1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

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

1,614 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,614
Reviews: 903
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 246
Gots: 67 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
Lots of hops with a nice malty backbone on this one. It is released twice yearly; once in the Summer and once in the late Fall / early Winter. Winter bottles have green & red ink, Summer is blue & red. There is a variation in the malt bill for each version.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 11-24-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,614 | Reviews: 903 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Mora2000
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kaiser81 for sending me this bottle.

The beer pours a hazy golden color with a white head. The aroma is piney and resiny hops and not too much else. Definitely a DIPA. The flavor is an incredible and varied mix of hops. In addition to a little bit of bready malt, I get hop flavors of pine, resin, pineapple, papaya and oranges. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A great beer that lived up to the hype.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +18.5%

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

Extraordinary head: poured more than five fingers thick. It is slowly retreating--still three fingers thick at 3 minutes. It's leaving some spotty lace. The color is reddish amber. Frankly, I can't find any flaws.

Strong hop aromas--fresh. One minute later (as the head recedes), some amber malt notes come through. Still, this is a hoppy brew.

First impression is creaminess. The hop is not nearly as pronounced as the smell would indicate. Lots of crystal malt. The hop grows during the tasting culminating at the swallow. It leaves a long trailing aftertaste; spicy. Not a harsh brew. Very full body with very good carbonation.

A wonderful offering. One of the superior double IPA's. I'd love to compare this to Stone's. What's happening in San Diego? It's blowing out the competition in Seattle, Portland, Denver and Boston!

Photo of kojevergas
2.65/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2010 vintage 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at Hi-Time Liquor in Costa Mesa, California, and served into a N'Ice Chouffe beer stemflute in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Cost was $9.99 plus tax. Reviewed live.

Expectations are high as I have a very high regard for the brewery (which I've visited), and it's aged. I know I had the winter version but I don't remember what rating I gave it (and I'm too lazy to look it up). However, I'm very skeptical of aged IPAs. Hop death seems like it would be devastating to an IPA. But hey, this is Alesmith, and I trust Hi-Time.

I normally hate the style for its usual imbalance, but if anyone can do it right (after Russian River), it's Alesmith.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a four finger head of nice cream, decent thickness, and great retention for the relatively high ABV. Colour is a hazy nontransparent (but not opaque) yellow-copper. No yeast particles are visible.

Sm: Hoppy - but sadly more on the bittering end. Some pine and citrus, but not enough to turn me on to it. A bit stale. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Hoppy, with citrus and slight pine. Overall, hop balances tips largely toward the bitterness end, but the citrus and pine do a decent job of evening it out. It's a bit floral. Overall, it's rather simple for Alesmith. I suspect there was a great deal of hop death. It's gone off to some extent. The finish is particularly problematic, with the bitterness emerging to unfavorable effect. Horribly balanced, both in terms of structure and flavour. It might have been built decently back when it was brewed, but now the built comes off as bad, especially in the case of the hops; even the strain could have issues. Maybe summit hops were used? I hope not.

Mf: Coarse, too thick, and decently wet. Strange for the style, and not apt. Likely suffers from the age like the flavour profile (though again, I want to emphasize this is merely an assertion). Doesn't really complement the flavours all that well.

Dr: I wouldn't get this again, but I can't emphasize enough that I suspect hop death is a factor here. I'd try it on draught just to make sure this was indeed a fluke. I do think this review is valuable for educational purposes. Hides its ABV well. Of limited quality. A disappointment from Alesmith.

C-

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Summer 2005 release, Sampled July 26th, 2005
This beer is brilliantly clear and pours a full reddish copper color and is topped by a frothy, light tan head. The aroma is full and hoppy with notes of fresh cut herbs, pine, grapefruit, and bergamot. The beer is sweet up front with a hint of cinnamon mixed in with the abundant hop notes. There is also a good maltiness to this beer, which really helps to hold the hops in check and provide some sort of balance. The hops are sharp and biting from finish to end. As the beer leaves my mouth a slow spicy sharp astringency begins to build for a good half minute span. This beer is still just damn good, so well balanced between the aggressive over the top hoppiness and a solid maltiness, which while definitely playing second fiddle, is still present enough to contribute and tame some of the hop notes.

Photo of GClarkage
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/06/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2005 release. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Copper colored pour with a 3/4 inch solid nice white head. Lacing is very patchy and nice.

Smell- Lots of hops as expected. Pine and grapefruit as is the norm in most qulaity DIPA's. Maybe even some melon scents? Not much malt to sniff.

Taste- Pretty tasty. Heavy doses of pine sap and fresh squeezed grapefruit domintate the pallete. The sweeter caramel malt does come into play to make it a pretty decent balanced brew. The hops are king here though.

Mouthfeel- Nice carbonation level and bitter mouthfeel.

Drinkability- No sign of ABV when drinking this...could be dangerous. Pretty yummy brew. Recommended.

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

22 oz. bomber, 2007 summer edition, procured at the BevMo Irvine.

A: Dark amber, almost red, with an extremely large billowy head which surprised me at first, but then really enjoyed it, almost like a bottle of Duvel.

S: A beautiful soft citrus, this really dominates the smell, but it is heavenly, a beautiful brisk fragrant scent.

T: The taste is very good, citrus hops dominate, with tangerine and grapefruit, some malt in the back, metallic at times, but quite tasty.

M: Smooth, could be called hop juice, chewy hop bitterness, nothing is over the top, it is really well balanced for a Double IPA.

D: A great production, immensely drinkable for its size, I just wish it wasn't so damn expensive, even in California, it's $5.69 a bottle, if you're lucky.

Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: hazy dark orange in color with a one finger head that slowly falls to a thick surface foam. Some light lace develops.

Smell: caramel, pine, and grapefruits are easy to detect.

Taste: caramel, big pine tones, grapefruit, and alcohol are most noticeable. Somewhat hidden fruit sweetness lingers in the background. The biting hop bitterness is showcased here.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp throughout. Very long lasting bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability: a nice slow sipping big beer where a few glasses are doable but will hit you in a single session.

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of yourefragile
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle from smokepot23, thanks! Drank this with Surly Abrasive because, well, they were both cold.

Pours a light, mostly clear deep golden color with a massive, rocky airy white head that settles into a thick foamy layer with bubbly rings of lacing. Aroma is exceptionally sticky and sweet, tons of tropical citrus fruits, primarily pineapple and grapefruit. Also a slight solventy alcohol tinge is in the nose. Medium bodied with sharp carbonation producing a pleasant clean, dry finish. Flavor is dominated by bitter piney and citrus hops, more pineapple sweet than anything else like the aroma with a fairly strong and mild spicy bready malt body providing some balance. I think I enjoyed the smoothness and balance of the Abrasive slightly more than this, but these beers have very little in common other than a category. Regardless, there was a very drinkable, bitter and citrus sweet west coast DIPA that is highly recommended.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%

A: Pours a clear medium yellow in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation rising slowly form the bottom of the glass and some faint golden yellow highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a large sized finger thick cap in the center of the glass with a very thick film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Slightly heavier than moderate aromas citrus/grapefruit, citrus/grapefruit zest, and tropical/pineapple hops with a light amount of pine hops. Underneath that there is a light to moderate aroma of slightly sweet grainy malts.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of caramel and grainy malts which contribute a moderate amount of initial sweetness to the beer. That is followed by slightly stronger than moderate flavors of citrus/grapefruit and citrus/grapefruit zest hops with a light to moderate flavor of tropical/pineapple and pine hops. Moderate amounts of bitterness are present which lingers for quite a while.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly crisp with a hint of dryness in the finish.

O: A pretty hop aggressive DIPA and a fairly enjoyable one. Definitely a beer that takes a while to consume but paired very nicely with some homemade indian curry - really worked well with the sweetness of the beer and the spiciness of the food.

Photo of corby112
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of weeare138
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the Summer released Blue & Red bottle...
Appears a semi-transparent orange with a bubbly off white, soapy head that slowly fades out. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of biscuits, brown sugar, honey, earthy, and sugary orange peel.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with an earthy, spicy, creamy hop flavor, along with fruit.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, toasty, earthy, spicey, mellow, fruity, sweet up front with a hoppy bite.

Photo of superspak
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 6/4/2013. Pours fairly crystal clear golden amber color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange zest, pineapple, floral, pine, grass, bread, light caramel, and floral earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop notes with a moderate malt balance; and good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, lemon zest, tangerine, pineapple, orange zest, floral, grass, pine, bread, light caramel, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of earthy pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, pineapple, floral, grass, pine, bread, light caramel, and floral earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible balance and complexity of hop flavors; with a moderate malt balance behind the hops and zero cloying bitterness after the finish. Hop flavors are extremely smooth and non-astringent here. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy, crisp, and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an incredible DIPA style! Big complexity of citrus hop flavors with a moderate malt balance; and extremely smooth and crisp to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of Billolick
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

we were happy to find this one on tap at Pizza Port in Carlsbad, Ca. Poured a nice radiant orangy almond amber. Head was white/eggshell and lasted forever. Very fine lacing. The nose had a hint of nutmeg and of course hops. Nice honey, malty, marmalade, rich and bold brew. Oily hops o'pleanty. Great depth of hoppy flavor that carries thru to the finish. World class creation from Alesmith. A treat on tap in its home state.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in California in September, and brought to Australia for Christmas.

Pours a very light yellow colour, very much like a pale lager, but with a big, voluminous and crackling frothy head of white that leaves clumpy lacing. Lots of streaming carbonation. Body is surprisingly light, but it looks decent enough overall.

Nose is redolent with West Coast hops, giving a big citrus bite. The freshness is something I specifically associate with San Diego, possible AleSmith themselves. Hint of pineapple lurking in the depths. All up, it's all fresh, ripe and pretty tasty.

Taste is nicely balanced for the most part, with the citruc hops coming out strongly here, balanced with a sweet and slightly boozy note which lingers just a tad too long, leaving a big dollop of heat on the finish. Slightly astringent with a faint hint of crushed aspirin on the back, but very pungent overall. Characters of orange marmalade and pine needles creep in later as well.

Feel is sharp, and slightly hot on the back.

A big and pretty tasty IPA. Possibly a little late in the season for its optimal drinking time, but it's summer here for Christmas in Australia, so it seemed like the appropriate moment to drink it.

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

This review is for the summer Yulesmith. What an incredible beer- I really love this brew. To me, this is what a west coast hop bomb should be all about.Even more than Pliny the Elder, I think this beer typifies the pinnacle of the west coast dipa style. Don't get me wrong, I love Pliny, but this beer is even more over the top and for me, a more pure expression of the hops. It pours aslightly hazy orange with a beautiful tight white fluffy head that fades to a cap and leaves some lacing. Impressive for the abv. The smell right off shouts "hop bomb" with gorgeous deep grapefruit and orange rind and pine notes with a whiff of wax. The taste is even more redolent of hops, with the same citrus and pine, and a long deep bitterness nicely balanced on the finish especially by a slight fruity sweetness from the yeast esters and malt. The malt background is there, and quite dry, but it is mostly eclipsed by the hops. You know it is there more by what you don't experience- this is not hop water, but a deep, rich, robust brew. The malt is there, in spades, but as a supporting part and not an equal. Absolutely beautiful. Rich, full mouthfeel keeps it going on. I absolutely love this beer and would drink it by the case were it available locally. Highly recommended.

What follows is a review for Winter Yulesmith, which I also liked but not as much as the Summer stuff. These are two completely different beers and as such I'm going to let my numbers for the summer stuff stand. If I were to seperately rate the summer, it would be:
P: 4
S: 4.5
T: 5
MF: 4.5
D: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange with a decent head. Aromas of honeyed malt and waxy, piney hops. A bit like Hopslam with the honey and pine. Tastes delicious. Slightly sweet with malt perfectly counterbalanced by a huge piney aftertaste. Smooth and slightly sweet in the mouth, this one is quite eaasy to drink, despite the abv.

Photo of mothman
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Summer 2009

Poured into Surly Pint Glass

Pours 1 finger of beige head. Poured a little yeast into the bottle, oops. Color is a golden orange copper. Good retention and nice lace walls.

Aroma: Big fresh hop aroma. Floral and earthy smells. Big grapefruit citrus. Not to strong, but good.

Taste: Wow, this is pretty hoppy and very fresh. It is too hoppy. Very bready. This is like shoving a handful of flowers in your mouth. Has some grapefruit citrus. A little caramel. Some spices at the end.

Mouthfeel: Very, very bitter. A little boozy. Ends with a super dry, hoppy flavor. Medium bodied. Lower level of carbonation.

Overall, this is a good west coast IPA, but nothing stellar. Just too many hops for me. Half a bomber was good enough.

Photo of tempest
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kroggdawg for bringing this one (the Red and Blue) back from the coast. It's beautiful with big American hops, making it seem like an appropriate 4th of July beer (too bad it's winter now). There's a sweet malt background that provides a wonderful balance and backbone.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured an orange color, good carbonation with a small white head. Nose is big with hops, big. Lots of pine. Taste was very nice upfront, big pine like liquied pine tree, malty with a nice hop kick at the end. Excellent brew and by the best in the growler out of the selections Ihave had so far.

Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes 2/25/11.

A: Pours a cloudy light orange with a 1.5 finger head that has decent retention and spotty lacing.

S: A little bit of alcohol, very sweet though. Nice aromas of pineapple and passion fruit.

T: A little booze presence. Nice combination of pine and citrus flavors. The grapefruit returns and there is a nice sweetness from some caramel malts on the finish.

M/D: Medium bodied with nice carbonation and a clean finish. Besides the slight alcohol presence, a nice beer. I know I probably had it sitting a bit too long, so will definitely give this one another shot in the summer when I can get a super fresh bottle.

Photo of wl0307
4.78/5  rDev +13.3%
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!!!

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