YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

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YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

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912 Reviews
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Reviews: 912
Hads: 1,724
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: 1,724
Photo of Sephiroth
4.01/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a nice inch of foam, which leaves rings of lace all around the glass. Aroma of mostly hops, just background noise of malt.

The taste is deliciously unbalanced. The hops are slightly piney, but more citrusy. I sense that they have been subdued since the bottling. Mouthfeel is good, a bitter coating of hops lines my teeth. I must find this when it releases this winter. (384 characters)

Photo of KroMagnon
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured with a robust, rocky head. The head foam was light tan and the beer was a nice copper color. The aroma is mostly hops, with some spiciness that reminds me of Belgian ales - it may be a higher alcohol, or some other spices, not sure. It seems a little like cloves, or vanilla. The flavor is rich, robust, malty with a spicy hop flavor. The bitterness is evident but overall the balance is more malty than I'd expect from a "double IPA". It may be the age of the beer - I'm tasting it in November so its probably a year old and the hop flavor and bitterness may have been a little subdued by now. There is also a bite there, alcohol maybe? Its not the smoothest beer of 8.8% ABV that I've had but its still good. A great holiday beer, and rather unique. (763 characters)

Photo of doubleipa
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was at the top of my list to drink during my trip to Oregon. Unfortunately, the beer, for me, did not live up to the hype. It was good, but not great. I had a bomber at the Rose & Raindrop.
The appearance was clear copper with lots of carbonation.
A very strong smell of grapefruit, citrus, but with a not so subtle spicey and pine smell. Taste, to me, was disappointing; pepper and pine came through too strong. I did not taste as much hops as the smell would've indicated. The spice/pine taste covered up the alcohol. After reading many of the reviews, I really think I could have had a "bad" bottle. I'll have to try and get my hands on an another bottle and "update" my review. (693 characters)

Photo of DogFood11
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice. This brew has an average to above average saucey head and retention ( no, this is not a porn movie review) Smell is god damn bonerville! Fresh hoppy presence that has the ability to put me into a coma....awww soooothing. Grapefruit/ slightly citrus but subdued. Mostly there for cleansing I think. A hint of spices in the aftertaste.

Notes: Nightcapper material for sure. Not much left on the palate to even venture into another brew. (461 characters)

Photo of palma
4.84/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Hazy yellow-copper body. Nice size off-white head that diminishes to a floating lace.

Nose: Pungent piney hops. Maybe even some cherries or apples as well. As the beer warms, the lightest alcohol phenols start to show up.

Taste: Yes, big piney hops and then some. A stabbing citrus fruitiness towards the end. Some warming alcohol. Strong bitter hop aftertaste with some caramel malt flavor if you look hard enough.

Mouthfeel: Oily mouthfeel. Definitely smooth, but I would still prefer just a little less carbonation.

Drinkability: I drank this 22 oz bomber in a flash. Get some MF!

Thanks to Jetsbeer for letting me know where I could purchase this beer online. It shipped well and was consumed just as well. (741 characters)

Photo of rowew
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz bomber with holiday coloring and a long description on the back. Tons of sediment visible in the bottom of the bottle.

Appearance: Poured into a Stone IPA (hmm .. is that allowed?). Pours a cloudy red orange color with a nice thick head.

Smell: Thick hop aroma with quite a bit of malty sugar mixed in. More pine than citrus, but they are both there.

Taste: Starts slightly sweet, and then the hops come on strong. Thickish mouthfeel, and slightly oily from all the hops. Lots of citrus and pine flavors, but there is enough malt to keep them from over-whelming.

Overall impression: Very nice Double IPA. Enough malt to keep it drinkable - this could be very dangerous. The San Diego brewers have certainly managed to make some great hoppy creations. (784 characters)

Photo of warriorsoul
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Happy Birthday to me...on my 35th b-day, I finally decided this was the right evening to try this one (thanks to cmaruschak and Cornboy for each supplying one of these).
Pours a very cloudy, dark rust color w/ huge amounts of tan head...lacing is thick.
Cognac hits the nose first...w/ the alcohol quite apparent.
A nice hop profile w/ some raisins, grapes and caramel.
The taste is quite complex...the alcohol does take a back seat to everything else going on here. Not sure of how old this bottle is, but this one hits me more like and old ale than a double IPA...either way, it is quite delicious. A subtle smokiness in the finish and ends quite dry and bitter.
The mouthfeel is thick and the carbonation is right for the style IMO. At almost 9%, I'd respect this one...
I will need to pick this one up fresh to compare w/ my other bottle in the cellar...hopefully it won't be too long until we can find AleSmith brews in Mass. (937 characters)

Photo of lostbearbrew
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First - thanks to Drewbage for sending this one my way.

I must say, although I very much enjoyed the bottle, it wasn't quite up to the hype I had formed in my mind. Shame I did so, as I think the beer is very good, perhaps excellent and I am struggling with reality versus my lofty expectations as I write this review...

Copper with red notes - very high level of carbonation and a soft, lacy head, that never goes away completely, leaving lacing all the way down the glass.

So much citrus! WOW! Amarillo-like orange scents seem to come forward the most. Can smell a sweet malt backbone, but the malt smells different than anything I can recall before - maybe marshmellows?

Hops hops hops - citrus/orange with pine and earthy tang, peppery spicy flavors as well. Malt is in there, but it is pretty well masked by a lingering multi-layered hops taste throughout the sip. Not much alchohol taste in here, and a dry, almost tart, finish.

Drinkability is good for a beer of this SIZE...in complexity, as well as bomber-ness. I'd have a second (if I had a second to have.) (1,083 characters)

Photo of hustlemuscle
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

from a cooler aged bottle courtesty Budsboy and the good folks at Riverside Imports in Kent, Ohio, who aged it in their cooler.

Pours a rich golden tending toward amber with suspended particles. Decent head. Nice rich hop nose accompanies a fantastic full and rich hop profile. Pine and citrus with a mild malt undercurrent. A spiciness rounds out the flavor, and the resulting tanginess rounds out an already full bodied feel.

Nice stuff, very nice stuff. Can't wait to get a fresh bottle this winter to compare. (520 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Christmas in July" version: I hear that the patriotic-themed summer release of this beer is a little different. Maybe it is and maybe it isn't, but this did seem slightly "softer" than the one I had last winter. The beer is a luminous amber color with a very thick and foamy beige head so dense it almost has a membrane on the top. Thick, sticky lacing too. The aroma consists of resinous hops, citrus and spice. Rich and smooth body, and as before this brew is by far the most subtlely-hopped Double IPA I have had, almost to a fault this time around. Lots of citrusy fruit and spice, as well as a very sweet malt backbone. The finish is spicy and lingering. Still very enjoyable in the summer heat but I wouldn't mind a little more bitterness. (746 characters)

Photo of RootedFool
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Christmas in August? Sure, I'll take it. Poured into my Celebration Ale pint glass, I pick up a lovely marshmallow sweetness right away (more on the nose later); the body is hazy amber, gorgeous, with a head that has hints of yellow glowing around the whiteness, frothy and dense, excellent retention leaves a thin sweater of lace on the glass. Smell: citrusy hop burst (pineapple, lemon zest, lots of grapefruit, orange zest), followed by a simple cotton candy sweetness that plays nicely beneath the bright array of hops. Taste: deliciously sweet at first, all over the base of my palate, like sucking on a hunk of caramel, quickly followed by a rush of bright hops along the sides of my tongue and around the back of my throat, wonderful: oranges, grapefruits, some coconut, very festive. The aftertaste is a warming wack of alcohol heat, and an broadening malt profile: honeydew melons, simple syrup. The alcohol heat linger but not unpleasantly. Mouthfeel: perfect, full, but has a lightness that manages to encompass my entire palate in one dexterous swoop. A brilliant brew. Middling carbonation, but spot on. I feel blessed to have this bottle. Alesmith, keep sending your brews up to the north coast! (1,209 characters)

Photo of edchicma
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a light copper, with a rich creamy head. Lacing is pronounced. Smell is a blend of fruity hops with a nice yeasty undertone, very pleasing on the nose. Taste begins with a malty smooth beginning that yield to a hop presence at mid palate and finsihes dry. Overall very balanced flavors that invite you to taste more. Mouthfeel is smooth overall...no harshness which is surprising in such a high abv. Very good on the drinkability scale..very deceiving.

Second review...1-7-08 This year's is even better!
A perfect pour....mid-copper, pillow head...outstanding lacing. Cirus, pine, yeast blast on the nose..sweeet. Strong hop presence in the taste, initial creaminess, mid palte hop explosion, desert dry finish. Mouthfeel, while initially smooth, cascades into dry, drier and driest. For the style, the drinkability is tops...while a definite sipper, it is a fantastic experience. (887 characters)

Photo of rabidawg
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: First pour from the bomber is a crystal clear and gleaming copper with heavy carbonation and a soft, hilly head that sticks like meringue. Lacing grips the side of my shaker pint in sheets.

Smell: An incredible orange citrus aroma wafts from my glass. Peppery from the alcohol, but not overwhelmingly so. Slightly piney, but the big juicy citrus dominates. Sweetness is apparent.

Taste: Amazingly complexity to the hop structure. Flavor hops abound, with layer upon layer of orange, then pine, then a spicy and somewhat woody or stalky character. The brief hint of the malt structure I glimpsed between waves of the hop onslaught is very nice, with a slight cherry skin flavor. I'd love to see what an aged bottle of this vintage would be like. Seems mildly sweet while in the mouth, but any hint of residual sugar is erased after the swallow, finishing with a dry, almost drawing, hop greenness. Only slightly hot, with the alcohol level apparent mostly in a slight numbing of the inner cheeks. Carbonation is a bit fizzy, but not distracting. The dryness helps immensely with drinkability, which is incredible for a beer of this size.

Excellent, excellent beer. This has to be in my top ten. A HUGE thanks to cmaruschak for sending this beauty my way! (1,275 characters)

Photo of arizcards
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a couple of bottles of this from Trader Joes back in May for $4.99.

Pours a reddish color, with a nice 3 inch head that has retained quite well throughout my glass(4.5). Nose is of dark fruits, malts, and floral hops(4.5). Taste is a wonderful blend of malts, dark fruits, and hops. I swear I am tasting a hint of chocolate both with this bottle and my first sample back in May but perhaps my palate is confused!(5.0) Mouthfeel is perfect! Richly full, lively, and creamy(5.0). Overall drinkability is perfect...this is a wonderful beer! I'll have to look for the July release!(5.0)

8-19-11: Looks like i had version confusion 6 years ago. Here goes a review of the recent summer version purchased last weekend from Total Wine for $8.99:

A-Beer poured golden with a solid white head that is retaining well and leaving lacing behind.

S-Nose is of fresh hop flowers.

T-Taste is very well balanced. Hop forward, grapefruit zest, hints of melon and some mango. Malt backbone is strong but taste is clean and not cloying.

M-Mouthfeel is medium bodied, moderately carbonated, and refreshing.

O-This is a very solid DIPA, hangs with the best of what the San Diego brewers offers! (1,189 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big beer. Very hoppy and lots of alcohol and some spices such as nutmeg and cinammon in there. Maybe I'm not such a big fan of double IPA's or more likely they are as a group overrated by the hopheads. Well malted to take the edge off the bitterness. (252 characters)

Photo of egajdzis
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy orange amber color with a small tan head, that left some lacing on the glass. Beautifully strong citrusy hop aroma. Very well balanced taste, with grapefruit hops, then resiny pine needle taste and then a superb malt finish. Full / creamy mouthfeel. (265 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Summer 2005 release, Sampled July 26th, 2005
This beer is brilliantly clear and pours a full reddish copper color and is topped by a frothy, light tan head. The aroma is full and hoppy with notes of fresh cut herbs, pine, grapefruit, and bergamot. The beer is sweet up front with a hint of cinnamon mixed in with the abundant hop notes. There is also a good maltiness to this beer, which really helps to hold the hops in check and provide some sort of balance. The hops are sharp and biting from finish to end. As the beer leaves my mouth a slow spicy sharp astringency begins to build for a good half minute span. This beer is still just damn good, so well balanced between the aggressive over the top hoppiness and a solid maltiness, which while definitely playing second fiddle, is still present enough to contribute and tame some of the hop notes. (852 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Summer 05 release in a 22oz bomber. Clear orange in color with a two inch tall white foamy head. Light scattered lace was left as the head broke down. Citric hops galore in the nose with a fairly large sweet malt base being there. Surprisingly a little alcohol was peaking through which I didn’t remember from other releases of this. Grapefruit hoppiness with a good amount of sweet caramel and biscuit malt. Alcohol is there as well but doesn’t interfere too much. Light citric bitter bite on the finish. This years seemed to lack the floral component that I enjoyed before but it was still good. Thick and full with a surprising warming quality as it goes down. Good drinkability still. Solid and a bit different that previous releases but still tasty. (756 characters)

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A gorgeous, very slightly hazy golden-amber with a massive pillowy head. It doesn't get much better.

Aroma-- have you ever been a kid? If so, have you ever crunched down on a fresh hard candy known as SweetTarts and feel a burst of artifical sweetness and citrus tartness? That is the EXACT aroma that I first smelled when I poured this in my chalice. You might not think that's a good thing, but I do! But then, on follow up sniffs (I love to sit and smell a wonderful smelling beer), I get the hops- flowery, pleasant hops. Just a bit oily (my pet peeve when it comes to hops) but mostly flowery. And then more hops. I almost couldn't give this a 5, but I am feeling good about this one (actually, I''ve had it before, so I can't say that with too much of a straight face).

Flavor- Oh, yeah. This is hoppy, solid, and downright good. The alcohol isn't hidden as much as I would like, and so the rating is lower for me. From the aroma, I was not expecting this to be a Double IPA, but now, I can see why it's categorized that. But it's flavor profile seems to cross that too- there's some interesting spiciness going on- black pepper, maybe some chile heat, not sure what else. Interesting complexity here.

Mouthfeel is rich and full, but drinkability is limited from it's alcohol content. Great to have once in a while! (1,343 characters)

Photo of Beervis
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, I believe it's the July 2005 release, although there is no indication of this on the bottle.

Pours a deep amber with nice red highlights and a very thick tan head. Leaves a nice lace on the glass. The head formed almost little mountains inside the glass, very attractive!!

Smell is incredible, hops hops and more sweet hops. Citrusy, flowery and a bit of alcohol spiciness.

Taste is VERY hoppy, with a crapload of malt that is so balancing that it's magical. This brew stays hoppy from start to finish, with layers upon layers of different hop characteristics. Mouthfeel is huge, filling, and very very complex. Finish snappy and lingering, just tempting you to take another sip.

This bad boy went down so smooth that the alcohol snuck up on me really quickly. I love DIPA's, and this one is no exception.

Amazing. (843 characters)

Photo of RedDiamond
3.92/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lush, syrupy aroma of honeydew-strawberry accented by a light flourish of hop flowers. This is my third Alesmith ale in three days and each of these has yielded a mountainous four-finger head. Yulesmith is infused with fine suspended particulate though it is otherwise clear amber. The abundant maltiness evident in the aroma makes a swift appearance on the palate before submerging beneath a strident, peppery bitterness.

This is a celebratious, full-bodied ale, no matter what time of year the brewery chooses to release it. My advice is to be very deliberate in allowing this one to warm to at least 55 degrees. The flavor is too hearty to conceal with cool temps. There were moments when I felt the fruity maltiness and searing bitterness struggling to reconcile as a surprisingly strong EtOH presence attempted to intervene. The bitterness teetered towards harshness at times but in the end this is still a very drinkable ale. Taste-wise I might compare it to a barleywine though with greater CO2 and less alcohol. (1,024 characters)

Photo of baiser
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had fresh at the brewery and brought some home. Is everything that the IPA is and much more. Extremely hoppy - full of grapefruit. Very juicy and delicious. The complex flavours attack your tongue. Just the right amount of bitterness, and the alcohol is deceiving. Extremely balanced for a double IPA. (301 characters)

Photo of brewandbbq
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to HopasaurasRex for sharing this one.
Pours muddy amber with a thick beige head. Medium to large carbonation bubbles, fully effervescent.
Lots of sticky, chewey caramel malt in the nose with spruce and citrus.
Black cherry juice and sugar daddy with hops.
Reminiscent of an old ale with it's winey notes.
Thick and juicy in the mouthfeel. Heavy on the crystal malt, with brown sugar.
Underlying bitterness drys the pallet at length as each sip finishes.
Dried fruits with residual sugars and warming alcohol.
Doesn't quite pull off the "DIPA" moniker, more like an Imperial red.
Leaning twords a Barleywine. Some similar qualities with Nogginknocker.

Edit: 12/04/05
Fresher examples are superior.
Several bottles consumed in Arizona, Utah, showcase a lush, juicy, hop profile. (798 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This fella’ gave off a huge, monstrous head that was thick and unrelenting, sinking slowly on top of the hazy orange liquid. This just looks serious.

Smell – The big, fruity hops are out in force here. They are very complex and can keep the drinker busy for hours just smelling this bouquet. I think I took a whiff with every sip.

The malts are thick as well and full of caramel. They are very rich and epitomize the ADIPA style.

Taste – Yes, this is a heavy-hitter. It’s probably the fruitiest of the ADIPAs that I’ve had the privilege to sample. The malts are big and rich and form a terrific backbone, but it’s the giant fruity hop profile that sets this one apart from the pack.

Mouthfeel – This is a big medium-bodied ale with an effective combination of super-sweet fruitiness and a strong, finishing dryness.

Drinkability – I thought this lacked the malt depth of some of my favorite Double IPAs, but the big fruity hops and great “alcohol mask” made this one the life of the party.

Comments – BuckeyeNation is in da house! This is just one of many wonderful beers that I picked up on trade from him. BA rules!!

Update – I popped a fresh one in Nov 2007 and found a bit more malty bitterness here than before but otherwise it is right on point. As I said in my original review, the striking thing about this beer is the head. It is so stubborn and so lacing. This is a real looker with bite to back up its bark. I’m bumping the Drinkability up half a notch and raising my glass to the AleSmith crew. (1,540 characters)

Photo of whartontallboy
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 edition. Excited to be trying this one after hearing about it.

Pours a deep brassy orange with a nice orange-tinted head. Sticks around and laces fairly well.

Smell is quite a nice little package. There's a strong piney hop scent that I was expecting, but also an almost-spicey malt presence that's pretty thick as well. I feel like I'm reading some caramel and maybe even licorice in there.

Flavor holds this line pretty well. Huge frontal attack of west-coast hoppiness that bitterly mauls the tongue with an aggressive blend of piney and citric grapefruit notes. The caramel malt is pretty strong, and I detect a little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg that really pulls everything together. Quite a nice one here.

Mouthfeel is thick, but not overly syrupy or chewy. I would term it "just right."

Overall: I'm really glad I got to try this beauty. It's a really nice beer that lives up to most of its hype. (925 characters)

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