AleSmith Old Numbskull - Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company
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Ratings: 277 | Reviews: 82 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by tectactoe:
4.05/5 rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
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.
Serving type: bottle
07-16-2013 16:21:09 | More by tectactoe
More User Reviews:
4.09/5 rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
750ml. I think this is a 2013 bottle.
A: Pours a monstrously thick mahogany with reddish hues and a small off-white head.
S: Aroma brings thick raisins, citrus pith, caramel, figs. Smells of sweet overripe dark fruit.
T: Taste brings more fig, mild tannic bourbon, orange peel and a bit of lingering leafy hoppiness, dense cooked sugar, molasses, maple.
M: Thick-bodied, very viscous, light carbonation.
O: This is a very good BA barleywine that retains some hoppiness and isn't very barrel-forward. Certainly a bruiser but more restrained than I was expecting.
Serving type: bottle
05-15-2014 01:26:08 | More by Etan
4.35/5 rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
750ml bottle, 2012 vintage. Poured into a brandy snifter, 5/2/2014. Updated the previous Hads which was from a beer fest.
A- Caramel brown body, neither light nor dark but certainly substantial and slick appearing. One finger off-white head, minimal retention, not much lacing.
S- Delicious caramel glaze, melted toffee mixed in with a shot of whiskey and a heaping dose of barrel-contributed vanilla and oak. Has a slight but distinct melted marshmallow character hiding behind the whiskey.
F- The whiskey seems to cover up the caramel and toffee malt beneath more than in the nose but this still has a very nice vanilla contribution. Caramel, nougat, toffee with the whiskey barrel contribution. Very good.
M- Medium body, good carbonation for the style which is to say on the lower side, but still plentiful to keep things interesting throughout the palate. Finish is a bit hot, but not too hot.
O- Very nicely done BA English Barleywine. Not anywhere near the best, but it's definitely better than the vast majority of the other BA English Barleywines out there.
Serving type: bottle
05-03-2014 03:53:20 | More by Stevedore
AleSmith Old Numbskull - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 277 ratings.