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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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 191 |  Reviews: 107
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
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

 1,357 characters

Photo of JiffyG89
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of PickwickHopz
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of dads_basement
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

 718 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of arizcards
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

 595 characters

Photo of aparabola
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of mhaugo
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of beertraveler13
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Can_if_you_can
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of sommersb
2.58/5  rDev -29.5%
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!

 871 characters

Photo of dwtyler
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Pug
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of gefinley
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Ilovebeer1549
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of ronniebruner
3.21/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

 396 characters

Photo of grubefresh
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of trevordglenn
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Schwegler
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of IchLiebeBierZu
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of Hopster916
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of John_M
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 1,070 characters

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