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AleSmith Wee Heavy - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

829 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 829
Reviews: 412
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 171
Gots: 182 | FT: 16
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: 829 | Reviews: 412 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DanGeo
DanGeo

Michigan

4/5  rDev -4.1%

04-06-2014 00:01:57 | More by DanGeo
Photo of IrishRedRock
IrishRedRock

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful bottle, as seen in the picture. Popped the cap off to hear no hiss of escaping carbonation. Poured some into a snifter, same result. Uterrly, lifelessly flat. Like red wine. Thankfully, it doesn't need any carbonation to taste nice. Aroma is limited, as you might guess, from not having any head atop, but traces of nutmeg, spice, chocolate and malt vinegar are evident in the nose.

Mouthfeel is flat and without carbonation, but "smooth" (no carbonation). Dark fruits are the most prominent flavor to balance the thick chewy malt and the touch of alcohol. Hoppy burps taste like cherries and plums. One I would gladly drink again, especially if the bottle had the carbonation I think it's supposed to have. Maybe AleSmith had some QC problems with this? I dont know. I'll give it a go again, if I should come across it.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2005 01:46:11 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of LotsofLupulin
LotsofLupulin

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

10-30-2013 06:41:41 | More by LotsofLupulin
Photo of Pahn
Pahn

New York

4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Don't know when it was bottled, but it had silver foil over the cap. Can't remember if I bought it this Winter or last.

Appearance: Free pour yields a half inch frothy tan head that dissipates steadily. Pours an almost opaque dark ruby with lots of visible, shadowy sediment. Leaves leggy streaks of lacing after each sip.

Smell: Slight cherry-like dark fruit note, with some underlying cake. Smells a little oxidized. The aromas work, but they're too muted; don't contribute much to the experience.

Halfway through the first glass, the aroma really opens up. The growing booziness seems to uncover a sweet malt complexity that greatly enhances the flavor.

Taste: One of those "sold on the first sip," beers. Big hit of caramel and cake, working beautifully with the creamy feel. Second sip brings out some dark fruit to highlight the caramel and toffee. The finish has a strong boozy heat, and is semi-dry. Can't tell if there's a touch of smoked malt, or if that's expectation plus the dry heat.

Love the balance here. There's a strong hop bitterness working with the heat and low (for a thick, 10% ABV beer) final gravity to keep the beer from even approaching "too rich" or "too sweet". Raisiny sherry-like oxidation note becomes prominent in each sip, but works beautifully with the dark fruit and caramel (the latter always the most prominent).

My only complaint is that the beer is maybe too straightforward. It's so finely balanced and delicious that I don't mind the relative simplicity.

Mouthfeel: Light side of full bodied. Very creamy. Low but adequate carbonation. Dryish finish that contributes monumentally to drinkability.

Overall: The 5 I'm giving here harkens back to the old "Drinkability" category to some degree. Unbelievable for such a thick, caramely, boozy beer as this to go down so easily. The levels of bitterness, sweetness, heat, etc are just perfect. Great vehicle for bold malt flavor, which is my favorite thing to find in a beer.

In my last review of an Alesmith beer--2010 Decadence, the last Alesmith beer I've had before this one--I mentioned that the beer fell short, particularly in regards to the potential of the brewers. Alesmith Wee Heavy is the kind of beer I'm talking about there; only a world class brewer could make a beer like this.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 00:45:24 | More by Pahn
Photo of elkinbrown
elkinbrown

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

11-03-2013 13:50:33 | More by elkinbrown
Photo of scottoale
scottoale

California

4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh from the source, another big-brown growler of an AleSmith gem. It pours a beautiful deep, darkish burgundy red with a half inch of a creamy tan head. Nice delicate lacing, trailing behind each sip.

The smell is sweet and of ripe dark fruits...malty and strong in alcohol. Hops don't come into play in the smell here.

The flavor is a thick and chewy, caramel rich toffee roasted malt. Again, dark ripened fruits set the stage with a healthy dose of alcohol, running away with the act. Finishes a bit thick and earthy with a potent kick to be reckoned with.

Not a style that's a crowd pleaser, but a damn good sort of ale that I truly enjoy...even more-so in the barrel aged version.

Serving type: growler

11-07-2006 09:34:33 | More by scottoale
Photo of sammyg832
sammyg832

Arizona

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

06-27-2014 14:16:31 | More by sammyg832
Photo of Rastacouere
Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Almost opaque deep brown. Honest light brown head becomes a ring. Big malty aroma, no compromise. You can feel it in your bones that this is a scotch ale, caramel and toffee in abundance. Almost smoky at times. Close to flowery hops. Terrific blending and mutual flavor completion. Just a light alcohol hint in mid-mouth. In mouth, simply put, the beer tastes good. It has everything you wish your scotch ale to have while never being too sweet thanks to a generous (but restrained) hop profile, somehow grassy. Hints of candy, cream, coffee, chocolate. Fantastic creamy mouthfeel, rocking smoothness, this is an easy 5 for texture with so soft carbonation... Awesome, even with just a few months of age. Cheers rodolito!

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2004 20:58:07 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of LakerLeith
LakerLeith

California

4/5  rDev -4.1%

06-29-2014 15:05:46 | More by LakerLeith
Photo of NooseJustice
NooseJustice

Indiana

4/5  rDev -4.1%

12-01-2013 17:59:00 | More by NooseJustice
Photo of Beerbuddy21
Beerbuddy21

California

4/5  rDev -4.1%

11-17-2013 02:45:59 | More by Beerbuddy21
Photo of djre4orm
djre4orm

Virginia

4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

10-04-2012 16:36:49 | More by djre4orm
Photo of Rempo
Rempo

Indiana

4/5  rDev -4.1%

05-05-2013 16:02:54 | More by Rempo
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
OldFrothingSlosh

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml green bottle with foil-topped cap.

Color is a ruby-chestnut with hints of deeper red...almost purple at the edges when held to the light. Sticky, long-lasting, 1"-thick head that is off-white in color. Appreciable lacing of the glass. Aromas run rampant with smoky malt mixed with dark fruity esters. More of the same for the flavor. Beefy flavor comprised of the raisins, plums, molasses. Warming ABV shows up mid-taste and lasts almost to the end. Caramel sweetness with a twinge of char end this one. Quite tasty. Chewy-big mouthfeel. Thick. Drinkable, to say the least. The only downside is the price ($12.99 per bottle). Other than that, another quality AleSmith beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2006 20:42:23 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of yelterdow
yelterdow

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aged for about two years, this will be served in a Duvel tulip at between fridge and cellar temperature.

Appearance- Fiery caramel red, with a quarter-inch light beige head. The color here is the eye candy, a burnished sunset copper-red. It pours like a big, English Old Ale.

Smell- Fat and sweet, it's a beautiful display of wood and chocolate covered cherries... but more like the liquid that surrounds the cherries. Notes of old leatherbound library books and rum soaked dark fruits abound.

Taste- Not as sweet as the nose would suggest, flavors of smoked bacon descend upon the palate. A big suitcase o' malts, the finish is drying and pleasant. There's a mild alcohol sting that wraps things up.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- On the thin side, the carbonation lays low (due in part to the high ABV) but allows the flavors to unravel. A real treat, especialy for when the weather gets chilly. Thanks to EPseja for sharing this with me.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2009 20:44:02 | More by yelterdow
Photo of Nightrain87
Nightrain87

California

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

07-20-2014 00:02:29 | More by Nightrain87
Photo of kmo1030
kmo1030

Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

dark orangey reddish brown, with a slightly thin head.
the smell is sweet and malty with rich caramel, a little chocolate, molasses and fruit. the fruit is mostly a dark raisin aroma.
the taste is a lot less sweet than expected with a dry caramel character with molasses rolling in behind. the peat and hops dry things up at the finish, only to be followed by a sweet fried taste, like a glazed donut or, if you've ever had them, fried coconut shrimp. this actually works as a flavor in this beer despite how it sounds. the raisin in apparent thorughout as well as a black licorice that fades in and out. i also pick up vanilla imbedded somewhere in there. there is a moderate dose of alcohol and heat in there, that seems a little unecessary, but does not detract.
it's really quite dry and surprisingly, relatively medium bodied, which lends excellently to it's good drinkability. i expected a little cloying sweetness, but none was to be found. a damn good wee heavy, and from california no less.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2006 20:37:37 | More by kmo1030
Photo of OStrungT
OStrungT

California

4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a ruby red color with a tan head. The head fades slowly, leaving many laces. This beer really liiks nice. I like the mohogany color quite a bit.

This beer has a very complex nose. I detect some sweet caramel malt aroma. It also smells fruity. Plumbs, and figs are the most notable. It has a very mild floral hop profile. The alcohol content is very well hidden in the aroma.

This beer tastes very well balanced. It tastes of dark fruits. Plumbs, dates, prunes, raisins. It is also quite sweet. A mixture of caramel and molasses. The alcohol content is slightly noticable in the flavor. There is very little hop presence in the flavor.

This full bodied beer goes down surprisingly sommth. It leaves a dark fruit aftertaste. The alcohol ever so slightly warms as it goes down. This beer is carbonated perfectly for the style.

This beer might not be the best session beer. The alcohol content is up there. The flavor is quite nice however, so I think I can handle a 750 ML, but too many would be a problem.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2006 23:25:05 | More by OStrungT
Photo of gleemonger
gleemonger

California

4.63/5  rDev +11%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2012 04:11:10 | More by gleemonger
Photo of SPLITGRIN
SPLITGRIN

Kentucky

3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black cherry red body shows a high level of carbonation and hosts a deep tan head with large bubble concentration. Nose is very fragrent with strong tones of dark chocolate cherry and malt. Screams for a sweet ride ahead. Lichtly burnt malty goodness enters toe mouth. Very seet as previewed by the nose. Body is long and noticeabley high in alchol. Many characteristics resemble port greatly. Malty feel is doninent throughout and almost syrupy twords the finish. A extremely sweet over the top Scotish style. Mouthfeel is of sweet burnt malt. You couldnt drink much more than one of these 25 oz. 9% alc. bottles.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2006 21:53:22 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of BrownAleMale
BrownAleMale

Wisconsin

4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ML bottle poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass.

Apperance- Super dark brown with 3 fingers of off white head that slowly dissipates and leaves lots of beautiful sticky multi layered lacing.

Smell- Candied dark fruits, carmel and booze are the top dogs in the nose.

Taste- A huge meld of flavors here that really work well together. In the front and middle of the tounge you get the dark fruit and carmel followed by some nice peat and sweet booze on the finish. There is also a nuttiness that appears through out.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body which works very good with wee heavies in my opinion. A tinge of alcohol warmth in the finish.

Overall- Super super complex. All the best qualities that make a superb wee heavy. It is definitly a sipper at 10% abv but if you can get past the alcohol in the flavor profile you are in for a definite treat!

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 03:56:53 | More by BrownAleMale
Photo of becktone
becktone

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From notes 4-7-09

Done horizontally with Founders Dirty Bastard

Eye: Extremely dark and deep red in color, garnet. The beer appears to be very clear, but with the color such a dark shade of red its really hard to tell. Head retention in this tulip isn't great (seems its hit and miss with this glass). Still it looks better than the Dirty Bastard, when first poured there was a nice sized head, though now its fallen leaving only some thin lacing behind and a thin film over the beer, but thats still better than the Bastard.

Nose: The strong aroma fills the room as this is poured. Alcohol is detectable. Subtle malt aroma that whispers of complexity. Soft warm maltiness with interwoven hinting at dark fruits that fade away as soon as they are pictured in the mind's eye. Smokiness and chocolate aromas come through. Dark fruit aromas are not as prevalent in this brew as in the Dirty Bastard. The aromas weave in and out of each other, one moment somkiness and chocolate are prominent, the next a nice caramel aroma. The caramel aroma in this beer really makes it, always supported by a subtle smokiness. In the end all aspects of this beer come together to create an awesome aroma. This one takes some work to decipher, complex.

Tongue: First thought I had was dark fruit, which was quickly followed by an intense caramelly maltiness supported by roasted and black flavors and some smokiness. Alcohol is present in the flavor. This is just as complex as the aroma, everything weaving in and out of each other. Nice aftertaste on this beer, but it isn't quite as long lasting or strong as the Dirty Bastard, yet it is just of better quality.

Edit: In terms of the taste of the beer itself, Alesmith is much darker and heavier, more complexity in terms of flavor and darker flavors. Much less esters/phenols. The Alesmith is crafted much better than the Founders. After drinking the Alesmith and then going back to the Founders I find quite alot of bubblegum phenols with a much weaker overall flavor profile and much less complex as well. The Founders can stand on its own, sure enough, but the Alesmith can stand up to others. That is all the difference. All in all the flavor is much more subdued in Dirty Bastard than in the Founders. The Founders pales in comparison. Compared to the Alesmith the Founders is more watery and much less flavorful.

Feel and Drinkability: Finish is semi-dry on this beer, the malt giving it a sweet finish while the roasted and smokiness help out the dryness. Body is medium and again I feel with this one there is too much carbonation, it isn't as sharp or prickley as the Dirty Bastard but I just feel that there's too much. It takes away from the mouthfeel. This is an awesome beer. Definitely one I'll pick up again, though the price of it, $12.99/750ml, is higher than a sixer of Dirty Bastard Its worth it. Though in the long run I'll prolly go with the Dirty Bastard over this one, because for me its easier to get my hands on and is cheaper.

Edit: After going back to the Founders it is clear as to which beer is of higher quality and just better overall. The price is definitely worth it. When in the mood for a good scotch ale I'd go for the Alesmith every time.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2009 18:33:34 | More by becktone
Photo of megamass
megamass

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

05-18-2013 04:23:40 | More by megamass
Photo of ralerwen
ralerwen

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

05-18-2014 01:10:00 | More by ralerwen
Photo of danieelol
danieelol

Australia

4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours dark as night. Really nice looking beer.

S: Bit of hop, bit of roast, bit of milkiness. Some caramel chocolate. Faintest whiff of alcohol. Some nice spice and chocolate and ginger. Phlegm and cough syrup. Green apple. Lots of sugar and caramel complexities.

T: Quite roasty and bitter. Residual sweetness initially detectable but in fact the beer is well balanced and drinkable. The taste could easily be that of a stout. Far less sweet than Speedway actually.

M: Good actually. Thick and creamy, like a milkshake.

O: Good beer. Holds up very well, and was actually very well balanced.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 03:43:57 | More by danieelol
AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 829 ratings.