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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

882 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 882
Reviews: 419
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 175
Gots: 190 | 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: 882 | Reviews: 419 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wisrarebeer
3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle.

A: pours an incredibly deep, dark copper color, nice frothy head that dissipated to a thin veil
S: medium nose, slightly disconcerting sour plum nose, oxidized?
T: well-balanced deep roasted malt and nice hop finish, might be turning as some sourness is evident in finish, EtOH is very warming in finish
M: very smooth beer
O: I don't know if this is a beer that's slightly turning (I've had it for 2 years) or is how it's supposed to be

wisrarebeer, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of rdickey
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: First, it’s one of the coolest bottles I’ve seen – the Alesmith logo, and the beer name in a really cool font, painted on in purple, all topped off with a foiled top. It pours very, very dark. A pretty direct pour produces a very thin tan head, which dissipates pretty quickly but leaves great lacing.

Smell: Malt sweetness dominates, as you’d expect. Notes of cocoa powder and stone fruits combine nicely, and there’s the slightest hint of smoke. All in all, very… Scottish.

Taste: This is a simply amazing example of the style. The malt continues to carry the day, and the cocoa powder and stone fruits continue to dance. The hops are present but definitely in the backseat, of course. The smoke remains just a hint, but it adds a really nice – and definitely Scottish – feel to it. It almost feels like it should be raining outside.

Mouthfeel: Very full bodied – rich and creamy. It feels almost round in the mouth.

Drinkability: The high ABV, which is extraordinarily well concealed, makes this an obvious sipper. If you like wee heavies, though, you’ll be tempted to drink this far faster than you should. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I generally consider Skullsplitter to be the best wee heavy, but I think Alesmith could give it a run for its money. I wish I had a Skullsplitter tonight to taste them head to head. Of course, that would probably lead to a skullsplitting morning.

rdickey, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

thanks to mrandypandy for this brew!

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: brown bodied beer with a mahoganey red hue. Massive tan head that settles down into a thick cap. A gentile swirl really brings head back in a big way. Nice looking Wee Heavy!

Smell: This smells really sweet and malty. Dark fruits and some spiciness. It really reminds me of the nose of a Quadruple.

Taste: Just as expected, this beer has a massive malty profile. Mild to moderate sweetness from the malts. The malts seem are more of a dark fruits mixed soaked in rum type of a flavor. Also some earthy, fruity / estery, and woody qualities found in this beer. Prunes and smoke are found mid palate and are subtle. Finish has a mild bitterness with some astringency, and a little booze with no heat to it. You can just taste the booze a little bit.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. This beer has really nice carbonation that is clean, lively, and smooth.

Overall: This is my second beer by Alesmith. Its an enjoyable good beer. This Alesmith beer impressed me more than Speedway Stout. The downside is it reminds me more of a Quadruple than a Wee Heavy. Thats why i have a lower score on the overall section, not true to style.

4DAloveofSTOUT, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint 9.4 fl oz (750ml) brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap and silver neck wrap poured into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. This is me first Alesmith beer; I'm really excited!

A: Pours a one finger slight tan colour head of great cream and thickness, and impressive retention for the relatively high ABV. Colour is a solid black. It's very inviting and appealing. I can't wait to try it!

Sm: Heavy on vanilla and caramel, with a touch of smoke (a bit rauchbier-esque in this regard). Light nuts are a pleasant addition. The aroma is mild to moderate in strength, and quite nice.

T: A vanilla and light caramel body is complemented very nicely by a creamy light chocolate undertone. There's even a very subtle dark fruit ester hop note buried underneath. A lot of lacing is going on here; it's really rather intricate. I get a touch of smoke on the finish, but it's momentary and restrained, keeping the beer in balance. There's maybe some toasted malt in the foundation, but it's all very subtle. This is a brilliantly built beer that's really rather tasty. I suppose some of the alcohol does come through, but the ABV is so high this is forgivable. Very complex. All around, a tasty brew.

Mf: A wonderful creamy lacing underlies the entire beer, giving it a rich texture like fine chocolate. It's smooth and wet in a general sense, but also silky. It's not too thick like many high ABV dark beers. Exquisite. It matches the flavours quite nicely.

Dr: Very drinkable even for its high ABV. This is good sipper if you like to drink whilst reading a book. I imagine it ages well. I'd love to try this on draught (or even nitro-draught if it exists). This is maybe the best wee heavy I've had. I look forward to trying more beers from Alesmith. Why is everyone in San Diego so focused on Stone when beers like this are available from Alesmith? Give this one a try - you won't be disappointed.

kojevergas, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of micromaniac129
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You can see as this beer is poured into your selected glass, that it has a deep chestnut red color but the end result has a look of deeper brown. Ruby high lights pour into view along the edges. The foamy tan cap is smallish but quite dense with a long retention, leaving long lacing about the glass.

Aromatics are rich sweet malts, some roasted malts and maybe hints of burnt toffee. As the beer warms the aromas mingle nicely releasing some more flavors such as candied sugars and molasess.
Possibly some peat but that could be suggestive I think.

Very malt forwar brew here.
As the beer warms flavors come and go, there is alot going on here. At the first sip you taste the rich malts toffee and roasted malts. But as the beer warms other flavors become apparent like candied sugar, dark fruits. The end ends with warming alcohol, quite strong.

A rather thick beer with a smooth mouthfeel. Smooth and creamy as it warms further. The alcohol also become more intense as it warms.

A good beer to sip along with through the night but I do feel that the alcohol is a bit stong for me. Perhaps if this ale was toned down abit it would excel even further.

micromaniac129, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.13/5  rDev -1%
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 stewart124
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle from 2009

Poured into pint glasses this was almost like molasses. Rich brown color with ruby red hues and a centimeter of tan head.

Nose is slightly smokey with lots of currants and bread.

Taste is chewy with a very rich caramel character. More light chocolate malts that has just the slightest amount of smoke. Full bodied with a bold punch from the malt bill. Just a great malt character in general. Toasted bread comes through and fades a bit. The raisins and prunes really linger and there is a nice residual sweetness left.

Very nice for a nightcap. Great to just sip on. Some alcohol is present but it doesn't take away from the overall experience.

stewart124, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of nassaubeercop
3.48/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours black, coppery red when held to the light, very thin tan foamy head. head quickly fades very little to no lacing.

S- Roasted malt, bourbon a little lactose.

T-Bourbon, malt a little sweet on the palate. Nice flavor but a little light, not as bold as some other example of the style. A little alcohol.

M- Light carbonation, a little thin and watery. Slight alcohol burn. Not much aftertaste.

O- I like this beer but it is not the best example of the style I have tasted. Good smell and flavor but not as bold as I would like. Very drinkable despite the high alcohol content.

nassaubeercop, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of beergod1
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a creamy Dark chocolate color, A small tan white head. slight smokey and malty nose. low carbonation and a little thin on the Palate. Some bitterness, little hop presence before, chocolate, roasted, and perhaps some smoked malt making it balanced. Nothing overpowering, perhaps some yeast esters.... Peat? Alcohol is well hidden. Taste has a mixture of sweet dark fruit, molasses and a bit of light hops. Pretty good, but There are a couple more I rate higher.

beergod1, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of nickd717
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review dated 2/8/2009.

Scotch ale is not really an exciting style in my opinion, but surprise surprise, AleSmith does it well. Dark brown appearance with an off-white head. Peaty and malty aroma, really intense. Pretty heavy stuff, lots of sweet caramel maltiness, hints of chocolate and smoke. Not much carbonation. Alcohol is there but fairly subdued for a 10-percenter.

nickd717, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown with some reddish hues and a tan head.

S - Dark fruits like prunes and raisins and dried apricots. There is also some coffee in the nose as well.

T - Mellow roast flavors with a hint of sweetness. The dark fruits in the nose also comes through. In addition, there is a slightly woody flavor. The finish is toffee with subtle dark chocolate.

M - For the abv, it is rather light bodied. The carbonation is low, which makes this easy to drink.

O - This is a great brew. The flavor is really great and the drinkability is nice, especially for the abv. I could drink this everyday without a problem.

3HovsepiansBrews, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of vandemonian
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

AleSmith Wee Heavy is super smooth and drinkable. Delicious, but not especially complex.

A: Dark red/brown colour and a 3 mm head that fades to poor lacing. 4

S: Big malty smell with some burned sugar aromas. Some alcohol noticable too. 4

T: Smooth and malty up front. So smooth, creamy and mild. A slight alcohol and caramelised kick in the tail. 4.5

M: Silky with low carbonation, as it should be. 4.5

O: Super smooth Wee Heavy. 4.5

vandemonian, Aug 13, 2011
Photo of Krakistophales
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark brown with a huge 3 finger head that dissipates quickly

S: Lots of toffee, caramel, brown sugar, sweet malts, and overall a creamy sweet smell

T: Just like the nose. Toffee, caramel, brown sugar, sweet malt up front, then you get a bit of a chocolatey, dark fruit bill afterwards. A touch of raisins, and a nice, smooth mix of dark fruit and chocolate in the end.

O: This is probably the scotch ale that will convert me to scotch ales. Would buy again for sure.

Krakistophales, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of Chaney
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has been through the ringer! I want to thank my buddy Dreadnaught33 for giving my this one in a year-old trade. Thanks Jonathan!

A: It had a bit of darkness to it, but honestly, my dog's coat was darker. Fuckin' A! Nice dark brown overall, with a slight head that stayed active throughout the session.

S: I've never smelled a Scotch so fruity before... but here it is! Sort of candy like actually, and totally malty and and caramely. Smelled like a caramel truffle...

T: Caramely, malty, and slightly sweet, but definitely not too. I felt like I was drinking a liquified Pink Lady apple. The finish was smooth as hell.

M: The lacing was substantial to moderate and the sweetness was totally tempered and the beer overall had a bit of a salty presesence (ala. Payday bar).

O: Caramel kiss in a glass. I now know why this one gets the kudos that it gets...

Chaney, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of californiakebab
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a thick, ruby brown with good retention and a tan, thick head.

Smell - Molasses, toffee, burnt caramel, raisin, maple....a lot going on here, mostly on the sweeter side. As it warms, there's a subtle smokiness.

Taste - Very rich, sweet malt, molasses, faint hint of smokiness on the finish. Alcohol is very masked, hardly would have known this was 10% ABV. Bitterness is low, emphasizes the complex malt character.

Mouthfeel - Velvety, medium-heavy body. Carbonation is light per the style.

Overall - This is an excellent malt focused beer with many nuances that open up as the beer warms to room temp, will definitely reach for this one again.

californiakebab, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A birthday gift from Mr. Stafford

Pours a muddy brown color but sits a dark russet in my glass. Towering, sandy beige head sits above the liquid like a pompous crown. Good retention and several layers of scraggly lacing.

Aroma is a smoky peat, fig, prune and new shirt smell. A nicely starched button down to be exact.

Tastewise, the toffee and caramel malt notes are complemented by dark bread and figs. Plenty of peat that complements the other flavors rather than detract from them. Long smoky and wet log finish. Body isn't slacking by any means but could be bigger given the abv.

Alesmith Wee Heavy is so much more complex and expansive than even most of the fine malted milk ball malt bombs of the style...which I love. Takes the style to a new level for me.

donkeyrunner, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of SFLpunk
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL brown glass pry-top bottle. Thanks to Otey!

Pours a deep brown mahogany with thin off-white head. Nose is super dark and brooding. There's some aroma there that reminds me of the "band-aid" thing, but I don' think it's off. Maybe heather?

Palate is slick and sweet and a little prickly from booze. Flavors of dried dates, figs, burnt caramel, heather and top soil. Long long finish. Sweet but not cloying.

SFLpunk, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of BeerNemesis
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

AleSmith Wee Heavy | 750 ml. | 10.0% ABV | 2011

Brewer: AleSmith Brewing Company
Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Glass: snifter

Appearance:
Sludge brown with a rumbling khaki head. Every swish encourages hundreds of tiny bubbles to appear. Delightful.

Aroma:
Deeply roasted malts and thoroughly good chocolate. There's no question that a bit of scotch is hanging in the background.

Taste:
It's hard to describe the taste as separate from the mouthfeel. Thick, viscous even, is the first thing I think. Then the deep, chocolatey malts kick in. Roasted, lactose-infused, dark, whole-wheat malts. It's a great sipping beer, though the 10% ABV is not that noticeably, besides a nice scotch tinge in the background.

Mouthfeel:
Refer to taste. IT IS THICK. Very nice though. Carbonation could use a slight boost.

Harmony:
Very, very nice collection of flavors. The deep roasted malts are predominant, almost to a fault. Although with a beer this tasty, balance is overrated.

Would I get it again?:
Oh yeah.

Bottled: ?
Served: July 12, 2011

Price = $13.99 at Whole Foods (NYC)

BeerNemesis, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of danieelol
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours dark as night. Really nice looking beer.

S: Bit of hop, bit of roast, bit of milkiness. Some caramel chocolate. Faintest whiff of alcohol. Some nice spice and chocolate and ginger. Phlegm and cough syrup. Green apple. Lots of sugar and caramel complexities.

T: Quite roasty and bitter. Residual sweetness initially detectable but in fact the beer is well balanced and drinkable. The taste could easily be that of a stout. Far less sweet than Speedway actually.

M: Good actually. Thick and creamy, like a milkshake.

O: Good beer. Holds up very well, and was actually very well balanced.

danieelol, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of AgentMunky
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Teku glass at the BrewDog bar in Edinburgh. From notes. Reviewed 29 May 2011.

A: Light head quickly breaks up and sticks to the edges. Very dark red-brown, and *almost* opaque.

S: Sweet fruits -- figs, raisins, blackcurrant -- soaked in alcohol. Milk chocolate.

T: Rich, strong, and malty as hell. Lots of fruit (the same as in the smell). Vague bittersweet chocolate carries over to the aftertaste which is lightly drying and sort of bitter.

M: Lightly carbonated, round, and malty-sweet. A bit thin.

O: Lots of caramel sweetness, but not the best wee heavy I've had. Good-ish though. Recommended, perhaps, but I wouldn't have another.

AgentMunky, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of zep9865
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

super excited about this beer in another great tasting with aasher. i feel dirty for having such sloppy reviews about such great beers

poured into new belgium snifter with a jet-black color and a 1/4 inch of foam head

Smells all kinds of malty with dark fruits and molasses. I have no idea what this beer is gonna taste like. Reminds me of my mom making her home-ade heath bar bites at our house during christmas time.

Tastes more like a belgian than a scotch but it's still very delicious.

The stages of tasting on this beer are quite good.

This scotch is a lil sweeter than one would like. All things said it is respectable and worth trying

zep9865, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of aasher
3.4/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a rich and smooth medium bodied dark brown, borderline black, in color with a one finger cream colored head. It smells of sweet caramel malts, cream, nuts, and a red wine sweetness. It tastes of candied sugar, super sweet caramel and dark malts, and cream. It also has a strange and faint red wine like aftertaste. I would rate this so much higher if not for the sweetness. God damn it's sweet. This one drinks far too light for what it should. It is creamy, like the Speedway, but in an overly thin manner. What the deuce! Overall I'd describe this as a sweet and flavorful malt bomb. Compared to Big Sound from Cigar City, this one needs work, and less sugar. Long live Big Sound!

aasher, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of samie85
4.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a deep burgundy cola color with two fingers of thick frothy head.

S-Smells of deep, complex notes including chocolate, some spicy bourbon-like fruit notes, vanilla, and a hint of a roasted, smoky character.

T-Rich dark fruit notes and that same smokey, sort of roasted malt character with some bittersweet chocolate with a an earthy bitterness.

M-This one is on the full side of medium-bodied with low carbonation but a very rich, decadent feel with some dryness towards the finish.

D-I can't believe how easy drinking this is... there are no detectable signs of the ABV and it's a very complex beer while maintaining a balance between it's many characteristics.

samie85, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of andrewinski1
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. A giant light tan head that looks thick and creamy rests atop a deep mahogany body. The lacing is quite sticky.

The aroma is a balanced mix of dried fruit and caramel.

The taste malty with a slightly buttery undertone. There is a bit of a fruity plum-like finish. This isn't super complex, but it's very solid and delicious.

The texture here works amazingly well with the thickness of this beer. This feels slightly soft and silky. The body is deceptively light for the strength.

This is a tasty Wee Heavy from the always reliable Alesmith.

andrewinski1, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of Bendurgin
3.63/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tulip. Pours dark brown with a three finger foamy beige head. Nice retention and good sticky lace.

Raisins and chocolate are Most noticeable in the aroma. A little bit of bourbon in the aroma too. Very rich and a sweet and just a little boozey. Grapish flavor with a little bit of bitter cocoa. The taste is somewhat metallic to finish.

Medium body with soft carbonation. A little bit of a tannic finish. Pretty solid flavors here. A little dry and I am not fond of the metallic finsh. Otherwise pretty solid brew.

Bendurgin, Jun 16, 2011
AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 882 ratings.