Jamaica Sunset India Pale Ale | Mad River Brewing Company

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

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Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 257
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 mattd017
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tumbler. Pours a hazy brown with a thin light head. Smells of pine and caramel with some almost toffee hints. Tastes of light hops, slight sweet maltiness, and ends with a dry bitterness. A semi-thick liquid filled with tiny bubbles. Not the hop bomb as many west coast beers, Still very drinkable with a 6.4% ABV...

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Photo of rkuhnel
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a local brewery so I want it to do well. Poured in a pint glass this was very attractive gold with little suspended particles that looked like pieces of gold. Nice big fat white head that left great lacing. Great start.

Nose was mostly of hops with overtones of pine, grass, and citrus.

Palate was crisp and clean, but does not hide the alcohol well.

Flavor was much of malts with hops jumping in. There is an odd metallic aftertaste that keeps this from joining the ranks of the top IPA.

Overall, it shapes up as a decent but far from great IPA.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served a few degrees over fridge temperature in a pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a nice, luminescent gold with millions of tiny particles in suspension... they look like granulized hops reduced to the size of a needle's tip. Very impressive head here, too... it just won't go away. Lacing is sticky, but scarce.

Smell- Floral and perfumy, the hop profile carries the malt right behind it, syrupy and rich smelling.

Taste- The malt backbone is adequately pronounced, with the hops bittering the back and sides of the tongue quite nicely. The tannic character suggests that this bottle may have some long months behind it.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Lively, restrained carbonation that certainly works. The heavier body and big malts keeps this from joining the ranks of the extremely drinkable IPA.

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

Poured a hazy apricot color with moderate whiye puffy head. Good lacing.
Smell is predominately hops, with strong notes of pine, grass, and citrus fruits.
Taste foloows through on the smell with a nice piny hop taste, combined with a light malt presence.
Finishe is all about the hops, with a firm ending dryness.
Nice enjoyable beer. Another winner from Mad River.

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

Pours a cloudy gold (unfiltered?) with a white head that falls asleep quickly, yet rises from its slumber when schwirled. Aroma is bready malt and citric hops.

There's that marzipan thing again - must be a yeast ester or some sort of fermentation product. Same flavor as in the Barleycorn. Not a bad thing, just different. Beyond that is a pretty tasty IPAcaramelly malt, some alcohol in the middle-end, and a citrusy hoppiness (grapefruit rind) that rides along thruout. Nice body - rounded. I could drink a few of these, but I wonder if the marzipan (the curse of growing up German - you learn what almond paste tastes like early and often!) would eventually get to me.

Thanks again to BA JeffKrenner for the brew!

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

Poured into the pint glass a sorta murky brown/orange color with a white one finger head that settles quickly leaving a trace amount of lace behind,I was really suprised at how subdued the aromas were being this is a California IPA some orange,citrus notes but they dont really jump out ya.It took a little while for the flavors to grow on me pretty raw with a real big caramelly malt backbone that cuts thru the citrusy slightly resiny hop.Gets a little sweet after awhile but the flavors meld together pretty well,this is not a real big west coast IPA but flavorful none the less.

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Photo of russpowell
4.17/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was strange beer for me, I could taste all kinds of hops, but little evidence of hops smell, I checked my nose against some other household items (soap, candle &pepper they all checked out normal), so here goes:

Appearance: Thick white fluffy head, with great head retention. Body was golden to amber with crystal clarity.

Smell: Presence of malt and honey and lurking way in the background, some hops.

Taste: Great balance of malty body and hoppy bitterness intertwine all the way down the throat with a great finish.

Mouthfeel: Optimum carbonation combined great hops and malt balance

Very drinkable, I still recommend this one despite the hops aroma being AWOL

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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 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.

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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 BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's alive! Huge, blizzard-like plumes of swirling yeast and multiple, rapidly rising streams of bubbles can be seen within the amber-orange liquid. I love the chock full o' yeast look and this is one of the chock fullest that I've seen in a while. The head is sun-bleached ivory in color, is impressively firm, and maintains its structure as it melts. Unfortunately, there's disappointingly little lace.

The nose is straightforward as far as IPAs go. When some combination of the C-hops are involved, however, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. This is nicely aromatic beer, but it could still use another gear or two. Pink grapefruit, pineapple and sweet orange are emanating from the glass and are making my nose happy. Not ecstatic, but happy.

Jamaica Sunset isn't quite as flavorful, as hoppy or as bitter as I had hoped. At 38 IBUs, I feel a little cheated. As far as I'm concerned, 50 should be the bare minimum if the letters I, P, and A are on the label. Malt's contribution consists of a glimmer of caramel and a glimmer and a half of sweetness.

The hops are less interesting on the palate than they are in the nose, but this is still good beer (those who aren't hopheads might feel otherwise). It's still pink grapefruit juicy with lesser contributions from pineapple and orange. The beer is developing a more firm, hoppy bite as I enter the bottom half of the bottle; which makes me feel better about the taste score that I've granted.

The flavor improves with warming and within the arc of each mouthful. It gathers steam from start to finish so that the back end is more interesting than what preceded it. The mouthfeel is solidly medium with a trickle of hop resins, a light mouthcoating and a considerable, yet still manageable, amount of C02.

Even though Jamaica Sunset IPA isn't an earth-shaking version, it's a flavorful little number that has scratched my hop itch this evening. Mad River's Jamaica Red is the superior beer and is clearly hoppier than this one. Or should I say it's superior *because* it's clearly hoppier than this one? If you have da hop love, this is a worthwhile purchase.

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Photo of 1whiskey
4.26/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz twist off. Fairly aggressive pour yields a barely-there head. Minimal lacing. Unfiltered, cloudy honey gold color. Nearly glows.

Smell is of a fruit salad. Mango, cantoloupe, citrusy hops, lime rind. I can hardly wait to taste.

Ah..delicious! Taste reflects the fruity aroma, but is not too sweet. Some typical cascade pine/citrus hop flavor. Some yeasty bread flavor, pale malts, finishes clean and dry. Medium to light body with very active carbonation.

This would be great for just chilling with friends on a summer day. It's not real hoppy but is extremely well balanced and very refreshing.

Well it's definately not your average IPA but is absolutely worth a try. Enjoy.:)

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Photo of Billolick
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ouncer sampled, no freshness dating on the label. Pours a slightly cloudy and hazy, yellowy light amber. Head is moderate, white and tiny bubbly. Respectable, scattered lacing and some sheeting left on the glass. Nose is herbal, musty, hoppy with a hint of gin and fusil alcohol.. This is a heady, flavorful, medium/full bodied brew. Pleanty of funky, citric hoppy notes. Smooth, coating mouthfeel. Its called "Jamaica Sunset" and this one evokes notions of a hot tropical afternoon, with spicy jerk chicken on the grill, soulfull reggae in the air, all with a northern California slant, nice Amer.

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Photo of donnebaby
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep orange unfiltered glow...like a sunset? And a cream haze overtop.

Nose is sweet IPA, rich.

Big flavor in the mouth, like banana/orange/strawberry juice -- that reminded me of tropical lifesavers, or blood oranges. Fades to malty sweetness in the after. Low carbonation is overtaken by a bitter hop arc followed by the malty after. Spots of alcohol at times. Medium to heavy body -- which made this IPA less drinkable for me.

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Photo of 99bottles
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served off a handpump at cask temperature.

Appearance: In a pint, the body had low levels of carbonation and the head was a tightly packed clump of off white with less than average retention. A light golden-yellow body was most noticeable, reminiscent of a Bell's Two Hearted.

Smell: The nose of this beer was very light, very sweet. Most IPAs give huge hop notes, whereas this one lends more fruit and malt in the nose. I detect pineapple and carmelized sugar, with some light lemon/orange.

Taste: This is simply an average beer, nothing exceptional going on here. The taste is quite sweet and malty for an IPA. As in the smell section, the hop character and bitterness seem to be muted. They still exist faintly in the aftertaste, but the sweetness of the malts, especially carmel, stands out as the defining flavor of this beer. Not bad, but not really an IPA taste to this one.

Mouthfeel: The cask conditioning makes this super smooth and creamy. This beer drinks like fuzzy water. It's very easy to sup, and the sweetness and syrupy malt begins to cloy only slightly at the end.

Drinkability: It was fine, but again, nothing earth shattering. WIth so many IPAs out there, and others that highlight the hops so much better, I doubt I'll revisit this unless changes are made. Not bad though, just not good.

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

Hazy, pale golden color, nice, flush white head, stalwart, slowly, but surely diminishing, ...Aroma: spicy, citric, hoppy nose, pungent garpefrit, and peach pits, orange zest, and pineapple pulp, a little sour, and very tangy. very lively.
Those flavors return in the taste, but are accompanied by a huge sourness, an outsized citric twist on the palate, a little too unlean for me. Medium-bodied, with a big blast on first entry, a rounded fruity flavor, then thinning some, but not losing any of the bitterness. It rides long and zestily in the mouth, before eventually fading away. Long, fruity, bitter finish.
Very likable, this one, milder in the hop delivery than I like in my IPAs, but you can't please everyone. This ought to please plenty of folks just fine, and, heck, I like it a bit, too!

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