AleSmith Double IPA | AleSmith Brewing Company

952 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 952 | Ratings: 1,910
Photo of Dithyramb
3.87/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brought back to the east via carry-on from Columbus. Pours an orange-tinged, murky brown with decent head and great lacing. Big aroma of hops.

Very solid, highly hopped DIPA - obviously, but not so obviously a rather viscous mouthfeel. The combination of the viscosity and the hops make this drink rather too much like an American Barleywine for my own tastes, but that's just me.

Loads of sweetness coming through with a hearty grapefruit hops. Pretty one sided with the hop flavor and almost overly sweet. Unoffensive and very smooth drinkability. The bomber just about disappeared.

Came off more of an American barleywine than a DIIPA. Nice, but not worth the extra effort.

 685 characters

Photo of goschool
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour is red with a large topographical tan head that leaves quite a bit of lacing. Massive hop aroma. The nose has tons of oily hops and citrusy hops along with caramel and biscuity malts. The taste is dominated by fresh hops; a malt backbone is present, but only to keep this beer from tipping over, figuratively speaking. I don't know what excessive hops have to do with Christmas, but there's never a bad time to make a big IPA.

 435 characters

Photo of GreenWBush
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In my endless quest to enlighten the normally dry beer culture of Indiana I am always seeking people to do my dirty work. "Going to California? Oh, interesting. Do you think you could bring back ___ and ___? Great. Sure, you can carry them on the plane." This time those unlucky souls were my folks, who graciously brought back some unavailable-in-Indiana brews.

Color is quite festive and seems to scream 'xmas' red. Distinct and sturdy head eventually collapses to a taut 1" skim, with amazing lace ring action.

Nose guessed it...hoppy! Hoppy in a great way; caramel pine synergy, dank herbs, dark fruits, and a powderiness. Green hop flashes throughout.

Taste reminds me a touch of Bear Republic's Racer 5 when fresh. Cushy, pillowy malt base is the first thing I notice (and appreciate). From this base springs forth myriad amazing hop-flavors; tea, dank herbs, citrus, and pine blasts.

Best. Double IPA drinkability. Ever. This bomber went down so damned fast my wife thought I spilled it. Lip-smacking hop quotient gets stronger and more addictive the further you get through. Truly like the i2pa version of a down comforter. No annoying bitterness or shocking IBU, just a hellaciously drinkable (and festive) DIPA that I could drink year round.

I'm very impressed with my first AleSmith brew.

 1,324 characters

Photo of phisig137
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recieved in a trade from nvbslman. Pours a hazy orange amber color, with a one finger pure white head that lasts a long time. Lacing on the glass is abundant.

Aroma is quite odd, but very pleasant. Blast of citrusy hops, a hint of caramel, and another odd smell I can't place. Spicy.

Flavor is very balanced, and again, not at all what I expected. The front of the flavor shows good hop flavor, with an almost sticky amount of hop resin. Once that hop flavor falls, malt shines through on the finish, along with... wait, spice?!?! I have complained this year because almost no other brewery did a spiced winter warmer, but thank you AleSmith, for bringing spice back to Christmas beers! Very nicely balanced between the malt, hops, and spice. Truly interesting flavor that is well balanced and enjoyable. I love it because its different.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth, carbonation is perfect. The spice lingers on your tongue for quite a while, so that you can contemplate on this phenomenal beer. I'd consider this an easy drinker... but the problem is, I'm only 1/2 a glass into this bomber, and I don't want to drink anymore, because I'll be sad when its gone. Great beer all around, I wish I could get it more often in my area. Thanks again brian!

 1,256 characters

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

Wanted to hold off on this one until this fall, but I have no willpower. This is a treat. Pours a dusty walnut with a small white head that falls to a stubborn table. The smell is a blend of syrupy malts and hop oils, with neither overpowering the other. Sweet malts lead off the taste, followed quickly by a biting hoppiness that turns the finish positively arid. Mouthfeel is full and then the dryness makes the palate wondered what just happened. Just like the bottle says, it makes you crave the next sip. Very drinkable, but high ABV and an powerful hop bite keep it from being a repeatable quaff.

 602 characters

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

Sampled from a 22oz 2005 sample. Beer pours a somewhat cloudy honey orange color with a white head that can explode on you if you don't watch how your pour. Citrus, flowers, and pine all attainable from a big whiff of this one. I'm a big fan of this one, wish this was available in my area and six packs would be a huge plus as I would love one of these on a warm summer day.

 375 characters

Photo of thaichile
3/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle 22oz. provided by Zorro. Poured a semi cloudy amber color with a real nice, long lasting head. Nose is filled with flowers. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but this beer was nothing special. Noticably more hops, lacking the malt balance that I like in a 2IPA. There was no discernable spice. This was more of a regular IPA.

 334 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Nick for the sample.

Pours a glowing burnished copper with a gigantic creamy head. The glass is completely covered with a layer of foam punctuated by giant gobs of said foam. The aroma is a complex amalgam of pine sap, citrus rind, spice, caramel soaked bread and booze. The taste begins with an onslaught of hop bitterness. Almost simultaneously, rummy christmas cake flavors emerge. An incorrigable spiciness steals the show in the middle, I taste nutmeg and maybe some cloves? Malt sweetness then takes a go, only to be beaten down by some thick hop resin. The finish is very bitter but balanced with spice and malt. The mouthfeel is beautifully thick with creamy carbonation... I love bottle conditioned beers. Hop oils coat the mouth like a prophylactic.

This is one excellent beer. Its not just a hop bomb, its full of so many more flavors. I feel so lucky I was able to try it.

BTW my bottle is listed at 8.5% ABV.

 941 characters

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

Undoubtedly a great IPA. The beer is bursting with hop juiciness, flavor, and aroma. Grapefruit, orange zest, lemon-grass, and pineapple are all over the map and put the thumbprints on all aspects of the beer. In case it missed you, this is an opidome of West Coast beers. Soft, delicate, caramel malts give a modest backdrop to the hops with a very well attenuated character that gives creaminess but not boldness. Fruit esters do much the same with a complimentary assist to the hops.

But all is not perfect- the alcohols take on a paint-thinning character that sometimes blend in well with the hops and disguise as bitterness, but other times give the impression of nail polish remover. Somewhat fusal in character, this hurts the mouthfeel and drinkability. Shame, because this beer is nearly flawless otherwise.

 818 characters

Photo of AlexJ
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deep scorched amber pour with a thick beige head that seems to last forever. As it eventually settles to a lasting veil, concrete deposits of crusty lace coat my goblet. A really impressive head for a 9% beer.

Aroma is an equally impressive cologne of sticky, resinous pine, candied grapefruit and lemon rind, delicate floral spice, and a hearty malt presence of scorched caramel, honeyed bread, and toasty grains. It's the kind of nose that you just want to inhale over and over again.

Flavor is a heady marriage of malt and hops. It has a creamy caramel entry that is quickly washed away by torrents of sappy, resinous, crushed pine needles, honey drenched dried citrus, grapefruit, and light floral hoppiness. Very complex and unique hop profile is perfectly matched by generous malt note that is found throughout the tasting. Not quite as hoppy as some other IIPA's in terms of pure bitterness. But the flavors more than make up for that.

Body is just huge, creamy, sticky, and has a mouthfeel like melted silk. No alcohol heat to interupt the symphony of hoppy goodness that is YuleSmith. Very good indeed!

 1,120 characters

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

Poured with a vicious stormy scrod chunkerz ladden appearance loaded with suspended particles. I was careful not to allow the actual sediment to fill up my glass until the last minute. Top was a dollop of cloudy head cap gooey and painting the glass.

Huge sizzly aroma of acidic thick pine resin and grapefruit. This is like sniffing hop heroin.

First swigs: An effluence of acidic hops that just sizzles the tongue. Grapefruit rind and pine wood. Delicious. Bright and almost metallic with such a robust hop bomb.

Feel is about the fullest 2IPA on the planet. Syrupy and robust with a full body.

Last swigs: Nothing more to say other than I wish I had more. Stunning.

Beer is good. Happy bering.

 712 characters

Photo of murrayswine
3.97/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a orange/straw color with a thin head and thin lacing.
The smell is big juicy hops, and a lot more malts than I'm used to in a double IPA. It smels sweet, and a bit nutty.
The taste is slightly sweet, with good flowing hops. The dryness that I wanted isnt all there. Aside from alcohol content, I cant see how this is a true douoble. Dont get me wrong, this is very good, but as an american IPA, it seems rather tepid. It's very fruity with strong apricot. It kind of has a bit of heat to it, like a brandy.
All in all, it's a good beer, but not my favorite double.

 575 characters

Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into my Stone IPA glass.
No freshness date.
Much props to BigErn for this sample.

Fantastic looking double IPA!!!! HUGE, fluffy off white head. The head fades after a few minutes, leaving some of the best delicate, clingy, lacing I've seen. A deep orange copper color with lots of haze. Absolutely beautiful!!! I should take a picture. The aroma is a very even amount hops and malts. I never smelled an double IPA with this much malty smell. Piney hops combined with caramel like malts.
Great taste, I do like a little more hoppy taste and bitterness. This beer is very well balanced. People who are not IPA fans would enjoy drinking this. Full bodied and creamy smooth. This brew doesn't have the strong bitter aftertaste associated with most IPA's, finishes clean. A must try!!!
A brew I could drink all day long, my first offering from AleSmith. Great job, my only wish is that we could get this in Michigan!!!

 948 characters

Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle Pours a murky amber with a good fizzy off white head. Lasts fairly well and has better than average lacing. The aroma is a wonderful mix of malts and hops. Has good chocolate, carmel malts and nice pine and grapefruit hops. The real pleasure is when it hits your mouth. Has a great carbonation with a medium body. Wonderful flavors for both the malt and hops. An excellent durationand an even better ending, no strong aftertaste but just enough to keep you hoping you don’t run out. Finish has the perfect amount of bitterness. This is IMHO the best beer I have had. The great people at Ale Smith must distribute east immediately.

 638 characters

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

This is a fantastic and a top of the line double IPA. Pours an amber-golden hue with a lovely thick aromatic head. Smells like freshly peeled citrus fruit rinds and pine thistles. For a bottled beer the smell is as fresh as draft beer straight from the brewery! Amazing...
Lovely sweet malty taste that is finely well balanced with a pronounced dry hoppy bite. Definitely one to savor and enjoy. Thanks to FitzIPAtrick for this one.

 433 characters

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

Thanks to KingG for trading me a few bombers of this stuff!

Cloudy, hazy chestnut color with small head that dissapated quickly to a fine layer on top. Right when I popped the top a wave of piney, floral, malty aroma hit me like a ton of bricks. Very complex smell.

Taste is dynamic to say the least. Piney hops with a nice bitterness and malty sweetness. Floral and piney hops pave the way, with a grassiness tucked in there...Very green tasting, and the bitter edge fades quickly to a dry finish. No alcohol in the taste, but the warming quality lets you know its there. This is a very good IIPA, but I dont put it in the same class as Dreadnaught, 90minute, Ruination, etc....It feels more like a barleywine.

Thick, chewy mouthfeel. Feels like I could eat it with a fork.

Drinkability is nice, even though the high ABV keeps it in check.

A really good IIPA, but in my opinion, I dont think it should rate quite as high as it does.

 948 characters

Photo of VoodooBrew
3.97/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When a reputable American microbrewery takes a stab at the Double IPA style, it seems more often than not to yield delicious results. No exception with YuleSmith.

This hazy orange-colored holiday potable features hops and sweet candy on the nose. Guess what's to be found in the palate? Hops up front, and a nice little warming effect. Or maybe that's just my soul warming up because hops warm my soul.

 405 characters

Photo of ghostwalker
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reddish/amber body loaded with tiny bubbles. Huge frothy yellowish/off-white head with tremendous stamina. This head is really a work of art, I have no idea how they achieved such a towering mass of foam.

Nose is candied grapefruit with a hint of sweet marshmallow. My God! I never thought I could find a nose better than SNCA. It smells like IPA heaven.

Flavor is huge with citrus, piney-ness comes in a close second. Plenty of sweetness with a subdued, but noticeable, caramelly malt backbone. It's really a great and well balanced IPA. Very different from the norm. A great entry in the "Best IPAs Ever" category.

Mouthfeel is fairly thick, substantial and chewy, for an IPA. There is plenty of body present, almost a syrupy quality.

Drinkability is off the charts. I can't get over how easy it is to drink. It's almost too tasty to stop drinking.

A champion among IPAs. Really.

 899 characters

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

Winter 2006 and 2007 Release

Drank the 2007 from a snifter glass

A - Amber-copper colored ale with a creamy tan head. Cloudy, as you would expect from a bottle-conditioned ale. Real cloudy if you pour all of yeast from the bottom of the bottle into your glass.

S - Aroma of grapefruit/floral hops and some pine notes.

T - Massive flavor but with great balance. The sweetness of the malt on the tongue is very well balanced (perfectly balanced to my taste) by the hops. In spite of having a considerable amount of hops, the finish is not excessively bitter.

M - Medium mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation.

D - One of the best IPA's I’ve tried. Probably a good pairing with cheese. But, it’s great alone. If it weren’t for the fact that this is an 8.8% beer I would say it the perfect session beer because, as far as taste alone, I could drink it all night.

 880 characters

Photo of grub
4.92/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a nice golden colour, with a thich creamy head that dissipated fairly quickly but leaves a bit of lacing the whole way down the glass.

aroma is almost all hops, with a slightly malty background. the hops are bright and floral.

taste is hoppy, with a bit of alcohol warmth on the way down. fresh hoppy flavour. grapefruit and a bit of apricot. strong hop bitterness, that comes on strong and finishes fairly smooth.

overall the body doesn't feel that "big" and it's quite easy to drink, but half way through the glass i'm already starting to feel full. quite hard to put down though, as it's just so damn tasty.

 625 characters

Photo of mntlover
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep hazy amber color with a nice 2 finger cream colored head that leaves some light lacing behind.

Aroma is nice big chewy malt with lots of good hops underneath, a big bodied brew almost barley wine like.

Taste is malt lots of caramel with toffee hints big and chewy again with some big deep bitter flavors underneath the massive body. Good hop flavors with out being overdone. Lingering pine bitterness and resin mixed with citrus flavors apricot and pear dominating the citrus part. Tastey beer more so then the smell.

Mouthfeel is big full fat and chewy with nice level of carbonation. Again barley wine like in feel also.

Drinkability is good an enjoyable seasonal and I2PA with a huge malty body. Wouldn't mind having a few of these every winter. Thanks merlin48 for sharing this treat with me.

 821 characters

Photo of hero27
4.87/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber.

Festive silk-screened bottle commemorating the holiday season. Hazy orange glow..sticky head of off-white foam that leaves random patterns of lacing. The smell is tremendous juicy, citrus hops..just when you think it can't get much better...the boldness in aroma is topped by it's intense taste. Resinous hop flavors jump around on the tongue and it has a fantastic finishing bitterness. There is a thick caramel malt presence holding this heavyweight together, and the warming effect it has on your entire body is well received. While you know this brew is imbibed with an enormous amount of hops, it's endlessly drinkable. I think the glass spent more time in my hand than it did on the table, because it was very hard to set this one down inbetween sips. How this can be this smooth with the barrage of ingredients, I'll never know.. very creamy, full mouthfeel. Well-deserved of it's high marks, this brew is a testament of brewing quality and hard work.

Graciously given by Jetsbeer in trade.

 1,050 characters

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

22 oz. Winter 05 edition

Alesmith has been strong in it's stance that this beer is an Imperial Red. This version seems to be most along that terminology.

It pours a burnt red color with a consistent head that retains with slight lacing. It packs the hop punch - pine scent mostly. The taste is more complex than just the hops - there's a nice caramel maltiness. It has a medium to full body with plenty of warming and a slightly bitter finish. The alcohol was definitely apparent and it wasn't as easy making it through the bottle as I anticipated.

This is a fine beer, but the Winter 04 edition was markedly better.

 625 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz silkscreened

wow. this beer glows.. i mean GLOWS red in my glass, full of big bubbles and a serious, soapy head that refuses to diminish. it just looks holidazy. smells like a caramel apple rolled in cascade hops. very clean aroma that provides the desired mouthwatering effect. spicy nose is a nice welcome from a west coast hop juggernaut. very malty up front with bitter/puckering fruity hops. bready back-end with some black pepper notes, clove and slight blueberry finish. hoppy enough to be an awesome ipa and spicy enough to merit the holiday moniker. drinkability suffers due to sheer size and richness.. however this is not meant to be chugged. savor it like a holiday gathering with friends and family. rich, noisy, vibrant... but heart-warming nonetheless.

 775 characters

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

Pours orange/red with a thick, rich head that is simalarly colored and it has a beautiful cascade going as well. Smelled of pine-nut and fig with hidden spices lurking in the background. I couldn't quite make out what those spices were, but they certainly added to the complexity of this delicious brew. The taste was strong and only complimented by the rich, full mouthfeel. It leans towards bitter in a classic ale sense; and although it is categorized as an American Double IPA, the hops hardly enter into it. The hops are not overpowering at all. An excellent brew!

 569 characters

AleSmith Double IPA from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.22 out of 5 based on 1,910 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.