AleSmith Double IPA | AleSmith Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 952 | Ratings: 1,911
Photo of bigbelcher
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was able to do a vertical tasting of both the 04 and 05 on draft at the same time at Papago Brewing. Not surprising was that the beers tasted different but surprisingly not in the way I would have thought. The 04 was actually more hoppy than the 05. I would have thought that an extra year would have mellowed out the hops but it didn't. The 05 was more malty with less of a hop bite than the 04. Color was the same in both, a nice deep brown color, both had good head. Nice spicyness that is expected in a holiday beer. One of the better tasting holiday beers I have had this year. I liked the 04 better...Call me a hophead.

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Photo of SacoDeToro
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours an deep amber with a nice light tan head. The aroma is dominated by citrusy and resiny hops with some alcohol in the background. The maltiness of this beer is just sweet and caramely enough to perfectly balance out the hops. The carbonation is perfect and tight. The mouthfeel is full and compliments the initial weight of the beer.

Very few beers are worth the praises of being perfect. Yulesmith, however, has truly earned it. It wouldn't do much justice to try and articulate the flavors and experience any further - go get a bottle - now!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a deep copper color ale with huge white head with pretty good retention. Aroma of deep citrus hops with a strong presence of semi-sweet malt. Taste is totally dominated by the mix of citrus hops and strong caramel malt. Body is just above average and carbonation is medium. Alcohol is well hidden. While this is not a bad beer, I feel that it is a bit too one-dimensional and would probably have been happier drinking their regular IPA.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

While it may have one of the crappiest photos I've seen here on Beer Advocate this is one of the tastiest brews listed...

The pour is a deep golden brown (or a light browinsh gold, you decide) with a generous thick, lumpy, sticky tenatious off-white head. The crown lasts for quite some time and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

The nose is very inviting with very strong, clean hop notes. Pine, citrus and new mown grass are obvious from an arm's length and they're complimented by some softer toasted bread smells which bring a nice complexity. One sip and you know this is something to celebrate - a strong malt body full of biscuit, toast and caramel provide a solid body to balance out the aggressive hop flavors. The hops have a very 'fresh' note to them - quite green and vibrant shades of citrus and pine give this beer a real juicy punch. Just the slightest hint of alcohol sweetness in the background, while not overwhelming also doesn't compliment the other flavors; that's about the only thing keeping the flavor from being a '5.0'

Mouthfeel is again, very good. As a bottle conditioned beer the carbonation is fine and plentiful leaving plenty of effervesence to lighten up the hops and clean the palate after every sip. While there's plenty of hop flavor there's not that much bitterness - enough to finish the experience and no more. Again a bit of burn from the alcohol but not enough to seriously degrade the experience.

Another finely crafted hop boquet from Alesmith, I've now got (yet another) reason to look forward to the holidays.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/06/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2005 release. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Copper colored pour with a 3/4 inch solid nice white head. Lacing is very patchy and nice.

Smell- Lots of hops as expected. Pine and grapefruit as is the norm in most qulaity DIPA's. Maybe even some melon scents? Not much malt to sniff.

Taste- Pretty tasty. Heavy doses of pine sap and fresh squeezed grapefruit domintate the pallete. The sweeter caramel malt does come into play to make it a pretty decent balanced brew. The hops are king here though.

Mouthfeel- Nice carbonation level and bitter mouthfeel.

Drinkability- No sign of ABV when drinking this...could be dangerous. Pretty yummy brew. Recommended.

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Photo of kmcnair
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Winter 2005 Imperial Red on tap from mr. kegerator.

Pours a dark reddish copper tone and makes a full offwhite colored head. Floral and piney hop aromas tangled up with light caramel and crystal malted barley, almost like fresh baked artisan bread, slightly yeasty. Delicious flavor, sweet light roast barley, moderate hop bitterness, piney, floral and earthy hops, such a well balanced flavor profile. Palate has a buttery cream like consistency, leaves a soft coating on the palate, medium to full body and finishes with a soft coating. This is an incredible, awesome brew that I would gladly take to the grave. A+

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the best US west coast style IPA's I've partaken of. Hoppy? Naturally! but well balanced, and to me, that's the real trick.

Pours a deep gold with amber tones swirling about, slightly hazy with moderate carbonation. Pours with a fluffy everlasting white head and lots of it! Lacing present as well. Nose is definatly hoppy, lots of citrus, lemon and grapefruit, slightly grassy. Taste is very well balanced as I said, a nice malt background, rich and sweet coupled with the citrus and herbal hop notes. Mouthfeel is quite full for style, but managable. Quite alcoholic as it warms, but again, still remains attractive. Dangerously drinkable.


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Photo of OStrungT
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours, from a summer 05 bottle, a golden brown color with a thin off white head. the head fades quick, leaving a small layer over the to of the beer. Heavy laces coat the sides of the glass. This beer has a piney hop aroma. It has a slight citrus aroma as well. I also detect a very subtle malty aroma. The alcohol content is present in the aroma also. This beer has a piney taste. Not overpowering though. The balance of flavors in this beer is incredible. I taste a slight citrus flavor as well. I can also taste a hint of caramel like malt flavor. That is unusual for hoppy beers. The alcohol content is slightly noticable in the flavor. this beer is strongly carbonated. It goes down smooth leaving a refreshing, piney aftertaste. I think this beer would make an excelent session beer. The alcohol is a little high, but even so, I can see myself drinking this beer all night.

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Photo of jonnylieberman
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage: Pours from a bomber into my pint glass. Funny story, I went to pick up my winter 2005 case and they only had seven left, so when they went to ring me up, they had to scan the bottles. Well, it turns out that AleSmith's bottle screening is not liked by scanners. Anyhow, good looking IPA type beverage, hazy from hop oils and with a big, rocky, barely-off-white head. World class lacing.

Smells Like: Hops dominate. Makes me think of British hops, as this one smells musty and perfumey rather than like citrus and redwood groves. Some malt and alcohol are present, too.

Taste: Yes! Near ideal hop-to-malt ratio. The malt backbone is strong with toasty, bread-crust like taste, yet the hops are there for the whole ride. Not overly bitter, the hops themselves provide a certain fruitiness that the relatively dry malt does not. Complex, and will no doubt age with the best of them. The water seems a little soft for the style -- more suited to a barleywine. Still, quite good and very nicely hopped.

Mouthfeel: Medium-Full with relatively light carbonation and a soft, round character. Again, water could be harder for a little more bite; a couple more angles.

Overall: A wonderfully warming beer that hides its 8.5% abv rather well behind a mountain of hops. One of those rare beers where you want to drink more not because of the taste (which is great) but because of the sublime aftertaste. A really good swallow. Nice work again, AleSmith.

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Photo of orfeu
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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Photo of jaymirage
5/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 20 ounce wine goblet.

Appearance: Pours a very deep hazy copper color. The head was thick almost two inches of off white goodness. Leaves lacing like pancake batter on the glass.

Smell: Very floral with lots of spicy hop oils backing up a carmel biscuity smell.

Taste: This beer taste citrusy juicy. Very crisp spicy hops playing well with a gingerbread taste.

Mouthfeel: This is a very full bodied ale. The hops and the maltyness play well together. Very dry finish that leaves you craving the malty intial taste.

Drinkability: This beer is easy to drink and will leave you wanting more.

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Photo of mentor
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle provided by nvsblman and shared with absolutesites on T-Day, 2005. Thanks for the opportunity! Pours a cloudy orange-apricot liquid with a light tan head. Smells grapefruity pith with orange oil, alcohol, and a malt sweetness. The smells are mild, mind you, but that's what I get. Taste is more sweet than hop flavor or bitter. Way too much crystal malt, to the point that I get a 'cobwebby' flavor I encountered in one of my early homebrews. The best single word description for this beer is really 'rough'. Hop bitter mixes with too much caramel amid an alcohol sting. Disjointed. Dry and edgy in the mouth, I'm looking forward to my next beer (and it won't be another of these). Fruity esters are pelted by the dramatic conflict of hops, sugary sweet, and alcohol such that they are lost. Thick sticky mouthfeel, but somehow dry in the throat.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber from lou91, opened in honor of the bears beating the hated panthers

appearance: deep murky copper , lovely off white/beige head forms with some lacing...certainly looks the part, tons of sediment at the bottom of the bottle

smell: floral hops...oily and fresh hop profile, definite acohol on the nose, biscuity smelling, thick caramel malts

taste: intense and powerful...very bitter floral and oily hops complimented by a strong malt backbon, biscuitesque, alcohol immediately present, caramel, juicy and citrusy...complex and quite tasty

mouthfeel: medium-full body, hop bitterness, alcohol burn, juicy hops and thick malts

drinkability: pretty drinkable

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Photo of twelvsies
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Oh boy. Glad to see these Alesmith beers hitting Boston. Excited to try this one. It looks great. I like to give big points for the beers sporting a big rocky head. This one, sitting atop a cloudy, yet vibrant red beer, isn't just your average flat layer of suds, but it takes some mountainous shape to it. Pine and citrus hops galore, very fragrant, with a sweet orange scent as well. Mmmmm, it's tasty. Up front, this beer is a nice, hoppy, very west coast style IPA. It's got that piney, citrus, hop profile. Also, a really nice peachy, orange-creamcicle sweetness, which bumps it up a notch from average. Getting into the thick of this beer, I'm noticing yet another bumper-upper of notches. Once the pallate gets used to the hops, there are nice spicy undertones of the hops that sort of reminds me of an eggnog sort of concoction. Maybe it's just the seasonal images on the bottle or the power of suggestion, because this doesn't really strike me as a beer that has spices added to it. Nevertheless, it's spicy. Maybe because of the hops. I'd love to know what exactly is in this one. I think another part of it is the excellently smooth and creamy mouthfeel, combined with a hearty malt backdrop and the previously mentioned creamcicle-ness. All that on top of a nice alcohol warmth too. Not your typical IPA. This one has that extra bit of complexity that makes it a winter seasonal as well. Get into it.

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Photo of Sephiroth
4.01/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a nice inch of foam, which leaves rings of lace all around the glass. Aroma of mostly hops, just background noise of malt.

The taste is deliciously unbalanced. The hops are slightly piney, but more citrusy. I sense that they have been subdued since the bottling. Mouthfeel is good, a bitter coating of hops lines my teeth. I must find this when it releases this winter.

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Photo of KroMagnon
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured with a robust, rocky head. The head foam was light tan and the beer was a nice copper color. The aroma is mostly hops, with some spiciness that reminds me of Belgian ales - it may be a higher alcohol, or some other spices, not sure. It seems a little like cloves, or vanilla. The flavor is rich, robust, malty with a spicy hop flavor. The bitterness is evident but overall the balance is more malty than I'd expect from a "double IPA". It may be the age of the beer - I'm tasting it in November so its probably a year old and the hop flavor and bitterness may have been a little subdued by now. There is also a bite there, alcohol maybe? Its not the smoothest beer of 8.8% ABV that I've had but its still good. A great holiday beer, and rather unique.

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Photo of doubleipa
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was at the top of my list to drink during my trip to Oregon. Unfortunately, the beer, for me, did not live up to the hype. It was good, but not great. I had a bomber at the Rose & Raindrop.
The appearance was clear copper with lots of carbonation.
A very strong smell of grapefruit, citrus, but with a not so subtle spicey and pine smell. Taste, to me, was disappointing; pepper and pine came through too strong. I did not taste as much hops as the smell would've indicated. The spice/pine taste covered up the alcohol. After reading many of the reviews, I really think I could have had a "bad" bottle. I'll have to try and get my hands on an another bottle and "update" my review.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice. This brew has an average to above average saucey head and retention ( no, this is not a porn movie review) Smell is god damn bonerville! Fresh hoppy presence that has the ability to put me into a coma....awww soooothing. Grapefruit/ slightly citrus but subdued. Mostly there for cleansing I think. A hint of spices in the aftertaste.

Notes: Nightcapper material for sure. Not much left on the palate to even venture into another brew.

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Photo of palma
4.84/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Hazy yellow-copper body. Nice size off-white head that diminishes to a floating lace.

Nose: Pungent piney hops. Maybe even some cherries or apples as well. As the beer warms, the lightest alcohol phenols start to show up.

Taste: Yes, big piney hops and then some. A stabbing citrus fruitiness towards the end. Some warming alcohol. Strong bitter hop aftertaste with some caramel malt flavor if you look hard enough.

Mouthfeel: Oily mouthfeel. Definitely smooth, but I would still prefer just a little less carbonation.

Drinkability: I drank this 22 oz bomber in a flash. Get some MF!

Thanks to Jetsbeer for letting me know where I could purchase this beer online. It shipped well and was consumed just as well.

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Photo of rowew
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz bomber with holiday coloring and a long description on the back. Tons of sediment visible in the bottom of the bottle.

Appearance: Poured into a Stone IPA (hmm .. is that allowed?). Pours a cloudy red orange color with a nice thick head.

Smell: Thick hop aroma with quite a bit of malty sugar mixed in. More pine than citrus, but they are both there.

Taste: Starts slightly sweet, and then the hops come on strong. Thickish mouthfeel, and slightly oily from all the hops. Lots of citrus and pine flavors, but there is enough malt to keep them from over-whelming.

Overall impression: Very nice Double IPA. Enough malt to keep it drinkable - this could be very dangerous. The San Diego brewers have certainly managed to make some great hoppy creations.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Happy Birthday to me...on my 35th b-day, I finally decided this was the right evening to try this one (thanks to cmaruschak and Cornboy for each supplying one of these).
Pours a very cloudy, dark rust color w/ huge amounts of tan head...lacing is thick.
Cognac hits the nose first...w/ the alcohol quite apparent.
A nice hop profile w/ some raisins, grapes and caramel.
The taste is quite complex...the alcohol does take a back seat to everything else going on here. Not sure of how old this bottle is, but this one hits me more like and old ale than a double IPA...either way, it is quite delicious. A subtle smokiness in the finish and ends quite dry and bitter.
The mouthfeel is thick and the carbonation is right for the style IMO. At almost 9%, I'd respect this one...
I will need to pick this one up fresh to compare w/ my other bottle in the cellar...hopefully it won't be too long until we can find AleSmith brews in Mass.

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Photo of lostbearbrew
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First - thanks to Drewbage for sending this one my way.

I must say, although I very much enjoyed the bottle, it wasn't quite up to the hype I had formed in my mind. Shame I did so, as I think the beer is very good, perhaps excellent and I am struggling with reality versus my lofty expectations as I write this review...

Copper with red notes - very high level of carbonation and a soft, lacy head, that never goes away completely, leaving lacing all the way down the glass.

So much citrus! WOW! Amarillo-like orange scents seem to come forward the most. Can smell a sweet malt backbone, but the malt smells different than anything I can recall before - maybe marshmellows?

Hops hops hops - citrus/orange with pine and earthy tang, peppery spicy flavors as well. Malt is in there, but it is pretty well masked by a lingering multi-layered hops taste throughout the sip. Not much alchohol taste in here, and a dry, almost tart, finish.

Drinkability is good for a beer of this complexity, as well as bomber-ness. I'd have a second (if I had a second to have.)

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Photo of hustlemuscle
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

from a cooler aged bottle courtesty Budsboy and the good folks at Riverside Imports in Kent, Ohio, who aged it in their cooler.

Pours a rich golden tending toward amber with suspended particles. Decent head. Nice rich hop nose accompanies a fantastic full and rich hop profile. Pine and citrus with a mild malt undercurrent. A spiciness rounds out the flavor, and the resulting tanginess rounds out an already full bodied feel.

Nice stuff, very nice stuff. Can't wait to get a fresh bottle this winter to compare.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Christmas in July" version: I hear that the patriotic-themed summer release of this beer is a little different. Maybe it is and maybe it isn't, but this did seem slightly "softer" than the one I had last winter. The beer is a luminous amber color with a very thick and foamy beige head so dense it almost has a membrane on the top. Thick, sticky lacing too. The aroma consists of resinous hops, citrus and spice. Rich and smooth body, and as before this brew is by far the most subtlely-hopped Double IPA I have had, almost to a fault this time around. Lots of citrusy fruit and spice, as well as a very sweet malt backbone. The finish is spicy and lingering. Still very enjoyable in the summer heat but I wouldn't mind a little more bitterness.

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AleSmith Double IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.22 out of 5 based on 1,911 ratings.
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