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AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

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972 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 972
Reviews: 426
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.62%
Wants: 189
Gots: 208 | FT: 14
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: BeerAdvocate on 03-08-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 972 | Reviews: 426 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of notchucknorris
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2 year old bottle shared by Beau. Thanks, Beau!

A: Dark mahogany color with a monstrous cream colored head that lasts forever. Impressive.

S: Wow. Huge aromas of freshly baked raisin bread, cinnamon, and fig. The smell is amazing and really in your face. The beer doesn't lose any of its wonderful smell as it warms.

T: A lot of raisin bread/fruitcake taste upfront with some delicate spiciness, a little rum flavor and some brown sugar. The taste is huge and dense- like taking a handful of ripe raisins and taking a bite. There's not much in here that would indicate its high ABV except a slight dryness and warmness on the finish and a bit of a peaty/earthy taste that's left on your tongue. This is a really incredible beer.

Photo of jcnd9803
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to trappistlover for sending!

A: Dark ruby-colored with a cream head that leaves just the right amount of lacing.

S: Pretty complex. Sweet caramel and malt initially and then some fruity notes come in.

T: Sweet malt and caramel. It also has some hard fruit candy taste. No bitterness to be found.

M: Medium body with a somewhat syrupy texture.

D: Just a well done beer that is dangerously easy to drink.

Photo of DoktorZee
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a schooner. No obvious best before date.

A - deep, deep black and transmitting no light, small tan head with a little lacing. Lots of obvious carbonation in the glass.

S - very fragrant black licorice and molasses.

T - very light smoke over a huge black licorice foundation. A bit of dark chocolate and dried fruit as well.

M - Very creamy consistency (coats the entire mouth) while also being moderately carbonated. Moderate booziness.

D - very hard to drink a lot of this because even though it's delicious it's so heavy!

Nice beer; definitely a pick me up for a cold winter night!

Photo of sentomaster
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nose- Nutty, toffee, sweet sugary phenols, caramel toastiness

Taste & Mouth- Buttery, toffee, powdered chocolate, roasted chestnuts. It manages to be uber sweet while staying just south of cloying thanks to baked and roasty flavors. Just a touch of figs. Slick and creamy. There's also a bit of light, soft, dark-wheat bread (think outback steakhouse bread loaf). Light fizzle of carbonation picks it up and carries it across the finish line with a big comeback from the roasty, nutty and toffee flavors. Nice earthy hops come through very lightly at the end.

Drink- A very nice beer and it certainly holds its own. Not sure it quite lives up to it's status for me. I would say Founder's DB beats it hands down, but they are very different. This is much lighter and softer in it's flavors than DB, which has more robust dark fruit profile. Neither are like the true "wee heavy" styles from Scotland (Traquair, Bellhaven, Orkney) which disappoints me.

Photo of gfreed
2.44/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Any 10% 750 that I can drink entirely by myself and *still* walk a straight line afterwards is deficient in some way. The problem with this scotch ale is that it lacks scotch aleness-- it's thin in the aroma and taste; it has no gravitas, no depth, no weight; there is no smokiness; there is no umph. It's the 98-lb weakling that Charles Atlas warned you about. The bottle is pretty but they ought to put more effort into the contents. If you're looking for a decent American scotch ale, go find a Founders Dirty Bastard. Pass.

Photo of kiddynamite920
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark red, mahogany with some glowing orange around the edge when held up to the light. Head is a bit sizzly, a bit like the Grand Cru but has reduced down to a half inch of creamy, tan foam. Great color and wasn't expecting much retention in the head.

S: Smell is of sweet malts, sweet fruits and the slightest hint of the alcohol. Apples are right up front for me, a bit of an apple cider aroma. Some grape and cherry. The sweetness of the malts is very nice here. Nice bready aroma with sweet yeast notes. Not overly complex, but not overdone.

T: Some darker malt flavors come out here, deep fruit character with some alcohol to back it all up. Caramel notes with some burnt sugar and a near molasses like flavor. Guessing this is fairly fresh as the bright fruit notes are quite upfront. Great balance here.

M: Drinks just a bit too thin for a scotch ale, carbonation is fizzy and lacks the creamy body I look for in a scotch ale. A bit too sweet, and close to cloying. Lacks depth.

D: Drinks way too easy for 10%. Doesn't really drink like a Scotch ale, I muscle my way through an Old Chub and I find myself polishing this off far too easily. I suppose this falls into the dangerous category. Overly sweet and lacks the heavy, sticky body I expect.

Photo of HopHead84
4.37/5  rDev +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.

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 01/22/11 notes. Had at a local tasting.

a - Pours a mahogany brown color with one inch of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, caramel malts, raisins, plums, oak, and nuts.

t - Tastes of raisins, dark fruits, caramel malts, wood.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, smooth body.

d - A nice scotch ale. Some nice carmale and nuts, would like to have again.

Photo of Fish113d
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a large tulip glass, it pours a dark brown, nearly black color w/ a smoothly rolling and foamy cappuccino foam head to about 1-finger-thick. Regresses slightly to a thin surface layer along with some lacing on the glass.

Lots of dark, sweet malt hits my nose along with a bit of the alcohol phenols that makes my nose tickle. Some slight milk chocolate comes through along with the booze. Maybe some nuttiness and oak flavors also come through faintly.

Sipping reveals a very big bodied scotch ale (fuller-bodied than expected). A smooth mocha coffee flavor comes through subtly along with some sweet chocolate. The alcohol comes through smoothly as well and is always there but never really "nails ya" as I feared it would. A fairly drying finish with a sweet caramel and dark chocolate finish. Wow!

I only lower the drinkability due to it being so full-bodied that it'd be hard to consume more than one bottle, but this is a very tasty, enjoyable treat on a cold winter's night.

This is all Alesmith is cracked up to be! Cheers!!!

Photo of Phelps
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed during a tasting of Scotch Ales and poured into a small tasting glass.

Pours a deep mahogany with maroon highlights and a tiny, frothy light tan head. Spotty lace dots the glass, but there's not much of it.

In the nose: cola, light grape, prune, caramel, light toast, toffee and coffee. It's almost like buttered toast with jelly.

The flavor is similar, though more complex: cola, port wine, prune, coffee, toast and jam, raisins, dark rum, toffee and caramel. Very toasty and very boozy, but also very good.

Medium-bodied and very smooth with a subtle carbonation. The alcohol is hefty, numbing the tongue and appearing as heat in the nose and flavor.

An obvious standout of the tasting, Wee Heavy is a paragon of the Scotch Ale style. Sweet, complex and incredibly drinkable for such a big beer.

Photo of billshmeinke
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Body looks black with touches of ruby red at the edges. An off white frothy one finger head tops it off. Good retention and lacing.

Smells kinda like a mixed berry pie and a hint of peat or earthiness. Lots of berries in the nose. Quite sweet smelling, but it's not incredibly pungent.

The taste is quite similar, mixed berry pie, grape juice, and a touch of caramel. Then earthy, peaty, resinous, and slightly spicy hops kick in. Mixed berry juice and earthy/resiny hops linger.

The mouthfeel is rather light for such a big beer. Smooth and creamy carbonation and a spicy slightly alcoholic finish that's warming on the tongue on the way down.

The beer is incredibly easy drinking, especially for such a high abv beer.

Photo of joeneugs
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My first rate on BA after 4+ years as a member! This one pours very dark brown/red with an orangy tan head. The aroma is slightly nutty and woody with lots of chocoate and a little bit of raisins and molasses as it warms. The flavor is much more fruit forward with predominately raisins and molasses with a touch of chocolate, nuts, and roasted malts. The nuttiness lasts throughout. The mouthfeel on this thing is spectactular, very silky and smooth. The alcohol is not noticed, only felt after the fact. This is truly a great beer.

Photo of radioscooter
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best non-McEwans Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy I have tried and found.

THIS is what the style should taste like.

Exceptional head, foamy and rich.

Dark, sweet, STRONG rich sipper with some caramel, molasses, vanilla, and just a wee bit too much coffee.

Sweetness is perfect.

Alcohol level makes it vaporize quickly off the tongue - McEwan's leaves a bit more tarry syrup behind, which I like.

They should really bottle this in some smaller bottles with some plaid on the label because this is the best Scotch Ale in America by far, and I think the best one still available period.

Photo of diomz88
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

aroma: alcoholic with chocolate and coffee hints with raisins.
appearance: dark brown to black, very dark, minimal head, resides quickly
taste: little sweet, more alcoholic than a beer. light bitterness with chocolate and coffee hints smokey at the end.
palate: med to full bodied, average carbonation, smokey finish.
had high expectations, still a good sipper beer.

Photo of farrago
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finger plus of moderate tan color, frothy with many scattered bubbles throughout, causing some hills and vales, simmers down to the surface with only few, if thick streaks of lacing. The liquid is about the darkest brown possible, but not black, deep amber glow hums at the glass bottom. Gargantuan malty nose of molasses, maple syrup, butterscotch, vanilla fudge, creamed coffee with cherry, plum, fig, golden raisin fruit scents, spiced oatmeal, hops close to absent, any peat or earth a cursory embellishment, just lays on the sweetness. Full-bodied, possesses a high roast which is not exactly typical for a wee heavy, at times drinks as much like an imperial stout. That noted, has a deeper sourness to the cherry, raspberry, apple fruit, lessening the raisin, fig, date accents. More orange peel here, brightens the chocolate, molasses, toffee flavors. Presents an appreciated sort of booziness, this spreads across the palate due to the fluffy foam of carbonation. Vanillin flavors rise through the finish, The earth, peat moss, forest scrub murmurs but never clearly enunciates. The sheer verve of the flavors outstrips its flaws, in the end appears to be seeking "imperial wee heavy" status.

Photo of Stigs
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

big old 750, shared. served in various tulips and snifters

A - pours with about half an inch of creamy off-white foam. as it falls, leaves behind a thick, sticky wall of lacing around the glass. the beer appears black, yet yields some magnificent dark ruby colors when help up to light.

S - rich maltiness all around, picking up some dark fruits: plums and figs, as well as peat, caramel, and toffee. very sweet all around yet alcohol makes its way through with relative ease.

T - begins with a mix of sweet caramel and toffee that just wont die, and hints of plums and figs. halfway through, a more robust sweetness via toffee and caramel chimes through, bringing along a hefty dose of alcohol burn. has that sort of distinct booze/soury sweetness of bourbon.

M - medium bodied with moderate, tight and controlled carbonation. sweet and sticky from sip through the finish. lingering sweetness is cut through easily by a hearty alcohol burn.

D - well-done, all around. a superb example of the style, complex, reasonably drinkable, and plenty dangerous. 8oz of this would be plenty, shame it has to come in such a large format. one of the better Alesmith beers out there.

Photo of philbe311
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've longed to pop this one and have decided that tonight is finally the night...

A - A fingers worthy of uber-rich uber-creamy medium to dark khaki colored head that has a good share of big chunky bubbles mixed in... Slight retention gives way to an uneven but inviting lace... The color is a deep warming brown mahogany... Just a little shy of opaque... A subtle murkiness... Some microscopic carbonation bubble can be seen at the top clinging to the sides of the glass and moving at moderate pace...

S - Malt heaven... Dates... Raisins... Brown sugar... Caramel... Toffee... Brownie batter... Slightly buttery... Perfect potency... Warm and inviting... Anything more would be teetering on cloying given the overall sweetness...

T - The palette is not as sweet as nose would lead one to believe... This isn't a bad thing as the additions of peat and smoke that arrive on the palette add a wonderful complexity to this offering... The peat and smoke are first and foremost on the palette... Some subtle chocolate nuance appears as well... The malty sweetness alluded to be the nose is secondary and adds a world of complexity...

M - On the heavier side of medium bodied... A touch of lushness... A tongue full of slightly fizzy but light and enjoyable carbonation...

D - Quite quaffable especially given the 10% ABV... A world class Scotch Ale in ever facet... Stellar balance and complexity... Even and consistent... Slightly sticky...

Can't wait to try the Barrel Aged version...

Photo of emmasdad
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the many regrets I have had in life, as I sit here typing, is that I have never had the opportunity to try the barrel aged version of this beer, as I think strong scotch ales lend themselves especially well to the wood. But I digress...

Pours from the bottle a lush reddish-black color, with a decent little beige colored head. Aromas of roasted malt, dark brown sugar, caramel and a little smoke. On the palate this one is creamy and full bodied, with smokey malt, warming alcohol and dark fruits. Excellent.

Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of Gobzilla
4.2/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of rtepiak
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

for something with such a high abv a scotch ale that doesn't have a syrupy malt quality and still has a broad latitude that is not compromised. The feel is spot on for the style. Nice mild lace that indicates the sugar. There is quite a bit that carry a multitude of other delicate esters. Color is a mild color mahogany. The head regenerates with each sip. Nose of bourbon, maple syrup, brown sugar, toastiness, and honey. The palate is every aspect of that with a pollen mild fluff. A neutral sweet of fig. And a warm throat. The booze is a tad noticeable but only mildly. A wonderful feel.

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

Seriously good beer. Poured with a large foamy, frothy, fine, tan head that lasts and good lacing. Color is a hazy mahoganey. Aroma is heavy, volatile mix of malt, peat, dark ripe fruit and toffee. Flavor is like aroma with a sweetness/bitterness balance that is spot on along with the earthiness that works great. Body and carbonation work perfectly together and are full and lush. Finish is like flavor with a fleeting sense of the smoke. The rest of the characteristics actually taper off rather quickly and smoothly, ending with a fairly mild alcohol note considering the strength. Not a session unless you're a glutton.

Photo of alpinebryant
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a chestnut brown with a sticky brown head of tiny bubbles. Smell of butterscotch, heavy roasted malts, caramel, toffee, tobacco and scotch yeast.

Taste of butterscotch, peat, tobacco and caramel mixed smoothly together to make this very balanced. There is plenty of sweetness but at 10%, this becomes extremely drinkable with how smooth it goes down. Delicious and one of the better scotch ales I have had. Plenty of brown sugar and toffee flavors. As it warms up, the butter flavors become sweeter and more creamy, but throughout, this is an easy drinker.

Light carbonation and a medium to thick body.

Job well done by Alesmith

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Very dark brown, nearly black color. Two full fingers of cream colored creamy/frothy hybrid head. Good retention and a small ring of lacing.

3.5 S: As this warms up it becomes very nice. Roasty, toasty, and some smoke are readily apparent. Somewhat grainy and a bit bready as well. Brown sugar, toffee, and a touch of booze. The aroma could be stronger though.

4.0 T: Taste is a bit better than the nose, but deserves the same score. Only a touch of roastiness, toastiness, and smoke. Dark roast crystal malt is very apparent. Some raisin/tobacco and date fruitiness in there. Brown sugar and toffee again. The alcohol is extremely well hidden.

4.0 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Very creamy and smooth. My only issue with the mouthfeel is that the carbonation isn't spritzy enough and the beer lies heavy on the tongue.

4.5 D: Maybe I've been drinking too many big beers lately, but this doesn't seem as flavorful as it could be. The nose and taste are good, but could use a little extra power. Overall, this beer is pretty good and the alcohol isn't found anywhere in the taste, making this beer quite drinkable.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to multiple traders for sending bottles of this out my way.

Pours a very deep brown with a medium tan head. Several fingers quickly turn into a slight lacey ring. Nose is quite complex with caramel, brown sugar, raisins, brown sugar, miscellaneous dark fruits, and a bit of alcohol. Taste is similar, but not as strog nor as complex. Good solid body wihout much heat. Drinks nicely now; I'm looking forward to pulling out another one in a year or two.

AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 972 ratings.