AleSmith IPA | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith IPAAleSmith IPA

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 1,327 | Ratings: 4,126
Photo of Phillyduke
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Beer is clear and a bright, golden orange color with noticeable active carbonation and almost 3 fingers of pillowy white dense foam. Unbelieveable head retention with fine, foamy lacing that clings all the way down the glass.

S: Floral and big citrus scents up front, followed by a doughy malt base. Crisp, clean and balanced.

T: Initial sip is bitter up front, with a malt sweetness that comes through on the finish. The malt is a bit more forward than the smell would indicate, and I'm struggling to find some of that nice grapefruit smell in the flavor. The floral and citrus are there, but the dominant hop flavor is the bitterness. Overall nice balance as some yeastiness cuts through the bitterness. ABV becomes noticeable as the beer warms. Finish lingers on the palate for awhile.

M: Well carbonated, but smooth and creamy rather than fizzy and bubbly. Bottle-conditioning definitely helps this beer. Medium-bodied overall.

D/O: Definitely not a session beer, and higher on the ABV scale than most IPAs, but definitely balanced, drinkable and tasty. 22 oz. servings and a bit more ooomph per bottle would probably limit me to one or two per evening before I switched it up.

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Photo of Adrianized
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty clear light orange-amber. One finger thick white head with big bubbles.

Almost entirely citrus hops nose along with pine. Oranges and lemon, some grapefruit, caramel malt in the background.

A little bit of citrus hops up front, with a caramel malt middle. It's quickly taken over by resiny piney hops and oils. These bitter hop oils build up nicely, and are rounded out with a touch of sweetness from the malt.

Fullbodied and pretty thick for an IPA. Mild carbonation but good.

Good, well-balanced IPA.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed 1/14/2008 (bottle):

Pours a soft golden yellow color, fizzy. Huge head, very lasting w/big bubbles & good lacing. Very piney aroma, some nuttiness present too. Very sweet smelling, almost like a candy. Soft fizzy mouthfeel. Piney hops & some malt. Bittery good but not too caustic. Warming up, drier, less bitter & hoppy.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another bit of the "treasure chest" sent from Gusler! This IPA has a bright, golden color, somewhat darker, by a smidge, than a good pils, with a slight haziness to it. Head was pro-friggin'-digious!!! If you've been to Hawaii and seen the black, folding type lava....well, this is an off-white version...big and creamy and folding over itself in a huge mound of tight bubbles. Unreal! Lacing, too, is A-1, as I nearly have to scrape it off the sides!!!

The nose is a combo of a toasty maltiness and a citric, piney hop aroma. Not at all like the grapefruity Bear Racer 5 I just enjoyed, but distinct and pleasing nonetheless!

A medium body and mildly carbonated brew pass quite smoothly over the tongue.

The flavor, like the aroma, has a touch of a crackery, toasty maltiness. The predominant flavor, though, is a hop profile with a hint of grapefruit but more of a lemony slant. There is, too, a subtle spiciness present lingering in the background. A reeaaalll nice IPA!!

Thnx to "The Man" from Arizona for my first Alesmith!! Prosit!!!

overall: 4.15
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4


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Photo of grittybrews
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a rich, slightly cloudy tangerine with a small finger of white head. Malty caramel aroma with pine, grapefruit, and perhaps some tropical fruit.

Moderate carbonation and a light, dry mouthfeel. Pine and grapefruit up front with some melon, pineapple, a subtle caramel/honey backbone, and more astringent pine on the finish.

Less malty than the aroma indicated (this bottle might have been a touch old)...reminded me of a less-tropical Sculpin IPA.

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Photo of FeloniousDrunk
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a 22oz. bomber bottle into a 16oz. tulip glass. Poured clear, the color of hay, with a beautiful white, 2-finger head that left some sticky lacing all the way down. Effervescent and inviting.

S: A beautiful, balanced aroma with some strong notes of Oak, Vanilla, Citrus, Pine and Flowers. This nose is delicate, inviting, and aromatic.

T: The beer hits you with a peppery front on the tongue, and then transitions to a woodsy middle and a hoppy swallow. The flavors are well aligned, and not conflicting with a balance of lightness in the mouth and a heavy-ish after-tatse that lingers.. Other notes of cedar, pine boughs, earth, grass, and sediment.

M: Chewy, with a loaminess that belies its crisp, filtered appearance. This beer has a distinct presence, with some bubbles to give it a lighter texture, but overall, it's a beer that sits low in your mouth.

O: Delicious, but don't buy looking for an overwhelming hop flavor. The hops in this one are buried, and discrete. The first impression isn't particularly strong, but the subtle notes and flavors sneak up on you just at the right moment of enjoyment.

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Photo of smcolw
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Perhaps a little too carbonated. It starts by overflowing the bottle when opened. The pour is minimally 2/3 head to start. Forms a solid dome of foam. Leaves extensive, decorative lace all over the glass. The liquid itself is hazy with a light gold color.

Interestingly, the initial pour gives off a pleasant pale ale malt aroma. Letting the beer settle results in a strong floral (pine) hop smell.

A smooth, high-hopped beer. While it is spicy and bitter, there is a solid malt base, almost buttery. Still, this is a story of the hop. The swallow and the aftertaste is biting, like fresh ground pepper. The alcohol is well-hidden and the body is neutral for the style. A deceptively easy beer to drink.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Gingerman in NYC on 8/6/12, served in a tulip.

Pour: Light amber, slightly orange with a finger and a have cream/white head. Leaves excellent lacing.

Smell: Pine, orange, grapefruits. Some caramel sweetness in there too,

Taste: Lots of the same from the nose, with pine resin, grapefruit being the main hop show. Really substantial caramel sweetness, that balances well.

Mouthfeel: Pretty drinkable, and not overly bitter or sweet.

Overall: Pretty solid IPA, but not one I'd make my go to.

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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!

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Photo of winomark
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a brilliant meduim copper with a small light tan head. Lots of bubbles, with a clingy head.

Aroma: Hop spice and citrus from a foot away! Some malt giving balance.

Taste: Hoppy gooness and malt very well balanced. Hops grab hold of a nice, lingering finish. Malt really helps with the body.

Mouthfeel: Very flavorful, but somewhat light. Slightly heavy and sweet on the finish, which is pleasantly bitter.

Drinkability: A super brew from Alesmith. Would love to add this one to my regular selections. Try this one whenever you can.

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Photo of enrique_m
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured this into an ipa glass and it poured amber color with a nice white lacing that sticks to the glass. the smell is of grapefruit and pine. this brew has a bite, the taste is bitter like orange peel and pine. the feel is crisp and the dry finish is similar to tanons on the tongue. overall this is a refreshing ipa, it is not the best but its good.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked this beer up recently at the Whole foods on Columbus Circle in New York, having never had this before. I loved their Speedway Stout and after seeing how highly-rated it was on here, I was exciting for find this in a smaller size given how their other offerings were found in bombers. While not the best IPA that I've had, I can see why people enjoy this so much given how recessed the alcohol was and how wonderful the flavor and mouthfeel were.This was a bit strong but never felt or tasted it and it was hard not to drink quickly, in addition!

Nice pour to this as the beer had a deep golden hue, fluffy head, and somewhat cloudy appearance to it. The foam took a while to settle and was present until the end in the form of a fair amount of lacing left in layers on the side of my pint glass. Lots of citrus, pine, and pineapple in the nose with even more in the taste as well. The bready malt gave this good balance as the hop bitterness never dominated or "burned" too much and the sticky, sappy nature of this shone through wonderfully. While not juicy, this wasn't dry either as this beer struck a nice balance all-around.

While strong, this wasn't overpowering and was easy to enjoy from the get-go. I could see why people liked this so much and this was a solid offering to review on here. With so many IPA's out there, there are better and tastier examples to find but it would be hard to go wrong with this one. Another winner from AleSmith that was worth going to another state to obtain!

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Photo of larryarms847
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright golden yellow edging orange, very clean, and crisp and airy foam.

Very tropical, melon, pineapple, orange, grapefruit, caramel, and candied malt aromas.

This smells wonderful, but the flavor doesn't come across the same way. Still tropical mainly citrus, melon, and tangy pineapple-like flavors but seem subdued compared to the aroma. Supported by a caramel sweet malt backbone.

Medium-bodied, medium-carbonation, crisp, tropical, sweet.

Overall, this is another Alesmith brew that did not meet the hype for me. Good, but not incredible. There is such a large variety of IPAs that I can purchase locally that blow it out of the water hands down. Worth sampling, but a trip to Wisconsin for Alesmith is only worth it for Speedway Stout and Wee Heavy.

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Photo of albern
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a nice American IPA with a prodigious head that was immense. The head never quit, and unless you pour the beer ultra slowly fully tipped, you will have to wait out the foamy thick billowing head from this beer. The beer is a bit cloudy with some fine particulates floating about. I will review this beer with more contemplation at a later time, but for now, the beer has the orange burst of an American IPA. It is not as grapefruity or acerbic or estery and oily from the hop. The hop quality seemed a bit dry and leafy but the nice orange burst was a treat. This review will continue at a later time.

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Photo of briman
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours a hazy amber, with a big fluffy off-white head. Outstanding head retention...actually, it never completely went away. Tons of lacing.

Aroma is piney hops, but leaning more towards orange and tangerine citrus elements.

Taste is hoppy. Little bit of malt upfront, not really sweet & just enough to balance things out, but the taste is mostly citrus hops. Finishes with the typical grapefruit rind bitterness, though, it seems a little milder than I expected. Does linger for a bit, but not as long as some other examples.

Medium-full body, moderately carbonated. Alcohol is well hidden in this one. The milder than expected finish makes this a pretty smooth IPA, and I can see having quite a few of these in a sitting.

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Photo of MusicmanSD
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a slight IPA binge, I'd say this beer is not what I expected from the Alesmith hype. While tasty, the Pizza Port Swami's I had earlier was much better. I've had homebrews this good (which IS A GOOD THING!), but I feel it's like any other IPA out there. A bit sweet, not as dry as some and definitely not as hoppy as some others (doesn't taste or smell dry-hopped). While a great beer, it feels less pacific coast IPA and more east coast/british in style. Balanced though. Definitely a good beer. The head is creame and it stays around.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber into a tulip with no bottling date.

pours a crisp darker copper color with a 2 inch foamy , lasting white head. Big piney hoppiness on this beer, very nice aroma. The taste starts off with a rush of bitterness followed by the taste of pine with a tad of grapefruit. Not a lot of malt presence, this one definitely favors the hops. finishes with a lingering bitterness that stays with you for a bit. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. 7.25% is apparent, too. Nice warming quality.

Overall just a solid hop forward IPA. This is more traditional for the style, and it is done very well. If youre in the mood for a solid IPA, you wont be disappointed.

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Photo of punkrkr27
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque orange pour with a big, loose, white head. Bright citrus aroma with some floralness to it and hints of melon and honey. Loads of grapefruit, mango and melon flavor with a sweet toffee malt body. The mouthfeel is medium, sticky and loaded with cleasnsing carbonation.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with a thick foamy head. Head retention is good. Lacing is great. Has a grapefruit aroma with a good piney hop. There is a hint of caramel. Not as fresh as I would like it but still good. Nice juicy taste with grapefruit and a good transition to a piney hop. There is a mild lemon tartness at the end. Light bodied with mild carbonation. Good beer and easily drinkable. Just not a big fan of the lemon with any IPA.

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Photo of Soonami
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Alesmith IPA is a very solid IPA from California that isn't available on the east coast afaik, but I managed to get some in a trade. My first comment was that this beer was a bit too sweet for an IPA and although it didn't make it undrinkable, but does take away from how I like this beer. It has a beautiful hazy orange color with just a light glazing of foam that easily dissipates. The aroma is strongly piney with a bit of fruity sweet note. The beer has great bitterness and hop qualities, that are resinous, pineapple, almost lychee like in it's tropical character. I really enjoyed this beer but just wish that it wasn't so sweet.

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Photo of asabreed
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Lighter golden and a good frothy head with good retention but a quickly dissipating head.

Smell: Big citrus and grapefruit, with some good earthiness. Good all around. Nothing transcendent.

Taste: Good balanced with earthy rind-like grapefruit and herbal bitterness. Big finish, a bit of candied grapefruit. Lots of lemon and orange there also, but lacking the good plus bomber-ness.

Mouthfeel: Big and frothy and nice, but it's still medium-bodied, and creamy as all hell. The best thing about this beer for sure.

Drinkability: To me it's not the heralded beer folks say it is. I get this all around, honestly. That said, it's great, and I liked it all around.

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Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hoppy and very bitter fresh bottle thanks to xlperro. While very good IPA, its not significantly superior to many other good American IPAs I have had. Full mouthfeel with citrus and dough. Somewhat overcarbonated that with bitterness and pine and tad grassiness, set off my mouth. Good accompanyment to dinner however.

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Photo of philbe311
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Three finger's worth of eggshell colored head that is fluffy and delicate with a slightly rocky top... Pretty impressive retention... The color is a vibrant amber with a faint glow... A limited amount of slightly sluggish carbonation... Loads of sticky lacing cling to the sides of the glass...

S - An interesting mix of hoppiness... Mostly citrus (oranges and tropical fruit) with some earthiness and a kiss a piney notes... While the hops are at the forefront, there is a malt base the while slightly less than equal is still fairly strong... Graham crackers... Some bread crust notes... A hint of caramel... Even some faint golden raisin sweetness...

T - A fairly mellow earth hoppiness dominates throughout... The malt base is more pronounced on the palette and is loaded with crackers, bread crust, and some faint hints of caramel and toffee... There is also a very very faint spiciness that lingers beneath the surface...

M - Light to medium bodied... Light to moderate carbonation... A bit of juiciness... The finish turns increasingly dry and slightly chalky...

D - A formidable American IPA that deserves it's spot at the table with the other big boys in the category... Not my personal favorite, but there are many exceptional characteristics of this Alesmith offering...

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Photo of spicelab
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Adam@Platinum Liquor.

Copper-orange, mostly clear with an absurdly large white head that retreats slowly leaving okay lacing. On swirling get an immediate head resurgence with good retention.

Bitter rind, orange, pineapple and mildly spicy, floral hops. Candied, boiled sweet notes marry well with the floral character. Hint of cleaning product.

Fresh grapefruit, earthy pine and orange rind overtake the tropical fruit character in the nose, but only just. Plenty of mango, melons and guava. The malts are unobtrusive and serve merely to sharpen the hop flavours.

Relatively chewy and full, with moderate whole-of-palate bitterness and terrific length.

Very, very drinkable and hard to fault, although personally I'd prefer a little more tropical hops and a stronger malt presence - admittedly the latter probably make me a heretic.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to metallitone1 for this fine ale.

a - burnt orange color, a bit of haze, big off-white head with good retention and great lacing, lots of bubbles - almost soda-like

s - big citrusy hop aroma, orange, pineapple, some pine, sweet, slight maltiness

t - big sweetness up front with lots of caramel and maltiness, pretty surprising judging from the smell, hops hit on the tail of this one with an intense bitterness that lasts through the long finish, notes of orange and grapefruit, tinge of alcohol at the end as well

m - medium-bodied, ample carbonation, moderately dry finish

d - somewhat drinkable, the sweetness and bitterness limits somewhat, definitely not a session beer

Very good beer overall, but not the top notch IPA I expected. Much more like a DIPA to me. Different from other SoCal IPAs I've tried. The intense sweetness was a little too much for me. That said, my expectations were artificially high and I'd certainly like to have this available to me regularly.

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AleSmith IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.27 out of 5 based on 4,126 ratings.
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