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AleSmith Wee Heavy | AleSmith Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
455 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
455
Ratings:
1,150
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
14.56%
 
 
Wants:
209
Gots:
250
For Trade:
16
AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 04-19-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 455 | Ratings: 1,150
Photo of MSchae1017
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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Photo of macster
4.44/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of watermelonman
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured to a dark near-black color with a bit of orange and red. The head is small but leaving some nice lace.

The smell is strong and very good. Plenty of dark malt, some subtle dark fruits, and smoke are all present. The taste is also strong and has a ton of different flavors. It starts off with dark malt and a bit of toffee, and finishes with smoke. Hops and alcohol are both present but do not take over. The mouthfeel is full and drinkability is good.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Chocolaty copper with some amber highlights. Fairly clean with just a few bubbles lingering in the glass. The head is nice roasted marshmallow made up of tight, thick bubbles.

S: Bakers chocolate, port, vanilla, raisins, brandy and toffee. Great.

T: Chocolaty and divine. Slight bourbon astringency in the highs with gorgeous rounded butterscotch and vanilla base flavors. Minor coffee, molasses and brown sugar. Finishes with earthy bitter hops and a lingering mocha flavor.

M: Full bodied and creamy.

D: Delicious. Alcohol a bit too apparent.

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Photo of blackie
4.4/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle split with blackie, obtained in a trade with Solomon420

appearance: poured into a chalice, dark plum-garnet-mahogany body, light beige/khaki head with only slight lacing

smell: nice wee heavy aromas...raisin, sweet malt, milk chocolate tones, light booze, caramel, booze covered cherry, fig

taste: This is a very nice scotch, but the alcohol is a bit hot which makes this one quite obviously inferior to the Lake Louie's in my eyes...booze is way too hot for me but if you can get beyond that you have a nice smooth scotch...milk chocolate covered raisin, booze covered cherry, plum and other dark fruit, roasted grain, sugar sweet malt

mouthfeel: nice smooth body with a big alcohol follow through

drinkability: judged to the highest standard, its a little underwhelming

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Black95tt: Poured a clear burgundy color ale with a small slightly off-white dirty head with average retention. Aroma of sweat malt with subtle hints at dry fruits. Aroma is mix between some roasted malt with some dry fruits sweetness. Body is a bit thin for my own liking and alcohol shows a little bit. I would have liked a bit more of a smoky/peat aroma to make this truly wonderful but this is a very good beer nonetheless.

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Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.77/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black cherry red body shows a high level of carbonation and hosts a deep tan head with large bubble concentration. Nose is very fragrent with strong tones of dark chocolate cherry and malt. Screams for a sweet ride ahead. Lichtly burnt malty goodness enters toe mouth. Very seet as previewed by the nose. Body is long and noticeabley high in alchol. Many characteristics resemble port greatly. Malty feel is doninent throughout and almost syrupy twords the finish. A extremely sweet over the top Scotish style. Mouthfeel is of sweet burnt malt. You couldnt drink much more than one of these 25 oz. 9% alc. bottles.

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Photo of Knuckles
2.76/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I like my wee heavies to have a bit of subtlety to them. I don't want to be mugged by the alcohol or gassed by the boozy nose. This beer has all the subtlety of "Natural Born Killers". When I poured it out, I thought I was smelling the red wine my friend had been drinking earlier. Then I stuck my nose in the goblet. Whoops.

Appearance: Easily the best part of the beer. A deep, dark brown with a lovely tan head.

Smell: Umm, so I understand there's a bit of alcohol in this thing because it smells like I could douse a shirt-wrapped stick in it, light it on fire and explore underground Seattle with that sumbitch lighting the way.

Taste: The alcohol really overwhelms everything else in this beer. I don't know what the malts taste like, or if there is any peat or anything else, because all I taste is hooch.

Mouthfeel: Hey, with a beer this high in gravity, it should be nice. It is. Very velvety and smooth.

Drinkability: To be truthful, this was undrinkable for me. Too much alcohol and very little else going on. I've had this beer for over six months, properly stored in my cellar. Thank god I didn't open it when I got it, or it might have killed me. I've got a few more Alesmiths in the cellar, I hope they are a bit more complex than this one.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.74/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 poured into a tulip it forms a tan head that leaves ring like lacing and the head fades to an out ring. Deep copper to brown body with medium carbonation.

This is one of those brews that you can get almost everything thats going to happen from the smell and appearance. Very rich chocolaty, deeply toasted and slightly charred give it some bitterness (although not much) and a bit of a smokehouse backer, add in the sweet side of caramel malts and you have the backbone and it translates to the taste nicely. As it warms it shows off more of the fruity phenols but its still takes some due dilligence to find.

Notes: I thought this was a bit of a boozy brew in the smell and taste and sometimes a little harsh around the edges. Porter'ish w/ a tough finish. I absolutely love Alesmith beers. They've set such a high standard that for this brewery this was just ok to me. Still well above average for the style.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml silkscreened, newer release.

pours a lot lighter than i'm used to for scotch ales.. brown tinged and clear. cascades in the glass though, and leaves a crusty, sparkly palmolive head.. cakes up nice on the edges too leaving some chunkiness. the beer itself is see through and slightly murky, blood red with burnt sienna highlights.

smells really malty and burnt, in a sweet way. not overly so. not much in the way of peppery spice.. some caramelized sugars and a little bit of dank bud-like earthy green freshness. deeper inhalations breed drool, the complex layers of toffee malt and delicately placed spiciness. aroma's got just enough of a milk chocolate hint too. really excellent.

amazing flavors.. if you're not holding on, sitting down.. if you expect the taste to match the color and visual thickness, well, you'll find yourself in a world of confusion as the blast of taste bowls your ass over. first is a nice pre-coat of hop oils and woozy, boozy alcohol. not too much though, but enough to wake you up and dilate your pupils. the beer expands to include some woody flavors and a hint of licorice.. it's all about the payoff here.. the big finish. it's got a hint of charred sugar crystal, some vanilla, and the basest tart vinous quality.. quite similar to actual grape juice. perfectly balanced yet huge. much silkier and more substantial than it looks.. which is nice for sipping. carbonation is healthy and not overdone.

drinkability? i love this kind of beer, but i think some people might have an issue doing anything than quietly, softly sipping it.. but who cares? this beer is meant to be savored in small sips. a big sip might cause a flavor-induced embellism or double stroke.. something bad of that sort.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

dark orangey reddish brown, with a slightly thin head.
the smell is sweet and malty with rich caramel, a little chocolate, molasses and fruit. the fruit is mostly a dark raisin aroma.
the taste is a lot less sweet than expected with a dry caramel character with molasses rolling in behind. the peat and hops dry things up at the finish, only to be followed by a sweet fried taste, like a glazed donut or, if you've ever had them, fried coconut shrimp. this actually works as a flavor in this beer despite how it sounds. the raisin in apparent thorughout as well as a black licorice that fades in and out. i also pick up vanilla imbedded somewhere in there. there is a moderate dose of alcohol and heat in there, that seems a little unecessary, but does not detract.
it's really quite dry and surprisingly, relatively medium bodied, which lends excellently to it's good drinkability. i expected a little cloying sweetness, but none was to be found. a damn good wee heavy, and from california no less.

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Photo of Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful Beer in the Glass. Deep mahogany brown colored beer with a light brown colored head.

Smell is malty and fruity with lots of fig aromas to it. Spicy alcohol scent carries the smell of whisky, smoke, vanilla and nuts to my nose. Fairly sweet smelling but more in the whisky is than beer.

Taste is semi sweet and smoky in the first sip. Some sting from the alcohol level here, you can in fact detect it. Quickly this beer becomes smoky and full of the flavor of walnuts with a pleasantly mild bitter after taste. Significantly warming in the chest as you drink it, this would make a great winter beer experience. This is an ale that is nuttier in flavor than fruity, much like a sherry wine.

Mouthfeel is good and thick, almost milky.

A good tasting ale here that is near great but is a little light on the malt for the beer style. This would be an awesome Christmas beer to share with the family at holiday time.

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Photo of SupaCelt
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This overpriced brew displays a mahogany tone. The pour prompts a tan head of short stature and duration which evolves into sloppy lace streamers. Carbonation is difficult to assess due to the rich intensity of the colour. The nose is heavy on saturated and burnt sugary impressions. Dark fruit esters and cocoa layer underneath the heavy hand of the crystal sugary tones. You could say it smells earthy and of peat if you want to toss cliche about like a ball. I choose such description. The taste is outshined at first by the rich and thick mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is nearly outrageous. Thick and creamy with bubbly palate play to boot. Now for the taste. Very pleasant. Cocoa and bitterness. Fruity darkness and sweetness. Lightly smoky. Wild fermented characters. Good. The drinkability is easy. No problems here. The price is a bit suspect to me. I am not saying that this is not a good brew. I just find fault with the fact that it is twice as expensive as other comparable (within 100 ml) bomber sized offerings that are at least in the same league with this. I will buy another brand as opposed to spending $12.99 on this. It is good, but it ain't made of gold. I mean seriously, is the cost of living that much greater in the west? This is Michigan land of the cheap. That is probably why they don't ship here. Good but c'mon...

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ole 750 mL bottle and it's mine, all mine! 9.5% ABV, eh? Well...

Dark crimson hued pour allowing nary a scant light through loaded with rising beading bubbles to a rock solid tan khaki dense pillowy head cap that slides a coating of lace down the glass.

Scents from this Wee Heavy remind me more of a pilsner-esque aroma which surprises me for the style. Subtle wafts of peat and smoky malts round out the nose complimented by a bit of almond extract.

First swigs: Smoked malt front with a blend of peat and chocolate cake. A touch of cocoa and a dryness that that immediatley is felt. Sweetness is kept in check with a delicate caramel and a kiss of anise.

Frothy feel with a creaminess and richness. Soft restrained carbination. Dry finish with a linger of booziness.

Last swigs: Cocoa and delicate smokey Scotch. Quite exquisite and enjoyable. Always happy to try new Alesmith bres.

Beer is good. Happy West coast "last bottle on the shelf" beering.

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Photo of merlin48
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle was $12.99 at the Dilly Deli in Cincinnati. Pours a clear, dark mahogany body topped with a skimpy beige head that quickly falls into spotty patch lacing. Aroma has a surprising chocolate essence, followed by toffee, dark fruits, and fresh white grapes. A mild note of smoky Scotch whiskey completes the bouquet. Mouthfeel is thick and full, with subdued carbonation. A bit fusel with alcohol as it warms. Taste is more chocolate than any other malty taste. Some scorched coffee notes mix with the bitter chocolate as a wave of dark fruits enters the picture. Becomes vinous and fusel as it warms to room temperature. Lots of rum soaked dark fruits toward the finish. The roasty chocolate and coffee seem out of place here. A bit of a struggle to finish as the big alcohol is anything but subtle. A slight disappointment, given the exceptional character of other Alesmith offerings I've been fortunate to sample.

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Photo of TheBungyo
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Usually I start with the appearance. In this case, I could smell the beer before I even poured. What I smelled was a massive chocolate scent. It was stunning. Anyway, after I got over that I did pour this into an imperial pint glass. There was just enough head to cover the surface. It was weblike, as if woven by a beer spider. The nose upon more thorough inspection is comprised of chocolate, a hint of molasses, and very dark fruits. I also get just the tiniest trace of strawberry and smoke. I get a trace of caramel in the rear, followed by what I can only describe as a pleasant sourdough taste. Wow. The mouth reminds me of scrubbing bubbles ... the carbonation washes over everything the beer touches, like mindless drones on a quest to massage.
I'm going to rate the drinkability a 5 because this just feels like something you'd break out on a really special ocassion. Like a promotion, or while sitting with a group of very close friends you don't see often. This would attach the perfect feeling of importance to such an event.
Clickpush, thanks for trading me for this!

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Photo of OStrungT
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a ruby red color with a tan head. The head fades slowly, leaving many laces. This beer really liiks nice. I like the mohogany color quite a bit.

This beer has a very complex nose. I detect some sweet caramel malt aroma. It also smells fruity. Plumbs, and figs are the most notable. It has a very mild floral hop profile. The alcohol content is very well hidden in the aroma.

This beer tastes very well balanced. It tastes of dark fruits. Plumbs, dates, prunes, raisins. It is also quite sweet. A mixture of caramel and molasses. The alcohol content is slightly noticable in the flavor. There is very little hop presence in the flavor.

This full bodied beer goes down surprisingly sommth. It leaves a dark fruit aftertaste. The alcohol ever so slightly warms as it goes down. This beer is carbonated perfectly for the style.

This beer might not be the best session beer. The alcohol content is up there. The flavor is quite nice however, so I think I can handle a 750 ML, but too many would be a problem.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml green bottle with foil-topped cap.

Color is a ruby-chestnut with hints of deeper red...almost purple at the edges when held to the light. Sticky, long-lasting, 1"-thick head that is off-white in color. Appreciable lacing of the glass. Aromas run rampant with smoky malt mixed with dark fruity esters. More of the same for the flavor. Beefy flavor comprised of the raisins, plums, molasses. Warming ABV shows up mid-taste and lasts almost to the end. Caramel sweetness with a twinge of char end this one. Quite tasty. Chewy-big mouthfeel. Thick. Drinkable, to say the least. The only downside is the price ($12.99 per bottle). Other than that, another quality AleSmith beer.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, muddled chestnut brown with a very thin, but persistant head of khahi. A swirl of the goblet reveals thick, syruppy legs.

Aroma is a heavenly overature of malty delight. Sticky caramel and scorched molasses toffe with warm, booze-soaked fruit compote, baking spice, and soft floral tones dripping with nectar. Undertones of prunes and oaky port get my tastbuds ready.

Flavor is absolutely lush and indulgant. Massive caramel infused fruit cake and berry-plum preserves with undertones of faintly smoky-sweet candied citrus peel anh honey drenched florals. Alcohol is known, but smooth. Finish is honey sweet and slightly toasty with a touch of bitter, Earthy hops. Methinks that Bruskiator has been sitting on this a while?!?

Body is huge, slick, and slippery on the tongue. Low carbonation lends to a heavy mouthfeel and chewy texture. A sipper, but definately worth the anticipation.

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Photo of cheers2beers
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Boolshot for tradeing me this fine beverage!

Served into a snifter:

Appearance: This beer pours a super dark brown almost black liquid. The head is ummm...what head? No head to be found other than thin off white ring around the brim of my glass.Minimal laceing to be found.

Smell: Sweet prunish,raisiny, sour and yet sweet tart apples, a hint of smokiness, a strong sweet malt character, mesquite wood, perhaps a little nutty, and even some licorice can be detected in the nose. Not much hops to note but the alcohol seems to linger in with the sweet malty drink.

Taste: The taste is very much like the nose to the "T". Exept the alcohol is much more potent. The sweet maltiness is the majority of this fine brew. Still no hops to jump out at you to say. Much more prevelent smoke and peat character. A cinnamon roll and/or raisin bread seems to play a role as well. This beer seems to be (so far) on my top scotch ale/wee heavy beers list. Very flavorsome!

Mouthfeel: Slick and oily with a fruity alcoholic film inside my mouth is left after each swallow. A medium body, almost thick with a good amount of carbonation even thou no head was produced.

Drinkability: This is definitely a fine brew in my opinion. A must try if you have not already. I would love to try this again perhaps aged with just one year to compare and to give me an excuse to drink this again.


Cheers2Beers

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Photo of francisweizen
3/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I Miss JPS! This one is ruddy brown with some yeast particulates and a small off-white burnt tan head that dies quickly and khaki. Aromas of roasted malts, some coffe, caramel, maybe some chocolate and a fiant whiff of greeny hops. Taste is ok, a bit muddle really, a bit hot and boozy and not very multi-dimensional. Mouthfeel is slick and hot in the mouth, drinkability suffers...Blah, sums it all up...C'mon Alesmith. Brew up that JPS recipe again! Bitches!

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Photo of paterlodie
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2001. Poors in without to much head and a brown beer with a white sauce like haze. Nose is mega malty, sweet and burnt with some straw and caramel chocolate. Taste is very alcoholic, sweet and smooth bitterness probaly mellowed down quiet a lot by age. Very smooth and rich taste though and perfectly balanced. Wonderfull to drink though think it should be drank as I don't think that more age makes this one any better. Thanks Skip and that 2002 Speedway stout was just marvelous!

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown color, some carbonation, a nice foamy head which lasts a long time, well it never really disappeared for me, tons of lacing throught out the drink.

S - Scents of sweet malts, caramel, plums.

T - The taste is great of sweet malts, caramel, and bit of smokyness. Also, a nice warm feeling going down, but the alcohol content is hidden well.

M - Medium body with a slight carbonation.

D - Very drinkable. Another great/tasty brew from AleSmith, would definitely buy again.

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Photo of MarineHokie
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle

A - Pours deep mahogany, leaving a slim ring of foam around the rim of the tulip glass. Seemed a little bit undercarbonated.

S - Vinious, port like, earthy, & peaty.

T - Sweet dried fruit then smoky oak and malt flattens across the tongue. Drys with an oaky crisp finish.

M - Fairly thin bodied and alcoholic.

D - Just sweet enough to make one enough. Split the 750 with two other folks.

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AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 455 ratings.