fly (1441) - austin, Tejas, Texas, USA - SEP 27, 2005
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
HOLY HOP HEAVEN, BATMAN! This screams in a lovely way, angelic lupulin scortch. Delightful and with a tingle that heads to the bridge of pain or is that bliss? Must be becuase I canít help wanting MORE, MORE, MORE until the end......
biz82 (1328) - austin, Texas, USA - SEP 25, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Hazy, tan in color, loose creamy head. New west coast IPA aroma. Big hop aroma that is also very soft and floral supported by light caramel. Extremely sweet. Big bodied with noticable alcohol. Nice finishing bitterness. Large hop flavor that is also subtle and nuanced. Horizon? Warrior?
OhioDad (2492) - Hilliard, Ohio, USA - SEP 18, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
#600 - 22 oz bomber summer Christmas In July 2005 edition - Pours copper and fairly transparent with a nice 3 inch rocky tan head that stays well and laces better. Aroma is a beautiful mix of grapefruit, lemon, pine, a touch of yeast, and some nice pepper spice. Flavor is a beautiful blend of grapefruit, over caramel malts, with a nice spicey pepper finish. Palate is amazingly smooth and balanced. Crisp clean finish. Creamy mouthfeel with no trace of the alcohol to be found. This is a fine crafted IIPA and delicious too. #600
Dorwart (2457) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - SEP 12, 2005
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 6, 2006 Large light orange head. Very dense and recedes slowly. Very good carbonation that keep regenerating the head. Wonderful citrus and spicey aroma. Plenty of lemons and watermelon with some pepper and malts. Color is a bright orange. Wow, bursting with flavor. Awesome, plenty of hops, amazing malt balance, touch of alcohol and simply spectactular. Little bit of caramel in there to sweeten it a bit. Succulent, makes the mouth salivate for more. Finish Is clean and crisp and leaves a light bitterness on the tongue. This is the best IIPA I have ever had. A GREAT BIG THANKS to MAP for this absolute gem!!!. Opened for the first game for the next superbowl champions: The PHILADELPHIA EAGLES!!!!
SwedeDog (364) - Windsor, Connecticut, USA - SEP 12, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber from SecretSanta. Opened this one to celebrate the real opening of the football season. Great looking, orange with a beautiful fluffy head that never went away. The aroma is enough to scare away the weak at heart, a ton of hops, but they mingle nicely with vanilla, caramel, oak and little bit o honey. Of course the dry hoppiness dominates the palate but a slight tingle from the vanilla and the oak makes for an interesting and full mouthfeel. After a bit, the orange peel comes out a bit more. Despite the dryness, it goes down remarkably smooth. Thanks again Secret Santa!
mustangjoe (183) - redondo beach, California, USA - SEP 12, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Dark amber color with a big beige head that lasted the whole glass. Really strong citrusy and hoppy aroma. The flavor kicks in right away with the hops but mellows and allows a fruity (orange, grapefruit) taste to come through before the alcohol kicks in at the end with more hops. Certainly assaulted my taste buds with this one. A fine IIPA.
mephisto (1276) - TAIWAN - SEP 11, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
hazy orange w/ lively carbonation. big grapefruit aroma, sweet chewy and sure, hoppy. well balanced between malt and hops, another great american i2pa.
mullet (849) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - SEP 9, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 10, 2006 Ah, nothing says Christmas to me like being reminded what itís really like to be a Geelong supporter on an unseasonably muggy September evening, so this beer was the obvious choice... I gotta say the label is pretty ugly, but thatís the only thing you could criticise appearance-wise. Deep amber colour, lotsa bubbles, big foamy head which stays to the bottom of the glass like the IPA. A nicely integrated aroma of hops (pine, resin, grass, raw vegetables) and smooth, vanilla caramel malt. Thereís a bit of black pepper in this one too. It smells really good, but itís still a little more refined than Iíd expected. If anything (and itís a very minor knock) itís perhaps a little simplistic (as in itís just malt and hops and little else) and the hop character isnít 110% fresh. Big, thick, even syrupy malt flavour with some strawberry Chupa Chup, more piney, vegetal hops and a nice bitterness, though again itís not over the top. Noticeable alcohol and a soapy and salty finish. Seems just like the IPA with a bit more of everything (which it probably is,) though the balance is slightly skewed more towards hops in this. Not quite to the standard of North Bridge Extreme for mine, though this had to travel across the Pacific, and I still think it could use more hops and less vegetabley character. And I donít know if Iíve been drinking too much Belgian stuff lately or what, but I canít help but feel a beer that tastes like malt and hop and little else gets a little boring after a while, though Iím sure there are brewers who would dream of having the ability to do just that. Anyway Iíll stop being so negative, this stuff was grouse. PostScript: It strikes me that I never would have rated it this high if you could get anything like this in Australia (though I could easily say the same thing of lambics.) Now, after having a few more hoppy West Coast beers in Sydney I just canít keep this oneís score so high. I think Rogueís DIPA was marginally better.
barleyPops (1142) - Quad-Cities, Illinois, USA - SEP 1, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 26, 2008 received this gem as part of a trade with Saarlander, thanks Aaron. letís cut right to the quick, this is a beer where the commercial deScription is dead on! for an IIPA, the mouthfeel is what really impresses me. many IIPAís have nice malt & hops, most have high alcohol & great appearance. this is one of those cases where it all comes together to form a great beer. does southern California have room for one more beer geek? I may be living in the Alesmith parking lot soon! As I sit here nearing the bottom of my first snifter, at least 35 minutes since the pour, there is still an 1/8th to 1/4 inch of lacey foam. it has a wonderful chewy mouthfeel and the balance is superb. I hope Alesmith comes to Illinois soon!
ClarkVV (4436) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 31, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: NOV 20, 2006 July 2005 bottle from FlacoAlto, thanks man! Drank this with Eyedrinkale on 8/20/2005. Pour is perfect enough for me. Deep copper-amber color,with an ever so slight hint of auburn. White, creamy head is initially large and dense. Recedes somewhat to one finger high, but is well-retained there and provides for much laing. Bottle has sediment at the bottom, while the beer is lightly hazy. Aroma of straight up citrus hops. Adding to that you get crystally malt sweetness and just a bit of that hard, crystal malt dryness/breadiness. Candied oranges and a fair dose of perfuminess. Flavor begins with a ample but yet not-quite-overthetop amount of hops bitterness. Itís oranges, orange rinds, grapefruits and marmalade, but it dosent make you cringe (or dosent make me cringe anyways). Soft, creamy toffee/caramel supports the hops nicely, while the mouthfeel is fluid and soft, the carbonation being gentle and only making itself known enough to assert that it is not loose or thin. Medium body on the maltiness, surprisingly light, which brings me to my first problem; itís just not chewy and thick enough for me. I really was expecting a thick, creamy, chewy malt monster with a huge hops flavor. Sure itís got the hops flavor, but unlike last summerís version, this one backs off on the malt apparency (I sure loved last summerís). Finish is balanced and clean, with grapefruit and light spiciness, caramel and some dry earthiness. A wonderfully-made, flawless beer, but I still prefer the maltier, chewier version. 8/5/8/4/15
Summer 2006 bomber consumed on 10/5/06
Still a wonderful appearance, great retention and lacing and all.
Nose seems a bit more alcoholic/harsh than I recall, with LOTS of bitterness and more pine resin than remembered. Still, itís certainly lush, bold and aromatic. Something lightly sourdough-like creeps in, as if crystal malt has an effect.
The first half of the bottle proved rather harsh, heavy and somewhat overdone in bitterness and it was getting difficult to keep going, but then, somehow, the flavors began to come together and it began to get very enjoyable. Fruitiness emerges, followed by a backing off of the pine and heavy grapefruit. Some light malt sweetness helps soften things, while more alcohol actually seems to work beneficially in drying out the finish and taking some focus off of the heavy hop bitterness. In the end, the fruitiness proves to save the day, though. And the texture, which is always a strong point with AleSmith. 7/5/8/4/14