IPA | Rubicon Brewing Company

191 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 191 |  Reviews: 107
Photo of DoubleJ
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at The 6740, on to the beer:

Yellow-orange colored beer with long lasting head and a few patches of lacing sticking around. Not particularly aromatic beer, a little tinge of pine and grapefruit, but its taste makes up for it. In classic West Coast form, the strong hoppy flavors make notes of tangerine, pine, and white grapefruit, while the malt just sits there and lets the hops do the work. Medium bodied and smooth with a tiny prick of alcohol, this beer has little trouble going down.

Delightful IPA. One of many IPA's from California that are such.

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Photo of Tripphop
4.02/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trade extra thanks to Loki83.

Color is crystal clear with a bright golden hue.
Head is nice and frothy, clings and clumps all over the glass.
Aromas are of pine needles, hop resin, and cat pee. (kinda looks like cat pee)
Taste is bursting with hoppy goodness. Flavors of orange, lemon, pine, grass, and herbs.
Finish is lasting with a dry tangy hop-pucker. Great for the style, classic Cali IPA.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, a somewhat faint dry grapefruit citrus rind. In the taste, grapefruit citrus hop and a small malt balance. A hops bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry grapefruit rind hop in the aftertaste. Kind of like a west coast Dogfish Head 60 minute. Nice hop and flavor, but not too much.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.64/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice Amber color with only the slightest hint of cloudiness, and middling carbonation. One finger of rocky head settles into a small tiara and leaves good lacing. Big aromas of green apple, along with the grapefruit and pineapple IPA characteristics. Fairly par for the course thus far. Flavor is....well, it's a West Coast IPA!!! Nothing unique, but it's done well. Some faint hints of alcohol and some pine-ish flavors, but all-in-all an IPA. Priced at $3.99/bomber, it's very reasonable, which brings up the drinkability for me.

What I like Most: The wonderful aroma of green apple that shoots out of the bottle and into the glass.

What I like Least: The lack of unique qualities.

Verdict: Hard to find fault in it, but it doesn't excite me. Price point makes it worth trying if you see it.

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

Pours a moderately hazy orange-amber color, with a decent off-white head that hangs around for awhile. Aromas of freshly picked oranges, grapefruit zest and some floral hops. Somewhat bitter on the palate, with grapefruit, floral hops and sweet malt. A pretty solid west coast IPA.

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Photo of chickencoop
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
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 SpdKilz
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
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 aglose45
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to jfh for this one as an extra in a trade.

A: Pours a clear, medium golden brown. The head was a bit off-white, and didn't hang around too long. However, there was a nice amount of sticky lacing left on the walls of my nonic pint glass.

S: The nose doesn't reveal much, but what I am picking up is some floral hops and some sweet bready malts. I prefer a nice pungent nose.

T: Thank goodness the taste is better than the nose! My first sip was of juicy citrus hops, most specifically orange. There were also some sweet floral hops. The malt backbone is just as the nose suggests; bready, which is pleasant to me. There is an overall nice and moderate amount of bitterness in this beer. As the beer warms I also pick up a soapy taste.

M: The carbonation is prickly at first, but subsides after awhile. There is a moderate amount of hop resin left in the mouth, but after awhile the beer starts to get a bit watery to me.

D: Just like all west coast style ipa's, this one hop forward, which I enjoy, but this one isn't on the same level as some other ipa's I have had.

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Photo of JTahoe
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Clear golden amber with fluffy off-white head with decent lacing, moderate retention.

S - Very nice hop aroma, though fairly mellow with notes of tropical fruit, pine, and wild flowers. Nice bready background.even smelling some banana, like ripe fruit.

T - Blended hop flavors come through in a pleasing way, much like the smell with a twist of orange juice. Decent bitterness without overpowering. Yeasty bread flavor with some biscuit malts with a hint of caramel. Not very complex in character, but some good interest. Lingering aftertaste late in the finish borders on unpleasant in my opinion, but doesn't ruin the overall beer for me.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Slightly drying in the finish.

D - Pretty good--not the best example of the style, but solid. Definitely worth trying. I would like to try this on tap.

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

a - burnt orange color with a one-finger ivory head, not much retention as the head quickly dissipates, moderate lacing, a bit hazy

s - pretty reserved/weak, aroma, some orange and citrusy hop notes along with a mild biscuity malt aroma, hints of alcohol

t - big sweet orange burst up front with more citrus on the mid-palate mixing with a nice mildly sweet malty backbone, hop bitterness with a lingering caramel maltiness on the finish, not much alcohol evident

m - medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, pretty dry on the finish, slight alcohol warming

d - decent drinkability in that it's pretty easy on the palate for an IPA, but it's not all that interesting in flavor

Decent IPA overall, but nothing memorable. Worth a try if you see it on your store's shelves.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
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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Photo of pjwilson
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My local brewpub sells this, and a lot of places sell this around town on tap, so why get it in the bottle? Well, the 3.50 takeout price seemed was too good to pass up, so I grabbed a 22, put it in my bike basket and headed home.

Appearance: highly carbonated beer, more so than usual on tap. The foam lasts a long time, and there is lacing on the glass. Beautiful golden color.

smell: like a handful of hops. massive grapefruit and mild pine. I'm even smelling some banana, like ripe fruit.

taste: this beer is incredibly hoppy. Just a massive hop attack. The yeast is more controlled than the tap verison, no doubt to being contracted brewed by Sudwerk. So with the yeast subdued the hops can jump out. wow. I like this beer, but it is so hoppy. Massive wall of bitterness, follow by piney hop flavor, followed by aftertaste of more bitterness.

mouthfeel: the carbonation lifts it off the tongue. The bitterness lingers for minutes.

drinkabilty: drinkable enough, but not sure you want a keg of this, one 22 is about right before you switch to something else. A massively Hoppy IPA, without balance, but quite good.


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Photo of Arbitrator
1.97/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Pours a reddish amber body with a fluffy off-white head. Retention was a minute or two, with some streaks of lacing down the glass.

S: Malty, bready, yeasty... grapefruit hops are subdued and reserved in comparison.

T: Again, malt-forward with a caramel and bread backbone. Hops are citrusy and develop the flavor further, but they are hardly the centerpiece of the taste as I would expect from an IPA. They seem to be almost an afterthought.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation. A malty finish with biscuit and caramel in the aftertaste.

D: I'm not impressed. It's not a drainpour, but it's a pretty weak IPA.

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Photo of Norfawkers
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
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 Offa
4.28/5  rDev +16%
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 nomomentwasted
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this last night during an IPA night with some fellow BAs and good friends tahlstro, klonda, and Diablerie. Good folks, good brew, good times.

Appearance: Pours very nice amber red color with some fluffy white head and decent wave lacing. Color, head, and lacing were all very nice, and looked like an ideal IPA.

Smell: Malty. Bready yeast comes through as well, and part of me was thinking I was trying an amber ale more than an IPA. It's a bit more of a subdued hoppiness and more of an East Coast IPA in my opinion; hops are there no doubt, but don't take center stage as much as in many other IPAs. Not bad by any means, I'd just like a little more hoppiness in my IPAs.

Taste: Much like the smell, with the bready, yeasty quality taking hold with soem biscuity malts, followed by some slight bitterness and caramel, both in texture and in taste. Hops do come through upon aeration, but they are more of a balance to the malt than the other way around.

Mouthfeel: Amply carbonated and easy to enjoy. Bitterness wasn't overwhelming and the aftertaste was very dry and slightly malty.

Drinkability: Not exactly my IPA of choice if I had to pick one. Hops were just a little outshown by the malts, and I'm not sure I loved the yeast choice at play here, but definitely synergized into a very balanced and simple IPA.

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Photo of DwnTwnBwn
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
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 alleykatking
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from Mauerhan....thanks Topher!

A- Poured into my Bell's pint glass. Nice golden orange color with some slight haze to it. Good one and a half finger pretty white head. Left good amounts of lacing on the side that look like they are clinging on for dear life.

S- Nice bitter earthy hop aroma to it. Pick up on a little grapefruit as well. Some sweet malts can be picked up on the undertones of this beer along with a slight hint of alcohol as well. Nothing to overpowering but it lets you know it's in there.

T- Some of the hops have begun to fade but holy shit the first taste I took I puckered my lips a little from the bitterness. Good stuff for sure! The big bitter hops take full charge right off the bat and it's like a battering ram knocking up against your palate. The malts come through a little more in the middle of the taste which I think is nice but I'm sure if this was alittle fresher that wouldn't be there. I personally am glad it is. The ending of this beer has some more hops to it but not quite as bitter as the first taste would suggest. Kind of a one trick pony but at the same time it's a little more complex than that. Good clean taste overall though.

M- This is a medium mouthfeel beer. The carbination is dead on making this beer neither dance or walk across the palate. More like it floats it across. I enjoy it a lot. The hops make their residence on your tounge shortly after you swallow the beer. Nice clean hop aftertaste.

D- This beer is pretty good with some age on it. I would like to try on tap to get the full feel for it but a nice add to the IPA world as a whole. Good job guys!

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Photo of jackorain
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I split this bomber between 2 large burgundy wine glasses to share with my wife.

Pours a cloudy but bright orange color with a ¾ inch white head that fell rather quickly but left a very tall collar and bubbly, splotchy coat.

Aroma of grapefruit and tangerine hit first. This is followed by a touch of sweet caramel Not complex but nice.

Flavor profile is a bit more complex that the aroma. Piney hops and piney bitterness hits 1st. This is followed by the grapefruit. The caramel and sweetness is not as perceptible in the flavor as the nose but it is there. Hop bitterness is not overly high but it is a bit harsh. The finish is heavy on the grapefruit juice and grapefruit like bitterness, which is a quality that I like.

Medium body with a medium carbonation. Sticky and oily feel

I suppose I could have a few of these, or more.

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Photo of brentk56
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear honey color with a huge head that sticks well and leaves quite a bit of lacing, too

Smell: Pithy grapefruit and a hint of pineapple and biscuit malt

Taste: The hops don't waste any time dominating the biscuit on this beer and they continue to build through mid-palate, although a slight metallic tendancy is noted; after the swallow, the flavor is slightly more balanced, but this beer is a West Coast IPA through and through

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This beer will wear out your tongue but it is still a very nice example of the West Coast style

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Photo of Stephen63
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Blonde-ish appearance, reasonable head.

S - Sweet with mild citrus, pretty nice.

T - Bitterness comes in at the end but citrus flavours very apparent.

M - Nice carboation, quite sour on the palate.

D - Very moreish. Stronger than ones I am used to.

A typical IPA, well up with the best I have tasted. Well above the strength of UK IPAs. Recommended.

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Photo of illidurit
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a pint glass. Hazy goldenrod with a light beige head that leaves some wispy film behind. Aromas of pineapple and toffee. Not especially robust. Flavor is malty and woody with zero citrus. Some hop bitterness but not a lot of hop flavor. Some herbal notes and astringency as well. Very dry on the palate. Tastes like an IPA that hasn't been stored properly.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle tried 13 Mar 2009.

Poured in a Sierra Nevada pint glass. Very large, fluffy peach colored head. Light carbonation. Aromas of soap, pineapple, toffee. Starts with a buttery sweetness, hops come through as pineapple and light citrus. Some soapiness. Finish is bitter, earthy and citric. Aftertaste is a little sweeter, toffee and a lingering faint bitterness. Medium sticky body. Ethanol leaves a warming sensation.

I don't mind a little bit of soapy aroma or taste but there was a bit too much here.

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Photo of Troyone
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
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 eelriverbrewfan
4.37/5  rDev +18.4%
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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IPA from Rubicon Brewing Company
3.69 out of 5 based on 191 ratings.
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