1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

277 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 277
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 8.1%
Wants: 367
Gots: 88 | FT: 13
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 277 | Reviews: 82 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JasonFromLA
JasonFromLA

California

5/5  rDev +15.7%

01-25-2013 08:56:02 | More by JasonFromLA
Photo of Photekut
Photekut

Tennessee

5/5  rDev +15.7%

11-17-2011 02:02:20 | More by Photekut
Photo of Gonzoillini
Gonzoillini

Illinois

5/5  rDev +15.7%

01-13-2013 03:39:21 | More by Gonzoillini
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
PeprSprYoFace

California

5/5  rDev +15.7%

11-21-2011 07:39:45 | More by PeprSprYoFace
Photo of MontereyBay831
MontereyBay831

California

5/5  rDev +15.7%

07-25-2013 03:48:39 | More by MontereyBay831
Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
HaveUSeenMyCellar

California

5/5  rDev +15.7%

04-09-2014 06:25:10 | More by HaveUSeenMyCellar
Photo of ksherry112
ksherry112

California

5/5  rDev +15.7%

11-29-2011 21:01:09 | More by ksherry112
Photo of josephwa
josephwa

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +15.7%

10-27-2013 14:33:42 | More by josephwa
Photo of Franberry
Franberry

California

5/5  rDev +15.7%

11-28-2011 22:49:51 | More by Franberry
Photo of heavenlyStash
heavenlyStash

California

5/5  rDev +15.7%

03-15-2013 20:43:16 | More by heavenlyStash
Photo of ScaryHairy44
ScaryHairy44

California

5/5  rDev +15.7%

06-05-2013 18:29:40 | More by ScaryHairy44
Photo of miadw3
miadw3

California

5/5  rDev +15.7%

01-25-2013 08:55:48 | More by miadw3
Photo of hopdog
hopdog

Pennsylvania

4.95/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml Bottle. Batch 1, bottle # 200 of 225.

Poured an amber color with a small off white head. The vanilla aroma and tastes really stands out. Vinous. Other aromas and tastes of wood, citrus, raisins, dried fruits, and alcohol.
Smooth body.

This beer was/is just way tooeasy to drink!

Notes from and tasted on 1/15/05

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2008 18:10:21 | More by hopdog
Photo of DmanGTR
DmanGTR

New York

4.95/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Joe for bringing this to our tasting. This is phenomenal. Review from notes.

2006 Vintage poured a clear ruby/garnet with a long lasting off-white head. Beautiful shades of red glittering in my glass. The world has just been set right. I was expecting a ginormous blast of bourbon and sweetness, but this is mellow and refined. The vanilla, oak, and toffee are deliciously blended and gives way to a touch of figs and even a bit of molasses cookies. The oxidation offers a touch of vinous character. I find nothing to critique. Just let me sit and enjoy this wonder. Carbonation could use a sliiiight reduction, but a gentle swirl is all it took. I wish there was a 4.8 I could give in the mouthfeel category instead of a 4.5. Coats the palate with caramel goodness. This is bewildering. Probably the highlight of the night.

And this is also my 500th review on BA :)

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2011 06:47:59 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of FtownThrowDown
FtownThrowDown

Ohio

4.93/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006, bottle #204 of 208.
Pours brown in color. There are some reddish highlights. A little foam around the edges.
Smell is absolutely heavenly! This is what I'm all about! Smell is bourbon with plenty of vanilla to support it. I can't stop smelling this thing.
Taste is even better than the smell. Much more vanilla to comingle with the bourbon flavor. This is one incredbile beer. I like this better than the BA Speedway. Just a little bit of alcohol that warms the back of the throat. This is world class and among the best beers that I've had. The real deal. Full on the mouthfeel. The only knock that I can think of is that it's just a bit hot. You get some heat in the throat that escalates as it goes.
World class beer. Outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2009 02:42:49 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of Callenak
Callenak

California

4.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2002 bottle.

Acquired this one in a trade a few months back and have been dying to try it. I cracked it open at a good friends birthday party this weekend, where we planned on drinking many great beers. We of course led off with the old numbskull to give it the freshest pallet.

Poured in an AleSmith tulip glass. Pours a surprisingly light auburn color with a great head. Not bad after 4 years of aging in the bottle plus probably another year or two in the barrel. The BA Speedway I had was a little light in carbonation and I was worried this would have the same trait. Not a chance. Perfect carbonation for the tongue and the style.

It smells great. Similar to the regular numbskull but with a hint of vanilla, oak, and bourbon. I've had a few other barley wines that have had 4+ years on them and they all tend to pick up a similar smell. Not oxidation, something I can never put my finger on. Either way, it's very enticing.

This beer knocked me off my feet. I wasn't sure how the years would be to it, but it stood strong. First taste is sweet. Something I don't remember being as strong in the regular numbskull. A mild alcohol warming to it but less than expected. The bourbon and oak wasn't as strong as I would have thought but still apparent. The BA speedway I had definitely kept a stronger bourbon presence that this did. Either way, this was perfectly balanced.

I tried to approach this beer as unbiased as possible, keeping my expectations low. I was completely blown away. I enjoyed it more than the BA Speedway. Already working on another trade to get a 2004 bottle. I would highly recommend this beer. Worth trading another prized possession to get one.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2006 17:40:27 | More by Callenak
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2009 03:09:17 | More by pwoods
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From notes:

2006 vintage. Huge thanks to BigFish for sending this years ago in one of my first trades.

Pours a very dark, murky chestnut brown color with a one finger off white head that quickly fades into a thin ring. Sporadic splotches of lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy, leathery malt aroma with hints of biscuit, caramel and toffee. This is accompanied by an amazing bourbon barrel character. Plenty of earthy oak with a healthy dose of bourbon/booze and a very prominent vanilla character in the nose.

Medium bodied with the perfect balance of earthy, leathery malt, caramel/toffee, alcohol sweetness, bourbon, oak and vanilla. Slight heat but overall the alcohol is excellently masked with subtle warmth in the finish. The malt profile is earthy/leathery yet sweet with hints of caramel, toffee and hazelnut. There's some slight bitterness that adds balance and an incredible bourbon barrel presence. Earthy oak as well as a huge bourbon and vanilla character. I can't believe that Alesmith was able to create such a delicious bourbon flavor without it tasting like a hot, booze bomb. The ABV is incredibly well masked resulting in a delicious, extremely quaffable beer.

This is the best BA barleywine that I've had to date and I wish I that I had more bottles.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2011 08:30:36 | More by corby112
Photo of timc100
timc100

Illinois

4.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 23:29:38 | More by timc100
Photo of kbuzz
kbuzz

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +10%

02-17-2014 03:45:52 | More by kbuzz
Photo of pkrager5
pkrager5

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +10%

07-21-2013 19:48:28 | More by pkrager5
Photo of scottoale
scottoale

California

4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another AleSmith special release from the brewery on 9-1-06. 2004 Barrel-Aged, bottle # 89/227 hand written in silver on back of the standard "Old Numbskull" blue and grey silk-screened green champagne (flat bottom) bottle with crown cap and gold foil cover.

With an aggressive pour comes an auburn to dark mahogany brown ale with initial haziness and an ivory cream colored head of one fat finger. The carbonation is moderate with miniscule bubbles that keep the creamy froth head from settling to not less than 1/8", and leaves plenty of thick, tight lace, sticking to the glass. The haze (from the chill) clears, leaving the ale with good clarity for one with a big, heavy body.

Sweet and malty right up front that gets pushed even further with a big dose alcohol from the bourbon barrel...big time boozy aroma that drowns out the normally hop heavy scent you get from the traditional Old Numb-er. Just by the smell, I'm sure this stuff is a tad stronger than the listed 10.0%ABV of the non-B-Aged version. As it warms a bit more, the oak comes through and more alcohol right behind it...it really smells good to this old Barleywiner!

Starts off rather sweet and malty only to be pummeled by the essence of the vessel that it was aged in...bourbon soaked oak that melds into the malt that turns it velvety and just a bit chewy in viscosity. Toffee, caramel, black licorice, chocolate and a ripe fruitiness, backed by an alcoholic vapor that shields the once pungent hops to a mild tang, rather than a bitter finish. A nice warming follows each sip, with a pleasant boozy aftertaste that lingers...nice.

Big bodied, mellowed hop-monster that is not for the faint hearted...strong and tasty, it's aging to excellence.

A sipper indeed!

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2006 11:05:48 | More by scottoale
Photo of 3rdto1st
3rdto1st

California

4.75/5  rDev +10%

06-06-2013 22:18:57 | More by 3rdto1st
Photo of Grant35
Grant35

California

4.75/5  rDev +10%

01-30-2013 17:33:26 | More by Grant35
Photo of wattershed
wattershed

California

4.75/5  rDev +10%

01-23-2013 17:29:43 | More by wattershed
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
AleSmith Old Numbskull - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 277 ratings.