Kasteelfreak (341) - Fallbrook, California, USA - NOV 5, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUN 23, 2005 Holy crap! This is good. I just had a Stone Double Bastard before this. After I drank the Double, I went out and bought a case. On my beer mission, I saw the Yulesmith and bought 4 bottles. I’ll be buying at least another case of this. I like this better than the Stone. Different styles of course. Double IPAs are my favorite these days with Alpine Exponential is at the top with this right below it. I’m in heaven here in San Diego with such good breweries.
Mouthfeel is so freakin good on this. Oily and creamy like Arrogant Bastard. Has kind of a sweet, carmely aroma. Taste is piney and grapefruity. It is very smooth. Excellent! I can’t wait until Exponential comes back out. It might wind up my top rated beer. Rerate: OK, I just had a Dreadnaught before this. I’m really on a roll. One thing that Dreadnaught definately has over this is aroma. Dreadnaught spreads aroma throughout the immediate area, while you have to stick your nose in the glass to appreciate the aroma of this. This is less sweet than the Dreadnaught, and has a chalkier-dry finish. This leaves better lace in the glass than Dreadnaught. This is definately cloudier. This may also have a little more hops in the finish. Give me either one and I’ll be a happy man! Now I’ll have to get Ruination in the mix to see how it compares. One other important thing to note. This and Ruination are only $4/bomber while Dreadnaught is $6. Exponential is $7.50/64oz. growler. With price factored in, Yulesmith, Ruination, and Exponential can not be beat. Rererate: After drinking this for a while, I would have to say that I like Dreadnaught better. It is a little more drinkable. Nothing against this at all though. Rerererate: The 2004 summer release is the best yet. This batch is pretty much perfect. Amazingly creamy, smooth, balanced and complex. ReRate 040605: Drinking the winter 2004 release, and the hops are fading. The balance is a lot more towards the malt this time. ReRate 062305: 2005 summer realease - Solid coppe-orange color with an insanely rich, creamy head. Aroma is rich with caramel, medium to dark rum, hops, black licorice raisins, and some kind of berry or perhaps purple grape. Flavor is rich with caramel malt, some black licorice, whisky, and of course hops. The hops are pretty complex. They start off citrusy then turn piney. The malt richness reminds me of older versions of Hop 15, but this lacks the tropical fruitiness. Mouthfeel is incredibly rich, smooth and creamy. Very impresive, and in my opinion, is a bargain at $5/bottle. No change in score.
unclebleen (620) - California, USA - OCT 22, 2003
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUN 28, 2004 Rerate (2004 Summer Release): Same Yulesmith I remember...wonderfully balanced. Great head retention and carbonation. It's a little young...Glad I bought a case of this! Original Rating: 2003 (looks like I'm the first to rate this vintage): Bought directly from the brewery on Oct 20th. Color is a wonderful radiant deep orange with a medium sized off-white head. It almost glows! Aroma is heavy citrus, and pine with interesting floral notes...everything you could want in an IPA. Wow, does this taste excellent. At first you are hit with tons of hops, grapefruit and piney, then it mellows out perfectly when swallowed. Nice malty, alcoholic finish. The body is surprisingly creamy and full, with a dry finish. This is my first Yulesmith experience but I find it difficult to believe any of the other vintages could be better. Truely a great beer!
Brodie (540) - Blowing Rock, North Carolina, USA - OCT 17, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
2002. Yeah, so the commercial description is pretty dead on. Don't get a lot of vanilla. The malt-hop balance is really nice - too many beers in this style don't have enough malt to support the hops. Strong full beer - this isn's a session beer. I can still get the 2002 vintage, and will be picking up a few bottle to hold on to for this holiday season.
slushy (28) - Niagara Falls, New York, USA - SEP 24, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2002 edition: Wow! Hazy orange with a nice creamy head, great lace down the glass. Grapefruit/pine in the nose. Citrusy grapefruit with tiny sweet malts darting in and out on the tongue.... the hops give the lips a tingle. Warning: Massive hop burps! Nice balance for such a hoppy beer. Outstanding Christmas brew!
jgb9348 (5062) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - SEP 20, 2003
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2002 22 ounce Bottle:
Rating #600, what could be better: The highest IPA (my favourite style) that I haven't sampled yet! Dark amber colour with a very dense (3 centimetre) tan head. Strong hoppyness in the aroma...citrus and pine are the most evident, but i'm sure they are all very high a.a. hops. A big maltiness i n the aroma to provide balance. Medium to Full-bodied; Assertive hoppiness but the malt background isn't too strong. Aftertaste just a bit bittered from the grapefruity hops, but not much so. Overall, I was expecting much more, but I'm sure the hops died down significantly over the months. Definately worth trying...perhaps you'll end up with a better beer. After letting it sit out, more complexity and balance take front stage and the beer 'opens up'. I really want to thank rodolito for trading this to me in a recent trade, i'm lucky to have had this bottle! Thanks again Dave :-)
Slick (1969) - Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA - SEP 19, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2002 i was holding onto 2 bottles but due to a trade i have just the one again so this is as good a time as any to crack it open when i still have the rating frenzy going on.Nice amber color that is slightly cloudy but not so much as to make it totally opaque.Small head that faded semi-fast but managed to leave a bit of a nice lace.Very nice hops aroma with the usual amount of grapefruit and maybe a slight bitter-sweetness as well.The feel is kind of heavy and i guess mildly sweet taste,malt hops and more hops with a nice citrusy side ande medium bitterness with the after taste coming on as hoppy and malty with a mild alcohol burn going down.This is a fantastic brew well balanced complex and very flavorful,what more could you ask for but more of this.SIGH,i'm tapped out for now so it's back to trading to get a few more for later trades and further indulgment.
heykevin (1281) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - AUG 26, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Deep copper with an extremely intense hoppy aroma. The usual suspects, grapefruit, pine, sticky and resiny. Firm malt, touch of caramel, vanilla as well. Deep bitterness. Some alcohol in the finish. Very nice. Thanks to CaptainCougar for the opportunity!
MaxPower (961) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - AUG 15, 2003
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
2002 release 22oz bottle pours a glowing hazy copper-orange color with a nice off-white head that leaves a sticky lacing in my glass. Wonderful aromas of fresh grapefruit, pineapple and pine, sticky and resiny pine and citrus flavors coat my tongue, hoppy as hell yet has a solid malt balance, full body with a full and creamy mouthfeel, nice sharp bitterness in it's lasting finish, wow I just wish I could get Alesmith in Missouri, many thanks go out to herbjones for chance to try this awesome brew.
jayme9874 (756) - Hamburg, New York, USA - AUG 4, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: AUG 19, 2006 SLight haze, bright copper with thin, creamy head and lace. Nose of hefty caramel like malt, grassy, citrusy, resiny hops, bit of orange and maybe peach. Medium bodied, lush,lots of caramel sweet malt, pine sap everywhere all melding together to make a kick ass hophead delight. Bitter, slight dry finish with pine sap sticking to the palate. Reminds me of Ruination in a way. Good IPA! But you know, this style is starting to wear on me a bit.
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - JUL 16, 2003
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
2002 bomber - Gorgeous cloudy glowing caramel amber color with a monsterious two inch head that grew fast from the pour to a thick, billowy, lumpyness of dark ivory color, faded down very slowly to one big lump of cookie dough. A solid thick wave of foam always present during the entire glass worth; lace all over in webby sheets.
Aroma is deep dark citrus and nice juicy piney-woodish sense with very nice caramel and biscuit dough backing. Notes of chocolate, nuts and light spice, kinda like the smell of a Mrs. Fields cookie store and a candy store all at once.
Taste is subtle complex layers of malts lending lots of smooth sweet caramal with a touch of chocolate, very soft and bready, light airy buttery biscuit feel lending a bit of chewyness. Hops appear about midway with excellent balance, handled very nicely with dark citrus and pine thats kinda juicy but easy all at once, quite amazing with a nice soft approach as well. Finishes with awesome clean, soft bitterness and drying.
Medium body feel; smooth and lightly creamy/buttery with just the right amount of carb. grab that fuzzes the tongue and soothes the throat. The alcohol is masked very well, but as it warms it makes a bit of an appearance in smell and taste.
One hell of an excellent IPA, soft and subtle in its character with just enough zaz to wake you up and notice that its worth every f*ckin' sip, gulp, and ahhh...