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AleSmith IPA - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith IPAAleSmith IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,218 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 1,218
Hads: 3,595
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 15.19%
Wants: 476
Gots: 485 | FT: 11
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: 1,218 | Hads: 3,595
Photo of paytoplay
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
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!

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Photo of callmemickey
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
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!

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Photo of mltobin
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of halfP1NT
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of tpd975
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of washburnkid
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of BierReise
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
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!!!

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Photo of jeffjfindley
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
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?

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Photo of MVassar
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
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!

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Photo of merlin48
4.71/5  rDev +10%
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.

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Photo of BetterDarker
4.71/5  rDev +10%
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.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bomber thanks to BeerRun13 and NC Lotto BIF.
Pours the color of a sunset with a pillowy pale yellow colored head. I've never seen a head that looked quite like this. The head retains until the glass is nearly empty.
Oh man this smells gooood! Sweet hops, sweet hops!! Floral, piney and citrus.
Taste takes your mouth through the whole gamut of IPA flavors. Starts off very sweet. Almost too sweet for an IPA, but I likey. Then a floral like hoppiness starts to creep in. The hoppiness slowly continues to increase until it leaves your tastebuds screaming with a very bitter citrus flavor at the finish. Then the hops linger for a while to make sure you don't forget their flavor or their presence. WOW!
Mouthfeel is good. Nice combination of sticky, oily, and creamy
This is a drinkable beer. Due to the hops and higher abv it's not a session beer for me though.
This is a most excellent IPA. I give it my very highest recommendation. This is one you should do what ever you have to do to obtain and try it.

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Photo of ibbjamin
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Paid $8.99 for a bomber which I graciously purchased from Perry's Liquor in Livermore, CA. The beer guy there apparently drives to SoCal to pick up AleSmith, so I can only assume the price of this bomber is slightly inflated. Poured into a standard pint glass.

This one is bottle conditioned, so the brewer's yeast is quite evident in the clear bottle. Pour very carefully to keep this in the bottle. Massive shiny white head on a shitty pour on my part. Small bubbles, very frothy towards the top. Head retention is phenomenal. Appears transparent, but with a closer look, it becomes apparent that is not the case. Goldish orange in color. Good lacing.

Smell is very clean and well balanced. Hops dominate, but are not overpowering and have a great malt backing. Dank citrus hops that are quite pleasant on the nose.

A very well balanced IPA. I've been drinking a lot of DIPAs recently and I must admit this is a great change of pace. The hops are still very evident, but certainly nowhere near overpowering. 5/5 delicious.

Dangerously easy to drink. Absolutely no idea this is 7.25%. Medium body. Somewhat creamy, very smooth. Seemingly light carbonation despite the massive head.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance -- Pours a luminescent orange, mild haze catching light, with a slim sudsy head. Beautiful hue, head needs fixing.

Smell -- Big grapefruit, pine sap, mild tropical fruit aromas, dash of caramel malt. Beautiful.

Taste -- Sticky, decadent hops. Massive citrus with orange zest and grapefruit, apricot, and a deep and ever-present wall of resiny bitterness. Malts are fairly underplayed and gently sweet, akin to birthday cake. Long finish of orange zest and resin.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with an abundance of tight, prickly carbonation. A little sharp on the tongue, but it definitely makes the hop flavors come alive.

Drinkability -- Wow. This was really f*cking good. Far exceeded my high expectations. The hop flavor is so deep and vibrant that one would be forgiven if they mistook this as a highly drinkable IIPA. Top-tier for certain, possibly my favorite American IPA to date.

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Photo of Derek
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden-bronze, fluffy off-white head, good retention & lacing.

S: Nectarine, tangerine, grass, pine, candied pineapple, cotton-candy & toffee.

T: Nectarine, tangerine, grass, toffee, cotton-candy, hints of biscuit, nice bitterness, alcohol is subtle.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body is smooth with a light hop acidity. Carbonation is on the lower side of moderate. Perfect?

D: One hell of a drinker, only limited by its strength.

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Photo of DNICE555
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was lucky enough to pick up a bomber of this one at table in vine on my Northampton trip with zapps and larsonstyle... last two left!

A - A hazy yellowish orange with an impressive white head.

S - Wow, lemony twang, fresh hops, and some fruit. I think it took me longer to inhale this beer than it did to drink it.

T - Big hops with a citrus burst along with a slight warming in the finish. Pine in the background and a minor malt presence to help balance out this delicious hoppy treat.

M - Full bodied ipa which is smooth as butter.

D - This is an ipa right here. This ipa isn't on the JV team, it's on Varsity, and it's starting quarterback. Beast of an ipa at an abv where you can have more than a tulip of it. Very well done.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A bottle purchased at the brewery and shipped home.

Pours a bright orange color with creamy head that recedes quickly, leaving a smattering of lace trails. The second I popped the cap I could smell citrusy, grapefruity hops. Plenty of lemony and citrusy notes fill my nostril upon closer inspection. A bit of sweet malt biscuit lays in the background. Malt plays a more prominent role in the taste than I was expecting. Certainly very citrusy and aspiriny bitterness, but layers of cookie dough and bready malts make themselves quite prominent. Warmth reveals some floral hop notes. A light carbonation makes the mouthfeel very smooth, medium bodied. The finish is very long with bitter hop resins and lemon drops lasting forever.

I had very high expectations for the beer. After finally trying it, they have been met and exceeded. Very hoppy and surprisingly well balanced. Excellent.

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Photo of MrNuggets
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy orange in colour. Off white, almost tan head. Thick and creamy. Hops, Hops and more hops on the nose. Hops explode onto my tongue. This hop rollercoaster quickly pulls in to superb balance. I let the yeast into the second classful and I would say it added welcome flavors to the brew. My first Alesmith, I am impressed.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip- pours a hazy golden straw color with 2 fingers plus if creamy white head, great retention and beautiful textured lacing.

Smell is very nice- round, floral hop smell, pretty mild but very pleasant. When I say mild I mean not resiny. I smell a little basil, maybe a little rosemary.

Tastes fantastic- pleasant pale malt background to support a soft bouquet of hops; grapefruit, a little of the herbs, nice mild bitterness. A very clean and well balanced taste.

Mouthfeel is very good- medium light body with mild carbonation and a little resin. Most times I prefer a little more bubbles but this is fine by me. An excellent example of the style. Too bad it doesn't come in a 6-pack.

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Photo of MJR
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a light amber with copper edges. Clarity is quite good, with lots of little bubbles from the carbonation. It's light tan head is around an inch thick and fades a bit in the middle, leaving huge clumps. Adding the yeast sediment darkens the brew considerably and leaves large chunks in the bottom of my glass. Phenomenol lacing of the glass... It just looks...perfect!

Smell: Hoppy as all hell with a huge fruitiness. The one fruit that stands out the most to me is apricots...the aroma just screams apricots! There's a touch of malt underneath that is both mildly sweet and bready. Hint of vanilla... Great aroma!

Taste: Full flavored with tons of hop goodness! There's a nice malt background, but this one is all about the hops. Lots of pine, citrus, and fruit flavors meld together perfectly in one of the best IPA's I've ever encountered. There's a touch of an alcohol taste, but it stays in the background where it belongs. Adding the yeast sediment adds another dimension to the already great flavor. Starts bitter, finishes bitter...I love it!

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with a soft mouthfeel that thickens towards the bottom of the bottle. The yeast yields a creamier, more rounded feel on the palate. Gotta love that bottle-conditioning!

Drinkability: I could drink this one all night, despite it's higher strength.

Words don't do it justice. If you haven't tried this one, get ahold of some right now. Somehow, the flavor profile is laidback and huge at the same time. Well done Alesmith!

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Photo of dar482
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I got this pretty fresh on the East Coast. Thankfully, it’s now dated. April 3, 2013.

It pours in a hazy golden orange color with a head that quickly dissipates.

The aroma has a huge amount of hops of citrus. Sweetness, tropical fruit, West Coast pine.

The flavor hits you with a wonderful bitterness of papaya, peaches, grapefruit, tropical fruits, and then biscuit sweetness. Then the finish has a wonderful big pine flavor.

In the end, this is up there for me for IPAs. I have this near Maine Co. Lunch. It’s just an amazing IPA. It’s truly a complete beer with its tropical and pine hops, but then that strong malt. Be sure to have this cold, as this warmed up, it slowly lacked flavor and was a bit malty for me. Having it cold, I noticed more aroma and fruit, and just the complexity that this beer as to offer.

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AleSmith IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,218 ratings.