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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

449 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 449
Hads: 1,109
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 14.56%
Wants: 209
Gots: 238 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of AleSmith Wee Heavy Alström Bros
Reviews: 449 | Hads: 1,109
Photo of pmarlowe
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler to tulip glass.

A: Pours a clear, light brown with a few cm of bright beige head, largish bubbles. Very good retention and some lattice lacing and swirls.

S: Delicious dark fruit (cherry, plum), spiced rum, dark molasses, and caramel malts.

T: Dark, fleshy fruit, fruity esters, very earthy, some dry molasses, and toasty malt. Finishes fairly dry. Excellent balance here: big, rich flavors but not overly so like you get in Wee Heavys.

M: Quite creamy like milk chocolate, medium-full body and medium-light carbonation. Sticky sticky.

O: Complex, a bit too big to be drinkable, but tasty in small doses. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 poured into a snifter

A- Pours hazy dark brown but turns pitch black in the glass. A nice one finger of a off khaki colored head. Good retention and slight alcohol legs.

S- Dark fruits, raisins figs, spicy plums. Some roasty and caramel malts> Slight heat but really brings this to life.

T- Big roasted dark fruits hit the palate. There is a ton of rum soaked raisin, plums and spiced figs, Somewhat reminiscent to a quad. A roasted caramel flavor is throughout the entire beer which really rounds it out. I can almost taste the alcohol but the heat really brings this beer to life. The flavors are strong and intense. Well balanced and lively.

M- Thick and syrupy but balanced quite well by the alcohol presence. Aftertaste isn't too dry. Leaves a slight roasted flavor.

O- One of the best Wee Heavy's out there. Would kill to try the barrel aged version.

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Photo of Dope
3.43/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear, very dark brown with a bit of red in there. Big and dense light brown head. Fades slowly, leaving really nice solid lacework behind.

S: Toffee, molasses and some peat with hints of smoke. Decent caramel in there as well.

T: Loaded with smoke and peat up front. Toffee, caramel and molasses abound especially in the middle. Some dark fruits fill in the middle as well, fig, grape and maybe raisin? A touch of nuttiness too. Finishes with lots of peat and toffee. Fairly boozy. I get a fair amount of of odd sawdust and leather in there too. Hard to describe.

M: Heavy, thick, boozy.

O: Definitely a very strong, boozy and complex scotch ale. The weird leathery/dusty/woody aspect really detracted I thought. It almost tastes oxidized in a way but this is super fresh (just came into the store last week). Fairly smoky and peaty too which I generally don't like too much. I was kind of torn on the scoring as I didn't like some of the flavors but it also has a lot of good flavors as well as the complexity and balance. The smoke and peat seems in-line with the style so it's hard to take away points for that either. Tough one to score. I did not enjoy this one at all, however.

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Photo of rinhaak
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a brandy snifter.

Pouring a pretty deep black with a fine foamy head, the beer has aromas of black licorice, sweet plums, dark rum, and ice cream. Very warm and boozy in the mouth, it drinks more like a digestive. There are flavors of dark plum, dark roasted (but never burnt) malts, and dark rum.

A lovely beer to end the day with, AleSmith Wee Heavy is also great beer for the colder months.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of gleemonger
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, dark, amber brown with a moderate tan head that goes away fairly quickly, leaving some nice cotton lacing. Very pretty beer.

Toasted malts, dark fruit, caramel, and a touch of yeast. Sweet but not overly so, makes me want to take a sip ASAP. A touch of alcohol too.

Much like the nose, the taste comes through in about the same order - toasted malts, a kind of raisiny / plum fruit flavor, mixed with some caramel malts. Almost goes the medicinal alcohol route, but stops just short, thank god. I'm really digging the roasted malt, stout character of this that isn't usually there for the style - works really nicely. Even a touch of bitter hops on the back end. Quite a bit going on here.

Thick, heavy, syrupy but not overly so. Good carbonation bite to offset.

While not my favorite Scotch Ale, a very unique and very nice take on the style, and super enjoyable. Well crafted and delicious.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: rich, dark brown hue, almost completely inscrutable. Head poured two thick fingers of frothy tan foam which subsided, over time, leaving a nice layer of lace on the glass. Nearly perfect.

Smell: big, sweet malt aroma with a big caramel character. Nicely crafted and appropriate to the style.

Taste: sweet malt flavor with a little bit of vegetal hops in the mix. Malt character emphasizes the caramel, with little hints of breadiness coming through the sides. Good, and appropriate to the style.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with a huge carbonation and massive creaminess. Great for this or any other style! Wonderful.

Overall: quite a good beer. If you like gargantuan malt bombs, this beer is for you.

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Photo of rarbring
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The brew is clear deep chestnut, has a dark tan head that settles slowly leaving good lacing and having good curtains.

Smelling of fudge, butter scotch, dried dates, apricots, Marzipan, almonds and Sherry.

Tasting of sweet brown bread, dark dried fruits, Sherry and almonds.

Medium carbonation, soft and oily, a huge body. A very smooth dryness.

In small portions, mostly after dinner, with a good dessert, why not Crème Brûlée.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of AwYeh
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage poured into tulip.

A: Pours an opaque, dark dark dark brown/black color. One finger of frothy, foamy tan head tops off the glass. Great lacing left behind.

S: Sweet and oaky, a deep, flavorful aroma. Some dark fruits and toasted malts make this one great. Not too much hop flavor, but quite tasty.

T: Damn good; roasted, toasted malts andd nothing ever gets too cloying. I'm a big fan of this beer's flavor after putting it off for quite a while. Caramel, nuts, and even a bit of smoke top this one off. I'm wondering if the oaky flavors are just imagined, since I know this beer isn't barrel aged... but damn, there's something in there that's making it just right.

M: Medium to thick body with moderate carbonation; this is a very smooth and creamy beer. Nice sticky, syrupy finish. I'm amazed it carries this kind of stickiness without being too sweet, especially for the style.

O: A very solid selection; though my malt-averse friends didn't want to split this one with me, I think this beer could find favor on almost any beer lover's palate. A great job by AleSmith.

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Photo of ricknelson
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Six of us attending a beer tasting that I hosted in my man cave pub gave this beer a score of 24 out of a possible 30 for and an average score of 4.0 It ranked tied for 3rd out of the 12 beers we tasted. The group of six were divided evenly, 3 that favored IPA's and 3 that favored Stouts. This Wee Heavy Scotch Style Ale comes in a 25 oz bottle. May be hard to find.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the brewery

Pours a deep almost blacked out color with a thin layering of beige head resting on top. Light amount of lacing dots the glass, with a slick of film coating the brew.

Robust, thick scents of roasted malts and chocolate. Hints of nuttiness and booze with peat and leather. Very faint smoke with alcoholic warmth. Tempered sweetness.

Rich and full-flavored right up front with dashes of dark chocolate and roasted malts. Layers of caramel and peat with subtle notes of smoke. Sweet, but not cloying, paired with a substantial boozy warmth. A bit of leather and nuttiness towards the finish.

Full bodied, decent carbonation, creamy and luxurious on the tongue. I savored every drop of my taster - I would easily buy a few bottles of this if it wasn't so pricy here in Philly.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, no bottled-on date, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours dark brown with reddish hues at the edges, produces a finger of creamy head that recedes to a wispy layer, leaves spotty lacing.

S- Aroma of caramel, molasses and fruit as well as smokey, peaty notes.

T- Sweet, slightly boozy flavor, lots of caramel and dark fruit. Also some smoke, peat and oak.

M- Full-bodied, thick, creamy, smooth feel.

O- An awesome wee heavy, very tasty and pretty damn drinkable for such a big beer.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into Sam Adams tulip pint, no bottle date as far as I can tell.

A: Black body with slight brown highlights. Head is thick and solid, tan colored.

S: Dark roasty malt, slight sweetness, fairly clean.

T: Hits up front with a nice sweetness. Just when I thought it was going to finish too clean, here comes another wave of flavor. Hop and roasty bitterness fade to coffee and chocolate notes, as well as some dark crystal malt. Lingers this way for awhile.

M: Well carbonated, not too much.

O: A really nice beer for the style, but I wouldn't find myself reaching for this over an RIS anytime soon.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle 10,0% ABV
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
No bottle date.

This is going to be my first beer from AleSmith, so I am really looking forward to it - it also helps that Wee Heavy's are one of my favorite styles of beer!

Appearance: The beer pours a dark mahogany brown, however a back light transforms the colour into a beautiful deep red with bright golden edges. A rough pour yields a large cream coloured head that displays good retention and leaves sticky rings of lacing as it slowly recedes.

Smell: Ah, this smells amazing, it has been far too long since I had a good Wee Heavy. The The initial nose is quite sweet with notes of caramel, butterscotch, brown sugar and a little chocolate. These notes are soon joined by toasted malt, molasses, dark blue gum honey and sweet dark fruits (plums, dates and a touch of raisin). Warming yields a little alcohol, a hint of peated whiskey, an earthy note and a very unexpected touch of pine needles.

Taste: The flavour is not quite as sweet as the nose, but that is probably a good thing as that might make it a little tougher to finish the bottle.
Flavour notes include: Toasted malt, molasses, brown sugar, caramel, honey, dates, a hint of chocolate, an earthy character and the faintest hint of alcohol.
The finish displays a touch of bitterness and is quite dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body and quite chewy, with a medium level of carbonation. Initially the carbonation was not quite smooth enough, however after the first third of the bottle things improve drastically, with the carbonation becoming far smoother, to the point that it is almost creamy.

Overall: This is a fantastic beer, I thoroughly enjoyed it and had no problem finishing the 750. I will certainly buy this one again. I think a barrel-aged version of this must be absolutely fantastic. I hope they release it again soon.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.73/5  rDev -11%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.4/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of Bfarr
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of Pahn
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of Duff27
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
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!

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Photo of 4thmedbn
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of williamjbauer
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
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!

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Photo of gkatsoris
4.74/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 449 ratings.