Samurai Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

606 Ratings
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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 606 |  Reviews: 336
Photo of claytong
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a rice ale being this tasty. nice great divide.
rice comes through nicely, toasty rice, almost like genmaicha. a bit of citrus or lemongrass. sure this is turning super japanese.
i think this is the one and only beer ive had that has rice as one of the main ingredients and i enjoyed it.
pairing with a fish dish could be rad. or almost anything else grilled.

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Photo of goalie33
3.17/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into 16oz pint glass. Bottled on 3/23/11.
A) Hazy pale color, almost straight up yellow. One finger of stark white head quickly dissipates. Lots of carbonation streaming to the surface.
S) Not much of a smell, but there are some pleasant hints of lemony hops and I can pick out some pale malts.
T) Flavor is very light and crisp, but it's there. A bland entry, a little spike of malty sweetness and then a finish just as bland as the beginning. Some maltiness and lemony flavors return and linger on the tongue after the finish.
M) Very light, and watery. Almost like soda water. Not very dry, virtually no bitterness. Refreshing?
O) Eh. Not very flavorful, but a decent brew for a hot day. Almost entirely lacking in flavor, but i guess no flavor is better then offensive taste.

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Photo of shaunb81
3.32/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a hazy, golden body with a decent off-white head that dissipates quickly to a ring. Lacing is medium.

Smell - This stuff smells pretty funky! I smell burnt rice, sweet malts, fruits and caramel. There is a little grainy smell that compliments the beer. Also, wondering where the hops are?

Taste - Subtle hops, but super sweet malts. This stuff is pretty smooth and goes down that way. The fruits are subtle, but this stuff is really balanced.

Mouth - Mild carbonation and there is a nice density/creaminess to it as well.

Overall - This stuff was an impulse buy for me. Wanted something different and I definitely got it. If you're yearning for the same, taste it for yourself. You won't be disappointed.

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

Bottled on 12/29/10

I still remember about a year ago where I host an oriental dinner and I bought tons of this beer to complement the culinary selections. Let's see how this one fares on its own:

A: Poured a light orange-peach(-ish) color, non-translucent +, and with a small, soft solid white head that stayed a bubble formation on top of the brew for quite a while. Hmmm... kinda looks like an IPA or something.

S: Very fruity (citrus), with a bit of sweet, soft, yeast. Once I put my imagination to work, I could sense the Asian influence...

T: Goes down super easy, with a very muted citrus. Was that the rice influence? I did get a good bit of the rice on the back end.

M: Very comfortable carbonation.... perfect even. The sweetness never crescendoed much, and the lacing was substantial.

O: Easy drinker and then some. Also, this is one of the more unusual "session" beers I've had in quite a while.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
1.82/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Tried to poor into a glass from bottle. Should have drank straight from the bottle. Head is way too thick. More head than beer in the glass. very tacky. smells crisp. Tastes crisp of what isn;t head. Kinda strong scotch tasting mouthful. wouldn't recommend this beer

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Photo of rtepiak
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i would not intend to have this one out of the bottle. Seems like a beer that would easily go stale as fantastic as it is on tap. A american blonde? This is an unfilter rice ale. Pour is cloudy yellow. Rather small head but the protein gluten is sort of complicated when it comes to rice. Palate is a great subtle bitter initial. And a milky cream note that cuts off into something brink and milky somehow at the same time. Very gradual mineral transition. Some sea weed notes. Great for summer alternative.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.01/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When the liquor store purveyor told me I should give Samurai Ale a try, I thought, are you kidding? A micro-brewed budweiser? But of course this is an unfiltered ale, not an adjunct lager, and it does show it's craft roots.

Pours a bright pale yellow, with a fluffy head. I strove to leave most of the yeast in the bottle. Smell is faint. Perhaps a bit of lemongrass. Taste is bright. Lemon, fruity and flowery with a zesting of what I imagine to be steamed wild rice that seems to add rather than detract. Finishes crisp and clean. It's different and I'm glad I tried it, although I'm not convinced yet it will be in my regular rotation.

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Photo of mdr4669
3.41/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

App: Murky yellow with a finger fluffy white head with fantastic bubbly lacing.

Smell: Crisp lemon zest with some grainy after notes. Nothing overpowering or too noticeable.

Taste: Very grainy similar taste to mixed wild rice, nothing really stands out.

MF: Very crisp, and light.

OA: Not great, but not bad. Good beer for outdoor bbq's or bonfires.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden-yellow wolor with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down to a thick ring around the glass lacing nicely in the process.

S - Aroma is a mix of some floral/grassy hops and some lemon peel. There is also some yeast and some light honey mixed in.

T - Starts off with some light grassy/floral hops and some honey sweetness. There is a touch of lemon in the background. Through the middle, a touch of light spices and some yeast come through. The finish is a mix a bit of lemon and fruitiness that is fairly clean and does not linger much.

M - Medium-light bodied with moderate-strong carbonation. Feels really crisp and smooth. The finish is super clean and refreshing.

D - Very drinkable. Fairly light feeling without being empty and watery. Could use a bit more flavor and a bit more balance. That being said, a nice lighter bodied beer with some good flavors.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright hazy yellow color with a one finger head which disapates to almost nothing and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is of grains and rice with a hint of earthy hops and lemon grass. The taste is of ceral and a slight noble hop taste. The is also a lemongrass taste and the rice sweetness comes through at the end. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated. Overall it is a solid beer it has a nice flavor and is a very easy drink.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.73/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

- from the notes
12 ounce bottles

A - a bubbly light yellow.
S - nothing really overpowers but there is some slight hops aroma.
T - more bitter than I anticipated but with some detectable sweetness.
M - crisp carbonation with a dry finish.
D - more than one 12 ounce is in order.

Overall I really liked this beer as it is compatible with most any foods I can imagine.

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Photo of spree92
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

GD calls this a rice ale. Notes taken on 4/17/11

A- A murky hay-yellow with a white head. Has the color of a lot of hefeweizens I see. A layer of sediment/yeast gathers at the base of the glass.

S- Really have to sink your nose in to get anything. Yeast, grain, a touch of lemon grass and slight honey notes round this out.

T- Smell is duplicated. Nothing really jumps out and most of the flavor is a little weak.

M- A light beer that is very easy to drink. I would think this is a good hot weather beer.

O- Good enough that I would try other rice beers if the chance arose.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.8/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours like a typical pale ale. Golden yellow in color and and has a head that comes and goes shortly after it sits for a minute or two. The Aroma is a little citrusy but not like an IPA. There seems to be a smidge of funk on the nose too. The taste is a little bland, not a whole lot going on. To me it tastes like a regular beer. I was hoping to pick up some of the rice that is brewed into it. The mouthfeel reminded me of just about any other pale ale on the market, it's fairly light bodied and bubbly. I wouldn't have to have this beer again.

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Photo of rawfish
3.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy straw color with a one finger head of white froth with excellent retention and tight rings of lacing.

Cereal grains, with rice grain husks, and a wheat twang embody most of the nose. Some high spice notes and orange peel. Also a an odd earthy musty odor that likely is from the yeast sediment.

Light cereal grains and a lemony wheat taste up front, noble hop character, drying and rather earthy. There is also a rather unrefined raw grain character that the rice imparts, makes me wonder if the rice was left unhusked. Yeast imparts a heavier feel as well as a earthy tone to the finish. Drinks very crisp particularly when chilled.

Medium bodied brew with a light taste. Yeast adds body to the mouthfeel. Finishes crisp and drying, average carbonation.

Interesting brew, a rice ale that drinks very much like a lager, light and crisp. The unfiltered yeast and sediment give this brew an earthy and more toned feel, making it appropriate for all seasons.

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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 clarkm04
3.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Very impressive straw yellow color. Very clear with medium carbonation. Nice white head retention

S- Definite rice notes mixed with a grassy/earthy flavor

T- Very nice and refreshing. I'm not a huge fan of the front aspect of the taste. It seems a little bitter and clashes but the beer finishes really well. As I drink it, I enjoy it more and more. It's a great lawnmower summer beer. I appreciate the creativity to try something different than a typical light lager.

M- Nice carbonation on the palate. Nice, smooth.

Overall- A great spring/summer. Very fun to drink. I drank tons of this at a Great Divide dinner and it's a fun beer to drink. A solid B beer.

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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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Photo of morimech
3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very effervescant, slightly hazy straw color, with one finger of head that had good retention. The head settles to a thick cap. Surprising amount of lacing is left on the glass.

Has a lemony, grassy hop aroma. The malt is so benign as to be undetectable.

Extremely crisp and clean tasting. Notes of lemon and pepper. Some pale malt barely makes an appearance. Faint hint of fruit yeast esters. Finish is slightly dry and bitter. The IBUs are a little higher than what most other blonde ales possess.

I really enjoyed the mouthfeel of the beer. The lively carbonation feels right for the flavor. The body lies close to medium in heft.

The beer is obviously well crafted by its clean charactor, but it also is kind of simple. Goes down extremely quickly.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.62/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

sampled on-tap at PING in Shirlington, VA:

A: super hazy straw with a tannish rice hued 1.5 finger head. Small streaming carbonation bubbles.

S: clover, grassy. cooked rice.

T: a touch of sweetness, touch of bitterness. sour twist at the end that makes this beer that much better than similar beer from asian breweries.

M: mild puckering aspect caused by the rice.

D: I just got out of the gym and this beer is doing a great job quenching my thirst. my only complaint is that i dont think the style should be listed as an american blonde. japanese rice ale (new catagory) perhaps?

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Photo of MoustacheHero
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rice done right! A wonderful offering from Great Divide in Denver, CO.

a: A semi cloudy golden color with a very bubbly white head. Almost like a cartoon drawing of beer.

s: A sweet, malty smell with fruity esters.

t: A pleasing sweet flavor with a fruity, crisp finish.

m: A very clean, bubbly, and refreshing mouthfeel.

d: Quickly becoming a beer I look for again and again. Replay this beer whenever possible.

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Photo of plfahey
3.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Pale yellow in color with a decent clarity. Moderately large white head with poor retention (which is to be expected due to the adjunct use).

Aroma-Grainy aroma with a rice-like crispness and grassy hop notes. Very light fruity esters.

Flavor-Slightly sweet grainy cereal malt flavors with just a hint of fruit fades quickly to a dry, rice wine/grain flavor. Highly attenuated-so extremely dry finish. Pleasant grain and rice flavors linger on into aftertaste.

Mouthfeel-Medium light body, medium low carbonation. Crisp, dry, and refreshing.

I would never go for this if I was looking for a full flavored ale, but that's clearly not the intention of this beer. Moderately complex for a rice ale, with refined, elegant aroma and flavor. Highly drinkable as well-think of this as like craft tsing tao.

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

There is sediment visible in the bottom of the bottle. It pours a murky (it IS unfiltered) orangish-yellow with a cap of white foam that becomes floaters pretty quickly. Not holding out hope for lacing, but it does leave behind thin rings.

Very light in the malt and grain category (expected) but pretty substantial in lemony citrus tones. I suspect Soriachi Ace may have been used as the hops.

Tastes much like it smells with very little bitterness, but there is still some lemon zest representing the hops. There is also a floral/fruity note given off by the rice, as advertised.

This does drink very easily, yet it could be a little crisper. The lemon lingers a little, but not long enough or clean enough to be overly enjoyable, but not bad.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean pale yellow with a fizzy body and fleeting head. Lemon zest and a sour rice tang on the nose. Lemon barley water up front with melon tones and more rice starch followed by grass and citrus rind hops. Hint of cantaloupe to end and a tangy linger. Round, medium, and lively.

Clean and fruity.

Summery, and it would go well with food, but too gassy to be the kind of quencher they want it to be.

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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'Âœuvre-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 tone77
3.32/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy yellow color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of citrus and spices. Taste is a tad sour, citrus is present, some bitterness at the finish. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a decent brew.

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Samurai Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.49 out of 5 based on 606 ratings.
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