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AleSmith IPA - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith IPAAleSmith IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,203 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 1,203
Hads: 3,506
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 8.37%
Wants: 468
Gots: 445 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.25% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-29-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,203 | Hads: 3,506
Photo of TastyTaste
4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Light copper color, lighter than most in the style. Head is billowy and full, lasts long, makes a smooth mound in the middle fo the glass. Looks good.

Smell: Hop Candy. Grapefruit and bubblegum, sweet caramel action, lightly piney. Fantastic.

Taste: Rich and full. The maltiness provides an able and delicious backdrop for something so fruity and hoppy (citrus and pine). I can't get over how good this beer is, well honed start to finish.

Mouthfeel: Full, rich, creamy, excellent for the style.

Drinkability: One of the finest in the style, this beer gets all the laud it receives, in the top 5 of the style. (633 characters)

Photo of OlieIPA
4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a very good beer!!!! One of my favorite IPA's. The appearance was a very gold/copper color and clean for the most part. The smell was very hoppy, sooo good!!! The taste was also extremely awesome, leaving me with a citrus like taste. Mouthfeel was also very clean. Easy to drink...I highly recommend this beer. (318 characters)

Photo of gmcfarre
4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from bomber into Delirium Tremens tulip

A - Cloudy sunset orange with a 1/2 inch head that doesn't stick around too long. Lacing is fairly moderate.

S - Incredibly fruity and flowery, incredible scent that is almost chewy. Full and strong and ideal. Nice and sugary and unlike any other IPA I've had.

T - Hoppy and sweet (assumably from the prominent malt backbone). Nice and sugary with an incredible balance and never cloying or overly bitter.

M - Mild carbonation that is very smooth with a chewy mouthfeel and a slightly bittering aftertaste (but much less than many IPAs).

D - Perhaps the best IPA I've ever had (which is saying alot considering I heart this style). I will plan on acquiring as much of this as possible in the future. (761 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to clvand0 for bringing this beer to our tasting. The beer poured a golden color with one finger of head that fell to coat the beer. The nose was full on grapefruit hop, with some caramel sweetness in the background. Nice nice nice. The flavor was full of nice sweet hops, grapefruit and a touch of caramel. The feel was thick, just what I want for this beer. Drinkability was huge. I wished I had more of it to drink. What a smooth, easy drinking beer. (460 characters)

Photo of joeseppy
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Orange marmalade colour with a dense generous off-white head and staggered lacing.

Aromas of Juicyfruit gum, tropical fruits of grapefruit and tangerine. Definite hop, pine and malt.

Balance, balance and balance. Hops, pine, sweet malt and juice. Juz like it smells.

Medium body and chewy. The malt really adds the depth that could be a mistaken as a double. Some stickiness on the lips. Bitterness lingers on the tongue and nasal cavaties.

This IPA is right on target. No characteristic beats the other, but rather meld in harmony. Tremendously tremendous. Truly a leader of a classic in style. Alesmith, if you are reading-would you please come to Chi-town. How come you distribute OVER Chicago to the East coast? Just wondering-I'd buy regularly. (754 characters)

Photo of jakekohut
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle bought at Southbay Pharmacy

A: It was in a dark bottle, I have had this beer n a glass before and it has a nice light copper color.
S: It has a wonderfully grapefruit citrus smell to it, I also have a cold so please do not make fun of my adjectives.
T,M&D: This is one of my favorite IPA's in the workd for smoothness and drinkibility, at 7.25% it is not overly strong but you know the alcohol is there. Steller IPA and I will continue to buy this beer. (466 characters)

Photo of jmalex
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap last month in San Diego, but this will be my first taste from the bottle.

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Duvel tulip a fairly hazy orange golden color. The head is barely off-white and holds fairly well at one finger high for an exceedingly long time. Quite impressive.

SMELL: A wonderful blast of citrus and hop resins hit you first with perfect IPA strength. It's all west coast hops in this one. A sweet malt backbone is certainly present though, and even presents a slightly toasty aroma.

TASTE: Awesome. Huge citrusy hop flavor is accompanied by a taste bud-assaulting bitterness that matches. The hops really smooth out as it crosses the palate leaving a few sticky resins behind. The finish begins with the beer's malty base showing itself prominently before disappearing behind a lingering hop bitterness. This is as close to perfect as an IPA can get.

MOUTHFEEL: The body is medium full and carbonated sufficiently. It's only a slight bit sticky and resinous.

DRINKABILITY: Suffers only from being such a big beer. It definitely goes down way to easy for its ABV though. I love it.

Well this is just as I remember it from a month ago. I guess my biggest mistake was only bringing back 1 bottle for myself and giving away the rest. I'm sure my friends are appreciative of such a fantastic gift though. (1,326 characters)

Photo of josiahschlender
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a great-looking bomber pours a great-looking beer. This is a really pretty IPA. Very clear, copper color. It has a precious metal look to it. Excellent creamy, foamy head. Lots of lacing. The previous reviewer called this beer velvety, which I agree with. The persistent head adds to that.

Upon uncapping, aromas immediately streamed out before even pouring. This is one of those beers you can smell from a few feet away. Really nice aromatic hops. I notice mandarins, nectarine, pine resin... all very sweet and nectar-like. Normally I'd want more malt smells to come through, but I'm perfectly happy smelling this hop flower.

Taste is excellent. Here the malts show themselves, but not after a first rush of the sweet, aromatic hops. They move aside and mingle with the substantial, caramel and bready malts. Appropriate but in-control bittering hops round out the long finish. Wow, I'm really enjoying this beer, and it's not just because I had a long day.

Mouthfeel is so creamy, smooth and velvety. Perfect for this beer, in my opinion.

This is such a good, well rounded IPA. Highly recommended. I need to try more AleSmith beers now. (1,148 characters)

Photo of samie85
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes; originally 6/11/11.

A-Pours a very clear amber color with two fingers of very creamy head.

S-Juicy grapefruit and pine with some pineapple and light caramel notes.

T-Loads of juicy and bitter pineapple and grapefruit hop notes with some caramel sweetness throughout.

M-Very smooth feel and medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation.

D-Superbly drinkable and a very well made, and approachable, yet flavorful . Now I just need to move to Cali so I can make this a daily drinker without going broke! (529 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle
Pours a deep gold color, huge head. Lacing/head stayed thru out the whole time. Very hoppy/citrus scents. Hoppy/sweet taste with a nice bite at the end. Medium body. This is one helleva brew, awesome taste and quite strong for a IPA, a couple of these and you will be feeling pretty good. (301 characters)

Photo of paytoplay
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Combine, price, complexity, availability..for me in CA... drinkability, goes with lots of food, subtle, and so aromatically complex this is a near perfect brew. One of the 1st craft beers to start my path down the real beers being brewed journey. Forgot about this beer and dismissed it for a year or 2, just rediscovered it again recently and have always kept at least 1 in the fridge ready at all times. Stunning! (415 characters)

Photo of callmemickey
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark golden/amber body with a huge fluffy off-white head.. great retention... thick lacing... inviting!

S: Mix of grapefruit/lemon citrus hops.. soft foresty pine hops... dash of sweet malt

T: Mirrors the nose... slightly bolder blast of grapefruit and lemon bitter hops... piney comes in towards the end... nice lingering piney bitterness...

M: Smooth transitions between the different hop characteristics... as above the finish is lingering but crisp... nice!

D: One of the best IPAs out there ... great work alesmith! (528 characters)

Photo of mltobin
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So, I am doing review # 300, notes from earlier this year.
I picked up a bomber of this at DeCicco`s in Westchester, after holding off for far too long on picking this one up.

Appearance is a light golden color with a two finger head, it sits atop the beer for quite some time. Its smell is a citrus blast, along with hops, on the sweet side. Taking a swig of Alesmith IPA for the first time and wow, this beer is delicious. I taste grapefruit, bubble gum, hops, and pleasant bitterness. Nice carbonation and light-medium body. Drinkability is very easy on this IPA. I am really amazed by how close to perfectly balanced it is. At this point, I would put this somewhere in my top 5 IPAs. (688 characters)

Photo of halfP1NT
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to t0rin0 for this one...

Clear amber in color, huge, thick white head. Leaves tons of lacing. Great retention.

Smell is earthy, citrus hops-grapefruit, orange. Some light caramelly malts. Hint of spice.

Taste- exactly what I like in an IPA! Bitter, citrus hops, earthy, sweet malts. Creamy mouthfeel. Alcohol comes through a little as it warms, but it is a light, very welcome presence.

Excellent example of an IPA, I finished the bomber and still could've had more. (483 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one came via a trade with genog. He has been my AleSmith hookup and I am quite thankful for that.

A: A nice peachy copper color with a big thunderous head upon the pour. There is wonderful thick lacing left behind as I slowly enjoy this brew.

S: Lots of hops. Huge aroma with Pine and Citrus in the forefront. There are nice malty undertones and a buttery aroma which help to make this a perfectly balanced brew.

T: The taste is where this beer shines. Lots of citrus... grapefruit, oranges, lemon, you name it it's in there. There are tons of citrus hops in this one. There is also a nice caramel sweetness from the malt. The bitterness of the hops is well stated and really lingers. Quite possibly the best IPA I have ever had.

M: Medium bodied IPA with lots of fizz upon the pour. The oiliness of the hops hang around letting you enjoy the lingering effects of this beer.

D: Very drinkable. I put down the bomber no problem after drinking a Nugget Nectar....Man its good to be Me.

Overall: AleSmith is one of if not the best brewery in America. Their entire lineup of beers are impressive. They rank in the top 5 with their Stout, IPA, and DIPA... My core drinking brews. They take great care in putting out an outstanding product and it shows. This is quite possibly the best IPA in the world, and it comes in bombers...I realllly like that.. Man I wish I could get it by the growler.

Bravo AleSmith.... this one ranks right up there with your Speedway and YuleSmith and is deserving of its TOP 100 ranking. I can't wait to try more AleSmith brews... BAers bring on the trades. (1,594 characters)

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass, thanks to Damien (Solomon420) for the awesome extra! Soundtrack to this one: Oblivion/Divinations, by Mastodon

Pours copper, clear with phenomenal effervescence. Solid 2-finger off white head that is just fantastically rocky. Eventually settles into creamy cap with a dense island at the center due to the laser etching on the glass, with great lacing.

Nose is big citrus, sweet with a nice caramel underpinning, clean, a bit resiny. Really nice.

Taste has a nice caramel underpinning up front, with a citrusy, lightly resiny hop note on top. Lots of sweet citrus up front, dry finish. Malt takes on a drier, more biscuity character after that initial burst of caramel citrus goodnes up front. Moderate bitterness for the amount of hop flavor, and almost no astringency. Finish is moderately bitter, with a lot of lingering citrus. Really well put together, fantastic beer.

Mouthfeel is nice and crisp, but over the top by any means - does it job without distracting from the flavor. Creamy from the lingering head, full body.

Drinkability is really nice. Mouthfeel, big flavor, and low astringency all make for a beer that is just way too easy to drink.

Top notch, quickly vaults into my elite IPA list. (1,250 characters)

Photo of washburnkid
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: A perfect appearance with nearly 3 fingers of an ivory frothy but firm head. Hazy copper body that features lighter golden edges in the light. The head doesn't go anywhere for a while, and when it finally does disappear a bit, it leaves wonderful lacing all over my stein.
S: Fresh and balanced pine with florals that are subtly evened out by a toasted aroma.
T: Exactly what I want from a West Coast IPA in terms of the hop characteristics: pine and florals. The difference from many other WC IPAs? This one is wonderfully balanced while still featuring the delicious hop profile. The toastiness from the malts are definitely there but the hops definitely run the show here.
M: Medium body with higher carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.
D: I'm very impressed. Easy to drink and delicious. I will recommend this to absolutely everyone. (838 characters)

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into Tulip.

A. Pours a very well carbonated 3 finger head. Big thick amounts of lacing left. Excellent head retention. Perfect golden/orange color.

S. Smell is a heavenly array of hops. You can smell the hops from across the room. It is a delicous smell of citrus hops. Smells of orange, grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple. Maybe a touch of piney hops.

T. Wow! Citrus hops, orange, grapefruit. Almost tastes like drinking liquid hops. This is super smooth and delicous. There is a sweetness to it that almost seems like it comes from the hops and not the malt. To say that it is well balanced is misleading, because the hops are the show stealer. Its more like the malt sets up the perfect combination of hop flavor.

M. Medium/full bodied. A creamy mouthfeel which is hard to imagine in an IPA. Delicous lingering hoppy sweetness/bitterness left on the mouth.

D. I knew this was a good beer before I tried it for the first time, but I wasn't expecting one of the best IPA's I have ever had. I haven't had all of the highest rated IPAs, but this is Extremely good. (1,090 characters)

Photo of BierReise
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an outstanding IPA! The freshness of this ale knocked me off my feet as if I were drinking it at the brewery right out of the tank. A beautiful coppery color body and a beige colored head looked beautiful resting in my glass. The aroma of a piney hoppiness hit my nose as soon as I raised my glass. And the flavor was unbelievable. I can only remember one other time I had such an outstandig ale and that was in a brewpub in Boston many years ago. Wow I can't wait to have another!!! (491 characters)

Photo of jeffjfindley
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Creamy auburn coloring with a less than generous head, but respectable cloudy lacing. The nose is grand, spicy and not surpisingly very hoppy. The nose and the taste are both a bit roasty, distinguishing it from it's contempraries.

I am always a little surprised when I come across an IPA that's this balanced. The malt texture is more than a match for the outstanding level of hoppiness. Sweet, creamy, and lively on the tongue.

Outstandingly drinkable. Why, oh why did I wait this long to try this beer? (512 characters)

Photo of MVassar
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow. My first experience with this IPA was strange and unfortunate. While the flavor of the beer was exceptional, the bottle had no carbonation, apparantly due to some "problem in the bottling line."

No problem with this bottle. Amazing stuff.

Gorgeous raw honey appearance, with a very eager and active head that looks like a fine meringue. The lacing looks like sea foam.

The scents of hops, lemon peel, malt, pine, the ocean, and fresh grapefruit leap from the glass. One of the most aromatic IPA's this nose has ever smelled.

Starts with hints of pecan pie, followed by plenty of bitter hops, with a serious grapefruit zest finish. Incredible balance for a beer with this much flavor.

Lovely and lively in the mouth. Lots of carbonation this time(!) balanced by a rich creaminess.

Undoubtably one of the easiest drinking big beers I've ever tasted. (Frankly, one of the BEST beers I've ever tasted.) Bravo! (931 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4.71/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Unassuming 22 oz bottle, as pictured, obtained via trade with cmaruschak. Many thanks! Served at 50 degrees F. into an imperial pint glass, this is my first alcoholic beverage of 2006, and an exceptional choice.
Pours a chill hazed, rusty amber body, with a creamy, tightknit, offwhite head that floats two fingers above the body. Exceptional head retention eventually drops into fluffy clumps of sticky lace. Lots of minute bubbles are apparent in the body, madly rushing upward. Very nice to behold.

Aroma is inviting and heavy handed. Fresh, leafy, hops lead off with citrusy grapefruit, orangerind, and spruce. Some toffee and caramel notes become more apparent as it warms.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a velvety carbonation and a tingly bite of fresh hops resin.

Taste is surprisingly, well balanced. Hoppy bitterness is dry and assertive, with grapefruit, citrus rind, and spruce. Sweet/Tart tangerine and a dollop of clover honey emerge after a few minutes of warming. A solid malt backbone of toffee and caramel becomes prominent at room temperature and provides a superlative balance to the bitter, leafy, hoppiness. A note of clover honey chimes in, as well, as the citrusy aspect veers toward a sweeter tangerine and pink grapefruit presence. Some mild alcohol warmth adds to the complexity near the finish.

This is, simply, a big American IPA with no flaws. Exceptional balance and drinkability. I know this one is highly rated, but I don't think Alesmith gets enough credit for the brews, like this one, that they consistently produce. This brew is as "worthy" as any American IPA I've had the pleasure of sampling. (1,646 characters)

Photo of BetterDarker
4.71/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz poured into pint glass.

A- Amazingly thick, fluffy off white head, hazy gold with fantastic retention and lacing. Quite simply an amazing looking beer, almost fake it's so perfect.

S- Hop slap to the face, and it feels good. Herbal, lemon citrus, pine and grass, I wonder if there was a hop they didn't use.

T: Great hoppy depth of flavor with citrus and pine overtones with a hint of malt in the back.

M: Perfect carbonation with a medium body.

D: Highly drinkable, so much so I may move to San Diego so I can get this on a regular basis. (550 characters)

Photo of warriorsoul
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to cmaruschak for this one. I've been really looking forward to popping this one open...too many beers, too little time.
Pours a nice cloudy copper color w/ a tremendous amount of light tan head. Very foamy and produces tons of loose, sticky lace...very nice to look at.
Wow...I've smelled double IPA's w/ less aroma than this one. Tons of fruity, bitter hops smack the nose...oranges and subtle grapefruit mainly dominate.
Taste is incredible...again, similar to a double but without the alcohol. It is over 7% so I can faintly detect it, but by no way distracting. Great balanced brew...hefty malt backbone and a fantastic bitter finish.
Mouthfeel is above average...drinkability is a no brainer.
Ah, they say Alesmith may make it's way to MA soon...I believe I could get used to having this one around. (823 characters)

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 22oz. bomber with simple, yet functional graphics.

Appearance: Poured a rich-looking honey color into the glass. Thick and immensely sticky lace sticks like cotton candy to your hands.

Smell: Holy crap. Before you even get near the glass, the aromas of this beer, like a heat-seeking missle, target your olfactories for destruction. And the aromas are successful in their mission. The onslaught is all pine. Shove a pine tree up your nose and you begin to understand just how large and impressive the aromas are. Spicy, pine cones, citrus. It's all there...and it's all hops. Spectacular.

Taste: As expected, this beer is a lesson in hops. However, there is a wonderful balance achieved by a malty-honey-caramel sweetness that takes just the slightest edge off the bite of the hops. It also got smoother and more flavorful on the palate as it warmed up. While not as "in your face" as other IPA's, Alesmith's version nonetheless definitely lets you know that it is a hoppy creation. Starts off grassy, middle is sweet, ending is a dash of warming alcohol (though the alcohol was very, very well-hidden in this), followed by a lip-coating, sigh-inducing, oily belch-creating (the best part!) bitterness that is a joy to experience.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied and extremely smooth.

Drinkability: I could drink this all day. I probably wouldn't be able to taste anything for a week, but it would be worth it. Very hoppy, yet very well-balanced. ABV is hidden well (could be dangerous after a few pints), and the bitter aftertaste sparks the desire to keep drinking.

Overall an excellent item to add to the list of IPA's I've sampled and one I most assuredly want to try again.

Note: A huge BA.com thanks to hopjack13 for this bottle. (1,769 characters)

AleSmith IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,203 ratings.