Bombay By Boat IPA | Moonlight Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
4.04/5
Exceptional
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Moonlight Brewing Company
California, United States
moonlightbrewing.com

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#7,704
Reviews:
70
Ratings:
144
pDev:
9.16%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
14
Trade:
0
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 144
Reviews by magictacosinus:
Photo of magictacosinus
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

To my knowledge, this is the very last beer I had on NYE before I lost any coherent consciousness to review anything that I would further drink. And, it's a good thing too, because I'm always pleased to find something made by Moonlight that *isn't* their Reality Czech pilsner every once in a while. Poured into a 16oz shaker pint glass at the Mallard pub.

Dark amber in color, with a nice frothy white head and some minimal lacing and bubbles throughout. Slightly cloudy, but I can't tell if this is the cask version or not. In the glass, the head dissipates rather quickly, leaving behind nothing more than a small ring by the end. This looks a lot like an English IPA, to be honest, and it's not the worst thing considering that it at least looks different from most IPAs being made in places in the Bay Area, as well as those around it.

Smells quite good - huge citrus notes, pine, and slight caramel sweetness that makes this a classic West Coast take on the style, yet brings in its own level of boldness. Orange peel, grapefruit, and tangerines, with some cardamom, dried leaves, and that pine/sage combo at the finish making its way through. Finishes slightly sweet yet firm, with strong caramel and light toffee. While it doesn't bring anything new to the ocean of IPAs that you have to wade through in this state, it's definitely enjoyable.

The flavor is on par with the aroma - strong citrus and bitterness, with a sweet malty finish and a medium body that makes it quite easy to drink. Grapefruit, orange peel, lemon zest, pine, cardamom, and some tamarind. Pretty juicy on the citrus fruity end, but also quite dry and firm by the finish, with some strong earthy and toasted grainy properties. No matter how much this warms up, it remains at the same level of bitterness, and never becomes too sweet or flat - although the caramel flavor becomes more heavily pronounced. Carbonation is good, and the beer feels creamy in spite of its medium bodied character. Refreshing, highly drinkable stuff - it's a fine bridge between a California IPA and an APA.

Beers from Moonlight are essentially of home brew quality (it is a one-man operation after all), and this beer really reminds you of that. It tastes very homemade and intimately acquaints people with a bitter beer that is more approachable with its crisp malt backbone and relatively lower ABV. Even though it's not as refined or explosive as other beers they make, this has to be my favorite beer from them, by far.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of flexabull
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask @ the Toronado.

Pours a bright gold color, slight haze, and a nice white head.

Aromas are of pine, bright and bitter citrus, like lemons and oranges.

Taste is just like the nose. Pine like, with citrus, a backdrop of bread dough, and some creamy sweetness. Finish has some resiny hops and lightly bitter notes.

Mouthfeel is great, very smooth, with plenty of body. Not heavy at all.

Overall, a very good beer, and better than the sum of it's parts. Very high drinkability, my glass was empty before I knew it.

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Photo of ccrida
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask at the toranado, bombay by boat is clear dirty blonde with an off-white head leaving decent foamy lace.

Smell is pretty heavy on the lemon cirtrus. A little nit of dirty dish-soap. Overall a touch soft.

Taste is also robustly hoppy, a big smack down of lemony hops, as JM said, very impressive depth of flavor for the size of this thing. Firm, lingering bitterness. No malt of note.

Mouthfeel is soft and bone dry, tounge-prickly.

Drinkability is high, an intensely hopped IPA with a reasonable ABV.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On hand pump at Toronado. Cloudy orange color. Smells like hops, hints of malt. Flavor was very bitter. This didn't really taste like a West Coast IPA but I'm not sure it was strictly English style either. The bitterness was nice and of course it was smooth being on hand-pump. I'd definitely order another and may do so before I leave the area.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On cask at the Toronado during SF Beer Week

Body is yellow gold with a tan head with lots of big round pancake-like bubbles that quickly dissipated to a ring. Leaves some soft lacing.

Aromas of malt, grapefruit, and piney and grassy hops.

Tastes of sweet malt with a huge assault of piney and citrus hops. Finishes bitter.

Body is light and carbonation a bit low, mouthfeel seemed ordinary for an IPA.

I though this was a good beer, but the hop profile seemed harsh. I enjoyed one, but would not follow it with another.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Flavors in Santa Rosa.

Pours amber with about 1 inch of white head.

Beautiful smell of pure hop goodness on the nose. Mostly piney and earthy with just a touch of citrus.

The taste is very hoppy- one of the hoppier I've had. Piney with very earthy overtones and almost no citrus. Great hop profile. There is just enough maltiness to give some balance. I would have scored this higher but for a slightly unpleasant aftertaste of damp earth or some other stale flavor that comes through now and again.

Mouthfeel is just right- good body and carbonation.

Good drinkability- I would absolutely love this beer if it were cleaned up a little.

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Photo of jkanavel
3.69/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint of this at the Barley and Hops Tavern in Occidental.

The head was clean eggshell white

body was a beautiful orangy-golden.

nose was very pretty and hoppy but not terribly distinguished. Grassy notes, some floral notes, a little slim on the citrus spectrum.

mouthfeel, thin as it warmed up. PBR thin.But rich and creamy when it had a little chill left on it.

Flavor is where it fell a little flat to me. It was served...not terribly cold. Which is fine, but as it warmed it became astringent, watery, thin, flat. Maybe I was near the end of the keg.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not so obnoxiously hoppy for an American IPA, which is quite alright with me. The cask conditioning makes it much creamier than I'm assuming a regular offering would deliver. Nice spicy tones stay even. Earthy and citric tones define it. A pleasant IPA to drink.

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Photo of bbothen
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On handpump at Cato's in Oakland.

Orange/tangerine color with a bubbly soapy looking head.

Aroma of a hop salad. Citrus, grapefruit, lemon/lime, earthy spruce.

Big bitterness from the delicious hops with a malty/bready balance. This is a fine example of an american IPA.

Medium bodied with a good lingering hop dryness.

Drinkability is high.

A real winner from Moonlight. Try this if you haven't.

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Photo of largadeer
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On handpump at Toronado from what appears to be a very fresh cask. It's brilliantly clear, golden in color with amber highlights, crowned by a dense frothy head that never fully dissipates. Herbal, earthy, faintly grapefruit-like hops are the first scents to greet my nose. There's a solid malt foundation as well, light with a toffee character. This smells English-inspired, the hop profile more European than West Coast. On the palate it's initially malty with a restrained toffee and biscuit sweetness. Hops take over shortly thereafter, earthy, spicy and herbal in character. The finish reminds me of rye bread, though I don't know if rye is actually used in the beer. Bitterness is at a moderate to low level, and the herbal astringency I get in the draft version of this beer seems more restrained on cask. Very enjoyable, a balanced and decidedly non-West Coast IPA, but a very good one. I'm liking it on cask more than any draft pours I've had.

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Photo of thewimperoo
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Lothore
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden, straw yellow hue with a foamy off white head that coats the glass as it goes down.

S- Pine, grass, herbal

T- Slightly herbal, biscuity with pine notes that lead into a huge wave of bitter piney hops.

M- Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D- This was a fantastic IPA and frankly i'm surprised it's not rated higher.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Out of the cask at Toronado in San Francisco, CA.

Raul pictured a vibrant, glowing setting sun... Raul pictured an angelic, endearing hula girl as his first mate... Raul pictured a beautiful, sparkling ocean in the never ending distance... And as Raul took his first sip and then swallowed, he kind of got that. Kind of.

With a name like "Bombay By Boat," Raul was ready to be swept away. No, not like that terrible Madonna film, but more like "L'atalante." And did Raul feel like he was sitting next to Jean Vigo after his first sip? Nope. Not at all.

Don't get me wrong, my children. It was a nice beer, but it was a bit more "simple" than Raul would have liked. It didn't "pop" like Raul's imaginary adventure to Bombay by boat (or steamer, for that matter) but it was smooth and tasty enough to warrant wanting to crack another on a schooner to Catalina Island.

Yep!

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Photo of yourefragile
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Beachwood BBQ (Seal Beach, CA) on 3/20/10. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a fairly clear shiney copper, with a finger of smooth and creamy looking head of off-white foam. This stays VERY rich and frothy in the glass, and honestly, this has one of the better IPA looks that I've seen in a while. Very nice! The aroma is fresh and floral feeling in the nose, with pine and spice notes being mellowed somewhat by a mix of earthy citrus and grapefruit character. Some bready caramel sweetness lends this a touch of balancing tang in the back of the nose.

The hops are full flavored, but a little more mellow up front here in the taste, with earth and spice being well balanced by fruity citrus and caramel malts. Hops dominate the finish with a deeply spicy dryness that lingers. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with more crispness up front, that then gets much more creamy and easy as you swallow. The amount of alcohol in the feel correctly matches the ABV here. In other words, not much. Nice.

I understand that the hop profile on this changes from batch and batch and I was pleased to find that this was a pretty good one. Earthy and citric, with some sharper hop notes, plus this really packed a lot of flavor for being a sub 6% ABV. Good stuff and it was really a pleasure to be able to find a Moonlight offering in the OC.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of DefenCorps
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Flavor Bistro in Santa Rosa.

A: Amber, surprisingly dark (not as dark as, say, Furious, though). Great clarity, head retention and spectacular lacework.

S: Citrus hops up front with a lot of orange and some lemon. Emphasis is on the bittering hops over flavor/aroma hops. Mildly herbal with a surprising tea-like aroma that's quite faint.

T/M: Opens with plenty of bitterness, sharp and aggressive that's primarily citrus in character wtih some pine. Malt is non-existent with a very light body. Dry and bitter finish, a bit more than I'd like.

D: The excessive bitterness does hurt the drinkability a bit.

Notes: I've been told that the last few batches have been more bitter than usual. I wonder if this is a reformulated recipe.

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Photo of Jenray
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of illidurit
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Poured into a pint glass. Clear amber with a foamy white head that leaves some decent wisps of lacing. Aroma is very leafy and raw. Some citrus zest in there too. Flavor is grapefruit oil up front and then a very herbal bitter finish. Perfect non-astringent bitterness, reminiscent of Pliny the Elder in standard IPA form. Another good one from Moonlight.

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Photo of USCTrojanBrian
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at The Flavor Bistro, Santa Rosa CA

A unique contrast to the various IPA's at Russian River on this trip. Robust aroma, but more spicey and subdued hop notes. Brownish amber color, good gooey/thickness in consistency.

Solid and enjoyable effort.

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Photo of willjschmidt
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Toronado. Served in a pint glass.

A: A rich golden straw color with a decent 1/4 inch white head.

S: Light fruit (citrus) along with some pine. There is also a lot of floral in the nose. Not as strong in the aroma department as some other IPA's.

T: The first taste to the tongue is that of light fruits. I detect some fruits in this brew that I usually don't get in IPA's: light citrus, lemon, orange, and quite a bit of strawberries. I also got a lot of floral accents in the taste. The slightly fruity beginning is followed up by the bitter hops. Nice balance between the bitter hops and the sweet malts. This beer is definitely on the light side for an IPA.

M: This is a light bodied beer with a slightly oily mouthfeel.

D: Good drinkability, the low ABV and light taste to the beer makes it do down easy. An enjoyable beer and a good IPA.

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Photo of nahthan
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer on hand pump at Lanesplitter Pub on San Pablo ave in Berkeley, CA. Wonderfully fresh. It tasted like it was straight out of the secondary fermenter - cloudy and alive tasting, not filtered and dead tasting. Perfect taste at clightly cooler than room temperature. Excellent dry-hopped hop flavor. I would guess Cascade hops. Nice balance between sweet and bitter, obviously leaning towards the bitter. no discernable yeast flavors. A wonderful beer that is very memorable days later.

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Photo of nygannon
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of augustgarage
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hand-pump cask @ Toronado in SF - served in a shaker pint.

Crystal clear amber body with a messy dollop of beige wave scum. Nice cakey lacing and a small head with good retention.

Resinous citrusy aromatics with evergreen and faintly sweet biscuity malts.

Grapefruit seeds, tangerine pith, pale malt, forest floor, etc. on the palate. Hints of wet wood and barley in the finish - fairly malty despite a forward NorCal hoppiness. Not as bitter (perhaps not as fresh?) as other reviews would indicate.

Creamy, mildly astringent mouthfeel, adequately carbonated, and slightly warm for the ABV.

A decent IPA, but not really on-par with many other offerings from this exceptional brewery.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a gold/amber with a nice white head, good lace, looks the part.

S: Heavy citrus, grapefruit, tangerine, nice smell.

T: Heavy earthy hop flavour of fallen leaves and sage. Tastes a bit like it's been on a trip to Bombay. Aftertaste is real nice of citrus and cedarwood.

M: Resiny, long aftertaste. Medium-bodied, oily.

D: An interesting IPA, not my fave hop character but an intriguing beverage.

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Bombay By Boat IPA from Moonlight Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 144 ratings