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YuleSmith (Summer) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
YuleSmith (Summer)YuleSmith (Summer)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

922 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 922
Hads: 1,762
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 258
Gots: 110 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 11-24-2002

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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 922 | Hads: 1,762
Photo of lostbearbrew
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
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 SIZE...in complexity, as well as bomber-ness. I'd have a second (if I had a second to have.)

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Photo of bridgetowhophead
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been dying to drink this beer and I finally snatched one up at the hollywood portland whole foods. score!

A: Pale yellowish orange. Visible bubbles, HUGE head. Cloudy due to the bottle conditioning. Beautiful!

S: Balance of strong citric/floral hops and strong malt, as expected in a IIPA. Surprisingly not as aromatic as their IPA, but got better as it warmed.

T: Good lord, this is a complex beer. Tons of citrus and floral hops mix with the caramel malts to create a perfectly balanced beer. There are tastes in here I've never found in an IPA, and I worship at the altar of hop bombs.

M: This beer dances in your mouth. No flaws at all in texture, body, etc.

D: This is an IIPA? So smooth and drinkable, the 8.8% ABV hardly registers. Wow. I need another.

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Photo of ASymon13
4.74/5  rDev +12.1%
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 marikoangel
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: poured into a bell glass at Amsterdam in San Francisco, it pours a hazy caramel orange with nice carbonation and about a quarter inch of white head that dissipated quickly leaving very spotty lacing.

S: The nose on this one is very floral with great notes of citrus tucked in there. Kinda like grapefruit and maybe some orange. It has a great hop nose with notes of pine and a really nice caramel malts backbone to hold those hops up. There is also a good sweetness in there, almost with a touch of booziness.

T: The flavors are really nice and hoppy. Strong notes of pine, grapefruit rind, and floral hops. It is very hoppy and that definitely comes out more in the flavors than it did in the nose. Resinous hop bitter that really sticks around. The malts are caramel and a bit sweet with touches of honey. Its light and easy drinking still under all of that.

M&O: This beer has a medium light mouthfeel with light carbonation. There is a smooth feeling to it. Overall it is a really nice beer, very well done and very drinkable, although I can feel the alcohol. I definitely would recommend this to hoppy loving drinkers.

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Photo of korndog
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Pours a beautiful amber color with the best head I have seen on an DIPA. Lacing is particularly long-lasting and beautiful tan high up the glass.
Aroma was sweet orange juice with piney hops. Taste is heavenly malty backbone laying a great foundation for the hops. I really appreciate the contrast of sugar with my grapefruit. MF is slightly cloying, but not unpleasant in the least. This is a top notch ale that I will miss when it's gone. By far, my favorite Alesmith. Congrats on this one.

Edit: Still getting used to new rating system. Trust me, there is nothing "minus" about this beer. It's an "A".

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Photo of OHLRangers
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Summer version 22oz bomber into standard pint glass.

Very drinkable dIPA- not a big, huge malt profile as the hops come forward in both aroma (big Pacific Northwest citrus and pine in the nose) and taste (grapefruity aftertaste). A bit dry in the finish but all in all a solid beer from an outstanding brewery.

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Photo of avaulteriam
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Summer '05. Nose is very similar to 90 minute. I catch chocolate, pine, guava, and mango in the nose. Awesome stuff. Color is a deep, cloudy amber with a lasting thin off-yellow head. Mouthfeel is very full with the taste of crushing bitterness. Mangos come out, along with oranges and pine needles. The taste is a little overly-understated, could use a bit more malt to bring it up to par. Still, an awesome experience.

Winter '05. This is quite comparable to the summer version, a bit more balaced, distinct red character coming through in the sweetness and body. decent, though I prefer the Summer.

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

Thanks to metallitone1 for this great bottle!

A- very excellent, golden, straw color with great lacing and head. This looks very enticing!

S- unfortunately, this is the least overwhelming aspect of this beer. Not much to the nose, except for a bit of hops.

T- really great balance of hops and malts. I get some great fruit on the end - both pineapple and even a bit of sour apple. Amazing, amazing taste.

M- very light and refreshing. This is super easy to drink and I instantly want more. Just a bit of hops on the finish and as this warms, the alcohol comes out some.

O- great, great bottle. I would drink this again in a heartbeat!

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

Pours deep golden-orange with a nice slightly off-white head. Aroma is mainly hop citrus and floral. Great combination of hops over malt in the flavor. Very well balanced and not too sweet. Good amount of carbonation and mouthfeel. Outstanding example of West Coast DIPA.

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Photo of sawbones420
3.84/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Never heard of AleSmith before. Talking to the beer manager at my local liquor store, Yulesmith is brewed twice a year. Once in the summer, once in the winter. Each release is unique, which makes me think there ought to be two separate BA entries, but whatever. This is a review of the Summer 2007 release. It's not exactly summer conditions at this point in the year (October), but in my third floor loft bedroom, it feels summery enough.

It's worth noting that the bottle I picked up was sitting in the distributor's storage space since they received it, so it has had some time to age and mellow out. They had to clear out space to make room for the upcoming winter release, so my liquor store got a couple cases for a discounted price (only $4 a bomber at the consumer end!) I've not had the benefit of trying a newly released bomber, so that very well could affect my take on things (for better or worse).

Into a chalice pours a murky/cloudy apricot brew with a beauty/beast of a white head. This is a nice tight foam that doesn't die down and remains through and through, lacing the side of the glass all the way down (nice!). This is a very sexy glass of beer.

Smells like hops and high alcohol, or basically any American Double IPA you've ever smelled. Any nuances that might be found in the nose are lost to that sharp aroma.

The head is still there...

As I poured it fresh from the fridge, the first sip is probably a bit on the cold side, but a strong, crisp hop character stands boldly at the forefront. After letting it sit and warm for a while (the head is still there...), hops are still prominent, but are offset by a flatter flavor that lands on the middle/back of the tongue.

Throughout the bottle, this is a very enjoyable drinking experience. While not quite matching the quality/balance of Southern Tier's Unearthly Imp. IPA, I could see myself putting down another one (or two) of these without a problem. I can't claim to be as big a fan of the style as I once was (hop heads die young), but if you're into American Doubles, this is certainly a beer you want to try. I'm now interested to see what the winter release is like...

At the end of the day, this is a tasty, well-balanced American DIPA. I'm not sure if this balance comes as a result of the few months aging it had, or if this is simply just a well-made Imperial IPA. I suspect it's a bit of both.

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

This is the 2007-08 winter release.

Tawny copper color with a thick tan head. Lots of small bubbles in the head create a thick, creamy foam similar to meringue. Lots of lacing. A big hoppy smell gets in the nostrils immediately followed by a pine aroma. Malt smell is sweet and full roasted spiciness. The taste has some vanilla and orange flavors right away. As the beer floats around the palate you're hit with alot malt sweetness, hop taste, and bitterness on the back of the tongue, and all balanced very well. Hop taste is full of grapefruit and piney notes that are a hopheads treasure. The fairly thick mouthfeel has a velvety texture making this beer very easy to drink. I look forward to the summer release.

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Photo of brap
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful apricot color with nice head and lacing.

Really hoppy some pine notes. Super fresh tasting and had a nice tartness to it. I wasn't nuts about it but I think I would really go well paired with a rich or fatty food like duck. It is a wonder IPA I think I might just be hopped out. Also this is one of those beers that gets better toward the bottom of the glass, I could see this growing on me.

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Photo of OutlawJoseyWales
4.69/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

app: dark caramel color, 1 inch of off white head.

smell/taste: deep sweet caramel; hop bite in the finish; sweet bread, banana nut, cinnamon notes. incredible sticky sweetness beautifully balanced with the hops. a treat for the palate.

mouthfeel: smooth, velvety, carbonation was just right

drinkabilty: very good for the style

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Photo of torchednoodle
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*This was the Summer Yulesmith, red and blue*

Pours nicely, very fine bubbles. An average orange color, clear.

Smells of hoppiness, pine and light citrus. Has a nice, enjoyable mild creaminess of malt on the back end. Very drinkable. I enjoyed this beer, it isn't the best DIPA available, but it is very very good. I am taking into consideration though that this DIPA is already at least 5 months old. Looking forward to trying an even fresher version next year!

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Photo of Simont
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Supremely well made beer, provided you like big alcohol malt and hop notes. I definitely do. This is a big beer but comes across with a lot more body, heat and complexity than it's 8.5 abv suggests. Bitterness and malt complexity balance incredibly well, and such a lot of both. Under the mandarin/ pine/ grapefruit/ tropical fruit hop characters, there's a floral, spicy flavor that wonderfully connects to the toffee and caramel sweet malt. Masterful.

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Photo of spazaru
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another outstanding Alesmith brew. The only issue I have is that it doesn't offer enough more than their regular IPA to justify the cost.

I guess it's a compliment that all of their beers are so good, that this one just lives up to those, rather than exceeding it, but at $5.49 for a bomber, I expected more. Sorry.

Great beer, but there are plenty more as good.

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Photo of -steve-
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

A - Cloudy, slight red hue. Generous lasting head.
S - Citrus (orange) notes. Apparent as soon as you pop the cap. Nice underlying grapefruit smell.
T - Hint of carmal, with citrus and anise tastes. Hops tartness but not abundant.
M - Tastes slide easily from one to another.
O - With the anise spiceness and the high alcohol content (8.5%) it seems less of a summer ale and more of a winter warmer.Not that that matters. There's lots to like in this brew.

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Photo of jaymirage
5/5  rDev +18.2%
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 foxbat2500
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09 Summer Version in a bottle from BevMo.

Looks awesome. Orange/dark golden with a nice foamy head that really sticks. Wonderful carbonation

In a word pine I guess. Not as big as one might think. There is a sweetness in the smell.

Sweet, bitter, orange, others say Pine, but I've never had a pine cone to drink.

Great balance shows in the mouthfeel. Its big, but its all there in balance.

You know what's drinkable? Water! This has taste.

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Photo of 3frog
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle--available in summer (lighter color) and winter (darker and more piney) versions.

Appearance: Summer medium amber, Winter almost red amber; almost opaque when properly mixed. Smallish head that stays awhile.

Smell: Both versions are heavy on the hop, with the summer being spicier than the winter, which is far more resinous. Fair amount of sweet fruit--pineapple?

Taste: heavenly for hop heads; heavy on the centennial family, though the summer continues the spicy note from the aroma. Very sweet, and the tropical fruit is prominently there again. The alcohol lies in wait to pounce mid-drink.

Mouthfeel: thick but not viscous; balanced by the carbonation.

Drinkability: hop-lover's nectar. High level of all the 'important' ingredients makes for a very pleasant experience. The alcohol is there, but it doesn't overwhelm. Part of me wants to give it a 5, but I'll hold-off for now.

Objectivity note: this is my favoritest beer, but I'll stand by the ratings measured against the DIPA style.

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Photo of acoatley
4.71/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma: nice warm alcohol, heavy malty sweetness hists you in the nose first though, definatley American Hops (Crystal?) both citrius and floral

App: Rich amber translucent with golden edges

Taste: Nice hop flavour well balanced (possibley a little light for the style) , smoothe buttery malty sweet finish

Mouth: Rich feals like chocolate milk on the palate, pleasently frothw a bit when I coat the palate

Overall: Excelent well balanced maybe under hopped for the style but sooo good

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Photo of Habanero58
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first ever review of an American beer!

This was the Winter, the green and red, version of Alesmith Yulesmith. Anyway... it was love at first sip.

First up it had the rich, warming, alcoholic maltiness that I would associate with an English beer such as Fuller's Vintage Ale. That is good enough in itself but then it gets better still as I realise it also has some of the delightful uber-hoppy profile of the American IPA's I am growing to know and love, such as PtE and DFH 90 min.

Coupled together this adds up to a delightful complexity and I am really glad I have one more bottle of this to enjoy at a later date. I hope I can source more of these for the Festive season proper!

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Photo of RaulMatisse
2.81/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A 4th of July beer seemed fitting for a rainy winter night. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Telegraph tulip.

A :: A fiery, golden-orange glow is consistent throughout, with a fine balance that lies partway between translucency and opacity. Very exciting indeed. Soapy bubbles form a collar around the glass with flings of lace scattered about. Streams of carbonation line the glass. Towards the end of the bottle, a gentle pour yields a cottony head that, upon recession, leaves thick, fluffy lace behind. Definitely worth a second look.

S :: Yikes, a little sweeter than expected. Yes, piney hops hum in the background, but the main chorus consists of an aria of overripe pineapple and doughy malt. Blind tastings between AS IPA and YuleSmith Summer would be inconclusive--save for slightly more funk in the Yule. Frankly, in the realm of scent, this one can be classified as a GIPA (generic IPA).

T :: The Yule is the prodigal son of the AS IPA--it insisted on wandering into the land of the Imperial IPA, never quite made it, but got really boozy along the way. After a momentary flash of what may be a discernable hop or malt presence, I am broadsided by what tastes like a bitter orange peel soaked in alcohol. It makes your head cock to the side at best, your face grimace at worst.

M :: Up front, mouthfeel is notable; however, the initial sparkle of bottle conditioning is quickly sloshed away by an alcohol-warmed mouth.

D :: Mischievously drinkable 9-, 10-, and even 12-percent ABV beers are not hard to happen upon these days, so why should I be caught without an umbrella in alcoholic rain with an 8.5-percent IPA? A certain crispness and a firmer hop snap could whip this beer into good standing amongst the great West Coast DIPA's.

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Photo of ressletr
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yulesmith, my favorite beer of all time, I have tried hundreds of beers, then I found Alesmith. I used to do my own home brewing but after living just 1 mile from Alesmith stopped, why bother when the best brewed beer is within walking distance. Yulesmith, the Ipa is outstanding. This one is the Double Ipa. The smell is that of fresh flowers, the taste that of heaven, with tastes of a smooth malt followed by a hop sensation, found no where else. Every time Alesmith releases yulesmith, I absolutely go crazy for it. I usually like to buy at least 1 case of it for enjoyment. I wouldn't do this with any other beer, even Hop Rod Rye which is also very good, but nothing in comparison to Yulesmith. Peter, you guys rock. I recently gave one to a friend of mine and asked him how he liked it. He said it was the best beer he has ever had. I think it should be a crime not to be able to buy Yulesmith every month. But at least I get it two times a year. I stocked I think I am one of the last ones to buy the summer release by the case in San Diego. This beer sells out within 2 weeks of release. I talked to the lady at the counter, and she said she was surprised they still have it. If you want to try the best beer, then try a Yulesmith.

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Photo of guinness310
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pouring this winter release into an oversized wine glass...

A: A mild-thick pour creates a lightly yellowish one finger head with good retention that sits atop a burnt-orange almost ruby body.

S: Piney grass, and citrus notes give this a very earthy nose. malty hints are nicely blended in it as well. Cloves?

T&M: This mild bodied beer is nicely carbonated with a heavy introduction to the piney flavour in the beginning, bittering hops in the middle and a malty-smooth dry finish at the end; with the 8% evident yet never overwhealming in the beer. Great lacing.

D: Overall drinkability was very good as the ethyl alcohol was not too overpowering. A definite great beer worth recommending.

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YuleSmith (Summer) from AleSmith Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 922 ratings.