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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 257
Photo of alexgash
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden apricot with a small, soft, off-white head. Smells largely of malt. Big butterscotch taffy sweetness, followed by limited, resiny hops. I'm not sure if I like this much butterscotch. Taste is much the same; big butterscotch/cake batter malt up front, followed by very backgroundy resinous hops. Bitterness hits very late and the hops don't have an enormous amount of character, other than latent bitterness. This malty IPA really coats the mouth, and is almost cloying. Finish is sticky, with hints of sweet vegetables, and bitter. Not bad, but I've had many better IPAs from the West Coast.

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Photo of yankeeheel
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a chill hazy golden light amber with a nice thick white head. Solid lacing. Smells slightly estery with the hops being quite floral. Moderately sweet hoppy first wave followed by that slightly lingering classic IPA burn. Very subtle if not slightly underhopped for an IPA. Moutfeel and carbonation are moderate. Solid all around beer but not one I'd seek out.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.41/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thick, creamy, resinous white colored head leaves some big patches of lace as it fades. Hazy golden beer with very fine bubbles rising along the walls of the glass. The aroma is very light, hard to pick up, maybe some sweet hops and a smidge of alcohol. Mild flavored beer, hops edge out the light malt flavor. The bitterness picks up towards the end dominating the solid finish. Mouthfeel is slick, too much for me. There's a good amount of flavor but nothing special, the aroma is on the light side, but to put it blunt I'm just not enjoying this one.

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Photo of Zorro
4.17/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear gold colored beer.

Smell is VERY citric hops and a supporting fruit scent of grapefruit and pineapple. Malty and yeasty scents in the background.

Taste is dry and a little tart. Nice malt background to this main flavor is the citrus hops.

Mouthfeel is Good.

A VERY good American IPA, Packs loads of hop flavor in to the taste and avoids the bitterness you gets sometimes.

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Photo of PopeJonPaul
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a foggy gold with a creamy white head, smeels like oranges. Nice citrus taste, a mix of orange and grpefruit with a slight malt taste and a dry hoppy mouthfeel, not too much in the hop department for an IPA though, pretty mellow. A strong dry finish, I could surely drink more than one but the dry finish keeps it from being thirst-quenching, the longer you go without another one (or something else) the more your mouth starts to pucker like you've just had an alum lollipop. Not as good as he Red, but certainly worth grabbing for the summer BBQ season.

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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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Photo of John
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle. Pale straw color, slightly hazy. Very respectable head. Aroma is light grain - shortbread biscuits, fruity - pear and white grape, lemon citrus hop. Flavor is slightly more amplified than the aroma indicates, some spicy hop notes are factored in. Hops shifts back to citric and crisp. Very clean flavor that makes for a nice quaffer. IMHO the bottled version is tastier, draught version is an average pale ale. 6.4% abv is expertly masked. An enjoyable brew.

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Photo of Onceeven
3.14/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a choice between this or Lost Coast IPA and having heard or neither of them, chose Jamaica.
Arrived with a creamy, finger thick head, the body was a rich garnet color. It's always a good thing when you get a properly poured beer that you can't wait to try because it looks so damn good.
The smell was intriguing. It seemed to have a slightly perfumey character that was light and sweet. Not your typical west coast offering. I'm curious to find out what kinds of hops they used in the brewing process.
I'm slightly disappointed by the flavor. It didn't seem as fresh as other IPA's I've tried. Something's missing, however, the hop twang dances on the tongue and results in a crisp finish. There seems to be a much more substantial hop bitterness than aroma or flavor. Worth a shot, but don't expect it to blow your socks off.

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Photo of JahNoth
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Slight floral hopnose, pours a cloudy golden color with some head and minimal lacing. Nice apricot fruit flavors with a good hop zest. Very bubbly and tingly with a refreshing hop aftertaste. Sort of light for an IPA, but so what. I like it. If this beer was called as it was intended, East Indies Pale Ale, the ratings would be much higher.

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Photo of WesWes
3.87/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy golden color with a thick frothy white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale malt scent with some carapils malts and a bitter piney hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a very bitter flavor with lots of hops and pale malts. It goes down easy and finishes with a heavy hop aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine IPA. The appearance isn't the best, but the hop flavor and terrific mouthfeel make up for it; a good drinker.

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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.

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Photo of garthwaite
3.26/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orangish, with aroma of peppery hops & a lot more sweet malt than I anticipated. In the mouth, this tastes of sweet fruit (pineapple & grapefruit) with some unfortunate sour notes. Finish is ho-hum, with mild citrusy hops. Medium bodied & fairly drinkable, but not an IPA I get too excited about.

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Photo of RootedFool
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Sidelines in Arcata, California.

Arrives with a bright white head resembling creamy cottage cheese. The foam collapses after a couple minutes and leaves a pasty sheet of lace on the glass and a grainy, gray layer of film on the brew's surface. Hazy orange body.

Smell is sour apple sweet and floral hop bitter. The tail end of the nose is a gritty, freshly baked biscuit.

Taste opens with a narrow stab of pine cones, followed by an almost raspberry sweetness, rapidly pursued by a chewy bitterness (grapefruit rinds and spring rain).

Aftertaste is a dry prick of bitterness.

Mouthfeel leaves my palate sticky -- dense and nearly syrupy, but plenty of quenching carbonation.

Resembles a cross between an amber ale and a pale ale -- doesn't have the brawny bitterness I associate with west coast IPA's, not necessarily a bad thing.

Overall: interesting.

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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 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

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Photo of mickeymac
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle, it's clear gold with a minimal white head that dimishes quickly but leaves just a trace on top. Flowery hops dominate the smell and the taste. Unfortunately, not much else makes its way through. It's not extremely bitter, but it still somehow seems out of balance. It's not bad but is disappointing after the expectations created by the Jamaica Red.

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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 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 Todd
4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz short brown bottle. No freshness date.

An unfiltered offering, this poured a cloudy, dirty blonde coloured beer topped with ample white lace with a bit of stick and stay.

Musty, fruity/estery aroma with notes of yeast and a floral bouquet of hops.

Very smooth. Big malty/sweet body. Crisp, tingly carbonation backed by a spicy alcohol presence that stings the palate with its presence, warms and melts into your brain. Luscious ripe fruit flavours of sweet pineapple, peach, mango, even some mandarin oranges ... very tropical, overall. Hops flavours are herbal and spicy, embracing and blending very well with the alcohol notes. Big pale malt sweetness in the end with a collective linger of flavours, plus some yeast.

Whoa! Unexpected. A majorly flavourful, powerful and fruity IPA! Like a fruit salad soaked in alcohol, with a garnish of hops. Todd like.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz. squat amber bottle. No freshness dating.

Appearance: Poured a hazy bright orange color. Thick and bubbling white head thins down to a respectable level. Very nice lacing of the glass. Lots and lots of sediment is clogged on the bottom of the bottle.

Smell: Fresh fruits! Very noticeable aroma of fruit. The beauty of dry hopping.

Taste: Started out loving this, what with the rather unrefined "in yer face" hoppy bitterness. Good malt base balance this bitterness more than expected. Finishes dry and bitter, with a slightly unpleasant grainy flavor that was unexpected.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth, medium-bodied. Nice puckering effect at the end.

Drinkability: Suffers a little due to the rather nasty aftertaste.

Just short of a really good "west coast" IPA IMHO.

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

Presentation: 12 oz short brown twist bottle with no freshness date to be found. Thin layer of sediment on the bottom of the bottle.

Appearance: True gold colour with a mild chill haze, big frothy white lace with spider web like trails down the glass.

Smell: Fruity citrusy hop aroma similar to a fresh cut orange, very fresh in the nose with hops due to the dry hopping.

Taste: Medium body with a smooth rounded carbonation, strong armed hop bitterness. Raw lightly astringent bitterness, malt palate struggles a little to balance though seems to make it to the end. Suggestions of tangerine and mango within the fruitiness, faint biscuit malt in the finish. Esters and alcohol are a bit noticeable. Long lasting hop bitterness. A tad on the sweet side though the astringency from the hops pucker the mouth.

Notes: A great American IPA, big on the raw hop character without going too overboard. A beer to keep a hophead content and any beer lover occupied. 6.4% abv.

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