YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

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YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

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1,617 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,617
Reviews: 904
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 247
Gots: 68 | 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
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Ratings: 1,617 | Reviews: 904 | Display Reviews Only:
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

Photo of mcallister
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure why I've never reviewed these beers as I've had both versions multiple times?

Today we are tasting an '07 Summer Yule.

Amber in color with atom like carbonation bubbles throwing a party. Pours with a large fluffy off whie head. Pillowy with long retention. After a good five minutes a sticky lace is thin and hangs out throughout the entire driking process.

Love the nose on the summer version. Big bready malts and cereal grain. Toffee shows through to a piney edgey hop aroma. Some light citrus fruit esters as well.

Just a nice drinkable DIPA or hopped up amber here. Nearly perfect balance of hop and malt. Again very bready and cereal malt laden. Hops are still out in full force and are very bitter on the finish. The middle of rich, creamy and full of toffee and a resiny pine hop kick. Only a bit of a peachy, quince fruit character. Some earthy notes on the long finish keeps things very interesting. Just a great beer to sip on.

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

22oz bottle purchased for $6.69 on 2-7-8 at Tanasbourne Haggen.
(Winter version, '07)

The hissing sound when I crack the crown hints at a highly carbonated brew. And sure enough, this thing pours with an over-sized, pillowy off-white head that displays remarkable retention before finally collapsing on itself unevenly. Lacing is sporadic. If you don't pour this thing very slowly, you'll wind up with a glass full of foam.

The aroma is enticingly citrus/tropical fruit-based, with a very rich malt presence as well. Grapefruit, mango, orange, pineapple, marshmallow, caramel, alcohol, and Alesmith yeast are immediately recognizable.

The taste is decadent. Not quite as decadent as Decadence, but this beer is big on the flavor. It's approaching barleywine status, imo. Alcohol is a bit forward, but overall the components are very well balanced and meld together very well. What else would you expect from Alesmith? Love this beer.

::: Sorry, I selected "on-tap" despite the fact that I consumed this beer from the bottle. Reason being that there is quite a difference between the summer and winter versions of this beer. I could put them both in the same review, but I'd have to give them identical scores. :::

Photo of jdhilt
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a five-finger cream head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Cloudy amber color. Medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Malty/alcohol nose. Flavor is tart raisins, caramel and some alcohol. Nice holiday ale. Yeast settles out in glass. $4.70 for a 22 oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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.

Photo of warmstorage
3.08/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 ounce bomber, $5.75 at Plaza Liquors, Tucson, AZ. Not entirely clear what vintage, since the bottle bears no date, but I'd assume 2008. Bottle states 8.5% ABV. It's the red and green screen-printed winter bottle, and AleSmith identifies it as an "Imperial Red Ale" on their website.

Appearance: Pours with a massive, vigorous off-white head, fairly rocky, that leaves significant lacing. (Notably, the bottle looked overfilled to me: it was filled to within an inch of the cap.)

Aroma: some piney hops, but somewhat muted. Sweet malt, slightly earthy.

Taste: sweet and piney hops, slightly sweet and tangy malt backbone. Deep malty sweetness. Well balanced. Hints of sharp/crisp malt, rye maybe?

Mouth: moderately slick, and quite full. Muted alcohol warmth given the high gravity. Light carbonation.

Overall: Drinkable, and kind of interesting, but not great, and definitely not all that AleSmith can do. I prefer the summer DIPA version, and had to remind myself while reviewing that I had to judge this as an imperial red, not a DIPA. Even so, it's just not that impressive to me, and I probably won't bother buying it again.

Photo of BMan1113VR
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Winter Version.
Aroma is nice, chocolate, raisin, cinnamon, and moderate hops. Pour is a cloudy light amber with some bottle conditioned particles floating around. It tastes like it smells at first, and then finishes on a bitter/sour note. Very yeasty on the finish and could do with some aging to settle down the flavor. Nice creamy texutre.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
This is the winter version
A- This beer pours a dense body of brown that glows reddish-brown in the light. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles that support a thick lumpy head of light tan that last for most of the beer.

S- The full smell of green hops pellets right out of the bag has a nice pine quality to it that even comes through during the pour. There is a softer caramel malt sweetness to it that has a faint cinnamon quality in the background.

T- The caramel malt flavor is sweet but not sugary with a soft biscuit note to it. There is a green herbal hop flavor that is a big finish to this beer. There is a piney-cinnamon hint to the hops that has a nice twist.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a big fizz at the finish and a soft alcohol heat that increases as the beer warms a bit.

D- This beer has a nice big piney hop flavor with some good depth and a sweet malt support to it. The alcohol has a nice soft presets that gives a little boost to the hops.

Photo of Raugupatis
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The fine people at AleSmith decided to give their seasonal offering a little more wood.

Personally, I feel that the pine/cedar overtones actually detracted from this otherwise fine effort by AleSmith.

Otherwise, it is a good example of the artisan brewery we have come to expect from Northen San Diego.

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

This beer is a 22oz. bomber of the Holiday '07 version received as an extra in a trade with Oodeftone. Thank you!!!
A-Pours a transparent darker amber-orange with a beatiful cream colored 2" pillowy head of foam that eventually settles to a quarter inch or so.
S-Not amazingly strong, but scents of pine, caramel, pineapple, and brown sugar greet my nose and give me hints of things to come.
T-The taste matches the smell and then some. Beautiful symphony of buttery creamy sugars with some hints of raisin, brown sugar, toffee are magnificently balanced with some herbal pine resin, citrus and floral hops which are apparent, but not bitter. Great balance!
M-Wonderfully carbonated and perfect thickness.
D-Drinkability is excellent. Tasty, pleasant, and worthy of having large amounts in one sitting.
I'm glad I'm finally getting a chance to try this, but disappointed I've only got one bottle. =)

Photo of d0ggnate
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another glorious offering from Peter Zien and Alesmith. Nothing says wintertime better than a great IIPA.

A: Amber red to light with a disappearing off-white head.
S: Light malt smell with heavy citrusy hops abounding.
T: Crisp and sweet with hops apparent, but no bitter to go with it.
M: Sticks to your mouth and leaves only the best flavors behind.

A great beer! I can't wait until their summer release comes about. I also wonder if anymore Decadence will come about.

Photo of kleffman
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally getting around to trying the 2007 Winter Yule batch. We've got about a case sitting around here so it's time to get crackin'. I love this beer. The anticipation is killing me.

Pours a very nice copper dark amber kind of color with a giant pillowy head. Extreme lacing on the glass. Using my Samuel Adams "perfect glass" or whatever they recently gave away.

Aroma is an out of this world blend of spicy hop character, sweet malts, caramel, pine and citrus.

Toasted biscuity malt backbone with some sweet and spicy hop flavor blending in. Bits of honey, tropical fruits with hints of mango. Pine and citrus from the hops all on top of a sharp bitterness and mild alcohol.

The mouthfeel is nice, with a lively carbonation and a rather smooth creamy feeling on the tongue. This and everything above also makes it a highly drinkable beer. So malty, so hoppy, so...awesome. I especially love this yearly beer aged 1 or 2 years but it's already highly enjoyable. Find it, drink it, love it.

Photo of walshclimb
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Winter red ale, no bottle date, but I know it was at least 1 year old b/c I had it aging in my house for 8 months before I drank it.

A - Rich, clear reddish brown with thick foamy tan head that leaves lines of lace up the glass. The head is long lived.

S - Nice, sweet malt with citrus hops and maybe sugar cookie.

T - Rich, malty IF with gentle hop bitterness transitions into lingering bitter hop aftertaste. There is no harshness in the bitter, and it is nicely balanced leaning a little more toward the sweet malty side.

M - Medium to full bodied with creamy texture and pleasantly soft carbonation. Almost reminiscent of a good hand-poured Scottish ale.

D - This is a very tasty beer that hides its high alcohol content behind an exceptionally well balanced red ale. I suspect a fresh (or less aged) one would be more hop forward. In any case, this beer ages very nicely.

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

This is the 2007-08 winter release.

Tawny copper color with a thick tan head. Lots of small bubbles in the head create a thick, creamy foam similar to meringue. Lots of lacing. A big hoppy smell gets in the nostrils immediately followed by a pine aroma. Malt smell is sweet and full roasted spiciness. The taste has some vanilla and orange flavors right away. As the beer floats around the palate you're hit with alot malt sweetness, hop taste, and bitterness on the back of the tongue, and all balanced very well. Hop taste is full of grapefruit and piney notes that are a hopheads treasure. The fairly thick mouthfeel has a velvety texture making this beer very easy to drink. I look forward to the summer release.

4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A murky bronze amber colored body hosts a two finger tan head with cavern like rocky bubbles. As they fade they leave alot of scattered lace. Nose is nicely hoppy with a silky malt balance and hints of vanilla, honey and spice. Peppery hop notes dance all over the mouth with spicey malt and rich robust fullness. A slight sweetness shows itself shortly after the hop feel disapates. This beer is amazingly smooth and complex at the same time. Busting with ripe creamy citrus and holiday bread like body. Mouthfeel is thick but not heavy. This beer is well presented hops meets spicey malt equalling heaven.

Photo of belhav0322
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Manage to obtain at a store in NY even though Alesmith is not distributed in this state. Good times.

Poured from bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Almost orange like hue, with some cloudiness. Three finger head that lasted for a good 3 minutes. Nice, sticky lacing.

S- Grapefruit with honey. Just what I love in a good Imp. IPA. Some clove notes and what can best be described as green tea as well. Wonderfully fragrant.

T- Upfront and non-cloying citrus notes give way to great hop bitterness and golden raisins. Slight malt backbone and a hint of alcohol make this perfectly balanced. The bitterness of the hops balance out the sweet citrus notes to perfection.

M- Vibrant mouthfeel. Slightly chewy, yet smooth.

D- One of my new favorite. Was sad to see the bottle end. For a double IPA this is so smooth, and balanced. Yes, you know what style you are drinking, yet I cannot get past the balance. Even though it is one of my favorite styles, my , mouth often gets too dry with double IPA's. That did not happen here.

Simply put, I need more of this. NOW!

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

22 fl oz brown bottle; served in a goblet.

Very hazy, two-toned camel and dark oak. Frothy, dense off-white head with a rocky formation and walls of sticky lacing.

Bright citrus and tropical fruit: melon, apricot, orange, cantelope. Rum-like alcohol esters. Notes of sweetened pine; honey, almost braggot-like. Very complex and intense, but rounded.

Sweet toasted, biscuity malt base; honey and tropical fruit: melon, pineapple. Bright pine and cedar hop resins but not too intense. Creamy, slightly slick rum-like character prior to a sharp, yet lasting bitterness.

A full, medium in body; creamy, somewhat slick. Well rounded for an ale with such a big hop presence.

A big, well crafted Double IPA with robust flavors. An intense wave of alcohol, and a nice malt balance. This shouldn't be a holiday only offering.

Photo of hwwty4
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks bennetj17 for this bottle (summer version).

Poured a 22oz bottle (2 pours) into a Chimay chalice. Poured a really hazy golden with a big 2 inch billowy head that stuck around for the entirety of the beer. I don't think I have seen a beer with this good of head retention. Leaves really nice lacing. Aroma is fruity, definite notes of citrus but other fruits not associated with hops. Taste is big hops. A lot of pine needles with some grapefruit. The malt really balances well, with caramel notes in the background. Mouthfeel is right on for the style. My first Alesmith beer. This sets the bar pretty high for the subsequent

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

Thanks to Kroggdawg for bringing this one (the Red and Blue) back from the coast. It's beautiful with big American hops, making it seem like an appropriate 4th of July beer (too bad it's winter now). There's a sweet malt background that provides a wonderful balance and backbone.

Photo of Scoobydank
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: A very solid dark brown with a thick light brown froathy head.
S: Apricots just jump right out immediately with a bit of brown roasted malt to follow.
T: Awesome candied apricots immediately. The sweetness lingers for a bit than give way to those delscious roasted malts.
M:Big fat creamy warm bubbles.
D: AWESOME!!!! One of my favorite beers. I could drink this bad boy all night.

Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Will do a separate review for the summer version I just acquired! Review date 11-13-08

5.0 Pours honey colored with 3+ fingers of chunky beige colored head. Superior lacing & head retention

3.5 S: Citrus hops, breadyness

5.0 T: Grapefruit, breadyness, pineapple, honey malt & pine sap up front. Grapefruit, earthy hops, more honey malt as this warms, plus leafy hops & passion fruit. Finishes with tropical fruits, honey, & much grapefruit

4.5 MF: Chewy, moderate carbonation. warming sensation kicks in half-way through the bottle, good balance

4.5 Super drinkability, I liked this version a bit more than the winter version! This seems for fruitty/hop assertive. Different beers easily. Superior DIPA

2007 version pours an orange hued amber with 4+ fingers of billowing sand colored head into my La Chouffe snifter. Crazy lacing & super head retention

s: Bourbon barrel & herbal hops as this warms

T: Herbal & leafy hops, plus huge breadyness up front. Fruittyness, boozeyness, piney and grapefruitty hops as this warms. Finishes piney with cakeyness, brown sugar, dryness & a bit of booze hotness

MF: Chewy as all hell, skews a little hoppy, minimal carbonation

Drinks fair for the abv, not one to session on, a bit too hoppy & chewy, but a great holiday treat. Wish I could get this around here

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 Winter.

Pours a slightly fogged, ruby hued amber with a sizeable crème head. Lots of lace on the way down. Nose is very full hops. Flavor is very hoppy. Almost seems more like an hopheads IPA with a very minor amber ale edge to it. Mellows out over time and grows into a more sweet edged concoction. Feel is nice on the liquid and the carbonation is good too. This was nice, but it seems a bit too bright. I have a second bottle that I am going to let sit for a while to see what happens.

Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 22oz bottle, poured into a snifter at 45 degrees. 2006 bottling.

A - Beautiful, thick, red color with an explosive caramel head. Strong carbonation and head retention.

S - Powerful aroma of orange, honey, and alcohol.

T - Extremely well-balanced for the complexities of the brew. Strong hops begin the taste, but are quickly met by a honey flavor, finally ending with a solid malt backbone and a residual taste of alcohol. Interesting combination of hops and malt, because neither flavor is overpowering, with a strong hoppy start and a strong malt finish. Delicious.

M - After letting it settle for a minute, a semi-sweet/dry taste remains on my tongue. Strong alcohol presence, but not overbearing.

D - I couldn't drink more than one in a setting, but that's not the purpose of this beer. This makes for a perfect holiday after-dinner or dessert beer. I will definitely try to get my hands on another for next year.

YuleSmith (Summer) from AleSmith Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,617 ratings.