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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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,315 | Ratings: 4,091
Photo of ggaughan
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured the beer into my standard Duvel tulip glass. It gave me a clear, deep golden color with a modestly thick tan head that was quite fluffy. The aroma was very pleasing - citrus notes, piney and bit sweet as well. At first the taste was not overly hoppy which I liked. I was expected a large west coat IPA bur rather got an excellent balance of the hop bitterness and the malty sweetness. I savored every drop of this one. Although the hops are very present, the balance that I got from this was very enjoyable and made for a darn drinkable beer that is very smooth.

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Photo of
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle

Slightly hazy, dark gold liquid. Formed a huge, creamy, light tan head. Decent lacing, not much legs.

Very strong aroma, evident from two feet away after popping the cap. Grapefruit and pine. Pineapple and peach showed through as an underlying sweetness.

More bitter than sweet, but still well balanced. Pine and peaches. Hint of alcohol/phenol. Caramel and bread dough. Herbal at finish.

Medium + body with medium to high carbonation. Quite dry. Just a touch grainy in texture.

Very faithful to style. I would love to drink this again, and would probably drink too many of them. An excellent beer, which I enjoy more than the cask version and the Yules.

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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.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a warm aged copper crystal clear body with a super thick head of creamy light tan foam that last and last. It forms nice rings of sticky foam after each sip.

S- Fresh green hops had notes of oranges, flower blossoms and pungent bitterness. This is the kind of hops smell that makes me want to sniff and sniff this beer, but I think a few sips is required.

T- The big juicy pungent flavor of citrus hops makes me pucker and thirst for more at the same time. There is a nice taste of fresh sweet caramel malt that enhances the hops flavor. The hops flavor at the finish is green with a mint freshness without the mint flavor. A note of dry toasted malt and hops hangs on after the finish. As this beer warms there is a very light note of biscuit that enhances the toasted malt flavor.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture at the finish.

D- Wow this beer has a great hops flavor with a wonderful support of sweet and dry toasted malt. The hops are big, juicy and complex yet the malt is big and helps balance the hops nicely. This is great as a session beer but I see the surprising 7.25% ABV could be dangerous.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks a whole lotta to genog for this amazing brew.

Poured a 22 oz. bomber into a nonic.

My first Alesmith brew, it's about time! This one pours a nice light copper hue with a generous fluffy off-white head that sticks to the glass all the way through to the end. Smell is such a sweet pine with one of the cleanest citrus hop odors I have ever smelled. Not a bitter odor at all, sadly I would wear this as cologne but I bet I wouldn't be the only one. Taste is top notch. Hardly any bitterness on the tounge except towards the end. Big sweet citrus flavor with enough malt to balance this one out just right. I hardly detect any alcohol in this one which is shocking because 7.2% abv for an IPA is pretty high. Mouthfeel is light/medium with a fair amount of carbonation. Very fresh and crisp. Probably the most enjoyable IPA's I've had to date. I look forward the the Yule Smith I have awaiting.

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Photo of atsprings
4.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Talisker for the trade! Poured a slightly hazy copper with a decent head that left great lacing. The aroma was very fragrant with pine and citrus hops. The taste was a wonderful hop blend against a great malt backbone. This beer was great even following a growler of Pliny the Elder. The beer was light and crisp with well hidden alcohol. This is a great IPA.

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Photo of HopDerek
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a copper color with a deep, thick white foamy head made of tiny bubbles, some yeast floatations. Great lacing left behind. Smell is loaded with hops, mostly pine but with some grassy notes. Taste is loaded with flavors of citrus, but not overhopped. Medium in body and nicely carbonated. Definitely one of the most wonderful IPAs that has ever touched my lips and tongue, I only wish it was easier to obtain in my region.

Obtained from Julio's Liquors in Massachusetts.

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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 FtownThrowDown
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I’ve had my eye on this one for awhile and finally decided to give it a go.
Pours a golden amber with a nice quarter inch head. The frothiness sticks around and leaves plenty of lacing as you drink.
Smell isn’t really strong, but I get plenty of hops in the nose.
The taste is simply amazing. This is a very well rounded IPA. Plenty of hops, but balanced perfectly by the malt and alcohol. This is one of the best I’ve had. I would love to drink this on a regular basis.
Words can’t really explain how well this is melded together and how smooth of a IPA it is. If you have access to this beer, definitely pick it up. I know I’ll be frequenting this beer often.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Reed415 for this fine beaut.

Careful when pouring this one, the head is like a hefe, very sensative. The head is pretty retentive too with a great lacing. The color is a gorgeous light copper/golden. The smell is wonderfully hoppy with grassy hops that aren't harsh at all, just right. The flavor is very good too, with a hoppiness that is flavorful, but not overdone. Just right, the perfect IPA that's still very very hoppy. The mouthfeel is nice, carbonated well, but the bubbles just fall to the back of your throat. It's got a good body too!! Not light or too heavy. Overall I would like to buy this by the case it is sooo good.

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Photo of Viggo
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to nlmartin for hooking me up with this at Dark Lord Day, I really owe you something Nate!

Pours a slightly hazed copper/orange, nice thick off white head, superb lacing, great retention, really sticky and resiny. Smell is amazing, I can smell it from 2 feet away. Wonderfully piney, citrus, grapefruit, some nice caramel and bready malts, nice balance, smells very inviting. Taste is wow too, very grapefruity, floral, caramel, very syrupy in the mouth, sweet finish, then bitterness, very nice balance, fruity hoppiness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, coats the mouth, low carbonation, nice spicy alcohol warming, although found this to be a little bit much, but amazing, perfect balance. Thanks for hooking me up Nate!

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Photo of kajerm
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taste from a bottle at Dark Lord Day 2007.

Pours amber with a massive white head and wall-climbing lacing.

The aroma is grapefruit, pine, and just a whisp of malt.

Tastes like it smells-- assertively hoppy but just restrained enough. The balance is awesome.

Mouthfeel is creamy, a nice contrast to the hops. Everything is in perfect harmony here, but not so much so that it gets boring. With its malt backbone, creamy mouthfeel, and crisp hops, I could drink this all day.

This is an outstandingly crafted IPA. Now I just need to get another bottle and rerate.

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Photo of TheName
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured after sitting for a bit out of the fridge; split between an imperial pint and a taster (for the wife). Color's a nice ruddy orange with a bit of haze and the off-white head's a shocker--it piles higher and higher in dense, stiff peaks that recall meringues and stuck around long into the beer's consumption. Gotta say, it's not often you see half inch mounds of dense, creamy head even 10-12 ounces into your pint. Awesome.

The aroma is big time grapefruit. Beautiful citrus and even a plummy sort of sweetness backing it up. There's a woodiness there after a bit but then, as the beer level drops and the glass funnels a bit more there's an almost turpentine background to it which contrasts but doesn't hurt the beer's drinkability.

Contrasts, however, are what I'm really discovering in this beer. The big big hop aroma doesn't translate into overpowering bitterness. Indeed the flavor is all caramelly, woody sweetness with only a faint--and very pleasant--bittering. The beer defines "velvety" in the mouth--it's nothing if not smooth--and goes down leaving a diaphanous coating of tingly astringency that is far from unenjoyable. The smoothness is amazing, almost as if it were freshly and carefully pumped out of a cask instead of dumped out of a bottle at my kitchen table. As for drinkability, it seemed I had barely blinked before I was staring at only lacing and a few stray dregs of the creamy head and wishing I had another bottle in the fridge.

As my first foray into AleSmith's brews I can't wait to snatch up more. Wonderful beer that, were I nearer its provenance, I am sure would always have a spot in my fridge.

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Photo of PhiloPsych
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the bottle a hazy dark orange (with visible yeast)--even almost brown. Pretty dark and cloudy for an IPA. Head was thin and very short lived. Aroma was very nice: spicy and hoppy. The taste was very good, with a more complex malt profile than is normal for IPAs, I think. Many IPAs seem a bit one-dimensional to me. This one was very balanced. Certainly, fans of strong hops will be happy with it, but that's not all there is to this brew. Perhaps it was the salty food I was eating with it, but this beer seemed rather sweet--more so than any IPA I have tried previously. By no means is that a complaint, however. This was a very good beer. I paired it with a variety of rich, salty, fried appetizers and it was definitely up to the task--cutting through the other flavors and holding its own.

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Photo of udubdawg
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber

Well now this is interesting. Pours a light copper color, with just a little haziness from a bit of yeast that made it into the 2nd glass, but otherwise nice clarity. A small number of lines of tiny bubbles rise throughout the beer.
This beer immediately forms an impressively large and lasting off-white head. It begins to recede around the edges of my glass, but the middle isn't going anywhere. I touch it - really firm, and not that sticky. Soon the effect is of a large rounded heap of foam in the middle of the glass. Ya know what this reminds me of? - A scoop of homemade vanilla floating and slowly dissolving in a root beer float. (Hmm, IPA float?....nah!) Anyway, lacing is in big spotty chunks until midglass when the head smooths back out and starts to sheet an entire side of the glass.

Nose is simply wonderful. Hops all over the place, but a sizeable amount of malt announces itself as well. The effect is rich, floral and pine mixing with caramel and some biscuit. Alcohol is light in the aroma at first, but as it sits and warms it grows a bit boozy. Simply put: "5"

Although extremely hoppy, the relative strength of the malts were the first thing I noticed. Plenty of caramel, a little of a more raw grain flavor, and a bit of doughy bread. Though this beer is sweet up front, I would find this would disappear, or at least be well covered, by the strength of the bitterness in the finish. And obviously there's hops - Fresh and spicy with plenty of citrus. A hophead dream. Between the flavor and aroma my saliva glands are going crazy for this juicy brew. Alcohol warming initially limited to the stomach is also noticeable in the palate by the time I finish the bottle. Body is on the full side of medium, and silky smooth with brief soft carbonation.
Though the flavor wasn't particularly bitter, especially for the strength of the hop profile, the drying finish is loaded with bitterness, that seems to grow stronger and really asserts itself well after the beer is gone. I'm not sure how I feel about this lightly doughy and increasingly bitter aftertaste, so I'm going to have to re-review this a few times and decide whether this flavor is very good, or great. On first opinion I'd probably call it a 4.25, whatever that is.

This bottle was extremely drinkable, but I found myself tiring of the aftertaste. I'll drink it again, and probably often, but I think unless my opinion of the lingering bitterness changes it'll be easy to limit myself to one bomber. Let's not get carried away though - I doubt I'd ever share something this good!

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one in the cellar for a couple months, time to crack it open...a 22 oz. bottle poured to a pint.

A: Gorgeous copper/amber with a chill haze. Cascading carbonation rising to a frothy, initially rocky, eggshell-white head. Rose about 2-fingers at first, fading to about 1/2 finger but never disappearing entirely. Blotches of sticky lace.

S: Juicy citrus hops, evergreen/pine and sweet caramel malt. Varies from sniff to sniff which will present itself. Lightly floral, too.

T: Caramel & toffee sweetness with zesty orange and grapefruit citrus, some spicy pine and a lasting medicinal/cough syrup bitter hop back bone. Really well-balanced, smooth with a fleeting bite of astringency.

M: Velvety, with mild alcohol warming. Lingering bitterness in the middle of the tongue and clinging on the cheeks.

D: A very tasty IPA, hoppy without going overboard, certainly among the tops I've had the pleasure of trying. Fortunately this one has been available around Portland in recent months; I'll definitely look for more and would recommend this unabashedly. Another excellent AleSmith brew.

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Photo of stig
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear copper color with a dense rocky head that lasts to the bottom of the glass. Excellent citrus/pine aroma and taste, reminds me alot of Two Hearted. I poured too cold so had to wait until it warmed a bit. Could use a tad more malt flavor but still in my top three IPA's. I don't want to rate too high since I am just beginning to enjoy IPA's and haven't tried alot of them.

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Photo of OutlawJoseyWales
4.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

golden brown with about 3 fingers of head

smell: medicinal pungent hop aroma, nectarine, pomegranate piney aroma. almost like a christmas tree.

taste: pine, leafy hop, a pinch of sugar and caramel malt, aftertaste of light grapefruit bitterness...this goes down
so smooth, with the perfect amount of hop bitterness...superb piney notes...incredible job with this beer

drinkability; great; this beer has wonderful balance. the ideal IPA.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4


A: Pours a hazy orange with lots of yeast in bottom. HUGE off-white head. Very nice lacing. The head dissipates somewhat, but stays about about 1" the entire time.

S/T: Citrus, piny hops, malt. Those three are what hit hard. At first I thought that this was a bit of a hop-bomb and somewhat overthetop for my preferences. But as the beer warmed the hops mellowed somewhat and the malt came out making it an incredibly balanced beer. A little bit of sweetness rounds it out.

M/D: This is where the beer really shines. The beer is full bodied and somewhat thick (in a good way). It coats the mouth with velvety smoothness. The full bomber went down easily, but not sure if I could have drank another one simply from the intensity.

A great, great beer.

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Photo of kgotcher
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber. I could smell the hops in this one the second the cap came off. Pours a copper color witha offwhite and very frothy, sticky head. Lacings all around. Looks good.

Big ole hop nose, some pine and grapefruit but more floral and sweet. Very different from other cascade hop bombs.

Mouthfeel is full and slick, probably from all the hop oils. Taste is way on the hop side but I can still make out some sweet maltlyness that is assisted by some very floral hops. But then the hops take over in a pretty bitter finish with a kind of lemon zest flavor.

A very good IPA if not a bit much. I think you can go too far on the hops, this one is close. The finish feels like you just sucked on a bunch of hops which I actually do like. But still I prefer a slightly more balance and malty IPA with a strong hop flavor like Victory Hop Devil. Low mark on drinkability for an IPA cause I could not drink too many of these.

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Photo of ccrida
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Off to a really bad start with this one - popping the cap cracked the lip of the bottle, cutting my finger, ouch! Then a gentle poured from the 22oz bottle into my tumbler produced a voluminous head that overflowed down the side! The thick white, rocky head settled to a thick collar and skim, leaving really thick, lacy lace. The color is deep copper, with a steady stream of carbonation rising from the bottom. Subsequent pours continued the very rocky, long lasting head, reminiscent of my favorite Belgians - nice!
The aroma on this one is really nice, really up my ally for an IPA. It's really heavy on the sweet, tropical citrus smelling hops, bordering on bubblegum, with just enough pine to keep it from being one sided. There's enough pungency to let you know your in for a lip-puckering brew, but over all it's nice and sweet, and is the best part of this beer.
The taste on this IPA is very balanced. Sure there's lots of citrus, but not as strong as the aroma, and the malt is firm but not too thick, overall it comes off a bit sweet and on the lighter side, although there is a discernible bitter finish that doesn't overwhelm. There is a bit of a bready finish behind the bitters, and the balance makes it hard to break down to many other flavors for me...Jeeze, first a couple Lagunitas Lucky 13's, now one of these, I've really raised my expectation for hoppy beers today - great choices for the final four, although I'd wish Georgetown would've won!
The mouthfeel is really nice, quite light and velvety for a strong, west coast IPA, with just a touch of tangy carbonation.
The drinkablity of this one is pretty high as well. It's not so bitter to beat up your palate, and overall is really nice and easy drinking. Wish I'd gotten a second bomber, because this first one went down like butter. But, only having had two glasses, worth, I can't really be sure.

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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 gonzo138
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a reddish amber color with some sediment in the glass has a cream colored head that retained and laced well

S- nice clean citric hop aroma

T- a little bit of malt sweetness for a second at first then followed by a nice citrusy hop bitterness

M- medium body with good carbonation

D- could definitely have a couple of these, would love to try this on tap sometime

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Photo of BlindPig
4.92/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- About a 1/4"-1/2" tan head on a pretty darker orange body.
S- I am about 2 feet away from the beer and I can smell it. Really big pine and citrus hops. Pine come through quite a bit stronger than the citrus. Nice grapefruit and light orange in there too.
T- Big hop attack from the first sip. Really big pine and citrus hops (citrus kind of take a back seat to the pine). Nice size malt body for such a hoppy beer too. Light flavors of grapefruit make their way through the big pine flavor. About a medium to big bitterness is left on the tongue along with big pine flavors and light citrus fruits.
M- Low carbonation with a full body. I wish it had just a tad more carbonation.
D- Very nice IPA. I would like a bit more fruity flavors and a little bit more carbonation. Other than that this is a great IPA. Takes a nice spot up in some of my favorite beers.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I originally had a bottle of this a few weeks ago, but it was flat and unsuitable for drinking or reviewing; I unfortunately had to pour it out. I've given this brew another chance to show me what it's got, so let get on to the beer:

The beer is a hazy orange color with a nce foamy head. In the smell, there's a big hop aroma, with sweet notes mixed in, with a fructose/syrupy scent to it. The taste is incredible: not over the top bitter, but plenty of hops for everyone. Silky smooth, with a fruity taste to balance out the beer, weaved with piney notes and a passionfruit flavor. It finishes bitter on the palate with a semi-tart puckering. The alcohol is almost undetectable, which at 7.25%, is something of an accomplishment, and easy to drink for such a big brew.

Notes: Whoa! Very well balanced (by west coast standards), with plenty of sweet and bitter flavors to offer. They may be less famous than Stone among San Diego brewers, but this offering is exceptional.

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AleSmith IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.27 out of 5 based on 4,091 ratings.
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