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AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel AgedAleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

263 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 263
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 8.33%


Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This was barrel aged and limited to 234 hand numbered bottles from the 2004 batch of Wee Heavy and released in 2005.

(Beer added by: scottoale on 04-08-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 263 | Reviews: 103 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.59/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to egajdzis for this...
'09 bottle
Appears a murky russet brown with a small, off white head that quickly fades away.
Smell is of caramel, vanilla, bourbon, notes of fruit, and hints of cacao beans.
Taste is of the aromas with a sweet vanilla, creme brûlée blast. Bits of bourbon come through but are restrained.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, with a mild heat lingering.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2014 00:35:26 | More by weeare138
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.49/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

10% ABV confirmed. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass (black glass?) 2012 vintage bottle with fancy gold label and black foil-ed over unbranded pry-off pressure cap acquired at Alesmith and served into an Odell stem-tulip in me friend's gaff in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are very high given the brewery and style - "Scotch-style ale aged in bourbon barrels."

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Fairly even consistency. Little albeit even lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is above average - about 3-4 minutes.

Body colour is a solid opaque dark black. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

It's about what I'd expect for a bourbon barrel wee heavy. It's not unique or special, but I'm optimistic given the brewery.

Sm: Nice bourbon notes - mainly vanilla, with some oak as well. It's not the rich toasty oak I love, but it's passable. Dark malts. Toffee. Caramel.

I'm surprised at its simplicity given the brewery. There just isn't much complexity in the aroma. I'm optimistic the taste will be better.

No hop character or alcohol is detectable.

A pretty standard wee heavy aroma of mild to moderate strength.

T: Dark malts, toffee, caramel, and bourbon notes - vanilla and some oak, but no toasty character. I don't find any roasted barley notes. It's a bit too boozy, even aged.

Decent complexity. Not real subtle, intricate, or nuanced. Depth of flavour is disappointingly average. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

It's balanced, I guess. Certainly not a gestalt build.

A great wee heavy - especially a bourbon barrel aged wee heavy - offers so much more than this. There just isn't enough going on, nor is there enough subtlety.

Mf: Too heavy on the palate. Too thick and full-bodied. It's got too much weight. The presence on the palate is a bit overbearing. Smooth and wet. Could be creamier, and certainly softer. It's imposing, but suits the flavour profile decently well. The texture certainly doesn't feel custom-tailored to the taste.

Not oily, astringent, gushed, hot, boozy, or harsh.

Dr: Something of a sipper. I'm glad I have a friend to help me finish the bottle, as quality as it is. The 10% does hit you. I wouldn't buy this again at its high price point, but it's nice enough. I'd much sooner stick with Backwoods Bastard, or even plain ole Old Chub for my wee heavy fix. This is an unreasonably priced beer from Alesmith that is worth trying once, but won't impress the discerning drinker. The heaviness is its biggest flaws.

I was ready to love this, but it just didn't meet my expectations. I'm glad I only bought one bottle.

B/B-

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 08:53:29 | More by kojevergas
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a snifter.
10% ABV, "serve in a goblet at 50-55°"

A - The only difference between the dark purple-hued mahogany appearance of this beer and the non-barrel-aged one is the fleeting head. The bourbon clearly evaporates the foam quickly but dots of lace remain on the glass just the same.

S - Rich vanilla bean slit open engulfs sweet caramel and toffee notes which are all shrouded by smooth, warming bourbon and soaking wet oak staves. Give this beer a swirl and plenty of warming alcohol greets the nostrils with dark fruit essence in the background.

T - While I find AleSmith's Wee Heavy to be lacking in any forward flavor, the barrel-aged version's bourbon seems to pull the malt complexity from the depths, really introducing a nice blend of caramel and toffee sweetness that was just to distant before. Vanilla tannins and oak compliment the barrel with a kiss of alcohol warmth on the finish.

M - AleSmith's barrel-aging adds nice warming alcohol to Wee Heavy's medium body for a smooth drinking experience that finishes with sweet vanilla and a touch of thinning bourbon to even the playing field.

O - Not always does barrel-aging a beer make it better but it certainly does in the case of AleSmith's Wee Heavy. Good but uninteresting and frankly quite plain, the normal version of this beer features the same alcohol percentage hidden behind distant maltiness while the barrel-aged version features forward alcohol (at the same percentage) that manages to bring out it's underlying maltiness. Caramel, toffee, and dark fruit are more apparent in the face of bourbon barrel-induced vanilla, oak, and, well, bourbon, and all conglomerate for a party in the mouth that's quite extraordinary but not quite worth the $40 price tag. AleSmith's barrel-aged Wee Heavy is a fantastic beer but if I saw it on the shelves again at the same price I wouldn't think twice about passing on it.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2013 01:11:14 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of rand
rand

California

4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

From 750 mL bottle to Mikasa tulip glass

A: Deep, murky brown in color, a gentle pour yields a fluffy 2-inch head the dissipates surprisingly quickly, leaving scant lacing.

S: The bourbon notes are at the front of the bouquet, yielding a distinct butterscotch bent. These are pleasantly surrounded by notes of toffee, honeyed multi-grain bread, dried fruits and boozy warmth. Big and bold but singular and pleasant.

T/M: More complex than the nose, the flavors start again with the bold bourbon notes, but these are more candied and buttery than burning. A rich, smooth, almost milky complexion supports the satisfyingly sweet aspects, which are nicely contained by drying wood and alcohol warmth. The flavor profile is big, but never splashy or discordant, and as malty as this is (typical of the style) it's never treacly. Finishes long and sweet, with subtle residue coating the palate.

The beer equivalent of comfort food. It's rich, velvety texture and satisfyingly sweet undertones are nice way to relax with a beer before bed.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 06:44:53 | More by rand
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Jeff. Thanks a million! Poured to snifter/tulip thingy deep dark brown with hints of reddish amber at the edges. Half finger caramel colored head that recedes shortly thereafter. Aroma of big biscuit, lots of nuttiness, toffee, vanilla, oak, whiskey booze. Oh man. Flavor is big whiskey and nuttiness with an excellent sweet-bitter balance. Finishes with a nice toffee vanilla caramel sweetness that lingers. Just a bit of heat on the way down. Thick but carbonation is adequate. So glad I got to try it finally. Awesome BA beer, though I might a really like the regular version a tad better. Alesmith continues to impress. PS-This went amazingly with a chunk of cheddar cheese!

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 15:55:41 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of Vonerichs
Vonerichs

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark cola color with a dense light sandy head. Short retention that leaves just some surface bubbles after less then a minute.

Robust aromas of bourbon, caramel, and butterscotch. Root beer. Dates. Vanilla.

Heavy on the bourbon flavors without the heat. Oak, vanilla, and toffee. Again with the butterscotch and dates.

Mouthfeel is extremely smooth and it's amazing how they were able to extract the bourbon flavors with barely any heat.

This is a fantastic BA scotch ale. Scotch ales are a perfect match for barrel aging, in my opinion, and this one nails it.

2012 bottle.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2013 01:40:34 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of trxxpaxxs
trxxpaxxs

New York

4.51/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed blind, thanks to Stupac2...

A: This beer pours a dark murky brown with even darker hues throughout. I guess you’d call this cola colored. There is one full finger of khaki colored head that seems to fade in a perfectly reasonable amount of time. Very little lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is excellent. I get tons of caramel, some solid vanilla, a nice helping of bourbon-y booze, and some peat. Mmm. Yup. Excited for this one.

T: Right up front I get a good helping of barrel treatment. The bourbon(?) is all flavor at first sip, as it mixes with caramel. It gets a touch sweeter in the middle with vanilla beginning to round the beer out. As it progresses, I get some peat and burnt caramel. It’s like this beer was sitting in a charred barrel. I dig it. The finish is smooth and sweet and not as hot as I would have expected. Really nice.

M: Full bodied beer. It starts off hot and sweet, coats the palate, and finishes silky smooth. Nothing lingers for too long, making me want to keep taking sips at an escalated pace.

O: Great beer. The barrel treatment on this one is perfect, and it really adds to the flavor profile of the beer. I would drink this beer any day of the week.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2013 13:58:31 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

3.8/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Another big thanks to Kevin R for bringing all of the rare AleSmith goodies to our tasting. The BA Wee Heavy pours a deep, depp ruby red and brown-tinted color with translucent edges and a center that's so dark-hued that it's impossible to make out what's on the other side. The head fades quickly, is light tan in color, and leaves no lacing behind.

The first whiff contains a deep, syrupy, dark-fruit sweetness that jumps out and sifts through my nostrils pretty pungently. Huge mounds of bourbon and oak bump from front to back; their inclusion is much too forward to simply be called a "background". Sticky sweet brown sugar and a light cocoa dusting finish things off.

From the aroma alone, this beer could pass as a barrel aged barley wine, because some of the typical barley wine, dark fruit and brown sugar sweet notes are present, and the bourbon and barrel are large enough obliterate any other aromas that would indicate that this beer in indeed a wee heavy or Scotch ale style.

Each sip pounds your senses with a one-two combo of bourbon and booze-soaked oak. Heavy heat from the bourbon, a little more than just "warming", even. The alcohol heat offset it attempted by some syrupy, sweet prune-like fruits that wave throughout the background. Light anise, licorice-y, and some burnt toffee.

It's a clashing of sweet and burn, and to be completely honest, I'm not incredibly fond of either of the two when they're presented in amounts this large. In essence, they balance each other out, yes... but they could both stand to be toned down just a bit. It's pretty damn sweet and it's quite hot and barrel-y. Huge, sticky, and creamy mouth feel with a mild carbonation that works for the stature of the brew.

I feel like if this was done with a lighter wee heavy and less barrel aging time, I would have enjoyed it much more. It's certainly a delicacy; sweet, savory, boozy - a slow sipper and a night cap all the way. But I can't help but feel like it's unnecessarily overdone and it would benefit from curbing some of the intensity just a little bit. Still a very, very solid brew, though.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2013 12:03:12 | More by tectactoe
Photo of impending
impending

California

4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A+

750ml into a large wine glass. Pours a deep ruddy walnut, encouraging pour needed for a light mocha color head which subsided quickly, no lacing.

WoW, delicious
how much better can caramel toffee butterscotch vanilla coconut wood bourbon blend than this ?
intoxicating

Appropriately medium heft lifeless silken mouthfeel.

The flavor is what I wrote of the scent, exactly as predicted
flawlessly
aftertaste till tomorrow, the tiniest sips revel the entire flavor intensely
as much a barleywine
an epic iconic flawlessly defined wee heavy
this is the pinnacle
cheers
jd

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2013 04:33:28 | More by impending
Photo of watermelonman
watermelonman

California

3.8/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured to a deep and dark brown with minor head, leaving nearly no lace. The smell made up for that, simply intoxicating mix of malt, bourbon, and sugar.

When tasted this one came up a bit short, leaving me wanting the full flavor and body of the usual Wee Heavy. This is not a bad beer, mind you, but the standard Alesmith Wee Heavy does set a high bar. I have always appreciated a booze hot mouthfeel, but this one comes out light. Again, not a bad beer, but I am not sure it is an improvement upon the original. A barrel does not universally lead to better!

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2013 07:35:01 | More by watermelonman
Photo of pschul4
pschul4

Illinois

4.61/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Ehammond1 in a secret streakers BIF. Eric is the fucking man

A- Pours a murky cola brown with a half in tan head tha leaves a lil lacing

S- Bourbon jumps out at your but some caramel and peaty malts are in there as well. Smells wonderful to someone who really liked bourbon

T- Bourbon up front. Dark fruits, caramel and those peaty malts are present in the middle of the taste with bourbon cleaning up the end. So good

M- Low carbonation leads to a very smooth mouthfeel. Very nice

O- Not much more to say, this is delicious and I'm going to enjoy savoring this over the course of the next hour or so

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 23:48:46 | More by pschul4
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

3.86/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2012 bottle.

Appearance - Vigorous pour yields a lopsided off white head. Deep brown. Wispy.

Smell - Very fruity. Bourbon is present, but the oak barrel is more prominent. Vanilla secondary, but oak is very nice. Caramel behind all of it.

Taste - Sweet malt and Bourbon behind it. Caramel is very nice here. Oaky in the back end. Slightly buttery but it loses a lot of its Scotch ale character. Bourbon is a nice replacement.

Mouthfeel - Slightly boozy. Well carbonated. Medium body and seems thinner than the regular version.

Overall - Had this next to the regular. Loses some caramel, but gains a nice barrel character.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 02:20:28 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.83/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour for New Brew Thursday's 3rd Anniversary event held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

2005 vintage. Bottle # 160/222.

Pours a hazy dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and bourbon. Taste is much the same with a brown sugar flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a great smell but the taste isn't matching up.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2013 01:38:48 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of popery
popery

California

4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012. Pours a dark brown with a small amount of bubbles. The head is beige and dissipates relatively quickly. Nice enough lacing though. Aroma is a well blended mix of bourbon notes and the wonderful flavors of the base beer. There's vanilla, oak, bourbon and a bit of booze mixed into molasses, caramel, fresh dough, toasty malt sugars and all sorts of other warm, friendly flavors. Taste is sweet and warm. It's a lovely beer. I realize that I'm sorta repeating myself here, but the rich malt flavor of the base beer is impeccably blended into the bourbon barrel flavors. Alesmith is one of the very best at barrel aging, and it very much shows in this beer. Feel is smooth and full. Never gets too sticky or boozey. This is just a phenomenal beer. On a sidenote, I don't think it will get any better with age. This beer is drinking wonderfully, right now.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2013 06:20:52 | More by popery
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First, thanks to msulinski for seeing this on the tip-top of my wants list last summer & throwing it in - yes, as a bloody extra - to a trade. I've been blessed with some amazing trading partners! Well, I was going to drink this on New Year's, then my birthday...& now it's Tuesday. Sounds good. 750 ML bottle, 2009 vintage, 207/972. Split with my wife, who loves a good wee heavy, especially if they've fornicated with a barrel.

Pour is close to dead flat, with a bit of Weather Center Hurricane in the middle & a few lost bubbles around the edges. Both fade within a few minutes. Arterial blood red, very dark. Nose retains burnt sugar, toffee, barrel, tons of sweet malt. All the smells in the mid-volume range.

Alesmith's Barrel-Aged Wee Heavy might be beginning to get gray around the temples. The barrel presence remains heavy, with a belt-full of vanilla, even after three plus years. Big sweet malts lean into peat bog (& yes, I've tasted water out of one...filtered), with a big pinch of brown sugar. Titch of toffee & oxidation - which I'm not going to knock it for, considering it's antiquity. It is flat, & adds to a heaviness which doesn't do the beer any favors. Half a bomber, as tasty as it is, will fill me up like a turkey leg.

This didn't live up to the legend of the BA Speedway that I'd built up in my mind, but that's my own couch-issue. Really good beer that I'm really happy to have tried.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 03:34:41 | More by maximum12
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2009 vintage): Poured a clear medium brown color ale with a medium size off-white foamy head with some retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with light toffee notes and light butterscotch and some wood with a light whiskey finish. Taste is also a good mix between balanced notes of butterscotch and caramel with some notes of wood and whiskey and light residuals sugar notes. I though the body was a bit thin for the style with medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2012 20:39:44 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle from 2009 - Thanks to pushkinwow

Appearance - Hazy brown colour with a below average size fizzy/frothy off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for only a short while.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, butterscotch/caramel, chocolate

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts mixed with some caramel/butterscotch. There is also a bit of a dark fruit taste and a slight woodiness with hints of chocolate. It ends with a malty dark fruit aftertaste.

Overall - Very smooth and extremely easy to drink. The best beer I've had from Alesmith hands down.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2012 15:48:32 | More by spinrsx
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks mike! consumed on 8/8.
2009 vintage

a - dark maroon with no head, some bubbles.

s - pretty hot. wee heavy/old ale-ish. booze tickles my nose. woody caramel toffee.

t - big booze. classic wee heavy beneath. caramel, nutmeg, bourbon and some vanilla. maple.

m - extremely smooth. chewy. bourbony. lots of sediment.

o - overall, pretty good, but nothing mind blowing.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2012 01:56:28 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2009)

(Aged for 2+ years)

Cloudy dark brown with only a small brown head that doesn't leave much in the way of lacing. An excusably average looking beer.

The nose is quite wonderful--this is what barrel-aging beers is all about. Rich, deep aromas of wood and bourbon, vanilla and caramel, earthy dark chocolate, and some cream combine magnificently. A beer transformed.

The flavor is just as magnificent and rich: bold barrel notes, vanilla, earth and wood, some maple sweetness, and mild dark chocolate, with just enough alcohol presence.

Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation, and just a bit oily. Perfect.

A joy.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2012 19:49:25 | More by ehammond1
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #500! Thanks to blatantdream for busting out this surprise.

Brownish pour, notably lacking head of any sort. Decidedly darker than most Scotch ales. Aroma starts off muted with bourbon and malts at center stage but opens up as the brew warms. Rich, complex bouquet of scotch, spices, butter, and toffee at room temperature.

Sweet malts and bourbon dance on my tongue as the beer's other flavors arrive and add exceptional depth. Butterscotch, vanilla, brown sugar, more bourbon, maple, and a touch of smoke make their presence known. Booze complements the flavor profile and soothes my throat as everything descends. Creamy body delivers the goods.

Another great BA beer from AleSmith. With the exception of BA Speedway, I have yet to taste one of their BA brews that isn't outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2012 19:50:07 | More by brystmar
Photo of CrellMoset
CrellMoset

Virginia

4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage, bottle 152/254. Thanks to a very generous BA who I likely traded a Southampton beer for quite some time ago - damn my poor record keeping.

Appearance: A dark, muddy, turgid brown, rusty and dirty, this one surges out of the bottle quickly, settling in with a half finger of surging, cola-like head, fading in to a nearly imperceptible collar - only a few small clusters of individual bubbles cling to the rim of the tulip, but even they fade in time with successive sips, all the way down to the point where it's a still muddy pool. There's really not too much to say about the appearance, and BAs here know I'm not a man of few words ... it's just a still, muddy, brown mess (perhaps understandable for a barrel aged beer that's seven years old, but, hey, still not the most attractive thing in the world).

Aroma: Probably this beer's best aspect - I can only imagine what it smelled like four years ago. Rusty penny and old wood dominate this one, with flashes of mossy, smoky, notes, hints of sourness, vanilla, and brown paper bag, wet dog, cardboard oxidation. What a robust and varied aroma profile - this one's all over the place, but not in a messy, out of place way. It's balanced and thoughtful showcasing each of its strengths gracefully, and in doing so showcasing its greatest strengths - even-handedness.

Taste: A total caramel bomb, with hints of cinnamon, vanilla, toffee, and only the faintest kiss of bourbon in what is at this point a relatively dilapidated ([adj.] - having fallen into a state of disrepair or deterioration, as through neglect; broken-down and shabby) beer. This one's definitely past its prime - it's oxidized, slightly metallic, but in a way reminiscent of port, aged leather-bound books, and rich mahogany (Anchorman was on TV earlier). Brown sugar, toffee, and a slew of caramel malts - all well-attenuated - make up the backbone of this wee heavy, but this is all complimented by hints of cinnamon from the barrels along with a string of other, nondescript spicy notes, reminiscent of the base beer. Dark fruits are evident, too - raisins (rum raisin, of course, with the interactions), plums, and dates, with hints of sour cherry and fig, though nothing quite approaching domination in that latter category. Barrel notes are fairly restrained - other than the aforementioned cinnamon, only vanilla and hints of toasted caramel and old wood. A little more garbled and messy than the nose, but still a classy, classy broad.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, incredibly smooth, in fact, with very low carbonation in a slick but still crispy (tasting) body. Obviously typical of a beer that's not only spent a lot of time in a barrel but then another significant chunk of time sitting in a bottle. It works well with the flavor profile - I can only imagine how annoying a slew of carbonation would be with the oxidation and sour notes that are creeping in to this one.

Drinkability: It's hard not to both respect this beer but also be a little disappointed in it all at once. I've half a mind to try and get my hand on a 2009 bottle to see what this one's like at the height of its power (should have tried to do a side-by-side!), because the remnants of a great beer are definitely here. As it stands, this one's a shadow of its former self, but in a way that's demanding of appreciation. Crack 'em if you've got 'em folks.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 02:15:05 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1071st Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
750 ml

2009 Vintage

Thanks to ???? for sharing
Thanks to MrHirschybars for the tasting.

App- A good mix of browns and ambers with a little bit of crimson thrown in. A deep beer with a nice capped ½ finger of head that fell quickly to leave a couple dots of cling.

Smell- Besides the actual Creme Brulee beer from ST, this smelled a shit ton like bruleed sugar. A little burnt a little sweet and a little creamy. Had notes of toffee, butterscotch and vanilla.

Taste- A very layered beer with tons packed in. The sweetness of the sugar comes in 1st and then moves to the bourbon and a little bit of smokey damp malts. Brown sugar, vanilla and some cocoa. Not overly harsh or boozy. Very well done.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a good dose of medium amounts of carbonation. Leaves residual bourbon and smooth vanilla and burnt sugar.

Drink- This was my last beer of the night and I was blown away by everything there. This was definitely in the top 5 of the night. A simple amazing beer with layers upon layers of flavors.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 22:24:47 | More by FosterJM
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PeterIngemi

Massachusetts

4.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

drinking bottle #517/972 of the 2009 vintage released in 2011

A- dark dark brown, almost black, very minimal head

S- amazing oak, dark fruit, burbon, caramel, toffe, very complex, molasses... Smells amazing

T- very smooth up front going into an incredible blend of burbon, caramel, vanilla, toffe, and tons of barrel character, finishes with a touch of alcohol and dark fruit.

M- very low carbonation, medium mouthfeel, very very smooth, I love the low carbonation in this beer.

O- incredible, I am so fortunate to be able to be drinking this. Amazing.... I don't know what else to say... So much barrel character! So derrricious!

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 02:49:51 | More by PeterIngemi
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Phelps

Arizona

4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle number 565 of 972; vintage 2009, released 2011. Poured into a snifter and tasted against regular Wee Heavy, which is already one of my favorite scotch ales.

Deep maroon, dark yet fairly clear. There’s not much head to speak of, and it disappears to become a very thin ring within a few seconds.

Buttery nose. Tons of toffee, butterscotch, caramel, burnt sugar, some dark fruits. Also included: earthy hops, bright figs, cola, alcohol. Like a blend of brandy and red wine.

The flavor is So. Damn. Smooth. Bourbon, brandy, vanilla and new oak along with touches of toffee and sticky alcohol. The heavy whiskey flavor is semi-harsh, but met with brown sugar, a touch of maple and butter. The blend is incredible.

Medium-full, creamy body, smooth as velvet. Not much carbonation to speak of, but it’s alive nonetheless. Alcohol is big and numbs the tongue. It also comes through the nose just a bit.

If I had to choose something bad to say about BA Wee Heavy, I’d say the barrels take over the base beer just a bit too much. But hot damn, this is a tasty brew. Sweet, oaky, bourbony, and incredibly smooth.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 23:44:49 | More by Phelps
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writerLJBerg

Oregon

4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Courtesy of Shane. Many thanks. Reviewed from notes.

A: Very dark mahogany that swallows the light and makes this seem still and serene. Fluffy, bubbly head fades to a drifting pond. Good legs.

N: Wow. Caramel and vanilla, oak and coconut hit me from a few feet away. Bourbon soaked cherries. Some brown sugar and clover. Coriander.

T: Smoked sweetness and tons of toffee. Lots of it. Bitterness seems nonexistent, but this never risks becoming cloying.

M: Lots of alcohol. Stick and medium bodied.

O: This is one of my favorite beers, because this is always what I hope a BA Barleywine is going to taste like, even though it's not one. Gotta hand it to Alesmith, they do barrel aging right.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2011 19:34:19 | More by writerLJBerg
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AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.