AleSmith IPA - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith IPAAleSmith IPA

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1,217 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,217
Hads: 3,592
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 15.19%
Wants: 476
Gots: 485 | FT: 11
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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,217 | Hads: 3,592
Photo of pjeagles
3.06/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had been waiting for this beer for a couple of years, so maybe that is why I have rated it so low.
I could have gotten this beer through a trade or the net, but my rule is: I have to travel to a place where the beer is sold. I take many road trips and getting the beers I have been waiting to try makes the trip that much more special. I know a lot of you out there feel the same way.
With that being said, this beer was a serious letdown. I guess I was expecting more of a "West Coast IPA" when I tried it, and it never delivered. The smell was neutral. The initial taste was almost burnt malt with a hop bitterness I could only find after I assured myself it MUST be in there somewhere!
There is no malice intended in this review at all. I seriously wanted to love this beer, but I ended up being disappointed. This isn't a bad beer by any means, but stack it up against other IPAs in a BLIND tasting and I'd bet the reviews are way lower.

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Photo of Tyrawlings
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Bomber poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy, deep honey like color. Extremely dense white head pours two fingers thick and slowly dissolves into a sticky clinging lace that crawls on the sides of the glass.

S: Big citrus smells: Lemon, tangerines and peaches. Caramel or toffee. Huge floral presense.

T: First sip reveals citrus with a pleasent bitter hop bite. Pine resin is followed by the perfect balance of caramel malts. Very earthy and a floral like finish.

M: Delicate and silky smooth. Ample carbination. Slight oil or resin like finish.

D:Outstanding drinkability! Perfectly balanced and scary good! Alcohol is wel hidden. A hop head's brew indeed!

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Photo of tonistruth
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- light shade of copper w/ a just off white, thick, forthy, amazingly huge (seriously no matter how i poured it), root beer float like head. retent was beyond believable (almost painful) thin lacing, and settles (eventually) to 1/4" ring.

S- citrus and freaking malty, sweet bread like, rich and crisp w/ hints of caramel, chocolate, and toasted malts. strong nose

T- citrus, spicy, some raw hop oils can be preceived, but lots of malts flavor like toasted, caramel, choclate, and nutty. i do not believe that all hops were american, nice touch. alocohol can be sensed at times (more so when warm obviously)

M- good medium body, dry at finish, this one is a palate bruiser. carbonation tickle, some coarseness

D- very enjoyable and very complex, really a work of art. awesome balance, not a sessionable brew, highly recommended, leaves you tasting hops for a while. i wish the alcohol was more hidden though

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Copper colored brew with cayenne highlights. Lot of sediment at the bottom of the glass which is surprising. Head is friggin monumental. Just thick. light beige and creamy towering over the top of the glass. As the beer drops, a mountain of suds remains in the center of the glass. The retention COULD NOT BE BETTER. Unparalleled.

S: Strawberry taffy, pink grapefruit, pine cone and some watermelon.

T: Begins sweet, fruity and floral. It really tastes like they add some sugar to this to liven it up. Honey suckle, candied tangerine and pear add the fruity component with caramel apple following these flavors. Bitterness arrives with a combo of 75% pinecone 25% grapefruit rind which adds an earthy component to balance the already sweet and fruity personality. As it warms the beer finishes with splash of alcohol across the tongue as well as lingering bitterness and pine freshness.

M: Full bodied with a creamy mouthfeel thanks to the *perfect* carbonation.

D: So superb. I'm seriously ready for Alesmith to make another double IPA as well as Yulesmith, guaranteed instant classic. Peter might as well change his name to Midas. My favorite every day IPA by far.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is a brilliant, slightly cloudy golden orange topped by an inch of creamy bright white head. Excellent creamy lacing gets left all around the glass. Understated aroma of piney hops, with a whiff of grapefruit and some light sweet malt. Palate is damn near perfect - nice, citrusy hops meld with a tasty light and caramel malt profile. Finish is dry, lightly fruity, and sweet. Mouthfeel is wonderful - not too thick or syrupy, especially for such a strong beer. Dry finish is very nice. I could drink this every day.

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Photo of Matthew
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber, screen printed silvery gray letters proudly displaying IPA.
Pours into my pint glass golden copper orange with a good inch of white bubbly soapy head that just wont go away. Incredible retention with some sticky lacing around the glass. A picture perfect looking beer.
Malty sweet hops dominate the aroma in this beer. Big resiny fresh and crisp citrus hops that consist mainly of orange, and a little bit of grapefruit and pine come before a nice whiff of sweet candy like maltiness and a tiny tinge of alcohol.
A smack of those oily crisp hops comes first followed by a somewhat big malty sweetness that has some caramel and candy like sweetness. The initial hoppy character is dominated by earthy piney tones and the citrus character that is prevalent in the nose. This is one hell of a tasty IPA.
The nice refreshing hop bite leaves behind lasting flavor in my mouth after each sip.
Nice medium bodied feel with good carbonation.
Even though this is a big beer, its so damned tasty that I cant not want to have 10 more. Easy to knock back too many of these.

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Photo of gmcfarre
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from bomber into Delirium Tremens tulip

A - Cloudy sunset orange with a 1/2 inch head that doesn't stick around too long. Lacing is fairly moderate.

S - Incredibly fruity and flowery, incredible scent that is almost chewy. Full and strong and ideal. Nice and sugary and unlike any other IPA I've had.

T - Hoppy and sweet (assumably from the prominent malt backbone). Nice and sugary with an incredible balance and never cloying or overly bitter.

M - Mild carbonation that is very smooth with a chewy mouthfeel and a slightly bittering aftertaste (but much less than many IPAs).

D - Perhaps the best IPA I've ever had (which is saying alot considering I heart this style). I will plan on acquiring as much of this as possible in the future.

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Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with a nice head that persists well and leaves rings of lacing

Smell: Resinous, orange and pine hops waft upwards along with a caramel malt undertone

Taste: Starts with a piney hop flavor complemented by a balancing malt base; after the swallow, the hops jump out in front, and while the finish has some residual sweetness and floral character, this is really all about those piney hops

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick and velvety; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Very tasty; great example of a West Coast IPA

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Photo of SacoDeToro
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber hue with a slight haze.

The aroma is bursting with fresh grassy and citrusy hops. Some caramel malts linger in the background.

The flavor was full of citrusy hops. The malt backbone was rich and caramelly, but not overly sweet. Very well balanced.

The mouthfeel was crisp and slightly creamy. The carbonation was fine and tight. I will say that I have noticed slight variation in carbonation with Alesmith's beers as they're all bottle conditioned.

Drink this one fresh before the yeast cake zaps some of that amazing hop character. This beer requires no patience.

West Coast in a bottle. Exemplary of American IPAs and certainly among the top 5 I've ever had.

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Photo of zuggy9
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was recommended to me by an employee at BevMo, and I was quite pleased. It has a somewhat milky nature for an IPA, but the smell and taste are quite wonderful. Smooth and dense, it's has a hearty taste and a good moderate finish, not too dry and not too bitter.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to b0ldfacelies for this one.

This beer poured a bright glowing amber that fades as it reaches the edges of my tulip. There are tons of bubbles struggling to reach the top to support a creamy, smooth, slightly yellow head.

Smells of a dry woody pine, tart pineapple and concentrated orange juice with a slight wheat and fresh baked bread.

In the flavor, there’s a big sting upfront but this slowly fades to peaches and toasted wheat bread crusts and a dollop of white flour. This then fades back to dry pitter pines and a flowery grapefruit rind. The dynamics here are great.

Feels light and silky, but dense with a light, sluggish carbonation.

This is a remarkable beer, but I’m not sure I’d want to drink the whole bomber in one sitting.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This tastes a lot like stone brew offerings. I seriously think they use the same ingredients and have the same suppliers. This was just like stone. See my stone review if you want to know about this beer.

I love the taste of these and stone hops, but they can be a little harsher on the bitterness and a little harder to drink.

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Photo of jeffjfindley
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Creamy auburn coloring with a less than generous head, but respectable cloudy lacing. The nose is grand, spicy and not surpisingly very hoppy. The nose and the taste are both a bit roasty, distinguishing it from it's contempraries.

I am always a little surprised when I come across an IPA that's this balanced. The malt texture is more than a match for the outstanding level of hoppiness. Sweet, creamy, and lively on the tongue.

Outstandingly drinkable. Why, oh why did I wait this long to try this beer?

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glowing bright copper color. Massive rocky beige head, sticky mounds of it. Gobs of chunky lace.

Smells of fresh citrus, pine, and herbal hops. Malt like Christmas pudding, pancake batter, honey. Plenty of Belgianesque ripe fruity esters, golden apple. Cohesive, and wonderful.

Big hop flavor and bitterness. Sweet doughy, toasty malt. Fruit, roastiness, burnt sugar. Long bitter finish, really drying out.

Fine, creamy carbonation, but it can get too fizzy. Some pleasant astringency. Very drinkable, for what it is.

Real character. The best IPA I have ever tried.

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Photo of tjthresh
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an English pint, light amber, slight dry hop haze with a billowing white head that lasted the entire time I was drinking this beer. I’m getting all facets of hop aroma here. Citurs, spice, earth, and flowers are all in line. Some nice honey aroma works its way through to represent the malt. Again a quality blend of hop flavor takes over as I drink also. Stong bitterness is sure to get your attention. Very resinous, and stinky from the lips to the tonsils. Reminds me of a wannabe Racer 5. Almost as good, but falls just short.

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Photo of MVassar
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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!

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of ressletr
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of hero27
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber.

My brother gave me two bombers of this brew for my cool is that??
Mellow orange/golden 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.

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Photo of BradBLR
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

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Photo of dblinkhorn
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of ddarden
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

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Photo of tattooedtolley
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of uberabr
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

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AleSmith IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,217 ratings.