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Jamaica Sunset India Pale Ale | Mad River Brewing Company

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148 Reviews
Jamaica Sunset India Pale AleJamaica Sunset India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-30-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 257
Photo of jcalabre
1.91/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I originally sampled this beer on 22 September 2002. I am writing this review from my notes
This is Not a very impressive IPA. It has a hazy yellow color. It does Not have much aroma; it has a slightly sour rather than hoppy taste. I was disappointed. I'll pass on this one

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Photo of DogFood11
2.13/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a pilsner glass it forms a decent but lackluster eggshell white head that leaves behind some lacing. Hazy orange body, medium carbonation.

Blah and boring in the nose. sweetened grain mostly.

Hops come through in the taste with a splash of citrus. Bready, Doughy malts are really a dud and a bigtime buzzkill for this brew. A bit chalky and medicinal in the backend and mouthfeel. I'm heading to Washington for a much needed vacation and this is one beer I will leave here in SoCal with pleasure.

Notes: Not for me. Closer to a pale than an IPA but thats neither here nor there and doesn't affect my account of this offering.

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Photo of crossovert
2.32/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Comes in a cheesy looking stubby 12 oz brown bottle. No sign of a freshness date.

Pours into my American pint glass with a foamy one finger off white head and a murky brown/amber body. A huge mass of sediment lurks in the bottom of the glass, leaving me to think this one might be old.

Smell is malty, similar to an older English IPA. Just some nutty smelling malts here, nothing else, completely and utterly void of hops.

Hops show up in the taste slightly, but it is mostly malt, really tastes like an English IPA after it made its way around Africa back in the day. Has a little bit of lemon sourness and some metallic flavor as well. Not the strongest American IPA for sure, it doesn't seem fresh.

This is nowhere near the quality of Steelhead form the same brewery, and I purchased them at the same time, so maybe this one is fresh and is just supposed to taste stale.

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Photo of jethrodium
2.63/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

On tap. Pours a golden amber with a small white head that has decent retention and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is caramel, light grapefruit, orange, and some light floral notes. The taste is sweet orange, sugar cookie, and some light grapefruit. Finish has a decent bitterness with a lingering orange sweetness. Medium body. Medium carbonation. A bit too sweet.

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Photo of IntriqKen
2.66/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a cloudy orange/amber with a one finger head that ends up in nice lacing.
Aroma is sort of weird to me....musty...tropical fruit...a little sweet.
Taste is again sweet on the tongue to start followed by heavy cloying tropical fruits, then a nice bang of hops.
Mouthfeel is full an thick with a nice alcohol burn going down.
I don't think this is very drinkable, being somehow too sweet in the tropical flavors and a little strong in the alcohol

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.66/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Overall, a below average IPA. Murky orange appearance, due to yeast on the bottom of the bottle: I was unaware of the fact as I was dispensing. Small, light grapefruit colored head, little retention, no lacing.

Hardly any hops in this one. More malt than anything, and that aint what Im looking for in an American IPA. Sweet smelling, slightly alcoholic. The hops are so minimal, I hardly see how this passes as an AIPA. Not impressed at all.

Alcohol is noticeable in the barely medium mouthfeel. Dry finish and an acohol burn at the end.

This beer was not good from the get-go. Looked bad, didnt really smell at all, and the taste was very unremarkable. This will certainly be the last sixer I purchase of this beer.

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Photo of beerguy101
2.88/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Straw yellowish color, slightly cloudy, medium white foamy head. Aroma is grainy and slightly sweet. Mildly hopped, no malts, kind of bland. Is this really an IPA? No real bitterness or malts in this beer. Finish is mild. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
2.89/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. Jamaica Sunset IPA pours out a hazy orange yellow color with a small head. The aroma is sweet malt, pungent hops, and oranges. Fruity orange flavor. The flavor is not very hoppy. I would hesitate to call this an ipa. Only vaguely malty. Some pineapple. There's too much sweetness. Mouthfeel is a little light. Drinkability is average. This beer is too sweet and fruity without enough hop or malt flavor. A sub par IPA.

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Photo of Briken
2.89/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hazy orange amber with some sunny edges and medium frothy head with great retention and good lacing. Little citrus and malt aroma. Big spicy/peppery hop evens out quickly with a low to moderate lingering that's slightly unpleasant. Sharp bite and a little foamy.

I like the peppery taste but not much more than that. Taste dissipates rapidly and doesn't offer anything but a tacky linger.

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Photo of germaniac
2.93/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Cloudy brown-orange in color. The head disappeared quickly, leaving just a small island of froth floating in the center of my glass.
Smells like tropical fruit candy.The first taste makes me feel like it should be hoppier. More hop bitterness would pair nicely with the substantial malted sweetness. This might be a great platform to start out with if Mad River ever gets the itch to brew a double IPA. It's smooth and very drinkable, but there are too many West Coast IPA options out there for me to drink too many more of this.

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Photo of freed
2.94/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I remember this being better on tap, but I've not seen it on tap for years. So I picked up a bottle. The seizure-inducing logo on this managed to stand out from the others in the cooler, so I picked it up.

It poured with a nice head, but the size of bubbles were reminiscent of some of my off-brews. It had a very nice golden to orange hue that was very opaque. The foam fizzed quickly away but left lacing on the glass like anvil head clouds. Nice.

The aroma is green, but not in a typical IPA way. Its more Saaz green. Subdued, tart.

The taste has a timid malt to it, and its mostly a combination of the odd hop tastes. There's sour bitterness, fresh of the trellis greenness, and even an almost sanitized flavor to it. Not all that pleasant.

I'm willing to bet this isn't the best example of this beer. In fact, I know it isn't because I used to have it on tap. It wasn't stellar, but it wasn't this bad either.

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Photo of Crosling
2.94/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Attractive clear light orange with large and good looking head of foam, like most of the Mad River beers. Aroma is subtle with a touch of fruit aromatics and dry hopped characteristics. Flavor is extremely light for the style, much more a pale ale than an IPA, with a floral hop character and, a light bitterness and a minute malt contribution. Pleasant.

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Photo of Omnium
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle > Pint glass
A - Pours an offsetting murky amber color, a tad over 1 finger head, thin lacing that fades fast.
S - Oily hops, biscuity malt, sweet aroma, orange peel, grapefruit, dank herbal and earthy florals
T - You get that resiny hop flavor along with some malt and some orange peel, it actually has some skunky type flavor to it, not very appealing with a dark and dry hop bitterness.
M - Sticky and lingering.
O - Not impressed with the brew at all. I like the steelhead IPA much more than this. This has a bitter aroma that isnt enticing by any means. These type of IPA's arent among my favored palate profile, but I cant appreciate them. Its an about average IPA that I wouldnt get again.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
2.97/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into a nonic glass from a 12oz stubby brown bottle with a twist-off cap.

Cloudy,reddish/orange color with a 1" white head quickly dissapating into a slight coating of foam. Minimal carbination the beer is full of tiny particles suspended in the beer.

Clean,moderate aromas piney with mild grapefruit notes. Malt aromas of toffee/carmell.

Grapefruity citrus with pine tastes,tart,a semi-sweet toffee/carmell, very good balance. Finishes with a perfect blend of hops and malt. A good taste,a bit on the bland side.

Light mouthfeel for an IPA, some tangy,juicyness. Very easy drinking,smooth, could drink a lot of this not as filling as most IPA's. I had a lot of Pale Ales with more flavor. Mediochre

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Photo of blitheringidiot
2.97/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Stubby browner poured into a tulip with a bright golden hazey orange topped by an antique white thin frothy sticky headcap.

Moderate citrus nose of orange peel and grapefuit. Bubblegum and cotton candy malts mix in.

First swigs: Man, this all over the place. Citus bite and woody malts. A mixed direction of soft orange candy, lolipop and bubblegum. I'm going with average because this is a mixed up beer. The balance is there, but just in a weird way that goes hop direction juicy Tang, and malt direction of tangy wood. Too much hard candy Starburst malts. Lingering cloying aftertaste.

Last swigs: Sweet Tart candy IPA. Forgettable. Went down hill fast! Just an IPA for the IPA curious. Otherwise, seek other beers.

Beer is good. Happy beeing.

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Photo of frank4sail
3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fresh smell but there is not the hop dry hop I expect in an IPA. Hazy unfiltered orange look with a white head. Not lasting in the head department but, it does have a sheen at all times. Not as hop rounded through the taste and finish as I expect in this style. It has a good malt base, i just miss the flower hop side... Pretty much an average IPA.

Cheers to mattmaples for the sample.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
3.05/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sunset IPA pours a slightly cloudy orange body with carbonation bubbles providing a slightly thin white head.

The aromas present are a decent hop aroma providing citrus character, but not a ton going on in the nose for an IPA.

Flavor is slightly subdued for what I expected in a 7% IPA. A bready malt is matched and overtaken by bitterness that finishes slightly dull rather than crisp and vibrant.

The mouthfeel is rather smooth with lighter carbonation.

Perhaps this bottle isn't the freshest. I hope to give this a try when I know I am getting it fresh. The hop character just doesn't seem to slap me in the face like a good IPA should.

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.05/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served cool from a brown 12 oz stubby into a small pilsner glass.

Pours orange and hazy with a rocky tan head.

Aroma is fruity and slightly malty.

Flavor is cloying with caramel sweetness.

Moderately bitter and decent weighty mouthfeel.

Drinkability is pretty poor. I've brewed better. IPAs aren't that difficult--commercial brewers should try harder than this example.

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Photo of marc77
3.06/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lighter in color than most American IPAs... crystal clear and effervescent. Fruity aroma with floral hop buoquet from the Centennial and Willamette dry hopping. The bitterness could be more assertive for an IPA, but just manages to balance the malt. Tastes fruity and finishes sweeter than I prefer for an American IPA. Lighter in body than many Ive had, but still an enjoyable brew.

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Photo of Gavage
3.07/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear yellowish orange in color. Short 1/2" white head that quickly fell to surface foam. No lacing develops.

Smell: the nose picks up spicy piney hops.

Taste: the flavor is dominated by lemon zest and piney bitterness. The malt levels seem weak which helps provide the mouth puckering tartish twang with this beer.

Mouthfeel: very crisp at the start, and crisp at the finish. The finish is relatively short but is heavy on lemon and piney bitterness.

Drinkability: I had a tough time finishing this beer so drinkability is down for me.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Back in the olden days of craft beer, there wasn't the overwhelming number of unique and original beers on the shelves we enjoy today. Therefore, I had the time to sample quite a few of the pedestrian offerings from Mad River (getting better these days). This one was a rather uninspiring IPA, lightly hopped, more malty than most West Coast IPAs.

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Photo of
3.09/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle. Poured a hazy gold, with a large off-whte head. Aroma was very appealing, hops (citrus), honey soaked mead, and hints of alcohol - just what I like in an IPA. The flavor was disappointing. The hops came through strong at first, but quickly faded into the malt. The alcohol flavor keeps popping through in the middle. All of this was great, but then there was a medicinal flavor in the aftertaste that just ruined it for me. Mouthfeel was light, with medium to high carbonation. Very drying, with slight alcohol warming. Front part of the flavor was good, with a nice balance between the hops and the malt, but the aftertaste just didn't work at all.

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Photo of longpondbeerman
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The appearance is of a murky light gold with a finger of frothy white head. The initial aroma is slightly hoppy but more dominated by the floral overtones. There's a sweetness to the smell that I have come not to expect from American IPAs. The taste is tart and unimaginative. Some of the sweetness remains, but there's a notable and frankly unpleasant sense of citrus tang, even in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is thin and too bubbly. Not a winner!

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.11/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Pours a lighter amber with tons of particles caught swirling in the pour-induced maelstrom. Nice head, thick and doughy. Sheets of lace.

S-Smells a bit past it's prime. Faded tangerine and pine. Lots of caramel. Light floral hops and more caramel.

T-Flavor again, seems faded and past due. Balanced. Floral, sweet, candied citrus and pine but pretty soft. Lots of caramel again.

M-Not very bitter. A bit oily. Fuller for the style. Medium carbonation.

O/D-Not very happy with this one. Maybe it's a little old? Either way I wouldn't go at it again.

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Photo of CBFanWish
3.12/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

About as average as an IPA can get.
Poured on tap at MacGregor's a couple times, I haven't quite been all too impressed. The colour was very light and the clarity was totally transparent. There wasn't too much head to it. The aroma was the best part of it. Orangy with little of anything else. The taste was also orangy with a subtle hoppy bite. Nothing that really blew me away. Kind of borring, but not too bad.

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Jamaica Sunset India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
3.59 out of 5 based on 257 ratings.
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