AleSmith IPA | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith IPAAleSmith IPA

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

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Reviews: 1,303 | Ratings: 4,032
Photo of CuriousMonk
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Its high alcohol content may catch you unawares if you're not careful, but it's hard to resist once you've tasted it. 7.25% ABV. Poured from 22oz bomber into dimpled glass - no date on bottle. Pourded a dark golden orange color. Smell consisted of sweet hops and malts accompanying hints of citrus and light pine and/or vanilla. Taste starts off with citrus flavors with a nice malty sweetness. Mouthability was smooth, medium bodied, and well-carbonated along with a nice head and laces that were left throughout. Other than taste, drinkability was the highlight of this beer as it consisted of a smooth nice malt characteristic for an American IPA. My experience with this beer has automatically made my top five IPA to date just sitting below 3F Dreadnaught.

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Photo of nhindian
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber split with my roommate and poured into a tulip.

A - The body on this beer is a pale, golden yellow, with some tangerine highlights to it. Even with a relatively careful pour, it turns out a bit hazy with yeast sediment due to the bottle conditioning, but it's pretty tame. The head is full and consists of 2.5-fingers worth of ivory foam, with a nice balance of tight and loose bubbles making up the texture. I can't see much, if any, carbonation streams in the glass. Lacing is pretty nice, with foamy peaks cresting on the sides of the tulip glass.

S - Although AleSmith doesn't date their bottles (tisk tisk for IPAs...), this beer certainly does smell fresh. This is almost the one beer that compares to Russian River's Pliny the Elder in my opinion, in that it is like sticking your head in a box of pine tree refresheners. I have yet to encounter a beer that rivals Pliny in that regard, and it's only fitting that it comes from another West Coast brewery. As it warms it sort of transforms into a more well-rounded IPA, drawing inspiration from the more citrusy hops and extracting some grapefruit, orange, and mango. Mostly hop-forward and having no apologies for it, this beer is seriously addicting to smell.

T - It's been almost five months since I've had Pliny the Elder, and I can instantly draw comparisons to it. Living on the East Coast, I've surrounded myself with balanced IPAs, that while boasting heavy IBUs, are still balanced heavily by a supportive malt backbone. However, this beer is obviously and unabashedly hop-bomb and I've found that I really enjoy those type of IPAs. Maybe I should move to California. Again, it's mostly like sucking on a pine cone, but with a refreshing wave of citrus behind it to transition the flavor. Comparing this to Pliny the Elder, Surly's Abrasive, Troegs' Nugget Nectar, and Bell's Hopslam, this can easily hold its own and I'm fairly sure I'd place it above Hopslam.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately light-bodied with good carbonation. Pretty smooth for the style and leaves a thick coating on the mouth. The hops don't exactly rip the enamel off of your teeth, but they certainly do tingle after drinking this.

D - Drinkability is high. For an American IPA I'd say this is easily near the top of my rankings, if not for any IPA. Easily rivals the other, better-known competitors and I think this is a dark horse. If I could get this easily, I don't think I'd regularly drink another IPA.

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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.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber shared with my standard drinking buddy. BeerFMAndy.

Poured into my pint glass the beer is a crystal clear golden yellow. The blast of head is rediculous. At least four fingers of stark white head explode to the top of my glass. After waiting a few minutes the head has formed what can only be described as beer ice cream. This beer has some of the finest head retention I've ever laid eyes on.

The aroma is full on juicy pineapple. A boquet of hops, fresh cut grass and pine needles. We joked about pouring this beer inside our cars and use it like hop air freshener. So fruity and hoppy.

The flavor is a mix of pine and grapefruit. Plenty of hop goodness. Some apples and pears with traces of bubblegum. Sweet and sour deliciousness. Dry finish.

Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Overall a spectacular beer. I could drink this one on a daily basis.

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Photo of deadmonkees
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this in a bottle on 8/9/09. The appearance is typical American IPA with a caramel color. Excellent head retention and unbelieveable lacing sticks on the side of the glass. The smell starts with a true hop aroma but not over the top. The taste is wonderful. A little citrus but with the extra kick in alcohol (7.25%) it adds a nice malt flavor to balance it out. Mouthfeel is outstanding, with a smooth finish. I enjoyed this better than these great IPA's as well (DogFish Head 90 and Victory Hop Devil Ale).

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Photo of ericj551
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Alesmith IPA pours a very slightly hazy orange with an off white head. Smell is very fruity with a lot of citrus, orange, grapefruit, as well as a slight piney aroma. The taste is more sweet citrus, lots of orange flavor with a hint of bitter grapefruit. The sweet maltiness kicks in just enough to balence the solid hop bitterness. This beer is so balenced, it hides its strength very well. I brought this bottle back from CA, hopefully it makes its way out the the East Coast soon.

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Photo of Vancer
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Holy cow, what a top notch IPA – I’m again jealous of the BA’s on the coasts! They seem to have a great offering of brews.

Strong abv of 7.75 tries to knock down the ivory head (on top of a nice amber / orange pour) – but the strong lacing wins out!

Sexy piney and citrus in the aroma. A nice quaff adds the dimension of grapefruit to the mix. Just a superb blend of solid IPA tastes that dances about throughout the bomber.

Medium bodied, crisp and clean – doesn’t have an oily texture that the DIPAs get into (but I also like). Even with the kick-ass abv, I would luv to quaff a few more of these, and I will!

A hearty cheers to BRoss242 for the pleasure.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Color is a pale deep orangeish yellow with a light brown tone to it, chill haze present, head just over a finger high, loosly thick and bubbly, cream colored, fades fairly quick and lace sticks well in thin webby spots and thin whispy sheets. Smell is quite a nice hop nose, sweeter pine sense thats bitterly smooth, a touch floral and spiced over a nice toasty caramel malt backbone. Taste is lovely, smooth, soft and rounded, balanced well, nothing overwhelming in the hops, bitterness in check by alot, but whats there is loaded full with nice soft sweet pine, some fresh floral hop hints, caramel malts dotted in the backing thats soft as well. the softness really stands out favorably, I liked it alot. I'm betting its a dried and fresh hop ale variant. Not such a 'in your face' IPA, a simple & welcome surprise and something I find now having had a few Alesmith brews that is something in character that seems to stand out for me in their brews. Feel is soft and pleasant, nearly full, super smooth, nothing harsh here, lingering of bitterness is shorter then most but seems to fit with this one. A bit tamer then the Yulesmith, but nearly the same in every aspect of softness and drinkablity. The softness makes for very easy drinkin'! The bomber was gone in no time. Definately an IPA to keep around for any Ol' time.

Big thanks to Gusler who provided the bomber.

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Photo of bitterthebetter
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a light golden yellow, with slight copper hues and a creamy, lacy white head

grapefruit dominates the nose, with sturdy pine, resiny, floral, and slight lemony hops

hoppy, first piney, then slight citrus with both lemon and grapefruit, but more lemon. floral notes on the finish with a spicy and dry finish

smooth, crisp, hoppy yet balanced, with a lot of good flavors mixing around, with a light yet solid malty backbone; just enough to provide balance yet not cloud the hops. relatively light bodied but very long on the finish

its got all the hop flavors that I look for in an IPA. Solid hops with a plethora of hoppy flavors that last end coat the palate. smooth, big, balanced, delicious, with a light enough body that makes it go down way to easy.

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

A: golden yellow with a huge rocky white head, tons of lacing, not much carbonation

S: floral and fruity hops up front, slight caramel and berries in the middle

T: oaky wood up front with floral notes again, some fruit in the middle with some piney sweetness, it all tapers off a little more quickly than I would like

M: crisp, maybe a little low on carbonation, ever so slightly thin?

D: a very unique IPA in my opinion, strong and complex, but still totally drinkable

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

Pours from the attractive (I love the simplicity of AleSmith's bottles)22oz bottle a deep orangey amber with a very thick, fluffy white head. The bubbles danced around in the glass and quickly rose to the top to form the head. What a site!!

Smell is hugely citric and flowery with loads and loads of hops.

Taste was incredible, a huge amount of hops up front, then balanced by a solid malt backbone. Alcohol is very present, but in a way that is not offensive, but rather, adds tons of complexity and spice. The medium body produces layers of flowery and grapefruity biterness, giving way to a snappy dry finish.

The is very drinkable, but at it's strength, vould be pretty "warming". To me, it was right on the verge of a DIPA, but not quite there. It is definitely in my top two for the style, I love this beer, but that's not surprising, as it's AleSmith!!!

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally unwrapping a Christmas present.

Love the almost generic-looking "IPA" in big block letters.

A slighty chilly orange body, topped by a three full fingers of frothy, dentible eggshell bubbles. Good lacing.

An abundant nose of grapefruit and pine, the fruit juicy and ripe.

A strong, firm malt foundation layers across the tongue, but it's quickly smothered with a rush of hops which flood throughout the mouth. Juicy, fresh, but not overpoweringly bitter. This is beer as a roller coaster. After taste is an almost clean, refreshing memory echoing in your mouth. The beer has gone, but your tastebuds just want to enjoy the fade.

Mouthfeel is slick, just fine for the style.

Drinkability? Hell I'm bummed that I've only got the the one bottle. I've got a niece moving to San Diego. Maybe she can bring a couple back when she comes home to visit. Definitely have this if you can.

Thanks again to Eyechartbrew.

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Photo of Roguer
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful translucent brew, orange-amber, good head retention.

Hops are juicy, piney, and potent. Hint of dank herbs, massive bitterness, grapefruit peel finish. Sweet malts with a touch of caramel.

Lively feel, medium bodied and very drinkable with heft. Cloying hop oils, puckering bitterness, dry finish.

This is a damn near perfect IPA. It's almost daring me to give it 5.0s.

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Photo of Hendry
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From the moment you pop the top on AleSmith IPA, you get the sense from the nose, even from the bottle, that this has potential for enjoyment. The pour was relatively average with a two finger head that disappeared pretty quickly but did leave nice lacing.

Not really clear-as-a-bell, nor is it truly cloudy off-orange either.The nose is hop forward with notes of grapefruit,tangerine,pineapple and a nice balance of malt presence: carbonation is right on the money.

Flavors are that of a well crafted West Coast IPA: the grapefruit/pineapple/tangerine that are in the nose are also what hit your palate with an exceptionally well balanced malty caramel smack to it,very little alcohol presence and a terrific aftertaste that is on the dry side and invites you back for another sip. Mouthfeel is on the thinner side of medium and bottom line is that this IPA stands out head and shoulders amongst others in the same price range or even higher.

The ratings are high on this nicely crafted IPA, and they deserve every bit of it. Don't let the plain Jane packaging on this bomber turn you off: make this one next on your list to buy if you really enjoy not just tropical fruit hoppiness, but an exceptionally well balanced Ale. Two thumbs way up.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Coincidentally, I'm pouring this into a Delirium Tremens tulip glass, as did the reviewer immediately preceding this review. Typical IPA look: burnt orange with a hop-haze and a bone-white head that's pillowy and lasts a good while, leaving nice streaks of lace as it goes.

Aroma is a wonderful melange of grapefruit rind and flesh, orange, and mint. Very slight hint of toffee far back.

On the tongue, this is quintessential west coast IPA. Take the elements of the aroma--citrus rind, juicy citrus fruit flesh, and a hit of spearmint--add a dose of pine resin, more citrus in the form of mango, a mildly astringent green grass character, and sweet malt goodness that provides balance and just enough graininess...put it all together and you have something completely de-freaking-licious.

There's a delicate softness to the mouthfeel that almost resembles that from a tap...bubbles are small and make this thing ultra-silky. Read the text on the back, and you find this is with good reason: it's bottle-conditioned. There you go. Hallelujah.

Wonderful...a fantastic IPA, without any doubt. Excuse me while I go soak up some sun and revel in this beauty.

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Photo of BradBLR
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a golden amber color that was slightly cloudy and a deep white head. Head lasted most of the beer with a good amount of lacing. The smell was all hops, a very strong floral aroma with hints a citrus (grapefruit).

The taste was really good, a cross between a local IPA (Sequoia Brewing) and Stone's IPA. Very good flavor, nice hoppy flavor right up front, slightly sweet maltiness, and a very sharp bitter back end. Mounthfeel was great, very smooth, nice thickness, and CO2 was perfect.

A very good IPA, that should be a standard for any one wanting to try a high quality IPA. Give it a try!

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The chilled bomber bottle evidences quite a bit of sediment floating around the bottom, and when cracked open and poured into my Duvel tulip glass the phenomenon intensifies. The detritus appears to be remnants from the dry-hopping process, as quite a bit of the matter in suspension looks a lot like bottom-of-the-bag shake-leaves. The brew itself sparkles a shade of coppery-orange and sports a sturdy cap of glossy, creamy, eggshell-colored foam that sustains itself at two fingers' thickness.

Notes of ripe mango, lime leaves, blood oranges, juicy lemons and a smattering of evergreen pine swirl above the glass and grab onto my olfactory receptors as the head slowly settles, the cap of foam resting in a misshapen cloudlike wallop that deposits chunky bands of lacing onto the sides of the glass.

The taste is an idyllic take on the perfectly-done West Coast-style IPA, the dry, nearly invisible hint of a malt body yielding to a runaway freight train of hop flavors and and a smack in the mouth of tooth-squeaking, but well-controlled bitterness. Grassy and piney notes pump out the IBUs while mellow hints of ripe orange, lime peel oils and orchardfruits soften the drink and enrich it to savory hoppy perfection.

The drink is an easy one to swallow, and is fluffy-medium in body with understated carbonation. Highly drinkable and * almost * as good as the Pliny... Thanks, Murch!

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Photo of trpng0bily
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a:light clear orange turning to yellow at the edges, with serious frothy white head and tons of lace

s: hops - citrus, spice, and sticky refreshing pine, with caramel sweetness and bread coming through as the beer warms

t: talk about layered! light spice and fresh pine sit at the edges of citrus that starts out understated but unfolds into a huge burst of flavor, followed by a bitter finish that relentlessly builds momentum, lingering to an astonishing degree

m: fairly heavy carbonation, but the kicker in this department is a mild creaminess that I was not expecting from such a light looking and crisp IPA

d: seriously? goes down like water

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Photo of WesWes
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a golden color, with a thick white frothy pale head. The hops are intense with a beautiful floral component. The flavor of carapils and pale malts nearly offsets the hop bitterness, but instead creates a foundation for a truely great flavor. I wish that I could create the high alpha acid aroma that this brewer has perfected in this bottle. It's awesome. It goes down so damn smooth. This is near perfect as an IPA is concerned. The mouthfeel is great. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a kick ass IPA. It's got malt complexity. It's got hop character. This is a highly drinkable beer period.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

08/02/05- Received fro BA member RKhaze.

Presentation- 22oz bomber with no dating. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Golden amber colored elixer. Forms a very nice 1 inch thick and creamy sparkling white head. Good lacing as well.

Smell- Greeted by a huge scent of many different kinds of hops. The first one that caught me was the big sweet cotton candy scent. Then the light fruit scented ones came followed by the pine tree scent.

Taste- Not the hop bomb expected after the scent, but more of a very nicely balanced IPA. Mostly pine flavored hops, not the sweet ones I smelled at first. Then a nice soft malt backbone. Just enough to be noticed and to add to the mix of hops.

Mouthfeel- Good level of carbonation.

Drinkability- A definite top level IPA. One I would readily buy often if it was easily available here. Definite must try for anyone who loves IPA's.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Revist: 1 Dec 15
22 oz. Bomber
Bottled On: 07/22/15

Another one of those brew's I've not had for years.

Pours a very nice slightly cloudy dark golden yellow color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice almost two-finger thick/creamy off-white head, which leaves some pretty thick sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, with some malt notes, very nice citrus/pine notes. The taste is pretty freakn' nice, hoppy, very nice malt note, very nice pine/citrus notes. Medium body, with a nice slightly chewiness, very nice bitter/dry finish. Overall, this is still a very very nice IPA, still one of the best for the ABV. Wish I would have had a fresher bottle, well I have been sitting on it for a month at least. Highly Recommended!

22oz. bottle

Pours a deep gold color, huge head. Lacing/head stayed thru out the whole time. Very hoppy/citrus scents. Hoppy/sweet taste with a nice bite at the end. Medium body. This is one helleva brew, awesome taste and quite strong for a IPA, a couple of these and you will be feeling pretty good.

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Photo of JEdmund
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Honey orange with a head that looks like a dollop of whipped cream; lots of carbonation; thick cap of head sticks around throughout

Awesome--so tantalizing with its extremely citric pungency, like orange, lime, and lemon juice squeezed into the glass; one of the best smelling IPAs I've come across

Taste & Mouthfeel
Very tasty! Hops from start to finish--all citrus juice from the nose and some sweet pineapple; full body and thick, creamy texture, and low carbonation; such a BIG IPA...makes me feel like I'm drinking a DIPA (and at 7.25% this is on the hefty end); malty sweets are there to provide just enough contrast and balance to the hops

The hops bill in this IPA is fantastic; I just love the citric juiciness of it all. A big, balanced, and solid American IPA. This immediately jumped to my top 10--maybe even top 5--of my favorite IPAs. Good stuff!

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Photo of brdc
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Large capped bottle, poured into a tulip.

Nice golden color, with a nice head of whitish foam, that holds quite weel, eventually dropping to an ever lasting collar.
Aroma is quite fruity, fresh feeling, floral almost like a well kept garden; the aroma is above and beyond most for the style, and it also brings some subtle caramel maltiness.
Medium body, fine carbonation that adds to the experience.
Well balanced flavor, with a good dose of caramel maltiness, followed by a nice fruity hoppiness, with less grapefruit than the average, which is a great thing in my opinion.
Solid bitterness, but no alcohol appearances; it is as good as Dreadnaught, with a little less alcohol, and not even a double IPA. Impressive.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First pour is slightly cloudy from the pint plus six bottle, haze increases as the bottle is finished. Amber color that thins a bit towards the bottom, while a host of rushing bubbles make their way to the two finger full off white head.

The magnificent look is matched by the powerful and flavorful nose, nothing new for a San Diego IPA but very well done: piney, floral, and citric hops out-muscling slightly sweet caramel malts. The flavor is every bit the progeny of this awesome aroma, as the rich sweet malt provides a sturdy backbone but comes nowhere close to touching the citric vibrant and pine-bitter hopping. There is a certain amount of fruitiness derived from esters in the yeast, but also some citric zest from the hopping.

Medium to full in body, with a dry full finish of lingering bitterness. Alcohol makes its first appearance here, although it could be argued that the spicy bitterness betrays a higher alcohol content than many/most Am. IPAs. Either way, it lets you know you're drinking a powerhouse, an incredibly tasty IPA that, even if not quite 'balanced', steps right up to the line of a double IPA - maybe sticks a toe over - but remains very drinkable and delicious (and dangerous) not matter what the style.

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Photo of beersabound
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another great IPA out of San Diego or as I like to call it San Di-IPA-go!

The aroma has a great piney, earthy and light caramel/toast bouquet. The appearance was copper with a slight chill haze. I know it's bottle conditioned but even the first four ounces out of the bomber were hazy. The head has small bubbles, lasts forever and is merenque-esque. The flavor is great, a full mouth of centennial (I think) hop flavor and bitterness nicely held up by a pedestal of malt sweetness and some mild alcohol warmth. The mod low carbonation makes for a smooth mouthfeel and keeps the hops from bowling over the rest of the flavors. This was a higly drinkable IPA. I wish I could get it in Alaska.

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