Early morning heat. The sun’s beating down on you as each of your footsteps beat down on solid ground. You enter your battlefield confidently, and you’re ready to fight. The heavy armor has now become your second skin, and you move dexterously through the crowd of men you’ve been ordered to combat. You’ve proven to be agile and powerful as you rise victorious in the conquest to uphold the honor of your empire.
Ok, you guys, who wishes they were a samurai? Don’t tell me you’ve never picked up a toy sword and swiftly waved it around like a katana, moving around the room while making sound effects of your sword cutting through the air and fighting your imaginary opponents. And what do all brave warriors need after defeating their adversaries? An ice cold, invigorating beer! Look no further than Great Divide’s Samurai Rice Ale.
Samurai Ale: The Basics
- Brewery: Great Divide Brewing Company (Denver, CO)
- Style: Rice Ale
- ABV: 5.5%
Samurai Rice Ale: The Details
I found the concept of a rice ale to be interesting. I’m familiar with the addition of rice to flavor the Japanese Sapporo and even the USA made Budweiser lagers. The grain has an incredibly mild flavor, making it light and easy to drink. The Samurai Ale was no exception to this. It is brewed with rice and barely malts, so although labeled as an ale, this beer has a pilsner quality to it. It pours like a pilsner, a pale yellow with a light, bubbly head on top. The unfiltered factor gives the color just a little bit of cloudiness, but it isn’t completely opaque. The carbonation fizzes in the glass for the entirety of the drink, however, the head dissipated very quickly. As quickly as the head disappears so does some of the bolder flavors in the beer. Initially, if you pay close attention, you get notes of toasted grain and a touch of banana. These flavors are insignificant but they add enough zest to make it a yummy beer. It’s refreshing and crisp, but I would have to say that the only downfall is that it doesn’t last long on the palate. This might also be the reason why I’ve gone through a six-pack trying to write this and now I’m drunk. Totally joking. It does make for an easy drink though. It goes down super smooth and it’s delicious with a simple flavor profile.
Another note I wanted to make is about the IBUs. I searched the Great Divide website and various beer review sites and noticed that no one seemed to know where the IBUs stand. This is a fact I personally like to know about beer since I really love hops. If I had to guess I would place this at about 15 IBUs. This is not a hoppy beer at all, especially since it resembles more of a lager.
One more fun fact for you. Great Divide discontinued Samurai in 2012, to make room for the Colette and the Nomad year-round. It came back just last year after being off the market for four years. Samurai Rice Ale fans were excited to see this back in production and with good reason. It’s a delicious beer.
In general, this has a good flavor and I can see it being a staple summer beer. One of those that you reach for on a hot day to help cool you down, after doing some yard work or fighting off foes. I can imagine if I were a samurai that a cool, refreshing beer like this one would really help quench my thirst after a long day of conquering my enemies.