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AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

988 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 988
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: BeerAdvocate on 03-08-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 988 | Reviews: 427 | Display Reviews Only:
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!

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

Thanks to rbuckstar for sending this one my way, shipping complications and all. A little age on this bottle (acceptable per the label) has subdued the hops, but resulted in an excellent overall balance.

Pours a murky brown with reddish hues. A huge frothy khaki colored head leaves conservative spotty lace. Dies down to a wispy film.

Nose is very enticing, dark and sweet, with rich caramel, raisin, molasses, fruit bread (sweet date/fig), grainy wheat bread, and sweet whiskey-like alcohol whiffs. Smells like it may be a bit too sweet, but very intriguing.

Taste is summed up in sweetened grains. Very bready, with a nice balance of caramel and dark fruit sweetness that is pleasantly controlled, yet very dominating. For a brief moment at the finish, the darker flavors open up to a clean subtle hop flavor that is quickly lost again in the cereal grain finish. Grain flavors may be over done in this one, but not something that detracts from my personal preference. One slight drawback is the very notable alcohol.

For the fullness of body, this one drinks especially well, finishing clean, yet leaving a thin oily coating. Intriguing for the style, with more depth than I expected, and some evolution of flavor as you go, noticing various caramel, bread, and fruit flavors. Alcohol strength is to be expected, but somewhat of a detraction from overall drinkability.

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

I picked this up before the Extreme Beer Fest at the Wine Gallery.

A: Beautiful mahogany (I held a flashlight to the glass and it was ruby) tan head/ small tight bubbles.

S: Malty / fruits/ very nice nose.

T: Malty / cherry / alcohol / faint smokiness

M: Creamy smooth / warming alcohol / lasting finish

D: 9.5 % would be the only limiting factor for drinkability on a cold night. My wife and I split this and as the beer warmed the flavors came out much more enjoyable. LET THIS BEER WARM UP!

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

Purchased at Vendome Fullerton.

A- Poured into a Chimay chalice, this beer pours a slightly opaque, deep dark ruby red with a fizzy tan head that settles to a thick and lumpy layer. The head sticks around for literally the entire hour or so that it took me to consume this, leaving blankets of lacing on the glass. Very nice to look at.

S- Huge notes of sweet, caramely, fruity, and toasted malts with some dark fruits like dates and figs in the background. There is a slight grainy quality to the aroma as well. The alcohol becomes more noticeable as the beer warms.

T- Exactly what the aroma promised. Dark, fruity, and toasted malts take center stage, with a mild tea-like bitter kick at the end. The finish is very clean, leaving almost nothing sticking around on the palate.

M- Thick, creamy, and velvety smooth with very little carbonation.

D- The ABV is 9.5%, but the alcohol is hidden very nicely, making this an easy sipper. My only gripe would be that I got a little bored towards the end of the bottle, simply because I prefer bitter beers over the malty ones, but this is really a delicious beer despite my bias.

A malt lover's dream. Highly recommended.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hollingshead's and served in a Chimay goblet, on to the beer:

The beer is really a dark reddish brown, but in the goblet it looks black. Good head on top of it. Aroma is sweet and alcoholic. Interesting change of events in the taste. For the first portion of my sample it tasted like smoked chocolate with a kick of alcohol. But the farther I got along with the beer, it started to taste like red grapes, pixie candy and raisins. The booze was still there, and an afteraste of molasses lingers. Body is medium to medium-heavy.

This is one strong wee heavy, it pushes the boundaries of the style with its raw strength. My one nitpick is it isn't as drinkable as other wee heavy's I've had.

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

Consumed 03/19/08.

Pours a deep caramel brown with a velvety smooth three finger off-white head. Plenty of carbonation in this beer!

Aroma is sweet and a little boozy with dark malt and a hint of earth.

Effervescent and a little parching, this brew almost dances on the tongue. Also a little syrupy, coating the mouth a little.

Flavor is big and malty, as it should be. Biscuity, almost salty. Molasses notes. Reminds me a little of red wine as well, along with the slightest hint of mustiness. Alcohol, while well-concealed, still warms a touch at the end. Lingering ghost of a smoky note on the aftertaste, along with some hoppy bitterness.

Smooth and drinkable, but not deceptive: this beer lets you know with every swallow how alcoholic it is with its heavy, considerable flavor.

Another Alesmith delight.

Photo of Rzzzzz
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with light head. Aroma of fruits & malt. Taste comes on big and sweet...tofee, molasses, caramel blended nicely with roasted malt, giving way to a nice lingering smokey, bitter hops finish. Mouthfeel is thick and warming. A big, delicious beverage with a good amount of punch. One'll do ya but you'll want more.

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

Drank out of a bottle from City Beer Store.

Poured a beautiful cherry red highlight with a healthy head that dwindles down.

Alcohol smell, dried plums, sweet malts. Great smell.

As someone else said, does not get syrupy. Hops taste right off the bat, sweet malts, smokey aftertaste.

Great mouthfeel, dry finish. Alcohol is deceptive, you feel pretty buzzed after it.

Drop it like it's hot.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
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 willjschmidt
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Stone RIS glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black, color with a reddish undertone. Lots of lacing left behind by the thick tan head.

S: A good dose of sweetness in the form of caramel, some dark figs, along with a bit of alcohol.

T: A very interesting beer. It's slightly sweet with the dominating flavor being caramel with a touch of dark fruits. However, it's nowhere near the amount of dark fruits found in a Belgian Strong Dark. The alcohol is apparent but it's not overpowering as one might expect in a 10% beer.

M: Creamy, smooth, and warming.

D: A great end-of-the-night sipper. I paired it with some dark chocolate and dried apricots for a great match.

Photo of illidurit
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. Blackish brown color with a huge sticky tan head. Lots of chocolate in the nose, with some peaty raisin. Flavor is really rich and decadent. Huge caramel maltiness, with some sugary boozy dark fruit. Not a lot of alcohol in the taste but it will catch up and hinder the drinkability. Similarly, the thickness and sweetness are a bit much the further you get through a 750 mL bottle.

AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 988 ratings.