Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

AleSmith IPA - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith IPAAleSmith IPA

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

1,258 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,258
Hads: 3,801
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 15.22%
Wants: 487
Gots: 563 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,258 | Hads: 3,801
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.92/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasting notes from 8/23/10
Thanks to djmichaelk for this bottle!

No freshness date on the bottle, which always annoys me, especially with a bomber.

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Light orange colour, slightly hazy with one finger of thick bubbly white head.

S - The nose is full of bitter juicy citrus hops that have grapefruit and tangerine notes. There is a light malt presence in the background contributing some sweetness to the nose.

T - A good balance of bitter hops and sweet malts. The hops don't have the robust citrus taste that the nose indicated. There is citrus there, along with some pine but specific tastes (ie: the grapefruit and tangerine in the nose) are not discernible. The malts are very evident in the taste, much more so than they are in the nose, and the significantly sweeten up the bitter hops. At times the hops merely seem to contribute bitterness and not much flavour.

M - Medium body, some decent chew, lightly carbonated

D - A very good IPA but didn't meet my expectations. I would like to try this again as I wonder about the freshness of the bottle.

 1,093 characters

Photo of TheBrewo
3.92/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

We pour a brew of reddish honey. It holds a one finger head, but this is brief. It is creamy and comes back with a quick swirl, leaving chunky, spotted lacing around the glass. An even haze appears throughout, with light flecks of sediment. Carbonation appears average. The aroma is resiny, with twigs and raw bark, earthy and grassy hops, and mineral and stone. Cherry and pear sweetness pierce the hops, with pales malts and hints of chocolate milk darkness on the far back. Our first impression is that there is nice leafiness and earth to the hop flavoring. As we sip, citrus and earth pour into our mouths. There is acid and lactics, mixing with muddy, pale, and chalky malts. Nothing really yet dominates. The middle moves with sweetness of white sugar, with more honey at the peak. A quick bitterness of dirty citric hop rind comes through, pulling us to the finish with mineral puckering sours, and pale malts to wash. The aftertastes breathes of very bitter, hollow hops, light florals, a faint chemically phenolic bite, and spice of booze. The body is medium, but the beer has a satisfying syrupy thickness, while the carbonation is stinging. There is soft slurp, froth, cream, and smack to each sip, with a drying astringent finish. Eventually the mouth is cooled, with a soft wetness. The abv is getting up there, and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was how fresh and earthy everything was. The malts also showed an interesting variety in the nose, with a surprising darkness at times. The beer is ultimately very refreshing and nice to the style, but becomes a bit muddy through the flavoring and not as crisp due to the booziness at the end, which is otherwise well hidden.

 1,726 characters

Photo of Onenote81
3.92/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle received from fatboyjim1 in a recent trade. Thanks!

Pours a cloudy dark gold with a good-sized white head on top. Retention was good, and it left some lacing webs on the glass. Smells of deep pine and citrus zest. Very sharp and resiny.

The mouth was a bit thinner than I expected. Could use a bit more carbonation play. This was a pretty bitter IPA. Plenty of citrus hop bitterness, but not as balanced out with malt sweetness as I would have liked. Finishes tart and perky. This is a good IPA, and I'm glad I traded for a few of these. Thanks again, Jim.

 566 characters

Photo of jdoncbus
3.92/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into pint glass. Hazy, orange with chunky three finger head and moderate lacing.

Sweet hops jump out: orange, pineapple, with a dash of spice. Not much low end to this one in the malt department.

If you are looking for a bitter, west coast IPA look no further. The bitter-tart flavor lingers for quite some time. Mouthfeel leaves a pucker finish, pretty light.

Pretty easy to put down. Decent IPA but not overly impressed.

**edit - after letting the beer warm a bit - much better**

 507 characters

Photo of kaips1
3.92/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a fresh bomber from cavax as an extra, thanks man, i split this with my gf

this is the second time ive had this beer and i feel fair to review it this time, this beer poured slowly was quite the foamy head gusher, lots of head with even the slowest pour, when i got the glass filled it had about a 2in frothy head. the beer itself is a solid cloudy dark amberish orange, it looks good. now on to my favorite part of this beer, the nose on this is all citrus and fruity. i get some grapefruit some pineapple some orange and some hop juice, not grassy. the flavors were kinda toned down from the nose but still tasty. the mouthfeel is very solid and a little heavier than some may expect. the carbonation isnt as jumpy as i was expecting, i guess it lost some of the zest in the beginning. overall this is a very good beer and i hear its pretty cheap in cali, you guys are so lucky, drinkability is very high, i could drink this all day and like i do stone. get some alesmith ipa its worth it.

 1,000 characters

Photo of JoshuaJ
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a an attractive hazy, golden color. Lots of yeast floating toward the bottom--love that.

Aroma is actually faint. A lot fainter than I thought it'd be. After some agitation, I'm mostly picking up citrusy hops and the biscuity malt backbone.

Tastes...underwhelming. Actually, I should clarify by saying that I was prepared to be blown away. From what a lot of BA's say, this is second only to Pliny the Elder. Putting the hyperbole aside, it's a very well balanced brew. I like my IPA's to be a bit hoppier, but the grapefruity hops pair up very well with the biscuity malts. In fact, I'd say they match each other pretty perfectly. No overwhelming hop bite here.

Drinkibility is good. I actually plowed through the bomber I had. Not my favorite IPA, but it's very well crafted. I'd love to try this on tap.

 816 characters

Photo of n2185
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper with three fingers of cream-colored head that fades into a nice cap with good lacing.

S: Oranges and grapefruit followed by dry, resinous pine aromas as well as some spicy hop notes.

T: Earthy and dry pine flavors dominate here with some citrus rind and spicy hop flavors. The finish is moderately bitter.

M: Medium body with mid-high carbonation, this beer is quite easy to drink.

O: A good IPA, overall. I'd like maybe a little less bitterness and some more citrus flavors, but those are minor gripes.

 538 characters

Photo of StoneTSR
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Again, ren is awesome, thanks for yet one more great brew from SoCal!

APPEARANCE: This beer looks alive. Big, lively bubbles coat most of the glass as dozens more rush to the surface from the bottom of the glass every second. The head is only about an eighth of an inch thick and it is made of big bubbles that begin popping fairly quickly after the pour. The beer itself has a twinge of haze, but is otherwise a fairly transparent, orange color.

SMELL: This beer does not require a nose in the glass in order to smell it at first. As soon as it is poured, some nice, floral aromas can be detected. Upon closer sniff, grapefruit comes out in an abundance as lemon and orange lurk in the background. After the head settles, however, the smell does fade pretty quickly. Actually too quickly.

TASTE: Well, there is no doubt about this one, it is certainly a west coast IPA. The big, floral and grapefruity hops are the trademarks of the region’s IPA and they show up in full force here. Again, the grapefruit is the star of the show in this one, but just like the nose, lemon and orange also make an appearance in the flavor. The finish also reveals hints of piney hops, but most of the hoppy goodness here comes in the form of grapefruit.

MOUTHFEEL: This is a remarkably refreshing IPA, it has to be ideal for a warm San Diego night. In addition to its refreshing qualities it is also crisp, clean and dry, but with just enough sweetness to keep it within the range of a balanced beer. The carbonation is strong, as indicated by the lively bubbles mentioned above, but at the same time it has a smooth, silky and somewhat oily feel.

OVERALL: This is a rich and complex West Coast IPA. Some may argue with that statement given the taste, the traditional big, bitter, West Coast IPA flavor, but when you begin to look at the beer as a whole, with all of the elements involved, it is apparent that this is yet another well-crafted, interesting and complex beer from AleSmith.

 1,977 characters

Photo of sweetbrew82
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

 2,547 characters

Photo of Tripphop
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy straw gold, a slight amber hue, with a quick head that leaves a ton of lacing. Aromas are of pale malt and earthy hops, not so inviting. Taste is a rush of hop bitterness, very grassy and earthy, fruit notes, dried apricot and pineapple. It has a nice mouth weight and an excellent drying finish. Overall pretty tasty, not your typical citrus bomb WCIPA.

 367 characters

Photo of jbaker67
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours by extremely clear, bright amber with thick, frothy off-white head. Aroma is grassy, floral, and dank hops, biscuit and cereal malts, pine resin, and light citrus fruit. Flavor is a great balance of dry malt base, grassy and pine hops, light citrus esters, and faint caramel sweetness; dry finish with just a touch of bitterness. Medium body and low carbonation.

Not sure that is was a fresh bottle. Will re-review when I can get a fresh bottle.

 453 characters

Photo of rajendra82
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer was shipped to me in a handsome bomber by eyedrinkale. When poured into my usual pint glass, it had an orange amber colored body with a 2-inch thick beige head and a lively natural carbonation. Head retention was excellent and there was a ton of lace left all around as the beer went down. Aroma was assertive with floral hops dominating the bouquet. The taste was a bit brash with a strong alcohol presence, which was not quite hidden under the hops as it should be. There were notes of citrus on the palette, but these were quite subdued. The hop bitterness was also relatively low; however they added a good deal of spicy character to the mix. The mouthfeel was appropriately dry and creamy for the style. Alcohol burn detracts a bit from drinkability. A nice solid IPA to be had here.

 797 characters

Photo of JohnnyYuma
3.89/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

On draft at the Lost Knight Pub -- tapped today

There's a sweetness to the malt in this IPA that isn't my favorite for the style. You can especially get it on the nose where any hoppy aroma is simply overpowered by a caramel, nuttiness. That being said, the taste has the classic bitterness of an IPA and even if it's not my favorite aspects of the style, the craftsmanship on this beer goes without question. This beer is obviously worth trying and talking about in the realm of West Coast IPAs, but there's a little too much maltiness (akin to traditional English IPAs) for my hop-crazed taste buds.

 605 characters

Photo of KidDoc
3.89/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Beautiful crystal clear light gold color with nice head, decent retention and nice lacing. Aroma had a nice earthy piney feel. Flavor followed with nice bittering but I would like a little more malt to the balance.

 216 characters

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.89/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Color is a yellow/orange somewhat hazy but crisp color. Smell is very enjoyable with a strong punch of ?nelson? hops. Taste does not follow the nose as it's bitter but not with a lot of additional flavor. Finish is somewhat bitter and harsh. Start great and slowly gets worse making an OK beer.

 298 characters

Photo of BigbROB
3.89/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle as a mystery IPA from Davidsk in a trade.

A - nice orange hazy with a good amount of head. Lots of yeast sediment.

S- A little citrus but mostly smelling lots of big hops!

T- Excellent! Nice tingly feeling on the tongue. Taste a little citrus with big piney hops.

M - long after taste. carbonation leaves a nice light feeling on the tongue.

D - very smooth highly drinkable.

Reviewed 5-25-10 1st review!

 427 characters

Photo of mully
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to rayjay for this beer

a-- thick fine bubbled head leaves a fine lace down to a thinly retained head murky gold apricot color

s-- sugary apricots, hint of citrus brightness a light caramel undertone

t-- full/grainy meaty hops balanced biterness - citrus comes in later slight apricot damn good beer

m-- fine carbonation well attenuated not overly sweet

d-- not over the top -- well balanced and refined.

 416 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

 1,074 characters

Photo of HalfFull
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass, this beer pours a deep golden color with a thick meringue head that was impossible to avoid, even with a gentle pour. Color is noticeably lighter than the tap version and offers significantly more head retention.

Smell is hoppy but less floral and less enticing and only comes out after the head dissipates. And with stronger retention and a tendency to easily regenerate a head, said dissipation is not the norm. Initially more citrus and pine, with fresh floral and deeper citrus hops being secondary and relatively subdued vs. the tap.

Taste is good and more full bodied than the tap, and offers a more pronounced malt finish. And the alcohol is more hidden here than the tap version, surely due to the carbonation and froth. Alas, I prefer to let the esters flow for this beer on tap has some good ones.

Feel is slightly viscous and reminds me of a cask conditioned ale. While the beer is bottle conditioned I do wonder what is different in the keg? No noticeable yeast residue was found in the bottle. Drink is solid as the nose, taste and feel welcome consumption.

Note: Bottle labeled as 7.25% vs. 7.75% shown on kegs and on website? This is a 'different' beer and a rare occasion whereby I would recommend the tap over the bottle.

 1,283 characters

Photo of joekfsu
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, lots of yeast left in the bottle. Pours a orange, light amber. Lots of head, 2 cm at a time, white to slightly off white, long lasting. Aroma is sweet and strong with citrus, hint of pine. Initial taste is mostly overwhelmed by the sweetness, turning citrusy, then very dry from all the hops. There might be other components in there, but honestly when you dump that much hop-action in there, forget it. Aftertaste is very hoppy and long lasting. Light to medium body, very light carbonation. Alcohol is well hidden and drinkable. For the price I'd prefer something else, but maybe worth another drink down the line.

 630 characters

Photo of garthwaite
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 22 oz bottle provided courtesy of drewbage - many thanks! In the glass this is amber with a long lasting tan head. Relatively subdued, but extremely pleasant aroma of citrus & spicy hops - a nice blend between grapefruit & pepper in the hop aroma with some sweetness in the background. Hop resins aplenty in the mouth as this one continues on the same path as the nose indicated building on a sweet toasted caramel malt base with a blend of piney, floral, & citrusy hops. Moderately bitter & very well balanced. Medium to full bodied with a nice smooth creaminess in the mouth. A well-balanced & well-crafted IPA.

 628 characters

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Boolshot sent me this bomber in a trade...Thanks!

Pours a nice, clear copper with an inch or so of head. Smells of grapefruit and floral scents with some doughy malt as well. The taste balanced well with hops being the main act after the malty opening. Mostly citrus and floral flavors from the hops and some sweet bread at the beginning from the malts. Nice, bubbly mouthfeel. Bitter,dry finish but not much hint of the abv with this one.

 442 characters

Photo of mikul93
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Nice murky golden with a nice finger head. Some lacing.

S Pine, Citrus, malt and hops. Not as aromatic as I was expecting, but still a nice smelling beer.

T I'm getting a lot of orange, some grapefruit, sweet malt and of course the bitter hops. Bitterness is well balanced.

M Clean beer. Medium body. Nicely carbonated. Very crisp.

O What a great IPA! Very well balanced. Highly recommended.

 400 characters

Photo of brureview
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle date: 5/30.

Poured in a pint glass the color is light copper- a lighter color than most IPAs.

The aroma: malt, and light grapefruit rind. Perhaps a fresher bottle would yield
more fruit in the aroma.

Mouth feel: hoppy and pungent.

Taste: citrus rind and malty.

Finish- perhaps the most pronounced element of the beer- very hoppy, pungent bitterness,
and spice. A spice forward IPA.

Overall- a solid IPA. Not as "San Diego" style as Lagunitas and Port Brewing.
Pungent, yes. But this beer lacks the concentrated grapefruit of the latter breweries's IPAs.

Perhaps a fresher beer would bring out the overwhelming grapefruit taste of San Diego IPAs, and many American IPAs. I would like to try a fresher bottle for comparison. Less grapefruit is probably a result of the Alesmith brewing style and not freshness.

 822 characters

Photo of bigdeuce
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What can you say, it is a very nice, floral beer. Not balanced, but maybe unintended to be that way. Great looking beer and is very sticky on the nose. Hops dominate the beer, and unsure, but I would say it's pushing or over 100 IBU's. A little rough on the edges going down, very sharp hoppy bitterness. A very good brew, but there are others out there, as good, if not better, that are not $9 a bomber. Good to try to say I had it once, but I'll stick with Stone.

 465 characters

AleSmith IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,258 ratings.