1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

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

779 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 779
Reviews: 410
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.83%


Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-08-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of AleSmith Wee Heavy Alström Bros
Ratings: 779 | Reviews: 410 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy latticework of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, burnt brown sugar, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some awesome aromas and flavors that make it very easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2012 02:12:41 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Bfarr
Bfarr

Washington

4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear dark brown, good tan frothy head and great retention. Peat and light smoke aroma. Smooth chocolate with notes of peat and smoke. Light caramel sweetness with a gentle warming. Velvety smooth feel.

Very subtle but good malt flavor with a good amount of sweetness. There’s a high alcohol content but it is not present in the flavor making this a scary easy drinking beer. There’s a good peat presence in the nose though it is slightly more subdued in the flavor as I would say it should be though I usually like a little bit more.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2012 22:23:55 | More by Bfarr
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2012 15:38:00 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken

New York

4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pitch brown beer, formed a fat bibbly frothy head that simmered down but a nice layer of bubbles was always there; motes of lace and clingy bubbles

S: caramel malts and toffee, molasses and smoke

T: definitely the best wee heavy I've had - had a lot of barleywine characteristics: there was dark fruit, soft creamy caramel; but also had hint of smoky peat and earthiness

M: wow - not heavy - very drinkable and creamy; wonderfully refreshing with a great aftertaste

O: did I say this was the best wee heavy I've had? Super smooth, very flavorful, avoided being too sweet or chewy. I could drink a lot of this.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2012 00:22:42 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of Pahn
Pahn

New York

4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Don't know when it was bottled, but it had silver foil over the cap. Can't remember if I bought it this Winter or last.

Appearance: Free pour yields a half inch frothy tan head that dissipates steadily. Pours an almost opaque dark ruby with lots of visible, shadowy sediment. Leaves leggy streaks of lacing after each sip.

Smell: Slight cherry-like dark fruit note, with some underlying cake. Smells a little oxidized. The aromas work, but they're too muted; don't contribute much to the experience.

Halfway through the first glass, the aroma really opens up. The growing booziness seems to uncover a sweet malt complexity that greatly enhances the flavor.

Taste: One of those "sold on the first sip," beers. Big hit of caramel and cake, working beautifully with the creamy feel. Second sip brings out some dark fruit to highlight the caramel and toffee. The finish has a strong boozy heat, and is semi-dry. Can't tell if there's a touch of smoked malt, or if that's expectation plus the dry heat.

Love the balance here. There's a strong hop bitterness working with the heat and low (for a thick, 10% ABV beer) final gravity to keep the beer from even approaching "too rich" or "too sweet". Raisiny sherry-like oxidation note becomes prominent in each sip, but works beautifully with the dark fruit and caramel (the latter always the most prominent).

My only complaint is that the beer is maybe too straightforward. It's so finely balanced and delicious that I don't mind the relative simplicity.

Mouthfeel: Light side of full bodied. Very creamy. Low but adequate carbonation. Dryish finish that contributes monumentally to drinkability.

Overall: The 5 I'm giving here harkens back to the old "Drinkability" category to some degree. Unbelievable for such a thick, caramely, boozy beer as this to go down so easily. The levels of bitterness, sweetness, heat, etc are just perfect. Great vehicle for bold malt flavor, which is my favorite thing to find in a beer.

In my last review of an Alesmith beer--2010 Decadence, the last Alesmith beer I've had before this one--I mentioned that the beer fell short, particularly in regards to the potential of the brewers. Alesmith Wee Heavy is the kind of beer I'm talking about there; only a world class brewer could make a beer like this.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 00:45:24 | More by Pahn
Photo of Duff27
Duff27

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Collar left after initial short light tan head. Leaves a lot of lacing for a wee heavy.

Deep caramel/toffee aromas.

Rich rich rich, daddy likey. Caramels, toffee, slight dark fruit (prunes/raisins). 10% huh? Welp alright then.

So smooth, adequate carbonation. Medium mouthfeel.

This was awesome. Malt bomb to perfection. Perhaps the beat wee heavy I've ever had. Thanks again egrace84!

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2012 02:34:13 | More by Duff27
Photo of 4thmedbn
4thmedbn

Maine

4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle at cellar temp in a tulip courtesy of Andrewinski1.

A - Just shy of black. The only indication that it's not black comes in the form of the deepest, most rich, dark ruby where the light manages to pierce the void.

S - Really nice notes of chocolate, and dark fruits. Think cherry and vinous character. The nose isn't as big as you might expect form a beer of this ABV, but I always respect when a brewer can be subtle .

T - Again, it's a delicate flavor profile, considering the style. Most examples of the Wee Heavy that I've come across are cloying, and crazily malt dominant. And while I do like some big malt character, again, I respect the restraint. Toffee, caramel, slight bit of vanilla, and definitely some chocolate. A little warming, but it's not hot by any means. This bottle has a year on it, so I can't speak for fresh examples, but it's nice and mellow. Finishes with a lot of toffee, raisins, and figs. It's delicate, but still boozy and rich.

M - Full mouthfeel, very smooth. Very low carbonation level. Once again, a big beer that shows a lot of artistry in its execution. This beer isn't chewy, seems fairly well attenuated, without seeming lean.

O - Really impressed with this beer. Love a beer that can be subtle and big at the same time. Reminds me of Kate the Great from Portsmouth Brewery in that way. Lots of delicate, fruity, malty notes. Boozy, without being cloying or requiring a fork and knife to aid in ingesting it. Really top notch stuff.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 04:46:16 | More by 4thmedbn
Photo of williamjbauer
williamjbauer

West Virginia

4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 2010 vintage 750ml bottle dark green to block UV damage.

A - Mostly opaque dark garnet-brownish with 1 finger ecru head with decent retention and better lacing along the whole glass. Head is fluffy and sticky.

S - Caramel, toasted oats and malt, and dark fruits on first sniff. Following notes of bubblegum, maple syrup, cherry. A fair touch of booze and a bit more than my liking, but the rest of the bouquet makes up for this flaw.

T - Sweet dark fruits at the start with toasty malt and just a touch of smoke. Alcohol is present from the very beginning though not overpowering. One of the strongest EtOh flavors I felt was balanced well and enjoyable in this expectantly boozy style. Caramel and sweet finish and booze even at the end, very little bitterness if at all.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation. Silky smooth with creamy finish.

O - I love a good Scotch Ale and this is my first attempt at a Wee Heavy and it was a uber enjoyable experience. GO ALESMITH you rock!

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2012 00:04:15 | More by williamjbauer
Photo of gkatsoris
gkatsoris


4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark oaky in color. Very thin whispy head that faded straight away.

S: Wood. Vanilla. Oak. Malt and bread. Buttery. Toffee. Butterscotch. Chocolate chip cookie dough.

T: Vanilla wood. Vanilla oak. Alcoholy. Doughy. Grass. Buttered bread. Malts and malts. Cookie dough. Vanilla brownie.

M: A little thin, although it leaves a slight coat on the tongue. Not foamy at all. Super balanced.

O: Best Wee Heavy yet.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 02:44:05 | More by gkatsoris
Photo of divineaudio
divineaudio

Michigan

3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

bomber into a snifter.

a - pours deep garnet in color, almost opaque. gave me a thin cap of light brown head and a few small spots of lacing.

s - carmel, prunes, vinous fruits, faint alcohol presence.

t - rich carmel malt character with vinous fruity notes. cherry, raisin. very little hop character. finishes with a lingering, boozy sweetness.

m - full bodied, chewy and slick. very little carbonation.

o - good but not great. i can think of a few other examples of the style that i would choose over this. worth trying for sure but $13 is a bit much for this to be a regular purchase.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 17:39:26 | More by divineaudio
Photo of brureview
brureview

Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Micasa tulip. This beer is best with a meal- vegetables, chicken, fish, or a lighter meat such as lamb, and enjoyed with friends. An excellent quiet winter night beer.

There is very little head. The color is a dark black plum, which is dominant in the smell. The finish is a bourbon chocolate- which is more pronounced as the beer gets warmer. The mouthfeel is slightly malty.

After drinking the first pour, the beer is better appreciated in 2-3 ounces at a time when its true character stands out.

I will buy another bottle and age it for 6- 12 months. Highly recommended.

Cons: in the Boston area it's pricey and difficult to find. I could only find it at Martys( $17) and Ball square wines( $?) in Somerville.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2012 17:20:54 | More by brureview
Photo of brewerburgundy
brewerburgundy

California

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

25.4oz bottle, Boulevard tulip, no freshness date, but I have had this since January 2011.

A mite lighter than I would have expected, but beautiful transparent tawny auburn hues are what I behold when I raise the glass. There is a spare ring of furry tan foam.

Red cherry alcohol, port, brown malt, slight toast, herbal, with a pleasant booze edge.

Sweet caramel, cherry and dark fruit. Beautiful depth of sweet caramelized flavors. A little smokey drying in the finish, maybe cherry wood. Sticky tawny port with the same delicious, not overly powerful alcohol burn. Alcohol bitterness.

Appropriately soft and full mouthfeel.

Seems like a prime example of the big, caramel-y, robustly alcoholic Scotch ale that American craft breweries like to make. The smoke is fleeting. I'd like to have a true peaty character.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 01:19:16 | More by brewerburgundy
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into tulip glass. Pours a deep mahogany color along with a thick medium head that lasts throughout. Deep caramelly malty flavor with just a hint of smoke in the finish. The aroma is sweet and voluptuous, reflecting the flavor with malt familiar with the Scottish style, hop and yeast characteristics. Mouthfeel Lush, full, rounded, almost chewy mouthfeel. A good wee heavy style that I rarely drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2012 22:53:24 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of tjkinate
tjkinate

Texas

4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One tasting beverage.

A: One and half fingered creamy khaki colored head that exhibited great retention forms atop this transparent dark brown bodied brew. When the head finally settles a thin foam remains atop the brew throughout the tasting and leaves behind a good amount of lacing.

S: Loads of sweet malts, caramel and dark fruits. A little more subtle than expected scotch profile. Hid the high ABV very well.

T: Follows the scent very closely. As the beer warms however the scotch flavors intensify along with a great nutty undertone.

M: Medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation that allowed the beer to remain creamy yet crisp. Very easy to drink.

O: Was very impressed with this Wee Heavy. Semi new to the style, but I liked it more than Founders' offerings. Can't wait to get a BA version.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 23:55:00 | More by tjkinate
Photo of CharlieMurphy
CharlieMurphy

New York

3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep dark brown with some light beams in the shallow end. Off white cream head stays low on the border.

S: Like brandy and scotch, whew! Don't know what to think about this as those are the only flavors i get on the nose.

T: Less brandy and even less scotch, but some port, peat, pinot noir, caramel malts, and finally some dark fruits. ->That's drawing a lot out of it, the taste is overall mild.

M: Low carbonation and could actually use a little more of it.

O: Meh, probably won't buy again, but it is really a decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 03:31:38 | More by CharlieMurphy
Photo of giblet
giblet

Ohio

4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

nice. poured well into my glass with nice carbonation, lazy and steady. small head at about 1/8". nice lace down the glass. rich roasted malt smell. nice silky taste that matches the aroma. this is a nice glass of relaxing beer. $12.99 for 1 pint 9.4oz is just fine with me since it is very good and a one bottle enjoyment!

suckem up and movem out!

giblet

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 18:24:24 | More by giblet
Photo of BHopp12
BHopp12

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 ML Bottle

A: Black with an almost slight reddish tint with a small off white head with little carbonation

S: Some roasted notes, bits of vanilla, getting the hints of malt and bit of alchohol

T: Slight smoke flavor with hints of caramel and malt flavors with a nice finish. Alcohol is hidden pretty well

M: Low carbonation with a borderline think feel

O: As expected I was not dissapointed at all in this beer! I was expecting a lot from an AleSmith and I was impressed! Very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 16:50:39 | More by BHopp12
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased over a year ago. Let's see how it's aged...

Pours a dark, chestnut brown with a small head reminiscent of frothed milk. I hoped to agitate some head by swirling but got only a small soapy cap which quickly dissipated.

Aromas begin with a nice sweet caramel maltiness with a decent amount of dark fruits, freshly picked figs and raisins. Maybe that has developed with age. Peat it light and comes across more as earthiness than smoke; good I hate smoked beers. Some light maple syrup and toffee emerge as it warms.

The tastes begin with a clean sweet caramel maltiness which blends effortlessly with the dark fruit flavors. Again, a bit of earthiness enters into the equation. A bit like a nice tawny port fruitiness; I am really digging the fruitiness here. The peat flavors and minimal hops, though present, are restrained and unobtrusive, allowing for the dark, wine-like fruits and sweetness to dominate (though, at no point is this beer overly sweet). As it warms I get some additional flavors of cocoa and toasted vanilla beans. Not a drop of alcohol, anywhere which is stupid for a 10% beer.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation; wish there was a tad bit more but the flavors hold strong enough that I don't really care. Finish is middle of the row, not too sweet or dry or anything really just balanced and so very smooth. Not a drop of alcohol

Overall, this beer is a real treat and by far the best overall Scotch Ale or Wee Heavy I have ever sampled. Prefect balance of dark caramel, dark fruit and light earth/peat flavors. Drinkability is stupidly off the charts as I could easily down this 750ml in short time if necessary, although I will choose to enjoy it here.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2012 00:36:06 | More by claspada
Photo of PeterIngemi
PeterIngemi

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Spilt this with my boy AJ

A- dark brown almost black

S - vanilla, caramel, graham crackers, touch of sweetness

T- delicious, toasty vanilla, toffe, figs & raisins almost reminiscent of fig newton filling.... In a very, very good way. Alcohol is very well hidden.

M- thick and a wee bit heavy

O- one of my favorite beers! Toasty and delicious, almost tastes like a barrel aged beer even though it's not!!! I love it!!!

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2012 02:04:24 | More by PeterIngemi
Photo of


4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle split 3 ways

A: Black, with only the slightest reddy-purple when held up to the light. Small beige head, minimal carbonation.

S: The first impression I get is of over toasted bread, yeast is especially prominent as well. Hints of smoke, plum and malt.

T: This beer is amazing. First of all I get the toast, then it changes straight to grape jam spread on shortbread. The finish tastes like rich caramel fudge. There isn't much hop character but you definitely don't miss it.

M: This beer tricks you into anticipating a rich full bodied beer, but it has a deceptively thin mouthfeel.

O: This beer wowed me. Alesmith has delivered once again with a fantastic beer. If I were to nit-pick, I would have enjoyed a little more smokiness but this is an extremely minor fault. Sweet, malty and completely satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 08:36:52 | More by
Photo of Neffbeer
Neffbeer

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from 2010

A: It pours a very dark brown bordering on black with zero clarity. A small off white head about one finger thick forms, but fades with very little resistance.

S: Toasted biscuits, toffee, raisins, vanilla, with a bit of port wine from some age. The oxidization seems very minimal as there is zero cardboard. The more it warms I swear I can smell some herbal hops in the distance.

T: Toffee and vanilla upfront with a solid backbone of malty goodness in support. The raisins are still present with a slight twinge of apple from the yeast. The port notes carry through to the taste with a wisp of smokiness.

M: Medium to thick in the feel with low carbonation.

D: I really am digging this beer. At 10% it is super smooth and subtle. Quite the high wire act.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 02:17:27 | More by Neffbeer
Photo of d4114
d4114

California

3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Light barley come through a deep red body with a nice tan head.

S- Smoke, roasted notes, caramel, slight alcohol and a unique mintiness, all blend together really well.

T- Big smoky flavor, was expecting it to be sweeter. Smoke and malt notes with a dry finish. Not as complex as the smell but still a nice straight forward flavor. Also the alcohol is masked super well.

M- Medium to medium-heavy; creamy smooth feel but it's thick or viscus. Very drinkable.

O- Awesome nose, pretty straight forward flavor and highly drinkable, very solid over all.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 02:21:01 | More by d4114
Photo of adman08
adman08

Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours with minimal creamy head that leaves some lacing. Deep brown with quite a lot of red tones.
S-A balance of smokey malt with molasses, a very sweet aroma. There is a hint of chcolate malt in there as well.
T-Quite sweet. Slightly smokey flavor with some caramel sweetness and some chocolate. There is a very slight flavor of roasted malt, along the lines of coffee.
M-Starts very very sweet but finishes slightly dry. Fairly light carbonation. Fairly sticky and very smooth.
Overall, outstanding scotch ale. The chocolate flavors along with the smoke and hint of coffee and the overall sweetness create a very interesting flavor profile that is fairly true to the style. The alcohol was not dominant, you know it's there but the beer is some sweet and complex that it doesnt't seem to have a strong alcohol flavor.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 02:49:21 | More by adman08
Photo of DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer

California

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

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

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

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

Mouthfeel: Full body and feels thick with very little carbonation

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

Serving type: growler

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

California

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

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

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

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

m- smooth, medium bodied and carbonation.

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

Serving type: growler

11-20-2011 21:49:23 | More by rtaps
AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 779 ratings.