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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:
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Alesmith

Look: Nice mahogany brown in color with a 1/2 inch tan head and real good retention and awesome circular retention

Smell: Very aromatic piney hops with a nice caramel backbone

Taste: Much of the same in the taste. The warmth of the beer really brings out the earthy piney hops

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation and a bit oily

Overall: Real nice imperial red and the cask really brought out the hops nicely

DarthKostrizer, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -2.4%

orangesol, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Lawnboy33
5/5  rDev +22%

Lawnboy33, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Rollzroyce21, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of thebouch01
4/5  rDev -2.4%

thebouch01, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of FluffyMcTingle
5/5  rDev +22%

FluffyMcTingle, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of khumbard
4/5  rDev -2.4%

khumbard, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Tucquan
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on 2011-11-13 in Columbia, PA
This is my 500th review

A - Hazy chestnut with a 1-finger tan head into a nonic glass. Significant lacing.

S - Needs to be pretty warm to get the full aroma. Caramel malt and licorice, citrus, pine and a whiff of hard, chocolate candy.

T - Initally, the balance is good between the significant hops and the roasted malt sweetness. There's a festive spiciness to it, which reminds me of hard candy-coated licorice with a dab of chocolate. Then the citrus and pine begin to assert themselves and the acohol becomes noticeable. While the sweet, spiciness continues, the pine and citrus bitterness is more predominate on the finish.

M - Medium body and light-medium carbonation. Moderately syrupy in a good way.

O - Quite the interesting brew that sits on the bitter side of an Imperial Amber style. I like it but find myself thinking that if I want an Imperial Stout, I'll have that; or if I want an Imperial IPA, I'll have that. This sits between the two in a way I've not experienced before. Perhaps as I become more familiar with this style, I'll appreciate this brew even more.

Tucquan, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of BeerBuckeye
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a nice, deep reddish/amber with good 1 finger head. Good retention

S - Nice and hoppy, good blend of citrusy and piney hops, and interesting, some apple, but with a very solid malt backbone. The malt has a hint of dark fruit, reminds me a lot of a barleywine.

T - The first taste I sense was sweet apple, that turned into a full hit of floral and citrus hops before fading into that bittersweet, dark fruit malt. Nice complexities with this beer.

M - Decent amount of carbonation, yet very smooth, alcohol has a tad bit of bite, but it's faint.

Overall - A spectacular beer. I really wish they made this in a six-pack, I find it hard to justify paying this much for a bomber of a beer more than once or twice, which is a pity, because this is a truly delicious beer.

BeerBuckeye, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of mjw1200
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer for a cool November day.

It looked great out of the bottle. Plenty at the top, deep colors orangish red.

I loved all the caramel flavor. That was the first thing that touched my tongue and stayed around after. There was definitely some orange and a bit of pine from the hops. Good amount of malt too. Great winter flavors.

Very good beer that brings me back every year.

mjw1200, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of drpimento
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ale. I let this warm a bit out of the fridge. Then poured it with a large, thick, fluffy, foamy, textured, cream colored, fairly long lasting head and some lace. Color is a hazy apricot red. Aroma is hops, malt, raisins, prunes, caramel. Flavor is very similar to nose with bittersweetness on top with other qualities below. Great body and carbonation. Finish is resiny and long. Well done, but too much for me.

drpimento, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of BrewerB
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bomber of this at City Beer Store last night and enjoyed it in-store. I've likely had this in the past but didn't review it back then.

Kudos to CBS on their beer cleanliness...this glass is obviously beer-ready. Color is a reddish-copper, mostly clear with a slightly rocky off-white head that leaves tons of lacing behind. Foam maintained itself all the way down to the last sip.

Grapefruit and resiny hops spring forward to the nose backed by a toasted/caramel malt.

More resiney/piney hops carrying through in the flavor with a stiff malt backbone to support it. Caramel, chocolate, notes of bread are all swimming in the same lame. Finishes dry with a lingering spice.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. Smooth.

Kudos as usual to Alesmith for producing a solid example of the style. Well formed malt backbone that offers up a varied toasted character and plenty of hops to lend balance and keep me back for another sip. No problems finishing the bomber on my own and wouldn't have issues grabbing another to follow.

BrewerB, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
3.3/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

kojevergas, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of Klym
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a stone nonic.

I admit I don't remember favoring yulesmith winter too much last time I had it but I'm a bit deeper into beer since last time I tried it so I was curious to give it another shot. When I popped it the smell caught me and I thought I was in for a great upside surprise, but in the end it turned out to be much of what I remembered.

Some beautiful spicy hops with chocolate notes in the nose. Taste is again very spicy hops, and it also has a heat-like character that is striking and a little undesirable for me. A large malt-backbone. Easy to drink, easy to enjoy, I'm much happier to be nursing a bottle of this than many things I could've bought but don't think it stands up to yulesmith summer or any truly great ambers.

Klym, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Winter 2011 vintage. The first year of force carbonation. Snifter.

A: Dark crimson with two fingers of beige sea foam. Very good retention and lots of lacing.

S: The aroma is a even blend of pine resin and caramel malt. There's a bit of bread in there as well. There's some earth and a touch of grapefruit.

T: Bread blends with caramel and there's a low sweetness. Citrus is more noticeable here than it was in the aroma, imparting notes of candied grapefruit and some orange, but pine is still the dominant hop note. Bitterness is at a moderate level. Alcohol is slightly detectable in the resinous finish.

M: Medium in body with upper moderate carbonation.

Overall: A solid hoppy Red Ale from Alesmith, though at $9 a bottle I don't think I'll revisit this format.

HopHead84, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of Stockfan42
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red, almost copper body with a fluffy and sticky white head that actually stays around for a while.

Aroma smells of mostly hops with a malty back bone and hints of caramel and citrus fruits.

The earthy piney taste is very dominant in this beer, along with a nice sweet malty undertone and hints of citrus fruits like grapefruit and oranges. Hints of Caramel and brown sugar as well and a nice bitter finish that doesnt dissapoint.

Mouthfeel nicely carbonated and very creamy. Leaves a nice bitter and fruity aftertaste that leaves me wanting more.

Overall this beer kicks ass. I enjoyed the summer yulesmith but this one is just a lot better tasting and not as boozy. Mucho recommendo!

Stockfan42, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of VelvetExtract
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a pretty crimson hue. Transparent. Countless bubbles rise from the glass and feed the large, frothy, inch-high head. Patchy bits of lace along the glass.

S-An explosive aroma. I love when the bottle is opened and the hops permeate the air immediately. Delicious aroma. This is why hoppy ambers are perhaps my favorite style. Big whiffs of pine, and grapefruit. Hops rule here. Sturdy malt does balance out the beer too. I love the maltiness in this specific style.

T-Flavor is eccentrically hopped. Quite like the aroma. I will say I may enjoy the aroma a tiny bit more. After each sip however, I may retract my last statement. Fresh grapefruit and other citrus hop flavors. Big pine dose as well. Malt is subtly sweet but quite tasty in its own right. Bold and hoppy. Moderately bitter.

M-Resinous. Hop oils. Moderate carbonation and bitterness. Medium bodied. Solid overall feel.

O/D-This beer is pretty damn good. I love the style. I would have originally said that I like Yulesmith Summer better than this, but I found this summer's batch to be far less extraordinary than previous years. This being my first Yulesmith Winter, I must say I am quite impressed. Hoppy and delicious.

VelvetExtract, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of pmarlowe
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 version. Tulip glass.

A: Pours clear dark copper with two fingers of light stone head which recedes leaving a lattice of lacing.

S: Pungent resiny pine and earthy hops, and underneath is some bitter grapefruit and mildly caramel amber malt.

T: Big piney bitter hops, finishing with moderate hop bitterness.

M: Medium body and carbonation which starts and ends soft, but peaks in the middle with a little bite.

O: Good, but the aroma, taste, and hop profile are somewhat one dimensional. I thought the summer Yulesmith was incredible, so this was a bit of a letdown.

pmarlowe, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of rudzud
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this at Julio's. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours the typical reddish amber hue that is quite clear. Atop this sat an almost one finger creamy off white head that never fades all the way, just leaves nice side lacing and a thick creamy blanket.

S - Wow, smells remarkably similar to something like Nugget Nectar. Good rich carmel/sweet malts with almost oily hop resin. very pine tree.

T - More of the nice sweet malts and not too bitter but clearly pine tree hops. Behind all that is some light winter spices. Like a super hoppy winter warmer (as most winter warmers arent that hoppy).

M - Nice carbonation for the style. Crisp, slightly too sweet, the ABV is definately somewhat noticeable, especially on the backend.

O - This was a fairly interesting beer. Was a bit more than a typical amber/red ale. A definate winter ale cross over, this was fairly tasty beer. Like the hop and malt profile on this one.

rudzud, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of SDtastentune
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice red and mahogany color, great cling lace that looks sticky. Head was smaller but I pour really slow.

S - Earthy pine/some fresh grapefruit like hops, little bit of orange back in there. Hops overpower it but there is some Munich/amber malts back in there too. Smells great!

T - Hops mainly, but backed by some great malty caramel. A darker tasting ipa, with that sorta red malt taste going on. Grapefruit, some pine, and some great aftertaste of bitter hops and dark caramel.

M - Great more on the dry side of things, but leaves you wanting more. Smaller carbonation bubbles but ample enough to be a little fizzy. Great aftertaste.

O - Overall this is a great style! Go Imperial Red IPA's! I am actually brewing one right now, so this was interesting. More a hop forward brew, but somehow it got balanced out with malts. Great sipper and would be great for the holidays. Will buy more. Bought fresh straight from the brewery!

SDtastentune, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of Chico1985
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this once before in 2009, couldn't find the 2010 last year, picked up a presumably very fresh 2011 bottle today. ABV listed as 8.5%.

Dark translucent amber with some orange highlights. Big ol creamy beige head falls to a finger eventually but retains perfectly as that, super clumpy, leaves good lacing. Usual Alesmith great appearance.

Good scent, piny and grapefruit hops up front and some malt. Decent strength.

Taste brings more to the table, big hops, big malts, but good balance. Big resiny, earthy and grapefruit hops, some pineapple. Caramel and toffee malts bring some sweetness along with a nice toastiness in the finish. Some baked goods/wintery spice notes.

Oily, full body, low-ish carbonation but good. A bit of booze. Assaults the tongue some but nothing too overbearing.

A good take on a red ale, good flavors coming from all sides with exceptional balance. I like the Summer Yulesmith a little better I think but a nice beer to look forward to each year.

Chico1985, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Knapp85, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of b3shine
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deuce to bottle. New arrival (Winter, 2011) at Dutch's, the best spot in Cincinnati. Smell is good. Reminds me of 90 Minute. Tastes good too. It doesn't redefine its genre, but at the same time, it's unique, and one I'll seek out when 'tis the season. Mouthfeel is probably its best attribute. Surprisingly drinkable for 8.5%. Overall, a good beer that will do great with limited release - I'll buy it occasionally, as opposed to never if it was available all of the time.

b3shine, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of TheStove
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up on sale from a liquor store awhile back. Was in a cooler boozy so I figured it would hold. Poured from a bottle into an imperial pint glass.

Has an awesome deep ruby brown red color. Looks hazy up to the light. Foam is faint and leaves quickly though lacing remains on glass.

Intense malt nose with a slight bit of booze and some maple syrup aromas. This smells like it might have the body of a proper winter warmer though the lack of spices lead me to guess otherwise. Some very light dark fruit flavors come through.

We've got a live one here. Insanely complex with tons of malty goodness that fluctuates anywhere from sweet to slight bitter chocolate to maple and molasses flavors again. Maybe it's the booze but i think it tastes barrel aged. Finishes with a pleasant mix of slight hop tang mixing with some enjoyable hop bitterness. A dryness lingers on the tongue between sips.

Found the mouthfeel interesting. It can get a bit soupy and even a bit like syrupy but the lingering hope dryness brings this one back to being good.

As a Red/Amber ale this one shines but I can see this one being tough to have a lot of. Works well as a winter warmer as it's a nice big meal of a beer that makes you not mind being holed up in a warm house on a cold night.

TheStove, Aug 27, 2011
YuleSmith (Winter) from AleSmith Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 660 ratings.