Review - AleSmith Brewing Company's YuleSmith Holiday Ale (Winter)
"During the summer, YuleSmith is transformed into a big, hoppy, Double IPA. The enormous load of hops requires a substantial malt background to create just the right balance for a Double IPA. Lighter in color, summer YuleSmith is available around the 4th of July and is packaged in a red, white, and blue bottle. For the winter season, YuleSmith is brewed as an Imperial Red Ale. This version is maltier, more balanced, and darker in color than the summer version. Although quite malty, big hop flavors and aromas are abundant making this an unforgettable winter warmer. Winter YuleSmith is packaged in traditional holiday red and green. Original Gravity Alcohol by Volume 1.085 9.5%" -- AleSmith
Pours a light garnet hue into a very carbonated body with tremendous bubble action on the glass, supporting the massive frothy light-brown head. Body clarity is decent given the bottle conditioning. Thin wispy lacing lines the glass as the head subsides, and the body has darkened up a bit to a more ruby/amber color. Aroma is of potent hops with some piney notes up front with some grapefruit in the background, much more reminiscent of an IPA than a typical Strong Ale. Malt character is strong as well with some dark bread notes. Initial taste is very well balanced with equal hits of malt and hop bitterness, and this balance continues through the finish despite an increase in both malt and hop strength with a dominant citrus hop taste. Medium bodied, almost to the point of chewy, with lively carbonation and a slightly oily film with a smooth malt finish. High alcohol content is masked somewhat by the smooth malt finish. Delicioso!
Reviewed on April 24th, 2008.