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AleSmith IPA - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith IPAAleSmith IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,190 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,190
Reviews: 1,158
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 421
Gots: 317 | FT: 9
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,190 | Reviews: 1,158 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CuriousMonk
4.61/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Its high alcohol content may catch you unawares if you're not careful, but it's hard to resist once you've tasted it. 7.25% ABV. Poured from 22oz bomber into dimpled glass - no date on bottle. Pourded a dark golden orange color. Smell consisted of sweet hops and malts accompanying hints of citrus and light pine and/or vanilla. Taste starts off with citrus flavors with a nice malty sweetness. Mouthability was smooth, medium bodied, and well-carbonated along with a nice head and laces that were left throughout. Other than taste, drinkability was the highlight of this beer as it consisted of a smooth nice malt characteristic for an American IPA. My experience with this beer has automatically made my top five IPA to date just sitting below 3F Dreadnaught.

Photo of THECPJ
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes 12/3/2010

A: very citrusy, slight hint of pine, slightly sour as well

Ap: golden-orange, cloudy, 1 finger head

B/T: mild carbonation, crisp

Af: hits the tongue with a punch of hops and then pine is not far behind. the taste does not linger very long. slightly bitter on the aftertaste.

O: pretty decent IPA, alesmith is no russian river in my book

Cheers!
The CPJ

Photo of david18
3.38/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of mltobin
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of mewanderinghome
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first review. Note that I'm going to do something perhaps a little different and compare each beer I review to a "control" beer of the same type that I am very familiar with, and which I drink at the same time. In this case of American IPAs, my control is Bell's Two Hearted.

Poured from 22oz bomber into standard pint glass. No date on bottle, but purchased within the last 2 weeks (normally I'd sample sooner, but I got a cold right after buying Alesmith).

A: Compared to Two Hearted, Alesmith IPA is almost identical in color (ever so slightly more red). Significantly cloudier. Significantly less carbonation and head.

S: Significantly sweeter, less 'sharp,' citrusy-floral smell than Two Hearted.

T: Overall, these are very similar tasting AIPAs. Alesmith is more complex than Two Hearted (and by complex I mean a taste that changes in character from initial taste to aftertaste). The initial taste is creamier, with a very 'round' feel, which then manages to finish with a hoppier, 'tighter,' more dry aftertaste. Fewer initial floral notes and with less initial 'bite' than Two Hearted, which finishes slightly less dry.

F: 'Rounder,' more full.

D: They're both very drinkable to me. Both damn fine beers. Alesmith may be more "drinkable" due to the changing character of its flavors--it's complexity--that help keep it from getting 'boring' or monotonous (which would frankly be a crime of a description to apply to either beer).

P (Price): This is a category I feel is important. At my local store, the 22oz bomber of Alesmith is $4.99, while a 12oz single of Two Hearted is $1.79. 23 cents per ounce vs. 15.

Overall: Two Hearted is still my favorite due to more 'flavor' (more floral, citrusy, slightly wetter, sweeter, less puckering aftertaste), but I would be very happy to discover Alesmith on tap at any bar where Two Hearted isn't (aren't we dreaming now ;)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

Photo of bosox941827
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomb bottle poured into Great Dane Pub & Brewing imperial pint glass; poured cold, warmed as tasted
A - Clear amber/orange with a thin head that quickly dissipates to an even thinner ring around the edges.
S - A nice mix of caramel sweetness and a hint of hops, with a suggestion of alcohol in there as well.
T - In a word, fantastic. Great, great beer. Dull hoppiness hits first, a bit hard to discern. Then the great mid-palate comes in, with just a perfect level of caramel sweetness, which blends perfectly with a mango/orange-lemon rind bitterness. My favorite part of this beer is at the end; while your tongue is drying out from the earthy hoppiness, there's still a lingering background of sweetness, barely perceptible, that stays for quite a while. The urge to have another sip of beer is put off by this lingering flavor, as it is so pleasant.
M - Low carbonation and tiny bubbles lend a smooth mouthfeel.
D - Awesome, despite fairly high ABV, don't taste it all. Beer is so delicious that it could get you in trouble.
Very surprised by this one; had it in the fridge for a bit, trying others before it. Was hard to get and now gotta figure out how to get more! Great stuff - get this beer!

Photo of jjanega08
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 5

A= The beer pours a nice looking light amber orange color with a small finger of head on it that holds nice retention and lacing on it. Maybe a little light in color.

S= Fruity smelling. I've been drinking a ton of Furious lately and this is soooo much fruitier. Mango and pineapple come through mostly with less of a "bitter" hop profile. Not much pine but there is a little ripe grapefruit in it.

T= The taste is again in the fruity hop category. Tastes candy like actually. Totally different spectrum than most bitter bombs I've had lately. This isn't nearly as bitter as most IPAs. Great mango and grapefruit flavor. Actually tastes a lot like biting into a nice ripe grapefruit.

M= This is the biggest problem for this beer. The mouth is super thin. The thinnest mouth I've ever had on an IPA.

D= The thin mouth makes me go for sips more often and the flavor doesn't linger long... Great flavor on this one no doubt. A tasty brew indeed. Worth seeking out and is on a totally different end of the spectrum from a bitter bomb so I would prolly buy this regularly if it were avalible to me.

Photo of weizenbob
3.28/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

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.

Photo of JRG
4.9/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! What a beer...

I poured my bomber into the goblet twice, each time creating a nice, foamy head of about a finger's width... it was a hazy gold that eventually showed some residual yeast at the bottom of the glass.

The smell was incredible- vivid scents of fresh hops! Citrus, pine... somewhat floral...

I couldn't wait for the first sip- and it was everythign I'd hoped it'd be! I love IPAs, and this one is right up there with the best that I've had... just a great balance of malt and hops, a bit more on the hoppy side, but I love that! Absolutely refreshing and delicious!

the carbonation was nice in this one- the bubbles are finer, and as the bottle will tell you: the finer bubbles create more surface area for your tastebuds to get around... amazing! Smooth, medium bodied brew...

Very easy to put down the bomber- I was seriously savoring every gulp and eagerly taking the next... it was quickly consumed, and now I've poured a Sculpin to compare- and I'm sure it's going to be close!

Overall- definitely amongst my favortite IPAs to date! MY top 3 would have to be Sculpin, THIS, and Pliny the Elder (I know it's technically a DIPA)... truly an amazing brew that you should search out if you haven't had one! Delicious and refreshing!

Photo of scottfrie
2.88/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle in New Belgium snifter. No freshness date...

A: Pours a clear golden amber with a huge off-white head that took forever to slowly fade into a thick film with a butte of foam in the center of the glass. Thick lines of lacing were left down the glass.
S: Sweet notes of pine, grapefruit and tropical hops fill my nose. I can detect the sweet undertones of caramel and dried orange peel.
T: A good balance between sweet malt and bitter pine and citrus. Finish is lightly bitter. Notes of tobacco in the aftertaste.
M: Medium body with a clean mouthfeel. Pretty decent amount of carb, but it's soft and smooth.
D: I don't think this bottle is the freshest, but it's still very drinkable. The hops could be fresher. Put bottle dates on the bottles dammit. I'm going to go ahead a slam the smell and taste categories with the number score, but I'll try another bottle at some point that is hopefully fresher. Sure wish they had bottle dates...

Photo of jsanford
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A Christmas gift from THECPJ, cheers Shane! Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a glowing light copper with a fluffy white head that refuses to dissipate. Chunky lacing is left on the side of the glass, and little islands can be found on the surface. Very pretty, just what I look for in a quality IPA.
S - The aroma of sticky, fresh hops assaults your sense as soon as the cap is removed. Grapefruit, pine resin, orange peel and honey with a solid caramel malt backbone. This is right up my alley, I love hop profiles like this.
T - Grapefruit and pine resin initially dominate, followed by sweetness from the caramel malt. Finish is fairly bitter, and lasts on the palate for some time. Slightly let down by the flavor, the nose promised so much, but for a "regular" IPA there's a good amount of flavor.
M - Medium-bodied with moderate, crisp carbonation. Body is slightly watery, but it doesn't detract from the beer too much.
D - Great drinkability, I'm having no issues with this bomber. Surprised by the +7% ABV, I'm not detecting it at all.

Photo of nataku00
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. The first half of the bottle poured a clear dark orange that I can see through, with some light carbonation right at the top of the glass. Initial finger of soapy head that receded just to the surface of beer, leaving plenty of large hole lacing that clings to the glass. The second pour from the bomber picked up a little bit of the yeast that was caked at the bottom of the bottle, making it slightly hazy.

Nose is tons of grapefruit and citrus peel. Some sweet tangerine and a slight musty fungus like note there as well.

Taking a sip, a lot of grapefruit and bitter citrus peel initially, but the taste somewhat disappears midtongue. Also not as dry a finish as I was expecting from an IPA, with some of citrus sweetness on the finish.

Medium syrupy body with just enough carbonation to help deliver the aroma while drinking it. Pretty drinkable, but the finish throws me off a little for this IPA.

Photo of aknight
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful golden orangish color with just enough head which quickly dissipates. The smell has a faint citrusy scent, not overpowering but pleasant. There is a nice hops bitterness on first taste but the bitterness doesn't linger as there is the perfect balance of hop bitterness and malt sweetness. This is as balanced of an IPA as I've ever tasted while managing to be not boring. I could drink this beer all day long. It certainly does not taste like a 7.25% beer, it drinks like a much more sessioanble beer.

Photo of gregshead
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy golden orange color with a generous foamy head that takes some time to go down.

S: Lots of citrus grape fruit smell, maybe some organ as well.

T: Taste of some bready malts up fron with a nice hop finish and a slightly dry aftertaste. Hops taste consists of strong citrus grapefruit and orange rind.

M: Nice carbonated taste along with a nice thin feel that matches the flavors.

D: I do find this enjoyable and easily drinkable. However, knowing to some degree how highly rated this beer is on the IPA list, I found it a little underwhleming/overhyped. Maybe I got a stale one. If so, I'll re-review when I try again.

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Big frothy white head, nice amber color, a bit cloudy, looks serious.

S: Some wine, some spices, some honey, hops. Surprisingly complex, especially for a single IPA.

T: It's got a good malt profile along with a big bitterness from the hops and sweetness and dryness. It's really the best single IPA I've ever had, I should say.

M: Smooth, not too thin. It's very good feeling on the palate.

D: It drinks real easy. Nothing to complain about at all. Much better than Bud Light.

Photo of Soonami
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Alesmith IPA is a very solid IPA from California that isn't available on the east coast afaik, but I managed to get some in a trade. My first comment was that this beer was a bit too sweet for an IPA and although it didn't make it undrinkable, but does take away from how I like this beer. It has a beautiful hazy orange color with just a light glazing of foam that easily dissipates. The aroma is strongly piney with a bit of fruity sweet note. The beer has great bitterness and hop qualities, that are resinous, pineapple, almost lychee like in it's tropical character. I really enjoyed this beer but just wish that it wasn't so sweet.

Photo of elgiacomo
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, unknown date.

Pours hazy orange/amber with a small bubbly white head that leaves good spotty lacing.

Aroma is some citrus (orange, grapefruit) and pine, some pineapple and tropical fruits, fair bit of caramel malt, a nice blend of sweet and citrus on the nose, moderate to good strength.

Flavor starts with pine and resinous hops, some delayed citrus of orange and grapefruit, caramel malt sweetness in the middle, moderate to good bitterness in the lingering finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and oily, medium carbonation.

I have a feeling this bottle may be a bit on the old side but I have absolutely no way of knowing since Alesmith doesn't provide a bottled on or best by date (or at least not one I could find). My first time with Alesmith IPA so I cannot compare to other bottles of this since it isn't available here. A good IPA, but would love to try a known fresh bottle someday.

Photo of Anaz
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Masses of fluffy white head over an orange and amber elixir that is just a bit hazy. Would have given it a 4.5, but 0.5 deducted for chunkies in the glass.

Bright grapefruit, meyer lemon, and satsuma citrus with a dank, piney resinous aromas underneath. Yes, there is malt in the aroma, but it's letting the hops do their own thing and keeping it's dry, biscuit aromas in the background where they belong.

This is why I love being a Californian. Citrus for days with grass and pine spicing things up, all carried along by sweet, clean malt flavors. It leaps out of the glass, and wraps it's love around your tongue. The bitterness is bracing, not overwhelming. Just delicious.

The mouthfeel is a full, slightly syrupy, but not cloyingly so, just enough to resolve the bitterness. There is a faint alcohol heat that hits you in the chest, but not in the mouth, which is a gentlemanly thing for an IPA to do.

This is a massively flavorful beer, that is meant to be savored, but it doesn't make me want another after I'm done. It's very satisfying, a hell of a beer for the price.

Photo of velosuds
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a clear pint glass. No bottle dating apparent. Purchased at John's Market for $5.99.

A-Pours a slightly hazy golden-orange color with a two finger, bone white head with great retention and copious, sticky lacing. Very nice appearance.

S-Floral and citrus hops are very fragrant. Grapefruit and pine resin come to mind.

T-Grapefruit and resinous piney hops are aggressive and balanced by a biscuity malt backbone that doesn't get in the way. Another fine West Coast style IPA.

M-Very smooth and extremely well balanced. Carbonation is perfect.

D-This is a very fine IPA, but not one I will likely buy often due to price and lack of availability. Unfortunately, it is similar to many other fine IPAs that are more affordable and available. This is to say, AleSmith IPA doesn't rise to the level of Russian River's Blind Pig and Pliny the Elder, which I do go out of the way for.

Photo of z3niMAGiNE
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber with a white head. Not much retention. Second glass is full of brewer's yeast that never settles in the base of my glass.

Lots of hops. Nose of predominantly citrus with pine way back there.

Nice and crisp classic american IPA but lacks the in your face finish I love in Dreadnaught (my fav Amer IPA). Still a great beer at a fair price. I drink this one fairly often.

Photo of emmasdad
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a bad beer on tap, especially fresh in the brewery's warehouse, as this one is rather overpriced in the bomber. Pours a medium golden amber color, with a big, rocky white head. Big citrusy aromas going on (mandarin orange, tangerine grapefruit) as well as a little pine resin. This one is medium bodied, and nicely balanced between all those juicy hops and the sweet malt. Good.

Photo of hardy008
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy amber with a one finger, off white head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has orange, grapefruit, zest, and pine.

The taste is just like the smell. Oranges, grapefruit, zest, and pine. There is also a good deal of sweet caramel malt flavor to balance the hop bitterness.

Smooth, creamy, medium to full bodied, with medium carbonation. This is such an easy beer to drink. This beer is definitely one I want to buy again.

Photo of milesmayhem
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I think that IPA reviews can be a bit tricky. I have had everything from a beer that tasted as if two tiny drops of hop juice were added as a last resort to a beer that came with a spoon so you could eat the hop cones out of the bottle like cereal. An overwhelming hop characteristic can mask errors in the brewing process and can completely dominate your senses, similar to the effect horseradish sauce has. That said, this review was a breeze.

It is definitely refreshing to a beer reviewer when the quaffing of your subject is actually...refreshing itself. I had picked up a 22oz bottle of AleSmith IPA from a place called Imbibe Wine & Spirits in Bakersfield, CA a few months ago. Even just an hour and a half north where I lived it seemed difficult to find any AleSmith bottles unless you have a buddy who makes regular trips to San Diego. I am currently in a state of rediscovery with IPAs (Belgian vs. American) so I thought this might help move it along in one direction or the other.

I thought I might contribute by opening up this simply designed yet imposingly labeled acronym of beer history. Now when it comes to a pour, I could care less whether my IPA is opaque or crystal clear. Sediment doesn't bother me at all. So the orange-red color and two-finger tall head that resulted from my semi-aggressive pour was a beautiful sight in my eyes. The head didn't stick around too long but that just meant I could charge right in whenever I was ready. First, the aroma. In order of pronouncement: citrus like grapefruit, fresh sawed pine, and just a slight bit of caramel from the malt. Second, the flavor. As expected, at first, and at the temperature I opened it at, the acidic citrus really makes an impact. Not Blind Pig impact, but enough to put this a notch above Union Jack in potency.

The most interesting aspect of this beer, besides the length of time that the lacing sticks around, is how the flavor changes as the beer warms up. It being a bomber and me being only one man, albeit thirsty, I took me a good 45 minutes to drink this down. The last 6-8oz at almost room temp came across as a completely different beer. All bitterness mellowed into the smooth caramel that I had smelled up front. Like a melting piece of butterscotch, I let this swish around in my mouth a lot long than my dinner guest would have liked. I have dubbed this beer "Two-Face", for having two distinct personalities, but not one of them unattractive in any way. I have always admired AleSmith for Speedway Stout, and now they rank in my two favorite categories.

Photo of gatornation
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a slightly hazy peach color with an orange glow with a smallish head and a very fresh collar..smell is pine and floral hops.grassy hops in the background..taste is big piney hops,with big floral and citrus hops..a little tropical taste in the back of the mouth is all balanced with some nice malts..mouth feel is all hops with a punch with medium carbonation..highly drinkable west coast style ipa..very good

AleSmith IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 3,190 ratings.