Wee Heavy-er Scotch Style Ale - French Broad Brewing Co.

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Wee Heavy-er Scotch Style AleWee Heavy-er Scotch Style Ale

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241 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 241
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 15.06%
Wants: 8
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
French Broad Brewing Co. visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: wcudwight on 01-16-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 241 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brenden
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I just found these notes from Asheville...about 3 weeks old, maybe.

This brew pours from the bottle a very dark, coppery bronze color. A white head pours out at just over one finger, taking some time to dissipate and leaving some patchy lacing as it goes.
This one's an earthy brew, fairly heavy on the malts with a light alcohol whiff. The smell's a bit nutty with a toasty note and a bit of dark fruits in there as well. It's not as fragrant as it was on tap, though, and the malt seems a bit milder.
The same goes for the flavor; the semi-dry malts base just isn't as strong, making for less of a balance when the other flavors are vying for position. There's just a touch of caramel along with a gently spicy note, toasty with a light wood touch. It finishes out with a balancing light bitterness and leafy hops flavor, the flavor of dark fruits never fading through each sip all the way to the end.
The mouthfeel blends smooth and crisp nicely in a medium body with moderate carbonation and a lingering finish.
This was a very nice beer and one I could have had again, though it was superior on tap.

Photo of joepais
2.4/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle, Early/Mid May 2010 bottling
Yup I think we have problem Huston. The bottle split two ways into Sam Addams glasses the brew had a good two finger tan colored head. The brew had a clear brown colored body.

Now things go down hill the brew defiantly had a sour smell to it as well as a taste it did come of as a sour Brune to me. So I will say it was drinkable but, not as a wee heavy. I will revisit this one if fortune allows .

Photo of elgiacomo
2.4/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottled May 11, 2010.

Pours clear dark copper, brown & ruby in the glass with a one finger light tan head that leaves a few drippy spots of lacing and reduces to a foamy cap and ring.

Aroma is...odd and overall unpleasant. Rubber, smoke, leather, wood...quite yeasty, grassy, herbal, maybe some caramel and fruit underneath but the funk generally covers most of that up. As it warms up the dark fruits, cherries and grapes come out a little better.

Flavor is some caramel and dark fruit, smoke, somewhat metallic, spice, toffee, better than the aroma but still not that great.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, sticky, medium to high carbonation.

I can't quite put my finger on it but there is something in the aroma that really turns me off on this one, the flavor and mouthfeel don't do much to save it. Glad it was only a bomber and I didn't get stuck with a 6-pack.

Photo of bigbluebeerguy
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass. Murky, medium to darker brown with amber-reddish highlights. An off-white, one-finger head receded quickly to a ring. Fairly substantial lacing.

Smell is somewhat non-descript. Sweet caramel, maybe butterscotch. Some nuts and a little smokiness.

Taste is somewhat better than the nose. The caramel/butterscotch comes out a little more, but I also get a little acidic aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is OK. Not a ton of carbonation. Not great, but not horrible either.

Drinkability is pretty good. Overall this is not a bad beer, I would drink it again, especially if there was nothing better available.

Photo of jsanford
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Bier Garden in Asheville on 5/28/10

A - Pours a clear, brownish-red color with a thin creamy head.

S - Bit of malt, bit of roasted nuts. Nothing impressive.

T - Roasted malt and nuts, caramel finish with a touch of smokiness.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation. Hidden ABV.

D - Easy to drink, had no problem finishing my single glass. Overall a good, if boring, example of a Scotch Ale.

Photo of argock
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Peabody's Wine and Beer Merchants (Boone, NC) for $4.29.

A: Flat-appearing copper with scant chemical head with no retention and no lacing.

S: Diacetyl is super strong to make a buttery and weak caramel aroma with none of the earthiness you expect from a Scotch Ale. Smokiness is barely present with swirling the brew, but the butterscotch aroma is far too strong.

T: The flavor is predominantly butterscotch as well, which makes me wonder if something is wrong, as the French Broad ESB I had recently also was too much butterscotch as well. There is a tinge of smoky peat and caramel malts, but everything is pretty well blanketed by the diacetyl flavor. Too bad.

M: Medium-bodied with low, low carbonation. Upping the CO2 would help to increase the creaminess I think.

D: Both French Broad beers were diacetyl-laden and characterless otherwise. I would try them again, but will probably wait until I can get to their pub to sample again.

Photo of CBlack85
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass

Pours a clear, deep mahogany/brown color with lots of visible carbination leading to a very respectable rocky tan head, leaving a fair amount of lacing.

Nice sweet (almost cherry like) malty aromas, with a fair amount of smoked peat dominate the nose. Like many of their other beers the aromas are quite light and subdued, although pleasant, just a little light for the style.

Fairly sweet with a good amount of smoked peat as well. Some nice fruity hints as well. Medium bodied and well carbinated. I really enjoyed this beer, although it seems just a little small for the style. I would love to see it be just a little bolder. But all in all it is very tasty

Photo of stapleton87
3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very nice dark brown/ruby color. Nice looking off white head dissipates much too quickly.

S: Nothing particularly striking about the nose, there is a slight sweetness and an edge of alcohol.

T: Very tasty brew. Caramel and brown sugar balanced by a roasted, smokey bitterness. Slightly sour aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, very prickly carbonation. Not as thick as one might expect but this is a pleasant beer.

D: Quite drinkable, and this could be a little dangerous considering its 7% abv.

This is a very tasty brew, it doesn't go above and beyond, but it is a very enjoyable beer to sip on or have with a meal.

Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: a deep burgundy-maroon with what at first looked like an epic 1 inch tan head faded so quickly it was as though it was never there leaving ust a light covering on top and a few wisps on the side of the glass

s: nice nuttiness; sweet malts; light saltiness; some coffe and toffee; light smokiness

t: has a much more potent taste than the scent; strong smokes nuts and malt; a very strange sweet taste on the finish that is kind of raisiny

m: smooth and at times even silky with light carb

d: a decent beer but i feel that i'm partial to wee heavies so for the style it's only ok

Photo of runningjoke
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured a brown-red, almost jewel tone. The head was reminiscent of a cappuccino foam, lightest of browns, almost off white.
It smelled of roasted malts, faint smell of fruit and spice.
The flavor was the same, but not bold as i would expect, somewhat smokey and dusty.
Low carbonation begged for a more complex flavor, but i wanted more from this beer.
This is easy to drink and could be mindlessly drained one after another.
Not one to sit and ponder its complexities, but still better than Bud.

Photo of Deuane
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Deep reddish brown with a medium light tan head. Head hangs on nicely and leaves attractive, ringing lace.

S-Sweet roasted malts, a touch of spiciness and some dark fruit notes. All of this pleasant and present but quite faint.

T-Spicy, earthy, sweet caramel malt up front with subtle dark fruit and candi sugar notes in the background. Good but....becomes rather dull and one dimensional the more you drink.

M-Medium-light to medium bodied and a touch on the thin side. Certainly smooth and easy going but needs a touch of body.

D-Good but overall a bit dull and lackluster. A non-offensive and interesting brew that is the type good for introducing non-craft drinkers into the fold.

Photo of drunkboxer1
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with a tan head. Smells roasty, stout like. Tastes similar. I don't really get the caramel, burnt-sweetness that I find in these beers typically. It's more of a big brown ale or a stout or something similar. The alcohol is hidden completely though, dangerously. A fair amount of bitterness. I like it, but I dunno if it has all I want in a Scotch ale.

Photo of MrStark
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter glass.

Appearance is a deep opaque brown with a foamy off white head that settles into a small cap leaving little bits of sticky lacing.

Smell is quite heavy in sweet and roasted malts and has some fruit in there as well. A tiny hint of hops in there and a earthiness as well.

Taste is very much like the nose with lots of malt right up front with a bit of caramel. There is a slight smokey and roasted flavor in there as well with very little bitterness to the finish if any. Its tasty but not quite as complex as others I've had from the style.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a mild amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is not bad. It goes down pretty easy for the style and would be sessionable. As I said before, not quite as complex as I like but still a pretty good brew. I'd say its worth a try if you see it.

Photo of Wasatch
3.98/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to Maltzilla for this one.

22oz. Bomber

Poured into a chalice a very nice brownish color, very nice carbonation, huge three-finger thick/creamy light tan head, with some awesome thick/creamy sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some yeast, dark fruits, caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, with some nice yeast notes, dark fruits, slight spice, and some caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew, but reminds me more of a BSDA.

Photo of FloppyDog
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown opaque with a decent tan head.

Aroma is of deep rich maltiness mixed with a slight hoppiness.

Taste, again with the rich maltiness and balanced with a hop bitterness that is just enough for balance.

Mouthfeel is solid medium-bodied with average to low carbonation that adds to the smoothness of the beer.

Overall, an enjoyable malt-driven scotch ale that I would drink again.

Photo of BeerSox
2.2/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz bomber into pint glass.

Deep brown hue, changing to mahogany toward the bottom. A one finger light tan head that settles to a thin cap.

Light sugary aromas meet an out of place sour cherry aroma (found in other reviews).

The tartness is back in the flavor, with an interesting contrasting sweetness, and a maltiness like dark brown bread. Medium bodied, high carbonation.

Not sure what the deal is with this one. Rather than a smooth malt bomb, this one is a tart and fizzy brown ale.

Photo of everetends
2.98/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle I picked up a bit back at the good ole Hop City in Atlanta, GA. This continues my exploration of what French Broad has to offer. Served up in my Terrapin pint glass.

A: Foamed up on initial pour?! Wierd and not expected from a Scotch Ale at all. Head was a good three fingers and I was pouring pretty gently. It is a light tan, maybe closer to a cream color. It actually doesn't hand around for long, falling to a quarter finger of foam. The body is a very good looking dark brown. Held to the light it is very dark but lightens iwht nice effect further down to the base. The body is not clear, maybe a bit hazy. Just a nice dark body.

S: Interesting here as well. First thing that hits me is that this smells almost like a Doppelbock. Very much a seemingly German influence on the malt bill. Then comes a ligh touch of peat that is more prevalent when the beer is colder, seems to fade more as it warms. Little bit of caramel and nut aromas coming out. Other than that, there is a light floral or fruity type aroma in the very back. Its nice, but strange . . . if that makes sense.

T: The hits just keep on coming. Yet again, the malt bill is very German in the flavor and really throws me. Just doesn't have that in your face Scotch Ale maltiness. Then it gets a bit wierder. Then you get a pretty prominent cola type flavor. Yeah, cola. Behind that is some peat and spice. Maybe some caramel and a touch of apple hidden in the back. This is not bad, but its off to say the least.

M: Medium bodied with a HUGE carbonation level. I mean big time. This doesn't help the cola flavors because it has a cola feel. Very fizzy. Not really getting any heat from the ABV at all which is a plus, well hidden for the level. Aftertaste is a bit of peat and cola. Weird.

D: Well, I have to say that this beer does suprise. Don't know if that is good or bad. The flavors, look, feel and smells all have suprises that kinda toss you a curve. This does taste more like a German style than a Scotch Ale. Has a bit of an identity crisis if you ask me. That carbonation level is just way too high and needs to be tamed. With all that said, it went down easy and was refreshing. I give it that. What a strange experience.

Photo of drperm
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

"Support your local brewers" is such an easy admonition to follow when one lives in the Asheville vicinity, and French Broad is by no means among the least of those we have to choose from.

Now that they are bottling a few of their brews, it's even easier to give them patronage.

The Wee-Heavy-er is perhaps not their greatest creation, but it's a solid strong Scottish ale (any Scotsman will tell you, "Scotch" is a pejorative term best left to describe adhesive tape, whisky notwithstanding) that is definitely worth seeking out --- and returning to.

In the glass (right now, a wide-bowled red wine goblet), it has the semblance of a well-carbonated old ale. It's a shimmering dark brown, the tone of strong tea and yet quite translucent.

On the nose, it's a bit funky. Not Belgian farmhouse funky, but more like strange maltiness with lots of sugars funky. Not so much to be off-putting, but enough to say, "Our 7% ABV means business." Lots of caramel muscle here, with just enough hint of bitterness to lure me in...

The taste is solid. Not spectacular, but soundly solid and firm. As one would expect, malt is front and center here, with just enough hop-bittering snap to make it well-rounded. Not too sweet, and a wee bit of a near tartness that leaves me craving more. It is sweet enough to pair well with dark desserts, or something with plums...or how 'bout a nice cavendish pipe? Almost too thin, but it wins me over with its Gaelic charm.

Palate is smooth and silky and perhaps my favorite aspect of this one. Goes down easy, much easier than you might expect from a Wee Heavy. No viscosity here.

Overall, this is one to seek out and try. For me, I'll gladly have another, especially since it's available at my local small-town otherwise-stuck-in-the-1980s IGA market.

Best pairing yet: Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream with a Butterfinger bar crumbled over top. Yowza.

Photo of maximum12
1.4/5  rDev -60.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Thanks to gford217 who sent me this as part of a four-French-Broad package within a much larger BIF package this spring. My wife has been on the scotch ale train, so here's the second night in a row with a scotch in hand.

Ummmm...let me say before I start that I've really enjoyed the first two French Broads we've opened. This one, not so much.

Pours a dusty amber, little to no head. The smell sends red-flag-shivers up my spine. It's nothing like a typical and/or good scotch ale, but a wave of buttery badness. Ugh.

This...is...terrible. As if someone took a scotch ale & poured a panful of melted butter into a vat of beer. I haven't been formally introducted, but this could only be a terminal case of diacetyl.

Drain pour. I know these guys make good beer, this was a huge disappointment.

Photo of clayrock81
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a leather couch brown that had some visibility and a two-finger white head that died quickly. Aroma is a mix of mild malts, both sweet and roasted, with very little hops. Not a nose-catching aroma but it did attract me. For a heavy ale this is rather a light beer. Medium-bodied, at best, it passes smoothly, slightly creamy, as the malts are rather subdued for a little sweet and chewiness; caramel, hints of cocoa, and some toffee along with roasted are in there but nothing that is really outstanding. A dab of fruit flavorings/dryness from the hops, which provide a minor sour fruit and bitter taste for balance in the backend, but are overpowered to be honest. A decent beer but not what I'm looking forward to with a heavy scotch ale.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark coppery orange that looks almost nut brown in low light conditions. Radiant tangerine accents are still visible, though. An attractive chunk of wheat bread colored foam sits atop the liquid. It has a firmly creamy texture and is beginning to decorate the glass with some wonderful looking lace.

The aroma is pretty classic for the style, other than the absence of peat or smoke. Maybe one or the other will make an appearance on the palate. Munich malt (or something similar) dominates, providing a toasted, earthy, faintly steely caramel vibe. Not bad at all.

Once North Carolina 'popped the cap', FBBC was able to kick Wee-Heavy-er up from 6.0% to 7.0%. I find myself wanting it to be even bigger and bolder, but I suppose that's what Wee-Heavy-est is for. As currently constructed, this brew is a tweener. It's either a big Scottish ale or a small Scotch ale.

The flavor never really grabs ahold of my taste buds and makes them respect it. Beer of this style isn't the most complex in the world, but a few more flavor facets wouldn't hurt. Let's go with toasted whole grain bread, steely caramel, roasted peanuts and a subtle fruitiness from the ale yeast. Still no peat and still no smoke. Good enough, just nothing exciting or special.

The mouthfeel has no major positives and no major negatives. Despite the name, it's on the light-er side for the ABV and the carbonation is on the light-er side as well. Average isn't far off.

Wee-Heavy-er Scotch Ale might be French Broad's biggest seller, but it isn't their best beer. Of those that I've had, Rye Hopper is clearly numero uno. Maybe Wee-Heavy-est will deliver what my big beer lover's palate craves.

Photo of russpowell
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours chestnut/ebony with a sliver of mocha colored head. Zero head head retention & lacing

S: Some smokeyness, cakeyness & biscuitty malt

T: Rich cakeyness, dryness, slight smokeyness & caramel. Dryness & cakeyness as this warms, Finshes sweet with flinty dryness & a hint f leafy hops & toffee

MF: Semi-chewy with minimal carbonation

Drinks pretty easy, this had a lot of nice attributes, but didn't quite pull together...

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice to have this brewery's products available in Atlanta these days. This one was poured from a 22 oz bottle. Pours almost black with a faint head that settles to a thin ring. Smells malty, even a bit treacly, as well as quite yeasty. The aromas are on the lighter side, though. Tastes pretty satisfying. Malty, but fairly dry for the style with some citrusy bitterness as well, and a dash of anise or fennel in the finish. The mouthfeel is light and on the crisp rather than the rich side of the style. Pleasant and easy-drinking.

Photo of philipquarles
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery. Pours a clear, dark, ruddy brown with a tall off-white head that clings to the glass. Smells of slightly sweet caramel malt and toffee. Absolutely no smoke or peat as others have claimed. Not a bad thing, as this isn't really a traditional element of a scotch ale. Tastes of roasted malts and a hint of brown sugar. Little-no hop flavor. A bit of honey at the finish. Nice, full body. A scotch ale true to its origins. Well done.

Photo of mntlover
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brown that you can see through with a nice tan head that leaves some nice lace behind.

Aroma is malty, leather notes, dirt peat like notes. Some nice fruit notes with touches of vanilla hidden around.

Taste is wow lots of malt, lold leather peat notes, light smoke. Tobacco flavors from the hops that are present and brought out by the carbonation. Finish is little more hoppier then the style should be but I like it and enjoyed this one a lot.

Mouthfeel is different seems chewy at first but lightens up when the hops and carbonation kicks in.

Drinkability is good will be buying this one again.

Wee Heavy-er Scotch Style Ale from French Broad Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 241 ratings.