AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

953 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 953
Reviews: 424
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 185
Gots: 203 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-08-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 953 | Reviews: 424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jonnylieberman
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into my snifter a dark brown with some deep-copper present if held up to light. The head looked like capacino foam. Decent lacing. It looked like a stout pumped through nitro.

Very vinous smell -- wine like aroma. The alcohol, all 9.5% of it, is present. Raisins are present along with a smokey tang.

Sweet! This is a very sweet tasting beer. All malt, all the way.Smokey on the back of the tongue with a dry finish. The dry, roasted finish nicely compliments the sweet initial taste. Never cloying. Alcohol warmth is present as well. Mild bubblegum flavors are also present.

Mouthfeel is medium thin. Quite light, really.

A very drinkable Scotch ale that avoided ever tasting anything like syrup. Finishing all 25 ounces was not a problem.

Notes: Not the best I've had from AleSmith, but I do plan on aquiring another bottle and letting it age. Also, Might be really great with food.

Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
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 Bighuge
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice clear auburn appearance. Thin light brown head with decent retention. Lacing is spotty. Nice aroma of bourbon barrel, vanilla, oak, peat and thick malt. There's a nice oak/woodiness going on in this one. The alcohol is definitely noticeable. The malts are meaty and just a tad smoky. A littled roasted chocolate malt is noticed. Hops seem to add just a titch of bitterness (and when combined with the alcohol sting leaves a nice lingering dry aftertaste). Body is about medium and the carbonation seems about right. This is definitely a good Wee Heavy, but not Top Tier one IMVHO.

Gotta send out props to the Man, I mean the Dude, I mean the Bum. Thanks guy.

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

Mahogany.

Mellow aroma but still enjoyable. Hints of smoke, wood, peat, alcohol, molasses, burnt caramel and heavily toasted malts.

The malts provide the beer with a subtle smokiness in the backround and notes of wood, prunes, raisins, toffee, grape, chocolate and caramel. Obviously this beer is more malt accentuated but the hop bitterness is this on the finish.

I like it but it's nothing compared to the others.

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 SolomonGrundy
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
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 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 bmwfan1987
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Very dark, with mahogany hues. Not much lacing, small head sticks around.

S-Dark fruits, Coffee, Milk chocolate and some licorice.

T-Very malty, with very much hidden hops. Its not as appealing as the nose promises.

M-Chewy, full bodied.

D-I would share this with a friend for dessert or with dessert. The 10% abv is hidden well, but the density of the beer makes it super filling.

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 Zaplt
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Very dark near black ruby color with a dark tan head to about one inch with little retention.

Aroma - Currants, chocolate, floral notes, alcohol bite,

Taste - Lighter body than expected, dark fruity notes of currant, vanilla, caramel, and roasty malts with a wash of spice, clove and floral hoppy notes.

Mouthfeel - Light body with decent amount of carbonation.

Decent big brewski with nice complexity but a bit too strong of an alcohol bite.

Photo of Shovelbum
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml.

Pours a thin tan head over a black body with ruby edges. Little lace and head retention. The aroma is of sweet malt and dark berries with a hint of biscuit. Flavor carries on the work of the aroma with a similar complex and sweet malt character with notes of caramel, plumb, cocoa and roast barley. The alcohol is noticeable and contributes a bit of a burn. There is also a mild hop bitterness that comes through toward the end for balance. Medium to full bodied.

Nice malt complexity in the flavor and aroma with a decent hop bittering charge for balance. The alcohol detracts a bit from the flavor and smoothness of the ale, but for the most part this is a complex and enjoyable wee heavy.

Photo of Stigs
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

big old 750, shared. served in various tulips and snifters

A - pours with about half an inch of creamy off-white foam. as it falls, leaves behind a thick, sticky wall of lacing around the glass. the beer appears black, yet yields some magnificent dark ruby colors when help up to light.

S - rich maltiness all around, picking up some dark fruits: plums and figs, as well as peat, caramel, and toffee. very sweet all around yet alcohol makes its way through with relative ease.

T - begins with a mix of sweet caramel and toffee that just wont die, and hints of plums and figs. halfway through, a more robust sweetness via toffee and caramel chimes through, bringing along a hefty dose of alcohol burn. has that sort of distinct booze/soury sweetness of bourbon.

M - medium bodied with moderate, tight and controlled carbonation. sweet and sticky from sip through the finish. lingering sweetness is cut through easily by a hearty alcohol burn.

D - well-done, all around. a superb example of the style, complex, reasonably drinkable, and plenty dangerous. 8oz of this would be plenty, shame it has to come in such a large format. one of the better Alesmith beers out there.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy (chill haze?) Ruby Red/dark brown color with decent white head that goes fast and doesnt leave any tremendous lace but there is some there. The nose is very much dark fruit and some malt sugar. Taste follows the nose, malty as hell early, but dark fruits and spice come out. Not a ton of scotch ale flavors here, but they are present. I think they are just overshadowed by the abv. As it warms they come out more, but so do the malts. Kind of chocolatey almost malt flavor. maybe roasted. Sugary finish with a little nice hop bite. This is a heavy-ass wee heavy. Mouthfeel is very good. On the thin side, which I like in this particular style, however you can defenitely feel this beer in your mouth. Drinkability is good for a beer of this strength, but i have had better, albeit few. A great beer, and defenitely one that will improve with age IMO. Good work alesmith.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml foiled and capped bottle into Lost Abbey stemware.

A: Standard pour yields a .5 finger fine, light milk tea colored head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear purple-amber. Lacing is stringy and spotty with moderate cling. Decent looking beer but nothing that stands out.

S: Nose is purple grape, caramel, toffee, chocolate, and subtle ethanol heat. Very sweet and dense overall and rather aromatic.

T: Opens sweet brown sugar and grape. Sweet alcohol towards the middle that's smoothed out by notes of caramel, toffee, and more brown sugar. Plums and prunes also. End is brown sugar and a slight nuttiness with an alcoholic spice. Finish is caramel and aftertaste is the same and slightly hot. Very much to style and really tasty.

M: Medium to full bodied with low to moderate carbonation. Smooth and silky in the mouth and dense going down with just the slightest alcoholic prickle. Finish is oily and messy with a lingering aftertaste. One of the nicest I've come across in any style.

O: A solid offering from Alesmith here with an outrageously smooth and silky mouthfeel. This one's like velvet going down. Tops in its style for sure, this one's definitely worth going after if you're a fan of the maltier beers.

Photo of flagmantho
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: rich, dark brown hue, almost completely inscrutable. Head poured two thick fingers of frothy tan foam which subsided, over time, leaving a nice layer of lace on the glass. Nearly perfect.

Smell: big, sweet malt aroma with a big caramel character. Nicely crafted and appropriate to the style.

Taste: sweet malt flavor with a little bit of vegetal hops in the mix. Malt character emphasizes the caramel, with little hints of breadiness coming through the sides. Good, and appropriate to the style.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with a huge carbonation and massive creaminess. Great for this or any other style! Wonderful.

Overall: quite a good beer. If you like gargantuan malt bombs, this beer is for you.

Photo of AwYeh
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage poured into tulip.

A: Pours an opaque, dark dark dark brown/black color. One finger of frothy, foamy tan head tops off the glass. Great lacing left behind.

S: Sweet and oaky, a deep, flavorful aroma. Some dark fruits and toasted malts make this one great. Not too much hop flavor, but quite tasty.

T: Damn good; roasted, toasted malts andd nothing ever gets too cloying. I'm a big fan of this beer's flavor after putting it off for quite a while. Caramel, nuts, and even a bit of smoke top this one off. I'm wondering if the oaky flavors are just imagined, since I know this beer isn't barrel aged... but damn, there's something in there that's making it just right.

M: Medium to thick body with moderate carbonation; this is a very smooth and creamy beer. Nice sticky, syrupy finish. I'm amazed it carries this kind of stickiness without being too sweet, especially for the style.

O: A very solid selection; though my malt-averse friends didn't want to split this one with me, I think this beer could find favor on almost any beer lover's palate. A great job by AleSmith.

Photo of illidurit
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. Blackish brown color with a huge sticky tan head. Lots of chocolate in the nose, with some peaty raisin. Flavor is really rich and decadent. Huge caramel maltiness, with some sugary boozy dark fruit. Not a lot of alcohol in the taste but it will catch up and hinder the drinkability. Similarly, the thickness and sweetness are a bit much the further you get through a 750 mL bottle.

Photo of Bfarr
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear dark brown, good tan frothy head and great retention. Peat and light smoke aroma. Smooth chocolate with notes of peat and smoke. Light caramel sweetness with a gentle warming. Velvety smooth feel.

Very subtle but good malt flavor with a good amount of sweetness. There’s a high alcohol content but it is not present in the flavor making this a scary easy drinking beer. There’s a good peat presence in the nose though it is slightly more subdued in the flavor as I would say it should be though I usually like a little bit more.

Photo of AgentMunky
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Teku glass at the BrewDog bar in Edinburgh. From notes. Reviewed 29 May 2011.

A: Light head quickly breaks up and sticks to the edges. Very dark red-brown, and *almost* opaque.

S: Sweet fruits -- figs, raisins, blackcurrant -- soaked in alcohol. Milk chocolate.

T: Rich, strong, and malty as hell. Lots of fruit (the same as in the smell). Vague bittersweet chocolate carries over to the aftertaste which is lightly drying and sort of bitter.

M: Lightly carbonated, round, and malty-sweet. A bit thin.

O: Lots of caramel sweetness, but not the best wee heavy I've had. Good-ish though. Recommended, perhaps, but I wouldn't have another.

Photo of corby112
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep dark chestnut brown color with ruby/mahogany edges and a frothy two finger beige head with excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Very smokey roasted malt aroma with hints of chocolate, oatmeal, hazelnut, burnt toast and roasted espresso bean. There's also a bit of sweet dark fruit but the nose is dominated by the roasted character.

Chewy full body with a blast of dry roasted malt up front that lingers throughout over the sweeter malt and dark fruit notes into a lingering dry finish. Slightly bitter with some earthy hops and acrid burnt toast flavor as well as hints of chocolate, hazelnut, oatmeal, toffee and coffee bean. I'm picking up some licorice and dark fruit mid-palate, especially plum and raisin that provide some much needed balance to the heavy roast character. There is some slight heat and warmth in the finish but the ABV is well masked. Dry fnish.

Overall, this beer is pretty complex and flavorful but it's a touch too roasted tasting for my liking. It's still a very good beer but I wish there was a bit more sweetness to balance things out.

Photo of PatandDavid
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

David and I shared a bottle of this last night at 'Bones. Lovely big green glass bottle, with nice silk screening. Our bottle said the abv was 9.5%. Very deep rich brown, low to non existent head on it. The aroma was my number one rated aspect: rich, peaty style malts. Definite hot alcohol. Actually...the aroma also reminded me of a good German Doppelbock, so again I have to go back and complement the rich maltiness there. Tastewise, this is a sipping brew. It is very hot, not immediately off-putting for me, but there is no denying that one is drinking a high abv brew. The alcohol was not able to be ignored. Balancing that out, there were some tasty notes of chocolate, some toasty malt notes, and low acridity. I did enjoy this one. The bottle recommends storing some away, and I wouldn't mind trying this after the alcohol has mellowed a bit.

Photo of danieelol
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours dark as night. Really nice looking beer.

S: Bit of hop, bit of roast, bit of milkiness. Some caramel chocolate. Faintest whiff of alcohol. Some nice spice and chocolate and ginger. Phlegm and cough syrup. Green apple. Lots of sugar and caramel complexities.

T: Quite roasty and bitter. Residual sweetness initially detectable but in fact the beer is well balanced and drinkable. The taste could easily be that of a stout. Far less sweet than Speedway actually.

M: Good actually. Thick and creamy, like a milkshake.

O: Good beer. Holds up very well, and was actually very well balanced.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown, figgy, plummish, a tawny shade of crimson, not much of a head, slips away if it was there at all...
rip dark fruit in the aroma, raisins and dates, more from the fig and plum, grapes, deep and resonant, complex and pungent...
Full feeling on the palate, big flavor, cocoa maltiness, thick mouthfeel, return of the dark fruits in abundance, great tasting...I like it, though it doesn't impress me too much. Nuttin' wrong with that...
...wait how strong is this?...that strong, really?...it does stick out...maybe I'd like it better if the booze were a bit more quiet...nah, that doesn't sound like me...anyway, good beer all y'all...enjoy...

Photo of RoyalT
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – The head came up big then went down quickly, which is typical of the style. The body is a thick, pond-like dark brown.

Smell – This ale is rich in malts and whisky notes. The malts are huge and very complex, consisting mostly of sugared toast and some dark, roasty, stout-like smells. There is a light peaty smoke here along with some dark, juicy fruits. The prune and tobacco are overpowering.

Taste – Man, does this sweeten up at the taste. The chewing tobacco dominates, and is mixed with some juicy prunes and raisins. This is just raunchy. It is so sweet and full of tobacco it’s amazing. There’s a light hint of the big alcohol but mostly this is like sucking on a leaf of chewing tobacco.

Mouthfeel – This is almost full-bodied with some straightforward, rather harsh sweetness throughout.

Drinkability – I really enjoyed this take on the style, although BJCP might disagree.

AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 953 ratings.