IPA | Rubicon Brewing Company

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191 Ratings

Brewed by:
Rubicon Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-21-2003

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 191 |  Reviews: 107
Photo of Rocketman8911
5/5  rDev +36.6%

Photo of DogFood11
4.85/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber. Poured into a tulip it fors a late charging eggshell white head. Solid retention and plenty of ring lace. Brushed golden body. Impressive appearance.

First pull and once again impressed. Bountifull sticky grapefruit and sharp citrus snap. This whacks the palate and yes its fairly one sided and I loved it. This is right up there with some of the better single IPA's I've had. The way it lingers just long enough to completely coat the palate and show its bitter side to finish things up is awesome. As it warms a bit the malt bill shows its face but nothing more. Liquid gold my friends...liquid gold.

Notes: A kick ass IPA. This brewery caught my attention. First offering from them and will definitely seek out more in the future. Get this while its still priced modestly.

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Photo of Kiniey01
4.5/5  rDev +23%

Photo of SpdKilz
4.47/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a remarkably clear, amber color into my SA Perfect Pint. Honestly, I have not seen such a clean, clear beer in a long time (reminds me of a macro poured into a glass). Achieves about two fingers of head that leaves decent lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Citrus, floral, passion fruit, hops, and pine. This IPA has a very great nose to it. A slight malty end to the initial inhale. This, though lower key, reminds me just a bit of what the Oracle smelled like. Definitely fruity, definitely "juicy".

Taste - Damn, not bad, not bad at all. I'm guessing the few prior reviews had an older bottle. The one I have is about three weeks old. Honestly...I am really impressed. I sit here and as it warms, the taste keeps getting better. An initial burst of passion fruit such, pineapple, orange, and ripe grapefruit. Slight almost non-existent bitterness but this does NOT mean it has a huge malty backbone. It is an, in my opinion, extremely balanced beer. After the initial citrus burst there is a slight moment of piney/hoppy goodness which fades to the malty/sweeter backbone (but not 90 min sweet...ick). Extremely flavorful.

Mouthfeel - Medium to heavy body. Can you say creamy? I haven't felt a body like this on an IPA since the Oracle which is a DIPA and 3.5% more ABV. This has a very thick, chewy mouthfeel that feels utterly amazing.

Drinkability - Hell yes. I am going back tomorrow and picking up at least two more bombers. There is zero alcohol taste. This is, for sure, a more "fruity" and balanced IPA. This is not a sweet IPA though. I enjoy two "styles" of D/IPA which are either somewhat bitter (PtE and PtY) and then the more "fruity" ones (The Oracle and now this). I really am extremely impressed by this beer and how balanced and flavorful it is. Oh, the best part? THREE FIFTY. Are you kidding me? This is cheaper than a bomber of Hop Stupid. Un-freaking-believable. I really can't get over how surprised I am with this beer. Bravo Rubicon!

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Photo of dbONE
4.4/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Fresh mowed grass attacks the sinuses as the cap flies off and the 22oz bottle is poured into a standard pint.
The head is clean and white with little strength but stays long enough to coat the top of the beer. The flavor from the tinted golden color produces a rice-esque note that flushes into a more malty character that mellows into an erratic hop blend that takes over. Some rye spice seems to come through with a clean grassy flavor that remains on the palette. This is a great IPA at a bargin price that will keep you drinking them on any hot day.

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Photo of biglobo8971
4.39/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

received this bottle from one of my regular CA trading partners.
Appearance is a golden orange. I usually like more of a "fluorescent" look to my IPAs. So by appearance alone, was not uber excited to try.
Smell changed my mind. Smells like a whole bottle of ganga. Very aromatic. Lots or pine aroma. Made me very anxious to taste.
Taste is solid. Not extrordinary. Good flavors of citrus and pine that are very well balanced.
Mouthfeel is very enjoyable. Very easy to drink.
I am very pleased with this beer overall. Will seek it out in the future. Not the best representation of West Coast IPAs, but a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of xhcadamx
4.37/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - hazy orange with fluffy white head. The head was gone quickly but the lacing stuck around.

S - Piney Citric hops immediately. Some biscuity malt in the background.

T - Sweet tasty piney and citrusy hops with the biscuit malt. Nice toasted background. Bitter bite at the end.

M - Medium bodied that fits the beer well. Oily and slick from the hops but a dry aftertaste.

D - Perfect balance of everything I enjoy in an IPA.

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Photo of eelriverbrewfan
4.37/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hats off to my beer brother james for giving me this bottle as part of a birthday present package. This beer takes your tongue on an exploration to heaven and back again like dying and coming back to life. The subtelty of the finish is the best part...no bitter beer face

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Photo of bosco7
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler filled 2 days earlier. Burnt copper color with large rocky head.

Huge pine aromas.

Toffee, caramel, and malty flavors provide a substantial malt backbone upfront. Grapefruit rind and pine resin dominate the palate. Finishes with large amount of IBUs (almost double IPA levels).

Medium bodied and very drinkable. My favorite beer produced by Rubicon Brewing Co. (and maybe my favorite beer produced in Sacramento).

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright orange with honeycomb highlights. A fine yeasty haziness is barely disturbed by a handful of slowly rising bubbles that plink... plink... plink... into the underside of a sticky, yellowish ivory crown. Plenty of lace is created as multiple foam bridges break in slow motion.

What's not to love about a pale malted IPA that shows off a bumper crop of American hops? The orange, grapefruit and ganja-like qualities of Cascade are front and center, while the citric spiciness of Chinook is less apparent. This should be a good one.

At the risk of stating the obvious, it pays to drink IPAs soon after bottling. Rubicon India Pale Ale is now just short of 4 months of age and is a lip smackingly delicious beer that any hophead should enjoy. There's a ton of fresh hop flavor and a healthy amount of bitterness. It's impossible to do so accurately, but I'd put the IBUs somewhere in the neighborhood of 60.

There's just enough pale malt to keep the hops from being too abrasive. The malt sugars attempt to soothe the tongue, even as the alpha acids dig in with authority. The orange juiciness, the white grapefruity pithiness and the cheesiness of this particular hop bill is fantastic. Then again, any of the C-hops, alone or in combination, usually result in beautiful beer.

The mouthfeel matches the flavor profile extremely well and makes the beer gulpable in the extreme. That's why it's been rewarded with a good score in spite of being slightly lighter than the style average. Warming improves things considerably and provides a pleasing, luscious creaminess.

I had no idea what to expect from Rubicon IPA, but it definitely delivered the goods. This is an ale that fits my ideal of what an American IPA should taste like. It's stunning that a brewery unknown to most people outside of the Sacramento area can produce beer this delicious.

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Photo of hopshopshops
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh. This where it all started some 15 (???) years ago. My first IPA. There are moments, like when the Beatles were on Sullivan or the birth of your first child, or skiing for the first time, that fuse into our memoris so vividly. OK, I exaggerate some, but this was the first beer beer that I ever had that I enjoyed the taste more than the buzz.

I had one the other day and it seemed to be less than my fond memory, but it was still a good brew. The distinguiishing feature of this beer is a taste not unlike an apricot pit. It is a fresh, West Coast style with a minimal malt balance. The body/ carbonation/finish seemed a bit thin compared to my memory but with all that was going on, maybe my focus was off. So, I'll revert to my many memories of the past and say this is still a brew to try.

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Photo of Offa
4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is an excellent IPA, soldi, characterful, well-balanced, with qualities of both a West Coast US IPA and a British IPA.

Orange and faintly hazy, it has a medium-large, off-white head slowly shrinking and leaving some fairly good lace.

The aroma is very US/West Coast but with depth, character, and a little complexity. It has clear, bright aromatic grapefruit along with some candied orange peel, caramelised grain, a hint of resin, and overall quite flowery.

The taste is better, with an overall character of slightly bitter orange marmalade throughout, alng with grapefruit, a very juicy character overall, some reduced grape juice, caramelly, toasted grain, light leafy-spiciness, and preserved fruit. The biterness dominates the bee, but only just barely and it is based on a firm, sufficiently balancing, malty-jammy sweetness, along with a lot of hoppy and malty flavours. It is very juicy and zesty, and an excellent IPA.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
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 Troyone
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy off copper color, on the lighter side, with a half" off white head and has some carb action.

I could smell the florals right when I opened the bottle. Sweet florals of pine and a carmel aroma.

There is a medium bitter grapefruit taste with a hint of English Tea and background of caramel malt.

The medium bodied mouthfeel has crisp carbonation with a very tolerable slight astringent finish.

This is brewed at a different place than their Brewpub. The IPA on tap at the Rubicon Brewpub is excellent and their flagship beer. I'm a Hophead so this is a session beer for me.

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Photo of pbechtel
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of GJ40
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a 22oz bottle at Bev Mo while in the SF area and took it home with me.

A - A lighter golden color with good clarity. A thick, creamy off white head. Some lacing.

S - Very nice floral hop aroma. As good as it gets for a bottled beer.

T - Nice hop presence with a good grapefruit taste (just as I like it). It echoes in your tastebuds long after you've swallowed it. It's a bit on the sweet side though.

M - Nice low carbonation with a good body.

D - This is very much my style and it's very easy to drink. It may be a bit on the sweet side but I really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of camelgar
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of litheum94
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
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 Klym
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a surly pint glass.

I'm really surprised by this beer. Rubicon is local so I've been trying to give it a shot and this caught me off guard. A really very nice, very flavorful single IPA. Major backbone to this with just a slightly major bitter hop bite in the end. Nothing is superb about this but nothing wrong. If it's local it's a worthy try for sure! Props to rubicon for an impressive single ipa!

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Photo of Norfawkers
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A decent, flavorful, and versatile all around beer with a hop kick.

Appearance: Deep golden with little head

Smell: Citrus hoppy goodness

Taste: Sustained hoppy flavors with a malt finish

Mouthfeel: Initial bitterness with a strong finish

Drinkability: Versatile; started out as a sipping beer but when paired with food, additional flavors and bitterness noted

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Photo of KMani
4.21/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DwnTwnBwn
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Came with a solid one finger creamy head in a perspiring pint glass. A golden color with good clarity. A thick, creamy off white head. Good lacing.

S - Very good fresh hop aroma. Citrus and a touch of pine to is. Slight sweet malt to round it out.

T - Very good hoppy flavor to this IPA. Lots of Grapefruit. Good sweet malt backbone. Finish is bitter and dry. Awesome IPA.

M - Good Medium Body, right amount of carbonation.

D - This is a very well rounded IPA. The best cure in a pitcher to a long week. The bottled version is a touch less impressive then on tap. So if your in the Sac area it is best to stop by the Brewery.

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Photo of IPApadawan
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
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 chickencoop
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the worst habits this site has created is trading beer. Your always out there trading what we have local for some highly touted beer from out east, and you forget about the beers that we have daily available in our local stores. This is one of those beer. If this was from Iowa, i would tell everybody about this beer, and they need to get it, but it's not, it's lost in the mish-mash of the slammed IPA market of the west coast. This is right up my alley with big piney hops throughout, clean dry finish. One of the better, everyman IPA's i've had in some time.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

taste- lots of chinook and cascade hops that lend to an assertive hop bitterness balanced with a heavy malt backbone

color- light amber

clarity- clear but foggy

smell- hops and heavy carmalized malt, tangy hops, baby powder

body- medium-heavy weight mouthfeel, long bitter malt finish

appearance- nice fluffy white ice cream head with some lace retention

overall impression- i think this is a really good example of an ipa from northern california...the beer tends to be on the malty side and not for the faint at heart...always a good go to beer

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IPA from Rubicon Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 191 ratings