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AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

435 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 435
Hads: 1,037
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 5.24%
Wants: 194
Gots: 213 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 04-19-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 435 | Hads: 1,037
Photo of jwc215
3.55/5  rDev -15.5%
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. (1,077 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev -4%
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. (792 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
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. (586 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -4.8%
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. (410 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -4.8%
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. (661 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
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. (952 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (1,272 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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. (1,223 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.41/5  rDev +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. (1,149 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (584 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (417 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.95/5  rDev -6%
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. (1,489 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
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 (842 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.03/5  rDev -4%
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. (700 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
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. (619 characters)

Photo of tempest
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
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. (429 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (878 characters)

Photo of BillRoth
4.88/5  rDev +16.2%
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. (1,237 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep dark chestnut brown color with ruby/mahogany edges and a frothy two finger beige head with excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Very smokey roasted malt aroma with hints of chocolate, oatmeal, hazelnut, burnt toast and roasted espresso bean. There's also a bit of sweet dark fruit but the nose is dominated by the roasted character.

Chewy full body with a blast of dry roasted malt up front that lingers throughout over the sweeter malt and dark fruit notes into a lingering dry finish. Slightly bitter with some earthy hops and acrid burnt toast flavor as well as hints of chocolate, hazelnut, oatmeal, toffee and coffee bean. I'm picking up some licorice and dark fruit mid-palate, especially plum and raisin that provide some much needed balance to the heavy roast character. There is some slight heat and warmth in the finish but the ABV is well masked. Dry fnish.

Overall, this beer is pretty complex and flavorful but it's a touch too roasted tasting for my liking. It's still a very good beer but I wish there was a bit more sweetness to balance things out. (1,144 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
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. (404 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (934 characters)

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

2/4/2011

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. (734 characters)

Photo of dcmchew
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (774 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Ledger's Liquors of Berkeley, CA. Shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe in Sydney, Australia.

Pours a lovely clear, deep cabernet red, with a frothy, pancake-bubbled head off bone white. Lacing is fine and speckledy, but solid for that. Body is thick and heavy, and leaves streams of fine carbonation when tilted. Looks pretty damn good.

Nose is brusque and deep, without a lot of sweetness, but with a hint of raw booziness and a heady, slightly spicy and intoxicating character. It has some currants and raisins to it, but also a peppery, dusty age to it. It's pretty good stuff.

Taste is also very good. Here, the currants come out a little more, with a fruity, dark sweetness powering the locomotion of the palate as a whole. Notes of pepper, tannic wine and a boozy richness fill it out. Finish is quite dark, but it feels like it's the tannins rather than a true roasted malt character which makes this happen. There's so much going on in here.

Feel is smooth, but constantly peppered by that lightness and astringency.

Overall, this is really good stuff. I know I shouldn't be surprised that AleSmith gives really good stuff, but this is excellent even by their high standards. This is a Wee Heavy in the rich, thick and juicy variety: not the type created by a slight hint of peat. I feel like this is the better. (1,360 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Not a fan of Wee Heavy or Scottish Ales but this was beyond GOOD. Pured a deep amber color with a dirty white head that was very fluffy. The nose was very compex. I could smell caramel, sugar, dried fruit, vanilla and heavy malts. Taste was superb. Complex and better than any Wee Heavy I have ever had. It really matched the nose. Mouthfeel was malty, brown sugar came out and so did the thick caramel and maybe even molasses. (427 characters)

AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 435 ratings.