AleSmith Double IPA | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Double IPAAleSmith Double IPA

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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Ratings: 1,931 |  Reviews: 959
Photo of cjgator3
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle
Summer Version

A- Pours a nice amber color with a thick and creamy off-white head that leaves an insane amount of lacing around the glass and also possesses very good retention as well.

S- The aroma is some malt and hints of caramel but the hops clearly steal the show in the aroma. Very nice aroma, but I feel that this is really the only area that could be improved upon. Some of the other top DIPAs possess a stronger aroma.

T- The taste like the aroma is filled with bitter citric hops in the finish. However, I like that there is a solid amount of malt in the background as well. I tend to lean towards DIPAs that have a good amount of malt to back up the insane amount of hops and are a little more than one dimensional. This one certainly fits the bill, delicious!

M- Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This is a very drinkable DIPA. Despite the high ABV, this one drinks very well and the alcohol is pretty well hidden behind the extreme flavors.

Overall, this is one hell of a DIPA that lives up to it's name. YuleSmith is yet another solid brew from AleSmith that is highly recommended and worth seeking out.

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Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a couple bottles of this from Joey at South Bay. Thanks Joey! You rock.

Summer Release

Poured a 22oz bomber into a snifter.

Appearance - Transparent orange gold with amber hues. The head is white colored and extremely fine textured. The head dissipates to a thick halo and thin crown across the surface of the glass. There is a constant string of carbonation that rises from the bottom to the surface of the glass. Decent lacing is left behind as I drink. This is going to be a great beer, and I can tell just by looking at it.

Smell - Great hop aroma here. I can smell primarily candied orange, lemon rind, grapefruit, pineapple, a hint of pine, and maybe even mint. The malt build is rather low in the scent, but I think it ties in closely to the candied orange scent that I pick up - honey-like and sweet.

Taste - Alesmith has never disappointed me, and this is no exception. The flavor is very close to the scent in its essence - the main components are still there, however, they make their presences' known in a different way. The flavor is much more bitter and less sweet than the flavor would lead you to believe. There is an initial sweetness that quickly gives way to the hops. There is large citrus component of orange and lemon, and tropical fruit that transitions into hop bitterness that is very pine and grapefruit-like. I wish that the bitterness was toned down just a bit to highlight the actual hop flavor.1

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Feels great as it washes over the tongue - resinous and slightly oily. The carbonation level is just about where I want it - more than enough to keep it interesting. There is a slight twinge of booze in the finish which adds to the dryness.

Drinkability - This is a great beer. Extremely easy to drink and satisfies my hop fix. Alesmith has a way with hoppy beers - their IPA is probably my favorite of all time. While not my favorite - it is FAR from disappointing. I should have picked up a few more bottles.

Thanks again Joey!

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Photo of GbVDave
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two pint glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

"Summer version" review.

A: Pours an exquisit looking unfiltered peach color topped by a 2 1/2 - 3 finger cap of light orange, meringue-like foam. The inside of the glass is a sticky and lacy mess.

S: Huge piney aroma that mingles with caramel, grapefruit, brown sugar, apricot, bread crust, pineapple, honey, and a tantilizing whiff of alcohol.

T: See above. Tastes just as it smells. The hop flavors run the gamut from pine, to apricot, to pineapple. Delicious caramel sauce, fresh-cut pine bough, grass clippings, white pepper, and alcohol.

M: VERY juicy and sticky. There is a malty sweetness to this that is paired, excellently, with a dry, spicy, peppery, oily, and (most importantly) bitter hoppiness. What balance!

D: This, much like its' winter sibling, is a DIPA that is not to be trifled with. The alcohol is not intrusive in the least and adds another interesting facet to what is an incredible beer. "And I'm spent..."

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Photo of nrbw23
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Summer version

A- Pours a slighty hazy golden orange with a nice foamy white head that leaves a tremendous amount of layered lacing.

S- A great smell of hops piney, citrus, and floral. I could only pick up a tiny bit of malts here.

T- Tons of hops here. Nice, dry and bitter. Couldn't taste much malts here to balance it out but this was a wonderful beer.

M- Medium in body and good amount of carbonation.

D- Highly recommended. I really enjoyed this brew and it went away too fast.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to smellofstout for the bottle.

Pours a cloudy amber/orange color with a large head which lasts a bit, but it's not unbearable.

Scent of sharp piny hops with caramel malts. Excellent scent, well hidden alcohol, full and deep, but not too strong. Light without being too light. Very well rounded and enjoyable.

Taste is comparable to the scent, bitter piny hops, sweet caramel malts and finishing a little dry with some roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is clean, drinks easy.

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Photo of Murchmac
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Up there with one of the best DIPA's on the market sesame.

From Notes:
Big white creamy head, nice, cloudy, mostly yellow orange highlights.

Big hop smell citrus and pine dancing like the devil in the pale moonlight.

Big hop taste, but mostly sweetness

Hops run down your throat.

Like Pliny the younger where the sweetness of the hops just invades your tongue.

I don't know a single word to any christmas song, but after 3 of these, i'll sing the yuletide carols

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Photo of ASymon13
4.74/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the winter release.

It pours a cloudy dark amber, and despite a fairly easy pour, an excessively large head that recedes very slowly. The aroma is about as enticing as a beer gets. There is a wonderful balance between grapefruit, floral, and some citrus hops and the sweet malts. In fact, it's hard to tell where the hop aromas end and the malt begins. The head recedes slowly, and I've become very impatient for it to drop to a more drinkable level.

The taste is also extremely balanced. The hop flavors are up front, but not at all overpowering. At a colder temperature (~45F) there are a lot of citrus and grapefruit flavors to it, and the sweet malts once again, are difficult to distinguish from the hops, but it's so balanced that you know they are there. The finish is a bit boozy, but very dry. As it warms up the malt profile becomes slightly more distinguishable (at no cost to the great hop character!). Hints of Rye, light caramel, and some light spicing give it an excellent complexity. The body is medium and the carbonation is very pleasant. This is an excellent offering that left me wanting more.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The YuleSmith was the 4th of July version with the red and blue on the label. It pured a semi cloudy orange with a solid 2 finger tight foam head. It had snowy lacing and lots and lots of bubbling from the bottom of the glass to the head.

The aroma was wonderful. It was floral, piney and grapefruit.

The taste was strong powerful malt up front with a bitter in the middle with a piney on the back with a malt minty sharp bite on the finish. I felt the malt covered the tongue and had good bitterness and was well carbonated.

Overall another wicked solid brew from the crew in Southern Cal.

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Photo of bbothen
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a tangerine/copper color with a nice lasting 2 finger head. The head forms a meringue like top that lasts. Plenty of sticky lacing on glass.

Smells of terrific hop aromas. Pine, spruce, grapefruit, lime zest, earth. Wonderful.

The taste. Hops. Tidal waves of all things hoppy. Malt stands strong, but hops let you know that they're in charge here. Tongue surfs through piney, resiny, sticky, citrus, earthy, flowery hops. The sweet malt comes out as the brew warms. This is no one trick pony here. Awesome.

Feels lush & smooth. Moderate carbonation.

Gimme more. Wish they came in 12oz bottles.

I wish this was a year round brew. I want it all the time. My breath smells like hops.

Standing ovation for Alesmith.

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Photo of Biggness
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am trying the winter release, I got this from Bellport Beer. This beer pours an amazingly dark amber, which is clousy with a 1 finger light tan head. The smeel is very well balanced between citrus and malts, I knew I was in for a treat with this one! The flavor of this DIPA is amazing! Perfect balance between a citrusy hops flavor and a creamy malt flavor, with a little hint of nuts. The mouthfeel suprisingly is very nice for a DIPA I would assume this is because its not a 10+ %'er but its nice and creamy and almost my first perfect 5 beer. This is a highly drinkable beer, something I would want to drink all night but I am sure I would be defeated first! An amazing brew and I might just go up to Bellport and buy the rest that are available!

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.11/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

***Update 07/16/09***

Summer version, purchased from Southbay - poured into a Duvel tulip, because I don't have anything else clean! It's substantially similar to what I remember, though with a few important differences - head retention and lacing are still amazing, perhaps better than I remember (knockin' it up to a 5.0), dryer and mintier and earthier than I remember (down to a 4.0), and a little smoother, crisper, and overall "better" bodied than I recall. Still a great beer.

Summer version, courtesy of dkachur - thanks Dan! - poured into a chalice at a tasting.

A: Perfect balance between a yellowish pale ale kinda look and an orange amber beer. There seem to be hints of sunset in this gorgeous brew. Attractive head with great retention for the style. Very pretty, bubbly, streaky lacing.

A: Tons of thick, sticky hop oils - grapefruit, pineapple, a few other tropical fruit notes in the background, a hint of floral pine - and only the slightest hint of a malt presence to balance it, lightly roasted.

T: Grapefruit and pineapple-esque hop oils take center stage here again, leading a veritable procession of hop flavors and notes. Kiwi seems to come through, as well, the first time I've ever placed that in a beer - kudos. Plenty of other hop qualities, too - pine and herbal, leafy grassiness make themselves known. Bitterness isn't overwhelming, which is quite welcome - the hops are the true star of this show, and there's hardly enough malt taste here to balance any bitterness out. Hints of wispy alcohol in the close.

M: Pillowy smooth, with medium-sized and even bubbles and a great oily texture.

D: Very well done and highly recommended - at 9% abv, it's obviously high, but pretty center of the pack for a DIPA. The hops in this one are just phenomenal though.

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

Summer '08 version

A - Pour a medium gold in color and stays mostly clear. A very pleasing head of over an inch rose from the pour and stuck around for a bit. It eventually settled in to a thin white cap and left abundant lacing.

S - Thick fruity hops dominate the aroma. Notes of grapefruit, orange, and strawberry are present. Some bubblegum and a little bit of pine are in there as well. Not much malt to speak of in the aroma but the hops are done so well that malt is simply not needed in this one.

T - More fruity goodness in the flavor. Orange, strawberry / kiwi, fig, and grapefruit are all there. The earthy notes are stronger in the flavor than the aroma. Has some pine and fresh cut grass. Malt is hard to pick up other than a distant background to the hops. Once agian, the hop profile is fantastic and does not have a need for malt to come in messing things up. Some alcohol in noticed at the end but not much.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Finish is very bitter and dry and matches this beer very well.

D - Drinkability is good. This beer comes in at the bottom of the alcohol spectrum for the style which only adds to the drinkability. It goes down too easy an quick for a Double IPA. Could be dangerous. This is a very well done beer that I will have again and agian. Highly recommeded.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*Note: Had to choose a different serving type since I already reviewed the Red and Green version in bottle format.*

Red and Blue DIPA version.

22 oz. bomber poured into a nonic.

Pours an almost cloudy bronze hue with a big 'ol three finger off-white head that sticks around forever. After a while, it finally falls to a fluffy layer of bubbles that remains throught leaving a whole bunch of webbing on the sides. West Coast hopbomb aroma all the way. Big sweet grapefruit/mango/tangerine, floral aromas, and a touch of pine. A touch of booze finds its way in the nose as well. Bitter citrus up front with a good amount of sour grapefruit and orange. A quick caramel malt midway, but before you can notice it, more bitter hops and a touch of honey take over. The bitterness remains throughout the aftertaste leaving your tongue begging for more. Medium to full body with a very chewy/gritty feel to it and a steady carbonation. The flavor is there, but so is the alcohol so it isn't as drinkable as it could be. Great beer, one that everyone should have the opportunity to try.

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Photo of throwitallaway
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought from South Bay Liquor. Decanted from the bottle into a snifter. Pours a golden color with a two-finger head that fizzles away to a thin, but creamy layer. Aroma has big notes of citrus and pine, with slight, biscuity malts underneath. Taste starts with a big piny note, fades into biscuity malts, and then to grapefruit. Nice. Mouthfeel is right in the middle, and is pretty much perfect. Awesome. Definitely drinkable. Overall, pretty excellent.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured summer 07 yulesmith into a tulip. Pours a hazy orange with a good size white head. Lots of citrus and pineaple for aroma. Lots of hops on the tongue too. good amounts of citrus and some grazzy hops. Wonderful double IPA. Not bad for the aging, either. I am going to pop my 08 tonite to compare.

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

22 oz bottle. Summer 2008 edition. Pours a cloudy, golden, orange with a 3 cm dense white head that is slowly diminishing. Aroma of pine and citrus hops. Some kind of sweetness too in the aroma. Initial flavor is balanced between sweet, sour, and hoppy. At the end the hops dominate with a fierce bite that hangs around until your next sip. Medium body, heavy lacing, light carbonation, and a slight alcohol presence noted. Overall a very well done beer, but what beer from AleSmith isn't?

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.84/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Summer Yulesmith out of the bottle into a snifter it is very golden with little head. the smell is quite powerful with a strong grapefruit scent. very smooth, light carbonation. starts out smooth and after the swallow the hop bitterness hits you and lingers. after drinking the regular IPA i was not sure how Alesmith could make a double IPA but they did it, and to perfection. I can taste the hops minutes after the last drink. the back of my mouth almost tingles. smashing success!

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Photo of armock
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Summer 2008 variety

A - Poured a golden color with a big white head that leaves lacing

S - Is of a lot of hops good grapefruit scents

T - Hops all the way no real malt tastes just citrus hop

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation

D - To me its a good beer but didn't quite live up to the hype in the taste department a little one sided with the hops maybe I'm just getting burned out with the IPAs

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Photo of athensbeermaster
4.73/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I now have a new reason to like the month of July besided my birthday! Big thick head that retains for a long time with great lacing. The nose has huge floral lavender smell with fresh pine tree aroma. The taste hits you with a zing of citrus quickly into orange/mango fruits then the malty carmelized apple backbone balances this huge IPA. The final flavor starts to turn dry with a sting of white pepper and lemon zest. The alcohol level could be masked better if the malt content was just a little more. Very good a must try for all hop heads.

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

22oz bottle, Summer 2008 edition, into my Duvel tulip

A: Clear copper with a pretty two-finger off-white head that's frothy and has great retention and as I drink, it leaves some lace.

S: Tons of pine with some citrus. There's orange and tangerine with a little floral character, beautifully expressed. Bitterness seems reserved with a lot of aromatic hop character. Very minor malt presence. Excellent stuff. If I'm not wrong, this is dry hopped with centennial?

T: Starts off intensely bitter with lots of pine and a hint of honey and orange. Bright and vibrant, there's a lot of flavor as well, with pine needles, ripe oranges and a noticeably floral character as well. Malt sweetness? Who needs that! There's barely enough to balance out the bitterness. The finish is bitter and pretty dry, almost too bitter for my liking. Long and flavorful.

M: Pretty darned good. Great carbonation, nice dry finish with a good amount of bitterness in there with a mildly resiny feel.

D: This one's going down quick and easy! While not the best hoppy beer from Alesmith (that would be the IPA), this is one I look forward to drinking two bottles of every year.

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Photo of Tdizzle
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Summer 2008 double IPA edition.

A- Poured into my Dogfish Head snifter, this beer pours a clear golden-amber color with a large, slightly off-white head that leaves a generous amount of sticky, web-like lacing as it settles. The head settles to a thin layer that sticks around for a really long time. A great looking beer.

S- An explosion of resiny pine, grapefruit, and citrus rind with a strong alcohol presence in the background. A faint malt sweetness peeks through as the beer warms.

T- Intense bitterness straight down the back of the tongue is the main taste sensation that this awesome Double IPA yields. Flavors of tangy tropical fruits emerge towards a moderately dry finish, and the bitterness lingers on the palate long after each sip.

M- The mouthfeel is medium-bodied with medium carbonation. Given the amount of hoppy bitterness in the taste, I expected a more oily and slick feel.

D- This is pretty manageable at 8.5% ABV, and I found that I had no problem finishing a bottle by myself.

An outstanding double IPA. Highly recommended.

Winter 2008 double red edition.

A- Poured into my New Belgium globe glass, this beer pours a deep reddish-amber color with a tan head that leaves some sticky lacing behind as it settles to a thick, patchy layer over the beer. (4.5)

S- Very similar to the summer double IPA version, but with more of a sweet and caramely malt backing. Lots of citrus, pine, and pineapple notes along with a trace of booze. (4.5)

T- A big malt presence with a moderate amount of hop bitterness. The finish is dry and leaves some sweet fruit flavors behind on the palate. There's a bit of heat from the 8.5% ABV. (4)

M- Thinner than I expected, with effervescent carbonation that feels a bit too aggressive. (3)

D- A delight to drink. The high ABV is fairly unobtrusive. (4)

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Photo of Talisker
3.37/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

YuleSmith Holiday Ale Summer 2008 version. 22oz bomber purchased from Hi-Time in Costa Mesa.

Definitely better than the Holiday '06 YuleSmith from a while back, which was a goopy, syrupy-sweet hoppy mess. Apparently the winter version is a "Double Red Ale" while these summer versions are Double IPAs.

But as Double IPAs go, this one is still on the sweeter, more viscous side. Not my preference. Pours a very clear medium-orange, hard to see any yeast haze (although it's bottle-conditioned). Nicely persistent white head. Smell is half American citrus/pine hops, half sweet malt. No dough or bread.

Taste about what you would expect from the nose, tons of hops and tons of sweet malt, not as well integrated as you would hope. Hefty on the ABV (8.5%), so not exactly a quaffer.

In the middle tier of California DIPAs. There are lots of folks who love the Alesmith IPA style, but it's a little too close to cloying sweet viscosity of Stone for my taste.

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter (07)
A: snifter. pours an opaque vibrant amber, major red hues. medium khaki colored head. decent retention rate. nice curtain lacing.

S: huge malt aroma, caramel, apples, some maple syrup. ligh citrus hop aroma.

T: big caramel malt flavors. some apples, like apple juice. nice light citrus hop flavors, some green raisins.

M: full bodied. higher carbonation than I would like. huge chewy palate.

Summer 07(consumed July 08)

A: snifter. pours a cloudy, deep orange color, with a slightly off-white head. Mild retention. great lacing.

S: I can smell the hops being two feet away from the glass. Nice rich and hearty hop aromas, almost burning the nostrils. Tons of citrus and pine in there. Wonderful, sweet malts as well.

T: some strange hints of tobacco. big malts supply the major backbone to the beer, very tasty. The hops come in with some citrus characteristics, but I get more earthy flavors than anything. Huge pine flavors, along with some raw earth tones.

M: Thick and hearty. low to mild carbonation level. very rich.

D: Very nice DIPA. my burps are delightful. I am glad I let it mellow out for a year, but you really couldn't tell that much difference.

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Photo of SQNfan
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Summer version: Deep golden in color with a nice head of fine white bubbles. The nose shows off citrus and floral hops along with balancing caramel malt and an herbaceousness (from the hops). In the mouth it is medium-bodied and concentrated with nice balancing sweetness in the mid-palate which gives way to a dry/bitter finish.

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

A- Hazy golden orange with large fluffy off-white head. Head leaves large chunks of beautiful lacing.

A- Incredibly hoppy, not only citrus but piney hops as well. Faint sweet malty background.

T- Nowhere near as hoppy as I expected, that said it is definitely hoppy. Sweet malty backbone, slightly caramel flavor.

M- Medium light body with high carbonation. Amazingly smooth! I was blown away by how easy such a highly hopped and high alcohol beer goes down so smooth.

D- This is an incredible beer. I expected it to be slightly spiced as the bottle says it is a holiday brew. However as an imperial ipa this is incredible. Very hoppy and alcoholic yet so easy to drink.

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AleSmith Double IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.22 out of 5 based on 1,931 ratings.
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