505 (271) - Echo Park, California, USA - JUL 8, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
I am terribly confused. I got a bottle of this expecting a double IPA, but it tasted nothing of the sort. It was very Belgian tasting. It had a kind of floral aroma, but mostly caramel and yeast. The flavor was quite yeasty and sweet, similar to Horny Devil actually. Is there some chance I got the wrong beer? Is there another Yulesmith beer that Alesmith makes? Itís the same bottle as shown. I love Alesmith IPA, but if Iím judging this as an IIPA, I couldnít give it much over a 3, but if it was something else, surely higher. Iíll try and find it again and see what happens. The bottle could have been too old?
cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - SEP 19, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: FEB 18, 2007 2/17/07. Poured out of 22 oz. bottle, bought at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, CA 8/20/06. Rated blind. Vintage 2006, I do believe. Extremely dark brown-purple in color like a dark grape or fig skin, pouring with a lumpy head of uneven, pea-sized light tan suds. Deep orange-copper in color when held up to light. Head fades rather quickly to a lumpy film. Lacing is very sticky but sadly lean (after the head fades), although sub-surface ďreverse lacingĒ is exquisite. Aroma starts out fairly bold and promising, with some orange zest and sweet notes of dark caramel, brown sugar, and some hints of dark taffy and lighter caramel-like fudge; lots of fruitiness but on the darker dried fruit end, with a bright date-like character. A touch of sweat-soaked-leathery tanginess that isnít quite as off-putting as it sounds because itís so slight. Aroma fades quite a bit as it opens up, starting out with that lovely aged barley wine profile, ending up fairly nondescript with only a bare bones lightly-sweetened spiced toast presence. Flavor is decidedly drier and more subdued, really relying on straight toasty and caramel malts with only the softest brown sugar suggestions. Seems more like a solid-but-unspectacular amber or red ale, underhopped and drinkable but fairly uninteresting. Itís subtle and thankfully not sugar-saturated like the aroma might have suggested at first, but thereís not really that much of note. Hop citrus and bitterness have disappeared. Sort of a funny ďfootĒ character that I remember somewhat similarly from Oggiís Tricentennial Barley Wine, but it was much more extreme (and interesting) in that beeróI think itís an odd effect of oxidation. Again, not as bad as it sounds, but not terribly exciting either. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a gently tingling carbonation and slight scratchiness from an earthy, soggy hop presence. Not really any bitterness, but thereís a definite fuzzy textural component that I think came from the hops, and becomes more directly textural with the oxidation. This aspect of the finish actually lingers around quite awhile, but itís not much to get excited about. A bit watery, especially in the finish. Flabby and really just pretty boring. No alcohol presence whatsoever, which is good. But thereís very little else thatís very good. I was actually pretty optimistic on my first whiff, but everything fell apart so quickly. It gets less and less interesting as I work through the bottle, almost like itís not even there towards the end. I didnít even bother to finish the whole bomber, and I barely even noticed. After the reveal: Wow. No idea. Not 100% sure of this vintage, but 90% sure. Not good. (7/4/6/3/12 - 3.2)
9/18/06. Poured out of 22 oz. bottle, bought at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, CA 8/20/06. Pours a stately, lightly hazy bright orange with a fluffy, sudsy and well-retained tan-cream head. Lacing drifts in slow, tightly-woven sheets, leaving sticky, irregular, residual patches. Aroma drifts forth with an orange zest zippiness and an inviting piney, floral softness, something I fear that has already faded even at this young age. There are also traces of raw alcohol that hide just beneath a zesty citrus zip. Too much alcohol presence even in the aroma, but a little more brightness and a little less alcohol, and this could be magical. Flavor is lacking a bit even from there, with an immediate oxidized malt and nondescript, slightly abrasive hop character. As a bit of excited fun, there are pockets of sharp hop oils popping against the sides of the mouth, but the flavoring and dry hops are sort of lacking compared to what Iíve come to know from my SoCal Imperial IPAs. The malt is papery and bland, not quite even an adequate blank slate for the hops to dance their colorful masquerade (or in this case, their clumsy shuffle). Sticky on the lips with a medium-full body. Mostly compact carbonation, but the texture feels a little off because of the scratchy hop prickle. Grassy, itchy, dry finish, with a straw-like bitterness that lasts long but lacks the hop juiciness that I want. The finish is easily the weakest part of the beer, provoking sip after sip to cover its harshness; it begs you to drink this beast faster than the high octane would normally prescribe. Still a solid brew, if heavily flawed, but not close to the lovely hop treat we get each Christmas. (7/5/7/3/13 - 3.5)
Final rating reflects some kind of an average for the two ratings.
tcruicks (282) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - DEC 24, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
It smells very hoppy, with some citrus fruits and metallic. It tastes very similar with a dry and bitter finish and medium body. Its also very sweet, almost a caramel sweetness. There is definitely some alcohol in there, noticeable in the flavor more than the aroma.
aobecksy (700) - Middle of no where, Ohio, USA - MAY 12, 2007
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Orange and creamy like a popcycle. Nose is full of flowers, citrus on the tongue. Strong alcohol finish.
Cletus (6251) - Connecticut, USA - AUG 16, 2005
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: SEP 7, 2006 Smells of grapefruit and rosey, but not nearly as sharp as their previous bottling. More watery and too much caramel and malty flavors for a Double IPA.
irishsnake (355) - Oakland, California, USA - JAN 11, 2007
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
beer decants a very pretty orange/amber, with a whipped-cream thick white head that retains well and leaves tons of lace. nose is a bit rough - lots of hops, yes, but also a good amount of higher alcohols, as well as perhaps a bit of phenol? really smells more like a barley-wine than a DIPA - lots of thick sweetness. flavor is almost wholely dominated by hops - yes, there is a slightly muddy malt sweetness up front, but it wilts pretty fast in a wave of grassy, rindy, herbal hop flavor, and is followed by a pretty heavy wave of rough bitterness. bit of a paint-thinner/nail-polish quality to the finish, which gives it an unpleasant burner. yeast seems perhaps a bit stressed out.
redave (165) - squaw valley, California, USA - JUL 17, 2009
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Finally I get to try the Imperial IPA! Iíve had the Red, or whatever the other Yulesmith is called, but this one has eluded me.
Pours a dark pale ale. Golden with a hint of orange.
Some hop aroma, but not quite so pronounced.
Nice fluffy head that almost flows over the glass, creamy off white. Sticky lace [so far] down the glass.
I am realizing that this is *last* years release! I bought it at Hollingshead on June 12th or so, and I am not that familier with the AleSmith release times so, what do I know... mmmm.
Well... Itís not that bad, but my scores might be higher if it was a fresher batch? mm I hope we will know some day...
Back to the review....
Itís fairly well balanced, kinda oily, a little citrussy, nicely hoppy and malty
I will need to get a fresher bottle some day!
tgncc (2508) - Bellmore, New York, USA - NOV 18, 2010
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
I suspect this guy might have sat on the shelf too long. The aroma is pine, citrus, honey, solvent. The appearance is a hazy yellow/gold, white head. The flavor is more caramel, honey, pine, solvent again. The finish is a harsh pine and resin bitterness. Medium-bodied. decent, not up to the hype. But again, this was on a half price rack, and probably went past its due date.
crossovert (5713) - Illinois, USA - JAN 4, 2012
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JUL 22, 2012 Was able to get a fresher bottle in SD. This beer is over rated in my opinion.
gripweed57 (442) - Hamilton Square, New Jersey, USA - DEC 27, 2012
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
22 ounce bottle. Cloudy pale gold color. Large bubbly white head. Sweet grapefruity hop aroma. Flavor is all bitter grapefruit hops and sweet toasted malt. Piney and peppery. No complexity or unique character. If you love hops, you will love this. I personally think this is a one-trick pony. lacks the malt balance I would prefer.