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YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,592 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,592
Reviews: 901
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 244
Gots: 68 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Summer

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

(Beer added by: xlperro on 11-24-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,592 | Reviews: 901 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gpogo
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Hazy golden orange with large fluffy off-white head. Head leaves large chunks of beautiful lacing.

A- Incredibly hoppy, not only citrus but piney hops as well. Faint sweet malty background.

T- Nowhere near as hoppy as I expected, that said it is definitely hoppy. Sweet malty backbone, slightly caramel flavor.

M- Medium light body with high carbonation. Amazingly smooth! I was blown away by how easy such a highly hopped and high alcohol beer goes down so smooth.

D- This is an incredible beer. I expected it to be slightly spiced as the bottle says it is a holiday brew. However as an imperial ipa this is incredible. Very hoppy and alcoholic yet so easy to drink.

gpogo, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of csmiley
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Summer '08 version

A - Pour a medium gold in color and stays mostly clear. A very pleasing head of over an inch rose from the pour and stuck around for a bit. It eventually settled in to a thin white cap and left abundant lacing.

S - Thick fruity hops dominate the aroma. Notes of grapefruit, orange, and strawberry are present. Some bubblegum and a little bit of pine are in there as well. Not much malt to speak of in the aroma but the hops are done so well that malt is simply not needed in this one.

T - More fruity goodness in the flavor. Orange, strawberry / kiwi, fig, and grapefruit are all there. The earthy notes are stronger in the flavor than the aroma. Has some pine and fresh cut grass. Malt is hard to pick up other than a distant background to the hops. Once agian, the hop profile is fantastic and does not have a need for malt to come in messing things up. Some alcohol in noticed at the end but not much.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Finish is very bitter and dry and matches this beer very well.

D - Drinkability is good. This beer comes in at the bottom of the alcohol spectrum for the style which only adds to the drinkability. It goes down too easy an quick for a Double IPA. Could be dangerous. This is a very well done beer that I will have again and agian. Highly recommeded.

csmiley, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of hoplover82
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I finaly was able to get my hands on this greatly esteamed brew, worthy of the ratings it has received. A new guy showed up at our homebrew meeting with one of these bad boys and I just about fell out of my bench! Halaluah! Him and I are gonna be good friends. This beer has a holy hop character. A real pungent citrus aroma and flavor. Outstanding.

hoplover82, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of blitz134
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It was about time I made it to this one. This is the summer release so it didn't need to sit too much longer. Received this in BIF 46 I believe.

Hazy orange, copper color. Huge off-white head on the pour, reduced down to a loose 1" mass of meraunge foam. Sporadic threads of lace grip the glass.

Smell is, of course, loaded with hops. An absolute ton of floral and citrus pound the ol' olfactory glands. Not quite grapefruit, more along the line of tangerine and citrus rinds. Kinda sweet and quite aromatic.

Tons of hops again in the flavor. A lot of the same things found in the aroma come through again but there is a lot more in the flavor. Additionally there are some pine sap and resin flavors which I really like. Pretty bitter finish and overall, but I've had bitterer (is that a word?) A slight tinge of the alcohol also peaks through but nothing detrimental. Comes across pretty balanced for a DIPA, mostly light caramel malts and only a little biscuit malt do this job.

Good mouthfeel. Oily and slick, kind of creamy in some aspects. Very crisp after the swallow, probably from the ton of carbonation which showed itself in all of the bubbles rising to the surface after the pour.

Good drinkability. Super tasty brew but this one sits heavy on my stomach due to the heavy mouthfeel.

blitz134, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of Jmamay22
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Winter Holiday release as determined by the red and green colors.

Pours a dark copper that approaches ruby in color. The head is a very light tan that fades to only a thin collar. No lacing.

The scent is filled with a pine and orange hop. Beneath the hops there is a substantial caramel and burnt sugar aroma.

The taste is a building force of citrus hops, but what makes this beer shine is the malt backing it up. The malt provides a strong base of dark sugar. Dry bitter finish that comes off lightly spiced.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side of medium with a smooth enjoyable level of carbonation. Alcohol? Where? Oh wait here it comes. Highly drinkable and balanced despite the huge hop presence. Careful the content could catch up with you.

Jmamay22, Sep 18, 2008
Photo of LSUPT
4/5  rDev -5.2%

LSUPT, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of blakesell
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is the winter, red and blue release. I think from 2007, maybe 2006, aged in cellar conditions, poured from the 22oz bottle into a Belgian goblet.

Appearance- Beer doesn't pour all that red really. But it is a gusher just like it's summer partner. It's reddish orange with a thick cloudyness that I would say looks more like a wheat beer than an imperial red. It looks as if milk was added it's so cloudy and creamy. The head rises fully to about two fingers, then dies down to a lovely murk across the top. Lacing clings well to the sides.

Smell- Sweet river water with pine and floral hops. Usually I would bash river water, but with these hop additions pairing with the munich and base malts I'm catching here, it really comes together well. A lot of citrus as well on the nose with a grapefruit and blood orange zest. Imperial red? Seems more like an Imperial IPA to me, but we'll see.

Taste- Creamy, yet a husky grainyness comes through firstly, then the wave upon wave of hops that I suppose is more expected from the Alesmith brand. The sweetness and tongue numbing really screams Imperial IPA over here to me than Imperial Red, but I have to give this a passing grade as a beer overall because the flavor is great. Warming alcohol drifts through the beer and I really don't believe this 8.8% claim.

Mouthfeel- Slightly sticky, husky, not quite cloying with bitterness, warming, full bodied, and medium in carbonation.

Drinkability- I like it. I would revisit this one above the summer any day. This along with a revisit to Speedway Stout has revitalized my diminished faith in Alesmith.

blakesell, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of pentathlete
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wanted to hold off on this one until this fall, but I have no willpower. This is a treat. Pours a dusty walnut with a small white head that falls to a stubborn table. The smell is a blend of syrupy malts and hop oils, with neither overpowering the other. Sweet malts lead off the taste, followed quickly by a biting hoppiness that turns the finish positively arid. Mouthfeel is full and then the dryness makes the palate wondered what just happened. Just like the bottle says, it makes you crave the next sip. Very drinkable, but high ABV and an powerful hop bite keep it from being a repeatable quaff.

pentathlete, Apr 15, 2006
Photo of theghost3
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

theghost3, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of Franchise
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yulesmith Holiday ale (Blue and red)

Pours a foggy orange brown with a heavy carbonation that leaves a thick tan head that is frothy like whipped cream. The aroma is strong citrus hops, caramel, plums, pitted overipened fruit. the taste is strong bitter rind citrus upfront juicy and strong. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, again highly carbonated loaded with delicious bitter spicy hops. This is a great beer fantastic and hopalicious.

Franchise, Dec 12, 2006
Photo of StoneTSR
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

BIG thank you to ren for tracking a couple bottles of this deliciousness down for me.

APPEARANCE: This is easily one of the best, if not THE best looking beer I've seen. This beer looked alive. A gorgeous, golden yellow in color with a stark white head on top that did not completely recede for the entire glass. Lacing began about a quarter of the way down the glass and covered a good 70% of the back side of the glass.

SMELL: Pine. I took a quick sniff when I popped the bottle open and it smelled like a big, classic, West Coast IPA with a ton of pine. Upon the first pour the aroma opened up and I did not even need to put my nose to the glass to smell it. Intense and delicious aroma.

TASTE: Bold, piney and very hoppy. The pine hits the palate up front followed by grapefruit and a touch of anise to wash away the pine and bring a strong, bitter finish.

MOUTHFEEL: Outstanding mouthfeel that only served to add to the enjoyment of this beer. Well carbonated and playful are the best terms to describe the mouthfeel.

OVERALL: Many others have said that this beer is a spot-on example of what a DIPA is supposed to be and they are correct. I was blown away by how technically perfect this beer was. At the same time, unlike Pliny the Elder, which I can recognize as a nearly technically perfect beer, the YuleSmith has some soul to it where Pliny lacked. This is outstanding beer that I cannot wait to try again. Thanks a ton for the bottles ren!

StoneTSR, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of orfeu
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber hand delivered from Tucson, AZ, by my fine brother-in-law. Big ups!

Hazy, honeyed amber. Thick, rocky, ecru head -- craterey meringue with millions of microscopic bubbles, excellent lacing, rings all the way down the imperial pint glass. Smells of caramel corn with candied orange peels. Vanilla malt with slight whiffs of pine sap. This is the sweetest, maltiest DIPA (if style designation means anything) I've ever tasted. Hops are almost an afterthought. They're present, though: candied citrus rind and forest floor pine needles. Alcohol is totally and completely hidden by lip-smacking tastiness. 8.5 % ABV?!? No freekin' way. Hops are most noticeable in the deliciously bitter and dry finish. Medium body, juicy and satisfying mouthfeel. Since the alcohol is more or less MIA, this is insanely dangerously drinkable. I'd drink this all the time if I could get it out here in WNY. I'm so glad I have another bottle...Man, I've gotta ask my brother-in-law to score me some more for when I see him at xmas...

orfeu, Nov 27, 2005
Photo of fsck
4/5  rDev -5.2%

fsck, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of Bustersuess
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Bustersuess, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of toppoop
4/5  rDev -5.2%

toppoop, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of bifrost17
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

bifrost17, Jun 17, 2013
Photo of ngandhi
4/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

ngandhi, Jun 01, 2004
Photo of oakbluff
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Winter version. Appearance- cloudy ruby colour with a chunky/fluffy head that sticks around. Smell- lots of C hops give it a strong tropical fruit nose. I could smell it all day long....
Taste- the hops were so stiff out of the gate that they tickled my nostrils like a strong serving of horseradish. Impressive! Sweet caramel malts give the backbone to this hop monster. Toffee and caramel with some leather. Almost sweet enought that its on the cloying side, but straddles the line brilliantly. Finish is dry as the hops pucker the mouth and the booze shows up. Fantastic beer all around.

oakbluff, Dec 26, 2007
Photo of MSchae1017
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a snifter from the 22oz bomber that timtheenchanta shared with me. Thanks!

Summer Release:

This beer pours a hazy orangish golden with a frothy white head that leaves some lace down the glass but still dissipates to a few whisps of film by the time the beer is finished. The smell is a huge amount of malt balanced with some nice citrus hops. The taste is up front with citrus hops and bitterness but balanced but just enough sweet pale malts to keep the hops in check. The mouthfeel is nice, a decent body with nice carbonation. Overall a fantastic DIPA.

MSchae1017, Oct 09, 2006
Photo of King_KongDCO93
4/5  rDev -5.2%

King_KongDCO93, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of jordanimal
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

jordanimal, Aug 26, 2014
Photo of Viciousknishs
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

D- great drinkability

Viciousknishs, Jul 31, 2012
Photo of BreweryRun
4/5  rDev -5.2%

BreweryRun, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of ghostwalker
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reddish/amber body loaded with tiny bubbles. Huge frothy yellowish/off-white head with tremendous stamina. This head is really a work of art, I have no idea how they achieved such a towering mass of foam.

Nose is candied grapefruit with a hint of sweet marshmallow. My God! I never thought I could find a nose better than SNCA. It smells like IPA heaven.

Flavor is huge with citrus, piney-ness comes in a close second. Plenty of sweetness with a subdued, but noticeable, caramelly malt backbone. It's really a great and well balanced IPA. Very different from the norm. A great entry in the "Best IPAs Ever" category.

Mouthfeel is fairly thick, substantial and chewy, for an IPA. There is plenty of body present, almost a syrupy quality.

Drinkability is off the charts. I can't get over how easy it is to drink. It's almost too tasty to stop drinking.

A champion among IPAs. Really.

ghostwalker, Feb 10, 2006
Photo of AlexM
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

AlexM, Nov 14, 2011
YuleSmith (Summer) from AleSmith Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,592 ratings.