YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

912 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 912
Hads: 1,723
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 257
Gots: 101 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 912 | Hads: 1,723
Photo of dasenebler
1.62/5  rDev -61.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Bomber, no date. Purchased at DeCicco's Brewster. Assuming Summer 2011 batch.

Pours a hazy amber with a very small head. Poor retention, not much lacing.

Wet dog and cardboard on the nose. Can you say oxidized?!

Flavor is malty and woody, not much hops going on. Totally and utterly oxidized. Oh well. Carbonation is low. This is bad.

Dear Alesmith: CODE YOUR BOTTLES PLEASE! I have no idea of knowing how old this stuff is.

Dear Decicco's: How old is this beer-- 1-2 years? Why is it on the shelves? (506 characters)

Photo of SteveTheDog
2.29/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

It's not often I pour out of beer but I was very unimpressed with this one. It really didn't have much smell to speak of. There were some weak hops And citrus trickling out of the top of the mug. The taste was actually terrible. It was the first time in recent memory that I actually made a bitter beer face. I don't know if I just got a bad bottle or what because I see it ranked so highly but I was thoroughly unimpressed and won't be taking another chance on it. (465 characters)

Photo of MADhombrewer
2.45/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

No bottle date that I can see, but picked this up right after Belmont Station reported that they got some in. Poured into a Laurelwood wine glass.

Appearance- Hazy honey color with no head. I thought it wasn't carbonated at first. Big soap bubbles left in the bottle. 2.5/5

Smell- Honey malt smell. Hops are there, but only in the back. They do lend a pineapple aroma to this. Very sweet aroma 2.5/5

Taste- Very sweet pineapple. Too sweet if you ask me. Alcohol is prominent as well. Very slick tasting. 2.5/5

Mouthfeel- The worst part. Way to thick for me. 2/5

Overall- I have had this before and rather enjoyed it. I don't know what the deal is with it now. Can't figure out if it is my taste that has changed or if it is this particular bottle. Way too much malt. 2.5/5 (779 characters)

Photo of Scorpious
2.5/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is somewhat disappointing to me (and I usually LOVE IPA's) The mouthfeel just seemed off along with the smell, the entire encounter was a dismal failure in my book. The taste was highly unliked and the color was just plain "funky" i.e. just not a color you would associate with IPA's (293 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.66/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2010 vintage 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at Hi-Time Liquor in Costa Mesa, California, and served into a N'Ice Chouffe beer stemflute in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Cost was $9.99 plus tax. Reviewed live.

Expectations are high as I have a very high regard for the brewery (which I've visited), and it's aged. I know I had the winter version but I don't remember what rating I gave it (and I'm too lazy to look it up). However, I'm very skeptical of aged IPAs. Hop death seems like it would be devastating to an IPA. But hey, this is Alesmith, and I trust Hi-Time.

I normally hate the style for its usual imbalance, but if anyone can do it right (after Russian River), it's Alesmith.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a four finger head of nice cream, decent thickness, and great retention for the relatively high ABV. Colour is a hazy nontransparent (but not opaque) yellow-copper. No yeast particles are visible.

Sm: Hoppy - but sadly more on the bittering end. Some pine and citrus, but not enough to turn me on to it. A bit stale. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Hoppy, with citrus and slight pine. Overall, hop balances tips largely toward the bitterness end, but the citrus and pine do a decent job of evening it out. It's a bit floral. Overall, it's rather simple for Alesmith. I suspect there was a great deal of hop death. It's gone off to some extent. The finish is particularly problematic, with the bitterness emerging to unfavorable effect. Horribly balanced, both in terms of structure and flavour. It might have been built decently back when it was brewed, but now the built comes off as bad, especially in the case of the hops; even the strain could have issues. Maybe summit hops were used? I hope not.

Mf: Coarse, too thick, and decently wet. Strange for the style, and not apt. Likely suffers from the age like the flavour profile (though again, I want to emphasize this is merely an assertion). Doesn't really complement the flavours all that well.

Dr: I wouldn't get this again, but I can't emphasize enough that I suspect hop death is a factor here. I'd try it on draught just to make sure this was indeed a fluke. I do think this review is valuable for educational purposes. Hides its ABV well. Of limited quality. A disappointment from Alesmith.

C- (2,474 characters)

Photo of RaulMatisse
2.81/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A 4th of July beer seemed fitting for a rainy winter night. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Telegraph tulip.

A :: A fiery, golden-orange glow is consistent throughout, with a fine balance that lies partway between translucency and opacity. Very exciting indeed. Soapy bubbles form a collar around the glass with flings of lace scattered about. Streams of carbonation line the glass. Towards the end of the bottle, a gentle pour yields a cottony head that, upon recession, leaves thick, fluffy lace behind. Definitely worth a second look.

S :: Yikes, a little sweeter than expected. Yes, piney hops hum in the background, but the main chorus consists of an aria of overripe pineapple and doughy malt. Blind tastings between AS IPA and YuleSmith Summer would be inconclusive--save for slightly more funk in the Yule. Frankly, in the realm of scent, this one can be classified as a GIPA (generic IPA).

T :: The Yule is the prodigal son of the AS IPA--it insisted on wandering into the land of the Imperial IPA, never quite made it, but got really boozy along the way. After a momentary flash of what may be a discernable hop or malt presence, I am broadsided by what tastes like a bitter orange peel soaked in alcohol. It makes your head cock to the side at best, your face grimace at worst.

M :: Up front, mouthfeel is notable; however, the initial sparkle of bottle conditioning is quickly sloshed away by an alcohol-warmed mouth.

D :: Mischievously drinkable 9-, 10-, and even 12-percent ABV beers are not hard to happen upon these days, so why should I be caught without an umbrella in alcoholic rain with an 8.5-percent IPA? A certain crispness and a firmer hop snap could whip this beer into good standing amongst the great West Coast DIPA's. (1,752 characters)

Photo of beerwolf77
2.83/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Thanks goes to sweemzander for sharing this bottle. Poured into my duvel tulip.

A: Bright clear yellow with a thick two fingers of eggshell hued head. Thick gobs of lace remain after a slow settle.

S: Tons of citrus hops. Just a hint of malt sweetness can be picked out. Mostly just tropical fruits.

T: Huge drop off from the nose. The acrid bitterness is almost comical. Not a good bitter in any way. It almost tastes off to me. Just sharp and overpowering sourness.

M: Medium body with loads of carbonation.

D: Overall solid in every aspect except for the flavor. Which pretty much ruined it for me. I had to drain pour the last of my glass. (648 characters)

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.86/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Reviewed 1/12/2007 (22oz bottle-Winter):

Pours a cloudy amber red color, graduated dark brownish/red on the top. Medium sized head, dark whitish, diminishing. Hoppy aroma, somewhat balanced, but not very strong. Some hops, somewhat tempered by the malts, some spices, may be the hops. Dry bitter alcoholy aftertaste as it warms up. IPAish. Unbalanced bitter (358 characters)

Photo of beckje01
2.91/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Type: Red and Green

A- Amber color with a thick creamy head and good lacing.

S- Lots of hops very strong, but one level to it kind of simple really.

T- Strong hops with a nice malt balance. Really a powerful beer. Just expect lots of hops with good malt in there too.

M- Good thickness.

D- It drinks like a Double IPA, its a good beer but overall not really anything stands out to me solid Double IPA. (417 characters)

Photo of Absumaster
2.95/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I had the winter edition 2006, courtesy of todd1

A clear, copper beer with a thick and creamy head. Every sip leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Smell is full of toasty malt with some doughy and bready notes. There are some ester and higher alcohols which smell like ripe red apples. The hops are typical US citric hops, but are balanced by the malt.

Taste is strong alcoholic, immediate goose bumbs on my back, aarghh this is some heavy shit. The malt is not as pronounced as in the smell and is only giving some biscuit and sweet malt notes. The hops are really bitter and aggressive with a citric and pineapple taste. Too bitter and too American for me.Mouthfeel is sweet and sticky, which is a good thing to balance the alcohol and bitterness.
Every sip is like drinking battery liquid and for me this is absolutely not drinkable any more. (847 characters)

Photo of mactrail
2.97/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A winey and bitter sort of DIPA. Nothing festive about it. Rather thin and extremely sharp. Malt seems to disappear into the hoppy tangle. Foam is quite decent. Aroma of pine and pollen is rather pleasant.

Hazy light amber, touch of orange. Quite a bit of sediment, I discover on pouring another glass. Some aromatics but mostly the grapefruit pith with a touch of resins. I say again, so sharp, and so light bodied. Bitter from start to finish.

From the 22 oz bottle. There must be a hundred better DIPAs, if that's what this is supposed to be. (547 characters)

Photo of dubinsky
2.97/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Im in a horrible mood. I just broke my favorite tulip : (

So im drinking this beer, from a snifter.

A - Pours a huge, six finger, off-white head with good retention. My guess is that this very fluffy head is coming from over-carbonation. Slighly hazy yet bright amber-orange color. The head eventually receded to a thick foamy, almost chunky cap.

S - Very floral and a bit estery, like a Belgian? Bright floral hops and some serious citrus notes. I really would never think this is a IIPA, more like a Belgian blond crossed with a tripel The smell is interesting, but not what i was expecting from the style.

T - The taste closely follows the smell. Floral hops and citrus notes. Hints of some bitter grapefruit on the finish.

M - Light body and too high of a level of carbonation. The amount of fizz from the carbonation is distracting, and makes this beer very dry. Slight warming effect from alcohol on the finish. Too light in body and too carbonated for the style.

D - For being a to 50 beer from a brewery i love and respect i'm not impressed with this beer. Ill stick to the other great beer that Alesmith produces, but this one just didn't quite measure up to the standard. (1,189 characters)

Photo of thaichile
3/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle 22oz. provided by Zorro. Poured a semi cloudy amber color with a real nice, long lasting head. Nose is filled with flowers. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but this beer was nothing special. Noticably more hops, lacking the malt balance that I like in a 2IPA. There was no discernable spice. This was more of a regular IPA. (334 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.01/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a bright orange, but only a few tan bubbles form on one side.

S - Citrus, sweet malts, and some pine.

T - Sweet carmely malts, and a touch of citrus.

D - Low carbonations.

O - Really dissapointed here. This is a low carbonated sweet mess. I believe it is a new bottle also. (327 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.07/5  rDev -27.8%
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. (1,779 characters)

Photo of warmstorage
3.08/5  rDev -27.5%
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. (1,141 characters)

Photo of bashiba
3.15/5  rDev -25.9%
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. (413 characters)

Photo of Yesac
3.16/5  rDev -25.6%
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. (779 characters)

Photo of swhite11
3.18/5  rDev -25.2%
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. (930 characters)

Photo of beagle75
3.2/5  rDev -24.7%
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. (1,375 characters)

Photo of david18
3.23/5  rDev -24%
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. (355 characters)

Photo of hrking
3.23/5  rDev -24%
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.. (282 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.28/5  rDev -22.8%
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. (1,005 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
3.35/5  rDev -21.2%
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. (903 characters)

Photo of Talisker
3.37/5  rDev -20.7%
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. (959 characters)

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YuleSmith (Summer) from AleSmith Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 912 ratings.