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AleSmith IPA - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith IPAAleSmith IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,257 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,257
Hads: 3,797
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 15.22%
Wants: 488
Gots: 561 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,257 | Hads: 3,797
Photo of audiojon
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Simply one of the best out there. I am fortunate enough to visit San Diego on a weekly basis, making a trip to the AleSmith brewery a must at least once a month. This past weekend, I went with a growler of IPA. I'll admit, I'm preferential to the Anvil ESB, but I'll be damned if AleSmith doesn't put out one of the best IPAs in the world. Everything is supremely balanced, just a great beer all around. Everything about this beer screams hops, but it seems to complement just about any food pairing or situation I can throw at it. I wish I could find this in 6 packs, as it would replace Stone IPA on my permanent shelf in a flash.

Highly recommended, easy to find on the west coast, a bit harder elsewhere it seems.

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Photo of bgraney
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very nice looking copper/peach color with a small bubbly head.
Hoppy aroma but not excessively so with some fruity background.
Excellent flavor, right up there with the best ipa's, perfectly balanced. Definitely a harmonious mix of ingredients.
Long, light hoppy linerging taste that lasts and lasts.
It's hard to imagine getting tired of this one, a challenge to the current "staple."

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Photo of Rezzin
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a nice semi hazy copper color with a fluffy off white head that just sticks around as I drink for the glass.

S - WOW - this thing smells awesome! Smells piny, floral, sweet, malty, maybe a little grapefruit and peaches, and something else can't pin down. Just smells really really good!

T - MMmmm! Great piney, a citrusy hop taste than goes immediately into malty sweet goodness. IPA's like this are hard for me to describe because there seems to be so much going on. I had a slight alcoholic bite at first sip but it's been covered by all this flavor goodness. This thing has a great aftertaste too.

M - Smooooth with a slightly dry finish. Moderate carbonation.

D - This beer has immediately become one of the house staples. A VERY drinkable beer and you don't necessarily have to be a hop head to enjoy - but it doesn't hurt I'm sure. It's not over the top imo because of the great malt balance. Thanks for making my evening AleSmith Brew Co.!

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Photo of nlmartin
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer was poured into a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a hazy coppery coloration. The beer has a honey white head. The head has great staying power during the drinking of said beer. Thick sheets of lacing remain behind on the glass.

Smell: The beer has a citrus zest and pine resin assault. There is a very nice sweet maltyness lurking under the surface of the smell.

Taste: Wow! This a very good tasting IPA. The beer has a great floral pine resin initial taste. This pineyness is elevated on a citrus zest and grapefruit juice boast. There is a very good caramel malty breadyness complementing the hops. The hops come back with a pleasing lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer has a medium body. The beer has a very creamy mouthfeel. The carbonation perfectly assist the smell and taste of the beer. The beer is a very execellent example of an IPA. The drinkability is high. The alcohol never plays much of a factor in the taste and smell. This may be the finest IPA I have ever partaken of.

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Photo of thepitch
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I poured it into a chilled pint glass. It is a beautiful, coppery golden brown color with an clear, bubbly body. It was a 22oz. bottle, so when I refilled my pint, some small yeast chunks fell into the glass. The head is just awesome. It poured a thick, 1.5 finger, creamy, popcorn, cloud-like head that would just not go away. Full of peaks and canyons, incredibly interesting. It almost looked like someone floated a thick rice cake on top of the glass, and it was a good thing. I have never seen anything like it. For appearance, it gets a 5+++.

The smell is a well-balanced combination of wheat, fruit, chocolate, and alcohol.

The taste is just so good. I really had a hard time not finishing the beer before finishing this review. It starts a little sour, then an overwhelming combination of apples, citrus, chocolate, hops, giving way to a nice bitter kick and a strong, yet well-balanced alcohol finish. I have never had a chocolate tasting IPA before. Also, for some reason, the flavor of the beer is just so well-defined and unique, it's like it has always been there, and I am just now fortunate enough to have discovered it. To quote the bottle, "It's Pretty Awesome."

I speculate that it will be on tap at my wedding.

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Photo of mcallister
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a lovely cloudy burnt orange with a decent frothy head with slight lacing. The nose of grapefruit, orange rind, pure citrus, and hops is quite delectable.

Well on first taste all you can really say is balanced. Extremely balanced fruit, hop, alcohol. Same fruits as in the nose. Very attractive hops not to tannic yet not to subtle. Type of IPA you can just sit around and drink, and drink, and drink, and drink, and finally pass out. MMM Delicious.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Tawny, clear orange with mesmerizing bubbles, which sneak up to form a big, foamy hump. The color of the head is kind of similar to flan... and it jiggles like flan, too.

Smell: An interesting salad of hops. Carrots on top of grapefruit with a pine needle garnish and a shake of powdered sugar. There is something in here that smells amazing, and I can't put my finger on it... I think it's the same thing I can't put my finger on in Old Rasputin. Perhaps some kind of hops? There seems to be a lot going on here.

Taste: Toasty malts and white grape juice underscore a very fruity, very bitter, hop character that reallly takes over mid-sip and will not relinquish its throne on your palate. Yum.

Mouthfeel: A bit syrupy. Could be better, but not bad.

Drinkability: This is a mighty fine beer, not quite sessionable due to the slightly higher ABV, but definitely goes down easy. Recommended.

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4.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been wanting to try this beer after reading the reviews...finally was able to find a bomber at my local BevMo.

It poured beautifully into a pint glass-- a nice, creamy, foamy head that left lace on the glass as I drank.

The first sip...yum. Not overwhelmingly hopped; about the most perfectly hopped IPA I've ever had. Very smooth on the palate, a slightly grassy taste, followed by a slight aftertaste of hoppy bitterness. This beer almost tastes like it is nitro delivered-- very, very smooth.

A very drinkable IPA-- one I will revisit again! Alesmith should bottle this in 12 oz, six packs. I would make it my "session" IPA if so!

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Photo of beersabound
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another great IPA out of San Diego or as I like to call it San Di-IPA-go!

The aroma has a great piney, earthy and light caramel/toast bouquet. The appearance was copper with a slight chill haze. I know it's bottle conditioned but even the first four ounces out of the bomber were hazy. The head has small bubbles, lasts forever and is merenque-esque. The flavor is great, a full mouth of centennial (I think) hop flavor and bitterness nicely held up by a pedestal of malt sweetness and some mild alcohol warmth. The mod low carbonation makes for a smooth mouthfeel and keeps the hops from bowling over the rest of the flavors. This was a higly drinkable IPA. I wish I could get it in Alaska.

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Photo of orfeu
4.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hazy golden amber with swirling, steady carbonation and a rocky, meringue-like off-white head. Intoxicating (yes, of course!) aromas of grapefruit juice, spruce sap, and sugared limes. Sweet candied lemons, grapefruit pulp mashed with sugar, fresh pine cone burps. Some malt is there; it's gotta be there, because the hop levels in this IPA are so strong that it could easily cross the "too much" line...but it doesn't! Credit due to the implied, understated, yet fully functional malt presence. Juicy, smooth mouthfeel; dry yet sweet; my tongue buzzes from hop astringency. Lovely. Just insanely drinkable. This has to be as near to perfect as an IPA can get. It's great to have in-laws in AZ so I can get this from time to time. Absolutely stellar.

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Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.92/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle Pours a hazy amber with a good off white frothy head. Good lasting with excellent lacing. Aroma is hoppy spruce with hints of leaves and molasses. Just about the perfect carbonation that a beer could be. Very smooth with a slight oily texture. Has a great duration with an excellent aftertaste. This has great blending. A wonderful IPA. It makes me want to move to California so I can get more of it. The only negative to this beer is that I can’t get it easily in Pennsylvania. Just awesome.

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Photo of chargerfanjess
4.82/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Blasts out of the growler spilling hops flavors and white foamy suds The body is a dirty dark yellow color with tons of bubbles ripping through this thing. Hop flavor everywhere! Nose is standard hop bliss, lots of freshness and some sweet caramel ta boot. Taste is where it kicks up. Very dry, even. I am big fan of having hops in my mouth I soon find out. Some notes of citrus fruit, a very subtle maltiness, VERY subtle though it is there. So much hops and dryness it even begs for more. has a very bitter finish and leaves the mouth craving another.

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Photo of sloejams
4.95/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I drink this regularly; in fact, it is probably my favorite IPA.

It is one the first West Coast IPAs, I really got into when moving to California. When I first tried it, I liked it but I wasn’t use to the enormous amount of hops. I was a pussy. Now I can’t get enough it, it’s remarkable.

Cascade hops are now pretty much my best friends. West Coast IPAa are a staple of my refrigerator and anytime I can step to a Double, Triple, Imperial – anything, anyway you want to call something with absurdly high hops in it – I’m all about it. What really elevates Alesmith’s IPA above and beyond the truly great Cali IPAs is the way it has a slight sweetness than keeps the hops at bay. It ties it all together in a nice, smooth manner.

I really can’t say enough good things about this beer. I send to my friends on the East Coast – who, unfortunately cannot get it there. I dream about when I sleep. Seriously, just go out and get yourself one, if you can.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Transparent (the slightest hint of haze) orange body with tall white head.
S - Caramel, fruity citrus and pine in abundance.
T - Slightly bitter, though long lasting and elegant. Lots of fruit enveloping the malt. The alcohol very well integrated. Simply amazing.
M - I dont know how they made this so smooth and vibrant. Lightly carbonated, beautiful.
D - Absolutely delicious. This beer alone makes me want to move back to california.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly cloudy, the color is copper-orange, head is short and fizzles out speedily. Carbonation appears nice. Aroma is a pleasant mix of lightly sweet malt and strong tangy hops. The flavor is sweet for a second, followed by more hoppiness, finishing with a nice moderate bitterness. Flavor is dry overall, strong but not overpowering. Alcohol is kept in check. Has a nice medium thickness, and decent carbonation. Well-balanced IPA, they didn't try to overdo it, they made it just right. Quite drinkable...

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Photo of OStrungT
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very nice golden brown. The off white, fluffy head fades very slowly, leaving thick laces. The beer is slightly cloudy.

This beer has a good grassy hop aroma. It is very floral. A little stronger than I expected. I have actually had Double IPA's with weaker aromas. It is slightly citrus like.

This beer has a piney flavor. It tastes slightly grassy. I also taste a little grapefruit. As with the aroma, this beer tastes more like a Double IPA. I am not complaining, because I enjoy a good DIPA any day.

This beer is full bodoed. It goes down smooth, leaving a grassy aftertaste. It is carbonated very well for the style.

Is this a good session beer? That is a tough question to answer. I really enjoy this beer. However, the alcohol content is a little high. Also, the flavor, while not overbearing to me, might be a bit much for some.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Glad this one is finally in my hands as I've been wanting to try it for awhile now. Pours from the bomber a lovely bright amber orange/peach color with a half inch of bubbly off white head that leaves sticky spots of lacing on my glass. Inviting! Aromas begin with a wall of rich, resinous hops exhibiting pine sap, citric and light floral aromas. Images of rubbing fresh picked hops through my fingers comes to mind. A sweet crystal, lightly caramelly malt background is present as well. Just a lovely blending of tropical, citrusy and piney hop goodness. Enchanting.

First sip brings a rich, resinous, green candy hop blast with big citrus and pine flavors exploding all over the place. Such a condensed fresh from the vine hop flavor here, yum. The hops are backed up by a sturdy sweet crystal maltiness that has a slight toasted bread flavor. It finishes with a flow of bitterness that leaves a lingering hoppiness. Alcohol is nowhere to be found, this is just a stellar IPA all around.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and a bit creamy. The mellow carbonation makes it so easy to consume and the bomber empties all too soon. An awesome brew that I'd drink way more often if it was available. Count yourself lucky if you can get Alesmith at your local! Thanks to blitheringidiot for hookin me up with another great beer.

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Photo of curtisb8
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: amber brown, with a low, cloud white head.

Smell: strong fruit bouquet, citrus grapefruit and orange

Taste: medium hops upfront, with a citrus complexion. The hops flavor lingers in the aftertaste, leaving something to appreciate for a few minutes.

Overall: A smooth, nice balanced IPA with an excellent finish. Time was taken to craft this interesting beer, definitely worth a try…or three. Great beer!

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Photo of HogHill
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bomber arrived by way of BA Sloejams, a wicked awwwsumm dude.

I poured this beaut into my Stone IPA glass, it has a deep amber body with a thick creamy ivory head.

The scent is pure high alpha hops, lots of grapefruit aroma.

The taste is caramel malt backed with a huge hop juicyness. Like the aroma, primarily grapefruit flavors. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, with a moderate amount of carbonation. At 7% a bomber of Alesmith IPA can be plenty. I look forward to trying this one again soon.

Notes: I haven't been into IPAs in some time, but this one reminded me of how good they can be (in moderation), just SOLID. I enjoyed with some pepperoni and Dubliner cheddah.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.4/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

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Photo of kmcnair
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle. Pours a hazy, deep copper hue and makes a thick creamy white head that slowly diminishes into a thin layer of tiny dense bubbles which never fades. Dense Belgian lacing clings to the sides of my glass. Some pine and citrus aromas appear from a quick swirl of the glass, there's a hint of sweet malts as well. Flavor hits the tongue hard with a mouth-puckering strong bitterness and then the sweet malted backbone rushes in to bring a wonderful balance. Massive herbal and grassy hop flavors mixed with tart grapefruit citrus and pine with just the right ammount of caramel malt balance to make this one taste as good as a west coast IPA can taste. Bottle conditioning gives this a nice creamy texture on the palate and then closes with an astringent dry finish. A really well done IPA in the west coast style, I enjoy AleSmith IPA often.

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Photo of joecast
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pretty cloudy copper color. little carbonation as a few disident bubbles make a break for the surface. thick frothy off-white head slowly fades from 1/2 to 1/4 inch.

aroma not as strong as i was expecting. very nice though, with a mostly floral nose. some pine and malty sweetness too.

very full flavored. packed with malt, hops, and just enough bitterness. i guess i must have been expecting a double ipa or something, but as an ipa, this is good stuff.
ok, letting this sit here to make sure its not too cold or something, but, maybe im missing something. i like it, but just feel like its missing something. too smooth, too balanced. i dont know. maybe its me.
yeah, thats it. there has to be something wrong with me right? i mean, this is a damn fine beer. one of the best in the world. and im crying in it because i cant like it more. oh well. boo-hoo. i'll get over it.

obviously a seriously smooth mouthfeel. bottle conditioned baby, thats where its at.

very easy to put back, but knowing there are a few other ipas i enjoy more, i feel like i could do better with something else. a fine beer, but not exceptional.

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Photo of merlin48
4.71/5  rDev +10.3%
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 Troyone
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a darkish apple juice color with an amber hue, half inch white head, some lacing, and little carb action.

Citrus hops smell with some caramel malt in the background.

Light/mod sweet/acidic, heavy bitter, resinous pine hops, and some caramel malt in the background.

Medium bodied, slightly syrupy texture, soft almost flat carbonation, lightly metallic, and a lightly/mod astringent finish.

A very drinkable double IPA can be a session beer for those who can handle the hops.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presented in AleSmith's simple, bold silkscreened style in a dark brown 22oz. bottle. No freshness date that I could find.

Beer poured a nice rich amber with a luxurious, building, frothy cream colored head that absolutely refused to fade away. It left thick, creamy lacing along the glass, tiny bubbles that defied gravity and simply didn't break. I really couldn't ask much more from an IPA's appearance.. The second glass filled an even bigger, more cheerful head. Noticeable brewer's yeast floaties, but I had to have the whole bottle!

Smell was good, woodsy and spicy with crisp tones.

Taste equally good; The hops flood the palate with crisp, spicy, bitter flavors that are balanced very well by the sweetness of the malt. I'm not a hop head, but appreciate this style of beer and think that this is an extremely well-rounded, full-bodied example of an IPA. The 7.25 alcohol content doesn't make an appearance in flavors, instead by way of cheerful warmth. I've run into a few IPAs that are simply too spicy and astringent; This one is full and smooth on the palate.

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AleSmith IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,257 ratings.