Samurai Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

334 Reviews
Samurai AleSamurai Ale

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ElGordo on 07-02-2006

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Reviews: 334 | Ratings: 597
Photo of Bizquithead
4.65/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my new favorite beer. It is hard to find rice beers. It has exceptional drinkability. The flavor is smooth & sweet. The alcohol content is good enough. It isn't super filling. So again it is hard to find but well worth the 11$u.s.
I first had Samurai at a beer tasting. It was my favorite one of all that I tasted. This rice beer blows away anything budweiser can do.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.62/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is almost something from another beer dimension - at least from the looks and whiffs of it. A cottony-white, super-expansive, whipped-frozen-drink froth billows up from the pour, taking its lazy sweet time to nearly fade away.

First impressions of the smell - Pepperidge Farm lemon-iced lemon cake with coconut shavings and another cake: urinal. Love it. Unique.

With the aroma nuances nestled into the flavor, I found a light, fluffy malt flavor and body supporting. The character of the malt IS bready/doughy, but in a light, flaky French pastry fashion. I want to say I detected some subtle spice flavors in there as well - maybe some clove, vanilla, and/or coriander - but just a faint essence. I don't how they did it, but the taste is pretty awesome. Not significantly fruity aside from the lemon zest. I'd suggest this drinks like no other than a liquid delicate, hors d'œuvre-size puff pastry, down to featuring from a little past the mid-point, dropping off shortly after the finish, an almost butter-kissed flaky-dough quality/texture. The rice addition, however much it is, must be the key ingredient here in establishing that extra-fine edge in lightness to the feel. It's soft, but not so much crisp.

What Great Divide did here, I feel, is create the definitive American Blonde Ale. Of the handful of examples I've had in this "style", this is truly a standout beverage. Different, for most palates. An inspired recipe.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.45/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dullishly pale and lighter toned lemony whitened yellow. Chill hazed body to start then clears up a bit. Grows an all encompassing bright, starchy white head as its poured. Settles slowly to a decent pinky high crunch of floppy foam. Tons of lacing in thick patches and strings coat the glass like sticky rice.

Mild yet complexingly sweet and breadish aroma of pale malt, grain, and very dull lemon/melon candy-like hints. Nice bready sweetness to it and Munich Helles-like tone.

Taste is quite nice and rounded with a fine and fluffy mildly complex bready sweetness. The taste itself is quite simple really, it’s just got this overwhelming cleanness and a great length of tone and body to it; it’s incredibly hard to put down. I just keep drinking it! It’s not over powering and it’s not light either. Its dead on with a swift, clean kesa cut of pale malt sweetness, a bit pretzely, and grainy fluffed texture. It’s the length of tone and flavor that really stands out for me on this one.

Body is clean and wholesome with a semi fluffy texture of breads and grains. About medium bodied if not a bit more due to its caring and lengthy tone and character. It’s slightly sweet and yet paled down with a terrific profile of high crafted goodness.

Much like a well-forged katana, this stuff will cut right through you.
Damn easy to drink; and as if there ever was a doubt Great Divide could do something like this to a style that always lacks. Solid as the stance of a Samurai and lengthy as a cut from the blade of their wielding katana. This stuff is surprisingly beneficial and honorable. Osu!

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Photo of Seru1
4.4/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle to Pint glass.

Appearance- Pale hazy yellow with a thick pure white head, thick lacing and nice carbonation. It is quite enticing on a hot summer day.

Smell- Notes of grain and yeast with a zing of lemon, nothing to special here.

Taste- the bitterness of the hops is mellowed by the rice perfectly. Very cleansing to the pallete. Note of lemon peel, Orange and dry rye bread in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- thin but refreshing with a decent aftertaste and bit of pop on the tongue.

Drinkability- Very refreshing, During the summer or late spring I could put away quite a few indeed!

I'm a fan of sapporo and kirin, and I think you'll enjoy samurai. I took a chance on it and I'm sure glad I did.

Besides the new packaging is just cool.

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Photo of SamN
4.36/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Well, apparently the unfiltered claims were true; this beer pours milky white. To my disappointment , the first thought to mind was the image of the American Pie scene, where a man's climax is deposited into a Ubiquitous Red Cup. This unpleasant imagery is my first impression of my first rice ale.

Not a good start.

Anyways, as stated, the beer is a milky white with adjunct backdrop colored. Resembles a hefeweizen, but with noticeably large chunks of what looks like cracked rice bits suspended in the liquid. The head is minimal, is bone white and thin.

S- Sweet malty smells of white bread, lemons, creamy tartness. Like a hefeweizen, but with a much stronger malt background, more bready, grainy and solid in size.

T- Starts off dry and grainy, then the malt flexes up and becomes the prominent taste with, again, white bread flavors. Next the hops come cascading in in waves, providing a bitter counterpoint to the rice grain, eventually mellowing out to a more balanced finish, the yeast leaving a pleasantly slight sweet tartness edge to the fading hops bitterness and the still present sweeter rice grain base.

This is one really unique beer. A whole 'nother level of flavors. What an interesting and charming ale! Wide spectrum of tastes, from sweet, bready, tart, dry and bitter. A great example of this breweries inventiveness and brewing skill! Just a fascinating beer to drink.

M- Medium bodied with full carbonation. Lively and busy. The perfect body structure for a summer beer.

D- Very high, IMO. Just such a damn creative beer that really works on nearly every level. It's great, perfectly drinkable. I'm dying for another one already, as I only bought one for a sixer-mixer.

Will most definitely be keeping this beer as a staple from now on.

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Photo of mattkoon
4.35/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is a good solid wheat beer. It says on the bottle "rice ale" but I don't think rice is the main grain... The bottle says it was added. All that nonsense aside this is a really solid beer with great flavor and a good drinkablity. I really enjoyed this. It looks like a typical wheat beer. Light yellow with a slight cloudyness. The taste however is above average. Theres a slight bite but it finishes with a smoothness.

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Photo of iSip
4.32/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great Divide Samurai Rice Ale: Wow, this one you have to try. The head has a mix of large sparkling bubbles and more durable foam, and surprisingly a powerful and complex aroma. The beer is golden in color, but as it is unfiltered, and I gave it a good swirl, ended up translucent. What a unique flavor! Very complex, with lots of flavors coming and going. Fruity (but in a good way up) front and followed by a subtle hoppy bitter is a summary that does not do justice to the experience. I was not too keen on trying a rice beer, even from a great brewer such as Great Divide, but it was work the risk. Unique beer very much worth a try.

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Photo of gueuzer
4.31/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap

App- Thick hazy straw pour with a fluffy white head ringed by sediment. Reminiscent of the great Belgian Saisons.

Sm- Slightly fruity with a uncooked rice dust smell hanging around. A little but of musty mushrooms.

Ta- Crisp malt character that is played off of by the dry rice character. Very delicate with nice yeast phenols lingering. No noticeable hops.

Ov- Who would have thought a rice beer coudl be this good. i swear this beer has made Budweiser more drinkable.

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Photo of SargeC
4.28/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Brilliant yellow with hazy trails and flowing carbonation. The dense, dirty white head lingers.

Smell: Very clean aroma with hints of yeast and hops.

Taste: Unique. It has a light citrus flavor with a underlying biscuit-like flavor. The rice really mellows this beer out, without taking away from its character

Mouthfeel: Uncannily smooth. Crisp, light and refreshing. Maintains an ale-like quality through it all.

Drinkability: Easy to consume. I found this beer very refreshing and unique. It had many good things going on beneath the surface, while maintaining an outward simplicity.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.23/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in the variety case that was two months old.

A - Poured a nice clear yellow. Light pour kept the sediment on the bottom from getting in. Nice inch of foam which is nice for a old beer.

S - Mostly grains, slight wheat, and rice. Simple blonde ale.

T - Wow I am impressed. When I think I blonde I sort of get a bitter kind of pale ale impression but this had a great bitter start and a very smooth finish. Very sweet tasting from the rice. Almost sugary.

M - Very light. I could easily (if I could find it) drink a six pack of this in a sitting and the ABV is low enough to enjoy succession-ably.

D - Well like I said if I could find it outside of the case it would be no problem getting it. In fact I would pay the PA price for Great Divide sixers of 12 dollars if I could find it. I still have two left and I will enjoy them. Great job GD! Not one bad beer yet!

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Photo of Franchise
4.22/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This offering pours a cloudy pale yellow that leaves a thick yellowish head. The aroma is cooked rice, grain husks, lemon tartness. The sweet upfront maltiness of the beer is very appealing.

This beer actually surprises me, sweet honey, wheat, grassy aromatics throughout. This is a classic showing of a beer made with rice that tastes great. This is a solid beer and shows how creative you can be with this style.

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Photo of numenor1
4.2/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pale yellow with a slight haze and a respectable white head. Some light citrus and spice on the nose backed by a light malt presence. On the palate very crisp, with definite citrus notes (lemon). Moderate hop bitterness and spicy hop flavor matching perhaps some spice flavor contributed by the rice? Very nice biscuity malt profile with vague nuttiness. Finishes light and drying. Fairly light bodied and extremely drinkable. Excellent summer beer.

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Photo of Sporkus
4.18/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice graphic design on bottle (upgrade from the bottle pictured). Pours pale yellow, very cloudy with some large precipitates.

S - A little toasty, slightly floral. Smells less unusual than I thought it would (I've never had a "rice ale" before, and I guess I was expecting it to be as to beer as sake is to chardonnay).

T - Round fruitiness, mellow malt. Piney/herbal hops--same sort of hoppy bite found in Flying Dog amber, but much more subtle. Can't put my finger on the fruit type... some perfumed hybrid of pear, apple, lemon, and papaya?

M - Medium-light body, goes down easy. Thought it would be a little heavier, or more acidic, or something. Inoffensive, in a good way.

D - Very drinkable, great for summertime barbecues without being too watery. Really good feel, really good drinkability.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.18/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm very surprised with this beer. It gives a great lava lamp cloudy look to it and gives a pretty strong aroma for a light looking beer. I instantly get a strong smell of rice like if you were to stick your nose in white rice you'd get from a Chinese place. That white rice smell mixes in with a fruitiness that reminds me of lemons with some sweetness from the malt. This such an easy drinking beer its almost impossible to drink slow. For a lighter beer it has an amazing mouthfeel to it that's almost creamy. I get a spicy bite from the hops then that rice and sweetness in the middle and ending with that lemon fruitiness some wheat husk and I'm pretty sure some spicy Noble hops that gives a smooth bitterness. I wish I had more of this one... this would be my go to lighter beer style.

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Photo of Spider889
4.18/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another beer that was on tap from Bodega as I plow through a mountain of notes. This beer is listed as an American Blonde? Not sure that's quite correct but whatever; I was comparing this to the Japanese rice lagers the whole time drinking it.

A hazy golden straw color, this beer had a foamy white head on it and left minimal lacing (though I felt that had it arrived in anything but a pint maybe it would have done better there).

The smell is a spattering of sour grains and wild rice. I was torn over whether I felt it smelled intriguing or slightly 'off.' I fell somewhere in between, I suppose.

The flavor was much more layered and complex than I was anticipating. Steamed white rice is the heavy hitter here, mixed with a mild lemon character and sweet bready barley.

Well carbonated and pillowy bubbles rush across the tongue. This beer is super light and drinkable.

Not a beer I'd go out of my way to track down, but a solid beer nonetheless. In comparison to the macro Japanese rice lagers, this beer wins out on complexity and body. However it feels much less balanced than its counterparts, and is less refreshing.

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Photo of Beejay
4.15/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pale yellow, with a plethora of cloud like head. Just a little bit of haze. Looks good enough to drink.

S: Light and toasty, lots of biscuit in there as well as steamed rice. I have to say this is very interesting.

T: Very nice. toasty biscuit malt dominates. Light, refreshing, clean and delicious. A wonderful session beer.

M: Clean. Carbonation is perfect.

D: Wow. What a surprise this is. Light, sessionable, smooth, clean, and tasty. A hell of a beer.

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Photo of kevman527
4.15/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got the beer for Christmas from the Great Divide Brewhouse variety pack. Poured clean from the bottle into a room temp mason jar beer mug.

A - Golden blonde color, a little hazy. Not much head retention, though it does creep up the side a little bit, but on the surface just a thin layer.

S - Kind of has a sour cherry smell along with grassy, floral aroma. Can also smell some grape in it

T - Surprised me at first, has a very prevalent hoppy taste, and left a little bit of a bitter aftertaste. But I really like that for this beer, not really what I expected.

M - Medium Carbonation, pretty smooth.

D - Really liked this beer, would definitely drink again and wouldn't mind drinking a few of these in a session.

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.15/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Moderate pour into a chalice yields a hazy light yellow-amber unfiltered lovely under a large fluffy white head that fades fairly quickly to a solid thin lid. I love the looks of unfiltered beer: it says "body" to me.

Smell is pretty intensely sweet-sour-cracker-malt with floral hops. Nice. Smells like a good beer.

Taste is crisp metallic hops on the front end, sweet-sour buttered cracker malt in the middle, citrus-floral-pine in the finish. Very CRISP.

Mouthfeel is nice and round, far richer than the ABV might indicate. Fascinating combination of crisp and rich.

Drinkability is excellent. Plenty of complexity to keep the taste and palate interested, with a low enough ABV to make this quite sessionable.

Interesting that this is a micro brewed with RICE! But it's an interesting addition to the usual depth and complexity of Great Divide's brews. I highly recommend it.

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Photo of kelticblood
4.12/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance wasn't too impressive, but had a few noteworthy qualities such as, moderate amounts of lacing and a great color. The head lasted about a minute before it dissapeared. It has a hazy straw yellow color. Great mouthfeel that is well- balanced and has a clean, crisp, refreshing finish. Has a seltzer water like cleansing of the mouth. Enjoyable hop bitterness that lasts just long enough. One could say that it is overly carbonated and maybe too crisp. Light bodied and easy to drink. It's nice to find a light crisp clean ale that puts any Macro-brews to shame. I like the taste of rice,but just wish Macro brew was crafted better with quality ingredients and skill. This is a great beer and offers a nice change.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.12/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= pours a yellow color with a nice finger high clean white head on it that holds some pretty nice retention as well as some decent lacing.

S= Really sort of strong. Wasn't expecting so much odor. There is a nice sort of crisp fruity smell to it. A little bit of lemony crispness to it.

T= The taste is even more fruity than the smell. Really sort of a mixture of fruits. I thing I taste some melon in it. There is a small hop bite to it but not much. Really interesting. The finish is really clean and refreshing tasting.

M= This is the dryest beer I've ever tasted. It feels like my mouth is a desert after I swallow. Totally a dryed out beer.

D= Pretty good. I didn't expect to like this beer much and it tasted nothing like I expected. Never woulda thought a rice beer could impart sure unique flavors.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nose is fruity and bright, not lacking in malt or hop. Very fruity though.

Pours a medium straw, good clarity for something claiming to be unfiltered, moderate head with lasting retention. Second pour brings out the haze. I picked up a good bit of the slurry that nicely didn't make it into the first glass.

Grainy toasty malt, fruity sweetness, touch of honey, good stiff bitterness, highly fruity throughout, medium fairly thick body, kind of creamy, citric/floral hops with mild pungentness, slightly dry finish.

Very tasty! Great body, lots of great flavor and not lacking in mouthfeel. A great "lighter" beer even though nothing about it seems light to me. Another shining star from Great Divide. I'd definitely buy it again if it was sold in DFW.

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Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy straw color with a rocky white head that sits like foamy shampoo on top of the liquid leaving a few shards of lace

Smell: Dare I say it but it smells like rice pudding; pleasantly floral

Taste: Clean and crackery up front, but the rice flavor arrives by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a pilsner like grainy hop feel but the finish is clean

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Certainly not something I would drink everyday, but a nicely crafted alternative for the light beer crowd

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dispensed from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Straw colored, just like any macro lager. White, thin, fizzy head with no lacing.

Pretty good aroma. I get some good hoppiness in there with a decent maltiness as well; adds a little complexity with the biscuitiness and carmel in the malts.

Great balance and flavor. Spicy and crisp with a little bit of ground up aspirin contributing to some astringency and betterness.

An easy drinker on a lazy weekend or any day during the summer. Perhaps I will seek this out again this summer.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle into DFH specialty glass on 1/8/09.

A - Poured a pale straw-colored body with just a tint of haze and a billowy three-finger bright white head that refused to subside. The bubbly head finally settled down a bit after a few moments and deposited sticky lace all around the glass. Tiny bubbles of carbonation raced through the liquid with plenty of vigor.

S - Pale malts and crisp rice notes blend with a subtle grassy hop character to create a light, zesty aroma. I also detect hints of citrus fruit, melons and white grape, which all complement the grassy notes quite nicely.

T - Samurai Ale has a light, refreshing flavor akin to a pilsner or summer ale, but with a more subtle hop profile. Still, some suggestions of grassy and citrus hops pop up, but the flavor is most enhanced by the rice malts, which impart a clean, crisp flavor. A hint of bready malt emerges in the finish.

M - Light bodied with ample carbonation and an almost grainy texture, yet still retains its smoothness, allowing this beer to go down quite easily. Finishes with a mild hop bitterness on the palate.

D - I wasn't sure what to expect with this ale, but I was pleasantly surprised by its simplicity. I could see myself drinking this often, especially in the warm summer months. I would definitely seek this out in the future.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.08/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up from Al's of Hamdpen as part of a mix-a-six. Poured chilled into a 1/2pint.

The color is golden clear like white grape juice with a thick white rocky cap w/ very tight bead. The lace clings very well and in a streamer pattern w/ carbonation visible in the liquid. The smell is strong with grainy aroma and slight sweetness of puffed rice w/ mild toasted scent and subtle yeast ester. The feel is dry with a high carbonation level with mildly spiced accent and mild creamy element from the adjunct and malt gives a nice edge to the effervescent quality.

A pretty tasty brew -the rice quality adds a lot while not detracting from the flavor of the beer w/ a mild yeast flavor and light grainy accent w/ very faint hop in the taste w/ dry palate cleansing finish. The taste is cereal oriented, but not tasteless like rice krispies, enough attention to the rice in the beer is paid that it just seems to add crisp dimension without sacrificing flavor IMO. The overall experience for me was very good, I would probably buy this by the six pack since I did enjoy it with my turkey and bacon hoagie, it is definitely a good change from other adjunct beers!

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Samurai Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.49 out of 5 based on 597 ratings.
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