AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

434 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 434
Hads: 1,034
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 8.1%
Wants: 189
Gots: 212 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 04-19-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 434 | Hads: 1,034
Photo of ibbjamin
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $14.99 for a 750ml bottle from Perry's Liquor in Livermore, CA. Poured into a large snifter to review.

Gives a big head; off white and tightly knit with some frothage up top. Dark brown in color with deep ruby coming through when held to a bright light. A nice quarter inch layer of retention and thick trails of lace.

Aroma is sweet and malty yet still well balanced with a touch of earthy hops. Mild fruity notes of plum and raisin and even hints of thick molasses and toffee. Not a very big nose, but intriguing and complex nonetheless.

The first mouthfull reminds me quite a bit of an imperial stout; dark chocolate and expresso with roasted malts.

The mouthfeel differs from that of a stout though as it is not quite full bodied and not nearly as thick and viscous. Still relatively thick and goes down nice and creamy. Lively carbonation and nice drinkabilty.

This is one style of beer that varies greatly from beer to beer. I thought this to be a more mild Imperial Stout than some of the other's I've tried in its style. (1,039 characters)

Photo of BHopp12
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 ML Bottle

A: Black with an almost slight reddish tint with a small off white head with little carbonation

S: Some roasted notes, bits of vanilla, getting the hints of malt and bit of alchohol

T: Slight smoke flavor with hints of caramel and malt flavors with a nice finish. Alcohol is hidden pretty well

M: Low carbonation with a borderline think feel

O: As expected I was not dissapointed at all in this beer! I was expecting a lot from an AleSmith and I was impressed! Very good beer. (495 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle split with blackie, obtained in a trade with Solomon420

appearance: poured into a chalice, dark plum-garnet-mahogany body, light beige/khaki head with only slight lacing

smell: nice wee heavy aromas...raisin, sweet malt, milk chocolate tones, light booze, caramel, booze covered cherry, fig

taste: This is a very nice scotch, but the alcohol is a bit hot which makes this one quite obviously inferior to the Lake Louie's in my eyes...booze is way too hot for me but if you can get beyond that you have a nice smooth scotch...milk chocolate covered raisin, booze covered cherry, plum and other dark fruit, roasted grain, sugar sweet malt

mouthfeel: nice smooth body with a big alcohol follow through

drinkability: judged to the highest standard, its a little underwhelming (799 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with a half inch tan head. It smells like caramel, peat, toffee and molasses, overall the aroma is very sweet and malty. The beer tastes like caramel, raisins, toffee, figs, burnt coffee and a bit of licorice. Mouthfeel is full, but with a good bit of carbonation that I think is too much for this beer. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and creamy, but as the beer warms the alcohol heat is very noticable in the finish. It's definitely a sipper. Still, I think this is a good wee heavy. I would buy this one again. (581 characters)

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good dessert beer.

Pours a dark brown with ever-so-slight red tinges. Thick foamy head that leaves thick, coating lace.

Nose is roasty and sugary sweet malts.

Flavor is a nice sweet, roasty beer. Some nice overripe plums. Bits of roastiness but it does not linger and is gone with each sip. Which is a nice difference. Some toffee and caramel as well. The alcohol definitely jumps out at you. Cannot miss it as it kind of tingles throughout each taste.

Medium body--thought it would be heavier. The alcohol burn might be a bit too much for some.

A nice slow drinking beer. (593 characters)

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opaque brown, looks delicious but it's not going to win a beauty contest. I say 3.5/5 horseshoes.

Smell: Alcohol, dark fruits, scotch duh right?, maybe some caramel and cherry's playing tricks on my mind. 3.5 out of 5 four leaf clovers, the alcohol is kinda overwhelming.

Taste: Taste exactly like a less alcoholic version of Old Stock Ale. I mean exactly. Strong bourbon, cherries (claims a wiseman), malts, and alcohol, and alcohol. EDIT: "other wiseman" now tastes chocolate.

Burp: Chinese food? We didn't have Chinese food tonight...

Mouthfeel: Thick creamy and delicious. If you swish a lot it gets frothy. 4.0 magical bunny rabbits out of 5. (You know the kind that come out of a hat)

Drinkability: It's delicious, nutritious, and taste like alcohol. This will get you all sorts of fudged up. High alcohol. Enjoy if your team is losing a game (867 characters)

Photo of hoppymeal
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cola brown to black in color with reddish hues and a small light tan colored head. Aroma is sweet and smoky, molasses and chocolate with some nice smokiness, not a roastiness as much as smoke alone. First sip shows a rich and fairly full body with flavors of caramel and buttery toffee, rich sugary malts have their way for a good long time on the tongue before a slightly acidic, slightly dry finish that leaves a pleasing smoky aftertaste. There is a hint of a peppery spiciness that helps to balance the richness. A nice enjoyable beer, it feels like it would be a great accompaniment to a nice cigar to cut through the big sweet body and blend with the already smoky flavors. (692 characters)

Photo of beergoot
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Deep hued, garnet colored body with a thin yet persistent, creamy, off-white head. Caramel, raisin, and booze scents. Heavy, syrupy flavors; raisin, anise, licorice, booze, caramel and burnt sugar; bitter. Dense, full-bodied mouthfeel; lots of residual sugars.

Big and bold, tempered by an even-keeled smoothness and respectable complexity. Rather tame in the looks and smell departments, and the feel has a somewhat weak, watery aspect, but taste-wise, a lot is offered. Worth checking out... (494 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bring for sending this impressive, hefty-looking Alesmith bomber in a fall '09 trade. Devoured on vacation, split with my mother & wife, June '10.

Emerges like a dark & stormy night, turbid red. Fairly standard for a wee heavy, peat, scotchy malts are in the house.

This is a good Wee Heavy. Hand hard on the scales of the sweet malts, with a baseboard of smokiness & peat holding it up & restraining it from going hard-candy, like a fire on the upland Moors. Toffee, wee bit o' caramel pop out of the mix. Very easy to drink for the style, almost light on its feet. Seven-eight ounces of this stuff just doesn't last very long.

Very good beer, & spot-on example of the style. I've been consistently impressed with Alesmith, & this one's no exception. (767 characters)

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

Nose- Nutty, toffee, sweet sugary phenols, caramel toastiness

Taste & Mouth- Buttery, toffee, powdered chocolate, roasted chestnuts. It manages to be uber sweet while staying just south of cloying thanks to baked and roasty flavors. Just a touch of figs. Slick and creamy. There's also a bit of light, soft, dark-wheat bread (think outback steakhouse bread loaf). Light fizzle of carbonation picks it up and carries it across the finish line with a big comeback from the roasty, nutty and toffee flavors. Nice earthy hops come through very lightly at the end.

Drink- A very nice beer and it certainly holds its own. Not sure it quite lives up to it's status for me. I would say Founder's DB beats it hands down, but they are very different. This is much lighter and softer in it's flavors than DB, which has more robust dark fruit profile. Neither are like the true "wee heavy" styles from Scotland (Traquair, Bellhaven, Orkney) which disappoints me. (952 characters)

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

Scotch ales are typically very caramelly and the alcohol heavy. I am looking for a very robust flavor and have never been disappointed by Alesmith ales. Give me a great Scotch ale!

The Wee Heavy Scotch ale pours nice and dark. I think I may have overdone the pour as I ended up with a little too much head (not a bad case when you're not talking about beer). It's probably going to be a little flat for me. The head is nice and sticky and has some staying power. It sits atop a nice dark and thick brown body.

The nose is very sweet. Almost like a wine or blunt cider. Very little hops or peat roasting evident. The Wee Heavy reminds me more of a barleywine.

There is a very caramel-like taste coming through. I love it. The malts are roasted to perfection. Not much hop bitter on the back end, but that's not what Scotch ales are about.

I cannot judge the mouthfeel aside from body. My daughter knocked over the bottle and totally ruined the conditioning. It seems like it would be balanced, however. Wee Heavy is a very heavy-bodied beer, though, and I think I like a little less in Scotch ales. The caramel notes and a slightly lighter body would be heavenly and...

...really improve the drinkability. As it stands, the Wee Heavy taste is outstanding. Like I said, a lighter body would be nice, but I understand it's hard to get the sweetness without some viscosity. Overall Alesmith has not let me down again. (1,420 characters)

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

Poured into a Cigar City snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown with hints of red, 2 finger tan foam that sticks around for awhile.

S: sweet caramel, molasses, hints of hops and smoke.

T: Sweet with caramel and molasses, raisins and malts, smoke is nice and more prevalent than in the nose, a nice mild hop finish. Booze is disguised well in this.

M/D: modest carbonation, thick bodied beer. It had a nice balance to the beer, wasn't overly sweet and the booze was barely noticeable. (479 characters)

Photo of IceAce
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown body with flashes of ruby around the edges. Nose is haevy with earthy malt sprinkled with an occasional alcohol ester.

Entry is an eye-opening combo of deeply roasted malt and mouth-pleasing fullness. The full malty goodness continues thru the midtaste while the finish is a decadent mix of malt, piney hop, and alcohol.

This brew just pleads to be served with a slow-cooked brisket. (408 characters)

Photo of avaulteriam
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one was pretty big. Smell was initially strong of tootsie rolls and dark chocolate. Eventually, dark fruits came out. The taste was different, almost no hop character, other than the what is supposed to be there. Smokey and silky. Nice body, though somewhat one dimensional. Could have used some more chocolate character perhaps? (334 characters)

Photo of IrishRedRock
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful bottle, as seen in the picture. Popped the cap off to hear no hiss of escaping carbonation. Poured some into a snifter, same result. Uterrly, lifelessly flat. Like red wine. Thankfully, it doesn't need any carbonation to taste nice. Aroma is limited, as you might guess, from not having any head atop, but traces of nutmeg, spice, chocolate and malt vinegar are evident in the nose.

Mouthfeel is flat and without carbonation, but "smooth" (no carbonation). Dark fruits are the most prominent flavor to balance the thick chewy malt and the touch of alcohol. Hoppy burps taste like cherries and plums. One I would gladly drink again, especially if the bottle had the carbonation I think it's supposed to have. Maybe AleSmith had some QC problems with this? I dont know. I'll give it a go again, if I should come across it. (834 characters)

Photo of Floydster
3.81/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Glass at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach for six dollars this afternoon, wanted to try this as soon as possible before cracking my barrel aged version in the next couple weeks

This was only the second scotch ale or wee heavy style beer, so I do not have much to base the taste off of other than its overall characteristics as a beer

Poured into glassware that looked a flower vase with a deep brown color with burgundy accents throughout, resembled chocolate syrup, 3/4 inch creamy light tan head that stuck around for quite some time, good lacing as well

Smell was a bit overwhelming because of all the different things going on, lots of chocolate, some molasses, toffee, caramel, vanilla, other sweet malts, and a faint hoppy aroma

Taste was very good with malt that attacks the taste buds, I got maple syrup, figs, and dark fruit at the beginning, particularly plums and raisins, lots of brown sugar and a little cinammon, when the beer warmed it got even sweeter but surprisingly easier to drink because it was not as carbonated, miniscule hop profile provides some balance but all the different tastes are subtle enough that the beer is not overpowering with any one quality, got chocolate flavors told the end along with other candy-like sweetness, overall this was a great tasting sipper

Very nice thick body but too much carbonation, would have went down a lot smoother if it was not so cold and there were less bubbles, taste lasted a long time, good mouthfeel

I could drink another one of these maybe, it is heavy on the stomach and too sweet at times, not a session beer in any sense, the ABV is high enough to knock somebody on their backside as well

Cannot wait to try the BA version now, not Alesmith's best but still damn good, would definitely have again, next time out of a bottle to see the difference from the draft version, highly recommended even though it is an expensive beer (1,901 characters)

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This is a BIG beer. Unlike some other 10% ABV that surreptitiously sneak up on you, this one bares its character with the first sip.

Pours sort of muddy-brown, with scant head that quickly fades. Aroma is a touch smokey, peaty, and alcohol ester-y. Unmistakenly Scotch Ale. Flavor is a smokey, butter-scotch-y, slightly sweet, and peaty. Very good. Mouthfeel is odd - simultaneously both sweet and dry.

I know I've had this before - can't believe I haven't rated it. Thanks to SurlySober for bringing it up from Cincinnati.

This isn't a beer for every occasion, but it's good. Enjoyed this out of one of my thistle glasses...just kidding - it was from a tulip. (663 characters)

Photo of Teleweizen2
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - pours a deep opaque brownish black. A rigorous pour yields a froathy tan foam approximately 3 fingers worth but quickly dissipates to a thin film. Leaves a touch of spotty lacing on the glass.

S - the nose is deep and rich. Toffee, caramel and hints of butterscotch serve as a base. Notes of cherries, raisins, and plums while hints of dusty cocoa powder and wood add complexity.

T - flavors of silky caramel, whole grain toast, and hints of wood and butterscotch. A noticable yet smooth hint of booze in the center along with flavors of chocolate, raisins and cherries. More malty sweetness on the backend. Medium length finish.

M - full bodied. Creamy texture. High carbonation.

O - interesting take on a scotch ale. While it has plenty of rich malt character there are plenty of other flavors which keep it in balance. (829 characters)

Photo of dogfooddog
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

nose is a concern, note is vaguely like vinegar, with hints of raisins or other dark-sweet fruits. Not what I would expect from any scottish ale.

taste is much better - sweet glowing sense of old ale (not barleywine), hints of fruit or other typical notes. Lacks the character this style gains from wood-fermentation, though I see such a variant does exist.

this is not my favorite wee heavy, but a very decent example with improves into the bottle and higher temperature. I would really like to try the wood-aged version of this... (539 characters)

Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black cherry red body shows a high level of carbonation and hosts a deep tan head with large bubble concentration. Nose is very fragrent with strong tones of dark chocolate cherry and malt. Screams for a sweet ride ahead. Lichtly burnt malty goodness enters toe mouth. Very seet as previewed by the nose. Body is long and noticeabley high in alchol. Many characteristics resemble port greatly. Malty feel is doninent throughout and almost syrupy twords the finish. A extremely sweet over the top Scotish style. Mouthfeel is of sweet burnt malt. You couldnt drink much more than one of these 25 oz. 9% alc. bottles. (614 characters)

Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep dark brown with some light beams in the shallow end. Off white cream head stays low on the border.

S: Like brandy and scotch, whew! Don't know what to think about this as those are the only flavors i get on the nose.

T: Less brandy and even less scotch, but some port, peat, pinot noir, caramel malts, and finally some dark fruits. ->That's drawing a lot out of it, the taste is overall mild.

M: Low carbonation and could actually use a little more of it.

O: Meh, probably won't buy again, but it is really a decent beer. (540 characters)

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Downtown Wines in Boston for $14.20.

Pours dark brown with cherry red hints. The head is smallish but never dissapears and coats the glass in creamy lace. The aroma shows brown sugar, vanilla, mollases and a good amount of booze. The taste is more complex. Fresh bread, licorice, stewed pears dusted in cocoa powder, toasted oak, rum soaked christmas cake, raspberry jam and English hops all pack into the flavor. The mouthfeel is thinner than I expected with a wonderfully textured carbonation. The finish is too boozey.

This beer is probably better with age. Its nicely complex and nuanced, but too sweet and boozey for my tastes. (658 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: mahogany tending towards black. Two fingers of a tan head that fade slowly and leave a lacing behind. Red hues through light and noticeable clarity through thinner sections

Smell: super malty and super sweet. Caramel and toffee and brown sugar. Some roasty to smokey malts as well. Lots of peat and earthiness.

Taste: opens up with sweet caramel, toffee and brown sugar. Next comes some roast and smoke mixing with the peat. A hint of alcohol but not much

Mouthfeel: starts of a bit creamy but ends up bitter from earthy hops, peat and smoke. Good thick mouthfeel

Overall: good big beer. Lots of sweetness but too much peat, smoke and roast for me. Also I am not the biggest fan of the bitterness. (714 characters)

Photo of DogFood11
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 poured into a tulip it forms a tan head that leaves ring like lacing and the head fades to an out ring. Deep copper to brown body with medium carbonation.

This is one of those brews that you can get almost everything thats going to happen from the smell and appearance. Very rich chocolaty, deeply toasted and slightly charred give it some bitterness (although not much) and a bit of a smokehouse backer, add in the sweet side of caramel malts and you have the backbone and it translates to the taste nicely. As it warms it shows off more of the fruity phenols but its still takes some due dilligence to find.

Notes: I thought this was a bit of a boozy brew in the smell and taste and sometimes a little harsh around the edges. Porter'ish w/ a tough finish. I absolutely love Alesmith beers. They've set such a high standard that for this brewery this was just ok to me. Still well above average for the style. (920 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a CCB snifter. No bottle date. Shame, Alesmith! Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Deep brown. A bit translucent. Decent retention and lacing.

Smell - Butterscotch and caramel. Everything you'd expect from a scotch ale. But hops? What is that? Way too hoppy.

Taste - Much like the smell. Caramel, toffee, butterscotch. It's all cut by the hop flavor. Strong hoppy flavor in the finish, without being bitter. Too much.

Mouthfeel - Good mouthfeel. The hop bitterness cuts the sweetness. Really nice. Not bitter, but balanced.

Overall - Off-style from the hops. Good, but not what I expected. (619 characters)

AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 434 ratings.