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AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

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

781 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 781
Reviews: 411
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.83%


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: 781 | Reviews: 411 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of pmarlowe
pmarlowe

District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler to tulip glass.

A: Pours a clear, light brown with a few cm of bright beige head, largish bubbles. Very good retention and some lattice lacing and swirls.

S: Delicious dark fruit (cherry, plum), spiced rum, dark molasses, and caramel malts.

T: Dark, fleshy fruit, fruity esters, very earthy, some dry molasses, and toasty malt. Finishes fairly dry. Excellent balance here: big, rich flavors but not overly so like you get in Wee Heavys.

M: Quite creamy like milk chocolate, medium-full body and medium-light carbonation. Sticky sticky.

O: Complex, a bit too big to be drinkable, but tasty in small doses. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: growler

10-25-2012 18:02:17 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer

California

3.63/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look: Pours a coca cola brown color with no head at all. When I swirled the beer there was maybe a 1/8 head but I was not at all impressed with the look of the beer

Smell: Upfront the beer carries a rubbing alcohol or nail polish burn and that is backed up by some dark fruits

Taste: Upfront are some figs and raisins that are backed up by a slight chocolate note and finishes with a bit of alcohol this was the best part of the beer

Mouthfeel: Full body and feels thick with very little carbonation

Overall: I had high hopes for this beer because I typically love Alesmith products but this one for me missed the mark

Serving type: growler

11-22-2011 01:47:54 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of rtaps
rtaps

California

4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, with deep red tint. nice tan frothy head and minimal lacing

S- Sweet, fruity, almost and apple juice aroma.

T- similar to the smell, sweet malts, fruity, mild hops balanced well. and very slightly smokey

m- smooth, medium bodied and carbonation.

overall this was a pleasantly nice beer, tastes better than it smelt.

Serving type: growler

11-20-2011 21:49:23 | More by rtaps
Photo of hoppymeal
hoppymeal

Michigan

3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cola brown to black in color with reddish hues and a small light tan colored head. Aroma is sweet and smoky, molasses and chocolate with some nice smokiness, not a roastiness as much as smoke alone. First sip shows a rich and fairly full body with flavors of caramel and buttery toffee, rich sugary malts have their way for a good long time on the tongue before a slightly acidic, slightly dry finish that leaves a pleasing smoky aftertaste. There is a hint of a peppery spiciness that helps to balance the richness. A nice enjoyable beer, it feels like it would be a great accompaniment to a nice cigar to cut through the big sweet body and blend with the already smoky flavors.

Serving type: growler

03-25-2007 18:25:16 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of scottoale
scottoale

California

4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh from the source, another big-brown growler of an AleSmith gem. It pours a beautiful deep, darkish burgundy red with a half inch of a creamy tan head. Nice delicate lacing, trailing behind each sip.

The smell is sweet and of ripe dark fruits...malty and strong in alcohol. Hops don't come into play in the smell here.

The flavor is a thick and chewy, caramel rich toffee roasted malt. Again, dark ripened fruits set the stage with a healthy dose of alcohol, running away with the act. Finishes a bit thick and earthy with a potent kick to be reckoned with.

Not a style that's a crowd pleaser, but a damn good sort of ale that I truly enjoy...even more-so in the barrel aged version.

Serving type: growler

11-07-2006 09:34:33 | More by scottoale
Photo of Leesure
Leesure

Pennsylvania

3.89/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 25oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Look: rich caramel color with a thin creamy head.

Smell: malty and yeasty with hints of vanilla.

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2014 17:32:08 | More by Leesure
Photo of tmzl
tmzl

Slovenia

4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Year old bottle.

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

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2014 10:03:24 | More by tmzl
Photo of SportsandJorts
SportsandJorts

Michigan

3.74/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: mahogany tending towards black. Two fingers of a tan head that fade slowly and leave a lacing behind. Red hues through light and noticeable clarity through thinner sections

Smell: super malty and super sweet. Caramel and toffee and brown sugar. Some roasty to smokey malts as well. Lots of peat and earthiness.

Taste: opens up with sweet caramel, toffee and brown sugar. Next comes some roast and smoke mixing with the peat. A hint of alcohol but not much

Mouthfeel: starts of a bit creamy but ends up bitter from earthy hops, peat and smoke. Good thick mouthfeel

Overall: good big beer. Lots of sweetness but too much peat, smoke and roast for me. Also I am not the biggest fan of the bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2014 02:16:47 | More by SportsandJorts
Photo of emyers
emyers

Illinois

4.29/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with a 1 inch light brown head. Decent lacing.

Smell: Rich caramel, toffee, molasses. Hints of smoke and peat. A bit of raisin. No alcohol presence. Complex.

Taste: Similar to the smell, with caramel/toffee, molasses, peat, and dark fruit. Quite rich. It's sweet, but with enough bittering hop presence to keep it far from cloying.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with medium carbonation. I could probably do with a little less carbonation, but it's a minor complaint.

Overall: Exemplary wee heavy.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 05:29:25 | More by emyers
Photo of keithmurray
keithmurray

New York

4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - deep dark brown color with tan head

Smell - plums, raisins, grapes, cocoa

Taste - raisin, plum, grapes, toffee, chocolate, brown sugar

Mouthfeel - smooth, creamy, full& luscious carbonation, medium bodied, slightly sweet upfront and a bit of roastiness in the finish, not boozy at all

Overall - one of the better available wee heavies. Try it if you see it.

Price Point - $11.99/ 750ml bottle

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 01:29:00 | More by keithmurray
Photo of BoldRulerVermont
BoldRulerVermont

Vermont

4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 750 ml bottle into oversized snifter glasses.
Pours a nice deep dark brownish burgundy. Minimal head.
Smells very nice. Some spice, bit of cloves, lots of caramel and deep roastiness.
Taste is in line with aromas. More complex. Some raisin, some dark fruit. Perfectly balanced with malts. Where is the alcohol? This is 10% abv? Surprisingly absent from the taste profile. Something I have come to expect from Wee Heavys. This is not a knock, just something new for the style for me anyway.
Mouthfeel was nice.
Overall, this is a very nicely crafted Wee Heavy and honestly, probably the most drinkable Wee heavy I've ever had. Could have used more alcohol in the taste, but it was delicious.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 15:23:41 | More by BoldRulerVermont
Photo of artoolemomo
artoolemomo

Oregon

4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Pours up a huge amount of head which looks to have obnoxious, I mean, excellent retention. The head is a light to medium beige/tan while the body is a dark chestnut brown that shows a lot of burgundy and garnet when held up to the light. Substantial lacing as already been left.

Nose- Nice solid, Scotch ale aroma. Big notes of caramel and brown bread. Some toffee. Light notes of raisin and dark fruit. Some roasted notes hang in the background. Faint citrus. Swirling shows deeper notes of raisins and dark fruit. Some banana.

Taste- Takes the nose and runs with it. Big notes of caramel and toffee that are flush with raisins and dark fruit. Big, brown bread. Nice subtle smoke on the finish that gives this more complexity and adds more nuance than your average Scotch ale. Some banana, some honey, even a suggestion of coconut around the edges. Lots of complexity but still fairly smooth. There is a slight bitterness from the combination of smoke, wood, and roasted malts. No indication of alcohol which makes this a very dangerous beer. Great balance and integration. Really good beer with some flashes at being great. I imagine the barrel-aged version accomplishes this but I don't want to spend 40 dollars to find out. Some brown sugar and molasses. With the pronounced malt presence you might think that this beer would be cloying but it's way too refined for that. Some oak. Brown sugar tends toward maple syrup and the oak and smoke suggest ash, tobacco, and leather.

Mouthfeel- Between medium and heavy bodied with light carbonation. Some syrup to the texture.

Drinkability- This doesn't drink at all like a 10% beer and is definitely dangerous. Solid to almost great Scotch ale that I would have no problem purchasing again. 11-12 bucks is a little pricey but it's well worth with it.

Overall- Really good beer that has some inclinations toward being great. Very good representation of the style and a must try for fans of it. Fans of any style should enjoy it as well. It's very accessible and very easygoing. I'm glad I finally gave this a shot. I will be looking for the barrel-aged version on tap.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 02:53:23 | More by artoolemomo
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

nice take on a scotch ale, less peaty and smoky than many out there, this is driven by malt sweetness rather than earthiness, but retains some of the quintessential characteristics of the style. dark brown amber color, dense looking, without a short lived tan head. a nose of sweet musty grain, caramel malt, brown sugar, and smoke. the taste isn't that sweet though, only a little in the finish when it warms up and the booze comes out to play a little bit. its not as full bodied as i like mine to be, but it helps this drink pretty easy. a beer that almost demands food. smoked meats, cured meats and cheeses, even bread pudding all leap out at me as foods that this beer was made for. well hidden abv for the most part too. well made bottle, a must share though at this strength and density.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 20:00:02 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

04/10/13 is the date on the bottle, bottom left corner in a white box

Thanx jzeilinger:

Into a thistle:

A: dark brown close to brown colored body with a two finger white foamy head that dies at a nice pace; lacing is extremely light and tries to cling but spider webs and slides

S: a nice assortment of caramels, chocolates, the normal light peat that usually comes in a Scotch ale, slightly boozy

T: sweet through the previously mentioned flavors; nice boozy somewhat chocolatey aftertaste; the finish is really interesting actually, I get the sense that it wants to be dry, hmmm....but comes across slightly smooth and sweet, maybe even somewhat sticky

M: she sits about a medium in body; sessionable - not really, more of a sipper; carbonation comes across slightly smooth

O: you know what - wow, I really like this Scotch Ale, wow, the ABV seems to have died a bit in the taste and mouthfeel since its from April of 2013, but hey, I must have had it at the exact right time as there's just enough "boozy" feel for a nice Alaskan winter's night

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2014 06:50:42 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of Ego
Ego

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

eyes...
it may not count in my rating but alesmith has a great look to their line of brews and the simplicity of their logo.
anyhoo, small sizzle with soapy craggy foam, the cap is off white and after the sizzle session it fades pretty quick but does not disappear completely, there is a nice meniscus but not much in the lacing department, legs are apparent from the ABV... but not long legs, about as deep ruby as deep ruby can get, when held up to the light a torrent of bubbles is revealed, a good
looking brew

nose...
sharp grapes mixed with malty sweetness, almost vinegar bite, spicy like bits of cinnamon floating on a gentle breeze, slight waft of the booze, pretty standard for the style

taste etc...
smooth like silk on the mouth feel side of things, really subtle carbonation that just is perfect, the use of hops here is great, it adds just enough bitterness to make this very american-ized but not so much so (ie over-hopped), the malts are real nice, they have an almost maple syrup
like quality to them except with that wee heavy bite, the ABV is well in place and not a distraction at all (dangerously so I might add), the malt flavor really pops - I think it has to do with the hops that really play well off each other, great use of the right hops here.

verdict?
addictive, at first I was not blown away but damn this grows on you like VD, except good VD. Really consistent flavor, fantastic mouth feel and a kicked up ABV - what's not to love?

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 05:18:02 | More by Ego
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

750 ml bottle poured into a tulip.
10% ABV, Bottled on 10/11/13, "Serve in a Goblet at 50-55°"

"Wee heavy's complex malt profile lends itself very well to a host of roasted or grilled meat and vegetable dishes. Robust cheese, salty blues, and nutty farmhouse-style cheeses also pair very well with this beer."

A - Prune-like in color, the beer is almost black in the glass but when held up to the light, hues of purple, mirroring the bottle's printing, poke through the dark copper color. Vigorously poured, the beer has a plump khaki head that slowly diminishes to leave plenty of whispy lace caked on the glass.

S - AleSmith's Wee Heavy has a subdued aroma, completely lacking in hops but soft with malt complexity; faint sweetness suggests caramel and toffee while undercurrents of dark fruit drift through and leave prune and raisin notes smeared on toasted wheat bread.

T - Like the aroma before it, the flavor of AleSmith's Wee Heavy is terribly subdued to the point of being peculiar. Smooth? Sure, but there's little going on, just like the aroma; sweetness resembling caramel and toffee hovers over the dark fruitiness but both attributes seem purposefully suppressed as the finish is clean and without any lingering character.

M - Medium bodied for a higher alcohol, malt-driven beer, Wee Heavy's sugars have been almost completely fermented out leaving a clean profile from start to finish, grazing over the tongue with slickness that finishes with next to no trace of sweetness nor bitterness; only a slightly warming touch of dry alcohol remains.

O - AleSmith has created one of the most interesting and personally conflicting beers in Wee Heavy; on one hand their ability to completely downplay the amount of alcohol this beer contains is quite incredible; it's barely even HINTED at! On the other hand, the subtle nature of the malt profile shows serious promise but, with each sip, I wonder where the flavor's run off to. Deep complexity is one thing but to have next to no stand-out flavor at all is another. I would expect some forward sweetness...at least something; all the characteristics seem to hide in the shadows unfortunately. It leaves me feeling that the only reason I might reach for this beer again would be to down something high in alcohol with little temperament; not a sugar bomb, not super bitter, just...there.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 23:58:20 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of MighHighBrewer
MighHighBrewer

Colorado

4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottled in June 2013 poured into a tulip.

A: Chocolate brown color bordering on black. Carbonation is not evident immediately upon pouring, but makes itself known within 30 seconds with a brilliant pillowy 1/4-inch head. Lacing is average.

S: Toffee, smoke, biscuit malt, and caramel. Very malt-forward nose with almost no hoppy notes present.

T: A very complex, yet well-balanced beer. Caramel and toffee sweetness are at the forefront with smoke and stone fruit in the background. I was surprised at the hoppiness of the beer. It's definitely not a Pale Ale, but they managed to get just enough earthy hops in there to balance out the sweet notes of the beer. Exceptionally balanced.

M: Amazing. It's definitely a heavy beer without being syrupy. It's an easy-drinking 10-percenter.

O: I'm a big fan of this beer. It's probably AleSmith's most balanced offering. It's malty and sweet without being cloyingly so. It's a high ABV beer without being syrupy. The taste profile is really complex, yet everything works in harmony. This is one seriously underrated beer. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 23:14:01 | More by MighHighBrewer
Photo of Etan
Etan

Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml into a tulip.

A: Pours a blackish brown with a nice beige head.

S: Thick mapley maltiness, caramel, burnt sugar, grain husk, soft and sweet.

T: Taste brings smooth vanilla, toffee, mild fig and raisin notes, a bit of roasted barley.

M: Thick-bodied with light carbonation, very silky. Awesome feel.

O: A fantastic scotch ale. Love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2013 01:16:45 | More by Etan
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85

Minnesota

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 Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. Pours dark brown with a big creamy light tan head that retains well and laces the glass some.

The aroma is sweet smokey peat malts.

The flavor is sweet caramel and toffee malts with a little dark fruit and some smokey peat in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with light carbonation.

Overall, nice scotch ale - a little too sweet.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2013 04:53:36 | More by Beaver13
Photo of pkalix
pkalix

California

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

wee heavy, my butt . . . this stuff is just plain HEAVY....
beautiful thick creamy, rich HEAD on top of a super dark brown and thick liquid. malty aroma; malty and sweet to the point of wondering if this ought to be classified as a dopplebock....what IS the difference between a wee heavy and a dopplebock, anyway?
some bitterness at the front, the sweet aroma is definitely taking a back seat to this bitter 'twang'. thick and heavy, bitter and twang-y. I guess the 10% abv is why it's so difficult to quaff down... maybe a good storage in a bourbon barrel would do it some good....
overall, it does its job. and a good job it does. it's decent, it's not terribly difficult to drink, and at 10% that's an admirable quality. but the higher abv does seem to make a difference and maybe this one can stand to make an improvement? or, maybe at a BA score of 93, it doesn't need to improve itself.... it just seems a bit 'thick' to me. but still a great finished product!

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2013 22:51:03 | More by pkalix
Photo of MikeMilanoDesign
MikeMilanoDesign

California

4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

great beer. had it at story tavern in burbank, ca.

appearance: super dark, almost pitch black

taste: very full bodied scotch ale. bit on the sweeter side though. hints of berries and
sweat candied fruit. light warmth.

mouthfeel: thick and not to carbonated

overall its great but i think it would be 10x better if it aged for 6 months to a year.

Serving type: on-tap

09-22-2013 23:48:24 | More by MikeMilanoDesign
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.49/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As really a Barleywine dressed in Scottish Strong Ale clothing- this heavily malted beer extends beyond the realm of anything Scottish and enters the world of cognac, brandy and Scotch whisky but in the most succulent and candied way possible.

Pouring an ominous tawny bronze color, its mysterious haze allows just enough light to pierce that its brilliant depth of colors may be explored. As a slow and deliberate rise of bubbles coat the surface, they are short lived as the slowly creep toward the edge before holding firm through the remainder of the session. With no lace in sight, the ale instead relies on its sugar laden brandy-type legging to adorn the sides of the glass.

Savory, sultry and undeniably masculine, the aromas of black-strap molasses captivates the nose immediately. Its rich and succulent scent is chocked full of chocolate, light coffee, light mesquite, vinous port, rum-soaked cherries, dates, figs, grapes and cashews. Heading into that first sip, its sweet and powerful scents are nearly as intimidating as they are rewarding.

Its incredible sweetness isn't for those that don't have a sweet tooth. Complex in taste- those deep molasses flavors are caramelly, nutty, and woodsy. Venturing past- other complexities keep building. First, there's a rich Belgian chocolate tone that joins with burnt toffee, and then reels in light Kona coffee, rich nutty taste, light campfire and cola. But then the fruity- winy flavors send the complexities into orbit! Rum-like and spicy, notes of dark, dried and pitted fruits offer up cherry, grape, figs and dates that when joined with a particular saltiness- reminds me of teriyaki.

With utmost certainty, the ale is full bodied and with a lush syurpy texture that layers on the mouth without apology. Its masculine strength offers up a warming tartness gives the texture a chewy character with a certain oily viscosity and makes it much more of a savory sipper that a quaffable drinking beer.

I have no problem with this ale being a "mere" Wee Heavy that's scaled up to Barleywine-type proportions. Forget the style. Forget the rules. Forget its origins and inspirations. One sip changes all that and demands that the beer be seen in a special light- one not meant for the mere entusiast.... but for the connoisseur!

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2013 05:59:48 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep cognac coloring supported a thin layer of foam the slowly ebbed away so that the ale actually resembled cognac in the snifter.

The scent is deep with dried fruits with prune, grape/raisin, and dates. The back is chocolatey with a slightness of sweet alcohols.

Chocolate hits the palate first and then the raisin and prune flavor carries near the end. The back is soft coffee that stays on the palate without objection. Dotted throughout the taste is vague tea leaves and malt.

The 10 pct ABV is hidden rather nicely in a lower carbonated setting, making this ale a real pleasure to experience.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2013 19:24:43 | More by KYGunner
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dgilks

Australia

4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark opaque mahogany with a rich, thick, tan head. Good head retention.

Toasty and nutty. Light fruitiness. Toffee. Quite complex.

Rich and toasty. Lovely hazelnut and toffee notes. Thick dried fruit character. Stunning.

Medium-full body with moderately-low carbonation. Excellent.

A stunning beer. Well balanced and so full of malt.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2013 09:53:31 | More by dgilks
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AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 781 ratings.