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AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

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998 Ratings

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Ratings: 998
Reviews: 429
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.62%
Wants: 189
Gots: 204 | FT: 13
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: 998 | Reviews: 429
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

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aged approximately 9 months, proper cellaring. The bottle is dark, of minimal ornament, a silver foil collar on top, and a good description of the beer and its aging qualities.

Into an imperial pint glass, pours a dark brown that shines ruby through a light, a generous 1" head of off-white foam settles to a quarter inch, and leaves bubbles around the glass.

The aroma gives off sweet, malty notes of brown and caramelized sugars, a faint smoky malt, fruits, the thick dark skinned kind. A slight spice and some alcohol warmth, its quite nice.

The taste is extraordinary, a wee heavy that is at once full and medium, flavorful and yet subtle, dry, and complex. It begins with some good carbonation and the brown sugars, sweet, ripened fruits, leading to dry grains, a faint herbal hop, an effervescent smokiness reminiscent of tobacco that permeates all. There isn't much peat, but the fruits are what make it interesting. The body is silky smooth, but dries at the ending, sometimes more than others.

I can't say I like the drying quality too much, and wish it were a bit thicker, but for the most part, its a well crafted, tasty ass wee heavy. I'll get some more some day for sure, then have some fresh and some aged 2 years, as noted by the brewer's notes.

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

I have really been dying to try this for a while, and am finally cracking into my first 750 ml bottle after a couple of months in the cellar. The weather has lately taken a cold, damp turn for the worse, and this seems like just the beer to ward off the chill. Poured into my Deschutes snifter, the Wee Heavy is a dark ruby with large, dense, light tan head that's fairly long lasting and leaves heavy foam lace.

Smell is very big and rich, nutty malts, dark sugary fruits, very barleywine like.

Taste is also big and rich, but very smooth, with strong caramel and nutty malts, fruity esters, again, like an English barleywine, but darker. Very rounded and balanced, with more figs, toasted bread, toffee, and raisins then the nuttiness on the nose. Slightly astringent finish with clean alcohol that gains intensity as it warms.

Mouthfeel is on the thinner side, starting very smooth but with a sharp, lingering spiciness on the tongue.

Drinkability is pretty good, but it's very rich, on the heavy side of wee for sure! Still, it's smooth and well made, with the high ABV largely unobtrusive, mainly just some heat in the belly. While Alesmith comes through as usual, it's not exactly my ideal - perhaps to much anticipation. I'm hoping this will further round out and gain more depth with age.

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

Dark amber color, slightly murky. Good two-finger head that lasts a long time with great ring lace after each sip.

Strong caramel and toasted raisin; slight port aroma. Sweet like milk chocolate.

Slightly sweet, slightly hoppy. Closest description would be semi-sweet chocolate. Rich body with a good carbonation level. Not nearly as sweet as some Scotch ales. Chewy.

This is a delicious beer with a lot of flavor and richness.

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

Shared from 750ml bottle with two others. Poured into Guiness pint glass.

Appearance is good, deep color with slight head. Smell is excellent, peaty roasted malts and burnt caramel sweetness. Taste is very good, sweet and malty with a bit of hop bitterness in the background and finish. There is definitely alcohol in there, and you get a nice burn from it in the finish.

Excellent version of a style I really like.

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

a: This was a clear, ruby red with some yellowish orange around the edges. It pours with a big, sticky, craggy light tan head that lasts.

s: Sweet, peaty, almost floral malts with hints of plums, vanilla, and alcohol. Gentle, superb, and very complex.

t: The malt flavors mirror the smell. Plenty of subtle elements combine to make this a fantastic wee heavy. In addition, there is some hop bitterness at the end and some barely perceptible alcohol.

m: The carbonation is gentle and lush, a nice compliment to the thick texture of this one.

d: Big thanks to the insanely generous abankovich for this treat. This is a great example of the style. Oh, and where the hell is the 9.5% abv? I couldn't find it.

Photo of smellsofstout
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

so frickin good.
average, rocky, light brown dimishing head. excellent lacing, brownish black color at pour.
aroma is awesome consisting of toasted malts carrying tones of toffee, molasses, cookies, brown sugar.
alcohol notes are very light taste does not disappoint. very accurate to the aroma butterscotch brown sugar.

bottom line if i ever get the chance to have this beer barrel aged i might lose my mind.

Photo of avaulteriam
3.82/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one was pretty big. Smell was initially strong of tootsie rolls and dark chocolate. Eventually, dark fruits came out. The taste was different, almost no hop character, other than the what is supposed to be there. Smokey and silky. Nice body, though somewhat one dimensional. Could have used some more chocolate character perhaps?

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a 1 1/2 finger head with excellent rentention and a nice brown color.

Toffee and brown sugar are the main element of the smell,with raisin strong on the nose as well. Chocolate comes out as well.There are undertones of grapefruit as well. As the beer warms I pick up notes of black licorice and a little vanilla.

Toffee and brown sugar come out on the front with some bittersweet chocolate and black licorice underneath that seems somewhat slight. Raisin comes out as well and a little bit of vanilla seems to linger. The beer becomes better and smooths out as it warms. Beer is slightly astringent, but not too bad.

Beer is a little warming and a little astringent on the palate, but clings fairly well. I believe age will do this beer nicely and it will smooth things out which will make the mouthfeel more creamy.

A nicely complex beer that will benefit from aging. I will visit this beer again.

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

Not a fan of Wee Heavy or Scottish Ales but this was beyond GOOD. Pured a deep amber color with a dirty white head that was very fluffy. The nose was very compex. I could smell caramel, sugar, dried fruit, vanilla and heavy malts. Taste was superb. Complex and better than any Wee Heavy I have ever had. It really matched the nose. Mouthfeel was malty, brown sugar came out and so did the thick caramel and maybe even molasses.

Photo of russpowell
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby tinged brown with 3+ fingers of tan colored head. some lacing & no head retention what so ever

S: Oakyness, vanilla & other bourbon notes, plus some leafy hops as this warms

T: Smokey caramel, vanilla, dryness, leafy hops & dark fruit up front. Brown sugar, more leafy hops, some baker's chocolate, some whispers of alcohol & more vanilla as this warms. Finishes dry with dark fruit & toffee

MF: Somewhat chewy with low carbonation, syruppy, very warming

Drinks very easy for the ABV & style, a little too much hops profile for the style & dryness kind of slows you down too. A good beer, just a bit off style, I do expect more out of Alesmith though. I expected more caramel, peat & less hops

Photo of GJ40
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in a tulip glass.

A deep, deep brown but not black. It's got a thick, rich head that combined with the beer's color, gives a great appearance. It's got a very sweet, molasses smell. The tastes follows much the same. It's very sweet with a strong roasted malt flavor. The high level of alcohol (10%) is well masked but it does come through over the course of the glass. This is a thick, chewy beer.

I really enjoyed it but it's very sweet and not one I could drink a lot of.

Photo of atigerlife
3.44/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darker brown with some lighter highlights. Almost no head. Opaque.

Aroma of roasted malts, some fruitiness that I couldn't quite figure out. Somewhat winey.

Taste of malts, alcohol...sort of reminded me of port/bourbon.

Med-heavy body, creamy and cleansing.

Overall, this was interesting. Worth a try. I couldn't drink too much, but I found it to be a nice curiosity. Something tells me I would enjoy it more if it was aged for a while. At this point in its life, it wasn't overally impressive.

Photo of cjgator3
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Pours a dark brown color with a creamy light tan head that possesses excellent retention and lacing qualities. The aroma is a lot of sweet and lightly roasted malt, caramel, cocoa and dark alcohol soaked fruits. The taste is creamy and smooth with some malt up front with a some spiciness and a touch of smoke, along with a warming finish from the high ABV. Overall, AleSmith Wee Heavy is another solid beer from this great brewery that is highly recommended.

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

Woo hoo, another Ale Smith selection available in on the east coast/Massachusetts! Heavy glass bottle, silver foil and resplendent . Pours rich mahogany, dark dark amber, under a long lasting creamy mocha head, leaves plenty of well developed lacing. Emits a lovely sweet malt nose. Speaking of sweet malt, this beer oozes over the top, luscious and enjoyable malts. Whole wheat toast, maple, milk chocolate, smoke, peat, layer after layer of malty yummyness. Makes you want to slather it on some pancakes and all is good. Go get some, enjoy it today or lay it down for a year or two.

Photo of RomanW70
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark reddish-brown with a one finger thick tan head. Aroma of chocolate, caramel with dark fruits and yeast notes. Initial flavor of smoky chocolate and caramel fades into a warming alcohol and bitter finish. Fairly full mouthfeel. Like every other Alesmith I've ever head, starts off great and gets better and better with each sip. OK, I know this is a Scotch Ale, and a Scotch shouldn't finish with big bitter, but delicious is delicious, and if Alesmith wants to make a dellicious scoth ale with a bitter finish, I'm good with that!

Photo of mikesgroove
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally got a chance to try this one last night. Been waiting forever as I knew this would be a beast, but last night I figured what the heck and popped this one open to see what it was like. The pour was very nice with a reach deep, dark, hazelnut brown with just the tiniest bit of light pushing through on the bottom and the sides offering just the slightest peak of reddish tone underneath of it. A gorgeous looking tan head that reached a height of around three inches came across the top and cascaded throughout the glass. This settled after a couple minutes and left behind an very nice pillow of tan foam that lasted well into the night. Great side glass lace as well, really quite the thick looking liquid here for sure.

The aroma was very sweet, with a big malt nose. Lots of earthy smells, grain, some raisin maybe and a touch of spice. Nice bit of caramel as well, with a woody sort of alcohol mixed in. This all translated over to the flavor, which also was very full and really just a very nice example of the style. Loads of sweetness in it, with candied sugar and caramel laced earthy malts making the big splash here. Very big body on this one as well, with really a tremendously smooth feeling to it. Nice carbonation that never really quit, and a long lasting sweet finish that was not overly dry but really left you looking for another sip. The alcohol was up there but was very well hidden, making this very drinkable, considering how strong it was.

Overall, I thought this was really an excellent beer, and one of the better I have had in the style. I am just starting to get around to all the big Alesmith beers and this was top notch. I am really enjoying this one and looking forward to having it again. If you are a fan of the Wee Heavy, this is a must try, well hell it's a must try anyway!

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AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 998 ratings.