Samurai Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

608 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: 608 |  Reviews: 337
Photo of czfreeman
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
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%
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 +2.6%
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 +8%
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 -14.6%
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 -5.2%
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 -1.1%
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 +6%
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 +14.6%
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 +18.9%
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 -2.3%
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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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
2.98/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Great Divide is right, this is not your average unfiltered beer. Its worse!

Pours piss yellow with head that instantly dissipates but leaves nice lace. Unfiltered yet completely transparent. The nose is of cheese funk and light hops but more malts. The first taste is of light funky lager. The hops dont taste like hops, and the malts are kind of funky. This has an earthy, grassy funk to it that is unique but not necessarily desirable. crisp and smooth finish but the taste is really lacking. Musty i think would be the best word to describe it. It is drinkable but, there are much better options at 5%. Im not sure what great divide was going for here, I guess it is a blonde, doesnt taste like a golden or a lager. But as far as blondes go, this is a bit too funky and lacks greatly in hop flavors. Unique taste with the rice, but I prefer my glacier brewhouse blonde.

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Photo of Vancer
3.21/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crispy looking golden yellow, massive white foam head billows up and then falls, leaving a sticky lace ring.

A musty malt aroma, progressing into the quaff. Woody and earthy, missing a sweet malt pop to move this into a better drinking brew. The rice is not adding anything of worth to this brew, but it does meet a blonde ale style. Not going to be one of my regular beers from GD.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light yellow color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of light malts, some spice, fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is light and sweet with flavors of lemon, spices and grain. There's a good burst of hops bitterness that comes in next to provide a little balance. The malt character is pretty thin. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not filling at all, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice lighter beer that you can drink quite a bit of over the course of an evening, however, personally I usually prefer something with a bit more substance.

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

12ozer bought as a single from Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into a Samuel Adam Boston Lager glass, formed a 1" bright white head over the cloudy yellow brew. Head lasts well, with ample lacing. Aroma is minimally of vegetal and pale malt. Taste is pale malt sweetness upfront, cut with somewhat generic bitterness. Mouthfeel is clean, and drinkability is pretty good. Nothing stupendous, but seems they hit what they were aiming for.

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Photo of oberon
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint a slight hazed light yellow almost lemonade like a thinner but well sustained white head atop,very muted aromas only light toastiness and a faint passing lemon whiff.Lightly toasted flavors with a tinge of lemon oil it is quite crisp like other have noted,its toastiness is very firm and stays through to the finish,the hops stay in tune with the beer giving a faint smack of citrus in the later stages.Hey it is what it is a easy drinking blonde ale its not a no brainer either I think would be a great summer brew wich seems a long way off right now.

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

Pours pale straw yellow with a modest white head that quickly dissipates to a thin soapy film.

Aroma is pale malt, lemon grass and crisp hops.

Taste is similar to the nose with a strong citrus lemon quality. Generous pale malt. Finish is clean with a spicy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and creamy.

Overall a decent brew for the style. Flavors are very unified and pleasant. certainly worth a try.

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

Poured a clear bright yellow with a thick creamy off white head, good retention and nice lacing all the way to the bottom.

Has a light semi sweet grain smell with hints of lemon.

Flavor is light and clean with a bit of citrus and some light nice grassy hops with a bit of pepper in the finish.

Mouthfeel is very light and finishes extremely dry.

Not a bad lighter beer, a bit more complex and I enjoyed the minor pepperyness.

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Photo of PhageLab
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Pale straw yellow, minimal head, average retention, spotted lacing. Not what I was expecting, looks sorta like a macro lager.

S - Not much here in the aroma either. Slight hints of corn and maybe a pinch of hops.

T - Some pale malt definition and an ever so slight tinge of hops. Some muted citrus notes come through near the end. Inoffensive and slightly disappointing.

M - Clean light bodied brew with very good carbonation levels and a crispy dry finish. Feels better than it tastes.

D - For how slack the profile is, I'd say this is very drinkable, just like a macro. I must say this is my least favorite offering from Great Divide, they can do better than this. Unworthy of the Samurai's title. Give it a try, but don't expect too much.

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Photo of kelticblood
4.12/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance wasn't too impressive, but had a few noteworthy qualities such as, moderate amounts of lacing and a great color. The head lasted about a minute before it dissapeared. It has a hazy straw yellow color. Great mouthfeel that is well- balanced and has a clean, crisp, refreshing finish. Has a seltzer water like cleansing of the mouth. Enjoyable hop bitterness that lasts just long enough. One could say that it is overly carbonated and maybe too crisp. Light bodied and easy to drink. It's nice to find a light crisp clean ale that puts any Macro-brews to shame. I like the taste of rice,but just wish Macro brew was crafted better with quality ingredients and skill. This is a great beer and offers a nice change.

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

I know a lot of people knock this beer, but I like it. I think it is an excellent summer quencher, a little different than most. I think what most people are knocking is the style, not the beer. That being said, I think the style is off too. I believe this is more an American version of a Happoshu than it is an American Blonde ale. Nor is this an American Macro Lager. The rice here is an equal player, not merely an adjunct. Pours a very slightly hazy pale golden with some head and even some lacing. The smell has some slightly sweet lager yeast and quite a bit of fruitiness, primarily apple. A whiff of rice as well- quite clean. The taste is dry with light apple, clean rice flavors, and a slight nuttiness. Reminiscent of a sake without the alcohol burn. Mouthfeel is clean, crisp,and light. A pleasure.

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

"A samurai should always be prepared for death... whether his own or someone else's."

--Stan Sakai

Blurry lemon topped by a wonderful looking crown of rich, creamy foam. The lid is alabaster in color and has that cobbled, pitted, semi-rocky look that all the good ones possess. It's also responsible for quite a bit of lace-like lace. Samurai could easily be mistaken for a witbier, at least in the looks department.

The aroma is fresh, clean and simple. It's also probably exactly what the brewers were shooting for. No maltiness is present (maybe a whiff of untoasted barley), just a laid back amount of grassy, lightly lemony hops.

It's obvious that this is well-crafted beer. That isn't the least bit surprising since Great Divide is one of the best breweries in the country. Having said that, I don't like Samurai nearly as much as I like the rest of their lineup. I do, however, respect their decision to brew something light and approachable, without going down the well-worn APWA path.

The pale malt backbone is surprisingly sturdy (even with rice making up at least 15-20% of the grain bill), but it still provides almost nothing in the way of flavor. I'm fine with that. The centerpiece, as in the nose, is a probable German/Czech hoppiness that gives the beer a definite pilsener vibe.

I approve of the finishing bitterness, coupled with a rice crispiness, but if maximum sales was the goal (knowing these guys, I doubt it) they probably should have whittled a few more IBUs off the top end. Warming delivers an underlying sweetness, an unripe pear tartness and a white pepper zestiness that wasn't present in the top half of the bottle. It also delivers an increase in the flavor score at no extra charge.

Mouthfeel is the attribute that separates the great craft breweries from the pretenders. This one is pretty close to perfectly calibrated for the task at hand. It's closer to medium than to light, and is pleasingly supple. It's also zestily carbonated, which works well in the grand scheme of things.

It seems to me that a beer brewed to be light, refreshing and easy drinking shouldn't have such an aggressive name. While they aren't nearly as appealing as Samurai Ale, Koi Ale (ornamental carp) or Obi Ale (a kimono sash) would be more fitting. Okay, so I like to do crossword puzzles.

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Photo of MarkSCCOT
2.81/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Great Divide is a favorite microbrewery of mine. They make big beers; Hercules, Titan, Yeti, etc. It was because of this that I jumped at the chance to pick-up a six pack of this beer when it showed up at a local store.

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A. Yellow straw slight hazy color with a healthy white head. Some lacing.

S. Try as I might I could hardly smell anything. I was finally able to coax out some malt and lemony hops.

T. Much as it smelled. This is not a bold beer. It is watery and any taste is way in the background. Again malt and some light lemony hops.

M. Lots of carbonation and a clean finish.

D. Back in the days before I gravitated to big beers, this would have surpassed Bud as a session beer. It does remind me of Bud, bland and watery.

Not GD's best beer.

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Photo of Phatz
3.81/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear pale gold (macro color) with a huge white head that overflowed my imperial pint glass. Spotty lace sporadically pasted on the glass.

Smell: Clean light aroma of grain and rice and a touch of lemon grass.

Taste: It has a sweet refreshing flavor of honey and yeast and bread. It finishes with some spice nip and a dry aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium light body that is soft in the mouth and sweet dry balance.

Drinkability: This is an approachable drinkable session beer. Simple. Refreshing.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of
3.1/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle

Very clear for an unfiltered beer. Pale yellow...very pale! Medium sized, creamy, white head. No legs or lacing.

Scents of yeast and rice (could be the power of suggestion). Hint of citrus. Overall, very mild.

Tastes sweet (rice again?). Very sweet citrus -- sugared grapefruit. Not much bitter flavor. Almost an artificial taste to the sweetness, not entirely pleasant.

Light body. Medium carbonation. Refreshing.

Very easy to drink, but the artificial taste I noted above would be problematic with multiple beers. I probably won't be returning to this one unless it's handed to me at a picnic.

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Samurai Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.49 out of 5 based on 608 ratings.
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