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: 1,713
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 257
Gots: 100 | FT: 2
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: 1,713
Photo of ejquin
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears reddish / amber with an off white head with slight lacing. Smells awesome. Carmel, malt, cinnamon and spice as well piney hops. Not as full on hop aroma as most double IPA's. Taste is deep and rich. Carmel and malt with the hops coming through at the end. Again, not in your face hops but they are prevalent. Incredibly balanced. Medium bodied mouthfeel with perfect carbination. Drinkibility is good for an 8.8% abv beer. Overall in my top 2 IPA's (456 characters)

Photo of granger10
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours an illuminating orange glow. Nice sturdy tan head holds in place and tons of lacing around the sides.

Aroma is very citrusy, lots of orange in there, decent amount of piney notes as well but not really sharp, there's a honeyish sweetness under the pine.

I get a nice honey sweetness up front but that is almost immediately offset by a strong citrusy, extremely juicy full hoppiness. The hops come off extremely juicy with tons of flavor and a good amount of bitterness as well. Caramel resides under the hop juices as the base and tempers the bitterness. As it warms slightly the bready yeastiness comes out and provides another spectacular dimension to this beer. Alcohol is scantly noticeable save for the finish. Dry, acidic finish with a slight sweetness in there. The finish makes me want to drink more and more. Amazing beer, too bad for the price, still worth it though imo. (895 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - burnt orange color, orange-tinted head of a finger+. Thick creamy bubbles stick to everything and melt down with lots of little craters.

Aroma - mild pine nose allowing some of the citric side to show through. For some reason, it smells like a wood fire in the fireplace. Don't know where that comes from but that's what popped into my head.

Taste - sweet malt base with a thick layer of orange-flavored hop icing on top. Minimal bitterness, beautiful balance. Props to Peanut at Dilly Deli for recommending this one. A reprise of the malt as the hops back off a little, then this warm and steady wave of alcohol envelopes the senses and lingers at the finish. A rather light intensity but plenty of of flavor.

Mouthfeel - velvety rich and luxurious.

Drinkability - it's got the hooch! This one gets more of a spin next year for sure. (859 characters)

Photo of rajendra82
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This highly regarded DIPA came to me via nvsblman. The 22 oz. bomber had a painted label appropriate for the holiday season. Opening the bottle and pouring it in the tulip was a joy to the senses, as the luscious burnt orange liquid slipped out of the bomber and produced a cascade of bubbles that erupted in a crowning, foamy, off white head. The underlying beer was dense, and cloudy, and gave a good indication of the solid malt foundation that formed it. The lacing was magnificently thick, as the head hung around for a while and kept coating the sides of the glass.

The hops assault on the nose began the moment the cap was popped, and bringing the glass to the nose unleashed more of it prior to each sip. Lovely citric fruit peels, and spruce and pine resin were among the many forms that this hop aroma took.

The taste was very bitter up front, as the hop oils exploded in my mouth. The malts were definitely there to back things up with their sweet caramelized, toasty, and faintly smoky self, but there was no mistaking about the mission of this beer. It was to get as many hops into your mouth as possible without going over the top. The hops were never overpowering as unpleasant, but instead kept the drinking session alive..

The beer felt marvelously thick in my mouth, as the body was on the right side of medium. The tongue coating body definitely let the hop residue sit on my tongue longer which left a lingering bitter-sweet aftertaste. As it faded, the brain signaled that it was time for another sip, which is a testament to the awesome drinkability of this beer despite the strength and hop presence. Speaking of strength, the 8.5% ABV hardly ever registered on the radar screen. In the end I was bowled over by the deceptive charm of this hoppy beauty. (1,786 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Gueuzedude for this fine sample.

Starts with a really pleasing hop aroma (grass, citrus) with a nice fruity sweetness. Not so intense as others of style. I find this enjoyable. Wonderful blending. Malt increases in intensity and takes on more character in time.
Head is rather thin. Cramy color with tan, biege hues and becomes a solid ring. Some lacing. Great amber color with orange, reds and gold. Clear on first pour then cloudy towards the bottom.
Both malts and hops impress immediately. Again wonderful blending. Rich matled and hopped, yet somehow not overly intense or unsettling. Hops are grassy and citrus with a fairly high level of bitterness. Malt adds bulk and support. A nice little sweetness up front. Hints of chocolate from somewhere.
Amazingly rich, thick and creamy. Smooth like heavy cream and leaves a thick coating of goodness on the tongue (which helps with the enjoyable long yet mild finish). I'm impressed with its smoothness in spite of the intense hop load.
This is a substantial beer. Warm in stomach from alcohol and heaviness from a full grain bill. I think that other Am. lager style I'm drinking a truly unique American beer, i.e., it's based upon a little that precedes it. Considering it's heft it's probably best to heed the advice on the bottle of sharing it with a "friend" or "loved one." Smoother, softer and less intense of others in style. I prefer this one.
Yulesmith 2004, 500th batch marked on bottle. (1,472 characters)

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

I tasted the 2004 summer release of YuleSmith (red foil with blue & white ink on bottle)

The color was a deep honey coppery color with a nice inch of white head. The aroma was a piney hops with notes of citrus, rather pleasant. This is a delicious beer. Balance that starts with a sock of hops finishing with the malt.

This summer release taste different than the winter release. Different kind of hop profile it seemed, leaning towards the bitter... both releases are damn good.
EDIT: I just had this again and had to up a few scores... so good this brew!!! (565 characters)

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

Pours a clear, deep tan with an explosive foamy head that spins a sticky web on the glass.

Deep, piney hop scent mixes so well with the woody alcohol and malt scents. It's Christmas in a bottle.

WONDERFUL piney hop and almost smokey malt with a heart-warming alcohol show. Fabulous balance of sweet malt and bitter hops. The flavor is so full and round and juicy. This is in a class all its own.

Somewhat oily mouthfeel, not full in the mouth. A pine-sap film sticks to the teeth.

Easy with this, it'll kick yer arse. But get some if you can. It's a wonderful brew. Many, many thanks to hustlemuscle for the gift. (625 characters)

Photo of ChappyCubsFan
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All 4.5's for this gem. The AleSmith IPA is a truly remarkable beer, so you can trust that they know what they're doing with this seasonal brew. I first tasted YuleSmith at the San Diego Strong Ale Fest in December 2004. It was one of my favorite double IPA's at the fest (along with Pizza Port's Lou P. Lin). That was enough to promote a trip to the AleSmith brewery the following week to buy several bombers of this classy brew.

The malt taste of this big beer is an excellent compliment to the hops. One thing we've noticed is that they (AleSmith) seem to vary the recipe and bottling slightly with each release, or at least it seems that way when we taste the different bottlings of the ones we have cellered from purchases we've made in San Diego. And each one is a great experience. (792 characters)

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

from the bottle poured a hazey orange with a off white head and some decent lacing. aroma hoppy, pine, citrus, lemon , grapefruit, caramel, malts, grapes, pear, bread. flavor, brown sugar, hops, floral, caramel, citrus, a nice bitterness and dryness hope to get some more of this. (280 characters)

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful appearance to this hop puppy, with a lasting creamy head atop its deep amber body. Head retention is great. Begins extremely well balanced, with fruity notes that emanate seemingly directly from the head of this beast...a long, hop filled cherry flavor stays with me throughout. Has some nutty characteristics to go with the malt, following through to an almost-sweet point before the hops come crashing down. Finish is slightly dry and again, a bit on the sweet side. Oh yeah, and there's the alcohol. Tastes like it's right around 9%; the warmth feels more like 11%. That's not a complaint...just stating, what is to me, a fact. This stuff is balanced, full of hops, sweet & citrus fruit, and alcohol. All the makings of a kickass beer. (748 characters)

Photo of SheepNutz
4.78/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz. bomber poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a brilliant medium red color with four huge fingers of foam. There is lots and lots of lacing. The nose really leaps out at you. Lots of piney hops up front, but you get some of that citrus in there as well. A little bit of sugary sweetness as well. The taste is spectacular. Candied fruit sweetness at first, showing those faint signs of maltiness. Watch out for the hops though, cause they aren't far behind. Lots of great hop flavor without being overly bitter. Sticky pine sap remains on the tongue. The mouthfeel is good, but could have been a touch thicker. The drinkability is deadly. A fantastic brew that really gives new meaning to hoppy holidays. (712 characters)

Photo of deejaydan
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BuckeyeNation for the opportunity to try this one.

All I gotta say is WOW. This beer is intense. Pours a deep copper, ruby highlighted color. Thick Merangue style head that does not go away, despite it leaving lacing on the glass. Aroma of some spicy hops, as there should be. This thing explodes in the mouth though. Thick and Lush in the mouthfeel, and balance towards the malts. This is an impressive beer, I'll have to keep my eyes open in the future for it. (476 characters)

Photo of Naerhu
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark amber color, with a light rocky white head.
Aroma: Explosive pine, spice, pine and more pine aroma.
Taste: Resin-y hops, juicy bitterness, big firm maltyness which is nevertheless swept away by the massive hoppyness. Caramel made not with sugar, but from hop juice.
Mouthfeel: Big and thick. This is a slick monster of a beer.
Drinkability: I put down a full 700 ml. bottle of this myself in a flash. (421 characters)

Photo of chilidog
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have to thank Santa-wife for thisone. She worked at thisone for it was a sample bottle from our local beer store.
It poured a nice clear burgandy red with a thin, well carbonated light tan head that faded to a thin film. Lace was little and spotted.
The taste hits with a splash of winter spice. Alcohol upon the first sip then warms the chest, as a blast of hop rounds out the finish.
Carbonation on the mouth makes for a very soft mouthfeel. A good sipping brew as a slight hop dryness on the mouth is left. My first Alesmith, hopefully the first of many. We'll see. (576 characters)

Photo of cokes
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Clear burnt honey with a durable cream-hued froth.
Sinus clearing, rusted iron-impaled pink grapefruits slathered in bong water and Christmas tree goo.
Begins with a delectable toasted caramel maltiness that goes on to hint at almond, before turning grainier and more rye-like. It's a relatively simply maltiness, but one the works extremely well and balances the weighty hop load. It grows towards toasted honey (just as the color suggested) as it warms. I love the malts here, even though the headliner is hops.
The hops come crashing in, as expecting, all aggressive and pissed off.
Rusted tin and mint.
Joint ash (or pipe scrapings) and ruby red grapefruits.
Spruce juice and pine pitch.
Roses and meat cleavers.
The body is unfaultable with is draping weight given reprise by a steady unobtrusive bead.
A Double IPA is meant to be loud, and this is, but it also shows a restraint and finesse that many of its peers overlook. For every yin here, there is also a yang.
This is grandiose without being psychotic.

Maybe just slightly manic.

A hearty thanks to kmpitz2 for this one. (1,106 characters)

Photo of trancefishy
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance is a nice caramel color, with a tight light-hay coloured head that knows how to hang out for a while.

smells is serious resiny hop oil glands. wow. its' like i'm smelling concentrated hop extract or something.

taste is not surprising, since it's ungodly hoppy. wow. at first i was like, wow, this is a really raw hoppiness, and here comes the bitteness. on teh finish though, there was just a gentle descent from hop-o-rama to a smooth aftertaste. wow. seriously awesome.

mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, just right body. filling but not thick and viscous. drinkability is really high, i jsut keep wanting another big ol' gulp of this stuff. good thing they come in big bottles!

this is excellent beer, go and get some before it's all gone! (760 characters)

Photo of shippos
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (563 characters)

Photo of wimpasaurus
3.73/5  rDev -12.2%
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. (698 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (618 characters)

Photo of clvand0
4.42/5  rDev +4%
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. (331 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.95/5  rDev +16.5%
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. (562 characters)

Photo of lou91
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (527 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
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! (568 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
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! (947 characters)

Photo of mattcrill
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
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. (1,809 characters)

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