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AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

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

933 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 933
Reviews: 421
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 185
Gots: 195 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-08-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 933 | Reviews: 421 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Halcyondays
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Halcyondays, Aug 22, 2007
Photo of Trashcat
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Trashcat, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

wrightst, Jun 01, 2014
Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -3.8%

orangesol, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of corby112
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

corby112, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of weeare138
4.7/5  rDev +13%
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.

weeare138, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of Billolick
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Billolick, Apr 15, 2008
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

lacqueredmouse, Sep 01, 2012
Photo of tempest
4.1/5  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.

tempest, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +1%
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.

Georgiabeer, May 20, 2007
Photo of superspak
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter; no bottle dating, but has a store price tag dated 11/2/2012. Pours nearly opaque dark brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big raisin, prune, fig, cherry, caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, brown bread, nuttiness, chocolate, cocoa, light smoke, leather, tobacco, herbal, and toast/yeast earthiness. Incredible complexity and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and fruity yeast ester notes; with great strength. Taste of big raisin, prune, fig, cherry, caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, brown bread, chocolate, cocoa, smoke, leather, tobacco, herbal, and roast/yeast earthiness. Minimal earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, prune, fig, cherry, caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, brown bread, chocolate, cocoa, smoke, leather, tobacco, herbal, and roast/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of dark/roast/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; with an awesome malt/yeast balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a smooth, creamy, and moderately slick/bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible Scotch ale! All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and moderate fruity yeast ester flavors; and extremely smooth to sip on for the big ABV. An extremely amazing offering.

superspak, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

barleywinefiend, May 19, 2008
Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev -3.8%

ejimhof, Aug 29, 2013
Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Huhzubendah, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Gonzoillini, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of akorsak
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750 mL capped bottle shared with Phatz, weeare138 and Beerbeing.

A: The wee heavy is a thick mess of a beer, pouring a milk chocolate brown with a moderate-sized head.

S: The aroma is a big malty cereal blend with a strong smokey body.

T: The wee heavy is just that, thick and heavy. The malts are sweetly delicious with caramel and toffee notes. They are supported nicely by a strong smokey flavor that reminds of a nice cured bacon or ham. The malts, as the bottle was consumed, became more expressive, showing a sweeter grain element.

M: The big malts and smoke are a well-paired combination. One could almost chew this beer.

D: This is easily one of the best American wee heavies, providing a big punch in a well-packaged bottle.

akorsak, Feb 19, 2007
Photo of DoubleJ
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

DoubleJ, Mar 25, 2008
Photo of BARFLYB
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

BARFLYB, May 20, 2011
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer has a warm barrel brown body with a matrix of tiny bubbles gliding to the surface. There is a thick tan head that mushrooms above the glass and last for the full beer.

S- This beer has a dark caramel sweetness with a slight prune hint and a soft smoky bourbon hint of alcohol and sweetness at the finish.

T- The taste of sweet malt with a caramel flavor and toasted notes has some cream and smoky hints that increase as the beer warms a bit. The finish has a nice roasted malt bitterness and a soft cola note that supports it. As this beer warms a bit a pleasant faint coffee roasted note and some pine hops come through at the finish. The alcohol taste is a bit like red wine and is a nice compliment to the big malts.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a slight slippery texture and not real alcohol until the beer warms quite a bit.

D- This full flavored and roasted malt notes has a great flavor combined with nice smoky qualities and no band-aid flavor. The hops and alcohol balance each other nicely and let the malt do most of the talking until it warms up a bit.

rhoadsrage, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of Zorro
4.28/5  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.

Zorro, Jul 05, 2006
Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

afsdan, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.13/5  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

Mebuzzard, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
3.95/5  rDev -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.

smakawhat, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of BillRoth
4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

BillRoth, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Wasatch, Feb 21, 2006
AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 933 ratings.