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YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,630 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,630
Reviews: 906
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 246
Gots: 72 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 11-24-2002

Lots of hops with a nice malty backbone on this one. It is released twice yearly; once in the Summer and once in the late Fall / early Winter. Winter bottles have green & red ink, Summer is blue & red. There is a variation in the malt bill for each version.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,630 | Reviews: 906 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sloejams
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
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 +2.9%
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 +5.7%
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
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
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
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
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 +5.7%
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
3.6/5  rDev -14.5%
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
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
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 +11.2%
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
4.87/5  rDev +15.7%
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 +18.8%
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
4.42/5  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
3.82/5  rDev -9.3%
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
4.27/5  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
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
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 +18.1%
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.

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

Holy hops! Pours a goldenish to light copper color with a huge white fluffy head. A great looking beer!
This is a very pungent smelling beer. Big hop aromas. Floral, spicey, and citrusy. The hop character in this beer is very stong to the nose. A great smelling beer for any hop head.
This beer is sweet up front with a nice malt smoothness and then my tongue is slapped with hops! The taste behind the sweet malty character is citrusy and earthy.
This is a medium bodied beer as far as mouthfeel goes. Slighty slick and sticky.
This is a pretty drinkable beer and enjoyed my first glass very much its time for a second.

Photo of oggg
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at O'Briens. 12/05

Ruby with browner elements. Aroma of sweet caramel and mild floral hops. Full and sweet caramel flavor from beginning to almost the end. Smoother than last year. Hops are resinous with tremendous hop bitterness that lingers and lingers. The finish is also dry as a bone. More bitter and dry than last year. Full bodied. Pretty smooth, also the sweetness begins to get tiresome after a pint.

Overall: much improved, excellent DIPA.

Photo of wl0307
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A great gift by courtesy of BA Greg (Dukeofearl) when he and Alice visited London earlier this year. Thanks Greg! This is officially my first "bottled" DIPA, as I am lucky to have tasted DFH 90minute IPA on cask and something else I can't remember at the BSF bar, GBBF 05. Both were huge, complex and very different, further triggering my interest in seeing how these giant hoppy monsters could maintain their subtle distinctiveness... And having warmed myself up with several IPAs and heavy APAs recently, now I'm ready:

2005 edition, 8.5%abv. Served around 10-12˚C in a goblet.
A: pours a copperish hue with exceptionally dark orangey hint; thick, cappucino-like frothy and creamy head, only very slowly dissipating w/o showing much movement, leaving layers of fine lacing. Very gentle carbonation detected. Beautiful...
S: the texture of the smell is beyond my imagination--I could sense an invisible, air-tight cell occupying the space between the nectar and my nose, in which the fat fruity hoppy and richly malty elements are wrapped together, so intense and focused that it's unmovable and never dissipates... sweetened apricot and cherry, preserved orange, melted malt sugar, flowery honey, butterscotch, peach-flavoured milk(?!), rock-candy, endless fruit and flowery esters all over the place. The whole thing is thick, intense, complex but luckily not too aggressive~~ It's easily the most remarkable aroma of all those (only a few actually) American IPAs I've ever encountered, but it doesn't get 5 coz it proves a touch too sweet for me. (at the second pour and third the smell does soften remarkably and still bloody nice!)
T: the first sip is like a hop-shell exploding on the palate and taking me aback!!! releasing high voltage of hoppy waves rediating towards all corners in my mouth and really "stuns" my tongue; after I put myself/my senses together after the first hit, the second sip shows a fat and oily hop-ball rolling onto the palate, gradually the incredibly thick orange-dominated citrus fruitiness spreads from the centre, followed by oily hoppyness, liquour-preserved cherries, along with buttery and sweet-biscuity malts, while the magnifying bitterness gradually intensifies from underneath just as a flow of flaming alcoholic warmth sliding down the throat like malt liquour. Thick but round finish, underlined by incredibly deep and lingering, herbal and slightly citrus-tannic bittering flavour deep down the throat on top of the simmering flames~~
M: incredibly rich and round the mouthfeel is... with such a 110% body and 120% flavour, I'm pleasantly surprised to find that at the back of the palate the oily hops, thick malts and ever-lasting and ever-magnifying bitterness are all rolled into one, as if there is a centre of gravity to keep the harmonious balance...
D: I feel very priviledged to try such a nice brew as my first-ever bottled DIPA. Actually I'm converted right away! But it's not to say that I would stop my love for "attenuated" American IPA and indeed even "smaller" English IPA, and "mini-mum" ESB, so on and so forth... They, as different styles, each show distinct beauty and complement each other to make the (bitter) beer world fuller and never boring. Three cheers to Greg and YuleSmith!!!

Photo of kmo1030
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

ruby hued coper with a thick creamy tan head that stick around for the long haul.
citrusy floral hoppiness, orange rind, cut grass. toasted caramel, caramelized sugar. a hint of alcohol in there somewhere. yeasty, with a nice rich bready aroma as well.
the taste is drenched in hops, but no overwhelming biterness. powerfully hoppy like ruination, but without the overpowering bitterness. tons of great flavor, great amount of bitterness. sweet and citrusy not overly so though with other floral fruity flavors in it too, rounding out the hop side of the equation. the malts hang in there with the hops with caramel and rich hearty breadiness. excellent, excellent balance for such a hoppy beer. a nice spicy quality from the alcohol or hops adds a nice complexity
lighter side of full bodied with delicate effervescent carbonation that creates the most fantastic creamy quality that coupled with the piney quality at the finish, creates a near perfect double IPA experience.
drinkability is amazing, the booze is present in the flavor but only adds. the incredible taste coupled with the perfect mouthfeel makes you wants to drink a bomber or four. absolutely top notch. i will be gettig more if/when i see it. an excellent double IPA.

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an orange-gold in color. Astoundingly clear. Bid, thick head that left some very pretty and layered lacing. Nose is just full of wet citrusy hops. Little bit of sweetness at the back.

this a big ass, juicy beer. Grew on me after initial dissapointment. Loads of citrusy hops that I almost have to chew my way through. But throughout it all there is a nice and solid malty sweetness that grounds the hops. Big wet and full mouthfeel that loses a bit of its consistency as the beer warms. Just a slight bit of heat from the alcohol that does not really come out until the beer warms up a bit.

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

This beer comes all the way from my friend in Cali, SwillinBrew.

Clear, burnt orange beer with a mountainous head. The beer is well carbonated and the head is reminiscent of a scoop of melted vanilla ice cream in a root beer float.

The nose bounces between aromas of fresh hops and candy caramel sweetness.

Tastes quite alchoholic. Sweet Belgian candy with sharp notes of salt to balance.

Sticky, chewy mouthfeel.

This is a nice sipper. Time to throw a few more logs on the fire and savor this treat.

Photo of spazaru
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another outstanding Alesmith brew. The only issue I have is that it doesn't offer enough more than their regular IPA to justify the cost.

I guess it's a compliment that all of their beers are so good, that this one just lives up to those, rather than exceeding it, but at $5.49 for a bomber, I expected more. Sorry.

Great beer, but there are plenty more as good.

Photo of taez555
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a bright reddish/orange/tan body with a small white head.

Nose was a sharp citrus burn. Black pepper, citrus peel, natural pepper, very intense and very in your face. Super hoppy and very crisp and sharp.

Taste was FULL bodied with a rather fruity, almost fancy bath soap, sort of flavor. Very rich and spicy. Pine needles, black pepper, touches of other winter spice as well. A big huge malt flavor gives a nice balance but is completely overshadowed by the big hop taste. Bitterness isn't overpowering but sits evenly against the large malt and hop flavor.

Really a very nice and rich holiday ale. More of a kick ass DIPA than a Holiday type ale, but hey, it's still very yummy.

Photo of HardTarget
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle Inspection: Silk screened brown bomber that notes it’s bottle conditioned, should be served between 40-50 degrees, poured gently to keep the yeast in the bottle, and 8.5% abv.

Aroma: Sugary malt base that is the starting point of all good IPAs, & DIPAs. The sugary base is dosed with citric and floral hops. Not quite Cascade in character, I’m guessing another “C” hop blend.

Appearance: Hazy orange amber glass (golden edges) with a big frothy sandy head that clumped and held like Marines.

Flavor: Potent citric hop taste, but no acid burn! The lack of acidic bite lets you experience the full hop flavor without just reacting to it. Backed masterfully with malt sweetness, this is a real showcase for how good a hop can taste!

Mouthfeel: Milky smooth, heavy body triggers a chew. It’s a bit oily (it should be) and has a mild carbonation level that feels just right.

Overall Impression: Masterful! Massively drinkable, even dangerously so. Full rich flavors but not overpowering in any way. Bravo!!
Many thanks to acoatley for bringing the bottle back from AZ.

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