AleSmith Double IPA | AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith Double IPAAleSmith Double IPA
BA SCORE
91.6%
Liked This Beer
4.19 w/ 1,945 ratings
AleSmith Double IPAAleSmith Double IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
alesmith.com

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

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

Every year we anxiously await the warmer months to unleash this Double IPA, the summer edition of our former YuleSmith seasonals. The flavor imparts orange, grapefruit, and tangerine hop notes with earthy, spicy, and resinous pine undertones. A sturdy malt backbone balances out the profound hop bitterness to create a refreshingly assertive and vibrant beer that offers an unapologetically bold expression of fresh American hops.

YEAR ROUND: No – July / August

Added by xlperro on 11-24-2002

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,143
Reviews:
964
Ratings:
1,945
Liked:
1,781
Avg:
4.19/5
pDev:
9.79%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
267
Gots:
154
Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,945 |  Reviews: 964
Reviews by wl0307:
Photo of wl0307
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A great gift by courtesy of BA Greg (Dukeofearl) when he and Alice visited London earlier this year. Thanks Greg! This is officially my first "bottled" DIPA, as I am lucky to have tasted DFH 90minute IPA on cask and something else I can't remember at the BSF bar, GBBF 05. Both were huge, complex and very different, further triggering my interest in seeing how these giant hoppy monsters could maintain their subtle distinctiveness... And having warmed myself up with several IPAs and heavy APAs recently, now I'm ready:

2005 edition, 8.5%abv. Served around 10-12˚C in a goblet.
A: pours a copperish hue with exceptionally dark orangey hint; thick, cappucino-like frothy and creamy head, only very slowly dissipating w/o showing much movement, leaving layers of fine lacing. Very gentle carbonation detected. Beautiful...
S: the texture of the smell is beyond my imagination--I could sense an invisible, air-tight cell occupying the space between the nectar and my nose, in which the fat fruity hoppy and richly malty elements are wrapped together, so intense and focused that it's unmovable and never dissipates... sweetened apricot and cherry, preserved orange, melted malt sugar, flowery honey, butterscotch, peach-flavoured milk(?!), rock-candy, endless fruit and flowery esters all over the place. The whole thing is thick, intense, complex but luckily not too aggressive~~ It's easily the most remarkable aroma of all those (only a few actually) American IPAs I've ever encountered, but it doesn't get 5 coz it proves a touch too sweet for me. (at the second pour and third the smell does soften remarkably and still bloody nice!)
T: the first sip is like a hop-shell exploding on the palate and taking me aback!!! releasing high voltage of hoppy waves rediating towards all corners in my mouth and really "stuns" my tongue; after I put myself/my senses together after the first hit, the second sip shows a fat and oily hop-ball rolling onto the palate, gradually the incredibly thick orange-dominated citrus fruitiness spreads from the centre, followed by oily hoppyness, liquour-preserved cherries, along with buttery and sweet-biscuity malts, while the magnifying bitterness gradually intensifies from underneath just as a flow of flaming alcoholic warmth sliding down the throat like malt liquour. Thick but round finish, underlined by incredibly deep and lingering, herbal and slightly citrus-tannic bittering flavour deep down the throat on top of the simmering flames~~
M: incredibly rich and round the mouthfeel is... with such a 110% body and 120% flavour, I'm pleasantly surprised to find that at the back of the palate the oily hops, thick malts and ever-lasting and ever-magnifying bitterness are all rolled into one, as if there is a centre of gravity to keep the harmonious balance...
D: I feel very priviledged to try such a nice brew as my first-ever bottled DIPA. Actually I'm converted right away! But it's not to say that I would stop my love for "attenuated" American IPA and indeed even "smaller" English IPA, and "mini-mum" ESB, so on and so forth... They, as different styles, each show distinct beauty and complement each other to make the (bitter) beer world fuller and never boring. Three cheers to Greg and YuleSmith!!!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Illmaticzx
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A little cloudy, bright gold, thin head
S pineapple juice peach juice and piney hops smells sweet and tropical, smells good
T sweet malt, pineapple tropical a little malt forward, piney grapefruit a little alc backbone
M medium
O a smidge too malty sweet to be perfect for my pallette but its a very good dipa

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Photo of schoolboy
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Yup, this sure is a great DAIPA. It has it all going on.

It is quite impressive in the glass. Yellow with nice fine foam. Tons of lacing. The aroma is full, hoppy, slightly floral. Excellent smell. A dab behind each ear seems in order.

The taste is syrupy and hoppy. A lovely mess with a thick, lingering aftertaste. This double IPA deserves all the accolades.

Very highly recommended.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Lightly foggy nectarine with honey colored edges. My usual pour produced a surprisingly large cap. As it settles, I can appreciate its magnificence. The firmly creamy foam is pale gold in color, with a cobbled upper surface that maintains contact with the pint glass in multiple spots. When the sticky foam bridges break, they leave a beautiful array of lace. What's not to love?

The nose is a hophead's dream come true. I remember wishing the Winter release had less caramel malt and more pale malt. Summer has granted my wish (kudos to the brewery for giving us two versions of the same great beer). Beautifully pungent American hops fill the atmosphere with sweetened pineapple, white grapefruit, candied orange peel and Scotch pine. I'm actually beginning to drool.

YuleSmith Summer is one of the most delicous, drinkable DIPAs that I've ever had. The only thing keeping the Winter release from perfection was, again, the use of a hefty amount of caramel malt. Which, by the way, turns it into an Imperial red ale (just ask the brewers). Both versions are great, but I slightly prefer this one.

I'm not sure how old the bottle is (it's definitely from *this* summer), but I expected a shade more hoppiness. Don't get me wrong, it's a tongue abuser par excellence, it just isn't as 'in your face' as I remember the Winter version being. When the brewery calls it balanced, they aren't that far off the mark.

The prodigious malt backbone contributes very little flavor. I'm reminded of sugar cookies and honey-like malts, though they're in the background. The foreground is occupied by wave upon wave of sunshine bright, C-hop deliciousness. Again, pineapple, grapefruit, orange, (and now) lemon fill every nook and cranny on every last taste bud. A minimal alcohol presence is easily ignored.

The mouthfeel isn't the perfection that the other version was, but then a lot of time has passed and a lot of beer has been consumed in the interim. It's midway between medium and full (for the style) and is a fraction too carbonated to be considered ideal. Time is beginning to soften things up very nicely.

AleSmith is a permanent member of my 'top 10 American craft breweries of all-time' on the strength of IPA, Speedway Stout and both versions of YuleSmith. Not that the rest aren't worthy, but those four are four of the finest ales that I've ever had the pleasure to drink. Bottom line: I can count on one hand the number of DIPAs that are better than YuleSmith Summer.

Reviewed sometime during the summer of 2008. I don't recall the exact date since there weren't separate entries at that time for YuleSmith Summer and YuleSmith Winter.

 2,647 characters

Photo of jooler
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very bitter initial taste with a tarty backbone. After warming up to it, it is a great ipa. It is also pretty oily

114 characters

Photo of oberon
4.82/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have sampled this treasure a few times in the past and thanks to my new Buffalo BA buddy Orfeu I have a bomber to myself.Poured a deep hazed burnt orange/peach with a creamy 2 finger head that stays for the whole way down with a brillinat ring showing thru and globs of lace left as I drank more.Honestly what can be said about great it smells deep resiny piney hop with notes of apricot and lemon pith in my mind there is not a beer out there that has such a complex hop profile,a big sweet brown sugar elemant show thru as well.The malt must be really packed in this brew to keep at least close to balanced because there is just such massive amount of hop flavors,apricot shows thru with a touch of overipe pineapple and then the oily,resiny character come thru with a hefty sweet malt base showing thru making it almost sticky.Has a great creamy mouthfeel texture it just glides down in near perfection,this maybe the standard American DIPA with its huge hoppiness and big sweet malt backbone just unbeliavable.

This was the summer release not the more recent fall/winter release.

 1,088 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This fella’ gave off a huge, monstrous head that was thick and unrelenting, sinking slowly on top of the hazy orange liquid. This just looks serious.

Smell – The big, fruity hops are out in force here. They are very complex and can keep the drinker busy for hours just smelling this bouquet. I think I took a whiff with every sip.

The malts are thick as well and full of caramel. They are very rich and epitomize the ADIPA style.

Taste – Yes, this is a heavy-hitter. It’s probably the fruitiest of the ADIPAs that I’ve had the privilege to sample. The malts are big and rich and form a terrific backbone, but it’s the giant fruity hop profile that sets this one apart from the pack.

Mouthfeel – This is a big medium-bodied ale with an effective combination of super-sweet fruitiness and a strong, finishing dryness.

Drinkability – I thought this lacked the malt depth of some of my favorite Double IPAs, but the big fruity hops and great “alcohol mask” made this one the life of the party.

Comments – BuckeyeNation is in da house! This is just one of many wonderful beers that I picked up on trade from him. BA rules!!

Update – I popped a fresh one in Nov 2007 and found a bit more malty bitterness here than before but otherwise it is right on point. As I said in my original review, the striking thing about this beer is the head. It is so stubborn and so lacing. This is a real looker with bite to back up its bark. I’m bumping the Drinkability up half a notch and raising my glass to the AleSmith crew.

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

Winter release picked up at La Cav du Vin, Cleveland and consumed in mid-June, 2007. No date information anywhere on the bottle. I assume that this is a 2006 release but cannot verify that.

Appearance: Quite dark, murky even…at least initially, as the carbonation is ferocious and causes a stirring of the bronzed dark orange brew. As the beer comes is brightens but never too much. This is a big beer with a big look. The head remains frothy throughout. It’s creamy and off-white.

Aroma: Toast and biscuit malts. Oily hops. Hop profile is both citric and tropical ranging from grapefruit to passion fruit and containing most of the spectrum in between. Some pine is also present. Malt is in no short supply either.

Taste: Not as hoppy as I had expected, although that could be a side effect of this brew’s age – 7 months or so (and I suppose this could even be a 2005 release. That would really explain things) or perhaps that is how this beer was intended, balanced, unlike so many DIPAs. I’ll have to drink more samples to know for sure.

Don’t get me wrong, however, this beer is hoppy. The flavor contains some wonderful juicy citrus elements. Tangerine and ruby red grapefruit are clearly discernable. Spruce and rose petals too. The malt in this beer is at times almost rye like, quite bready, and contains a light honey sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Balance, balance, balance. Yulesmith is big in terms of body, booze, and bitteress but it is not overbearing. Each piece of the Yulesmith fits together like an intricate puzzle. One is left with a very drinkable beer. Another word to describe the body is chewy and although the beer is initially oily, it becomes quite sticky as it warms.

 1,710 characters

Photo of pbsmooth
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of ricke
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden orange with a white head lacing some lacings.

The smell is hoppy with a nice grapefruit/pine-needle character with hints of tobacco. Quite a lot of malts are shining through.

The flavor is fairly sweet with a pleasant caramel malty backbone with notes of vanilla. Decent amount of aroma hops (pine-needles and grapefruit). Ends bitter with peppery and citric hops, and hints of warming alcohol.

Medium to full body, easy on the palate and very easy to drink.

An enjoyable double IPA.

 498 characters

Photo of DavyJones
3/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SuqMadique
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for the bottle, zoso1967. Thanks for drinking it with me, BuckyFresh. Reviewed from notes on 10/15/10.

A: Biggest. Head. Ever. Seriously, this bomber was roughly split 3 ways and each snifter had a four plus finger head. The froth receded in my glass to leave a clump that looked like a breast. The color looks almost more like a Tripel than your typical Double IPA - very medium to dark gold. The lacing on the glass is awfully clumpy and sticky.

S: Grassy, earthy hops are the dominant smell. A little bit of caramel malt sings to my nose along with a Belgian yeast-esque aroma. I smell a fresh herbal scent which is very minty. The smell is a little spicy and quite fresh.

T: This is a different taste for me from a Double IPA. It is very freshly herbal, with a taste that reminds me a bit of a Belgian golden ale. I taste a lot of garden herb flavors - mint, parsley, and coriander among them. The aftertaste does have a good lingering hop bitterness. I would like to know what the dominant hop is in the mix because I am not at all familiar with it.

M: There is a nice biting hop presence on the sides of my palate, but overall the MF is a little thin for me.

D: I could really sip this beer for a long time. The herbal character feels very refreshing in my mouth. However, it did not really have the characteristics of a Double IPA for which I look.

 1,371 characters

Photo of MadScientist
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of BeerEnergy
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Schlais
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of woodchipper
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours to a slightly opaque gold, not cloudy though. Tremendous head, fades to medium lacing and surface-only layer.
Aroma is prominent alcohol as is the taste. The hops are there, but I fear my bottle is old, date is illegible, but its been in my fridge for about 3 weeks.
Not horrible, but don't know if I would buy it again, given other options.

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Photo of SanFranJake
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of explosivebeer
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lots of citrusy hop aroma with some pine and maybe even a hint of peach. It is a clear light golden color with a decent malt body. It finished a little bitter. Overall it's good but not as great as I'd hoped. The winter Yulesmith is clearly better, at least from the two most-recent releases.

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Photo of SkiBum22
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Dmann
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003:

What a top notch brew! I had this one on tap at O'Briens and it was my first experience with YuleSmith. The color was a medium red with a nice head that left good lace. The smell was all about hops and spice, very inviting. The flavor was that of a hopped out barleywine more than a Double IPA. The big malt backbone anchored the brew while the bitter hops and the dose of spices kept the beer from being too sweet. Great balance and the aging must have factored in as well. Great stuff!

2004:
What a superb brew! This one definantly had more of an Double IPA flavor to it compaired to last years. The smell was more hoppy and the taste was more hoppy as well, but still retained enough balance in the malt section to make it all work. Kudos to AleSmith once again!

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Photo of newk340
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: a glowing yellow orange, a thin head with spotty lacing. did gush upon opening...

S: hints of a pleasant blend of florals, citrus, spices, and hops.

T: bitter orange flavor permeates the mouth right through to the swallow.

MF/D: sizzle of lasting carbonation that fizzles as it slides down the throat. perfect for a summer afternoon.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Summer 2006 blue and red silkscreened label. Pours into my glass a nice bright copper orange color with a small bubbly head on top that quickly fades. Aromas of resiny, pine sap hops along with hints of citrus and a blast of caramel. A bit fruity with a waft of alcohol. Good stuff.

First sip brings a blast of dense piney hop resins coated in a wall of sweet caramel malts. Notes of citrus work through along with a hint of breadiness and fruit. It flows down with a nice solid bitterness and a touch of alcohol on the finish. Overall...a damn tasty, big brew. I always enjoy me some YuleSmith.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with a nice mellow carbonation. Goes down fairly easily. A pretty strong brew that I enjoy sampling every now and again when I run across it. AleSmith brews always seem to make me a happy camper :-)

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Photo of blitz134
4.23/5  rDev +1%
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.

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AleSmith Double IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91.6% out of 100 with 1,945 ratings
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