AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

953 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 953
Reviews: 424
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 185
Gots: 203 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-08-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 953 | Reviews: 424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ineva
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of BigJYoungblood
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of gkatsoris
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Photo of rockernino
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of ChrisMon02
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Martyrob
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of mjw1200
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of MooseBoose
4.74/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of ogasnor
4.74/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A - Dark brown, with a hint of redness to it. Held up to the light, it is hazy and cloudy with what light manages to get through. Pours with a generous two fingers head, which falls away to non-existence. There is not so much lacing as this beer sticks to the side of the glass forming legs.

S - Dark fruit: Caramel and toffee, dried cherry, figs, dates, and raisins, swimming in a dark, sugary alcohol aroma. Smells reminiscent of black rum, rich with molasses, smoke and the bitterness of burnt sugar.

T - It is as if a caramel and toffee malt bomb went off in my mouth. Tastes the same as it smells, molasses, rum and the full spread of dark fruits. The finish is a little bitter, like earthy smoke and burnt sugar dancing with dark cherries.

M - The near lack of carbonation makes this a very thick beer; combined with all the sweetness, you might think it would be syrupy or cloying. But it isn't, mostly because there is just enough alcohol to overcome the sweetness, and leave just a bit of warmth.

O - This is, without a doubt, a big beer. There is so much going on that it could have been a jumbled, incoherent mess, but instead, the flavors work with each other, and then give way to the next set of tastes. If I didn't know this was a Wee Heavy, I could believe it was a Quadrupel, or perhaps a Barleywine.

Photo of Phatz
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I loved this beer so much (though I am happy to have shared it with my friends) I could easily have consumed the bottle by myself. This one I will pay the $20 price tag if I can get my hands on it again.

Appearance: Pours an opaque ruddy crimson brown with a creamy tan head and notable lacing.

Smell: Spectacular aroma of dark malts, caramel, molasses, hints of chocolate, peety smoky Scotch scents, and burnt toffee.

Taste: Suggestions of cocoa, sweet malt, toffee, caramel, and burnt brown sugars start a complex path doth the adventure that is Alesmith Wee Heavy. WOW! Exceptional. I love a good wee heavy and that it is. Ripe fruit and alcohol round out the mouth and it leaves you with a hint of smoke still on the palate. A bit of alcohol compliments the flavors but does not flex to strongly.

Mouthfeel: Unbelievable smooth and silky.

Drinkability: I love this beer. Next one is going to be paired with a Padron 1926 cigar. MMM. It is a perfect night cap!

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Photo of Boto
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught: I had a sample of this at the brewery. It poured a somewhat mahogany brown color. A decent off-white head. I get the aroma of caramel malt sweetness, with a hint of peat and smokiness. There are similar notes to the taste. A full, rich, complex taste. Lovely.

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.7/5  rDev +13%

One of the most enjoyable wee heavies I've had in awhile. Nose is soft, but reveals a rather complex union of bready biscuit malt, rich medium-dark caramels, and hints of a leathery peat. The taste is more of the same, as fully toasted malts finish with dark caramels balanced by just enough hops to eliminate any cloying but also not make it bitter. It also softens up a bit as it warms in the glass, adding touches of toffee and lighter caramels. This is one fine beer.

Photo of RogerWolfe
4.7/5  rDev +13%

Photo of weeare138
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appears a dark, dense mahogany with a beige head that fades into a small cap and bubbly collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, light smoke, banana flambe, and rum cake.
Taste is of the same aromas with a standout of cocoa.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, warming, & laden with caramel, vanilla, toffee, and a light smokiness running along the palate.

Photo of Twotonsandwich
4.7/5  rDev +13%

Photo of beergeek279
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served as a sample from the 750 mL bottle. The color was a dark amber/brown, with a ring of white head. The smell was a slightly smoky, slightly sweet malt. The taste started with a peaty smokiness, and then a very strong vanilla sweetness came into the taste, and finished with just a hint of the alcohol. Mouthfeel was chewy. As for drinkability, I could have quite a few of these.

Well, I'm shocked...a West Coast beer without hoppiness!! Seriously, though, this is amongst the best Wee Heavys that I've had, and hopefully I'll be able to have this one again.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pouring out dark, chestnut brown with a head reminiscent of frothed milk. Alright, this starts off my inaugeral AleSmith experience!

Smell: Stongly sweet caramel malt aroma coupled with a limitless amount of peat and smoke. Touch of oak. Some dark fruits glazed in maple syrup.

Taste: Starts off with a clean maltiness which blends effortlessly with the peat and dark fruit flavors. Again, a bit of oak in the equation. A bit like a nice tawny port. The hops, though present, are restrained and unobtrusive, allowing for the dark, wine-like fruits and sweetness to dominate (though, at no point is this beer overly sweet). A little time and warmth help to coax out some additional flavors of cocoa and toasted vanilla beans. A litte more time brings out some fusel qualities.

Mouthfeel: Medium, and so very smooth.

Drinkability: Quite so. I feel "very good" is an understatement. I think it's an *outstanding* beer, and one I thoroughly recommend.

Photo of tonistruth
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
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 Metalmonk
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An incredible looking beer, this pours the deepest burgundy I've ever seen, topped by a rocky three-finger head of creaminess incarnate. Lots of lace, both splotchy and stringy...pretty much a perfect looking beer. If not, I certainly haven't seen another more beautiful. (And the bottle says it's 10% ABV...lucky me!)

Aroma is a fantastic array of smoke (mild), peat, cheesecake and berry fruits, also some cherry pipe tobacco further back, and a dim bit of leather even further back.

Flavor: first comes a big grape / berry sweetness, like real concord grape juice amped up by an exotic berry juice infusion; then several waves of bitter dark chocolate, soil, flavored pipe tobacco, and burnt raisin. That sounds a bit heavy, but it all remains on the delightfully succulent and manageable sweet side. A bit of alcohol flare rides through during and between sips, but the thin yet velvety slick mouthfeel does wonders in taming that, helping the flavors remain in the spotlight. This could've been too thick or sticky, but instead it's just right in its graceful, even gentle delivery.

Easily one of the most delicious beers I've ever had the pleasure to meet. Its bulky ABV and assertive flavors make it one I wouldn't probably want that often, but that's okay. It'll only be that much sweeter to return to. ...Now, short of trading, if I didn't have to book flight to get it, I'd really be in business...sigh...

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

Shared a bottle with bamadog tonight. Been looking forward to cracking this one for awhile now.

Appearance: The beer pours into my pint glass a super dark shade of brown with the slightest hints of gold close to the head. The head starts out at a few fingers and fades slowly to a solidly retained 1/2 finger frothy tan skim. The beer is completely opaque, but an inspection of the bottom of the glass shows some chunks of sediment hanging around.

Smell: Dominant aroma in the nose is the chewy, caramel malt. It is quite sweet and sugary. Balancing it out are some roasted, almost smoky notes, like light oak or peat. Really nice smell that makes me look forward to the taste.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Wow. This beer is just delicious. I'm seriously impressed and this is one of my favorite styles - I don't judge too easily. A really nice blend of flavors is strong without being overwhelming. Sweet, toasted malts retain the caramelly presence from the nose in the taste. They meet a subtly smoky, earthy peat and present, but subdued alcohol heat. The graininess is also slightly present, almost reminiscent of rye beers, but not quite the same thing - just the best explanation I can give. Feel is a little on the lighter side, better described as moderate overall, with light carbonation that doesn't overwhelm the flavors. The aftertaste is sweet and earthy and somewhat nutty, full and rich, and is coupled with a sticky filmy feel.

Drinkability: This is definitely everything I would expect from a wee heavy. The warmth of the alcohol hangs in my chest and is pleasantly present without being too much to bear. The balance of the flavors couples nicely with the mild mouthfeel.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer has a warm barrel brown body with a matrix of tiny bubbles gliding to the surface. There is a thick tan head that mushrooms above the glass and last for the full beer.

S- This beer has a dark caramel sweetness with a slight prune hint and a soft smoky bourbon hint of alcohol and sweetness at the finish.

T- The taste of sweet malt with a caramel flavor and toasted notes has some cream and smoky hints that increase as the beer warms a bit. The finish has a nice roasted malt bitterness and a soft cola note that supports it. As this beer warms a bit a pleasant faint coffee roasted note and some pine hops come through at the finish. The alcohol taste is a bit like red wine and is a nice compliment to the big malts.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a slight slippery texture and not real alcohol until the beer warms quite a bit.

D- This full flavored and roasted malt notes has a great flavor combined with nice smoky qualities and no band-aid flavor. The hops and alcohol balance each other nicely and let the malt do most of the talking until it warms up a bit.

Photo of Murph
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep ruby/garnet/light brown with a thick tan head that sinks to a clingy film and laces the glass very well. Huge caramel maltiness all over the nose with nice toffee/butterscotch qualities and huge sweet malty aroma. Big, sweet caramel maltiness opens up on the tongue with hints of piney/citrusy hops that are barely noticeable. The hops add little flavor but balance the brew nicely. There is also a nice toffee smoothness with just the slightest smokey maltiness in the finish. The brow flows smoothly across the tongue with a full budied mouthfeel that is not sticky in its sweetness. A massively drinkable brew, especially considering the huge maltiness. If only these excellent brews from Alesmith were available on the East Coast.
A huge thanks to thelongbeachbum for this excellent beer.

Photo of samie85
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Photo of gleemonger
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Photo of mickeymac
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 953 ratings.