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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

2,952 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,952
Reviews: 1,141
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 413
Gots: 250 | 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: 2,952 | Reviews: 1,141 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MVassar
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%

Wow. My first experience with this IPA was strange and unfortunate. While the flavor of the beer was exceptional, the bottle had no carbonation, apparantly due to some "problem in the bottling line."

No problem with this bottle. Amazing stuff.

Gorgeous raw honey appearance, with a very eager and active head that looks like a fine meringue. The lacing looks like sea foam.

The scents of hops, lemon peel, malt, pine, the ocean, and fresh grapefruit leap from the glass. One of the most aromatic IPA's this nose has ever smelled.

Starts with hints of pecan pie, followed by plenty of bitter hops, with a serious grapefruit zest finish. Incredible balance for a beer with this much flavor.

Lovely and lively in the mouth. Lots of carbonation this time(!) balanced by a rich creaminess.

Undoubtably one of the easiest drinking big beers I've ever tasted. (Frankly, one of the BEST beers I've ever tasted.) Bravo!

MVassar, Dec 01, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%

Truly a well balanced West Coast IPA
Hazed pale amber in the glass with a smallish head that never completely melts away...rather remaining with sticky lacing.
Aroma is green fresh piney hops.
Flavors are a nice balance between the sweet pale malts and tons of citrus bitter hops. This has the balance of a fine DIPA but without the strength. It manages to be fresh without ever turning raw.
Good job Alesmith.

IntriqKen, Nov 23, 2006
Photo of ressletr
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%

Appearance: This beer looked like god himself came down and made it, it couldn't have been better looking for an IPA. This beer is the color of caramel.

Smell: The smell, reminds me of the fresh hops that I would use when brewing. Just to wafer your nose over it, you can tell it was hoppy.

Drinkability: I had problems with undercarbonation, but it was fixed. I tried a newer bottle of the IPA, and quite frankly if you can find a better IPA, I would like to know. The beer was aweeesome. You could taste the hops, and the malt was so crisp. If you haven't tried it, your definitely missing out.

ressletr, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of hero27
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%

22 oz bomber.

My brother gave me two bombers of this brew for my birthday...how cool is that??
Mellow orange/golden color..off-white head rests above.
One of the most incrediblely aromatic beers I've had to date..the fresh hops are possibly rivaled ONLY by Dreadnaught..and I thought that was an impossible feat.
Thick pine sap hops and puckering citrus that would leave many beer-drinker's tastebuds trembling. Boldness in it's true form.
I seriously could never get sick of a beer like this...
Very smooth mouthfeel and creamy texture.. Absolutely impossible for me to tell whether this is 5%, 6%, 7% abv..the alcohol is overshadowed completely by the multitude of flavors involved.
What else can I say? It meets the hype for me and would without a doubt be a staple in my fridge if it was available anywhere within 100 miles of me.

hero27, Nov 14, 2006
Photo of BradBLR
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%

This beer poured a golden amber color that was slightly cloudy and a deep white head. Head lasted most of the beer with a good amount of lacing. The smell was all hops, a very strong floral aroma with hints a citrus (grapefruit).

The taste was really good, a cross between a local IPA (Sequoia Brewing) and Stone's IPA. Very good flavor, nice hoppy flavor right up front, slightly sweet maltiness, and a very sharp bitter back end. Mounthfeel was great, very smooth, nice thickness, and CO2 was perfect.

A very good IPA, that should be a standard for any one wanting to try a high quality IPA. Give it a try!

BradBLR, Nov 13, 2006
Photo of dblinkhorn
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a flute glass.

* Possibly a bad bottle.

Appearance - Pours with a super-creamy off-white head that retains quite well. It eventually boils down to a half-finger cap of velvety head. It leaves good lacing as you drink it. It is honey-amber in color with a slight haze, probably due mostly to the bottle conditioning.

Smell - Earthy and juicy hops up front. Strong aromas of citrus and tropical fruits. Also very faint traces of the classic dark, ripe fruits: fig, plum, etc. Rich buscuit-like malt character can be picked up behind all of this. Slight alcohol warmnth on the nose.

Taste - Very earthy and almost stale taste up front, not exactly pleasant either. Perhaps this bottle is a bit tainted or something, but it tastes how it tastes and I have to judge from that. Moving on, it also has some nutty flavors with the same hop character in the aroma: citrus and tropical fruits with slight dark fruit notes. A very rich and pudding-like, bready malt ties it all together. Moderate alcohol throughout.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with good carbonation. Has a semi-smooth and somewhat dry mouthfeel that becomes completely dry after the swallow.

Drinkability - The flavors are strong as would be expected for a DIPA, but they aren't actually too bad. Much more tamed than most of the DIPAs I've had recently.

Overall a good IPA barring the slightly unpleasant stale/peanut-buttery flavor. I'm just going to assume that it isn't supposed to have that. The hops flavors were quite good and it was overall quite refreshing with a good mouthfeel. Wort a try with that stale flavor, recommended without.

dblinkhorn, Nov 09, 2006
Photo of ddarden
4/5  rDev -5.9%

22oz Bomber poured into a pint glass. The initial pour lead to an explosion of foam that would not settle. You could almost cut it off with a knife. The beer itself is a cloudy copper with a head that will not quit and leaves a massive trail of lacing as it slowly recedes. The over-carbonation almost detracts from the beer because I can not get a good pour.

The smell is mostly hops: pine and more pine with hint of grapefruit. This is a fine smelling IPA. You can smell the pale malts underneath the hops. The taste is a smack of upfront hops and ends with an astringent bitter end. The malts do balance this out, but is more about the pine hops than anything else. Good long bitter aftertaste as well.

The mouth feel is medium and coats the mouth with hop oil. The over-carbonation comes back in a negative way for me in the mouth feel. Overall, this is a very good IPA, but to me it has a bit of harshness to it. I am not sure if it is the rush of carbonation or the bitterness. I would definitely drink this regularly if it were available to me, but it is not in my top 5 IPAs.

ddarden, Nov 02, 2006
Photo of neonbrown82
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%

This is a good IPA. Personally I don't see what all the hype is, surrounding this beer. Just another IPA to me, but to each his own. I am still anticipating the rest of the generous AleSmith offerings that were delivered to me this afternoon courtesy of BA dogfooddog.

The beer pours to a hazy peach color with very little head. No retention. Has a velvety looking carbonation when the glass is tilted back. I would expect a little more clarity and head from an IPA, particularly such a critically acclaimed one. Leaves a thin soapy lacing, despite an utter lack of head.

The aroma is pungent with hops. Piney and grapefruity. Strong malty backbone as well. Has a bit of an alcohol burn to the nose as well.

The taste is good. Has a mishmash of different hops flavors. Flowery, citric, piney, and herbal. The malt flavor is also quite strong. This beer seems much stronger than it really is, though not to say it isn't strong by any means. The bitterness hits up front with an intense rush of flavor, but it doesn't linger as much as the sweetness from the malt, interestingly enough.

It's a good IPA, though not one of my favorites. I would pick one of my local midwestern IPA's, such as Alpha King, any day.

neonbrown82, Oct 31, 2006
Photo of tattooedtolley
4.93/5  rDev +16%

Breaking away here from the standard review format, just b/c I loved this beer and experience.

I got his from Boolshot who took me on as my first trade. Getting a beer in the mail is awesome, especially if it is a beer you have been dying to try. Upon cracking this beer open, the aroma of awesomely strong fruity and piney hops blasts you in the face. I began to pour this into a tulip glass and the head practically over took the glass immediately, as someone else stated, a pint glass might have been a better option. But once I got the pour down it wasn't a real issue.

The taste is awesome, all those hops from the aroma showing up perfectly. The malt backbone helps to bring some balance but you never forget this is an awesomely hoppy IPA. I really wish I had a case of this, the drinkability is superb.

I would have to say at this moment in time, AleSmith is my favorite IPA.

tattooedtolley, Oct 23, 2006
Photo of uberabr
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

A: Poured from a 22 into a tulip, but I'de recommend a pint glass. This head is literally thick enough to carve. Amazing. Maybe a little too thick. Carbonation is superb. Color is a glowing golden amber.

S: A hoppyness that would be adequate for most hopheads but not overdone, perhaps even toned down. Delicate and refined. Grassy, floral, and fruity, with a very nice mix of woodsy citrus and honey malt.

T: More hops than in the nose. A crisp grapefruit bitterness with sour fruits. Tart peaches, honey, and some bread and butter.

M: Mouthfeel is excellent. Extremely well carbonated (this bottle is perhaps over-carbonated), and a full, warming, complex body.

This one is complex and strong enough for special occasions but quaffable enough for the casual drink. Refined and well crafted. A very impressive IPA.

uberabr, Oct 18, 2006
Photo of HopHeadLouie
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%

The really great thing about this beer is that you'll never have to buy dish soap again. There is enough sudsy foam to do your pots and pans and it will leave your hands smelling IPA fresh.
Once you get past the ridiculous dense mouse laden head you are left with a big bold extra hoppy supper bitter IPA. The first sip assaults the palette with a sharp biting tingle of tart hoppy goodness. On second approach I am drawn to the underlying "pale ale" characteristics reminding not to forget the PA in IPA. Mmmmm, kind of tasty...Faint citrus notes, other than that nothing to fragrant, no flowers, caramels or toffees to speak of just a nice clean finish, sharp biting hops, solid carbonation and excellent mouth feel. Good Stuff!

HopHeadLouie, Oct 09, 2006
Photo of far333
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%

Served slightly colder than cellar temperature in a tall slender pilsner glass to allow a better view. Bubbles cascade upward through the murky and thick-looking honey colored liquid, breaking the surface and lifting up a full inch of dimpled and bumpy froth. The foam lingers long and leaves oily specks and sheets around the inside of the glass.

A sweet and juicy aroma of citrus, ripe fruits and candy, a bit of doughey malt.

Flavor is less hoppy than I expected upfront, with hints of citrus peel and flowery hops, mixing in with a fair amount of caramely malt. An orange peel/grapefruit bitter lingers, followed by some pine notes that send tingles up the insides of the cheeks. I enjoy the malt balance, but would like more hops.

Mouthfeel is full, with moderate carbonation, finishes crisp. Very drinkable.

far333, Oct 06, 2006
Photo of beerceller99
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%

Yellowish-amber color with a frothy two finger white head.
Strong floral and piney hop aroma with a whiff of caramel.
Medium bodied with mild carbonation.
Big hop flavors dominate the first taste of this brew . A smooth , sweet caramel flavor makes a brief appearance only to be snuffed out by a big, hop garden taste to finish.
A great IPA here.

beerceller99, Oct 06, 2006
Photo of bkett01
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%

Pours with a billowing two finger eggshell white head that demonstrates good retention. Appears a crystal clear golden amber that is clearly well filtered. Very inviting looking beer becomes even more appealing upon first whiff. Strong floral hop aroma stands out over a detectable toasty malt.

Tastes of floral/citrus hops with a smooth alcohol touch at through the finish. A light malt is present in the background, balancing out this amazing IPA (borderline double). While the alchol is present at 7.75%, it adds to the complexity of the taste positively. This is a great beer, and would surely be a regular choice of mine if it were available, but I'll settle for just this one and thank germaniac for getting it to me.

Outstanding IPA, highly recommended!

bkett01, Oct 05, 2006
Photo of timtheenchanta
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%

Fluffy thick large bubbled rocky head. Thick lacing coats the glass. Rough orange color makes my eyes light up. Tiny bubbles of carbonation are constantly rising with some bubbles stuck to the bottom of the glass.

Very fruity citrusy nose (lemons, oranges). There's a lot more alcohol in the nose of this one than I expected. There's some toasty delight hiding behind the hops and booze.

Easy sweet toasty malt flavor before the hops jump into the mix and deliver fruity floral tastes that turn grassy and then piney and dry up in the finish. There's a hint of warm alcohol after swallowing.

This is a pretty good IPA. Many thanks to Zorro for this one.

timtheenchanta, Oct 02, 2006
Photo of MSchae1017
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from the 22oz bottle that timtheenchanta shared with me.

This beer pours a rusty gold with a frothy white head that laces nicely and leaves fluffy foam the whole way down the glass. The smell has the subtle sweetness donated by the pale malt but is dominated by the citrusy hops. There seems to be some cascade or centennial but there is more to it perhaps even some amarillo. The mouthfeel is very creamy but not too thick. The carbonation is nice from the bottle conditioning. For a single IPA, this has a mouthfeel that really shows off. Overall, a great IPA. I just really love a well done IPA, and this is certaily up there with the best of them.

MSchae1017, Oct 02, 2006
Photo of SwillinBrew
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%

Damn Gina, i think this is my favorite IPA. I drink it regularly but just recently having it again and though i'd review it.

A tangerine honey color slightly, slightly turbid, fills my glass with a good finger of ivory colored foamy lacing. The aromas are quite crisp and very aromatic with a wall of orange blossoms and fragrant citrus... as if someone just peeled a pink grapefruit and sprinkled it all around.
The flavors hit the classic IPA on the money... actually i should say, this IPA sets the standard. True mountain pine and ripe citrus peels mingle like they're at happy hour. A true melding of delicious flavor with light toast bread mixed in. As you quaff this treat, you know you are drinking an IPA and one that isnt subtle nor pretends to be anything else. Actually, the taste screams West Coast IPA.
Very nicely carbonated and rather clean and oh so easy to drink. My fridge will always have several bottles of this!!! Yours should too!

SwillinBrew, Sep 27, 2006
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%

I enjoyed several samples of this tasty brew at the Bluezapalooza beer fest @ Mammoth Mtn, in the Sierra, reviewed from notes (yeah I was that guy at the fest taking notes.) A treat for this East coaster to try this fine brew on tap for my first Alesmith IPA experience. This one pours a typical medium shade of almond amber, with a fairly dull tan head and leaving splattered lacing upon a gentle swirl. the excitement starts with the crisp hoppy nose and the resiny hops that carry this brew across the tongue and taste buds. Fine AIPA. smooth, clean and pleasantly hoppy. Haven't had anything from Alesmith yet that was not top notch.

Billolick, Sep 17, 2006
Photo of cerveza5150
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%

AP: Great bubbly poor. This beer just begs for a group of enthusiastic IPA drinkers. Nice off white head with good retention. Lots of bubbles with a little lacing.

SM: Piny/citrusy hops present on the nose. A slight hint of caramel hops. The aroma hints at the taste explosion.

T: Ok, I've tried alot of beer, but this one is INCREDIBLE. The first 5 I've ever given on taste, this ale had it all. I was expecting a full hop experience, and this didn't disappoint. It starts with some slightly herbish hops on the nose, and finishes to an awesome citrusy, almost, dare I say it, cannabis-like hoppy taste. The malt is present enough to balance out the hops. All in all, as close to perfection as I've tasted.

M: Bubbles persisted, but were tempered by the slight heat of the alcohol. The finish begs for another taste.

D: An incredibly easy drinking IPA. Alesmith really outdid themselves this time.

cerveza5150, Sep 15, 2006
Photo of goodbyeohio
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%

pushing the limits of fermentation, hop injecting, and the term 'ipa,' alesmith offers a big version of everyone's favorite pseudo-american bitter beer.

mine pours a rich orange highlighted by reds and yellow shades. the beer is by no means clear, it possesses a hazy veil of gravity in its meaty center. the head takes a couple seconds to form but does so in a thick, creamy fashion. soon it's a half-moon of thin bubbles and ipa pond scum. lace cascades peppered with small signs of carbonation, the ring around the surface holds tight. looks like a damn serious ipa. wish the head was a bit better.

*sniff* mmmm! pure hop citrusification, backed by a nice fruity sweet blast of floral energy. deep in the nose dwell some milled cereal grains, mango and peach essences. this beer promises flavor, succulence, and a good full body with its near-perfect nose. i could smell this beer all day, but i dont want it to get too warm.

oh yeah that's the fucking bomb. at once, the beer presents a perfumey array of super fresh sticky-bud hop cones that bleed a sharp, enjoyable bitterness that doesn't wear out its welcome. the plant matter flavors amplify with warmth, and serve to hide the overzealous alcohol flavors that would also be popping up.. were it not for the extremely enjoyable, overwhelming flavor circus here. in my cheeks, i can taste a nectar which can only be described as grapefruit rind essence and burnt segments of sugar-brushed pie crust. the beer produces lupulin-laced burps that are a welcome reminder of the elixir in which i have just indulged. a varitable spring forest of green hop & pine flavors, alesmith ipa is a true bastion for the style's west coast genre.

a little thinner than i expected, and that lets it go down a bit easier than it should. too thin to assume the proper savouring speed. the drinkability is through the roof, though, as long as you're a serious hophead. although, why else would you be sitting here reading my review, or writing your own?

go get yourself some of this right now.

goodbyeohio, Aug 30, 2006
Photo of TheBungyo
3.83/5  rDev -9.9%

Thanks to the generous Clickpush for the trade!

Body is a luscious dirty golden color topped by a pristine white inch thick head. Decent amount of lacing is left behind after each sip. Nose is kind of unimpressive. I get some brief pine halted almost instantly by lots of caramel malt. What gives? Taste is dominated by citrus, grapefruit, lemon, and orange. Sadly none of these reach out and grab the dominant role. Malt is also very heavy, bordering something of an amber. It tastes good but honestly you probably have an IPA brewed in your backyard that does this as well. Mouth is smooth and nice. This is a good IPA I could drink a lot of .... however, it isn't too remarkable. I can't put my finger on what it is but something is missing.

TheBungyo, Aug 27, 2006
Photo of akorsak
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%

This is a bomber of AleSmith IPA from a trade with Boolshot. The ale is chilled and served in a Chimay goblet.

A: The ale is an auburn color, close to orange with a thick three finger head that laces extensively.

S: A citrusy hop aroma wafts out of the goblet.

T: The ale has a grapefruit hop flavor that slowly fades into a ginger-like flavor that is subtle and fruity.

M: The ginger aftertaste and strong hops are quite good, giving the palate a wide array of sensations during the bottle.

D: The ale is quite good. Even with the almost 8% abv, this beer is hoppy, vibrant and delicious. Thanks to Boolshot for an excellent trade.

akorsak, Aug 25, 2006
Photo of Pegasus
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%

Appearance: Deep golden color, small off-white head, excellent glass-coating lace, and slight carbonation.

Aroma: Profound pine tar aroma, with lesser sweet malt notes.

Taste: Opens with a strong pine tar note and lesser grapefruit rind, the hops carry thoughout, and intensify at the finish. Beneath it all there is a sweet current of malt, which is nonetheless quite subdued.

Mouth feel: Smooth, rich, full, very pleasant, soft on the palate, with little carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: An excellent, slightly over-the-top IPA, well worth a try.

Pegasus, Aug 20, 2006
Photo of WeymouthMike
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%

One way to drinking the BA top 10 IPA I can immediately see why this one is high up on the list. Appearance is a cloudy golden honey color with a white head. Smell gets a 5, the incredible piney hops want me to eat this beer rather than drink it. Taste is hoppy sweet but smooth with a great malt finish. Mouthfeel is light with some oil resin present which makes this one drinkable IPA. Kick ass beer and cannot express my gratitude to westsidethreat for getting me this one in a trade.

WeymouthMike, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of wcudwight
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%

bomber thanks to BeerRun13 and NC Lotto BIF.
Pours the color of a sunset with a pillowy pale yellow colored head. I've never seen a head that looked quite like this. The head retains until the glass is nearly empty.
Oh man this smells gooood! Sweet hops, sweet hops!! Floral, piney and citrus.
Taste takes your mouth through the whole gamut of IPA flavors. Starts off very sweet. Almost too sweet for an IPA, but I likey. Then a floral like hoppiness starts to creep in. The hoppiness slowly continues to increase until it leaves your tastebuds screaming with a very bitter citrus flavor at the finish. Then the hops linger for a while to make sure you don't forget their flavor or their presence. WOW!
Mouthfeel is good. Nice combination of sticky, oily, and creamy
This is a drinkable beer. Due to the hops and higher abv it's not a session beer for me though.
This is a most excellent IPA. I give it my very highest recommendation. This is one you should do what ever you have to do to obtain and try it.

wcudwight, Aug 06, 2006
AleSmith IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 2,952 ratings.