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YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

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YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

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1,630 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,630
Reviews: 906
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 247
Gots: 72 | FT: 2
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
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Ratings: 1,630 | Reviews: 906
Photo of atsprings
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Summer 2007 release. Pours a rather crisp pale amber with a decent head that lasts as a thin layer and leaves good lacing. The aroma is a wonderful balance of caramel malts and pine and citrus hops. The taste is an amazingly complex balance of pine hops and burnt caramel. This is a very heavy and sticky beer. This is one that takes a long time to drink. it gets slightly more tolerable as it warms, but not much. This is certainly enjoyable, but I think I'll limit myself to one per release. I do look forward to trying the X-mas release.

Photo of yodaseo
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

green/red winter bottling

poured a hazy dark brown color, with the sumptuous creamy head topping the glass nicely. the initial smell had plenty of hop character and a bit of tart fruity goodness, but surprisingly it had a whopping portion of sweet malts. i was taken aback at first and checked to see that this is indeed listed as a double ipa. nonetheless, this mold breaking scent was heavenly and instantly fired all the nerves in my brain related to the process of imbibing. the taste was one of incredible balance. a burst of hops in upfront led way to a smoldering crescendo of smoky malts, followed by a lasting dry and bitter finish. it all came together in a warming yet smooth mouthfeel. the 9% alcohol was hidden almost to a fault, hidden behind the mountains of flavor. though it is a holiday ale, there is absolutely no time of the year when you should ever turn down a yulesmith. tis the season every day for this wonderful brew.

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

Summer 2007 release (blue and red label). Poured from the 22oz bottle into an Allagash stem glass.
Body is an orange-amber color, topped by a nice two-finger white head that sticks around for a good long while. Pleasant aroma is heavy on grapefruit and pine notes from the hops, with a good dose of sweet malt to balance things out. Palate is excellent - a sharp hoppy bite up front, balancing out mid-palate with a sublime sweetness from the malt. Finish is nice and bitter, leaving a lingering warmth from the considerable alcohol content. Palate is velvety smooth, with just a tad of stickiness. Goes down very easy for such a strong, hoppy beer. I'm a big fan.

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.88/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

probably the best double ipa I've ever had. Incredible balance. Nice thick malts followed by a great hop bitterness. Alcohol presence is nice in the backround and not at all overbearing. Don't notice the 8.8% at all. This is one of the most smooth dipas that I've ever had. I can't wait to try the summer version. The one I reviewed is the winter version.

Photo of RustyDiamond
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Summer '07 release, with fireworks on the bottle. Poured into my new Sam Adams glass, and a frothy ivory head quickly rushed up to the rim. I slowed the orangy/golden pour and she ended up with a nice 2 fingers. Aroma of a sour apple hop fruit medley. The hop nose didn't smack me in the face, as expected. I got an exceptional balance, very smooth with a tasty hop finish. Well made brew, for sure! And I am a big fan of the SA glass.

Fall 2008 release. Striking beauty in a glass...clearish chesnut amber with a frothy, creamy head. Aroma of spruce, lovely hops, & strawberry rhubarb pie. I could smell this all night.
Piney hops flavor in the first sip, with a nice sidewinder of 8.5% current. So smooth for so much flavor going on. Hops, malt and spice playing together so nicely. Spicy malt backbone, touch of nuts, with some noticeable carbonation bite on the tongue. Lingering hop finish but cut with graham cracker flavor. Just delicious...this Imperial Red style is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.

Photo of jaxon53
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Summer '07 offering. Served slightly chilled in a pint glass, from a twenty-two ounce bottle. Poured a beautiful golden copper color that was a bit on the hazy side. A thick, fluffy, off-white two finger head rose from the glass with an easy pour. Head hung around for a while, and slowly faded into thick gobs of pillowy lace. Tons of carbonation bubbles gently rose from the bottom of the glass. This beer has a nose on it that is mouthwatering. Thick layers of sweet - bready malt and yeast, pineapple , lemon, and orange peel. Tons of grapefruit, and hints of freshly cut grass. Flavor lands somewhere between bitter and sweet. Bitter hops, grapefruit rind, lemon zest, sweet malt, and some fresh bready notes. Finishes somewhat dry with a little bit of alcohol heat. Pretty complex layers of flavor, with a nice full body. Somewhat thick and almost chewey. Pretty crisp, clean, and refreshing. A good summer brew that is almost dangerously drinkable. A great IPA from Alesmith.

Photo of sessycuban
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am reviewing the summer 2007 release. I sampled this beer on-tap at San Gabriel's finest, the Stuffed Sandwich.

A - The beer poured a clear amber color with the head almost forming in clusters. Near perfect retention.

S - The aroma is overwhelmingly composed of fresh hops with a strong citric character as well. This one is a real beauty.

T - With this beer, it really came in stages. At first, the beer was very malty, with the citric elements really coming out later from the hop character. I'm getting orange, grapefruit, lemon. Very well balanced and the alcohol is hidden well.

M - The body is medium and the character of the beer is surprisingly creamy. Add to that a crisp but mild level carbonation.

D - Don't bother aging this (or any other DIPA). Drink it fresh! AleSmith has a winner here. Like most AleSmith beer, this one is a bit pricey to obtain retail, so I suggest doing your homework and finding a place that is lucky enough to have a fresh batch on tap. This may sound unrealistic for people outside of SoCal, but you might get lucky.

Photo of mithrascruor
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler (picked up at the brewery earlier today) poured into a mug.

Note: this is the Summer 2007 / Double IPA Holiday YuleSmith.

Appearance: Pours a nice golden-orange color (almost amber). Very clear. Slightly off-white head is very big, thick, and foamy, with lots of retention.

Smell: Lovely bold flowery citrus flavor (lemon, orange, etc.). Nice light piney (and slightly bitter) undertones.

Taste: Nice balance of citrus flavors and piney, bitter, hops. Not particularly complex, but the balance is really great for this type of beer. The aftertaste is predominantly hoppy, but with a flavorful background.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally smooth and medium-bodied. Light carbonation feel.

Drinkability: Rather strong (alcohol-wise) but never overwhelming.

This is really a fantastic beer. A week ago I had a sampler of this, and picked up a growler today. Addictive and enjoyable. The flavors seem in the proper proportions for this type of beer -- I get the sense that AleSmith is trying to make a good beer, rather than an over-the-top beer (like many double IPAs I've encountered). Very refreshing, and highly recommended.

Photo of flexabull
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 Summer Edition

Pours a light and bright gold color, slight haze, and a huge fluffy white head.

Aromas are of candied hops, with lots citrus and pine notes. This smells great!

Beer has an intense hop flavor. Very bitter, some mineral flavors, strong pine needle notes, and an alcohol bite on the finish. The backbone of malts lends a bit of sweetness underneath all the bitter hop flavors.

Nice full, strong, and well rounded mouthfeel.

Drinkability is great. This is an excellent DIPA. Even better than the very good Winter version in my opinion.

Photo of largadeer
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Summer 2007 release, purchased fresh from the brewery.

Appearance: Clear orange-amber with small clusters of tiny rising bubbles and a sticky eggshell-colored head.

Smell: Fresh hops with a strong grapefruit character. Malts are very much present, though slightly overpowered by the fruity hop aroma.

Taste: Malty at first, bready and grainy, with a fruity sweetness that settles into an intensely hoppy finish that consumes your entire tongue. The hops are of the citric variety; lots of grapefruit, orange and lemon peel. Very rounded and complex, with no astringency or noticable alcohol. Bittering hops are more prominent than I'd like, however.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and slightly oily. Crisp but soft carbonation.

Drinkability: Not as drinkable to me as some of the other quintessential DIPAs (Pliny the Elder and Pure Hoppiness come to mind), but it's still wonderful stuff and a staple in my fridge every time it comes out.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, 2007 summer edition, procured at the BevMo Irvine.

A: Dark amber, almost red, with an extremely large billowy head which surprised me at first, but then really enjoyed it, almost like a bottle of Duvel.

S: A beautiful soft citrus, this really dominates the smell, but it is heavenly, a beautiful brisk fragrant scent.

T: The taste is very good, citrus hops dominate, with tangerine and grapefruit, some malt in the back, metallic at times, but quite tasty.

M: Smooth, could be called hop juice, chewy hop bitterness, nothing is over the top, it is really well balanced for a Double IPA.

D: A great production, immensely drinkable for its size, I just wish it wasn't so damn expensive, even in California, it's $5.69 a bottle, if you're lucky.

Photo of mikesgroove
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok so this really does get my first perfect 5! It was the 2007 red and blue bottle. Poured a dep hazy amber with a big billowing white head that was so sticky it literally collapsed on the inside but the top and sides stayed together. Big time lace and alot of carbonation coming up from the bottom of the glass. The smell was hoptastic, hey a new word. Such a deep citric smell. Lots of grapefruit and orange, with a touch of pineapple and Lemon thrown in. The taste was out of this world. Bigtime hoppy IPA. Not alot of alcohol taste, well covered up. But soo sticky with hop resin and orange and grapefruit taste. It was rediculously fresh tasting and feeling. Unreal smooth and great dry finish.
This really deserves a 5. I ha really liked the winter edition, but this was absolutly the perfect Double IPA. Not too harsh, but yet harsh. Strong but not upfrontly so. I am going to get as much as I can, and being in South Carolina that will be no easy feat. This was easily the best of the style I have ever had and I will hold all future up to it until it gets put down. Now I need to find a 5 in a Pilsner!

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

A 22 oz bomber, Red/Blue Summer 2006 version courtesy of Boolshot.

A: The ale is a hazy copper-brown color, showing off more orange colors than not. The ale is hazy, thick with ultrafine particles that do no stand out as you look at it. The head neared a finger and was generally average.

S: The nose is thick with hoppy fruits and resins. Orange, grapefruit, pineapple, pine, the aromas run the gamut of the hop spectrum and don't hide the hot alcohol scent.

T: The age has taking a toll on the hop profile. The result is a much stronger biscuit and caramel malt that emerges mid-palate, leaving a graininess that I don't recall existing earlier. The hops are still strong but have changed, still exuding a grapefruit element but now a bitter, earthy dirty hop flavor scars the tastebuds, having completely crowded out the sweet aromatic citrus elements.

M: The aroma sets you up for a taste that falls short of expectations. The hops remain a force to be reckoned with though, its just that they have taken on a new identity.

D: Fresh, this beer floored me. With a year under its belt, the hops have dropped off and muddled the taste a bit. Don't age this baby, hit it fresh and hit it hard.

Previous Reviews:
8-Jul-07, Bottle, Winter, 4.0, 4.5, 4.5,4.5, 4.0, 4.35
16-Dec-06, Bottle, Winter, 4.0, 4.5, 4.5,4.0, 4.5, 4.35
11-Sep-06, Bottle, Summer, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0,4.5, 4.5, 4.60

Photo of jackorain
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this green and red labeled version at Charles Street Liquors in Boston while there at the Extreme Beerfest in Feb, finally decided to open it today for New Beer Sunday.

Poured this DIPA into my Duvel tulip.

Pours a sort of ruddy brown with a bit of orange hue. It is also quite hazy. When I hold it up to the light, it turns a beautiful glowing orange. The large bubbled head was about three fingers from a moderately aggressive pour. It stayed around for a while, while I admired the beverage. It slowly fell to a thick bubbly, coat of varied depth. It left really nice lace down the glass.

Smells of caramel malt, and dried fruits up front. I smell some dried apricots and maybe some papaya. The citrus hops are present in the middle as well like sweetened grapefruit juice.

Tastes of caramel malt and citrus and green hops. the middle to end is very malty, biscuit and fruity, as with the nose there are some dried apricots and bit tropical fruits here. The finish is long and quite pleasantly bitter, like grapefruit zest and bitter greens. The alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel is medium to full body creamy but also with a prickly carbonation.

Drinkability is very high; I will definitely finish this bomber and wish I had another. With the well hidden alcohol, this could sneak up though, even it is on the bottom edge for "modern: DIPA.

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

To celebrate my 2 year BAnniversary and my 75th review, I'm drinking this today on a beautiful mid-summer's day.

Winter version - 2006 (I assume)

APPEARANCE: Pours a very clear dark amber that turns brilliant ruby red when held up to light. The head is a light beige, massive, and dense. It takes forever to drop. Even then, a hearty cap stays with it the entire way down the glass and even leaves a few scant patches of lacing.

SMELL: Massive piny hop aroma and almost sweeteningly so. Any malt background is difficult to detect, but it seems almost toasty.

TASTE: Whoo, boy!. This is much more balanced than the the smell. The malt sweetness actually hits you first and is caramelly and nutty. Piny and citrusy hops quickly overtake it and overwhelm for just a bit. The finish is remarkably clean and leaves you with a solid bitterness and some residual malt sweetness. Fantastic.

MOUTHFEEL: Just a bit syrupy, but otherwise nice. Carbonation is on the high end and appropriate.

DRINKABILITY: Look out! Its 8.5% ABV doesn't show itself at all. It goes down very smoothly - so much so that I'm afraid I need to slow myself down.

What a great way to celebrate. I'd love to have one of these again, but I'm a bit afraid that the huge price tag may not allow it. I'd at least like to compare this with the summer version sometime. AleSmith - you do not fail to impress.

Photo of Stoneman78
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Summer 2007, fresh from Tapping Day last week. I'm recovering from a cold, but couldn't wait any longer to review. . .

a- pours a clear, amber/orange hue with a large, creamy, white head and excellent lacing throughout

s- classic DIPA full of piney hops, caramel malts, and subtle citrus tones

t- initial rich, caramel malts followed quickly by pine-dominated hoppy bitterness, very nicely balanced, alcohol presence is moderate but not too bad for this genre

m- Creamy and medium-bodied, nice level of carbonation

d- Tasty and easy-to-drink DIPA that is not too overwhelming given the ABV, Yulesmith is a refreshing summer release that is highly recommended (I just hope people don't pass it up because of the seasonally deceiving name).

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

Winter release picked up at La Cav du Vin, Cleveland and consumed in mid-June, 2007. No date information anywhere on the bottle. I assume that this is a 2006 release but cannot verify that.

Appearance: Quite dark, murky even…at least initially, as the carbonation is ferocious and causes a stirring of the bronzed dark orange brew. As the beer comes is brightens but never too much. This is a big beer with a big look. The head remains frothy throughout. It’s creamy and off-white.

Aroma: Toast and biscuit malts. Oily hops. Hop profile is both citric and tropical ranging from grapefruit to passion fruit and containing most of the spectrum in between. Some pine is also present. Malt is in no short supply either.

Taste: Not as hoppy as I had expected, although that could be a side effect of this brew’s age – 7 months or so (and I suppose this could even be a 2005 release. That would really explain things) or perhaps that is how this beer was intended, balanced, unlike so many DIPAs. I’ll have to drink more samples to know for sure.

Don’t get me wrong, however, this beer is hoppy. The flavor contains some wonderful juicy citrus elements. Tangerine and ruby red grapefruit are clearly discernable. Spruce and rose petals too. The malt in this beer is at times almost rye like, quite bready, and contains a light honey sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Balance, balance, balance. Yulesmith is big in terms of body, booze, and bitteress but it is not overbearing. Each piece of the Yulesmith fits together like an intricate puzzle. One is left with a very drinkable beer. Another word to describe the body is chewy and although the beer is initially oily, it becomes quite sticky as it warms.

Photo of Reed415
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

from the notes:

-Summer version. Clear reddish-copper in color. Fantastic rocky head when poured into my tulip. Leaves a nice lacing.

Aroma is hearty with a subtle spice nuance. Taste the holiday spirit! Nice malty flavor with a well defined hoppy character. Hearty medium-full mouthfeel. Biscuity, dry finish. Wonderfully drinkable. Great brew.

Photo of Cascadia
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter 2006 version from the Market of Choice in Eugene.

Nice clear ruby red/amber brown color. Good half inch head of creamy tan goodness sits nicely on tap. Smells big on hops with a little malt/carmel aroma at the end. Smell like its going to be a big one. Tastes of hops at first, followed by a bit of spice and ending with a nice malty carmel taste.

I was supprised at how complex this one is. Alesmith does good things. Yummy. Nice mouthfeel, creamy and smooth with just enough sweet notes to make it warming after the first few sips. This is a really good beer, anytime of year. Doesn't need to be cellared away, drink this one now.

Damn, Alesmith continues to create high-quality brews. Tip of the hat, boys.

Photo of bosco7
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had in bottle at Uber Tavern in Seattle. Winter 2006.

Amber in color with a luscious light brown/yellow head.

Smells of Christmasy spices (reminds me of eggnog) and biscuit malt.

Sweet. Lots of holiday spices upfront, followed by plenty of hops and a wallop of big caramel malt flavors.

This is full-bodied and probably should be shared amongst friends.

Photo of kajerm
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Summer version-- a little older than I'd like but I'll take it.

Pours clearish amber with a thick, soapy, lacing head and some resinous haze. Nice DIPA appearance, but it'd be nicer if the beer were cloudy.

The aroma is resinous, citric hops with some mangos on top of a solid caramel malt backbone. This smells great, I can only imagine how good this smells fresh.

Opens up with creamy malts that transition into a strong but measured bitterness. The sweet-bitter contrast is interesting and very nice, but I'd like to see more flavor hops here. Again, this might be better in a fresher bottle.

Mouthfeel is creamy and lightly carbonated-- this is really smooth, and it's a great summer beer. Combined with fresher hops this could be stunning; as it is it's pretty good.

This beer has great drinkability without sacrificing its identity as a DIPA.

Photo of plaid75
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter edition.

Poured a deep copper hue with a two finger pillowy off white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured an upfront resiny hop as well as a toasty malt.

The taste consisted of an initial burst of oily hop that quickly blended into a robust biscuity malt. An appetizing warming alcohol arrived toward the finish.

The mouthfeel was full and chewy with a warming alcohol.

Overall a very good DIPA. Well balanced and very tasty.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to blitheringidiot for this one. This one's from notes so I'd guess it's from 2005 aged about nine months.

This beer pours a peachy amber color with a frothy white thin head that left some nice lace.

Smells of nectarines, green grapes and a little cedar and pine. There’s a nice wheat bread dough that adds a lot of depth and balance to this one.

Tastes strongly of grapefruit and orange juice with a base of rye bread dough and caramel. Finishes pleasantly dry with grapefruit rinds.

Feels light to medium bodied with a tiny carbonation. Dries my mouth out quite a bit.

The smell was the highlight for me.

Photo of Vancer
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hoo boy, what a hammerhead of a beer. Just makes me all warm and fuzzy. Red & blue 06 version.

Gorgeous amber with a white pillow top dollop of cream floating on this beverage. Has an aroma close to barley wine – sweet caramel malt with a citrus hop background. Yum.

And the taste did not let me down, what a great blend of orange, citrus, caramel and a finish of floral hop, Just a slight bite of alcohol to keep it interesting.

Sharp and tangy with a bit of an oily finish. I’m a better man for trying this – thanks to the bomber provided through the Simply Beer BIF from Mike (mcallister)

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YuleSmith (Summer) from AleSmith Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,630 ratings.