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AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

298 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 298
Reviews: 107
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 8.1%
Wants: 295
Gots: 119 | FT: 8
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: 298 | Reviews: 107 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by pmarlowe:
Photo of pmarlowe
pmarlowe

District of Columbia

4.31/5  rDev -0.2%

2012 vintage. On tap at the tasting room during the 2013 BA Grand Cru release.

A: Pours a deep black with a ring of tan head. No lacing, pretty extensive retention.

S: Light to moderate bourbon, dark toasted oak, and a touch of vanilla, very dark fruit (blackcurrant, dark grape), and lots of rich caramel.

T: Tasty oak and malt, fruit is pretty faint under the barrel notes, sweet toffee. The light sweetness really enhances the flavor.

M: Medium-full body and very light carbonation. Super smooth and a little sticky. Alcohol is very well hidden.

O: Very well balanced and tasty, although the base beer does not show through very much in the flavor. That being said, this is nowhere near the bourbon bomb that the last vintage was.

11-14-2011 14:42:47 | More by pmarlowe
More User Reviews:
Photo of DanGeo
DanGeo

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

07-08-2014 02:24:03 | More by DanGeo
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

3.8/5  rDev -12%

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.

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

Michigan

4/5  rDev -7.4%

04-18-2013 02:07:52 | More by warnerry
Photo of badbeer
badbeer

Iowa

4.22/5  rDev -2.3%

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!

01-03-2009 04:06:18 | More by badbeer
Photo of fo1ksguitar
fo1ksguitar

Missouri

4/5  rDev -7.4%

07-28-2014 19:40:36 | More by fo1ksguitar
Photo of ionlion
ionlion

California

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

04-03-2014 19:21:59 | More by ionlion
Photo of bpfrush
bpfrush

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

01-06-2013 03:29:21 | More by bpfrush
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


4.48/5  rDev +3.7%

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.

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

California

4.4/5  rDev +1.9%

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.

04-18-2006 00:05:30 | More by OStrungT
Photo of stereosforgeeks
stereosforgeeks

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

05-23-2014 13:34:49 | More by stereosforgeeks
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.47/5  rDev +3.5%

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.

03-05-2011 01:03:01 | More by glid02
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

10-13-2009 21:18:31 | More by pwoods
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

06-15-2014 15:59:55 | More by acurtis
Photo of timc100
timc100

Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +4.9%

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

08-14-2014 14:34:27 | More by timc100
Photo of watermelonman
watermelonman

California

3.8/5  rDev -12%

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!

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

California

4/5  rDev -7.4%

03-17-2014 20:23:58 | More by Tyrus
Photo of Gonzoillini
Gonzoillini

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +10%

04-22-2013 13:42:04 | More by Gonzoillini
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
PeprSprYoFace

California

5/5  rDev +15.7%

11-21-2011 07:39:24 | More by PeprSprYoFace
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

4.35/5  rDev +0.7%

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.

04-19-2010 17:40:30 | More by nickd717
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

3.86/5  rDev -10.6%

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.

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

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +1.4%

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.

08-21-2013 01:40:34 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of jlieber17
jlieber17

California

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

10-13-2012 01:40:47 | More by jlieber17
Photo of BOLTZ7555
BOLTZ7555

Arizona

4.97/5  rDev +15%

Bottle 96/222 of the 2005 batch sampled courtesy of Sparky27 @ Hellbilly’s Hellraiser 3.0...THANKS ERIC!!! This one has to take the top honors of the night (and Rodenbach Alexander, Southampton RIS, and Toronado 20th were in the Hiz-Ous)...rusty penny/maple syrup pour with a razor-thin caramel head. Aroma has strong barrel-notes; oak, bourbon, toffee, and molasses. Flavor is sweet malt, candied sugar, dark fruit, brown sugar, and freshly spliced vanilla bean. Quite thick and sticky...WOW!!!

05-29-2011 06:25:46 | More by BOLTZ7555
Photo of EliotRosewater
EliotRosewater

California

4/5  rDev -7.4%

04-22-2014 00:34:47 | More by EliotRosewater
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AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 298 ratings.