1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,624 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,624
Reviews: 905
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.74%
Wants: 246
Gots: 69 | FT: 1
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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,624 | Reviews: 905 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of illidurit
4.88/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Summer version. Golden amber color with an absurdly sticky head that leaves unparalleled lacing on the glass. Aroma is floral and citrusy hops with a very sweet maltiness. Flavor follows the aroma, with a nice dose of fruity hops and a sumptuous caramel malt profile that melts into a solid hop bitterness. Rich and luxurious on the palate.

Photo of avaulteriam
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Summer '05. Nose is very similar to 90 minute. I catch chocolate, pine, guava, and mango in the nose. Awesome stuff. Color is a deep, cloudy amber with a lasting thin off-yellow head. Mouthfeel is very full with the taste of crushing bitterness. Mangos come out, along with oranges and pine needles. The taste is a little overly-understated, could use a bit more malt to bring it up to par. Still, an awesome experience.

Winter '05. This is quite comparable to the summer version, a bit more balaced, distinct red character coming through in the sweetness and body. decent, though I prefer the Summer.

Photo of Avryle
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Winter 2007 version

A- hazy orange in color. A little on the pale side to be perfection. Massive thick 4-finger tan head. The top of which looks like Seal's face.

S- Sweet malty-hop nose. Almost barley wine in quality. Subtle spiciness lingering in the nose.

T- Very good, though it has lost a lot of the hoppiness since the last time I had it (as a much fresher) bottle. Citrus hop & spice (nutmeg & all spice) up front with a hop-burn finish. A lot of barley wine character.

M- Thick. Not as creamy as I like my DIPAs. Carbonation is a bit too active as well.

D- Not really feeling this one.

Photo of beavers
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of Atron67
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

winter version, assuming its 2008, thanks to pimpp for the trade

a- poured a huge tan almost brown head, loads of tiny little bubbles almost filling the duvel tulip. copper red color body, clear and pretty highly carbonated

S- cinnamon and spice on top of lots of hops. definitely a strong winter warmer character to it. slightly grassy character on the hops

T- big strong maltiness to start and then a big hop character. bitter floral and pretty delicious. once the hops have come out the spices start to meld in. its a ton of spice which ends up melding pretty nicely with the hops. lingering bitterness on the tongue

M- high carbonation, full body, sticks around on the tongue for a long while

D- pretty damn good,

Photo of tayner
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle of winter. Summer bottles out now so i figured i better review this one first, but it has been stored in a very cold DBF since purchase.

Poured with a HUGE foamy head, the bottle spilled all over when I opened it, TONS of carbonation in this one. WHen i finally got it poured, and the mess cleaned up from the spillage it sits in my glass a pecan-colored liquid iwth a foamy off-white head that laces really well and is really sticky.

Smell is nice (thank goodness as my office now smells like this beer). There is a sweet malty aroma that is backed up by some piney hops.

Taste is nice. Very big, sweet, malty start that is followed up by a large dose of pine-y hops that cut through the sweetness and help it to finish quite dry.

This one is heavy on the palate and definitely is a winter beer. I have not tried the summer version yet, but I will, and when i do I hope it is a lighter version for the warmer months.

This one drinks good now, and i can only imagine it would have been even better three months ago when it was still cool outside. Next fall I will definitely get a few more of these and drink them much earlier in the season!

Photo of marksto
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled and reviewed at the Tampa BA gathering 5/3/08.

Pours a tawny amber color with thick, fluffy, off-white head. Excellent retention leaves lacing on the glass. Aroma features big piney, resinous hop aroma with some hints of mint and spice. Flavor displays sticky, sweet malt blended nicely with piney hop bitterness. The balance between malt and hop is very nice and key to this beer.

Overall, an excellent DIPA, worth seeking if you like this style of big, malty-hoppy beers.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kplynch for this extra from my wants!

winter release.

Pours a nice ruby amber color with an incredibly fluffy huge white head that stays literally to the end of the glass. Nose is of fresh dry hoppage and good citrus pine flavors. Taste follows with fresh hop flavors of grapefruit/piney goodness with a huge malt backbone. Refreshing to taste a west coast IPA that isn't just a hop slap in the face. A bit of grainy sweetness. Mouthfeel is great, a little more viscous than average which I prefer for a DIPA. Drinkability is good, but not amazing. Overall I like this one alot, am glad I got a chance to try it, probably won't deliberately trade for it again, but will keep it on the wants and hope to get another as an extra. HAHA! If it were local and I could get it regularly, It would defenitely be a go to IPA, but it didn't blow my mind or anything. A great beer, defenitely great beer.

Summer release:

Pours a nice orange yellow color with moderate haze and a very nice stark white head with great lace. Nose is all citrus and pine hops with a slight sweetness and a nice sort of weak lemon hint. Taste follows suit with a big bang of hop flavors. Nice dry citrus hop juice and big resiny flavor. A nice malt presence, but nowhere near the winter versions backbone. Mouthfeel is just about perfect here, although it is a little bit dryer than I would like. Drinkability is good, but nothing reeaally amazing. A fine beer from alesmith. I am going to have to go against the grain here and say that I like the winter version better, but both a very good examples of the style and enjoyable beers that would be staples if they were locally available. Great brew.

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

End of the year version with red and green bottle.

Beautiful beer. Dark amber color with ruby notes. Huge off-white head that sticks around forever and leaves lots of lacing.

Very malty smell here, which is slightly surprising. Slight hops in the background.

Up front I taste a little bit of hop bite but it is quickly followed and masked by huge, sweet, choclately maltiness. Finishes with some more hop, nice and dry. Pretty well-balanced, but little heavy on the malts for my taste in a DIPA.

Medium bodied, slightly creamy. Medium carbonation.

Decent drinkability, just a little malty for my taste. Still a good beer.

Photo of Derek
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presumably the last of the winter release.

A: Copper with a light tan head; excellent retention & lace.

S: Big Piny hop aroma with grass, toffee & light fruity esters.

T: Piny hops, assertive bitterness, toffee, fruit, pale malt & a hint of minerals. Alcohol is very subtle.

M: Moderate to full body is fairly smooth with some residual sugar & plenty of hop acidity.

D: Great for its strength.

Photo of Deuane
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hoilday 2007 offering. Thanks to Pete at the brewery for handing this one out during a post holiday tour!

A-Deep copper with a CRAZY, fluffy light tan head..no lacing, more like clumping!

S-Sweet caramel malt followed instantly by a wave of pine and citrus hops.

T-Hop forward punch of pine and citrus hops with caramel and chocolate tones in the back. Nicely balanced and well supported.

M-Medium body with a bit of stickiness. Well balanced and quite smooth. Nice bitter aftertaste.

D-Very well done. A solid west coast dipa...certainly a well recieved "late" holiday gift from the folks at AleSmith...thanks guys and gals!

Photo of Slynger
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Holiday Bomber poured into my whiskey master distiller's glass.

The pour is a deep and hazy orangey-bronze, with a huge, fine and fuzzy, orange tinted lid.

The nose is bountiful with tons of sweet caramel malts beneath bushels of sweet orange and grapefruit hops in perfect balance.

Full and fuzzy, with loads of fine and lightly sharp carbonation. The flavor is also nicely between malt and hops. Sweet caramel and bittersweet toffee meld with fresh citric hops and bitter rinds. Hints of warming alcohol only serves to spread the joy of this brew.

Really a great IIPA with excellent balance. Thanks to my mom for bringing back this bottle from San Diago.

Photo of IBUnit63
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Holiday 2007 poured from bomber into Red Oak uber-mug from Spring Garden in Greensboro, NC...

Big, tight, smooth bountiful head = very soapy with sparse lacing. Hazy, mahogany body.

Sweet, floral hops in abundance. Copious butterscotch malt - alcohol and carbonation in background. No issues with balance - a whole lotta everythin'.

Big, melted sweetness of caramel and butterscotch - hops are a sweet and floral backbone of this offering. Malt has a comforting stewed and chewy quality to it.

Very warming on the mouth - huge hop bite on front of palate; viscous malt and alcohol throughout.

Almost too powerful for more than one - the huge quantities of everything make this quite filling but a very enjoyable sipper.

Photo of callmemickey
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Summer 2009

A: Pale amber body... hefty egg-shell white head. lasts for days. dense lacing left behind throughout

S: Blast of dense piney hops with some underlying grapefruit bitterness. light caramel malt.

T: Massive piney and grapefruit hop bitterness. fresh and profound. lively. nice malty, caramel base.

M: Smooth. Good carbonation levels. Refreshingly bitter.

D: A real treat. I look forward to both the summer and winter yulesmiths each year.

Photo of dsa7783
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz single bottle copped from Island City in Long Island for $7.99... I was glad I stumbled upon this one, as I never saw anything from this brewery before in New Jersey...
Green and red lettering on the bottle, denoting a winter-time ale...
"Holiday Ale" on the front...
Amazing appearance - bright-amber red, dark-copper, with a huge foamy and frothy head that exhibited marvelous staying power and slowly receded, leaving a copious amount of lacing...
Strong, hop-dominated aroma bursting through, the hops literally take over the nose, with a strong hint of caramel sweetness and vanilla essences...
Like the smell, the taste was also dominated by powerful hops that take over the tongue... Caramel, vanilla, and esters also noticeable along with a slight hint of alcohol due to the hefty 8.8% ABV...
Full-flavored, big-bodied mouthfeel - very creamy, rich, and thick, with a good level of drinkability for such a big-bodied, full-flavored, strong beer...
Great stuff...
Recommended...

Photo of Douglas14
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter 2007

Pours a very nice amber color with an incredibly thick, wonderful head that has great retention and leaves a lot of lace...actually it is more than lace, it's more of a layer of head on the wall of the glass. It has a very clean pure hop aroma...nice and piney, very fresh! This beer gives one of the bigger straight up tongue burning hop blasts! This is incredible. As the immense hoppiness fades, malty tones come forward to finish the beer. It is really great to drink such a definitive west coast DIPA (or Imp IPA) out here on the east coast.

Awesome, awesome beer.

Photo of dill
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Winter 2007 edition, poured into a pint glass

A - pours a golden orange color with a thick white head.
S - grapefruit, malts.
T - a really nice balance of malts and hops, nice festive spices. pine. a bit of the alcohol.
M - great feel in the mouth. smooth but well-carbonated.
D - this is indeed a great beer to sit down and enjoy with friends

Photo of RomanW70
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours reddish brown with a one finger head. Aroma of pine, sweet malts, spices, and hops. Initial falvor of grapefruit, toffee, and pine. Well balanced. Delicious, warm finish with some bitterness. Big and very tasty beer. Gets better with each sip. Delicious. Bottle was blue and red. 8.5% ABV. Alesmith rocks!
P.S. Actually dreamt about the beer.

Photo of 0110x011
4.69/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Winter 2007

Pours a deep amber with a thick, frothy head that just won't quit. Nose is caramelly, malty sweet, with strong citrus and a touch of pine. Flavour starts with sweet malts, with hints of tangerine, orange & plum. Definite hoppy bitter kick, but not till the end, and a fairly short, sweet finish. medium to full bodied, but so drinkable it's dangerous.

it should be noted that this review is a 3-month aged bottle, so much of the review is in comparison to a totally fresh bottle. If my memory serves me well, the hop kick has subsided a bit, making for a much more balanced brew. I'm new to the whole aging thing, so it might just be all in my head (it seems to me like 3 months isn't a very long time when it comes to aging), but this has gone from one very tasty brew to one of my all-time favorites.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I've never met an AleSmith i didn't like!

Photo of Trueant1
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After 5 months sitting in my fridge...time to try! I hear this comes in two varieties. Mine is the Christmas..not the 4th of July. Probably from 2007/08 season.

The appearance of the dark cloudy almost reddish pouring into my glass while forming a great off white thick head that lasts and lasts gives the appearance good marks for me.

The smell is almost perfect. Malty, bready, and of course hoppy.

Taste is FULL and has a great hop bitter kick. Alcoholic spice, and sweet sweet malts..almost in the toffie range come through the hops.

Mouthfeel is dry and very carbonated. YUMMY.

Great Brew! I will get one every year! Or 2!

Photo of JDV
3.53/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ALESMITH WINTER -

Bottle shared with Fly, Dewbrewer, Humulone_Red and others. Thanks guys!
Other bottle courtesy of WeeheavySD! Rich deep amber pour with a big lasting creamy head. Big hoppy nose with "red" malt as well. Rich sharp hoppy flavor with a creamy balanced maltiness to it. A touch of alcohol is noticeable, but still nice. Carbonation is a tad high, but I find that to be the case with most of Alesmith's beers. Nice beer.

Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to jhenry04 for the summer and winter 2007 versions...
summer-
poured into a mcchouffe tulip, this was quite cloudy with no particulates noted. golden to orange in color with a beautiful, thick, super creamy, white head. the head covers the top and sides all the way down. the head and lacing are quite persistent; this beer is beautiful to behold. big bouqet is honeyed, sweet, biscuity, floral, citric, and resiny. a vague buttery note takes the nose down a notch but i'm sure this is phenomenal when fresher (drinking summer 07 version now). very well-balanced taste between the moderately sweet malts and prominent yet super smooth hop bitterness. mouthfeel is phenomenal, has a rich, creamy quality to it with just the perfect carbonation. medium to full-bodied. i don't know the technical aspects too well but i'm guessing this has some unfermentables in it which make the mouthfeel superb. i'd love to try this on tap.
winter-
same as above, except the following:
color is a slightly hazy deep reddish-amber. lots of caramel and toffee in the smell and taste.

Photo of Kegatron
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Summer 2008 Edition.

Pours a slightly hazy golden orange with 2 fingers of poofy off-white head. A near ½ finger of solid creamy retention flairs up magnificently, leaving massive swathes of sticky hop lacing behind. The aroma is a straight up West Coast Hop Bomb with piney hops, fresh citrus, an underlying beefy smelling grainy sweetness, and a tingle of heat that runs throughout.

The taste is sticky resinous hop bitterness and juicy notes of grapefruit, orange, and mango that are well balanced out by a hefty backbone of grainy malts and caramel sweetness. Nice, long lasting hop bitterness that lingers. The mouthfeel is medium to full with a slick oily feel that intermingles in with a somewhat prickly carbonation. There is definitely some alcohol beef present but it's not noticeable enough to become distracting at all.

Alesmith doesn't disappoint at all with a summer version of their Yulesmith seasonal, an easy drinking and flavor packed version of a San Diego Pale Ale. This makes me want to go hang out at the beach.

Holiday 2007 22oz bottle into a Stone IPA flute. I had originally bought this back in December and for the life of me, I don't know why it's taken me this long to get to it. It seems I need to clean out the ole' beer fridge more often.

Pours a clear dark amber but "Uh oh Houston. We've got a carbonation problem!" I get about 2 oz of liquid into the glass and the rest is filled with foam. After awhile, I finally get enough in there for a proper review. To its credit, the frothy off-white head retains just beautifully, with creamy wisps around the edges and big dollop right in the middle that stays there. The lace is just massive with hop stickiness that literally just coats the sides of the glass. Carbonation problems aside, this is beer is just awesome to look at! The aroma is Ahhh, that familiar West Coast magic, right up my nose! Notes of pine and spruce needles right off the bat mixed with grapefruit character and just the wonderful scent of thick, sweet, bready malts in the background. I'm also picking up accents of spices, dark fruits, and even mint. Quite the festive aroma!

The taste is more of same. That resinous hop assertiveness pops right out and wraps itself around all the other flavors. Unfortunately it seems a little more subdued than the aroma and makes me think that I did indeed wait a little too long to enjoy this. This is all nicely supported by that big, thick, blanket of bready malt that perfectly balances it out. It almost feels like a Christmas cookie back there, as much like the aroma, I'm picking up notes of cherries, various holiday spices, and that minty taste again (although they could be from the hops as well). The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a wonderful creamy ride that is thick with hop oils and a bready yeast feel. That nearly 9% ABV is present but I hardly notice it, as it just adds a bigger feel and sense of warmth to the surroundings that helps cap off this Wintertime trip.

Wow, even with a little hop fade, this beer is still absolutely awesome! It's just like the other fantastic West Coast DIPAs that we know and love but with a complete twist for the Christmas holidays. Even though it's big, drinkibility was never an issue. It went down fast and I enjoyed every minute of it. Next year, I'll definitely try to get this one as soon as it comes out. In the meantime, I'll have the Summertime edition to look forward to!

Photo of rudylaw
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Straight from my bottle into a snifter, it exudes a reddish/amber with a huge foam that leaves a sticky lacing.

The nose is citrus, grapefruit and pine wreath.

I taste the the grapefruit and pine right away but there is a good deal of caramel here as well.

Most everything else has been said... especially the good carbonation. The alcohol content is rather high for me to give this a great drinkability score, but all you need is one.

This beer should be ingested slowly to maximize full enjoyment. AleSmith knocks another one out of the park!

Photo of HopDerek
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Winter 07 edition. All hail Kegatron!

Pours a clear deep copper color with amber highlights. Big foamy off-white head eventually settles into a nice creamy head, after a good amount of time thanks to the long lasting retention. Lots of sticky lacing all the way through.

Smells of pineapple, grapefruit, caramel, toffee, lemon, and big ole pine trees, like juniper and spruce. Tastes are BIG in grapefruit and pine up front, but follow by a nice solid malty sweet caramel backbone to help prevent an overpowering hop presence. Finishes with a hint of mint and spicy hops.

Good carbonation with bubbles dancing up the glass the entire time. Smooth yet sticky, medium in body, and covers the ABV quite well. Just one fantastic DIPA, solid in both hop and malt presence, and with a unique taste that keep it fresh in my mind long after it has left my glass.

YuleSmith (Summer) from AleSmith Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,624 ratings.