Wachusett California Style IPA | Wachusett Brewing Company

Wachusett California Style IPAWachusett California Style IPA
41 Ratings
Wachusett California Style IPAWachusett California Style IPA

Brewed by:
Wachusett Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Patrick on 03-21-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 41 |  Reviews: 33
Reviews by degerbah:
Photo of degerbah
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly orange cloudy into the bottom of my snifter. The aroma is very strong and primarily of flowery flavored hops. The hops contribute to an overall dry taste. The aftertaste sticks around for a long time, but its stil a good IPA. I'd say its probably a little bit better than Sierra Nevada, but not as good as Stone IPA.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #43 (Aug 2010):

This head of towering heights reaches past the rim of the glass and well above its hazed orange-amber color. Citric, mint and wildflowers from the hops with a dusting of malt are present in the nose. Its crispness drops off quickly. The hops round out the flavor and add a slightly sharp bitterness. The decent malt base seems to hold together, then finishes fruity and bitter with a trail of yeast. This beer is not half bad, even though its crispness is lacking and the malt does not really keep up at all. It's hard to compare this to its West Coast counterparts.

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber, $5 at the Spirit Haus, in Amherst, Ma. Comes w/o freshness/bottling info. Pours typical looking hazed honey amber. Head starts large, loose and clumpy, then goes all fine, tiny bubble, and silky, leaves nice looking fine lace.

Not getting much in the nose, just a hint of hops.

Pleasant enough ale, but "California Style" its really not. Not giving me much of a hop presence/crunch. Tastes more like a liter summery pale. Better IPAs out there

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Photo of tigg924
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, gold in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: pine and citrus hops

Taste: pine and citrus hops with some grass and malt at the end

Mouthfeel: light bodied, medium carbonation, slightly bitter start that gets more bitter

Drinkability: I am not an IPA guy but Wachusett nailed this one. Probably my favorite from them and they need to make sixes of this. This beer has multiple layers. It is almost like they took a nice hoppy beer and put it on top of a great German pilsner. Once the hop "shock" wears off I am still left with an amazing beer that still has great hops. Love the hop profile..Kudos to Wachusett.

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Photo of virinow
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of boatshoes
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this in a very nice package from nonstick in our most recent trade, along with its big brother Larry DIPA. Thanks Chris!

Appearance- Pours a nice shade of medium amber with lots of beading carbonation in the body and a solid finger and a half or so of puffy head. Very good retention on the head as well and it sticks around for awhile before dying back to a sheeting across the top. Mild amount of lacing left as well.

Smell- They weren't joking about this being a California style IPA if the nose is any indication. Lots of big notes of grapefruit rind and orange creamsicle in particular. Very fruity smelling hops with just a touch of piney hop resins on the finish of the nose. Definitely a lot of tropical fruits though.

Taste- Not quite as big on the fruit flavors as I was initially expecting from the nose, but I still get a solid amount of grapefruit rind up front along with more orange. Mid palate, a fair amount of bready malt comes through, but it finishes cleanly with a mild touch of bitterness. Malt is well integrated and not overdone, very solid.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is nice, slick, and creamy with very good levels of carbonation. Drinkability was excellent as well. This went down really easy and didn't hit me too hard with the 5.8% ABV. Knocked back a bomber without a problem.

Overall, I really enjoyed this IPA. A very solid and flavorful offering from Wachusett. Would definitely keep this stocked in the fridge if I had access to it.

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Photo of Guardian
2.86/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Disclaimer: I am NOT a fan of IPA style, but I have done my best to be unbiased.

A- Very light yellow hue. small amount of head.

S- It smells like a pine tree branch mixed with alcohol. Of course, I think all IPAs do.

T- Strong...with a very strong aftertaste. I found I had to choke it down.

M- Harsh. The rice crispy style of beers.

D- I could drink one. No more than that.

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Photo of mikey711
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just wrote my review and the computer froze so this review will be short. Its a mix of orange and yellow and perfectly clear. the head pours thick, but does not retain. It is not very aromatic but it has some floral notes followed by a bit of earthiness and then scallions. Taste wise it is much like it smells, but there is a bit more caramel that comes through than in the nose. Slightly rough around the edges. Easy to drink bbut not a favorite. Not really sure how this is a california IPA

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Photo of Kegatron
3.09/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with several stiff fingers of dirty off-white colored head. This retains with a tight half finger that holds fast across the surface and leaves a rich and frothy coating of sticky lacing all down the sides of the glass. The aroma is floral and leafy, with some sweet underlying fruit flavors and toasted graininess. This smells flavorful enough but there just isn't a huge amount of richness here to the nose.

The taste has a bit more oomph going on with it, with bitter citrus peel and some lesser feeling grapefruit character giving this some bite. Light tropical fruit notes hang on the edges of the profile and do most of the balancing here, as the malts are more grainy than sweet across the back of the palate. This finishes dry and pithy but not overly so. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy on the edges of the feel but then gets a little more crisp on the tongue as this moves around. The overall body is fairly soft and oily in the mouth though.

This is another hoppy offering from Wachusettthat I thought might have been out of date but it's looking like other reviewers shared the same thoughts with me on this me. While the flavors are there, this just lacks a robustness to the flavors that would have helped get this to the next level. Not horrible by any means and this still drank decently enough with my dinner this night but this one just doesn't live up to it's potential.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to mikesgroove for sharing this one at Hobo Hangout #9 while we ate dinner. Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured yellow-orange with a two finger slightly off-white head that subsided to half a finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, and fruity hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, fruit, citrus, and fruity hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. Based on the aroma I wasn't really expecting much if I am honest. However, the flavor on this one was quite nice and refreshing. The citrus on the flavor really did wonders as far as livening this one up. Granted this one still wasn't overly impressive for the style which hurt its score in the end.

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Photo of bum732
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale orange, nice dense creamy sticky head. Smells of bright citrus, lemon, some cannabis, light bready malt, slightly floral. Tastes of slightly bready malt, big citrus hops throughout. Very neutral finish leads to slight hoppy resin finish. Sweet hoppy up front with a light neutral finish.

A really solid IPA, almost like the little sister of "Larry". Loved the hops and loved the soft bready notes, very much like a west coast IPA. I hope Wachusett continues to put out beers like this.

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Photo of akorsak
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to nonstick for this bomber.

A: The IPA is a golden orange color, bright and cheery on this sunny day. A vigourous pour yielded three fingers of craggy head that laced nicely as it receded.

S: The IPA has a crisp nose that is heavy with grapefruit aromas. Pine comes through in the follow-up, adding strength and syrupy oils. Pale malts, bready as they are, don't have much to say here.

T: The piney hops, thick and resiny, register their presence immediately. The bite isn't as strong as you'd think, instead the ale takes a more subtle route. The hops are fleeting, especially when the ale is cold. Although a sweet berry flavor does linger around before the ale gets too warm. The bitterness is, despite my earlier protestations to the contrary, a little numbing on my tongue. The ale feels a great deal stronger than the 5.8% on the label.

M: The mouthfeel is hoppy, augmented with a bit of bready malts. The hops start off weak before picking up in intensity. My tongue was numb near the end.

D: A nearly sessionable IPA that packs a rich flavor. A noble concept that works here.

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Photo of seanh99
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of u2carew
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber.
A) Pours with a two finger off white head, that has great retention and settles just a little bit. Clear body with active upward carbonation. Copper in color. Lacing is fairly sticky.
S) Very aromatic, probably Cascade hops. Subtle sweet caramel malt just under the hops bouquet.
T) The mix of malt and hop bitterness upfront weighs a bit more on the hop side. Midway through the hops mellow allowing some of the malt tones to push through - Caramel, some toffee. Grapefruit. Hints of black pepper. Finishes bitter with lingering floral notes.
M) Fizzy. Light body, I expected the malts to weigh in on the body. Slightly dry.
D) A well crafted rendition of a West Coast brew by an East Coast brewery.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another one shared with calton while we ate dinner, we needed a bit of a break and this one did it nicely!

nice three finger high head of white foam that hung around for a good few minutes before finally settling down to a thing pillow of white which lasted till the end of the session.

not as heavy as I would have hoped it would be. To be honest a touch light overall with the aroma. Light floral citrus hops dominating everything here, in fact really not much else coming though at all. lots of sugar mingling in as well, sweetening it up and showing the malty side that was laying underneath. As it warmed, some light pine like notes arrived, as well as some earthy tones to show the way through.

little light for an IPA for me at least. There was some very nice floral citrus right up front which welcomed you and brought you on board for the rest of it, this faded quickly and was replaced by a solid back of light earthy grains and a touch of fresh grass Nice crisp finish offering a really nice dry bittering feeling on it. The long flavors of citrus were around for a good while and were nicely sweetened up toward the end.

Overall it appeared that it was just not living up to what I had wanted In it. The flavors were good, it was just that everything was way too light.

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Photo of Jodio
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is as Californian as Boy George and Elton John.

Paired with a sunny Sunday and watermelon. Translucent golden orange. Rocky white head leaves thick retention and foamy lace patches.

At first pop a Californian hop aroma of orange creamsicle, soft pine citrus, and orangey pepper (I get this from Columbus usually). That quickly fades to a very English tobacco spice cracker malt. Taste cantaloupe, melon, grapefruit pith and tobacco spice laced resin interplay with a buttery biscuit malt. Not that hoppy. Lacks the big citrus hop character that I would anticipate.

It's not bad but hugely disappointing given the beer's name.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.48/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick, but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of grassy hops, fruity citrus and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out a little sweet with flavors of citrus and caramel followed by a strong but not over-powering hops bitterness. The malt character is thin for the style but it's hearty enough to provide a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, decent kick, excellent representation of style, this is a very good IPA with plenty of flavor and substance to allow you to drink it for a whole evening without having to look for anything else.

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Photo of jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Larry is such a great IPA, so let's see how their Cali style is. Enjoy by July, 2010 so still pretty fresh.

A: Pours a large fluffy white 2+ finger head into my oversized snifter. It fades semi quickly over the hazy and murky orange goo looking almost copper colored beer.

N: Some strange stuff going on. Get a little fresh musty wet hop, light aromatic hops, some tropical fruit I even get some mango with the pineapple and grapefruit, somewhat juicy aroma. WIth that is some strange musty dry aromas.

T: Weird also! It has a lot of fruit and juiciness. Not as much hop as I expected, and actually quite a bit of a malty taste. Some toasty malts at that, weird. Some hops come through, a little citrus and bitterness, slight musty hop. Some chewy tastes, almost a nougat. Some light fruit, a slight peach, more mango. Some strong bitterness too, and I think I got a hint of banana.

M: Medium to lighter body with tons of carbonation.

F: Dries off a bit and gets pretty bitter, as the accentuate each other as usual. The finish is more of a typical IPA but with some saison qualities. It has a lot of a dry bitter and malty slightly barnyard saison like taste on the finish. WIth that is some bitterness that hits at the finish and fades slightly quickly, leaving a nagging weird bitterness and musty hop flavors.

Overall I was pretty disappointed by this one. Larry is such a great beer, and I would hardly call this a Cali style. At the same time it has lots of weird fruit flavors and saison qualities. Not quite what I was expecting at least.

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Photo of smcolw
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm curious: What makes this a "California" style IPA. Did they use lager yeast, but ferment at ale temperatures, like California Common beer? The bottle states that this is brewed in honor of the IPA's from Cali.

Pours a cloudy gold color with touch of orange. Solid dense near pure-white head. Leaves lots of chunky lace on the glass.

Well blended aroma of malt and hops. The bitterness is far more muted than most IPA's. Still, it's appealing whiff of grapefruit and light pine.

The taste is much more bitter than the smell would indicate. Leaves a harsh aftertaste that is reminiscent of sucking a hop pellet. Where's the malt? A hop-head beer from beginning to end. The body is thinner than some, but not a major distraction. Overall, a decent entry into the IPA world.

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Photo of kbeals
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

portia99 sent this one to me in a fantastic trade!

A- Shocking bright orange in color with a good amount of haze. A finger of creamy, eggshell white head sit atop the brew leaving nice lacing. Good head retention also.

S- Striking notes of grapefruit and pine. A bit of sweetness lingers in the background. The IPA is a style that's so mastered nowadays it's hard to find one that really stands out, they're all just really good.

T- Once again, bitter citrusy and piney hops. The sweetness seems to come through quite a bit here, almost too sweet for an IPA.

M- Lighter body with good amounts of prickly carbonation.

D- The sweetness hurts this a little bit, but the lower ABV helps it. I would definitely drink this one again event hough there are better examples of the style out there.

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Photo of portia99
4.16/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle (best by July 2010) poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours a mostly clear bright orange with a beautiful whipped creamy one finger cap of foam with excellent retention. When the beer level falls (the head never really goes away and stays with the beer throughout the glass), it leaves behind lots of sticky spiderwebs of lacing on the glass.

S - Huge citrus aroma especially oranges and grapefruit and a big hit of grassiness too. No real room for any malt presence in the aroma underneath of this citrus. Not especially complex, but I love what I'm getting from this one.

T - As with the aroma, huge citrus flavors tending more towards the grapefruit side of the spectrum with some orange and lemon contributions as well. Quite dry with some biscuity malt behind the hop flavor and significant bitterness. A slight metallic taste rises up a bit too detracting from the overall flavor slightly.

M - Light to medium bodied. Carbonation is ample and gives a creamy and maybe slightly foamy impression. Very dry...lots of hop resins coating the sides and roof of the mouth on every sip. A lingering bitterness is left behind after every swallow too.

D - Enjoying this bottle quite a bit. Nice bracing bitterness with tons of hop flavor and minimal malt...makes for a pretty good west coast IPA. Alcohol is in the lower range at 5.8% adding another plus for drinkability. Happy to have this one readily available. Gotta get some more of this one - definitely a keeper.

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Photo of EvanWilliams
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of ms11781
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of cpetrone84
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a slightly hazy golden yellow. The head is white, fluffy and creamy in appearance lingering for a good bit of time leaving a thin lace that completely covers the side of the glass

S-the nose is nice and all hops. Light malt base with resignous oily hops in the nose. Pine and appricot behind.

T-the taste is not the hop explosion of the nose. Pale malts, biscuit, light caramel, roasted barley make up the foundation. Hops come in towards the back as this is a more balanced IPA. Pine needles with appricot behind and just a touch of bitterness at the finish.

M-medium to light body and a crisp finish with a good bit of carbonation. Dry in the back.

D-this is a well balanced IPA with a good hop presence that seems to drink pretty easily. It doesn't have the huge hop profile I love in IPA's but it does go down nicely and still has a strong enough hop presence to suffice.

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Wachusett California Style IPA from Wachusett Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 41 ratings
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