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YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,538 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,538
Reviews: 896
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 243
Gots: 67 | 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:
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: 1,538 | Reviews: 896 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of callmescraps


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

Went to Downtown Wine and Spirits to visit some old friends. Turns out I still have my store discount. Turns out they still have a sick selection of brews. Seems like a good match.

Oh yes, this is the winter version (you can probably guess so from the date reviewed).

Appearance - A very deep copper/amber color. Nice and clear, with about a half inch of off-white heads. Excellent lacing as the head just clings to the glass, and isn't going anywhere.

Smell - Wow. Tons of piney hops. Tons of citrus. It's a sticky-sweet hop explosion. I could smell it the moment I opened the bottle. Lots and lots of the grapefruit. You can definitely smell the cascade. Wow, it smells amazing.

Taste - Comes with the citrus and pine hops up front. Make no mistake, this is a hoppy beast, but pretty mellow. Not overly bitter, as the sweetness and bitterness really balance. However, the "dry" finish is kind of astringent. It does make me want to take another sip, but mostly to kill the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Nice and creamy, without being too heavy. It clings to the tongue. Very, very smooth.

Drinkability - I'm a little worried about this. It was amazing at first, but as it warms, it does get a little thick, and a little tough to drink. Yet, that first taste is so good I want more. Someone used the word "syrupy" and I think that is a problem as it warms.

Hmmmm. This one started off as an absolute beast. Amazing smelling, amazing looking, and that first taste blew my socks off. But.... The aftertaste is fairly unpleasant. And, it definitely does not improve as it warms. It says to chill to 40-45, which was easy enough. But since I don't live in an igloo it's warmed up some in the glass, and seems to have suffered for it. So, it went from being one of my all-time favorites, to simply a very good beer.


I am adding thoughts for the summer version. They seem to have some real differences.

App - Lighter in color. More dark gold/pale copper color.

Smell - Hops! Wonderful citrus, orange, apricot. Some nice bready malt behind it all.

Taste - Beautiful. Nice and light. Good bitterness. Sweet citrus, with that bread back. Lots of bitter on the finish.

Mouthfeel - Still nice and crisp, good body.

Drinkability - Very nice. Goes down smooth.

The summer is also excellent. Great beer. A tad more bitter than preferred.

12-30-2008 05:34:32 | More by callmescraps
Photo of foxbat2500


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

09 Summer Version in a bottle from BevMo.

Looks awesome. Orange/dark golden with a nice foamy head that really sticks. Wonderful carbonation

In a word pine I guess. Not as big as one might think. There is a sweetness in the smell.

Sweet, bitter, orange, others say Pine, but I've never had a pine cone to drink.

Great balance shows in the mouthfeel. Its big, but its all there in balance.

You know what's drinkable? Water! This has taste.

08-12-2009 02:51:43 | More by foxbat2500
Photo of beer2day

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

Lucky find while on vacation in MA late this summer. Sequestered in the back of the beer fridge since then.

Hazy, dirty light gold pour with 1-finger of pale cream dense head. No retention. Decent, but light, lace rings.

Big earthy nose. Herbal hops with a touch of grapefruit. Lots of malt underneath, more bread than biscuit. Just a faint suggestion of the abv.

Very grainy taste. Light grapefruit notes up front. Big bready malt flavor backs that up. Nice shot of grapefruit in the finish, complementing the dry, near arid, finale. Getting a touch of apricot and mango later in the bottle.

Heavy body. Very heavy. Tough to finish the whole 22 by myself, but somehow I muddled through. Syrup and heavy cream. Not much fizz.

Very well done.

10-24-2011 02:09:59 | More by beer2day
Photo of sinstaineddemon


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

Summer '06 release

A - this ale pours a pale yellow brown, with 3/4 of a finger of creamed coffe colored head, tons of carbonation and moderate sediment

S - this ale smells hops dominant, but those yuletime spices are quite evident

T - similar to the aroma, the taste is also hops dominant, but the hops intensity melts away into a sweet spicy aftertaste, which is very persistent, in fact the aftertaste is the strength, the spiciness is a seeming amalgamation of nutmeg, ginger, citrus and coriander, very nice

M&D - a greatly balanced and bodied beer, smooth down and spicy kick, i love it, would be great in its context, coming in from sledding on a cold winter day next to a warm woodstove

mmm... New England winters

08-23-2006 03:52:36 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of oceanman


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

Winter version.

Copper/amber color, thin head, active carbonation.

Complex nose - floral, vegetal (squash), fruit (raspberry), hops noticeable.

Fruit-driven bitterness on front end mounts towards richer, drier, espresso-like bitter finish. Malty, nutty sweetness gives depth to the bold hop bitterness.

Good carbonation, rich flavors but not harsh.

A well-balanced flavorful brew.

12-07-2009 15:47:47 | More by oceanman
Photo of tonistruth


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

winter '07

A- copper brew under a never ending, ridiculously bubble bath like , off white head. soapy lacing, though does do Belgian lacing

S- toffee, caramel, fruit, spicy, vanilla, pine

T- toasted malts, cookie, toffee, and some fruity esters. Spicy pine hops, subtle alcohol, balanced sweet pine after

M- almost creamy, well carbonated, hop feel

D- well crafted and a delicious brew, really quite amazing. I prefer this to the summer version, highly recommended

02-24-2008 19:51:02 | More by tonistruth
Photo of Viciousknishs


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

A- pours an orange amber color with a finger and a half of white head. Solid head retention with lacing.

S- rich hops on the nose with orange and floral notes. Hop oils and and leafy fresh hop characteristics in the middle with a subtle biscuity malt bringing another dimension and balance to the beer.

T- citrusy hop flavor with orange and grapefruit peel hit the palate at first. Spicy white pepper notes with a resiny hop oil hit mid palate with a continued aggressive hop bitterness. Subtle biscuity malt for a touch of balance on the finish with a lingering floral hop flavor in the aftertaste.

MF- slick resiny mouthfeel with a medium body. Average carbonation.

D- great drinkability

07-31-2012 01:30:28 | More by Viciousknishs
Photo of divineaudio


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

bomber into a tulip. 2011 batch.

a - pours a light amber color, yellow around the edges and slightly hazy. two fingers worth of rocky, pale yellow head eventually calms to a thin cap and sticks around. got some chunky lacing and a few streams of bubbles.

s - grapefruit, tangerine, toasted bread, honey, pine.

t - same as nose, really, minus the tangerine, and in the same order. flavors play off of each other extremely well and the bitterness hangs on the tongue for a while. no trace of the 8.5% in the taste.

m - lighter side of medium bodied with just enough carbonation to make the flavors pop. has a bit of mouth coating action and the abv eventually show up as a slight warming sensation.

o - a damn fine beer and represents the style well. a bomber of this seems to be about right for a night, but i'd still love to have more. i think i enjoyed this more than pliny (gasp!)

08-16-2011 03:40:02 | More by divineaudio
Photo of aaronh


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

2002 bottling.

The first glass pours a nice clear copper color, while the second is noticeably darker and hazy due to the lees. Aroma is slightly floral with a good citrus note. Very nice for an aged beer. The flavor is well supported by malts, and reveals strong pine backed by a decent citrus and a subtle floral hoppiness. A very nice beer. The hop bitterness lingers on the finish for a while as well. Mouthfeel is solid and rewarding. Drinkability is also very good. I split this bottle with a friend, but I could have easily enjoyed the whole thing myself. Glad I had the chance to experience this one.

12-31-2003 01:42:00 | More by aaronh
Photo of 57md


4.29/5  rDev +1.7%

Pours a light copper with over two fingers of head. The head maintained its frothiness for a long time and left thick lacing on the glass. The nose is delightfully hoppy with a touch of citrus. The flavor profile follows the nose but malt also comes through very strong. The finish has a good strong bitterness to it.

This is a top shelf DIPA.

07-06-2014 02:54:19 | More by 57md
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

Big thanks to enelson for this one! Served from bottle into a Delirium Tremens snifter. Pours a hazy yellow orange with a three finger fluffy white head that remains for quite awhile and subside to a one finger upon sitting for quite some time. Maintained excellent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of pineapple, pine, citrus, and mild hops. The flavor was of tropical fruit, malt, with a nice citrus/fruity hop followthrough. It was light on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was quite a nice IIPA. The aroma of this one was quite nice and refreshing and told you what you were about to get yourself into. The pine flavor in this brew was kind of powerful to me so drinker beware... However I did not find it overwhelming and rather a welcomed change in my past lineups. This is a great IIPA and a must try for the true hopheads out there.

08-05-2010 12:01:13 | More by thagr81us
Photo of theghost3


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

I had the Winter version of this on New Year's Eve.

Pours a hazy deep amber with a 3-finger, frothy orange-beige head. Lots of lacing.

The smell is slightly pine & citrus hops with some dried fruits, spices such as coriander, and a little sweet maltiness. The taste is citrusy hops, which are not overpowering. There are also spices and caramel malts. Mouthfeel is carbonated, medium-bodied, and sticky.

This is a drinkable Imperial IPA. It's not a hop bomb but is well balanced instead.

01-11-2010 03:03:09 | More by theghost3
Photo of LiquidAmber


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

Review from 10/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a medium orange amber with a huge, long lasting white head and nice carbonation. Hoppy citrus aroma. Flavor is aromatic hops and citrus balanced by a nice malt base and interesting fruit backbone not often notable in big IPAs. I like this quite a bit. Nice job

07-31-2012 19:39:01 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of errantnight


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

A beautiful, golden brew with a frothy head that is there from the start to the finish... this is the 07 summer bottling (blue bottle).

I'm not sure if I let this sit around for too long, or what, but the hops seem subdued in both the nose and on the palate... their fruity and floral character mild and restrained instead of way over the top... made up for some by the fact that they were indeed the primary flavor, and for the masterful balance with the malt which provides just enough sweetness to push things forward.

That said, I remember this being way more hop-forward, and the Ruinations I've had recently seemed fresher and more vibrant... and while I've previously found myself to enjoy the summer more than winter version, this past year's winter Yulesmith provided that richer, more full bodied experience with explosive hops.

For all that criticism, this was a delightful drinking beer... and if purchased at a reasonable cost (BevWarehouse, say) as opposed to the semi-ridiculous mark-ups found in other places around town (approaching 7 bucks a bottle), I'd love to have a fridge-full, as when I was done I found myself really wanting more, despite the alcohol kick. Certainly not sessionable at 8.8, but still a lovely brew, one of the best. Seek it, trade for it, love it.

09-17-2007 19:33:17 | More by errantnight
Photo of bultrey

New York

4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

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.

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

North Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

A fresh 2009 winter Yulesmith courtesy of jlindros, an extremely generous trader.
Deep reddish brown pour with a beige, light tan head. Retention lasts forever and leaves gobs of lace on the glass.
citrus hops and malt on the nose.
Hop bitterness is upfront with a malt underpinning. The malt is there with a hint of dark dried fruits but because this is a recent bottling the hops are dominant. Malts become more prominent as the beer warms up and hints of bitter chocolate appear as well.
Velvet mouthfeel with plenty of hop oils coating the tongue.
Pretty easy to drink, especially for its strength.
A worthy representative from an excellent west coast brewer. I'll have to keep an eye out for the summer version as well.

01-26-2010 03:17:51 | More by kwakwhore
Photo of zeff80


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

A - Poured out a clear, golden-orange color with a one-finger, white head of foam. It left sudsy patches of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of pine, citrus, and bubblegum. A toasty aroma in the background, too.

T - It tasted of strong pine flavors with spicy bitterness. Good toasty malt backbone with sweet caramel.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a very tasty double IPA. I'm glad I finally got to try one.

09-05-2012 00:57:33 | More by zeff80
Photo of BretSikkink


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

Winter edition 2007

Thick creamy tan head, dark orange to almost brown in color. Froth is tall, lasts a long time, and leaves great lacing.

Aromas and flavors are predominantly hops; citric for flavor with a hefty dose of pine for a spiced feel. Mouthfeel is terrific for a DIPA, and it's easy enough to drink for the high ABV and loads of hop flavor.

Terrific high hopped ale. Recommended.

12-02-2007 04:29:12 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

Green and Red - Winter Release.

A mosaic of peach, salmon and amber tones are all blended within a deep tawny wash; the colour actually shares strong resemblance to the skin of a pomegranate. It blushes to the light with a strong reddish radiance. Streams of bubbles can be spotted in numerous spots. The top fifth consists of a creamy, tanned, whipped piece of froth. It couldn't look anymore fantastic.

I'm happy to smell a lot of 'green' accompanying the red in this Holiday Ale. One thing that all good West Coast brewers do particularly well is make hoppy beers; Alesmith's Yulesmith pageants hops in all of their glory. In roughly this order the hop bill showcases: herbal, fruity, and floral. It pairs pine with hydroponics and blends the two with a wicked amount of citrus.

Throughout all of this lupulin madness, somehow, the malts still manage to shine through a fair bit themselves. They provide a very, very sweet, sugary counterpart to all this citrus and acidity. Prominent notes of dark toffee, creamy caramel cookies and honey coated wafers - all toasted to perfection - soak the palate with wonderfully delicious flavours.

The hops are also tasted. The beer again bears resemblance to a pomegranate, this time in flavour. A few other citrus fruits tag along, including grapefruit and tangerine. These hops impart a mouthfeel that is blistering with alpha acids. Despite the malt presence, the acidity is still left a little out of check. It doesn't hinder drinkability much mind you.

And neither does anything else. Certainly not the ton of hops, certainly not the almost 9% alcohol, and above all else, certainly not the 650ml serving size. I'm sure the 'bomber' bottle must have been invented for these kinds of smooth, quenching, incredibly quaffable IPA's and DIPA's. True or not, I wish all beers this good were offered in this size.

I really didn't consider this to be one of the top notch DIPA's after trying it for the first time (Summer Version). This sample, however, (Winter Version) has certainly lifted my holiday spirits. My Christmas wish is now that this "end of the year treat" could be an 'end of every working day treat'! This is one seasonal I will be revisiting each and every holiday season.

12-17-2008 02:53:36 | More by biegaman
Photo of nectar14


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

This is from a 22 oz. bottle from the SUMMER release (Fireworks and red/blue bottle)

A: More pale in color than I would have expected, with a gold hue, just a trace of amber. Nice 1 1/2 finger fluffy white head, good lacing.

S: Big piney hops on the nose. Big.

T: Just a hint of malty sweetness up front, and then the hops take over. Touches of citrus come in the midpalate, and then the piney flavors course out through the extensive, bitter finish, leaving the malt far behind. Prickly and piney.

M: Really, really outstanding body and carbonation that are perfect for this beer. This was surprising.

D: Also high marks. For a strong, DIPA with all those hops, this is wonderfully drinkable.

I'd say it is not my absolute favorite DIPA, but it's a terrific example, and certainly worth a try.

11-14-2009 16:33:07 | More by nectar14
Photo of chilidog


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

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.

01-15-2005 02:50:59 | More by chilidog
Photo of JohnnyM2002


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

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

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

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

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

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

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

12-30-2007 15:57:52 | More by JohnnyM2002
Photo of TheBungyo


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

Get a stick because the head on this one will be tough to beat back. Body is bronze orange and head is creamy white that proudly stands an inch and a half tall. It doesn't fade away meekly either ... I let it sit for 5 minutes and only half of it diminished. This is something you'd expect from a nitro pour!

First to attack the nose is pine, followed by orange and lemon.

Taste is more of the same with caramel finishing things out. This is really good and I'm glad I tried it.

At about $7 a bottle I don't know if I'll buy this often but I do know it tastes great. A wonderful beer if you're willing to shell out for it.

09-10-2006 06:59:39 | More by TheBungyo
Photo of whatthehull


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

Tasted June 25th 2011 (from notes)

Poured into a la Chouffe tulip

A - deep copper, one finger off white head and some lacing

S - lots of alcohol, very hoppy, pineapple, pine, grass, very yeasty, sweet malt, sugar, high octane everything, flowers, grass and tons of everything awesome

T - really sweet up front and than a wall of bitter. Nice yeast, lots of citrus and/or tropical fruits, sugar, sweet and complex malts, alcohol, pine and what seems like earth and/or wood/oak

M - big, carbonation, somewhat chewy, medium acidity, full bodied, nice balance and long finish

D - huge, complex, full bodied IPA. Copious amounts of hops malt and awesomeness. This is a great IPA. I am starting to be a big fan of yulesmith

Final thought - 8%+ ABV and only $7 a bottle. This one is worth it and if you find this on tap somewhere, please email me

07-05-2011 16:38:34 | More by whatthehull
Photo of sugarman


4.32/5  rDev +2.4%

08-14-2014 21:25:55 | More by sugarman
YuleSmith (Summer) from AleSmith Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,538 ratings.