Jamaica Red Ale
Mad River Brewing Company

Jamaica Red AleJamaica Red Ale
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Mad River Brewing Company
California, United States
Red Ale - American Amber / Red
Ranked #56
Ranked #20,350
3.82 | pDev: 12.3%
Jun 17, 2022
Jan 23, 2001
Very Good
Jamaica Red AleJamaica Red Ale
Notes: Our legendary red ale. This mahogany hued ale brings an intense spectrum of spicy aromatic hop character balanced by a full-bodied caramel richness. 2011 Silver Medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival in the American Style Amber/Red Ale category.

IBU: 45.3
Malts: 2-Row Pale, Crystal 70/80, Wheat, Black Patent
Hops: Columbus, Chinook, Cascade, Willamette, Summit
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of milkshakebeersucks
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

Reddish brown appearance with a small off white head and light lacing. Caramel malts lead in the aroma while a spicier hop element joins in. While the taste is malt focused, it is still modestly bitter, still contributing some spiciness, while the sweetness lingers in the aftertaste. Medium bodied, decently carbonated mouthfeel leading to a dry, lasting finish.

Jun 17, 2022
Photo of TheBricenator
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by TheBricenator from Oregon

Look: Opaque deep and rich red with a frothy beige head that builds and settles to a lid, leaving good lacing behind
Aroma: Fresh baked bread, red apple skins, spicy and slightly earthy hops, a little caramel, and some toasted bread crust
Taste: Kicks off with a nice and slightly sweet bready malt punch that is quickly followed and counterbalanced by a wave of spicy hops. Some caramel develops in the middle and bread, spicy hops, and caramel go back and forth until it closes with some apple skin notes
Mouthfeel: Full, medium-high carbonation, and a lightly dry finish
Overall: This is good stuff. It’s been years since I’d had this beer and it’s a tasty and well-made red ale that is neither malt nor hop-forward plus brings a unique taste and aroma profile to the table that is slightly old-school in my opinion. A nice and delicious easy drinking no-nonsense beer for anytime and especially in this winter-spring transition period

Apr 05, 2022
3.47 by smi69 from New York on May 25, 2020
4.03 by Dougwillhike from New Jersey on Aug 26, 2018
3.68 by BarrelAgedG from California on Apr 15, 2018
3.74 by Loli88 from California on Jan 03, 2018
3.75 by dctarga from California on Nov 27, 2017
3.77 by gefinley from California on Nov 10, 2017
3.57 by Abstractspirit from Rhode Island on Oct 21, 2017
3.52 by Giggy from Michigan on Aug 04, 2017
4.29 by BobbyOlson from Michigan on Aug 04, 2017
3.87 by HaoleBoy from California on Jul 01, 2017
4.03 by rclangk from West Virginia on Jun 10, 2017
3.75 by Budlum from Maryland on Jun 05, 2017
3.5 by JohnnyForeign from New Jersey on Jun 05, 2017
2.84 by nmann08 from Virginia on May 21, 2017
Photo of tigg924
2.85/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75
by tigg924 from Massachusetts

Pours clear, amber in color with 1/4 inch head. Taste is caramel and toasted malt with light grain. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation and slightly sweet. Speaks to an average beer brewed to style. If you like red ales, go for it...For me, this is an average to slightly below average red ale that makes for a big pass.

May 20, 2017
3.34 by JDoHo from Michigan on May 11, 2017
4.25 by Chiefmanynames from California on May 07, 2017
Photo of Deerin
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by Deerin from California

Brown with tinges of orange and amber. Mostly opaque. Leaves a pretty, billowy head with fair lacing. Not the best look imo, could use a bit more redness and some vibrancy.

Malty in the nose. I don't detect much hops here.

The flavor is an up front punch of toasty, sweet red malt, followed by solid hop flavor. I get copper caramel sweetness, followed by spicy hops, with some lemon and maybe resin.

It's syrupy, a bit astringent on the finish. Low moderate carbonation. A bit cloying for 6 1/2 in my opinion.

The taste is this beer's strongest asset, it is a bit rough around the edges. A solid red but far from my first choice in the catagory.

Apr 17, 2017
3.75 by JavierGC from Spain on Apr 08, 2017
4.39 by VictorsValiant from Oregon on Feb 13, 2017
3.5 by Jodio from Texas on Feb 03, 2017
3.51 by Stofko1992 from Pennsylvania on Dec 03, 2016
3.56 by mmmbeer89 from New Mexico on Sep 22, 2016
Photo of WoodBrew
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by WoodBrew from Ohio

Ttying the Jamaica Red at Yards in Long Beach. It poured a hazy amber with white head that is leaving a lace. The scent is malt. The taste starts malty with caramel as the base then finishes slightly bitter. The Mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall it's a good beer and would drink it again.

Sep 13, 2016
4.09 by beerbellydaddy from California on Sep 08, 2016
Photo of FLima
3.44/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by FLima from Brazil

Copper color with a thick beige head with good retention
Malty aroma with notes of caramel, slightly toasted malts, melon and mild pine.
Likewise, flavor with notes of toasted malts, caramels and butterscotch, pine, red fruits citrusy, lychees and floral and spicy hops. Dry aftertaste with a bitterness that takes some time to hit.
Light to medium body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 6.5% is completely absent.
I found this somewhat too malt forward in the beginning especially considering the origin. This may be a little too tired, though hops started to show up a bit more in a delayed fashion. This is ok if you are not looking for a hop bite. Really it is American Amber Ale, not a Red IPA.

Aug 23, 2016
Photo of DucksFan16
3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by DucksFan16 from Tennessee


Jul 31, 2016
Photo of Skrumpy
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by Skrumpy from Oregon

I've been drinking this beer off and on since I lived in Humboldt during the early 90s. Very deep red in color, and hazy. Thin head, minimal lacing. Smell is light - mostly caramel malt and some earthy and herbal tones. The flavor is very nice. Malty and smooth. The sweet caramel lingers in the back of your mouth. Molasses and brown sugar. Slightly bittersweet anise flavor in the aftertaste. A bit watery mouthfeel, but a great beer overall!

Jun 19, 2016
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by rodbeermunch from Nevada

This is like the darkest red ale ever created, it looks brown. The head isn't uniform, there's some chunks in it, it amasses about 1/2" high, off white. Aroma is super C hoppy.

Taste drops substantial malt and bitterness, the malt delivers more toffee than caramel flavors, everything is big on it. This is far from a traditional red ale, the malt is different, less sweet, the hops are way bigger.

One of my favorites from 20 years ago, I still like to dip into one every now and then.

Jun 15, 2016
4 by Marvicsin from California on Jun 06, 2016
Photo of Homebrewer_Dave
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Homebrewer_Dave from North Carolina

Good malty character. Excellent mouth feel. There is a small bite from the hops. Very enjoyable.

Jun 01, 2016
3.5 by robear from Wisconsin on Feb 23, 2016
3 by BeerTest from Florida on Feb 07, 2016
Photo of jkrich
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by jkrich from Florida

Poured from a non-dated bottle: more of a murky brown than amber, there is a very attractive foamy, beige head that slowly recedes.

This is possibly one the most aromatic amber ales I have encountered - almost vinous in character, sharp and tingling on the olfactory. Could this be a hop-accented ale?

No it is not. There is a very nice caramel, somewhat bittersweet palate. Overall, it is balanced with roasted malt and with just enough hop bitterness to keep it interesting. While it has been awhile since I tried it, I believe this ale is similar to North Coast brewing's Red Seal ale; very sharp and rustic flavors.

The body is medium with a somewhat thick and malty mouthfeel. While the caramel malt lingers on the palate, the zesty carbonation and hop bitters keep this one from cloying status.

I have been on the lookout for this ale for quite some time and finally grabbed a six pack here in Lakeland, FL. It has been enjoyable but not an amber I will seek out again anytime soon.

Jan 09, 2016
3.56 by Knapp85 from Pennsylvania on Jan 06, 2016
3.87 by Zylod from West Virginia on Dec 20, 2015
3.73 by Masonpp85 from California on Dec 17, 2015
3.92 by Brandon632 from North Carolina on Nov 30, 2015
Jamaica Red Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 517 ratings