YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,670 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 1,670
Reviews: 916
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.74%
Wants: 254
Gots: 89 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 11-24-2002

Lots of hops with a nice malty backbone on this one. It is released twice yearly; once in the Summer and once in the late Fall / early Winter. Winter bottles have green & red ink, Summer is blue & red. There is a variation in the malt bill for each version.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,670 | Reviews: 916
Photo of charlzm
3.56/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2009 release, consumed 09/14/09.

Poured into a Samuel Adams "special" glass at 50 degrees F. Beer is a cloudy light yellow with lots of particulate matter swirling within the copious carbonation. A rocky, white, three-finger head forms immediately, slowly subsiding to a sticky lace on the sides of the glass.

My nose detects strong grapefruity hops and a subtle grassy component. Slight bready character as well. Grace note of juniper. So far, so good!

Flavor - do you like hops? You'd better if you're going to drink this, as that's the only flavor I can find in this beer. Peppery, grassy, citric and, oh yeah, BITTER are the order of the day. Hot on the tongue with a lingering, parchingly bitter aftertaste. Not very pleasing to me.

Mouthfeel is sharp due to carbonation. Slightly dry and a little oily.

Oddly, I had a few ounces from a different bottle a few days ago that I enjoyed much more than this. It was colder... maybe that's the key to this beer - serve it colder than fifty degrees. That might keep the bitterness under control.

I didn't enjoy this at all and struggled to finish the bomber. I would recommend only to hopheads.
___

2008 summer version, consumed on 09/08/08.

APP - 3.5
SM - 2.5
TASTE - 2.5
FEEL - 3.5
DRINK - 2.0
OVERALL - 2.75 (C-)

This bottle has a lot of ghostly, swirly sediment in it. Huh. Despite my care, this led to a slightly cloudy honey-golden pour. VERY carbonated! A two-finger fluffy white head with minimal lacing sat atop the beer.

Aroma is odd, with a touch of plastic/band aid to it. Uh-oh... Also has notes of soap. And there, lurking in the unappetizing aromas, is some pine.

Slick mouthfeel, parching on the tongue.

Major flavor component is remarkable bitterness. Not undrinkable, but just this side of overwhelming. Some spruce flavor. Shy malt character did not emerge enough for me to identify beyond just "malt".

This is the first AleSmith bomber I have had that I did not finish. I poured what was left in the bottle (about a third) down the drain after it took me over an hour to finish a pint.

This bottle was refrigerated in a cooler away from sunlight when I bought it and has been refrigerated since, so I can only guess that either something bad happened to this bottle prior to me making its acquaintance or that it's just an anomaly from this great brewery.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

9.5% ABV. Poured into a dimple glass from a 650ml bottle. Gave off a dark/hazy golden appearance. Smelled sweet hops, hints of vanilla, and floral malty impression. Tasted smooth from the beginning to a somewhat bitter ending. Mouthability was medium-bodied and somewhat dry finish; the head remained thick and creamy throughout. Warm mouthfeel from the high alcohol content. Feels lush and full in the mouth. A nice drinkable beer, but resmembles too much of a Pale Ale rather than IPA for me.

Photo of inlimbo77
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

AleSmith YuleSmith (July 2011) bomber poured into a white wine glass. No bottle date, but 2011 version from Pinocchio's in Media, PA

A: This one pours a really cloudy orange amber color. Basically no head. Faint white stuff.

S: This smells like it has drifted from fresh a little bit, upsettingly. I get some hop character, but lots of sweet maltiness.

T: Really sweet beer! The malts have really taken over this one. It gets better as it warms. You get a smooth hop bite on front of the tongue, malts really smooth on middle of tongue, and solid finish. Its a powerful beer. I wish I drank fresher.

M: Medium leading to full bodied. Big beer.

O: Overall this is good stuff, but not great. I think extremely fresh it would have been great, but I much prefer their regular IPA over this double.

Photo of sstackho
3.54/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle of summer release purchased for $4 (half-price, they say - it's November) from Bauer Wines in Boston. Pours with a ridiculous unforgiving head that is delaying my consumption and enjoyment of this beer. Underneath the head there is a thin sliver of cloudy light gold. Strong bitter aroma. Whoa, this is strong stuff. Tastes more like hard liquor than a beer on first taste. Let's checkie the ol' ABV... only 8.5%! For a second I was wondering if this was in the 12%+ range. I swear, I'm getting some weak whisky tastes here (disclaimer: not a whisky drinker). Took a quick look at reviews on here and don't see anyone concurring with me - wonder if mine has spoiled at all? OK, as the beer goes on, the review progresses. I'm getting a bit less of the whiskey flavours, but I'm still not getting what I consider to be typical hoppiness from the style. An hour later, I just tried pouring the last third of the bottle and the process creates as much head in the bottle as there is beer. What is going on with this bottle? It pains me a bit to give such a highly rated beer a mediocre score, but I cannot tell a lie when it comes to this bottle. An experience, none-the-less.

Photo of badbeer
3.53/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 Summer version.

Orange-ish color with a white head that left decent lacing. Nose of pine, grapefruit, and some sweet caramel; but it didn't really jump out of the glass at me. Much of the same disappointment was displayed in the taste; good flavors, but weak, especially for a DIPA. Mouthfeel was thick and fullbodied, carbonation was about medium. As it stands, the example I had was an okay beer and nothing more. Bad bottle? Perhaps, but there didn't seem to be anything inherently wrong with it, just not impressive. Only beer I haven't been impressed by from AleSmith. I'll give it another try next year and go from there.

Winter:

Clear reddish amber color with an off-white head, decent lacing and retention. Beautiful smell of sweet malt paired with big juicy hoppiness. Aroma is rich in fruitiness with some grapefruit hops to balance the sweetness. Taste is one of those things you really need to try for yourself to believe, it's excellent. Sweet malt and grapefruity hops in the taste, perfect balance in this beer. Carbonation was a bit high in the beginning of the bottle, medium bodied. Great beer from AleSmith.

4 / 4.5 / 5 / 4 / 4.5

Photo of JDV
3.53/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ALESMITH WINTER -

Bottle shared with Fly, Dewbrewer, Humulone_Red and others. Thanks guys!
Other bottle courtesy of WeeheavySD! Rich deep amber pour with a big lasting creamy head. Big hoppy nose with "red" malt as well. Rich sharp hoppy flavor with a creamy balanced maltiness to it. A touch of alcohol is noticeable, but still nice. Carbonation is a tad high, but I find that to be the case with most of Alesmith's beers. Nice beer.

Photo of YouSkeete
3.51/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Very cloudy and opaque golden/yellow tinted brew. Short, mildly off-white head with some moderate lacing.

S: Yeast, fresh bitter hops, lemon zest and pepper right away in the nose. Milder hints of orange peel, grapefruit and some pineapple. fruity sweetness follows through.

T/M: Big tart grapefruit and lemony flavors, big full-flavored hop bitterness, smooth citrusy malts. Odd flat bitter flavor towards the end. Smooth caramel-apple-like sweetness throughout the flavor. Not much else to the overall flavor. On the high side of carbonation with a medium-fitted body. moderately rich, moderately bitter.

D: Pretty average, definitely a great easy summer brew.

Photo of pearljam118
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a tulip.

A - pours a really hazy pumpkin orange with minimal head

S - Malty, really no hops to speak of

T - Decently balanced with malt dominating more. Really not hoppy as I expected. Very sweet and grapefruit is present.

M - Light carbonation for the style, dry finish that is a little boozy

O - I'm pretty dissapointed. I was expecting a bigger brother to Alesmith IPA but this is really malty. I don't know if it has faded since Alesmith doesn't use dates but I'm not getting any old hop taste. For $10+/bomber I wouldn't grab this again.

Photo of Jayli
3.45/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes
Consumed 8/1 poured in to my Portsmouth Tulip

A: This beer pours a hazy, lighter gold color with a big 3 finger of white sudsy head. Head recedes at a slow pace leaving tones of sticky lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is chalk full of pine and citrus hops. Nice bitter nose on this one.

T: Taste starts with a big burst of grapefruit and orange/tangerine flavoring. A piney earthy flavor comes in before a rather surprisingly hearty sweet caramel malt presence.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, crisp body

D: Goes down somewhat easily, a little bit of heat, not too filling, a bit too malty from what I was expecting from a DIPA but a decent beer.

Photo of jrallen34
3.45/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a 22 oz bottle (winter version) into a rochefort chalice.

The beer pours medium brown with a very light tan head that has no head, retention or lacing.

The aroma is very hoppy with a muted maltiness.

The taste is very interesting, but not sure if that's a good thing. There is lots of hoppiness here but there is something else to, that just brings a weirdness to the beer.

Photo of david131
3.41/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- A semi-cloudy orange liquid with a massive craggy bone white head that has great retention.

S- Pine, oranges, cut grass, and fruit. Smells good, but also pretty typical of a west coast DIPA.

T- Orange rind and pine with a sweet caramel finish. Very soapy and seems to fall apart on the finish.

M- A nice amount of carbonation, but has an astringent finish. Bitter, dry, and strange on the finish.

D- This takes a bit of work to consume, especially when taking into account the alcohol content (a bit on the lower side for the style). Overall, I am underwhelmed but it is not bad.

Photo of beermanbrian
3.39/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2007 summer version

Cloudy pale orange color with a thin head that leaves some ok lacing. Not very apealing in appearance.

Smell is a burst of citrusy hops that turns musty and a little earthy. Citrus smell leans toward grapefruit but can't quite overpower the musty smell to really kick into that really appealing range.

Taste is obviously hoppy but struggles with the problem a lot of double IPA's have, the sweetness is a little overpowering and becomes cloying. High ABV shows itself too.

Hard to get a take on the mouthfeel, the hops burns out my taste buds and then the sweetness overpowers and then to finish it off there is the alcohol burn.

Overall this one was a letdown. It is certainly better than the average beer but it dosn't live up to the rep that AleSmith has. I'd give it another try but I won't send my wife to Ohio to pick this one up again.

Photo of kbeals
3.38/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

TrebleStauter sent me this one, thanks again!

A- Hazy, bright yellow in color with a finger of thick, creamy white head. Good head retention and good lacing. Relatively thick lacing actually, very nice.

S- Big doses of earthy hops and slightly boozy. I don't usually expect much complexity from DIPA's, but this one really doesn't have much to it.

T- Earthy hops, and once again the booziness shows up. No malt backbone to really speak of, pretty dry and bitter. Very average IMO.

M- Medium bodied, about what I expect from a DIPA. Well carbonated at least, not syrupy like other DIPA's.

D- The booziness gets to me after a while. I'd also have love to seen a better blend of hops. The sheer earthiness got to me, maybe I'm more of a citrus type of guy. Not the best DIPA in the world, but most certainly not the worst.

Photo of Chaney
3.38/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got this bottle from MaxStout in a trade. Thanks dude!

A: Very cloudy, light orange color with very generous carbonation and huge mammoth, almost ridiculous head. The retention is so great that it is almost stretching my patience.

S: This thing is going to be a huge citrus bomb!

T: This thing is pretty boozy. I taste the hops, citrus, and some semblance of a malt backbone, but the beer in front of me is not a very balance brew.

M: Foamy and the some! Is this thing unfiltered? The carbonation is pleasant, but the ABV is DEFINITELY detectable. The sweetness is just right for the style.

D: If I ever travel to San Diego, Alesmith is on the top of my list. If I were to travel there, I'm sure it will be in the summer due to my wife's job, so I will order this one (the seasonal) first. Then, I will get a healthy, fresh, on tap taste of this stuff

Photo of Talisker
3.37/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

YuleSmith Holiday Ale Summer 2008 version. 22oz bomber purchased from Hi-Time in Costa Mesa.

Definitely better than the Holiday '06 YuleSmith from a while back, which was a goopy, syrupy-sweet hoppy mess. Apparently the winter version is a "Double Red Ale" while these summer versions are Double IPAs.

But as Double IPAs go, this one is still on the sweeter, more viscous side. Not my preference. Pours a very clear medium-orange, hard to see any yeast haze (although it's bottle-conditioned). Nicely persistent white head. Smell is half American citrus/pine hops, half sweet malt. No dough or bread.

Taste about what you would expect from the nose, tons of hops and tons of sweet malt, not as well integrated as you would hope. Hefty on the ABV (8.5%), so not exactly a quaffer.

In the middle tier of California DIPAs. There are lots of folks who love the Alesmith IPA style, but it's a little too close to cloying sweet viscosity of Stone for my taste.

Photo of sweemzander
3.35/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks to domtronzero for tossing this one in as an extra!

(A)- Pours a crystal clear yellow color. Produced a massive white frothy head with some serious retention behind it. It is just clinging to the glass with lots of bubbly lacing.

(S)- A nice woody pine and creamy citrus of pineapple, grapefruit, and lemon. Crisp.

(T)- Has a rather tart profile with some serious pineapple & grapefruit citrus up front. Tons of citrus in this that really borderlines on tartness level. Some minimal woody pine.

(M)- A tad higher carbonation level than you would expect from the style, but it really is not too bothersome. Really crisp because of it though, with really potent citrus. Some bitterness.

(D)- Slightly different, yet interesting take on a massively over-made style these days. Huge citrus, with ever present bitterness. Good, but I prefer their regular IPA.

Photo of maximum12
3.28/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to milwaukeeclassic & bu11zeye for sending bombers of this IIPA my way. Always up for a new IIPA any way, every day.

Well. The first one I inadvertently lost & it was a year old before I noticed, so I took it up to a Canadian island with no electricity in February figuring any beer would taste good, & it did, just fine, but the hops were gone. Didn't review it then (lacking electricity, heat, & any hint of civilization other than a few tip-ups on the ice!), but wanted to try it fresh. That time is now.

And I find that, again, the hops are MIA. The nose is all malt, & the taste follows suit. The brew is malty malty sweet, with just a coloring of hop bitterness at the end of the sip. Not nearly enough for an IIPA in my book.

It's not bad. The malt is strong enough that it doesn't lack taste or flavor, but malt isn't what I was expecting. I'm a bit baffled. Perhaps I've had two very old bottles in a row? Where are the hops?

Pretty good beer, but not at all to my taste of a IIPA.

Photo of david18
3.23/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As much winter beer as double india pale ale. This was the first Alesmith to be available on the east coast. Not too strong but also not the best double ipa around. this is worth while if you, like me, only have access to this brand. Alesmith also has a lot of good low alcoholic beers of a european style which is refreshing for that part of the country.

Photo of hrking
3.23/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Loved this a little heavy on the sugar side but had a great dry hop nose. Drink smooth and not overly hoppy for an IPA..Very drinkible.I like the Winter YuleSmith better though.. This is one of those double releases in Summer and Winter..The winter version is a superior brew IMHO..

Photo of beagle75
3.2/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Murky, medium golden color with one finger of diminishing white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass and a small amount of sediment pools at the bottom.

S: Bready malt is backlit by very bright hops that suggest pine and grapefruit citrus--but in moderation. Very clean otherwise, with no alcohol detected.

T: Begins fairly sweet, with malt that seems underwhelming and simplistic, yet is left to fend for itself. Hops seem muted early, with some floral and citrus that start weak and fade quickly. Malt deepens in the middle, becoming bready and also drier as hops struggle to keep up. Astringency surges in the finish to the detriment of the hops which, although bitter, try to represent with some late pine. Alcohol emerges late, but is then slow to volatilize.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, astringent and warming on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This DIPA is an odd one, seeming to possess a host of features that are satisfactory or better, yet is apparently put together with no vision. It really struggles with a lack of continuity, like a puzzle whose pieces were pressed together with brute force regardless of correct fit. It does not speak to the quality of Alesmith's other beers--perhaps that is why this is such a letdown. It can be tolerated, but fails to cultivate any passion whatsoever.

Photo of swhite11
3.18/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Winter release. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

[Appearance] - Pours dark amber with an orange hue. Head pours creamy/foamy off white with 3 fingers. Retains/laces well.

[Aroma] - Bready malt with caramel sweetness upfront. Citrus hop character follows with notes of lime/orange/tangerine. Alcohol is slightly apparent.

[Taste] - Sweet malt dominates upfront. Alcohol follows with a slightly dry, fusel feel. Hop taste is underdeveloped and restrained. Bitterness sets in back palate and is prominant but does not fully balance this beer as an Imperial IPA.

[Mouthfeel] - Spritzy carbonation and dominant malt sweetness detract from the beer. Alchohol and hop bitterness dry the feel but only back palate.

[Drinkability] - 1 1/2 pints was a job. Too sweet and cloying upfront for my tastes.

[Overall] - Reminds me of a junior 120 Minute IPA with more hop bitterness. A big Imperial IPA that is a bit to sweet.

Photo of Yesac
3.16/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The bottom of the glass appears to read 1/08 that would make this bottle 15 months old. So this review may be a result of this beer not aging well even though its bottle conditioned.

A- Deep ruby/amber in color. Large head that fades to a small head. Nice thick lacing on the glass. Looks yummy.

S- Well balanced. Subtle skunky wet hops and a almost dominant malt backbone.

T- The 8.8%ABV unpleasantly burns on the front of every sip. The hops are very bitter not welcoming as well. The beer is creamy and sappy. Bready finish. There is way to much alcohol and spice presence here to enjoy this.

M- Thick bodied, medium carbonation, sappy, sticky and has a dry finish.

D- This beer looks great and thats about it. It was a struggle to get through and lacked complexity.

Photo of bashiba
3.15/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a hazy golden orange with a light soap ring of a head.

The smell is a bit piney and lemony with a light bit of bready malt sneaking through.

The flavor is a bit sweet and malty up front following quickly buy a resiny orange peel hoppyness, very chinooky. Not much in hop complexity here, I'm kind of suprised by the lack of complexity here.

The mouthfeel is oily and thick.

A pretty average Double IPA.

Photo of warmstorage
3.08/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 ounce bomber, $5.75 at Plaza Liquors, Tucson, AZ. Not entirely clear what vintage, since the bottle bears no date, but I'd assume 2008. Bottle states 8.5% ABV. It's the red and green screen-printed winter bottle, and AleSmith identifies it as an "Imperial Red Ale" on their website.

Appearance: Pours with a massive, vigorous off-white head, fairly rocky, that leaves significant lacing. (Notably, the bottle looked overfilled to me: it was filled to within an inch of the cap.)

Aroma: some piney hops, but somewhat muted. Sweet malt, slightly earthy.

Taste: sweet and piney hops, slightly sweet and tangy malt backbone. Deep malty sweetness. Well balanced. Hints of sharp/crisp malt, rye maybe?

Mouth: moderately slick, and quite full. Muted alcohol warmth given the high gravity. Light carbonation.

Overall: Drinkable, and kind of interesting, but not great, and definitely not all that AleSmith can do. I prefer the summer DIPA version, and had to remind myself while reviewing that I had to judge this as an imperial red, not a DIPA. Even so, it's just not that impressive to me, and I probably won't bother buying it again.

Photo of Jeffo
3.07/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a huge, three finger, thinner looking, off-white head with good retention. Very fluffy head. Clear, bright amber-orange color with medium carbonation evident. Head eventually fades to a thick foamy cap. A good foam cap remains and leaves some chunky, unappealing lace down the sides. Head is a little to thin and chunky for the style. Needs to tighten up its game.

SMELL: Pale malts, floral hops and some light citrus notes. Quite the bouquet of flowers on this one. Hints of melon and some green fruit, like apples and pear. This is like a DIPA and a Triple had a kid. Quite interesting for sure, but not quite to style.

TASTE: Pale malts with plenty of floral hops and citrus notes. Sweet melon rides out the middle and introduces some bitter grapefruit on the finish. Not much green fruit like in the nose; more of a DIPA here. A long, bold, bitter grapefruit and floral aftertaste is hoppy and tasty.

PALATE: Lighter body and higher levels of carbonation. Light and fluffy on the palate, plenty creamy and smooth, goes down fine and finishes slightly mouth coating. Some warming alcohol on the finish, which was unexpected for the lower ABV. Unfortunately it's still too light and carbonated for the style. Doesn't support the promising flavors enough.

OVERALL: Not really impressed with this one. Body was too light and overly carbonated, which didn't support the main act enough, and the head was anything but appealing for the style. Pouring the yeast into the glass at the end of the bottle helped liven the body up a bit, but this offering was still somewhat disappointing. There are other great beers by AleSmith, but this year's summer relase doesn't quite measure up.

YuleSmith (Summer) from AleSmith Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,670 ratings.