AleSmith IPA - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith IPAAleSmith IPA

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1,217 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,217
Hads: 3,592
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: 1,217 | Hads: 3,592
Photo of DoubleJ
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I originally had a bottle of this a few weeks ago, but it was flat and unsuitable for drinking or reviewing; I unfortunately had to pour it out. I've given this brew another chance to show me what it's got, so let get on to the beer:

The beer is a hazy orange color with a nce foamy head. In the smell, there's a big hop aroma, with sweet notes mixed in, with a fructose/syrupy scent to it. The taste is incredible: not over the top bitter, but plenty of hops for everyone. Silky smooth, with a fruity taste to balance out the beer, weaved with piney notes and a passionfruit flavor. It finishes bitter on the palate with a semi-tart puckering. The alcohol is almost undetectable, which at 7.25%, is something of an accomplishment, and easy to drink for such a big brew.

Notes: Whoa! Very well balanced (by west coast standards), with plenty of sweet and bitter flavors to offer. They may be less famous than Stone among San Diego brewers, but this offering is exceptional.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice IPA. It has the balance that IPAs should have, yet the hop profile for the hophead in me.

A semi-bright pour. Polished bronze, clear. Rocky head in parts, mostly dense just-barely-off-white foam. Nice lacing. Clean

Grapefruit aroma, citrus zest, some pine and caramel. Heavy nose up front. It's a hoppy beer, no doubt. After waves of citrus the pine comes out more, then the light caramel. Balance.

Balance is the name of the game on the flavor. Still it leans toward the hoppy side. Pine is more evident here, some earthy. Fruity zests are still on call. Malt makes a presence and sticks around allowing some sweetness in to play. Hops fade a bit from the aroma, but it's a nice beer nonetheless and not an over the top type hop bomb

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance - Slightly hazy golden color with a great white head. When it finally dissipates, a solid coat of foam rests atop the body.

Smell - Citrus hops galore, followed by a hint of piney hops. Oh so delicious tasting. Doesn't smell grassy and doesn't smell sweet. How do they do it?

Taste - Nothing but citrus and fruit hop flavors. Grapefruit and mango flavors, with some pine for bittnerness. Just enough sweetness comes through from the distance to balance it out. There is some bitterness to the finish, but it's a good clean IPA finish.

Mouthfeel - Nearly perfect body and carbonation. Could use just a bit more body, I guess, but for something categorized as a single IPA, I cannot complain.

Overall - This is just magnificent. Seek this out. And to those of you who have access to this, send me more!

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.93/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bomber, procured at the BevMo in Cypress, CA,

A: Pours a dark, murky amber, excellent head, though, very creamy and fluffy, leaves excellent lacing in a pint glass.

S: As expected, fragrant hops, with lots of pine and citrus.

T: Upfront, the problem I have with this beer is its alcohol content, the alcohol is too robust for this style, it felt like I was drinking a 10-11% beer instead of 7%, other than that, it's standard IPA, very citrusy, and hoppy.

M: Chewy, resiny, and warming.

D: Drinkability is lowered due to the high alcohol effect. Not a bad beer, I've had this beer several times and it just hasn't impressed me. Which is weird since I've loved the other offerings from Alesmith that I have had, most notably Yulesmith (Both Summer and Winter), and Speedway. The first couple of times that I had had it were bad batches, with almost no carbonation, so I discounted my opinion, and would try again. I've had it about 3 other times since then, including the review beer, and aside from the appearance, it just doesn't do it for me. Go figure, though I recommend, however, that any IPA fan try it, if they can get it, it is certainly well made, just not for me.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip

A: Hazed honey amber color with a large fluffy, light bubbly white head that leaves sticky clumps of lacing but a little lacking in retention
S: Rich smell of alcohol, pine and citrus hops and caramel malty background. Not many words needed to describe it but near perfect balance for an IPA.
T: Very nice balance of rich malt body with biting hop presence. Active carbonation with a medium body and a lingering slightly sweet citrus hop taste. Body of the beer is a very strong caramel malt taste with piney and citrus hops that assert themselves immediately, though not a "hop bomb", at least to me. Very well balanced and very drinkable. Alcohol begins to assert itself as the bottle goes finishes. An excellent IPA, though I still prefer Two Hearted. My feelings for this beer don't seem to exactly mesh with some of the other recent reviews, as far as hop presence and body go, so next time I'm in CA I'd love to try this fresh as this bottle came from Akron, OH and well, Ohio is Ohio (hey, it's the start of college football, I can be antagonistic if I want)

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Photo of tempest
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for crazynelson for the trade.

Appears a dark amber with a white head and lacing. There's a pungent aroma of citrus punch. The flavor has a slightly soapy (not in a bad way) orange rind and grapefruit that quickly turns into a ripping hop bitterness with dirty pepper and light floral perfume. The aftertaste is long and big with more of the biting rind. Basically, they've crammed the flavor, and to an extent, the feel of a DIPA in an IPA. The bitterness is a little dialed back by comparison, but this is a full, delicious beer.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.67/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle received in trade from TexIndy, thanks again for the opportunity.
Pours a couple of shades darker than lager with a 4 inch thick bubbly white head that persists forever. Loads of citrus and pine fill my nostrils, slightly spicy/earthy as well. Taste is mostly pine and citrus maybe some bread or caramel if I strain really really hard, but this one really is all about the hops. Long lingering hop bitterness in the finish. Carbonation is high, mouthfeel is sticky/resinous, body is medium. I'm torn, I really wanted to love this one, but I just don't. I find it over carbonated, one dimensional and a little boring. Maybe one day I can revisit this one on tap.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark golden pour, clear. Fluffy white head slowly receding to a messy lace.
Nice hop and malt balance in the smell, with fragrant caramel biscuit and sweet tangerine, pineapple, mango, papaya, faint lychee, candied grapefruit, a bit of pine too. Really nice.
Taste takes you on a really cool trip. Starts rather sweet, with caramel maltiness up front and honey glazed citrus (tangerine, orange, faint grapefruit). A grainy crackery note shows up, and the fruitiness develops too, with peach and nice tropical notes, the pulpy kind, like mango, papaya, faint maracuja. Nice and "oily". Pine and hop resin towards the end, a generous bitterness to complement the nice fruitiness.
Tropical notes still linger in the aftertaste, lots of pine, grapefruit, and caramel sweetness sharing the palate with clinging hop bitterness. Medium body and carbonation, a bit sticky.
An awesome IPA, not too rough, not too sweet, with a really diverse flavor profile. It's so tasty you'd wish you had more.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great West Coast IPA. Pours a dark golden orange with a healthy tight head and some decent lacing. Aromas of citrus and spicy hops. Great grapefruit presence in the nose. The taste is beautifully balanced with nice citrusy hops and spicy notes and a long grapeffruit bitterness in the finish. Subtle malt underpins it all. Mouthfeel is crisp and smooth. Just an all around pleasure to drink. This would be a staple if it were available in my area.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a pint glass. The beer pours a deep copper color, with a light, filmy head. There are aromas of heavy hops, with very green/pine notes. The beer has a heavy hop-forward, front tongue flavor, which is extremely well balanced with sweet, citrus flavor. The beer is round and robust, yet crisp in mouth and with aftertaste. Sweet and robust on the aftertaste, with a crisp, light finish. This beer could be trouble, because it is so tasty, and so easy to drink. Fantastic beer!

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Photo of liamt07
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from AJ's Fine Foods in on North Central in Phoenix. 22oz into a chalice.

Poured a perfectly clear golden orange with a tight white head, some sticky lace and light retention. Nose has bright citrusy notes, tangerine, clementine and is overtly floral. Light sweet caramel and crackery base. Taste is all about the hops, bitter from start to finish. More tangerine, pine and big, juicy fruit notes. Some mango and similar tropical notes, cut by the bitterness - still with the light crackery base. Only a little bit of sweetness. Pretty light body, with a clean and crisp finish. Dangerously drinkable, with only a suggestion of alcohol on the palate. The smell and flavour on this had me pulling this to my mouth more often than I should have for the bomber. Great hop profile, and an exceptional IPA overall.

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Photo of corby112
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours slightly cloudy golden orange color with golden yellowish hues when held to a light source and a frothy, soapy 2.5 finger head with excellent retention, only very slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with streaks of soapy lacing.

Very earthy hop aroma with a prominent citrus fruit character, subtle pine and faint malt backbone. Lots of lemon peel, mango and grapefruit in the nose as well as some biscuit Graham crackery malt.

Clean crisp medium body that is very hop forward with a good balance of sweet citrus and dry pine notes. Pretty bitter and dry at first but with a nice amount of lemon and orange peel, mango and grapefruit and a subtle Graham cracker malt backbone that doesn't interfere with the glorious hoppiness. Lingering dry finish. Delicious dank, oily chewy hopbomb! Highly recommended!

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Photo of weeare138
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

shared with sckressler...
Appears a dark amber with a luscious white chunky head. Huge chunky lacing.
Smell is of perfumy and citrus hops with pine resin whopping my nose.
Taste is of huge hops with a caramel biscuit malt punch that makes you come back for more.
Mouthfeel is creamy and slightly burning with hops but well balanced throughout. Medium bodied brew.
Drinkability is really good here too. Just a touch taken off from the mild hops burn that lingers.

Finger licking good.

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Photo of Zorro
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange colored brew.

Smell is STRONG! Cascade hops and I think there is some malt in there too.

Taste is fairly neutral, the must be a lot of malt in this to balance out the hop level in this. The grapefruit and pine flavor of the hops in this is at the tongue numbing level.

Mouthfeel is very full.

Drinkability is questionable. This is a hop monster brew.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


On tap at Alesmith.

A: Bright yellow gold with great clarity and a voluminous frothy white head. Good retention and lacing. Great.

S: Orange, grapefruit, and a touch of honeydew (interesting). Hops are juicy, expressive, and bright. No malt is evident. Perfume-like pine resin aromatics are noticeable and there are light floral notes. No detectable alcohol.

T: A mixture of orange flesh, orange pith, and grapefruit flesh. There's a midpalate suggestion of sweetness. Malt is crackery and faint. Bitterness is moderate. No alcohol is evident. Pine notes are faint. Citrus lingers in the finish.

M: Upper light to lower medium body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is dry and sticky.

Overall: A San Diego classic that I drink far too infrequently. This is a beautiful beer and a joy to drink. Now if only they'd date the bottles I might buy one from time to time.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought at City Beer Store in San Francisco, and carefully transported back to Sydney to drink with some beer-loving friends.

Burnished yellow-gold with a phenomenally thick and boisterous head of white foam. Lacing is sticky, funky and crazy, leaving insane patterns down the inside of the glass. Looks very tasty indeed.

Oh, such a nose - just luscious with huge quantities of the very finest American hops. Lots of tropical fruits, passionfruit, resin and sweetness. It genuinely is an absolutely classic American IPA nose. To my mind, you can't get better than this. I would believe that this is the absolute archetype of the American IPA nose.

Very nice palate, lots of resinous hops, but with a very noticeable sweet fruit character pulling its way through as well. On the back palater, there's a quite English grittiness, not just the sharp and clean American hop character. It's somewhere nicely between an IPA and a double IPA - it doesn't have the body and the heaviness of a DIPA, but it's too full and hoppy for a straight American IPA. Mouthfeel is clean and crisp, once again, just short of the full and heavy character of an Imperial.

A sharp, but extremely well balanced IPA. Oh, how I love this style, and how the Americans do it. Every time I sample a beer like this, I'm taken back to a wonderful Californian summer. No matter what else the yanks do, they do brew a few fucking awesome beers.

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Photo of biegaman
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Alesmith IPA has a golden-yellow body that, while it shines, it looks light enough that a zesty, tropical hoppiness should shine through even more. (Spoiler alert: it does!) Sometimes a paler colour can indicate a less characterful IPA, but all it represents here is that the brewery had the good mind not to let sticky-sweet, toasty malts meddle with brimming hops.

The bouquet has enough strength and citrus to be kept with the cleaning products under the kitchen sink. Or, on the other hand, it also has enough perfumy dried fruit peel and earthy, tea-like herbals to be laid with potpourri in the bathroom. Or, better yet, what it really has, is enough vivid lupulin (hop) character that it should go straight down into your belly.

While mention of the flavour must begin and end with bitter citrus piths and peels, there is a long flowing middle part where notes of pine and spruce, biscuity and crispy wafer-like malts, and just a drop of vanilla, can all be appreciated too. A pungent herbal quality creates a shuddering dryness like liking an envelope (but leaves a far better taste in the mouth!)

This small, San Diego brewery re-discovered what the Italians have known all along: bitterness is *not* a bad thing. In fact, some of the most gratifying drinks are bitter in nature. This ale, even at seven odd percent, is still tremendously quenching, a natural in the hot weather, even while it feels like it's filing down the tongue like sandpaper.

Alesmith IPA is an offering bitter - yet pleasant - enough to redefine your impression of how a beer aught to taste. If you were in the market for a sports car, you wouldn't concern yourself with fuel efficiency; if you're looking for a characterful, full-flavoured IPA be prepared to accept all the bitter, brimming characteristics that come with the territory.

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Photo of John_M
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Hamilton's yesterday.

The beer pours an orange peach color with good head retention and lacing. This IPA has a very citrusy, hoppy nose, and it's clear this one is going to have some nice bitterness. Despite the attrative nose, however, I still was not quite expecting the intense amount of flavor in this beer. This lovely West Coast style IPA presents your palate with an onslaught of dry, hoppy bitterness, with just a kiss of malt to keep it all in check. This beer is impeccably balanced, and each sip begs for another.

I could drink this beer all day and was tempted to do just that (expect that Hamilton's had many other things to entice my palate this day). The beer is medium bodied and is about as drinkable as a 7.25% abv. IPA can get. This is great stuff.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A Poured a nice golden color with a big white foamy head and light lacing

S: Nose was moderate. Smelled of citrus, floral accents and wonderful fresh hops.

T: Taste was citrus with a floral blast backed with some light caramel malt
finished with a bite of bitterness.

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated

O: Revisited this after three years and I am downgrading. My palate is much more refined after the plethora of brews I have consumed. Whole not bad, still not the staple IPA for me. However, it is one clean beer!

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Photo of Wasatch
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of plaid75
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy copper hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was very good retention and sticky lacing.

The smell featured a full blown piney hop and grainy malt.

The taste consisted of waves of resinous pine and grapefruit. A full grainy malt supported the burden. Clean dry finish rounded out the experience.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style with a vigorous carbonation.

Overall a superior IPA. This is American beer at its finest.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasting notes from 8/23/10
Thanks to djmichaelk for this bottle!

No freshness date on the bottle, which always annoys me, especially with a bomber.

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Light orange colour, slightly hazy with one finger of thick bubbly white head.

S - The nose is full of bitter juicy citrus hops that have grapefruit and tangerine notes. There is a light malt presence in the background contributing some sweetness to the nose.

T - A good balance of bitter hops and sweet malts. The hops don't have the robust citrus taste that the nose indicated. There is citrus there, along with some pine but specific tastes (ie: the grapefruit and tangerine in the nose) are not discernible. The malts are very evident in the taste, much more so than they are in the nose, and the significantly sweeten up the bitter hops. At times the hops merely seem to contribute bitterness and not much flavour.

M - Medium body, some decent chew, lightly carbonated

D - A very good IPA but didn't meet my expectations. I would like to try this again as I wonder about the freshness of the bottle.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a warm aged copper crystal clear body with a super thick head of creamy light tan foam that last and last. It forms nice rings of sticky foam after each sip.

S- Fresh green hops had notes of oranges, flower blossoms and pungent bitterness. This is the kind of hops smell that makes me want to sniff and sniff this beer, but I think a few sips is required.

T- The big juicy pungent flavor of citrus hops makes me pucker and thirst for more at the same time. There is a nice taste of fresh sweet caramel malt that enhances the hops flavor. The hops flavor at the finish is green with a mint freshness without the mint flavor. A note of dry toasted malt and hops hangs on after the finish. As this beer warms there is a very light note of biscuit that enhances the toasted malt flavor.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture at the finish.

D- Wow this beer has a great hops flavor with a wonderful support of sweet and dry toasted malt. The hops are big, juicy and complex yet the malt is big and helps balance the hops nicely. This is great as a session beer but I see the surprising 7.25% ABV could be dangerous.

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Photo of kscaldef
2.54/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

No bottling date visible.

Clear amber, good head. Thick resins and sweeter than expected for 7%. Good carbonation. High, lingering bitterness. Thicky mouthcoating.

Sorry, this is one of those old-school IPA that falls significantly below what's currently expected in the style.

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Photo of akorsak
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a bomber of AleSmith IPA from a trade with Boolshot. The ale is chilled and served in a Chimay goblet.

A: The ale is an auburn color, close to orange with a thick three finger head that laces extensively.

S: A citrusy hop aroma wafts out of the goblet.

T: The ale has a grapefruit hop flavor that slowly fades into a ginger-like flavor that is subtle and fruity.

M: The ginger aftertaste and strong hops are quite good, giving the palate a wide array of sensations during the bottle.

D: The ale is quite good. Even with the almost 8% abv, this beer is hoppy, vibrant and delicious. Thanks to Boolshot for an excellent trade.

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AleSmith IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,217 ratings.