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YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

922 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 922
Hads: 1,762
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 258
Gots: 110 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 922 | Hads: 1,762
Photo of jletts
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 22oz from 2006.
Poured a pretty dark cherry amber with a bubbly yellow-white head. The last pour was darker with the addition of the yeast. Aromas of hops, some cherry, and many layers of malt. Tasted thick and very malty up front...sweetish amber malts. Notes of burnt sugar, leather, and hints of oaked burbon finished with well established hops to balance out the strong malt character. I thought this beer was very well balanced between hop and malt.

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Photo of jonnylieberman
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage: Pours from a bomber into my pint glass. Funny story, I went to pick up my winter 2005 case and they only had seven left, so when they went to ring me up, they had to scan the bottles. Well, it turns out that AleSmith's bottle screening is not liked by scanners. Anyhow, good looking IPA type beverage, hazy from hop oils and with a big, rocky, barely-off-white head. World class lacing.

Smells Like: Hops dominate. Makes me think of British hops, as this one smells musty and perfumey rather than like citrus and redwood groves. Some malt and alcohol are present, too.

Taste: Yes! Near ideal hop-to-malt ratio. The malt backbone is strong with toasty, bread-crust like taste, yet the hops are there for the whole ride. Not overly bitter, the hops themselves provide a certain fruitiness that the relatively dry malt does not. Complex, and will no doubt age with the best of them. The water seems a little soft for the style -- more suited to a barleywine. Still, quite good and very nicely hopped.

Mouthfeel: Medium-Full with relatively light carbonation and a soft, round character. Again, water could be harder for a little more bite; a couple more angles.

Overall: A wonderfully warming beer that hides its 8.5% abv rather well behind a mountain of hops. One of those rare beers where you want to drink more not because of the taste (which is great) but because of the sublime aftertaste. A really good swallow. Nice work again, AleSmith.

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Photo of Reed415
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy amber color with a full light tan head

S - Nose is full of hops, thick malt, and fruit

T - Thick caramel malt, tons of fruit, big hop flavor, not as big a I expected though

M - Full bodied, moderate carbonation, not much alcohol warmth

D - Would be higher if the was a little more hop flavor. Great beer though.

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Photo of ChappyCubsFan
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of nectar14
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is from a 22 oz. bottle from the SUMMER release (Fireworks and red/blue bottle)

A: More pale in color than I would have expected, with a gold hue, just a trace of amber. Nice 1 1/2 finger fluffy white head, good lacing.

S: Big piney hops on the nose. Big.

T: Just a hint of malty sweetness up front, and then the hops take over. Touches of citrus come in the midpalate, and then the piney flavors course out through the extensive, bitter finish, leaving the malt far behind. Prickly and piney.

M: Really, really outstanding body and carbonation that are perfect for this beer. This was surprising.

D: Also high marks. For a strong, DIPA with all those hops, this is wonderfully drinkable.

I'd say it is not my absolute favorite DIPA, but it's a terrific example, and certainly worth a try.

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Photo of oceanman
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Winter version.

Copper/amber color, thin head, active carbonation.

Complex nose - floral, vegetal (squash), fruit (raspberry), hops noticeable.

Fruit-driven bitterness on front end mounts towards richer, drier, espresso-like bitter finish. Malty, nutty sweetness gives depth to the bold hop bitterness.

Good carbonation, rich flavors but not harsh.

A well-balanced flavorful brew.

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Photo of loving44
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Winter Release 2006

Nice, I loved thee summer release, let's see how this one goes...

Pours a heavy amber-orange with a rocky, foamy off-white head. Looks delicious... it has hat kind of head formation that you only get with high quality malty brews.

Smells of citrus, ginger, rich bread, nice and malty with a hop twinge.

the taste of this brew is awesome... rich and VERY malty with an herbal hop finish. This is bread-like and malty to no end yet remains crisp with a very dry finish... I want to drink this all night, awesome holiday brew!

Mouthfeel is slightly heavy and syrupy but very drinkable.... I love this one... to me it gives the summer IPA a run for it's money!

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Photo of seanpachefddfa
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

winter release

appearance- poured a dark amber orange almost copper. thick fluffy off white head.

smell- piney hops with sweet caramel malts very nice.

taste- lots of piney hops with caramel malts. Also getting some good citrus also.

mouthfeel- medium body with good carbonation.

drinkability- this is a very good beer overall.
very high drinkability. alcohol is not very noticeable

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Photo of jamex
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into Russian River tulip glass.

Beautiful color but very carbonated; good 3-4 finger head that slowly died down.

S - Like many WC IPA's - Citrus, pine, peaches, nectarines. Bit of caramel.

T - Nice mix of the above flavors plus an added hop bite. A very bitter offering from Alesmith.

M - Very carbonated; perhaps too much so. Little bit of that medicinal booziness.

This was a GOOD DIPA, but I've had better.

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

This is a fantastic and a top of the line double IPA. Pours an amber-golden hue with a lovely thick aromatic head. Smells like freshly peeled citrus fruit rinds and pine thistles. For a bottled beer the smell is as fresh as draft beer straight from the brewery! Amazing...
Lovely sweet malty taste that is finely well balanced with a pronounced dry hoppy bite. Definitely one to savor and enjoy. Thanks to FitzIPAtrick for this one.

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

650ml bottle from Bevmo.

Summer - Pours a slightly cloudy copper orange, with a frothy-sudsy head that dissapates slowly. Aroma was all citrus with grapefruit, oranges and lemons. Flavor was hops forward with oranges, thyme, walnuts, and grapefruit. Mouthfeel was creamy, silky and smooth with good carbonation. Finish is short and dry and very clean, just a slight biter hoppy aftertatse. Overall this is superbly well crafted beer that quenches thirst well. Recomended

Winter - Pours a slightly hazy dark amber with a big clumpy beige head that stuck around foreverand provided plenty of lacing. The aroma was rich with biter walnuts and roasted malts. The taste was hops forward with a good nutty bitterness and plenty of complex roasted barley. The mouthfeel was full, smooth and satisfying. The finish was long and biter. D: Very good--a bit of a sipper. I loved it, this is a quality brew.

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Photo of Graham21
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy light orange in appearance, with great lacing that sticks to the glass.

Smells wonderful; It's very nice and spicy with a pungent smell of hops and earthy nutty undertones with a hint of molasses from the malts.

The hops and malt are very well balanced. Nutmeg, sugar, citrus fruits, and spices are present. This is an amazingly well balanced beer.

The mouthfeel is great, with good carbonation, and a little more thickness than traditional style, this makes for a nice beer for the holidays.

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Photo of Daehpoh
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Winter 2006 version poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass

Pour left a fluffy off-white two finger head. The liquid beneath is a slightly hazy amber-orange-brown color. Wonderful aroma of grapefruit and pine with a mild sweet caramel behind. The taste is amazing. Huge, bright hops take over with just the right amount of malt sweetness for balance. This beer has that mouthwatering flavor that all hopheads crave. Medium bodied with a slick feel make this a very drinkable beverage. I have a slight preference for this winter version over the summer for its increased malt flavors and added balance, although both are superb. This is one of the very best DIPAs out there and I highly recommend it to all.

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

This is a lovely rich golden color with a full thick chunky white head. The aroma is rich with grapefruits and tangerines. An earthy pine is also very prevalent in the nose balanced with deep caramel malts. Soft sweet fruity flavors of tangerines and grapefruits wash over the palate. There seems to be a bit of passion fruit as well. The finish begins sweet and ends very bitter. The balance in this beer is marvelous. Overall, an absolutely outstanding beer.

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Photo of beavers
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[review from Jan of this year]
22 oz. Winter version

Pours a chesnut brown, with a good inch of tan bubbly head. Great retention with sticky lacing. Pungent malt notes fill the air even w/out bringing my nose to the glass. Wonderful hop aroma. Floral/piney hop aroma meets the powerful, sweet and spicy malt (not overwhelming though). Taste follows suit. Piney, bittering hops in the front with strong malty sweetness (hint of fruit, toffee, caramel). Medium (towards full) bodied and moderately carbonated. Leaves a dry finish. Amazing drinkability for the style. Wonderful balance.

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Photo of chrisafari
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours light amber orange with thin white head. Floral aroma of hops, very nice! (Not too overwhelming or weak) Flavor begins with a nice and smooth citrus profile and then finishes with an intense kick of hops. Finishes dry with a smooth and medium weight body. This double IPA is really lacking in roasty flavor. Kind of suprising, but nice. A great beer for a hop-head in Southern California during summer!

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Photo of nicefix
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Summer release

Poured into a pint glass. Wow, the head is huge, hard to control. Maybe I should have used my snifter for less agitation. The appearance is quite awesome, cloudy medium amber and as mentioned earlier, a huge head, fluffy off white with big bubbles and wicked lace. The nose is really nice, sweet fruity malts with a huge hoppy prescence. Taste is big malty yet big hoppy and a some alcohol burn in the nose but oh so smooth.

There's so much flavor in this brew. It's really awesome.

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

Red and Green version.

Poured into a pint glass. Enormously impressive (and somewhat wild) head that stubbornly clings to the glass. Gorgeous raw-honey appearance, with a little sediment.

Smells slightly sweet, some spice and citrus, and plenty of hops.

A rich sweetness with a nice backbone of bitter hops. Almost over-ripe fruit, caramel, honey, and a hint of bitter chocolate. Amazingly well-balanced for a beer with so much flavor.

Just the right amount of carbonation to keep it honest. An incredibly intense experience, yet somehow I could drink this amazing stuff all night.

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

Summer Edition

A: A semi-transparent cloudy honey color with a substantial off-white head that holds its own.

S: WOW! HOPS! And lots of them. Very citrusy and piney. My god am I excited.

T: The smell carries right on over to the taste. This beer is jam-packed with hops. Interestingly enough, I can't put my finger on any particular hop except perhaps cascade hops. The taste becomes bitter yet not too dry at the end with the malt coming through. This much hops may be hazardous to your health. The alcohol is disguised quite nicely.

M: Brilliant!! The mouthfeel is substantial with the CO2 nicely balanced. The hoppy overload prevents the dryness from sapping the body of the beer. Even though many different and strong flavors present themselves, the body of the beer stays consistent throughout.

D: I want to attack this beer full throttle but I just can't. The hops and alcohol prevent that. In between a sipper and a chugger. For what it is, very drinkable.

Ale Smith comes through again with a world class beer. Maybe they should put this on the shelves in winter too because I am drinking a Christmas tree (at least that's what it tastes like)!

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Photo of TeddyBG
3.67/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber poured into pint glass. Last years Winter version ('07).

A: burnt orange with a slightly cloudy tint. Pillowy creme colored head with great lacing. However, super carbonated tough to pour since you get overflow very easily.

S: Very caramelly with figs. Cannot pick up much hops, but that might be due to the age of this bottle.

T: Caramel up front with a hop bitterness, but no other hop flavors to pick up.

M: Way too carbonated, overwhelming at times. Other than that good body, certainly not thin.

D: Tasty brew but the carbonation leaves you feeling it pretty quickly. I will have to try this again, and edit this review, because I have a feeling this has a bottle conditioning issue.

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Photo of SteveTheDog
2.29/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

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

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Photo of Intimidtor
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

WINTER EDITION: What a fantastic seasonal IPA. Got this badboy from Sideswipe in trade. Thanks buddy. Outstanding blend and should be considered a must try.
A-Poured from 22 oz bomber into pint glass. Poured a darker amber with thick foamy head.
S-Smell was fabulous, I would call this Great Lake Crhistmas Ale on Steroids.
T-Excellent and well rounded flavor. Hints of a strong ale seasonal like cinnamon and malt and hops, hint of pine and grapefruit
M-Faboulous, nice thick with wet finish
D-Very high. This is a must try.

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Photo of tboom29
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a Winter '06 beer.

It poured a very appetizing amber that was slightly opaque. Fluffy frothy head sat on top, one of my favorite things on a beer.

The nose was very citrusy and spicy, and really entices you to drink the beer.

You definitely will notice the hops, because there are a lot. I thought it was nicely balanced though. Slight carmel from the malt. Mellow, but quite full bodied with a full mouthfeel. There is a slight acidic flavor. I also noticed a spicy notes, with hints of cinnamon or nutmeg. Some orange as well.

Overall a really great, full flavored IPA. Definitely worth picking up.

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Photo of dhchatfield
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Last of a batch of 4 I got from Liquid Solutions a few months back.
It says: Holiday Ale...what the hell.

Stuck in the fridge for about ten minutes after bringing it up from the cellar. Poured into my Duvel Tulip.

A - Beautiful light coppery red. Very clear, nice carbonation. great head with wonderful lacing.

S - Very nice West Coast hop assault. Piney, but with a floral back. Jasmine?

T - The first hit sneaks past the tastebuds and makes a b-line for the gullet. Only after it's raced through do the tire marks show their presence on the tongue and back of the throat. Strong tastebud numbing bitterness, but with an oily sweet finish. Fantastic.

M - As above, starts thin and then expands into an effervescent thick creamy tongue and roof of the mouth coating slice of heaven. Just flat out super!

D - All day. Lower ABV than say, Dreadnaught or UnEarthy makes this a DIPA that I can actually enjoy two bombers of in a sitting without fear of falling. Just such a wonderfully balanced DIPA.

My wife has forbidden any beer purchases until after Christmas. I guess drinking out of ones' cellar isn't so bad after all. I really love this beer.


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Photo of explosivebeer
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lots of citrusy hop aroma with some pine and maybe even a hint of peach. It is a clear light golden color with a decent malt body. It finished a little bitter. Overall it's good but not as great as I'd hoped. The winter Yulesmith is clearly better, at least from the two most-recent releases.

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YuleSmith (Summer) from AleSmith Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 922 ratings.