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YuleSmith (Winter) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Winter)YuleSmith (Winter)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

306 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 306
Hads: 761
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 15.12%
Wants: 79
Gots: 69 | 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: 761
Photo of MattyG85
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of rawfish
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, 10/08/13

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.

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Photo of ryannosaurus
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of cvm4
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of QuakeAttack
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
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!

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.43/5  rDev +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!

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

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Photo of ncketchum
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
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

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Photo of Joshpu
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.56/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.47/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.1/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.06/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
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

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Photo of BB1313
3.61/5  rDev -12%
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.

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Photo of CA_brewster
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of joe1510
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz Bomber
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

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Photo of scotorum
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought two orphans from last Christmas on sale for $5.95 each. Opened one to see why either this or the summer version were in the BA top 250 until recently.

Poured into a Duvel snifter from the 22 oz. bomber.

a: A deep nearly clear amber, billowy and stubborn huge beige head eventually dissipated to a thick foam surface film and lots of lacing.

s: A sinus-clearing intense fruit/pine.

t: Delightful moderate sweet pine hop bitterness. Wow, nearly a year old and it really rocks. Clearly aged well! A clean finish. The 9.5 ABV is well concealed.

m: Moderate and smooth. Very pleasant.

o: I love it when a gamble pays off! This is a tasty brew, wonderful for the holidays or anytime. Having it now as a summer refresher and it works for that!

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Photo of buschbeer
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1PT. 6 FL.OZ. bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It appears red with amber highlights. It is topped with two fingers of tan head.

S - I smell some caramel and toffee. I also get some alcohol.

T - I get some caramel malt and the taste of hops gone by. There is an intermingling of sweetness and some bitterness. The bitterness grows with each drink.

M - Medium with a chalky coating on my tongue.

O - It has kind of taken on the characteristics of a barleywine. The hops have faded, but are fighting to keep a counterbalance to the sweetness.

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Photo of chinchill
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle of Yule Smith "Winter Holiday Ale", 8.5% ABV, believed to be 2012 vintage served in a pint glass.
Pours a deep, dark reddish brown color, clear, with a large, frothy, creamy and durable head.
Very hoppy aroma, with some pine. Hoppy flavor too, but with a load of rich malts nearly counterbalancing the hops bitterness and adding a rich, sweet roasted grain flavor.

M: Full bodied, with ample and soft carbonation.

O: this exceptional beer may be as good as Imperial Reds get.

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Photo of McD0uche
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a beautiful crimson orange with coppery bubbles. Retention isn't pronounced, but lacing becomes apparent after a couples minutes. A nice looking beer. Festive.

S: Initial whiff reveals hops and a vague sweetness (licorice?). Curiosity sets in.

T: Smoky malts and toffee. Hops are there too. And wait, there it is! Black licorice! Heavy black licorice aftertaste. Crazy. That's a first for me.

M: Light-bodied, which is unexpected for something with flavor this powerful. Carbonation seems a tad too high. Finishes bitter and crisp.

O: Pretty good. A nice little holiday piece. I normally don't like black licorice, but it worked well in this beer. Recommended.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden-amber with a finger of frothy off-white head. Fades fairly slowly.

S - Sweet caramel and bready malts, grapefruit, citrus, pine, and grassy hops.

T - Sweet caramel, bready, and biscuit malts, grapefruit, orange, citrus, pine, and grassy hops, resiny bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a dry, bitter, lightly sweet finish.

D - Good hoppy red ale. Good hop profile and bitterness.

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