1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

860 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 860
Reviews: 416
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.83%
Wants: 175
Gots: 185 | FT: 15
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of AleSmith Wee Heavy Alström Bros
Ratings: 860 | Reviews: 416 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of maximum12
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bring for sending this impressive, hefty-looking Alesmith bomber in a fall '09 trade. Devoured on vacation, split with my mother & wife, June '10.

Emerges like a dark & stormy night, turbid red. Fairly standard for a wee heavy, peat, scotchy malts are in the house.

This is a good Wee Heavy. Hand hard on the scales of the sweet malts, with a baseboard of smokiness & peat holding it up & restraining it from going hard-candy, like a fire on the upland Moors. Toffee, wee bit o' caramel pop out of the mix. Very easy to drink for the style, almost light on its feet. Seven-eight ounces of this stuff just doesn't last very long.

Very good beer, & spot-on example of the style. I've been consistently impressed with Alesmith, & this one's no exception.

maximum12, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of impending
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A+

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 !!

cheers
jd

impending, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of ckeegan04
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Chestnut brown with a forthy light brown head. Excellent lacing and head retention.

S - Dark malts, a hint of burnt sugar, molasses and justa hint of smokiness.

T - Very sweet initially with hints of dark brown sugar, molasses and just a touch of smoke. Molasses becomes stronger as the beer warms and all the flavors balance eash other well.

M/D - Full bodied and very heavy mouth feel. Carbonation is just strong enough to keep the beer moving through the mouth.

ckeegan04, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of hardy008
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with ruby highlights and a 3 finger tan foamy head with very good retention and lacing. The aroma is somewhat lighter than I expected. It has sweet caramel malt, smoke, hops, and cocoa. Hopefully the taste is more robust.

The taste is more robust. Caramel, smoke, cocoa, hops, and dark fruit. Sweet, malty, and just the right amount of hop flavor combines to make this a really nice Wee Heavy.

Smooth, creamy, medium bodied, and properly carbonated. The alcohol is well disguised for 10.00 %. I recommend trying this beer, if you have not already.

hardy008, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cola brown color with a rather modest head that streaks the chalice with viscosity

Smell: Caramel and fig, with hints of peat and alcohol

Taste: Opens with the caramel, with the fig and peat flavors arriving by mid-palate; after the swallow, the complex sweetness melds together to provide a lingering finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation; a little warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: I have been cellaring this bottle for three or four years and it is drinking beautifully now; the alcohol that others have noted in their reviews has toned down and the complexity of the sweet flavors has increased

brentk56, Jun 05, 2010
Photo of Buebie
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received from a very generous BA.

2009 bottle, silver tin wrap, green 750 ml. Poured into an oversized snifter, not much head comes forward, but a swirl bring out about an inch of off white froth. Receding to leave a generous cap of retention with minimal legs of lace.
Color appears to be a dark brown, almost black with faint violet hues when held to light.

Aroma is a real treat, pleasing the senses enormously. Very sweet with a ginormous malt bill. burnt sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, dark booze soaked fruit, bready too and a distant roasted grain aroma with an almost chocolate grain aroma mixing in.
some of the aroma borders a quad really.

Sweet upfront with mild heat, more booze soaked fruits, malty, really malty, buttery brown sugar....GOD this is GOOD...
light notes of vanilla. Swallowing brings a hidden explosion of roasted grain, chocolate and a touch of dark roasted coffee beans.
Lingering with the roasty flavors, buttery caramelized sugars, a touch of warmth. Some hop bitters manage to fight their way through this big flavor rich brew.

Mouthfeel is slick, full and low on carbonation disturbance.

A desirt sipper on roids, this has several flavor profiles shinning through the Big'ness of the beer. Warm, but not hot and pleasing all the while. Really enjoyed this one.

Buebie, May 25, 2010
Photo of Derek
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was a little taken-aback by the alcohol in this, wondering if it'd be more like a barley wine... but they pulled it off!

A: Deep chestnut with a huge tan head, good retention & lacing.

S: Figs, raisins, roasted nuts, cocao and caramel. Quite nice!

T: Dark raisins, figs, roasted nut, dark toffee, cocoa, burnt caramel, restrained bitterness, hints of wood & smoke, alcohol is extremely well-hidden, but it is warming.

M: Moderately full body with a light residual sweetness; modest carbonation.

D: It's a big one!

Derek, May 04, 2010
Photo of bump8628
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A big 750ml bottle that made the trek from Southern California to Oklahoma in my girlfriend's luggage...Thanks!

Pours brown with a ruby tint when held to the light and a really creamy, off-white head after a heavy pour into a snifter.

Nice complexity with dark caramelized sugars, toffee, cola, and weak coffee standing out. Very rich with a sweet finish and a creamy mouthfeel helped out by the lower level of carbonation.

An excellent example of style. This one would age beautifully for years, but it's great as it is.

bump8628, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of ILikeGoodCider
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on 04/09/2010 from a 750ml bought fresh at Wade's Wines in Agoura Hills, CA. Served chilled. Poured in a large tulip as recommended on the bottle.

A: Pours a ruddy brown color, with a reasonable head that dissipated and laced down to some fine bubbles.

S: Sweet, but right there with it was a lot of earthy fruits and just a hint of estery alcohol.

T & M: Strong, sweet malts, and a fig/raisin tinge. Well done.

D: Definitely a beer to seek out if you enjoy the style. Kinda pricey, but then, everything from AleSmith is. I can't wait to a) taste one aged and b) enjoy a barrel-aged version.

ILikeGoodCider, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
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!

VaTechHopHead, Apr 01, 2010
Photo of tigg924
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: cloudy, orange/brown in color, 1/2 inch head, high carbonation

Smell: toasted malt, caramel, earth, alcohol--a very malty smell

Taste: caramel, earth, bread, alcohol, and chocolate

Mouthfeel: moderately sweet borderline very sweet with some bittering alcohol tones, medium/heavy body

Drinkability: My first beer from them and wow is this a winner. This is a nice and super complex malt bomb. This is a great beer regardless of style. I like this a lot.

tigg924, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of ibbjamin
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $14.99 for a 750ml bottle from Perry's Liquor in Livermore, CA. Poured into a large snifter to review.

Gives a big head; off white and tightly knit with some frothage up top. Dark brown in color with deep ruby coming through when held to a bright light. A nice quarter inch layer of retention and thick trails of lace.

Aroma is sweet and malty yet still well balanced with a touch of earthy hops. Mild fruity notes of plum and raisin and even hints of thick molasses and toffee. Not a very big nose, but intriguing and complex nonetheless.

The first mouthfull reminds me quite a bit of an imperial stout; dark chocolate and expresso with roasted malts.

The mouthfeel differs from that of a stout though as it is not quite full bodied and not nearly as thick and viscous. Still relatively thick and goes down nice and creamy. Lively carbonation and nice drinkabilty.

This is one style of beer that varies greatly from beer to beer. I thought this to be a more mild Imperial Stout than some of the other's I've tried in its style.

ibbjamin, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of mdagnew
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle bought online from Beermerchants.com..

Poured a deep dark russet brown colour... creamy mocha head poured small and quite fizzy then faded fairly quickly to patchy wispy covering with thicker edging... some light strands of lacing...

Aroma - Lots of rich treacle sweetness mixed with dark fruits (dates, prunes, fig and raisins), toated bready (mainly fruit loaf) malts, vanilla, nutmeg spiciness, sweet toasted nuttiness, dark chocolate and liquorice, faint trace of smoke, some of the 10% alcohol just noticeable..

Taste... Molasses, alcohol soaked fruits (figs, prunes, date, some raisins also), some light smokiness comes through after the sweetness, fresh vanilla, toasted bready malts, malt loaf, marsala notes, quite a lot of spiciness - pepper and nutmeg, some light medicinal notes, faint anise...

Feel - Too much carbonation which makes it quite sharp on the tongue - this fades a touch as the beer warms up... medium / full bodied... Drinkability is pretty decent even for a beer of 10%..

Overall - A decent enough brew but could probably do with some aging to mellow things out... certainly recommended though...

mdagnew, Feb 18, 2010
Photo of coldmeat23
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS:Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees

This liquid is a very dark amber/brown color. It has a decent head, which is about one finger thick, that is the color of espresso foam. This recedes to a foamy surface covering of varying thickness. The lacing is fairly full and quite sticky.

The nose is full of roasted malt notes. It has a very nice level of caramel and brown sugar sweetness. Hints of butterey (english) toffee. Light touches of dark fruits are underneath. I'm getting traces of toasted coconut also, which is unexpected, but seems to work really well. Light notes of earthy nuttiness.

The roasted malt notes dominate the flavor. They are offset by a good amount of caramel presence. Minor hints of brown sugar are noted. It has a good deal of tobacco mixed in with the nuttiness, with a touch of leather. Light hint of dark coffee, with a touch of cream and sugar. Mild vanilla notes. It has an almost bourbon-like element to it, flavorwise, which really makes me want the B.A. version of this one, even more.

This is full-bodied and has a low-to-medium level of carbonation. I'd like to see the carbonation level 'tweaked' to get some creaminess into it. (But that's just personal opinion.)

This is very tasty and easy-to-drink. The 10.0%abv, while well disguised, is not subtle at all with it's effects though. I'm barely to the halfway point of this 750ml and am already starting to feel it(!).
Another great brew from Alesmith.

coldmeat23, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a tulip,nice brown color with decent lacing and a head that transformed into a small persistent head. rich caramel flavor with a hint of dark fruit.

taste is caramel with very very soft hints chocolate and coffee.a bit of very clean in terms of esters and phenolic compounds. i kinda like a bit of esters in a scotch ale even though they are not part of the traditional style.

mouthfeel is pretty full with moderate carbonation.overall very drinkable,not sure if it's worth the price but it is very good none the less.

wyattshotmaker, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of Lothore
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep ruddy brown hue with a gigantic, chunky head.

S- Sweet, grape, vinous notes, hints of brown sugar

T- Dark fruit, slight coffee notes, hints of grape.

M- Thick with medium carbonation.

D- Extremely drinkable. I liked this one more than the BA version even though it was more tame.

Lothore, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of GreatWeisseHope
3.23/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A; Murky (not to style), dark brown with tan head - good retention.

S: Not a strong caramel component, which is necessary for this style. Low esters, low hops, no diacetyl, and alcohol present (all to style).

T: Caramel notes come across as crystal malts, not kettle caramelisation, hop bitterness bites and lingers (not to style), finish with a bit of roast was rough, the malt notes are overwhelmed by the alcohol.

M: Alcohol warmth dominant, full bodied, moderate carbonation.

D: Rough and strong, just begging for a hangover if you can manage to drink more than one. The bottle I had will probably be the last one I have.

GreatWeisseHope, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of Docer
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found a bottle of this at The Beermongers here in Portland....

- Nutty dark solid brown... barely see through it... thick 2 fingers of mocha head as I even poured it slow, tumbler glass at a 45. Leaves a nice amount of drifting foam and lacing all about.

- Rich and roasty malt, caramel... candied caramel, and burnt caramel.... some spice, and a bit of hop bitterness.... almost a touch of coffee... but coffee with lots of milk and sugar.

- Smooth malty goodness right from my cellar at 55 Deg. F. Sweet candied caramel, light bitter hopping... smooth sailing, and warming.

- Little chalky, medium bodied... watering sweetness.

- Great drinkability and the alcohol is only later warming in the gut. Overall its great, but just a tad too sweet. Perhaps it would be better to let it sit longer to balance out.

Docer, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of paco1029384756
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

paco1029384756, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of berkey
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Dannyhipps for hooking me up with this bottle. I've been coveting this beer for a long time now. 750ml bottle poured into a tulip. From notes 12/03/09.

Very dark brown in color, appears nearly black at a distance but shows some rich garnet hues when held to light. Considerably darker than others I've tried in the style. Forms a nice light tan head with average retention. Lacing is very nice.

Aromas are very rich and malty including strong caramel notes, pan dulce, and cocoa. Yeast presence is also quite noticeable. Was half expecting Alesmith to hop this one up a little but I'm not getting that at all so far. More fruit comes though as it reaches room temperature.

More cocoa and caramel on the palate. There are some subtle hints of dark berries and alcohol mid sip along with some yeast and an herbal black licorice character on the finish. As it warms this character fades a bit and chocolate becomes the most prominent flavor on the aftertaste.

Prickly carbonation compliments the flavor profile very well. Alcohol burn is just a hair more noticeable than I'd like which makes me think I should have sat on this a little longer. Even so, it drinks better than the 10 % listed on the bottle. I'm having no problems getting through my second glass at this stage in the review and I'm sure to finish the bottle with no problems.

Another great Alesmith brew. Although it doesn't quite soar to the heights of their world class IPA I think they did an excellent job on this. Covers all the points I look for in the style. Wouldn't mind a little more complexity mid palate but I still enjoyed this immensely.

berkey, Dec 04, 2009
Photo of MountainBeagle
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Overall: Outstanding beer that would do Scotland proud!

This was a 750mL bottle from 2009 - 10% ABV
It wasn't in the cellar at all, can't wait that long.

Color is as it should, dark and can't see through it. 2 finger head that immediately disappeared.

The smell was almost non existent for me but that's what I expect from the style.

Taste is very good, tons of malt and alcohol. A lot of other things are present here that I don't have the palate to put my finger on but it is delicious what ever it is.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth

Drinkability will be harsh for some, its a 10% scottish ale. This is the kind of beer I live for, so i gave it a high rating.

Side Notes: I really like this beer and the style so it works for me. I highly recommend letting this cellar for at least 6 months, however I don't practice what I preach. It's gone right away for me.

MountainBeagle, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of TheJollyHop
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown with three fingers worth of head. Copious amounts of lacing is left inside the glass.

Fragrance of cherries, raisins and sticky sweet malt as the ale warms, roasted notes pervade.

Tasting this rich, bready, and chewy ale, there were traces of chocolate, coffee, followed up by the slightest hop backbone.

The ABV is cleverly masked, leaving behind a nice warming effect without the booziness. A very drinkable, pleasant representation of a Scottish strong ale.

TheJollyHop, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of Bitterbill
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This bottle courtesy of Mauerhan. Thanks Topher!

Big ole 750ml capped bottle, it pours a clear dark brown with ruby highlights and a 2 finger head of off white foam. No refrigeration seen for this puppy....close to room temp when served.

Lots of caramel malt, some grain and bread, and a light roastiness in the smell. This is a *tough* style for me to enjoy as I've had a lot of misses that other folks deemed very highly. That's the reason I traded for this. I *want* another hit!

The taste brings a lot of caramel sweetness, some bready notes, a sense of some dark fruits, toffee, a wee bit of chocolate and quite a bit of alcohol. Very warming but actually nice. There's a light bitterness here as well that I'd say comes from dark chocolate like goodness but it's in its right place and not over bearing. Tasty is what I have here and I'm happy about that.

Very close to being full bodied with a lightish amount of carbonation, this is a very smooth in the mouth Wee Heavy. Head retention...excellent. Lacing...above average.

Drinkability? The taste seem to be just right for me though the alcohol is ever present. I'll split it down the middle and says it has good drinkability. In the next month or so(if that long), the drinkability factor could easily rise but I'm drinking it now with some very late summer like temps so take that as you will. Bottom line, this is a tasty and drinkable example of the style and Alesmith, once again, did not let me down. A great brewery, all around.

Bitterbill, Oct 19, 2009
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!

Deuane, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of stevenseg
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Scotch ales are typically very caramelly and the alcohol heavy. I am looking for a very robust flavor and have never been disappointed by Alesmith ales. Give me a great Scotch ale!

The Wee Heavy Scotch ale pours nice and dark. I think I may have overdone the pour as I ended up with a little too much head (not a bad case when you're not talking about beer). It's probably going to be a little flat for me. The head is nice and sticky and has some staying power. It sits atop a nice dark and thick brown body.

The nose is very sweet. Almost like a wine or blunt cider. Very little hops or peat roasting evident. The Wee Heavy reminds me more of a barleywine.

There is a very caramel-like taste coming through. I love it. The malts are roasted to perfection. Not much hop bitter on the back end, but that's not what Scotch ales are about.

I cannot judge the mouthfeel aside from body. My daughter knocked over the bottle and totally ruined the conditioning. It seems like it would be balanced, however. Wee Heavy is a very heavy-bodied beer, though, and I think I like a little less in Scotch ales. The caramel notes and a slightly lighter body would be heavenly and...

...really improve the drinkability. As it stands, the Wee Heavy taste is outstanding. Like I said, a lighter body would be nice, but I understand it's hard to get the sweetness without some viscosity. Overall Alesmith has not let me down again.

stevenseg, Oct 10, 2009
AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 860 ratings.