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YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

921 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 921
Hads: 1,760
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 260
Gots: 109 | 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: 921 | Hads: 1,760
Photo of shippos
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

courtesy of Clvand0 via BIFXmas,
poured witha big light tan rocky head and a clear brillant reddish orange color. dry hay like aroma, very hoppy with a deep sticky resininess. tons of hops exploding in the taste, dry coarse bitterness. Only one thing going on with this is hops, hops, hops...not much malt character to give a little balance although the alcohol isn't really knocking me out either. .does have a nice mouthfeel to it though, not knowing this was a double ipa although I should've guessed from the insame hop character, I'd say this is excellent.

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Photo of wimpasaurus
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this from a 22oz bomber.
Appearance: very nice deep brown. Good thick head which laced the glass quite nicely.
Nose: A good nose. Not phenomenal by any means, but good. Bore hop characteristics of orange and lemon but not as effervescently as I might have hoped.
Taste: In my opinion too malty. This hid the hop flavors to some extent and did not let them shine through to their fullest. While I enjoyed the malty flavors, I feel this distracted from fruity characteristics that I most enjoy in a Double IPA.
Mouthfeel: Good. Not as thick and rich as I might have hoped but still good.
Drinkability: I easily consumed the entire bottle but can't honestly say it left me lusting for more.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. Pours a clear amber color the first time into the snifter. The next pour contained the yeast and sediment. Thick, fluffy off-white head. Head retention was very good, and the sides of the snifter were coated with a thick lace. Big citrus and piney nose. Slight noticable alcohol. Great flavor balance between the big malt and hop flavor. Again, citrusy and piney flavored hops. Warming presence of alcohol. Very dry finish. Medium to full body, with moderate carbonation. Pretty drinkable, as enjoyed this one while being snowed in here. For a Double IPA, this is very well balanced. Very good seasonal.

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Photo of clvand0
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an amber color with a large head that has great retention and leaves nice lacing on the glass. The basis of the aroma is a caramel, but it is dominated by pine and citrus hops. The flavor is very smooth and well balanced. The caramel adds to the complexity and takes a bit of the bite from the hops. Very nice beer.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.95/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours very nice deep amber color with 3 fingers of head that fall to 2 fingers. The nose is just wow. The hops are so bright and full. Pine and citrus and a hint of underlying caramel sweetness. The flavor is more subdued that the nose would tell you. Wow. I really like it. There is a really deep caramel sweetness overlayed heavily with a fine balance between the pine and citrus. Very nice. The feel is just as thick as would be expected. Drinkability is also grand for a beer of this size and magnitude. Wow. I think I am in love. Great great beer.

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Photo of lou91
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This review is for the red, white and blue yulesmith released in July '04 and tasted in December '04. This beer looked great- from the cool colors and packaging to the liquid clear honey color. There was little head on the pour but it fought back and left a nice glistening head. Oh what a great nose - hops, hops, hops! The hop flavors, however were not over the top. There are citrus, pine, pineapple and bubble gum sweetness in them hops. The malt backbone is strong adding a nice balance. An excellent example of the style.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle obtained via trade with meathookjones. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 3/4" of beige head over the dark amber brew. Dense head lasts, and lacing is great. Aroma is all about the piney hops, but there is more than ample malt character to support it. Taste is similar to the nose, with biting piney hops upfront, which are smoothed by the hearty malt, and then ends dry with some slight fruit and alcohol character. Mouthfeel is superb, and drinkability is great as well. This is my kind of holiday brew. Ho ho ho!

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Photo of alexgash
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dipping into my Hi-Times booty from my Thanksgiving California beer raid...

Very excited to try this holiday ale. Pours a very rich, mostly-clear amber with dark orange highlights and a creamy, whipped light tan head.

Very nice. Lacing is excellent too.
Smells mmm....brown sugar and gooey caramel malts drizzled over a freshly-cut spruce bough. Big, juicy, resiny, piney hop aroma. Yes indeed.

The hops hold off up front and let the big, caramel-maple syrupy malts take over. Sweet, but not too sweet. Ahh, the hops come in to balance mid-palalte anyways. Numbing, resiny bitterness starts small but builds in a hurry. Coniferous sap, herbal, spicy, and bitter all the way into the long, novocaine finish. Hints of sugary butterscotch malts linger and poke through as well. Big-bodied, and a big, mouth-coating feel. Creamy to just chewy enough. One of my favorite double IPAs. Wish I would have bought more than two bottles of this!

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Photo of mattcrill
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Festive brown bomber with a nice little paragraph on the back talking about how to best enjoy the beer. It states that this beer is a "tradition end of the year treat". Well, far be it from me to stand in the way of tradition!

Appearance: Pours a deep and clear ruby red with a chunky and pillowy white head. It looks so perfect in my snifter.

Smell: Hop oils are off the hook! This is a full frontal hop assault on the nose. Pine resin, citrus, orange rind, grapefruit, and lemon zest all swirl together to form a hop bomb for the nose. It's too awesome to describe.

Taste: Yipes! Pine resin and bitter hop oils flood the palate. The only thing that keeps coming to mind is grapefruit and orange. I'm not getting any malt presence at all. There is a touch of sweetness to it but only in the context of a sweetness that you would get with a citrus fruit. I'm at a loss. My palate is at a loss. This is truly the nectar of beer gods.

Mouthfeel: Thick and oily. Alcohol warms the pipes and this beer is just so big and bad that it lingers. Oh yes, it lingers. Cool hop burps too.

Drinkability: I had to knock off a half point for this one. Only because I would WANT to drink more but I know I shouldn't. This stuff is so good. If all other beer became extinct I would be sure to save this one. My palate is totally blown after this one though.

Notes: I can see why this would be a holiday beer. I drank this while decorating our freshly cut Christmas tree with my wife. It seemed appropriate because I imagined that this beer would taste like if I sucked the sap right from the trunk of our freshly cut tree. However, this beer was much more fun and enjoyable than sucking on the tree.

Go get this beer and make your holidays merry and bright. Light the tree and yourself too.

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Photo of bultrey
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

How can a beer with so much hops, malt, and alcohol be so easy to drink? To me, this has alot of similarities to Arrogant Bastard, but is slightly less hoppy. The appearance is nice, a cinnamon brown color with a very thin head. The aroma of this actually doesn't represent how much hops I suspect are in it. It's a rather subdued aroma -- maybe some pine and citrus (orange), and definitely that fresh roasted barley smell that just seems to shine through in West coast DIPA's. The taste is so well-balanced -- the hops hit you right away, but give in to the malt almost immediately. The effect is a nice bitter citrus characteristic from the hops sweetened up by the malt -- it reminds me of grapefruit halves that have been warmed with some brown sugar on top (if you've never had that, try it). The hops bitterness lingers but is never overpowering, and the finish is actually surprisingly clean and crips, begging another sip. The mouthfeel is full and creamy and almost syrupy, just as good a mouthfeel as you can get in a beer. At 8.5%, I could drink this all night, but I'd regret it. Seductive drinkability. I love Alesmith beers, I dare say more than Stone. Seek and enjoy.
Many thanks to EyeChartBrew for this special holiday treat.

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Photo of Wildman
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a copper amber color and formed a huge foamy off white head that acted like a float as it slowly subsided, coating the glass with lace. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, hops, caramel and quite a bit of pine. The flavor is of malt, hops, citrus, caramel and pine. The body is a touch creamy and the finish is sweet and slightly astrigent, but not to the level of say Runiation. A fine holiday beer.

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Photo of IceAce
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Presentation is a dark copper body capped off with a single finger of rocky, tan-colored foam. Clarity is excellent and lacing pattern is above 75%

Aroma: Piney floral hops, yeast, quality malt, and a touch of alcohol

Taste: Mega hops grip the tongue at the onset quickly yielding to a smooth malty midtaste. Some soothing warming of the throat from alcohol (not harsh by any stretch of the imagination) and a nice floral hop finish. While more taste does not always equal better taste, in this case Alesmith has nailed down one of the best tasting beers I've had in the past few years

Mouthfeel: This is the Gold Standard of mouthfeel...clean, silky, and not enough o's in smoooth to do justice to this fine nectar

Drinkability: I stopped drinking this after one only because I needed to...not because I wanted to. High ABV is well hidden but potent and I'd like to live long enough to enjoy this rare treat many, many more times

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Photo of ZAP
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A highly anticipated forray into the world of Alesmith and my expectations are met..

Pours a burnt orange..big frothy white head...great fruity nose..big on the citrus fruits...grapefruits, oranges, pinneaples, but also a very strong "peach" aroma..smells sweet....body is creamy and smooth....medium to full..the 'peach" fruitiness is evident on the taste as is a much stronger bitterness than the nose foreshadowed..tobbacco, cannibus...and finishes with a raw rough piney bitterness....not to say this is overly bitter...it almost feels as if there is candy sugar added..It is uniquely sweet (as in sweet fruits) at the start and then the hops jump up and smack you in the mouth nicely..

Lived up to my expectations...the bittrness really emerges as you sip on this and it warms...blows away Stone in the hop bite category but I enjoy the stone brews a tich more...

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Photo of oxmasterscream
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle from the 2004 summer release acquired thanks to mrpicklerelish, big up.

Appearance: Poured a slightly cloudy (due to chill haze, I suspect) amber which leaned a bit toward irredescent orange... it eventually cleared up to reveal a heavy, steady stream of bubbles rising upward to a small but dense off-white head, which remained in some capacity the entire time I drank and left a thick lace behind.

Smell: First whiff revealed a tea-like aroma, followed by a big waft of grapefruit smothered in honey, and some pine. Next whiff was malty and doughy, like sweet bread or pastry. Also hints of something fruity in the background, cherry I think. I could literally smell this all day. The aroma was constantly changing and challenging my senses.

Taste: Citrusy grapefruit up front, followed by super spicy and mild fruity flavors in equal capacity, with a sweet caramel malt presence, and finishing dry with a solid bitter twang that increased as I drank and begged me to take another drink. It's probably as close as you can get to a perfect balance of big malt and big hops. It's a masterfully created brew.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full with light carbonation that gently tickles your tongue. Overall, it's smooth and creamy. Its higher ABV warms and never offends. Perfect.

Drinkability: Dangerously high. The ABV is barely noticeable because the aromas and flavors are all-consuming of the senses. I wish this was more readily available on the east coast. Like the bottle says, it's a great way to spread holiday cheer.

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Photo of BrewMaster
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an outstanding beer. The appearance is a nice frothy head atop a golden amber beer. The nose is very malty. It smells of a good pale malt, hay, and a bit of earthy leaf. Very nice aroma. But the thing I think is so cool about it is that the aroma and the taste don't match up at all. They pull a switch on you. The taste is very hoppy with only a bit of malt to taste. But there were no hops to smell in the nose. I like this beer a lot. Great nose and great taste from a great looking beer. What else is there?

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Photo of wyllder
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First off: big thanks to drewbage for the chance to sample this.

Yulesmith pours a cloudy, midrange amber with very little head. Leaves tons of sticky lacing in the glass as you go.

Nose is piney, with a slight candied edge to it.

Flavor is fantastic. Citrus bitterness comes through brilliantly, with grapefruit, acidic apple, and apricot all coming out. Malt balances on the midsip very nicely and the aftertaste is nice and bitter.

Carbonation is just right, making for an excellent mouthfeel. This avoids feeling overly resinous on the palate like many other DIPA's.

Wonderfully drinkable.

This is the first DIPA I've fallen in love with. To me, this really tasted less like many of the DIPA's I've tried and more like a teriffic IPA that packs one helluva punch! They really need to expand production so I can have this on the East Coast regularly.

Excellent stuff.

Update: They have expanded production, and I've been able to keep my cellar well-stocked. This has become my new favorite, though drinking a bomber of this by myself often makes for an interesting night!


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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz. bomber of the 2003 edition courtesy of XLPerro and last year's holiday beer exchange.

A: Fiery copper in color. Clear. Finger-thick layer of bone-white head. Very thick and creamy, with lots of persistent lace. Almost 100% lacing of the glass. Exquisite.

S: Rainbow of spices, malt and leafy hops.

T: What would this take like fresh? It's damn tasty now, that is for sure. Nice mellow flavor with a hefty dose of caramel up front. Middle has some spices mixed and it finishes with a chocolate bitterness that's pleasingly long-lasting.

M/D: Very full-bodied. Immense creamy-smoothness. ABV is well-hidden. Excellent.

Huge thanks to The Big Dog for this one.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a depp orange and amber with a thick, viscous white head that leaves mased pieces of lace on the glass.
Aroma has some roasty, dark malts, citrus and a resiny hops with a dash of pine.
Flavor of caramel, hints of roasted barley, some dark citrus, raisins and dates, followed by a longsliding well balanced piney bitterness.
Mouthfeel is slightly sweet that then takes off into a cascading and layered bitterness that is strong but not overwhelming.
Drinkability is very high. Love to bear this with a big juicy, spciy steak and see how it stands up.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Is there any finer thing than Christmas in August? I'm sure there isn't...
Peeled off the red foil wrapping, like a present on Christmas morning, and I'm ready to pop the cap...Appearance is murky, even violently carbonated at first, then settles to reveal a bright orange, topped with a thick, luscious layer of creamy, off-white froth. Looks very, very good!
Aroma: sweet and fruity, plenty of citrus, grapefruit, tangerine, peach, apricot, lemon, orange, and more, a bit of pine, too...awfully nice.
Taste....mmmm, mmmm, mmmm! Full mouthfeel, tangible, firm presence on the palate from the first sip, graps the senses from the lips and the tongue and the throat, and coats all areas with this great, citric, juicy hop flavor, just slaps it up and down, until no section is left unfelt by this feeling. Lush, majestic dominion over the mouth, perfectly dominates, and there's no denying, and I have to admire it, in fact, I outright adore it!
Every sip thereafter sends another wave of this delicious vibrant hoptastic taste washing over the tongue and every other inch of the cavern called the mouth, tart, yet still very fruity, and a touch sweet, though never considerably.Malt is solid and sure, and where hops are felt in full on the palate, the backbone is still considrable and adds much to the pleasure of the brew and to it's ease of drinkability.
This truly ranks in a class of it's own.

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Photo of Crosling
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Fine-tuned, but fairly subtle and disappointing nose (considering it's Alesmith) of grapefruit, tangerines, orange, biscuits and caramel.

Hefty, unorthodox, but succeeding attempt at the style, possessing a lot more acidity than most. Front is rich, citrusy notes of pine and spruce. Mid-palate comes through with hints of grapefruit, bark and vanilla. The finish is full of toffee,peanuts and hop oils. In all, the malt backbone is fairly sweet, possesing a lot of doughy notes but mainly a caramel sweetness. Unbelieveably balanced and simply stunning as it warms.

I'll still be tasting this tomorrow. Just an incredible offering. I don't know what to say about Alesmith. Out of my current top 20 beers, 5 are from Alesmith. The best brewer I have ever come across at this point in my young life.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got a hold of this special "summer release" edition thanks to the Bum from Long Beach.

Hazy, glowing scarlet red/orange appearance. One finger sized bone white head. Recedes in a timely fashion to a bubbly collar that leaves moderate lace. Nose is piney, resiny and citric. Big time PacNW feel to it. A little Mary Jane as well. Caramel and toffee notes add some balance on the nose. Juicy hop tones are upfront on the buds. They are followed by a bitter, high alpha acid hop bite. Then a little ethanol. Then some malt finally. Caramel seems to be the frontrunner and also a little toasted malt comes to mind. Some smoky tones accent lightly. And a little pine resin comes into the mix. The body is damn near full and the carbonation appropriately prickly. This is a damn good DIPA.

Thanks again Bum.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presented in a 22oz bottle. Alesmith's summer limited release of a usual late fall seasonal had me chomping at the bit to uncap one last night. Poured into an imperial pint glass (just the right size), Yulesmith had a burnished coppery hue and sported a large dense whitish head that never completely went away, instead leaving great sticky gobs of lace behind. Massive amounts of fine carbonation swirled to the surface. Beautiful...
The nose had a wonderful balance of toasted malts, caramel, and citrusy hops. The aromas of grapefruit rinds, a bit of tangerine, and a resiny pine note gave me pause to linger and enjoy the smells for a couple extra moments.
The taste had a big malty sweetness up front, aided by the additional caramel flavor that seemed to stand out. Some faint nutty flavor seeped through, like hazelnuts, before the hops profile ramped up and took charge. A big burst of juicy citrusy hops flavor filled the back of the tongue and clung on for dear life. Some milder oily pine resin flavor hit the extreme back of the tongue, leaving a long-lasting bitterness that was quite enjoyable. Thanks to the abundant carbonation, Yulesmith had a lush, creamy feel that slathered the mouth in hoppy goodness.
What, Yulesmith is 8.80%ABV?! No way! Then this beer is dangerously drinkable, having given no indication as to its potency. Yulesmith is my favorite double IPA, even surpassing Dreadnaught. I can't wait for the fall so I can really stock up.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2004 release. Pours a bright copper orange color with big creamy off white head that left chunks of sticky lace.
Big smells of sweet malt, lots of caramel, fruit and spices. Nice fresh zingy/citrusy hop aroma and a whiff of alcohol.
Great melding of flavors. Huge bittersweet taste. Malt, caramel, toffee, red fruit and a bit of chocolate all balanced by a large citrusy/spicy resinous hop profile. Hints of nuts and alcohol in the finish. Excellent!
Full bodied with a rich full and creamy mouthfeel. It had a viscous oily feel that was lightened by the great carbonation.
This massive beer is scary drinkable due to the balance of flavors and the great job of hiding the alcohol.
Wow! What a beer. Wish I would have bought more than three.

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Photo of Gusler
4.74/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

July 2004 Release
The beer after its evacuation from the 22-ounce brown bottle sets in the glass a nebulous deep copper to almost brown color with the head stupendous in size, semi-creamy in texture and the color a toothsome light tan, as it slowly erodes a thick and sticky blanket of lace conceals the glass. Nose is dominated by the aroma of hops and sweet malt, citrus crisp and clean, caramel, a hint of pine or is that just my imagination, start is rich in malt and somewhat sweet with the top moderate to full in its feel. Finish has a strong acidity, the hops potent in their spiciness, very dry and long lasting aftertaste, a great treat, “Christmas In July”!

Release 2003:
The color on the pour a beclouded burnished copper color with the head Bunyanesque in size, creamy in consistency and the color a toothsome light tan, as it ever so slowly decays the lace left behind forms a tight sheet to smother the glass. Hops citrus crisp dominate the nose, lying underneath is the sweetness from the malt, hints of caramel, pine, lime like crispness, fresh, a hodgepodge of aromas to entrance the senses. Start is sweet, full of malt, top is fair to middling in feel with the finish biting in its acidity, but the hops power their way thought to the taste buds, they spring to life with the biting spiciness, the bitterness is quite refreshing and the 8.5 percent ABV causes a nice warming sensation, as good as it is now, I always buy enough so I can sample for several years to come as with the 2002 release, reminds me I need to break one out and put it in the DBF for sampling soon.

Release 2002: - 4.60
it’s been close to two years since I had this beer, and I know that is way to long, finally the Alesmith brews are trickling over one style at a time, but at least their on the way.

The beer pours a murky amber color, tons of dross floating in suspension and resting on the bottom of the bottle, “Yummy”. The head is Herculean in size, the structure creamy, the color a beauteous light tan and as it evanesces, the lace forms a glutinous sheet to conceal the glass. Nose is dominated by the hop floral tones, sweet malt, fresh, crisp and clean, a real treat for the nose as well as the eyes. Start is ambrosial, loaded with malt, the top middling in its feel, finish is delicately acidic, and the hops slam your palate, like the “Cubs” pounding out the “Homers”, on their way to the “World Series”!

Quite dry and lingering aftertaste with a bit of belly warming to boot, oh how I love these big old bad boys, once of the beers not meant for the weak or infirm, as it will take the hide off an Armadillo!

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep hazy amber. Big white head, rocky and mountainous. Huge c-hops abundance. Lots of orange, flowers, grapefruit and pinneaple in the nose, but it’s superbly crafted for me to appreciate this. Those citrus fruits are juicy and creamy. Of course very hoppy palate. Contemplative bitterness. Typical Alesmith malt profile to back it all. Well hidden 8.5%. Medium-thick body, creamy, smooth body. Terrific double IPA. My favorite by far as it stands and I never thought I would rate one this high. I can’t believe how smooth and fresh those hops can be. Thanks again hopsrus

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YuleSmith (Summer) from AleSmith Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 921 ratings.