1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,614 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,614
Reviews: 903
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 246
Gots: 67 | 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:
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,614 | Reviews: 903 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Deuane
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
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
4.33/5  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
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
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 +5.5%
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 +3.8%
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...

Photo of Douglas14
4.33/5  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
4.08/5  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
4.78/5  rDev +13.3%
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
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
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 +6.6%
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 -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


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 -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to jhenry04 for the summer and winter 2007 versions...
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.
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 +6.6%
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
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
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
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First off this has been a holy grail ale for me one of those beers that you've come close to attempted to order off line but it was sold out made it to the beer store just to have the last few bottles grabbed. Now here I sit contemplating drinking something with so much hype behind it, I know it's time. The appearance is amazing deep ruby red body with hop and yeast particles flowing around in the stream of bubbles arising toward the head. Thicket of beige head sits righteously above the rim of my Gulden Draak glass sculpted so well with projectiles hanging off the side of my glass reaching for me. Chunky and cloudy residual proteins were good for this beers head. Aroma is big on wintergreen mint and pine cone hop accents I detect earthy herbal and dirt like hop overtones within it's festive bowels. The winter green Christmas tree effect is crazy it actually burns nose hairs and sweet deep caramel or spiced Christmas bread like warmth rises up as well. Flavors collide with hops as you take the first sip it actually stings the palate with hop bitterness, think of a group of bees attacking your palate after just landing on a hop plant. Sturdy effervescent carbonation really takes over with each sip and the hop oils engrave their name right on your palate it's awesome. After pouring in the last bits of yeast sediment into the glass the flavor balances into this unique West Coast poetry in motion DIPA, it's a one of a kind experience. Mouthfeel is huge textured with hop oils full bodied with ample carbonation bringing out the best of the best for this particular beer. Drinkabability is off the charts as far as I'm concerned this is a beer I could crave and possibly attempt to drink all day and this could probably be the reason that they only release it as a limited release once a year.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now for the Summer 2008 version:

It pours a hazy orange amber with a 1 finger head of foam. There's some good lacing and the head retention is, once again, excellant.

The nose is big on the hops! Lots of floral and some citrus along with some fruitiness and there's a nice sweetish smell in the background from the malt.

The taste has the floral and citrus up front with some spiciness and a solid malt backbone. Very tasty and very smooth and it isn't exactly lax when it comes to drinkability... almost no warming after the swallow so the alcohol is well hidden.

Good thick mouthfeel and the carbonation is just a tad below medium. Overall, a great counter brew for the Winter version though for me, I prefer the Winter version. Both are great though and well worth seeking out again.

Photo of lightindarkness
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'07 winter release, courtesy of Jw347. Thanks!

Pours a really attractive brownish amber with deep red highlights. Creamy 2 fingered head leaves bubbly lace.

Scents of pineapple, pine, grapefruit, and peach are thrown from the glass. Light hop resin hides in the juicy scents, and a little malt trys to work its way through.

Taste is very nicely balanced and full. Caramelly malt starts off with a dry grainy taste, then melds into a sweet hop juiciness that ascends to pine and bitterness. Bitterness is not sharp or intrusive, rising almost unnoticed until it's at full resinous force, then drying out as it dies down.

Mouthfeel is full and round, with a good deal of sudsy carbonation adding to the body. Some dry touches with a good amount of oil and stickiness, pretty classic and very well done for a DIPA.

A very nicely balanced and impressive version of the style. This beer only lacks in overall drinkability in it's full body and relatively strong abv. Easy to sip, even easier to enjoy.

Photo of tonistruth
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

winter '07

A- copper brew under a never ending, ridiculously bubble bath like , off white head. soapy lacing, though does do Belgian lacing

S- toffee, caramel, fruit, spicy, vanilla, pine

T- toasted malts, cookie, toffee, and some fruity esters. Spicy pine hops, subtle alcohol, balanced sweet pine after

M- almost creamy, well carbonated, hop feel

D- well crafted and a delicious brew, really quite amazing. I prefer this to the summer version, highly recommended

Photo of srroos
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 Winter Version picked up today at Hollingshead's poured into a pint glass.

A: Cloudy reddish-amber with a huge, long lasting, fluffy head.

S: Very sweet and very hoppy, with a definite winter spice.

T: Very malty and sweet, with a bitter bite. Very much like a good barleywine. The sweet but hoppy flavor reminds me of the Pliny the Elder I had earlier today.

MF: Well carbonated, medium bodied with an excellent bitter finish.

D: Delicious and smooth. No trace of alcohol. Excellent!

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


22oz bomber of Summer (07) Yulesmith.

1. Thanks for the recommendations-fellow BAs. The IPA recommendation column. This one has proven to be one of my favorite of the style so far.

2. Is this worth the hype??...yes it definitely is.

3. Well I was a bit scared to try this hop monster (since I was looking for the Xmas Yulesmith)

A-Body is a nice foggy rusty amber hue with plenty of cloudiness. Brew Pours with a big foamy 3 finger head that slowly fades to 1 finger and has perfect retention. Plenty of lacing is left behind in the glass (and the bottle). As I said with Alesmith IPA, I love the appearance of a good bottle fermented ale-and this is something you don't normally find with IPAs. Tiny bubbles constantly rise to the top (and I'm drinking this from a standard pint glass not my tulip or chalice which is designed to enhance appearance.)

S- Big nose full of citrus hops-strong on grapefruit and refreshing-almost minty-pine hops. Subtly in the background is a nice caramel malt sweetness.

T- Big hop taste upfront. Refreshing piny hops make a big presence early in the taste with a background of citrus hop flavor and caramel malt. The finish is a big burst of piny and spicy hops with a subtlety of citrus hops and caramel malt rushing in to balance the flavor out. What lingers is low, but present, residual bitterness, lots of piny hop flavor, spicy hop flavor and a balance of sweet, bready malt.

M- Medium carbonation. Body is very oily, slightly yeasty, and smooth and creamy.

D- Bottle says 8.5% ABV yet it drinks like a session ale. There is not even a hint of alcohol warming at the end of the taste. This, indeed is one of my favorite DIPAs. I will make the trip out to OH just to buy more than one of these bottles next summer. I can't wait to try the winter version!

Photo of aerozeppl
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Holiday version into my pint glass.

A: Poured with 2 fingers of brownish off white head. The beer is a hazy copper color.

S: Hops. Spruce needles. Earthy. Malty sweetness. Really nice.

T: Really nice piny hops start it off. Then it fades into a complex malt sweetness that perfectly compliments the hops. Some citrus in the middle. The sweetness just sticks to your tongue. This might be something new. Doesn't taste like a DIPA to me. Wonderful

M: Thick and syrupy medium body. Carbonation is good.

D: Wow what a different and great beer. Glad we are starting to see some Alesmith in NY. Reminded me of a DIPA barleywine cross or something along those lines. Wonderful unique beer.

Photo of ojclark
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. 2/8/08. Floral hop aroma with some citric and piney notes. Some sweetness and crystal maltiness in nose as well. Yeasty, with very slight burnt rubber autolysis odor. Faint whiff of alcohol. Poured with a huge tan head with very long retention (bottle may have referemented and sat on yeast too long). Copper/amber color, silight haze. Abundant, very fine, carbonation coming up from bottom of glass. Flavor: nice blend of bitterness, malt (medium crystal malts and sweetness), piney hops, and alcohol. Similar aftertaste. Rich, creamy mouthfeel. Medium-full body. Medium-full carbonation. Nice alcohol warmth in finish.

I think this bottle was not well-kept. Despite that, it held up really well and still tasted excellent. Will rerate next year with a fresher bottle and I'm sure my score will go up.

Photo of rsyberg01
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

S - 22 oz. bomber, winter version. Much love goes out to Tayner for this delish sampling.

A - Pours a red and slightly hazy with an off white head, tight lacing.

S - definite caramel, sticky piney hop, chocolate, somewhat grassy on the tail end, toffee, sugary sticky malt, whew!

T - caramel, chocolate, slight warmth, citrus, herbal, great balance.

M - creamy, smooth, awesome.

D - even @ 8.5 % I could kill two or three bombers of this. Thank you Tayner!!

Photo of aquaderek
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured the Holiday version into a snifter. The color is brownish orange with a creamy head that sticks around for a while. The nose is great, this stuff is hoppalisious. If you are a fan of a piney hoppy beer this is a great one. It is perfect for the holiday season in that the initial sense of the nose is like sticking your nose is a Christmas tree, very piney, as it settles down you get the sweet caramel maltiness in the background. The taste is very well balance and follows the nose, and goes in this sequence hops, smooth transition to the malty flavors, then nice hoppy finish. The mouthfeel is initially viscous then creamy. This will be in my quiver next holiday season

YuleSmith (Summer) from AleSmith Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,614 ratings.