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Samurai Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

332 Reviews
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Samurai AleSamurai Ale

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ElGordo on 07-02-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews
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Reviews: 332 | Ratings: 587
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

One of the lightest straw yellow colors you'll ever come across, this was seriously close to Nottenroth it was of such little malt impact in the appearance. Still made over an inch of head though, which is actually impressive.

Aroma was lemon and noble hops.

Taste was refreshing, super light tartness and lemony vibe. Sorachi ace seems to be involved.

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Photo of Samp01
3/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy golden yellow with a medium white fizzy head. Aroma and Taste is citrus fruity, yeast, grains, rice with some mild citrus floral hops. Palate is a medium body with moderate carbonation, slightly crisp. Finish is citrus fruity notes, grains, yeast with some mild citrus floral hops. Overall an ok brew.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably a little age on this. Should have checked the age before I purchased it.
Anyway, I generally like this style so I'm hoping for the best.
Soft malt aroma and not much hops. Simple.
Cloudy yellow with big full white head and lots of bubbles rising.
Soft malt flavor with mild drying on the finish. Bittering for balance and a bit at the end, but not much for flavor.
Bigger feel than I"d expect and a nice softness. Balanced carbonation for the size of the head. Nice feel.
Pretty typical Am. blonde without much hop quality. Easy drinker. Soft and uncomplicated.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.73/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Great Divide brewery and taproom. Pours out one of the lightest colored straw yellows you will ever see. Very nice white head on the top of it, just under the 1" range, pillowy appearance. Mild fruit like aroma probably coming from a lager yeast and having nothing really to get in its way. Miniscule noble hop aroma.

Taste, refreshing, slight country twang to it, enjoyable, especially on this hot day in August that it was sampled. High carbonation, low malt and hops. Appreciable astringency that actually melds with the lemon and rice like qualities. If you've had Stone's 16th anniversary, this tastes like a small beer made from its wort runnings. Really good stuff to convert people who drink a lot of Coors Light. Its better, and a lot more flavorful. Will make you think of sunny days in the grass, with a wedge of lemon. The bitterness might be a little more than some can handle at first, but get beyond that, and you're in light beer heaven, relatively speaking.

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Photo of CHickman
4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy piss yellow color with a foamy 1 finger snow white head that was full of tight little bubbles and faded pretty quickly, leaving very good foamy lacing and rings as it went down.

Smells of lemon zest, sweet citrus notes, rice, light grains, yeast funk, grass and fruit; considering this is a “rice” beer, it sure smells like a nice sweet hefeweizen.

Tastes sweet and fruity, with lemon, apple, pear, citrus hops, grass, light yeast, faint grains, coriander, bread and flowers or floral hop notes; very fruity, not too sweet and extremely refreshing – this was not what I expected and much better tasting overall.

Mouthfeel is very light, crisp and watery smooth, with mild zesty carbonation that finishes on the dry side with a slight funk residue.

Wow, this beer shocked me and would be a great session beer any time of year. Track it down and check it out; don’t let the rice part fool you, it is not what it seems and is quite tasty.

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Photo of intensify
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a big enough head to overflow in the 16oz tulip it was poured in. Beautiful golden colored body with visible carbonation bubbles rising through the whole session. Plenty of bready aromas coming off the smell, as well as oranges, lemon, honey and hops. Taste was on cue with the nose. Clean and crisp. Refreshing, too. Medium bodied with a semi-dry finish. A very well rounded sessionable treat by Great Divide.

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Photo of KajII
2.9/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

[Suggested Glassware: Shaker Glass]

The pour was a hazy pale straw yellow with an average (1-2 fingers) white frothy head, which receded down to a thin cap and created some excellent streaky lacing.

The aroma was of a light pale grain malt, a mild grassy hop and light musty yeast with notes of citrus (lemon), a mild adjunct presence (rice), a slight hint of vanilla and a mild fruity ester.

The taste was a bit sweet with a good grain malt presence early on, and then became mildly bitter with a note of citrus and a bitter adjunct ending. The flavor lasted an average duration following the swallow with a lightly sweet and creamy grainy taste that was left to fade.

Mouthfeel was light in body with a watery/creamy texture and a mild carbonation.

Overall a brew that has a firm handle on subdued taste, although it was malty- sweet with bitter-smooth feel and possessed a good drinkability...


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Photo of mscudder
3.15/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - I cannot help but see a fair sized head on top of a bud light. Almost clear.

S - Not much here.... some grains and yeast alongside a light hint of sweet malts. Bleh.

T - A very sweet and sugary blonde. There is a subtle bitterness behind the initial taste, other than that pretty bland.

M - Highly drinkable and a low-medium body. Feels as advertised - rice.

O - A sweet, highly drinkable blonde with a minimal number of tastes going on. I would not pick this up again but for anyone looking to transition into the craft world perhaps this would be a nice [tiny] step in the correct direction.

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Photo of yamar68
3.51/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice bright straw gold with tons of beading. Big fizzy white head that settles to a quarter inch cap. Pretty good lacing actually. This beer looks quite young... especially given that it's six months old... (!)

I should've chosen a better glass as the pint glass isn't exactly doing wonders for the now muted aromas. Fresh grass, pear, pale malts, you'd think there would be rice but then again rice doesn't really have a distinctive smell that I could really pinpoint anyway. Nothing offensive here.

Plenty of slightly bitter/spicy pilsener type notes. Very refreshing. Nothing at all off-putting, a great post-work beer for sure, even in its old age.

Exceedingly drinkable.

I've had this fresh in the past but didn't bother to review. I must say that I sort of dreaded opening this but was pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of Rutager
3.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Pours yellow gold with a small, bubbly white head.

Smell. Toasty light grains and some bright, citrusy hops. Smells kinda sweet.

Taste. Sugary sweet light grains, a little bit of citrusy hops, light bitterness.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium+ carbonation.

Overall. Pretty sweet but interesting enough. Worth a try.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass. The beer is a slightly hazy straw color, not too much different from a wheat beer. A fizzy white head sits on top and dissipates to a thin film. There is decent sticky lacing. The beer smells slightly floral, with lemongrass as the main idea. The beer tastes lemony and sweet up front, with a dry, wheat-grain finish. Nice balance between malt and hops. The mouthfeel is light bodied and is very drinkable.

Overall, this is a really "thirst quenching" beer if you will. A good summer beer in my mind.

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Photo of Rhynes2
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice light straw color with a little white head on it. It smells like a can of corn with some light hop notes. The flavor is pretty good and has a slight vegetable/rice thing going on in it. The hops give it a nice bitterness to help round things out as well. The carbonation is bubbly and its gonna be a nice light bodied beer to have next to the pool on a hot summer day.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottled on 12/28/11.

Appearance: pale golden hue with a light haze and a nice effervescence. Head is a finger of pillowy white foam. Pretty nice.

Smell: aroma is an interesting combination of light malt, citrusy hops and cooked vegetables. It's actually not as bad as it sounds, but it's got a canned-corn character of which I'm not a big fan.

Taste: light malt with a nice sweetness and a pretty good hop flavor: citrusy and fresh. The cooked corn flavor is basically not present, compared to the aroma. There's also a bizarre minty finish, probably due to the hops. A pretty interesting beer, to say the least.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a good carbonation and surprisingly nice creaminess.

Overall: an interesting and drinkable beer, but I can't get over the vegetable/corn aroma.

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Photo of mactrail
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light bodied, a hazy pale blonde in the tall Stella glass. Attractive head. Rather bitter and quite dry. Long taste of hay with some earthy flavors. A bare hint of usual maltiness. Quite mineral tasting, to me. It seems to get more austere and dry and you sip. I don't detect any hops beyond the modest but clinging bitterness.

Here's another less-common flavor that I suspect is very much a matter of personal taste. The beer seems well made, and certainly has a flavor of its own, but it's not one I plan to try again.

12 oz bottle from Best Damn in San Diego.

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Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear golden yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation along with particles floating in suspension. It poured with a thin white head that quickly died down, leaving lacing covering the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of grainy malts, rice and lemongrass in the nose. The initial smell isn’t that pleasant but it does get a bit better as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has flavors of grainy malts along with notes of biscuits and sweetness as well has hints of lemongrass. No hop bitterness is detectable.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, clean and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is definitely unique for the style, but I’m not sure if I would want to have one of these again when there are better offerings available. It’s definitely a cut above other beers that use rice as adjunct malts.

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Photo of TheBigE5
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Grassy yellow with a slight haze. Thin head but sticks to the glass nicely.

S - Slightly sweet at first then the smell of rice and orange comes around

T - Crisp and refreshing. Lemon and clove. Finishes with a bitter fruit.

M - Very light, drinkable and clean. Great for a warm day.

O - Interesting beer, came off very similar to a hefe and i enjoyed it in the same fashion

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Photo of cmq103
3/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a sample 12-pack from Canal's Hamilton in the Hamilton Marketplace. Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a cloudy blonde color. Initial 1/4" off-white head quickly reduced to a thin ring. Spotty clingy lacing is present as my glass emptied.

Smell: Not much going on with the nose other than some citrus grain, some mild sweetness and sour funk.

Taste: Hmmm, this is different. Citrus semi-sweet fruitiness with a hint sourness and peppery spice in the finish. Reminded me of a stronger Magic Hat Circus Boy. Since I never had a "rice" beer before, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be tasting here. I saw banana is mentioned in several reviews but that flavor evaded my taste buds. All I got was a citrus and peppery spice with a mildly bitter-sweet sour finish.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is high and crisp, with a thinner body. A lot of action on the tongue, but an easy drinking beer nonetheless.

Overall: I don't see myself going out of the way to buy this beer again. I probably wouldn't have committed to more than one if it wasn't part of a 12-pack. More of a summer brew in my opinion. If it was offered in a picnic cooler, I would have a few without issue.

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Photo of WhiteOak
3.23/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Light yellow color with a white moderate head and bits of retained lace.

S- Light citrus aroma.

T- A delicate sweetness, a hint of mysterious spices, a clean graininess, and faint banana.

M, D - Light bodied, good CO2. Crisp, just barely off-dry.

Sushi anyone?

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Photo of nickthetick
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a clear golden yellow into a DFH signature glass with a quarter finger of pure white head and leaves.

S: apples, citrus, lemon, light malt, some soft spices.

T: light yellow fruits, both sweet and tart, are right up front. Fruits like apricots and lemons. Light malt and apples come in next with some grassy notes. A bit of pine is left on the tongue.

MF: light and crisp, refreshing.

O: a good beer. There others I would pick first but a solid representation of the style.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.17/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a cloudy blonde color with minimal foam. Not a fan of the bottle conditioning in this style of beer. Aroma is slightly off, a sour fruitiness mostly, maybe a little lemony.

First sip is unremarkable. There is a fruity, slightly effervescent, flavor, a bit of a yeast bite, and some mild sweet flavors. Nothing really to get excited about, and I'm not a particular fan of the fruitiness that this beer has in it.

It finishes dry enough, but there is a bit a harsh bite in the aftertaste, almost starchy or papery. All in all, not something I'd get again.

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.96/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Yellow, gold and transparent with a quarter-inch head. That head didn't move at all for over five minutes. Lacing is outstanding.

SMELL: About what you might expect from a rice ale - a little funky, citrus (lemon) and a bit of a rice-like aroma.

TASTE: Wow. This is impressive. It matches much of the aroma, but with a little sweeter fruit added up front. The finish is bitter and palate cleansing.

MOUTHFEEL: Very refreshing. It is crisp, clean and lively.

OVERALL: I was not expecting the quality of this beer to be quite so high. I had a small taste in the tasting room once, but it didn't stand out. Focusing on a full beer I really was able to appreciate a fine effort from Great Divide.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Out of a bottle this beer was a clear, yellow color with one finger of white head. It retained itself as a thin collar and left spots of lacing. The aroma was of light malt, dry grains, sake and a hint of hops. The flavors were dry and a bit unusual but pretty much what one would expect of a rice-based beer. I tasted rice, crackers, pale malt and floral hops. I didn’t really care for it much, even though it was well done. The body was medium, the carbonation medium and the mouthfeel fine.

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Photo of JustinAniello
2.6/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a cloudy gold with a bubbly one finger head. A decent amount of carbonation clings to the sides. Dissipates to a thin lacing.

S - Heavy scent of lemon, almost like a house cleaner. Light floral and bread notes in the background, though mostly overpowered. As it warms, the lemon subsides a little and a banana scent comes in.

T - Starts with the lemon from the aroma at first. As you you swallow bread and banana flavor appears. Strange aftertaste, though the main flavor isn't that great, either.

M - Light body with medium carbonation.

O - When I picked this up I was hoping for a blonde ale with some flavor I would expect from a sake. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. I am not a fan of this, though I am sure someone who likes heavy fruit might fare better. Couldn't even finish the glass.

Afraid I may have gotten a bad bottle based on the other reviews.

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Photo of jthreee
3.47/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I work part time at a wine/liquor store in downtown Boston with an excellent craft beer selection. I love wine but I'm more partial to beer and I love trying something new each week. I've decided to start reviewing beers, but I have a very simplified rating system. I found that in answering customer questions, very ornate and descriptive assessments really proved unhelpful. Also, given the selection of amazing beers on the shelf I found myself playing down beers that were perfectly fine on their own because they didn't measure up to the high bar that I had set for myself. I realized that this didn't help the consumer in any way. So, my rating system is simply would I, or would I not "buy it again". I realize this is somewhat of a departure from the norm on BA, but I really feel it is a true and honest assessment of the product.

Samurai Ale - Would not buy again

This beer is ok. Not bad in any sense, but just ok. Clean and crisp, highly carbonated, refreshing, a little different (I can definitely pick up a sake-ish note in the aroma) but not great.

Just one man's opinion

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

an interesting one. pours clearish for an unfiltered beer, maybe didnt rouse the sediment enough in the pour, small white head. nose is grains and something differentdy, a sweet alcohol smell. taste is as described on the bottle, sessionable but sits oddly in the belly. didnt fill me up, but was a little weird in that way. medium body on this one with some sweetness in the finish, i could see it pairing excellently with asian dishes like stir frys and teriyaki. not bad

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Samurai Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 332 ratings.