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YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,574 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,574
Reviews: 900
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 244
Gots: 70 | 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:
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 added by: xlperro on 11-24-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,574 | Reviews: 900 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Sammy, Aug 07, 2005
Photo of t0rin0
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the summer edition, I'm assuming from this past summer. I'll start by saying that I really think these 2 beers (Summer and Winter) should have different pages. According to the bottle the winter is a Red Ale at 8.8% abv like the description here indicates but this summer is the Double IPA at 8.5%. Well anyway, I got this at Lone Hill Liquor in Glendora Ca. It came in a nice looking 22oz bottle that has a very accurate description on the back about the flavor of this beer.

It poured a very nice copper color with a nice sized white foam head with a considerable amount of lacing on the sides of the glass. The only reason I didn't rate the appearance higher is that even after a few days of sitting in the fridge there was a lot of yeast swimming around the bottle and consequently my glass.

It smells more like an IPA than a Double IPA which means there is little or no malt presence in the aroma. Regardless, it smelled as if it had been dry hopped or possibly whole flower hops as its a very fresh smelling and intense hop aroma. Can't pick out exactly what hops though. Very nice overall. On to the taste: this is a relatively bitter DIPA. Not too bitter overall if your into american barleywines and IPAs but a bit unexpected for a california DIPA. The description on the back says "...the first sip explodes with hop flavor that leads to a balanced finish of malt and hop." They hit it on the head with that one. The sweetness of the malt really smooths out the hoppiness. Good flavor.

The mouthfeel is fairly heavy and thick, nice for something this strong. I'm a bit confused by the fact that this is a "summer" beer. Very drinkable, little to no alcohol burn. Just not sure I'd have it with a burger and hotdog at my 4th of July bbq.

t0rin0, Nov 09, 2007
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Summer 2012 vintage.

Pours a slightly hazy honey yellow with a foamy orange-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus fruit, citrus zest, and some grassy/hay hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a slightly funky flavor on the finish. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but it smells better than it tastes in my opinion.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 28, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -5.2%

djrn2, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Summer 2009 Version

Pours a golden color that is slightly hazy and has a good white head. The aroma consists of some floral hops that ride behind a bunch of fruity citrus hops. The taste is quite hoppy, but not nearly as much as I would have expected from the nose--everything is well integrated, it just needs to be taken up a notch or two. The body is medium with good carbonation. Good drinkability overall, but not quite as good as some of AleSmith's other offerings.

Thorpe429, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -5.2%

zestar, May 05, 2014
Photo of metter98
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high bright white head that died down rather quickly, leaving some patches on the surface, a collar around the edge, a thin layer of bubbles in between, and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose along with some notes of pine resin hops.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste starts out with flavors of citrusy hops and then transitions to flavors of pine resin hops, the latter of which linger into the finish. The hops contribute a moderate amount of bitterness. Slight hints of tropical fruits are also perceptible in the initial taste along with bits of the underlying caramel malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a fairly aggressive IPA that has a good amount of hop aromas and flavors but isn't that bitter or sticky.

metter98, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of brentk56
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Summer Version:

Appearance: Pours a clear honey color with a rocky white heat that leaves chunks of lacing

Smell: Fruity aromatics, with caramel mixing with the grapefruit

Taste: Opens with a sweet caramel base that adds a citrus and earthy element by mid-palate; after the swallow, the earthy flavors build in bitterness and provide a long-lasting, bitter but candy sweet finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation and some warmth

Drinkability: Very nicely balanced; the citrus makes this clearly a hot weather version vs the barleywine character in thw winter version

Winter Version:

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a massive, big bubbled beige head that drapes the pint glass with sheets of lacing

Smell: Huge caramel malt and piney hop aroma; the alcohol is well-disguised, but with this aroma, you can tell it's there

Taste: Assaults the palate with a blast of piney bitterness with a strong caramel malt presence underneath; after the swallow, the sweet flavors build and balance the pine into a long-lasting finish

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and creamy with moderate carbonation; alcohol warms the gullet on the way down; close to a barleywine, in fact

Drinkability: Just fantastic with all the elements I seek in a DIPA; compared to the summer version, this one has more depth and complexity

Thanks, ppoitras, for the opportunity to taste these side by side

brentk56, Dec 24, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.93/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Lightly foggy nectarine with honey colored edges. My usual pour produced a surprisingly large cap. As it settles, I can appreciate its magnificence. The firmly creamy foam is pale gold in color, with a cobbled upper surface that maintains contact with the pint glass in multiple spots. When the sticky foam bridges break, they leave a beautiful array of lace. What's not to love?

The nose is a hophead's dream come true. I remember wishing the Winter release had less caramel malt and more pale malt. Summer has granted my wish (kudos to the brewery for giving us two versions of the same great beer). Beautifully pungent American hops fill the atmosphere with sweetened pineapple, white grapefruit, candied orange peel and Scotch pine. I'm actually beginning to drool.

YuleSmith Summer is one of the most delicous, drinkable DIPAs that I've ever had. The only thing keeping the Winter release from perfection was, again, the use of a hefty amount of caramel malt. Which, by the way, turns it into an Imperial red ale (just ask the brewers). Both versions are great, but I slightly prefer this one.

I'm not sure how old the bottle is (it's definitely from *this* summer), but I expected a shade more hoppiness. Don't get me wrong, it's a tongue abuser par excellence, it just isn't as 'in your face' as I remember the Winter version being. When the brewery calls it balanced, they aren't that far off the mark.

The prodigious malt backbone contributes very little flavor. I'm reminded of sugar cookies and honey-like malts, though they're in the background. The foreground is occupied by wave upon wave of sunshine bright, C-hop deliciousness. Again, pineapple, grapefruit, orange, (and now) lemon fill every nook and cranny on every last taste bud. A minimal alcohol presence is easily ignored.

The mouthfeel isn't the perfection that the other version was, but then a lot of time has passed and a lot of beer has been consumed in the interim. It's midway between medium and full (for the style) and is a fraction too carbonated to be considered ideal. Time is beginning to soften things up very nicely.

AleSmith is a permanent member of my 'top 10 American craft breweries of all-time' on the strength of IPA, Speedway Stout and both versions of YuleSmith. Not that the rest aren't worthy, but those four are four of the finest ales that I've ever had the pleasure to drink. Bottom line: I can count on one hand the number of DIPAs that are better than YuleSmith Summer.

Reviewed sometime during the summer of 2008. I don't recall the exact date since there weren't separate entries at that time for YuleSmith Summer and YuleSmith Winter.

BuckeyeNation, Sep 11, 2007
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a deep copper color ale with huge white head with pretty good retention. Aroma of deep citrus hops with a strong presence of semi-sweet malt. Taste is totally dominated by the mix of citrus hops and strong caramel malt. Body is just above average and carbonation is medium. Alcohol is well hidden. While this is not a bad beer, I feel that it is a bit too one-dimensional and would probably have been happier drinking their regular IPA.

Phyl21ca, Dec 09, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undoubtedly a great IPA. The beer is bursting with hop juiciness, flavor, and aroma. Grapefruit, orange zest, lemon-grass, and pineapple are all over the map and put the thumbprints on all aspects of the beer. In case it missed you, this is an opidome of West Coast beers. Soft, delicate, caramel malts give a modest backdrop to the hops with a very well attenuated character that gives creaminess but not boldness. Fruit esters do much the same with a complimentary assist to the hops.

But all is not perfect- the alcohols take on a paint-thinning character that sometimes blend in well with the hops and disguise as bitterness, but other times give the impression of nail polish remover. Somewhat fusal in character, this hurts the mouthfeel and drinkability. Shame, because this beer is nearly flawless otherwise.

BEERchitect, Mar 27, 2006
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Texasfan549, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok so this really does get my first perfect 5! It was the 2007 red and blue bottle. Poured a dep hazy amber with a big billowing white head that was so sticky it literally collapsed on the inside but the top and sides stayed together. Big time lace and alot of carbonation coming up from the bottom of the glass. The smell was hoptastic, hey a new word. Such a deep citric smell. Lots of grapefruit and orange, with a touch of pineapple and Lemon thrown in. The taste was out of this world. Bigtime hoppy IPA. Not alot of alcohol taste, well covered up. But soo sticky with hop resin and orange and grapefruit taste. It was rediculously fresh tasting and feeling. Unreal smooth and great dry finish.
This really deserves a 5. I ha really liked the winter edition, but this was absolutly the perfect Double IPA. Not too harsh, but yet harsh. Strong but not upfrontly so. I am going to get as much as I can, and being in South Carolina that will be no easy feat. This was easily the best of the style I have ever had and I will hold all future up to it until it gets put down. Now I need to find a 5 in a Pilsner!

mikesgroove, Jul 14, 2007
Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

kjkinsey, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of womencantsail
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy pale gold/yellow color with one finger of fluffy white head.

S: Citrus hops (mostly grapefruit and some lemon) and tons of pineapple. A fruity sweetness.

T: Grapefruit twang, pineapple, a nice bitterness but it certainly doesn't stick around long.

M: Nice medium body, slick mouthfeel.

D: Great fruit character, which I wasn't expecting. A most tasty beverage.

womencantsail, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

ygtbsm94, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

GRG1313, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -5.2%

spycow, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter version.

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-amber body with a fizzy, off-white head.

Smell: Hardy aroma of caramel malts and succulent, juicy hop fruitiness with full notes of orange, grapefruit, pineapple, and apricots.

Taste: Rich, thick caramel malts with an energizing jolt of sweetness. Tropical, citrusy hop flavors with a burst of bitterness to match all that malty sweetness. Finishes bittersweet, with a touch of spicy alcohol showing.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Crammed with plenty of malt, hops, and booze, but it was an ease to drink.

ChainGangGuy, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of Knapp85
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out as a really nice looking yellowish copper color with a thick looking white head on it. The lacing was very good on this beer. The smell was so hoppy, I loved the aroma on this brew. There wasn't too much else besides some pine and citrus gushing out on the nose. The taste of the beer was very good too, All the hop qualities from the nose transfered nicely to the tongue. The mouthfeel wasn't heavy but around medium. The feel also left ya with a dry mouth which makes you need the next sip. Overall a really nice IPA.

Knapp85, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of oberon
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have sampled this treasure a few times in the past and thanks to my new Buffalo BA buddy Orfeu I have a bomber to myself.Poured a deep hazed burnt orange/peach with a creamy 2 finger head that stays for the whole way down with a brillinat ring showing thru and globs of lace left as I drank more.Honestly what can be said about great it smells deep resiny piney hop with notes of apricot and lemon pith in my mind there is not a beer out there that has such a complex hop profile,a big sweet brown sugar elemant show thru as well.The malt must be really packed in this brew to keep at least close to balanced because there is just such massive amount of hop flavors,apricot shows thru with a touch of overipe pineapple and then the oily,resiny character come thru with a hefty sweet malt base showing thru making it almost sticky.Has a great creamy mouthfeel texture it just glides down in near perfection,this maybe the standard American DIPA with its huge hoppiness and big sweet malt backbone just unbeliavable.

This was the summer release not the more recent fall/winter release.

oberon, Dec 17, 2006
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of emerge077
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks Joe for sharing! Served in a mini pint taster.
Bright saturated orange, super sharp clarity. Lasting surface coverage for the rest of the glass. A halo of lace around the edges.

Caramelized malts, candied orange, firmly bitter in the finish. Smells subdued and malty though this just showed up in downstate IL. Clean with a piney bitterness, lots of caramel malt. Medium bodied, kind of heavy. Overall pretty meh, not bad but it comes off like an old DIPA.

emerge077, Jun 23, 2013
Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Summer 2007 release, purchased fresh from the brewery.

Appearance: Clear orange-amber with small clusters of tiny rising bubbles and a sticky eggshell-colored head.

Smell: Fresh hops with a strong grapefruit character. Malts are very much present, though slightly overpowered by the fruity hop aroma.

Taste: Malty at first, bready and grainy, with a fruity sweetness that settles into an intensely hoppy finish that consumes your entire tongue. The hops are of the citric variety; lots of grapefruit, orange and lemon peel. Very rounded and complex, with no astringency or noticable alcohol. Bittering hops are more prominent than I'd like, however.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and slightly oily. Crisp but soft carbonation.

Drinkability: Not as drinkable to me as some of the other quintessential DIPAs (Pliny the Elder and Pure Hoppiness come to mind), but it's still wonderful stuff and a staple in my fridge every time it comes out.

largadeer, Jul 15, 2007
Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden-orange color with a one-finger, white head of foam. It left sudsy patches of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of pine, citrus, and bubblegum. A toasty aroma in the background, too.

T - It tasted of strong pine flavors with spicy bitterness. Good toasty malt backbone with sweet caramel.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a very tasty double IPA. I'm glad I finally got to try one.

zeff80, Sep 05, 2012
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YuleSmith (Summer) from AleSmith Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,574 ratings.