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Samurai Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Samurai AleSamurai Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

563 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 563
Reviews: 333
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 15.76%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ElGordo on 07-02-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 563 | Reviews: 333 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2011 05:06:22 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Great Divide Tap Room in Denver, CO.

Pours a slightly hazy light yellow color with a 1/2 inch white head that fades to an oily film. No lacing whatsoever. Smell is of malt and rice aromas. Taste is rice and malt/biscuit. This beer has good carbonation with smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good but I wouldn't get it again most likely.

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2011 19:04:31 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.9/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"A samurai should always be prepared for death... whether his own or someone else's."

--Stan Sakai

Blurry lemon topped by a wonderful looking crown of rich, creamy foam. The lid is alabaster in color and has that cobbled, pitted, semi-rocky look that all the good ones possess. It's also responsible for quite a bit of lace-like lace. Samurai could easily be mistaken for a witbier, at least in the looks department.

The aroma is fresh, clean and simple. It's also probably exactly what the brewers were shooting for. No maltiness is present (maybe a whiff of untoasted barley), just a laid back amount of grassy, lightly lemony hops.

It's obvious that this is well-crafted beer. That isn't the least bit surprising since Great Divide is one of the best breweries in the country. Having said that, I don't like Samurai nearly as much as I like the rest of their lineup. I do, however, respect their decision to brew something light and approachable, without going down the well-worn APWA path.

The pale malt backbone is surprisingly sturdy (even with rice making up at least 15-20% of the grain bill), but it still provides almost nothing in the way of flavor. I'm fine with that. The centerpiece, as in the nose, is a probable German/Czech hoppiness that gives the beer a definite pilsener vibe.

I approve of the finishing bitterness, coupled with a rice crispiness, but if maximum sales was the goal (knowing these guys, I doubt it) they probably should have whittled a few more IBUs off the top end. Warming delivers an underlying sweetness, an unripe pear tartness and a white pepper zestiness that wasn't present in the top half of the bottle. It also delivers an increase in the flavor score at no extra charge.

Mouthfeel is the attribute that separates the great craft breweries from the pretenders. This one is pretty close to perfectly calibrated for the task at hand. It's closer to medium than to light, and is pleasingly supple. It's also zestily carbonated, which works well in the grand scheme of things.

It seems to me that a beer brewed to be light, refreshing and easy drinking shouldn't have such an aggressive name. While they aren't nearly as appealing as Samurai Ale, Koi Ale (ornamental carp) or Obi Ale (a kimono sash) would be more fitting. Okay, so I like to do crossword puzzles.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 14:03:12 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy straw color with a rocky white head that sits like foamy shampoo on top of the liquid leaving a few shards of lace

Smell: Dare I say it but it smells like rice pudding; pleasantly floral

Taste: Clean and crackery up front, but the rice flavor arrives by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a pilsner like grainy hop feel but the finish is clean

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Certainly not something I would drink everyday, but a nicely crafted alternative for the light beer crowd

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2008 01:07:59 | More by brentk56
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

2.23/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Something new in Lexington. I have never had a beer that boasts so much about rice additions. I'd like to know how much rice / barley is used.

The pour delivers a brighter than expected straw color, especially since the lable explains its unfiltered character. Next to null head formation and only a trace of foam at the perimeter of the glass. Its appearance could easily be mistaken for Miller Lite.

Very, very grainy in the nose- far too much for a so called craft beer. Herbal, floral hop notes swirl around a citrusy, acidic note with a regretable undermalted nose.

Flavors are nearly as grainy as in the aroma but with a faint malt pilsner malt, cracker-like taste. Citrus hops join in the frey and accompany the acidic, baking-soda taste.

The body is where the beer suffers most. Though dry, crisp, and somewhat refreshing, the astringency from the grains make the beer tough to drink. If there were any roundness or fullness to buffer the pure grain husk flavor and feel, I would try to get on board with this one.

There is some promise with a weak pilsner malt base and assertion in the hops, but the beer is a mere shell of a craft beer... basically a pretender.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2009 02:51:35 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

2.4/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Great Divide. Pours light. Fizzy head. Rice and dry. Slight bitterness. Not a big fan of this one. Not a fan at all.

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2013 03:48:32 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2012 03:04:06 | More by metter98
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ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, yellow body with a thin, wispy white head.

Smell: Very lightly malty, sweetish aroma with notes of flowers, sake, and white bread.

Taste: Well, it's just what the aroma would have you expect of the taste. Light, sake-like fruity flavor with a drop of honey sweetness. Floral and bready hints. No more than a light bitterness. Finishes crisp and clean.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It definitely would make for fine, summertime drinking and wasn't too bad on a grimey day in mid-December, either.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2007 22:33:07 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2007 22:13:47 | More by oberon
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev +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.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2009 17:09:57 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Cloudy as heck, thick and yellow, beneath a slim white cap of foam.

Aroma: lemon & wheat, and...? I've smelled this before, in kellerbiers I've tried. Various citric tones, and not too much else.

Zesty appearance on the tongue, and here's where I'm getting a Belgian pale ale / Golden ale feel, without the Belgian yeast. More like a hefe weizen, but with rice. And how about that rice? It's light, fluffy, a bit creamy...I don't hate it, just doesn't add anything special for me. Makes for a refreshing drink, but adds little depth or taste.

This should be called Origami-Folder Ale, instead of Samurai. Or Sandal-Wearing Goldfish-Tender Ale. It's a nice session brew, but lacks anything resembling a spark to set it apart. Oh, well.

*8/18/10, I just reviewed this again, forgetting that I did one 2 1/2 years ago. That's how "memorable" this is.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2008 07:53:23 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light yellow color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of light malts, some spice, fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is light and sweet with flavors of lemon, spices and grain. There's a good burst of hops bitterness that comes in next to provide a little balance. The malt character is pretty thin. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not filling at all, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice lighter beer that you can drink quite a bit of over the course of an evening, however, personally I usually prefer something with a bit more substance.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2007 03:02:39 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

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

Bottled on 5th week of may

Pours an effervescent & slightly hazed straw/golden with 3 fingers of fluffed up eggshell-white head. Crazy lacing 7 head retention

S: Lemon & grassy notes

T: Rich honey malt, a little lemon & white pepper. Breadyness + dryness comes through as this warms. plus a hint of grapefruit. Finishes crisp, citrussy & with just a hint of pepper & coriander

MF: Medium-bodied with excellent carbonation & balance

Drinks too easy, not overly complicated, but a nice blonde, none the less. A great choice for hot weather fun

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2007 19:51:22 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a light and slightly fruity pale malt scent along with a light noble hop aroma. It's dry with lager-like character. The taste is good. It has a smooth, pale malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes a bit fruity with some light hop notes. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer, although there really isn't much to write home about. It's light and easily quaffable.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2008 21:45:45 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

2.3/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into a stange glass. Beer is yellow and completely hazy with a two finger white head of small and medium bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is grainy and watery.

Beer is thin and harsh with a strong rice-y aftertaste with a harsh acidic twang at the back of the mouth. This beer is gross.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2011 13:51:01 | More by drabmuh
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a cloudy, golden yellow color with a white, fizzy, one-finger head. It left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of yeast and sweet malt.

T - This was a very sweet and spicy beer. There is also a clove-like taste.

M - This is a crisp and sharp. A light-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good blonde ale. It has a great spicy character.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2007 19:03:11 | More by zeff80
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

2.78/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours like a typical pale ale. Golden yellow in color and and has a head that comes and goes shortly after it sits for a minute or two. The Aroma is a little citrusy but not like an IPA. There seems to be a smidge of funk on the nose too. The taste is a little bland, not a whole lot going on. To me it tastes like a regular beer. I was hoping to pick up some of the rice that is brewed into it. The mouthfeel reminded me of just about any other pale ale on the market, it's fairly light bodied and bubbly. I wouldn't have to have this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2011 01:36:49 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.13/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Wasatch for this one.

Brewed and bottled third week of April, as per notching on the label.

Pours straw yellow with an overly foamy large white head that fizzles down to a manageable size, leaving patches of lacing.

The smell is of a mild sweetness, a bit yeasty. Inoffensive.

The taste is of sweet grain with a vague grassy bitterness balancing some of the sweetness. A hint of lemon and yeast come through. Pretty crisp, though not quite clean.

A craft attempt at a "lawn-mowing" beer I suppose. A bit different than the typical brewpub blonde ale, but can't say I enjoyed it much more. Another one to add to the list of "easy refreshers", I suppose. While I can enjoy a mild easy-drinking brew, this seems a bit over-done in that direction (with a few "things" going on, yet not quite coming together, yet under-done, in that nothing really stands out to make me appreciate it.
Worth trying for a quick refresher, but not really worth returning to, IMO.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 02:44:28 | More by jwc215
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2009 02:56:48 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.23/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a clear pale yellow color. 1" head falls slowly, and some mild lacing develops.

Smell: no real aroma here except for some grassy tones that are really soft and barely detectable.

Taste: light malt profile with some grass and mild bitterness. A bit of corn flavors come through. This is a very mild flavored beer that a macro drinker would enjoy.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Clean finish. Light in body.

Drinkability: if you want to quaff a six pack in short time, this is the beer to do it with. This is a bit boring and I expected a little more from Great Divide with this, but there is aplace in this world for mellow flavored beers.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2007 15:47:33 | More by Gavage
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

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

Pale straw in color with a significant amount of chill haze. Very good head with a long lasting time (it settles to a full finger thick!). Good lace, but not nearly as much as I would expect given the head.

Flaws are easy to find in lighter beers like this one. This one seems to free of them. This has a mild bouquet of lighter malts and subtle hop. Crisp, refreshing and inviting.

Good flavor for the style, but not necessarily delicate enough to place it at the top of the pack. A little heavy on the hop, but it doesn't dominate the aftertaste as it might. There is some nice fruitiness to the palate--mostly sour cherry. My initial thought on the body was that it was too light, but it is growing on me.

This is an easy beer to drink and certainly an excellent alternative to the typical lawn mower offerings.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2008 22:28:56 | More by smcolw
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2012 02:11:30 | More by mactrail
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2011 16:28:51 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one finger white head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Light-medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Cloudy pale yellow color, ton of yeast left in bottle. Nose is lemony yeast and flavor is lemon, not much yeast, hints of caramel. $2.35 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2011 22:04:29 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to bort11 and raverjames for this brew.

Pours a cloudy pale yellow color, nice carbonation, hughe two-finger plus white foamy head, lots and lots of sticky lacing follows. The nose is hoppy, with a nice touch of malts, some spices. The taste is hoppy, bitter, some maltiness, and spicy. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2008 22:00:11 | More by Wasatch
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Samurai Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 563 ratings.