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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

317 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 317
Reviews: 108
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 8.1%
Wants: 295
Gots: 121 | 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: 317 | Reviews: 108 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of impending
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

impending, Jun 08, 2013
Photo of pschul4
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

pschul4, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of jpiper
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 42/254 - shared with my wife. Boy does she love these non-hoppy Alesmiths.

Builds just the smallest tan head upon pouring with lace remaining through the session. A muted grayish caramel brown color to the beer.

The nose is malty. Caramel malt, oak, and lots of it. One of the more delicious smelling beers I can remember pouring.

The taste can't be as good, and it isn't quite. But it is delicious. There's some good balancing bitterness to this malty brew, but perhaps a little too much. Someone said peat - I can taste and smell that too. Honey? Definitely oak, toasted malts. Let it site between sips and the bitterness lingers longer than I'd hope. Alcohol very well hidden. The flavors are well mingled.

Minor carbonation barely tickles the tongue and the oak makes it incredibly smooth. Not chewey, but not thin. Just smooth, smooth, smooth.

Drinkability? I could sip on this all night long. Almost wish my wife weren't downing half of this.

jpiper, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of weeare138
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.

weeare138, Jan 31, 2014
Photo of Bierguy5
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mcallister for sharing this gem. 750 ml, 2005 vintage, bottle 176/222. A murky mahogany color, with very little head. Not a huge shock for this beast.

Wonderful aroma going on here. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, a hint of smoke, and a good amount of caramel malt. Some alcohol is noticable as well, but not overly burning. I took about 5 minutes to do nothing but smell this beauty.

Good amount of sweetness up front. Bursting with malt and booze up front. Heavey amount of caramel, with minimal fruit. Great bourbon, woody oak and vanilla notes. Long lingering warming finish.

Good body, low carbonation. Lots of complex flavors and aromas working here. Very enjoyable.

Bierguy5, Jul 01, 2008
Photo of hoppymeal
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

05 Vintage, #184 of 222. Pours still, just a few bubbles hanging around the edge of the glass, regardless of how vigorously I pour. Brown and ruddy in color, a decent haze of sediment. Aroma is outstanding bourbon barrel characteristics, sweet vanilla, great woody notes, big and bourbony alcohol, some aged, worn leather, salty grilled meat and dark rich fruity maltiness all combine in the complex aroma. Taste follows with some nice oaky woodiness, strong, sweet vanilla, only hints of the malty wee heavy style that lay beneath. Good alcohol bite and a dry oakiness wind up the taste. Slightly slick feel on top of the tongue, some peppery alcohol before a warming alcohol breaks into the party and thins things out. Somehat drying in the finish. Outstanding beer, alesmith is doing the barrel ageing very well. Would love to see some barrel aged blends some day from this brewery.

hoppymeal, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of BeerFMAndy
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.

BeerFMAndy, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of kleffman
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hand numbered bottle #161 split with a friend, and poured into the Alesmith tulip glass they sold a couple years ago.

Immediately upon opening the barrel and bourbon aromas attacked me. Poured a dark reddish brown with just a bit of head. Small bubbles rise to the surface just fast enough to hold this thin head. When swirled in the glass I could create an amazing pillow on top and unleash the aromas of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and alcohol.

Where did the Wee Heavy go? Totally a different beer, just like the Barrel Aged Decadence was. Incredible flavors of dark fruits, maybe overripe grapes. Vanilla, bourbon, caramel, raisin. Extremely complex. Let it sit on your tongue and it evolves into different things never before experienced in a beer.

Actually quite a nice mouthfeel. Unlike the previous reviewer this had some carbonation that tingled the mouth a little. Not high carbonation, but just enough to unleash it's aromas.

This is drinkable in the sense that I could keep sipping this all night long. It's really a finely crafted masterpiece. As mentioned below, this is second only to the Decadence old ale that was barrel aged. Glad I waited in line for this gem.

kleffman, Dec 22, 2007
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

timc100, Aug 14, 2014
Photo of mcallister
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 bottle 176 of 222

Pours a very acrid uncarbonated lazy shade of dirty russett. Not much of any head...at all.

This smells amazing. Some may say too much in way of bourbon and oak I say bring it on!! Huge vanillan oak with thick bourbon, cream fresh aroma, more charred wood character, milk chocolate, brandy reduced fig, stale malts, roasted malt, hints of peat and smoke with more dark fruits hidden beneath the thick woody aromatics.

Big beer but sightly thin in the middle of the mouthfeel. Long never ending finish that shows loads of residual sugar, brown sugar brandy reduced dried fruits really shine through on the finish with a slight warming alcohol. Much sweeter than anticipated. Bourbon, huge vanilla toasted oak, charred woods, with much more caramel in the mouth to balance and add complexity. Dates, fig, dried fruit, creamy on the finish. Slight prickle as well. Bit roasty with only hints of peat showing through. An absolutely amazing beer that I look hugely forward to enjoying again in the future. Thanks Peter!!!!

mcallister, Jun 27, 2008
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AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 317 ratings.