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YuleSmith (Winter) | AleSmith Brewing Company

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YuleSmith (Winter)YuleSmith (Winter)

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-01-2009

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Reviews: 312 | Ratings: 780
Photo of joe1510
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz Bomber
Liquid Solutions

Winter Edition/Imperial Red

Yulesmith Winter pours a slightly hazed over deep garnet. Big streams of carbonation bubbles rise along the side of the glass to the two finger khaki head. Leaves great sticky lacing after each sip.

Wonderful aromas leap from this beer. Toasty malts and raw grains lead the big maltiness of this brew. Slight doughiness as well. There is a strong malt presence but the hop profile might edge it out. sweetened grapefruit over the top of a forrest full of pine needles. Slightly sweet. Smells excellent.

Flavor is right in line with the aroma. Strong malty presence kick things off but the hops do manage to push it aside. Toastiness and a mild raw graininess are the first flavors to hit. Even getting some caramel as it warms. Mid palate the flavor just explodes. Grapefruit and a pine needle hoppiness jump forward and last throughout the finish. Throw in a nice spicy alcohol warmth and you got yourself one hell of a beer with good balance.

Medium bodied with an airy, creamy mouthfeel when this beer hits your tongue. No skimping on the use of hops as they coat your mouth with a solid lingering bitterness.

Easy drinker with good somewhat balanced flavors keep this one drinking easy.

Another great beer from Alesmith. This is my second offering from them along with their IPA and they are both top notch examples. I would love to get a fresh bottle of Yulesmith.

Reviewed: 7/29/07

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Photo of scotorum
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought two orphans from last Christmas on sale for $5.95 each. Opened one to see why either this or the summer version were in the BA top 250 until recently.

Poured into a Duvel snifter from the 22 oz. bomber.

a: A deep nearly clear amber, billowy and stubborn huge beige head eventually dissipated to a thick foam surface film and lots of lacing.

s: A sinus-clearing intense fruit/pine.

t: Delightful moderate sweet pine hop bitterness. Wow, nearly a year old and it really rocks. Clearly aged well! A clean finish. The 9.5 ABV is well concealed.

m: Moderate and smooth. Very pleasant.

o: I love it when a gamble pays off! This is a tasty brew, wonderful for the holidays or anytime. Having it now as a summer refresher and it works for that!

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Photo of buschbeer
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1PT. 6 FL.OZ. bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It appears red with amber highlights. It is topped with two fingers of tan head.

S - I smell some caramel and toffee. I also get some alcohol.

T - I get some caramel malt and the taste of hops gone by. There is an intermingling of sweetness and some bitterness. The bitterness grows with each drink.

M - Medium with a chalky coating on my tongue.

O - It has kind of taken on the characteristics of a barleywine. The hops have faded, but are fighting to keep a counterbalance to the sweetness.

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Photo of chinchill
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle of Yule Smith "Winter Holiday Ale", 8.5% ABV, believed to be 2012 vintage served in a pint glass.
Pours a deep, dark reddish brown color, clear, with a large, frothy, creamy and durable head.
Very hoppy aroma, with some pine. Hoppy flavor too, but with a load of rich malts nearly counterbalancing the hops bitterness and adding a rich, sweet roasted grain flavor.

M: Full bodied, with ample and soft carbonation.

O: this exceptional beer may be as good as Imperial Reds get.

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Photo of McD0uche
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a beautiful crimson orange with coppery bubbles. Retention isn't pronounced, but lacing becomes apparent after a couples minutes. A nice looking beer. Festive.

S: Initial whiff reveals hops and a vague sweetness (licorice?). Curiosity sets in.

T: Smoky malts and toffee. Hops are there too. And wait, there it is! Black licorice! Heavy black licorice aftertaste. Crazy. That's a first for me.

M: Light-bodied, which is unexpected for something with flavor this powerful. Carbonation seems a tad too high. Finishes bitter and crisp.

O: Pretty good. A nice little holiday piece. I normally don't like black licorice, but it worked well in this beer. Recommended.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden-amber with a finger of frothy off-white head. Fades fairly slowly.

S - Sweet caramel and bready malts, grapefruit, citrus, pine, and grassy hops.

T - Sweet caramel, bready, and biscuit malts, grapefruit, orange, citrus, pine, and grassy hops, resiny bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a dry, bitter, lightly sweet finish.

D - Good hoppy red ale. Good hop profile and bitterness.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle from Bristol Farms Palm Desert CA for 10$

Appearance - Clear dark copper with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is a high amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, caramel, earthiness, pineapple

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste sugary caramel, malts, and earthy hops. There is also some pineapple and a touch of something along the lines of all-spice. It ends with a malty sweet aftertaste with a medium amount of hop bitterness.

Overall – A good seasonally flavoured beer. A little too earthy for me but still nice nonetheless. Just a bit overpriced for what you get in my opinion. Nice to have tried but not something I'd buy again.

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Photo of magine
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized pint glass.

Pours a cloudy sediment floating, caramel amber with a thick creamy tan head. Lots of thick chucky head stands a finger thick. Perfect lace and head retention here. Looks great.

Brew smells of big hops and caramel malts. Very tasty nose here - great nose.

Brew is big in flavor and mouthfeel. Pungent, oily, flavorful hops melded perfectly with caramel malts. Brew has a mellow smooth warming finish. Tremendous.

Awesome stuff here. My first from Alesmith and a gem of a brew. Makes me think of Nugget Nectar. Cant wait to try more from them.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

22oz Bomber poured into a snifter
2012 release

A- Pours dark hazy red with a large off tan colored head.

S- Citrus, caramel, some spices.

T- A more mellow tasted then I was expecting. This beer starts off with a slight hop bitterness. It follows up with more of a creamy caramel flavor and feel. There is a note of toffee. There is also some spices in this beer, sort of like it was brewed with rye. Hop flavors seem to have faded some and there is some alcohol taste.

M- A nice thick feel brought on by the bottle conditioning. Higher carbonation but it works with the beer. A nice warming feel.

O- This is pretty good. Sort of disappointed. Mine tastes like its old and the hops have faded away. Which I don't see being possible because this is a winter brew and its the heart of winter. Regardless, this beer is well made and not too shabby.

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Photo of IronLover
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby red in color with an orangish hue and good clarity. Poured with a huge, dense off-white foam with excellent staying power that left random sticky lacings on the glass. Fresh, pungent, citrus and ripe grapfruit hop aromas with intense, sugary sweet caramel malt beneath. Light, fresh pine hop aromas float overtop. Medium bodied with a thick oily feel underneath the rich, tight carbonation. A fabulous balance of pungent hops and sweet, sticky caramel malt. The balance of these intense flavors is the beauty of these beer.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass. Vintage 22oz. bottle from 2011 holiday season, poured on 01/04/2013. Bottle labeled 8.5% ABV.

Appearance: A dark hazy amber, off-white head that is thick at first almost a finger's length but settles very quickly before taking a sip.

Smell: Let's put it this way, this brew has aroma, not smell. A strong caramelly feel of raw sugar, with a strong hops aroma to go with.

Taste: A caramelly pine feel that is very robust. Might be very bitter to some to me it's just right. I love the complexity of this beer, it is definitely not for beginners considering the extra hop to it. Not to mention how malty this brew is.

Mouth: Stickiness, i mean it sticks to you. Medium all the way, it feels almost like a lighter carbonation but I factor this bottle is just over a year old.

Overall: A beer that is almost if not an imperial IPA. Has every quality of it that makes this beer a true gem. Not only does it improve with every sip it becomes more addicting. I thank a very special person for this brew and you should be thanking yourself just for having it. Salud!

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass- pours a slightly hazy amber/orange color with two fingers of beige head, good retention and beautiful thick lacing. Excellent looking brew.

Nose is pretty thick and piney- some orange zest in there as well as some caramel malt. Really thick and resiny though.

Taste is great- smooth, sweet caramel malt up front, followed by some orange tasting hops then the piney resin hops, though not as resinous as the nose. Finishes pretty dry but fruity as well. Becomes smoother as it warms.

Mouthfeel is decent- medium to fuller bodied, moderate carbonation, as I mentioned above pretty resiny but smoothes out as it warms. I would definitely recommend drinking this one closer to room temperature. Good hoppy amber beer.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a bold winter beer, possibly my favorite of the season so far. pours rich red in color, and appears to be an irish red all the way. huge lacey tan head and a nose of clove and nutmeg, dry red malt, alcohol, and a majorly aggressive hopping. i taste hops first, and i taste hops last. this might as well be a red ipa rather than a holiday beer, because to me this is very very hoppy for a christmas brew, which i appreciate greatly. the spice doesnt come in until the end, and is relaxed compared to so many winter warmers and the like. the spice also seems to be tamed by the addition of something a little sweet, vanilla, brown sugar, maybe some belgian candy sugar in small dose. it really rounds out the beer nicely, and are nice materials over the red malt foundation. theres a nice full body, enough bubbles, and a warming alcohol sting. a nice bomber to share, or to drink alone on a cold winters night. i enjoyed this as much as any winter seasonal this year.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drink this on Christmas eve and was the perfect beer.
The beer has a nice ruby copper amber color with a beige white head on top. Tall and dense and long lasting leaving a glass coated with lacing. Decent carbonation also.
Wonderfully intense aromatics. Thick and oily hops are heaven with a bold malt base in which to carry the hoppy load.
Taste is equally rich and satisfying with a big hop presence and a sweet malty bill. As hoppy as it is I'm having a rather difficult time sorting out just what kind of hop I'm tasting.
Drinks smooth with a bitterness thats not overpowering.
Drink's easy even with an almost 10 ABV.
I'll definitly will not hesitate for the summer version.

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Photo of lovindahops
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- completely dark amber body with massive tan foam. Very frothy head recides leaving sticky lacing all over

S- spice, pine, massive caramel malt scent. About as malt forward of a brew as I have had in a while

T- delicious red amber properties with the piney hop presence balancing with the malt that is oh so dominate. Very coating flavors and warming as well.

M- medium bodied and good coating flavor. Real leaves a good taste

O- a desert beer no doubt. Good Carmel flavor that I really enjoyed. Give this some citrus hop flavors and it would be wicked!

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle split and poured into a tulip.

A: Pours an opaque ruby with a full 2 finger head. Can see a good amount of carbonation when you hold it up to the light. Head sticks around for quite a while and leaves a solid lacing.

S: Has a fruity hop aroma, loads of grapefruit and citrus. A sweet malt backing and a hint of booze.

T: Much maltier than I anticipated, but certainly not in a bad way. Hops balance it out nicely and linger in the aftertaste. Malts come through as a sweet and carmel

M: Fairly full bodied with ample carbonation. Isn't too sticky instead rather clean. Is certainly a warming brew.

Overall certainly a beer that would be great paired with a meal. Has the malt and body to combine with meats and cheeses but also a pleasant hop that makes it very drinkable.

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Photo of flagmantho
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: nice medium-amber hue with a little bit of haze and a moderate effervescence. Head is two thick fingers of frothy light-tan foam. Quite attractive.

Smell: strong malty aroma with a prickly and sweet character, rather like an American Strong Ale (into which category this beer could also easily be placed). A big earthy, citrusy hop aroma is also present. Not bad at all.

Taste: big sweet malt with lots of caramel character. Strong citrusy hops are present right up front and toward the end, although bitterness is quite low considering the huge hop presence here. Good, but it could be smoother.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation and a nice, satisfying creaminess. Good stuff.

Overall: a tasty and interesting amber ale, this could probably be better classified as a strong ale. Still, pretty tasty and, while not particularly smooth, is surprisingly drinkable for a beer clocking in at near 10% alcohol.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

the beer pours a dark red, rusty brown with a fluffy tan head that settles down to a thin blanketing. the nose has a generous amount of caramel with some piney hops, but nothing special...not the "intense hop aroma" I was expecting. the taste brings a hearty amount of caramelized sugar and piney hops. the mouthfeel is medium pushing heavy with a good amount of sweetness and bitterness to balance the 8.5%abv. the beer drinks well and is a good winter sipper. I would have liked a bit
more citrus.

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Photo of Chaney
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Currently, this is the #5 ranked American Amber/Red Ale here on BA.

Served in a paper cup because that's all I have in my hotel room in NYC, the night before performing at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

A: Lots of suds no doubt, ridiculously frothy even! I'd say that vanilla head was about 2 fingers or so.

S: Fresh red velvet cake batter, citrus, cocoa, and quite a bit of yeast. Pretty awesome!

T: Actually, I got more fruit than I got hop bitterness which was totally surprising to me. I got some booze, but it was of the candy-coast variety.

M: Smooth as silk, and not as "West Coast hop bomb-like" as I thought it would be. This teetered the line between the sweet and boozy quite remarkably.

O: Great beer, for sure, but my heart is still with Nugget Nectar.

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Photo of srhoadsy
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served chilled into a pint glass.

Pours a wonderful translucent chestnut brown. About half an inch of light tan head that slowly recedes and then glues itself to the sides of the glass.

Aromas of orange marmalade and a slight hint of strawberries.

The taste surprised me with how hoppy it is, but with enough malty sweetness to balance it out. Hop bitterness lingers for quite a while.

Moderate to heavy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

All around just an excellent beer. Have another bottle I'm saving for it's namesake holiday.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass as directed between 50-55 degrees.

Out of the bottle pours like liquid brown gold, hitting the glass with a deep red, crystal clear and almost ruby colored luminous. Head forms thick and strong, four fingers and tan with mostly tiny bubbles. Huge retention and practically frozen in place, it will not budge. This beer is very pretty looking.

Nose is a wonderful mix of caramel and chocolate milk smells. Fresh ripping grain, a mild hop sense. Simple solid and appetizing smelling, great nose.

Palate hits with a nice subdued caramel malt richness. Bread whole wheat finish, hop angle really opens up. Mix of citrus fruits, pear and apple too, maybe even some herbal tea like orange sensations also. Mouthfeel hits with an almost creamy palate. Rich and coating without a syrup edge, very mild and low carbonation. Big palate, but does not feel anywhere close to 8.5% ABV.

Overall one real great tasting amber. I would love to have this every Christmas.

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Photo of Philousa
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a deep red, clear, with a big, two finger rocky tan head. Lacing is impressive. Big cascade grapefruit aroma with some nectarine and pine to back it up. The malt is easily noticeable with caramel, almond, and slight cinnamon/candied sugar. Flavor starts with cane sugar and a very smooth nutty, mealy, almost doughy taste. The normal amber ale flavors are present: slight copper, mostly almond and cashew nuts, and caramel. The feel is great. Smooth an creamy, slightly watery. 

This is a great hoppy beer. The alcohol isn't even noticeable. A great winter beer for the hop head.

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Photo of ejhansen7
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice thick solid head, amber red with some slight shades of brown showing up, able to see through the glass, lots of really small bubbles showing good carbonation

S: smooth yet getting a slight alcohol scent coming out follwed by the burnt winter spices

T: initially a malty brew, fading off into a good selection of hops slightly bittter with aftertones of holiday spices

M: malty, lots of flavor,good amount of carbonation, dry burnt finish

O: a very good holidday brew, great flavors without getting to fancy and overdoing it with added spices and such. good balance of hops

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Photo of Beerbuddy21
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought at Total Wine in Northridge, CA where they actually had last years version as well(or at least what looked to be the design of last years bottle.) Chose the newer of the 2.

A- Great mahogonay color, can see through it just barely if you hold it up to light. Head is 2 fingers high and retains for a long time. Sticky and stays on the side of the glass when you drink it. Served in a New Belgium tulip glass

S- Smells of hazelnut, dry molasses, and a little alcohol. Piney smell tells you there's a nice hop presence

T- Burnt caramel balanced by strong hop character of pine. Wonder what kind of hops they use? Whatever it is the malts and hops are very well balanced and very nice for a sunny, but cold day. Had a Hop Head Red from Green Flash before this and they have a lot of similarities, but Yulesmith has a stronger malt bill

M- Very nice, well balanced on the palate

The summer Yuletide is one of my favorites and now this one joins the ranks. Perfect hop head choice for the colder season. Would def get again and adds to the respect for Alesmith

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.66/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a beautiful crimson color with great carbonation leaving a frothy tan cap, good amount of bubbles and lacing cling to the glass after a few sips. Head retention is remarkable.

S: The nose tells me there is some pine needles, spruce tips, some light bread and underlying caramel strike with a pinch of booze to sting the nostrils

T: Malt base of light bread and caramel provides a nice balance for the pine needles and spruce tips, not overpowering in any department when it comes to the taste profile, some light sweetness, light sticky syrup greets the palate with more pine and spruce, light booze and and light residual sweetness. The finish is a little sweet and sticky.

M: Well carbonated, medium bodied, balanced

O: Good.

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YuleSmith (Winter) from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.1 out of 5 based on 780 ratings.
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