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Samurai Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

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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 Tone
4.01/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy golden color. There's a lot of suspended yeast. One inch head (white) with decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, rice(adjunct), and some slight fruit. Fits the style of an American Blonde Ale, though also a rice beer. Has a smooth and crisp mouth feel with low carbonation levels. Tastes of sweet malt, strong rice is noticeable, some fruit is present, and some slight hops. Overall, this was a surprisingly good beer - worth a try.

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

A- Fizzy yellow, decent head, Lots of floaties.

S- Macro-adjunct smell.

T- It's been a while, but has that sweet macro flavor, with a little extra oomph. has a sort of wheat beer-like fruityness.

M- Heavy carbonation. somewhat dry finish.

D- Not bad, very drinkable. is this what bud ale tastes like?

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.56/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a cloudy pee sample. Pours bright, neon yellow with a stagnant floaty insfused (rice? yeast?) cloud suspended mid glass. Really neat looking, kinda like mosquitos suspended in amber. Bright white head and lacing: a very colorful beer.

Smells like macro lager and lemon zest.

Fizzy carbonation and grainy mouthfeel was the first thing I noticed. Light grain and lemon zest taste. Tastes like a summer beach; very crisp and refreshing. Not really sure where the rice comes in but I like it.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.25/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Something new in Lexington. I have never had a beer that boasts so much about rice additions. I'd like to know how much rice / barley is used.

The pour delivers a brighter than expected straw color, especially since the lable explains its unfiltered character. Next to null head formation and only a trace of foam at the perimeter of the glass. Its appearance could easily be mistaken for Miller Lite.

Very, very grainy in the nose- far too much for a so called craft beer. Herbal, floral hop notes swirl around a citrusy, acidic note with a regretable undermalted nose.

Flavors are nearly as grainy as in the aroma but with a faint malt pilsner malt, cracker-like taste. Citrus hops join in the frey and accompany the acidic, baking-soda taste.

The body is where the beer suffers most. Though dry, crisp, and somewhat refreshing, the astringency from the grains make the beer tough to drink. If there were any roundness or fullness to buffer the pure grain husk flavor and feel, I would try to get on board with this one.

There is some promise with a weak pilsner malt base and assertion in the hops, but the beer is a mere shell of a craft beer... basically a pretender.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
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 Rayek
3.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Very cloudy blond with active carbonation. Foamy head sticks around for a bit and leaves patches of lace.

S: Interestingly different. Slightly fruity, with a pronounced floral hop note. The presence of rice is quite obvious and detracts from the other aromas.

T: Not that impressed. Basically a better done macro with more taste. Malt has a biscuits and straw quality, while the hops add just enough lemon and pepper bitterness. Unfortunately, the flavor of cooked white rice is along for the ride. It gets in the way of what should be a pleasant experience.

M: Medium-light body is a little grainy. Carbonation felt a touch high to me.

D: Basically a craft-brewed yard work beer. One of the better blonde ales, but not really that great for me.

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Photo of corby112
1.88/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Pours a urine colored gold with small fizzy head. Armoa similar to an average macrobrew. Very similar to many american macrobrews because of the use of rice. Nothing special. i was very disappointed considering how much I enjoy the other Great Divide Brews.

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Photo of jwc215
3.13/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Wasatch for this one.

Brewed and bottled third week of April, as per notching on the label.

Pours straw yellow with an overly foamy large white head that fizzles down to a manageable size, leaving patches of lacing.

The smell is of a mild sweetness, a bit yeasty. Inoffensive.

The taste is of sweet grain with a vague grassy bitterness balancing some of the sweetness. A hint of lemon and yeast come through. Pretty crisp, though not quite clean.

A craft attempt at a "lawn-mowing" beer I suppose. A bit different than the typical brewpub blonde ale, but can't say I enjoyed it much more. Another one to add to the list of "easy refreshers", I suppose. While I can enjoy a mild easy-drinking brew, this seems a bit over-done in that direction (with a few "things" going on, yet not quite coming together, yet under-done, in that nothing really stands out to make me appreciate it.
Worth trying for a quick refresher, but not really worth returning to, IMO.

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Photo of MTNboy
2.62/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

It is a pale cloudy yellow colored beer that had nice head at first but went away quickly. The lace is all spread out and loose. It smells crisp and clear with good hop and malt tones. Taste like regular American beer. For ale it tastes like mass produced lager. Maybe that is due to the use of rice. It is crisp and bitter but not in a good way and has a sour aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium with a lot of bite.

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Photo of Foxman
3.43/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours a very clear neon lemon yellow. A finger of thin white head disperses quickly to patches of surface froth. Krimpets of lacing crumple along the inside of the glass.

The aroma is notably scrawny with mere wisps of grain, indeterminate and maybe sweet, or not. A vague spiciness indicated the possibility of hops. But it is in no way offensive.

Upon tasting, a brief and shallow grain sweetness drops away to a clean, sweeping crispness that overcomes and semblance of hops, assuming they're present. A bit more grain visits, then the hops remove doubt by laying a broad blanket of bitterness that turns into a crisp and dry, but rather listless, finish. At least the rice didn't come off as a placeless adjunct.

Light bodied, it has a measure of substance that flows smoothly and glows fetchingly along the way.

A quaint name and interesting premise just can't recover what the brew itself fails to deliver to the palate and nose. I'm not disappointed, but rather, not impressed at all. Now, the clean, crisp character scrubs the mouth with each sip, so it is drinkable in its way. Still, the big picture is fuzzy and unfocused. I'll finish the six and consider it a lesson learned.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap into pint glass. From notes.

Hazy orange hue with a light tan one finger frothy head that settles to a thin rim. Rings of lacing along the glass. Very light and crisp malt aromas with no hops to speak of. The malts in the flavor are lightly toasted and bready with some mild sweetness. Light bodied with a very clean finish. Recommended.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
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 DefenCorps
2.83/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into my Guinness pint glass

A: Light yellow with a massive pure white head with pretty decent retention, leaving plenty of patchy foam as it recedes. Tons of carbonation. Clouds up on adding the yeast (duh)

S:Light and citrusy with some lime and a hint of pine. Mostly aroma hops, there isn't much malt behind this with maybe a hint of a clean, mildly sugary sweetness.

T: Again, light hop character with some citrus and pine before a mildly medicinal bitterness kicks in on the finish

M: Light, overcarbonated and medicinal finish. Not very good

D: I'm not going to finish this :-(

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Photo of midaszero
2.31/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Cloudy straw body with two fingers of foamy head. Good lacing left behind

S - Pick up on some lemon zest

T - Chemical tasting lemon reminds me of artificial lemon flavoring

M - Light medium body with medium carbonation

D - I did not gag on it or drain pour it but wouldn't ever buy it again

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Photo of BDIMike
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pour has a nice unfiltered blonde color. There is a little bit of carbonation, but there is a huge white head with a very nice retention.
Smell has a very clean aroma. Very fruity aroma dominated by lemon.
Taste is clean and crisp, just like the smell. Very light taste of citrus and floral notes. Sedate.
The mouthfeel is a little thin for what I am used to with the american blonde ale. However, there is a very great crisp hit.
Drinkability is probably the best I have had on a blonde ale. Because of the addition of the rice, this beer is so crisp and refreshing. It is a great blonde ale for a warm day and definitely a great session beer.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.51/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An unfiltered rice beer from Great Divide...interesting.

a: Cloudy yellow body with a big fluffy white head that refuses to shrink. Very lacie.

s: The smell is clean and grassy, not much malt to it. Sort of pilsner-esque.

t: Again, very little malt here, thanks in no small part to the rice I suspect. The mild and highly approachable flavor is comprised of the grassy hop profile you find in most Pilsners, though bitterness is kept fairly low.

m: Well carbonated. Not fizzy like soda, but it has the crispness of a highly carbonated lager. Suits this beer perfectly.

d: I don't love the beer, but I love that Great Divide made it. Every brewery needs at least one highly accessible, unoffensive, dangerously quaffable beer. Instead of going with the typical wheat or lager beer, GD has done something unique and you've got to love that. Well made and sessionable but lowish on flavor (by design no doubt).

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Photo of rye726
3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks similar to a wheat or hefeweizen. Cloudy straw color with a foamy tan head. The nose has some nice light malts along with a subtle fruity presence. The taste is also pretty grainy with some tropical and citrus fruits. Nice medium body is well carbonated and goes down well. Good balance of flavors and a fine session brew.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.72/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

One of the better blonde ales I've had. It's crisp and refreshing as hell, and you can smell/taste the rice used in the process. It has a much better taste than just being an adjunct like BMC uses it for and I think it works well. Another good beer from Great Divide as this one was nice sitting out by the fire.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.22/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours a hazy yellow with big yeasties and a frothy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet musty soapy bready malts.

The flavor is pretty bland - a little sweet malt and a touch of fruits with a little grassy bitterness that leads to a dry finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and watery with some sharp carbonation.

Overall, a pretty bland offering from GD. There's nothing offensive, but nothing really appealing about it either.

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Photo of IPAcraig
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a slightly hazy straw yellow. This unfiltered ale has cleared a bit after spending two months in my fridge.

This has a very biscuity aroma; somewhat like water crackers.

Same cracker, biscuit taste as in the aroma. Finishes slighter better with a faint herbal touch.

Light and prickly.

A very drinkable beer. This is not just another Blonde Ale. Fairly light, but interesting and unique.

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Photo of mcsquint
3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured 12 oz bottle into pint glass.
A - Yellow in color with a white, fluffy 2 finger head. Not as cloudy as expected for an unfiltered ale.
S - slightly floral,lemon aroma
T - Crisp taste with floral and lemon. Clean finish
M - Medium mouthfeel. Well carbonated but not overdone.
D - I could see having a few of these on a warm summer's day. Refreshing and flavorful.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to bort11 and raverjames for this brew.

Pours a cloudy pale yellow color, nice carbonation, hughe two-finger plus white foamy head, lots and lots of sticky lacing follows. The nose is hoppy, with a nice touch of malts, some spices. The taste is hoppy, bitter, some maltiness, and spicy. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew.

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Photo of avalon07
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: When poured from a bottle to a pint glass, this beer had a yellow color and slightly cloudy consistency. Not a whole lot of head.

S: Had a citrusy smell, mixed with some hops and possibly yeast.

T: This one had a lemony flavor along with the hops. Pretty sweet overall. Not the most complex taste you'll ever come across.

M: An okay amount of carbonation and a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: On the whole, this isn't a bad beer. Blondes are typically one of the least interesting of beer styles. Great Divide did what they could with this one. Not a bad beer.

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Photo of GilGarp
2.88/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pale straw yellow color from a 12oz bottle. It has good head but it's gone quickly and leaves no lacing behind. Clarity is very good.

Aroma reminds me of corn and rice. It has a sweet grainy smell almost like kettle corn.

Flavor is mild and bordering on bland. It has a cereal graininess to it with just a bit of hops. Luckily that's all it needs to balance the mild malts. Good balance then but nothing to exciting about either side of the equation.

Mouthfeel is average, good carbonation.

Drinkability is good but only because of the mild flavor and low alcohol. It isn't something I would order twice. It might have been better on a hot summer day but it doesn't do much for me on a cool autumn-like night.

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Photo of Gehrig
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enormous soda head of white foam caps a cloudy lemon-golden body; ample lacing and fairly good duration. Faint citrusy aroma, lacking malty overtones--rather lemony and simple. Better taste, nice lemon and rather bitter zest, light and refreshing. Though a bit thin, the mouthfeel is pleasant, smooth, light, and flavorful, not unlike a good Witbier.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I grabbed this, but was glad I did. It isn't exactly complicated, but it's a tasty, likable beverage, good on a hot humid day. Worth a try.

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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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