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AleSmith Old Numbskull - Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Old Numbskull - Barrel AgedAleSmith Old Numbskull - Barrel Aged

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

299 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 299
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 8.1%
Wants: 377
Gots: 101 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kmcnair on 12-13-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 299 | Reviews: 82 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by PeprSprYoFace:
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
5/5  rDev +15.7%

PeprSprYoFace, Nov 21, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%

Again, one last big thanks to Kevin R for breaking out the barrel aged AleSmith goodies. This was the last of the bunch. BA Numbskull pours a seedy copper-ish and overtly muddled brown color. Label it mostly opaque and call it a day. It takes just moments for the khaki head to settle to a dollop of foam in the middle and a crust that outlines the top of the brew.

Very sticky and very deep is the aroma; a brick road paved with elements of prune, raisin, caramel, and toffee, upon which a boisterous crew of bourbon-lathered barrel staves comes tap dancing heavily across. Acetone notes here and there, thundering in and out, covered up by some sweeter grape and brown sugar notes in the finish.

I can already tell that this sucker is going to be a bourbon punch in the throat... or at least it smells that way. It should be noted that the base beer is quite pungently sticky and delicate in and of itself - without its superior pungency, barrel-aging of this magnitude would likely create an undrinkable beer. Sweetness and heat tend to balance, so I sure hope it does, here.

I have a bowl in front of me filled with grapes and prunes, lacquered in a 50/50 mixture of brown sugar and bourbon, and I'm shoveling them in my face with dry, spicy oak spoon each time I take a sip of this beer. It's quite hot. It's quite sweet. But definitely more hot than sweet, like the type of girl you meet at a bar and are afraid to date because she's got no morals or ethics, but she's a freak that can bring you to your knees.

BA Numbskull finishes with more (heavy) bourbon, boozy oak, slightly burnt coffee, bourbon, sweet prunes, bourbon, and brown sugar. Did I mention it was bourbon-y? Order up a cocktail with 2 parts bourbon, 2 parts brown sugar, 1 part prune juice, add 2 dashes of cocoa powder, garnish with a date and a sprinkle with oak chips. Viscous, heavy, thick, and carbonated well enough for the style it represents; creamy, heavy mouth feel.

This beer was pretty good, no doubt, but I don't exactly think it lives up to the acclaim it has been given. Perhaps I should have let the bottle mellow out a bit more? As is, it's a bit too "in your face" with the bourbon and heat to thoroughly enjoy more than a four ounce sample. It's delicious in extremely small doses; the flavors are excellent and work well together, but it becomes clamoring and cumbersome in larger ones due to its heat. I'd like to have this again with more age and see how it fares.

tectactoe, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%

Bottle# 184/240, sampled on 4/29/06. Pours from the 750ml bottle a nice deep copper amber with a tint of red and a small foamy cap. Looks very nice in the glass...luminescent. Aroma is sweet caramel with some fruitiness and toffee. Big woody barrel aromas envelope these scents with a touch of booziness. The wood really stands out, slightly overpowering the underlying aroma, but it's still a treat for the nose.

First sip brings deep caramel toffee flavors with dark, ripe fruity undertones. Rich maltiness and a tad nutty. Huge woody flavors race across the palate that are a bit astringent. Quite dry overall with a touch of vanilla. The underlying barleywine seems quite mellow at this age and the barrel flavors are running strong. Overall, this was quite an enjoyable brew.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. Goes down with ease and not much alcohol burn at all. I'm really glad I had the opportunity to sample this bottle thanks to blitheringidiot, I doubt I'll ever lay eyes on another bottle again. I only wish Alesmith would expand their Barrel Aging a bit, so these bottles wouldn't be so damn hard to find. Worth a try if you can come across it!

orbitalr0x, May 04, 2006
Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

warnerry, May 10, 2013
Photo of Jared14
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Jared14, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of Callmecoon
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Callmecoon, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of badbeer
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%

2006 Version:

Reddish amber color with an off-white head. Smell is really sweet with lots of bourbon and butterscotch and some vanilla. Sweet caramel, quite a bit of booze in the taste, as well as oak and some bourbon flavors. High carbonation and medium body. Thanks to iowaherkeye for sharing a sample and to doubleo for giving me a bottle to share with some age on it. I'm looking forward to seeing how this ages and hopefully develops.

badbeer, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of Altenor
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Altenor, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of jtladner
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

jtladner, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of OStrungT
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%

Bottle #131

This beer pours a golden brown color with a very tiny light tan head. The head fades very fast, leaving a slight lacing.

This beer smells of Borubon. I can smell a slight oakyness to is as well. It has a hint of vanilla also. It has a dark fruity aroma also. Some figs and raisins. It has a strong very sweet caramel aroma. A hint of pine is also present.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Bourbon is the dominate flavor. I taste a strong sweet caramel malty flavor as well. Some fig flavor is present. A slightly piney hop flavor is also detectable. A very slight vanilla flavor is also present.

This beer is very aggressive. It leaves a Bourbon like aftertaste. Thie beer has almost no carbonation at all.

This beer would be a bad session beer for a number of reasons. First, it is very aggressive, and would be hard to drink all night. Second, the alcohol content is too high to enjoy for many hours. Third, it costs $20 a bottle, and it would be hard to afford to drink it all night. Fourth, they only bottled 227 of these.

Overall: I liked this beer, as I knew I would. I think it was worth the $20. I hope AleSmith puts it out again.

OStrungT, May 31, 2007
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

stereosforgeeks, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of jeonseh
3.55/5  rDev -17.8%

Bottle from the latest batch

A - Walnut / light brown with nice off white head that settled down to a layer of foam

S - Malty. Vanilla with light oak to it that gives it some barrel presence. Smells like Bigfoot but with more barrel presence.

T - Dates, vanilla,caramel, oak, and lots of booziness to it. This is also definitely a hoppy American Barleywine and the hops give the beer a bitter finish.

M - Medium body with light astringent finish from the alcohol and oak

O - I thought this was a decent BA barleywine but it was still too hoppy for my taste. The hops and bitterness throw it off a bit.

jeonseh, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%

Bottle shared by Grant - thanks! Bottle 43/208 from 2006.

Pours a nice honey-brown color with a half-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of large amounts of vanilla with heavy caramel malt aromas lingering in the background. Also present are mild amounts of butterscotch and lighter amounts of thick toffee.

Tastes similar to how it smells, although the booze asserts itself a bit more. Sticky yet smooth caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of toffee. Midway through the sip the flavor profile lightens just a bit with the addition of smooth butterscotch flavors. Moderate amounts of vanilla make a brief appearance near the end of the sip before fading out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I'd wanted to try this beer for a good while and I'm glad I had the opportunity. Yet another outstanding barrel-aged beer from AleSmith and one that's well worth a shot.

glid02, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of striker2160
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

striker2160, Feb 07, 2014
Photo of pwoods
4.85/5  rDev +12.3%

750ml capped dark green bottle poured into a snifter. Notes. '06 bottle.

A: Deep mohagony, opaque. Moderate head on the pour, keeps rising. Good retention and lacing.

S: Loads of wood and age and a nice depth of bourbon. Aged malt sweetness. Great alcohol line. Damn fine barrel.

T/M: Great barrel, very woody, some vanilla and oxidation, soft bourbon. Aged and nicely rounded alcohol and hops. Rich, rounded out malts. A tad dry in the finish. Still a touch hot but nice. Body is medium full with soft carbonation.

D: Absolutely delicious.

pwoods, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -19%

acurtis, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of JasonFromLA
5/5  rDev +15.7%

JasonFromLA, Jan 25, 2013
Photo of timc100
4.8/5  rDev +11.1%

2012 vintage

Huge, incredibly well balanced and interesting aroma - hard to find a place to start. Burnt brown sugar, bourbon - caramel, oak, vanilla, oak - wet oak. Then there is another layer of vinous red grape, booze soaked raisin, tobacco and leather. The hops have fadded quite a bit giving an old-caramel note. Amazingly well balanced - each flavor in tune with one another. It tastes fantastic as well, but not as outstanding as the nose. Caramel, brown sugar, toffee, bourbon. booze, and oak dominate. The tobacco and leather come through as well - lesser fruits and sweet vanilla and coconut. I'm not sure how best to describe this, but there is a musty/old-feel to it - like an attic. Full, smooth mouthfeel - appropriately bereft of carbonation.

This is truly outstanding.

timc100, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of mdaschaf
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

mdaschaf, Apr 28, 2013
Photo of jh1982
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

jh1982, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Huntzor
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Huntzor, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photekut, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of Gonzoillini
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Gonzoillini, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of Crazydaddyo
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Crazydaddyo, Aug 11, 2013
Photo of nickd717
4.45/5  rDev +3%

750ml bottle via trade, 2007 vintage.

Very nice appearance - deep clear reddish-brown in color with a one-finger light beige head leaving a thick bubbly ring.

The aroma is excellent. Sweet sticky caramel malt, maple syrup, and big woody -bals.

The flavor is great, unapologetic and complex. Somewhat sweet, but not too much so, with caramel, toffee, and maple syrup. Barrel aging is evident with a big woody presence and some sherry-like oxidative notes.

Fairly full-bodied with soft carbonation and slight syrupiness.

Really nice and interesting -bal aged beer. Great to finally tick this one. AleSmith once again does not disappoint.

nickd717, Nov 17, 2010
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AleSmith Old Numbskull - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.