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YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,361 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1361
Reviews: 882
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 10.17%

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: 1,361 | Reviews: 882 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SwillinBrew


4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tasted the 2004 summer release of YuleSmith (red foil with blue & white ink on bottle)

The color was a deep honey coppery color with a nice inch of white head. The aroma was a piney hops with notes of citrus, rather pleasant. This is a delicious beer. Balance that starts with a sock of hops finishing with the malt.

This summer release taste different than the winter release. Different kind of hop profile it seemed, leaning towards the bitter... both releases are damn good.
EDIT: I just had this again and had to up a few scores... so good this brew!!!

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2005 07:26:30 | More by SwillinBrew
Photo of budsboy


4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear, deep tan with an explosive foamy head that spins a sticky web on the glass.

Deep, piney hop scent mixes so well with the woody alcohol and malt scents. It's Christmas in a bottle.

WONDERFUL piney hop and almost smokey malt with a heart-warming alcohol show. Fabulous balance of sweet malt and bitter hops. The flavor is so full and round and juicy. This is in a class all its own.

Somewhat oily mouthfeel, not full in the mouth. A pine-sap film sticks to the teeth.

Easy with this, it'll kick yer arse. But get some if you can. It's a wonderful brew. Many, many thanks to hustlemuscle for the gift.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2005 20:12:19 | More by budsboy
Photo of ChappyCubsFan


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All 4.5's for this gem. The AleSmith IPA is a truly remarkable beer, so you can trust that they know what they're doing with this seasonal brew. I first tasted YuleSmith at the San Diego Strong Ale Fest in December 2004. It was one of my favorite double IPA's at the fest (along with Pizza Port's Lou P. Lin). That was enough to promote a trip to the AleSmith brewery the following week to buy several bombers of this classy brew.

The malt taste of this big beer is an excellent compliment to the hops. One thing we've noticed is that they (AleSmith) seem to vary the recipe and bottling slightly with each release, or at least it seems that way when we taste the different bottlings of the ones we have cellered from purchases we've made in San Diego. And each one is a great experience.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2005 06:19:01 | More by ChappyCubsFan
Photo of walleye


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from the bottle poured a hazey orange with a off white head and some decent lacing. aroma hoppy, pine, citrus, lemon , grapefruit, caramel, malts, grapes, pear, bread. flavor, brown sugar, hops, floral, caramel, citrus, a nice bitterness and dryness hope to get some more of this.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2005 23:59:07 | More by walleye
Photo of IrishRedRock


4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful appearance to this hop puppy, with a lasting creamy head atop its deep amber body. Head retention is great. Begins extremely well balanced, with fruity notes that emanate seemingly directly from the head of this beast...a long, hop filled cherry flavor stays with me throughout. Has some nutty characteristics to go with the malt, following through to an almost-sweet point before the hops come crashing down. Finish is slightly dry and again, a bit on the sweet side. Oh yeah, and there's the alcohol. Tastes like it's right around 9%; the warmth feels more like 11%. That's not a complaint...just stating, what is to me, a fact. This stuff is balanced, full of hops, sweet & citrus fruit, and alcohol. All the makings of a kickass beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2005 01:14:36 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of SheepNutz


4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz. bomber poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a brilliant medium red color with four huge fingers of foam. There is lots and lots of lacing. The nose really leaps out at you. Lots of piney hops up front, but you get some of that citrus in there as well. A little bit of sugary sweetness as well. The taste is spectacular. Candied fruit sweetness at first, showing those faint signs of maltiness. Watch out for the hops though, cause they aren't far behind. Lots of great hop flavor without being overly bitter. Sticky pine sap remains on the tongue. The mouthfeel is good, but could have been a touch thicker. The drinkability is deadly. A fantastic brew that really gives new meaning to hoppy holidays.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2005 04:33:09 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of deejaydan


4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BuckeyeNation for the opportunity to try this one.

All I gotta say is WOW. This beer is intense. Pours a deep copper, ruby highlighted color. Thick Merangue style head that does not go away, despite it leaving lacing on the glass. Aroma of some spicy hops, as there should be. This thing explodes in the mouth though. Thick and Lush in the mouthfeel, and balance towards the malts. This is an impressive beer, I'll have to keep my eyes open in the future for it.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2005 13:41:55 | More by deejaydan
Photo of Naerhu


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark amber color, with a light rocky white head.
Aroma: Explosive pine, spice, pine and more pine aroma.
Taste: Resin-y hops, juicy bitterness, big firm maltyness which is nevertheless swept away by the massive hoppyness. Caramel made not with sugar, but from hop juice.
Mouthfeel: Big and thick. This is a slick monster of a beer.
Drinkability: I put down a full 700 ml. bottle of this myself in a flash.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2005 14:56:39 | More by Naerhu
Photo of chilidog


4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have to thank Santa-wife for thisone. She worked at thisone for it was a sample bottle from our local beer store.
It poured a nice clear burgandy red with a thin, well carbonated light tan head that faded to a thin film. Lace was little and spotted.
The taste hits with a splash of winter spice. Alcohol upon the first sip then warms the chest, as a blast of hop rounds out the finish.
Carbonation on the mouth makes for a very soft mouthfeel. A good sipping brew as a slight hop dryness on the mouth is left. My first Alesmith, hopefully the first of many. We'll see.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2005 02:50:59 | More by chilidog
Photo of cokes


4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Clear burnt honey with a durable cream-hued froth.
Sinus clearing, rusted iron-impaled pink grapefruits slathered in bong water and Christmas tree goo.
Begins with a delectable toasted caramel maltiness that goes on to hint at almond, before turning grainier and more rye-like. It's a relatively simply maltiness, but one the works extremely well and balances the weighty hop load. It grows towards toasted honey (just as the color suggested) as it warms. I love the malts here, even though the headliner is hops.
The hops come crashing in, as expecting, all aggressive and pissed off.
Rusted tin and mint.
Joint ash (or pipe scrapings) and ruby red grapefruits.
Spruce juice and pine pitch.
Roses and meat cleavers.
The body is unfaultable with is draping weight given reprise by a steady unobtrusive bead.
A Double IPA is meant to be loud, and this is, but it also shows a restraint and finesse that many of its peers overlook. For every yin here, there is also a yang.
This is grandiose without being psychotic.

Maybe just slightly manic.

A hearty thanks to kmpitz2 for this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2005 06:15:11 | More by cokes
Photo of trancefishy


4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance is a nice caramel color, with a tight light-hay coloured head that knows how to hang out for a while.

smells is serious resiny hop oil glands. wow. its' like i'm smelling concentrated hop extract or something.

taste is not surprising, since it's ungodly hoppy. wow. at first i was like, wow, this is a really raw hoppiness, and here comes the bitteness. on teh finish though, there was just a gentle descent from hop-o-rama to a smooth aftertaste. wow. seriously awesome.

mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, just right body. filling but not thick and viscous. drinkability is really high, i jsut keep wanting another big ol' gulp of this stuff. good thing they come in big bottles!

this is excellent beer, go and get some before it's all gone!

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2004 23:54:16 | More by trancefishy
Photo of shippos

New York

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

courtesy of Clvand0 via BIFXmas,
poured witha big light tan rocky head and a clear brillant reddish orange color. dry hay like aroma, very hoppy with a deep sticky resininess. tons of hops exploding in the taste, dry coarse bitterness. Only one thing going on with this is hops, hops, hops...not much malt character to give a little balance although the alcohol isn't really knocking me out either. .does have a nice mouthfeel to it though, not knowing this was a double ipa although I should've guessed from the insame hop character, I'd say this is excellent.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2004 15:57:31 | More by shippos
Photo of wimpasaurus


3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this from a 22oz bomber.
Appearance: very nice deep brown. Good thick head which laced the glass quite nicely.
Nose: A good nose. Not phenomenal by any means, but good. Bore hop characteristics of orange and lemon but not as effervescently as I might have hoped.
Taste: In my opinion too malty. This hid the hop flavors to some extent and did not let them shine through to their fullest. While I enjoyed the malty flavors, I feel this distracted from fruity characteristics that I most enjoy in a Double IPA.
Mouthfeel: Good. Not as thick and rich as I might have hoped but still good.
Drinkability: I easily consumed the entire bottle but can't honestly say it left me lusting for more.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2004 04:52:01 | More by wimpasaurus
Photo of Bierguy5


4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. Pours a clear amber color the first time into the snifter. The next pour contained the yeast and sediment. Thick, fluffy off-white head. Head retention was very good, and the sides of the snifter were coated with a thick lace. Big citrus and piney nose. Slight noticable alcohol. Great flavor balance between the big malt and hop flavor. Again, citrusy and piney flavored hops. Warming presence of alcohol. Very dry finish. Medium to full body, with moderate carbonation. Pretty drinkable, as enjoyed this one while being snowed in here. For a Double IPA, this is very well balanced. Very good seasonal.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2004 13:46:37 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of clvand0


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an amber color with a large head that has great retention and leaves nice lacing on the glass. The basis of the aroma is a caramel, but it is dominated by pine and citrus hops. The flavor is very smooth and well balanced. The caramel adds to the complexity and takes a bit of the bite from the hops. Very nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2004 14:42:44 | More by clvand0
Photo of kmpitz2


4.95/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours very nice deep amber color with 3 fingers of head that fall to 2 fingers. The nose is just wow. The hops are so bright and full. Pine and citrus and a hint of underlying caramel sweetness. The flavor is more subdued that the nose would tell you. Wow. I really like it. There is a really deep caramel sweetness overlayed heavily with a fine balance between the pine and citrus. Very nice. The feel is just as thick as would be expected. Drinkability is also grand for a beer of this size and magnitude. Wow. I think I am in love. Great great beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2004 01:13:58 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of lou91


4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This review is for the red, white and blue yulesmith released in July '04 and tasted in December '04. This beer looked great- from the cool colors and packaging to the liquid clear honey color. There was little head on the pour but it fought back and left a nice glistening head. Oh what a great nose - hops, hops, hops! The hop flavors, however were not over the top. There are citrus, pine, pineapple and bubble gum sweetness in them hops. The malt backbone is strong adding a nice balance. An excellent example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2004 05:16:23 | More by lou91
Photo of ppoitras


4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle obtained via trade with meathookjones. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 3/4" of beige head over the dark amber brew. Dense head lasts, and lacing is great. Aroma is all about the piney hops, but there is more than ample malt character to support it. Taste is similar to the nose, with biting piney hops upfront, which are smoothed by the hearty malt, and then ends dry with some slight fruit and alcohol character. Mouthfeel is superb, and drinkability is great as well. This is my kind of holiday brew. Ho ho ho!

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2004 22:54:27 | More by ppoitras
Photo of alexgash


4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dipping into my Hi-Times booty from my Thanksgiving California beer raid...

Very excited to try this holiday ale. Pours a very rich, mostly-clear amber with dark orange highlights and a creamy, whipped light tan head.

Very nice. Lacing is excellent too.
Smells mmm....brown sugar and gooey caramel malts drizzled over a freshly-cut spruce bough. Big, juicy, resiny, piney hop aroma. Yes indeed.

The hops hold off up front and let the big, caramel-maple syrupy malts take over. Sweet, but not too sweet. Ahh, the hops come in to balance mid-palalte anyways. Numbing, resiny bitterness starts small but builds in a hurry. Coniferous sap, herbal, spicy, and bitter all the way into the long, novocaine finish. Hints of sugary butterscotch malts linger and poke through as well. Big-bodied, and a big, mouth-coating feel. Creamy to just chewy enough. One of my favorite double IPAs. Wish I would have bought more than two bottles of this!

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2004 02:43:51 | More by alexgash
Photo of mattcrill


4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Festive brown bomber with a nice little paragraph on the back talking about how to best enjoy the beer. It states that this beer is a "tradition end of the year treat". Well, far be it from me to stand in the way of tradition!

Appearance: Pours a deep and clear ruby red with a chunky and pillowy white head. It looks so perfect in my snifter.

Smell: Hop oils are off the hook! This is a full frontal hop assault on the nose. Pine resin, citrus, orange rind, grapefruit, and lemon zest all swirl together to form a hop bomb for the nose. It's too awesome to describe.

Taste: Yipes! Pine resin and bitter hop oils flood the palate. The only thing that keeps coming to mind is grapefruit and orange. I'm not getting any malt presence at all. There is a touch of sweetness to it but only in the context of a sweetness that you would get with a citrus fruit. I'm at a loss. My palate is at a loss. This is truly the nectar of beer gods.

Mouthfeel: Thick and oily. Alcohol warms the pipes and this beer is just so big and bad that it lingers. Oh yes, it lingers. Cool hop burps too.

Drinkability: I had to knock off a half point for this one. Only because I would WANT to drink more but I know I shouldn't. This stuff is so good. If all other beer became extinct I would be sure to save this one. My palate is totally blown after this one though.

Notes: I can see why this would be a holiday beer. I drank this while decorating our freshly cut Christmas tree with my wife. It seemed appropriate because I imagined that this beer would taste like if I sucked the sap right from the trunk of our freshly cut tree. However, this beer was much more fun and enjoyable than sucking on the tree.

Go get this beer and make your holidays merry and bright. Light the tree and yourself too.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2004 03:21:44 | More by mattcrill
Photo of bultrey

New York

4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

How can a beer with so much hops, malt, and alcohol be so easy to drink? To me, this has alot of similarities to Arrogant Bastard, but is slightly less hoppy. The appearance is nice, a cinnamon brown color with a very thin head. The aroma of this actually doesn't represent how much hops I suspect are in it. It's a rather subdued aroma -- maybe some pine and citrus (orange), and definitely that fresh roasted barley smell that just seems to shine through in West coast DIPA's. The taste is so well-balanced -- the hops hit you right away, but give in to the malt almost immediately. The effect is a nice bitter citrus characteristic from the hops sweetened up by the malt -- it reminds me of grapefruit halves that have been warmed with some brown sugar on top (if you've never had that, try it). The hops bitterness lingers but is never overpowering, and the finish is actually surprisingly clean and crips, begging another sip. The mouthfeel is full and creamy and almost syrupy, just as good a mouthfeel as you can get in a beer. At 8.5%, I could drink this all night, but I'd regret it. Seductive drinkability. I love Alesmith beers, I dare say more than Stone. Seek and enjoy.
Many thanks to EyeChartBrew for this special holiday treat.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2004 02:41:39 | More by bultrey
Photo of Wildman


4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a copper amber color and formed a huge foamy off white head that acted like a float as it slowly subsided, coating the glass with lace. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, hops, caramel and quite a bit of pine. The flavor is of malt, hops, citrus, caramel and pine. The body is a touch creamy and the finish is sweet and slightly astrigent, but not to the level of say Runiation. A fine holiday beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2004 03:01:05 | More by Wildman
Photo of IceAce


4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Presentation is a dark copper body capped off with a single finger of rocky, tan-colored foam. Clarity is excellent and lacing pattern is above 75%

Aroma: Piney floral hops, yeast, quality malt, and a touch of alcohol

Taste: Mega hops grip the tongue at the onset quickly yielding to a smooth malty midtaste. Some soothing warming of the throat from alcohol (not harsh by any stretch of the imagination) and a nice floral hop finish. While more taste does not always equal better taste, in this case Alesmith has nailed down one of the best tasting beers I've had in the past few years

Mouthfeel: This is the Gold Standard of mouthfeel...clean, silky, and not enough o's in smoooth to do justice to this fine nectar

Drinkability: I stopped drinking this after one only because I needed to...not because I wanted to. High ABV is well hidden but potent and I'd like to live long enough to enjoy this rare treat many, many more times

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2004 18:38:38 | More by IceAce
Photo of ZAP


4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A highly anticipated forray into the world of Alesmith and my expectations are met..

Pours a burnt orange..big frothy white head...great fruity nose..big on the citrus fruits...grapefruits, oranges, pinneaples, but also a very strong "peach" aroma..smells sweet....body is creamy and smooth....medium to full..the 'peach" fruitiness is evident on the taste as is a much stronger bitterness than the nose foreshadowed..tobbacco, cannibus...and finishes with a raw rough piney bitterness....not to say this is overly bitter...it almost feels as if there is candy sugar added..It is uniquely sweet (as in sweet fruits) at the start and then the hops jump up and smack you in the mouth nicely..

Lived up to my expectations...the bittrness really emerges as you sip on this and it warms...blows away Stone in the hop bite category but I enjoy the stone brews a tich more...

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2004 05:20:12 | More by ZAP
Photo of oxmasterscream

New Jersey

4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle from the 2004 summer release acquired thanks to mrpicklerelish, big up.

Appearance: Poured a slightly cloudy (due to chill haze, I suspect) amber which leaned a bit toward irredescent orange... it eventually cleared up to reveal a heavy, steady stream of bubbles rising upward to a small but dense off-white head, which remained in some capacity the entire time I drank and left a thick lace behind.

Smell: First whiff revealed a tea-like aroma, followed by a big waft of grapefruit smothered in honey, and some pine. Next whiff was malty and doughy, like sweet bread or pastry. Also hints of something fruity in the background, cherry I think. I could literally smell this all day. The aroma was constantly changing and challenging my senses.

Taste: Citrusy grapefruit up front, followed by super spicy and mild fruity flavors in equal capacity, with a sweet caramel malt presence, and finishing dry with a solid bitter twang that increased as I drank and begged me to take another drink. It's probably as close as you can get to a perfect balance of big malt and big hops. It's a masterfully created brew.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full with light carbonation that gently tickles your tongue. Overall, it's smooth and creamy. Its higher ABV warms and never offends. Perfect.

Drinkability: Dangerously high. The ABV is barely noticeable because the aromas and flavors are all-consuming of the senses. I wish this was more readily available on the east coast. Like the bottle says, it's a great way to spread holiday cheer.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2004 01:03:12 | More by oxmasterscream
YuleSmith (Summer) from AleSmith Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,361 ratings.