AleSmith IPA | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith IPAAleSmith IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.25%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-29-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,303
Ratings:
4,034
Avg:
4.27
pDev:
15.22%
 
 
Wants:
510
Gots:
698
For Trade:
12
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,303 | Ratings: 4,034
Reviews by rickyleepotts:
Photo of rickyleepotts
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 4.25

I haven't had a lot of AleSmith beers, but I am excited to try the IPA. I actually ordered the Speedway Stout the other day, but it was a small sample and I wasn't focused on reviewing the beer. That beer is on the list, and we have a bottle in the fridge just begging to be consumed. That one is coming soon; I promise. Today we are reviewing the AleSmith IPA, and from what I can tell, an IPA that is just packed with citrus flavors all the way around. I was teaching a beer class earlier last night at Total Wine & More, and we talked about India Pale Ales and how the hops used can affect the aroma and the flavor of the beer. Just visit San Diego if you want a tour of hops, as San Diego is a region just exploding with hops right now. The beer manager said, "It's hard to order a salad in San Diego without hops." He's right! Being a hop head, I'm OK with it… and I am curious to see what AleSmith has done with their IPA. Oh, and they are also located in San Diego. Coincidence?

In the Glass: I think they bottled a wheat beer. This doesn't look like an IPA at all. I guess wheat beers are a little more hazy, but this is light in color and I can basically see right through it. The head is sticking around, and was a pillowy white when I first poured the beer. It is also producing a really nice lingering lace. Looks like something I could drink all day long, and with that ABV, I might!

Speaking of that ABV, it is not common seeing a bomber with a low ABV like that. Most brewing companies will toss their bigger (higher ABV) beers in bombers. Not sure why… but that is just a trend I have noticed in the craft beer industry.

Nose: Imagine taking an orange, a bag of hops, and tossing them in a blender. That is what this beer smells like. I am serious, if you haven't smelled a citrus forward IPA before, do yourself a favor and grab a bottle of this. It's only $5.99, and worth every penny just for the aroma. I like smelling beers because you can basically taste the beer without much effort. That is the case with the AleSmith IPA. Very impressed with this nose.

Flavor: That is exactly what I expected this beer to taste like. There are a lot of bubbles up front making way for all of the hoppy goodness. If you did a blind taste test with someone, and asked them, "Is this an American IPA or an American Double IPA?" I guarantee most palates would confuse this with a double. The finish is nice and the hops really linger. That is one negative thing about this style; it destroys your palate. Green Flash releases the Palate Wrecker every year, and I would like to see them change the name to Palate Destroyer. It's more fitting!

Mouthfeel: Not a big fan of the mouthfeel. There are WAY too many bubbles here. I wonder if aging the beer for a few months, or aging this in bourbon barrels, would help. I am sure it would help… but I am not sure AleSmith does that. Anyway, the bubbles are almost too powerful for me to finish, and there is no way I am going to swish this around in my mouth to see what happens. (OK, I did. It did open up and produce a lot more flavor… but I almost had to spit it out because it was like swishing a mouthful of champagne. I do not recommend doing that on this particular bottle.) After you get past the bubbles, the mouthfeel thins out, and the beer slides down nice and balanced. If they could figure out the initial carbonation on this, it would become a top 10 IPA simply for the hop profile and the aftertaste.

Aftertaste: In the class last night, when we were talking about this style, I told the guy we could line up 10 different IPAs, and they all 10 would smell and taste different simply because of the hops they use. The aftertaste is also something that is affected by the hops used. I am not sure the hops used in this, but this is one of the better aftertastes I have experienced with an IPA. It hits with a ton of fruity notes, then quickly becomes dry. It just sits there, and with every swallow, you just taste an intense amount of hops. Palate Wrecker is the same way. Drink that and try to taste anything for the next hour. You will simply taste hops. Lick a hop… that is the Palate Wrecker. The hops aren't that bad here, but do leave me with a nice, lingering finish that I just keep wanting to taste.

This is one of my first beers from AleSmith, and I can't wait to drink more. The Speedway Stout is coming up next, and we also have a bottle of Decadence in the cellar. That beer, along with several others we have stored, will get better with time. We are in no rush to finish the 1001 bottles list, so we will let those sit for a couple of years. If you are a fan of this style, I highly recommend this beer. Just a well balanced, sans the initial shock of carbonation, IPA that leaves a long and delicious aftertaste. Keep it up, AleSmith!

 4,835 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of GOBLIN
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have passed this beer up sooooo many times just hoping I will one day find a fresh bottle to enjoy. Finally the time has come and I am severely impressed by this ipa ! I honestly can not think of a much better example of the style . . . This may be my new standard for an American ipa. Along with the likes of Racer 5, Two Hearted, Columbus and Anti-Hero. Alesmith ipa is beautiful in appearance. Aromas are floral and tropical. Feel is smooth and creamy with substance. Taste is hoppy but not over the top so much it will burn you up after a couple. Overall, possibly the perfect example.

 593 characters

Photo of hophugger
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Nice, golden-orange color with a magnificent 4 finger+ head and spotty lacing. Aromas of fresh squeezed orange are abundant, and also some hints of grapefruit, light pineapple and hops. Taste is so balanced with tastes of orange juice, light citrus peel and hoppy bitterness. Finish is, once again, very balanced, crisp and has a great feel of hop bite at the end...

 366 characters

Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.87/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*Review sample was bottled 11/30/15*

A- Dark orange body out of the light. But in the light, the body color is a nice honey, yellow color. It is on the hazy side, but I do not notice any sediment in the beer. The head is 2 finger, frothy, and bright-white in color. Head died to a nice 1 finger in size. It is leaving some very nice lacing. Great looking west coast style IPA> But as of lately, I'm really fond of the New England "hazy" IPA/Pale Ale look.

S- Lots of pineapple and sweet bready malts. I also get the typical grapefruits in there as well. I detect some caramel notes as well. Light notes of pine and leather. Pretty standard west coast IPA, but good.

T- This is how a good west coast IPA should taste. It's fairly balanced between the hop notes and the malty taste. I notice that compared to New England style IPAs that this has a darker, caramel malt, kind of taste. Upfront I get the pineapple and grapefruit notes. Light pine notes and some oily, resinous notes. Slightly dank towards the end, but I'd say Alesmith IPA finishes fairly clean. It's not overly dry.

F- The body is medium in feel. It's crisp, clean, and pretty refreshing. This doesn't quite drink like citrus juice in the way some New England style IPAs do, but I'd say the drinkability is quite high on this.

Overall this is a great tasting west coast IPA. It's not too bitter at all. And it's not super, super dank. I can't stand an IPA or Imperial IPA that is way too hoppy and dank. It's almost undrinkable to me. This is really well balanced between the malts and hops. I tend to like the IPA's that are on the citrus juice side of the mouthfeel, but this a great IPA I would never hesitate to drink when I'm in the mood for this style.

 1,730 characters

Photo of mooseo
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

22oz bottle into tulip.

A - Hazy orange copper with a dense white head.

S - Huge mango and tropical fruit aroma. Amazing.

T - A blast of juicy tropical fruit and dank, earthy hops. Somewhat bitter. Spectacular.

M - Medium-full body, smooth, dry. Sticky.

O - This is no doubt one of the best beers brewed in the U.S. A quintessential west coast IPA.

 354 characters

Photo of jphipps83
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I absolutely love this brew. It was the first legit west coast IPA I got my hands on in the Midwest. Never disappoints, great balance, taste, and smell.

Outside of Pliny, this and Apline Duet would be my top choices for 'last beer on earth'.

 246 characters

Photo of jancona
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

My first AleSmith brew! Pours a beautiful orange hue (I rhymed). Off white foam and moderate lacing. Smell is glorious - grapefruit and juicy tangerine. Taste has a nice malt backbone with grapefruit and tangerine - the finish has lingering, bitter floral hops. A nice creamy mouthful. Definitely a candidate for my favorite west coast IPA.

 340 characters

Photo of beermeplz
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bomber dated 1/27/15.

A rather well balanced IPA...not exactly what I expected from a SD brewery but pleasant nonetheless (although I certainly don't object to hop bombs!). The bready maltiness actually dominates on both the nose and tongue for me. The fruity and bitter elements from the hops are there but pretty subtle when compared to a lot of other west coast IPAs. This is a real quality brew, but, considering the cost, I'm not sure I'll come back to it anytime soon....a couple more bucks will get me a sixer of some other great stuff.

 551 characters

Photo of Eli2814
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottling date 11/27/15 drink date 1/29/16
I gotta say, even for the significant age of this ipa, it's certainly my favorite.
It was a bit hazy, amber/gold. About a fingers worth of head. A good looking beet for sure.
Slight citrus not on the nose, but pine is definitely more at the forefront along with the malts.
The taste is similar and spectacular. It has a great deal of piney bitterness, but iy is SO well balanced by the malt, not too overwhelming, but definitely not too sweet.
It felt like a craft soda, small bubbles for a silky mouthfeel. It was damn- near chuggable.
Overall, it speaks well of the west coast style. It's sure to satisfy.

 649 characters

Photo of MemphisSooner
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Palate destroying, citrus-y goodness. This IPA defines west coast.

I know it is craft beer heresy to say this, but given the option of Alesmith IPA, Blind Pig, or Sculpin, I am going Alesmtih. This is the perfect IPA, in my opinion. Love this beer.

 250 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Classic, silk-screened white lettering on a dark brown 'bomber' bottle. This is my first AleSmith beer and I'm expecting great things.

Slightly hazed, orangish peach that should become significantly more clouded on subsequent pours as the yeast find their way into the glass. The head is light toffee in color and is stiff, sticky and pitting. There's plenty of lace already and the cap has just begun to recede. Ultimately, the glass is coated with a huge amount of thick, chunky lace in rings and sheets.

The aroma is 'hop heaven'. Loads of citrusy hops are atomizing themselves purely for my olfactroy enjoyment and I couldn't be happier. Clouds of orange peel and grapefruit peel essence--along with fresh pine--fill the room. I can't imagine that this aroma could be improved upon.

The flavor is, in a word... fabulous. Massive quantities of citric hops must have been used in the brewing and it shows. In fact, AleSmith IPA strikes me as a 'tweener', a beer that occupies that fuzzy zone between the IPA and DIPA styles in terms of flavor, hoppiness and ABV. The initial impression is of a solid wall of juicy hops rolling across the tongue, followed by a glimmer of toasted malt that tries vainly, but ultimately in vain, to stand up to the resinous hop attack.

That's not to say that the flavor profile is overbalanced toward the hops, just that they're clearly in charge and both parties know it. The malt provides the sweet, cake-like underpinnings that allow the hops to run rampant and assault the tastebuds with some (minor) degree of restraint. A balancing act par excellence. I think it's pretty apparent by now that I truly love this beer, but let's continue.

The finish is a never-ending sweetsticky symphony of hops; again, tempered by the ever-present, but never intrusive, toasty caramel malt. The body is big, but not huge. This is no Dreadnaught, but I can't think of an IPA that has a creamier, silkier, smoother, bigger body. The alcohol is hidden exceedingly well. It's only evident in a slight warming (in my stomach and in my soul) as the bomber disappears.

Quality, quality, quality. AleSmith IPA is neck-and-neck with my favorite IPA/DIPAs so that any differences in score are trivial at best. It isn't available in this state, but it is available on-line so that I have a ready supply if I so choose. And believe me, I choose in a big way. If you love IPAs and haven't yet had AleSmith's inspired version, it's worth whatever effort and expense that is required.

 2,512 characters

Photo of oberon
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to garagekegger for sharing his bomber with me,poured a slightly hazy light amber with a nice one finger head,aromas of course are intensly hoppy very piney and citrusy.This is a bold tasting IPA very resiny and piney along with lemon rind but there is a firm somewhat nutty malt backbone that is very noticable.A damn fine IPA loaded with flavor damn I want more!

 371 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Thick, cloudy orange with a big head that went down slowly.

Smell – Sharp, piney hops with a light malt balance.

Taste – The malt comes out more in the taste. It’s almost like a bread flavor. The hops dominate, although they taste more complex than I picked up at the nose.

Mouthfeel – There’s some good, foamy carbonation to this medium-bodied IPA.

Drinkability – This one is very smooth, almost light. The 7.25 ABV is unnoticable. If you like your IPAs smooth and even (as opposed to hairy and over-the-top) give this one a shot if you can find it.

 582 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared with MSUBulldog at Concordia Ale House in Portland.

Hands down one of the finest IPAs I’ve ever had.

Full, rich, luxurious body is the color of soft copper. Clear and brilliant with healthy lacing the lasts long after the thick ivory subsides. Memorable green hop aroma that also contains plenty of citrus ranging from sweet, ripened navel oranges to bitter grapefruits. Flavor has a wonderful caramel malt quality that is surprisingly balancing towards the pine/citrus bitterness and yeasty fruitiness. Balance is key here. Everything I want in an IPA can be found but damn this one is drinkable, it feels good, it’s beautiful…just an all around winner.

I can’t wait to get some more of this when in Ohio in two weeks. Hopefully I’ll be able to stock up.

 784 characters

Photo of Smokesnotes
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of ricke
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving date: 2009-05-17. Served in snifter.

A: Amber colored, slightly hazy due to bottle conditioning. A 3 cm white head that leaves plenty of chunky lacings as it settles. Decent retention and great looking lacings.

S: Very pronounced citric character - lemon and grapefruit abound. Plenty of floral hops and hop resins as well. Some caramel and subdued malts. Slightly spicy. The hop aromas are really outstandning and so fresh they almosts stings the nose.

T: Wonderful hop character here as well. Grapefruit and lemon peel dominate. Faint notes of mango. The malty caramel flavor is quite big but still obviously plays second violin with the hops taking center stage. Some spices in the middle. The finish is rather bitter, but the bitterness is really integrated in the overall profile. It finishes with floral hops, pine-needles and again a slightly spicy sensation. The finish is long. No sign of the alcohol.

M: Medium body, not very crisp. The carbonation level in this one is close to perfect. Medium amount of small and rather calm bubbles - it really suits the beer well.

D: A great IPA. Perhaps not very complex, but very well balanced and with a beautiful hop character of lemon and grapefruit. It goes down really easy and I would definitely have another if it was offered to me.

 1,304 characters

Photo of DavyJones
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SuqMadique
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of OhioBobcat
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of jono0101
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of xVERITAS
4.78/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic beer from Alesmith. I had a bottle on 10/24 that was bottled on 10/2. Very fresh.

It pours a dark copper, very transparent and not murky at all. It tasted extremely refreshing. The bitterness was perfectly blended with some sweet citrusy notes. It smells as good as it tastes, too. This is easily one of the more "complete" IPAs that I have had. I don't have a single complaint about it. I think it is very well done and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys IPAs and DIPAs

 495 characters

Photo of Tiernan
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Herze
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GameOfBeers
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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AleSmith IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,303 ratings.
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