1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

YuleSmith (Winter) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Winter)YuleSmith (Winter)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

652 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 652
Reviews: 292
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 77
Gots: 51 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 652 | Reviews: 292 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tucquan


4.18/5  rDev +2%

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.

11-13-2011 21:13:13 | More by Tucquan
Photo of BeerBuckeye


4.43/5  rDev +8%

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.

11-13-2011 18:26:14 | More by BeerBuckeye
Photo of mjw1200


4.22/5  rDev +2.9%

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.

11-13-2011 03:06:46 | More by mjw1200
Photo of drpimento


3.8/5  rDev -7.3%

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.

11-12-2011 21:39:25 | More by drpimento
Photo of BrewerB


4.08/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

11-09-2011 19:20:16 | More by BrewerB
Photo of kojevergas


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
Photo of Klym


3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

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.

10-28-2011 20:43:55 | More by Klym
Photo of HopHead84


3.58/5  rDev -12.7%


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.

10-23-2011 06:13:03 | More by HopHead84
Photo of Stockfan42


4.3/5  rDev +4.9%

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!

10-17-2011 20:56:12 | More by Stockfan42
Photo of VelvetExtract


4.45/5  rDev +8.5%

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.

10-16-2011 22:53:25 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of pmarlowe

District of Columbia

3.93/5  rDev -4.1%

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.

10-13-2011 05:23:57 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of rudzud


4.13/5  rDev +0.7%

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.

10-11-2011 03:51:05 | More by rudzud
Photo of SDtastentune


4.85/5  rDev +18.3%

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!

10-08-2011 08:09:09 | More by SDtastentune
Photo of Chico1985


4.05/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

10-07-2011 01:06:36 | More by Chico1985
Photo of Knapp85


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
Photo of b3shine


4.05/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

10-04-2011 22:50:43 | More by b3shine
Photo of TheStove


4.1/5  rDev 0%

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.

08-27-2011 08:20:08 | More by TheStove
Photo of nickd717


4.28/5  rDev +4.4%

Review dated 12/19/2008. Bottle at Hop Devil Grill in NYC, then later from K&L Redwood City.

Really solid winter beer. They did not spare any hops on this one. Amber/red color with medium carbonation. Nice aroma of big citrusy hops, maybe some pineapple notes, with caramel malt and maybe some spice. Complex flavor profile with spices, citrus and pine, spices, sweet malt, and bitter hops. Fairly full palate. Excellent.

08-23-2011 17:53:28 | More by nickd717
Photo of PhiloPsych


4.83/5  rDev +17.8%

[2006 Winter] This is a very nice, high-quality beer. It tastes fairly similar to Arrogant Bastard; it's appearance is a little cloudier and more orange (less red) than Arrogant Bastard, though. It is malty, hoppy, a little nutty, and slightly spicy. The aroma is quite strong--stronger than the taste. The head was very thick and lasted forever. At 8.5%, one bottle (22 oz.) leaves you feeling perfectly buzzed without being really drunk. I will look forward to this every holiday season from now on. Enjoy it if you can find it.

08-03-2011 19:44:42 | More by PhiloPsych
Photo of AgentZero


4/5  rDev -2.4%

A - Reddish color beer with a couple fingers of tan head that leaves some decent spots and lace on the sides.

S - Actually didn't know what this beer was when drinking it. Some caramel, spice, sugar and then some hops. Says amber here, but a little barleywine and winterwarmer-esque, but not bad.

T - More bitter and hoppy that I was expecting, with some strong caramel malts and sugar and a bit of spice. Actually a pretty nice blend with the spice giving it some holiday characteristics while still not going to the horrible tastes of a winter warmer.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O - Nice beer, not my favorite style but this is well done and entirely drinkable.

07-14-2011 14:57:49 | More by AgentZero
Photo of Halcyondays


4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

22 oz. bomber, it's odd I've never reviewed this, but the 2 Yulesmith beers were joined for a while, something I've had many times before, a little Christmas in July, 2009 Version so it has some age on it,

A: Pours a deep red with a creamy off-white head, very good lace.

S: Deep crystal malt, already has that aged sensibility, like an American Old Ale. Sweet pine and cedar notes, Christmas tree like for sure.

T: Great sweet red aged crystal malt flavours, the hallmark of a good aged beer, a lot like an aged Celebration. Still has a nice hop bite, quite bitter with some grapefruit notes in the finish. Very tasty and really better than fresh.

M: Full-bodied, super smooth, very soft lush soothing carbonation. Easy going bitter aftertaste.

O: I like the fresh Winter Yulesmith a lot, but the aged version is working well here. If you like aged American Barleywines, you will love it at this stage. Having had it fresh enough I can tell you it works great fresh as well. A beer that's been creeping up in price, gone up from around $4.50 to $8 in the few years I've been drinking it. Nevertheless it's a Christmas classic, and I plan to buy it every year.

07-12-2011 04:17:12 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of pigc


3.9/5  rDev -4.9%

Edit: Thought this was the summer version but after research found out it was the winter version with green and red lettering, the same as the picture indicates on the winter version. ABV on the bottle does indicate 8.5% not the 9.5% as indicated on this website.

My first review after over two years on this site. Here goes...

A - Pours a nice copper, almost ruby red color with a two finger head. Lacing clings to the glass as it empties.

S - Bready malts with some hops there as well.

T - I immediately pick up on the alcohol and the bready malts. Hops are piney and very resinous. They seem to play second fiddle to the malt but do a good job of balancing things out. This could be to the 6+ months of age on this beer. Leaves a dry aftertaste encouraging you to go back for another sip.

M - Medium to heavy.

O - Solid red ale (which I originally thought was a DIPA) but a bit too malty for my liking. One bomber was plenty for me as this beer drinks closer to 10% ABV rather than the 8.5% as indicated on the bottle. At $17.50 a bomber in Philly I feel this is overpriced. Guess I was expecting a bit more from a top tier brewery with a premium price such as Alesmith.

07-09-2011 02:43:42 | More by pigc
Photo of jsanford


3.7/5  rDev -9.8%

22oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass. Doing a little X-Mas in July here.

A - Pours a deep reddish-copper with a fluffy bone-colored head that refuses to lay down. Very pretty.
S - Sweet amber malt, caramel, and toasted bread with a pithy, resinous hop profile. This thing is just dripping with pine and grapefruit, surprising give the 6+ months of age on it.
T - Definitely a malt-forward beer (perhaps the age has taken it's toll a bit in this department), lots of caramel, toasted bread, and brown sugar. Hops aren't as aggressive as I'd hoped, again age may have done this. Still, quite a good amount of pine resin and grapefruit, with a long-lasting bitter finish.
M - Slightly creamy, with a medium-full body and moderate crisp carbonation.
O - A good Amber Ale, I wish I could try this a touch fresher. Still tasty, though.

07-07-2011 04:09:48 | More by jsanford
Photo of ehammond1

3.9/5  rDev -4.9%

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.

07-07-2011 01:34:37 | More by ehammond1
Photo of brendan13


4.55/5  rDev +11%

A - Poured into a pint glass a fairly clear reddish copper colour with an inch of rocky off white head that hangs around for a fair while.
S - Citrus fruit pith and piney hop notes abound with a good dose of caramel and bready malt as well.
T - Plenty of citrus notes in the taste as well as the piney character. Caramel malt balances the abundance of hop flavours. Some of the 9.5% alcohol comes through, not unexpected though.
M - Light to medium bodied, quite dry. Bitterness is pretty full on.
O - Packed the the rim with lots of hop flavour but well balanced by yummy malt character without being cloying. A very tasty beer indeed. A treat indeed given its high alcohol and general unavailability here in Australia.

06-16-2011 11:27:59 | More by brendan13
YuleSmith (Winter) from AleSmith Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 652 ratings.