Ale smith brewing co. IPA


imageThis is our first crack at this breweries range. Quite surprisingly though, it’s from San Diego, California which is on the West Coast of USA, not really known for their production of IPA’s. OK so by now you realise we’re being sarcastic, we mean, how good do they have it over there! Jealous much!?

Anyhow we served this in an IPA glass. Our slightly aggressive pour provides us with an almost transparent amber appearance that generates a big, fluffy 2 and a half finger head that steadily peels away. The head retains well though, finally resting at about 5mm with healthy lace clinging to the glass. So West Coast on the nose. Maybe a little dank and resinous too with the characteristic tropical fruits that we hop heads have all come to be so fond of. Definitely getting a lot of grape fruit, passion fruit, pine, lychee and mango being softly balanced by a suggestion of malty sweet and caramel. We get a subtle muskiness and you just can’t miss that gorgeous suggestion of spicy aniseed. We really like this somewhat caramelised undertone of candi sugar and marmalade, handing this aroma that extra depth and character. Very respectable start here. Slightly sharp in the mouth with a soft, chalky texture. Carbonation levels are moderate with medium bodied flavour. The front palate starts off with a sharp bite of grapefruit that is accentuated by an alcohol warmth (7.25%) and again amplified by an assertive bitterness cutting through. In the background and also bridging onto the mid is a hint of toffee and orange peel that carries forward and delivers a dry and bitter finish with good legs. A really long and drawn out dryness on the rear palate reflects the liberal use of bittering hops in the brew. Damn fine IPA, and a very good way to open their account with us. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the shelves for their next release.