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: 1,331 | Ratings: 4,165
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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Photo of Stoneman78
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Off-white, creamy head with a hazy orange hue. Great retention and lacing throughout.

S- Nose is mostly of big citrus aromas (orange, grapefruit, lemon); subtle maltiness.

T- Wow! Sweet hoppiness up front followed by subtle caramel maltiness; the finish is long and citrusy, but not overly bitter; very nice balance, this taste is as close to a prototypical IPA as you can get.

M- Smooth and refreshing, light to medium body, light carbonation, creamy texture

D- Impressive drinkability characterized by smooth, citrusy taste and pleasingly bitter finish.

I was turned onto craft beer by the Stone line of ales while living in Arizona, but I think that Alesmith IPA has quickly become one of my personal favorites and my top-ranked IPA. I have dreamt about the smooth citrus hops (no joke), and am very pleased to have moved so close to the Alesmith brewery here in San Diego. Any fan of west coast IPAs would be remiss in not trying this amazingly balanced and refreshing ale.

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

22 oz. to pint glass.

pours an almost crystal clear, golden-amber body eith two-fingered, slow to sink and rocky, off-white head, after the sinking of which, slow, fine lacing appears down the glass. the nose is surpsingly subtle, with only faint hints of what's to come - pine, citrus, a vague hint of sunflowers, and caramel malts. taste is much the same, but bigger, bolder, very well balanced, and quite refreshing. mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp on the tongue, smooth in the swallow. it's a bit astringent at first, but that fades as the beer warms. i could have this all night - very enjoyable and pleasantly drinkable.

paired well with my attempts at homemade japanese food.

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

The first bottle from my Bday 07.0 booty of beer. This one courtesy of IntriqKen, thanks!

I opened this early, because the bottle smelled a bit, and had a bit of beer on it. I was a little worried about leakage... But when I opened it? Pop! Good... No problem with this one.

Beer pours a bright cloudy gold color with a huge head.

Aromas are floral, citrus like, and a bit sweet.

Flavors are bright and crisp. There is a very bitter citrus/grapefruit like quality to this one up front. The beer settles in with sharp hops flavors and a bit of sourness. Finish is slightly creamy, sweet, and malty. This is a tasty, balanced, and well made IPA.

Mouthfeel is excellent. This is a well rounded beer.

Drinkability is way up there. Yet another well crafted beer from San Diego... quite enjoyable.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into three pint glasses to be shared among friends. The color was dark-orange, cloudy, and had a pillowy white head. The smell was a little citrus and kinda hard to define. The taste was a little fruity but no one flavor dominated. A very good IPA and the alcohol was well hidden. I'd probably buy this on the regular if I could.

2nd bottle consumed may have been a little fresher. Notes of orange were in the aroma and pine needles and candy were in the flavor. Yummy stuff.

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Photo of Gatch
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden hazy copper w/ a thick, creamy off-white head. Dissipates into a fluffy layer.
S - Definitely on the piney side. Hops, light malt, summer fruits.
T - So refreshing. Not overly hoppy at all and I love that. The amount of malt is more than usual for an IPA, so I would say this is close to a Double IPA. An awesome ripe fruity sweetness. The hops create such a great finish, which isn't too dry and also has some fruit to it.
M - Again, refreshing and smooth. Great palate presence.
D - Amazingly drinkable. One of my favorite IPA's to date. The balance is the reason I attribute it to an DIPA. The almost perfect balance of ingredients is something I'm going to have to get used to from AleSmith.

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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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Photo of prototypic
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very hazy golden brown color. One finger head which left a little lacing down the mug.

Smell: Very rich grapefruit smell with a nice hop aroma blended in. Some other citrus flavors are present, but grapefruit is what I pick up most. Hops are strong, but definitely not overwhelming.

Taste: Absolutely delicious. Nice, strong hop bitterness. You can taste the pine. Definitely some grapefruit sweetness in there. Alcohol is masked extremely well. Really good IPA.

Mouthfeel/Drinkabililty: This is a very smooth IPA. I could drink quite a bit of this. It's just so damn good and so easy to drink. Overall, it's my favorite IPA on the market and I highly recommend it to all.

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Photo of ruinationation
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby copper color and produces a fat three finger head with some good lacing left behind.

Nice expected hop smell with a surprising and enjoyable strong citrus aromas that follow.

Taste of hops with a pineapple and orange citrus mix. Its piney and has a good sweetness.

This beer has one of the best mouthfeel to it. Very velvet like, after the pour swig the remains in the bottle for a yeast shot.

This beer really impressed me from start to finish and will become a regular of mine. If you like this try Stone Brewery's Ruination IPA a liquid poem to the glory of the hop.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.87/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy copper or burnt orange color with a frothy cream colored one and a half finger head. Nice fluffy marshmellow like retention on top. Thick sticky lacing forms down the sides of the glass.
S: Citrus fruit aromas of grapefruit with a slight pine aroma that's hard to detect. An excellent hopped IPA.
T/M: Interesting hop profile. Spicy right from the start with hints of pine needles or spruce tips. Slight hints of grapefruit flavors peak in and out, but the hops are dominated by a strong spiciness. Caramel malt profile hides nervously behind the hops. Stinging hop bitterness lasts well into the finish with a prickly and spicy aftertaste that hints at the malt profile.
D: A very nice IPA from the west coast. Definitely one that needs to be had if you can find it. Glad I got the chance to try this offering.

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AleSmith IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.27 out of 5 based on 4,165 ratings.
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