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YuleSmith (Winter) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Winter)YuleSmith (Winter)

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752 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 752
Reviews: 307
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 9.78%
Wants: 84
Gots: 64 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-01-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 752 | Reviews: 307
Photo of thecarster1
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a- bomber poured into a duvel tulip, beautiful airy fluffy tan head with great retention fades very slowly, hazy walnut coloring, some chunky yeast floating around, good looking brew.

s- hop dominated nose, citric, some toasted malts, earthy hops, slight bit nutty - this is what all reds should smell like.

t- nutty malt front gives way to earthy, bitter hops that linger long. some toasted malt in there, grapefruit, sappy pine. pretty tasty.

m- medium, slick and coating.

d- really nice, i like this better than the yulesmith summer actually. goes down easy, no trace of strength here. well hopped and smooth. can't go wrong with alesmith.

Photo of dsa7783
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Monarch Liquors in Long Island. Overall, an extremely robust, full-bodied beer. Drinkability took a hit due to the hefty abv; but overall a super depiction of the style. Pours a copper, amber hue with massive foaming. Thick, rich aroma complemented by strong flavors of orange-peel which is undoubtedly pronounced by the undeniable hop presence.
Top-notch stuff.

Photo of 100floods
3.66/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opening a 2009 vintage.

Pours a dark maple-brown, dark amber, definitely some read in there. Off-white, tan head. pretty good retention.

Smells nicely of spiced hops and some malt.

Very dark/sweet malt presence, but not sticky. Flowery and citrus hop flavors. A little off balanced, but nothing terrible.

A fresher version of this beer is worthy of an A, but this vintage, while not bad, definitely shows the signs of age. Still pretty damn good .

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clean orange-ish/ yellow color with aan off-white head. Aromas of a citrusy, grapefruity hop. In the taste, big grapefruity hops and a great balance of malt in taste as well. A bittersweet mouthfeel and a sticky sweet grapefruity hop aftertaste. A great double IPA, big hops and balanced. This is one of the better beers I have had in a while.

Photo of chumba526
4.57/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears brownish red with a light tan head.

It smells very grapefruit orange and lemon like. There is a nice herbal grassy earthy hoppy, and honey smell as well. There is a nice spice and pine like and floral smell as well.

It tastes initially of pine and grapefruit. There is a nice bit of a spice almost cinnamon like flavor as well. There is a mild bit of a caramel flavor as well. There is a pollen like flavor as well. The beer finishes with a subdued bitterness. Hops are strong in this beer but different flavors of hops are highlighted. There is a bitter, citrus, grassy and floral hop flavor. There is enough malt to balance the hop flavor though.

The carbonation is moderate and the mouthfeel is smooth and somewhat creamy.

The drinkability is really good. The beer has a nice balance to it. It goes down smooth yet the flavors are interesting and complex.

Overall a great red ale one of the best red ales I have had.

Photo of BeerImmediately
3.91/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into nonic pint glass at around 40 degrees - made effort to warm into 50's during review.

Aggressive pour yields just a thin soapy tan head over a thick amber colored body. Fair amount of lacing.

Aromas are full of orange citrus, along with pineapple, caramel malt - very inviting.

Fairly sharp hop bite jumps out first. Citrus is still there, but accompanied by slightly astringent alcohol fumes, pine needle, and - I know this sounds strange, but - asian brown sauce like quality toward the end. Maybe it's the malts, but something is just a little off there in the finish.

Good carbonation, sharp bite on the mouthfeel, carbonation is a little low though.

Great flavors and mouthfeel overall, but the high alcohol content and aftertaste takes away from the overall drinkability, in my opinion. Still a beer that I would highly recommend trying. SOLID.

Photo of TheSarge
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Happy 2010 Holidays!

This brew poured a bit displeasing in my opinion: produced very little dark tan head that dissipated in a second, and had too much haze (could be my fault for not following the directions on the bottle). Color wise it was a copper/caramel color.

Nuances of fragrance qualities are of pine, buttery toffee, and floral notes.

In the taste caramel upfront from a decent malt bill, and a lot of sprucy hops to kick the sweetness to the curb in the end.

Feel wise this brew is not carbonated much, has a very oily slick feel from beginning to the warming end.

I feel this brew has a lot of good qualities, but I just don't see much hype in this one.

Photo of Franz4
3.06/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of Gobzilla
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured an orangish brown with pale yellow highlights that had a finger of head and good retention leaving some good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: a combination of caramel and hops pop out on the aroma with citrus, slight pineapple, piney, and malty bready notes.

T: the caramel and piney hops came together real well on the palate alongside citrus grapefruit, grassy, and mild herbal accents.

M: the brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, piney, earthy, hoppy, and very mild bitter finish.

D: it drank good and went great paired with late night jack in the box jalepeno poppers. I honestly prefer the yule smith summer over the winter though.

Photo of Suds
3.79/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A full, thick, foam sits on top of a burnt golden colored liquid. The liquid has a notable haze. It has a very pine and grapefruit hop smell. Candy-like and malt sweetness, mixed with a solid hop flavor, beginning immediately with the front-taste. Long, lasting, and lingering bitterness. Moderate carbonation. There is a remarkable fruitiness in the beer, half from the hops and partially from the fermentation. It's a very good beer.

Photo of rka758
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into SA perfect pint

I really enjoy the summer YuleSmith so I'm quite excited for this.
A: Poured a deep copper red with little head. Great lacing.
S: A lot going here. I get citrus, hops, spice and some bread malt.
T: The smell was the taste. It's a spicy IPA. A really nice take on a holiday IPA.
M: Clean and crisp.
D: This beer is exactly as advertised; I'm just not sure it is my cup o' tea.

Well deserving of good marks, just not exactly my thing.

Photo of philbe311
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A fingers worth of tightly packed creamy khaki colored head that has some large chunky bubbles mixed in... Modest retention gives way to a similar type lacing... Much darker than expected, a reddish copper color... Some very sluggish carbonation bubbles can be seen climbing along the sides of the snifter...

S - A subdued but inviting hop presence... Mostly piney with a touch of citrus... Orange zest... Loaded with warm inviting bready malts... Perhaps some bubblegum... Also present is a vague spice component...

T - Very true to the nose... Overflowing with warm bready malts... The hops are a close second and take on a mix that is mostly piney with some touches of citrus... Some very subtle nuanced touches of caramel, toffee, and candied sugars... A bit of spice on the finish...

M - Medium bodied... A touch of stickiness... Moderate carbonation... Sleek... Consistent... It may sound odd, but this one is both a little delicate and a little dense, both at the same time...

D - A very solid American Amber / Red Ale and a nice departure from the typical winter / Christmas seasonal... I had no problem putting a bottle down by myself and would gladly partake in on occasion is this were a year round offering... Another fine job by the fine folks at Alesmith...

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The 2007 model made for the Christmas season; 8.5% strong and an Imperial Red Ale.
As a big red ale this is about as good as I've had. Not being a fan of the style I can still appreciate the quality here. That red ale twang is there in the finish and it stays on the more appealing side of the line of offensive and acceptable. The mouthfeel is enjoyable with what I call a sparkly experience. Hop resins let flavors that I don't care for hang around for too long bringing down the experience just a little bit for me but the hop flavors merit gold stars.
Pretty in color, nice head, nice lacing. The hop aromas are quite appealing as well. Lots of what I enjoy about this brew remind me of the things I enjoy about many Great Divide brews.
I look forward to trying other AleSmith offerings!

Photo of Metalmonk
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep burnt red/rust color, not much head but, curiously, a healthy gathering of lace strings and dots form with each little tilt of the glass.

Sherry, glazed donut, red licorice, caramel, herbal tea and tobacco in the nose. Interesting.

Similar to the aroma on the tongue. Start to take on a barleywine-ish quality, with tobacco, pine, grapefruit, red licorice, caramel, vanilla and sherry notes all nestling up cozily together. A nice resiny hoppiness lays on the tongue during the long finish, which will please hop lovers and all but disgust non-hopheads.

While the hoped-for amount of roundness and heft is present on the tongue, it has a kind of watery character that would be improved with a more present carbonation. I'm usually wanting less carbonation in my beers, but this one leaves me wanting a little more. Not disappointing, however.

Somewhere between double IPA, barleywine and American strong ale. I remember liking the summer version much more, but this is pretty special too.

Photo of CrellMoset
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle picked up at Capone's in Norristown, PA during my visit up thataways for the Splinter Black release. Poured in to a tulip.

Appearance: I knew this one was a hopped up amber (as compared to the lighter, more seasonally appropriate Summer Yule), but I wasn't quite prepared for how dark it was. Instead of the copper I expected, I'm greeted by a largely opaque, ruddy, burned ochre, with multitudinous, fine, quick carbonation visible only right beneath the surface of the tulip. It's not an entirely unappealing color, though it does lack that certain something something of a bright, snappy, crisp-looking DIPA. What the hue lacks in meeting aesthetic expectations, the head definitely makes up for, however. A creamy, clumpy mass of beige fuzz perched atop the dull body, the retention is impressive, the lacing even more so. That quintessential "we have more hops than we know what to do with" lacing that leaves huge frothy, foamy patches and streaks all along the sides of your glass, it's quite nice.

Aroma: Huge bready malts, heavily roasted, dominate the foundation of the nose, suggesting caramel, toffee, and even faint cocoa. The hops follow up, layer after layer: very herbal and leafy up front at first, characterized by spicy spruce, tobacco, spearmint; then it hits you, fat and juicy, grapefruit and oranges, not pithy at all despite the aforementioned earthy vegetal notes. The nose on the whole is very smooth, easygoing - there's nothing abrasive about it, despite its size, hop content, and the alcohol content of this beer.

Taste: I like it a little less than the nose, but it's still nice. There's a lot of "neutral" flavor here - that is, a lot of body malt that doesn't really contribute anything, and a lot of hop content that doesn't really jump out at me. I'm going to suggest that this tastes like a "diet barleywine," or perhaps a barleywine that's well past its peak. But, since I can't discuss what "isn't" here, I guess I should discuss what is. Roasted, biscuity malts form the backbone of this one, moderately well attenuated, and seemingly moreso when put in contrast with the hop content. Bitterness is moderate, amplified somewhat by the hop characteristics. Herbal leafiness is dominant, tobacco-like, though wintergreen notes, floral notes, and grapefruit (despite being picked up in Philly, this beer can't shake those west coast roots!) have their chance to shine.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, with enough body to weigh down the aforementioned plentiful carbonation and keep it relatively even. There's plenty of lift here, but the pinpoints are dulled by the chewy, almost barleywine-esque thickness, resulting in a somewhat tamed, velvety, relatively even body, though slight agitation does disrupt the proceedings.

Drinkability: This is a diet American barleywine. A subdued malty base and subdued hop notes (relatively), though I suppose they're (absolutely) high by other standards. I'll agree with the review averages and say that the summer version of this brew is definitely superior, though I'll also willingly admit that this is a finely crafted beer in and of its own right. At 9.5%, it should be treated with respect, but none of that is anywhere to be found. In conclusion, give me the summer version anytime ... but when it's off the shelf, I'll gladly take a bottle of this one.

Photo of JoeBloe
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

still working on the 2nd glass of this bomber as i review - my 2010 bottle reads 8.5% abv
pours a hazy (yeasty) golden yellow with a 2 finger white and tight head - leaves thick pretty lacing all the way down - i don't think i left too much yeast in this bottle -
a nice crisp aroma of citrus and pine - refreshing to my olfactory system-
taste follows the nose with a nice grapefruit and resin-ey flavor balanced by a not too biscuity malt taste -
nice texture with the resin-ey hops sticking to the palette with a clean bitter finish on my tongue -
this begs for another bottle - if only i didn't have anything else to do today - cheers!
good stuff - like sculpin meets nugget nectar -

Photo of flannelman808
3.91/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rose amber in color with a medium sized bubbled off white head. Seems like decent retention and lacing though my pour was a bit harsh and I ended up with full on ice cream head. Hard to say if its from the pour or the beer.

S: Pine and orange peel as well as a muted broA wn sugar and caramel.

T: Nutty toffee flavors meet bitter zest and pine. A little bit chalky but over all this is pretty good. Sort of a more balanced version of the summer.

M: prickly and sticky

D: fairly high

Photo of Fillpott
4.44/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just had this beer on draft at Coronado Brewing Co. It was poured into a regular pint glass w/ a 1/4" thick, beige head. The beer has a very strong citrus aroma that is very inviting and even refreshing for a Holiday Ale. The beer was very warming and had spice notes on the tongue. The hop spiciness and bitterness was well balanced with the alcohol. The mouthfeel was a little thin for what I would expect of a typical Holiday beer, but this is definitely a beer that fits the Christmas season on the ocean here in Southern California. I will look for this beer again.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A whole 22oz bomber into a big ass DUVEL glass filled to the brim. Very fresh bottle here.

YuleSmith Winter pours out a clouded red with a hint of brown in the pour yieldeing a dark brown look in the glass. A healthy pour yielded nothing in terms of even a cap. A nice cap appeared over time with dark tan suds. Some clingy lace. This has a nice musk tyo it. It has a winter feel but is not boggled down with spice. Alot of toasted malt, caramel, rich candi canes, some dark fruits, faint hops. Sweeter as it warms up. While Yulesmith Summer is hop forward, the winter version is all malts, with hops in the back. A spicy hop kick with warming, blending ever so nice with lucious malts goozing with caramel, slight chocolate and fruit taste. Some plum and a candi sweetness. A nice winter red here without the spice to qualify as a winter warmer, I like where it's at. The feel is a big medium that's glidy and more spicy with warming, carb is there but not bitey, no attack on the tounge at all while maintaining life. A nice sweet aftertaste. I liked this, I would not call it a treat but it's damn good beer. I drank the bomber with ease. It satisfied me well. With that said, bring on the SUMMER.

Photo of stevegerl
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A very interesting balance of malt and hop flavor. Usually, a beer has one or the other, but the Winter Yulesmith has both. Orange/Red/Brown color is interesting. Awesome mouthfeel. Hoppy and dry aftertaste. Spicy aroma.

I would recommend this beer to beer enthusiasts that have never drank it before. But if you're thinking about getting it for someone else, ask if they have already had it. You'd be better off spending your money on a Founder's six-pack, but it's worth a shot.

Photo of mtstatebeer
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle. Pours a hazy, almost completely opaque, dark amber color with a large, frothy, tan head, lacing throughout. Aroma is caramel malts, orange, grapefruit, resin, and spicy. Flavor is caramel, a hint of chocolate, resin, alcohol, dark fruits, and spice. Mouthfeel is medium, creamy, a hint of alcohol burn, nice and bitter. Good beer, pretty good balance, very drinkable.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz. bomber bottle with no freshness date. Poured into a pint glass after a couple minutes in the refrigerator.

Appearance: Typical red in color. A bet dull, but with ton of sediment floating around the glass. Big frothy three finger beige head with a ton of retention. Took a very long while for this pillowy head to dissipate to where I could take a sip.

Aroma: Big resiny pine hop notes. Lots of citrus and grapefruit rind as well. Balanced with some molasses and caramel notes from the malt. The hops are definitely the main attraction here.

Taste: The hops assert themselves here too. Lots of pine and bitter cirtus rind. Some caramel to balance out the extreme hoppiness. Long and bitter finish of pine notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a nice bt of carbonation. Leaves a bit of a dry finish at the end. Very refreshing and warming.

Drinkability: At this ABV and with the flavor of this beer so prominent, one is the perfect amount for me. Had no problem finishing the bottle and enjoyed it a lot. The only thing I wasn't a fan of is the price tag.

Overall, a really enjoyable amber ale that definitely quenches your hop thrist. It's very enjoyable, but not particularly memorable. Definitely worth a try though.

Photo of BucBasil
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a large snifter.

A: The beer is a very dark, almost opaque ruby red color. Head is gigantic and reached over 3 fingers with amazing retention. Great looking beer.

S: Very hoppy on first glance, dominated by pine and citrus. There is a noticeable malt backbone in there, thankfully, that is bready and somewhat sweet.

T: Hoppy up front with plenty of pine and floral, but also well balanced. Not at all overpowering on the palate. In the middle, the malt character starts to open up a bit with bread. The hops just take over after that point. Bitter finish with some balance and an herbal and earthy character.

This was a nice beer, and I might pick it up again when I have a hop craving (but more balanced). Solid.

Photo of Docer
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had the summer last year, now finally found the winter today...

- Light mocha tan head... steady finger sticking around over a dark murky caramel and rich dark copper brew....

- Huge citrus and pine hop madness with some spice and sweet malts... brown sugar, and more citrus and floral zest...

- Very festive spiced IPA of sorts... smooth, light chocolate, spruce, herbal, gingery.. floral, and citrus hops... big bitter hopping.. zesty and good!

- Medium bodied, slightly sticky, chewy and drying..

- This is a bountiful and well blended recipe of an ale... very good, and perfect for the holiday. Probably the best holiday ale bottles anywhere around.

Photo of sitarist
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 batch.

Pours a cloudy, amber color. No head, just a gathering of loose, coral colored bubbles. No cap, hardly a ring, with a few spots of lacing.

Potent aromas fill the air. I smell orange, grapefruit, cinnamon-candied-apples, Yukon Jack, caramel-pecan-rolls, and solvent.

At first it taste like a shot of apple jack. After the alcohol fades I taste cinnamon-candied-apples, pine, and pecan rolls.

Lots of body, very little carbonation. It coats my tongue nicely before it dries. It is slightly warm on my lips. It reminds me of a cask conditioned ale.

Bold and worthy of respect. This beer is meant to sip not swill. Not for the timid or beginner.

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YuleSmith (Winter) from AleSmith Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 752 ratings.