AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,028 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,028
Reviews: 436
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.62%
Wants: 191
Gots: 209 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,028 | Reviews: 436
Photo of Oxymoron
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is actually a year old vintage. Pours a mostly clear dark brown color with a definite red hue. Some sediment in the bottle made it to the party but mostly kept in the bottle. A very thick, fluffy head with some good staying power and lacing through the entire tasting.

The nose is rich in malt and complexity. Big kettle caramel notes with a hint of roast. A light meaty aroma as well. There is a very clean yeast aroma with some lighter plums and fig notes. Very clean with great legs and appeal.

The taste is similar. To start there is a great malt presence that lingers through the whole taste. The kettle caramel is there but just a tad lighter than the nose indicated. Some more sugary notes with a light honey and molasses thing on the backend. A nice creamy taste and very clean malt taste but a hint of a chalkiness on the backend. The yeast is noticeable but very clean. Some alcohol but blends very nicely with that malt for a great finish.

The body is closer to moderate than full. Some residuals really leave this boarder line though. Carbonation is light but leaves a creamy feel. Overall a fantastic beer. Some minor off notes but one of the best Wee Heavy's I have ever had.

Photo of bradford
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bought a couple bottles at the BevMo in San Luis Obispo, CA on 8/10/07
Appearance was very dark red with a small white head that remains for the duration of the glass
Smelled very much like a stout but with a slight smokiness that is the all-to farmiliar Scotch ale malts. perhaps some Pete malt?
Tasted fantastic. Tons of malt. More than expected in a brew renound for maltiness. Also lots of alcohol on the tongue which can either work brilliantly for a beer, or be it's ultimate downfall. I like the alcohol in Rochefort 10, but not so much in the Kentucky Breakfast Stout. It works very well for this offering.
Mouthfeel was a winner again. Very thich mouthfeel, that is helped in the throat with the alcohol. This beer feels on the palate like a 10+% abv beer, not the advertised 9.5%.
Drinkability was good on this one. It will be savored though and not drank like a weiss on this warm evening. I am already looking forward to my next glass. Great stuff. Highly reommended.

Photo of vladtheimpaler
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml. This is one of the best made beers you will find anywhere!. Pours a deep orange-brown with a nice tan head. massive rich malty aroma that reminds me of a fine German dopplebock of the best quality. Huge toffee and carmel notes. Sensational! Flavrs consist of explosive malts and carmel flavors, once again like a dopple. Very rich and desert like. Full mouth feel. Very drinkable, but it does go right to your head. Yummylicious.

Photo of marc77
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear deep garnet hue. Beige head slowly recedes into a tight layer. Sparse lace. Rich, buttery malt and nutty, toffeeish sweetness, along with a hint of roasted barley in aroma. Caramelized sugar atop a buttery malt undertone. Very chewy aromawise. Mellow, burnt caramel sweetness lingers on the palate briefly, then widens into a continuation of the aroma-- buttery, nutty and quite rich. Trace fruitiness. Mild hop bitterness offsets malt sweetness sufficiently to prevent cloying residual sweetness. Hint of heaty alcohol. Moderate bodied, smooth, and very quaffable. Finishes w/ a hint of treacle sweetness lingering briefly. Spot on for style and delicious. Rich, deep, yet simple malt character. One of the very best Scotch Ales I've tasted. Thanks for sharing, Murph. I would've hoarded the bottle!

Photo of flexabull
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I have been anxious to try this beer for some time now. I was happy to hear that a local liquor store was now carrying it, along with a few other of the Alesmith beers.

So I grabbed a few bottles, and here we go...

Beer pours a nice tawny brown color with a decent white head.

Aromas are great. Dark fruits, booze, smoke, and a bit of pine.

Beer is HUGE tasting. Very thick and full mouthfeel. Wonderfully coats the mouth and the tongue. Sweet malts, fruity, and with some smokey oak flavors. Finish is bitter, hoppy, and with a warm alcohol finish.

Drinkability is good. This is a very nice sipping Wee Heavy. It's really big, and probably would benefit from some aging. But it's still excellent right now. One of the best Wee Heavy brews I have ever had. The beer formally known as Fat Bastard from Silver City might be just a touch better IMHO since it's a little easier to drink, but this is still top notch.

Photo of GClarkage
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

02/13/06- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle...from I think a 2005 bottling. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Milk chocolate colored pour headed towards a darker brown as it settles. Good inch plus foamy head with adequate lacing. Good amount of chunky sediment flops into the glass.

Smell- Great scented malt fills the room. Lots of caramel and dark fruits fill the air. Grapes, plums, raisins and dates inplode. Wonderful nose.

Taste- This does not disappoint. Loads of sweet super roasted malt with a caramel/toffee flavor. A tad smoky it seems at times. Grape, not really vinous grape, but more like jolly rancher or candied grape flavor mixes with plums and dates. Alcohol does not seems as high as listed.

Mouthfeel- A bit heavily carbonated, but still goes down easy.

Drinkability- The best Wee Heavy I think I have had to date. Super easy to drink. A pleasure to quaff.

Photo of NEhophead
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

25.4 fl oz brown, champagne bottle; wrapped in foil.
Served in a tulip.

Pours a deep burgundy with a slight brilliance in the light. Carbonation-filled, white head that recedes to an almost intact sheet. Intricately spotted lacing with decent strength.

Big malty nose with a lot of carmelized brown sugar, molasses, caramel, and milk chocolate. The brown sugar sweetness is most pronounced; however, no sign of artificial sweetness. Slightly nutty with aged fruity esters: plum, raisin, cherry. The warming alcohol aroma is reminiscent of a port, and is quite interactive with the rich malts and rounded, aged fruit.

Slightly rich, moderate malt flavors up front: caramel, milk chocolate. The intensely sweet aromatics are all but replaced by a firm, slightly dry nutty character: almond and hazlenut. Traces of plum and raisin that are overtaken by a mild wave of carbonation and a gaseous-like alcohol flavor. The residual sugars return by the aftertaste as well as a faint layer of smoke amidst a mix of dry nuts.

Full bodied; remarkably smooth with a complimentary dryness to keep the malts from consuming the palate. The alcohol presence is young and consequently, slightly gaseous/filmy. A minor criticism that will resolve itself with time.

A more than adequate representation of the style and then some. Full, rounded flavors, texturally balanced, and deceiving at 10% abv. A perfect sipper for a cold, winter night.

Photo of paco1029384756
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to Kegatron.

Pours a deep dark burgundy color with one finger of creamy smooth off white head.

Scent of caramel, tobacco, earth, brown sugar, chocolate, oak, grain, some alcohol, and maple syrup. Nice and robust with great complexity, the alcohol is mild and give a nice subtle heat to back up the richness.

Taste of caramel, tobacco, chocolate, light ash, gummy candy, oak, sweet bourbon, maple syrup, and sharp grain. A very smooth flavor; rich and complex, but not overpowering and smooth with a hint of warming alcohol. Unfortunately, this falls just short of being a 5.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied and smooth with a bite of carbonation.

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Very excited to find this in a trade with raoulduke37. Thanks again, Art!

Poured into a tulip glass with a fizzy sound like cola, but oh so much deeper brown with only tiny ruby highlights. The two-finger cappuccino head fell to a quarter-inch with a lot of action from tiny, fast-rising bubbles forming a honeycomb head. Good-lookin', even with no lacing.

Smell is rich with caramel malt, very sweet & just a little roasty. Toasted marshmellow & other delicious caramelized sugars.

Taste is powerful in so many ways: the booze & the malt are like a one-two punch, so sweet & thick & strong. The alcohol is almost overwhelming, but gives way just before it's too late.

The mouthfeel is creamy & active, & what I find really intriguing is the aftertaste: 4 or 5 seconds after swallowing, this roasty toasty graham crackery goodness rolls in & sits down, with some mild roasted bitterness helping to even out & finish a little dry. Even after that, there's a lingering kind of fruitiness that I really enjoy. I love that this beer continues to work its magic after the sip is done.

I like this a whole lot, the only problem is that alcohol hits a little hard, hindering the drinkability. I aged this a good 6 months, maybe could use even a little more. I'd love to try!

Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Non-transparent dark brown, huge tan head with ton of lacing down the glass.

S - Big spicy malt aroma, molasses and faint spicy hops. It's a little complex but fantastic smelling.

T - Yeast esters, spicy malts, and a slight dark fruit taste. Nice warming sensation towards the end also.

M/D - Medium to heavy body, nicely carbonated with just the right amount of small carbonation volumes. Semi-dry finish from the hops with just the slightest ethyl alcohol aftertaste.

Would definitely love to have more of this!

Photo of gford217
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a snifter.

This one pours a very dark brownish copper that is almost completely opaque in the glass. The large tan head lingers as a cap throughout leaving sheets of lacing.

The aroma is big and complex and is dominated by the sweet, heavy caramel malts and brown sugar. There also plenty of dark fruits, raisins especially, and a hint of booze.

The taste is just as complex as the aroma. The malts again dominate from start to finish There is a much bigger hop presence than the smell would suggest, some earthy hops and a bit of citrus. Finish is a dark fruit sweetness with the hops and some toffee lingering in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is crazy smooth, just silky. Lots of carbonation to accentuate the medium heavy body, keeping it from getting too cloying.

This is one of, if not the best wee heavy I've ever tasted. It's big and complex, yet very drinkable. Another great brew from AleSmith.

Photo of WaXHeLL
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of corey0212
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep and sexy mahogany color, frothy sand-colored head piles high and fades somewhat slowly, leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. Smell is huge, smokey malts, spicy alcohol, some vanilla and caramel. Velvety caramel taste, dark fruits, lots of raisin, spicy alcohol, almost an oak taste in there, more vanilla...this is decadent. Creamy mouthfeel, enticing warming alcohol, carbonation is incredibly smooth. An excellent beer. This is the kind of beer you'd want to drink in a dark library surrounded by leather and old books....I don't know if that makes sense, and I don't care.

Photo of endincolorado
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of davexisxrabid
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a 750 mL bottle with a buddy of mine at the Coffee Table Bistro/Lounge in Eagle Rock. Poured into a pretty standard pint glass.

This ale retained its head throughout most of the drinking period, which was pretty impressive. There was an excellent tan head that was about two fingers deep at first. Excellent lacing. Poured sort of a chestnut brown/copper color tinged with amber in the light.

Aroma was a mixture of a rich malty smell, slightly smokey, tinged with yeast. Very well balanced smell, I was pleasantly surprised.

The taste was almost as impressive as the smell. You can taste the creaminess of the malts right away. This brew is 10% abv according to the bottle. Damned if I could taste that much alcohol in there.

All in all, this ale was rich in flavor, full bodied, and not too heavy on the tounge. It's high abv and ease of drinkability makes me kinda wonder about pounding this stuff back. I'd hafta say I (and my buddy as well) was pretty impressed but this brew. Salud!

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pecan shell brown with a generous infusion of darkest crimson and edges of burnt orange. The liquid is nowhere near opaque, which makes me wonder about the heaviness of this wee heavy. The small, toasted tan cap is nicely creamy and lasts for quite a while. It also deposits an attractive lace signature on the upper reaches of the glass.

The nose is classic for the style, although it could stand to be more aromatic. I smell lightly roasted malt, brown sugar, dark caramel, cocoa and a drizzle of molasses. Thankfully, the aroma opens up with warming and realizes the potential that I knew was there all along.

Wee Heavy is wonderfully delicious beer. If you like your Scotch ales boldly flavored and malty sweet, with a dizzying array of complementary flavors (all of them good), then you've come to the right place. In fact, when I think of a beer of this style, this is the flavor profile that comes to mind. First off, hops are virtually absent, as it should be for the style. The brewers probably ran out after the latest batch of YuleSmith.

Malt is the undisputed king, with flavors reminiscent of dates (primarily), sticky toffee pudding with dark caramel sauce, dark brown sugar, molasses, sweetened tobacco, tangy peat and lingering tendrils of smoke. As I said, this offering contains every last style element that I can think of and combines them into a sweetly luscious, beautifully blended whole. I'm sorry that I questioned its bona fides when commenting on the less than opaque appearance. There's no shortage of flavor, that's for damn sure.

Alcohol is noted on the palate, although it's as welcome as it is in a fine, aged port. I'd like to think that roughly one year in my cellar was just what this beer needed to allow the various flavors to interdigitate and to allow the alcohol to mellow into the velvet hammer that it is at present. I need to slow down since my brain is beginning to fog over and typing is becoming more difficult.

I don't expect a wee heavy to have an Imperial stout-like mouthfeel, but I do expect it to be somewhat viscous and at least slightly chewy. Mission accomplished. I was happy with the first sip and I'm thrilled now that the bottle is more than half empty. The beer is becoming increasingly silky smooth with warming. Try as I might, I can't find any chinks in the armor.

AleSmith Wee Heavy is great beer. As noted above, it fits with uncanny precision into the Scotch ale/wee heavy blueprint that I carry around in my head. I'm kicking myself for not picking up more when I had the chance. On my next trip to Ohio, I'll be sure to grab a few more bottles of this outstanding ale from one of the best breweries in this, or any, country.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(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.

Photo of Murph
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of radioscooter
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of ZAP
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color....shows no signs of carbonation....excellent nose....a nice subtle smokiness...also sweet malt...dark fruits....body is full, and sweet..low carbonation fits perfectly...

Taste is outstanding...great blend of peatiness and syruppy like maltiness..a slight hit of heat...actually begins with some cocoa elements before that fades into the background

I've heard mixed reviews on this one but I think it's one of the best Wee Heavy's I've tried....highly drinkable....and big at the same time..very well done...

Photo of Murchmac
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of smellsofstout
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of brewcrew76
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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 -

Photo of rye726
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of chrisafari
4.61/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours dark brown and red with a nice tan head. Aroma is dominated by very nice carmel malts, alcohol, roasted nuts and a hint of hops. Flavor is again dominated by the malt, but very enjoyable. There is also a nice kick of alcohol throughout. The flavor finishes with a subtle, but nice, hint of green apples. Wee Heavy is really unlike anything else, nothing has such a nice balance of Carmel malt, hops and alcohol. I will be looking for this again!

AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,028 ratings.