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: 596
Photo of JustinAniello
2.6/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a cloudy gold with a bubbly one finger head. A decent amount of carbonation clings to the sides. Dissipates to a thin lacing.

S - Heavy scent of lemon, almost like a house cleaner. Light floral and bread notes in the background, though mostly overpowered. As it warms, the lemon subsides a little and a banana scent comes in.

T - Starts with the lemon from the aroma at first. As you you swallow bread and banana flavor appears. Strange aftertaste, though the main flavor isn't that great, either.

M - Light body with medium carbonation.

O - When I picked this up I was hoping for a blonde ale with some flavor I would expect from a sake. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. I am not a fan of this, though I am sure someone who likes heavy fruit might fare better. Couldn't even finish the glass.

Afraid I may have gotten a bad bottle based on the other reviews.

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Photo of jthreee
3.47/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I work part time at a wine/liquor store in downtown Boston with an excellent craft beer selection. I love wine but I'm more partial to beer and I love trying something new each week. I've decided to start reviewing beers, but I have a very simplified rating system. I found that in answering customer questions, very ornate and descriptive assessments really proved unhelpful. Also, given the selection of amazing beers on the shelf I found myself playing down beers that were perfectly fine on their own because they didn't measure up to the high bar that I had set for myself. I realized that this didn't help the consumer in any way. So, my rating system is simply would I, or would I not "buy it again". I realize this is somewhat of a departure from the norm on BA, but I really feel it is a true and honest assessment of the product.

Samurai Ale - Would not buy again

This beer is ok. Not bad in any sense, but just ok. Clean and crisp, highly carbonated, refreshing, a little different (I can definitely pick up a sake-ish note in the aroma) but not great.

Just one man's opinion

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

an interesting one. pours clearish for an unfiltered beer, maybe didnt rouse the sediment enough in the pour, small white head. nose is grains and something differentdy, a sweet alcohol smell. taste is as described on the bottle, sessionable but sits oddly in the belly. didnt fill me up, but was a little weird in that way. medium body on this one with some sweetness in the finish, i could see it pairing excellently with asian dishes like stir frys and teriyaki. not bad

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Photo of DCon
3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought the Great Divide Brewer's Choice 12-pack (12 FL OZ. bottled) from Shop N Save in Valley Park, MO for $14.99 and this was included. Poured from the blue bottled with a red circle & SAMURAI branded on it into a Crown Royal Shaker Glass. Has BOTTLED ON: JUN 01 2011 on the side.

Aroma- Has a very light, clean, and sweet malty aroma with a bit of fruit (bananas & light citrus). No hop aroma whatsoever and these few attributes were tough to grasp...

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger head that stays for a while. Has a cloudy, bright yellow body and the lacing is sudsy at most.

Flavor- Sweet from the beginning but then has a light banana taste. This banana taste made the brew happen! Very malty throughout and not much else (hops or bitterness). Semi-dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Light Bodied, Medium-High Carbonation, Smooth, and good Blonde Flavor all the way through.

Overall Impression- A very nice blonde ale! I'm wondering why its called a "Rice Ale" though... This didn't catch me as a Blonde until I looked it up on BeerAdvocate. Oh well, I put this one done Quick anyways. Go for it! Great beer to start out a night.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottled on Aug 30th 2011. Oh geez another American Blonde Ale, let's see how this goes...

Straw pale colored and extremely light body appearance but also kind of hazy and cloudy (unfiltered), can't quite see through this. Head is shocking white and foamy but seems to have some good retention.

Weak grain on the nose, that's about it. Really nothing much going on here. It's a very faint not sure why (rice content?). At least it isn't Kass makeju you know what I am talking about?? Some mild hints of barley and brown rice.

Taste? What taste, oh wait a minute... there it is on the swallow. A real nice bready finish of white bread on the swallow, but mid palate doesn't give much. Palate feels incredibly neutral with not much going on. Mouthfeel is fine although hints at a syrupy adjunct sense even though there probably isn't any corn in this. The bottle suggests fruity taste, I don't think so.

Overall, it feels like a standard lawnmower beer but just a step up, but nothing really malt or anything I would want to buy a sixer and finish off.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the brewery

A: murky straw color with a mild golden hue

S: some grain, not much else.

T: very herbal and earthy. Not getting the fruity notes. Very grainy.

M: high carbonation and light bodied

Overall: very drinkable but also light. The flavors are tough to pull out for me.

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Photo of TheIronHammer
3.49/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

*I do not believe the carbonation that this bottle had is usual for this beer. However, it did not affect any area besides mouthfeel for me so I've decided to go ahead and write my review of this beer.

Poured from the bottle to a beer glass.

A: When I first opened this a stream of carbonation poured out, enough to fill an entire beer glass on its own before it subsided. About 85% of the beer still remained even after the overflow. I was very gentle with the bottle so I am not sure what happened.

Once the initial carbonation subsided I poured it slowly into the beer glass at a 45 degree angle and a white head five fingers in depth formed. After about five minutes it subsided to about 1/8 inch, so not much retention. There is fantastic lacing. The beer itself is a very cloudy golden yellow. Carbonation issues aside, the beer has an inviting appearance.

S: There is a very deep malty aroma. There is also some yeast and light peach aromas. The nose is pleasant. Once it warmed up there was also a slight buttery essence.

T: A malty taste and feel. Heavier than other rice beers I've tasted, which I like. There is a yeast presence. There is a fruit taste, but it's more of a vague fruit sweetness unlike the peach aroma I got from the nose. I like the tastes. They were stronger than I was expecting from this type of beer.

Mf: The body is medium and substantial for the style. There is too much carbonation, but given the rest of the profile I think something just went wrong with this bottle, so I'm not going to judge too harshly on this issue.

Overall: Carbonation issues aside, this was a pretty good beer. I really liked the nose, and it had a enjoyable taste as well. It is the best rice ale I've had so far. I will purchase this again.

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Photo of droomyster
4.07/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a fascinating beer. Pours a very hazy golden body with a foamy white head with decent retention. Aromas are quite subtle and subdued but also interesting, consisting mainly of spiciness and yeastiness, with a distant whiff of steaming sticky rice. The flavor and texture are its most compelling qualities. It feels much fuller and luxuriously smooth than it appears. Its flavors amplify the the aromas and add a surprise lemony and grassy bitterness as it transitions from mid- to back-palate. The dryness of its finish was equally surprising. Absolutely delightful!

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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 horshack7
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It pours a hazy golden color with about and inch worth of head. As the head thins out it leaves behind nice thick lacing.

Aroma: Apple peel a little bit grainy yeast notes. Faint citrus towards the back. The malts are there but only emit a slight dryness which comes from the rice as well.

Taste: That has a interesting bite it's not a big bite either it's a cider bite. Notes of apple with a buttery mouthfeel. Brown rice way towards the back with a little bit of tropical fruit at the back.

Notes: Not too bad of a beer and it even has rice added to it overall I like it nicely drinable. Cheers.

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Photo of jmdrpi
2.94/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appears a pale straw yellow color, with huge 3" foamy white colored head. The massive head stays in clumps, leaves tons of lacing.

aroma is a bit offputing, smells of very pale malt, like an adjuct lager. taste does not have much flavor - a bit of malt, rice, and some yeasty spice. Doesn't make an impression with me either way. body is extremely thin, very high fizzy carbonation. fits the beer though.

overall, a light and easy to drink beer.

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Photo of engagechad
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as a single from Wine and Beer Westpark in Glen Allen, VA - poured into a tulip

Pours a slightly hazy straw color due to the unfiltered presentation, great lacing. Smells grassy with some hops, slight sharpness. Taste is interesting, nice hop presence with some interesting creaminess from the rice? I don't know, this is my first rice beer thing..

I thought this was a good beer, not something I would want again really but it was pleasant.

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Photo of rsdaugherty
3.72/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into pint glass
A – 1 finger of white head on a opaque light yellow/gold unfiltered brew, head reduced quickly with about 2 spots of lacing to a crown. Good looking beer but head leaves room for improvement 3
S – Toasted rice & grains with a slight fruit, lemon & caramel background 3.5
T – Grassy cereals & rice with a mildly citric and flowery bitter finish, add on a bland spice characteristic. Notes of other rice brews but Samurai adds much more. 4
M –Clean crisp finish, and very good drinkability, low carbonation overall but still a nice creamy mouth feel 4
O – An easy drinking lighter brew that, while lacking some of the bolder flavor & aroma characteristics I typically like, made for an enjoyable & different drinking experience 3.5

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Photo of Justin23060
3.47/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Split one of these with Dad. Cloudy straw color. Stiff white head that stuck around. Smells mostly bready with cooked rice and not much more. Tastes is light... mostly sticky rice but with out the sweetness of sticky rice. Hop is pretty much just for bittering. I will say I think this bottle isn't as fresh as the last time I had it because that bottle had a distinct sake "rose" taste to it. Mouthfeel is slick and finishes crisp and semi-dry. Very refreshing after a day of "outside" work. I'll get it again, but I'll be sure I get it fresh.

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Photo of divineaudio
2.95/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pint glass.

a - pours hazy yellow with a finger of sudsy white head that dissipates quick. no lacing.

s - pungent and kind of sour. light grainy quality, some fruity notes.

t - light toasted malt with notes of lemon. slightly bitter finish. fairly well balanced.

m - lighter in body, medium carbonation,

o - an interesting beer, but not one i would seek out. might be a good crossover for bmc drinkers.

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Photo of grittybrews
3.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy champagne gold into a tulip with a finger of bright white head -- very pretty. Mild aroma of grain, rice, and grass.

Moderate carbonation and a light mouthfeel. Rice, a hint of honey, and grainy lemon with a dry grassy finish.

Crisp and refreshing, but a little light on flavor. Came across more like a pilsener than a blonde.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.59/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Samurai Ale is a light, pale gold colored brew, with a minimal white head. It's pretty clear despite being unfiltered, just a slight haze to it. The aroma is almost all pale malt, just a touch of flowery hop rounding it out. The taste is pretty interesting due to their use of rice, kind of gives it a slight sake taste. The pale malts dominate this brew, but there is a light floral hop background, and perhaps some light fruit tones as well. Light to medium bodied, and pretty refreshing.

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Photo of Willlong8
3.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single. Poured into a mug, pretty small head quickly dissipated. Hazy yellow in color, does closely resemble the appearance of a wheat. A weird flavor but very very enjoyable at the same time. Paired well with some Thai takeout.

Because of the drinkability factor and the fact nothing really threw this one off, I would definitely buy this one again.

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Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle was included in a Great Divide Variety 12pk.

Enjoyed in a DFH Pint Glass

A - Pours a very light golden color, slightly hazy. A nice, one and a half to two finger foamy white head on the initial pour that lasted several minutes. Fades to a jagged white coating on top of the beer. Very slight lacing.

S - A slightly sour, grassy like aroma.

T - A very light tasting beer. Slightly hoppy with a mix of spiciness along with a lemony, slightly sweet, malty ending. The alcohol is barely noticeable.

M - A rather low carbonation but a slight tingle on the tounge.

O - Well, there isn't much going on with this beer. Very middle of the road in regards to taste. Of the Gread Divide brews I've sampled and reviewed, this ranks as my least favorite. It is very drinkable and you could down quite a few in a session but I much prefer the more flavorful taste of an IPA or stout.


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Photo of bubseymour
3.94/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pale yellow and murky, like a wheat but with all kinds of floaty yeast in it like certain belgians I've had. Small 1 finger head that dissappears quickly. No lacing.

Smell - Unique smell with strong cracker malts prevailing.

Taste - A unique taste all around and quite good. Flavorful but well balance, nothing crazy out of whack here. Honestly, I can't even describe the flavors I'm tasting. Good though.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied.

Overall - Nothing spectacular but good flavors and interesting. So very unique in flavor its worth going back to every now and then just for a strange variety. Easy, light drinker as well that would be easy to down a couple if desired.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
2.87/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a super light looking beer. Its a jaundice color of white with a foggy haze to it. The head is soap-bubble white.

Some steeped grains that are almost tart at times. It smells airy, with only the crackeriest of malts and grassiest of hops. I can't say that rice has done anything to the smell, does rice smell like anything anyway?

This is an alright beer to be sure. It's nothing that will stun you but it sure does beat any AAL. There is a faint lemon-like tartness and even a little bit of saltiness or brine. It really reminds me of a less tart Oarsman.

Light and dry. Feathery carbonation. Clean finish.

I wouldn't rush out to drink this again, but I didn't hate the experience. It does what a beer like this should do; quench thirst and fill glasses. It would work well with a garden salad.

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Photo of Rschis16
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A patchy but bubbly white head sits atop an almost opaque hazy and brilliant yellow beer. High carbonation visible coming from the bottom of the glass. The bottom of the bottle shows a lot of sediment left over. The aroma is pungeant and interesting, but odd. Tangy fruit comes to mind, mixed with what I can only guess is a rice malt. The nose reminds me of Festina Peche by DFH, only without the peach aroma.

At first the taste is somewhat sweet and pleasant, pretty different than the smell. There's a sourness or tanginess to it as well that makes for a crisp and clean finish, and finally dry in the aftertaste. The hops are slightly present, but not a major factor. It's refrreshing and easy to drink, probably due to the higher carbonation. It would be good after a hot summer day's work, but its almost a little bland. Its definitely got a little kick from the tanginess, but then not much else. Still, its not a bad beer.

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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 JEdmund
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Would have been a clear beer had I not swirled the last bit to throw in some sediment, so now it’s appearing like a hazy saison, as it’s a light hay color. Smell is interesting, as it has a pretty grainy/husky smell to it, but mixed in there’s also some lemon and maybe even berry. Wow, goes down really smoothly and nicely. I just always assumed this was a light beer and wouldn’t have much flavor, but that’s not the case. Plenty of flavor to enjoy but it ends really cleanly. The rice adds a unique flavor. It’s grainy, but light, and the hops and yeast add more dimensions of fruit and a bit of spice to round it all out. The body is what’s maybe the most surprising; it’s lower in carbonation than I expected, and it has softness you’d normally find in a wheat. It's hard to tell if more carbonation would benefit it or not, but I'm left wanting a bit more. After a few sips, impressive lace curtains cling to the glass. It’s a unique flavor and style of beer. I really like it.

I should have had more faith in Great Divide and tried this a lot sooner. Definitely a great summer beer!

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Photo of secondtooth
3.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy yellow. Moderate white head. No lace.

Nose says mild spice. Intriguing.

Taste is light, but flavorful. Some fruit, citrus, and spice notes. The rice seems to add a light and creamy body.

Overall, a nic and easy-drinking beer, perfect for warm weather. And there's no shortage of flavor here. Solid.

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Samurai Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.49 out of 5 based on 596 ratings.
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