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.

1,624 Ratings
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 willjschmidt
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber (2007 summer version) into a pint glass.

A: Pours a light golden color with a massive white foamy head. A careful pour still results in a huge head. Tons of thick lacing and a nice head remains throughout.

S: Lots of juicy fruit; orange and grapefruit. A bit of pine as well.

T: An absolutely delicious DIPA, one of the better ones I've ever had. A big wallop of juicy hops hits the palate. It is constantly balanced with a perfect sweet pale malt backbone. A pleasantly bitter hop aftertaste lingers on the tongue. An outstanding beer and a hop lovers dream.

M: Very nice mouthfeel, medium bodied, not at all syrupy and highly carbonated.

D: This could easily be my "go to" beer if only Alesmith delivered to NorCal. One of the finest DIPA's that I have had the pleasure of sampling.

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

Summery 2007 version. Got in a trade with johnnnniee - many thanks! Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. It was a slightly hazy golden color. It had a massive head that sloooowly settled into a constant foam. Good carb and lacing. The smell was standard ADIPA with piney highlights - really good. The taste was awesome. It had a great hop bite that stopped just short of shredding your tongue. I like the ones like this that have a great balance and don't over do it just to over do it. There is a limit to hops before you just get stupid. This one has aged a few months so it is nice and smooth from start to finish. Great mouthfeel. Overall, an excellent beer and highly recommend. Can't wait to try the winter edition. (4.5, RR, T, Y)

Photo of snpub540
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a brownish hue with some amber highlights in there. Huge eggshell colored head that took a long while for it to settle back into the beer. Very clingy lacing sticks around on the glass.

The smell is intoxicating! A fruity and very hoppy smelling beer. The hops smelled like citrus and grass. Also maybe a hint of plums and the sweet scent of alcohol.

Taste was a dance of flavors all across the palate. Dark fruits up front followed by a hint of roasted malt that has a nice bitterness to it. Finish was a crisp grassiness with a little bit of warming alcohol as it goes down.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and quite nice. Drinkability is good since the hops are not over the top. Taste better and better as it warms. I definately need to pick up more of these for the winter. On a cold night they are quite nice.

Photo of sstackho
3.54/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle of summer release purchased for $4 (half-price, they say - it's November) from Bauer Wines in Boston. Pours with a ridiculous unforgiving head that is delaying my consumption and enjoyment of this beer. Underneath the head there is a thin sliver of cloudy light gold. Strong bitter aroma. Whoa, this is strong stuff. Tastes more like hard liquor than a beer on first taste. Let's checkie the ol' ABV... only 8.5%! For a second I was wondering if this was in the 12%+ range. I swear, I'm getting some weak whisky tastes here (disclaimer: not a whisky drinker). Took a quick look at reviews on here and don't see anyone concurring with me - wonder if mine has spoiled at all? OK, as the beer goes on, the review progresses. I'm getting a bit less of the whiskey flavours, but I'm still not getting what I consider to be typical hoppiness from the style. An hour later, I just tried pouring the last third of the bottle and the process creates as much head in the bottle as there is beer. What is going on with this bottle? It pains me a bit to give such a highly rated beer a mediocre score, but I cannot tell a lie when it comes to this bottle. An experience, none-the-less.

Photo of Graham21
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of srandycarter
3.9/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

New release 07 Winter Green and Red

A - Nice Dark tea, murky, 1/2 inch white head. Vigorous and persistent lacing.

S- Deep malt sweetness, hops abound.

T- Full, thick, coating malt crashing against a bitter hop finish. Finish is neutral, as is cool and typical of this beer.

M - Satisfying and full. Good carbonation, good finish.

D - I liked the summer version better, but this is still a GREAT beer.

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

This is a winter 06 / 07 YuleSmith Holiday Ale which I've had in my cellar since last winter.

Foam rushed to greet me as soon as I opened the bomber bottle and once poured formed a massive fluffy 3+ finger head in my Rapscallion goblet.

The body is cloudy dark orange-brown and nearly opaque.

Nose is mild grapefruit hops and holiday spices (cloves, nutmeg).

This beer washes over the palate in waves. First a slight alcoholic heat, then grapefruit hops and bitterness, then mild sweetness, subtle spice notes and finally a long astringent finish.

Mouthfeel is medium weight and somewhat creamy.

Drinkability is good.

An excellent Double IPA with a holiday twist.

Photo of Earwacks
4.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 Holiday Ale version with Christmas colors. No freshness date that I can see.

Poured into a tulip. Perfect "pourability"- handled like a racecar. Head developed right on tilt and climbed confidently over the rim. Developed a beautiful meringue with dimples and potholes of which I wanted to dive into. Beautiful amber color. Brings memories of one of the most beautiful beer pictures I've ever seen: a back lit amber ale on the cover of an excellent homebrewers guide book.

Malty aroma is balanced perfectly with the floral hops. Wonderfully rich crystal malts are paired with, possibly, Willamette hops. Aromas of caramel, nutmeg, sugar pine, and custard offer a hint of what is to come.

Oh My. The delicious malty silkiness is slapped right away by the wonderfully bountiful hops. (Sorry for all of the "roundy" adjectives but that's what it makes you do!) Flavors of nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon bring the holiday warmth. The mild smokey flavor reminds me of one of my favorite ales I used to be able to find- Pike Brewing Co. Ale, but with a serious steroid addiction. It seems to me, and I love this, that Alesmith has managed to brew a holiday ale with all of the wonderfully spicy charateristics we've come to expect but without all of the spices. Just malts and hops and yeast!

Moutfeel: the only negative (and it's not that bad- wish I could give it a 4.95) is that it is a little too effervesent. Other than that, it is amazing.

I love this beer. My only regret is that I did not buy more of it. (I will tomorrow).

Photo of cerveza5150
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Few things in this life make me happy. Days off from work. Hiking. USC Football. Good green cheeba (that's right, I said it....). And Alesmiths ale's.

Yulesmith is great. Great appearance, exceptional smell (malty sweetness combined with citrusy hops), and terrific taste. If anything detracts from the ale, its the heat of the alcohol, in my humble opinion. The heat just adds to the 'Winter Warmer' label, though. This ale is something to be treasured around the holidays. Similar to a DIPA, but way more flavor and way more cool aromas.

Check this one out. My favorite (along with Anchor Steam's Merry XMas and Happy New Year Ale) for the 2007 holiday season.


Photo of t0rin0
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of pwoods
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz. bomber from Jungle Jim's poured into a pint glass. This was from summer '07. Maybe a bit past it's prime but it's the best I can do til this winters release.

A: Pours a hazy, rusty orange. 3 big fingers f off white head and some staying power. Head eventually dies to a little pillow in the middle of the glass. Some lacing.

S: Nice pine-y and citrus hops. Lots of grapefruit oil and a slight nutty background. Very surprised the hops are still this powerful after 4 months or so.

T/M: Even at 4ish months old, this provides a nice hop punch. Can't wait for the newest edition of this for the full bitterness. Hops are full of grapefruit juice that lend some tartness, too. Also a little grassy. The transition from bitterness to very sweet malts is smooth, even going from polar opposites. Malts are pleasantly strong and bring a nice bready balance to things. Body feels light at first, then beefs up as the creamy malts hit. Finish is drying and gives a nice lasting bitterness.

D: Can. Not. Wait. for this winters brew. I'll probably buy another bomber before the next release.

Photo of yemenmocha
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Summer edition. Red & Blue logo with fireworks design.

Pours pale yellow & clear. Overly generous white head. Very thick & meringue like. Nice.

Aroma is of dry pine cones, pine needles, and smells of crisp autumn air (maybe just the pine cone thing going too far). Suggestion of orange peel is present as well.

Palate is warm with hearty malt and smooth hop tang. Not extremely assertive (alcohol wise) for a strong IPA. Very drinkable. Very approachable to those not already into DIPAs. It certainly does not come across like an 8.5% beer.

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Summer edition this time for me. I still think this should be a separate entry on BA, but whatever:

Appearance: Pours a beautiful blood-orange-amber-blood orange-peach-brown shade of effervescence. Head is about a half finger's worth of froth, root beer-like foam. Lacing is caligraphic. Awesome.

Smell: Yeasty must settles into a blast of grapefruit-pine, with some tangerine-yuzu backbone. Some cane sugar malt is also there. This is a bold, powerful DIPA that is asserting itself with a solid boot stamp. However, I think it still takes a bit of a traditionalist stance compared to something like Stone 10th, which I found more exciting.

Taste: Pine, lemon, grapefruit, solvent-like alcohol, and some of the best hop bitterness profiles I've ever come across - it hits all the right spots on the your tastebuds, but still allows the sweetness of the alpha oils to penetrate. That alone deserves a high rating.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy, thick, syrup-like. Typical for its style.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipper, but not as bad as some DIPA's can get.

Photo of HoustonTX
4.66/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Yulesmith, Summer Edition. Re tasting with a fresher bottle.

Very clean aroma with a moderate amount of aromatic floral herbacous hops. All along a nice earthy/caramel malt base.

Amazingly crafted from the first second it hits your lips. Beautiful layerings of hop flavored characteristics. Goes from a bit sweet and malty up front, to a pure on hop assault. Gigantic flowery hops. Huge bittering hops. Piney and sappy resinous hops. All while maintaining perfect balance, with an incredible mouthfeel and drinkability.

A nearly perfect DIPA.

Photo of younger35
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Summer release. Received this beauty in a trade with YonderWanderer (also got one from BeerTruth but haven’t popped that one yet). Drank from my Family Guy pint glass while watching the Monday night Denver vs. Green Bay game.

Appearance- Pours a nice light yellowish orange with lots of muck and yeast floating about. Forms a FANTASTIC egg white three finger head that is sticky, fluffy and light. Leaves an awesome cap and collar with the biggest, stickiest lacing I’ve ever seen.
Smell- Lot’s of citrus hops with more of a subdued grapefruit/lemon bite than I’ve smelled. There are plenty of hops there but the caramel/toffee malt cuts into it a bit more than you’d expect from a DIPA. If there is such a thing as a balanced nose, this is it! Very light alcohol vapor as well.
Taste- The bitterness of the citrus hops are dominate when the beer is cooler, and the sweetness of the malt really shows well when warm (a LOT more evident in this beer than others). Nice and earthy with bites of pine and grass that work well with the citrus. On the opposite end of the spectrum the sweetness of the malt balances everything perfectly. Carmel and a bit of vanilla are the highlight IMHO finishing with a nice alcohol bite.
Mouthfeel- Smooth and creamy with a nice sweetness that isn’t cloying in the least. Medium carbonation that is thin and prickly.
Drinkability- Well, the 8.5% seems to be catching up to me a bit but this is a phenomenal brew. Supremely balanced with everything a beer lover could love. I personally couldn’t drink more than one bomber in a sitting but this is a hell of a brew to start the night. Big thanks to both YonderWanderer and BeerTruth for hooking me up with this awesome beer!

Photo of atigerlife
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Summer 2007 release.

Pours a golden/orange and slightly opaque. Huge head, slightly off-white. Head hangs around forever. Lots of carbonation seen rising.

Aroma is surprisingly light. Some light hops & citrus.

Taste has floral hops and is quite sweet. Decent malts.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely cleansing.

Overall, a nice, clean brew. Lacking a little character, but decent enough.

Photo of MiScusi
4.31/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

overall: 4.45 03-10-2007
appearance: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4

Red and Green winter holiday version purchased in December 2006.

This poured a light fluffy white head that had the most retention of any beer I've ever seen. In 15 minutes of savoring this pint the head the 2 1/2 finger head did not dwindle. Poured a very nice clear but maybe slightly cloudy amber/orangish/red color. Smell was double-IPA-ish for this Imperial Red Ale... a nice and fresh hop aroma with sweetness lingering below. The taste was initially very malty sweet, mildly syrupy, with a fresh and pungent floral hop finish. I enjoyed the mouthfeel for this DIPA as it wasn't TOO syrupy as is the case for other DIPA's. Found the drinkability quite good as the taste hooks you and the mouthfeel doesn't overbear you, alcohol may limit it somewhat.

[ serving type: bottle ]
overall: 4.1
appearance: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5

Summer 2007 Version. Pours clear golden with plenty of burnt orange as well. The head starts out looking foamy but sticks together and becomes pillowy. Sits there forever. The smell is really citrusy and sort of a leafy hoppiness. The malt is there, in caramel form. The taste is a struggle between sweetness peaking through the huge hop oils. An earthy hop bitterness is left behind after the sip.

The medium body of this gets more along the lines of a syrupy, oily viscosity, which isn't my favorite. It's pretty tasty and all comes together fairly well.

Photo of Monsone
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

WInter '06 version

A - Huge head, even with a easy pour. Beer is a hazy amber color

S - Oily Piney hops with citrus. Big bready biscuit malts with plenty of caramel too.

T - Piney Hops. Bready and Caramel malts. Not as hoppy as I expected, may be due to the age of the beer. Alcohol warmth on the back end.

M - Medium bodied with plenty of carbo. Creamy with a clean dry finish.

D - Fairly drinkable for a DIPA. Not too hopy, and the alcohol is not a crazy as some DIPAs but will catch up to you.

All in all a pretty good DIPA, though I was expecting more considering its place in the top 100. I will have to try a fresh one and see the difference.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.97/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review is for the summer Yulesmith. What an incredible beer- I really love this brew. To me, this is what a west coast hop bomb should be all about.Even more than Pliny the Elder, I think this beer typifies the pinnacle of the west coast dipa style. Don't get me wrong, I love Pliny, but this beer is even more over the top and for me, a more pure expression of the hops. It pours aslightly hazy orange with a beautiful tight white fluffy head that fades to a cap and leaves some lacing. Impressive for the abv. The smell right off shouts "hop bomb" with gorgeous deep grapefruit and orange rind and pine notes with a whiff of wax. The taste is even more redolent of hops, with the same citrus and pine, and a long deep bitterness nicely balanced on the finish especially by a slight fruity sweetness from the yeast esters and malt. The malt background is there, and quite dry, but it is mostly eclipsed by the hops. You know it is there more by what you don't experience- this is not hop water, but a deep, rich, robust brew. The malt is there, in spades, but as a supporting part and not an equal. Absolutely beautiful. Rich, full mouthfeel keeps it going on. I absolutely love this beer and would drink it by the case were it available locally. Highly recommended.

What follows is a review for Winter Yulesmith, which I also liked but not as much as the Summer stuff. These are two completely different beers and as such I'm going to let my numbers for the summer stuff stand. If I were to seperately rate the summer, it would be:
P: 4
S: 4.5
T: 5
MF: 4.5
D: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange with a decent head. Aromas of honeyed malt and waxy, piney hops. A bit like Hopslam with the honey and pine. Tastes delicious. Slightly sweet with malt perfectly counterbalanced by a huge piney aftertaste. Smooth and slightly sweet in the mouth, this one is quite eaasy to drink, despite the abv.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clean orange-ish/ yellow color with aan off-white head. Aromas of a citrusy, grapefruity hop. In the taste, big grapefruity hops and a great balance of malt in taste as well. A bittersweet mouthfeel and a sticky sweet grapefruity hop aftertaste. A great double IPA, big hops and balanced. This is one of the better beers I have had in a while.

Photo of BigJTrucker
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is the Summer 07 version.

Pours a clear amber color, billowing thick white head. Moderate carbonation. Pine resin aroma predominates. Clearly a DIPA. Taste is a more mild pine aroma, some nice maltyness. Mouthfeel is very smooth. like butter! A very drinkable, good DIPA, not over the top as some others have a tendency to be. I can't wait to try the winter version

Photo of tpd975
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one came courtesy of my man Sudsdog. This is last years Christmas edition red and green baby.

A: Same as the summer edition nice copper orange color with a big frothy bubbly head made up of lots of tiny bubbles.

S: Lots of sweet malt coming right at you in the nose. The hops are there though and they let you know it. Tons of floral aromas with hints of pine sap. Very nice.

T: Tastes as good as the summer variety but the hops are a bit more subtle. The malt balance is wonderful and the sweet malt teams perfectly with the bitterness of the piney hops. I really like this one.

M: Nice and thick coats the mouth and the stomach what more could you want.

D: Very drinkable for a DIPA. This one is just as good as the summer edition which I loved. I will be searching out some of this one when it is released this year to celebrate Christmas and bring in the New Year. All hail AleSmith.

Photo of kirok1999
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The winter/green label. Wow, what a smell, it jumps out of the bottle before I can pour it. A nice dark copper/brown and a sticky thin white lacing.
Smell is great, sweet caramel malt and a subtle citrusy malt.
Taste is smooth and creamy caramel malt. Molassas, plum, toffee. Wonderful carbonation, not too much, not too little. Damn this is drinkable. The blue is great in the heat of summer and this is just made for cold winter nights. Can't wait for more.

Photo of beermanbrian
3.39/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2007 summer version

Cloudy pale orange color with a thin head that leaves some ok lacing. Not very apealing in appearance.

Smell is a burst of citrusy hops that turns musty and a little earthy. Citrus smell leans toward grapefruit but can't quite overpower the musty smell to really kick into that really appealing range.

Taste is obviously hoppy but struggles with the problem a lot of double IPA's have, the sweetness is a little overpowering and becomes cloying. High ABV shows itself too.

Hard to get a take on the mouthfeel, the hops burns out my taste buds and then the sweetness overpowers and then to finish it off there is the alcohol burn.

Overall this one was a letdown. It is certainly better than the average beer but it dosn't live up to the rep that AleSmith has. I'd give it another try but I won't send my wife to Ohio to pick this one up again.

Photo of bradford
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looked good. Pretty typical for the DIPA craze
Smelled okay. Nothing but bittering hops in the nose
Tasted good. Hop bomb? Yes. Balanced? Yes. Great? No
Mouthfeel was good. Better than average. Smooth despite the bitter hop additions
Drinkability was good. The high abv doesn't show it's face until about an hour later when that slightly overweight girl in dire need of braces and a kick in the mouth sitting next to you at the bar starts looking okay
Good but not great and certainly not worth it's reputation here on BA

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