Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Day 8 (8/1/2011): Alesmith IPA
If my beer drinking career was Craiglist, my experience with Alesmith IPA would be in "Missed Connections". Another Ratebeer top 100 beer, I was lucky enough to have found a bottle of this at Dilly Cafe a year ago. I brought it home, and to my extreme sadness, watched about 75% of it gush out of the bottle when it was opened. I have no idea if it was because the bottle conditioning of the beer, an infection problem, or what, but pretty much all of the beer was wasted and what was left didn't take very good.
I hoped that this was a fluke and have been looking for a fresh bottle since. This is pretty difficult since Alesmith doesn't date their bottles (more on that later). I finally got my hands on a bottle last week and hoped that I actually got to drink it this time.
Alesmith IPA is bottle conditioned, meaning that it is bottled with live yeast. This gives the beer a cloudy tint when pouring. The head is a slight off-white is stands strong, with a little lacing after it dissipates. Strangely enough I don't get a ton of hop smell. There is clearly some, but the yeast smell coupled with a little bit of green apple. Not what I was hoping for and not what I was expecting.
The taste is a little better, but the hop flavor still are lacking immensely. It almost seems like you get the hop bitterness without much of the pungency or other flavors from it. At this point, I'm convinced that this is an older bottle. It is pretty balanced; nothing groundbreaking here.
It has medium carbonation and a light body; very refreshing if nothing else. It is a very dry beer, despite the malt sweetness.
Clearly I have terrible luck with this beer. For the price, I don't think I will ever buy another bottle of it until Alesmith gets with the program and gets their bottles dated. That goes with all breweries: bottle date your IPAs! No one wants to drink a year old beer with all of its hops degraded. If I get a chance to try this on tap, I'll jump at the opportunity, but you know what they say: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...)
I give Alesmith IPA a B-. Not terrible, but frankly, not very good. Certainly does not live up to the expectations.
Beer Advocate: A
Acquired via trade from a Beer Advocate in California. Thanks! Alesmith products are distributed in Ohio. Remember to ask your store when they received their last shipment in so you don't get burned!