1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

845 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 845
Reviews: 412
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 174
Gots: 183 | FT: 15
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-08-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of AleSmith Wee Heavy Alström Bros
Ratings: 845 | Reviews: 412 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mjw1200
mjw1200

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

03-26-2013 22:39:11 | More by mjw1200
Photo of Phatz
Phatz

Pennsylvania

4.72/5  rDev +13.2%

I loved this beer so much (though I am happy to have shared it with my friends) I could easily have consumed the bottle by myself. This one I will pay the $20 price tag if I can get my hands on it again.

Appearance: Pours an opaque ruddy crimson brown with a creamy tan head and notable lacing.

Smell: Spectacular aroma of dark malts, caramel, molasses, hints of chocolate, peety smoky Scotch scents, and burnt toffee.

Taste: Suggestions of cocoa, sweet malt, toffee, caramel, and burnt brown sugars start a complex path doth the adventure that is Alesmith Wee Heavy. WOW! Exceptional. I love a good wee heavy and that it is. Ripe fruit and alcohol round out the mouth and it leaves you with a hint of smoke still on the palate. A bit of alcohol compliments the flavors but does not flex to strongly.

Mouthfeel: Unbelievable smooth and silky.

Drinkability: I love this beer. Next one is going to be paired with a Padron 1926 cigar. MMM. It is a perfect night cap!

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

02-21-2007 07:46:03 | More by Phatz
Photo of Boto
Boto

Connecticut

4.72/5  rDev +13.2%

Draught: I had a sample of this at the brewery. It poured a somewhat mahogany brown color. A decent off-white head. I get the aroma of caramel malt sweetness, with a hint of peat and smokiness. There are similar notes to the taste. A full, rich, complex taste. Lovely.

02-18-2004 03:07:24 | More by Boto
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +12.7%

Appears a dark, dense mahogany with a beige head that fades into a small cap and bubbly collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, light smoke, banana flambe, and rum cake.
Taste is of the same aromas with a standout of cocoa.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, warming, & laden with caramel, vanilla, toffee, and a light smokiness running along the palate.

12-28-2006 20:26:31 | More by weeare138
Photo of Twotonsandwich
Twotonsandwich

Minnesota

4.7/5  rDev +12.7%

08-18-2014 03:56:42 | More by Twotonsandwich
Photo of beergeek279
beergeek279

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +12.7%

Served as a sample from the 750 mL bottle. The color was a dark amber/brown, with a ring of white head. The smell was a slightly smoky, slightly sweet malt. The taste started with a peaty smokiness, and then a very strong vanilla sweetness came into the taste, and finished with just a hint of the alcohol. Mouthfeel was chewy. As for drinkability, I could have quite a few of these.

Well, I'm shocked...a West Coast beer without hoppiness!! Seriously, though, this is amongst the best Wee Heavys that I've had, and hopefully I'll be able to have this one again.

04-12-2004 16:23:49 | More by beergeek279
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.7/5  rDev +12.7%

Appearance: Pouring out dark, chestnut brown with a head reminiscent of frothed milk. Alright, this starts off my inaugeral AleSmith experience!

Smell: Stongly sweet caramel malt aroma coupled with a limitless amount of peat and smoke. Touch of oak. Some dark fruits glazed in maple syrup.

Taste: Starts off with a clean maltiness which blends effortlessly with the peat and dark fruit flavors. Again, a bit of oak in the equation. A bit like a nice tawny port. The hops, though present, are restrained and unobtrusive, allowing for the dark, wine-like fruits and sweetness to dominate (though, at no point is this beer overly sweet). A little time and warmth help to coax out some additional flavors of cocoa and toasted vanilla beans. A litte more time brings out some fusel qualities.

Mouthfeel: Medium, and so very smooth.

Drinkability: Quite so. I feel "very good" is an understatement. I think it's an *outstanding* beer, and one I thoroughly recommend.

11-20-2005 04:18:26 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of tonistruth
tonistruth

Nevada

4.68/5  rDev +12.2%

A- deep mahogany color, 2 fingers of tan froth that holds brilliantly, creamy head and lacing

S- caramel malts, grapes, dried fruit, sweet

T- caramel and smokey malts, grape candy flavor, rich toffee, sweet alcohol

M- medium yet sticky and somewhat hot and coarse

D- great scotch ale, delicious and highly recommended, ages amazingly

08-02-2008 05:04:30 | More by tonistruth
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +11.5%

An incredible looking beer, this pours the deepest burgundy I've ever seen, topped by a rocky three-finger head of creaminess incarnate. Lots of lace, both splotchy and stringy...pretty much a perfect looking beer. If not, I certainly haven't seen another more beautiful. (And the bottle says it's 10% ABV...lucky me!)

Aroma is a fantastic array of smoke (mild), peat, cheesecake and berry fruits, also some cherry pipe tobacco further back, and a dim bit of leather even further back.

Flavor: first comes a big grape / berry sweetness, like real concord grape juice amped up by an exotic berry juice infusion; then several waves of bitter dark chocolate, soil, flavored pipe tobacco, and burnt raisin. That sounds a bit heavy, but it all remains on the delightfully succulent and manageable sweet side. A bit of alcohol flare rides through during and between sips, but the thin yet velvety slick mouthfeel does wonders in taming that, helping the flavors remain in the spotlight. This could've been too thick or sticky, but instead it's just right in its graceful, even gentle delivery.

Easily one of the most delicious beers I've ever had the pleasure to meet. Its bulky ABV and assertive flavors make it one I wouldn't probably want that often, but that's okay. It'll only be that much sweeter to return to. ...Now, short of trading, if I didn't have to book flight to get it, I'd really be in business...sigh...

12-16-2007 19:48:12 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of kels
kels

Virginia

4.65/5  rDev +11.5%

Shared a bottle with bamadog tonight. Been looking forward to cracking this one for awhile now.

Appearance: The beer pours into my pint glass a super dark shade of brown with the slightest hints of gold close to the head. The head starts out at a few fingers and fades slowly to a solidly retained 1/2 finger frothy tan skim. The beer is completely opaque, but an inspection of the bottom of the glass shows some chunks of sediment hanging around.

Smell: Dominant aroma in the nose is the chewy, caramel malt. It is quite sweet and sugary. Balancing it out are some roasted, almost smoky notes, like light oak or peat. Really nice smell that makes me look forward to the taste.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Wow. This beer is just delicious. I'm seriously impressed and this is one of my favorite styles - I don't judge too easily. A really nice blend of flavors is strong without being overwhelming. Sweet, toasted malts retain the caramelly presence from the nose in the taste. They meet a subtly smoky, earthy peat and present, but subdued alcohol heat. The graininess is also slightly present, almost reminiscent of rye beers, but not quite the same thing - just the best explanation I can give. Feel is a little on the lighter side, better described as moderate overall, with light carbonation that doesn't overwhelm the flavors. The aftertaste is sweet and earthy and somewhat nutty, full and rich, and is coupled with a sticky filmy feel.

Drinkability: This is definitely everything I would expect from a wee heavy. The warmth of the alcohol hangs in my chest and is pleasantly present without being too much to bear. The balance of the flavors couples nicely with the mild mouthfeel.

07-26-2009 03:40:49 | More by kels
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.63/5  rDev +11%

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer has a warm barrel brown body with a matrix of tiny bubbles gliding to the surface. There is a thick tan head that mushrooms above the glass and last for the full beer.

S- This beer has a dark caramel sweetness with a slight prune hint and a soft smoky bourbon hint of alcohol and sweetness at the finish.

T- The taste of sweet malt with a caramel flavor and toasted notes has some cream and smoky hints that increase as the beer warms a bit. The finish has a nice roasted malt bitterness and a soft cola note that supports it. As this beer warms a bit a pleasant faint coffee roasted note and some pine hops come through at the finish. The alcohol taste is a bit like red wine and is a nice compliment to the big malts.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a slight slippery texture and not real alcohol until the beer warms quite a bit.

D- This full flavored and roasted malt notes has a great flavor combined with nice smoky qualities and no band-aid flavor. The hops and alcohol balance each other nicely and let the malt do most of the talking until it warms up a bit.

03-12-2008 18:46:57 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Murph
Murph

Arizona

4.63/5  rDev +11%

Pours a deep ruby/garnet/light brown with a thick tan head that sinks to a clingy film and laces the glass very well. Huge caramel maltiness all over the nose with nice toffee/butterscotch qualities and huge sweet malty aroma. Big, sweet caramel maltiness opens up on the tongue with hints of piney/citrusy hops that are barely noticeable. The hops add little flavor but balance the brew nicely. There is also a nice toffee smoothness with just the slightest smokey maltiness in the finish. The brow flows smoothly across the tongue with a full budied mouthfeel that is not sticky in its sweetness. A massively drinkable brew, especially considering the huge maltiness. If only these excellent brews from Alesmith were available on the East Coast.
A huge thanks to thelongbeachbum for this excellent beer.

02-07-2003 11:28:59 | More by Murph
Photo of samie85
samie85

Illinois

4.63/5  rDev +11%

A-Pours a deep burgundy cola color with two fingers of thick frothy head.

S-Smells of deep, complex notes including chocolate, some spicy bourbon-like fruit notes, vanilla, and a hint of a roasted, smoky character.

T-Rich dark fruit notes and that same smokey, sort of roasted malt character with some bittersweet chocolate with a an earthy bitterness.

M-This one is on the full side of medium-bodied with low carbonation but a very rich, decadent feel with some dryness towards the finish.

D-I can't believe how easy drinking this is... there are no detectable signs of the ABV and it's a very complex beer while maintaining a balance between it's many characteristics.

06-22-2011 03:32:23 | More by samie85
Photo of gleemonger
gleemonger

California

4.63/5  rDev +11%

Hazy, dark, amber brown with a moderate tan head that goes away fairly quickly, leaving some nice cotton lacing. Very pretty beer.

Toasted malts, dark fruit, caramel, and a touch of yeast. Sweet but not overly so, makes me want to take a sip ASAP. A touch of alcohol too.

Much like the nose, the taste comes through in about the same order - toasted malts, a kind of raisiny / plum fruit flavor, mixed with some caramel malts. Almost goes the medicinal alcohol route, but stops just short, thank god. I'm really digging the roasted malt, stout character of this that isn't usually there for the style - works really nicely. Even a touch of bitter hops on the back end. Quite a bit going on here.

Thick, heavy, syrupy but not overly so. Good carbonation bite to offset.

While not my favorite Scotch Ale, a very unique and very nice take on the style, and super enjoyable. Well crafted and delicious.

10-10-2012 04:11:10 | More by gleemonger
Photo of mickeymac
mickeymac

California

4.63/5  rDev +11%

After reviewing an older bottle of Wee Heavy about two years ago, I was surprised to see that the beer was listed under another heading with an abv of 8.5%. The new bottle I recenlty picked up is listed at 9.5%. It hasn't lost any of its taste or other outstanding characteristics. Out of a 750 ml bottle, it an eye-pleasing brown with an off-white head that dimishes quickly leaving no lace. The smell is a real knockout: smoky, malty, and very earthy, with a surprisinly subtle alcohol smell. With the first smell, it was obvious that this was the ideal beer for this cold, rainy night. Although the smell is close to perfection, the taste is not a letdown. Malty but not sweet, the hops are just barely detectable but, happily, they are. This is a dangerously drinkable beer at 9.5%. Seek it out for a cold evening at home.

12-06-2004 06:19:36 | More by mickeymac
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +10.3%

I've longed to pop this one and have decided that tonight is finally the night...

A - A fingers worthy of uber-rich uber-creamy medium to dark khaki colored head that has a good share of big chunky bubbles mixed in... Slight retention gives way to an uneven but inviting lace... The color is a deep warming brown mahogany... Just a little shy of opaque... A subtle murkiness... Some microscopic carbonation bubble can be seen at the top clinging to the sides of the glass and moving at moderate pace...

S - Malt heaven... Dates... Raisins... Brown sugar... Caramel... Toffee... Brownie batter... Slightly buttery... Perfect potency... Warm and inviting... Anything more would be teetering on cloying given the overall sweetness...

T - The palette is not as sweet as nose would lead one to believe... This isn't a bad thing as the additions of peat and smoke that arrive on the palette add a wonderful complexity to this offering... The peat and smoke are first and foremost on the palette... Some subtle chocolate nuance appears as well... The malty sweetness alluded to be the nose is secondary and adds a world of complexity...

M - On the heavier side of medium bodied... A touch of lushness... A tongue full of slightly fizzy but light and enjoyable carbonation...

D - Quite quaffable especially given the 10% ABV... A world class Scotch Ale in ever facet... Stellar balance and complexity... Even and consistent... Slightly sticky...

Can't wait to try the Barrel Aged version...

12-05-2010 02:32:05 | More by philbe311
Photo of endincolorado
endincolorado

Ohio

4.6/5  rDev +10.3%

Appearance- Dark chestnut-brown with ruby highlights. One finger of light cream/tan head that recedes slowly. Great sticky lacing all the way down.

Smell- Incredible aromas of rich malt. Light notes of cocoa and hazelnut. Dark fruits; fig. Faint, fruity hops in the background.

Taste- Truly unique, and absolutely delicious. Sticky, roasted malt flavors, accompanied by more hazelnut, toffee and dark, ripe fruit. Slightest bit of alcohol warmth. Really, a wonderful beer all around.

Mouthfeel- Full body that sticks to the palate. Moderate, but appropriate carbonation.

Drinkability- Alchohol suggests some points off here, but given the incredible flavors swirling around in this brew, I'd have a hard time not downing one after another.

06-05-2009 23:03:20 | More by endincolorado
Photo of Murchmac
Murchmac

California

4.6/5  rDev +10.3%

Drank out of a bottle from City Beer Store.

Poured a beautiful cherry red highlight with a healthy head that dwindles down.

Alcohol smell, dried plums, sweet malts. Great smell.

As someone else said, does not get syrupy. Hops taste right off the bat, sweet malts, smokey aftertaste.

Great mouthfeel, dry finish. Alcohol is deceptive, you feel pretty buzzed after it.

Drop it like it's hot.

03-15-2008 20:16:52 | More by Murchmac
Photo of notchucknorris
notchucknorris

California

4.6/5  rDev +10.3%

2 year old bottle shared by Beau. Thanks, Beau!

A: Dark mahogany color with a monstrous cream colored head that lasts forever. Impressive.

S: Wow. Huge aromas of freshly baked raisin bread, cinnamon, and fig. The smell is amazing and really in your face. The beer doesn't lose any of its wonderful smell as it warms.

T: A lot of raisin bread/fruitcake taste upfront with some delicate spiciness, a little rum flavor and some brown sugar. The taste is huge and dense- like taking a handful of ripe raisins and taking a bite. There's not much in here that would indicate its high ABV except a slight dryness and warmness on the finish and a bit of a peaty/earthy taste that's left on your tongue. This is a really incredible beer.

04-09-2011 20:05:14 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of radioscooter
radioscooter

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +10.3%

Best non-McEwans Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy I have tried and found.

THIS is what the style should taste like.

Exceptional head, foamy and rich.

Dark, sweet, STRONG rich sipper with some caramel, molasses, vanilla, and just a wee bit too much coffee.

Sweetness is perfect.

Alcohol level makes it vaporize quickly off the tongue - McEwan's leaves a bit more tarry syrup behind, which I like.

They should really bottle this in some smaller bottles with some plaid on the label because this is the best Scotch Ale in America by far, and I think the best one still available period.

01-09-2011 02:19:59 | More by radioscooter
Photo of smellsofstout
smellsofstout

Arizona

4.6/5  rDev +10.3%

so frickin good.
average, rocky, light brown dimishing head. excellent lacing, brownish black color at pour.
aroma is awesome consisting of toasted malts carrying tones of toffee, molasses, cookies, brown sugar.
alcohol notes are very light taste does not disappoint. very accurate to the aroma butterscotch brown sugar.

bottom line if i ever get the chance to have this beer barrel aged i might lose my mind.

05-30-2008 19:18:19 | More by smellsofstout
Photo of Thehuntmaster
Thehuntmaster

South Africa

4.6/5  rDev +10.3%

750ml bottle 10,0% ABV
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
No bottle date.

This is going to be my first beer from AleSmith, so I am really looking forward to it - it also helps that Wee Heavy's are one of my favorite styles of beer!

Appearance: The beer pours a dark mahogany brown, however a back light transforms the colour into a beautiful deep red with bright golden edges. A rough pour yields a large cream coloured head that displays good retention and leaves sticky rings of lacing as it slowly recedes.

Smell: Ah, this smells amazing, it has been far too long since I had a good Wee Heavy. The The initial nose is quite sweet with notes of caramel, butterscotch, brown sugar and a little chocolate. These notes are soon joined by toasted malt, molasses, dark blue gum honey and sweet dark fruits (plums, dates and a touch of raisin). Warming yields a little alcohol, a hint of peated whiskey, an earthy note and a very unexpected touch of pine needles.

Taste: The flavour is not quite as sweet as the nose, but that is probably a good thing as that might make it a little tougher to finish the bottle.
Flavour notes include: Toasted malt, molasses, brown sugar, caramel, honey, dates, a hint of chocolate, an earthy character and the faintest hint of alcohol.
The finish displays a touch of bitterness and is quite dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body and quite chewy, with a medium level of carbonation. Initially the carbonation was not quite smooth enough, however after the first third of the bottle things improve drastically, with the carbonation becoming far smoother, to the point that it is almost creamy.

Overall: This is a fantastic beer, I thoroughly enjoyed it and had no problem finishing the 750. I will certainly buy this one again. I think a barrel-aged version of this must be absolutely fantastic. I hope they release it again soon.

07-17-2012 19:38:00 | More by Thehuntmaster
Photo of brewcrew76
brewcrew76

Wisconsin

4.6/5  rDev +10.3%

750 ml

A - Pours a deep brown/light black that is a magnificent mahogany when held up to the light. A 2 finger tan head remains as a light skim on top of the beer.

S - Caramel, toffee, spices, molasses and maple syrup.

T - Sweet caramel and toffee, raisins, molasses or maple syrup, slightly nutty, reminds me of the nuttiness I find in Jim Beam.

M - Medium to thick bodied and creamy with very light carbonation. It has a slight syrupy characteristic.

D - One of the best Wee Heavy's I have had. I only notice the alcohol by its warming effect.

M -

02-12-2007 00:21:08 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

4.6/5  rDev +10.3%

Pours a rich coffee color with a nice tan head.

Nose has rich roasted malts, chocolate, ripe pitted fruits, molasses, very subtle hops and peppery alcohol.

Taste has dark plums, figs, toffee, cocoa, smoked malts, cloves and herbs.

Medium to full body is well carbonated. Great example of the style from Alesmith. Tasty stuff.

08-09-2009 04:28:00 | More by rye726
Photo of WaXHeLL
WaXHeLL

California

4.6/5  rDev +10.3%

On tap @ Alesmith's Brewing facility. 4oz taster. Tasting notes from 5/1/2009. One of my favorite Alesmith beers.

Appearance: Dark brown appearance -- almost black. White foamy head dissipates quickly.

Smell: Slightly peaty and a little bit smoky. The nose is pretty complex, but is pretty light. A little bit of malt and hop mixed into the nose. Earth tones are definitely present. The nose is very Scotch like in its composition. Definitely wish the nose was stronger, as it is executed very well.

Taste: The taste is strong, but not overpowering. Tastes like a beer melded with a scotch. The peaty, smoky, and earthy flavors are definitely there, but not excessive. The beer is very complex and thick in a good way. The beer ends pretty dry, which adds to its complexity. Very tasty!

Mouthfeel: Heavy but not syrupy. There is a slight bit of carbonation which is executed very well.

Drinkability: Done pretty well, however it does hit you pretty hard. Half way between a sessions beer and a sipping beer.

Overall: Consistently one of my favorites from Alesmith -- Tasty and Complex.

05-12-2009 07:30:34 | More by WaXHeLL
AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 845 ratings.