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AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

821 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 821
Reviews: 411
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 171
Gots: 182 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-08-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 821 | Reviews: 411 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MattyG85


4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Bottled on 04/04/13.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brownish black with a moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of light tan head that slowly fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A toasty malt driven aroma with big hints of caramel and dark fruits. Toasted malts with big hints of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, yeast, nuts, smoke, and some peat. Some roasty hints of chocolate as well. Sweet scent of brown sugar. Big dark fruit presence with hints of raisin, fig, prune, dark cherry, dates, and lots of juicy grapes. Subtle earthy hops in the background. A very good malty aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma, a big malty taste of sweet caramel, toasty bread, and lots of juicy dark fruits. Toasted malts with a taste of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, smoke, peat, nuts, and yeast along with a slight roasted chocolate note. Sweet taste of brown sugar. Lots of dark fruit taste with notes of grapes, raisin, fig, prune, dates, and dark cherry. Subtle undertones of earthy hops in the background. Slight booze taste. A very good malt driven taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and very juicy. Smooth with minimal alcohol heat felt.

Overall: A very good take on a Scotch Ale. Good toasty malt and smoke flavors. Great presence of dark fruits that almost make it seem like a Dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 06:56:40 | More by MattyG85
Photo of whoneeds8


4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass black with a tan head. Smell is very sweet, lots of malted scents. Taste is very sweet. Suprisingly sweet. The apperence makes me think this is going to be a thick heavy beer, but it's really not. Very light mouthfeel, with a little hint of high alcohol. Carbonation is perfect. I really wish this were available in Texas.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 23:35:08 | More by whoneeds8
Photo of abfraser


4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml purchased in 2007

A: Dark brown chestnut that pours a massive cream colored head. This looks thick, coating the side of the glass

S: Amazing smell. I can smell it 2 feet of the table while I'm writing this. Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruit

T/M: Toffee, caramel, chocolate. Subtle roasted malt with a little smokiness on the finish. Very rich mouthfeel, clearly full-bodied. This is awesome stuff, a great winter sipper

D: Would drink this all the time in the chillier months if it was readily available.

Top notch stuff. Nothing more to say other than you should absolutely buy it if you can get your hands on it.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2008 01:19:31 | More by abfraser
Photo of Greywulfken

New York

4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pitch brown beer, formed a fat bibbly frothy head that simmered down but a nice layer of bubbles was always there; motes of lace and clingy bubbles

S: caramel malts and toffee, molasses and smoke

T: definitely the best wee heavy I've had - had a lot of barleywine characteristics: there was dark fruit, soft creamy caramel; but also had hint of smoky peat and earthiness

M: wow - not heavy - very drinkable and creamy; wonderfully refreshing with a great aftertaste

O: did I say this was the best wee heavy I've had? Super smooth, very flavorful, avoided being too sweet or chewy. I could drink a lot of this.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2012 00:22:42 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of blackie


4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: The beer has a good looking ring of carbonation around the glass with a thin bottom-fed layer of carbonation on the surface. The color is a dark ruby-brown.

smell: Booze is quite noticeable at first, reminiscent of bourbon to my nose. Peaty malts and woody notes of sweet cocoa ride this wave of ethanol. A considerable hop presence provides an interesting counterpoint to the malts.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a smooth high medium, and the body somewhere around medium.

taste: Moderately sweet peaty malts upfront with light notes of milk chocolate. Some hints of boozy raisins and figs. The malt flavors are quite delicious in their subtlety. Light to moderate hop flavor with a light bitterness that lingers into the finish with hints of roast. The ethanol is quite noticeable but is not too much of a factor for me...it seems much less intrusive on the palate than the nose suggested it would be.

drinkability: Tasty, but quite a strong beer with plenty of ethanol at the front, so drinkability is limited.

750ml bottle split, courtesy of dirtylou, during my second stay in Madison. While this is rated as my favorite Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy at the moment, I don't really think that to be true. However, I can't really think of any parameters to subtract from to bring it down to what I believe to be the correct score in relation to to my favorite wee heavies.

11-12-07: Bottle aged for a bit over a year, no idea what vintage. Silver foil and purple screenprinting. Very creamy looking head with great retention over a superbly raisin colored beer. Exceptionally thick, smooth mouthfeel. Aroma and flavor seem to have held up, has taken on a bit of a Euro lager sulfur type hint. A little smoky, a little sweet, quite good.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2006 23:57:24 | More by blackie
Photo of neonbrown82


4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Once again, AleSmith has managed to impress me. Thanks to dogfooddog for the bottle. This beer pours to a very dark nutty brown with amber hues. Almost opaque. Has a beautiful cascading tan head with excellent retention and decent lacing.

The smell is like butterscotch. Loads of caramel malt with a light peatsmoke aroma. Smells like a strong, formidable brew. Some earthy berry esters also show through. The taste is just as good, and follows along with the nose. The alcohol is fairly well hidden, though it is definitely there.

Very smooth, creamy body. Nice lingering coffee, chocolate, and butterscotch flavor. Quite drinkable despite the strength. I will probably drink this alongside a glass of Scotch after I wrap this review up. Still tastes a bit green, but thankfully dogfooddog was generous enough to send doubles of everything. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2006 07:29:02 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of vkv822


4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into tulip.

Pours a an almost black color, but when held to the light reveals a beautiful, deep, black cherry red. The head is a very good looking two-finger thick toffee color.
Smells of sweet caramel malts with a light roasted backing and hints of dark fruit.
The flavor is a wonderful blend of sweet caramel malts, toffee, chocolate with a slight bitterness. Dark fruit notes also make an appearance towards the end of the flavor. As it warms a slight roasted malt and smokiness comes through. There is also a very light booziness to the finish.
The mouthfeel is creamy and full bodied, with a pleasant low level of carbonation.
I really enjoy the straight forward and well blended flavors of this brew, backed by a smooth mouthfeel.This is a very drinkable and enjoyable beer, though my opinion might be a little biased as I am beginning to realize I am quite fond of this style.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2010 03:38:23 | More by vkv822
Photo of waltonc


4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2 year old bottle. I can't remember what this tastes like fresh, but don't recall it tasting this good. One of the better 2-year-old beers I've had.

A: Dark red/caramel color with big white head.
S/T: Sweet, malty, bit of chocolate, caramel, toffee. Really complex flavor.
M: Fairly thick body and medium/high carbonation.
D: In spite of ABV, this is plenty drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2009 02:59:32 | More by waltonc
Photo of Matthew


4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, silver foil around the top. Poured into my snifter glass, a caramel/brown color with some reddish tints around the edges. 1/8 inch thick and creamy tannish head covers the top with lots of sticky lacing around the glass.
Warm caramel notes are very prevalent in the nose with touches of spice, hazlenut, ginger like characteristics, and light fruits.
Sweet malt flavors are very forward in this beer, mainly consisting of dark caramel and toffee. The alcohol is pretty perceivable but lends nicely to the rich molasses flavor that is all through out this beer. There are spice characteristics in this beer that remind me of holiday breads. I also find that as the beer warms the more fruity esters show along with a subtle creamy chocolate flavor.
Nice rich, full and chewy mouthfeel in this beer, great level of carbonation that really allows this beer to feel nice and rich over the palate.
A remarkably drinkable wee heavy from alesmith. As you sip on this delcicious beer I'd suggest it improves with a bit of warmth that promotes a great drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2006 04:38:29 | More by Matthew
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy latticework of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, burnt brown sugar, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some awesome aromas and flavors that make it very easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2012 02:12:41 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of alpinebryant


4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a chestnut brown with a sticky brown head of tiny bubbles. Smell of butterscotch, heavy roasted malts, caramel, toffee, tobacco and scotch yeast.

Taste of butterscotch, peat, tobacco and caramel mixed smoothly together to make this very balanced. There is plenty of sweetness but at 10%, this becomes extremely drinkable with how smooth it goes down. Delicious and one of the better scotch ales I have had. Plenty of brown sugar and toffee flavors. As it warms up, the butter flavors become sweeter and more creamy, but throughout, this is an easy drinker.

Light carbonation and a medium to thick body.

Job well done by Alesmith

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 21:41:39 | More by alpinebryant
Photo of MSchae1017


4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a tulip glass from the bottle.

This beer pours a translucent rusty amber with a small fizzy tan head that dissipates quickly leaving no lace. The smell is sweet malty and fruity with hints of lace. The taste reminds me of an old ale with smoked malts. The mouthfeel is thick with some nice carbonation. Overall drinkable and definetly different.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2006 05:12:07 | More by MSchae1017
Photo of

4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle split 3 ways

A: Black, with only the slightest reddy-purple when held up to the light. Small beige head, minimal carbonation.

S: The first impression I get is of over toasted bread, yeast is especially prominent as well. Hints of smoke, plum and malt.

T: This beer is amazing. First of all I get the toast, then it changes straight to grape jam spread on shortbread. The finish tastes like rich caramel fudge. There isn't much hop character but you definitely don't miss it.

M: This beer tricks you into anticipating a rich full bodied beer, but it has a deceptively thin mouthfeel.

O: This beer wowed me. Alesmith has delivered once again with a fantastic beer. If I were to nit-pick, I would have enjoyed a little more smokiness but this is an extremely minor fault. Sweet, malty and completely satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 08:36:52 | More by
Photo of popery


4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Excellent Scotch Ale, deep and warm. AleSmith is one of the best breweries around and the Wee Heavy lives up to the rest of the lineup. It pours a rich, deep burgundy without a mote of haze. The off-white head leaves plenty of lacing. It's a pretty beer. The aroma is thick with fruity malt flavors and warming alcohol. It smells like dried apricots and plums mashed up with fine rum. The aroma is like a caramelized Belgian quad, phenols and rich malt blend with melting sugar. I'm really not a big fan of the Scotch Ale generally speaking, but this beer hits the malt flavors just right. The malt is chewy and thick with a wonderful warming alcohol presence. It's an absolutely delicious beer, and, particularly with regard for the style, I wouldn't change a thing.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2009 05:57:59 | More by popery
Photo of ricknelson


4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Six of us attending a beer tasting that I hosted in my man cave pub gave this beer a score of 24 out of a possible 30 for and an average score of 4.0 It ranked tied for 3rd out of the 12 beers we tasted. The group of six were divided evenly, 3 that favored IPA's and 3 that favored Stouts. This Wee Heavy Scotch Style Ale comes in a 25 oz bottle. May be hard to find.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2012 21:36:08 | More by ricknelson
Photo of Deuane


4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep, lustrous copper with a medium light tan head that reduces to a thin cap and leaves spotty lace.

S-Caramel sweetness, oak, vanilla, dark cherries and a touch of alcohol burn all combine really nicely,

T-Rich caramel and toffee with a bit of tartness. Sharp spiciness and a touch of drying oak in the finish.

M-Whoa! Medium bodied and smooth---->SUPER smooth. Easily comparable to Port with a rich, viscous feel.

D-An excellent brew---rich toffee, slick and super smooth this is a hard one to dislike! A brew made for a snifter!

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2009 11:51:12 | More by Deuane
Photo of superspak


4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle date. Pours dark reddish brown color with a small 1 finger dense caramel colored head with nice retention that reduces to a thin lacing cap. Some nice lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of big caramel, roasted malt, molasses, spices, oak, sweet malt, and a bit of dark fruits with a bit of booze. Some very nice aromas here that are opening up as it warms. Taste of big sweet caramel, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, oak, chocolate, spice, light dark fruit, and a bit of whiskey in the background. Decent amount of spicy bitterness on the finish; with notes of molasses, caramel, chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and a bit of whiskey lingering on the finish for a good while. Sweetness powers over the bitterness, but the sweetness is not cloying at all with a slight amount of alcohol cleansing the palate on the finish. Medium carbonation and full bodied; with a very creamy and chewy mouthfeel. A good idea to swirl out the carbonation due to bottle conditioning on this one. For 10%, the alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight bit on the finish with warming. Drinks very smoothly as well, but is best enjoyed slowly. Overall this is an incredible scotch ale, with great flavor balance and drinkability for it’s gravity.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2011 02:18:10 | More by superspak
Photo of Duff27


4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Collar left after initial short light tan head. Leaves a lot of lacing for a wee heavy.

Deep caramel/toffee aromas.

Rich rich rich, daddy likey. Caramels, toffee, slight dark fruit (prunes/raisins). 10% huh? Welp alright then.

So smooth, adequate carbonation. Medium mouthfeel.

This was awesome. Malt bomb to perfection. Perhaps the beat wee heavy I've ever had. Thanks again egrace84!

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2012 02:34:13 | More by Duff27
Photo of Wildman


4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a very dark blood red amber color and formed a small light tan bubbly head the left trace lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An heavy aroma of malt, molasses, dark cherries and some other fruit. A hint of of the alcohol present is also in the background. The flavor is of malt, molasses and a bit of carmel with some dark fruit aspect. The body is slightly silky and the finish is slightly sweet with a hint of astigency. It's glad to have Alesmith available in Ohio, I just wish they would charge us the same price that California and others pay, but at least we have it.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2004 02:32:36 | More by Wildman
Photo of Wetpaperbag


4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've seen this beer in my travels a number of times, but finally snagged a bottle. I'm glad because I like this style a great deal.

A- beer is very dark, in the glass it is almost black. When held up in the glass at a slant the beer is dark reddish brown. The head is a creamy light tan color.

S- Malty, peat, smoke, scotch, vanilla, caramel, dark fruits such as dates, figs and raisins. Smells complex to say the least. Alcohol smell comes and goes, and is more present further away from the glass.

T- The taste is great. Lots going on, malt heavy as it should be. Smokey and earthy with the sweetness of vanilla and caramel. A slight scotch hint in there as well. The alcohol is there, but in a warming not heavy feeling. Each taste brings another layer of flavor for sure. Dark fruits with some cherry come through from time to time.

M- Good feel in the mouth, a little thinner then I was expecting, but just slightly. Carbonation is just right, any more and it wouldn't be as tasty. Any less and the beer would feel cloying.

O- This is good, dangerously drinkable, but at the same time there is something about this that keeps it from being too drinkable. I like the flavors, very complex yet hits the style on the head just right for me. I prefer my Scotch Ales peaty and a bit on the smokey malty side, but I like the spice that this one gives which add to it.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2011 03:57:42 | More by Wetpaperbag
Photo of joeneugs


4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My first rate on BA after 4+ years as a member! This one pours very dark brown/red with an orangy tan head. The aroma is slightly nutty and woody with lots of chocoate and a little bit of raisins and molasses as it warms. The flavor is much more fruit forward with predominately raisins and molasses with a touch of chocolate, nuts, and roasted malts. The nuttiness lasts throughout. The mouthfeel on this thing is spectactular, very silky and smooth. The alcohol is not noticed, only felt after the fact. This is truly a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2011 01:21:23 | More by joeneugs
Photo of macster


4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just a fabulous Scotch Ale. Pours from the bottle a dark ruby brown color. Sports a tight 1/4" beige head which fades to a light wisp. Minimal lacing. Rich, assertive aromas of dark chocolate covered cherries, butterscotch, caramel apples, molasses and smokey charred wood and alcohol fill the nose. Just a fantastic aroma profile! Moutfeel was fairly full, round amd smooth with just the perfect amount of carbonaton. Superb flavors of dark roasted malt, burnt caramel candies, dark chocolate, molasses, licorice and charred wood. The only slight flaw I would mention was the late palate and finish was a tad harsh and boozy with the alcohol pushing its way to the forefront a bit too much. Not well hidden at all. Definitely a great winter fireplace ale after a year or two of ageing.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2006 04:44:57 | More by macster
Photo of impending


4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


750ml into a tulip. Deep mahogany poured a two finger head that settled down to look like a creamy dairy something or another. Fine bubbled lacing.

Malty sweet roasted malts, brandy, scotch, vanilla - it smells thick if that's possible.

Very thick mouthfeel, very.

Taste follows nose. This is absolutely one of the best brews that has the alcohol so far forward. It works because while the alcohol is pronounced it is smooth - the term boozy doesn't apply. Only a few brews have a name which also truly imparts what you are about to experience - this is a wee heavy and its exactly wee heavy !

The taste warms wonderfully !!


Serving type: bottle

06-21-2010 05:51:09 | More by impending
Photo of tjkinate


4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One tasting beverage.

A: One and half fingered creamy khaki colored head that exhibited great retention forms atop this transparent dark brown bodied brew. When the head finally settles a thin foam remains atop the brew throughout the tasting and leaves behind a good amount of lacing.

S: Loads of sweet malts, caramel and dark fruits. A little more subtle than expected scotch profile. Hid the high ABV very well.

T: Follows the scent very closely. As the beer warms however the scotch flavors intensify along with a great nutty undertone.

M: Medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation that allowed the beer to remain creamy yet crisp. Very easy to drink.

O: Was very impressed with this Wee Heavy. Semi new to the style, but I liked it more than Founders' offerings. Can't wait to get a BA version.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 23:55:00 | More by tjkinate
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent dark brown color with a thin fizzy light tan head that's gone in a flash leaving little lacing. The smell is very nice; a rich molasses caramel and a bit of the alcohol. This one is marked 10% ABV. A real sipper, there is a bright tang from the alcohol while a light sparkle of carbonation lends a creaminess to the mouth feel. Full flavored, with a unique blend of cocoa, caramel, molasses and toffee. It finishes with small mocha-toffee aftertaste that is ever so lightly smoked. That is really well done. Definitely a winter warmer with a whole bunch to consider. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2007 01:16:22 | More by jjayjaye
AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 821 ratings.