YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

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YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

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912 Reviews
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Reviews: 912
Hads: 1,718
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 257
Gots: 100 | 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:
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
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Reviews: 912 | Hads: 1,718
Photo of scbrew
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep golden-orange with a nice slightly off-white head. Aroma is mainly hop citrus and floral. Great combination of hops over malt in the flavor. Very well balanced and not too sweet. Good amount of carbonation and mouthfeel. Outstanding example of West Coast DIPA. (271 characters)

Photo of sawbones420
3.84/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Never heard of AleSmith before. Talking to the beer manager at my local liquor store, Yulesmith is brewed twice a year. Once in the summer, once in the winter. Each release is unique, which makes me think there ought to be two separate BA entries, but whatever. This is a review of the Summer 2007 release. It's not exactly summer conditions at this point in the year (October), but in my third floor loft bedroom, it feels summery enough.

It's worth noting that the bottle I picked up was sitting in the distributor's storage space since they received it, so it has had some time to age and mellow out. They had to clear out space to make room for the upcoming winter release, so my liquor store got a couple cases for a discounted price (only $4 a bomber at the consumer end!) I've not had the benefit of trying a newly released bomber, so that very well could affect my take on things (for better or worse).

Into a chalice pours a murky/cloudy apricot brew with a beauty/beast of a white head. This is a nice tight foam that doesn't die down and remains through and through, lacing the side of the glass all the way down (nice!). This is a very sexy glass of beer.

Smells like hops and high alcohol, or basically any American Double IPA you've ever smelled. Any nuances that might be found in the nose are lost to that sharp aroma.

The head is still there...

As I poured it fresh from the fridge, the first sip is probably a bit on the cold side, but a strong, crisp hop character stands boldly at the forefront. After letting it sit and warm for a while (the head is still there...), hops are still prominent, but are offset by a flatter flavor that lands on the middle/back of the tongue.

Throughout the bottle, this is a very enjoyable drinking experience. While not quite matching the quality/balance of Southern Tier's Unearthly Imp. IPA, I could see myself putting down another one (or two) of these without a problem. I can't claim to be as big a fan of the style as I once was (hop heads die young), but if you're into American Doubles, this is certainly a beer you want to try. I'm now interested to see what the winter release is like...

At the end of the day, this is a tasty, well-balanced American DIPA. I'm not sure if this balance comes as a result of the few months aging it had, or if this is simply just a well-made Imperial IPA. I suspect it's a bit of both. (2,387 characters)

Photo of beeritron
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the 2007-08 winter release.

Tawny copper color with a thick tan head. Lots of small bubbles in the head create a thick, creamy foam similar to meringue. Lots of lacing. A big hoppy smell gets in the nostrils immediately followed by a pine aroma. Malt smell is sweet and full roasted spiciness. The taste has some vanilla and orange flavors right away. As the beer floats around the palate you're hit with alot malt sweetness, hop taste, and bitterness on the back of the tongue, and all balanced very well. Hop taste is full of grapefruit and piney notes that are a hopheads treasure. The fairly thick mouthfeel has a velvety texture making this beer very easy to drink. I look forward to the summer release. (717 characters)

Photo of OutlawJoseyWales
4.69/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

app: dark caramel color, 1 inch of off white head.

smell/taste: deep sweet caramel; hop bite in the finish; sweet bread, banana nut, cinnamon notes. incredible sticky sweetness beautifully balanced with the hops. a treat for the palate.

mouthfeel: smooth, velvety, carbonation was just right

drinkabilty: very good for the style (337 characters)

Photo of torchednoodle
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*This was the Summer Yulesmith, red and blue*

Pours nicely, very fine bubbles. An average orange color, clear.

Smells of hoppiness, pine and light citrus. Has a nice, enjoyable mild creaminess of malt on the back end. Very drinkable. I enjoyed this beer, it isn't the best DIPA available, but it is very very good. I am taking into consideration though that this DIPA is already at least 5 months old. Looking forward to trying an even fresher version next year! (464 characters)

Photo of brap
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful apricot color with nice head and lacing.

Really hoppy some pine notes. Super fresh tasting and had a nice tartness to it. I wasn't nuts about it but I think I would really go well paired with a rich or fatty food like duck. It is a wonder IPA I think I might just be hopped out. Also this is one of those beers that gets better toward the bottom of the glass, I could see this growing on me. (408 characters)

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

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

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

Great beer, but there are plenty more as good. (369 characters)

Photo of -steve-
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%

A - Cloudy, slight red hue. Generous lasting head.
S - Citrus (orange) notes. Apparent as soon as you pop the cap. Nice underlying grapefruit smell.
T - Hint of carmal, with citrus and anise tastes. Hops tartness but not abundant.
M - Tastes slide easily from one to another.
O - With the anise spiceness and the high alcohol content (8.5%) it seems less of a summer ale and more of a winter warmer.Not that that matters. There's lots to like in this brew. (456 characters)

Photo of jaymirage
5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brought to you by OldSock, who procured his 22 oz. bomber, by way of San Diego and fiascos unknown.

Pros: Super-creamy, super-impressive head. Carbonated perfectly. The appearance is spot-on, and the flavor's just right. So true to style.

Cons: Not surprising or innovative. Purely refined. Built solidly on a foundation of everything everyone else has been doing right for the past 15 years. It's so perfect that it's boring.

This beer blows away everything else in its class, boring or not. (495 characters)

Photo of foxbat2500
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09 Summer Version in a bottle from BevMo.

Looks awesome. Orange/dark golden with a nice foamy head that really sticks. Wonderful carbonation

In a word pine I guess. Not as big as one might think. There is a sweetness in the smell.

Sweet, bitter, orange, others say Pine, but I've never had a pine cone to drink.

Great balance shows in the mouthfeel. Its big, but its all there in balance.

You know what's drinkable? Water! This has taste. (445 characters)

Photo of 3frog
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle--available in summer (lighter color) and winter (darker and more piney) versions.

Appearance: Summer medium amber, Winter almost red amber; almost opaque when properly mixed. Smallish head that stays awhile.

Smell: Both versions are heavy on the hop, with the summer being spicier than the winter, which is far more resinous. Fair amount of sweet fruit--pineapple?

Taste: heavenly for hop heads; heavy on the centennial family, though the summer continues the spicy note from the aroma. Very sweet, and the tropical fruit is prominently there again. The alcohol lies in wait to pounce mid-drink.

Mouthfeel: thick but not viscous; balanced by the carbonation.

Drinkability: hop-lover's nectar. High level of all the 'important' ingredients makes for a very pleasant experience. The alcohol is there, but it doesn't overwhelm. Part of me wants to give it a 5, but I'll hold-off for now.

Objectivity note: this is my favoritest beer, but I'll stand by the ratings measured against the DIPA style. (1,023 characters)

Photo of acoatley
4.71/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma: nice warm alcohol, heavy malty sweetness hists you in the nose first though, definatley American Hops (Crystal?) both citrius and floral

App: Rich amber translucent with golden edges

Taste: Nice hop flavour well balanced (possibley a little light for the style) , smoothe buttery malty sweet finish

Mouth: Rich feals like chocolate milk on the palate, pleasently frothw a bit when I coat the palate

Overall: Excelent well balanced maybe under hopped for the style but sooo good (496 characters)

Photo of Habanero58
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first ever review of an American beer!

This was the Winter, the green and red, version of Alesmith Yulesmith. Anyway... it was love at first sip.

First up it had the rich, warming, alcoholic maltiness that I would associate with an English beer such as Fuller's Vintage Ale. That is good enough in itself but then it gets better still as I realise it also has some of the delightful uber-hoppy profile of the American IPA's I am growing to know and love, such as PtE and DFH 90 min.

Coupled together this adds up to a delightful complexity and I am really glad I have one more bottle of this to enjoy at a later date. I hope I can source more of these for the Festive season proper! (689 characters)

Photo of ressletr
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yulesmith, my favorite beer of all time, I have tried hundreds of beers, then I found Alesmith. I used to do my own home brewing but after living just 1 mile from Alesmith stopped, why bother when the best brewed beer is within walking distance. Yulesmith, the Ipa is outstanding. This one is the Double Ipa. The smell is that of fresh flowers, the taste that of heaven, with tastes of a smooth malt followed by a hop sensation, found no where else. Every time Alesmith releases yulesmith, I absolutely go crazy for it. I usually like to buy at least 1 case of it for enjoyment. I wouldn't do this with any other beer, even Hop Rod Rye which is also very good, but nothing in comparison to Yulesmith. Peter, you guys rock. I recently gave one to a friend of mine and asked him how he liked it. He said it was the best beer he has ever had. I think it should be a crime not to be able to buy Yulesmith every month. But at least I get it two times a year. I stocked I think I am one of the last ones to buy the summer release by the case in San Diego. This beer sells out within 2 weeks of release. I talked to the lady at the counter, and she said she was surprised they still have it. If you want to try the best beer, then try a Yulesmith. (1,240 characters)

Photo of guinness310
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pouring this winter release into an oversized wine glass...

A: A mild-thick pour creates a lightly yellowish one finger head with good retention that sits atop a burnt-orange almost ruby body.

S: Piney grass, and citrus notes give this a very earthy nose. malty hints are nicely blended in it as well. Cloves?

T&M: This mild bodied beer is nicely carbonated with a heavy introduction to the piney flavour in the beginning, bittering hops in the middle and a malty-smooth dry finish at the end; with the 8% evident yet never overwhealming in the beer. Great lacing.

D: Overall drinkability was very good as the ethyl alcohol was not too overpowering. A definite great beer worth recommending. (696 characters)

Photo of RaulMatisse
2.81/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A 4th of July beer seemed fitting for a rainy winter night. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Telegraph tulip.

A :: A fiery, golden-orange glow is consistent throughout, with a fine balance that lies partway between translucency and opacity. Very exciting indeed. Soapy bubbles form a collar around the glass with flings of lace scattered about. Streams of carbonation line the glass. Towards the end of the bottle, a gentle pour yields a cottony head that, upon recession, leaves thick, fluffy lace behind. Definitely worth a second look.

S :: Yikes, a little sweeter than expected. Yes, piney hops hum in the background, but the main chorus consists of an aria of overripe pineapple and doughy malt. Blind tastings between AS IPA and YuleSmith Summer would be inconclusive--save for slightly more funk in the Yule. Frankly, in the realm of scent, this one can be classified as a GIPA (generic IPA).

T :: The Yule is the prodigal son of the AS IPA--it insisted on wandering into the land of the Imperial IPA, never quite made it, but got really boozy along the way. After a momentary flash of what may be a discernable hop or malt presence, I am broadsided by what tastes like a bitter orange peel soaked in alcohol. It makes your head cock to the side at best, your face grimace at worst.

M :: Up front, mouthfeel is notable; however, the initial sparkle of bottle conditioning is quickly sloshed away by an alcohol-warmed mouth.

D :: Mischievously drinkable 9-, 10-, and even 12-percent ABV beers are not hard to happen upon these days, so why should I be caught without an umbrella in alcoholic rain with an 8.5-percent IPA? A certain crispness and a firmer hop snap could whip this beer into good standing amongst the great West Coast DIPA's. (1,752 characters)

Photo of Gregorious
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Huge pillowy head. Heavy retention on the sides of the glass.

S - Invigorating aroma of hops followed with a plesant citrus smell very much like grapefruit (yum...i love grapefruit). A heavy/dank aroma.

T - A clean taste with a complex hop flavor of hops which is battled with a warm malt... The malt goes down but puts up a good fight. After the malt taste dissapates, the hop flavor clings to your mouth and makes you want another sip. The hops have both a piney and citrus flavor to them, yet leaning more towards citrus like gapefruit.

M - Ever so nice. Carbonation isn't obtrusive as to let the mellow flavors of the beer shine for all to taste.

D - This is an excellent Double IPA. Delicious from start to end. I'd get another and enjoy it with a sharp and nutty cheese plate with a lot of grapes to clean the palatte. Drink on! (850 characters)

Photo of swhite11
3.18/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Winter release. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

[Appearance] - Pours dark amber with an orange hue. Head pours creamy/foamy off white with 3 fingers. Retains/laces well.

[Aroma] - Bready malt with caramel sweetness upfront. Citrus hop character follows with notes of lime/orange/tangerine. Alcohol is slightly apparent.

[Taste] - Sweet malt dominates upfront. Alcohol follows with a slightly dry, fusel feel. Hop taste is underdeveloped and restrained. Bitterness sets in back palate and is prominant but does not fully balance this beer as an Imperial IPA.

[Mouthfeel] - Spritzy carbonation and dominant malt sweetness detract from the beer. Alchohol and hop bitterness dry the feel but only back palate.

[Drinkability] - 1 1/2 pints was a job. Too sweet and cloying upfront for my tastes.

[Overall] - Reminds me of a junior 120 Minute IPA with more hop bitterness. A big Imperial IPA that is a bit to sweet. (930 characters)

Photo of Simont
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Supremely well made beer, provided you like big alcohol malt and hop notes. I definitely do. This is a big beer but comes across with a lot more body, heat and complexity than it's 8.5 abv suggests. Bitterness and malt complexity balance incredibly well, and such a lot of both. Under the mandarin/ pine/ grapefruit/ tropical fruit hop characters, there's a floral, spicy flavor that wonderfully connects to the toffee and caramel sweet malt. Masterful. (454 characters)

Photo of vertigelt1
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Daily Pint in Santa Monica. This is the Summer Yule.

A: bright orange marmelade colour in a goblet. Finger of nitrous-y white head that Leaves gloriously delicate lacing as the glass empties.

S: I can smell the pine and floral aromas from three feet away. Right at the nose, it's intense. Like laying down in a redwood glade and smelling the dirt. A little spice and tiniest hint of biscuity malts for balance.

T: oh, I almost have found beer heaven in a glass. The pine and flowers are right there, playing the roof of the mouth. Malts are present with the slightest candied green raisins. Prototypical grapefruit bitterness that lingers and mixes with the resiny mouthfeel.

M: full bodied, slightly sticky with a lip-licking resin that compliments the finish ver well. Excellent delicate carbonation makes t feel like spring water despite it's full body and bitter finish. Like champaigne and strawberries.

D: the aromas keep ke comng back. Think I like it's smell more than it's taste, but I can't stop sipping it. And that's it: it's a sipper, but one you could do glass after glas. (1,110 characters)

Photo of lincoln44
4.87/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow, great beer. I love big hop beers but didn't expect this from a Christmas beer.

Appearance- Shallow yet dense head, beige in color but quick to fall back to a narrow layer of head. Copper in color; matches the style. The bottle could be more impressive as I almost passed this up while shopping for my Christmas beers. Head left a mark in the glass with every swig, stuck around through the 22oz. bottle.

Smell- What can I say, I love this style. Big citrus/slight piney aroma with a balanced malt aroma to balance. To be honest I got very excited after opening this bottle and taking the first whiff. I have tried many holiday ales this season and this may be the best thus far. Not necessarily what many may expect in a holiday ale but us hop heads will have a very merry Christmas with this one in the stocking.

Taste- Big taste of hops, citrusy at first followed by pine and then a spicy malt finish. Not sure if it is the ETOH level that gives it the spice or the yeast but it rolls off the tongue quite easy leaving me grabbing for another swig.

Mouth feel- Like I said there is a bit of spice or hotness but it is balanced out with the malt and hops. Carbonation may be a bit higher than expected but I did buy it off a room temp. shelf and it is a bottle conditioned beer.

D- Great holiday beer, wish more brewers would take this route. Good brew for any time of year but this will keep you warm through the cold winter months.

Cheers! (1,456 characters)

Photo of yodaseo
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

green/red winter bottling

poured a hazy dark brown color, with the sumptuous creamy head topping the glass nicely. the initial smell had plenty of hop character and a bit of tart fruity goodness, but surprisingly it had a whopping portion of sweet malts. i was taken aback at first and checked to see that this is indeed listed as a double ipa. nonetheless, this mold breaking scent was heavenly and instantly fired all the nerves in my brain related to the process of imbibing. the taste was one of incredible balance. a burst of hops in upfront led way to a smoldering crescendo of smoky malts, followed by a lasting dry and bitter finish. it all came together in a warming yet smooth mouthfeel. the 9% alcohol was hidden almost to a fault, hidden behind the mountains of flavor. though it is a holiday ale, there is absolutely no time of the year when you should ever turn down a yulesmith. tis the season every day for this wonderful brew. (946 characters)

Photo of Raugupatis
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The fine people at AleSmith decided to give their seasonal offering a little more wood.

Personally, I feel that the pine/cedar overtones actually detracted from this otherwise fine effort by AleSmith.

Otherwise, it is a good example of the artisan brewery we have come to expect from Northen San Diego. (304 characters)

Photo of nramsburg
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to an orange amber color with a good sized head. In terms of aroma there's a good deal of alcohol and yeast on the nose and, for the holiday style, surprisingly less spice than I'd, perhaps mistakenly, assumed.
OIt's not terribly thick, reasonably creamy without overpowering.
A bit of caramel, perhaps pine as well, I didn't register the citrus as much, but perhaps that's just my palate.
Smooth finish, refreshingly balanced hops and malt.
This beer really stands out for its steadfast commitment to balance. (519 characters)

Photo of dogfishlove120
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Winter edition.

A: redish deep amber rust in coloration, much darker than the summer edition.

S: Smells of pine, grapefruit, sweet malt, and alcohol. The Malt aroma makes it much different in smell than the summer version.

T: Sweet Malt, grapefruit, pine and alcohol. The alcohol is much more present in this edition compared to the summer one. Much richer and more malty as well.

M: very well balanced, not over hopped leaving my enamal in tact.

D: well D in this case stands not only for drinkable, but for highly delicous. (531 characters)

YuleSmith (Summer) from AleSmith Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 912 ratings.