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YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,361 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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 BrewMaster
BrewMaster

California

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

This is an outstanding beer. The appearance is a nice frothy head atop a golden amber beer. The nose is very malty. It smells of a good pale malt, hay, and a bit of earthy leaf. Very nice aroma. But the thing I think is so cool about it is that the aroma and the taste don't match up at all. They pull a switch on you. The taste is very hoppy with only a bit of malt to taste. But there were no hops to smell in the nose. I like this beer a lot. Great nose and great taste from a great looking beer. What else is there?

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2004 06:01:04 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of wyllder
wyllder

Massachusetts

4.9/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First off: big thanks to drewbage for the chance to sample this.

Yulesmith pours a cloudy, midrange amber with very little head. Leaves tons of sticky lacing in the glass as you go.

Nose is piney, with a slight candied edge to it.

Flavor is fantastic. Citrus bitterness comes through brilliantly, with grapefruit, acidic apple, and apricot all coming out. Malt balances on the midsip very nicely and the aftertaste is nice and bitter.

Carbonation is just right, making for an excellent mouthfeel. This avoids feeling overly resinous on the palate like many other DIPA's.

Wonderfully drinkable.

This is the first DIPA I've fallen in love with. To me, this really tasted less like many of the DIPA's I've tried and more like a teriffic IPA that packs one helluva punch! They really need to expand production so I can have this on the East Coast regularly.

Excellent stuff.

Update: They have expanded production, and I've been able to keep my cellar well-stocked. This has become my new favorite, though drinking a bomber of this by myself often makes for an interesting night!

Wyll-

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2004 12:27:45 | More by wyllder
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
OldFrothingSlosh

Pennsylvania

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

22oz. bomber of the 2003 edition courtesy of XLPerro and last year's holiday beer exchange.

A: Fiery copper in color. Clear. Finger-thick layer of bone-white head. Very thick and creamy, with lots of persistent lace. Almost 100% lacing of the glass. Exquisite.

S: Rainbow of spices, malt and leafy hops.

T: What would this take like fresh? It's damn tasty now, that is for sure. Nice mellow flavor with a hefty dose of caramel up front. Middle has some spices mixed and it finishes with a chocolate bitterness that's pleasingly long-lasting.

M/D: Very full-bodied. Immense creamy-smoothness. ABV is well-hidden. Excellent.

Huge thanks to The Big Dog for this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2004 01:54:33 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of CRJMellor
CRJMellor

Arkansas

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

Pours a depp orange and amber with a thick, viscous white head that leaves mased pieces of lace on the glass.
Aroma has some roasty, dark malts, citrus and a resiny hops with a dash of pine.
Flavor of caramel, hints of roasted barley, some dark citrus, raisins and dates, followed by a longsliding well balanced piney bitterness.
Mouthfeel is slightly sweet that then takes off into a cascading and layered bitterness that is strong but not overwhelming.
Drinkability is very high. Love to bear this with a big juicy, spciy steak and see how it stands up.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2004 16:47:27 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

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

Is there any finer thing than Christmas in August? I'm sure there isn't...
Peeled off the red foil wrapping, like a present on Christmas morning, and I'm ready to pop the cap...Appearance is murky, even violently carbonated at first, then settles to reveal a bright orange, topped with a thick, luscious layer of creamy, off-white froth. Looks very, very good!
Aroma: sweet and fruity, plenty of citrus, grapefruit, tangerine, peach, apricot, lemon, orange, and more, a bit of pine, too...awfully nice.
Taste....mmmm, mmmm, mmmm! Full mouthfeel, tangible, firm presence on the palate from the first sip, graps the senses from the lips and the tongue and the throat, and coats all areas with this great, citric, juicy hop flavor, just slaps it up and down, until no section is left unfelt by this feeling. Lush, majestic dominion over the mouth, perfectly dominates, and there's no denying, and I have to admire it, in fact, I outright adore it!
Every sip thereafter sends another wave of this delicious vibrant hoptastic taste washing over the tongue and every other inch of the cavern called the mouth, tart, yet still very fruity, and a touch sweet, though never considerably.Malt is solid and sure, and where hops are felt in full on the palate, the backbone is still considrable and adds much to the pleasure of the brew and to it's ease of drinkability.
Wow.
This truly ranks in a class of it's own.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2004 10:56:42 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

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

Orange.

Fine-tuned, but fairly subtle and disappointing nose (considering it's Alesmith) of grapefruit, tangerines, orange, biscuits and caramel.

Hefty, unorthodox, but succeeding attempt at the style, possessing a lot more acidity than most. Front is rich, citrusy notes of pine and spruce. Mid-palate comes through with hints of grapefruit, bark and vanilla. The finish is full of toffee,peanuts and hop oils. In all, the malt backbone is fairly sweet, possesing a lot of doughy notes but mainly a caramel sweetness. Unbelieveably balanced and simply stunning as it warms.

I'll still be tasting this tomorrow. Just an incredible offering. I don't know what to say about Alesmith. Out of my current top 20 beers, 5 are from Alesmith. The best brewer I have ever come across at this point in my young life.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2004 05:29:12 | More by Crosling
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

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

I got a hold of this special "summer release" edition thanks to the Bum from Long Beach.

Hazy, glowing scarlet red/orange appearance. One finger sized bone white head. Recedes in a timely fashion to a bubbly collar that leaves moderate lace. Nose is piney, resiny and citric. Big time PacNW feel to it. A little Mary Jane as well. Caramel and toffee notes add some balance on the nose. Juicy hop tones are upfront on the buds. They are followed by a bitter, high alpha acid hop bite. Then a little ethanol. Then some malt finally. Caramel seems to be the frontrunner and also a little toasted malt comes to mind. Some smoky tones accent lightly. And a little pine resin comes into the mix. The body is damn near full and the carbonation appropriately prickly. This is a damn good DIPA.

Thanks again Bum.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2004 02:58:06 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Boilermaker88
Boilermaker88

California

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

Presented in a 22oz bottle. Alesmith's summer limited release of a usual late fall seasonal had me chomping at the bit to uncap one last night. Poured into an imperial pint glass (just the right size), Yulesmith had a burnished coppery hue and sported a large dense whitish head that never completely went away, instead leaving great sticky gobs of lace behind. Massive amounts of fine carbonation swirled to the surface. Beautiful...
The nose had a wonderful balance of toasted malts, caramel, and citrusy hops. The aromas of grapefruit rinds, a bit of tangerine, and a resiny pine note gave me pause to linger and enjoy the smells for a couple extra moments.
The taste had a big malty sweetness up front, aided by the additional caramel flavor that seemed to stand out. Some faint nutty flavor seeped through, like hazelnuts, before the hops profile ramped up and took charge. A big burst of juicy citrusy hops flavor filled the back of the tongue and clung on for dear life. Some milder oily pine resin flavor hit the extreme back of the tongue, leaving a long-lasting bitterness that was quite enjoyable. Thanks to the abundant carbonation, Yulesmith had a lush, creamy feel that slathered the mouth in hoppy goodness.
What, Yulesmith is 8.80%ABV?! No way! Then this beer is dangerously drinkable, having given no indication as to its potency. Yulesmith is my favorite double IPA, even surpassing Dreadnaught. I can't wait for the fall so I can really stock up.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2004 17:21:52 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of rkhaze
rkhaze

California

4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2004 release. Pours a bright copper orange color with big creamy off white head that left chunks of sticky lace.
Big smells of sweet malt, lots of caramel, fruit and spices. Nice fresh zingy/citrusy hop aroma and a whiff of alcohol.
Great melding of flavors. Huge bittersweet taste. Malt, caramel, toffee, red fruit and a bit of chocolate all balanced by a large citrusy/spicy resinous hop profile. Hints of nuts and alcohol in the finish. Excellent!
Full bodied with a rich full and creamy mouthfeel. It had a viscous oily feel that was lightened by the great carbonation.
This massive beer is scary drinkable due to the balance of flavors and the great job of hiding the alcohol.
Wow! What a beer. Wish I would have bought more than three.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2004 01:10:25 | More by rkhaze
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

July 2004 Release
The beer after its evacuation from the 22-ounce brown bottle sets in the glass a nebulous deep copper to almost brown color with the head stupendous in size, semi-creamy in texture and the color a toothsome light tan, as it slowly erodes a thick and sticky blanket of lace conceals the glass. Nose is dominated by the aroma of hops and sweet malt, citrus crisp and clean, caramel, a hint of pine or is that just my imagination, start is rich in malt and somewhat sweet with the top moderate to full in its feel. Finish has a strong acidity, the hops potent in their spiciness, very dry and long lasting aftertaste, a great treat, “Christmas In July”!

Release 2003:
The color on the pour a beclouded burnished copper color with the head Bunyanesque in size, creamy in consistency and the color a toothsome light tan, as it ever so slowly decays the lace left behind forms a tight sheet to smother the glass. Hops citrus crisp dominate the nose, lying underneath is the sweetness from the malt, hints of caramel, pine, lime like crispness, fresh, a hodgepodge of aromas to entrance the senses. Start is sweet, full of malt, top is fair to middling in feel with the finish biting in its acidity, but the hops power their way thought to the taste buds, they spring to life with the biting spiciness, the bitterness is quite refreshing and the 8.5 percent ABV causes a nice warming sensation, as good as it is now, I always buy enough so I can sample for several years to come as with the 2002 release, reminds me I need to break one out and put it in the DBF for sampling soon.

Release 2002: - 4.60
it’s been close to two years since I had this beer, and I know that is way to long, finally the Alesmith brews are trickling over one style at a time, but at least their on the way.

The beer pours a murky amber color, tons of dross floating in suspension and resting on the bottom of the bottle, “Yummy”. The head is Herculean in size, the structure creamy, the color a beauteous light tan and as it evanesces, the lace forms a glutinous sheet to conceal the glass. Nose is dominated by the hop floral tones, sweet malt, fresh, crisp and clean, a real treat for the nose as well as the eyes. Start is ambrosial, loaded with malt, the top middling in its feel, finish is delicately acidic, and the hops slam your palate, like the “Cubs” pounding out the “Homers”, on their way to the “World Series”!

Quite dry and lingering aftertaste with a bit of belly warming to boot, oh how I love these big old bad boys, once of the beers not meant for the weak or infirm, as it will take the hide off an Armadillo!

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2004 15:18:29 | More by Gusler
Photo of Rastacouere
Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep hazy amber. Big white head, rocky and mountainous. Huge c-hops abundance. Lots of orange, flowers, grapefruit and pinneaple in the nose, but it’s superbly crafted for me to appreciate this. Those citrus fruits are juicy and creamy. Of course very hoppy palate. Contemplative bitterness. Typical Alesmith malt profile to back it all. Well hidden 8.5%. Medium-thick body, creamy, smooth body. Terrific double IPA. My favorite by far as it stands and I never thought I would rate one this high. I can’t believe how smooth and fresh those hops can be. Thanks again hopsrus

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2004 20:54:49 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of Dmann
Dmann

California

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

2003:

What a top notch brew! I had this one on tap at O'Briens and it was my first experience with YuleSmith. The color was a medium red with a nice head that left good lace. The smell was all about hops and spice, very inviting. The flavor was that of a hopped out barleywine more than a Double IPA. The big malt backbone anchored the brew while the bitter hops and the dose of spices kept the beer from being too sweet. Great balance and the aging must have factored in as well. Great stuff!

2004:
What a superb brew! This one definantly had more of an Double IPA flavor to it compaired to last years. The smell was more hoppy and the taste was more hoppy as well, but still retained enough balance in the malt section to make it all work. Kudos to AleSmith once again!

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2004 11:17:16 | More by Dmann
Photo of ngandhi
ngandhi

Illinois

4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I remember reading the background information on a famous homebrew IPA called Sister Star of the Sun. The author went into great detail about what an IPA ought to be and, though he dared to define this style that was previously only known as "hoppy," he did it with great tact and poise. He spoke of what many brewers don't seem to acknowledge nowadays with the advent of the double IPA: malt. He said the malt should be balanced and even noticeable; it should carry some weight and add flavor.

His point rings true in this age of hop teas. If your yeast is clean, the hops will be accentuated and so you can afford some nice malt character. Enter AleSmith YuleSmith.

The focus of this beer is hops. The bittering is up front and aggressive, the aroma is subdued pine with a little alcohol, and the finish is dry.

But the malt character is fruity, bordering on plummy but settling on a deep caramel that seems "spiced" by the lingering hops. The mouthfeel is dextrinous, but not so chewy as to not overwhelm the hops.

YuleSmith is a Lockean white slate for hops. It lets them shine, to do whatever it is they choose, but only within the confines of a normal beer environment. And beer is malt.

Though the bittering is spectacular, the late-boil additions leave little to think about. The hop flavor is one-dimensional and the aroma quite basic. I fear this brew has not fared well through the new year and, of an IPA, I would excuse this. For a double, however, this has faded far too quickly.

Relax, relax.
ng

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2004 22:51:45 | More by ngandhi
Photo of silenius
silenius

Illinois

4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up in AZ when Gusler took me to AJ's. We can't get this here in Chicago normally.

Wow. This is one hell of a beer!

Appearance is a clear deep orangish brown with a thin head that dissapates quickly. There was some lacing.

Initial smell is generic citrus, white grapefruit, peaches and a hint of orange. With some warming, a caramel and toffee smell emerges.

Taste is exceptional to say the least. Very well balanced. It is hard to imagine a beer this hoppy that also is balanced by malt, but this does it well. Caramel, canned peach sweetness, and hoppy goodness. The aftertaste is a nice bitterness that makes me want to take another sip.

Mouthfeel is creamy as the carbonation explodes from the beer when it hits my tongue. This makes the beer feel thick, almost like a stout. Very appealing.

This is a very drinkable beer. Burps are pure hops! The alcohol gets to you after 22oz. so one is prudent, but the desire for more and more is a great temptation. This beer is very, very drinikable.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2004 02:41:00 | More by silenius
Photo of StevieW
StevieW

Florida

4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz painted bomber bottle indicates it is the 2002 version. Acquired via the Xmas beer exchange from the esteemed Gusler, with wink and double pistols to the big dog too. I owe you one soon.
Pours a shiny dark copper color into a tulip glass. Dense, bubbly, beige head. Supercharged Cascade hop aroama hits you in the nose. I had not looked this beer up, and expected a fruity belgian type, pleasantly surprised to see it's a supercharged IPA. Fresh citrus hop aromas lead to a nice sticky, resin filled, mouth puckering bitterness on the first sip. "Go Easy" I tell myself. Nice undertones of roasted carmel malts, like melted carmel on toast. Hop bitterness kicks back in. Respectable hop bitterness, ever after nearly 18 months of settling. Very full flavored, nicely done double IPA. Not a hop monster, but nothing to sneeze at either. Moderate abv warms you belly and helps release some resounding hop induced burps to finish. Bitterness lingers on the tongue for a moment then vanishes leaving you aching for another sip. Medium bodied, very full flavored. A good impression by Yulesmith on this ba. Cheers to Gusler for his goodwill.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2004 23:03:48 | More by StevieW
Photo of winomark
winomark

Missouri

3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep copper with a miniscule head, but lots of bubbles.

Aroma: Combination of hop spiciness and malty richness. Sweetness is quite noticable.

Taste: Hop explosion up-front, with the malt adding richness and depth. Not as hoppy as I anticipated, but quite pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Coating, but not too thick. Very flavorful with a nice, dry lingering finish. Well done.

Drinkability: A solid brew from a great brewery. Super for a cold night by the fire. Find this one when you can; you won't be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2004 13:55:53 | More by winomark
Photo of frank4sail
frank4sail

New Jersey

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

Thanks in advance to Boilermaker88 for the holday cheer!!!

Caramel malt and whole fresh hop cone smell. Iced tea colored with a thick rich pale brown head. The head is persistant and sticky. Rich malt inital taste is then plastered to the tongue with orange peel, nutmeg, and pine daggers. Reminds me of Bigfoot... like his little brother. Very caramel malt rich with great balence and a dry tongued finish. You are left wanting to drink more. A real holiday treat!!

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2004 03:35:17 | More by frank4sail
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another of those rare West Coast libations has made its way to the North East! Probably a 2003, as the painted bottle simply says Yulesmith Holiday Ale, at 8.5%. Yulesmith pours a clear, rich mahogany, with a decent-lasting tan, creamy head. A lovely hue, with a plethora of miniscule bubbles rising through the liquid! Lacing down the sides of the goblet is also quite attractive. Aroma is nicely hoppy, with a very piney, earthy lean to it, and a touch of citrus. This bier really had a nice, relatively smooth feel on the tongue, though I felt it was a pinch lighter in body than it should be (or perhaps less than I prefer). A few sips of Yulesmith produce a welcome warming sensation down the gullet. It has a nicely sweet foundation of malt, with caramel/toffee notes highlighting the opening salvos. Soon thereafter a healthy whack of resiny, citrussy hops attack the palate, but in a welcome manner! These hop hits stick well in the throat for a longlasting, enticing aftertaste. Was surprized to see this listed as an IPA, as it tasted much more along the lines of a Barleywine or Old/Strong Ale. Anyhow, big thanks go to Drewbage1847 for sending this prize cross-country. Prosit!!

overall: 4.3
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4

669

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2003 22:21:59 | More by Bierman9
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aaronh

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Arizona

4.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Alesmith - Yulesmith 2003 Edition - Served at Cellar Temperature. This liquid is a dark red colour, that approcahes maroon in shading. The head is big and white, but does not last too long. However, this beer shows off some incredible, thick, white lacing, and a little skim of a head that lasts for the entire glass. The head is also easily brought back with some gentle swirling. Aromas are all heavy hops, super, duper deep balanced malts, and spices of some sort. The taste is a lovely blend of heavy hopping and lovely, deep malting. The mouthfeel is very thick but not at all cloying or "too much". The drinkability at cask serving temperature is absolutely unbelievably good! This stuff produces lovely, malty hop burps and I could easily drink this brew all night long. This is some damn-fine classic stuff!

Francis.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2003 23:08:45 | More by francisweizen
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NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yulesmith 2002 ...tasted one year later. A hazy, deep amber-copper body reveals very fine bubbles rising slowly towards a huge, rocky head of ivory colored foam. The head retention is impressive, and it maintains an island of rocky foam throughout the pint. The lacing initially leaves wide, creamy rings and sheets of lace; but they eventually die down to lesser-but-still-thick rings of lace! It gives a very impressive appearance despite its cloudiness (which can be somewhat excused as it's bottle conditioned). The nose is bold and resinous with clear notes of sappy pine, grapefruit rind, flowers and grassy hops over a sweetish, bready, caramelish, and biscuity malt. It's creamy and smooth across the palate with just a mild tingle on the tongue at the outset due to its full body and exceptionally fine, moderate, and natural carbonation. The flavor, however is what's really important, and this brings the 3 already on-base home!!! Its rich, caramel-soaked malt offers enough doughy and bready sweetness to stand up to it's bold hop flavor (which reflects the aroma). It's exceptionally well-balanced, satisfying and efficient with a dry finish that leaves it surprisingly drinkable considering its bold character. Certainly worth trying!

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2003 04:15:44 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of davidlown
davidlown

New York

4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

All I can say is perfection. I went to the Brewer and they allowed me to bring a case home even though it was still conditioning in the bottle. So far I've had the 2002 in 2002 and just had this 2003. The 2003 is a different beer than the 2002. The 2002 was more perfumy, less malt profile, but still unbelievable. The 2003 has more malt flavor but is just as bitter. The mouthfeel, like all Alesmith beers except the speedway, is exactly like real ale. Smooth, tiny little bubbles begging for you to drink more. The flavor is perfect. Really hoppy without the last 1% northwest super bite (which I also like) and just malty enough for you to say "wow". Pure perfection and better than any double IPA I've ever had, including Dogfish, Bear Republic, Stone, Pizza Port, 3 Floyds, Rofue, Alpine, Sieera Nevada, Deschutes, Marin, Lagunitas, Moylans, and Ballast.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2003 13:43:41 | More by davidlown
Photo of Rumrunner
Rumrunner

California

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

22oz. bottle. 2003 vintage.

I wish this one was available all year. It does make a great stocking stuffer for those beery loved ones.

It pours a nice caramel brown. Red highlights appear on the sides of the glass if the glass is held up to the light. A good tall off-white head sticks around for a while. Lacing is thick and covers the glass well. The scents are big pine oil sap. Heavy grapefruit and dark unsweetened malts.

The flavors form a great balance. While the bitterness is very high there is a seriously strong malt balance that evens the flavors out. Again there is a strong grapefruit rind with heavy pine flavors. Powerful and robust malts. Malts are dark and unsweetened. Some plumb fruits and dark bitter bread is present. They test the hops and both agree that trying to outdo the other is a waste of time. This is one well put together IPA.

The mouthfeel is strong and a bit sticky. Some alcohol is present on the tongue. It is not a bad thing though. The balance makes this one of the easiest drinking bitter biting IPAs I have ever had. It would also pair well with many foods. Especially foods with some spice in them. Mexican or Indian.

I will stock up if I can find more. I would not want to wait for next years version after only trying this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2003 07:16:59 | More by Rumrunner
Photo of BierReise
BierReise

Florida

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

2003 Vintage. Nice looking ale, deep amber and hazy with a tint of orange. Head is thick and rocky that clings. Big hoppy pine and citrus aroma with a fresh malt grain in the distance that's so nice I can't keep my nose out of it. Extremely smooth medium to full body that tingles your tongue. Flavor is oily resiny hops and a bitter finish with malt playing second fiddle. This is not for the weak, it bites back and I like that. Fantastic double IPA!

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2003 01:57:21 | More by BierReise
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mickeymac

California

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

The '03 Yuletide has arrived! Poured from a bomber with festive red and green lettering, mistletoe, and a wreath, it pours a deep, dark orange with a hint of brown. The head is a monster. Although it fades just a bit after the initial onslaught, it remains a strong presence on the side of the glass and the top of the beer until the glass is dry. At first, the smell of hops seems almost overwhelming, but a nice sweetness comes through after a second or two. The taste at first seems mouth-puckering in its bitterness but, again, it presents a nice surprise when a malty sweetness balances out the hops. On top of that, a bit of grapefruit-like flavor mixes in with just a touch of spice. It's wonderfully creamy. Although the alcohol content has been knocked back slightly, it's still high octane at 8.5%. With complex flavors, the creamy mouthfeel, and the well-hidden alcohol, this is a dangerously drinkable beer. This is further proof that Alesmith can do no wrong.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2003 23:45:45 | More by mickeymac
YuleSmith (Summer) from AleSmith Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,361 ratings.