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AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

Educational use only; do not reuse.

444 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 444
Hads: 1,069
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 14.59%
Wants: 201
Gots: 228 | FT: 18
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:
Beer added by: Jason on 04-19-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of AleSmith Wee Heavy Alström Bros
Reviews: 444 | Hads: 1,069
Photo of jwc215
3.55/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to PhxHrn and Solomon420 for each sending me a bottle!

750 ml bottle, poured into tulip glass:

Pours hazed brown(a bit too cloudy, but fine as the darkness covers it enough). A nice light brown creamy head tops it off. Rich, then descends to a cover that holds up. Trailing lace sticks.

The smell is bready with dark (slightly tart) fruit (cherry/raisin), then some bitter chocolate. Not much of the expected peat smoke, if at all. Alcohol does show its strength. I liked the subsequent, and following, a bit more than the initial.

The strong alcohol and bitterish sharpness give way (though still show) to a chocolate sweetness, and earthy fruity bitterness. A hint of smoke comes through in the finish.

Creamy, though carbonation showing a bit more than expected when slowly swirled over the tongue. Sharp alcohol pierced the palate.

It's malty, but with big booze and some light bitterness (and hint of tart), with just a hint of smoke in the finish. A big, "different" (though certainly with enough traditional characteristics), interpretation of a Wee Heavy.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a bottle in California, consumed after the Bruery release party. Thanks ME!

Beer served in a Bruery tulip. Beer is brown and pretty hazy with a big off white head of small bubbles. Head falls away quickly and leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is high, looks good.

Mildly caramelly, mildly peaty, mildly sweet, smells good but I wanted more volume.

Beer is medium bodied and has a lot of carbonation on the palate. Its sweet up front with some caramel notes in the midpalate region and follows it up with nice malt presence and clean finish that isn't dry. Drinkability is high and I really liked this beer. I'm very interested in the barrel aged version of this beer now because I think this would take the barrel notes well, more wood more alcohol, sounds good to me.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer appears a dark brown color, with a medium-sized, sandy colored head and a fair mount of lacing. The aroma is definitely indicative of a Scotch ale. The beer tastes pretty good, and has a nice sweet malt character. Alesmith Wee Heavy is a pretty straight forward brew. I didn't find a lot of intricacies or intriguing flavors here, just a basic, plain Scotch Ale. There is a noticeable warming alcohol note in the finish, though not overpowering. Despite the lack of complexity, I thought this was a decent beer, and pretty drinkable, especially given the 10% abv. Overall, a good offering, though certainly not my favorite representation of the style.

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Photo of billab914
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Despite the heat here this evening I felt like opening something big tonight. Poured from a 750ml bomber into my Dogfish snifter. Poured dark brown in color with a big dense tan head filling one inch of the glass. Beautiful looking beer and pour. Very good head retention and lacing as well.

The aroma has a sweet malty flavor to it with some fig and plum dark fruits coming through. Some caramel, toffee and brown sugar are present as well. Very nice showcase of the maltiness in the nose.

The taste has a big malty and sweet profile up front with some nice dark fruits, caramel and toffee coming through. Closer to the finish the beer shows more of a smoky, roasted, coffee, earthy bitterness to it that I really like. Just a little bit of alcohol coming through in the finish. Excellent tasting Wee Heavy, love the complexity.

The mouthfeel is on the thicker side, with a nice creaminess to it. The carbonation is below average and pretty appropriate for the style and size of the beer. Drinkability is very good, it's an excellent tasting beer overall. Probably the best of the style I've had and another very impressive beer from Alesmith.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a 1/2" tan head that fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a rich, malty scent that boasts of caramel and peated malts. It screams of burnt toffee with a sweet malt scent and a warm elevated abv element. The taste is good. It has a warm, malty flavor that goes down smooth and finishes dry and a bit bitter. There is an earthy element here that compliments the caramel malts. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking Scotch ale. It's a warmer for sure, but I love the malt character.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

02/13/06- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle...from I think a 2005 bottling. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Milk chocolate colored pour headed towards a darker brown as it settles. Good inch plus foamy head with adequate lacing. Good amount of chunky sediment flops into the glass.

Smell- Great scented malt fills the room. Lots of caramel and dark fruits fill the air. Grapes, plums, raisins and dates inplode. Wonderful nose.

Taste- This does not disappoint. Loads of sweet super roasted malt with a caramel/toffee flavor. A tad smoky it seems at times. Grape, not really vinous grape, but more like jolly rancher or candied grape flavor mixes with plums and dates. Alcohol does not seems as high as listed.

Mouthfeel- A bit heavily carbonated, but still goes down easy.

Drinkability- The best Wee Heavy I think I have had to date. Super easy to drink. A pleasure to quaff.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dixonian for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a brownish color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the peat smoke, with some toffee and caramel malt thrown in. The flavor is a bit more complex. I get some nice toffee and dark fruit notes, along with a hint of peat smoke and some light alcohol notes. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice Scotch ale, glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a good wee heavy glass, and also a tulip suggested by the brewery.

A real interesting small pour produces little head off the tulip, aggression brings a caramel light fluffy head while drinking. Falls very fast with a lot of snapping sounding carbonation, and leave a pencil thin collar. While consuming the ring of glass gets coated in lots of spider like lacing all the way down. Body color is a deep dark brownish red, with some honey brown chestnut hues along the edges..

Nose is subtle, toffee like malts which are tiny, but a big sense of sweet concord grape juice. Hints of cherries and nutmeg. Pretty unique and interesting, but no strong alcohol, and clean and airy.

Palate hits at first with a tight fizz and a hint of carbon dioxide. Mid palate opens with a light caramel, but this feels and tastes more like a Belgian quad character. Hints of Flanders like cherries, and a very faint charing on the finish. Some small chocolate hiding in the background and cherry coke like sensibility.

Overall this is real interesting, but it seems like the toffee sense on this is downplayed. I normally like a good sense of that, and this reminds me more of a quad which doesn't always grab me when I want a Wee Heavy. It's got a great flavor profile, but it's not what I look for in this style, and they all seem like they are trying to play nice together but have a hard time fitting well with each other nicely. Regardless, it's a very well crafted beer.

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Photo of Billolick
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Woo hoo, another Ale Smith selection available in on the east coast/Massachusetts! Heavy glass bottle, silver foil and resplendent . Pours rich mahogany, dark dark amber, under a long lasting creamy mocha head, leaves plenty of well developed lacing. Emits a lovely sweet malt nose. Speaking of sweet malt, this beer oozes over the top, luscious and enjoyable malts. Whole wheat toast, maple, milk chocolate, smoke, peat, layer after layer of malty yummyness. Makes you want to slather it on some pancakes and all is good. Go get some, enjoy it today or lay it down for a year or two.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

25oz bottle into some Duvel tulips at the compound.

Dirty tree bark brown with some marron highlights and burnt red spots making for a dark drink. A nice inch and a half of semi thick dark bronze foam creating minimal stick.

Wee-Heavy has a nose in it, this one is heavy on the english malts creating a toffee vibe under some caramel. Slight cocco powder and a whiff of alcohol under all of that. More warming brings out small apple.

Alesmith's Wee Heavy brings it where others just glance at the style. English, English, English malt, small toffee, slight roasted malt and some peat in the middle, weak coffee. No bells and whistles here, it's great for the style, but bigger than whart most do making it stand out.

Feel is really smooth, this one just sort of goes down. The alcohol is masked very well and there is a bit of heat on the backend but not much and it adds extra depth to the feel and profile.

This one has been on my radar for a bit and Im glad I plopped down the loot for it. Very overpriced for what you get(as with most Alesmith products) but it's great for the style. I can see a bit of benefit from some short term aging, although I have no idea how old the bottle I had was which is a real shame.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a CCB snifter. No bottle date. Shame, Alesmith! Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Deep brown. A bit translucent. Decent retention and lacing.

Smell - Butterscotch and caramel. Everything you'd expect from a scotch ale. But hops? What is that? Way too hoppy.

Taste - Much like the smell. Caramel, toffee, butterscotch. It's all cut by the hop flavor. Strong hoppy flavor in the finish, without being bitter. Too much.

Mouthfeel - Good mouthfeel. The hop bitterness cuts the sweetness. Really nice. Not bitter, but balanced.

Overall - Off-style from the hops. Good, but not what I expected.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2000 Vintage, Sampled January 2006
This beer pours with a thin, yet well defined, tight amber tinged, dark tan colored head. The beer is a deep amber brown color that is opaque when held up to the light. The aroma is still rich and concentrated; notes of smooth aged malt, figs, prunes, hints of date, and some slight sherry. Laying on top of the aroma is a dusty character, which may have been contributed by the cork. The aroma is quite intense and still quite intriguing. The fruitiness seems to be the dominant character at this point.

The taste is lightly sweet up front, and quickly picks up a concentrated fruitiness reminiscent of figs and prunes. The finish has a bit of roast character to it that reminds me of a brown malt. The body has thinned out considerably, but the malt character is still intense and even fruity, which helps to make this beer satisfying. There is a bit of a phenolic note in the finish, which seems to be all that is left of some smokey character.

I would have to say that this beer is past its prime, but certainly not by much. I really like the combination of the aged malt character with the rich fruit notes. They pair well together and make this beer rich and satiating despite the body, which has thinned out over the years.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hollingshead's and served in a Chimay goblet, on to the beer:

The beer is really a dark reddish brown, but in the goblet it looks black. Good head on top of it. Aroma is sweet and alcoholic. Interesting change of events in the taste. For the first portion of my sample it tasted like smoked chocolate with a kick of alcohol. But the farther I got along with the beer, it started to taste like red grapes, pixie candy and raisins. The booze was still there, and an afteraste of molasses lingers. Body is medium to medium-heavy.

This is one strong wee heavy, it pushes the boundaries of the style with its raw strength. My one nitpick is it isn't as drinkable as other wee heavy's I've had.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A California wee heavy? Right, those surfer dudes and tree huggers can't make a Scottish style ale to save their hop-heads. Or can they...?

The answer is a profound 'yes'. While it's no T.House or Skull Splitter, this little ale is quite good. The shiny brown pour and slight, foamy/filmy head just look like a meal.

The first half whiff of aroma is smoky, but not much. Peaty perhaps is a better description. Sweet dark caramel and molasses. Nutty. Dark fruit--plum, prune?

The thing I like about wee heavies is the attention to malt. They really highlight what malt can do to/with/for a beer. Roasty, sweet, smoky, fruity, smooth, 'chewy'. This one has all the above. Juicy would be another word. Although this one has a touch of earthy hops, perhaps too much for my style-crosshairs. But who am I? I drink beer. And I'll have this again

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Photo of tempest
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a red wine glass from the big green bottle. My first impressions are that this is the second best Scotch ale I've ever had, after Silver City's Fat Bastard. I found this wee heavy/scotch relatively hoppy, but pleasantly so in a way that balanced the heavy malt and left a nice, grassy bitterness. The malt was a big caramel, with smoke, and the hops I mentioned. Definitely worth a try for something new in the style.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours really dark copper with a small bubbly tan head, quick to a thick lacing.
Smells accordingly, with sweet caramelised malts, mild toast, walnut, peanut, raisin, light dark cherry, faint herbal hop, spices, alcohol.
Sweet caramel and spices right at the start, backed by nice dried dark fruit (date, fig, raisin) and some "pulpy" dark cherry. Bits of baking chocolate, pepper, brown sugar, cookie dough. Not too earthy, but there's a really nice sweet nut flavor, sugared toast too. Warm booze in the finish.
Aftertaste has nice dried fig and date, some cocoa powder and nut peel, light toasted malts. Medium body and carbonation. Just sweet enough, and the alcohol is hidden enough, tho it tends to pile up.
Great stuff, perfectly in-style, and then some. Big surprise.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Dark brown, with a medium tan, off-white head.

S: Smells of caramel malt, molasses and peat.

T: Big malt notes, some whiskey and bourbon, peaty, went great with BBQ, a great tasting beer.

M: Thick, creamy, smooth, and robust, you know you're drinkin' a beer.

D: A great Wee Heavy, smooth and tasty, robust but easy to drink, I really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of BillRoth
4.88/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been drinking Alesmith Wee Heavy over quite a few years, and had forgotten it as I tried so many beers... from so many places.
Earlier this year I was at the Alesmith brewery and was looking to enjoy Speedway and some other seasonal/special release beers. All were very good (very good!) as I would have hoped.
But I was surprised how awesome the Wee Heavy was. It rrally stood apart from the other tastings. So I picked up a bottle and let it cellar for 9 months...probably should have waited longer.
It was an exceptionally good beer. Poured into my old Flanders Street imperial pint glass. It poured deep and dark; rich with malt. The head was rich and creamy and settled at a level finger like a well rounded cask poured pint. The aroma was welcoming...rich in roasted malt sugars, rich fruit, light kelp and peat. Flavor mirrored nose but sparkled with hints of dried fruit, caramel and a touch of plums...??whisky too.
Mouth was rich and well rounded, full bodied and yet light on the tongue. Wonderful!
This is a special beer. I love Wee Heavys, but this is like a luxury sedan compared to very nice standard vehicles.Seek it out. Be patient, wait a year...and enjoy. You'll probably wish you could open a second immediately.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was aged for about a year and 1/2 before drinking. Poured a hazy, muddy brown with an orange tint. Little head, some lacing. The smell is very malty, but the alcohol burn in this one is gone after aging. Despite the fairly low level of carbonation, there is something fairly spritzy on the nose, as well as plentiful dark fruits and a touch of molasses. The taste is very smooth and geentle at the start with no noticeable alcohol but lots of restrained sweet malt, followed by a growing malt explosion that culminates in bursts of chocolate, bitters, spice, rum soaked fruitcake, and a late cocoa finish. Very smootth and creamy, this is eeven a little undercarbonated for me by this point. Quite interesting and delicious and worth drinking. I should have aged it for about 6 months less to optimize the balance of elements and retain a little more spritz. Delicious.

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Photo of Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
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 Gobzilla
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a super dark brown with reddish brown highlights that had a finger a khaki colored head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the aroma was quite boozy but was able to sniff out dark fruits especially raisins, some chocolate malts, caramel, toffee, and some faint coffe notes; pretty complex nose

T: the brown sugar notes are more potent on the palate and the booze is much more hidden as well. It still had coffee character, dark fruits, and caramel accents.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, slight astringent, boozy, and silky finish.

D: it drank really good and is very tasty for the style. This beer has definitely been above average every time I've had it and I'm glad I have access to it on a daily.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


On tap at Alesmith.

A: Deep brown with a wicked crimson tinge. The beige head is creamy and leaves scattered lacing.

S: Malt is rich and at the forefront. Notes of baked bread, caramel, a little toffee, plum, fig, date, and prune. Earthy and smoky notes waft from the glass with each swirl. Complex and quite aromatic.

T: Moderately sweet with a low level of bitterness. Malt is rich with a very faint roasted presence. Bready, smoky, and earthy, with restrained alcohol flavor and notes of caramel and prune. Finish exhibits warming.

M: Upper medium body with an upper low level of carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth and silky with notable warming and a stickiness on the palate.

Overall: An excellent Strong Scotch Ale.

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Photo of biegaman
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pumpernickel loaf with cranberry stuffing and buttered rum edges. It is a lovely melange of colours with strokes of browns, reds, yellows and all combinations of the bunch. The tone is deep and heavy set but brims with accenting nevertheless. A puffy pillow of head mushrooms up across the top; it appears to have unpacked for a long stay.

It's hard to overstate how good this smells. Also, how many smells there are. It is a spicy, malty, fruity bouquet with hints of peat and smoke, caramel and toffee, molasses and herbal tea. Far and away, this aroma is strongly reminiscent of a plum pudding with prominent features of figs, raisins, brandy, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

And all those notes translate perfectly into flavour. Once again, the taste of plum pudding (raisins, figs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and brandy) is fragrantly spicy, peaty and deliciously fruity. Strong caramelization and plenty of spiced, candied dark fruits have made for a super rich beer. That said, this is not only decadent but incredibly mellow and complex. If this was all I knew of Scotch Ales it would most certainly be my favourite style.

This bottle had probably lived to see its second birthday so I might be inclined to think that is what blended the flavours and mellowed out the alcohol. But having tried a small sample fresh off draught at the brewery, I know the beer's disposition is always this ripe and matured (and deceitful about its potency!). Despite being so tuneful and savory, this has all the ultra-earthy, full-bodied, chewy rich viscosity one could ask for.

I went to great lengths and significant financial costs to show Alesmith the meaning of support, so naturally, I expected them to show me the meaning of tasty, masterfully crafted beer - and they certainly have. This Wee Heavy is far and away the best example of the style I have yet to come across and I'd be only so happy to go to the same means to get another bottle. This really is an astonishing piece of brewing artistry.

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Photo of weeare138
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appears a dark, dense mahogany with a beige head that fades into a small cap and bubbly collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, light smoke, banana flambe, and rum cake.
Taste is of the same aromas with a standout of cocoa.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, warming, & laden with caramel, vanilla, toffee, and a light smokiness running along the palate.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
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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AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 444 ratings.