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AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

985 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 985
Reviews: 427
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.62%
Wants: 187
Gots: 208 | FT: 14
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: BeerAdvocate on 03-08-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 985 | Reviews: 427 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gpcollen1
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I believe this one is about one year old.

Poured gently into my Smutty Big Beer glass. A bit of head rises and gently fades. A dark brew that shows a bit of a dark red hue when held to the light. Aroma is smokey, roasty, peaty as should be. Taste is lightly sweet with a very strong dark roasted chocolatey presence - almost overboard for the style. This is one fantastic brew but kind of swayed from center of style for me. I do prefer some of the more subtle ones...

Photo of jeffjfindley
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black body with mahogany feet. Ample head with fine retention. Smell is of massive malt, and a bit leathery. Taste is explosive, if not complex. Sweet malt, and alcohol dominate, with a dark chocolate acidity on the finish, and a bit more hops than I expected. Mouthfeel is rich and airy, downright poofy actually. Predictably viscuous, sticky head.

This is a huge beer, and a pleasure to drink. The lack of complexity makes the 22 oz. bottle a bit laborious, but the balance is astounding.

Photo of Pencible
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured a translucent dark mahogany with a bit of light tan head. It smelled like dark oak and smoke and raisin and honey wheat, with some roasted cocoa beans. It tasted like charred oak and roasted cocoa and barley, with some honey wheat and molasses. It was thick with silky carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this had a great malty flavor and fantastic body. However, the alcohol flavor became quite apparent as the beer warmed, which made it a bit less easy to drink. This wasn't as succulent as the other AleSmith beers I've tried, but it still seemed fitting for the style. I just personally prefer the sweeter malts, rather than the heavier ones like this. This beer was actually reminiscent of Immort Ale, with the huge charred oak flavor, but this was better in every way.

Photo of halo3one
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of magictrokini
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark mahogany with a thick tan head. Nutty, smoky aroma with smoe caramel. The taste is phenomenal. Toasty malts and buttescotch with a hint of bittersweet chocolate. Finish is creamy and sweet. One of the first Scotch Ales Iv'e had and easily one of the best. Just an awesome beer.

Photo of epyon396
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of harryhops
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of maltlikker
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark, almost opaque mahogany. Lots of marshmallowy smooth tannish head and sticky lacing. Robust aromas of figs, black cherries, huge maltiness, a wisp of alcohol..Awesome so far...Flavor is enormous and malty-sweet. Right away flavor of the barrell aging, morphs into some roasty bitterness and finishes off a little bitter, but delicious. This is excellent and heavy beer. Still not as good as McEwans, but a fine replacement. Expensive at $10.49 for pint+9oz. but worth it. Find and drink for "thas is fookin grrayt bee-ah...."

Photo of jmz62565
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear blood red mahogony with a large foamy tan head. Very nice lacing and a long lasting head make this beer a good looking brew. The smell is strong with " bisquity" aromas along with alcohol,dark fruit, and sweet malt. The taste is like a barleywine, dark fruit, bready flavors, and sweet malt. This is kind of mellow,but it would be better if I aged this. The m/f is heavy with all flavors mixing well. A very good beer that could be great if cellared properly.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hollingshead's and served in a Chimay goblet, on to the beer:

The beer is really a dark reddish brown, but in the goblet it looks black. Good head on top of it. Aroma is sweet and alcoholic. Interesting change of events in the taste. For the first portion of my sample it tasted like smoked chocolate with a kick of alcohol. But the farther I got along with the beer, it started to taste like red grapes, pixie candy and raisins. The booze was still there, and an afteraste of molasses lingers. Body is medium to medium-heavy.

This is one strong wee heavy, it pushes the boundaries of the style with its raw strength. My one nitpick is it isn't as drinkable as other wee heavy's I've had.

Photo of regspeir
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired in a trade, served this in a snifter. Pours dark brown, almost black with a large, thick, coffee-colored, two-finger head which settled only to a half-finger. Nose is is some dark fruit (figs, plums)brown sugar and a heavy dose of scotch or brandy. Taste is sweet- brown sugar, toffee, caramel, dark fruits - a little roasted coffee, peat and a liberal dose of scotch/brandy and accompanying warming. There is a nice bitterness in the end to ameliorate all that sweetness up front. Mouthfeel is fairly heavy with a decent amount of carbonation. Watch out 'cause you certainly aren't aware of the ABV. This is a very nice offering, although Alesmith seems to seldom miss. They certainly didn't with this one.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ole 750 mL bottle and it's mine, all mine! 9.5% ABV, eh? Well...

Dark crimson hued pour allowing nary a scant light through loaded with rising beading bubbles to a rock solid tan khaki dense pillowy head cap that slides a coating of lace down the glass.

Scents from this Wee Heavy remind me more of a pilsner-esque aroma which surprises me for the style. Subtle wafts of peat and smoky malts round out the nose complimented by a bit of almond extract.

First swigs: Smoked malt front with a blend of peat and chocolate cake. A touch of cocoa and a dryness that that immediatley is felt. Sweetness is kept in check with a delicate caramel and a kiss of anise.

Frothy feel with a creaminess and richness. Soft restrained carbination. Dry finish with a linger of booziness.

Last swigs: Cocoa and delicate smokey Scotch. Quite exquisite and enjoyable. Always happy to try new Alesmith bres.

Beer is good. Happy West coast "last bottle on the shelf" beering.

Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a bottle in California, consumed after the Bruery release party. Thanks ME!

Beer served in a Bruery tulip. Beer is brown and pretty hazy with a big off white head of small bubbles. Head falls away quickly and leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is high, looks good.

Mildly caramelly, mildly peaty, mildly sweet, smells good but I wanted more volume.

Beer is medium bodied and has a lot of carbonation on the palate. Its sweet up front with some caramel notes in the midpalate region and follows it up with nice malt presence and clean finish that isn't dry. Drinkability is high and I really liked this beer. I'm very interested in the barrel aged version of this beer now because I think this would take the barrel notes well, more wood more alcohol, sounds good to me.

Photo of srhoadsy
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served slightly chilled into a snifter.

Pours a sable brown with half an inch of dark tan head that recedes leaving moderate surface layer and moderate lacing.

Aromas of caramelized sugars, dried fruits with a hint of mineral and alcohol in the background.

Flavors follow through the aromas with a touch of bitter coffee.

Medium to heavy bodied with moderate carbonation and a sweet finish and moderate aftertaste.

Overall a very nice beer. My only complaint is that I expect a little more smoky flavor from the style. Would go very nice with some sweet BBQ.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2000 Vintage, Sampled January 2006
This beer pours with a thin, yet well defined, tight amber tinged, dark tan colored head. The beer is a deep amber brown color that is opaque when held up to the light. The aroma is still rich and concentrated; notes of smooth aged malt, figs, prunes, hints of date, and some slight sherry. Laying on top of the aroma is a dusty character, which may have been contributed by the cork. The aroma is quite intense and still quite intriguing. The fruitiness seems to be the dominant character at this point.

The taste is lightly sweet up front, and quickly picks up a concentrated fruitiness reminiscent of figs and prunes. The finish has a bit of roast character to it that reminds me of a brown malt. The body has thinned out considerably, but the malt character is still intense and even fruity, which helps to make this beer satisfying. There is a bit of a phenolic note in the finish, which seems to be all that is left of some smokey character.

I would have to say that this beer is past its prime, but certainly not by much. I really like the combination of the aged malt character with the rich fruit notes. They pair well together and make this beer rich and satiating despite the body, which has thinned out over the years.

Photo of farrago
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finger plus of moderate tan color, frothy with many scattered bubbles throughout, causing some hills and vales, simmers down to the surface with only few, if thick streaks of lacing. The liquid is about the darkest brown possible, but not black, deep amber glow hums at the glass bottom. Gargantuan malty nose of molasses, maple syrup, butterscotch, vanilla fudge, creamed coffee with cherry, plum, fig, golden raisin fruit scents, spiced oatmeal, hops close to absent, any peat or earth a cursory embellishment, just lays on the sweetness. Full-bodied, possesses a high roast which is not exactly typical for a wee heavy, at times drinks as much like an imperial stout. That noted, has a deeper sourness to the cherry, raspberry, apple fruit, lessening the raisin, fig, date accents. More orange peel here, brightens the chocolate, molasses, toffee flavors. Presents an appreciated sort of booziness, this spreads across the palate due to the fluffy foam of carbonation. Vanillin flavors rise through the finish, The earth, peat moss, forest scrub murmurs but never clearly enunciates. The sheer verve of the flavors outstrips its flaws, in the end appears to be seeking "imperial wee heavy" status.

Photo of baggio
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle@Sorbon

A: Deep brown with a decent sized head. Lots of lacing.

S: Malt (lots of it), Cocoa, Caramel, Sugar, Dark bread.

T: Molsasses, Cocoa, Malt, Sugar, Hint of honey, Ripe fruit.

M: This is a very powerfull beer with thick liquid and lots of sweetness.

One bottle of this brew could be shared among 5-6 people easily. It is very demanding but also very rewarding. Almost a bit too much of the malty goodness. Still, it makes a nice sipper!

Photo of billshmeinke
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Body looks black with touches of ruby red at the edges. An off white frothy one finger head tops it off. Good retention and lacing.

Smells kinda like a mixed berry pie and a hint of peat or earthiness. Lots of berries in the nose. Quite sweet smelling, but it's not incredibly pungent.

The taste is quite similar, mixed berry pie, grape juice, and a touch of caramel. Then earthy, peaty, resinous, and slightly spicy hops kick in. Mixed berry juice and earthy/resiny hops linger.

The mouthfeel is rather light for such a big beer. Smooth and creamy carbonation and a spicy slightly alcoholic finish that's warming on the tongue on the way down.

The beer is incredibly easy drinking, especially for such a high abv beer.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

nice take on a scotch ale, less peaty and smoky than many out there, this is driven by malt sweetness rather than earthiness, but retains some of the quintessential characteristics of the style. dark brown amber color, dense looking, without a short lived tan head. a nose of sweet musty grain, caramel malt, brown sugar, and smoke. the taste isn't that sweet though, only a little in the finish when it warms up and the booze comes out to play a little bit. its not as full bodied as i like mine to be, but it helps this drink pretty easy. a beer that almost demands food. smoked meats, cured meats and cheeses, even bread pudding all leap out at me as foods that this beer was made for. well hidden abv for the most part too. well made bottle, a must share though at this strength and density.

Photo of DanGeo
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of pengs68
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dixonian for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a brownish color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the peat smoke, with some toffee and caramel malt thrown in. The flavor is a bit more complex. I get some nice toffee and dark fruit notes, along with a hint of peat smoke and some light alcohol notes. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice Scotch ale, glad I got to try this one.

Photo of Altenor
4/5  rDev -3.8%

AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 985 ratings.