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YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,614 Ratings
THE BROS
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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
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Ratings: 1,614 | Reviews: 903 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle Pours a murky amber with a good fizzy off white head. Lasts fairly well and has better than average lacing. The aroma is a wonderful mix of malts and hops. Has good chocolate, carmel malts and nice pine and grapefruit hops. The real pleasure is when it hits your mouth. Has a great carbonation with a medium body. Wonderful flavors for both the malt and hops. An excellent durationand an even better ending, no strong aftertaste but just enough to keep you hoping you don’t run out. Finish has the perfect amount of bitterness. This is IMHO the best beer I have had. The great people at Ale Smith must distribute east immediately.

Photo of cracker
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic and a top of the line double IPA. Pours an amber-golden hue with a lovely thick aromatic head. Smells like freshly peeled citrus fruit rinds and pine thistles. For a bottled beer the smell is as fresh as draft beer straight from the brewery! Amazing...
Lovely sweet malty taste that is finely well balanced with a pronounced dry hoppy bite. Definitely one to savor and enjoy. Thanks to FitzIPAtrick for this one.

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

Thanks to KingG for trading me a few bombers of this stuff!

Cloudy, hazy chestnut color with small head that dissapated quickly to a fine layer on top. Right when I popped the top a wave of piney, floral, malty aroma hit me like a ton of bricks. Very complex smell.

Taste is dynamic to say the least. Piney hops with a nice bitterness and malty sweetness. Floral and piney hops pave the way, with a grassiness tucked in there...Very green tasting, and the bitter edge fades quickly to a dry finish. No alcohol in the taste, but the warming quality lets you know its there. This is a very good IIPA, but I dont put it in the same class as Dreadnaught, 90minute, Ruination, etc....It feels more like a barleywine.

Thick, chewy mouthfeel. Feels like I could eat it with a fork.

Drinkability is nice, even though the high ABV keeps it in check.

A really good IIPA, but in my opinion, I dont think it should rate quite as high as it does.

Photo of VoodooBrew
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When a reputable American microbrewery takes a stab at the Double IPA style, it seems more often than not to yield delicious results. No exception with YuleSmith.

This hazy orange-colored holiday potable features hops and sweet candy on the nose. Guess what's to be found in the palate? Hops up front, and a nice little warming effect. Or maybe that's just my soul warming up because hops warm my soul.

Photo of ghostwalker
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reddish/amber body loaded with tiny bubbles. Huge frothy yellowish/off-white head with tremendous stamina. This head is really a work of art, I have no idea how they achieved such a towering mass of foam.

Nose is candied grapefruit with a hint of sweet marshmallow. My God! I never thought I could find a nose better than SNCA. It smells like IPA heaven.

Flavor is huge with citrus, piney-ness comes in a close second. Plenty of sweetness with a subdued, but noticeable, caramelly malt backbone. It's really a great and well balanced IPA. Very different from the norm. A great entry in the "Best IPAs Ever" category.

Mouthfeel is fairly thick, substantial and chewy, for an IPA. There is plenty of body present, almost a syrupy quality.

Drinkability is off the charts. I can't get over how easy it is to drink. It's almost too tasty to stop drinking.

A champion among IPAs. Really.

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Winter 2006 and 2007 Release

Drank the 2007 from a snifter glass

A - Amber-copper colored ale with a creamy tan head. Cloudy, as you would expect from a bottle-conditioned ale. Real cloudy if you pour all of yeast from the bottom of the bottle into your glass.

S - Aroma of grapefruit/floral hops and some pine notes.

T - Massive flavor but with great balance. The sweetness of the malt on the tongue is very well balanced (perfectly balanced to my taste) by the hops. In spite of having a considerable amount of hops, the finish is not excessively bitter.

M - Medium mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation.

D - One of the best IPA's I’ve tried. Probably a good pairing with cheese. But, it’s great alone. If it weren’t for the fact that this is an 8.8% beer I would say it the perfect session beer because, as far as taste alone, I could drink it all night.

Photo of grub
4.93/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a nice golden colour, with a thich creamy head that dissipated fairly quickly but leaves a bit of lacing the whole way down the glass.

aroma is almost all hops, with a slightly malty background. the hops are bright and floral.

taste is hoppy, with a bit of alcohol warmth on the way down. fresh hoppy flavour. grapefruit and a bit of apricot. strong hop bitterness, that comes on strong and finishes fairly smooth.

overall the body doesn't feel that "big" and it's quite easy to drink, but half way through the glass i'm already starting to feel full. quite hard to put down though, as it's just so damn tasty.

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

Pours a deep hazy amber color with a nice 2 finger cream colored head that leaves some light lacing behind.

Aroma is nice big chewy malt with lots of good hops underneath, a big bodied brew almost barley wine like.

Taste is malt lots of caramel with toffee hints big and chewy again with some big deep bitter flavors underneath the massive body. Good hop flavors with out being overdone. Lingering pine bitterness and resin mixed with citrus flavors apricot and pear dominating the citrus part. Tastey beer more so then the smell.

Mouthfeel is big full fat and chewy with nice level of carbonation. Again barley wine like in feel also.

Drinkability is good an enjoyable seasonal and I2PA with a huge malty body. Wouldn't mind having a few of these every winter. Thanks merlin48 for sharing this treat with me.

Photo of hero27
4.88/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber.

Festive silk-screened bottle commemorating the holiday season. Hazy orange glow..sticky head of off-white foam that leaves random patterns of lacing. The smell is tremendous juicy, citrus hops..just when you think it can't get much better...the boldness in aroma is topped by it's intense taste. Resinous hop flavors jump around on the tongue and it has a fantastic finishing bitterness. There is a thick caramel malt presence holding this heavyweight together, and the warming effect it has on your entire body is well received. While you know this brew is imbibed with an enormous amount of hops, it's endlessly drinkable. I think the glass spent more time in my hand than it did on the table, because it was very hard to set this one down inbetween sips. How this can be this smooth with the barrage of ingredients, I'll never know.. very creamy, full mouthfeel. Well-deserved of it's high marks, this brew is a testament of brewing quality and hard work. Phenomenal..extraordinary..beer.

Graciously given by Jetsbeer in trade.

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

22 oz. Winter 05 edition

Alesmith has been strong in it's stance that this beer is an Imperial Red. This version seems to be most along that terminology.

It pours a burnt red color with a consistent head that retains with slight lacing. It packs the hop punch - pine scent mostly. The taste is more complex than just the hops - there's a nice caramel maltiness. It has a medium to full body with plenty of warming and a slightly bitter finish. The alcohol was definitely apparent and it wasn't as easy making it through the bottle as I anticipated.

This is a fine beer, but the Winter 04 edition was markedly better.

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz silkscreened

wow. this beer glows.. i mean GLOWS red in my glass, full of big bubbles and a serious, soapy head that refuses to diminish. it just looks holidazy. smells like a caramel apple rolled in cascade hops. very clean aroma that provides the desired mouthwatering effect. spicy nose is a nice welcome from a west coast hop juggernaut. very malty up front with bitter/puckering fruity hops. bready back-end with some black pepper notes, clove and slight blueberry finish. hoppy enough to be an awesome ipa and spicy enough to merit the holiday moniker. drinkability suffers due to sheer size and richness.. however this is not meant to be chugged. savor it like a holiday gathering with friends and family. rich, noisy, vibrant... but heart-warming nonetheless.

Photo of MattBrooks
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours orange/red with a thick, rich head that is simalarly colored and it has a beautiful cascade going as well. Smelled of pine-nut and fig with hidden spices lurking in the background. I couldn't quite make out what those spices were, but they certainly added to the complexity of this delicious brew. The taste was strong and only complimented by the rich, full mouthfeel. It leans towards bitter in a classic ale sense; and although it is categorized as an American Double IPA, the hops hardly enter into it. The hops are not overpowering at all. An excellent brew!

Photo of mcowgill
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a very nice amberish/orange color with a beautiful creamy head that lasts throughout. A very hoppy citrousy smell is evident. The taste is amazing, easily one of the best DIPA's I've ever had. There is a very strong hop flavor with a nice malty balance. The drinkability is excellent. Goes down very smoothly (to me at least) for such a powerful, high alcohol beer. Damn, this is my last one. Must try to get more before it's gone this season.

Photo of Lnedrive14
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours an absolutely gorgeous amber with a tinge of garnet. Gloriously thick head that stays around forever. Looked amazing in my bernadus goblet. Lacing was great - stayed around for the whole time I was drinking.

Smell is slightly subdued, not over the top, which is perhaps a good thing. Thick malts and hops predominate, with some subtle citricity. Tastes fairly interesting - strong toffee and caramel sense. The normal strong citrus flavors I expect from a DIPA were fairly subdued.

Great mouthfeel, however I felt the drinkability suffered. Not exactly sure why. The warming sensation was nice, but I think I felt a bit too much alcohol presence for my tastes in this type of beer. EDIT - let this one warm up a bit more when drinking for a second time. Drinkability is amazing. Raised from a 4 to a 5.

A great beer. Thankfully I have one more under my bed.

Photo of Viggo
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty clear amber brown, big off white head forms, stays around for ever, really nice lacing on the glass. Smell is tons of caramel, very malty, some chocolate, then some nice pine/citrus hopping, smells more like a barleywine than DIPA. Taste is very caramel/toffee as well, grainy, some roasted character, pine hops, some citrus/grapefruit, more toffee, slightly bitter finish. Medium bodied, low carbonation, significant alcohol warming as it goes down, just as a Christmas/winter warmer type ale should do. Very tasty, thanks DrJay!

Photo of Prufrock
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

bomber poured into a pilsner.

nice amber, coppery color with an inch of off-white creamy head.

nice hop aromas. pine up front, floral and citrus as well.

taste is hoppy, but not overwhelmingly so. some malts in there, but mainly citrusy malts and a nice clean, dry finish. touch of aspirin in the flavor as well. nice balance for a double IPA.

Photo of carln26
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured from the bottle a deep copper color, very clear topped by a thick egg-white head. Nice sheet of lace is left on the side of the glass as I drink the beer. The nose has nice grapefruit citrus punch up front that is balanced by caramel on the finish. The taste is balanced too. More of the grapefruit tempered by orange followed by light caramel and a hint of fig. This is not just a hop bomb, it shows a nice balance. There is a little spice on the finish. Maybe spruce and pepper. Very nice. Slick mouth feel. Lots of alcohol, but still a good drinkability.

Photo of czechsaaz
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very hoppy aroma (kind of SNCA like but more fresh) Some malt backbone. No fermentation aromas. very clean and hoppy in the spice-type of hops, not citrussy or wood.

Somewhere between deep gold and amber. Perfectly clear with a big head that fades to a solid layer of delicate foam. Very active rising carbonation but bubbles are very fine (like good champagne.)

Very hoppy start. There's enough malt to sweeten it out in mid palate and the aftertaste is all west coast hops. Not overly bitter but tons of hop flavor especially in the aftertaste. Again, spicey varieties with a touch of citrus. But with each sip I notice more of the malt play, base and crystal I think. It's a hop monster to be sure, but there's great malt balance too.

Not quite full but way beyond medium body. Creamy and the carbonation is like it looks, delicate and plays around in your mouth.

For a beer this big, it goes down very easy. The big hops are just enough to hied the strength but the fact that something this hoppy has so much malt profile gives it away.

Yumm!!! IMO this is the best of all of Alesmith products. Some are partial to Speedway Stout but year-in year-out this is one of the best SoCal holiday beers.

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.88/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This review is for the Winter release.

I was rather eager to try this... a highly regarded member of my favorite style, and as the place I go to near work is the only place in MA that I know of that brings in AleSmith, damn lucky to get it too.

This was a wonderfully amber brew with a creamy, foamy three finger head that formed a wonderful crown as I poured. I almost poured too much... watched it rise half an inch above the rim of the glass, but it held together well. Lots of lacing as it died down.

Aroma was of pine and hop resins, without a doubt a hop monster. However, there was also a touch of sweetness, and a firm malt backbone.

Taste was bombastic... (and yes, I am using that word just because I hardly ever get to use it, what the hell, it's New Year's Eve and I am watching the Blues Brothers. All is right with the world.) Loaded with hop bitterness... tons of alpha acids, pine, a faint hint of citrus, resins, and did I say pine? Wow. But powerful as it was, it wasn't overpowering. The malt played a wonderful supporting role, holding up the hops in the limelight. Damn, this is so good. If I look, I can find the alcohol, but it is so well masked it's hard to believe it's 8.5%.

Mouthfeel is good, chewy but not sticky, full-bodied. Not highly carbonated, either. Really really good.

Drinkability is really good... I'd love to give it a 5, but I think one is enough for me. Given the high ABV and the incredible hoppiness, even a hophead like me can have his fill with this one.

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

very festive looking bottle with the wreath and holly or mistletoe or whatever it is and green and red lettering. really puts me in the spirit for a strong hoppy brew.

nice looking copper bronze reddish color, with a lightly tanned head. the head forms large and recedes slowly to about half an inch thick, and then just sticks around leaving wonderful lacing.

just about every kind of hop aroma you can think of. pine, citrus, floral, even a bit grassy. wait, maybe thats the pine screwing with me. a bit boozy, but its the holidays, its 8.5abv, and this stuff only comes once (ok, twice) a year.

and that smell is magnificently replicated in the taste. strong hop presence right through. from the full bitterness which never comes across as too agressive, to the mouthfull of pine cone and sticky malt sweetness.
very interesting finish too. not too sweet or bitter with enough body to carry it all through without being too sweet or filling, and just dry enough to make you smack your lips waiting for more.

an impressive job on this from alesmith. now i know why they have to release this during summer. no one could grab enough during winter to hold them for the entire year. just knowing its around, you can hear it calling to you. now that its gone, i can still hear it. heck, i can even smell it.
oh, sorry, those hops are still coming up in burps.

Photo of jamie2dope
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Didn't realize that this was a double IPA until I brought it home and looked it up...great surprise considering I really like theis style. Poured a dark amber texture with a thick robust white head which settled within a few minutes. Smell was very piney with some lovely spices in there that gave it a ginger bread character that was not overpowering by any means. Malt was detectable, along with some mild fruit presence. Taste was incredibly well balanced with a syrupy body that really had some great tastes going on and a really sharp hop presence. Only thing was that I was having a difficult time grasping onto one flavor and distinguishing it from the others. From what I could tell, there was alot of spicyness and maybe some lemon in there somewhere.The alcohol really made itself known, as by half way through the first glass I could feel a nice warming sensation. Drinkability wasn't bad at all, but certainly not an IPA for people unseasoned to heavy hop assaults. A marvelous brew....I really wish I could put my finger on more of the tastes that are undoubtedly in there though. Nevertheless this is one of the best, most well balanced and tastiest IPA's to ever have crossed my palate. Cheers

Photo of waughbrew
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A perfect creamy head rides atop this amber brew. Aroma is surprisingly tame for the style - vague hops run a spectrum of smells, none being particularly strong: warm fruits, piney, spicy, and aspirin. Accompanying this was a wafting peanut butteriness that, despite my affinity for peanut butter, just did not do much for my hopes for the brew. My lowered expectations were met by the confused flavor. Malty, sweet, the herbalness is there but the hops just do not assert themselves. Maltiness can work, but the peanut buttery flavor just did not complement the herbal mysteriousness of the hops very well. Not unpleasant, not great either. Despite this, the feel was awesomely balanced, smooth, and pleasing. Enjoyable, but not a favorite aroma and flavor profile of mine.

[After reading some other reviews, I have to say that I am questioning what beer they put in my Yulesmith bottle. It did not strike me as all that dark, or all that hoppy, and I certainly did not find the black cherry and plum that the Alesmith website states. I will have to try this one again soon.]

Photo of bruachan
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from hudson w&s

shared this with my pops on xmas day. the darkest IPA i've ever seen? there's a big hop (...and a hoppy new beer; we'll get to that later), but a nice malt lurks in the background. here's a chronological account of drinking yulesmith: "that's dark," "smells like hops," "tastes like hops," "mmmm....there's something nice after the hops." is it chestnuts? that would be season appropriate, but so would egg nog and reindeer. definitely nutty and caramely

let's get to the hop. piney aroma, mostly. not so much citrus, but it's there. some sweetness comes through. resinous flavor that follows consistently into the bitterness.

not exactly a session brew, but damn tasty. hoppy holidays!

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

What better day than Christmas day to review this beer?

Pours a clear red to copper colored ale that manages to form a small head despite the alcohol level.

Smell is good amount of malt and brown sugar with a good spicy scent. Very bready base malt scent with a scent of rye bread in there. Extremely spicy scent with lots of hops scents, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper.

Taste is sweet and tart on the first sip with a good stomach warming. Good malt flavor that are kept ion check by a solid hop bitterness that is a bit herbal and woody in this young bottle, a year of aging will cure that. Good spicy flavors that are mostly in the alcohol components of this beer. The malt remains on the sugary side with herbal hop flavors mainly in that. The herbal hops carry a good amount of citrus flavor but I think that this really needs a bit of aging to be at its best.

Mouthfeel is very good and full.

Super drinkable for the alcohol level, I still think that this needs to be aged for a year to be all that it can be.

Photo of beersarang
4.97/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a golden with a white head, thickness is apparent from the beginning. Looks live velvet with a huge sticky head.

Intense sweet pinesap aroma, this is a holiday beer. Citrus rind shows up in the background.

Sweet almost butterscotch and toffee malt dominate as an incoming wave of hop flavor and bitterness approaches. It seems as if the pine and citrus are going to overwhelm but they fall short and maintain a perfect balance. Alcohol is slick and sticky, finishes dry.

Full bodied, light smooth carbonation.

You could guzzle this, it's that good. Alcohol is hardly an issue while drinking. Amazing beer, perfectly balanced. PERFECTLY.

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