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Samurai Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Samurai AleSamurai Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

586 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 586
Reviews: 334
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 15.52%
Wants: 19
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ElGordo on 07-02-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 586 | Reviews: 334
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from BA Mag Sep 2007.

Taking a cue from American Wheat Ale, this unfiltered offering is brewed with rice and barley malts. As we pop the cap, we hear the sound of a thousand beer snobs shuddering at the thought of a craft brewer using rice.

The head retention is absolutely stunning, after a few sips the lace crowns the inside of the glass and rings the rest of the way down. We opted to swirl and pour in the sediment, so the pale-yellow brew gained a bit of haze. Mildly fruity aroma with dusty yeast, faint cooked rice and a clean grainy nose. Big crispness plays off of the moderate body nicely. Kiss of fruitiness resembling ripe cherries and strawberries up front; and by its side comes a sharp bitterness, which keeps things refreshing and balanced. The barley actually seems a bit more delicate as it meshes completely with the cooked rice flavor. A bit of nutty yeast in the drying finish wraps this beer up.

Pretty damn remarkable, Great Divide hit this one out of the park as it trounces pretty much every American Wheat Ale currently on the market. For a pairing, try some broiled mahi-mahi and twice baked sweet potato.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint a slight hazed light yellow almost lemonade like a thinner but well sustained white head atop,very muted aromas only light toastiness and a faint passing lemon whiff.Lightly toasted flavors with a tinge of lemon oil it is quite crisp like other have noted,its toastiness is very firm and stays through to the finish,the hops stay in tune with the beer giving a faint smack of citrus in the later stages.Hey it is what it is a easy drinking blonde ale its not a no brainer either I think would be a great summer brew wich seems a long way off right now.

Photo of Beaver13
2.22/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours a hazy yellow with big yeasties and a frothy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet musty soapy bready malts.

The flavor is pretty bland - a little sweet malt and a touch of fruits with a little grassy bitterness that leads to a dry finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and watery with some sharp carbonation.

Overall, a pretty bland offering from GD. There's nothing offensive, but nothing really appealing about it either.

Photo of merlin48
3.21/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a hazy straw body with a large white head that leaves some impressive chains and curtains of lacing on the glass. Aroma is muted, with only some spicy and floral hops and faint bready malt. Light body has a medium carbonation. Taste has a dominant floral hops bitterness balanced by a sweet maltiness that reminds me of Rice Krispies. Pretty decent for style but not one I would revisit anytime soon.

Photo of tigg924
3.2/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: one inch head, cloudy, high carbonation, yellowish brown

Smell: malt, grass, grain, and caramel

Taste: malt, grass, grain, and caramel

Mouthfeel: smooth, sweet, medium body and carbonation

Drinkability: It is interesting. However the taste is not strong enough to call it sessionable. I could have it again...I could just as easily not.

Photo of deebo
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 4/13/11

A-Hazy light pale yellow with a tight white foam that hangs on for a few drinks than rings the glass for the remainder.

S-Estery yeast is predominate, some pale malt also noticed

T-Fruity yeast hits you first, than the light malt character with some very light floral hops. Smooth finish. This beer reminds me of an unfiltered wheat...I don't get any rice flavor.

M-Lightly carbonated with a medium body thanks to the yeast and malt.

D-This is smooth, could drink a pile of these. Enjoyed my first of these on a hot summer day.

O-Reminds me an unfilted wheat beer such as Island wheat from Capital Brewery, or like many microbrewed wheats. This is an easy drinker, with not a ton of flavor but enough to keep you wanting more. Nice beer.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.73/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.66/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a pale unfiltered golden with particles suspended from the rice and yeast additions. Head billows and forms a doughnut shaped dimpled layer of foam which is bright white in color with nice head retention. Lacing is fine and even on the sides of my glass with each sip.

Aromatics offer up a clean sensual experience blending pale biscuit malt fresh baked dough with a yeast rising deja' vu experience. A touch of balancing herbal hops but this is malt and rice focused. Really delicate but so pleasant at the same time, an evident layer of lemon lime dish soap in there as well without the off putting chemical solvency.

Flavor has nice full pale biscuit malt sweetness with a layer of fruity tartness blending nicely in, minimal hops but evident herbal twang gives me some earthy hop burps. Almost like a mushroom funk in the finish, sounds gross but it works.

Mouthfeel is fuller than I was expecting medium bodied good amount of girth compared to most rice adjunct brews that were used to, carbonation is lively but so naturally smooth. Really hits palate on the sides of with a semi sweet dryness.

Drinkability is pretty killer I could see this going over well as a macro crossover or a summer session lawnmower brew, take your pick. Probably a difficult brew to pull off there's no hiding your flaws with loads of hops and alcohol here, definitely a brew I would want with my American Dream roll next time I hit my local sushi joint up that's a specialty roll with Spicy Tuna, Salmon, and Yellowfin.

Photo of glid02
3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a mixed 12-pack from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a cloudy lemon-yellow color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of tart citrus - lemons and orange with hints of lime - with solid amounts of husky grain.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Citrus tartness up front that's that overly so. The flavors aren't very clear however, and are muddled with a robust grain backbone.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a decent thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing the bottle and could have a few more.

Overall this was an interesting beer and one that I enjoyed. Worth a shot.

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving: 12 oz bottle poured into a dogfish head ale glass. Bottled on November 2009.

A: Slightly hazy gold that, when held to the light, appears pale white and shows steady carbonation.

S: Not very strong, some fruity notes are present though the strongest scent is of steamed rice.

T: Interesting, starts with piny hops, then shifts to fruity, like fruity pebbles, before shifting back to a floral and piny finish.

M: Starts light, becomes a bit creamy, then finishes clean and light.

D: Hops are present, however, not to the extent that it over taxes the palate.

Overall: I was expecting more of the fruity aspects of the rice to be involved. Forgetting my expectations, the beer is decent. For fans of a pale ales, they would enjoy this beer. It has the hops, roughly, of a pale, yet, the fruity interlude adds depth and a break from hops.

Photo of pwoods
2.06/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz. brown bottle, purchased at Party Source, poured into a pint.

A: Pours a banana peel yellow without a lot of clarity. Short pearly white head on the pour that only lasts a little bit. Just a bit of lacing.

S: Grainy malts with a bit of husky aroma. No hops. Clean but hardly anything there.

T/M: Very little flavor. It's a blonde, I know, but wow. Weak grainy malt bill with a little bit of sweetness and a faint sip of huskiness. No hops. I would assume the rice makes it taste like pretty much nothing. Body is light and crisp and finishes clean.

D: Easy to drink but why would I want to? I'd honestly rather get a 12 pack of Miller High Life, for cheaper, and down 'em straight from the bottle.

Photo of Brenden
3.59/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one's got a great appearance. Either I overdo it on the pour or others are just not doing it properly. The pure-white head is tall and fluffy, sitting for quite a while at three fingers, leaving a patchy blanket of lacing initially as it recedes. When it does, a foamy island of thick foam remains. The color is a hazy golden-yellow, deeper and darker than straw but by no means amber.
A firm grains backbone is on the nose with a light lemon and very gentle hops aromas underneath. The aroma is less firm and complex than the flavor.
There's plenty of malt and grains in the flavor balanced by a stronger hops presence than I detected in the aroma. Lemon is underlying and on the first few sips there's a note of rice in the aftertaste. The subsides and the finish is just a bit dry, with hops lingering and a flash of the rice flavor appearing again.
The mouthfeel is a bit richer than I expected, with a decently robust medium body. There's a balance of creamy and crisp with moderate carbonation.
Overall, this is a nice beer and worthy of more recognition than it's garnered. Preconceptions or previous bias, perhaps?

Photo of BetterDarker
3.36/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass. Bottled date was July of 2009, seemed risky for a blonde ale, but thought what the heck, lets try this beer.

A- Pours a cloudy yellow with a creamy white head with visible sediment swimming about. What was interesting is that initially there was a thin, non-impressive head, but after a couple of minutes it transformed into a beautiful bone white creamy layer. Very nice and intriguing looking beer.

S- Basic aroma here, rather muted. Barely any hops very little malt, and can I actually smell rice?

T- Interesting, in a good way. Very approachable, light and crisp. As an avid hop head, this is obviously not my favorite beer, but I certainly wouldn't say it tastes bad. This would be a good beer to have with spicy foods.

M- Very pilsner like, great carbonation.

D- A decent beer all around, I will definitely try this again, but fresher. I'm sure the hops have faded over the past 7 months, so I will keep an eye out for a fresher one.

Photo of GilGarp
2.88/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pale straw yellow color from a 12oz bottle. It has good head but it's gone quickly and leaves no lacing behind. Clarity is very good.

Aroma reminds me of corn and rice. It has a sweet grainy smell almost like kettle corn.

Flavor is mild and bordering on bland. It has a cereal graininess to it with just a bit of hops. Luckily that's all it needs to balance the mild malts. Good balance then but nothing to exciting about either side of the equation.

Mouthfeel is average, good carbonation.

Drinkability is good but only because of the mild flavor and low alcohol. It isn't something I would order twice. It might have been better on a hot summer day but it doesn't do much for me on a cool autumn-like night.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
2.98/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Great Divide is right, this is not your average unfiltered beer. Its worse!

Pours piss yellow with head that instantly dissipates but leaves nice lace. Unfiltered yet completely transparent. The nose is of cheese funk and light hops but more malts. The first taste is of light funky lager. The hops dont taste like hops, and the malts are kind of funky. This has an earthy, grassy funk to it that is unique but not necessarily desirable. crisp and smooth finish but the taste is really lacking. Musty i think would be the best word to describe it. It is drinkable but, there are much better options at 5%. Im not sure what great divide was going for here, I guess it is a blonde, doesnt taste like a golden or a lager. But as far as blondes go, this is a bit too funky and lacks greatly in hop flavors. Unique taste with the rice, but I prefer my glacier brewhouse blonde.

Photo of cokes
2.61/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a lightly hazed straw yellow with a modest white cap that retains very well.
Vacant nose with vague soda crackers and bleached grain.
Enters the mouth crisp with a pils malt crackery snap. Rice enters and mingles nicely for a second, then fades to a lightly sour graininess that reminds me of Mickey's (or other malt liquors). Hops bring scant traces of lemon.
The body is about what one would look for in a blonde ale, light and easily downable. But this has a small bit of tackiness related to the sour note.
The rice is an interesting addition, but doesn't do it any favor with the possibly unavoidable malt-liquor notions.

Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Grat divide tasting room. A natural bitterness, and yes I am getting a rice sweetness to counterbalance it. An average plus mouthfeel. Yellow colour and a bit of lace. A yeasty aroma. Not as complex as I would imagine.AN average beer overall.

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, weizen glass, "Bottled On: Aug 25 2009".

Pretty pale, corny yellow. White wine before the yeast and tangerine tinged weizen cloudiness after it. A very large, very white rocky, loose head on a violent pour. Very good retention with globs of lace.

Smells of white grapes, rice, Budweiser, pear. I wish there were a nutty, brown rice quality. I might be able to get behind a beer headed in that direction.

Fruity with grape, pear, and green apple. The rice is in the character of Budweiser, as is much of the flavor. A little drying at the end along with some noble hops.

Not as carbonated as might be expected, one way this differs from a lager. The mouth is treated gently, as this is meant to be a gentle craft beer.

I really don't fancy this but it could be an excellent departure from macro lager. Easy drinking with some more flavors.

Photo of secondtooth
3.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy yellow. Moderate white head. No lace.

Nose says mild spice. Intriguing.

Taste is light, but flavorful. Some fruit, citrus, and spice notes. The rice seems to add a light and creamy body.

Overall, a nic and easy-drinking beer, perfect for warm weather. And there's no shortage of flavor here. Solid.

Photo of BeardedRiker
3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I didn't really want to try out the Samurai Rice Ale because, well, who wants to have a rice beer? I didn't trust it. Maybe I'm a racist? Anyway, I finally bought it and found it a most interesting brew!

It poured a white, rice-colored, single finger head. The color was like lemonade but it had sediment bits floating throughout. It looked pretty cool like that.

Smell: citrusy with a sort of wheat hint.

The taste was a little lacking containing a wheaty-yeasty flavor as well as rice. This was a decent brew. It was very light and refreshing as well as being interesting, however, it isn't a stand-out by any means.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite effervescent and foamy, the Samurai tried to rise out of the glass on me! It makes for a nice appearance though as clouds of bubbles rise through the clear (?... thought it was unfiltered) golden body. And the head, of course, is impressive. It's a massive pillow of white froth that leaves tiny pillows, patches, and curtains of lace behind. Quite nice!

The aroma is malty with just a hint of hops. It's a hint grainy.

Ahhh, I now see in my final pour that it is unfiltered. It musy have sedimented pretty well though. Onward...

The flavor, not unlike the aroma, is fairly generic. It's got some nice malt that's just a tiny bit sweetish, a bit of yeasty fruitiness, and some spicy hops. Mmmm, there's some floral character as well, and a splinter of wood (soft dry cedar); and the yeast adds a bit of nutty complexity as well. It's solidly bitter, and balanced. It finishes dry with a quick note of raspy bitterness, and then it lingers, offering mainly malt, but a hint of spicy hops as well.

Overall, it's an interesting beer, but it's not compelling.

Photo of ElGordo
3.77/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had never seen this one before, but the cool Samurai sword tap handle caught my eye last night at Produce Row. The bartender said it's a golden ale brewed with rice (hence the Japanese title, I guess), so I figured I'd give it a try.
Pours a coppery color with golden highlights, topped by a small, creamy white head. Nose is light caramel malt, some adjunct malt, and a hint of light, fruity hops. Palate is mellow caramel malt, with a bit of zing from the hops and a touch of lemon zest. The rice comes through in the creamy, light palate, making this an easy-drinking summer beer. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of plfahey
3.98/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Pale yellow in color with a decent clarity. Moderately large white head with poor retention (which is to be expected due to the adjunct use).

Aroma-Grainy aroma with a rice-like crispness and grassy hop notes. Very light fruity esters.

Flavor-Slightly sweet grainy cereal malt flavors with just a hint of fruit fades quickly to a dry, rice wine/grain flavor. Highly attenuated-so extremely dry finish. Pleasant grain and rice flavors linger on into aftertaste.

Mouthfeel-Medium light body, medium low carbonation. Crisp, dry, and refreshing.

I would never go for this if I was looking for a full flavored ale, but that's clearly not the intention of this beer. Moderately complex for a rice ale, with refined, elegant aroma and flavor. Highly drinkable as well-think of this as like craft tsing tao.

Photo of nickd717
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. This beer is really standard and unexciting and gets completely average marks all around.

A - Pours slightly hazy yellowish-golden with a small white head.

S - Aroma is rice and pale malt, slightly sweet and very unpronounced.

T - Pretty mild all-around with rice, pale malt, light fruits, and a slightly alcoholic sake note.

M - Crisp and fairly light on the palate. Some dry riceyness, like Budweiser almost (although this is not nearly as awful as Bud).

D - It is drinkable. Not sure what they were going for here, but it is refreshing I guess.

Photo of LukeD23
3.83/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A well balanced beer from great divide. I think this is a wonderful session beer, not to light in flavor or body, but very drinkable and I enjoyed it. It pours a very nice light golden color with a nice unfiltered haze to it. This was really nice to me because it makes the beer feel more like a craft beer. The use of rice is subtle with the hops coming in earthy and refreshing. Overall a win for what it is.

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Samurai Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 586 ratings.