1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Samurai Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Samurai AleSamurai Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

569 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 569
Reviews: 333
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 15.76%
Wants: 15
Gots: 14 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ElGordo on 07-02-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samurai Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 569 | Reviews: 333 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bizquithead


4.65/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my new favorite beer. It is hard to find rice beers. It has exceptional drinkability. The flavor is smooth & sweet. The alcohol content is good enough. It isn't super filling. So again it is hard to find but well worth the 11$u.s.
I first had Samurai at a beer tasting. It was my favorite one of all that I tasted. This rice beer blows away anything budweiser can do.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2011 18:41:23 | More by Bizquithead
Photo of tzieser


3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

taken from notes. had on tap at the pour farm tavern in new bedford.

pours a hazy golden color with a very thin head. surprised at how quickly the foam settled. not impressed.

surprising nose. sweet malts are there, but there's another interesting note...some kind of spice? not quite sure what it is, but the rice does add an interesting dimension to the nose.

surprising flavor. i'm used to rice ales having a flavor profile similar to american adjunct lagers (rice is an adjunct, so that's not surpsing), but this one has a nice, sweet honey-like character to it. the bready character keeps this from being like a sapporo or whatever. good stuff.

somewhat slick mouthfeel; good drinkability.

not bad. not something i'd have all the time, but i'd definitely take it to the sushi place.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2010 20:03:50 | More by tzieser
Photo of JayS2629


2.83/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Cloudy pale orange color with creamy thick head that dissipates fast. Leaves creamy film of white sea foam lace. Pretty.

S- Faint pine and caramel. floral hints and underlying honey character. Hint of orange peel, ginger, coriander and lemon grass.

T- Sweet malts as the backbone with caramel swirls,; Hop bite on the front with hints fo pine and grass. Lemon grass and coriander. Orange zest hints. Lemon twang. Hints fo white rice.

M- Light, refreshing, smooth and sweet. Nice hops bite and dry finish.

D- Very drinkable. Watered down and not impressive.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 06:00:53 | More by JayS2629
Photo of JThysens


3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look- Light yellow, a little cloudy and unfiltered. no head very hoppy.

Smell- smelled of lemon and pine

Taste- very unique mixture of lemon raison and pine, never tasted rice beer but I like the unique flavor of it.

Feel- smooth and a slight amount of grain

Drink- Very easy to drink. very refreshing beer that doesnt loose its taste or originality after the last sip.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 21:15:41 | More by JThysens
Photo of Spider889


4.22/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another beer that was on tap from Bodega as I plow through a mountain of notes. This beer is listed as an American Blonde? Not sure that's quite correct but whatever; I was comparing this to the Japanese rice lagers the whole time drinking it.

A hazy golden straw color, this beer had a foamy white head on it and left minimal lacing (though I felt that had it arrived in anything but a pint maybe it would have done better there).

The smell is a spattering of sour grains and wild rice. I was torn over whether I felt it smelled intriguing or slightly 'off.' I fell somewhere in between, I suppose.

The flavor was much more layered and complex than I was anticipating. Steamed white rice is the heavy hitter here, mixed with a mild lemon character and sweet bready barley.

Well carbonated and pillowy bubbles rush across the tongue. This beer is super light and drinkable.

Not a beer I'd go out of my way to track down, but a solid beer nonetheless. In comparison to the macro Japanese rice lagers, this beer wins out on complexity and body. However it feels much less balanced than its counterparts, and is less refreshing.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2010 10:25:33 | More by Spider889
Photo of BeerPhan86

New York

2.73/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a cloudy pale yellow with almost non-existent head. Somewhat decent lacing.

S - Light and toasty with hints of citrus and wheat. Very subtle aroma.

T - Clean and bland. Finishes with some slightly toasted flavors. Hints of grassiness and lemon in the finish. Kind of tastes like stale cornflakes...

M - Water and way overcarbonated.

D - Light enough to session but lacks any interesting flavors to make buying it worthwhile.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2010 22:12:03 | More by BeerPhan86
Photo of mikeg67

New Jersey

2.83/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle (from a variety pack) opens with a puff. Pours hazy golden, with a huge, fluffy, never ending white head. Lots of lacing, lively carbonation. Aroma is of cooked rice with hints of fruit. Medium, smooth body. Flavors are rice, sugar, some fruit and vegetables. Love it or hate it unusual brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2010 14:54:14 | More by mikeg67
Photo of BamaViper1


3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

The Samurai pours pale, straw yellow and slightly opaque into the glass forming a 1/4 inch thick white head that dissipates quickly. There is no lacing.

The beer first gives off a light toast smell that is surpassed with a marked fruitiness, tropical with hints of raspberry, pineapple, and something woodier (maybe figs).

This beer has taste notes of fruity malt, definitely berry-centered that comes through more pronounced in the finish. There is also a bit of orange and/or tart citrus with mild bitterness. Also there are hints of fresh white bread in the finish.

This is a light bodied beer with good carbonation.

This beer is almost lager-like, which makes it very easy to drink, especially on a hot day. However, i'm more a hophead, so the fruitiness can be a bit much. I can say that the beer is better than I expected.

Addition: after checking out the beer style, I think it fits the description very well. I gave it a little bump in my original rating because of it.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 05:48:00 | More by BamaViper1
Photo of NEhophead


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

12 fl oz brown bottle served in a tumbler.
Bottled on 07.19.2010.

Hazy, pale straw in color with active carbonation which contributes to the quickly evaporated sponge-like head. Whisps of weak lacing.

Mildly sweetened malted wheat aroma that is cut by tart citrus. The wheat and grain base is slightly adjunctory smelling; however, rather clean comparatively.

Clean, unsweetened malted wheat: bland, but clean. Toasted oat at mid-sip with a slightly burnt bitterness. Notes of lemon astringency fill the aftertaste; and, although solvent-like, short-lived.

Light bodied; active on the palate with a touch of slickness as a result of the citrus profile.

A drinkable Blonde Ale that offers no blatant flavor or textural offenses to the palate. Surprisingly, a nice change to the darker, heavier brews of the season.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2010 00:46:42 | More by NEhophead
Photo of alleykatking


3.28/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from tap.

A- Pours a hazy straw colored yellow. One finger white head that shows light retention. Some light streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Tons of grassy notes in this beer with some light overall earthy aromas. There is light grassy hops with a kind of sourness in the ending of the overall aroma. A little off putting to be honest.

T- Nice grassy hop flavor starts off this beer. Lemon and a almost banana flavor comes into play then. Someone said this tasted like a light farmhouse ale and to be honest I have to agree with this statement. There is a light malt sweetness as well that makes this a little off putting in that aspect.

M- Lighter mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Grassy hops and lemon left on the palate. Sweet malts and a funky alcohol is left on in the aftertaste. Not really clean tasting but the times I have had it they all taste the same which makes me think that is how it is clean suppose to taste. The alcohol is actually more drying than I thought for the style.

D- This is a light enough drinker that I could do a sixer of it. There is a off putting backing flavor in this that I can't stand but I don't know what it is. A good offering from Great Divide but I'll stick to their other things before I got to this one again.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2010 05:04:52 | More by alleykatking
Photo of tronester


3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden with a medium white head. Smells of sweet grains. Taste is light honey up front, with a bready middle, and a dry, earthy hop finish. Mouthfeel is decent, lowish carbonation levels. Drinkaiblity is very good, this is a no-frills beer, that would be nice when you want something simple to drink. Not very complex, but still tasty.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2010 01:17:51 | More by tronester
Photo of alkemy


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

Hazy slightly golden straw yellow pour. Small to non-existent white head...I might have poured it too gently. Aroma is not powerful, but you get some fruitiness and a grassy rice pudding scent. It's actually quite pleasant. Has a fruity overtone that I can't really nail down, but it's a good flavor. There's also a slightly soapy, grassy, floral hops (perhaps noble) note. Really crisp and refreshing with a pretty dry finish. I didn't have much for expectations on this, but I was pleasantly surprised. I would definitely have this again, especially on a hot summer day.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2010 18:21:50 | More by alkemy
Photo of allforbetterbeer


3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed on date clearly marked on bottle, thanks Great Divide. Poured into a tall thin glass.

Body is a very light yellow capped by a pleasingly fluffy sea-foamy pure white head that sticks enough to lace some. Body is energetic and full of large bubbles. Although there is an impressive layer of sediment in the bottle, the beer is still cloudy.

Some light fruits intermingled with mild pale malts and a faint hint of hops make up the nose of this interesting beer. I can almost detect green grapes in the nose.

From the nose I was expecting a dry flavor and was surprised and pleased to find this to be a dry beer. The flavor doesn't bite unpleasently like many cheaper lagers do, but has some of the clean toasty malty goodness that is often attempted in this style but not attained. There is a slightly more bitter dry grain flavor that I really like, maybe it is the rice? There is a nice (but subtle) hop balance to all this grain, and it comes through clean and pleasing.

Body is on the lighter side, and carbonation is high. Fits nicely with the style and feels refreshing and pleasing.

Drinkability is great. This one can be a slow drinker or a gulper. I would drink this with dinner or on a hot day to refresh. Versatile.

Conclusion: The best American Blonde Ale I have tasted to date (not necessarily saying a lot). The addition of the rice does exactly what it should. This beer is light, refreshing, complex enough to be pleasing and tasty. Why it scores an average of B- on this site is beyond me.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2010 14:39:05 | More by allforbetterbeer
Photo of DrDemento456


4.25/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in the variety case that was two months old.

A - Poured a nice clear yellow. Light pour kept the sediment on the bottom from getting in. Nice inch of foam which is nice for a old beer.

S - Mostly grains, slight wheat, and rice. Simple blonde ale.

T - Wow I am impressed. When I think I blonde I sort of get a bitter kind of pale ale impression but this had a great bitter start and a very smooth finish. Very sweet tasting from the rice. Almost sugary.

M - Very light. I could easily (if I could find it) drink a six pack of this in a sitting and the ABV is low enough to enjoy succession-ably.

D - Well like I said if I could find it outside of the case it would be no problem getting it. In fact I would pay the PA price for Great Divide sixers of 12 dollars if I could find it. I still have two left and I will enjoy them. Great job GD! Not one bad beer yet!

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2010 05:43:11 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of bfree


3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Yellow urine color with a thin head that remained on the sides of the glass

S: subtly sweet with some malts but mainly rice, smells pleasant

T: grainy flavor, as well as malts and rice...not complex but has a nice flavor to it

M: carbonated with a nice crisp finish

D: it is a decent beer with light flavor and a crisp finish...definitely could drink a lot of them in one sitting as the taste is not complex or overbearing and the beer is not filling

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2010 21:16:12 | More by bfree
Photo of BARFLYB


3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-Tap at Hulmeville inn, pint glass style.

Samurai comes in the pint looking quite bright yellow well might as well call it blond. A white head up above. Smells include small apple, apricot, slight pale malt, a dash of lemon and earthy hops. Taste is a light beast. Mainly small fruits mixed in with brady yeast and a touch of hops at the end. Not bitter, pretty smooth and light bodied. I could drink a few of these, it's simple beer and a simple style, but I could fo sure tell it was a american blond.

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2010 04:26:26 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of TheHoppiest


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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a hazy straw yellow with a pillowy, dimpled white head.

Smells quite grassy and leafy, with a bit of sour lemon. There's also a faint yeast smell as well. Not shaping up as a favorite smelling beer for me.

Taste is slightly sharp and sweet. Lemon and banana, a bit of herb; in fact, there's a bit of farmhouse ale taste to this even though it is listed as a blonde ale. Ends sweet, not bitter, although there is a lingering maltiness to it that fades to a wet grass aftertatse in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is thin, slightly biting at first, ending smoother.

Not a terribly drinkable beer, IMHO. I got it as part of a Great Divide mixed-12 pack, and probably would not buy it on its own again.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2010 01:28:22 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of Lukafer


4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Review from notes.

A vigorous pour yields 3 fingers of head that stays around for a while. Very light color, like lemonade with sediment. smell is slight lemon, slight hops. Taste is some bready malts, lemon, rice with hops at the finish. Mouthfeel is medium-low with a decent amount of carbonation. Drinkability is very good, light enough to drink a lot of these.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 05:23:28 | More by Lukafer
Photo of HeightsEats


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

This struck me as reminscent of weak sake. The smell was of cooked rice with a minimal hop presence. Taste is a bit watery with a light body and a subtle blonde ale sharp bitterness at the end. While this might pair well with some Asian cuisine, its light body and subtle flavor doesn't make it very food-friendly. This would work best as a thirst quencher for a hot day.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2010 16:56:17 | More by HeightsEats
Photo of Clydesdale

District of Columbia

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

A: Pours a glowing, hazy yellow-orange color. The white head is moderately tall, with a dense, creamy texture. Retention is above average, and lacing is abundant.

S: Tart, lemony and fruity aromas are most noticeable. Clean - rice is definitely present. Maybe some faint herbal hop presence.

T: A touch sweet up front, before fading into a primarily dry, lightly fruity tartness. A bit lemony and berrylike, accompanied by a light herbal hop bite.

M: Medium-light body. Crisp and perkily carbonated. Quite dry into the finish, as expected.

D: An interesting, refreshing beer from Great Divide. It's executed pretty well, even though a rice-focused brew is admittedly pretty low on my list of must-tries. Crisp, perky, and a little funky.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2010 20:47:17 | More by Clydesdale
Photo of AgentMunky


3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Startlingly bright yellow, hazy but translucent, with a nice finger of head. Bubbles rise continually from the bottom.

S: There is a strange vegetable aroma I cannot quite place, presumably from the rice. It smells like...cabbage? Asparagus? Neither of these are right, but whatever it is, it's on the tip of my nose.

T: Good, but different. Light, floral, sweetish, and easy-finishing. For once, the label is dead-on, "...slightly fruity, crisp, refreshing, and clean" describes the Samurai Ale perfectly. The main teaste is carbonated and fruity/floral. The aftertaste is crisp but instantly forgettable. Something somewhere in the sweetness is slightly amiss.

M: Smooth and refreshing, but it doesn't hold my interest.

D: Very drinkable, very interesting, but ultimately unsustainable. After this glass, I am done. I wouldn't buy this beer again, but I *would* recommend picking up a single.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2010 16:44:44 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of yesyouam

New York

2.8/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great Divide Samurai is a cloudy, pale golden ale with a solid, foamy white head that has decent retention and lacing. It has a light, grainy aroma. It's pretty light bodied; smooth and foamy with a clean, dry finish. It's almost flavorless at first, then grainy and lightly bitter at the finish. There are notes of soju, resin and something green. It's a pretty strange beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2010 04:25:26 | More by yesyouam
Photo of SamN


4.4/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Well, apparently the unfiltered claims were true; this beer pours milky white. To my disappointment , the first thought to mind was the image of the American Pie scene, where a man's climax is deposited into a Ubiquitous Red Cup. This unpleasant imagery is my first impression of my first rice ale.

Not a good start.

Anyways, as stated, the beer is a milky white with adjunct backdrop colored. Resembles a hefeweizen, but with noticeably large chunks of what looks like cracked rice bits suspended in the liquid. The head is minimal, is bone white and thin.

S- Sweet malty smells of white bread, lemons, creamy tartness. Like a hefeweizen, but with a much stronger malt background, more bready, grainy and solid in size.

T- Starts off dry and grainy, then the malt flexes up and becomes the prominent taste with, again, white bread flavors. Next the hops come cascading in in waves, providing a bitter counterpoint to the rice grain, eventually mellowing out to a more balanced finish, the yeast leaving a pleasantly slight sweet tartness edge to the fading hops bitterness and the still present sweeter rice grain base.

This is one really unique beer. A whole 'nother level of flavors. What an interesting and charming ale! Wide spectrum of tastes, from sweet, bready, tart, dry and bitter. A great example of this breweries inventiveness and brewing skill! Just a fascinating beer to drink.

M- Medium bodied with full carbonation. Lively and busy. The perfect body structure for a summer beer.

D- Very high, IMO. Just such a damn creative beer that really works on nearly every level. It's great, perfectly drinkable. I'm dying for another one already, as I only bought one for a sixer-mixer.

Will most definitely be keeping this beer as a staple from now on.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2010 03:00:14 | More by SamN
Photo of NODAK


3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Smell is a bit murky for me. At first I got some floral hoppiness from it, but then some toffee and citrus.

Carbonation here is VERY high. One of the highest I've ever tasted. It is to the point that I believe it covers up some of the taste and takes away from some of the character. What I do get from this beer is a bit of citrus and toffee, but there isn't really a lot going on with this beer. There isn't any hop bite that I can taste here either. Basically, it's a lot of carbonation...citrus, a little toffee malt....end.

It's certainly very drinkable, but perhaps not that complex.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2010 01:25:19 | More by NODAK
Photo of Mitchster


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

$1.79 for a single at Beverage Co. 5.1% ABV. Unfiltered. Bottled on Jun 04, 2010. I love it when brewers put "bottled on", instead of "best by". Beer snobs are probably thumbing their nose at the thought of a "Rice Ale", or anything that isn't made of 15 different malts with 7 different fermentations, made in the toilet of a Belgian farmhouse with a 20% ABV.

Pours out to a sparkingly clear pale straw golden, forming a large white head with excellent lacing and retention with a moderately brisk carbonation. The aroma is clean, crisp and delicate with noble hops aroma...either Tettnang, Hallertau or Saaz. The mouthfeel is crisp with a medium-light body. The taste opens with the delicate hops, followed by pale malts, freshly mown hay, and wheat crackers. Somewhat spicy in the finish with a medium-light well-balanced bitterness. No perceptible off flavors or aromas.

This is a very well brewed ale, along the lines of a Kolsch, subtle in its nuances. It's easy to drink, yet full of flavor. On it's own, one could get fatigued from the grassiness, but it would fare well at the beach with a bunch of hearty burgers and brats. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2010 23:49:18 | More by Mitchster
Samurai Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 569 ratings.