AleSmith Double IPA | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Double IPAAleSmith Double IPA

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Also known as YuleSmith (Summer)

Every year we anxiously await the warmer months to unleash this Double IPA, the summer edition of our former YuleSmith seasonals. The flavor imparts orange, grapefruit, and tangerine hop notes with earthy, spicy, and resinous pine undertones. A sturdy malt backbone balances out the profound hop bitterness to create a refreshingly assertive and vibrant beer that offers an unapologetically bold expression of fresh American hops.

YEAR ROUND: No – July / August

Added by xlperro on 11-24-2002

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Reviews: 952 | Ratings: 1,909
Photo of blackie
4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Summer Release

appearance: The 1.5" fluffy eggshell white head gradually recedes to leave behind a thin ring and a nice cap of carbonation that lingers for awhile. The beer is a hazy, golden amber in color.

smell: Sticky sweet hops all over the place with big, floral notes of tropicals (especially grapefruit, passionfruit, and kiwi) and evergreen boughs and pine sap. An ever so slight, practically perfect amount of ethanol is noticeable. Just behind, in almost perfect balance for a DIPA, are sweet malty notes of caramel and toffee. A touch of earty grain husk.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the upper side of the medium range, and smooth. The body is a heavy medium.

taste: HUGE American hop flavor of pine and tropical fruits that gradually turn more evergreen after the swallow, as the bitterness creeps in. There's a big caramel malt backbone, bringing with it a big sweetness, to hold up the considerable hop flavor. The finish is dry, with a nice bitterness cleaning up the sugary malts and lingering for quite awhile with piney flavors. Love how the highly sweet malt blends with the resinous hop flavor and bitterness...a DIPA can't get much better than this.

drinkability: The ethanol seems to be pretty well hidden. Plenty drinkable for a DIPA.

Acquired in a trade with thaichile. Labelled as 8.5% ABV.

Winter Release: Review deleted when limited to one per serving type

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Photo of JamisonM
4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

notes from 4th of July

A: Cloudy orange good lace good head good head retention carbonation screaming from the top a creamy looking head

S: Orange grapefruit mango pineapple a bit of sweetness coming through from malt and fresh hop

T: Citrus tropical fruit slight amount of pine malt backs up the strong hops but is an afterthought no alcohol detected in smell or taste

M: med mouth high carbonation

D: Very refreshing summer IPA very drinkable

Overall: very good brew for hop heads and even non hop heads would enjoy this I think. The beer has a good fresh hop kick that does not overwhelm. Refreshing summer IPA cheers to Alesmith for this one!

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Photo of HopDerek
4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Winter 07 edition. All hail Kegatron!

Pours a clear deep copper color with amber highlights. Big foamy off-white head eventually settles into a nice creamy head, after a good amount of time thanks to the long lasting retention. Lots of sticky lacing all the way through.

Smells of pineapple, grapefruit, caramel, toffee, lemon, and big ole pine trees, like juniper and spruce. Tastes are BIG in grapefruit and pine up front, but follow by a nice solid malty sweet caramel backbone to help prevent an overpowering hop presence. Finishes with a hint of mint and spicy hops.

Good carbonation with bubbles dancing up the glass the entire time. Smooth yet sticky, medium in body, and covers the ABV quite well. Just one fantastic DIPA, solid in both hop and malt presence, and with a unique taste that keep it fresh in my mind long after it has left my glass.

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Photo of edchicma
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a light copper, with a rich creamy head. Lacing is pronounced. Smell is a blend of fruity hops with a nice yeasty undertone, very pleasing on the nose. Taste begins with a malty smooth beginning that yield to a hop presence at mid palate and finsihes dry. Overall very balanced flavors that invite you to taste more. Mouthfeel is smooth harshness which is surprising in such a high abv. Very good on the drinkability scale..very deceiving.

Second review...1-7-08 This year's is even better!
A perfect pour....mid-copper, pillow head...outstanding lacing. Cirus, pine, yeast blast on the nose..sweeet. Strong hop presence in the taste, initial creaminess, mid palte hop explosion, desert dry finish. Mouthfeel, while initially smooth, cascades into dry, drier and driest. For the style, the drinkability is tops...while a definite sipper, it is a fantastic experience.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sadly, the second to last of my beers from Joey over at South Bay Drugs. Have to put another order in...

A little bit of a strange situation, this, given that there are two separate YuleSmith's being mixed into one review. Nonetheless, I'm going for it. This is the Winter version, hypothetically and Imperial Amber.

Deep amber color with a big creamy two fingers of off-white head that leaves perfect lacing as it drains. Really excellent flavor to this one. Dirty, slightly roasty, caramel malt mixes beautifully with the big, slightly spiced, drying hops. A hint of sourness, although not nearly as strong as in the AleSmith IPA. Subtle hints of chocolate and cookies, as well as some dried fruit for sure. Tastes like a big, beautiful hoppy red, which is what it is. Body is surprisingly thick and creamy, with subtle carbonation that lets the flavor shine.

Really an excellent beer, although the winter version certainly is not the absolute hop bomb the summer is made out to be (haven't had the chance to try it yet). This one is hoppy, no question, but a spicy hop balanced really well with a caramel malt backbone. Could drink them all night.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's

A - Poured a nice golden orange color with a two fingered head that dissipated slowly. Leaves a really thick lacing. Very nice!

S - Orange zest, coriander, nutmeg, vanilla, with flowery and grassy hops.

T - Pretty similar to above. The hops have a more dominant flavor versus the spices though.

M - Well balanced, full-bodied mouthfeel.

D - Definitely a good one. Pretty much a standard for west coast warmers/double IPAs.

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Photo of dgfair
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Blue and red 22oz. bottle, July 2006 release.

A - Beautiful golden, orange color. Huge pillowy head that dissipates to a thin layer on top of the beautiful liquid. This is how a DIPA should look.
S - Sweet, piney hops up front. A little bit of sweet citrus as it warms. I was hoping to get a few more scents here, but none of the ones that I do pick up are unpleasant in any way. Nice, just not a very complex aroma.
T - All I can say is wow. Sweet citrus up front followed by hops, and not just any hops...great hop flavor. The hops start off smooth and start building as the liquid rests in your mouth. It continues to get hoppier and builds perfectly to a fantastic hop finish at the swallow. Aftertaste is sweet, citrusy hops allowing the flavors to come full circle. WOW!
M - Perfect balance of carbonation and creaminess. Nice and full, but not too full. Perfect again.
D - I would definitely like to drink a few of these, but I have a feeling the well hidden abv would eventually sneak up on you. No matter, easy to drink and tasty, get your hands on one of these any chance you can.

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Photo of bret27
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

[bottle above depicts winter bottle, this review is for summer yulesmith w/4th of july fireworks bottle]

Appearance: Deep gold/amber w/white fluffy head and lacing as I continue to drink. Lots of yeast chunks which threw me off, but then reading bottle, they are supposed to be there d/t bottle conditioning.

Smell: Piney and citrusy hops, not really sweet, tiny malt.

Taste: Very good. Hops carrying you from beginning to end. citrus, pine, fresh grass. Little tingle on tongue at the end. Also a perfect cararmelly malt backbone which holds on steady through entire drink. Perfect balance + mouthfeel IMO.

Overall: One of the best DIPA's I've had, and I've had most of the best ones out there. IMO better than regular Alesmith IPA or Winter Yulesmith. If you weren't impressed by those, still give this one a try.

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Photo of Rumrunner
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz. bottle. 2003 vintage.

I wish this one was available all year. It does make a great stocking stuffer for those beery loved ones.

It pours a nice caramel brown. Red highlights appear on the sides of the glass if the glass is held up to the light. A good tall off-white head sticks around for a while. Lacing is thick and covers the glass well. The scents are big pine oil sap. Heavy grapefruit and dark unsweetened malts.

The flavors form a great balance. While the bitterness is very high there is a seriously strong malt balance that evens the flavors out. Again there is a strong grapefruit rind with heavy pine flavors. Powerful and robust malts. Malts are dark and unsweetened. Some plumb fruits and dark bitter bread is present. They test the hops and both agree that trying to outdo the other is a waste of time. This is one well put together IPA.

The mouthfeel is strong and a bit sticky. Some alcohol is present on the tongue. It is not a bad thing though. The balance makes this one of the easiest drinking bitter biting IPAs I have ever had. It would also pair well with many foods. Especially foods with some spice in them. Mexican or Indian.

I will stock up if I can find more. I would not want to wait for next years version after only trying this one.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky gold with awesome white head and lacing. The head is amazing and stays with it for an hour.

The smell is very floral. Citrus hops and flowers.

The taste is bitter and citrus but as it warms you pickup much more caramel and alcohol.

This is an amazing IPA. I've failed buying it before as I usually see it off times of the year but I'm glad I did!

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Photo of Crosling
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Fine-tuned, but fairly subtle and disappointing nose (considering it's Alesmith) of grapefruit, tangerines, orange, biscuits and caramel.

Hefty, unorthodox, but succeeding attempt at the style, possessing a lot more acidity than most. Front is rich, citrusy notes of pine and spruce. Mid-palate comes through with hints of grapefruit, bark and vanilla. The finish is full of toffee,peanuts and hop oils. In all, the malt backbone is fairly sweet, possesing a lot of doughy notes but mainly a caramel sweetness. Unbelieveably balanced and simply stunning as it warms.

I'll still be tasting this tomorrow. Just an incredible offering. I don't know what to say about Alesmith. Out of my current top 20 beers, 5 are from Alesmith. The best brewer I have ever come across at this point in my young life.

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Photo of gonzo138
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

red & blue label edition

A- pours a hazy amber with a rich creamy white head that retains excellently and laces great

S- sharp nose stinging citrusy hoppy smell, also hints of pine in there as well, which is nice, i think the piney hop smell should be secondary to the citrusy smell

T- complements smell, strong hoppy bite, with citrus note, also just a little sweet at the finish

M- nice and carbonated, tingles tounge, a little dry, sticks to mouth, but not longer than necessary

D- I have a new favorite beer, and I'm kicking myself for not trying this one sooner, If there are hop-heads out there who have yet to try this beer do yourself a favor and get it NOW

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Photo of IceAce
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Presentation is a dark copper body capped off with a single finger of rocky, tan-colored foam. Clarity is excellent and lacing pattern is above 75%

Aroma: Piney floral hops, yeast, quality malt, and a touch of alcohol

Taste: Mega hops grip the tongue at the onset quickly yielding to a smooth malty midtaste. Some soothing warming of the throat from alcohol (not harsh by any stretch of the imagination) and a nice floral hop finish. While more taste does not always equal better taste, in this case Alesmith has nailed down one of the best tasting beers I've had in the past few years

Mouthfeel: This is the Gold Standard of mouthfeel...clean, silky, and not enough o's in smoooth to do justice to this fine nectar

Drinkability: I stopped drinking this after one only because I needed to...not because I wanted to. High ABV is well hidden but potent and I'd like to live long enough to enjoy this rare treat many, many more times

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Photo of jeffjfindley
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A striking auburn beauty with off-white cream on top. The lacing is festive to the point where the drinker is stricken with awe at the majesty of God's creation, Earth. The nose is piney-er than the tree that's four feet away from me. There are also splashes of citrus and rich malt.

The taste is wonderfully balanced. At no point do the hops overwhelm. You taste a great blend of caramel malt and piney hops, with a citrusy aftertaste that'll make you pucker up for another kiss from this delight of a beverage. The feel on the palate is rich and satisfying, and the drinkability is second to none for this style. Thanks, Alesmith!

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Photo of cokes
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Clear burnt honey with a durable cream-hued froth.
Sinus clearing, rusted iron-impaled pink grapefruits slathered in bong water and Christmas tree goo.
Begins with a delectable toasted caramel maltiness that goes on to hint at almond, before turning grainier and more rye-like. It's a relatively simply maltiness, but one the works extremely well and balances the weighty hop load. It grows towards toasted honey (just as the color suggested) as it warms. I love the malts here, even though the headliner is hops.
The hops come crashing in, as expecting, all aggressive and pissed off.
Rusted tin and mint.
Joint ash (or pipe scrapings) and ruby red grapefruits.
Spruce juice and pine pitch.
Roses and meat cleavers.
The body is unfaultable with is draping weight given reprise by a steady unobtrusive bead.
A Double IPA is meant to be loud, and this is, but it also shows a restraint and finesse that many of its peers overlook. For every yin here, there is also a yang.
This is grandiose without being psychotic.

Maybe just slightly manic.

A hearty thanks to kmpitz2 for this one.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

ruby hued coper with a thick creamy tan head that stick around for the long haul.
citrusy floral hoppiness, orange rind, cut grass. toasted caramel, caramelized sugar. a hint of alcohol in there somewhere. yeasty, with a nice rich bready aroma as well.
the taste is drenched in hops, but no overwhelming biterness. powerfully hoppy like ruination, but without the overpowering bitterness. tons of great flavor, great amount of bitterness. sweet and citrusy not overly so though with other floral fruity flavors in it too, rounding out the hop side of the equation. the malts hang in there with the hops with caramel and rich hearty breadiness. excellent, excellent balance for such a hoppy beer. a nice spicy quality from the alcohol or hops adds a nice complexity
lighter side of full bodied with delicate effervescent carbonation that creates the most fantastic creamy quality that coupled with the piney quality at the finish, creates a near perfect double IPA experience.
drinkability is amazing, the booze is present in the flavor but only adds. the incredible taste coupled with the perfect mouthfeel makes you wants to drink a bomber or four. absolutely top notch. i will be gettig more if/when i see it. an excellent double IPA.

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Photo of BrewMaster
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an outstanding beer. The appearance is a nice frothy head atop a golden amber beer. The nose is very malty. It smells of a good pale malt, hay, and a bit of earthy leaf. Very nice aroma. But the thing I think is so cool about it is that the aroma and the taste don't match up at all. They pull a switch on you. The taste is very hoppy with only a bit of malt to taste. But there were no hops to smell in the nose. I like this beer a lot. Great nose and great taste from a great looking beer. What else is there?

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured with a vicious stormy scrod chunkerz ladden appearance loaded with suspended particles. I was careful not to allow the actual sediment to fill up my glass until the last minute. Top was a dollop of cloudy head cap gooey and painting the glass.

Huge sizzly aroma of acidic thick pine resin and grapefruit. This is like sniffing hop heroin.

First swigs: An effluence of acidic hops that just sizzles the tongue. Grapefruit rind and pine wood. Delicious. Bright and almost metallic with such a robust hop bomb.

Feel is about the fullest 2IPA on the planet. Syrupy and robust with a full body.

Last swigs: Nothing more to say other than I wish I had more. Stunning.

Beer is good. Happy bering.

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Photo of Overlord
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Summer edition ...

Pours a bright orange. Gigantic head, basically half to two thirds of the glass. This and Adam have the biggest heads I've seen in bottled beers.

Taste is piney, grapefruity, with an orange/citrus backbone. There's some malt to balance out the bitterness. Both this, and the winter edition, are simply superb. One of my favorite drinks, although they do tend to ruin the palate. Just great explosive hop flavor.

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Photo of bbothen
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a tangerine/copper color with a nice lasting 2 finger head. The head forms a meringue like top that lasts. Plenty of sticky lacing on glass.

Smells of terrific hop aromas. Pine, spruce, grapefruit, lime zest, earth. Wonderful.

The taste. Hops. Tidal waves of all things hoppy. Malt stands strong, but hops let you know that they're in charge here. Tongue surfs through piney, resiny, sticky, citrus, earthy, flowery hops. The sweet malt comes out as the brew warms. This is no one trick pony here. Awesome.

Feels lush & smooth. Moderate carbonation.

Gimme more. Wish they came in 12oz bottles.

I wish this was a year round brew. I want it all the time. My breath smells like hops.

Standing ovation for Alesmith.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured an orange color, good carbonation with a small white head. Nose is big with hops, big. Lots of pine. Taste was very nice upfront, big pine like liquied pine tree, malty with a nice hop kick at the end. Excellent brew and by the best in the growler out of the selections Ihave had so far.

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Photo of kmcnair
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Winter 2005 Imperial Red on tap from mr. kegerator.

Pours a dark reddish copper tone and makes a full offwhite colored head. Floral and piney hop aromas tangled up with light caramel and crystal malted barley, almost like fresh baked artisan bread, slightly yeasty. Delicious flavor, sweet light roast barley, moderate hop bitterness, piney, floral and earthy hops, such a well balanced flavor profile. Palate has a buttery cream like consistency, leaves a soft coating on the palate, medium to full body and finishes with a soft coating. This is an incredible, awesome brew that I would gladly take to the grave. A+

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Summer edition. Red & Blue logo with fireworks design.

Pours pale yellow & clear. Overly generous white head. Very thick & meringue like. Nice.

Aroma is of dry pine cones, pine needles, and smells of crisp autumn air (maybe just the pine cone thing going too far). Suggestion of orange peel is present as well.

Palate is warm with hearty malt and smooth hop tang. Not extremely assertive (alcohol wise) for a strong IPA. Very drinkable. Very approachable to those not already into DIPAs. It certainly does not come across like an 8.5% beer.

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Photo of HoustonTX
4.66/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Yulesmith, Summer Edition. Re tasting with a fresher bottle.

Very clean aroma with a moderate amount of aromatic floral herbacous hops. All along a nice earthy/caramel malt base.

Amazingly crafted from the first second it hits your lips. Beautiful layerings of hop flavored characteristics. Goes from a bit sweet and malty up front, to a pure on hop assault. Gigantic flowery hops. Huge bittering hops. Piney and sappy resinous hops. All while maintaining perfect balance, with an incredible mouthfeel and drinkability.

A nearly perfect DIPA.

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Photo of oxmasterscream
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle from the 2004 summer release acquired thanks to mrpicklerelish, big up.

Appearance: Poured a slightly cloudy (due to chill haze, I suspect) amber which leaned a bit toward irredescent orange... it eventually cleared up to reveal a heavy, steady stream of bubbles rising upward to a small but dense off-white head, which remained in some capacity the entire time I drank and left a thick lace behind.

Smell: First whiff revealed a tea-like aroma, followed by a big waft of grapefruit smothered in honey, and some pine. Next whiff was malty and doughy, like sweet bread or pastry. Also hints of something fruity in the background, cherry I think. I could literally smell this all day. The aroma was constantly changing and challenging my senses.

Taste: Citrusy grapefruit up front, followed by super spicy and mild fruity flavors in equal capacity, with a sweet caramel malt presence, and finishing dry with a solid bitter twang that increased as I drank and begged me to take another drink. It's probably as close as you can get to a perfect balance of big malt and big hops. It's a masterfully created brew.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full with light carbonation that gently tickles your tongue. Overall, it's smooth and creamy. Its higher ABV warms and never offends. Perfect.

Drinkability: Dangerously high. The ABV is barely noticeable because the aromas and flavors are all-consuming of the senses. I wish this was more readily available on the east coast. Like the bottle says, it's a great way to spread holiday cheer.

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AleSmith Double IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.22 out of 5 based on 1,909 ratings.
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