Jamaica Sunset India Pale Ale | Mad River Brewing Company

257 Ratings
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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 257 |  Reviews: 148
Photo of bark
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The liquid is a bit hazy; the colour deep copper-amber. The head is two finger thick, firm and pale yellow.

There are notes of grape fruit, lime and green bananas. I found some mildly dry chemical sour note of wheat loaf, too.

My first thought drinking this beer was “This beer does have some hops!” Then I noticed fruits: Bananas, pineapples, apricots, peaches, parsley and avocado. The taste is overall dry and surprisingly delicate for this kind of beers, is got some character but it is not extreme in any way. Some vegetables in the finish.

The carbonation is gentle, the liquid medium thick and the bubbles small.

This beer didn’t convince me as I thought it got too much of fruit salad, not enough of body.

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Photo of madelf66
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Suds
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: hazy golden liquid with a soapy, white head. The aroma is dominated by a citrus hop smell, backed-up with faint caramel and grain. The citrus and fruity quality of the beer continues through the entire glass. A little pine in the finish, which isn’t particularly bitter. The beer is fairly dry and clean, somewhat refreshing, and not unappetizing. On the other hand, there’s nothing that really grabs me in this brew, either. It’s an average IPA with little that stands out.

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

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.91/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a little bit of a hazy yellow, almost homebrew looking for its lack of attractiveness, yet nothing glaringly 'wrong' with it either, you'll just be thinking you might have a hefe or pale wheat thing going at first. Good woodsy aromatic cascade hop aroma it would seem.

Good cascade bittering hop flavor as well. Light blonde body pairs well with the hopping. Not balanced, in a good way. One of the first ipa's I had back in the 90s that brought out tropical fruit flavor that paired oh so well with the hoppiness and light body. Really was one of the first ipa's in CA that was being bottled. Still a good choice, but its amazing to drink it now and think how this used to be one of the hoppiest beers around.

Today its just middle of the road in terms of its hop quotient, but it doesn't make it any less of a beer, its still a good choice. Freshness dating would be nice, as I have got an old bottle or two of this unintentionally before.

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Photo of shelby415
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of zekeman17
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of AgentMunky
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mynie
3.91/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very cloudy, yeasty red with a nice white head and fantastic lacing. Maybe it's been a while since I've seen a nice, classic AIPA pour, but this just looks really nice to me right now.

Smells pleasantly hoppy but the hops are backed up by a malt that's a little too syrupy for my liking: grapefruit and orange against a very thick sweetness.

Tastes better than it smells. The hops are dryer than I had anticipated, and also stronger, and that balances out the malt quite well--makes it taste breadier, more like barley. Pine and grapefruit melt in to bread dough and caramel and it ends on an acidic blend of chewy yeast and orange hops. The malt is still quite prominent but it's not in the least bit off; it just does a nice job of balancing out the hops.

A nice, strong IPA. Maybe a little boilerplate, but quite drinkable.

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Photo of Gusler
4.01/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color on the pour a hazy orange with the head frothy and considerable in size, color is bright white after erosion a thick and concealing sheet of lace is forms to meld with the glass. The aroma of the hops out front, sweet malt and clean and fresh as I expect my IPA’s to be a real treat to all the senses also the start sweet and malt laden with a middling in feel to the palate top. Finish is leniently acidic, the hops persistent in their spiciness, quite dry aftertaste that lingers on and on. A very drinkable IPA, but not overpowering, just a plain good drinking beer, and one worth a sample for IPA lovers

 618 characters

Photo of morimech
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first Mad River Brewing beer. It has been around for a long time but I just never gave buying their beer much thought. Pours a hazy amber color with two fingers of head that had excellant retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left down the glass.

Balanced aroma of caramel, bready malt, and pine, citrus hops. Smells slightly sweet.

I did not know West Coast Brewers did balance. This is an extremely balanced American IPA. They pushed a lot of caramel malt in this beer and it shows in the flavor and ABV. If the hops fade just a little, this would be a disappointing beer. It needs those citrus hops to balance out the malt. The hops also counter the sweeter malt. Bitterness seems moderate at most.

I am kind of wavering on the score for the body. Just something about the carbonation bugs me. Starts off with a nice, soft carbonation, that goes away as the glass empties. Near the bottom of the glass it almost feels flat.

Not the best IPA for the price. But I am happy I finally gave this beer, and this brewery a try.

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Photo of williamjbauer
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from 12 oz bottle in a pint glass

A - Clear amber color with thin half finger white head and minimal lacing on glass.
S - Nice pine and citrus smells
T - Very well balanced dry hoppy flavors, citrus and pine with caramel and wheaty tones as well
O - Very refreshing and well balanced IPA. I enjoyed the lower IBU in this beer as a lighter IPA.

 351 characters

Photo of Lukass
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of thagr81us
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured a golden yellow-orange with a half finger pure white head that subsided to a minimal amount. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, caramel hop, pine, and pine hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, floral, caramel hop, caramel, and hair salon. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The aroma on this one wasn't too bad, but it did smell a little off. The flavor was a little off-putting with the hair salon flavor on the followthrough, but it wasn't overly invasive. Worth trying if you get the chance, but I wouldn't go out of my way to do so.

 701 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, hops, mainly pine with a hint of citrus. In the taste, pine hops and a nice malt, not too over the top hops either. A hop bite and medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry pine hop in the aftertaste. Quite mellow for an IPA, but nice and enjoyable.

 325 characters

Photo of argock
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date.

A: Murky honey-orange with respectable off-white, sticky head and tons of fine reticular lacing, mostly at the top of the glass but some down the sides as well.

S: Pretty mellow for an IPA, but this is still a raw hops edge to the aroma. Sweet caramel and lightly toasted malts are present in addition to some soft floral and citrus fruit aromas.

T: Solidly malted without a doubt as this beer has pretty equal parts sweetness and bitterness. The sweetness is up front with a more leafy + fruity hops bitterness coming through in pretty dry finish.

M: Good mouth-coating feel that is not overly oily but thick as this beer is majorly malted. Aftertaste is bitter with leafy and soft fruity hops.

D: A really nice IPA (-) -- pretty malty and a little underhopped to be a true-blue IPA, but it is a well-crafted beer that has received a lot of attention from its makers. The high-quality malting is evident and the flavors are very nicely blended -- I'd put it as a hard-edged APA in my book.

 1,069 characters

Photo of buzzy
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of 2GOOFY
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of cokes
3.27/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lightly hazed golden under a stubby and sticky off-white head.
PacNW hopping is evident as soon as the cap is off. Big ruby grapefruits and lesser pine sap. Sugared muffins provide malt contrast.
Enters the mouth and is dry for a moment. Vague toasty biscuit hues. Turns immediately sweeter. Heavily sugared pineapple and honey-slathered red apples. Not especially heavy, but syrupy sweet. Grain astrigency battles to reign it in, but fails. The hopping, as forceful as the nose makes it out to be, also fails to cut through. Sure, it's bitter near the close, but the dilute grapefuit oil fails to offset the malt. Fried plantain notion afterward with small traces of rummy heat.
The result is offkilter. Too much lingering sugar.
Their Jamaica Red Ale is 10 times the "IPA" this is.

 789 characters

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

Pours cloudy orange gold in color with a 2 finger foamy/bubbly beige head that fades slowly and looks like a cloud as it goes down, leaving very good lacing and foamy rings; a fine looking beer.

Smells of citrus hops, sweet malt, sweet citrus fruit like grapefruit and orange peel, light grains, lemon zest, coriander and light spices, maybe some pepper, some funky yeast and a faint wet bread odor; a very nice and well balanced nose that smells very good.

Tastes of citrus hops, grapefruit, lemon, orange peel, floral hops, flowers, sweet malt, grass, hay, light grains, coriander, light spices like pepper and brown sugar, yeast, wet bread, tobacco, herbs and some minor hop spice heat; this is a very tasty and well balanced IPA that basically has a matching nose and taste, which are both very good. Not the hoppiest beer for an IPA, but a definite session beer.

Mouthfeel is creamy and crisp at the same time, with a zesty tingle on the tongue that washes down with a light bitterness and citrus bite as the hops give way to bready malts; the body is medium with very mellow carbonation and a real easy flow that makes this a great beer to drink all night. Very enjoyable overall, this is a sold beer.

 1,213 characters

Photo of JoeMans
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of Reidrover
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz brown short neck.
Very good looking beer, it is a very hazy,dark orange,with a beautiful thick,billowy off white head, loads of great lace down the glass.
Nice hoppy aroma though quite reserved compared to other West Coast IPAs.
the flavour is also quite hoppy but it is not over the top and there is a very complex malt backbone to it. Finishes quite sweet.
The mouthfeel is the best part of this beer forme. Its very slick,smooth and almost velevety and quite "full" for the style.
A nice ,not over the top IPA with a great mouthfeel..will drink again.

 579 characters

Photo of buckyp
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

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.

 530 characters

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

 230 characters

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