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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 brewdlyhooked13
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - pours a translucent clouded orange, lots of sediment in suspension. A thin layer of light cream foam holds around pretty well, laying small pockets of lace randomly about the pint glass.

Aroma - powdery biscuit, light fruity citrus. Simple and nice.

Taste - decent biscuity grain with a hint of caramel. Light to moderate citrusy hops, turning slightly more bitter on the swallow but keeping some light orange and fruitiness. Mild bittering at the finish, a pleasant flavor overall.

Mouthfeel - notably solid body, crisply carbonated, and a better than average smoothness.

Drinkability - a nice little session IPA here.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.57/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is typical- amber body with thin white head. The head fades quickly and not much lacing is left behind. Smell is pretty fruity and malty. Taste is not as aggressive as most IPAs. Its somewhat sweet and malty with hints of hops in the aftertaste. The Jamica Red from this brewery is much more agressive then this brew. Although it is atypical for the style it is still pretty drinkable and enjoyable. The malty and fruity backbone are brought forward in this brew while the hops take a back seat. Similar (though less hops) to the balance that you would find in a DIPA rather than a typical IPA

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Photo of 57md
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy light orange with a thin head that quickly dissipates. There is a light floral aroma that is quite pleasant and a light, but present hoppy flavor upfront. The finish is dry and slightly bitter, but this offering lacks the hop punch that I like to have in an IPA.

Bonus: This beer is proudly union made by the men and women of the IAM.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Short, fat, stout, single, twelve-ounce bottle just copped from New Beer Distributors on Chrystie Street in Manhattan...
Pours a hazy, murky, tawny, ruddy, dark-copper hue with a modest head that quickly receded and deposited a thin flim of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Thick, hop-based, citrus-filled aroma with hints of vanilla and caramel thrown about in the mix...
Taste: Superb, hop-filled, citrus-dominated aroma with strong nuances of lemon, lime, and lemongrass... Supremely refreshing with an impressive 6.4% ABV...
Excellent rendition of a classic American IPA...
Highly recommended...

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

Good solid IPA. Pours a hazy orange with a big white head and good lacing. Nice hoppy, bitter smell. Tastes good as well. Hoppy up front with a malty finish. Nicely done and not boring as "balanced IPA" usually means to hopheads.

Mouthfeel is rich and crisp. Drinkability is good. This one goes down easy and, while a bit strong for a session beer, would still be a good candidate for a second one.

I would seek this one out again. My second good beer from Mad River.

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Photo of flexabull
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy orange color with a pretty nice white head.

Aromas are of hard candies, grapefruits, it also a bit flowery, and dusty.

Taste starts out a bit bitter, with mostly grapefruit notes. Bee then settle into crystal malts, that are a bit sweet, and creamy. Finish is dry, with some mixed fruity citrus and aspirin like bitterness. This beer is certainly on the bitter side, but the malts balance it fairly well.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, nice crisp carbonation, and decent body.

All in all, a pretty good beer, but a bit below others in the style. This comes off as just a bit one dimensional and lacking anything to make it really stand out. Still a pretty decent beer, at a fair price.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.54/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

In the aroma I can smell an ever so light floral hoppiness. This beer is more malty in the aroma then hoppy. I was hoping for a bigger hop presence. And with no bottle date it's a throw of the dice.
The appearance is orange amber. The body was clear until the last moment, then bottle sediment flowed into the glass giving it a hazy clarity. An off white heas sits onto and never goes away due to high carbonation.
This beer drinks very easy. The flavor leans towards malts and the hops are quite lean.
It finishes clean and really almost no bitterness.
This beer was basically boring. A beer that screams for chain restaraunts in my opinion.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pink plastic cup. Tough to see in the pink plastic, but the color appeared to be amberish. Maybe ¾-inches of head, light film and light lacing.

Smelled sweet and citrusy. A bit hoppy sniff as well.

Initial taste was sweet and lemony, followed by an alcohol bite.

Medium body, high carbonation. Bitter ending, but the sweetness makes it slightly refreshing.

A so-so beer. I thought it was going to be a bit better, but I was feeling it after three of them. There are much better IPA’s out there.

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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 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 Overlord
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow, I was expecting to see a much higher cumulative rating for this beer. Considering I'm such a gigantic fan of Jamaica Red, I must be partial to this brewery.

Pours a cloudy orange with big loads of sediment on the bottom. Slightly offputting in an IPA. Big white head.

Smells of floral notes, hops, and tropical fruit. Taste has much bigger than expected sweet caramel malt and orange?, mango?, or some other sweeter offering. There's hops in here, but this is pretty balanced. Definitely not your standard IPA, but I really enjoyed it.

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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 TheSixthRing
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

No freshness date.

Appearance - Pours hazy rusty orange with an off-white, half finger head. Sub-par retention leads to broken layer of microbubbles across the surface. Lacing is spotty with fair stick. Lots of sediment floating around, though that's never really bothered me.

Smell - Mild tropical fruit notes, touching on pineapple and mango. Hints of bread and caramel.

Taste - Follows the nose; mild notes of tropical fruitiness, backed by a very light bready, almost grainy, malt backbone. Faint caramel. Finishes with a mild citrus pith bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with fair carbonation. Smooth from start to finish.

Overall - A mild example of the style. Nothing outstanding, but this is about as quaffable as IPA's get while still having interesting flavor. 'Jamaica Sunset IPA' is probably the most apt name for this beer. Forget Corona, this is the beer I wanna be drinking while the sun is setting on the beach.

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Photo of atsprings
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice copper amber with a thin off-white head that left spotty lacing. Aroma was slight citrus hops. The taste was a decent blend of citrus hops and caramel malts. The beer is medium bodied yet light and crisp. This is an enjoyable beer, but with many better IPAs out there, I don't see myself choosing this one again.

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Photo of ordybill
4.04/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Malt, hops and citrus. . . pretty good
Appearance- Pours a dark red-brown with an off-white head.
Taste- Citrus and hops, good flavor
Overall- A really good IPA, very enjoyable

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Photo of woemad
3.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased at the Rocket Market in Spokane. No freshness date.

Poured a slightly hazy shade that is just dark of copper, with an inch of white foam. Sheets of foam retreat down the glass, leaving streaks and spots behind.

When first opened, this beer had a very bitter, herbal nose. Allowed to warm, it takes on a more melded, citrus-bitter scent.

Moderately bitter and citrusy hops hit the tastebuds closely melded, with the bitterness maintaining a slight lead. The fadeout is quite dry.

Slightly oily, prickly mouthfeel. About right for the style.

While not a beer that really wows my tastebuds, I find this to be quite drinkable, and I could consume several pints of it were it to appear at my local. It's a little too high to be a session beer, though, and it doesn't quite stand up to the flavor of the other IPAs I'm able to procure on a regular basis.

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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 Bierguy5
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. Hazy copper color, with a white rocky head. Good head retention, and some nice sticky patches of lace at the end.

Nice citrus, floral and slightly grassy hop aroma. Good malt backbone in the aroma as well.

The taste is where things seem to drop off. Starts overly sweet and cloying. Bitterness seems very harsh. Citrusy and herbal flavors.
Still, the sweetness is too much.

Good body, with adequate carbonation. Just seems rough, and too sweet.

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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 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 daliandragon
3.92/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an Arcadia IPA glass I snagged from my brother a few years ago when I moved out of Mom and Pop's place. Features an attractive bright orange amber with a thick but brief head and plenty of carbonation on the body. Nose is sweet with yeast,, vanilla, and citrus and present but not overpowering hops in the shadows.

The taste is dry with a nice closing bitterness and tones of vanilla, citrus, and mild pepper. Alcohol is on the field but not the superstar. The finish is aggressive and lined with withering citrus hops. Mouthfeel is balanced and slightly oily. Not my favorite IPA but a good choice for the curious and worth trying.

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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 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 magictrokini
3.17/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A VERY fruity IPA. Copper pour with sediment and a big whitish head. Spicy aroma with hops, wood, and sweeter fruits. Grapefruit and citrus hops take over the palate, but without the IPA bitterness. Lots of hibiscus and passionfruit give this a tangy sweetness. Dry and light on the back end. I like it, but it really is not that good of an IPA.

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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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