YuleSmith (Winter) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Winter)YuleSmith (Winter)

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

306 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 306
Hads: 756
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 6.08%
Wants: 80
Gots: 67 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-01-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 306 | Hads: 756
Photo of evanforbeer
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bomber, bottle date disappeared but it was somtime in October- pours a lovely thicker lighter auburn with a powerful off-white head.

nose- bright zesty orange and berries, caramel, florals and vanilla

taste- big dose of citrusy hops and lush caramel and sticky grains and toffee, musty pineapple and pine and a trace of vanilla in there, finishes clean with malty sweetness and hop bitterness

feel- big, heavy for a red (though it is an imperial red i suppose), sticky, effervescent

love this beer. Alesmith's under-the-radar expertise is their red ales- Yulesmith, Evil Dead Red, and Bloody Valentine- I love how they blend hops and caramel malts (666 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 10/8/2013. Pours lightly cloudy reddish copper color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange zest, orange rind, tangerine, pineapple, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, floral, pine, grass, and floral/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop and dark malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, orange zest, orange rind, tangerine, pineapple, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, floral, grass, slight pine, and floral/toasted earthiness. Slight floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange zest/ring, tangerine, pineapple, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, floral, grass, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity and well balanced hop and dark malt flavors; with a moderately crisp bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately creamy and fairly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent imperial red! All around awesome balance and complexity of hop and dark malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering. (1,506 characters)

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle 8.5% Abv.
Served chilled and split between a wine glass and a snifter.
Bottled on 01/26/2013

Drunk on Christmas 2013 and reviewd from notes.

Appearance: The beer pours a beautiful crystal clear amber/red, with a rough pour yielding a large beige coloured head. The head lasts fantastically well and coats the glass in thick rings of lacing as it slowly recedes.

Smell: The initial nose is fantastic, offering a ton of citric and piney hops swimming in a river of sweet caramel malt. Closer inspection yields notes of: sweet orange, grapefruit, some pith, caramel, honey, an odd note of vanilla, toffee and light pine resin. As the beer warms, pineapple and a touch of granadilla become apparent. Even at room temperature, there is not trace of alcohol.

Taste: The flavour is quite a lot more bitter and hop than I expected - there must be an absolute mountain of hops in here to dominate the massive malt body like this!
Orange, grapefruit pith and a little pine dominate the flavour, but the sweet caramel malt base is still present and does a great job in balancing the massive hop character. As the beer warms the flavour becomes somewhat sweeter with more caramel/toffee maltiness and some tropical fruit hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is a little high for my liking at a high level, but it is not overly obtrusive. The body is medium-full and offers a light stickiness.

Overall: YuleSmith Winter is a fantastic beer, with a perfect balance between the malt and hops. There is absolutely no trace of alcohol, making this one dangerous drink for a hot South African Christmas! (1,613 characters)

Photo of hardy008
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber with a one finger light tan head. The aroma has plenty of citrus fruit, especially grapefruit, and a lot of caramel malt. Smells like it should be both sweet and hoppy.

Tastes pretty much like I expected based on the aroma with grapefruit, citrus zest, caramel malt, and toasted malt. The beer is both sweet and hoppy, as I expected, but the sweetness is somewhat more dominant.

Medium to full bodied with average carbonation. Has a bit of a sticky mouthfeel, and is somewhat oily and resinous. Has a grapefruit and caramel aftertaste. The alcohol is well hidden. Another very nice beer from AleSmith. (621 characters)

Photo of RoamingGnome
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

AleSmith Yule Smith Holiday Ale

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a CBS snifter. Served chilled...

A) Nice looking red ale... Two fingers of creamy light tan head slowly settled to a dusting, leaving behind some decent lacing too.

S) A nice blend of caramel malt sweetness and piney hops in the aroma.

T) Yeah, this one follows the nose nicely. A piney grassy finish with a little alcohol, which becomes more noticeable as it warns up a bit.

M) A pretty thick red ale here. Moderate carbonation... Pleasing aftertaste... Easy drinking...

O) Excellent balance... I rank this right there with my favorite imperial red ales. Glad to recommend... (647 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (1,467 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear, bright crimson hue, , large and long head, puffy, creamy foam, leaving lace.

Aroma: malt-tastic, fruit-ariffic, a touch of vanilla, a whiff of cherry. Cocoa lurks below, caramel, too. A mystical mix. Ever-so hoppy.

Taste: Big fat mix of malt and a generous spattering of hops. Lots of caramel malt and toffee tastes below, with cirtus-y notes up above. yum. Big, chocolately malt, prodigious hoppiness. It's a So-Cal Christmas. Tast-ee. Yum-ee. So terribly complex and delicious. Love it.

there's a lot of red ink on a brown bottle. I can't read it. On the bottom, above the web address it says: "Serve in a pint at 50-55 degrees." I think the temperature is okay, but is a "pint" really what you want to recommend? Whatever, I did it in a "tulip." So sorry. (768 characters)

Photo of rawfish
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sunset orange with good clarity, a slow pour creates a neat finger high head of beige. Retention has limited durability but leaves a solid band of lacing on the glass.

Warm malt tones of caramel, red berries and vinous fruit and in the true holiday spirit hop aroma of oily/resiny pine with a backing of grapefruit and orange citrus.

Straight forward caramel malts with a bit of cream with a hop kick that includes pine, orange citrus and some herbal tones, follows the nose very well. Moderate bitterness is exacerbated by the strong grasp of solvent-like then warming alcohol.

More carbonation here then most of the Alesmith offerings, medium bodied. Alcohol presence is bothersome even as the beer warms.

A simplistic but well crafted hoppy red ale. I would love more dimensions thrown in in either the malt or hops, malt is equally balanced with the hops so there isn't much that can be done about the rising alcohol. A nice beer but far from the best this brewery can offer. (984 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, 10/08/13
Tulip

A: Pours a really pretty lightly reddish hued orange color. Head is about a finger of off white/light tan. Leaving some sticky lacing. Nicely carbonated.

S: Just as expected with AS, awesome pine and earthly hop notes. Then meshing nicely with caramel and hints of toffee. Almost a hoppy nutty character.

T: Really nice hop bite up front. Really strong earthly pine flavor. Some citrus rind. Then you get the red ale flavors: some soft caramel and toffee. Has some strong lingering bitter finish. Dry.

M: Medium bodied. Big flavor burst. (562 characters)

Photo of ryannosaurus
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep red brown, crystal clear with about a finger's width of light tan head, settles quickly, nice lacing. Absolutely gorgeous Earthy hop aroma, slightly piney with a hint of malt and biscuit as it warms. Flavor is nicely balanced, strongly bitter with significant sweet malt and brown sugar to offset it, balance doesn't shift much as it warms. Subtle hints of orange peel and pine. Mouthfeel is thicker than I'd expect from 8.5%, bordering on what I'd expect from an Imperial Red. Overall very nice effort: hoppy but not too hoppy, very attractive appearance. (561 characters)

Photo of cvm4
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a medium amber with a one finger head light tan head.

S - I'm getting a lot of citrus hops, with may'be pine secondary.

T - Citrus hops with a not too malty backbone and a pine hop finish.

M - Light to medium bodied and medium carbonation. A crisp, easy drinking beer for the abv.

O - I'm impressed with the winter and summer versions of this beer. (363 characters)

Photo of QuakeAttack
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tried a 22 oz. bottle in a tulip glass (other glasses were all dirty!)

A: Poured a nice, amber red with little head (about 1/4 inch).

T: It surprised me with a nice balance of hops at the beginning and caramel malts at the end. Had this wintry pine or juniper taste which I wasn't expecting, but really enjoyed.

This is an excellent red ale. AleSmith is 3 out of 4 in my book (Speedway Stout, Wee Heavy, and YuleSmith with the NutBrown being the only one which missed for me).

Buy again? Most definately! (508 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Dark brown with a 1/2 foamy head, floating yeasts and nice sticky lacing.

Smell - Sweet citric fruits, pine, apples, grapes, caramel malts, added spices and sweet yeasts.

Taste - Really reminds me of a barleywine with sweet mix of malts and spices. Hints of lemon, roasty malts and spices. Alcohol is present in the finish. Herbal notes, along with a little oaked flavor.

Mouthfeel - Caramel malts and citric hops coat the tongue. Palate gets mostly the same along with some herbal flavors and alcohol. The aftertaste is malty and a little warm.

Overall - Really good, full flavored, but not quite what id call a red ale. Sure I get the hops but with the roasty malts and alcohol, the beer seems closer to a barleywine to me. Still, really tasty and great to drink. (812 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a nonic.
8.5% ABV, "serve in a pint 50-55°"

A - Chunky gobs of lace leaves Swiss cheese patterns all over the nonic pint after the ivory head subsides into the unfiltered copper-hued amber beer.

S - Holiday hops burst fourth from YuleSmith; American varietals imparting a winter-like nose of pine needle and tree sap with citrus notes and a big base of caramel malt. Sweet suggestions of English toffee crumbles and caramel apple dip lead into undertones of mellow fig newton.

T - Caramel malt sweetness and underlying toffee and toasted bread are intense but still succumb to the bold hop profile of YuleSmith. The piney American varieties keep the flavor earthy with bitter sap and pine cone in the finish.

M - Full flavored and full bodied, this amber has a sweet malty backbone that transitions smoothly into it's moderately bitter hop profile that lingers with traces of dry alcohol on the tongue.

O - YuleSmith isn't brewed with spices or special yeast like most holiday beers, rather, AleSmith got creative and used American hop varieties that introduce overtones of pine and earthy characteristics which, in conjunction with the toasted amber and sweet caramel malts, make for a seasonally enjoyable amber ale! (1,249 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a bomber and poured that sucker into the Firestone Teku.

Not really feelin' it. A lil too sweet, a lil to caramel... I only poured 8 ounces of this sucker, and I don't see how any able bodied human could do anymore. It's not like it's a pack of sour skittles and a tallboy of Mountain Dew Code Red "bad," but it's just, um, simply ok.

Kind of like your fallback after your "fallback" doesn't pick up. Yeah, I'll drive over at midnight, but I'm not exactly stoked. (475 characters)

Photo of ncketchum
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber served chilled

A - pours a clear ruby, plenty of light brown head, lots of lacing

S - hop forward nose - pine predominates with undertones of citrus fruit - followed by biscuit malt

T - well balanced, piny and bready, with carmel in the end

M - sticky, smooth, complex, no alcohol burn, very drinkable

O - very good imperial red, definitely one to throw in the winter rotation with SN Celebration, GL Christmas, and lakefront Holiday Spice (451 characters)

Photo of Joshpu
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bomber to a snifter.

A: Poured a clear reddish-brown with a finger of off-white head.

S: Mostly citrus hop forward, smells like a peach. Also smelling the sweeter malts.

T: The taste follows the nose. Mostly hoppy with some malt backbone.

M: Light to medium bodied. Pretty crisp and easily drinkable. Dry aftertaste, no alcohol presence.

Overall nothing jaw dropping, but still a solid beer, well done. (424 characters)

Photo of Lemke10
4.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a dark amber color with a foamy beige head. The aroma is full of fresh hops. The taste is amazing with a bold yet not overpowering taste of hops and hidden citrus. It finishes with a lingering malt and dry hop after taste. A very well made double IPA. (262 characters)

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass from a 22oz bomber.
2013 Vintage

Pours a nice dark caramel colored liquid. There is a nice 1 inch tight and dense ecru head that forms. The head retention is very nice and it is sticky as well.

Aroma is delicious. I love these Imperial Reds. Piney notes, Christmas in a bottle. Notes of resinous and oily hop juice. Delicious caramel notes are on the background and balance the resinous and hoppy notes really well. Herbal and grassy hop notes are also perceived in the nose.

Starts off with bready biscuit notes followed by some mild hints of caramel sweetness that balance the brew out. Then the hop grassyness and piney notes come in. Well balanced and not too intense. A perfect balance of piney, resinous and dank hops with some amazing rich caramel malt notes. The body in this brew is great. Medium-light body with nice sticky notes. Overall this brew is delicious. One of the better Imperial Reds out there. The balance between yummy caramel malts and the resinous and dank pine hops is pretty amazing. (1,039 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: medium amber and clear, with orange-red highlights; tan head of foam left lace all down the glass

S: wet and woodsy pine resins, hints of sweet fruit and honeyed bread

T: sweet chewy caramel fruits, resinous sugar and fruit cake, herbs and spices, suggestions of oak and toffee, slight booziness

M: medium-bodied, slick but dries a little on the finish; pleasant, mild aftercoat on the palate; bitterness is mild and mellow

O: a very nice seasonal offering - reminiscent of Celebration ale but with a stronger malt bill and higher gravity. Classic seasonal/winter warmer-kinda flavors. No reason not to check this out. (625 characters)

Photo of brewcrew76
4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 10/7/13

A - bright coppery red with an off white head quickly fading to few strands of lace.

S - sweet caramel, candied citrus, orange marmalade, pine resin.

T - sweet caramel malt, toast, candied oranges, piney hops in the finish, orange marmalade.

M - smooth and creamy with medium to low carbonation.

D - tasty, hoppy red ale. Had this in 07 and don't remember it being this hoppy. Must have been an older bottle. Definitely drink this one fresh. (466 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Review #3400 (695 characters)

Photo of BB1313
3.61/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage. There was a bottled on date clearly on the bottle, but it smeared off. 22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a clear copper with a slight haze; fluffy off-white head that fades and leaves nice lacing and retention. The aromas are full of sweet caramel malts. There are hints of pine along with grapefruit and some orange. There's a nice amount of citrus. The flavors are sharp and crisp. It has a strong malt backbone, but the hops still shine. It's slightly resinous with a nice amount of pine. More citrus. It's bitter, but not over the top. Mouthfeel is full-bodied. It's slightly slick, but smooth with active carbonation. Alcohol goes unnoticed. It's easy drinking, but makes a nice beer to just chill with.

This is a pretty solid offering from AleSmith. It's not too flashy and it's pretty traditional for a hopped up red ale. It's fitting for the cold weather. It was nice to revisit this one. (916 characters)

Photo of CA_brewster
4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a glass from a 22oz bomber. This is an amber colored brew with a nice off white head.
First things first; nice hoppy aroma coming off of this one. Some sweet malt, caramel and alcohol in the nose but the hops really dominate the aroma. This is not the case at all with the taste profile. This is an amazingly balanced beer with a really terrific mouthfeel. There’s just the perfect amount of sweetness to the beer. The alcoholic bitterness hits mid-palate and quickly subsides. I found this to be a surprisingly tame beer given the high ABV but I really enjoyed it. It goes down smooth, nice and easy but it's definitely got some real substance to it. I'm really digging it.

A perfect warmer for the harsh unforgiving winter weather of Southern California. (773 characters)

Photo of joe1510
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz Bomber
$6.95
Liquid Solutions

Winter Edition/Imperial Red

Yulesmith Winter pours a slightly hazed over deep garnet. Big streams of carbonation bubbles rise along the side of the glass to the two finger khaki head. Leaves great sticky lacing after each sip.

Wonderful aromas leap from this beer. Toasty malts and raw grains lead the big maltiness of this brew. Slight doughiness as well. There is a strong malt presence but the hop profile might edge it out. sweetened grapefruit over the top of a forrest full of pine needles. Slightly sweet. Smells excellent.

Flavor is right in line with the aroma. Strong malty presence kick things off but the hops do manage to push it aside. Toastiness and a mild raw graininess are the first flavors to hit. Even getting some caramel as it warms. Mid palate the flavor just explodes. Grapefruit and a pine needle hoppiness jump forward and last throughout the finish. Throw in a nice spicy alcohol warmth and you got yourself one hell of a beer with good balance.

Medium bodied with an airy, creamy mouthfeel when this beer hits your tongue. No skimping on the use of hops as they coat your mouth with a solid lingering bitterness.

Easy drinker with good somewhat balanced flavors keep this one drinking easy.

Another great beer from Alesmith. This is my second offering from them along with their IPA and they are both top notch examples. I would love to get a fresh bottle of Yulesmith.

Reviewed: 7/29/07 (1,467 characters)

YuleSmith (Winter) from AleSmith Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 306 ratings.