YuleSmith (Winter) - AleSmith Brewing Company
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Ratings: 652 | Reviews: 292 | Display Reviews Only:
1.68/5 rDev -59%
Poured In: Snifter
Attained through a trade (Thanks Nick!)
Appearance: Another non careful pour is invoked to stir up a few fingers of head. The beer pours a dark copper and amber color with two fingers of head. A few swirls in the snifter doesn't produce very much lace. Just a streak or two that trickles its way back into the beer. When held up to the light there is very little effervescence making me think that I'll enjoy the mouthfeel quite a bit. The beer really is a beautiful color.
Smell: The nose isn't as pleasant as I was hoping. Some alcohol is shining through on top of some sweet dark candy malt. The malt smells like caramel and toffee, all with a slightly toasted aroma to it. There is a little bit of hop aroma coming through, I think it's a mixture of citrus and pine, but the hop aroma isn't complimenting the sweet malts and alcohol at all. In fact, it's rather unpleasant.
Taste: The flavor isn't that much better than the nose. The palate first picks up sweet candy like malt including caramel and toffee. The malt flavor disappears and is followed up by some warming alcohol, diacetyl buttery flavoring, and then a little bit of herbal hops. I see a lot of people mentioning how hoppy this is in their review. They must have gotten the Summer version. The Winter version is not a hop bomb by any means. It doesn't have to be a hop bomb to be enjoyable, although it is what I was expecting going in. The palate just isn't pleasant on this at all. The malts that were used on this just didn't agree with me. I think dark malts and hops can play nicely together. I absolutely loved Southern Tier's Iniquity Ale. But, sadly, this was a drain pour.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is nice. It's a medium to full bodied beer with a nice level of carbonation right off the bat. There is a nice coating of oils on my teeth after each sip.
Drinkability: I wish I had liked this one more. It's really not agreeing with my palate nor my stomach. Perhaps I'd like the Summer version better. The diacetyl and alcohol that shines through just ruined this one for me.
01-01-2010 05:37:18 | More by Ek0nomik
1.8/5 rDev -56.1%
A: Pours a cloudy reddish brown, looks like apple cider with touches of brown sugar and maple syrup. Very little head even after an aggressive pour and lots of swirling in the glass; no lacing.
S: Caramel malts, lots of butterscotch, heavy alcohol presence. Pine hops only make a brief cameo here.
T: Not particularly enjoyable, the taste of this beer is primarily composed of two elements: alcohol and butter/diacetyl. There are bits of sweetness early on, and a mild hop bitterness in the finish, but not nearly enough of either to balance the alcohol/butter flavors.
M: Thin-medium body, somewhat smooth; very light carbonation, almost flat.
D: Not an enjoyable drink; don't know what I'm going to do with the second half of my bomber and I did not enjoy the glass I had.
I'm wondering if this bottle had something wrong with it, but seeing as how it recently showed up on my beer store's shelves I can only assume it was produced for this Christmas season. I am drinking it about a month after Christmas... but that doesn't seem long enough for this beer to go so bad. I did send one of these out as a trade extra a bit recently, before I actually gave it a try... hope he was able to enjoy it more than I did.
02-01-2011 01:54:07 | More by AwYeh
2.28/5 rDev -44.4%
Pours a deep garnet with great translucence and and one -finger head that laced decently and retained not that well. Very fine bubbling.
Smells tropical, with mango and jackfruit coming out pleasantly with lots of caramel malt.
Taste, however, is totally unbalanced, with WAY too much sugary malt for the fruit. Perhaps my bottle is too old, or I'm not having this fresh, or whatever, but this is sickly sweet. The little bitterness that exists is dominated by the sticky malt and is killed off quickly. I've had fresh mangos in India, and for such a stereotypically sweet fruit, the best ones have a bit of tartness to go with it. This beer bring the sweetness but, sadly, doesn't bring the tart counter to balance it out. Pineapple is also evident, but I wish it was way more sour than it turns out to be.
Mouthfeel is fine, as it isn't too thin and is full-bodied enough to bring out all the flavors involved. Carbonation is well done too, not too strong and not too weak. Drinkability is directly linked to taste in a lot of cases, and here it suffers due to the lack of balance. The abv of 8.5% is masked well, but there is no denying the fact this beer is tough to down sip after sip.
02-19-2011 09:18:16 | More by madvermin
2.58/5 rDev -37.1%
A: Pours a cloudy amber color with about a finger of off-white head. Moderate amounts of sticky lace.
S: Very sweet malt and some citrus and pine hop aroma. A little holiday spiciness.
T: Dominated by cloying sweetness and strong spiciness: cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. Strong sweet caramel, some butteriness, and decently strong alcohol. Not very enjoyable, I wonder if this bottle is starting to go bad.
M: Fairly full bodied, sticky, and cloying with some alcohol heat.
D: Sadly, this was not enjoyable at all. It was way to0 sweet and the alcohol flavor was too strong. The spicy butter flavors in the taste make me wonder if this bottle has started going bad. As it stands now, however, I did not like this beer at all.
05-14-2010 21:29:35 | More by MrDanno96
3.05/5 rDev -25.6%
A- poured into a glass looking a light like fresh apple cider, bubbly head with not a lot of retention, an appropriate amount of yeast clouds the glass.
S- some pine comes through in the smell, but other than that seemed pretty non-descript.
T- followed with the pine, but also had a fresh cidery note to it.
M- heavy residual carbonation and a distinct lingering aftertaste.
D- I was hoping for more from this as I really enjoy the summer version. I'll probably pass on this one in the future.
12-29-2010 15:38:23 | More by Franz4
3.15/5 rDev -23.2%
Winter version. Draught at the Red. Dark amber-red with not much of a head. Aroma of pure butterscotch and a bit of caramel. The flavor is very butterscotch dominated with a some green, oily hops and modest bitterness. Pretty sweet and malty. This just tastes weird, like a couple shots of butterscotch liqueur got dumped in my imperial red. The hops struglge over the sweet, candied body. Quite a let down. I've got a bottle that I'm going to save for new years; hoping that its different than this odd tasting keg.
(2.9) Rerate: 22oz bottle. Better beige head over a rich dark red body. the butterscotch is gone, but this is still too sweet and alcoholic; the hops are there, but they just get clobbered by all the sugar and alcohol. I'll bump it up a bit, but I still feel that this is way overrated.
12-15-2009 04:42:34 | More by bulletrain76
3.18/5 rDev -22.4%
Had this last summer, but now there is a different spot for the winter one.
Big head, reddish amber glow, orange highlights. Like Rudolph doing lines of oxyclean off santas suit.
Sweet dark malt smell, hops, caramel, smells like a barleywine.
Sweet burnt sugars, caramel, spicey, hoppy. Alcohol noticeable. Like deglazing a pan with mulled brown sugar hoppy cider.
Mouthfeel is almost chewy, like a christmas fruitcake. Bitter hops.
Did I mention alcohol present?
After having Stone 13 and looking back at this beer, imperial red's are a tough style to get right.
08-25-2009 04:29:48 | More by Murchmac
3.18/5 rDev -22.4%
I drank this from a 22 oz bottle (winter version) into a rochefort chalice.
The beer pours medium brown with a very light tan head that has no head, retention or lacing.
The aroma is very hoppy with a muted maltiness.
The taste is very interesting, but not sure if that's a good thing. There is lots of hoppiness here but there is something else to, that just brings a weirdness to the beer.
12-25-2009 02:19:35 | More by jrallen34
3.3/5 rDev -19.5%
1 pint 6 fluid ounce brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into De Molen stemware in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.
A: Pours a two finger head of fair cream, great thickness, and great retention - especially for the high ABV. The colour is a dark amber; semitransparent.
Sm: Light toasted malt, good cream and pleasant well-handled hops. A moderate strength aroma.
T: Toasted malt meets with well-handled hops for a very pleasant effect. The mild cream helps tame the bitterness of the hops whilst retaining the flavour. I dig the simple but supportive toasted malt foundation. It's not horribly complex, but I dig it. Very well balanced. All around a pleasant and flavourful beer.
Mf: Caramel-smooth, wet, and just the right thickness. Well handled and suitable for the flavour.
Dr: Drinkable for the high ABV, though alcohol does unfortunately come through. I'd like to try it on draught. It does lack a clear focus, but I enjoy drinking it.
11-05-2011 07:32:59 | More by kojevergas
YuleSmith (Winter) from AleSmith Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 652 ratings.