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YuleSmith (Winter) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Winter)YuleSmith (Winter)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

660 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 660
Reviews: 295
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10%
Wants: 77
Gots: 50 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-01-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 660 | Reviews: 295 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by DavoleBomb:
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Time for an interesting review. I originally bought my first Winter YuleSmith in 08, but then I forgot about it. Then I decided I didn't want to drink an old bottle by itself, so I figured I'd trade for an 09 when it came out and drink the fresh next to the year old vintage. I did make that trade, but then I left the 09 in the cellar for too long as well. Rinse and repeat, I traded for a 10 and now I'm drinking a three year vertical of a beer that should be consumed fresh (or so they say).

To be fair, the review scores will be from the most recent vintage.

10 poured into a snifter, 09 and 08 poured into pint glasses.


3.5 A: Hazed amber brown color. Two fingers of thick creamy beige head with average retention and lots of lacing. Also lots of suspended yeasties throughout.

4.0 S: Definitely digging this aroma. Great mixture of hops, malts, and yeast. Lots of citrusy hops with emphasis on orange and pineapple. Grapefruit and pine are secondary. Malts offer a pleasant portion of caramel and toffee. There's enough residual sweetness to give an almost barleywine-esque vibe. Good amount of yeastiness that is not overly bready.

3.0 T: Like the nose, the three components are all evident, but they don't mesh well in the taste. The hops are once again citrusy with orange and grapefruit strongest. Pineapple, pine, and a touch of spiciness are secondary. Toffee is the strongest malt component with caramel next. The malts are a bit too sweet for the hops to be enjoyable, but not strong enough to give a good barleywine vibe. Bitterness is comparably low. Yeastiness is pretty good though.

4.0 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Good creaminess and slightly chewy due to the yeast.

3.5 D: Not bad, but this beer is right in the middle of a hoppy dry DIPA and a BW sweet DIPA. This needs to pick a side.


4.0 A: Pretty much the same as the 2010, but has a bit better retention and a decent amount more lacing.

4.0 S: Borderline 4.5. Time has done this beer well. The hops have subsided, but not completely. This now smells like a pretty damn good barleywine. Lots of prune, candied plum, and date fruitiness. Strong toffee and caramel maltiness. Hops are citrusy and focus on the orange aroma.

3.5 T: Tastes like a weak barleywine as opposed to a DIPA. The flavors are less muddled than the fresh version. Prune and date fruitiness with again lots of toffee and caramel. Orange citrusy hops and a bit of grapefruit. Not bad and definitely better than fresh. Good amount of yeastiness, but not too much.

4.0 M: Pretty much the same here.

3.5 D: Better than fresh. More barleywine than DIPA at this point.


4.5 A: The best of the bunch. This had way more carbonation than the other two. The yeast must have had a good time over those two years. Anyway, same general color and appearance, but the head has by far the best retention and TONS of lacing.

4.5 S: Straight up barleywine now. Lots of date here with some candied plum secondary. Toffee is stronger than caramel, but the fruitiness is way stronger than both. Hops are even more subdued, but still contribute a decent amount of orange and pineapple.

3.5 T: Tastes a lot like the 09, but more mellow.

4.0 M: Same again, which I think is the result of getting to this one last (all poured at same time) allowing the carbonation to dissipate.

4.0 D: Like the 09, but a bit more drinkable due to the mellowing out.

DavoleBomb, Feb 19, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

tectactoe, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of MadScientist
4/5  rDev -2.4%

MadScientist, Mar 27, 2013
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In a pint glass this beer was a hazy red/brown color with a medium-sized tan head. It had a fruity aroma, as well as some biscuit. Cherry/dark fruit taste, bread, and a bunch of hops. Nice balance, sweet up front and hops bitterness at the end. Great beer.

lordofthewiens, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of DaftPatrick
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

DaftPatrick, Mar 24, 2014
Photo of Beaver13
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle. Pours clear ruby amber with a huge fluffy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet caramel malts with piney, fruity hops.

The flavor is sweet caramel malts and some fruit with a lot of piney hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, an amazing well balanced DIPA with sweet caramel malt, fruit and a ton of piney hops.

Beaver13, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of stevegerl
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A very interesting balance of malt and hop flavor. Usually, a beer has one or the other, but the Winter Yulesmith has both. Orange/Red/Brown color is interesting. Awesome mouthfeel. Hoppy and dry aftertaste. Spicy aroma.

I would recommend this beer to beer enthusiasts that have never drank it before. But if you're thinking about getting it for someone else, ask if they have already had it. You'd be better off spending your money on a Founder's six-pack, but it's worth a shot.

stevegerl, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of Fcip78
5/5  rDev +22%

Fcip78, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of megamass
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

megamass, May 18, 2013
Photo of SuperbikeShaun
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

SuperbikeShaun, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of tigg924
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: one inch head, medium/high carbonation, hazy, amber in color

Smell: caramel and floral hops

Taste: floral hops and sweet caramel malt--some toffee on the finish-and alcohol

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, medium/light carbonation, nice mix of bitter and sweet

Drinkability: An above average amber where the alcohol hits hard. This is the first AleSmith offering that has not totally blown me away however. Not a bad beer, just one that I am not likely to pick up again.

tigg924, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kaiser81 for sending this bottle to me.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is strong orange and citrus with some caramel malts. The flavor is bitter orange peel with a nice caramel malt backbone. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of GarrettB714
5/5  rDev +22%

GarrettB714, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of Altenor
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Altenor, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of virinow
5/5  rDev +22%

virinow, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of ehammond1
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2010)

Liquor Stop
San Marcos, CA

A deep orange and amber with a huge, growing, stiff, persistent off-white head. One of the larger heads I've seen on a beer. There's also large chunks of sediment floating throughout the beer.

Relatively sweet aroma with some piney hop elements as well. Brown sugar sweetness and caramel mixed with the pine make for an above average aroma.

A tasty, relatively bitter amber ale. Lots of pine flavors from the hops as well as some candied, burnt sugar sweetness. Pleasant.

Medium to thick mouthfeel. Feels right.

A tasty, somewhat bitter and piney amber ale. A wonderful holiday treat.

ehammond1, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of MattyG85
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Bottled on 10/07/13.

Appearance: Pours a deep and somewhat hazy amber red with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid three fingers of off white head which slowly fade into a thinner creamy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing clinging to the glass.

Smell: An earthy and fairly hoppy red aroma with a big caramel malt balance. Upfront earthy, floral, and herbal hops with hints of wet grass and spicy pine resin. Subtle citrus hop hints of orange peel, lemon, and grapefruit. Big balance of toasty bready malts with hints of sweet caramel, biscuit, grains, toast, toffee, yeast, and subtle roast. Also some sweet hints of brown sugar. A pretty solid and balanced red ale aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma hints, a big and balanced taste of earthy hops and sweet caramel malt. Upfront taste of earthy hops with notes of wet grass. Floral notes and spicy herbal notes of pine resin. Citrus hop notes of orange peel, grapefruit, and lemon. Solid balancing presence of bready malts with notes of sweet caramel, biscuit, toasted bread, toffee, yeast, and a little roast. Sweet taste of brown sugar as well. A well balanced and good imperial red taste.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the fuller side of medium. Carbonation is moderate. Very chewy and oily. A little booze heat is felt but it still goes down fairly smooth.

Overall: A very solid imperial Red Ale. Big oily mix of earthy hops with a big sweet malt presence.

MattyG85, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of Cynic-ale
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Cynic-ale, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev -2.4%

WVbeergeek, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of chinchill
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle of Yule Smith "Winter Holiday Ale", 8.5% ABV, believed to be 2012 vintage served in a pint glass.
Pours a deep, dark reddish brown color, clear, with a large, frothy, creamy and durable head.
Very hoppy aroma, with some pine. Hoppy flavor too, but with a load of rich malts nearly counterbalancing the hops bitterness and adding a rich, sweet roasted grain flavor.

M: Full bodied, with ample and soft carbonation.

O: this exceptional beer may be as good as Imperial Reds get.

chinchill, May 27, 2013
Photo of mattdbh
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

mattdbh, Oct 24, 2012
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

acurtis, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of ste5venla
4/5  rDev -2.4%

ste5venla, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of CloudStrife
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle split and poured into a tulip.

A: Pours an opaque ruby with a full 2 finger head. Can see a good amount of carbonation when you hold it up to the light. Head sticks around for quite a while and leaves a solid lacing.

S: Has a fruity hop aroma, loads of grapefruit and citrus. A sweet malt backing and a hint of booze.

T: Much maltier than I anticipated, but certainly not in a bad way. Hops balance it out nicely and linger in the aftertaste. Malts come through as a sweet and carmel

M: Fairly full bodied with ample carbonation. Isn't too sticky instead rather clean. Is certainly a warming brew.

Overall certainly a beer that would be great paired with a meal. Has the malt and body to combine with meats and cheeses but also a pleasant hop that makes it very drinkable.

CloudStrife, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of Jeffreysan
2.75/5  rDev -32.9%

22 ounce bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, clear, golden amber color, speckled with red highlights and an eighth of a finger of off-white head that quickly dissolved into a lacing of foam that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very hoppy. In fact, the only aroma I’m getting is an intensely floral note of hops. I hope the flavor isn’t as hoppy.

Taste: Unfortunately the beer tastes very hoppy as well. Lots of hops up front, imparting quite a bit of, in my opinion, unpleasant bitterness. I get some faint notes of toasted malt, brown sugar-like sweetness, and some black pepper, but mainly I get hops and hoppy bitterness. Not my kind of beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with quite a bit of carbonation. With an ABV of 8.5%, there’s just a touch of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: I’m not a fan of this beer, really, as it is way too hoppy for me. The hoppy bitterness totally overpowers all of the other flavors of the beer. Sorry AleSmith, this beer is not for me. Hop heads should love it though!

Jeffreysan, Sep 11, 2014
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YuleSmith (Winter) from AleSmith Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 660 ratings.