IPA | Rubicon Brewing Company

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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 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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Photo of aforbes10
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
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 -43.4%
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 -5.1%
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 +18.4%
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 +0.3%
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 +6.2%
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 +2.4%
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 +10.3%
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 +6.5%
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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IPA from Rubicon Brewing Company
3.69 out of 5 based on 190 ratings.
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