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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

3,015 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,015
Reviews: 1,145
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 411
Gots: 265 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-29-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,015 | Reviews: 1,145 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reagan1984
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This review comes with a shout out to Estarrio, who was kind enough to provide me with the information that this sought after IPA was available at Julio's. Cheers Estarrio!

After purchasing several bottles, I've saved the official review for my last bottle.

This beer has a gorgeous pillowy white head that demonstrates excellent retention and has wonderful structure.. The beer is a bright golden amber color with perfect clarity and a pretty good amount of visible carbonation. Foamy lacing clings all over the inside of the glass as this is consumed. A dollop of whipped cream remains in the center of the glass as you drink this.

The aroma is spectacular and never ending. Some beers aroma is present for a moment, but then fades as the beer settles. Not this one. The huge hop/citrus aroma packs a punch and keeps coming at you. If you dig deep you smell some light malt tones here, but it's really about the citrus/grapefruit hops.

Spectacular flavor (get the sense I like it?) This is one of the greats and another reason why I love California (not "West Coast") IPA's. First you get a brief flavor of the cracker type malt tones and the backbone that is there... Then a second of gentle sweetness. BAM, then you are hit by the fresh grapefruit hops. This is definitely more citrus like vs. pine to me. After the initial hit you are brought back with a touch of the yeast and then settle on for the lingering hop effect. Actually crisp for as hoppy as it drinks.

Just wonderful mouth feel. Medium/light in body, but huge on flavor. Carbonation is sublte and works.

Drinkable? = HELL Yes.

A classic.

Reagan1984, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pint. slightly opaque. bright orange with yellow hues. nice off-white, yellow tinted, head. good retention and great ringlike lacing.

S: nice grapefruit hop aroma. pine notes as well.

T: great IPA. tons of grapefruit and citrus. moderate malt backbone, but the hops really shine through.

M: very bitter palate with some sweet malts balancing the tongue. mild carbonation. crisp and refreshing.

D: very drinkable brew, and a great example of style. amazingly fresh.

paulthebeerguru, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of TeddyBG
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into a Smutty pint glass.

A: Cloudy burnt orange. off-white head with OK lacing.

S: Sweet Grapefruit! As it warms up you can catch a little bit of the malt.

T: Great balance on this one. Fresh upfront grapefruit and pine with a good caramalt? middle and then a good hop bitterness on the finish that is just right.

M: Quite good. Juicy, not too thick and the hops know when to quit after they have done their job. The bottle conditioning really makes this feel a lot lighter then it really is.

D: Certainly a great drinking beer, but the ABV is on the upside and you can feel this one towards the end.

Another terrific West Coast IPA. Have to put this one right up their with Green Flash. Right now I am kicking myself for only purchasing one of these when I had the chance.

TeddyBG, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of ommegangpbr
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hops!
This has them
lots of them.
After trying their pale ale I was anticipating something a little bit more distinctive, something a little bit more signature but this is a solid, tasty, belly warming IPA.
This just begs a taste test between Stone IPA and some others... maybe an east coast/west coast IPA rumble.
I had Green Flash's IPA in the recent past and the flavor profile reminds me of this: mild grapefruit presence that doesn't offend. Some malt character and sweetness that does just enough to support the hop show. Flavorful hop burps during consumption.
I'd be happy to have easy access to this beer.

ommegangpbr, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of John_M
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

John_M, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of Walken
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alesmith: IPA (No freshness date) (Tasted 12/17/08)
22 oz. bottle, poured into an imperial pint.

Appearance: Brilliantly clear gold with amber highlights. A moderately tame pour yields a gigantic puffy, bubbly white head that fades over the course of two or three minutes, leaving a coating of chunky foam in its wake.
Odor: If a comic were to be drawn wherein a bottle of Alesmith IPA was opened, there would be stink lines all over the place. Passion fruit, grapefruit, pineapple with resiny pine, briny sea air (I really can't think of any other way to describe it, sorry) and spice in the background, thick, oily and fresh. Wowzah.
Consistency: The excessive hop oils seem to elevate the perceived body of this beer to medium, but when imagine the beer without the oils, all you're left with is a light almost airy mouthfeel. On the dry side for an IPA of this high an alcohol content.
Taste: Fruity alcohol and candy-sweet caramel malt kick things off and stay strong, acting as a vehicle for the leafy pine hop bitterness and spectrum of rich, juicy hop flavor. It's almost odd saying this about an IPA, but it's pretty well balanced. Finish is clean, hoppy and long, bittersweet with a nice layer of lingering hop flavors.

I'm going to spare the editorial on this one, many other reviewers have put it much better than I ever could. Simply put, this beer deserves it's spot on the top 10 for style. The intensity of hop flavor captured in this beer is not something you get to taste every day.

Walken, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of aerozeppl
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice cloudy copper color with two fingers of white head. Excellent lacing.

S: Big citrus nose. A nice sweetness to go with it. More of a hop sweetness than a malt sweetness which is nice.

T: Big floral citrus hop blast. Really crisp. The hops are put to the forefront by the rest of it and it really does shine.

M: Nice bubbly mouthfeel. Has that nice IPA creaminess.

D: This is another example of an IPA I wish I could get with regularity. Wonderful taste with a double IPA taste in a single IPA.

aerozeppl, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of brettheartshops
4.95/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Perfect amber color with white head that laces nicely down a pint glass. Hops aroma and bitterness are ever present, but not so overwhelming that you can't taste the malts. Guessing a cennential/cascade/chinook/amarillo mix. Whatever it is, I know I want more.

On top of this being a unbelievable IPA, I had a nice experience albeit a short one at Alesmith. I was on a business trip with some time to kill, so i drove to the Brewery. Much to my dismay, the sign said it was closed. Not to be dismissed that quickly, I decided to take a look in the window because I had never been to a brewery in an industrial strip mall. As I looked in, I noticed there was definitely some activity going on. So, I poked my head in, explained that I was from NC, and asked if I could buy a couple 22s. Answer was "sure" and they bagged a few IPAs for me and threw in a couple of stickers and some coasters. I've never seen Alesmith in a store, but the price they charged me was more than reasonable.

Hopefully, they'll distribute in NC soon!

brettheartshops, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of Mauerhan
4.93/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

first off i love this beer. hands down one of my favorite ipas...ever. im surprised its taken me this long to review it.

pours into my new belgium snifter. a beautiful amber color. slightly hazy. a phenomenal two finger fluffy white head rises off this baby and sticks around long enough to make a lasting impression. when the head does fall it leaves a big amount of thick lacing all over my glass that clings till the end. now this is a good looking beer.

smell is hoppy cologne. im tempted to toss this on instead of deodorant. a complex dance of hops and malts.

taste kills me slowly with each sip. its so simple but so fucking complex. i get new layers of flavor each time i sip. pine, grapefruit zest, sweet malts. biscuty yum yums. god this beer is awesome. i think that beerfest put it best. "i want to put my dick in it- i want it to put its dick in me"

mouth is smoooth. bottle says velvety. they are not kidding. slightly oily, not a bad thing. the bitter biscut flavor lingers begging me to drink more.

i would sit in a bathtub of this if it wasnt a waste of a great beer. i dont know why this isnt higher up on the top 100. i think if it was harder to get (yearly release) this would be on the top ten easily. get it and drink it. you wont be sorry.

Mauerhan, Dec 06, 2008
Photo of magictrokini
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear gold with a frothy white head. Strong grapefruit in the nose. A slap of resin and grapefruit in the taste, followed by caramel malt and a bit of sweet yeast from the bottom. Very refreshing and sweeter than others in its ilk (Stone, for example). Lively mouthfeel. A reliable, strong IPA.

magictrokini, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of Oxymoron
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Why are the letters so big? Pours a mostly hazy golden amber color with a light burnt orange hue throughout. A good pour leaves a soft white head. Good retention but did not last through the tasting. Limited lacing.

The nose has a nice west coast style hop aroma. To start there is a mostly grapefruit aroma mixed with a nice citrus and minor pine backing. Some non-distinct malt aromas with hints of husky and sugary notes. Some minor yeast notes but mostly clean.

The taste is a bit more balance than the nose indicates. A good balance between bitterness and finishing hops as well. The finish backs off on the grapefruit and blends more of a citrus and orange flavor. Some astringency in the finish but ok. The malt comes out with more of a grainy and biscuit/bready flavor. Has enough there to support the hops

The body is a bit sweet for style. Some astringency from the hops. The carbonation is a bit much but adds complexity to the bitterness. Overall a good example of a west cost IPA.

Oxymoron, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of ckeegan04
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Light caramel brown in color with a huge creamy off-white head. Huge sheets of lace on the glass and excellent head retention. Very hazy.

S - Big hoppy punch. Mix of citrus and tropical fruits, possibly the perfect combo. Lots of graprefruit and hints of pineapple. And light sugary sweetness underneath.

T - Surprisingly sweet initially with hints of sugar biscuits and caramel. The hops quickly come in and take over the taste profile. Alot of citrus with grapefruit being the dominant taste. Finishes with a clean, lingering bitterness.

M/D - Medium to full bodied and almost chewy in feel. Very easy drinking. Light crispness.

ckeegan04, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of sweetbrew82
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass. No freshness date on the bottle.

P: Pours a yellowish-golden colored liquid from the rather simple, yet classic-looking bottle. This hazy liquid (from the bottle-conditioned yeast) is sitting in the glass a deep golden-amber color, boasting a beautiful pearly-white head with the tiniest of bubbles. Excellent retention, when the fluffy white-cloud-of-a-head finally does recede it leaves fat chunks of patchy lacing on the sides of the glass. Nice!

A: Toasted malts, slightly piney yet bitter hops, and a generous amount of yeast. Not as forthcoming as I would have liked (or maybe I'm getting a cold).

T: From the first sip of AleSmith IPA, you can really tell that these folks know what they're doing. The taste is quite hoppy, while the somewhat understated malt gets crushed by the shear strength of the intense hop attack. The taste is very crisp, very tight and clean, and quite polished around the edges. There is nothing in this brew that suggests sloppiness or carelessness in the brewing process. Not the most complex on the palate, but it's a very refreshing IPA that tastes quite good! Bittering hops make their presence known towards the finish, but it's a mellow, pleasant experience. Finishes dry with absolutely no hint of alcohol to be found. I know it's only 7.25% ABV, but the alcohol is totally masked. Meanwhile, the strain of yeast used is a stubborn bastard that never seems to let the tastebuds forget that it was once there. I would love nothing more than a glass of this on a hot summer's day. Good to say the least.

M: The mouthfeel of this AleSmith IPA is right on point. It's medium-bodied, very smooth, and contains just the right amount of carbonation to round out the pleasurable experience.

D: This one drinks rather easily! It's 7.25%, but the alcohol is so well-masked, and easy to drink, that I could, undoubtedly, knock a couple of these 22's back without a problem.

Notes: This is a very good interpretation of the style. The brewers at AleSmith definitely know what they're doing. They've managed to craft an IPA that tastes very clean. It's mighty easy to drink, smooth on the palate, throat, and esophagus (not to mention the stomach), and is quite refreshing. Every corner of this flavor profile is nicely hemmed up with clean and tight edges that really work for this particular brew. Very solid! Just not anything that really stands out as being completely unique and mind-blowing to this beer. But, recommended for sure to someone who likes IPA's.

sweetbrew82, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of mikereaser
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into my tall Unibroue glass.

A - Poured a slightly hazy copper color with a nice head of white whispy foam that persisted for a long time.

S - wonderful grapefruit citrus aroma warning of an amazing hot bite

T - a nice mix of sweet malt and citrusy hops

M/D - quite a beer from an amazing brewery. This is my first IPA and hopefully won't be my last.

mikereaser, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of tmoneyba
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at tasting.

Poured dark clear amber color with medium head that lasted with good lacing. Medium complex bittersweet aroma with a small alcohol tone. Medium to full body with medium finish. Medium to heavy bittersweet flavor with medium to heavy bittersweet finish and small alcohol bite.

Good complex IPA.

tmoneyba, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of Biggness
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a very light amber, semi cloudy with a 2 fingered white head and tons of lacing. The smell is awesome, nice fruity/citrusy hops, big strong and in your face. The taste is very nicely balanced, it has a nice malt base, and that wonderful hops flavor from the nose. I get some ruby red grapeftuit juice flavor and its all perfectly balanced. The mouthfeel is very nice with a good carbonation level. I wish this was available around here, this would be a daily beer for me.

Biggness, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of kasper
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle about 2 months old.

A: Pours a near translucent amber. Small, frothy banana cream-colored head sits atop a mass of tiny bubbles which leave horizontal lacing legs on the glass.

S: Sweet grapefruit citrus on the initial chilled pour with hints of fresh red ripe fruits in the background and maybe some pineapple. As it warms a bit, aromas of pine resin surface. Overall a sweet citrusy smell.

T: Predominately sweet bready malts up front, some citrus and then a a fragrant, almost pungent cross between floral and pine bitters on the finish. Lingering bitterness.

M: Good body...a bit slick and oily, moderate carbonation, tingly bubbles on the tongue.

D: Lots of bitterness going on here, but a really nice IPA. Drinkability is fairly good, though I'm not sure you'd want to pound these back one after another. This has nothing on Pliny's smoothness IMHO, which has a tad higher ABV.

kasper, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of hopdog
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted from a 22oz bottle.

Poured a medium and cloudy amber color with a medium sized white head. Aromas of pine, citrus, and had a little fruitiness to it. Tastes of pine, citrus, and had a lighter maltiness to it. Nice bitter finish.

Notes from 12/11/04

hopdog, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of ATPete
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle
another 'want' nailed by Vurt!

I want to start off by saying that i absolutely love the simplicity and the power of the bottle design. The Alesmith IPA pours a chill hazed orange brown color with a huge white "donut pillow" of a white head, im not sure if they planned to have the head cave in but god damn does it intensify the nose! The aroma of tons of fresh semi sweet hops fill the glass. The taste is much the same, smooth and very well balanced lots of strong pungent fresh hops battle in the mouth, good peppery spice esters emanate from the beers flavor as well as a solid biscuity yeast character from the bottle conditioning. Slightly woody with notes of maple syrup and brown sugar. Grapefruit blasts sneak in more and more as the bottle gets lower. Medium bodied and very good drinkability, this beer is an absolute winner!

ATPete, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of jujubeast6000
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed 1/14/2008 (bottle):

Pours a soft golden yellow color, fizzy. Huge head, very lasting w/big bubbles & good lacing. Very piney aroma, some nuttiness present too. Very sweet smelling, almost like a candy. Soft fizzy mouthfeel. Piney hops & some malt. Bittery good but not too caustic. Warming up, drier, less bitter & hoppy.

jujubeast6000, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow, 432 reviews as of this writing. Thanks to overlord for the chance to try this beer!

A - crystal clear golden amber beer, huge 3/4th glass of white head that takes a while to settle
S - Light citric / grapefruit hops.
T - nicely balanced piney grapefruity hops, mild sweet malts in the background.
M - medium bodied, high carbonation level, crisp clean finish
D - assertive, balanced and approachable without an over the top hop hit.

A solid American IPA and bottle conditioned too! Glad I got to try this one.

barleywinebrewer, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of riored4v
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 3/28/08

Poured into a pint glass. Formed a nice thick, white, pillowy head. Body was clear and copper in color. Good lacing and a head that lasted the entire serving.

Smell was strong on the hops. Citrus and grapefruit dominated. Mild malt sweetness.

Strong hop profile. Citrus and grapefuit flavors shine. Perfect amount of malt sweetness and caramel to be give a good balance for an IPA. No real presence of the higher abv.

Oily and medium body. Very slightly dry finish. Medium carbonation.

I'm torn on drinkability. It's an EXCELLENT IPA. One that I could easily have a few of, but with the semi-high ABV, it would catch up real quick.

riored4v, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of Murchmac
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I Prefer Alesmith

Like everything they do, this is fantastic. Big creamy white head. Bubbles, cloudy amber with yellow highlights.

Malts smell with citrus notes. Hoppy Hop notes.

Perfect balance of smooth malts and citrus hops, piney overtones as well. Like a hop and malt party on your tongue.

Bitter, but not resiny aftertaste. This one flirts with a DIPA aftertaste.

This beer rocks that bitch up and down the coast.

Murchmac, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of abfraser
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden yellowish orange with a nice white frothy head. Good lacing in the glass on the way down.

S: Piney malt, honey, citrusy, some grapefruit. Nice classic smelling West Coast IPA

T/M: Strong malt gives way to hop oil and piney malt. Major bitterness with a dry distinctive depth on the finish. Medium-bodied with good balance. As a flaw, bitterness is a little overboard

D: Very drinkable but so dry as to be difficult to consume too many.

Overall a very good representative West Coast IPA. If you like hops, you'll like this one. I like this better than the Port IPA/DIPAs. It just tastes cleaner. The hops seem more in balance with the sweetness of the malt. Less palate blowing (although still harsh)

abfraser, Oct 17, 2008
Photo of ironlung
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bomber from Liquor Wherehouse for $4.19 into AB tulip (pictured above).

A: Light crystal clear amber with nice tight 2 finger head even though I poured soft!

S: MMM. This is the best smelling beer I'ver reviewed so far. Hops and malts really come thorugh. Some grape fruit and lemon peel.

T: OMG! this is what ipa's are all about! If your lookin for balance you've found it. world class beer here.

M: Bottle conditioning really does wonders. It's a shame more brewers havent embraced this method(stone,moylans,marin,etc.) it really does so much more for a bottled beer as opposed to co2.

D: This is top notch for an aipa. So if thats your style I'm sure you have plenty in the fridge like I do! Cheers Alesmith (how do I join the cult?)

ironlung, Oct 15, 2008
AleSmith IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 3,015 ratings.