YuleSmith (Winter) - AleSmith Brewing Company
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Ratings: 652 | Reviews: 292 | Display Reviews Only:
3.53/5 rDev -13.9%
Pours a hazy dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and some herbal and dank hop aromas. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and medium hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that strong and quite dank.
11-03-2012 00:53:56 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.15/5 rDev +1.2%
2009 version thanks to Overlord. Curious to see how this holds up and will make sure to update with the 2010 version as soon as it's released.
Pours a darkened red color with a bit of rust in there. Initial hard pour into a tulip brings up a two-finger light tan head. The foam begins to separate out into large bubbles and is a bit spotty with lacing around the sides of the glass.
Nose brings forward some really nice notes of caramel and spice along with a bit of brown sugar. A pretty good amount of piney hops make their way through as well. This is definitely still fairly hoppy, and reminds me a bit of an American barleywine. Nose also brings some darkened, candied sugar as well as a bit of toffee.
First sip is not a letdown. Resinous pine hits fairly hard right off the bat. Very nice notes of toffee and caramel come through with a bit of spicing. Slight alcohol warmth really rounds out the taste. The whole thing reminds me of a nice fruit cake. A bit of dark cherries make their way in as well. Brown sugar, too.
Feel is a bit creamy with a bit of booze. Medium body and a fair amount of carbonation. Slightly dry and bitter in the finish. Warming throughout. A nice sweetness after the swallow, yet my cheeks remain a bit dry. Really nice and complex, and definitely a surprise that it's this good with a fair amount of age. I'm really looking forward to trying this one fresh, although if it were released just like this, I'd be a happy man and it would sit side by side with Anchor Christmas as an annual winter release that I look forward to.
Amyliz4 adds in that it tastes a little bit like chocolate and a nice barleywine--"it's fantastic."
10-17-2010 01:24:05 | More by Thorpe429
4.15/5 rDev +1.2%
A: The beer is clear yellow in color with some hints of amber. It poured with a finger high head that settled down rather quickly leaving lacy patterns of bubbles. There are no visible signs of carbonation.
S: There are moderate aromas of caramel malts and piney hops in the nose.
T: The initial taste is rather malty and has some notes of caramel and hints of sweetness, while the finish has a mild amount of bitterness from the hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and oily on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of warming sensations from the alcohol.
D: This beer isn't difficult to drink, but it definitely needs to be sipped given the alcohol content and amount of bitterness.
10-29-2010 03:20:21 | More by metter98
4.78/5 rDev +16.6%
Yeasty orange-bronze with a beautiful roseate glow when backlit. AleSmith YuleSmith is a gorgeous tropical sunset of a beer. The orangish, pale caramel crown is thick, creamy and sticky in consistency. Amazingly intricate, filagreed lace decorates the glass like frost on a Christmas morning windowpane. Outstanding!
The aroma is superb. A supernova-like hop explosion greets even a passing sniff. Deeper inhales threaten to blow the top off my head with twin cannons named 'Mr. Hop' and 'Mr. Malt'. There's a perfect melding of caramel and candied grapefruit peel, with a modicum of passionfruit for good measure. These guys are more than alesmiths, they're alemagicians.
YuleSmith is bliss in a glass. To approximate the flavor, melt a hug slab of caramel... The rich, sweet, caramel-toffee backbone is mastadon-sized, with big, meaty ribs. Without all that malt running interference, this sucker would be a tongue-shredding hop bomb of the highest order. Each side of the malt-hop dyad continually ups the ante throughout each mouthful.
This AleSmith ale is the quintessential balanced DIPA. That is, malt is given at least as much attention and respect as hops. Only my undying love for unbalanced hop bombs keeps the flavor score from perfection. Each sip delivers a mouthfilling, controlled explosion of sweet, sticky, hop-flecked, syrupy, fruity, bitter, caramel-drizzled pleasure. How in the world can four simple ingredients result in such an amazing elixir?
I don't know if there are any adjectives left to describe what this beer feels like in the mouth. How about full, chewy, syrupy, sticky, velvety... perfect. Any less wouldn't be enough and any more would be too much. I hate to use the word 'sensuous', but it fits.
I respect those who adore subtlety. I respect those who appreciate the nuances that different strains of yeast can provide. I respect those who like funk and those who like complexity. I'm with them on all counts. But if I can open only one present on Christmas morning, make mine a YuleSmith.
Originally reviewed on 9-11-2007.
07-26-2009 16:24:44 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.45/5 rDev +8.5%
Release '05 (3/24/06)
A tremendously large IPA with great balance and done with a holiday twist. Typical of big IPA's with very bold hop character, balanced with a healthy dosage of malt. Atypical of IPA's in it's cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and alspice flavors. It remains pine-ey and spruce-ey while showing complex fruitiness of grapefruit and oranges. Malts offer a creamy, viscous round sweetness while spiced heavily with American hops and fruitcake. Bready and yeasty despite such boldness. A very good beer to compliment the holiday season...even if the holiday season ended 3 months ago.
06-08-2009 15:14:00 | More by BEERchitect
4.03/5 rDev -1.7%
The pour was very big. Lots of dark orange colors swirling about and a good sized head of white reaching up and over the top to around two inches before settling back down again. Really nice layered look to the sides of the glass as it was thoroughly coated all the way down, really good retention here I have to say. Lots of malt in the nose right off. Caramel, sweet notes mixing with a very big hop note, especially as it warms. Piney with a sweet orange rind like citrus touch as it comes close to room temperature. Very thick feel, sticky and full with nice carbonation, definite enough to get it done. Initially you get the piney hop bite as you take the first sip, but it became very well balanced mid palate as the rich, almost scotch ale like buttery notes start to come through and really give it quite a smooth flavor. A bit hot still and a definite big one, it hurts the session ability of it a touch, and by the end you are really pushing it with this one.
05-17-2011 00:26:10 | More by mikesgroove
4.22/5 rDev +2.9%
A: A great copper color with a fluffy white head.
S: Piney hops (lots of them), and caramel malt sweetness.
T: Just like you expect from the nose: tons of piney, hoppy bitterness on the front with a great sweetness from the malt on the finish.
M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
D: Very nicely done beer from AleSmith, and one of the better winter ales.
07-28-2009 22:02:40 | More by womencantsail
3.83/5 rDev -6.6%
This brew poured out as a really nice looking clear red color with a white fizzy head on top. The retention wasn't too bad and neither was the lacing. T found the aroma of this beer to be really nicely hopped and has no elements of being a winter ale at all. The taste of this brew was a little bit like a Nugget Nectar in my opinion. The mouthfeel was well carbonated and had a light oily feel to it. Overall this brew was good but I like the Summer version much more.
10-06-2011 05:20:55 | More by Knapp85
4.06/5 rDev -1%
Bottled on: 10/04/13
Served in a tumbler glass, quick review from written notes.
Thanks to Joe for sharing!
Bright reddish copper, creamy textured surface foam that dissipates slowly to a patchy surface skim. Densely layered drippy lace around the edges of the glass.
Sticky rich malt aroma with light hoppy traces of orange marmalade.
Malty sweetness up front, some light spiciness adds complexity, bitter citrus notes of marmalade again. Dry earthy finish, toasty malt, pine resin, full bodied and sticky on the lips, low to medium carbonation level. Overall this more of an imperial red ale verging on Double IPA territory. Definitely best fresh to get the hop complexity.
11-10-2013 04:56:51 | More by emerge077
4.47/5 rDev +9%
Several samples of this on cask, via hand pump, from the brewery on 11/14/09.
Pours a fairly clear amber (a good bit of suspended hop oils give this a bit of a lava lamp look), with a finger of frothy off-white/light tan head. Rich and soapy looking retention leaves some heavy foamy lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is strong with floral, piney, and spicy West Coast hops, with an equally hefty backing of caramel, doughy bready, and an assortment of spices. Man, this just has a vibrant smelling festive quality to it. Much like a hoppy Christmas cookie.
The cask smoothes the initial hop bite of this out considerably, allowing that silky sweet sticky tang of the malts to really shine. Those aggressive hops from the aroma strike back in the backend of this however, with resins popping off the tip of the tongue before drying spice lies down thickly on the rest of it. I love the balance between the malts and hops here on cask, so smooth overall, but this stills pops in the mouth with a zesty punch. The mouthfeel is medium bodied overall, with just an outrageously easy and creamy feel to it for an almost 10% beer. Seriously, no trace of alcohol here whatsover thanks to that great balance of bold flavors and ease from the cask. Fantastic feel here.
This beer is one of my holiday favs and to be able to try this on cask was a real treat. While the cask serving did take away some of the aggressiveness of the hops that I like so much and seemed to lessen a bit of the spicy content to an extent (I seem to remember more mint in the bottled version), it more than make up for this with a smooth body and its overall flavors. This is just a great beer no matter how it is served.
12-16-2009 13:11:06 | More by Kegatron
4.28/5 rDev +4.4%
Winter 2008 version. Reviewed December 8th, 2008. Got both Yules in a trade from Fumner. Served in a pint glass.
A - Murky amber color with ample and creamy tan-brown head. Lacing pattern is terrific, lots of nice swirls.
S - Sweet malt, floral pine, citrus hops all combine together to make a very festive aroma. Reminds me a little of Furious in the way that it combines citrus and candy flavors, but it's significantly sweeter.
T - Malt-heavy, with hop bitterness appearing mid-palate and lingering into the aftertaste. Loses something in the transition from smell to taste - not as much complexity in the floral notes.
M - Creamy, smooth - viscosity is one of my big sticking points, but this one is spot on in that regard. Carbonation is there, but not overwhelming. There's a definite hop resin character that stays in your mouth and complements the bitter aftertaste.
D - The bomber I shared with Dave went too quickly. Even though this clocks in at a hefty 9.5% it drinks just as well as some lighter IPAs and red ales.
08-08-2009 19:03:41 | More by MasterSki
YuleSmith (Winter) from AleSmith Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 652 ratings.