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 largadeer
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

nice take on a scotch ale, less peaty and smoky than many out there, this is driven by malt sweetness rather than earthiness, but retains some of the quintessential characteristics of the style. dark brown amber color, dense looking, without a short lived tan head. a nose of sweet musty grain, caramel malt, brown sugar, and smoke. the taste isn't that sweet though, only a little in the finish when it warms up and the booze comes out to play a little bit. its not as full bodied as i like mine to be, but it helps this drink pretty easy. a beer that almost demands food. smoked meats, cured meats and cheeses, even bread pudding all leap out at me as foods that this beer was made for. well hidden abv for the most part too. well made bottle, a must share though at this strength and density.

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

Presentation: 750 ml capped dark green champagne magnum, blurb about the beer on the back as well as how to cellar and serve. No freshness date though there is a vintage date of 2001 on the front.

Appearance: Charred chestnut colour with a well received clarity due to the sediment staying compact on the bottom of the bottle. Not a huge head but the lace really knows how to stick to the glass.

Smell: Mild flowing alcohol cradles some caramel and faint ripe fruity aromas. Spiciness from the alcohol warps around a ripe cherry and fig fruitiness.

Taste: Creamy and smooth with a slick back to it, faint undertones of roasted grain and a slight smokiness make themselves known first. Rich malty palate of caramel and mild ripe fruit runs across the taste buds. Alcohol is a well perceived presence but not in any over the top way, just with a mellow warmth and trace fusel alcoholic flavours. Bit of bready malt upfront is mostly lost in the end, the end seems more of a mix of the alcoholic strength and the ripeness it has transformed the byproducts into. Trace roasted grain and a ghost like smokiness appears in the finish.

Notes: This could be a perfect pairing with a cigar or as a night cap or even pair it up with a rich chocolaty & caramel dessert. Strong armed with alcohol and tiny complex flavours bursting throughout. This one has to get better with more age, the alcohol still seems a bit too brash but again not over the top.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep ruby chestnut mahogany tone with a caramel cream head leaves ample sporadic lacing behind, another beer from Alesmith, oh joy! Aroma: Awesome air of peated malts strong alcohol presence but doesn't overwhelm. Excellent malt backbone compromises medium to dark toasted malts to form deep vanilla and oak aging notes along with a strong deep over ripened fruit note, nice. Taste: Smokey malts not too hardcore, great cohesive taste excellent blend well hidden alcohol with fruity smoked edges, mild hop profile and oak barrel aging this beer would go well with a nice cigar. Mouthfeel: Medium to fuller bodey nice even carbonation excitably smooth on the palate. Drinkability: Oh yeah, one of the best Wee Heavys around nice west coast style but kept it some what traditional, I am a fan thanks for the sample beergeek279 and cupbeerman.

Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Brown with hints of red and decent clarity. Large tan head that settles down quickly and doesn't leave much lace.

S - Malty sweetness, roasty notes, and a bit of alcohol. Some dark, rasiny fruitiness and maby a hint of smoke.

T - Smooth coffee and caramel flavors with smokey roast malt and significant hop flavors. Notes of rasins, dark caramel syrup, and roasted nuts. The finish is reminicent of chocolate covered coffee beans.

M - Medium carbonation with some astringency. The body is fairly heavy but the finish is dry.

D - This is a very full flavored and bold ale. It is well balanced and satisfying, though the aroma does not match the complexity of the flavor.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of russpowell
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
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 mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -3.8%

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

Purchased a bottle in California, consumed after the Bruery release party. Thanks ME!

Beer served in a Bruery tulip. Beer is brown and pretty hazy with a big off white head of small bubbles. Head falls away quickly and leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is high, looks good.

Mildly caramelly, mildly peaty, mildly sweet, smells good but I wanted more volume.

Beer is medium bodied and has a lot of carbonation on the palate. Its sweet up front with some caramel notes in the midpalate region and follows it up with nice malt presence and clean finish that isn't dry. Drinkability is high and I really liked this beer. I'm very interested in the barrel aged version of this beer now because I think this would take the barrel notes well, more wood more alcohol, sounds good to me.

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

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...

Photo of beernads
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 01/22/11 notes. Had at a local tasting.

a - Pours a mahogany brown color with one inch of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, caramel malts, raisins, plums, oak, and nuts.

t - Tastes of raisins, dark fruits, caramel malts, wood.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, smooth body.

d - A nice scotch ale. Some nice carmale and nuts, would like to have again.

Photo of WesWes
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a 1/2" tan head that fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a rich, malty scent that boasts of caramel and peated malts. It screams of burnt toffee with a sweet malt scent and a warm elevated abv element. The taste is good. It has a warm, malty flavor that goes down smooth and finishes dry and a bit bitter. There is an earthy element here that compliments the caramel malts. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking Scotch ale. It's a warmer for sure, but I love the malt character.

Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to PhxHrn and Solomon420 for each sending me a bottle!

750 ml bottle, poured into tulip glass:

Pours hazed brown(a bit too cloudy, but fine as the darkness covers it enough). A nice light brown creamy head tops it off. Rich, then descends to a cover that holds up. Trailing lace sticks.

The smell is bready with dark (slightly tart) fruit (cherry/raisin), then some bitter chocolate. Not much of the expected peat smoke, if at all. Alcohol does show its strength. I liked the subsequent, and following, a bit more than the initial.

The strong alcohol and bitterish sharpness give way (though still show) to a chocolate sweetness, and earthy fruity bitterness. A hint of smoke comes through in the finish.

Creamy, though carbonation showing a bit more than expected when slowly swirled over the tongue. Sharp alcohol pierced the palate.

It's malty, but with big booze and some light bitterness (and hint of tart), with just a hint of smoke in the finish. A big, "different" (though certainly with enough traditional characteristics), interpretation of a Wee Heavy.

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dixonian for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a brownish color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the peat smoke, with some toffee and caramel malt thrown in. The flavor is a bit more complex. I get some nice toffee and dark fruit notes, along with a hint of peat smoke and some light alcohol notes. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice Scotch ale, glad I got to try this one.

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 Rochefort10nh
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of kojevergas
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint 9.4 fl oz (750ml) brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap and silver neck wrap poured into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. This is me first Alesmith beer; I'm really excited!

A: Pours a one finger slight tan colour head of great cream and thickness, and impressive retention for the relatively high ABV. Colour is a solid black. It's very inviting and appealing. I can't wait to try it!

Sm: Heavy on vanilla and caramel, with a touch of smoke (a bit rauchbier-esque in this regard). Light nuts are a pleasant addition. The aroma is mild to moderate in strength, and quite nice.

T: A vanilla and light caramel body is complemented very nicely by a creamy light chocolate undertone. There's even a very subtle dark fruit ester hop note buried underneath. A lot of lacing is going on here; it's really rather intricate. I get a touch of smoke on the finish, but it's momentary and restrained, keeping the beer in balance. There's maybe some toasted malt in the foundation, but it's all very subtle. This is a brilliantly built beer that's really rather tasty. I suppose some of the alcohol does come through, but the ABV is so high this is forgivable. Very complex. All around, a tasty brew.

Mf: A wonderful creamy lacing underlies the entire beer, giving it a rich texture like fine chocolate. It's smooth and wet in a general sense, but also silky. It's not too thick like many high ABV dark beers. Exquisite. It matches the flavours quite nicely.

Dr: Very drinkable even for its high ABV. This is good sipper if you like to drink whilst reading a book. I imagine it ages well. I'd love to try this on draught (or even nitro-draught if it exists). This is maybe the best wee heavy I've had. I look forward to trying more beers from Alesmith. Why is everyone in San Diego so focused on Stone when beers like this are available from Alesmith? Give this one a try - you won't be disappointed.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2000 Vintage, Sampled January 2006
This beer pours with a thin, yet well defined, tight amber tinged, dark tan colored head. The beer is a deep amber brown color that is opaque when held up to the light. The aroma is still rich and concentrated; notes of smooth aged malt, figs, prunes, hints of date, and some slight sherry. Laying on top of the aroma is a dusty character, which may have been contributed by the cork. The aroma is quite intense and still quite intriguing. The fruitiness seems to be the dominant character at this point.

The taste is lightly sweet up front, and quickly picks up a concentrated fruitiness reminiscent of figs and prunes. The finish has a bit of roast character to it that reminds me of a brown malt. The body has thinned out considerably, but the malt character is still intense and even fruity, which helps to make this beer satisfying. There is a bit of a phenolic note in the finish, which seems to be all that is left of some smokey character.

I would have to say that this beer is past its prime, but certainly not by much. I really like the combination of the aged malt character with the rich fruit notes. They pair well together and make this beer rich and satiating despite the body, which has thinned out over the years.

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