The Beer: AleSmith IPA
The Brewery: AleSmith Brewing Company of San Diego , California
ABV: 7.25%Brewer's Description: AleSmith IPA used to be known as "Irie Pirate Ale." However, some nasty patent attorneys think the name is too similar to another brand, so we had to "cease and desist." It's a darn shame, but it beats an obnoxious legal battle, in both expenses and Excedrin. Don't worry though, we won't change the beer (which is a MUCH better IPA than that "other" brand). It was conceived as an American-style IPA to satisfy the yearnings of the most die-hard hopheads. Its high alcohol content may catch you unawares if you're not careful, but it's hard to resist once you've tasted it. Appearance: Deep golden to light amber color, and a nice beige head, with good retention when properly served. Flavor: Starts off with strong citrusy, resiny flavors, balanced by a nice malty sweetness, then fades to a dry finish with a lingering hoppiness and a faint hint of plums and black cherries. Aroma: Strong piney-citrusy character, with vanilla in the background. Mouthfeel (body/texture): Smooth, medium-bodied. Feels warm in the mouth from the alcohol.
Color: Poured into Urthel stemmed glass (away from my glassware at home, it was only $3 at Whole Foods). Dark peach in color, bright but with some very faint cloudiness. Head is thin and white but lingers. Steady stream of fine, effervescent bubbles float to the surface.
Aroma: Zesty aroma of orange, grapefruit, and lemon peels with some ambiguous fruits and flowery notes in the background.
Taste/mouthfeel: starts out with some mild caramel sweetness abruptly followed by citrus oil bitterness and some resiny pine notes. The high hop bitterness puckers the sides of the mouth and lingers on the roof.
Finish: long, bitter, lingering finish. You'll be remembering this beauty for hours.
Notes: Purchased at Whole Foods in Los Angeles. One of the first beers I reviewed on PremiumBitter was this brewery's barley wine. I was blown away by the beer, it's one of my favorite barley wines and AleSmith is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries. A very, very solid IPA. Possibly one of the best.