Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

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

925 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 925
Hads: 1,767
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 257
Gots: 107 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 925 | Hads: 1,767
Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22 oz bomber, Red/Blue Summer 2006 version courtesy of Boolshot.

A: The ale is a hazy copper-brown color, showing off more orange colors than not. The ale is hazy, thick with ultrafine particles that do no stand out as you look at it. The head neared a finger and was generally average.

S: The nose is thick with hoppy fruits and resins. Orange, grapefruit, pineapple, pine, the aromas run the gamut of the hop spectrum and don't hide the hot alcohol scent.

T: The age has taking a toll on the hop profile. The result is a much stronger biscuit and caramel malt that emerges mid-palate, leaving a graininess that I don't recall existing earlier. The hops are still strong but have changed, still exuding a grapefruit element but now a bitter, earthy dirty hop flavor scars the tastebuds, having completely crowded out the sweet aromatic citrus elements.

M: The aroma sets you up for a taste that falls short of expectations. The hops remain a force to be reckoned with though, its just that they have taken on a new identity.

D: Fresh, this beer floored me. With a year under its belt, the hops have dropped off and muddled the taste a bit. Don't age this baby, hit it fresh and hit it hard.

Previous Reviews:
8-Jul-07, Bottle, Winter, 4.0, 4.5, 4.5,4.5, 4.0, 4.35
16-Dec-06, Bottle, Winter, 4.0, 4.5, 4.5,4.0, 4.5, 4.35
11-Sep-06, Bottle, Summer, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0,4.5, 4.5, 4.60

 1,384 characters

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

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

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

 568 characters

Photo of Derek
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presumably the last of the winter release.

A: Copper with a light tan head; excellent retention & lace.

S: Big Piny hop aroma with grass, toffee & light fruity esters.

T: Piny hops, assertive bitterness, toffee, fruit, pale malt & a hint of minerals. Alcohol is very subtle.

M: Moderate to full body is fairly smooth with some residual sugar & plenty of hop acidity.

D: Great for its strength.

 398 characters

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

Now for the Summer 2008 version:

It pours a hazy orange amber with a 1 finger head of foam. There's some good lacing and the head retention is, once again, excellant.

The nose is big on the hops! Lots of floral and some citrus along with some fruitiness and there's a nice sweetish smell in the background from the malt.

The taste has the floral and citrus up front with some spiciness and a solid malt backbone. Very tasty and very smooth and it isn't exactly lax when it comes to drinkability... almost no warming after the swallow so the alcohol is well hidden.

Good thick mouthfeel and the carbonation is just a tad below medium. Overall, a great counter brew for the Winter version though for me, I prefer the Winter version. Both are great though and well worth seeking out again.

 791 characters

Photo of cjgator3
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle
Summer Version

A- Pours a nice amber color with a thick and creamy off-white head that leaves an insane amount of lacing around the glass and also possesses very good retention as well.

S- The aroma is some malt and hints of caramel but the hops clearly steal the show in the aroma. Very nice aroma, but I feel that this is really the only area that could be improved upon. Some of the other top DIPAs possess a stronger aroma.

T- The taste like the aroma is filled with bitter citric hops in the finish. However, I like that there is a solid amount of malt in the background as well. I tend to lean towards DIPAs that have a good amount of malt to back up the insane amount of hops and are a little more than one dimensional. This one certainly fits the bill, delicious!

M- Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This is a very drinkable DIPA. Despite the high ABV, this one drinks very well and the alcohol is pretty well hidden behind the extreme flavors.

Overall, this is one hell of a DIPA that lives up to it's name. YuleSmith is yet another solid brew from AleSmith that is highly recommended and worth seeking out.

 1,154 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hazy yellow/gold colour with a generous white cap. Great head retention with tons of lacing - spotty and streaky, with rings marking each sip, super sticky - it doesn't get much better than this for a big IPA. Intense hop aroma - grapefruit and pine dominate, citrus zest - plus a rich maltiness that provides more of a toasty and biscuity character than a straight-up caramel sweetness. Nice. Powerful bitterness, reigned in by considerable malt presence, a great balance of citrusy hops and toasted malt sweetness. Mild caramel and pine, some alcohol towards the end. Creamy texture with very smooth carbonation, warming alcohol, full bodied, slight astringent dryness that actually balances some of the sweetness. Truly an exceptional beer. Alesmith really are masters of the brewing arts. I could drink this non-stop, all day, every day, liver willing. Delicious.

 867 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, Summer 2010 YuleSmith. Served in a tulip glass, the beer pours a hazy golden/orange color with a couple inch frothy off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both excellent. Aroma is mostly citrusy hops (tropical fruit, grapefruit, oranges), with some pine hops and sweet malt noticable too. It tastes like citrusy (grapefruit, tropical fruit, orange peel) and floral hops, peppery spice, and some peaches and bready malt. There's also a nice lingering bitter hoppy finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy, a bit slick, and has high carbonation. I thought it was easy enough to drink. This is definitely a brew for the hopheads out there! I'd certainly buy this again.

 695 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
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!

 545 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.35/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks to domtronzero for tossing this one in as an extra!

(A)- Pours a crystal clear yellow color. Produced a massive white frothy head with some serious retention behind it. It is just clinging to the glass with lots of bubbly lacing.

(S)- A nice woody pine and creamy citrus of pineapple, grapefruit, and lemon. Crisp.

(T)- Has a rather tart profile with some serious pineapple & grapefruit citrus up front. Tons of citrus in this that really borderlines on tartness level. Some minimal woody pine.

(M)- A tad higher carbonation level than you would expect from the style, but it really is not too bothersome. Really crisp because of it though, with really potent citrus. Some bitterness.

(D)- Slightly different, yet interesting take on a massively over-made style these days. Huge citrus, with ever present bitterness. Good, but I prefer their regular IPA.

 903 characters

Photo of Bighuge
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.

 810 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.01/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a bright orange, but only a few tan bubbles form on one side.

S - Citrus, sweet malts, and some pine.

T - Sweet carmely malts, and a touch of citrus.

D - Low carbonations.

O - Really dissapointed here. This is a low carbonated sweet mess. I believe it is a new bottle also.

 327 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Whoa, someone tell Celebration Ale they've got competition (quality wise, not cost/quality wise, as this Yulesmith is expensive).

Pours a craggy orange. Doesn't look like a holiday beer for the most part. Aroma, whoa, this might be the piniest aroma I've ever experienced in a beer. Maybe one of the best smelling beers ever.

Taste, come to flavor country. The perfect mix of holiday, pine, citrus hoppiness. But seems to derive much of this through dry hopping v. boil, as the bitterness stays very well in check.

Can just drink and drink this bad boy. Bring the cost down, this could be a frequent favorite, instead of an only one 22oz a year purchase.

EDIT: Had a stale one of these, a little too pricey to not have some guaranteed age dating on this one. No bottle dates suck.

 784 characters

Photo of Brad007
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First ever AleSmith release that I've reviewed. I also have a bottle of Speedway Stout in my fridge.

Pours a light yellowish gold with a huge head and lots of lacing around the rim of the glass.

There's a good dose of citrus on the nose with nary a hint of the malt backbone.

Ditto for flavor. Lots of citrus and unfortunately, lots of alcohol burn with it. It's not too boozy but the alcohol does take away from the hops themselves.

Lingering bready malt and citrusy hops. I can dig the mouthfeel as the alcohol quickly fades, leaving the flavor I was seeking.

Worth a try. I would probably age it at least 1-2 months top to mellow the alcohol some more.

 661 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love me some Yulesmith

A-big head with a golden color, looks tasty. Nice lacing

S-Smells real nice. Floral hops, sticky sweetness. Fruity and appetizing. Lemme get my lips on this.

T-Floral, fruity hopbomb followed by a well balanced malt that makes me happy. Could bang this beer back all night. Reminds me of Ballast Point's Sculpin. It is similar in hop profile and drinkability.

M-Stays on the tongue for a while and thats a positive. Delicious.

D-8.8% and the alcohol is almost a nonfactor. Very drinkable.

Distributed for the summertime; would love to drink it year-round.

 586 characters

Photo of dgilks
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very slightly hazy golden colour with a creamy and thick off-white head. Nice lacing. Good head retention.

Non-sweet malty aroma with a line of citrussy hop running through it. Simple but effective.

Slightly sweet malt with a moderately-high bitter edge on the back end. Lots of cohumulone. Some earthy, citrussy hops. Good.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A solid IIPA. Lots of hoppy flavour and an appropriate malt backbone.

 443 characters

Photo of dar482
4.61/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours out in a clear golden yellow with a quick dissipating head.

The aroma has tons of fresh hop aroma with tangerine, that Citra citrus and tropical fruit, and also some pine in the back. Some caramel sweetness as well. A very exciting and inviting aroma.

The flavor follows with a caramel malt sweetness backed with tangerine, orange with a pine and grapefruit pith bitterness.

Just a wonderfully done DIPA. Fantastic stuff. For those who like citrus and pine forward beers.

 489 characters

Photo of claspada
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas are quite citrusy and fruity, I'm guessing from the NW hops. Some oranges, grapefruit, citrus and a bit of piney hops mixed in there as well. Solid but not overwhelming sweet pale and caramel maltiness.

Taste is crazy good. What this is 8.5% ABV, no way, I don't believe it. I would have guessed 7 max. Dangerously delicious. Citrus flavors and sour fruit peel hop bitterness. Hefty backing of malty sweetness, but no where close to cloying, provide excellent balance but the hops still own this show.

Solid across the board, goes down easy...a pleasure. An excellent, fairly uncomplicated beer that was great to try, look forward to trying the Yule Smith Winter version in December. Seek out this gem if you can.

 722 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Naja's in Redondo Beach. Golden color, mostly clear, thin white head.

I've been eyeing this beer for a long time, looking forward to trying it. When I saw it on tap I jumped at it. Unfortunately I tried it alongside Pliny the Elder. This simply can't compare. It's good, and might have been really good if I had nothing else to compare it with. But the Pliny rocks and this was mediocre in comparison.

Too bad, the Horny Devil is extremely good.

 465 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.45/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a 22 oz bottle (winter version) into a rochefort chalice.

The beer pours medium brown with a very light tan head that has no head, retention or lacing.

The aroma is very hoppy with a muted maltiness.

The taste is very interesting, but not sure if that's a good thing. There is lots of hoppiness here but there is something else to, that just brings a weirdness to the beer.

 396 characters

Photo of glid02
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Summer version had on-tap at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, CA.

Pours a light copper color with a one-finger white head. The head sticks around for a good while before settling into a thin pancake on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of tropical and citrus hops with a just enough pale malt aromas to balance things out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The hops aren't quite as intense as they are in the aroma, but they're certainly still there. Pale malt flavors give way to lots of citrus - grapefruits with small amount of oranges - and a bit of tropical fruit flavors. Near the end of the sip there's a hint of vanilla right before the moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this was a very good and very fresh DIPA and one that I recommend seeking out.

 912 characters

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

22oz bottle, Summer 2008 edition, into my Duvel tulip

A: Clear copper with a pretty two-finger off-white head that's frothy and has great retention and as I drink, it leaves some lace.

S: Tons of pine with some citrus. There's orange and tangerine with a little floral character, beautifully expressed. Bitterness seems reserved with a lot of aromatic hop character. Very minor malt presence. Excellent stuff. If I'm not wrong, this is dry hopped with centennial?

T: Starts off intensely bitter with lots of pine and a hint of honey and orange. Bright and vibrant, there's a lot of flavor as well, with pine needles, ripe oranges and a noticeably floral character as well. Malt sweetness? Who needs that! There's barely enough to balance out the bitterness. The finish is bitter and pretty dry, almost too bitter for my liking. Long and flavorful.

M: Pretty darned good. Great carbonation, nice dry finish with a good amount of bitterness in there with a mildly resiny feel.

D: This one's going down quick and easy! While not the best hoppy beer from Alesmith (that would be the IPA), this is one I look forward to drinking two bottles of every year.

 1,156 characters

Photo of Gusler
4.74/5  rDev +12.1%
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!

 2,642 characters

Photo of lupercmda
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours an orangish amber hue. IT has a foamy white head of about 1 inch. Has a nice malty smell with some tropical notes. Taste: Nice malty backbone with balanced hop finish. Really good IPA

 190 characters

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

Pours a hazed golden oranage color with full cap of soapy white head, good retention and lacing. First whiffs are of piney and earthy hops, gradually giving way to some tropical and citrus notes and a slightly sweet grahmn crackery background. First sips are of bitter hops, that lean a touch more towards pine, full floral, tropical and citrus flavors take over as the beer sits and the tounge gets used to the bitterness. A nice grahmn crackery sweet backbone again present. Medium bodied, slightly oily, semi dry finnish. A very nice dIPA that falls just short of spectacular due to some slightly muddled hop notes.

 618 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to RomanW70 for sharing. Winter vintage served in my Gouden Carolus chalice. Poured orange with a half inch, tight, off-white head; some yeast particles evident in solution. Sheets of lacing revealed as the brew receded. Nose was grapefuit and floral hops. Taste follows nose, but some lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, lightly effervescent, but also somewhat creamy in texture at the same time. A solid DIPA. Abv is well-hidden and brew is style consistent, but my prefernce for DIPAs tends towards the sweeter side of the style.

 553 characters

YuleSmith (Summer) from AleSmith Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 925 ratings.