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 aforbes10
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the Java Lounge in Sacramento. Pours a nice full amber-to-brown color with a thin white head. It's in a plastic cup, so i won't judge the poor head formation too harshly. Vague citrus hop odors and a hint of sweet malt on the nose. Big hoppy flavor on a sweet caramel malt base. Hops are again, this vague sort of citrus. Bitterness roars in towards the finish and sticks around for a while. Hint of something metallic like tin. Medium bodied. Bitterness is a bit overdone for my taste, but its a fine IPA, no huge complaints.

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Photo of HalfFull
2.09/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A golden orange into a large wine glass I pour ye, with a half inch of off white head. Fair retention and lacing. Looks rather rich.

Orangey, buttery, sweet, bit skunky in fact on the nose. No hops in the house, how is this an IPA? This beer reminds me of Union Jack (in the bottle) but isn't as good. Is it possible the beer was just very old and the hops had broken down? Maybe, but I didn't get that impression. There were some cryptic markings but nothing I could interpret as for freshness.

Back to the smell. A rich sugary citrus oil odor emanates, not my favorite though apparently there are many fans. Similar to some Firestone offerings in that regard.

Taste follows with a buttery texture, rich and syrupy. Bitterness is cloaked on the finish as are hops on the nose by the sweetness.

Feel and Drink, yeah, OK.

This beer is like a dumb blonde to me. She's pretty and all but the reality comes hard and it comes fast. If you like the Cascade/Crystal combo with a rich buttery diacetyl flavor then I would consider this an average Pale Ale. Yet this is a strange one in the IPA world.

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Photo of mattffrost
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into glass

Appearance Beer is a mostly clear amber/orange color. Head is whtie. Middle head dissolves quickly leaving outer head staying around outside of glass.

Smell Hoppy Citrus, Sweet Malt, earthy grass smells.

Taste Sweet up front, does not finish vey bitter. Not an abundance of hops. Nice citrus flavor, I would say a very mild American IPA. I have had better and worse, it's a good solid beer.

Mouthful Low carbonation, not really hoppy a nice mild American IPA.

Drinkablity Nice aroma and flavors makes this a nice mild American IPA nothing over the top.

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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 barleywinebrewer
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - nice amber orange color with a solid white head
S - biscuit malts, citric hops and caramel.
T - a light biscuit / caramel base supports a solid bitter, citric / pine hop taste.
M - medium bodied, nicely carbonated, dry and medium hoppy
D - smooth dry finish and a medium hop bite makes this a good all around IPA.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pleasant surprise in an un-hyped, plain bottle. Pours orangy-gold with a frothy white head. Clean pine hop aroma, with some citrus, a la the west coast style. Great taste of grapefruit and oranges. Bit of bread in the back a is a slight resiny tang. Dry finish. Nice.

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Photo of flexabull
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of BrewMonkey, thanks again!

I've had this a few times on draft, but never in a bottle, so here goes.

Beer pours a bright clear gold color with a nice big rocky white head.

Aromas are of fresh pine, hard candies, and resin. A pleasant beer to sip.

Taste is dry, kind of herbal, and with a real slight sweet and creamy malt backbone. Finish is crisp with a bit of mineral hop bitterness that lingers nicely.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. The carbonation is about right, and the beer has a decent full feel to it without being to heavy.

Drinkability is nice. This is a good solid IPA that is well worth trying, and I could easily see myself having more than one in a session. Good stuff.

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Photo of katan
4.07/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber - no date but certainly aged in my cellar for sure

A - Pours a dark golden color. Head formation is quick and vigorous - light white in color. Dissipation is slow which leaves a light lacing and film on top. Haze is apparent from yeast (bottle conditioned?)

S - A quite hoppy nose - a combination of spice with earthy grapefruit. Floral in nature.

T - Starts off very balanced with a straight barely sweetness offset by bitterness and some noble hops tastes. Finishes with a floral hoppy note. The aftertaste is certainly quite bitter from the leftover alpha oils.

M - This beer has a solid body to it - very coating. Leaves much residue on the palette for solid "aftertaste". Carbonation is present but not overly biting.

D - Against the grain of the body and flavors, I find this beer not to be particularly filling. The ABV is higher than normal, but workable. Lastly, the hoppy flavors here are quite potent but not off the charts too far.

I feel disappointed that I let this one sit in the cellar that long. A quality beer that I would find in the same class as a racer 5 from Bear. In fact, since I can't get Bear, this is a great addition to my rotation.

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Photo of MisterClean
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the source.

A - Hazy, golden orange, off-white head, dissipates moderately, and leaves random trails of lacing.

S - Malts with piny and grassy hops.

T - Citrus, pine, malts, and earthy hops.

M - Well-balanced, but bitter enough to remind you that it's an IPA.

D - Really good stuff. This is the go to beer at the Rubicon.

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Photo of grub
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled sept 28/08.

pours a nice clear orangey copper colour with a small fluffy white head. the head drops fast and leaves lots of lace.

aroma is good. light alcohol. white bread. touch of biscuit. orange. grapefruit. pine. bit of pineapple and mango too.

taste is nice. medium bitterness level. bread and biscuit. grapefruit and pine. light alcohol. hint of orange, but less citrus and tropical fruit than in the aroma. the alcohol warmth starts to spread fairly fast.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. medium carbonation level. nice drying finish from the hops.

drinkability is good. nice balance. this bottle seems to be a little past its prime, with the taste and overall character suffering a little. i bet this one would have been great fresh. will have to keep a look out for another bottle.

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Photo of Viggo
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this 22 oz at a Bevmo in San Francisco.

Pours a hazy golden copper, nice thick white head forms, drops a ton of lace on the glass, good retention, looks like a solid IPA. Smell is okay, citrus and grapefruit, some caramel, light pine, bit of brown sugar, lightly fruity, a bit subdued which makes me believe this bottle isn't as fresh as it should be, but the aroma is decent. Taste is sweet and malty, caramel, some orange, grapefruit and tangerine, a bit sugary, herbal bitterness in the finish, quite balanced. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Standard IPA, would like to try this fresher because I would think it has some potential.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What should really be said here? Rubicon's IPA is a very straightforward amber-colored American style IPA. It has an aroma of citrusy Cascade hops combined with softly sweet biscuity and caramelish malts. The flavor is basically the same with some more pine-like hop character (it's a bit floral as well). It's solidly bittered but balanced. If anything, it could be a bit more refined (the bitterness does tend to stick at the back of the throat), but as it is, it's still far more in-check than many of the examples on the market today. A straightforward, balanced, and drinkable American IPA.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.07/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark burnished orange-gold with a rocky head of meringue-fluff off-white foam. Lots of tiny carbonation bubbles around the edges. Not much lacing.

Piney hop resin character on the nose, with a very unpleasant undertone of diacetyl. Yuck! Menthol and citrus are there, but the sickly sweet butterscotch character burrowing underneath just puts me off. Blech!

Taste is unfortunately rather similar. Really unpleasant caramel sweetness infiltrates what is otherwise a clean hoppy IPA bitterness. Truly, the sweet character in this is unwelcome, and hopefully unintentional. Mouthfeel is ok, light sparkling character, good for an IPA, but it doesn't have much to work with here.

Too much sweetness, and even if the hops do try to cover it, they don't succeed, and it tastes like there's something fundamentally wrong here.

Did I get a bad bottle? Is this a bad batch? Or is it just a bad beer? Well, with so many other beers to try, and much better IPAs out there, I'd be wary of even giving this one a second chance. Sorry, Rubicon IPA, you blew it in my book.

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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 beerbrewerdan
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat cloudy copper orange. The bartendress suggested the beer was unfiltered. Very nice grass and citrus nose. Flavor hits with hops. Bitterness is subdued and the malt is present though slightly drying at the end. Could drink a lot of this. Short review for a very good beer.

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Photo of Deuane
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep golden amber with a slight haze. Thin white head that sticks around and leaves nice lace.

S-Rich perfume like citrus twinged hops. Nice amount of sweet caramel following.

T-Another malt/hop battle....with hops just pulling it out. Good citrus kick with a tangy acidic background.

M-Medium body, tangy with a good lingering bitterness.

D-A nice citrus tangy, malt balanced IPA. This isn't quite west coast to me but it gets close. Easy quaffable in large amounts.

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Photo of ffejherb
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber into 12oz. glass. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Hazy burnt orange body with slim white head that retained quite well and seemed to swell up with each swirl of the glass and left some sparse lacing. Minimal bubbles of carbonation.

S - Perfumy aroma with sweet floral hops and some peppery spiciness as well. Malt is primarily caramel with a mild burnt quality and some sweet syrupy qualities.

T - Starts off on the hoppy side with a perfumy hop profile and some floral attributes, then quickly melds into more malty territory with hints of burnt caramel and a mild toasted grain character. There's also some bitter citrus rind in the finish.

M - Medium body with a smooth, creamy texture and moderate carbonation. There's also a bit of alcohol warmth on the palate. Finish is mildly metallic and moderately bitter on the tongue.

D - Good IPA with more of a floral/perfumy character. While I prefer IPAs with citrus and piney hop profiles, I found this to be quite drinkable and balanced. Overall, this is a solid brew.

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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 MiScusi
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Right off the bat this beer reminds me of Ballast Point Big Eye IPA in almost every regard. The appearance is similar- a golden-amber-orange color. The smell is similar- floral yet distinctively sweet malt. The taste is similar, has a big malt backbone that I don't normally see in IPA's, except by East Coast brewers who don't dry their IPA's out as much as most West Coast brewers. It delivers a nice floral hop flavor with a moderate resiny bitterness... went well with my chili and spicy nachos but overall the malt is just a bit too much here for me to really love it.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.96/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a light golden color, lots of carbonation, dirty head. Smelled of citrus and floral. Taste was rather astringent and bitter from beginning to end. Yep..not a fan. Tasted like it had some english malts in there too. Mouthfeel was so bitter I couldnt wait to get it down. No smoothness to this brew at all.

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Photo of Zorro
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Chill hazed orange amber color, your basic "IPA Orange" color. Small off-white head forms and falls.

Smell is sweet and malty for an AIPA. Muted citrus, pine and pineapple aromas and woody and tea bags scents. Smells muted to me.

The taste starts out neutral and woody with a sharp bitterness and a teabag astringent taste. Strong woody flavor and something that prickles the tongue that I am going to call astringency. Malt sticks around here and doesn't get over powered by hops.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Drinkability is just so so. This beer just seems to be a bunch of parts and not a combined beer. Not something I will likely try again.

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Photo of Bubba83
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass at 45-50 degrees fahrenheit.

Decent amount of head on a medium pour, about 2 inches worth infact. A nice brunt orange hue with slow rising bubbles and bright white head. Leaves good lacing down the glass.

Smells piney, with a tart grapefruit character and a side of ink. Faint caramel is barely present.

Tastes a bit inky in those sips where the head is still in abundance, the yeast seemed to have given that slightly inky character to the beer, but it wasn't too bad. Actually pretty nice and sweet at first with some caramel flavors that continue on into bright citrus, then tart grapefruit pith and finally pine after the beer is swallowed and the residual oils are left.

Feels a bit thinner than you'd expect from the full flavor. I wouldn't call it watery or anything, just a bit thin. Pretty low amount of carbonation, but this is actually a nice thing as far as I am concerned.

It finishes dry and almost cloyingly bitter, not as clean finishing as some of my most favorite IPAs. The alcohol is also pretty apparent at the end and in the burps that are sure to follow.

Overall an IPA that I would recommend trying, and a nice introduction to Rubicon Brewing.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Like the mighty rubicon river that caeser crossed. This beer flows easily into a pint glass.

Big head, some lacing, that follows the glass down.

Malty sweet smell, some macro smell.

Hop taste, kinda watery, not sacramento river watery, but light.

Decent mouthfeel. Leaves a piney aftertaste.

Ok, dont go out of your way, but good.

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Photo of cerveza5150
4.11/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served poured from a 22oz bomber into a small sampling glass, a bit on the cold side, I'd say...40 degrees or so.

Head is razor thin and diminishes somewhat on pouring. CO2 is present, but not over active. The appearance isn't that impressive, to be honest.

The smell is pretty good, with hops present, as well as some sweet, caramel malts.

The taste is really, really, good! I held off from giving the taste a 5, due to the lack of a CO2 backbone. Lacing is present down the sides of the glass.

I'm thinking the lack of CO2 is probably due to the age of this bottle. It was going on 6 months, so I think it's seen better days! The taste was really good, so I'm looking forward to sampling a fresher offering from this brewery.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Pours a dark yellow, with a full cask head, cascades to make a nice looking pint, leaves a mound of lacing instead of just traces.

S: Nice floral hop aroma, wildflowers, some honey, grapefruit.

T: Grapefuit pith and lemon, light citrus character, with a bready malt character as well.

M: Light, low in carbonation, I know this is a cask ale, but it still felt kind of watery for this serving type.

D: A nice beer, haven't had it in the bottle yet, should buy a bottle to compare, a nice beer.

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