Rubicon Brewing Company

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American IPA
3.69 | pDev: 13.55%
Rubicon Brewing Company
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Generous portions of Cascade, Columbus and Chinook hops are added throughout the brewing process to create Rubicon's Flagship Ale. Golden in color with an assertive hop bitterness. This beer won gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival. A true American Classic.
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Reviews: 107 | Ratings: 191
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Copper pour, a little thicker consistency than your average ipa, this one brings the caramel appearance and thickness I guess. Minor citrus aroma, but its pretty mild.

Yup, standard stuff, caramel, bitterness, minimal sweetness. Hops aren't popping.

This is a blast from the past, 90s style CA ipa.

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Photo of metter98
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving some lacing on the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of grapefruit hops are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has lots of bitter flavors of grapefruit along with some notes of pine. The bitterness lingers into the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This IPA has an aggressive, in your face type of bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: brilliant gold, 1” fluffy off-white head that dissipates to a thin film S: citrusy, resiny,
T: Strong malt gives way to citrusy hops – lemony, grapefruit, grapefruit rind, some astringency in the finish from the hops. Starts lightly sweet and then dries out in the finish.
F: Creamy, soft on the palate, fine soft carbonation, medium body.
O: I’m happy with this, the aftertastes are rich, long lasting and awesome. The long lingering aftertastes are a major selling point.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A: Pours a clear copper color. The head is two fingers high, with an off-white shade. While the texture is both dense and creamy, it doesn't seem to have very good retention. However, it also leaves behind plenty of sticky, persistent lacing.

S: Smells like an archetypal west-coast IPA, just one that seems watered down. I get notes of grapefruit, melon, and more general citrus, along with a slight malt backbone. Actually, just about everything in the nose is slight. Nothing wrong with it, it's just too weak aromatically.

T: The focus is both on grapefruit-laden hops - good - and crystal malts - not so good. But, there's also a healthy, welcome bitterness on the back end - also good. But it seems a bit weak in flavor - also not so good. Still, it's bitter (but not generically so) finish helps earn it some points back.

M: While it's fairly crisp, there's too much malt intrusion on both the texture and finish to give it that drinkability I love. The texture is rough, both from the hoppy bitterness and the crystal malts. Carbonation is surprisingly gentle, all things considering.

O: It's okay. It kind of drinks like a poor man's Sculpin, which isn't the worst thing in the world to be. Still, there are many superior (and more local) IPAs I'd easily pick over this one.

3/5: The quintessential average IPA

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a slightly hazed, copper-bronze coloring with a dense, foamy, big bubbled, off-white head with good cling and staying power. Aromas of sweet caramel, tropical fruits, tart grapefruit, and a subtle resinous character. Flavors are smooth, with a tropical (pineapple and mango) and citrus (grapefruit and orange) blend forward, a roasted and richly sweet caramel backbone, and a solid bitter and resinous hops characteristic at the end. Tangy and bitter throughout, with the tart citrus notes to cut through. Smooth, mid-bodied, with a tangy sweet and dank, bitter aftertaste. The finish is smooth, slick, with a solid bitter resinous linger. Tasty and drinkable brew.

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Photo of arizcards
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single from Total Wine back in early March for $1.99. No visible freshness date.

Beer poured orange with a nice white bubbly head that dissipated quickly.

Nose is grainy with some light citrus hops.

Taste is grainy up front and heavy on the grapefruit on the back end. Lingering hop oil in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and decently carbonated.

Overall this is an OK representation of the IPA style. Very bitter in the finish which is good if that is what you are seeking. For the price point there are many other IPA's i would buy before this one. Worthy of a try.

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Photo of sommersb
2.58/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Tasted On: 04-11-2014
Freshness: Bottled on 02-14-14
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Shaker pint
Purchased: Received from a friend

A: Clear copper-hued beer with a huge cream-colored head. Features very good retention and a ton of lacing.

S: Aromas include light, floral hops and an uninviting vegetable smell that I hope doesn't carry through to the taste.

T: Well, sadly the vegetable notes in the smell are also in the taste. I get hoppy bitterness and also this harsh, vegetable-like taste.

M: Medium in body, with an astringent aftertaste.

O: Overall a difficult beer to finish. I'm not sure if I got a bad bottle or if this is how it's supposed to taste, but it was pretty bad. I'd try it again one day to see if maybe the next is better, but as-is I can't recommend it.

Thanks go to Craig for this one, even though I wasn't crazy about it!

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Photo of ronniebruner
3.21/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This beer poured a nice copper color. Upon opening of the bottle, the aroma was very strong grassy hops. The beer had the right amount of foam, lace and head and had the typical high hop taste of modern American IPAs. The mouthfeel left a tinge of hops that lingered on the tongue for quite some time. Overall I would say this beer is slightly above average for an IPA and definitely worth a try.

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Photo of John_M
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewpub the other day.

The beer pours copper amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive as always, with considerable dry citrus and leafy tobacco to bouy the moderate malty sweetness. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, with the beer showing pretty decent bitterness and good balance. There's a decent amount of sweet malt in this beer, but it has sufficient bitterness to counter and balance that malty sweetness very well. The finish is fairly long , and there's good bitterness at the end. The beer comes across as almost heavy on the palate after a glass of the monkey knife fight, but for all that, this is a very drinkable, completely uncomplicated IPA.

Have drunk quite a lot of this IPA over the years and have always been a fan. While it doesn't excite me the way it did when I first sampled it back in 89 (and when the beer was winning gold medals at the GABF), this is still an enjoyable, always dependable IPA. Very glad to have the opportunity to sample it again after all these years.

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Photo of Tiffany88
3.04/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Had this beer at the Rubicon restaurant on Capitol Ave. With a spinach salad.

A- Light gold brown color, with practically no head (white foam).

S- nice sweet aroma of hops with earthy tones and a slight citrus.

T- nice strong robust hops, but it didn't seem to have much of a kick to it. the bitterness seemed to overpower the beer.

M- light to slightly medium pallet, with a vague hint of carbonation.

O- an ok IPA. The way it was served on tap it really wasn't at my preferred temp (I like my IPAs really cold), but all in all it was decent at best.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.24/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber bottle ~4 months old

looks like your average ipa: orange color, filtered, khaki head, poor retention, better lacing. smells slightly like peach, with a lot of nature scents, grass, floral, and an odd hint of garbage juice. taste is like the smell but better. it starts bitter and grassy, sweet spiced marmalade middle, finishing with oak and alcohol.

Very average.

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Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - A clear copper color with a two-finger, khaki-colored head. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of citrus and pine. Some bready notes.

T - Burnt toast maltiness with sweet caramel and toffee. Good piney bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. Medium bodied.

O - The only Rubicon beer I've ever seen. It was pretty good.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.32/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper colored liquid, looks like it has a little more viscosity, might be in for a caramel malt bomb, but being that this is Rubicon, who has shown the ability to deliver good west coast hoppy beers, I dunno. Smell was a little subdued, pithy notes of citrus can be picked up, but they aren't as sharp as they should be.

Usual suspects in the taste, bitterness, caramel, mild sweetness. Hops just aren't out in the forefront like I hoped for. No bottle date, who knows how old this is, especially when purchased at a Bevmo. Really came off similar to most run of the mill to decent ipa's out there. Does Rubicon just make extra special batches for Bistro's hop events, or did I just get a less than desireable aged ipa bottle?

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Photo of gatornation
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from 22 oz bomber

A-pours a clear light copper color with a very nice beige head

S- was malts , bread and pine some tropical notes , caramel

T- malt forward with floral citrus hops ,grassy notes with baked bread middle a pine and citrus finish

M- medium carbonation,a touch of floral hops with a semi bitter finish

O- a good ipa but 2nd tier all the way did pack some good flavor for a 6.5%

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The hop tones on this are one dimensional and pedestrian. Slightly salty and very mildly earthy. But the consistency is nice. There is a touch of a citrus edge here that provides the only flavor diversion. Overall, it's s pretty nice ale. Nothing that's going to blow you away, but it's not too bad.

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Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice foam on the orange amber brew. Poured in a tall glass, lots of lacing. Modestly carbonated in the mouth.

Fruity, flowery, and resiny flavors dominate over the bittering hops. Quite earthy and herbal. Medicinal aftertaste. Starts out nicer than it finishes. Rather woody and sets my teeth on edge. Pine sap and some spoiled fruit. Nice nose of pine boughs and fresh laundry. GEtting more and more bitter.

From the 22 oz bottle. Plenty of flavor for the modest alcohol content, and more richness in the body than many other more powerful IPAs.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear light orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus fruit, citrus zest, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with a slight malt finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that tastes better than it smells and is easy to drink.

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Photo of IPApadawan
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice and very smooth tasting IPA. I was very impressed by how rich it smelled and yet was so smooth for only being a 6.5% IPA. For people who are still trying to acquire the taste of IPA's I would highly recommend getting this one. I am still trying to get a bottle of the Hopsauce Double IPA.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a hazy, bright orange amber with a white 3 finger head. Good retention. Leaves behind a thick, sticky lacing.

Smell - Aromas are a bit musty, but notes of peppery spice, pine and a touch of citrus cut through.

Taste - Follows the nose. A lot of piney hops, with notes of pepper and just a touch of grapefruit resin. A subtle, tea like quality sits below all this.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Carbonation is on point.

Overall - A good, but not great IPA. Kinda dirty. Hops aren't quite as aggressive as some of the standard bearers on the market. Probably wouldn't buy again.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy copper color with a tight, white head that little bits of lacing.

Smells of caramel malts and a bit of grassy hops.

Tastes of the grassy hops with a solid malt base. Hops lead off with lemon, pine, and grassy notes. Moderately bitter. Malts cut through the hops with some caramel sweetness and some toasted bread.

Mouthfeel is medium with a slightly assertive amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a decent IPA, but doesn't really stand out amongst its competitors.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Really hazy yellow pour with a huge white head. Billowing over the top of the glass, the head has awesome retention and lacing.

S: Musty smell with some bitter hops. Fruits come out a lot here, bananas and citrus most of all.

T: The taste is a bit strange. Hoppy, but overly fruity. A bit Belgian almost. Yeasty, bananas, citrus, and some bitter hops. Just a bit disjointed sadly.

MF: Medium body with a low amount of carbonation.

O: I was not a fan of this. Just too strange tasting. Perhaps I had too many IPAs tonight, but this just didn't hold up.

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Photo of maximum12
2.68/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to lurpy1 for schlepping a suitcase full of beer back to the cold steppes...some of it was even for me. 22 oz. bottle dumped into a pair of pint glasses.

Pours a clear pale golden that could be mistaken for a macro on a good day. Nose cut off to spite someone's face, because it's missing. A few stray grains if I sniff like a junkie.

Rubicon IPA was billed as a good Sacramento local; I'm going to be contacting my attorney over that claim. Heavy on the whole wheat grains, spritz of lemon Pledge, but no hops were harmed in the brewing of this beer. As much bitterness as your average hefe. Easy to drink. I guess that's its strong point.

Not a bad beer, but there's just nothing here to even criticize. Bland. Blah. Dull. As inoffensive a beer as I've ever met. Might nick mediocre, but that's a big word for such a little beer.

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Photo of litheum94
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle stamped with 120111. Reviewed 5/15/11.

Clear golden, with amber tones. Dirty white head, about a finger deep. Frothy, settles slowly, leaving some lacing on the glass.

Very fruity: apricot, mango and papaya. White pepper and floral. Honey malts, slightly bread like.

Stone-fruit at first, then soapy, and a very bitter, pine bark flavor. All of this occurs in the first sip! A very subtle malt profile, crackery and dry. A persisting bitterness stays on the tongue, completely drying my mouth out.

The sweet and alluring tropical fruit aromas belie the fact that this is a hop bomb. And it tastes great. This is a beer I've passed up for years. I won't anymore.

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Photo of beer2day
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy orange pour with 2 fingers of pillowy, fizzy light cream head. Nice retention with a full 1/2 finger at the bottom of the glass. Chunk lace all around the glass.

Nose is strong pine with light floral notes. A bit of ester and butter is in there, too.

Hits with strong floral hops. Mildly fizzy, lightly fruity in the finish with hints of passion fruit. More floral than anything else, though. Getting notes of dry pine in the finish, too, but not enough to overcome the strong floral tone. I can even feel the floral as I get ready to take a sip from the glass.

Medium body, actually quite nice against the hop profile.

Nice west coast pour.

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Photo of bonkers
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up in the tickers BIF, hazy orange pour with way, way to much head, good lacing. The aroma is nice, piney with hints of citrus. A pretty well balanced IPA, nice pine and citrus, enough malt to keep bitterness down. The high carbonation, and rediculous head hurt the drinkability. A good IPA, easy drinking, just too much carbonation.

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IPA from Rubicon Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 191 ratings