AleSmith IPA - AleSmith Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,897 | Reviews: 1,136 | Display Reviews Only:
3.28/5 rDev -22.8%
I received this bomber in a trade with RichBeer. Thanks Rich. Screen-printed bottle with helpful serving instructions (but no bottling date), poured into a pint glass. The pour yields a creamy finger tall head with decent retention. Sticky lacing lines the side of the glass as the head disappears. This is dark for an IPA. If I didn't know what I had been poured I would have thought I was being served an amber. Carbonation is really active as seen through the glass.
The aroma yields piney overtones with grapefruit undertones. Floral hops waft lightly through the nose. There aren't any surprises here but it is strongly aromatic with a good balance of all of the fragrances that you'd expect in any IPA. There's nothing wrong with a textbook IPA done correctly.
Given the beautiful look and spot-on aroma of this beer, the taste is underwhelming. The floral qualities of the hops take first billing and center stage. It's not overbearing though. In fact, it's kind of bland. Mild orange and grapefruit follow the floral character with subtlety. There is a strong maltiness that is seemingly present for balance, but it doesn't add any complimentary flavors, save for the faintest hint of grass and burnt plastic. Alcohol is noticeable toward the end, though it stays pretty well hidden. The whole thing finishes bitterly with a terribly bitter aftertaste that doesn't go away. It's akin to chewing on grapefruit peels.
The mouthfeel is spot on for the style. The beer is medium bodied. The carbonation is appropriate. Well done.
There are so many good things to say about this IPA but when it comes down to it, I didn't find it to be very drinkable. It's beautiful; it feels good in the mouth and I could sit and smell it all day. But of the five senses, the one that a brew really needs to impress is the sense of taste. AleSmith IPA falls flat in that category. The bland flavors and unnecessarily bitter aftertaste literally left a bad taste in my mouth and a bad impression in general. 7.25% ABV tells you that you're not going to drink them all night. In fact, an entire bomber is plenty ambitious. After finishing my pint, I poured the rest, which is something I have only done one other time.
The Two Schlitz Scale: (see my profile for an explanation)
I don't give a Schlitz about this IPA. In fact, I think I'll go for a Schlitz right now.
12-28-2010 18:48:16 | More by weizenbob
3.33/5 rDev -21.6%
Poured In: Snifter
Attained through a trade (Thanks Nick!)
Appearance: A careful pour unleashes a tall frothy head. I have half head and half beer. The beer is an amber and light carrot orange color while the head is a white and creamy color. When held up to the light, as the pour suggested, it's quite effervescent. On par with a Belgian pale ale as far as the carbonation and head is concerned. The lacing is quite nice, with a few very thick sheets trickling down into the beer. The lacing seems to be mostly from the aggressive head on the pour, but once the head disappears there isn't enough sugars to make it stick against the glass.
Smell: The nose has this sweet candy and cake like aroma to it. I had the YuleSmith Winter last night, and upon cracking it I noticed this very different sweet candy aroma. That same aroma is pleasant here, but I'm hoping this beer is much more drinkable. Beyond the sweetness sits some hop aromas including a little bit of pine and mango.
Taste: The palate picks up pale malt right off the bat. The malt flavor sits on the palate for a bit, and then comes some hop bitterness and flavor. The hop flavor is a mixture of grass, pine and orange peel. Once some oxidation occurs inside my mouth a nice soft grapefruit flavor comes out.
Mouthfeel: A bit harsh on the palate at first because of the carbonation. The body of the beer is medium, and it goes down the throat with ease. After each sip there are some oils coating my teeth which is pleasant as well.
Drinkability: This isn't a terrible beer, although I was really hoping for a bit more. It becomes much, much better as it warms up and some of the carbonation dies off. The hop profile is rather hidden until it warms up. This isn't something I'd pick up again. Much better IPA's are scattered throughout the country.
01-02-2010 02:03:52 | More by Ek0nomik
3.33/5 rDev -21.6%
A beer in the top 50 that I don't have to send away for and is less than $10 a bottle? Sign me up!
Large, white, craggy head that is almost too big. Mildy hazy amber color.
Acidic pineapple and sharp pine aroma. Taste is sharp citrus rind and snappy light cracker malt--extremely biting. I know IPAs arent's supposed to be balanced, and West Coast ones even less so, but the hops are so sharp and the malt is so weak it's just downrght unpleasant I tell you. Tastes like a homebrew gone centennial crazy. Thin, bottle-conditioned smooth mouthfeel.
11-28-2009 13:40:38 | More by donkeyrunner
3.33/5 rDev -21.6%
22 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner.
hazy golden copper with an inch of bubbly white head. foam leaves chunks of lacing.
man, does this one smell great. piney hops and strong citrus in the aroma. touch of floral scents, and a sweet, almost peachy aroma.
taste not as great. has some balance at first; moist feel with a strong carbonation sting. pine is stronger in the flavor than in the aroma. touch of citrus in the taste, but not nearly as strong as in the aroma. any flavors are washed away by a massive, oily hop bitterness that coats the throat. overall the flavors are a bit harsh.
flavor needs a bit more nuance to make this one a top-notch ipa. appearance and aromas are great, but drinkability hurt by the lingering harsh bitterness.
01-15-2006 01:36:02 | More by Prufrock
3.35/5 rDev -21.2%
Poured from a draft into a pint glass at Vine Cottage in La Mesa, Calif. Color was honey pale, kind of light. Light head once I got it, maybe ½ inches. Light bubbly lacing on the top. Circular white film on the sides.
Smelled citrus hops up front. Fairly hoppy. Main citrus notes were orange and tangerines.
Didn’t taste too much like the nose. Very bitter in the beginning. Grainy and earthy.
Medium body. Thick grainy texture. Average-to-above average (lively) carbonation. Bitter finish.
Not a bad beer, but a bit disappointing considering the look and smell. I thought about going higher on the sight, which may have led me to give it an overall rating of a 3.5.
01-29-2012 03:57:51 | More by BucannonXC5
3.38/5 rDev -20.5%
I bought a bottle of this at a grocery store on a recent visit to San Francisco. Poured it into a stemmed glass the day I bought it. Overall this is one of the most hoppy beers I've had. Maybe even more hoppy than the Pliny.
A deep orange color with a medium size head. Aroma is very hoppy, with a strong citrus and some pine as well Flavor as well had a very strong hop presence, mostly citrus and not as well balanced as I would have liked it to be. I'll give this beer another chance but it was not my favorite IPA.
01-03-2011 22:27:21 | More by david18
3.38/5 rDev -20.5%
1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a N'Ice Chouffe beer flute in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are quite high given the brewery. Cost was 5.49 USD in Orange County, California. No best before date, but this one is at least three weeks old (based on date of purchase). I know it'd be better fresh, but I do what I can. Paired with microwaved pizza (I'm a uni student!). Four weeks old.
*I've also gotten this at Trader Joe's for $4.99.
Served cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: Pours a two and a half finger head of light but nice cream lacing, fair thickness, and good retention - especially for the relatively high ABV. Colour is a transparent copper-gold. It's a bit generic, but appealing nonetheless.
Sm: Pleasantly enticingly hoppy, but I worry it will be too bitter (as many IPAs tend to be). A mild strength aroma. Nice rounded floral hop character. Some zest grapefruit citrus. Pale malts. A clean aroma of mild to moderate strength. No yeast or alcohol is detectable. Unfortunately, it does flirt with soapy notes.
T: A pleasant hoppy body, without hardly any bitterness on the finish or climax. It's hard to believe. A brewer that understands an IPA is about balance, not hop quantity? Imagine that! It's very well done, with near perfect balance of hops over an unobtrusive pale malt foundation. I really like this IPA. It's simple, but damned refreshing. That said, it does approach soapiness. Light pine. Very clean. No real subtlety here.
Mf: Amazingly, delightfully smooth and wet, suiting the flavours of the body near perfectly. Very well executed. Good thickness and body. Refreshing. Good presence on the palate. Soft.
Dr: Incredibly drinkable, especially for the style. The alcohol never comes through in spite of being of above average quantity. It's a lovely IPA. Price point is great as well. I'd get this again. *In fact I have, since. Another quality brew from Alesmith.
Pairs well with food (especially spicy food).
01-09-2012 07:59:25 | More by kojevergas
3.38/5 rDev -20.5%
I Poured the bottle into a Imp pint glass and was greeted with a two finger cream colored heat that laced out well. The body of the brew was a hazy orange in color. The aromas of fresh oranges and grapefruits filled my head.
Flavor wise the brew leans more towards the hops than Malts which is what I expect from a Ca. IPA, but there was some malts so it was not what I consider a hop bomb. It was a good IPA. I don't know what the hype was all about. I had a rather fresh bottle and shipped in the winter so I would think it was a good one. Don't get me wrong I would drink it again I went down great but it was a rather average IPA to me
01-22-2011 18:30:30 | More by joepais
3.38/5 rDev -20.5%
Darker amber color with loads of streaming bubbles. Half inch frothy head.
Not a real fregrant nose. Some sweet malts with very mild citrus hops. Somewhat bready nose captured for the most part.
After breaking through a frothy head, a melow cirtus hop flavor. Some sweetend barly breaks through with a semi-spicy alchol burn to finish.
Almost a medium body with sticky oily resins left in the mouth. Remains on tounge with alchol.
Respectable but not very impressive by a west coast IPA. Was very excited to see it back on the shelfs after what I was told to be "distrbution problem". Freshness is suspect here but really feels like lighting a firecracker and finding out its a dud.
12-11-2009 19:46:37 | More by FishGetter
3.38/5 rDev -20.5%
Appearance: translucent; burnt orange/auburn; slight bubbles
Aroma: Apricot; Malty/Earthy, No citrus. Not the most pleasant, actually. Somewhat like a lingering, unidentifiable food smell...then again, I am an IPA newbie.
Flavor: Strong malt base, accentuated by flow of hops..smoothing out/teasing out the sweeter malt flavor. Dry finish
Mouth feel:Bitterness in hops looses poignancy (a nice adjustment); relaxes over time.
Drinkability: Eases over time, a bit too bitter at first. Also, not terribly refreshing. Not my choice for a summer afternoon.
07-03-2011 00:07:28 | More by elizabethfowler
3.4/5 rDev -20%
I picked up a 22 oz bomber at the City Beer Store in San Francisco. I have heard great things about AleSmith so I was very excited to try the IPA. My first thought was this might be a weaker IPA than I typically enjoy because of the soft/clear color and lack of a big nose. The taste was enjoyable, but I didn't pick up any distinctive characteristics. It’s a well-made beer and enjoyable to drink, but it doesn’t compare to other IPA in terms of overall hoppy satisfaction. It actually seemed to have more in common with a good pale ale than an IPA. I would love to try it again off a tap and see how it compares to my first experience.
07-12-2011 15:19:58 | More by mikechance
3.4/5 rDev -20%
Pours a slightly hazy dark golden color with no head. Looks still. Some spotty lacing does get left behind on the glass. Do not know what happened here.
Good hop aroma. About what I come to expect in a west coast IPA. Plenty of citrus and pine.
Flavor is mostly hops. I do get a little sweetness from the malt but it is quickly overtaken by the hop bitterness. Plenty of citrus. Bitterness is moderate.
Not surprising the mouthfeel was a letdown. Very little carbonation. The body would be good if it had something to lift it.
A bad bottle or it got damaged in shipping. The other Alesmith bottles were OK though. I noticed there was no yeast in the bottle. Looks like a bottle-conditioning foulup. I would be willing to give it another try as other reviewers have not had the same experience.
Alesmith is new to WI so it was time to revisit this beer. Bottled 10/22/13 so less than a month old. My major complaints about my previous experience with this beer have been addressed. Looks good and lively and the texture feels is excellent. I would give it solid 4s for every category.
09-12-2011 21:48:55 | More by morimech
3.4/5 rDev -20%
Pours a hazy amber color with a huge foamy off-white head. Great retention and plenty of lace.
Aroma is delicious. A nice hoppy nose showing big citrus notes, pine, and a little spiciness.
The taste is a bit of a let down. It's alcoholy, and a bitter hoppiness exists but is missing the familiar hop profiles I've come to expect and love. The beer does grow on you. Citrus starts to come through with a great bitterness. I'm really disappointed, and starting to wonder if this was sitting on the shelf too long because I can't see why this is a top 100 brew.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and properly carbonated.
Drinkability is moderate. Relatively high alcohol limits consumption as well as subpar flavors.
05-06-2008 04:27:50 | More by Goliath
3.45/5 rDev -18.8%
22 oz. bomber (no freshness) into SN pint glass...had been waiting in vain to try this beer after about a week of going dry...
huge four fingers of sticky white head-great retention, massive pillowy yet rocky froth...hazy burnt yellow/orange body
STRONG citrus character with a giant hop presence...good malt backbone helps keep this floral boquet in check...sweet ass west coast aroma
bitter + bitter=unbalanced!! there is a sweetness near the finish, but the bitterness takes away from everything esle. there is some citrus with a strong hop presence but it quickly fades. it seems as if there is absolutely no malt backbone for it to stand on, which contradicts my thoughts on the nose...
a bit watery and low on carbonation, but just smooth enough to be average
the bitterness hurts but with no alcohol showing, it is a decent quaffer...
is this a good ipa? yeah... is it great? no...
there are a lot of things that have left me a bit befuddled by this beer, mainly the lack of yeast at the bottom of the bottle. either this was old (can't tell when it doesn't have any freshness markings that i can find) or i have started getting tougher on my IPAs. either way, i was expecting more...i will probably revisit this in the future to see if anything changes.
(i don't think Ben and I are drinking the same beer)
07-13-2009 05:35:16 | More by BitterPachyderm
3.48/5 rDev -18.1%
I can't say this is one of my favorite IPA's, after having it for the first time.
On tap the Beer Hunter, Rancho Cucamonga, CA.
Appearance was good, a dark amber, some reddish orange in it, and the smell was very aromatic pine. However, the taste is ultimately what soured me. I get a huge sugary sweetness at the start fading to a nice hop bite afterward. The body seemed a little too heavy, and along with that sweetness at the front, just made it hard to get through that initial second of the sip.
4 / 4.5 / 3.5 / 3 / 3.5
On Tap at Lucky Balwin's Sierra Madre for IPA fest... either my tastes have changes so much, or it was much better here. The smell was very nice, as noted before.... but the taste was excellent, sweet, but overpowered more by bitterness and piney hop resin. Everything else was good, this is easily drinkable.
On tap at Lucky Baldwin's again. Had tried a bottled version a handful of months ago as well. I didn't enjoy either of these that much. The body is just too malty in my opinion and has a sweetness that doesn't blend well with the hops.
07-22-2006 16:56:44 | More by MiScusi
3.48/5 rDev -18.1%
Got this one at Julios...
A: The color is a golden honey color. When poured the head was about 4 finger widths high. Half was the beer and half was the head. Not my favorite because of the crazy head, but the color is awesome.
S: Complex scent going on. Can't put my finger on exactly what each scent is, but one of the scents almost smells like flowers.
T: Kind of a harsh taste up front. Very complex, but way too hoppy for me. Hard to get past the hoppiness.
M: Good carbonarion balance to this brew.
D: Tough for me to get past the hops. Too harsh for me making this brew a little tough to drink.
All in all, this one is a little overrated in my opinion. Not for me. It's good, but too harsh with the hops.
12-05-2009 02:13:41 | More by steve8robin
AleSmith IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 2,897 ratings.