Samurai Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

Samurai AleSamurai Ale
620 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:
Samurai is the perfect beer for your zen garden after battle, or your patio after a long day of work. The addition of rice gives a slightly fruity, crisp, refreshing element to this hazy unfiltered ale, creating a light, easy-going beer suitable for the peaceful warrior. This may be your first Samurai, but it certainly won’t be your last.

Added by ElGordo on 07-02-2006

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 620 |  Reviews: 342
Photo of bubseymour
3.94/5  rDev +12.3%
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 -18.2%
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 +0.6%
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 +23.1%
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 +10.5%
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 +8.8%
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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Photo of Dope
3.43/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy pale straw color with a small white head that fades fast. Leaves okay lacing. Almost no retention.

S: Pretty much smells like bread. Wheaty? Maybe a tiny bit of orange?

T: Pretty basic. Very malty, not truly bready but some sort of grain (I assume rice, given the label).

M: Super light body, almost no bitterness, high carbonation and very smooth. Nothing off putting.

O: Very plain, very simple, very drinkable. Almost nothing to it, could drink about 10 of these easily.

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Photo of ThaCreep
3.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fruity nose with exotic enough including passion fruit and pineapple. Beer is easy to drink a fruity flavor and worthy of a fruit salad spreads in the palace once swallowed the last sip. Hint of rice style rice pudding. Finish still quite low what's a little problem.

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Photo of Kromes
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Slightly hazy straw color with a thin line of bubbles on top.

S: Somewhat bready and grainy aroma with a little bit of fruitiness.

T: An almost wheat-like flavor. Some grainy malt flavor with a little bit of citrus fruit and bitterness.

M: Light bodied and good carbonation. There is a really nice soft smoothness to the beer.

O: Pretty good ale. No real off flavors. It is kind of plain, but in a good way refreshing way.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.18/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma is fairly strong, mainly yeasty with a floral undertone. It pours a bright clear yellow with a very thick and fine-bubbled white head that dissipates slowly and leaves some decent lacing. Flavor is malty and yeasty with a floral hint, nothing special but still OK. Texture is fairly smooth with just a little fizz. According to the bottle, this beer is brewed with rice, just as sake is; technically, sake is actually beer since it is made from grain rather than fruit. (I have heard that a lot of industrial mega-brews use rice as well.) Overall, not too shabby.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one finger white head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Light-medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Cloudy pale yellow color, ton of yeast left in bottle. Nose is lemony yeast and flavor is lemon, not much yeast, hints of caramel. $2.35 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Great Divide Tap Room in Denver, CO.

Pours a slightly hazy light yellow color with a 1/2 inch white head that fades to an oily film. No lacing whatsoever. Smell is of malt and rice aromas. Taste is rice and malt/biscuit. This beer has good carbonation with smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good but I wouldn't get it again most likely.

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Photo of doughanson78
3.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Ok one finger white head. Very bubbly. Off yellow color. Yeast floating in it. Pretty hazy. Can't see through it. Hardly any lacing. Lots of yeast left in the bottle.

S: Very yeasty. Little lemon. Very light honey & caramel.

T: Sweet. Honey. Caramel. Very light lemon. Light rice aftertaste.

M: Very light. Real crisp. Refreshing like lemon-aid. Nice for being so thin.

O: A decent beer. Never had a rice beer before. Nothing special at all. Just another beer.

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Photo of deebo
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 4/13/11

A-Hazy light pale yellow with a tight white foam that hangs on for a few drinks than rings the glass for the remainder.

S-Estery yeast is predominate, some pale malt also noticed

T-Fruity yeast hits you first, than the light malt character with some very light floral hops. Smooth finish. This beer reminds me of an unfiltered wheat...I don't get any rice flavor.

M-Lightly carbonated with a medium body thanks to the yeast and malt.

D-This is smooth, could drink a pile of these. Enjoyed my first of these on a hot summer day.

O-Reminds me an unfilted wheat beer such as Island wheat from Capital Brewery, or like many microbrewed wheats. This is an easy drinker, with not a ton of flavor but enough to keep you wanting more. Nice beer.

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Photo of claytong
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
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 -9.7%
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 -5.4%
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%
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 -48.1%
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%
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 -14.2%
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 -2.8%
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%
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 -5.1%
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 +6.3%
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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Samurai Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.51 out of 5 with 620 ratings
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