IPA | Rubicon Brewing Company

107 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 107 | Ratings: 190
Photo of Klym
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
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 Djedhead360
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a clear golden with a brown tint.Smell has a hoppy floral aroma with some malts.taste is a hoppy flavor citrus flavor . mouth feel is a little under carbonated it could have been sitting around a bit to long after i poured it. I think this is a nice hoppy IPA with good flavor definitely worth another taste.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rubicon Brewing Co.
22oz bomber, 6.5 ABV (no bottle date)
Deschutes snifter
Thanks to Barfdiggs!

A: This one pours a fairly clear deep orange color. Some hop haze. 1/4 finger bright white head. Some carbonation from glass bottom.

S: I get some pine notes, but followed by a lot of malt.

T: Interesting sip. The hops don't attack the tip of tongue, they mildly coat it. Then you get some malt life in the center of the mouth. Basically where it lives. The close has some bite, but not over powering.

M: It's light to medium bodied beer. Some mild mouth coating.

O: Average IPA. Don't hate it but don't love it. First offering from this brewery, but looking forward to trying more!

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Photo of DaveHack
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a DFH snifter. Received from dubinsky in a BIF.

Poured a cloudy copper. Very little head, almost zero lacing. Smells a bit piney, but not very strong. I wish there were a bit more smell to it. Taste is very bitter and on the dry side. It is a bit thick, especially for an IPA as opposed to a DIPA. It's a good beer, definately something to seek out if you like the bitter IPAs.

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Photo of bbb099
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Clear, orange golden color. Average amount of white-colored head. Quite typical of most IPAs.

S - Piny hops and a small amount of citrus. Some yeast aroma present as well.

T - Citrus hops up front followed by the bitter, musky piny hops. Malt flavors are present throughout. Did not finish quite clean however, it has a tiny amount of unpleasant aftertaste (fishy).

M - Medium body, nice amount of carbonation.

O - Pretty good for the price, not much to write home about though. Decent value, but I would fork over the extra $2-3 per bottle for a better IPA.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.49/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Acquired via Uncle Larry!

A beautiful clear and dark amber with a big khaki head. Lots of nice lacing down the glass. Incredibly pretty.

Not an aromatic IPA, which is one of my favorite aspects of a good IPA. Some mild hoppiness, and this beer is certainly balanced well by a certain malt presence, but it's just boring and average.

A little bit more hop bite and a citrus twang in the flavor, but overall a very balanced, unaggressive, relatively uninteresting, yet drinkable IPA.

Medium mouthfeel, ample carbonation.

A decent IPA, but nothing at all special. Drinkable and tasty, but nothing really in particular memorable or special.

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

22 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a pale, hazy copper color. Minimal slightly off-white head, with some visible carbonation.

Smell: Very mild, floral hoppy aroma.

Taste: Bitter, hoppy flavor with a bit of citrus beneath. Fairly constant through the aftertaste too.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Moderate ABV, not a big fan of the taste.

A tolerable IPA, but I don't particularly enjoy it. A bit too much bitterness in the absence of other flavors.

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Photo of biglobo8971
4.39/5  rDev +19%
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 Hoptometrist
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap into a shaker glass at the Rubicon Brewpub

A- Pours a clear dark golden amber color and leaves spotty lacing

S- Caramel sweetness, piney, and citrus hops

T- The taste is piney hop forward, then lots of caramel, and finishes with citrus hops

M- A crisp beer that finishes dry

O- Overall it is a good beer, but there are better IPA's out there, but there are worse ones too. It is very balanced between hop and malt, although the maltiness is not very sweet.

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Photo of andythegief
3.84/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- great golden color, little head that dissipated quickly, no lacing to speak of.

S- not a very aromatic beer - faint lemon smell

T- lots of lemon from start to finish, a little grassy, Malty bread aftertaste

M- average carbonation - perfect for an IPA; sticky - flavor lasts quite a while.

O- very drinkable - goes down quick despite the lingering, sticky taste. Great IPA for a warm day in the sun. Great price too!! $3.50 for a bomber, $4.50 for a pint on tap, and $16 for a pitcher.

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

Nice orange colors, lighter edging. Head is pretty firm, mostly white with good lacing. While the color is light, the hops are plentiful. Quite herbal with a strong citric presence. Slightly spicy nose.

The flavor is quite good, smooth and drinkable. The hops are fresh and lip-smacking. Good bitterness but matched evenly by a slightly sweet malt presence. Mostly pale malts, not too dextrin. Nice.

I drank this thing very quickly. That's the best recommendation.

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Photo of SuperNova777
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanx to JFH for this bottle!!

A:Pours a nice copper color with a small bubbly white head, good lacing is left hanging around

S:Smell seems a little muted but picking up some pine and citrus hops with some caramelized malts in the mix as well, nothing to overpowering

T:Up front it is very smooth when it first hits the tongue with some sweetness then pine driven hops take over after that leaving some bitter notes on the backend and hanging around the palate afterwards. Much better than the smell lets on.

M:Pretty solid mouthfeel with hops dominating the palate leaving stickiness hanging around on the lips.

D:A really easy drinking brew that has enough flavor to keep you interested without being over the top. Definitly one you can throw back and enjoy a few of with having the low ABV that it does.

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Photo of Seanibus
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A pretty good IPA, though perhaps a little bit overly intense.

Pours a hazy yellow with a nice white head that falls a bit too fast. The aroma is lemony and spritzy with a bit of bready malt behind it. The flavor is extremely intense, almost completely hop-driven - bitter, lemony, and sharp, again with that trace of bready malt in there just to remind you that this is beer, not hop essence. The bitterness is sharp and manifests on every part of the tongue, starting with a lemon-rind flavor on the front and mellowing to a round, grapefruity bitterness on the mouthfeel is thin and prickly.

This good, but I think the intensity hurts the overall drinkability - it has the powerful zing of something like the Plineys of Russian River without the magical balance that makes it work.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.07/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very hazy orange copper. The head hits about an inch and leaves a bit of lace behind.
The smell is very floral and sweet. Not bad but one dimensional.
The taste follows suit with some herbal notes following. A little too thick for the style/ABV.
Not terrible, but nothing I'd buy or go out of my way to find again.

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Photo of whatthehull
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Belgium snifter

a - cloudy, a bit of head for a moment, awesome golden brown

s - lots of piney hops, grass, sun flower, yeast and malty sweet goodness

t - Huge pine and grass hoppiness all the way threw, yeast, a bit earthy and a semi sweet finish

m - grainy with a nice fluffy carbonation

d - if you don't enjoy 98% hop, you won't enjoy this

Final Thought - awesome beer, especially for $3.50 per bottle

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Photo of hopshopshops
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
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 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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IPA from Rubicon Brewing Company
3.69 out of 5 based on 190 ratings.
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