AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

432 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 432
Hads: 1,033
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 5.24%
Wants: 189
Gots: 210 | 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: 432 | Hads: 1,033
Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

25 oz bottle, poured into a snifter at ~45 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark mahogany brown, and forms two fingers of pale tan head with fantastic retention. The head itself leaves almost sheetlike lacing on the glass as it recedes, and the rest of the lacing is appropriately thick as well.

Smell: Thick, heavy toffee and caramel, sweet and bready, rush out of the glass like kilt-clad highlanders in Pictish war paint howling a battle cry as they charge downhill, swords in hand. There's a hint of some raisin in there as well, like the wrinkled old highlander marching behind them, playing the bagpipes, caring not that he's walking into a battlefield unarmed. He's crazy, that raisin. Oh, and you can smell faint leather as well, which makes sense, because baldrics and boots and such. To battle!

Taste: That aforementioned toffee and caramel? It came to fight. Those are the first flavors that greet the tongue, the vanguard of the assault, before the rank and file troops hit as a wall of warm dark bread. Somewhere in the swirling chaos of malty melee, that raisin rings out, like strains of Scotland the Brave played within the roar of battle and the screams of the dying. As the beer moves along, tones of leather and damp, peaty earth appear, fitting for a field of war soaked in sweat and blood. The ABV also makes an appearance towards the finish, a sudden surge of heat as the victors set fire to the homes and lands of the fallen.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, full, rich, and sticky, this latches on to one's teeth and does not let go easily.

Overall: Quite a good wee heavy, with intense malt flavors and just enough earthy bitter, and the mouthfeel and appearance one wants from this style nailed perfectly. The only complaints I have, if one can even call them that, is a relative paucity of dark fruit complexity (I get only raisin from this one), and some unconcealed heat from the ABV. It's still a heck of a wee heavy, and a heck of a beer! (1,971 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bomber bottled 5/29/14 at 45 degrees into tulip
Aroma of malt
Head large (5 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, fizzy, diminishing to irregular 3-5 mm ring and partial layer with rocks
Lacing poor – rare island and partial ring
Body dark amber/brown, opaque
Flavor sweet, very malty; ends with a slight malt bitterness; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate full, syrupy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 3.75, Palate 3.75, Overall 4 (451 characters)

Photo of mattcrill
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Big fig, plum, and raisins flood the nose. Just a hint of rum with some cocoa. Clean fermentation character.

Appearance: Ruby red hazy pour with a low tan head. Head retention is good. Appears still in the glass.

Flavor: Smoky sweet bread character with a firm peppery bitterness. A hint of maple with earthy hop bitterness. Balance is to the bitterness. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste lingers with some raisin-like sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. No alcohol, creaminess, or astringency.

Overall impression: A big and bitter Wee Heavy. Nicely done Alesmith! (621 characters)

Photo of larryarms847
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark ruby brown with a huge two finger head of thick and frothy light khaki foam.

Scotch, toasted malt, dark fruit, subtle vanilla, toffee, and caramel.

The toasted malt stands out much more in flavor as well as the toffee and caramel, vanilla gently emerges in the finish.

Medium-bodied, medium carbonation, semi-chewy, sturdy, solid mouthfeel.

Overall, this definitely sits in my top 5 for this style. (413 characters)

Photo of samtrillo
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is what a scotch ale/wee heavy is supposed to be. None of that Cistomane crap from my last review. I literally went out and bought this because I poured out Cistomane's smokin Santiago. The appearance, smell, taste and mouthfeel are all top notch and spot on for the style. A lot of charred character in the after taste. Creamy and big mouthfeel you expect from a wee heavy. Great beer to cover up the shame that was Cisttomanes or whatever they called. (458 characters)

Photo of Franziskaner
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown with a red tint that is revealed when held up to light. A fingernail of beige head covers the rim and perhaps a third of the top. Aroma is of toffee and caramel. The flavor is toffee and caramelized malt. I get that subtle smokey note as it warms. I could occasionally taste the alcohol. The mouth is chewy,sticky, and viscous. (344 characters)

Photo of dcmchew
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours really dark copper with a small bubbly tan head, quick to a thick lacing.
Smells accordingly, with sweet caramelised malts, mild toast, walnut, peanut, raisin, light dark cherry, faint herbal hop, spices, alcohol.
Sweet caramel and spices right at the start, backed by nice dried dark fruit (date, fig, raisin) and some "pulpy" dark cherry. Bits of baking chocolate, pepper, brown sugar, cookie dough. Not too earthy, but there's a really nice sweet nut flavor, sugared toast too. Warm booze in the finish.
Aftertaste has nice dried fig and date, some cocoa powder and nut peel, light toasted malts. Medium body and carbonation. Just sweet enough, and the alcohol is hidden enough, tho it tends to pile up.
Great stuff, perfectly in-style, and then some. Big surprise. (774 characters)

Photo of MadCat
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Dark brown, light tan head, leaves good lacing

Smell: Caramel, fruit, and some spice

Taste: Some roasted malt and smokiness up front, bready malt and fruit

Mouthfeel: Full body, light carbonation

Overall: A very good Wee Heavy, would gladly get more if I'm in the mood for a Wee Heavy (294 characters)

Photo of spoonhawk
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer is a dark brown with deep mahogany highlights around the edges when held up to the light. The body this on the lighter side of heavy, but the feel is full and slick.

The smell is a mix of dark fruit, brown sugar, a hint of yeast, and alcohol.

The flavor opens up big with a baseline of dates and figs mixed with caramel. Hints of cocoa come through mid-sip as the alcohol enters the mix, which gives the underlying flavor something of a brandy-like quality. As the alcohol continues to push at the close, the cocoa fades and earthy hops come through.

The lasting flavor mixes dark candied fruit balanced by alcohol and light herbal and spicy hops. (661 characters)

Photo of ogasnor
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A - Dark brown, with a hint of redness to it. Held up to the light, it is hazy and cloudy with what light manages to get through. Pours with a generous two fingers head, which falls away to non-existence. There is not so much lacing as this beer sticks to the side of the glass forming legs.

S - Dark fruit: Caramel and toffee, dried cherry, figs, dates, and raisins, swimming in a dark, sugary alcohol aroma. Smells reminiscent of black rum, rich with molasses, smoke and the bitterness of burnt sugar.

T - It is as if a caramel and toffee malt bomb went off in my mouth. Tastes the same as it smells, molasses, rum and the full spread of dark fruits. The finish is a little bitter, like earthy smoke and burnt sugar dancing with dark cherries.

M - The near lack of carbonation makes this a very thick beer; combined with all the sweetness, you might think it would be syrupy or cloying. But it isn't, mostly because there is just enough alcohol to overcome the sweetness, and leave just a bit of warmth.

O - This is, without a doubt, a big beer. There is so much going on that it could have been a jumbled, incoherent mess, but instead, the flavors work with each other, and then give way to the next set of tastes. If I didn't know this was a Wee Heavy, I could believe it was a Quadrupel, or perhaps a Barleywine. (1,368 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A portion of the large bottle served in a Belgian snifter.

Pours with a dark, hazy, red-brown body. A bit of sediment in the bottle was added in the pour and soon settled to the bottom of the glass.

Excellent sweet aroma and flavor. Faint dark fruits and compatible alcohol esters. Smooth body with low carbonation. (321 characters)

Photo of Brewndruid
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

I would buy this again. Aroma of dark fruit, plums and prunes. Reminscent of warm Brown bread and molasses. Good carb. Strong but didn't seem to be boozy, slightly warming (171 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage, 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass

A- pours thick and viscous with a deep ruby-amber-brown color creamy off-white colored head reduces to a ring around the glass, leaving some alcohol legs after agitation

S- huge aromas of rum soaked cherries, raisins, figs & dates up front, reminiscent of Christmas fruit cake. Big whiffs of black strap molasses continues the sweet nose. Vinous port wine notes kick in adding a hint of chocolate, burnt brown sugar with smoky smoky dry malt close it out

T- This one is definitely a big and sweet malty bomb, reminiscent of an English barleywine. Black molasses mixes with rich caramel & toffee up front. Fruity and red-wine like flavors kick in with an emphasis on dark fruit. Light chocolate mixes with rum qualities and a hint of coffee. Nutty and earthy tones kick in providing a hint of dry smokiness on a sweet finish

M- thick and rich body with low carbonation leads to a creamy-almost chewy mouthfeel, and silky smooth slightly warming finish

O- this is definitely not one for those who aren't a fan of big sweet beers, but the complexity is quite astounding. Two years of aging seems to have blended the flavors brilliantly, even bringing our more notes that may not have been noticeable when fresh. A big, slow sipper that s among the best of the style that I've tried (1,347 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 BuckeyeSlim
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%

One of the most enjoyable wee heavies I've had in awhile. Nose is soft, but reveals a rather complex union of bready biscuit malt, rich medium-dark caramels, and hints of a leathery peat. The taste is more of the same, as fully toasted malts finish with dark caramels balanced by just enough hops to eliminate any cloying but also not make it bitter. It also softens up a bit as it warms in the glass, adding touches of toffee and lighter caramels. This is one fine beer. (475 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I can't believe I haven't had this beer until today.Pours a deep amber brown with a creamy light tannish colored head atop.Brown sugar and some meatiness in the nose,dark fruit makes it a full on malt dominated aroma.Dark fruit and caramel flavors with more sweet alcohol on top of it,very buttery with mild earth in the finish.A big sipping beer here with great full on flavors. (380 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%

A - Pours dark burgundy mahogany with a creamy, toffee colored layer of foam.

S - Plums, raisons, brown sugar, and toffee.

T - Follows the nose - dark fruit, plums raisons, some brown sugar, toffee malt, light creaminess, and some mild booziness with very mild pine bite at the end.

M - Thick, heavy medium body, velvety smooth in texture.

O - Not a style I prefer but this one is an enjoyable deviation from what I normally drink. (436 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Nose: Not big, fresh baked dark bread crust, plum, raisins and dark sugar.
Very dark but brilliant ruby tinged chestnut under a 2" very finely bubbled foam cap that descends to a thick, clingy film. Rouses easy, lacy and has legs.
Palate: A surprisingly interesting, subtle and balanced flavor profile for a beer so big and bold. Begins with rich malt with dark caramel to toffee, a suggestion of dark fruit such as plums and raisins and a light hop finish. Faint smoke.
Chewy, exceptionally creamy. medium low carbonation but very soft with a very fine bead. Some warming but not a lot for such a big beer. (607 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

22 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, deep, dark, completely opaque, mahogany color, with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic. Tons of molasses, malt, toffee and dried stone fruit.

Taste: Wow, very strong flavors of dried stone fruit, roasted malt, dark molasses and brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: A little chewy and pretty smooth, as there is very little carbonation. With an ABV of 10%, there is a very pleasant touch of alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is a damn good wee heavy, but it reminds me more of a Belgian strong ale than a wee heavy. It’s certainly more different than other wee heavy that I’ve had. Still, it’s a damn delicious beer! (824 characters)

Photo of mtomlins
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Alesmith Wee Heavy
Poured from a bomber into a stemmed tulip glass and shared with friends
(4/4/4/4/4)

Pours clear and very deep, dark brown with a thin creamy head that falls fast and leaving bits of lacing. This beer has a massive nose full of ripe pit fruit (prunes, plums) and raisins, sweet chocolate and caramel. On the palate, the rich, dark fruit stars, but lots of sweet chocolate and milky nugget. The finish dries out a bit and ends relatively clean, a really nice surprise! It has medium body and low carbonation leaving this beer smooth and silky. A really nice wee heavy! (591 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. 04/04/2013 bottled date.

(A)- Pours a pretty dark burnt sienna brown with ruby red highlights. Some good tan colored froth.

(S)- Sweet but grainy with a nice raisin malty aroma.

(T)- Ever so slight roast meets nutty raisin and molasses. Ever so slightly grainy and bready on the finish. Tiny bits of cocoa.

(M)- A nice carbonation level meets a really nice balance of grainy malts and raisin.

(O)- An excellently balanced Wee Heavy with great depth and complexity without being too sweet or cloying. (540 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter; no bottle dating, but has a store price tag dated 11/2/2012. Pours nearly opaque dark brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big raisin, prune, fig, cherry, caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, brown bread, nuttiness, chocolate, cocoa, light smoke, leather, tobacco, herbal, and toast/yeast earthiness. Incredible complexity and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and fruity yeast ester notes; with great strength. Taste of big raisin, prune, fig, cherry, caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, brown bread, chocolate, cocoa, smoke, leather, tobacco, herbal, and roast/yeast earthiness. Minimal earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, prune, fig, cherry, caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, brown bread, chocolate, cocoa, smoke, leather, tobacco, herbal, and roast/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of dark/roast/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; with an awesome malt/yeast balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a smooth, creamy, and moderately slick/bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible Scotch ale! All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and moderate fruity yeast ester flavors; and extremely smooth to sip on for the big ABV. An extremely amazing offering. (1,620 characters)

Photo of bpasquini
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark amber/brown color, leans more toward dark brown, but while in the glass it is more brown/black, leaves a decent tan colored head off of the pour, but the head lingers for awhile, great color to this beer

S: Initial smell is smoke, broken down hops, and caramel, but as the beer warms you get those smells plus toffee and vanilla, the warmer it gets the sweeter the smell gets, it is very well blended and smells really good

T: Up front you get a tame smokiness, broken down hop character, and caramel, in the middle you get a bit of everything from the nose, and on the finish there is more vanilla and a little sweeter than the middle, very well balanced and a great taste to it

M: This beer is thick, but not syrupy, more chewy, the light amount of sweetness prevents that, and oily, but it goes with this style of beer very well, great mouthfeel to it

O: Great beer, new to this style but loved this beer, may have to stock up on this and save some for this winter, definitely recommend this beer! (1,020 characters)

Photo of Leesure
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 25oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Look: rich caramel color with a thin creamy head.

Smell: malty and yeasty with hints of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: a little thin for a Wee Heavy, but pleasant with just the right amount of carbonation.

Taste: spot on for the genre. Loads of mulch and caramel and vanilla. I did not get any of the smoke that is mentioned on the label, but that was just fine by me.

Overall: a very pleasant poor. I would definitely drink it again. I know they make a barrel-aged version and I would love to try it. Perhaps that could compare to my favorite wee heavy, the backwoods bastard. (620 characters)

Photo of tmzl
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Year old bottle.

Look: Dark, golden pour with huge, thick (small bubbles at start), creamy, light mocha head. Has medium speed retention (small bubbles breaking down into bigger ones and then collapsing), goes down with some sticky lacing, leaves creamy, puffy top layer. The layer leaves some fine lacing when you drink it. It's clear, deep, dark amber, can barley see through.

Smell: Rich yet smooth and fresh. First association are raisins in sugary scotch. The fruity part is mostly dark fruits, white grapes, plums and some dry fruits like raisins. It creates most of the fresh part. Malt character is also very well developed - burned and brown sugar, honey, molasses, light smoke, milk chocolate and roast. Nothing spikes out, it's smooth and pleasant. Also some oak and earthy notes to play with the present alcohol, scotch notes. Alcohol/fusel is noticeable, but suits the overall complexity and is not distracting.

Taste: Medium heavy molasses, honey, caramel, chocolate start, continues the same path to full-on molasses with smoke (ash; stronger than in smell) and roast sweetness. Dark, dry fruits, raisins with scotch/rum stick around. Ends with light alcohol/stronger scotch and medium sweetness - that creates medium bitterness with light sour. Also some oak comes out in the after-taste. Lots of caramel and molasses sweetness stays on your lips when time goes on.

Mouthfeel: Full medium heavy, melting carbonation, very creamy and smooth. Light warming of the alcohol at the end, but goes with the overall concept and it should be there.

Overall: Probably one of the best examples of this style, the alcohol notes are present but get a bit annoying only in the taste (that last spike of bitterness). Smell is rich and smooth, could smell it all day, the taste is smooth enough and makes me appreciate the scotch ale style a bit more (not my favourite). The appearance and mouthfeel are superb. A bit of ageing could probably make it even smoother. (1,972 characters)

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AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 432 ratings.