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AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

989 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 989
Reviews: 427
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.62%
Wants: 187
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: Jason on 04-19-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 989 | Reviews: 427 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of adamette
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml large, dark bottle from Ale Smith into my Gulden Draak tuilp glass.

A Ruby red, dark brown cloudy body with a generous head that started to dissapear but then hung on for several minutes anyway. The head is a light brown. Instructions on the side of the bottle encourage the pourer to avoid the yeast which remains in the bottom of the bottle.

S Apricot, possibly pear or "stone fruit" as a friend of mine put it. Malty smell for sure with some alcohol. I really like this smell as I am a fan of malty sweetness like this.

T Malt, sweet up front with Syrupy nectar with a shade of vanilla in there as well adding to the sticky, malty tastes. Very little bitterness at all.

M Full with malt sweetness and alcohol.

D I would certainly look for this beer again but it is a sipper, only one for me per session.

Notes: As time went on it started to hit me how similar this beer is to Gulden Draak (and not just because I used my tulip glass!). Really though, the malty sweetness and nectar syrupy mouthfeel were very reminiscent of that. At $15.99 per 750 ml bottle I believe that it is more expensive than Gulden Draak (at least around here) so I would more likely opt for the latter. This is a great beer none the less and everyone should try it.

Photo of sprucetip
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle into tulip.

Deep amber with reddish highlights. Clear with thick off whilte head. Good retention then leaves a ring around the edge. Short lived, spotty lacing. Very attractive.

Booze is most prominent, malt, cararmel, slightly peaty and a bit of malty sweetness. Nicely blended with exception of prominent booze.

Boozy, caramel, malty sweetness and a wee bit smoky. Largely balanced, but the booze is most notable. Clean, slightly dry finish.

Perfectly restrained carbonation, thick, full, pleasant texture. Dry, but not overly so, finish. Strong alc warming.

Full bodied, assertive and bold. A savoring, sharing sipper. Really tasty, but no attempt to hide the booze. Would be interested to see what happened to it after a couple of years in the cellar. My brother found the booze overwhelming and left me the chore of draining the majority of the bottle. I enjoyed it, was up to the task, but it took a while.

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

A- Pours a reddish-brown color with a thick light tan head. The head recedes very slowly and leaves nice lacing down the glass.

S- Very malty and sweet on the nose. Hints of caramel, dark fruits, and raisins come through.

T- Matches the nose with even more malt than anticipated. The malt is very toasty and pleasant, but backed by a nice caramel-like sweetness. A slight alcohol sweetness is noted as well. Dark notes of raisin linger in the background.

M- Fine carbonation with a nice, almost sticky, body.

D- The alcohol is well hidden and the little that is noted integrates well into the beer. Overall, although somewhat eccentric, this is a really good example of the style.

Photo of grub
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Biergotter Tasting, Day 3: Barleywines and Others. i threw this one in to compare with the barrel-aged version that Viggo brought.

750ml bottle topped with silver foil. sampled nov 29/08.

pours deep red-brown, showing great garnet highlights when held to the light. a big yellowish-tan head forms, falling quickly and leaving lots of lace.

aroma is good. light alcohol. big malty base. wheat bread, biscuit, cracker. caramel and toffee. earthy. some dark fruit too - date, fig, raisin.

taste is good. medium-low bitterness level. light alcohol. big malty base again. caramel and toffee. biscuit, whole wheat bread. toasty too. bit of dark chocolate. dark fruit.

mouthfeel is good. medium carbonation level. just over medium body.

drinkability is good. balanced and very nice. great malty depth.

Photo of SShelly
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 2008 bottle freshly purchased from the brewery.

Pours a dark deep brown with ruby highlights, big fluffy offwhite head with >2 min retention, leaves some lace as it drops.

Aroma is deeply malty with some dark fruit and some light chocolate notes.

Flavor follows the aroma pretty close with lots of upfront malt, dark fruit and a bit of chocolate behind it all, very smooth finish, a little alcohol warming as it goes down but incredibly smooth.

medium-heavy body with a fair bit of carbonation, lively in the mouth.

One of the best american examples of the style, will never get tired of drinking this.

Photo of tpd975
3.87/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Gillard for this one.

A: Pours a wonderful nutty brown cloudy hue with a small head. Very little retention and no lace.

S: Wonderful malty aromas backed by nutty toffee and sweet caramel. A touch of alcohol stings the nose.

T: Big caramel sweetness up front. Light nutty flavors with hints of dark fruit. Nice toasted malt, chocolate, and a touch of alcohol round things out.

M: Medium in body, smooth, rather sippable.

D: Very good, one of the best in the style.

Photo of magictrokini
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark mahogany with a thick tan head. Nutty, smoky aroma with smoe caramel. The taste is phenomenal. Toasty malts and buttescotch with a hint of bittersweet chocolate. Finish is creamy and sweet. One of the first Scotch Ales Iv'e had and easily one of the best. Just an awesome beer.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at The Local, SD, CA.

Poured clear amber hue with a large frothy white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Heavy aroma of citrus hops and tart fruit. Medium to full body with soft carbonation. Well balanced flavor of malt, hops and fruit with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

This is a solid drinkable brew.

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

A - pours cloudy brown with a small brownish head.

S - barrel aged scotch overtone. Brown sugar, and some fruity hints. Smells great, very complex.

T - right along with the smell, a scotch over tone with wood/earthy notes. A brownsugar like sweetness. The 10% is completely hidden.

M - Medium carbonation, medium body. slight alcohol warming. The palate is cleansed thoroughly.

D - Easy sipper here, the scotch taste is not overbearing. The woody tones keep it interesting and the 10% is very well hidden.

Photo of Goliath
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown with big ruby hues in the light. A thin tan head forms and lingers with decent retention leaving a soft collar around the glass.

The aroma is quite nice. A big malty nose with notes of caramel, cereal, grain, raisin, and booze.

The taste is pretty good. Big and malty on the tongue as well. Sweet caramel, and booze soaked grain are big players. Raisins are also on the tongue. Really tasty overall.

Mouthfeel is pushing full bodied, and is nicely carbonated with a gentle fine bubble that leaves a cleansing tingle on the way down.

Drinkability is high. It's tasty, a little boozey, thick and malty. How could you not like it?

Photo of davexisxrabid
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a 750 mL bottle with a buddy of mine at the Coffee Table Bistro/Lounge in Eagle Rock. Poured into a pretty standard pint glass.

This ale retained its head throughout most of the drinking period, which was pretty impressive. There was an excellent tan head that was about two fingers deep at first. Excellent lacing. Poured sort of a chestnut brown/copper color tinged with amber in the light.

Aroma was a mixture of a rich malty smell, slightly smokey, tinged with yeast. Very well balanced smell, I was pleasantly surprised.

The taste was almost as impressive as the smell. You can taste the creaminess of the malts right away. This brew is 10% abv according to the bottle. Damned if I could taste that much alcohol in there.

All in all, this ale was rich in flavor, full bodied, and not too heavy on the tounge. It's high abv and ease of drinkability makes me kinda wonder about pounding this stuff back. I'd hafta say I (and my buddy as well) was pretty impressed but this brew. Salud!

Photo of gford217
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a snifter.

This one pours a very dark brownish copper that is almost completely opaque in the glass. The large tan head lingers as a cap throughout leaving sheets of lacing.

The aroma is big and complex and is dominated by the sweet, heavy caramel malts and brown sugar. There also plenty of dark fruits, raisins especially, and a hint of booze.

The taste is just as complex as the aroma. The malts again dominate from start to finish There is a much bigger hop presence than the smell would suggest, some earthy hops and a bit of citrus. Finish is a dark fruit sweetness with the hops and some toffee lingering in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is crazy smooth, just silky. Lots of carbonation to accentuate the medium heavy body, keeping it from getting too cloying.

This is one of, if not the best wee heavy I've ever tasted. It's big and complex, yet very drinkable. Another great brew from AleSmith.

Photo of jmalex
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I decided to break this out tonight to celebrate a couple great days of Phillies baseball. This bottle has been aged about 1 year.

2007 vintage

APPEARANCE: Pours brown with reddish-amber highlights into my Delirium tulip. A dense, creamy off-white head forms at a finger and a half's height and gradually shrinks down to a thick full cap of foam. Web-like lacing encircles my glass as I drink it down.

SMELL: Very aromatic and full of flavors. It's caramelly and nutty with strong toffee notes and a decent backing of alcohol. Deeper down, one can get smoke, some figgy fruits, and chocolate. Nicely complex.

TASTE: The flavor doesn't quite hit as hard, but still comes through reasonably nicely. Caramel and smoke are prominent as is a significant alcohol burn that keeps going and going long after I've swallowed it. Toffee and sherry notes lurk in the background and definitely deepen the beer considerably.

MOUTHFEEL: Malty with a lower carbonation, but I can't help but think this beer seems a little thin.

DRINKABILITY: The alcohol heat seems way to intense for this beer. The complexity is incredible, but this is probably a bottle to share.

AleSmith Wee Heavy is a huge beer with so much going on in it. It's quite hot though and doesn't quite have the body worthy of a knife and fork. Definitely give it a try as anything from AleSmith is always worth it.

Photo of abfraser
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml purchased in 2007

A: Dark brown chestnut that pours a massive cream colored head. This looks thick, coating the side of the glass

S: Amazing smell. I can smell it 2 feet of the table while I'm writing this. Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruit

T/M: Toffee, caramel, chocolate. Subtle roasted malt with a little smokiness on the finish. Very rich mouthfeel, clearly full-bodied. This is awesome stuff, a great winter sipper

D: Would drink this all the time in the chillier months if it was readily available.

Top notch stuff. Nothing more to say other than you should absolutely buy it if you can get your hands on it.

Photo of ncvbc
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep and clear upon the first pour. Brown and ruby highlights. Moderate carbonation and a three finger tannish head that has great retention, falling slowly to a ring. A good smell that at first seems to hide the alcohol well but it comes through more toward the end. Certainly a sweetness to it. Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, even a touch of chocolate. Some hints of darker fruit and oak/vanilla. Just a bit of booze creeping in. Taste is very nice and has quite a bit of character. A definite peatiness to it that I really didn't note in the smell. It's not one of the most evident flavors but provides a sense of balance and character to the beer. The sweet malts are still here, decadent and not syrupy. A very smoothly carbonated beer and silky smooth in the mouth. Never overly full or thick, just right in my book. A very flavorful and bold version of a Wee Heavy, just as you'd imagine from an American brewery. I can't say it's the most drinkable thing in the world but I handled this 750ml with no worries. Can't say I'd have any more than that.

I owe abankovich a huge thank you for the TIF winning package...quite generous to say the least.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark, but decidedly brown in color. Ruby highlights all around, while the tan head is tinged with some orange. Cap is creamy and tough, doesn't leave any lacing or retain its shape very long but definitely sticks around in the form of a millimeter thick collar.

Somewhat understated aroma of dark fruit, caramel malt, and a hint of molasses.

The flavor profile is bold and aggressive, leading with tons of malt flavor and not backing down on the alcohol one iota.

Particular notes I found were (in order of appearance): roasted grain, figs or caramelized raisins, brown sugar, fusel alcohol, and a whiff of smoke.

Must be a little age on this bottle, since the alcohol manages to convey a sense of latent power in the alcohol arena, but also comes across as a such a smooth pup. The fusel alcohol characters are all there, but the finish barely betrays them, and in the mouth they're combated by so many other great flavors.

This side of a fresh Scotch ale on cask, this is the best mouthfeel I've experienced for style. Chewy and full, without sacrificing the palate to the gods of Sweet. When it was cold, I was a bit afraid of what it could turn into as it warmed and thickened, but when it did it merely opened up and grew more lush. The carbonation is spot-on so that there is a scrubbing action, without compromising the body.

Silky, powerful finish that leaves notes of coffee and peat smoke along with a slightly sweet caramel edge. Unbelievable wee heavy: I still have awesome memories of drinking local, fresh wee heavies in Scotland, but honestly none of them actually tasted this good.

Photo of OlieIPA
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark-brown with hints of red. Great head retention along with okay lacing. Just about perfect.

S: Nothing special...dark fruits that are still really enticing.

T: Great!!! Darks fruits...figs, with prune/grape finish.

M: Perfect!!! Light but not...light-medium carbonation...awesome is the perfect word.

D: One of those Lionel Richie drinks... "ALL NIGHT LONG"

Overall: An incredible beer...I was suprised by the goodness of this beer...you should definitely try this if you like good beer.

Photo of Pehlman
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark molasses or syrup-ish color with a thin foamy light-tan head

S: Dark fruit (fig/prune) with a good presence of alcohol.

T: Again with the dark fruit! Very tastey!!! Finishes with a nice figgy-plum flavor.

M: Perfect for the style. Carbonation hits with just the right amount of potency. Leaves a nice flavor of plum and alcohol which coats the entire mouth quite evenly.

D: will definately have this beer again. Very nice! loved it!

Photo of ballewblake
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this out in Cali at Red Carpet Wines. Poured from bottle into a Brunehaut chalice.

Dark brown, maybe black, with a one finger off white head on a normal pour. Reasons to stick with my Duvel glass, smell. I always seem to get way better smells off that glass even though I have a huge glassware connection. Anyway, barely getting some slightly sweet smells, nothing huge, kinda disappointed there, but I'm really thinking its the glassware, will try in another glass when I finish the bottle. Taste is really sweet upfront and then as it washes over my tongue it gets really wet and sweeter at the back as it goes over the bitter areas, weird. Getting some ethanol now, both in the throat and lips, slightly noticeable, but I think as its warming up its really starting to come out. Some really mild bittering hops in the aftertaste. A great balance on this one with malts and hops. Deeper down, getting way better smells, great solid lacing down the glass and head retention is there. Getting the alcohol in the nose, picking up the sweet malts,

Photo of chrisafari
4.61/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours dark brown and red with a nice tan head. Aroma is dominated by very nice carmel malts, alcohol, roasted nuts and a hint of hops. Flavor is again dominated by the malt, but very enjoyable. There is also a nice kick of alcohol throughout. The flavor finishes with a subtle, but nice, hint of green apples. Wee Heavy is really unlike anything else, nothing has such a nice balance of Carmel malt, hops and alcohol. I will be looking for this again!

Photo of corey0212
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep and sexy mahogany color, frothy sand-colored head piles high and fades somewhat slowly, leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. Smell is huge, smokey malts, spicy alcohol, some vanilla and caramel. Velvety caramel taste, dark fruits, lots of raisin, spicy alcohol, almost an oak taste in there, more vanilla...this is decadent. Creamy mouthfeel, enticing warming alcohol, carbonation is incredibly smooth. An excellent beer. This is the kind of beer you'd want to drink in a dark library surrounded by leather and old books....I don't know if that makes sense, and I don't care.

Photo of tonistruth
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- deep mahogany color, 2 fingers of tan froth that holds brilliantly, creamy head and lacing

S- caramel malts, grapes, dried fruit, sweet

T- caramel and smokey malts, grape candy flavor, rich toffee, sweet alcohol

M- medium yet sticky and somewhat hot and coarse

D- great scotch ale, delicious and highly recommended, ages amazingly

Photo of msubulldog25
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 750mL bottle, wrapped with silver foil, poured to a regular ol' pint glass. I paired this tonight with my helping of plank-grilled salmon, roasted heirloom tomatoes and grilled corn - awesome! Great job by my wife for this dish and also thanks to her for buying this bottle for me last Christmas. Refrigerated the last 6 1/2 months...

A: Head rises high - a fluffy, crackling light tan that crests around 2 fingers. Dwindles to a thin creamy topping, almost no lace. Color is chestnut brown/orange; clarity is fairly dense and murky. Few random carbonation streams.

S: Excellent smell of sweet malt, loads of ripe/dry fruit (prunes, raisins, spiced apples), and a powdery cocoa. The grain is a little smoky, but that is repressed by a rich syrup aroma. Strong and long lasting, improves with warming.

T: An appealing, heavily-toasted grain, with lots of toffee and cocoa to follow. A touch on the bitter side, which may be the dark roast or the addition of hops (it IS AleSmith after all...). Loads of ripe pit fruit and a deep sugariness like a reduction sauce, caramelized and decadent.

M: Starts lighter at first sip, but quickly builds to a heavier feel, chewier and lip-smacking good. Crosses the tongue and feels velvety, yet lingers with a lasting bittersweet. Some alcohol warmth.

D: Thanks to the folks at Belmont Station for recommending this to my wife back in December; it's a damn good Wee Heavy. Thinking back, I may have only had this once or twice before; even then, it was probably a small festival sample. I can attest it goes well with grilled fish and, later now, works just fine on it's own. A little booziness and an overall high ABV cuts drinkability, but only a little. Definitely worth seeking out.

Photo of NCSUdo
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle

A: Deep, dark brown under a good looking off white head. Some lace and decent retention.

S: Smells at first of dark fruit and some chocolate and coffee tones. A little nutty. Slightest hint of smoke and a little tangy and vinous.

T: Sweet up front with a definite bitterness and booziness in the finish. Hints of chocolate and coffee, some toasted malt and again a slight hint of smoke. A lot going on here and could be more balanced.

M/D: Full bodied, medium carbonation, a bit drying. I was hoping for a bit more velvety texture. Decent drinkability for such a big beer. A sipper and it could use some balancing in the taste, which probably come from extended cellaring (this bottle is maybe 6-8 months, so maybe 12-18 months would be best).

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opaque brown, looks delicious but it's not going to win a beauty contest. I say 3.5/5 horseshoes.

Smell: Alcohol, dark fruits, scotch duh right?, maybe some caramel and cherry's playing tricks on my mind. 3.5 out of 5 four leaf clovers, the alcohol is kinda overwhelming.

Taste: Taste exactly like a less alcoholic version of Old Stock Ale. I mean exactly. Strong bourbon, cherries (claims a wiseman), malts, and alcohol, and alcohol. EDIT: "other wiseman" now tastes chocolate.

Burp: Chinese food? We didn't have Chinese food tonight...

Mouthfeel: Thick creamy and delicious. If you swish a lot it gets frothy. 4.0 magical bunny rabbits out of 5. (You know the kind that come out of a hat)

Drinkability: It's delicious, nutritious, and taste like alcohol. This will get you all sorts of fudged up. High alcohol. Enjoy if your team is losing a game

AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 989 ratings.