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Samurai Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Samurai AleSamurai Ale
622 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: 622 |  Reviews: 344
Photo of dogger6253
3.49/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a milky, yellow color that settles into gold with lots of bubbles and a thick, white head. The aroma is up front - cloves and coriandar, a little bit of hops, and a sort of lager-yeast style thing going on.

The taste was much the same as the nose, except with a more present coriander taste and a little bit of lemon zest. The taste was mellow, but still spicy. Light bodied with heavy carbonation - this has defininte session capability, and it's pretty good overall.

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Photo of merlin48
3.21/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a hazy straw body with a large white head that leaves some impressive chains and curtains of lacing on the glass. Aroma is muted, with only some spicy and floral hops and faint bready malt. Light body has a medium carbonation. Taste has a dominant floral hops bitterness balanced by a sweet maltiness that reminds me of Rice Krispies. Pretty decent for style but not one I would revisit anytime soon.

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Photo of crayphish
2.66/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Without knowing the intended style, upon first glance I thought American macro? Hmmm, Blonde ale? Afraid not. If this had been a Bud product I'd rate it higher. Very pale yellow body, big soapy craggy head. Some raw field corn and burnt rice in the nose. Taste stays with the corn and rice. Bland. Weirdly bitter. At least its somewhat refreshing. I had one and it was enough...

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Photo of williamherbert
3.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Straw yellow color, almost the hue of a Belgian white. Puffy white head separates it from B/M/C stuff. Lace at the top. Cloudy and not that clear; thicker like a hefeweizen.

The smell is light ale malts but with a slightly lagery sweetness. Smells light and crisp, like an above average lager. More like an all-malt lager. A little malt and some hop bitterness; German lagery. Pilsner aroma as it warms.

The taste is sweetness of ale malts and the bitter snap of a lager. Actually it's really nicely balanced. Tiny bit of spiciness at the end; a little bite.

Feels thick and bubbly. Almost has the feel of an inert farmhouse ale. Somewhat fizzy. It tastes more like a pilsner to me than an ale. It's different, and gets better as it warms up.

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Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
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 cokes
2.61/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a lightly hazed straw yellow with a modest white cap that retains very well.
Vacant nose with vague soda crackers and bleached grain.
Enters the mouth crisp with a pils malt crackery snap. Rice enters and mingles nicely for a second, then fades to a lightly sour graininess that reminds me of Mickey's (or other malt liquors). Hops bring scant traces of lemon.
The body is about what one would look for in a blonde ale, light and easily downable. But this has a small bit of tackiness related to the sour note.
The rice is an interesting addition, but doesn't do it any favor with the possibly unavoidable malt-liquor notions.

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

Pale straw in color with a significant amount of chill haze. Very good head with a long lasting time (it settles to a full finger thick!). Good lace, but not nearly as much as I would expect given the head.

Flaws are easy to find in lighter beers like this one. This one seems to free of them. This has a mild bouquet of lighter malts and subtle hop. Crisp, refreshing and inviting.

Good flavor for the style, but not necessarily delicate enough to place it at the top of the pack. A little heavy on the hop, but it doesn't dominate the aftertaste as it might. There is some nice fruitiness to the palate--mostly sour cherry. My initial thought on the body was that it was too light, but it is growing on me.

This is an easy beer to drink and certainly an excellent alternative to the typical lawn mower offerings.

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

Pours a clear pale fizzy yellow color with a full finger stiff white head that fades to surface and leaves a reasonable amount of lacing in its wake. The smell is a timid slightly sweet orchard fruit malt. Well carbonated with a tangy hops the mouth feel is light bodied. The flavor is slightly fruity and it finishes on the dry side with a delicate after taste. Easy to drink, you could sell a number of these to a thirsty gregarious crowd.

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

12oz. bottle

Pours a slightly hazed, very pale straw color with a small white head that fades. Decent lacing on the glass.

Crisp and very light pilsner malt aroma, with a faint green apple smell.

Very light pilsner malt taste with a faint hint of hops. Medium bitterness. Finishes dry and clean.

Light body, well carbonated.

This is a very light beer in almost every aspect. I probably would have enjoyed it a bit more on a hot summer day, and would not suggest it as a fireside sipper....

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Photo of brantadid
3.74/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a pale yellow color with a thin white head. Lots of medium sized bubble. No lacing to speak of.

Smelled very light. Nice ale notes.

Wow. This beer is very dry. Nice light sweetness on the front palate that is followed by a crisp bitterness on the back palate. Great dryness on the mid palate. Reminded me a little of Sake.

Mouthfeel is really light but very flavorful. Perfect amount of carbonation. Very drinkable.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
2.56/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

very light pale straw yellow color, hazier the more you pour from the second half of the bottle. moderate head that soon fades to a thin layer. some lacing, but sparse.

faint noble hop aromas are drowned out by adjunct grains and acidity.

flavor is really just hop bitterness backed by sourness and poor attempt at some malts trying to peek through.

pretty watery and fizzy. slight astringency.

blah... maybe tolerable in the summer, but not by much.

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

Poured from a bottle a bright, cloudy lemon-yellow with a frothy and sticky white head.

Smells a lot like a hefe to me with lemon, wheat, and a light earthiness.

Taste is sharp and tart. Lemon, rice and malt all greet the tongue with every sip.

Lighter mouthfeel, dry, and with a zip to the carbonation.

I like this beer. It's clean and refreshing and would be nice for the summer.

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Photo of Contra
3.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I should preface this review with a note that this is not a style I particularly care for, although I still enjoy a well-crafted American Blonde. Errr... beer.

Samurai is probably one of the most transparent beers I've come across. Lacey head, mild carbonation. Wheat is the flavor which stands out the most. Rather light body, although not as light as the hue might suggest.

Overall, probably the best Blonde I can think of, that I've tried. If you like Blondes (I swear I'm not trying to drive this terrible pun into the ground), this is worth seeking out.

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Photo of bearrunner44
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer has a pale straw color, with above-average clarity for an unfiltered ale. A medium pour netted a small amount of fizzy head which dissipated quickly.

Toasted rice and malt, with a touch of a light and flowery mix of alcohol and noble hops.

Up front, the mixture of malt and rice flavors lacks complexity. It lends the beer a light dryness, but not much else in the way of flavor. The hops are detectable as a slight herbal bitterness in the middle, before becoming more assertively bitter in the finish. The taste of the hops is pretty much the only thing left at the end.

Light to medium in body, it's definitely intended to be a session-type beer. The carbonation is at the right level for a medium-bodied beer, providing a bit of a bite without being annoyingly fizzy.

Verdict: If you like a hoppy session beer that isn't quite as demanding as an IPA, this is for you. The simplicity of the malt/rice mixture provides a sort of blank canvass for the hops to work their magic. A bit unbalanced, but very drinkable.

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Photo of czfreeman
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six-pack earlier at Whole foods. Pours a clear golden color, til the yeast is poured, moderatley hazy brew. Not a lot going on in the aroma department. light yeasty smells, hint o' fruits. Tart taste,biting finish, extremley light, tart mouthfeel. This beer goes down so easy. It would go great with some sushi.
This beer is obviously exactly what the brewers wanted..very light, crisp session beer. This will be my new go-to,whenever I just want a few.

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Photo of jar2574
3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The bottle says that there is rice in this beer, so I don't know what to expect.

Bright yellow beer with a touch of cloudiness.

Average white head, average retention.

Unremarkable smell. No smell to speak of, in fact.

Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised, but the taste follows the smell, and there is nothing much to say about it. Watery, with a slight taste of malts. It's weird, and might be my imagination, but I think I can taste the rice in this beer as well. Kind of a bland, white rice base to the brew.

A perfectly average beer. Nothing the least bit repulsive, but nothing that makes you want to come back for more, either.

I really have no idea why they made this one. If this is supposed to be a good beer company, why brag about the use of inferior ingredients like rice? Japan isn't exactly the beer capitol of the world.

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

Cloudy as heck, thick and yellow, beneath a slim white cap of foam.

Aroma: lemon & wheat, and...? I've smelled this before, in kellerbiers I've tried. Various citric tones, and not too much else.

Zesty appearance on the tongue, and here's where I'm getting a Belgian pale ale / Golden ale feel, without the Belgian yeast. More like a hefe weizen, but with rice. And how about that rice? It's light, fluffy, a bit creamy...I don't hate it, just doesn't add anything special for me. Makes for a refreshing drink, but adds little depth or taste.

This should be called Origami-Folder Ale, instead of Samurai. Or Sandal-Wearing Goldfish-Tender Ale. It's a nice session brew, but lacks anything resembling a spark to set it apart. Oh, well.

*8/18/10, I just reviewed this again, forgetting that I did one 2 1/2 years ago. That's how "memorable" this is.

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Photo of WesWes
3.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a light and slightly fruity pale malt scent along with a light noble hop aroma. It's dry with lager-like character. The taste is good. It has a smooth, pale malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes a bit fruity with some light hop notes. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer, although there really isn't much to write home about. It's light and easily quaffable.

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Photo of AlexJ
2.98/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lightly hazed straw yellow with a decent white head.

Aroma is light, with very subtle grain sweetness, dry lemony citrus, and some light herbal notes.

Flavor very similar and light. Basic beer flavor with some soft grain, light citrus and very faint honey.

Body is light, smooth, and somewhat silky. Easy to drink without having to think about it. Blonde ales just don't do it for me.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.31/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice looking light golden colour with a good bit of haziness to it. Head is big and foamy, and leaves a surprising amount of white residue on the glass.

The aroma is faintly sweet (fruit...perhaps lemon? orange?) and chalky, with not much going on. Average.

Flavour is not much better than the aroma, although it does expand upon it a bit. The fruity notes are much more apparent here and definitely lean a bit more toward lemon, although orange is still in the mix. There's a hint of spiciness here with a good amount of bitterness at the finish of each sip. Mouthfeel is very much light bodied but fairly refreshing.

This one wasn't bad, but wasn't great. It was somewhat run of the mill with nothing that made it memorable, but nothing that made me cringe or complain. A middle of the road brew.

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Photo of Gmann
3.45/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy straw color with a nice and fluffy pure white head which left some nice lacing as it dissipated. The smell is light with hints of honey and flowers. The taste is a sweet, honey like, malt, kind of funky but not bad. I'm not sure where the rice comes in, perhaps to tone down the already light malt. There is a trace of hops but they are a bit on the old side. The feel is moderate with soft carbonation, finishes well balanced and smooth. A good light brew with no real grainy or adjuncty taste. I look forward to trying a fresher sample.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Samurai pours a hazy light yellow color with very little head and lacing that slithers back to its home. The aroma is citrusy with a slight spice hint. The taste starts a tad bitter and then leaves a sweetness in the back of the throat. It is poppy in the mouth from the hop addition. Overall would most likely be enjoyed best on a hot summer day.

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Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Harpoon IPA glass. Bottled during the 3rd week of October. Presented with a voluminous foamy white head that dissipated quickly, but maintained a decent amount of lacing during the tasting. Color of pale gold straw; clear, but slightly cloudy with decent effervescence. Smell of wheat and malt. Taste similar to nose with a hint of citrus (lemon) that gives a little bite at the end. A slightly sweet taste (maybe the rice) lingers at the finish. Lively mouthfeel and pleasantly drinkable. Nice sessionable warm weather beer.

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Photo of kevman527
4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
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 ChainGangGuy
3.41/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, yellow body with a thin, wispy white head.

Smell: Very lightly malty, sweetish aroma with notes of flowers, sake, and white bread.

Taste: Well, it's just what the aroma would have you expect of the taste. Light, sake-like fruity flavor with a drop of honey sweetness. Floral and bready hints. No more than a light bitterness. Finishes crisp and clean.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It definitely would make for fine, summertime drinking and wasn't too bad on a grimey day in mid-December, either.

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Samurai Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.51 out of 5 with 622 ratings
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