NorCal IPA | Moylan's Brewery

68 Reviews
no score
Send samples
NorCal IPANorCal IPA

Brewed by:
Moylan's Brewery
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by 4000qtrap on 07-12-2010

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Reviews: 68 | Ratings: 191
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Strong aroma is richly hoppy with a firm grapefruit undertone, what I expect from a good IPA, with just a whisper of honey sweetness. It pours a pretty clear coppery amber with a thick, fluffy, white head that hangs around for just a bit. Flavor is quite hoppy and a little bitter, with an undertone of sour citrus - mainly grapefruit - and a hint of honey sweetness that balances the bitterness nicely. Smooth texture is fairly fizzy and leaves a nice hoppy finish that has bitter, sour and sweet tones.

 504 characters

2.88/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured golden with a with a thin copper head that dissipates quickly.

AR: Light floral hop aroma with string notes of biscuit malt. Hop aroma almost seems a bit flat or stale.

T: Slightly bitter with notes of grapefruit and other citrus fruits with a pretty one dimensional biscuit malt profile.

M: Light with a harsh bitterness that lingers on the finish.

O: A pretty standard IPA, but with beers like hopsickle and kilt lifter i expected more from Moylan's.

 470 characters

Photo of PEIhop
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - This Nor Cal IPA pours an impressive burnt orange that is extremely clean and clear. The head is small, but quite bubbly releasing enticing aromatics.

S - the nose is dominated by the citrusy notes of the hops coupled with an abundance of piney aromas.

T - An unexpected malt character is balanced very nicely with the hops. The taste is dry, refreshing, and crisp, but doesn't linger on the palate dissipating quickly leaving hop bitterness.

M - Nicely carbonated with a medium-body.

D - A good beer, from a great brewery. Definitely worth trying if available, but wouldnt seek it out.

 594 characters

Photo of azdback
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone Imperial glass. Dark orange that is clear and full of carbonation bubbles Head is two fingers, bright white and frothy in appearance. Lace is looking sticky and like it's gonna stay for a while, and It does in patchy rings.

Pith of orange smells from the hops. I am also getting some yeast smells. Not much more.

Taste is an unbelievable bitter citrus hop. My second sip was a bit different. The bitter was there but of sweet tastes comes out. I at first thought of caramel but almost immediately changed my mind to cotton candy. It is short lived though in the swallow. As this warms it's bitterness mellows and the sweetness comes out. Quite enjoyable.

The mouth is average for the style and does get better with some time and warmness. It doesn't ever ease off on the bitter though.

Overall I enjoyed this one. It is the pucker up kind of IPA all the way. Recommended.

 895 characters

Photo of snogglethorpe
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap in a small beer-bar in Hiroshima. Imported beer in Japan can often be a little less fresh than it should be, but I was just floored by the freshness and tastiness of this -- it just oozed fresh piney and grapefruity hop taste, and smelled great. It was also a lovely deep bronze color with a smallish but creamy and attractive lacing.

This is exactly what I want an American IPA to be.

 404 characters

Photo of Crabbicuss
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber to tulip glass.

A - Pours a semi-clear orange which surges to a foamy head beginning with micro bubbles fading to a fluffy 1/4" head with some sparse lacing. Semi decent retention.

S - Powerful citric whiff upfront with some pine aroma and a late hidden note of pineapple or weak sweet malt presence (caramel?).

T - Immediate hit of citrus (very concentrated) with an earthy pine follow up. There is a slightly sweet finish but the mouth is left with a bitter after taste wanting a touch more sweetening malt(s). I do taste some roast, not sure if that is the unmalted barley being roasted, though the appearance of the beer doesn't indicate any roasted ingredients.

M - Medium body with a little less than average carbonation. A slight to moderate bittering aftertaste which lingers throughout.

D - First off, to be fair to this beer I did not see the carton from which it came so I can't assume the freshness. Moylan's dates their cartons, not bottles, so perhaps I picked up a less than fresh bomber. Another possible detractor is that this bomber was on the shelf and NOT in the cooler. It does state on the bottle "Live Ale! Keep Refrigerated" and in this case it wasn't. If the contributing "fresh" hops in this beer are to be present, up front and balanced to the malts, then I missed it. Again that could be due to the bottling date which I will never know. I do plan to go back and try this one again once confirming the freshness but hope it doesn't leave me with the current opinion I have that it lacks some balance, especially regarding a Cali style IPA.

I hope the BA God's allow me to refine my review once I've retained and sampled a confirmed FRESH bottle of this stuff.

 1,720 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orange pale copper hue with a slightly off white head, forms thick and bubbled. Aroma has citric layers/grapefruit pretty much upfront. Flavor doesn't seem as vibrantly hoppy as it should be but it's got a nice redeeming bitterness a bit of citrus peel but overall it's hop flavor fades to the bitterness and light biscuit malts. Why no date on the bottle I don't know but there's a ton of Moylan's floating around Pittsburgh, this was picked up at Giant Eagle Market District. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with hop oils, a bit of alcohol. Drinkability is pretty pour I need fresh Nor Cal, it would be much more complex and fresh hops helps this type of experience. This isn't so old that I'm getting off flavors just the hops are less vibrant than a super hoppy fresh version.

 784 characters

Photo of paganbeast
2.65/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pale golden orange in color, with incredibly light lacing. The aroma isn't very striking, some citrus and grassy notes.

The mouthfeel is very thin, light bubbles and a bit watery.

Strong initial taste of grapefruit rind. The bitterness mellows out after a few sips. The hops really flow throughout this beer, there is so little malt balance that it doesn't suit my palate.

 374 characters

Photo of BretSikkink
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange color with golden highlighting and a tall white head that exhibits nice cragginess as it slowly recedes. The lacing is ice on this pretty damn fine looking cake.

The nose is definitely hopping, bringing the citrus fruits right up to the nose. Brighter than herbal or spicy, but hints of each as well. Earthy notes with a hint of malt sweetness round it out. Nice again.

The flavor is frankly a let-down for me. As I re-smell the nose, I do notice the toasted barley note that overtakes the hops. Some would call it balance, but I don't need it in my west coast IPA. A little more floral than bitter-citric, still somewhat earthy and herbal. Booze is well-hidden.

The body is a little thin, led too much by that malty note. Dry finish, nice and bitter long after the quaff, which is nice. Altogether, it's an interesting mix of really well done and falling a little short.

 883 characters

Photo of scottfrie
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into New Belgium snifter. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a honey-amber with a thin off-white head that receded into a thin film that lasted the whole beer through. Great retention, not so great lacing.
S: Notes of pineapple, honey sweet malt, green leafy hops and maybe a touch of ambiguous tropical fruit.
T: Just like in typical Moylan's fashion this is a very green and "leafy" tasting beer. Not as crushingly bitter as some of their other offerings, but this is still one heck of a bitter beer for an IPA. Flavors start leafy and grassy and then get fairly malty and sweet. Finish is a fresh type of bitterness. I get notes of tea all the way through.
M: Medium-full body and soft carbonation but the bitter aftertaste lingers forever on this one.
D: Not a bad IPA, above average in flavor I'd say, but nowhere close to as good as their other hoppy offerings. It's still pretty palate wrecking all around, which doesn't really make me want to drink another one.

 978 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber into a Black Star Co-op glass.

Moylan's NorCal IPA pours with a slightly hazy tangerine hue. The head is thin and spittle-white in color, and retains well despite leaving little in the way of lacing. The aroma presents a well-rounded bouquet of tropical fruit and piny hops, with notes of pineapple, mango, dark rum, and peach. Malt bill brings sugar cane and light caramel to the nose.

The flavor is atypical of Moylan's hop-forward beers in that the hop bitterness greatly exceeds the hop flavor, so much so that crushed aspirin lingers long after each sip. Reminds me a bit of drinking orange juice right after brushing my teeth...still, the tropical fruits do make a brief appearance mid-palate with some caramel malts to keep the resemblance of an IPA. Mouthfeel is thin for the style and sharp with minerals and a tongue-raking hop bite. Not the best release from Moylan's, but it's still decent drinking when all is said and done.

 951 characters

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a hazy nectarine-orange color with two fingers of creamy off-white head.

Hop-dominated aroma of grapefruit, lemon zest and grass. Malts not in play at this point.

The taste opens with a big and bitter hoppiness of grass and grapefruit which, as it fades, reveals a nice amount of caramel maltiness. Light bitterness lingers through the finish.

Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation.

Not one of my favorites but an enjoyable IPA from Moylan.

 471 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I quite enjoyed Moylan's Kilt Lifter when I had it a couple of years ago. I'm not quite sure exactly why it's taken me this long to try another of their brews. This one pours a pale golden colour with a fine bubbled, but collapsing head of white foam. Some lacing, but it's minimal, staying in drips and drabs around the glass. Not bad.

Nose is ripe with fresh pine notes, quite strong and pungent, and extremely sharp. Minimal sweetness, either from malt, or from fruity hop characters, but it's to the point at least. Slight chlorine character comes off it after a while. OK, but a bit one-dimensional, and not all that exciting.

Taste is pungently bitter, with the piney hops giving a big dollop throughout most of the palate. When if finally recedes, there's a pleasant vanilla character left, which is something of a relief, but again, it's a little one-sided. Some pepper becomes noticeable later, but it's just another sharp character in a beer that doesn't need to be any more pointed.

Feel is light and smooth, but a little flat as well.

I appreciate the robustness of the beer overall, but it's just a little too unbalanced to my mind. Hey, I love hops as much as the next guy, but this just sears the palate too much, and it ends up being difficult to drink a lot of.

 1,282 characters

Photo of BDTyre
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decent American IPA from Moylan's. Not their best, but still a good brew. Dark amber with a nice white head. A little bit too dark, but still looks like an IPA.

Bitter hop scent and notes of citrus and grass. Sweet malt in the taste at first, but then the hops hit. Good balance - as it goes down the tongue picks up both the hop character and the malt sweetness and switches between the two.

Initially the carbonation works, but as this warms it loses carbonation rapidly. Ends up a little bit too smooth. A good brew, not outstanding but another enjoyable one from Moylan's.

 578 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean orange-ish to light copper color with an off white head. In the aroma, faint grapefruit hops and somewhat like an English maltiness. In the taste, starts with pine hops and ends with grapefruity citrus, and a quite large maltiness. A small bite and a medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a dry, fresh hop aftertaste. Kind of English like, nice hop but but malt mellows it out.

 392 characters

Photo of champ103
4.34/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had several samples at the Petrol Station in Houston.

A: Pours a hazy orange color. A one finger white head forms with decent retention. Light lace is left behind.
S: Big floral hops up front that I love. Herbal and tea like with some fresh cut grass. Really green. Some citrus as well as some sweetness for balance. Just the way I like my IPA's.
T: Follows the nose with tons of floral and grassy hops. Plenty of citrus as well. There is some sweetness. Overall a very well balanced IPA, that I enjoy a lot.
M/D: A medium to full body. Perfectly carbonated. Crisp, and very dry. Very textured. Just a bit of alcohol, but very easy to quaff.

I had this side by side with Stone IPA, and it held up really well. Overall an excellent IPA with tons of hop flavor. Really no bitterness to speak of, just floral and grassy hops that is really dry. This is the way I like my IPA's. Something I highly recommend.

 908 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. Purchased from Whole Foods Los Altos. I'm assuming this is fresh, but there's no bottle date, so I get to review it regardless.

A: Pours a murky amber that glows a burnt orange against the light. An aggressive pour produces a flaccid pinky finger of off-white head that vanishes quickly, leaving only a streak or two of lace. Hmm. I prefer clear beers with gorgeous, sticky lace. It's fair to say this is below average on IPA appearance.

S: A light smell of oranges and pine needles. Definitely West Coast in style, but it's not pungent at all.

T: A generous dose of caramel malt peeks through: it's hard not to notice that there is a substantial sweetness here. At the same time, the bittering hops are quite strong, and the beer has a pine-dominated presence which pulls into the finish for a bitter, wet needle explosion. There are touches of earthy orange rind.

M: Medium-bodied, but it falls off fast. Some lingering pine resin on the aftertaste.

D: Won't buy again. At $5 a bomber this has the potential to be a great value, but when it's a weak beer there is no reason to get more.

 1,127 characters

Photo of 4000qtrap
3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This a brewery only version of an IPA that Moylan's occasionally brews up thats a little different than their usual IPA that is available in bottle.

Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: Orange oil, pine resin. Moderate intensity but not notable.

Taste: Nice bitterness and brown sugar with a pleasant level of oilyness and resin. Some spice in the middle along with more brown sugar. Pleasant, but pretty one dimensional. Finish is oily and dry, orange with a touch of lemon and a hearty helping of brown sugar and spice.

 522 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
NorCal IPA from Moylan's Brewery
3.63 out of 5 based on 191 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.