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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.

841 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 841
Reviews: 412
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 172
Gots: 181 | 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: 841 | Reviews: 412 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vladtheimpaler

New Jersey

4.53/5  rDev +8.6%

750ml. This is one of the best made beers you will find anywhere!. Pours a deep orange-brown with a nice tan head. massive rich malty aroma that reminds me of a fine German dopplebock of the best quality. Huge toffee and carmel notes. Sensational! Flavrs consist of explosive malts and carmel flavors, once again like a dopple. Very rich and desert like. Full mouth feel. Very drinkable, but it does go right to your head. Yummylicious.

08-21-2005 16:31:12 | More by vladtheimpaler
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.22/5  rDev +1.2%

750ml green bottle; purple painted label; simply capped, with silver foil neck wrap. Cellared at 60F for one year; and enjoyed at 50F in a beer-clean Imperial pint glass.

The nose is immediately noticed upon pouring, with rich, deeply caramelized malts and a hint of roastiness. Further investigation once it gets into the glass also reveals some brown sugar, even darker molasses, and dark vinous fruit (raisins, prune, red wine).

It delivers a full head of densely creamy light tan foam over a clear (at least on the first pour) dark chestnut/mahogany body with auburn highlights. The head retention is very good given the alcohol content, and it leaves super wide rings of lace about the pint.

In the mouth, it's surprisingly medium bodied (I was expecting it to be a bit fuller), and smooth.

The flavor is exactly as the nose indicates, with a bit more alcohol - and that's the only drawback to this otherwise perfect wee heavy... the alcohol needs to be more restrained. And that goes to fermentation, not gravity, so there's a fairly big flaw here. Still, I really enjoyed it and I might try it again.

06-12-2005 13:49:53 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


4.05/5  rDev -2.9%

Appearance - poured into a wine glass per the label's suggestion, it is a murky brown with soft, dull red highlights. Minimal head, settles at a thin, persistent rim of bubbles.

Aroma - thick malt, chocolate, alcohol with the Scotch Whiskey influence. Goes a little thin after settling, but still good and fragrant.

Taste - whiskey-like malt, sweetness, and alcohol occur in rapid succession. The swallow ushers in a bit of chocolate, a dark fruit component, and the boozy warmth of 9% abv. A palatable wee heavy.

Mouthfeel - has smoothness and comes across a little to the thin side in body. Occasionally vapory from the alcohol, giving it a big beer feel at times. The texture improves noticeably as it warms.

Drinkability - very tasty and very potent. A worthy evening sipper.

Props to drewbage for hauling this across the country for me, it helped kick off my long Memorial Day weekend with elegance and pizazz. 2001 vintage I believe.

06-10-2005 19:03:56 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of granger10


3.63/5  rDev -12.9%

This had the potential, it coulda been a contender. Unfortunately, upon cap poppage I noticed there was little life in it. On the pour, no head whatsoever. A second pour with a different glass got me a minimal head. It had a nice ruby dark color to it but lacked carbonation completely. Looked like a red wine. Aroma was really, really sweet. Toffee, figs, plums, molasses, and alcohol were all that I got. Is this a scotch ale or a dubbel? Taste had much less sweetness but still had notes reminiscent of wine. Figs were most dominant. A chewy body held up a drier malty flavor. Finish was alcohol and a little stinging. It was actually quite enjoyable and had a lot of potential. But where's the smoky flavor, the hops were minimal, and the lack of carbonation was quite upsetting (esp. for the price!). Good beer but a bit of a letdown.

06-09-2005 13:04:48 | More by granger10
Photo of BuckSpin


4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Split a bottle with a relative in town. What a treat to try Alesmith's version of my favorite type of beer. I let the beer warm and took my glass outside to truly savor it undistrurbed by smoke or sound.

Poured a complex, dark, ruddy brown hue - very dark for a Wee Heavy. A mixed head of tan foam adorned the top. Nose was surprising & wonderfully complex. Deep & rich, it just kept going. Peat, burnt coffee, oak, earthy, coffee, malt - I spent minutes just smelling it.

Oh, its rich and smooootthhhh. Surprisingly creamy, you might actually think porter for a brief second. Echoes of oak & charcoal warm the tongue & pallete with a complex taste that never quite reveals all its pieces. The biggest surprise was the strong coffee and toffee throatfeel and aftertaste - this is a Wee Heavy? A slight hop peak on the swallow completes the ride, leaving echoes that resonate for a while in the warm afterglow. This is a beer to be slowly enjoyed. I look forward to another quiet evening exploring its compexities again.

05-28-2005 04:48:43 | More by BuckSpin
Photo of ZAP


4.58/5  rDev +9.8%

Dark brown color....shows no signs of carbonation....excellent nose....a nice subtle smokiness...also sweet malt...dark fruits....body is full, and sweet..low carbonation fits perfectly...

Taste is outstanding...great blend of peatiness and syruppy like maltiness..a slight hit of heat...actually begins with some cocoa elements before that fades into the background

I've heard mixed reviews on this one but I think it's one of the best Wee Heavy's I've tried....highly drinkable....and big at the same time..very well done...

05-28-2005 04:22:40 | More by ZAP
Photo of OldSock

District of Columbia

4.78/5  rDev +14.6%

Appearance – Dark brown with deep red highlights. A thin off-white head that falls to a thin coating along with a massive sheet of lacing that paints my glass like whitewash.

Smell – The pungent dark fruits and smokiness cannot conceal the 9.5% abv completely, but they try. There are also chocolate notes in the nose, very nice.

Taste – Strong malts, smoke and dark fruits mingle together. Really no hop presence except for a slight bitterness on the back of the tongue. The alcohol is completely obscured in the taste while the beer is still at cellar temp, but I start to notice its taste and effect as I work down the huge bottle.

Mouthfeel – Delicious smooth-full body, more the mouthfeel of a strong stout than a Scotch Ale. The carbonation is a bit brisk for my preference, but this is less a problem as I am taking my time enjoying this fine beer.

Drinkability – Alesmith Wee Heavy is certainly the best domestic Scotch Ale that I have had, and good enough to be in the same category with the best Scotland has to offer. Glad I saved the big bottle for a night I had nothing else to do, as the abv will probably destroy me, but with this beer its well worth it. I wish I had bought a second bottle when I had the chance to put down for a year…damn.

05-13-2005 04:13:55 | More by OldSock
Photo of arizcards


4.53/5  rDev +8.6%

Picked up a 750 ml bottle for 12.99 at Papago Brewing back in November.

Pours a black color with garnet tones and a decent head. Smell is wonderful. I do not know how to best describe it other than it is this wonderful sweet medley that hits the pleasure center of my brain. Taste is smooth like the best of cognacs. Hints of smoky figs or prunes lurk beneath. Mouthfeel is perfect as this beer is smooth as silk. Overall drinkability is near perfect. The high ABV is well masked! Unfoprtunately the high price tag will result in annual treat for me!

03-13-2005 02:12:50 | More by arizcards
Photo of IrishRedRock


3.85/5  rDev -7.7%

Beautiful bottle, as seen in the picture. Popped the cap off to hear no hiss of escaping carbonation. Poured some into a snifter, same result. Uterrly, lifelessly flat. Like red wine. Thankfully, it doesn't need any carbonation to taste nice. Aroma is limited, as you might guess, from not having any head atop, but traces of nutmeg, spice, chocolate and malt vinegar are evident in the nose.

Mouthfeel is flat and without carbonation, but "smooth" (no carbonation). Dark fruits are the most prominent flavor to balance the thick chewy malt and the touch of alcohol. Hoppy burps taste like cherries and plums. One I would gladly drink again, especially if the bottle had the carbonation I think it's supposed to have. Maybe AleSmith had some QC problems with this? I dont know. I'll give it a go again, if I should come across it.

02-07-2005 01:46:11 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of clvand0


4.22/5  rDev +1.2%

Very cool bottle. Pours a brown color with a small head that dies off quickly and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma was complex - some raisins, some nuttiness, some malts, a little alcohol. Nice. The flavor was much more smooth than I expected. Extremely malty with a raisin character and the warming alcohol. Mouthfeel could be a little more thick, but it's a great brew.

02-01-2005 19:06:01 | More by clvand0
Photo of SheepNutz


4.13/5  rDev -1%

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a deep ruby red color that barely lets any light through. There's only a half finger of head, and there's minimal lacing. The smell is huge, with lots and lots of raisins and dates. Some sweet caramel and a hint of alcohol as well. The taste is big too. Very malty flavors and lots more dark fruit going on. A bit of alcohol on the finish. The mouthfeel is just a little light and oily. The drinkability is great for such a big brew though. Thanks to clvand0 for bringing this to the tasting!

01-31-2005 03:49:53 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of kmpitz2


4.45/5  rDev +6.7%

Thanks to clvand0 for the chance to try this beer. It poured a dark ruby to rubied brown color with a small head that fell to ring the beer. The nose was complex, with roasted and nutty tones dancing around raisiney tones. Put it all together and you have a fine smelling beer. The flavor was divine as well, complimenting what I smelled fairly accurately. Good roasted notes with sweet dark fruit making a very very good flavor. The feel on this beer could not be improved. It was chewy, thick, smooth just awesome. This is one fine-ass beer. So easy to drink and so tasty. I give it two thumbs way up.

01-30-2005 22:31:31 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of ppoitras


4.85/5  rDev +16.3%

750ml bottle obtained via trade with kmpitz2. Thanks for the opportunity... Capped and foiled.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a wee 1/4" tan head over the dark reddish mahogany brew. Head fades rather quickly to a layer of bubbles, but there wasn't much to begin with, and for the style, that's not particularly shocking, and lacing was good. Aroma is sweet dark malts, with bits of dark fruits and alcohol popping up here and there. Taste is exquisite dark grain sweetness, with a tinge of fruit, and a long warming down the gullet. Mouthfeel and drinkability are stunners for the style. This is one to search out and enjoy, especially after a long day of cleaning up snow.

01-23-2005 23:24:27 | More by ppoitras
Photo of silenius


4.3/5  rDev +3.1%

Pours a clear dark brown with no red in it to speak of. Light short-lived tan head. Nice, but nothing special.

Smell is better with some caramel, smoke, hint of espresso and some ganja.

Taste is very deep and robust with roasted coffee and caramel and butterscotch. Slightly peaty and scotch whisky-like. Very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel was too light in my opinion nothing special, but nothing wrong. Too thin for my liking.

Very easy to drink. I will look for more even at the high price of $12.99 I think I paid for the 750ml.

12-11-2004 03:16:53 | More by silenius
Photo of mickeymac


4.63/5  rDev +11%

After reviewing an older bottle of Wee Heavy about two years ago, I was surprised to see that the beer was listed under another heading with an abv of 8.5%. The new bottle I recenlty picked up is listed at 9.5%. It hasn't lost any of its taste or other outstanding characteristics. Out of a 750 ml bottle, it an eye-pleasing brown with an off-white head that dimishes quickly leaving no lace. The smell is a real knockout: smoky, malty, and very earthy, with a surprisinly subtle alcohol smell. With the first smell, it was obvious that this was the ideal beer for this cold, rainy night. Although the smell is close to perfection, the taste is not a letdown. Malty but not sweet, the hops are just barely detectable but, happily, they are. This is a dangerously drinkable beer at 9.5%. Seek it out for a cold evening at home.

12-06-2004 06:19:36 | More by mickeymac
Photo of Dogbrick


4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Dark mahogany color with a very thin light tan head that dissipated quickly. The aroma is luxurious malt, smoke, rum and butterscotch. Rich body with full flavors of smoked malt, floral hops, caramel, chocolate and roasted nuts. Amazing. The finish is creamy and smooth, with sweet malt and an alcohol pop. Right up there with any of the best Scotch Ales out there.

11-05-2004 16:56:55 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of winomark


3.85/5  rDev -7.7%

Medium brown hue; looks very viscous. Almost no head. Aromas of sweet alcohol, smoke, and candy. Suprisingly dry palate compared to the nose. Lots of smoke and malt with a long lingering finish. Mouthfeel is extremely flavorful and long. A good beer for a cool evening watching the World Series. Another great brew from Peter and the crew at Alesmith. Definately worth a try.

10-24-2004 13:41:23 | More by winomark
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.08/5  rDev -2.2%

Deep dark brown, figgy, plummish, a tawny shade of crimson, not much of a head, slips away if it was there at all...
rip dark fruit in the aroma, raisins and dates, more from the fig and plum, grapes, deep and resonant, complex and pungent...
Full feeling on the palate, big flavor, cocoa maltiness, thick mouthfeel, return of the dark fruits in abundance, great tasting...I like it, though it doesn't impress me too much. Nuttin' wrong with that...
...wait how strong is this?...that strong, really?...it does stick out...maybe I'd like it better if the booze were a bit more quiet...nah, that doesn't sound like me...anyway, good beer all y'all...enjoy...

10-10-2004 09:23:38 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Boilermaker88


4.38/5  rDev +5%

A 2001 vintage in a 750ml capped bottle that was poured into a tulip glass as recommended per the label. Had a dark mahogany color, a modest creamy beige head and lots of fine carbonation seen crawling up the sides of the glass.
A rich, malty aroma dominated the nose. Also present in abundance were notes of dark fruit, scorched caramel, and smoldering peat. Heady alcohol vapors also made their presence known quite readily.
The taste was varied and complex. Up front were flavors of candy sugar and dark fruit, toffee, and grains. Mid-palate yielded a nutty flavor and the tastes of charred wood and peat. Lastly, there was a mild herbal bitterness and the warming parting shot of alcohol that heated up the throat and stomach. The feel was full, rich and creamy with a dry finish.
Wow, kudos to BrewMaster for finding this great brew and for putting the word out. The only downside I had with this beer from a drinkability standpoint was the potent ABV which had me getting loopy by the end of my second glass. A rich, hearty and complex ale that was worth the trip.

10-10-2004 04:14:33 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of BrewMaster


4.88/5  rDev +17%

2001 750 ml bottle opened 10/6/04. The beer was capped with an unlabeled gold colored cap, no cork. The back of the bottle has good instructions on cellaring, storage, and serving the beer. The beer pours a rich and dark brownish red color. It looks like a darkly stained piece of antique furniture. A light head develops on pouring and a nice covering of tan lacy bubbles swirls atop the dark brew once the head settles down in 30 seconds or so.

The aroma is roasty with caramel and what seems like a sour scent, though I'm didn't know I could smell sourness. The aroma balances out a bit once the beer has a few minutes to breath fresh air. At first is was a bit off-putting, but once it came together is was a nice smelling brew.

The flavor is exceptional. Lots of caramel, grape molasses, and malt flavors lingers in the mouth. A tangy roastiness is also present. There doesn't seem to be any noticable contribution from hops. A light note of earthiness finishes the flavor. A nice wheat bread and oat flavor coats the mouthfor the aftertaste.

This beer is nothing less than fantastic. I am enjoying an entire bottle myself and loving every sip of it.

10-07-2004 01:05:37 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of meathookjones


4.28/5  rDev +2.6%

Reviewed from a 2003 750ml bottle with no dates of any kind on it. This appears a black color till held up to the light and dark cherry highlights could be seen. A fluffy beige head sits atop the dark body that leaves minimal lace as this was consumed. Fruits scents will the aroma along with slight caramel malt sweetness. There is also a slight smoky note I am picking up from time to time. The flavor has a strong molasses taste with malty sweetness and the alcohol is definitely present. There were notes of chocolate and caramel and it ended with a slight alcohol after taste. Body was almost full with a sticky coating mouthfeel. I had no trouble finishing this big bottle and I would have had more if it were available. A very good example of the style that is worth a shot for sure.

09-24-2004 13:51:58 | More by meathookjones
Photo of Wildman


4.43/5  rDev +6.2%

This beer poured a very dark blood red amber color and formed a small light tan bubbly head the left trace lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An heavy aroma of malt, molasses, dark cherries and some other fruit. A hint of of the alcohol present is also in the background. The flavor is of malt, molasses and a bit of carmel with some dark fruit aspect. The body is slightly silky and the finish is slightly sweet with a hint of astigency. It's glad to have Alesmith available in Ohio, I just wish they would charge us the same price that California and others pay, but at least we have it.

09-13-2004 02:32:36 | More by Wildman
Photo of CRJMellor


4.47/5  rDev +7.2%

Pours deep maroon with a black core. Big, light tan head that dissipates quickly but leaves some spotty lace.
Aroma is very peaty and earthy with some roasted nuts and a sweet toffee base. Hint of chocolate malt also present.
Flavor has a full-on peat scotch-like hit with some caramel, chocolate malt and some fruity undertones. Tastes like one of those alcoholic X-mas chocolate candies. Delicious.
Mouthfeel is hyper-sweet for the first 1/3 then moves to a roasted and peaty middle and finishing with a touch of hop bittering. Very on to style for me.
Drainkability is great. Beautiful beer and excellent representation of style IMHO.

09-02-2004 19:14:07 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of Gusler


4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

The beer disgorges from the 750ml green bottle a limpid deep ruby to almost brown color; the head is gargantuan in size, semi-creamy in texture and a toothsome light tan in color with the residual lace a velvet curtain to drape the glass. Nose is sweet malt, caramel and molasses, fresh and crisp, a pleasant sniff to be sure, start is demonstrative in its sweetness, thick malt presence, and the top is moderate to full in its feel to the palate. Finish has a fairish acidity, the hops relatively benign in their spiciness, the aftertaste droughty and a definite alcohol bitterness forms as the beer warms to the glass and room and it sticks to the palate till the very end. Alesmith has been since I sampled my first beer from them several years ago a favorite and I look forward to their vintages each year and keep a ton in my stash

08-10-2004 15:03:44 | More by Gusler
Photo of BierReise


4.28/5  rDev +2.6%

Enjoyed this ale with fellow BA JohnnyDuvel. 750ml Capped Pours a dark brown with a light but dense head. Aroma is a toasty, smoky ,malty sensation with a faint sweetness and lots of caramel notes. The body is smooth and full that sticks to your mouth. The flavor is all about malt yet has a bitterness at the end. Caramel, roasted malt and molasses give this an interesting complexity. Overall another fine offering from Alesmith.

08-07-2004 23:47:22 | More by BierReise
AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 841 ratings.