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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

3,245 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,245
Reviews: 1,172
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 434
Gots: 345 | FT: 10
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: 3,245 | Reviews: 1,172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of darklordlager
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange, with a 1" bright-white head that dissipates a bit before showing some stickage.

S: Rich sweet citrus (orange) and bitter grapefruit zest. Underlying malt and some alcohol heat (served a touch warm).

T: Piney hops, with citrus highlights. Some mango seems to poke through the pine and grapefruit as well. The malt remains in back, providing a firm ground for the hops to shine through.

M: Medium-high carbonation with a smooth quality that makes it slide across the tongue.

D: Pleasant, smooth hopiness makes this a great IPA. Very clean and refreshing

Photo of erosier
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to tzanio for this one!

L: Pours a very cloudy orange-yellow color with a huge frothy off-white colored head with bits of yeast dots in the head. It laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted and toasted malts, then a very nice citrus-y grapefruit and orange aroma, followed by a big earthy, floral, citrus-y hop aroma.
T: A very nice taosted malt base lies underneath a grapefruit and orange flavoring followed by a very hoppy but still very well balanced hop flavors: earthy, floral, and citrus hop flavors. Really well balanced, there is sweetness from the malt and big hop flavor all throughout the taste.
M: Very smooth, refreshing, perfect amount of carbonation, medium bodied.
D: Very drinkable, this bomber was done in no time. I was amazed at how all the flavors came together, it was excellent.

Photo of punkrkr27
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque orange pour with a big, loose, white head. Bright citrus aroma with some floralness to it and hints of melon and honey. Loads of grapefruit, mango and melon flavor with a sweet toffee malt body. The mouthfeel is medium, sticky and loaded with cleasnsing carbonation.

Photo of hophead247
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber orange color with a big rocky white head. Aroma is really attractive, actually it's fantastic. I smell grapefruit, orange, spice... what a wonderful mix. Flavor is almost as good as the aroma. Pine, grapefruit, some pepper, resin, awesome. The body is just about perfect. Fantastic IPA.

Photo of RaulMatisse
3.65/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Searching for a new IPA from BevMo--considering their [limited] selection, I am rummaging for an elusive diamond in the rough. I happen across the AleSmith corner, am reminded of Decadence's poor performance, yet am drawn to AleSmith's bold bottle typeface. Bottle purchased. <+1 point corporate marketing>

Poured a 22 oz. bottle to a Duvel tulip. Stemware selection may be influenced by the (3) beers imbibed prior.

A :: Bronzed orange with a tint of rich honey. Nothing too groundbreaking. Wispy head quickly fades to a substantial halo circling a crater of cotton ball foam in the center of the glass.

S :: A resinous, dry-hopped aroma wafts through the air as I make my way to the tasting throne, i.e. my couch. After prepping the pre-tasting notes and the brew warms, I take a gentle sniff and am greeted by juicy pears and spiced honey. The raw hop bouquet certainly has faded. A deeper inhalation reveals a bit of dankness with a green apple, cider-like back.

T :: Orchard fruits overwhelm the expected hop bitterness. Toss a slice of peach, a sliver of green apple, a squeeze of fresh lemon and stir vigorously with Chinook hops and--voila--AS IPA.

M :: The initial soft prickle of moderate carbonation and gentle hops certainly create a luscious palette experience. At the tail end, juicy slickness gives way to a lingering bite that is to be appreciated.

D :: Pronounced sweetness aside, I wouldn't mind enjoying several of these poolside on a balmy summer afternoon. Despite its origin, categorize this beer in the file of generic IPA--not West Coast IPA--and you will certainly enjoy. Uncharacteristic for a San Diego IPA, AleSmith IPA would be a strong contender were it not from a region that produces the likes of Green Flash, Alpine, Port, etc.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to exiled for sharing this bottle.

Pours a hazy, golden orange with a huge white head. The aroma is strong citrus and pine hops. The flavor is more of the same, without the bitterness you sometimes get in West Coast IPAs. Even without the bitterness, there is tons of hop flavor. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

Photo of polygman
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant clear golden color. Amazing head with constant bubbles, almost too much carbonation. Huge off white rockey head, sits in globs on top of the beer.

Smells like a typical IPA, grapefruity and piney. Although not as strong as some IPAs, maybe it wasnt as fresh.

Taste starts off very tropical fruity, finishes with a definite bitter presence but a lingering sweetness is there.

Quite heavy on the carbonation, a little to light for an IPA for me.

As this beer warmed and carbonation mellowed it became a perfect velvety texture and is silky/oily on the tongue. Wonderfull, a really solid IPA. A great pick when looking for a solid IPA.

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

Poured from bomber to pint glass. Pours an amber body with a large off-white head with good retention and some webby lacing. Smells strongly of hops with hints of grapefruit and orange with a bit a sweetnenss. Taste is right on with the smell, pretty hoppy with lots of citrus and a nice malt backbone. Very solid beer for a great price. Wish we got it in MN

Photo of Sideswipe
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass at Barley and Hops Tavern. The beer is a hazy amber color with two fingers of white, foamy head. Good lacing. Smells of citrus and pine. Really good! First drink confirms the aroma. Loads of pineapple, orange, and piney hops. Malt is there, but is totally overpowered by the hop bitterness. 7.25 ABV is not evident. This is a very drinkable IPA. An excellent example of the west coast style. I have had this beer many times, and it continues to be one of my favorites. Highly recommended!

Photo of billshmeinke
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Watching Jersey Shore and filling my pint glass with some Alesmith.

A: 3 finger white head. Golden honey color. The head resides to 1 finger. Good lacing.

S: Strong bright citrusy/tropical fruit hops. Some sweet malts. Just a wonderful hoppy nose.

T: Citrusy, lemon and grapefruit. Some mango. Resin, dank, bitter hops.

M: Creamy. Medium carbonation. Medium dry. Medium body. good for the style.

D: Real good. Great beer.

Photo of JTahoe
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Slightly hazed golden yellow with lots of tiny carbonation rising gloriously from the bottom of the glass. Two finer pillowy honey-tinged off-white head with beautiful stiff, sticky sheeting lacing.

S - Hoppy hoppy hoppy! Cannabis and green herbs followed by zesty orange and grapefruit with a tinge of pine.

T - Exceptional. Wonderful full flavor with juicy citrus, resinous pine, and wildflowers with a subtle malt backbone which provides just enough of a foundation for the hops to run wild. There is an herbal, gin-like quality in the background... I can nearly taste juniper. Bordering on DIPA territory... and I like it.

M - Creamy and silky smooth medium to medium-full body. Carbonation settles down to a nice moderate level providing just enough lift. Dry, bitter finish lingers nicely.

D - AlesSmith crafts another great one. Very pleasing to drink. An excellent, high-quality west coast IPA for those who love the style.

Photo of bonkers
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a bomber into my SA perfect pint glass. Light, clear amber in appearance with a big 2 finger white head. The nose is big, clean citrus with sweet pine potpouri mixed in. The flavor follows the nose. The finish lingers with lots of sweet grapefruit. It is medium in body and dangerously drinkable. This beer deserves all the props it gets.

Photo of corby112
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

Purchased at 5th Street Deli in Dayton, Ohio. No bottling date. Looks like a ton of tightly packed sediment at bottom with a not uncommon amount floating throughout. 22oz bottle poured into oversized tulip.

A- Pours a polished pale to deep gold with a frothy, large-bubbled head. The white head recedes at a medium speed down to a solid layer of froth. Sticky lacing from both the receding head and the lowering of the beer level in the glass. Looks very actively carbonated: a never ending dime sized vortex of bubbles stream from the etching on the bottom. The second pour gave a much more billowy head with greater retention.

S- Grapefruit, pine needles, and hard candy emanate from the mouth of the glass. I don't even need to get that close, six inches and I can get a good idea of what this will taste like. The aroma has a bitterness to it, complemented by a slight warning of alcohol.

T- The bitterness hits you at the front, middle, and end. I don't get that from a lot of IPAs. It isn't overwhelming at any point, but is always there. Once again, grapefruit, pine needles, and supported by a malt backbone similar to hard candy. The sweetness of the candy flavor stays with you alongside the bitterness, while the grapefruit and pine needles take a back seat in the finish. An exceptional example of a dry, bitter, west coast IPA; this one probably isn't even that fresh...

M- Pretty dry and highly carbonated, yet has a stickiness to it. Mouthfeel accentuates the bitterness and hop flavor.

D- The dryness and high carbonation make this 7.25%'er dangerously drinkable.

I wish AleSmith used a bottling date so I could know how fresh this is. Very good as is, but am I missing out on an even better beer?

Photo of walshclimb
5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours clear amber with thick (really thick) frothy head that is amazingly long lived. It looked like there was almost a fresh dollup of foam as I finished my slowly sipped glasss - exceptional.

Very fragrant floral aroma with a hint of rose and citrus. Nice. Not overblown. Not trying to outdo the brewery down the road - exceptional.

Perfectly balanced moderately bitter, very floral hops with a solid but not sweet malt base. Tastes and feels lighter than the 7% ABV. I truly think this is the best IPA I have had - exceptional.

Mouthfeel is basically perfect. Smooth, not syruppy, nicely carbonated but not fizzy. Exceptional

Please let me know if you find a more drinkable, better tasting IPA. I don't mean DIPA, but IPA. I think this is exactly what they should be. Nicely hopped, high alcohol content, and well balanced. Exceptional.

Why did I only buy one bottle?!? This beer almost makes me think I should knock a 1/2 point off some of the others I have reviewed. Awesome.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into an Ithaca pint glass.

A: Standard pour yields a gigantic 4 finger frothy white head with great retention that looks coarse from the side. Brew itself is a clear, obviously very carbonated goldenrod. Lacing is ample and honeycomb-like. Outrageous over-the-top appearance here.

S: Lychee, citrus, grapefruit, sweet cane sugar, and a smattering a piney hops. Pretty clean here but not the best nose.

T: Opens citrusy, grapefruit, cane sugar sweetness. Hops start building from the middle towards the end and the brew just gets hoppier and hoppier and hoppier. Finish is astringent hops that lingers well after the swallow.

M: Body is light, coarse, and carbonated. Very wet and messy in the mouth and finish. Hops build because they never fade even though the brew has. Like the appearance, a bit over-the-top for me here.

D: Body and nose help but everything about this beer screams too much for me. Too much head, too much lacing, too much hops. Good for what it is which is a hop bomb but completely unbalanced. Worth trying but only once.

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

Served from a 22oz. bottle acquired in a trade from jlindros (Thanks man!) into my 20oz. HopDevil nonic pint at the appropriate temperature (12/20/09).

A: Pours a huge billowing head from a very gentle pour that fills half of the glass. The beer itself is light golden straw. Great retention, actually too good.

S: Nice scent of citrus, tropical and bitter hops combined with a subtle biscuity malt. The aroma is far less pungent than expected.

T: Pale malts seem to hit the palate first along with some oxidation. Some bitter hops containing light citrus notes are apparent as well. Not nearly what I was expecting, nice but a little to subtle.

M: lighter-bodied with creamy moderate carbonation and no trace whatsoever of the 7% abv. A little lighter than I was expecting.

D: Quite drinkable, once the huge head subsides, but not quite as flavorful as I had hoped for. Certainly goes down quickly.

Overall this was a bit of a disappointment, but overall it was a pretty decent American IPA, but it certainly did not live up to the hype. Perhaps this was just a bad bottle, or maybe the hype was too much for me. In the future I'll grab another bottle and compare. Thanks again Jared! Worth a Look.

Photo of ocelot2500
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden with a little orange color. Head is white and is dense and rocky, very belgian like. Plenty of lacing on the glass.

Smells of a big dose of west coast, citrus hops. Notes of pine and grapefruit.

Flavor is of big hops. The citrus hops are very present and have a grapefruit character along with pine resin notes. Very little malt on the backend adds a light, sweet finish. Toasted malt character that has a caramel quality to it.

Mouthfeel is a medium-full with a a good amount of carbonation.

Photo of wd40
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks like the perfect beer! Has a somewhat hazy dark golden color with a thick foam. The head reminds me of a Belgian beer because it set into an almost solid layer above the beer. Tons of lace left behind on the glass. Smell is hoppy. Peach and apricots. The taste is similar with a crisp finish which adds to the drinkability. The bitterness of the hops lingers a little, but it fades quickly and completely enough to allow exceptional drinkability. The mouthfeel could have just a little more carbonation to allow for a slightly more airy texture. But it was good nonetheless. Exceptional beer. Somewhat reminiscent of Alesmith's Yulesmith winter IPA, but with a little less bite.

Photo of woosterbill
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Duvel tulip, in a side-by-side tasting with Sculpin.

A: Gorgeous orange hue to the body, which is hazy and has a number of chunks of yeast in it, both floaters and sinkers; a straight pour yields a beautiful, voluminous 3-finger head of creamy, eggshell foam. The head recedes almost imperceptibly, leaving what looks like huge billows of whipped cream in the middle and a good amount of spotty, feathery lacing near the top of the glass and fuller sheets lower down. I can't imagine a better looking unfiltered, bottle-conditioned IPA.

S: Pure citrus hops, with lemon, grapefruit, and especially orange. Also some creamy fruitiness, like pineapple or orange sherbet. Full-bodied without being overwhelming. I can't wait to taste it.

T: Follows the nose precisely, with juicy, creamy citrus throughout. From the zesty orange up front through the creamy sherbet finish to the perfectly bitter hop aftertaste, this is a truly delicious west coast IPA. As with the nose, my only complaint would be that it isn't quite as intense as it could be (especially when compared to the pucker-tastic Sculpin).

M: Mouth-coating, medium-bodied, and perfectly delectable creaminess from the delicate bottle-conditioned carbonation. Perfect.

D: Even with a slightly higher ABV, I'm finding it far easier to put back than Sculpin. I love IPAs and am relishing the task of killing these two bombers, but the Alesmith is clearly going to be the easier one to finish.

Notes: This was a huge blast from the past for me, as Alesmith IPA was the first craft beer I ever sought out after reading about it on a beer website (back in my high-school days it was the enemy, though, I'm afraid I have to admit); its citrus attack knocked my 18 year old socks off, and I've been a hop-head ever since. This is the first chance I've had to revisit the beer (almost 7 years later), and I'm only slightly less impressed. Then it was hands-down the best beer I'd ever tasted. Now it's just in my top 10. Incredibly beautiful, incredibly smooth, incredibly tasty, and incredibly drinkable, this is simply a world-class IPA, and the clear winner of the contest - 4.65 to Sculpin's 4.3. That said, the only category it lost in the head-to-head was taste, where Sculpin simply brought the hops like none other (well, no other single IPA, anyway). Both are amazing beers, and it's been a privilege drinking them together.

Cheers!

Photo of BetterDarker
4.71/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz poured into pint glass.

A- Amazingly thick, fluffy off white head, hazy gold with fantastic retention and lacing. Quite simply an amazing looking beer, almost fake it's so perfect.

S- Hop slap to the face, and it feels good. Herbal, lemon citrus, pine and grass, I wonder if there was a hop they didn't use.

T: Great hoppy depth of flavor with citrus and pine overtones with a hint of malt in the back.

M: Perfect carbonation with a medium body.

D: Highly drinkable, so much so I may move to San Diego so I can get this on a regular basis.

Photo of Stigs
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a pint glass

A - three fingers of thick rich and frothy white foam with tan accents. second half pour pushed it to a big pillowy mound growing from the center of the glass. the beer is light gold, clear with a good bit of bubbling.

S - big nose of citrusy sweet hops with hints of grass, mint, honey, soap, and grain.

T - big bright citrus hops, nothing bitter until the initial punch wears off. very little malt to balance.

M - insanely creamy and thick, complimented nicely by a slightly large amount of carbonation. works well.

D - not the best, but a pretty solid west coast IPA with a east coast touch.

Photo of Ek0nomik
3.32/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured In: Snifter
Attained through a trade (Thanks Nick!)

Appearance: A careful pour unleashes a tall frothy head. I have half head and half beer. The beer is an amber and light carrot orange color while the head is a white and creamy color. When held up to the light, as the pour suggested, it's quite effervescent. On par with a Belgian pale ale as far as the carbonation and head is concerned. The lacing is quite nice, with a few very thick sheets trickling down into the beer. The lacing seems to be mostly from the aggressive head on the pour, but once the head disappears there isn't enough sugars to make it stick against the glass.

Smell: The nose has this sweet candy and cake like aroma to it. I had the YuleSmith Winter last night, and upon cracking it I noticed this very different sweet candy aroma. That same aroma is pleasant here, but I'm hoping this beer is much more drinkable. Beyond the sweetness sits some hop aromas including a little bit of pine and mango.

Taste: The palate picks up pale malt right off the bat. The malt flavor sits on the palate for a bit, and then comes some hop bitterness and flavor. The hop flavor is a mixture of grass, pine and orange peel. Once some oxidation occurs inside my mouth a nice soft grapefruit flavor comes out.

Mouthfeel: A bit harsh on the palate at first because of the carbonation. The body of the beer is medium, and it goes down the throat with ease. After each sip there are some oils coating my teeth which is pleasant as well.

Drinkability: This isn't a terrible beer, although I was really hoping for a bit more. It becomes much, much better as it warms up and some of the carbonation dies off. The hop profile is rather hidden until it warms up. This isn't something I'd pick up again. Much better IPA's are scattered throughout the country.

Photo of Chico1985
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another surprise find at Table & Vine. I had read about the insane head on this beer but I still wasn't prepared, as soon as I opened it carbonation bubbles are clearly seen flying up in the bottle, I pour very slowly and it still reveals 50% towering white head, 50% very light orange beer with numerous carbonation bubbles flying everywhere, and a tiny bit of sediment also. The head slowly dissipates and crumbles into strange beastly shapes, leaves lacing down the glass like cotton candy. A city could be hidden in there. Smell is faint at first but comes out a bit more when the head calms down, smells much like the great tastes - floral hops, citrus/peach, tropical fruit and lemon notes. Tastes get better and more prominent with every sip. Very drinkable, alcohol barely detectable. The last pour (3rd overall) is much more hazy and full of sediment, other than that drinks about the same. Light and a good amount of carbonation. The great thing about this beer is that it has all the traits of your average IPA yet it is so much more than that, much more complex. I don't think it's A+ worthy because it didn't really WOW me, but it's really damn close. A must-try for IPA fans.

Photo of deereless
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Some serious issues on the head, a hard pour with a very cold beer resulted in 8 inches of head to an inch of beer, as the head settles a thick craggy and cottony mound formed and tons of lacing is left on the sides of the glass, noticeable sediment, the color is a dulled gold - 3.50, S: Loads of citrus, there must be some Centennial hops in this beer, smooth tropical fruit sweetness - 4.50, T: Grapefruit and a hint of pine, nice crisp hop bite, caramel malts - 4.50, M: Smooth mouth feel - 4.25, D: One of the better IPAs I've had in some time and another grand success out of San Diego, extremely drinkable - 4.75

AleSmith IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 3,245 ratings.