Beer Blogging - AleSmith X Extra Pale Ale
The pour: poured into a pint glass, this beer develops a huge head with some fairly large bubbles. Despite those bubbles, the top of the head looks almost creamy. The beer itself is a light golden color, and it's a little bit cloudy because there's yeast in the bottle. There are some very fine bubbles coming up through the center of the beer even after ~10 minutes in the glass.
The aroma: smells like hops, specifically floral hops. There's a little bit of grapefruit in there too. There's no malt to speak of, and no ethanol either (the ABV value is not on the bottle).
The taste: there's not much malt here either, in keeping with the designation on the bottle that this is an extra pale ale. AleSmith seems to have avoided the temptation to shovel hops into their brew kettle by the ton, unlike some breweries that try to make American pale ales. There's some bready malt right in the front, and then the hops take over (but not too much). Again, the hops are mostly floral, with slight citrus accents. The aftertaste is very nice, with a light maltiness that fades just when you're ready to take the next sip. A lot of beers sold in 22 oz. bombers like this are so rich that you wouldn't dream of drinking more than one; this beer is extremely drinkable.
The rating: 9/10. I really like this beer, even if I'd call it a regular old American Pale Ale rather than an Extra Pale Ale (the styles are so similar that the difference isn't worth arguing about). If you like hops but think that IPAs are too bitter and strong, this beer would be right up your alley. I'm assuming that AleSmith isn't available nationally, but if you're in California you should pick up a bottle.