AleSmith Double Red India Pale Ale
Brewed by: AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer Classification and Specs
- Style: IPA, Amber/Red
- Variation: Imperial (Double)
- Seasonal: Winter
- ABV: 8.5%
- IBU: 48
Notes: Won Gold Medal at 2004 World Beer Cup.
Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients
AleSmith’s Double Red IPA, previously known as Winter YuleSmith, offers up an intense hop aroma combined with a well-balanced, full bodied, caramel-malt sweetness. A variety of American hops burst with flavors of pine and citrus complimenting the substantial malt backbone to deliver a full-flavored ale with layers of complexity.
More Double Red IPA Images
Artwork: Hops, grains, and snowflakes form a rectangular arrangement around the large “Double RED India Pale Ale” lettering.
Color: Slightly cloudy, deep red to dark amber.
Aroma: Piney hops over sweet malty aroma.
Arrived in: 22oz Bottle
Served in: Short Tulip
AleSmith Double Red IPA debuted in October, but we have been enjoying this holiday ale for years! Huh? What? How is that possible exactly?
This fall, AleSmith YuleSmith Winter Holiday Ale was re-branded as Double Red India Pale Ale Winter Seasonal. AleSmith’s reasoning behind the change was they wanted to make their holiday ale more non-denominational, and release it earlier in the year. (you can see the old branding in the gallery above)
Although the recipe remained unchanged, YuleSmith was always considered an Imperial Red (double red). And we really doubt having “IPA” or “India Pale Ale” in its new name hurts sales versus “red ale” in today’s never ending IPA craze.
After Double Red India Pale Ale ale was poured, its off-white head continued to unevenly pile up, similar to a snowbank in a heavy winter storm. The retention on its majestic, fluffy capper was impressive, but eventually the lazy froth reduced into a thin coating that laced the glass quite nicely.
This opaque, deep red to amber colored ale’s body was on the malty side, which is always welcomed during the winter season, along with its warming ABV. AleSmith Double Red boasted a creamy mouthfeel, but tight effervescence did spike up at the end of each sip.
AleSmith Double Red India Pale Ale’s aroma was definitely more characteristic of a red ale than IPA, with malty sweetness of biscuit or bread, and caramel. Some gentle pine also wafted over its malty base, to lend some holiday-like aroma of pine cones or fresh cut pine greens.
Much like its bouquet, Double Red IPA packed caramel notes up front, until that sweetness gave way to hoppy pine flavor. As the subtle pine faded, its red apple finish came on strong. Not only did sweet juicy fruit wash over, but another layer of bitterness followed, like when your teeth snap through a Red Delicious apple’s bitter skin.
AleSmith may have re-named this beer to appeal more to the IPA masses, but we will always consider this malty pleaser to be an imperial red ale. That’s where most of its amazing characteristics lie anyway — malty caramel, juicy fruit, and hoppy bitterness.
Final Score: 4.5/5
AleSmith Double Red India Pale Ale was strong, rich, and malty with plenty of piney hop character to go around. Regardless of its new name or style, this tasty amber/red + IPA hybrid continues to be one of our favorite winter seasonals. We highly recommend it.