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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

308 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 308
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 8.1%
Wants: 374
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: 308 | Reviews: 82 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tmoneyba
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured hazy reddish-brown hue with a large off-white frothy head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate complex aroma of bourbon, malt and caramel. Medium to heavy body with chewy malt texture and flat carbonation. Flavor is full complex sweet with the same complexity of moderate to long duration. This is one of the best.

tmoneyba, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of ChadQuest
4.63/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My pants fit tighter the moment i saw this bottle set down at the Alewatcher/Oreo fest. Thanks to Dan for this wild want.

Did i mention this is the 2004 batch.

Anyway, the body was pretty murky with alot of yeast, my pour was at about 1/2 bottle so i wasn't at the dregs zone at all. color was a brown leather color.
The aroma made me work to get the details, im not saying there wasn't alot of aroma, but it was just so packed together and the heat was present but somehow speaking second that it was like hearing 30 people whisper the same thing. Balanced and incorperated like only a well aged barleywine can achieve.
The flavors were the amplifier to these whispers and said without hesitation that toffee and cleanly fermented brown sugar would take the lead and the barrel heat would wait their turn. there was some great butterscotch flavors noticable along with caramel. delicious. who has a bottle to trade.
The mouthfeel was unique in that it was semi-viscious, but seemed soft, like how soft water is to hard water, it seemed...how to say it....puffed, whipped, just made more volumous. Like Silk,Velvet. Most likely from the hazy body i assume.

I would love to get another chance to try this, it was excellent...
I mean, it was horrible, trade me all your bottles for daisy cutter.

ChadQuest, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of Sean9689
3.93/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle brought by me, 2007 Vintage, #117/449. Poured into Darkness snifter.

A - Pours a dark brown/reddish color, cream ring, with random whisps on top.

S - Dark fruits, huge oak/barrel, ever so slight hoppy bitterness, caramel, burnt sugars. Perhaps a little more oak-forward then I prefer but otherwise, pretty good.

T - Dark fruit, caramel, oak/barrel. Smooth booze, nice caramel sweetness, and the oak isn't quite as strong as the nose (that's a good thing).

M - Light to medium (a bit too thin), good carbonation, and creamy sweet finish.

O - I think I actually prefer the regular 2007 over the Barrel-Aged version. Perhaps a bit too much oak for me in this one. I wonder how the other years stack up to 2007? I guess I'll have to try them and see.

Sean9689, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I forgot to write it down, but I believe it was Paul who shared this 2007 bottle. Thanks!

A: The pour is sort of a murky dark amber/copper color with a small khaki head.

S: Moderate amounts of bourbon hit the nose followed by some vanilla and brown sugar. Plenty of caramel and toffee sweetness to go with it. No real hop character left at this point.

T: Surprisingly restrained bourbon from an Alesmith barrel aged beer. Vanilla, brown sugar, toffee, and bread, and yes, some bourbon too. Perhaps a hint of chocolate, and definitely a bit oxidized.

M: Medium to full in body with a moderate carbonation.

O: Not as overwhelming as some of the other Alesmith barrel aged releases, but quite good, and significantly better than the previous times I've had it.

womencantsail, Apr 20, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Photekut for busting this out at the Jackie O's release. Served in a SAVOR snifter. 2006 vintage -- 48/208.

Pour yields a caramel-colored brew with a thin off-white head. Nose is filled with aromas of sweet bourbon, caramel, and a bit of brown sugar. Mild booze there as well. Flavor is not as integrated as the nose, but the bourbon is nice. Not terribly bourbon-forward, however. Also some caramel, sweet bread, and some brown sugar intermingling. Mouthfeel is medium with low carbonation and a bit of booze in the finish. A very excellent brew that I had wanted to try for some time. Thanks again, JR.

Thorpe429, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of Jmoore50
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle number 175/223. 2005 Vintage. Brought out by jh1982. I wonder why this is in a green bottle? Interesting.

With a very mellow hissing of the cap the beer is released. It pours an incredibly thick oil like viscosity. It is a murky brown with no head. I actually thought this was going to be flat, but it owns good carbonation in the mouthfeel. Super thick alcoholic legs tear down the sides of my glass.

The smell is amazing, just perfection. Strong hints of burnt caramel and brown sugars. Toffee with huge vanilla scents. There is a large barrel character in this one that brings out a nice booze smell. Perfection on the nose.

For being almost six years old, this is beautiful. Nice mellow carbonation makes this feel more like a liquor. Caramel and sweet sugared malts are strong, with barrel adding subtle hints. Vanilla, whiskey, and slight tannic notes are there. The booze is great on this, with it not being overbearing, just right.

A lower carbonation effects the mouthfeel in a more positive way than negative. Real oily on the palate with not much burning, which is something I was expecting. A good beer that we did side by side with the original non barrel aged version.
Bravo

Jmoore50, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of DmanGTR
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 :)

DmanGTR, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of corby112
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.

corby112, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 nickd717
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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
Photo of JAXSON
3.68/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 2009 notes.

2006 bottle, big thanks to Dennis. Pours a hazy medium chestnut with a thin soapy head. Big, malty nose. Oranges, bourbon, and lighter chocolate tones. Flavor is nice...the malt is not overdone and is fully balanced by a smoky, somewhat bitter element. I love that smoky finish in Alesmith beers. Berries and some lighter fruits really shine in this. Bourbon is pretty well integrated and not overdone. A little too much bitter heat, almost peppery, coming through.

Update: sampled this in a spring, 2010 tasting alongside Perfect Storm. This came across as boozy and muddled. Downgrading the rating a bit.

Cheers,

Chad

JAXSON, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of CrellMoset
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle # 53/449, 2007 vintage, courtesy of a very generous PA trader a few years back. I've been sitting on this one for a while, hoping to have it alongside the regular Old Numbskull (which I'd yet to try before a few minutes ago). Excited to track this one, it's poured in to a brandy snifter and enjoyed with some aged Edam.

Appearance: Pours a hazed, dirty sepia, far more bole than copper amber like the un-bal Old Numbskull. Streams of loose, free carbonation race upwards towards the head, itself a lightly tanned one-finger high, erratic, uneven, sort of what you'd expect from a barrel aged beer. An aggressive pour yields a half finger of dull tan head that fades remarkably quickly, though again perhaps about what one would expect from a -bal beer, and the remnants provide little surface dusting, a thin, half-crescent collar, and little to no lacing on the sides of the glass. It's about what I expected, I suppose, though it's not terribly inspiring.

Aroma: Dark toasty malts and sweet barrel sugars represent a nice, well-blended complexity that's sort of lower on the nose and less complex than the regular Old Numbskull but somehow manages to surpass it in terms of enjoyability if not complexity. This one's straightforward, showcasing a nice amount of barrel notes - vanilla, coconut, hints of raisins - and some nice bourbon that's definitely mellowed and subdued itself in the years its been sitting around in various and sundry cellars (mine and the BAs its come from before me). Faint astringent and tobacco-y hops round this one out, full-bodied and robust.

Taste: Sort of dull, compared to the non-bal version. Sipping them side by side, the -bal version is a little hollower, subtler perhaps, with a toastier mouth and less hop presence. The malts are dryer - toast, dark toffee, well-attenuated caramel, and very dark brown sugar compliment a few darker barrel notes (mostly coconut, slight vanilla, and dark barrel sugars), but none of that varied toffee, varied caramel, wholesome breadyness, etc. The hops are well-aged, just as they are in the non-bal version, slightly leafy, mildly astringent, like tobacco and leather intermingling with dark malts, well-blended alcohol, and dark fruity esters. There's a definite bourbon presence here, but it's blended in well with the toasty elements of the base beer here, with the fruit and base beer sugars sort of sinking in to the background ... though the spice does emerge slightly after letting this one warm to near room temperature. The fruit esters also lack a little bit here, with slight raisin and cherry overtones busting through the bourbon without much else coming to the surface. Just not as multidimensional as the non-bal version.

Mouthfeel: A little lighter, more carbonated, brighter than the non-bal version. I imagine that's probably because this one's been thinned a little by the spirit addition and the aging, though. After a little while it becomes more manageable in terms of lift, though it still has plenty of the attributes of the non-bal version.

Drinkability: I liked this one a little bit less than the non-bal version, truth be told. It just lacked a lot of the complexity and had a lot more unwanted spiciness and aggressiveness. Maybe this one would hold its own against the aforementioned when they were both aged differently (the aged Old Numbskull I had was an '07, as well), but nonetheless ... this one's simply lacking in a few places, with the bourbon (or the aging) covering up a few of the really nice notes that I got out of the non-bal version. Don't get me wrong - the -bal version is splendid, with the vanilla and coconut overtones amplifying some wonderful elements of this brew ... but it definitely leaves a few of the highlights untouched.

CrellMoset, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of cpetrone84
3.55/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 Bottle thanks to Kevin!

A-pours a dark ruby red with a light tan head with plenty of bubbles on top.

S-musky dry oak up front, vanilla, bourbon, notes of sawdust, lots of burnt malts, sweet cherries and plums in the back with some dried raisin.

T-again the dry dusty oak is up front with a light touch of vanilla from the barrel. bourbon and some alcohol heat, it sweetens in the back but the malts are somewhat burnt, cherries, raisin and plum.

M-smooth syrupy body but thins out a little lacking some carbonation.

D-this seems to have some malt issues going on, tons of burnt sugars in the flavor and a little too much alcohol. the flavors don't work super well together, the barrel aging is rather pleasant with the flavors it has added but it did thin out a little while in those barrels.

cpetrone84, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to stowehop for breaking out this rarity. Bottle #154/449 of the 2007 vintage.

A - Pours with a dime of off-white foam that settles to a thick ring and some light haze. Dark ruby-brown color that is only somewhat translucent. Fairly attractive for the style.

S - Sweet dark fruits, and lots of wood and oak. There's also some caramel, burnt sugars, and notes of chocolate covered raisins. As it warms a little more booze comes out - maybe a touch more than I like.

T - Quite tannic, with tons of burnt sugar, caramel, and dark fruits. The bourbon flavor isn't overt, but instead adds earthiness that complements the woody flavors. Finish is surprisingly clean. This is definitely English in character, with minimal hop presence.

M - Surprisingly active carbonation for the style and the 11%+ ABV. Somewhat gritty and tannic, but never gets astringent. There's some obvious heat as well.

D - Definitely a sipper. I had a tough time working through 6-8oz (although it was fairly late in the session). Would love to try again at some point on a fresh palate.

I liked this more than the BA Wee Heavy, but less than BA Decadence and BA Speedway.

MasterSki, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of rye726
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage '05. Thanks Nick!

Another very nice barrel aged beer from Alesmith. Pours a rich mahogany with a thin tan head.

Nose has floral hops, peppery booze, fruity malts, caramel, whiskey, oak and vanilla.

Tast has more of a barrel presence than the aroma. Bourbon, wood and vanilla over a big American Barleywine.

Full creamy body a bit over carbonated, but still quite nice. Good beer, but would be better if aged in a wine barrel.

rye726, May 31, 2010
Photo of alcstradamus
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by me at our pre-Dark Lord Day tasting. Thanks me! Reviewed from notes.

This one pours a murky copper color with a finger of head. The aroma is big caramel and hops with a strong vanilla backbone and a hefty amount of booziness.

The flavor is an oddly sour/fruity combination, but not in a bad way. Lots of caramel and toasty maltiness. Very boozy. The body is medium and the carbonation is appropriately low. Like most of the barrel aged Alesmith releases, I found this one to be solid, though very unspectacular.

alcstradamus, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I guess it's time to take this off my gots list. Thank you Carlos, for providing me with a beer I thoroughly enjoyed on a crisp, if nippy spring evening. Bottle # 297/449 from the 2007 release.

What a gorgeous pour! Crystal clear ruby red with a dense light brown head with excellent retention and mild lacing, this is one stunning barleywine.

The nose is excellent. Quite a bit of malt character is noticeable with toffee, nougat, booze, vanilla and a mildly floral character, one that reminds me of a saison in its brightness (yes, I know it's not a common description for the nose of a barleywine, but that's my experience, so please let me be) The alcoholic bite really adds to the nose, especially the fruitiness with plums, a little pear juice and a little apple and wildflower honey. Stunning stuff.

The palate is beautifully integrated with flavors of caramel, toffee, dried fruits and nuts with dates being prominent. Vanilla and bourbon are present as well, growing in prominence mid-palate with the brown sugar, maple sugar and honey. Fruity with a pronounced English yeast character, this is great. Warming on the finish with lingering flavors of caramel and toffee, there's also a touch of spice and a chocolate liqueur. Full in body with moderate carbonation and a great finish, I guess it's safe to say that I'm not filing my taxes tonight.

DefenCorps, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of John_M
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at Dyan's tonight during another excellent tasting. This was probably the belle of the ball on this particular evening. Thanks Dyan. I believe this beer was bottled in 2007, and was I think bottle 297 of 449. In other words, this is an extremely rare and limited beer.

The beer pours a toffee brown color with OK head retention, but with lots of sticky lacing. The nose is very attractive, with caramel, vanilla, brown sugar and butter toffee. As good as this beer smells, it tastes every bit as good. The beer is fairly sweet, and seems to be dominated by vanilla and toffee. Yet this beer is very light on its feet, and so is not at all difficult to drink. The mouthfeel is very smooth and long, and there's a lightness to it that is really quite nice. Alcohol is barely an afterthought, though the way my cheeks are starting to warm is an indication it's up there.

This beer is just a thing of beauty and is one of the better barleywines I've had in some time. As the beer warms, I pick up a bit of chocolate as well... just very, very nice.

John_M, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of rhinos00
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very grateful for the opportunity to try this one. Thanks Shane! Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Rochefort chalice. Split with Pecorasc. 2007 Vintage (Bottle #422/449)

A- Pours a dark maroon color with tan hues throughout. Semi-cloudy. Produced a fingers width of off-white head. Reduced to a thin ring throughout consumption. Probably should have been a lower than a 4.0, but this is such a good beer that I don't want the appearance to skew the ratings.

S- This was a 'tweener...wish there was a 4.75 button. Caramel and toffee upfront. The bourbon is there, but it has a very mellow, vanilla quality to it. Also a bit of wood. Think almonds soaked in bourbon. Some sweetness from candied malts is imparted into the aroma as well.

T- As soon as the beer hits the palate, caramel/coconut galore. Infused is bourbon, oak, vanilla, alcohol, and candied malts. Interesting to note that the bourbon was very mellow and well integrated. There was definite heat from the alcohol, but it was only felt in the chest, never in the taste. All the components were balanced nicely.

M- Medium bodied with good carbonation. Really like that there was some amount of residual stickiness...could have used a little more viscosity to put it over the top.

D- As stated above, for a BA beer, this pretty mellow. The only thing prohibiting me from consuming much more than I did was the gathering of alcohol heat in the chest. This is somewhere in between a slow and moderate sipper.

Overall, I've come to the conclusion that my favorite BA beers are english barleywines. I can't think of a better style of beer to match the bourbon characteristics. This is another great example to support my conclusion.

rhinos00, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of Pecorasc
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2007, split with Rhinos00 and poured into a Leffe glass.

A- Appears brown, but shows a deep cherry red when held to light. Thin whisps of head that swirl from the beading and active carbonation. Khaki colored collar. Sediment floating throughout.

S- Sweet carmel and bourbon dominate. Very little barrel or oak flavor. Huge english malt base with some alcohol. Very smooth and refined.

T- Vanilla and coconut bourbon flavors, followed by intense matliness, including breads, nuts, and grains. Subtle english hops in the finish. So smooth it almost tastes like cream. No identifiable burn from the alcohol, but you know your close to the fire. No oxidation at all, even at 3 years. Every few sips I would detect a little roasted character- I'm not sure if I was even tasting that at all. Absolutely perfect.

M- Velvety smooth with texture from very small bubbles of carbonation. Clings to the palate and coats the lips.

D- Sips by sip, this doesn't drink all that slow, but the warming sensation gives the impression that this is only a couple glasses and done. Considering the 11%, nice drinkability.

Pecorasc, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of Lothore
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2007 113/449

A- Pours a deep ruddy brown color with a very small light brown head that fades quickly.

S- Absolutely amazing. Huge raisin and brown sugar notes, vanilla, bourbon, caramel.

T-Very decadent and rich. Lots of brown sugar, dark fruits with deep caramel and bourbon notes.

M- Thick with medium carbonation.

D- The taste doesn't quite deliver what the smell promises but non the less I think this vintage is drinking very well right now.

Lothore, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of pwoods
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.

pwoods, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of gford217
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle, 2004 vintage #75/240, courtesy of a very generous BA, poured into a snifter.

Pours a hazy amber brown with a surprisingly big cream-colored head that recedes slowly to a healthy collar and a little lacing. It shows some legs clinging to the sides after each sip.

The aroma is excellent and well-balanced. It's got the underlying BW character with the caramel malts, toffee and dark fruits coming out especially. It's balanced perfectly with the wood and whiskey which brings a bit of vanilla sweetness to the aroma. What sets it apart for me is the balance as the whiskey is not too overpowering.

The taste is just as good with the bourbon coming out a little more than in the aroma with the big sweet malts forming a solid backbone. I do think the flavors are a little more watered down than I expected and that's probably just the age.

The mouthfeel is slick with a low carbonation and medium bodied. It's probably thinned out a little bit over time honestly.

This is an excellent barleywine that was probably world class a year or two ago. The flavors have mellowed out a bit and it's extremely drinkable, but it's probably lost a little complexity and body. Still extremely good.

gford217, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! It is listed as an English Barleywine, really? This is about as far from an Englsh Barleywine as you can get. Again, Wow!

2007 vintage pours rosy deep copper with brown hues and micro thin off white head. The aroma is smooth oak moving to pine hops, vanilla, caramel and bourbon soaked oak. The taste is smooth goodness with pine hops mixing with vanilla and a mild amount of bourbon. The oak picks up toward midway and to the finish with increasing bourbon and a slight alcohol burn. Yum.

BigMcLargeHuge, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of seaoflament
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I finally found a nice occasion to open my last Barrel Aged Old Numbskull this past August. This one was shared at La Bella on 8-25-09 with Joey and Danny (hope you enjoyed this b-day beer, buddy!). A 2005 vintage, bottle #182/223.

Poured a reddish-caramel color with very little carbonation. Light orange highlights on the sides of the glass.

There was a light bourbon aroma upfront but quite tamed with time now, vanilla, caramel, and toffee follow close by. Very malty on the nose with deep toast and multi-grain bread. The bourbon has really toned down now and just becomes an integrated part of the aroma instead of dominating it when fresh.

Super complex malt bomb. Toasted bread upfront with caramel, toffee, chocolate, vanilla, oak, booze, and light bourbon in the finish. The aftertaste is long with hints of earthy noble hops. Lots of dates, raisins, prunes, and fruitiness when the beer opens up. Chocolate corn flakes come to mind as well with some more chocolate cake and smores. Just like in the aroma, the bourbon now hides in the background, creating another layer of complexity.

No carbonation to talk about, but I'm not complaining as it works very well for this beer, a sipping beer for sure. Syrupy and coating on the palate. Drinking the whole 750ml by myself might take a while but I wouldn't complain if I had to do it.

seaoflament, Sep 15, 2009
AleSmith Old Numbskull - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 308 ratings.