are a bit dank and earthy with spice and a touch of pine. Underneath lies a sharp zip of caramel and citrus that adds some thickness to the bouquet.

The taste is moderately hoppy with an overall spicy, herbal, and a dry bitterness that lingers on the palate for a while. This is well balanced by a silky mix of caramel, bread, and tangy citrus. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a pricklier carbonation up front that moves into a creamier and slicker feel underneath.

No complaints here. Solid all around IPA with well balanced flavors and good drinkibility. I'd have no problem making this a hoppy go-to if it was local.

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Carolina India Pale Ale from Carolina Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 163 ratings