AleSmith IPA Review

AleSmith IPA bottle and glass

AleSmith is an awarding winning brewery out of San Diego, CA where all of the employees are homebrewers. In fact, according to their website, the owner and the head brewer were both past presidents of their homebrew club.

AleSmith touts that, “every AleSmith ale is an all-natural, unpasteurized, handcrafted artisan product brewed using only premium domestic and imported malts and hops, precisely conditioned water and our quality yeast strains.” This quality craftsmanship is readily apparent when you try the AleSmith IPA, an IPA that has won numerous awards including Silver at the World Beer Championships and Bronze at the Great American Beer Festival. The brewery describes AleSmith IPA beer as follows:

Deep golden to light amber color, and a nice off-white head, with good retention when properly served. Starts off with pleasantly strong hop flavors, balanced by a firm malt backdrop, then fades to a dry finish with a lingering hoppiness.

AleSmith IPA being poured into a glass

Where I Found It. BevMo in La Quinta, CA.

Serving Type. 22 oz. bottle into a glass.

Date Reviewed. June 26, 2009.

Appearance. AleSmith IPA has a golden honey color with an orange hue. It is very clear as long as you don’t pout the yeast into your glass. This IPA has a foamy and frothy head that lingers for a very long time. It just doesn’t seem to go away; half-way done with the beer and there is still a thin layer of head on top.

Smell. This beer smells like hoppy goodness. The sweet maltiness combined with the fruity hops made me think of fresh plums while I was taking the photos. There is a hint of vanilla or caramel and the hops are clean and fresh. This IPA has a slight hint of cedar (instead of pine) and a slight hint of spice but also fruity like fresh pineapple. There was a slight bready yeast smell when I first opened the bottle but could not pick it up after that.

Taste. I tried AleSmith IPA closer to 50ºF on a hot evening in the desert and although it does not sound like ideal conditions, it was fantastic. This beer has a nice malt flavor with a hint of caramel and vanilla sweetness. The maltiness is topped by a generous dose of hops. The hop flavor is like white pepper spice, grapefruit citrus, and for the first few sips I tasted fresh plum.

Mouthfeel. This is a big IPA and has a smooth silky nature to help glide the strong flavors through your palate. It is a full bodied beer that is almost creamy in texture and well carbonated.

Drinkability. This is a smoother IPA that has a nice balance between smooth bitterness and spicy bitterness with a bite.

AleSmith IPA from above

Rating. My ratings below are on a five point scale with five being the best score.

  • Appearance (20%): 4.5
  • Smell (20%): 4.5
  • Taste (40%): 4.5
  • Mouthfeel (10%): 4.5
  • Drinkability (10%): 4.5
  • Overall: 4.5

Caption on the Bottle

The following caption appears on the back of a 22 oz. bottle of AleSmith IPA:

I prefer AleSmith it’s pretty awesome. That’s what our People’s Choice Award says to us. Each year at the San Diego Real Ale Festival , everyone is asked to vote for their favorite beer. In 2001, they chose AleSmith IPA over all the others. If you like your beer hoppy, you’re gonna love this one.

AleSmith IPA is brewed using only premium-quality malts, along with pounds and pounds of the freshest hops and our championship yeast strain. Even the water we use is precisely conditioned to make sure everything is just right for the best possible product. The results is a hoppy, malty hand-forged American-style IPA with a tantalizing aroma and a flavor that’ll have your taste buds in ecstasy!

The brewer’s yeast at the bottom of the bottle is living proof that this is a top-quality bottle-conditioned beer. Conditioning in the bottle gives the beer a lush, velvety texture that you just can’t get with force-carbonating. The bubbles are smaller, giving your taste buds a lot more surface are to grab onto, and the difference shows from the first sip to the last.

To serve, chill to approximately 45-50º and pour gently into an AleSmith pint glass, leaving the yeast in the bottle. To learn more about AleSmith Brewing Company and our many other premium products, please visit our website.

AleSmith IPA back of the bottle


  • Style: IPA
  • Brewery: AleSmith
  • Alcohol by volume: 7.25%
  • Original Gravity: 1.072
  • Final Gravity: 1.018 (calculated)
  • Hops: Columbus, Warrior, Amarillo, Simcoe, Cascade, Chinook, Palisades [source]
  • Beer Advocate rating: 4.36 (as of Nov. 15, 2009)

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AleSmith IPA glass

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About David Jensen

David is a craft beer and photography enthusiast.
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