Double Red IPA | AleSmith Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Imperial Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Also known as YuleSmith (Winter)

Previously known as winter YuleSmith, this warming, hoppy ale used to be available exclusively during the holiday season. But the popularity of this red-hued India Pale Ale grew to the point where sharing a limited run of beer with our fans seemed insufficient. our answer was to convert this crimson IPA into a seasonal offering to be enjoyed from fall through the winter months. Caramel malt sweetness combines with citrusy highlights to bring forth a dry, highly drinkable beer that's simultaneously hearty and thirst-quenching. the holidays are too brief to contain this much flavor.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 343 | Ratings: 915
Photo of Jeffreysan
2.75/5  rDev -32.8%

22 ounce bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, clear, golden amber color, speckled with red highlights and an eighth of a finger of off-white head that quickly dissolved into a lacing of foam that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very hoppy. In fact, the only aroma I’m getting is an intensely floral note of hops. I hope the flavor isn’t as hoppy.

Taste: Unfortunately the beer tastes very hoppy as well. Lots of hops up front, imparting quite a bit of, in my opinion, unpleasant bitterness. I get some faint notes of toasted malt, brown sugar-like sweetness, and some black pepper, but mainly I get hops and hoppy bitterness. Not my kind of beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with quite a bit of carbonation. With an ABV of 8.5%, there’s just a touch of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: I’m not a fan of this beer, really, as it is way too hoppy for me. The hoppy bitterness totally overpowers all of the other flavors of the beer. Sorry AleSmith, this beer is not for me. Hop heads should love it though!

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Poured bottle into Lost Abbey Teku

A-Pours a beautiful clear golden color with a three finger white head. Great lacing.

S-Aromas of grapefruit and orange.

T-Very complex flavors with the Initial flavor of orange and grapefruit with a nice bitterness of the hops in the middle, and then sweetness of the malt.

M-Mouthfeel is well balanced with great carbonation.

O-This was one of my ISO after I had their IPA and they didn't disappoint me. I must try more of their brews especially speedway.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz brown bomber purchased from Ales Unlimited in San Francisco.

Pours a pleasant clear amber hue, with a thick and frothy head of yellowish-white. This stays around for a while, eventually maintaining itself as a very fine film with islands of larger bubbles. Lacing is minimal but fine. The body certainly has some heft to it as well, looking very nice overall.

Smell is also good: pleasant bright hoppy characters encapsulated by a robust malt structure that seems to assert its dominance. The result is a pithy melange of the two: bright and fragrant, but deep, with sweet/savoury malt as well. The combination is almost spicy as a result. Nice stuff.

Taste is also good. Here the malt provides roundness and cushioning, but the hops provide the flavour, especially on the back, where they give a pleasant resiny bite. Slight almond characters develop from the malt notes when the hops become more dominant. Finish is long and smooth, which really helps mask the alcohol, which is genuinely fairly high. Feel is great. Languid and thick, but with a crispness from the hops.

Overall, this is genuinely cracking stuff, and I guess I'd expect no less from AleSmith. It's fragrant and bright, but with depth and gravitas. A really well-crafted beer.

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Photo of tmzl
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours with large, creamy top, big bubbles, off-white (light brown/mocha hue) head. Good, sticky, slow retention, leaves a thick, creamy top layer, good amount of lacing. Clear, dark, brown, bloody amber. Looks good.

Smell: Fruity, mostly citrus (dissected parts of grapefruit and tangerine) and pine. Caramel, toast, pale malt sweetness - godly combination with fruity hops, makes it a very juicy fresh. Also some floral and sea algae notes.

Taste: Dissected citrus (from the zest to the body of grapefruits and tangerines) go into lovely, smooth, medium sweet caramel, biscuit malt backbone (with very light toast, roast, burned sugar). Ends with clear medium bitterness, mostly grapefruit, zest and some pine. Also some malt backbone sweetness comes back into play at the end. The bitterness stays for a while in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, good smooth carbonation, very drinkable. Leaves a dry finish. Alcohol is nowhere to detect.

Overall: It's the balanced play with strong malty backbone and fruity hops that does it - brings out the fresh succulent flavor and feeling. Not too complex, but rich enough to enjoy throughout. Well done.

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Photo of Beaver13
4.85/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle. Pours clear ruby amber with a huge fluffy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet caramel malts with piney, fruity hops.

The flavor is sweet caramel malts and some fruit with a lot of piney hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, an amazing well balanced DIPA with sweet caramel malt, fruit and a ton of piney hops.

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Photo of farrago
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Rich, creamy head, close to three fingers, tan in color with an orange tint, for as fluffy as it is has wonderful retention and the lacing is strong too, long, thick streaks form every time the glass is turned. Dark, if clear, amber red color, kind of has a metallic sheen to it, not quite beads but lots of large, healthy bubbles swirling upwards inside the glass. Excellent balance between malts and hops in the nose, cocoa, hard coffee candy and malted milk balls interplay with sweet pink grapefruit, pine sap, lemongrass and a pinch of white pepper, basic apricot, peach to pineapple fruit yet restrained, as it gets warmer the damp herbal matter element becomes more pronounced. Full-bodied, the buoyant carbonation frames the attack and makes it less blockish and more apt to settle gently on the tongue. While the texture is dry and after 4-5 sips you start to feel a tacky residue building up, the flavors are all ripe sweetness, especially that pink grapefruit to tangelo citrus. Floral, piney, sweet and sour enough to play up papaya and pineapple over the apricot and peach. Some biscuit notes among the caramel and molasses, as in the nose saves the more bitter or leafy herbaceousness for last. Given the multitude of things going on, stays balanced and integrated and, even better, highly drinkable.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Yule Smith – Winter 2013
Notes taken from 12/28/13 - Standard pint glass

A: Thick and dense khaki mass of utterly stubborn foam head rests over a perfect amber body. A few garnet tones and some brilliant clarity. Looks fantastically amazing really with incredible stay power on the head and some thick crusty patch work of lace left clinging to my glass.

S: Smells like malty biscuit with a soft toffee like sweetness and big citrus hop presence. Grapefruit flesh mostly with some complementing pine resins and a dash of dank herbals. Very fresh aromas with a good mix of malt to hoppy pine and citrus.

T: Toasted bready malts impart dry biscuit with a light toffee sweetness. Hops bring in tangerine, grapefruit, and sappy pine resins. Juicy and in unison with both the malt and the hops. It has a good dose of caramel flavor but the beer is not really sweet. Very hoppy actually with a restrained bitterness and some really great ABV balance. So smooth with just a whisper of alcohol noted there. The finish is dry and resinous and brings a touch of herbal dank weed on the back end. A great display of craftsmanship this is incredibly well balanced and delicious.

M: Moderately filling body and even a touch on the lighter side. Nice fair bubbly consistency and a very dry resinous finish to the beer with lingering hop oils.

D: This is a great amber with near perfect balance between the biscuit malts and fresh American hops. Quintessential when I think of in terms of the style and my kind of Holiday Ale.

I am pretty confident AleSmith does not make a single bad beer but they sure have the Reds nailed down between this and Evil Dead/Bloody Valentine.

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Photo of champ103
3.69/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark and hazed reddish/copper color. A two finger, tightly packed beige head forms with good retention and plenty of lace.
S: Orange rind, oily/soapy hops. Resinous and slightly bitter. A toasted malt aroma. Sugary, caramel/toffee like sweetness.
T: Again, big hops and big malts all intermingle here. Orange and grapefruit rind, bitter and resinous. Toasted malts and burnt sugar. Big sticky caramel sweetness.
M/D: A full body and moderate carbonation. Sticky, oily, and resinous. Much more viscous than I was thinking. Big alcohol, big malt, big hops, makes for a slower sipper. Still not something that is particularly hard to sip on.

While this is exactly what the brewers wanted to make, it is just a bit to big for me. Really not bad for what it is, just the large bitterness mixed with the big burnt sugary character are not really for me. I want something a bit cleaner, for me to drink this more often. Still, at least worth a try.

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Photo of evanforbeer
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bomber, bottle date disappeared but it was somtime in October- pours a lovely thicker lighter auburn with a powerful off-white head.

nose- bright zesty orange and berries, caramel, florals and vanilla

taste- big dose of citrusy hops and lush caramel and sticky grains and toffee, musty pineapple and pine and a trace of vanilla in there, finishes clean with malty sweetness and hop bitterness

feel- big, heavy for a red (though it is an imperial red i suppose), sticky, effervescent

love this beer. Alesmith's under-the-radar expertise is their red ales- Yulesmith, Evil Dead Red, and Bloody Valentine- I love how they blend hops and caramel malts

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 10/8/2013. Pours lightly cloudy reddish copper color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange zest, orange rind, tangerine, pineapple, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, floral, pine, grass, and floral/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop and dark malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, orange zest, orange rind, tangerine, pineapple, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, floral, grass, slight pine, and floral/toasted earthiness. Slight floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange zest/ring, tangerine, pineapple, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, floral, grass, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity and well balanced hop and dark malt flavors; with a moderately crisp bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately creamy and fairly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent imperial red! All around awesome balance and complexity of hop and dark malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle 8.5% Abv.
Served chilled and split between a wine glass and a snifter.
Bottled on 01/26/2013

Drunk on Christmas 2013 and reviewd from notes.

Appearance: The beer pours a beautiful crystal clear amber/red, with a rough pour yielding a large beige coloured head. The head lasts fantastically well and coats the glass in thick rings of lacing as it slowly recedes.

Smell: The initial nose is fantastic, offering a ton of citric and piney hops swimming in a river of sweet caramel malt. Closer inspection yields notes of: sweet orange, grapefruit, some pith, caramel, honey, an odd note of vanilla, toffee and light pine resin. As the beer warms, pineapple and a touch of granadilla become apparent. Even at room temperature, there is not trace of alcohol.

Taste: The flavour is quite a lot more bitter and hop than I expected - there must be an absolute mountain of hops in here to dominate the massive malt body like this!
Orange, grapefruit pith and a little pine dominate the flavour, but the sweet caramel malt base is still present and does a great job in balancing the massive hop character. As the beer warms the flavour becomes somewhat sweeter with more caramel/toffee maltiness and some tropical fruit hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is a little high for my liking at a high level, but it is not overly obtrusive. The body is medium-full and offers a light stickiness.

Overall: YuleSmith Winter is a fantastic beer, with a perfect balance between the malt and hops. There is absolutely no trace of alcohol, making this one dangerous drink for a hot South African Christmas!

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Photo of hardy008
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber with a one finger light tan head. The aroma has plenty of citrus fruit, especially grapefruit, and a lot of caramel malt. Smells like it should be both sweet and hoppy.

Tastes pretty much like I expected based on the aroma with grapefruit, citrus zest, caramel malt, and toasted malt. The beer is both sweet and hoppy, as I expected, but the sweetness is somewhat more dominant.

Medium to full bodied with average carbonation. Has a bit of a sticky mouthfeel, and is somewhat oily and resinous. Has a grapefruit and caramel aftertaste. The alcohol is well hidden. Another very nice beer from AleSmith.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

AleSmith Yule Smith Holiday Ale

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a CBS snifter. Served chilled...

A) Nice looking red ale... Two fingers of creamy light tan head slowly settled to a dusting, leaving behind some decent lacing too.

S) A nice blend of caramel malt sweetness and piney hops in the aroma.

T) Yeah, this one follows the nose nicely. A piney grassy finish with a little alcohol, which becomes more noticeable as it warns up a bit.

M) A pretty thick red ale here. Moderate carbonation... Pleasing aftertaste... Easy drinking...

O) Excellent balance... I rank this right there with my favorite imperial red ales. Glad to recommend...

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Photo of MattyG85
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Bottled on 10/07/13.

Appearance: Pours a deep and somewhat hazy amber red with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid three fingers of off white head which slowly fade into a thinner creamy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing clinging to the glass.

Smell: An earthy and fairly hoppy red aroma with a big caramel malt balance. Upfront earthy, floral, and herbal hops with hints of wet grass and spicy pine resin. Subtle citrus hop hints of orange peel, lemon, and grapefruit. Big balance of toasty bready malts with hints of sweet caramel, biscuit, grains, toast, toffee, yeast, and subtle roast. Also some sweet hints of brown sugar. A pretty solid and balanced red ale aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma hints, a big and balanced taste of earthy hops and sweet caramel malt. Upfront taste of earthy hops with notes of wet grass. Floral notes and spicy herbal notes of pine resin. Citrus hop notes of orange peel, grapefruit, and lemon. Solid balancing presence of bready malts with notes of sweet caramel, biscuit, toasted bread, toffee, yeast, and a little roast. Sweet taste of brown sugar as well. A well balanced and good imperial red taste.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the fuller side of medium. Carbonation is moderate. Very chewy and oily. A little booze heat is felt but it still goes down fairly smooth.

Overall: A very solid imperial Red Ale. Big oily mix of earthy hops with a big sweet malt presence.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear, bright crimson hue, , large and long head, puffy, creamy foam, leaving lace.

Aroma: malt-tastic, fruit-ariffic, a touch of vanilla, a whiff of cherry. Cocoa lurks below, caramel, too. A mystical mix. Ever-so hoppy.

Taste: Big fat mix of malt and a generous spattering of hops. Lots of caramel malt and toffee tastes below, with cirtus-y notes up above. yum. Big, chocolately malt, prodigious hoppiness. It's a So-Cal Christmas. Tast-ee. Yum-ee. So terribly complex and delicious. Love it.

there's a lot of red ink on a brown bottle. I can't read it. On the bottom, above the web address it says: "Serve in a pint at 50-55 degrees." I think the temperature is okay, but is a "pint" really what you want to recommend? Whatever, I did it in a "tulip." So sorry.

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Photo of rawfish
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sunset orange with good clarity, a slow pour creates a neat finger high head of beige. Retention has limited durability but leaves a solid band of lacing on the glass.

Warm malt tones of caramel, red berries and vinous fruit and in the true holiday spirit hop aroma of oily/resiny pine with a backing of grapefruit and orange citrus.

Straight forward caramel malts with a bit of cream with a hop kick that includes pine, orange citrus and some herbal tones, follows the nose very well. Moderate bitterness is exacerbated by the strong grasp of solvent-like then warming alcohol.

More carbonation here then most of the Alesmith offerings, medium bodied. Alcohol presence is bothersome even as the beer warms.

A simplistic but well crafted hoppy red ale. I would love more dimensions thrown in in either the malt or hops, malt is equally balanced with the hops so there isn't much that can be done about the rising alcohol. A nice beer but far from the best this brewery can offer.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, 10/08/13

A: Pours a really pretty lightly reddish hued orange color. Head is about a finger of off white/light tan. Leaving some sticky lacing. Nicely carbonated.

S: Just as expected with AS, awesome pine and earthly hop notes. Then meshing nicely with caramel and hints of toffee. Almost a hoppy nutty character.

T: Really nice hop bite up front. Really strong earthly pine flavor. Some citrus rind. Then you get the red ale flavors: some soft caramel and toffee. Has some strong lingering bitter finish. Dry.

M: Medium bodied. Big flavor burst.

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Photo of ryannosaurus
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep red brown, crystal clear with about a finger's width of light tan head, settles quickly, nice lacing. Absolutely gorgeous Earthy hop aroma, slightly piney with a hint of malt and biscuit as it warms. Flavor is nicely balanced, strongly bitter with significant sweet malt and brown sugar to offset it, balance doesn't shift much as it warms. Subtle hints of orange peel and pine. Mouthfeel is thicker than I'd expect from 8.5%, bordering on what I'd expect from an Imperial Red. Overall very nice effort: hoppy but not too hoppy, very attractive appearance.

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Photo of cvm4
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a medium amber with a one finger head light tan head.

S - I'm getting a lot of citrus hops, with may'be pine secondary.

T - Citrus hops with a not too malty backbone and a pine hop finish.

M - Light to medium bodied and medium carbonation. A crisp, easy drinking beer for the abv.

O - I'm impressed with the winter and summer versions of this beer.

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Photo of QuakeAttack
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tried a 22 oz. bottle in a tulip glass (other glasses were all dirty!)

A: Poured a nice, amber red with little head (about 1/4 inch).

T: It surprised me with a nice balance of hops at the beginning and caramel malts at the end. Had this wintry pine or juniper taste which I wasn't expecting, but really enjoyed.

This is an excellent red ale. AleSmith is 3 out of 4 in my book (Speedway Stout, Wee Heavy, and YuleSmith with the NutBrown being the only one which missed for me).

Buy again? Most definately!

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.94/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Dark brown with a 1/2 foamy head, floating yeasts and nice sticky lacing.

Smell - Sweet citric fruits, pine, apples, grapes, caramel malts, added spices and sweet yeasts.

Taste - Really reminds me of a barleywine with sweet mix of malts and spices. Hints of lemon, roasty malts and spices. Alcohol is present in the finish. Herbal notes, along with a little oaked flavor.

Mouthfeel - Caramel malts and citric hops coat the tongue. Palate gets mostly the same along with some herbal flavors and alcohol. The aftertaste is malty and a little warm.

Overall - Really good, full flavored, but not quite what id call a red ale. Sure I get the hops but with the roasty malts and alcohol, the beer seems closer to a barleywine to me. Still, really tasty and great to drink.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a nonic.
8.5% ABV, "serve in a pint 50-55°"

A - Chunky gobs of lace leaves Swiss cheese patterns all over the nonic pint after the ivory head subsides into the unfiltered copper-hued amber beer.

S - Holiday hops burst fourth from YuleSmith; American varietals imparting a winter-like nose of pine needle and tree sap with citrus notes and a big base of caramel malt. Sweet suggestions of English toffee crumbles and caramel apple dip lead into undertones of mellow fig newton.

T - Caramel malt sweetness and underlying toffee and toasted bread are intense but still succumb to the bold hop profile of YuleSmith. The piney American varieties keep the flavor earthy with bitter sap and pine cone in the finish.

M - Full flavored and full bodied, this amber has a sweet malty backbone that transitions smoothly into it's moderately bitter hop profile that lingers with traces of dry alcohol on the tongue.

O - YuleSmith isn't brewed with spices or special yeast like most holiday beers, rather, AleSmith got creative and used American hop varieties that introduce overtones of pine and earthy characteristics which, in conjunction with the toasted amber and sweet caramel malts, make for a seasonally enjoyable amber ale!

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a bomber and poured that sucker into the Firestone Teku.

Not really feelin' it. A lil too sweet, a lil to caramel... I only poured 8 ounces of this sucker, and I don't see how any able bodied human could do anymore. It's not like it's a pack of sour skittles and a tallboy of Mountain Dew Code Red "bad," but it's just, um, simply ok.

Kind of like your fallback after your "fallback" doesn't pick up. Yeah, I'll drive over at midnight, but I'm not exactly stoked.

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Photo of ncketchum
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber served chilled

A - pours a clear ruby, plenty of light brown head, lots of lacing

S - hop forward nose - pine predominates with undertones of citrus fruit - followed by biscuit malt

T - well balanced, piny and bready, with carmel in the end

M - sticky, smooth, complex, no alcohol burn, very drinkable

O - very good imperial red, definitely one to throw in the winter rotation with SN Celebration, GL Christmas, and lakefront Holiday Spice

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Photo of Joshpu
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bomber to a snifter.

A: Poured a clear reddish-brown with a finger of off-white head.

S: Mostly citrus hop forward, smells like a peach. Also smelling the sweeter malts.

T: The taste follows the nose. Mostly hoppy with some malt backbone.

M: Light to medium bodied. Pretty crisp and easily drinkable. Dry aftertaste, no alcohol presence.

Overall nothing jaw dropping, but still a solid beer, well done.

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Double Red IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 915 ratings