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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: 1,309 | Ratings: 4,074
Photo of rkhaze
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a golden copper with a big, densly packed, creamy off white head topping a plethora of carbonation bubbles. Left good lace. Big
fresh floral/citrus hop aroma. Almost a perfume like nuance. Sweet malt and some fruit show up as well.
Lots of hop flavors. Starts out with floral, citrus and pine resin and finishes with a pungent spicy/peppery, intense hop bitterness. There was a decent sweet malt and light fruit backbone in the middle, but ultimately, this was all about the hops.
Medium bodied with a smooth, full and slightly oily mouthfeel. The carbonation was surprisingly soft and added some creaminess to the mouthfeel.
The creamy soft mouthfeel and good job of hiding the alcohol make this a supremely drinkable offering.
This seemed to be on the verge being an Imperial IPA. Went great with the pastami and swiss on light rye from the local Italian deli.

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Photo of spointon
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured this from a 22oz brown bomber bottle into an Imperial tulip pint glass.

A= This ale poured a pleasant amber tinted gold with a very slight haze to it. The head was thick and dense and rose a good 3/4". Solid retention with lots of clingy lace left on my glass.

S= The malt base was caramelly and sweet smelling. Hops were equal parts resiny pine and fruity citrus in the nose, with a light flowery note in there too. Pretty much pushed all my hop smelling buttons.

T= Big and hoppy yet somehow retaining a balance that is mesmerizing. Started off with a quick flash of caramel malt and light biscuit followed closely by a solid bitterness and lots of hop flavor. The pine was slightly ahead of the floral and citrus notes but all were very much present in the flavor. Finished dry with a kiss of alcohol warmth.

MF= Medium bodied with a super crisp and tiny-bubbled carbonation.

D= Extremely tasty and super drinkable. This is a great example of an American IPA and it certainly lives up to its hype.

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: A reddish-amber color with a thick 1/2 inch off-white head.

S: The hops come across in a big citrus smell, also some pine and resin.

T: The hops hit you in a big way with perfect carbonation. Lots of citrus in the hops and a bit of sweetness. A perfect amount of hops for an IPA, big but tasty and spot on. It is also very well balanced with the sweetness of the malts.

M: Very pleasant, the hops hit the tongue just right.

D: This beer hits the style right on. A great American west-coast IPA, one of the better ones that I've sampled. Very well balanced with the appropriate amount of hops with the sweetness of the malts. It's a little hard to find up here in NorCal but I would definitely be drinking it often if I could.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into the Sam Adams perfect pint from a 22oz bottle.

A - Nice straw golden color with slight orange hues and a thin .25 inch head that is white and has some dense and some medium sized bubbles. Good retention and some nice sticky lacing.

S - Aroma is very much a west coast grapefruit aroma with nice flowery scents. Nice grapefruit sweetness that is very inviting. Some slight honey aroma as well and a slight bready backbone.

T - Starts off a bit slow for an IPA. The bready and grainy malt is up front first which is a welcoming change and puts an interesting twist on the overall flavor profile of this beer. The malt aspect is very delicious with some fresh baked bread notes as well as some nut-like hints. Then a nice grapefruit sweetness with nice citric flavors. The hop character is very delicious and well represented with great grassy flavors.

M & D - Nice crisp and refreshing. Straight foreword but well done. Very refreshing and drinkable. Good balance and good ABV makes this a very drinkable brew.

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Photo of kkleu357
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

From notes on 3/7/15

Wow, One of the best IPAs I’ve ever had. Not sure why I’ve always passed up on this one. Excellent example of what an IPA should be. Deep golden amber pour. Huge floral aroma. Very flowery beer. Sharp resin bitter taste, followed by hints of floral notes and strong fruity citrus notes.

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Photo of atbump
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a beautiful shade of hazy orange into my Delirium Tulip. Smells of an amalgamation of west coast citrus hops. A little bit of juicy tropical flavor shines through while pine and grapefruit dominate. The taste brings the aroma to full light with a biting wet hop mouthfeel and a crisp drinkable easy malt backbone. Perfectly balanced to my hophead tastes with a smell that will reel you in and keep asking for more, even when the 22oz runs dry. I wish this was made into 12oz beers but until then I will drink West Coast IPA. This beer finishes beautifully and any other standard six pack IPA will pale in comparison.

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Photo of hardy008
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy amber with a one finger, off white head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has orange, grapefruit, zest, and pine.

The taste is just like the smell. Oranges, grapefruit, zest, and pine. There is also a good deal of sweet caramel malt flavor to balance the hop bitterness.

Smooth, creamy, medium to full bodied, with medium carbonation. This is such an easy beer to drink. This beer is definitely one I want to buy again.

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Photo of kramerboy
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This IPA is exceptional.

a - wonderful light orange color with great carbonation bubbles and thick head.

s - great citrus hops and a faint malt

t - Wow, this one tastes like a perfect IPA to me. The hops and malts are perfectly balanced.

m - awesome. just right in my opinion

d - this one is a home run. I can get this locally and would drink it anytime I can afford to pick up a bomber.

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Photo of TheParchedOne
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle-conditioned IPA

Appearance: Very light amber colored, clear, medium carbonation, can easily attain a head (must be careful with your pour), head retention is good, head will grab the sides of the glass from start to finish, head reforms easily after slight agitation.

Smell: Flowery, with resin/citrus undertones

Taste: Light well built IPA with very slight bitterness. There are no overpowering flavors here...nice and balanced

Mouthfeel: Velvety/Grips the tongue slightly on the way down but with medium carbonation

Overall: Easy to drink and not too high on the alcohol content (7.5%). A very good example of what a true IPA should taste like.

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

Nice light color, near white foam hung just right. Aroma and taste as advertised, citrus and pine with a little tropical fruit. Body slightly on the light side.

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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.

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Photo of Gyle41386
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a mug. Thanks, portia99!

Pours a slightly hazy light orange-amber type color. Giant, creamy, foamy head. Excellent retention, great lacing. This is what my dream IPA looks like.

Hugely hoppy nose. Loads and loads of citrus (orange and grapefruit) wrapped around big fresh pine. Slight caramel smell, as well.

The flavor doesn't disappoint. Huge citrus, huge pine. I see a lot of discussion on this site about the ratings of IPA to style, and how certain people favor an all out hop assault to nice balance, and vice versa, the East Coast/West Coast rap battle of beer, I suppose. I don't have a dog in the fight; I just prefer a well-crafted IPA, which includes a perfectly balanced one like Masala Mama, or a hop-forward one like this. That's not to say there isn't balance here...the sweet caramel malt flavor provides an excellent backbone for the hops. I'm really impressed.

The mouthfeel is perfect. This is easily one of the smoothest beers I've ever had the privilege to drink. Full body, appropriate carbonation, supremely silky and creamy. Absolutely no hint of alcohol in the flavor...just a slight warming sensation on the way down.

Seriously, this is an amazing beer. Now that I've tried it, I'm even sadder that I can't get it in my area. I'm grateful to generous traders like portia99, who threw this bomber in as an extra. I need to find a way to make this a regular in the fridge.

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Photo of heygeebee
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow - Serious Beer Territory - thanks to Adam @ Platinum.

Pours a golden hazy body, two finger head which stays really nicely (well more than most). A really good looking beer.

Massive hit on nose of all the classic AIPA ingredients, pine, citrus, grapefruit.

Taste is same as aromas but add in a silky smooth consistency, with a massive malt backbone to go with the hops.

Mouthfeel full bodied, to die for.

Excellent beer all round.

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

Over the past few months I've been rather dissapointed with some of the classic ipas and some of the newer ones I have tried as well. Started to think my love of ipas wad fading. Then I tried this finally avaiable in michigan. Wow, this is like hopslam at its best mixed with deschutes fresh squeezed. It's bitter nut light at the same time. Has a very lemongrass taste to it. By far the best ipa I have had in quite awhile. Well worth the high rating. This dosent disappoint.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

For the ardent hop-head, this brew is truly a gift. It pours out a hazy deep gold color with a very thick very sticky head. It's as if the brewers added a dollop of bread dough to each bottle to form such an impressive crown.

The smell is pretty pure - clean, clear hops and lots of 'em. A mild grain note in the nose but it's a very quiet note; this is all citrus and spice.

The taste is quite exquisite - while it's unapologetic about the hops, there's a very clean, sweet grain note to add balance to the brew. As strong as the taste is, it is by no means harsh - far from it. This is a very smooth, incredibly well balanced brew.

Mouthfeel is good. Plenty of carbonation and a nice velvety feel going down. Not so astringent that it leaves your tongue burnt but instead each sip invites the next.

This is a very drinkable brew and I'm happy to discover it's available locally. No surprise that it's one of the top rated IPAs and frankly, it could easily stand up to all but the very finest double IPAs.

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Photo of kmcnair
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle. Pours a hazy, deep copper hue and makes a thick creamy white head that slowly diminishes into a thin layer of tiny dense bubbles which never fades. Dense Belgian lacing clings to the sides of my glass. Some pine and citrus aromas appear from a quick swirl of the glass, there's a hint of sweet malts as well. Flavor hits the tongue hard with a mouth-puckering strong bitterness and then the sweet malted backbone rushes in to bring a wonderful balance. Massive herbal and grassy hop flavors mixed with tart grapefruit citrus and pine with just the right ammount of caramel malt balance to make this one taste as good as a west coast IPA can taste. Bottle conditioning gives this a nice creamy texture on the palate and then closes with an astringent dry finish. A really well done IPA in the west coast style, I enjoy AleSmith IPA often.

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

Bomber into a Duvel tulip, in a side-by-side tasting with Sculpin.

A: Gorgeous orange hue to the body, which is hazy and has a number of chunks of yeast in it, both floaters and sinkers; a straight pour yields a beautiful, voluminous 3-finger head of creamy, eggshell foam. The head recedes almost imperceptibly, leaving what looks like huge billows of whipped cream in the middle and a good amount of spotty, feathery lacing near the top of the glass and fuller sheets lower down. I can't imagine a better looking unfiltered, bottle-conditioned IPA.

S: Pure citrus hops, with lemon, grapefruit, and especially orange. Also some creamy fruitiness, like pineapple or orange sherbet. Full-bodied without being overwhelming. I can't wait to taste it.

T: Follows the nose precisely, with juicy, creamy citrus throughout. From the zesty orange up front through the creamy sherbet finish to the perfectly bitter hop aftertaste, this is a truly delicious west coast IPA. As with the nose, my only complaint would be that it isn't quite as intense as it could be (especially when compared to the pucker-tastic Sculpin).

M: Mouth-coating, medium-bodied, and perfectly delectable creaminess from the delicate bottle-conditioned carbonation. Perfect.

D: Even with a slightly higher ABV, I'm finding it far easier to put back than Sculpin. I love IPAs and am relishing the task of killing these two bombers, but the Alesmith is clearly going to be the easier one to finish.

Notes: This was a huge blast from the past for me, as Alesmith IPA was the first craft beer I ever sought out after reading about it on a beer website (back in my high-school days it was the enemy, though, I'm afraid I have to admit); its citrus attack knocked my 18 year old socks off, and I've been a hop-head ever since. This is the first chance I've had to revisit the beer (almost 7 years later), and I'm only slightly less impressed. Then it was hands-down the best beer I'd ever tasted. Now it's just in my top 10. Incredibly beautiful, incredibly smooth, incredibly tasty, and incredibly drinkable, this is simply a world-class IPA, and the clear winner of the contest - 4.65 to Sculpin's 4.3. That said, the only category it lost in the head-to-head was taste, where Sculpin simply brought the hops like none other (well, no other single IPA, anyway). Both are amazing beers, and it's been a privilege drinking them together.


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Photo of Wackyfoot
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle picked up at City Beer Store in San Fran. Pretty amber pour with a large and vibrant white head. Vivid orange and grapefruit nose with perhaps a hint of other fruits as well. Nice orange and malt biscuit flavor, extremely well-balanced and very tasty.

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Photo of mjtiernan
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into an oversized tulip. No bottle date.

A: One and a half finger white head. Hazy golden orange body.

S: Yes. Crisp aroma, grapefruit, tangerine, tropical fruit. Everything I love in the smell of an IPA.

T: Harmony of flavor. It just works so well together. Fruity hops provide awesome flavor while some grapefruit and pine perfect counterbalance of bitterness.

M: Tremendous. So easy to drink for so much flavor. Medium to full body, texture and carb are spot on. Finish is moderately astringent.

O: This is one of the first truly west coast IPAs I had and it stood out above most of the others. Fortunately, it’s looking like we’ll be getting it locally from now on so I’m a happy beer drinker.

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Photo of theghost3
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy, straw color with a very foamy, huge head. Lots of layered lacing; floating yeast sediment. This one was a gusher. I would have given this a 5 for appearance if not for how unstable it was during the pour.

The smell is fresh grapefruit with pine--all hops. The taste is citrusy, bitter. Mouthfeel is crisp & carbonated, slightly sticky. There's some solid sediment there.

This is a deliciously drinkable IPA. I completely understand why it gets such great reviews. Just be sure to let it sit for a little bit after uncapping to avoid its instability.

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Photo of BoardwalkBock
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First time I've seen a fresh bottle on Long Island in probably a year or two. I love this beer, and have been waiting for the opportunity to have it again. Last time I saw a bottle, it was 9 months old.

Bottled 01/05/2015. That's as fresh as it will get in these parts.

A: Golden orange with a straw-like hue. Decent head that faces to a persistent lacing that sticks all over the glass. Quintessential IPA appearance.

S: Smells like someone placed a pine tree in the middle of a fruit farm from Central America . Mango, papaya, tangerine and pineapple taunt the senses while the pine and resin sneaks up on it. Slight malt presence, not that I am complaining. I wish the majority of IPAs smelled like this.

T: Well balanced hop flavors all present in the aroma. Tropical flavors exploded at first followed by a very nice resinous pine flavor that just coats the tongue. Very dank and sticky. Nice biscuity-cracker and caramel malt presence helps keep this beer from being over the top with hops.

F: Medium bodied, well carbonated. Bitter but not over the top.

O: Still one of my favorite IPAs. First had it when I was out in San Diego, and have been on the search in NY since. I've come across it a few times since, with only a handful of times being this fresh. Will definitely go back out and pick more up tomorrow. For a 95 rating, this beer is so far under the radar its not even funny. Phenomenal IPA and a great guideline for other IPAs.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber poured into a snifter. It pours a slightly hazy orange color with two fingers of head. A good amount of lacing on the glass. The smell is bursting with citrusy hops. It really leaps out at you and fills the nostrils easily. The taste is all hops baby. Lots of fresh juicy hops with great grapefruit flavor and nice bitterness. The body is creamy and thick. The drinkability is great, I would have never guessed this to be 7.25%. A flippin' fantastic IPA. Thanks to clvand0 for bringing this to our tasting!

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 22oz bottle shipped to me from Escondido, CA. I can't get enough of Alesmith after my trip to the brewery last summer.

A - A bronze amber, with 2 fingers of head, and sticky lace all over the glass. Small bubbles rise to the top throughout

S - Ok, the smell is off the hook. The most delicous citrus hoppy smell ever. It takes over the room as soon as you open the bottle.

T - An incredibly tasty mix of citrus and pine hops. A little bit of a bitter aftertaste, but alot of citrus, fruit flavors for a west coast IPA.

M - Medium bodied, smooth.

O - An amazingly tasty, well balanced IPA. This goes up in my top 5. So damn drinkable and the ABV is completely hidden

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Photo of jomo
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a beautiful, deep orange and pours with a nice, solid head. Only detractor is the amount of yeast floating around. Of course, the bottle conditioning results in more important qualities later.

Smell....Wow. Perfectly hoppy with pine and citrus. I hear this IPA is heavily dry hopped and it is worth it.

Taste is balanced. Not too hoppy, but with some malt and citrus overtones. Finish is long and bitter. If you like a really long finish, this IPA should fit the bill.

Nice, fine carbonation. Champagne like. Middle viscosity which seems right for an IPA.

Drinkability? Would have been a 5, except for the long finish. This is an IPA to savor almost like a spirit.

A well crafted brew.


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Photo of bigreduw64
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Started pouring this beer and only got about 1/3 of it in my 1/2 L Ayinger willibecker glass. Pours with a ton of head. The aroma hits me from a couple feet away, this is going to be a great IPA. I can smell the hops, grapefruity, floral goodness. The taste punches my tongue and I want it to keep beating me. This is a great beer. Have to say the only downside is that after a couple sips, my taste buds are destroyed. Either I stick with the hops or I will have to go to my backup session beer because this is so flavorful I can't taste anything else. The mouthfeel is what I would expect out of a good IPA, lightly carbonated with a medium body. The drinkability is great, I could drink a couple of these. However I would probably fall down after that because I can definitely feel the alcohol in this one. Great beer!

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AleSmith IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.27 out of 5 based on 4,074 ratings.
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