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AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel AgedAleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged

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

334 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 334
Reviews: 109
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 8.1%
Wants: 300
Gots: 117 | FT: 10
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: 334 | Reviews: 109 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by LegalBrew87:
Photo of LegalBrew87
4.75/5  rDev +10%

More User Reviews:
Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of tectactoe
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.

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of badbeer
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 Bottle:

Very dark amber color with an off-white head. Head quickly disappeared and left very little retention. Smell is boozy, caramel, toffee, and butterscotch. Taste has caramel, butterscotch, bourbon, smoke, dark fruits, and vanilla. Carbonation was light, body was medium. A very nice barrel aged beer. I'd love to drink this more regularly, but obviously it isn't possible. Thanks to doubleo for the bottle!

Photo of fo1ksguitar
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of ionlion
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of bpfrush
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of 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.

Photo of OStrungT
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle #206 out of 234

This beer pours a very dark brown. It has a very small head. It is light tan. It fades slowly, leaving many thick laces.

This beer has a rather pleasent scotch aroma. I can smell some figs, and a dark fruit aroma as well. Plumbs and raisins. It also has a slight oak wood aroma. The alcohol is apparent in the aroma.

This beer has a flavor like a very mild scotch. It is quite sweet. Almost barley wine sweetness. It has a woody flavor. Some dark fruit flavor is present as well. The alcohol is present in the flavor also.

This beer is surprisingly smooth. It is quite low in carbonation. It leaves a mild scotch like aftertaste. It is well balanced.

I dont know how great of a session beer this would be. It is surprisingly smooth, but it is a little high in alcohol.

I think this beer is great. I am very happy to have had the chance to try this once in a lifetime beer.

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

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! From the 2009 release, I failed to record the bottle number.

Pours a slightly hazy golden-brown color with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of robust caramel malts with large amounts of vanilla and hints of spicy bourbon. Also present are large amounts of sticky toffee and hints of earthy hops that balance it all.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Thick caramel malt flavors with large amounts of toffee kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are large amounts of vanilla flavors with hints of boozy coconut. Midway through the sip the sweetness from the malts subsides a bit and light earthy hops make an appearance. The hops, vanilla, and caramel malt flavors carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a heavy thickness with smooth carbonation.

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

Overall, if there's one thing I know about AleSmith, besides the fact that they don't make a bad beer, it's that they know their way around a barrel. A very well done beer and one that's well worth a shot.

Photo of pwoods
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wetherel for this great bottle.

750ml capped green bottle poured into a little snifter.

A: Pours a deep murky brown completely opaque. Moderate head on the pour without much retention. Some spotty lacing.

S: Deep woody and earthy aromas. Bourbon is there but not huge, adding some heat and alcohol depth.

T/M: Lots of rich, deep malts. Very earthy, fiberous wood. Bourbon is very tasty with light heat. No smoke or peat which is good here. Carbonation is pretty low and I think it could use a bit more.

D: Definitely a slow sipper, tasty though.

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of timc100
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 2013 bottle

Pours very dark mahogany with some ruby on the edges, pretty muddy. Nice beige barrel head - creamy tight bubbles coat the glass on the pout, bigger bubbles as it sits.

Fantastic barrel aroma as with all Alesmith BA beers - big bourbon, wet oak, oaky vanilla, some toffee. The barrel does not dominate the base beer - brown sugar, toffee, caramel, some sweet smoke, and dark fruits.

Full bodied and flavored - big drier finish.

Another great product of the Alesmith barrel program

Photo of watermelonman
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!

Photo of Tyrus
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of woodchip
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of nickd717
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle via trade, huge thanks to KRAMER17801, who is extremely generous. 2006 vintage.

Pours dark brown, fairly clear, with a small tan head and good lacing.

Great aroma. You can tell this one has some age. Sweet caramel malt and sherry, light peaty smokiness, wood, and old leather. Smells pretty awesome, even if those flavors might sound unappetizing to some.

Flavor is lots of caramel malt along with some toffee notes. Sweet nuttiness, peat, wood, vanilla, and sherry oxidation flavors make this a really interesting and complex beer.

Medium-full bodied and very smooth. Low carbonation, and a little alcohol warming. Long finish.

What an awesome beer. If this wasn't so rare, I'd definitely seek it out again. Easy to drink for what it is.

Photo of Alieniloquium
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.

Photo of Vonerichs
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.

Photo of jlieber17
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

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AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 334 ratings.