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YuleSmith (Summer) | AleSmith Brewing Company

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YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Lots of hops with a nice malty backbone on this one. It is released twice yearly; once in the Summer and once in the late Fall / early Winter. Winter bottles have green & red ink, Summer is blue & red. There is a variation in the malt bill for each version.

Added by xlperro on 11-24-2002

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Reviews: 927 | Ratings: 1,787
Photo of RedDiamond
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lush, syrupy aroma of honeydew-strawberry accented by a light flourish of hop flowers. This is my third Alesmith ale in three days and each of these has yielded a mountainous four-finger head. Yulesmith is infused with fine suspended particulate though it is otherwise clear amber. The abundant maltiness evident in the aroma makes a swift appearance on the palate before submerging beneath a strident, peppery bitterness.

This is a celebratious, full-bodied ale, no matter what time of year the brewery chooses to release it. My advice is to be very deliberate in allowing this one to warm to at least 55 degrees. The flavor is too hearty to conceal with cool temps. There were moments when I felt the fruity maltiness and searing bitterness struggling to reconcile as a surprisingly strong EtOH presence attempted to intervene. The bitterness teetered towards harshness at times but in the end this is still a very drinkable ale. Taste-wise I might compare it to a barleywine though with greater CO2 and less alcohol.

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Photo of baiser
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had fresh at the brewery and brought some home. Is everything that the IPA is and much more. Extremely hoppy - full of grapefruit. Very juicy and delicious. The complex flavours attack your tongue. Just the right amount of bitterness, and the alcohol is deceiving. Extremely balanced for a double IPA.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to HopasaurasRex for sharing this one.
Pours muddy amber with a thick beige head. Medium to large carbonation bubbles, fully effervescent.
Lots of sticky, chewey caramel malt in the nose with spruce and citrus.
Black cherry juice and sugar daddy with hops.
Reminiscent of an old ale with it's winey notes.
Thick and juicy in the mouthfeel. Heavy on the crystal malt, with brown sugar.
Underlying bitterness drys the pallet at length as each sip finishes.
Dried fruits with residual sugars and warming alcohol.
Doesn't quite pull off the "DIPA" moniker, more like an Imperial red.
Leaning twords a Barleywine. Some similar qualities with Nogginknocker.

Edit: 12/04/05
Fresher examples are superior.
Several bottles consumed in Arizona, Utah, showcase a lush, juicy, hop profile.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
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 whartontallboy
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 edition. Excited to be trying this one after hearing about it.

Pours a deep brassy orange with a nice orange-tinted head. Sticks around and laces fairly well.

Smell is quite a nice little package. There's a strong piney hop scent that I was expecting, but also an almost-spicey malt presence that's pretty thick as well. I feel like I'm reading some caramel and maybe even licorice in there.

Flavor holds this line pretty well. Huge frontal attack of west-coast hoppiness that bitterly mauls the tongue with an aggressive blend of piney and citric grapefruit notes. The caramel malt is pretty strong, and I detect a little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg that really pulls everything together. Quite a nice one here.

Mouthfeel is thick, but not overly syrupy or chewy. I would term it "just right."

Overall: I'm really glad I got to try this beauty. It's a really nice beer that lives up to most of its hype.

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Photo of ejquin
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears reddish / amber with an off white head with slight lacing. Smells awesome. Carmel, malt, cinnamon and spice as well piney hops. Not as full on hop aroma as most double IPA's. Taste is deep and rich. Carmel and malt with the hops coming through at the end. Again, not in your face hops but they are prevalent. Incredibly balanced. Medium bodied mouthfeel with perfect carbination. Drinkibility is good for an 8.8% abv beer. Overall in my top 2 IPA's

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Photo of granger10
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours an illuminating orange glow. Nice sturdy tan head holds in place and tons of lacing around the sides.

Aroma is very citrusy, lots of orange in there, decent amount of piney notes as well but not really sharp, there's a honeyish sweetness under the pine.

I get a nice honey sweetness up front but that is almost immediately offset by a strong citrusy, extremely juicy full hoppiness. The hops come off extremely juicy with tons of flavor and a good amount of bitterness as well. Caramel resides under the hop juices as the base and tempers the bitterness. As it warms slightly the bready yeastiness comes out and provides another spectacular dimension to this beer. Alcohol is scantly noticeable save for the finish. Dry, acidic finish with a slight sweetness in there. The finish makes me want to drink more and more. Amazing beer, too bad for the price, still worth it though imo.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - burnt orange color, orange-tinted head of a finger+. Thick creamy bubbles stick to everything and melt down with lots of little craters.

Aroma - mild pine nose allowing some of the citric side to show through. For some reason, it smells like a wood fire in the fireplace. Don't know where that comes from but that's what popped into my head.

Taste - sweet malt base with a thick layer of orange-flavored hop icing on top. Minimal bitterness, beautiful balance. Props to Peanut at Dilly Deli for recommending this one. A reprise of the malt as the hops back off a little, then this warm and steady wave of alcohol envelopes the senses and lingers at the finish. A rather light intensity but plenty of of flavor.

Mouthfeel - velvety rich and luxurious.

Drinkability - it's got the hooch! This one gets more of a spin next year for sure.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This highly regarded DIPA came to me via nvsblman. The 22 oz. bomber had a painted label appropriate for the holiday season. Opening the bottle and pouring it in the tulip was a joy to the senses, as the luscious burnt orange liquid slipped out of the bomber and produced a cascade of bubbles that erupted in a crowning, foamy, off white head. The underlying beer was dense, and cloudy, and gave a good indication of the solid malt foundation that formed it. The lacing was magnificently thick, as the head hung around for a while and kept coating the sides of the glass.

The hops assault on the nose began the moment the cap was popped, and bringing the glass to the nose unleashed more of it prior to each sip. Lovely citric fruit peels, and spruce and pine resin were among the many forms that this hop aroma took.

The taste was very bitter up front, as the hop oils exploded in my mouth. The malts were definitely there to back things up with their sweet caramelized, toasty, and faintly smoky self, but there was no mistaking about the mission of this beer. It was to get as many hops into your mouth as possible without going over the top. The hops were never overpowering as unpleasant, but instead kept the drinking session alive..

The beer felt marvelously thick in my mouth, as the body was on the right side of medium. The tongue coating body definitely let the hop residue sit on my tongue longer which left a lingering bitter-sweet aftertaste. As it faded, the brain signaled that it was time for another sip, which is a testament to the awesome drinkability of this beer despite the strength and hop presence. Speaking of strength, the 8.5% ABV hardly ever registered on the radar screen. In the end I was bowled over by the deceptive charm of this hoppy beauty.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Gueuzedude for this fine sample.

Starts with a really pleasing hop aroma (grass, citrus) with a nice fruity sweetness. Not so intense as others of style. I find this enjoyable. Wonderful blending. Malt increases in intensity and takes on more character in time.
Head is rather thin. Cramy color with tan, biege hues and becomes a solid ring. Some lacing. Great amber color with orange, reds and gold. Clear on first pour then cloudy towards the bottom.
Both malts and hops impress immediately. Again wonderful blending. Rich matled and hopped, yet somehow not overly intense or unsettling. Hops are grassy and citrus with a fairly high level of bitterness. Malt adds bulk and support. A nice little sweetness up front. Hints of chocolate from somewhere.
Amazingly rich, thick and creamy. Smooth like heavy cream and leaves a thick coating of goodness on the tongue (which helps with the enjoyable long yet mild finish). I'm impressed with its smoothness in spite of the intense hop load.
This is a substantial beer. Warm in stomach from alcohol and heaviness from a full grain bill. I think that other Am. lager style I'm drinking a truly unique American beer, i.e., it's based upon a little that precedes it. Considering it's heft it's probably best to heed the advice on the bottle of sharing it with a "friend" or "loved one." Smoother, softer and less intense of others in style. I prefer this one.
Yulesmith 2004, 500th batch marked on bottle.

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Photo of SwillinBrew
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tasted the 2004 summer release of YuleSmith (red foil with blue & white ink on bottle)

The color was a deep honey coppery color with a nice inch of white head. The aroma was a piney hops with notes of citrus, rather pleasant. This is a delicious beer. Balance that starts with a sock of hops finishing with the malt.

This summer release taste different than the winter release. Different kind of hop profile it seemed, leaning towards the bitter... both releases are damn good.
EDIT: I just had this again and had to up a few scores... so good this brew!!!

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Photo of budsboy
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear, deep tan with an explosive foamy head that spins a sticky web on the glass.

Deep, piney hop scent mixes so well with the woody alcohol and malt scents. It's Christmas in a bottle.

WONDERFUL piney hop and almost smokey malt with a heart-warming alcohol show. Fabulous balance of sweet malt and bitter hops. The flavor is so full and round and juicy. This is in a class all its own.

Somewhat oily mouthfeel, not full in the mouth. A pine-sap film sticks to the teeth.

Easy with this, it'll kick yer arse. But get some if you can. It's a wonderful brew. Many, many thanks to hustlemuscle for the gift.

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

All 4.5's for this gem. The AleSmith IPA is a truly remarkable beer, so you can trust that they know what they're doing with this seasonal brew. I first tasted YuleSmith at the San Diego Strong Ale Fest in December 2004. It was one of my favorite double IPA's at the fest (along with Pizza Port's Lou P. Lin). That was enough to promote a trip to the AleSmith brewery the following week to buy several bombers of this classy brew.

The malt taste of this big beer is an excellent compliment to the hops. One thing we've noticed is that they (AleSmith) seem to vary the recipe and bottling slightly with each release, or at least it seems that way when we taste the different bottlings of the ones we have cellered from purchases we've made in San Diego. And each one is a great experience.

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Photo of walleye
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from the bottle poured a hazey orange with a off white head and some decent lacing. aroma hoppy, pine, citrus, lemon , grapefruit, caramel, malts, grapes, pear, bread. flavor, brown sugar, hops, floral, caramel, citrus, a nice bitterness and dryness hope to get some more of this.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful appearance to this hop puppy, with a lasting creamy head atop its deep amber body. Head retention is great. Begins extremely well balanced, with fruity notes that emanate seemingly directly from the head of this beast...a long, hop filled cherry flavor stays with me throughout. Has some nutty characteristics to go with the malt, following through to an almost-sweet point before the hops come crashing down. Finish is slightly dry and again, a bit on the sweet side. Oh yeah, and there's the alcohol. Tastes like it's right around 9%; the warmth feels more like 11%. That's not a complaint...just stating, what is to me, a fact. This stuff is balanced, full of hops, sweet & citrus fruit, and alcohol. All the makings of a kickass beer.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz. bomber poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a brilliant medium red color with four huge fingers of foam. There is lots and lots of lacing. The nose really leaps out at you. Lots of piney hops up front, but you get some of that citrus in there as well. A little bit of sugary sweetness as well. The taste is spectacular. Candied fruit sweetness at first, showing those faint signs of maltiness. Watch out for the hops though, cause they aren't far behind. Lots of great hop flavor without being overly bitter. Sticky pine sap remains on the tongue. The mouthfeel is good, but could have been a touch thicker. The drinkability is deadly. A fantastic brew that really gives new meaning to hoppy holidays.

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Photo of deejaydan
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BuckeyeNation for the opportunity to try this one.

All I gotta say is WOW. This beer is intense. Pours a deep copper, ruby highlighted color. Thick Merangue style head that does not go away, despite it leaving lacing on the glass. Aroma of some spicy hops, as there should be. This thing explodes in the mouth though. Thick and Lush in the mouthfeel, and balance towards the malts. This is an impressive beer, I'll have to keep my eyes open in the future for it.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark amber color, with a light rocky white head.
Aroma: Explosive pine, spice, pine and more pine aroma.
Taste: Resin-y hops, juicy bitterness, big firm maltyness which is nevertheless swept away by the massive hoppyness. Caramel made not with sugar, but from hop juice.
Mouthfeel: Big and thick. This is a slick monster of a beer.
Drinkability: I put down a full 700 ml. bottle of this myself in a flash.

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Photo of chilidog
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have to thank Santa-wife for thisone. She worked at thisone for it was a sample bottle from our local beer store.
It poured a nice clear burgandy red with a thin, well carbonated light tan head that faded to a thin film. Lace was little and spotted.
The taste hits with a splash of winter spice. Alcohol upon the first sip then warms the chest, as a blast of hop rounds out the finish.
Carbonation on the mouth makes for a very soft mouthfeel. A good sipping brew as a slight hop dryness on the mouth is left. My first Alesmith, hopefully the first of many. We'll see.

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Photo of cokes
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Clear burnt honey with a durable cream-hued froth.
Sinus clearing, rusted iron-impaled pink grapefruits slathered in bong water and Christmas tree goo.
Begins with a delectable toasted caramel maltiness that goes on to hint at almond, before turning grainier and more rye-like. It's a relatively simply maltiness, but one the works extremely well and balances the weighty hop load. It grows towards toasted honey (just as the color suggested) as it warms. I love the malts here, even though the headliner is hops.
The hops come crashing in, as expecting, all aggressive and pissed off.
Rusted tin and mint.
Joint ash (or pipe scrapings) and ruby red grapefruits.
Spruce juice and pine pitch.
Roses and meat cleavers.
The body is unfaultable with is draping weight given reprise by a steady unobtrusive bead.
A Double IPA is meant to be loud, and this is, but it also shows a restraint and finesse that many of its peers overlook. For every yin here, there is also a yang.
This is grandiose without being psychotic.

Maybe just slightly manic.

A hearty thanks to kmpitz2 for this one.

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Photo of trancefishy
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance is a nice caramel color, with a tight light-hay coloured head that knows how to hang out for a while.

smells is serious resiny hop oil glands. wow. its' like i'm smelling concentrated hop extract or something.

taste is not surprising, since it's ungodly hoppy. wow. at first i was like, wow, this is a really raw hoppiness, and here comes the bitteness. on teh finish though, there was just a gentle descent from hop-o-rama to a smooth aftertaste. wow. seriously awesome.

mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, just right body. filling but not thick and viscous. drinkability is really high, i jsut keep wanting another big ol' gulp of this stuff. good thing they come in big bottles!

this is excellent beer, go and get some before it's all gone!

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Photo of shippos
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

courtesy of Clvand0 via BIFXmas,
poured witha big light tan rocky head and a clear brillant reddish orange color. dry hay like aroma, very hoppy with a deep sticky resininess. tons of hops exploding in the taste, dry coarse bitterness. Only one thing going on with this is hops, hops, hops...not much malt character to give a little balance although the alcohol isn't really knocking me out either. .does have a nice mouthfeel to it though, not knowing this was a double ipa although I should've guessed from the insame hop character, I'd say this is excellent.

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Photo of wimpasaurus
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this from a 22oz bomber.
Appearance: very nice deep brown. Good thick head which laced the glass quite nicely.
Nose: A good nose. Not phenomenal by any means, but good. Bore hop characteristics of orange and lemon but not as effervescently as I might have hoped.
Taste: In my opinion too malty. This hid the hop flavors to some extent and did not let them shine through to their fullest. While I enjoyed the malty flavors, I feel this distracted from fruity characteristics that I most enjoy in a Double IPA.
Mouthfeel: Good. Not as thick and rich as I might have hoped but still good.
Drinkability: I easily consumed the entire bottle but can't honestly say it left me lusting for more.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. Pours a clear amber color the first time into the snifter. The next pour contained the yeast and sediment. Thick, fluffy off-white head. Head retention was very good, and the sides of the snifter were coated with a thick lace. Big citrus and piney nose. Slight noticable alcohol. Great flavor balance between the big malt and hop flavor. Again, citrusy and piney flavored hops. Warming presence of alcohol. Very dry finish. Medium to full body, with moderate carbonation. Pretty drinkable, as enjoyed this one while being snowed in here. For a Double IPA, this is very well balanced. Very good seasonal.

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Photo of clvand0
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an amber color with a large head that has great retention and leaves nice lacing on the glass. The basis of the aroma is a caramel, but it is dominated by pine and citrus hops. The flavor is very smooth and well balanced. The caramel adds to the complexity and takes a bit of the bite from the hops. Very nice beer.

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YuleSmith (Summer) from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.23 out of 5 based on 1,787 ratings.
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