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AleSmith IPA - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith IPAAleSmith IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,087 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,087
Reviews: 1,150
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 416
Gots: 279 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.25% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-29-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,087 | Reviews: 1,150 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jrallen34
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It pours a medium cloudy gold with a huge chunky white head, tons of carbonation with lots of yeasy floaties. The carbonation is very active going a mile a minute. Retention and lacing are both very good.

The aroma is pretty light with hops and citrus, but both are subtle.

The taste is very smooth nothing overpowering. There is missing a nice hard bitter bite. The hops are present just not overwhelming which hurt on the taste but make this a very crushable ipa.

jrallen34, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of dpittard
4.93/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Now this is an IPA! Like the bomber says, "It's Pretty Awesome!" I would replace "pretty" with exceptionally, though. Everything about this beer screams IPA at the top of its lungs!

I purchased AleSmith's IPA in the bomber format, chilled to the appropriate 45˚ and poured into a glass, making sure to leave a little in the bottom to accompany the yeast. The results: big, slightly off-white head, beautiful lacing, and a not-so-clear, bright orange. The aroma immediately punches the nose and satisfies every idea of what an IPA should be. The aroma is very bright and full of citrus.

Upon the first draft, my taste buds confirm what my nose was smelling! Hops explode into your mouth followed by a hint of malt. AleSmith has found a perfect balance here. The beer finishes at the perfect level of bitter with a small note of bitter. Left in my mouth was a perfect taste of the hops. There's a fair amount of carbonation to keep you on your toes.

For IPA fanatics, this beer could set the bar! There's not too much of anything nor is there too little. This is a very crips, drinkable beer.

For those not accustomed to IPAs, this would be a perfect starting point!

dpittard, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of hwwty4
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Jtrockchalk for giving me this out of the blue. This beer has been pretty elusive for me. I've had the pleasure of drinking most of the major American IPA's but this one has eluded me for over 2 years.

Poured a 22oz bottle into my Boulevard Smokestack goblet. This beer pours a tawny orange with just a little bit of ruby highlights when held up to the light. This beer creates a big 3 inch head that leaves some really sticky lacing tight lacing all the way down the sides of the glass. The aroma is very similar to any good west coast American IPA. Hops, hops and citrusy hops. The nose starts out with bright orange, a little lemon, and finished with just a bit of bitter white grapefruit rind. There is also just a light, mild, malty sweetness that lingers in the nostril at the tail of the aroma. The flavor is very similar but Grapefruit really is the dominant flavor. Rind bitterness, orange and just a bit of medical bitterness. I'm actually surprised with how much malt comes through. There is definitely a bit of a backbone to the hops. The mouthfeel is light leaving a great citrusy residue lingering on the palate. This really is a great brew. Glad I finally got the opportunity to try it.

hwwty4, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of koopa
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased at DeCiccio's in Ardsley NY.

Appearance: Almost iced tea like but not quite as dark brown with honey folds and a massive 3 finger off white crown that shows lots of retention and loads of lace.

Smell: A world of hops....floral, citric, grassy, herbal, etc over a caramel / toffee malt.

Taste: Same as nose.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. A touch sticky but not quite chewy. Enough carbonation. Nice bitter semi dry finish.

Drinkability: This one has big flavors and a decent abv but remains fairly drinkabile.

koopa, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of jlindros
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably not super fresh, but should still be pretty good. For some reason, the guys from Alesmith and the guys from their Massachusetts distribution company had a fall out, and now Alesmith is disappearing from the shelves. Found another store with a couple bottles left recently so I grabbed the IPA. Too bad. The real people who lose out are the awesome beer drinkers like me. But, here goes the IPA review. Poured into my big oversized DFH snifter, as usual for big IPA.

A: Pours with nice 1 finger frothy head leaving lots of big bubbles. A pretty clear pale amber orange color can't really mask the large number of bubbles floating to the top and the chunks of sediment that probably accumulated over the time this sat at the store.

N: The gentle hops are hard to smell.... who the hell am I kidding, I could smell the awesome hop goodness as I cracked this thing, and even more as I poured it. A nice pale malt aroma barely makes its way through all the awesome piney hop aromas. Some light citrus hops also pierce through taking some aromatic hops and slight sticky hop oil. And that about does it, lots of interesting hops and very light malts, and I believe the taste follows through on this formula, the so called west coast IPA.

T: Taste hits instantly with some piney hops, not overbearing, then adds a big kick of bitterness. Some nice malts never show their face through the hops and all you get from this is hops and bitterness. Some juicy fruit hop tastes really take over the center of this beer with some grapefruit and other tropical citrus tastes round off the hops tastes, but lighter than the initial hop goodness. The slightly sweet malty taste breaks the surface but then hides again.

M: Pretty thick surprisingly, with a huuuge carbonation. It takes over your mouth with a big frothy feel and bubbles that expand almost too much. The spicey hop taste almost burns the tongue, and yes I'm talking about hops. There are also some hop oils layering the thickness of the beer.

F: Finishes crazy bitter, as I expected. Some hop tropical goodness and pine linger for a few minutes. It finishes pretty dry and really rips the cells apart with its awesome hop goodness. The looong bitter finish and hop taste don't really leave your mouth and stick around for while to remind you about 5 minutes later that you drank an awesome IPA.

Final thoughts: For a West Coast IPA this is really the definition. It has a really strong piney and citrus hop presence and hop oils etc, without even hinting at the slightly malt base. Slightly sweet taste to start but very dry to finish. It seems to go overboard on the carbonation too. I'm surprised how well it made the time on the shelf as it still has its great hop tastes, aromas, bitterness, and hasn't malted or sweetened and many beers like this would. It also has a lot of sediment that came from extra bottle conditioning over time, I assume, and probably left behind the ridiculous carbonation. I've had some better IPAs before, both WC and EC, but this one is still a good fallback if you can get it. Would like to see it show up here again with a nice freshness, damn distribution follies!

jlindros, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of Derek
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

Derek, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of MASPuros
4.93/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Very carbonated huge head. Tons of lacing. Kind of a light orange-ish color
S: Hops hops hops and tons of citrus; orange, grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple.
T: Hops, orange, grapefruit. Smooth and refreshing. Not your typical west coast ipa and I love it. Nice play on the hops, bitterness and a malty forefront.
M/D: Oddly very creamy with a nice sweet and bitter taste. Very good beer and under the radar, not noticed as much as it should be. Could drink 2-3 bombers easily.

MASPuros, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into Tulip.

A. Pours a very well carbonated 3 finger head. Big thick amounts of lacing left. Excellent head retention. Perfect golden/orange color.

S. Smell is a heavenly array of hops. You can smell the hops from across the room. It is a delicous smell of citrus hops. Smells of orange, grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple. Maybe a touch of piney hops.

T. Wow! Citrus hops, orange, grapefruit. Almost tastes like drinking liquid hops. This is super smooth and delicous. There is a sweetness to it that almost seems like it comes from the hops and not the malt. To say that it is well balanced is misleading, because the hops are the show stealer. Its more like the malt sets up the perfect combination of hop flavor.

M. Medium/full bodied. A creamy mouthfeel which is hard to imagine in an IPA. Delicous lingering hoppy sweetness/bitterness left on the mouth.

D. I knew this was a good beer before I tried it for the first time, but I wasn't expecting one of the best IPA's I have ever had. I haven't had all of the highest rated IPAs, but this is Extremely good.

siradmiralnelson, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of CityBoy1986
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber poured into a pint glass.

The pour is a hazy gold with two fingers of white head. There is nice retention and good lacing.

The nose is mostly citrus (orange) with some piney and floral notes. There is also a hint as to the alcoholic content. The taste is more of the same; the pine really stands out. At the finish, as the bitterness subsides, a bready flavour takes over.

Mouthfeel is creamy with a nice amount of carbonation. Drinkability is high; now I wish I had bought more than one bottle (at least Kentucky isn't _that_ far).

This is just an overall good beer. I only wish I could buy it closer to home.

CityBoy1986, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of DavoleBomb
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

4.5 A: Hazy medium orange color. Two fingers of whippy/creamy head with great retention and lots of lacing.

4.5 S: Piney, floral, and citrus hops. Grapefruit stands out the most, then lemon zest. Malts take a backseat to the hops, but there's a touch of crystal malt in the background.

4.5 T: Tons of pine and resin hops in the taste that translates to almost an oaky taste. Healthy bitterness that lingers long into the aftertaste. Hops also offer a bit of citrusy character mainly in the form of grapefruit. Malts are subdued again, but offer a good balance to the hops.

4.5 M: Fuller medium body. Creamy, with good carbonation.

4.5 D: Great beer overall with no real flaws.

DavoleBomb, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of hosehead83
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams "bubble" glass
Sunny, bright golden-orange in color with a big rocky head
Aroma-Perfumy big juicy, piney hops
Taste-Juicy hops with grapefruit/pineapple citrus-very snappy and tasty-very drinkable
A classic, excellent West Coast American IPA

hosehead83, Oct 05, 2009
Photo of projectflam86
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a brilliant orange/golden color with a massive pillowy white foam head that leaves some great lacing.

S- Nice light citrus hop aroma with traces of pine and orange. There is a trace amount of alcohol present as well.

T- Nice sharp hop bitterness initially with lots of pine and hop resin flavor. The citrus notes are a bit weaker than expected and include orange peel, grapefruit, and sour apple. A very light sweetness in the finish accompanies a slight alcohol sting.

M- Medium body with loads of carbonation. Juicy and smooth.

D- A great brew that I may have built up a little too much in my head. Certainly worth trying but I was hoping for a bit more citrusy hop flavor.

projectflam86, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of KCHopHead
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Good lacing and head retention on this. Typical golden color for standard IPA's.
S - Citrus hop smell with some fruits.
T/M/D - Because the carbonation was higher it made a nice lighter mouthfeel and bring out all the fruity/citrus flavors from the hops; however, the drinkability was thicker because of the amount of sugary malts used. Overall it is a very good IPA, but still not my favorite because it wasn't as crisp as I'd like.

KCHopHead, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of KevinBrewer
3.68/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, light amber with a full white head.

The aroma is of sweet, pink grapefruit.

More grapefruit in the taste, supported by a clean grainy malt. Hop bitterness appears in the middle and lasts throughout. Aftertaste of tea leaves.

The beer is light, moderately carbonated, and has a dry finish.

I'm on the fence about this beer. There is a sweet grapefruit character in the beer that I really enjoy, but it needs more of a malt backbone. This is the first time I've had this beer. First impression is mediocre, but it's growing on me as I near the end of the 22oz. Could be the 7.25%ABV.

KevinBrewer, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of stewart124
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not sure why I have missed this beer or have been putting it off but here we go...

Pours a golden color with a fairly dense white head.

The nose is quite floral with an abumdant amount of citrus and pine.

Wow! Very very smooth. Someone rolled out the carpet and this is an entrance into the delicious realm of IPAs. There is a nice bready note with a munich maltiness. This is a malty treat to say the least. But let's not forget the hops. Bold citrus and pine come through with a finish that lingers on the tongue.

This has a medium body but doesn't leave too much sweetness on the palate. Very nice to have a solid IPA that isn't over the top.

This is truly a delicious beer and I need to keep one of these in the fridge at all times.

stewart124, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of nickd717
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from K&L in Redwood City.

A - Golden and slightly translucent with a lasting white head and excellent lacing.

S - Sweet malt and intense citrusy west coast hops as well as some light fruits.

T - Semi-sweet bready malt balanced perfectly with citrusy and piney hops. Some light fruit (peach, orange) notes as well. Awesome.

M - Medium body with lively carbonation and hop oils lasting on the palate.

D - Very high.

Excellent IPA, one of the best normal (non-imperial) IPAs I have ever had.

nickd717, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of kels
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had some of this last week thanks to bamadog. Review on the bottle poured into a pint.

Appearance: Pours a really nice hazy gold color. Visible carbonation helps the head hold at a sticky, bubbly skim after fading from 1 1/2 fingers. Lots of sticky white lacing sheaths the glass.

Smell: Aroma isn't too strong, but really nice hop dimensions of citrus and flowers come through.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Taste is incredibly smooth and balanced. The bitterness is definitely there, but it isn't overdone. It is sweetly citrusy, grassy and floral. All light and well-balanced. The grains are distinctly toasty and the alcohol is hardly detectable amongst the tasty flavors. Feel is very well carbonated and mouthfilling.

Drinkability: Really, really high. The flavors are well-pronounced and balanced. It's a big beer without being too big.

kels, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of bamadog
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle split with Kels - keeping the top 100 streak alive. Review is from notes. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a juicy coppery/ lemony/yellow with some apricot highlights; body is cloudy; comes with a short one finger head that is off-white with little retention but leaves a nice sticky looking web of lacing trailing down the sides of the glass.

Smell: A lot going on here - super honey/malty sweetness combines with a juicy and bitter citrusy orange peel - I almost feel like I could bite into this and pulp would shoot down the back of my throat.

Taste: Really quite a bit like the smell - bitterness is really up front and it slightly overwhelms the citrus flavors; the malty sweetness compliments but says more in teh back; aftertaste is like lemon or orange peel bitter with some lingering sugary sweetness and reminds me a bit of Lemonheads.

Mouthfeel: Body is just a tad watery; a nice mild carbonation and a solid sticky resin is left specifically on the roof of the mouth.

Driniability: Quite high - it's a great tasting IPA, but the price is a bit high. Alesmith really has yet to let me down.

bamadog, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of portia99
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a Harpoon 100 Barrel goblet.

A - Pours a hazy, yeasty (despite a careful pour) pale orange gold. Beautiful 2 finger white head sits atop and is reluctant to recede at all. Head is thick and creamy, best head retention I've seen in a beer - simply amazing. Lots of sticky lace follows the beer down to the bottom of the glass.

S - The aroma of citrus, primarily grapefruit hits as soon as the bottle is opened. After pouring into the glass, it only gets stronger. Tons of grapefruit, some orange, lots of resiny pine and a decent amount of sugary/honeylike malt that really complements the hops.

T - This is one heck of a flavorful IPA. Fresh grapefruit juice touched with a honey-like sweetness. Very crisp bitterness - this is quite bitter, but exceptionally smooth in its delivery. Very well rounded.

M - Rich and smooth. Somewhat full bodied - very tight carbonation gives a smooth and tingly feel. I would say carbonation level is medium, but it is so smooth, it feels on the lighter side. Mouth is coated with resiny pine that lingers beyond the bitterness and citrus flavors well after the swallow.

D - Highly drinkable IPA. Alcohol is on the steep side at 7.25% - doesn't feel that high. Very well rounded IPA, good, strong bitterness, but very smooth. Nothing is harsh, hard to achieve with the amount of flavor in this one.

This has definitely taken over as my personal favorite IPA.

portia99, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of JoeySchlitz
3.63/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

5/16/09 review from my notes.

A: Pours a rich golden yellow with a 2" off white custard head. Thick and creamy topping on a great looking glass of beer.

S: A rich citrus, piney hop aroma is released when you open the bottle and once in the glass that's all you can smell. Sweet grapefruit - fantastic smell.

T: Unfortunately the smell seems more powerful than the taste which seems a bit on the light side. There is a bit too much bitter at the end for my taste.

M: Also a bit lighter than expected but has great carbonation for the style.

O: Overall this is a good IPA but not the best. PtE has this beat on all accounts and for Alesmith I think that I prefer a fresh Winter Yulesmith - not sure why this one is rated higher?

JoeySchlitz, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of UDbeernut
3.83/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber poured into pint glass

A: hazy golden hue, slim head with good retention, nice bubbling carbonation

S: citrus and pine, light malt

T: piney and citrus hop flavor have bite. Light caramelized malt provides a decent backbone. Bitterness is stong and slightly prickly.

M&d: light bodied, dry finish. Sometimes I think the mouthfell is a bit watery but that also makes me think it is more drinkable beacuse of this.

Overall, a decent ipa, but I think it is a tad overhyped.

Cheers!!!

UDbeernut, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of baggio
3.73/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle@home

A: AMber color with a creamy head and lots of sticky lacing. Nice!

S: Hops, Citric notes, Pine, Caramel, Exotic fruit.

T: Grass, Citric notes, Exotic fruit, Caramel, Hay, Pine.

M: Nice bitterness but where is the malt body to back it up. Medium carbonation.

This is a very high rated IPA and i can't understand why. Maybe this bottle is too old or something but for me this is just a mediocre brew.

baggio, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of fiver29
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pours a syrupy golden hue. When I hold this up to the light it looks like malt extract syrup in my glass with lots of hop particles in it. Has a little alcohol smell with some hops. Taste is very smooth with lots of citrus and lots of lots of thick resin flavors of hops. A very nice IPA.

fiver29, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of SpdKilz
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured a nice golden/orange hue with around two fingers of white fluffy head which dissipates at a medium pace. Great looking lacing is left on the glass.

Smell - I can clearly smell the grapefruit and hops. Notes of other citrus smells (orange) and pine also are evident.

Taste - Tastes much like it smells. A burst of citrus with the initial sip - grapefruit, lemon, orange. Middle way through the pine works its way in with the floral hops. As it finishes up the bready malts are present - a dry finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, and an overall pleasant texture.

Drinkability - A bit bitter at first and a tongue burner but overall a very nice IPA. I still prefer Pliny over this (as of now...I will for sure give this another shot) because I feel the flavors and beer in general is more mellow yet complex. Still, a very good beer.

SpdKilz, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of GJ40
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at the Toronado in San Diego.

A - Golden and hazy with and a small white head and loads of lacing.

S - Citrusy and piney hops dominate.

T - Citrusy and piney hop flavors with a surprising balance of toasted malt. The malt adds a semi sweet, bready quality to the experience. It ends with a slight lingering bitterness that makes you want more. This was my first AleSmith IPA on tap and I think it was much better than in the bottle.

M - Creamy and smooth with a low carbonation.

D - A balanced and complex beer. I really like this IPA.

GJ40, Aug 17, 2009
AleSmith IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 3,087 ratings.