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Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Monday, October 14, 2013

AleSmith IPA

This IPA is brewed by AleSmith Brewing of San Diego, CA. This is one of their year round beers. I bought it at Taylor's Market in Sacramento. It has an ABV of 7.25%

The aroma has some sweet grass and light fruit. The flavor is malt forward with caramel through out quick hit of alcohol flavor and some light fruit hops in the background. There's a light citrus rind bitter bite at the finish.The mouthfeel is creamy with a dry finish and the body medium to light.

This is a decent IPA and not as special as the reviews claim. I will give a little leniency since the bottle I got was bottled 7 weeks ago. At 7 weeks its a standard, though well-crafted, mellow IPA.

This is THE top rate IPA on RateBeer. I respectfully disagree. This is a good, IPA, but there's no rush. Try It sometime. I'm not sure how to  review a beer like this, other than to consider that the beer is nearly two months in the bottle. I bought the beer from a high end local market whose beer supply turns over fairly fast. So, I'm not sure who to blame for the long shelf life, the brewer or the seller.

This is one of the challenges of growing as a brewery - maintaining quality control of your brew as it reaches consumers hundreds and maybe thousands of miles away. IPA's are meant to be drank ASAP, the longer on the shelf the more flavor lost. I imagine having this brew fresh on tap in San Diego is a different experience. I appreciate that the brewer puts the bottling date on the bottle, its rare. Without the date I would right this off as a decent IPA.

I had this IPA before about a year ago. I had the same reaction that I am having as I write this - "eh". So, is the beer overrated, is the quality control not where it should be, or are my taste buds off?

Try It.

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