AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

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

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115 Reviews
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Reviews: 115
Hads: 386
Avg: 4.3
pDev: 7.91%
Wants: 310
Gots: 129 | FT: 15
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:
Beer added by: scottoale on 04-08-2006

This was barrel aged and limited to 234 hand numbered bottles from the 2004 batch of Wee Heavy and released in 2005.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 115 | Hads: 386
Photo of JAXSON
3.23/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep burgundy / black with a thin head. Nose is largely burnt sugar, wood, some dark fruits, a smatter of cooked vegetables. Faint chocolate, and salty. Really oxidized flavor, savory and butter oak, weird clinging bitterness. A lot of off savory flavors here. Earthy, muddy, bitter, and astringent.

I don't think this style is really for me but in my opinion this is heavily oxidized and is way past its prime, regardless of my own tastes.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.26/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this one!

A-pours a dark brown color with red edges and a lighter tan head.

S-the nose brings some cooked greens, notes of bourbon, lots of malt body, very sugary with toffee and caramel. Light malt sweetness with notes of oxidation in the back.

T-lots more cooked green vegatables, very sugary, toffee and caramel, diry burnt brown sugar, creamy oak with notes of bourbon. there is some more malt sweetness, hints of dried plums and slightly bitter.

M-full bodied and thick, very viscous but still smooth and creamy. lighter carabonation with an easy finish.

D-this is very sugary and rather thick and creamy. hints of oxidation and nothing subtle to it. seems to be to style but the flavors seem slightly jumbled together but not bad.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.47/5  rDev -19.3%
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.


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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2005 Bottle 80 / 222, Sampled January 2008
This is the barrel aged beer of Alesmith's that I have wanted to try most. As I pop the cap only a touch of gas escapes. A vigorous pour can't do much but summon a thin, very large bubbled, bit of froth that doesn't completely cover the top of the beer. The beer itself is a dark, brownish-amber color and shows an opaque, hazy, dark ruby / deep red color when held up to the light. Aromas of Bourbon are quite apparent as I pour this brew; upon further inspection the Bourbon is still the most noticed part of the aroma. Aromatic notes of vanillin, butterscotch, spicy oak and alcohol, almost a cola like barrel / malt note and a rich, deeply caramelized character that is contributed by both the bourbon barrel char and the malt are all evident in the nose. Underneath these notes is a deep, if subtle, dark, caramelized fruit character that just sort of melts into the buttery oak and vanillin notes. Despite being so Bourbon barrel dominated the aroma is actually quite smooth and seemingly well integrated; it does not come off as boozy in the least.

Very lightly carbonated, but not flat, the beer is fairly sweet up front. This rich, sweetness makes me think of a vanilla infused dark fruit compote made up of raisins, prunes, figs, berries and a light cherry note. Through the middle the beer starts to pick up a bit more of the Bourbon and barrel notes, which, by the time the beer has left my mouth, have become a dominating, spicy mix of warm Bourbon, piquantly spicy oak, a touch of salty peat, lightly phenolic smoke and alcohol. This lingering flavor doesn't quite disappear until one takes another sip and lets the beer rest on the tongue to soak in the concentrated, rich, sweet malt and caramelized notes. Rich caramel malts, flavors of melted brown sugar and dark toffee add to the complexity here. Thick and chewy, the beer rests on the palate with a slightly sticky heft that is just barely offset by the minimal carbonation; the beer has about the same level of carbonation of a draught real ale, which actually sort of works with this beer as much of the chewy, rich malt notes are offset by the spicy oak / bourbon notes. Sometimes with the minimal carbonation it can even seem a bit thin, but ultimately the texture of this beer is just quite nice.

I must admit that I like the regular version of this beer a bit better, but that is typically the case for me. I just think that this one is holding up a bit better than most do as the base beer really is such a malty, monster of a beer (though you lose that with the bourbon barrel character layered on top of it). My biggest complaint is the lack of substantial carbonation, a light-medium level of carbonation would be perfect, though it does still do well with the low level that it does have. I really like how complex & integrated the barrel character is here, somehow, though it is the dominant note, it does not overwhelm my palate, and it is not too hot and one dimensional.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.81/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

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Photo of nlmartin
3.82/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was the 2009 vintage. The beer was served in a Snifter.

Appearance: The body of the beer is a dirty brown coloration. Very thin whisp of foam at the top quickly resolves.

Smell: Bourbon, vanilla oak very boozy smelling. A dash of maple a whiff of peat earthyness, caramel, a bit more bourbon.

Taste: The flavor delivers a major vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, bit of peat, and a flash of smoke. The bourbon flavors are present and accounted for in the flavor but not over

Mouthfeel: The body of the beer is a bit thinner than I would have liked. The carbonation is low but not flat. The alcohol is hot to my mouth.

Overall: The beer is very tasty and smells very nice. Normally I dont have a problem with a beer being a bit hot. The beer seems to be not substantial enough to stand up to the barrel. In many ways I think that this beer was diminished by being barrel aged.

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Photo of watermelonman
3.84/5  rDev -10.7%
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!

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Photo of Stevedore
3.84/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle. Poured into a brandy snifter 5/2/2014.

A- Lighter caramel brown body, half finger off-white head, some retention, no lacing.

S- Bourbon. Serious bourbon nose. A bit of distinct toffee malt sweetness, but this is otherwise straight up bourbon. It's interesting but still running a bit hot.

F- More bourbon. I really don't get a lot of sweetness that I can definitively say is from the malt. It's a fairly one-dimensional beer that is heavy on the bourbon sweetness and barrel notes. Certainly not terrible at all, it's in fact quite flavourful.

M- Medium body, lower in carbonation, slick and still a very hot finish.

O- A hard one for me to drink only because I don't enjoy it as much when the bourbon overwhelms everything in the base beer. I can definitely see how some people can really enjoy this, but it's really not for me.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.87/5  rDev -10%
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.

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Photo of bamadog
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Review is from notes taken on 10/13/2009. Thanks to Pwoods for his generosity in sharing something like this. I've never seen this one and may never see it again, so it's pretty special. Pour is from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a very deep brown, bordering on black; body seems nearly opaque and shows the occasional bubble or two popping on the surface; no head to speak of; oily and spotty residue clings thickly to the sides; some sediment lingering on the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Deep, toasty and carmalized maltiness; definite presence of alcoholic vapor; slight woodiness and a bit of a sweet vannilla presence as well.

Taste: Strong presence of stringent alcohol and a hefty dose of wood; malts are much more subdued in the mouth.

Mouthfeel: The body seems a little thinner to me than Alesmith's standard Wee Heavy; still oily and slick and provides plenty of stick throughout the mouth.

Drinkability: ABV is burny and kind of high - definitely a sipper; the maltiness doesn't seem especially well blended with the woodiness and the alcohol, but still pretty solid. I think I actually prefer the regular Wee Heavy from them.

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Photo of maximum12
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big thanks to HopHead84 for this treat - '06 vintage. Served in a goblet.

A - Poured with a faint dime-sized wisp of foam that dissipated pretty quickly. Semi-sold ring around the fringes with nice legs.Transparent dark mahogany color that glows when held to the light.

S - Intense caramel, dark fruits, vanilla and butterscotch, light sherry-like oxidation that works well within the flavor profile. The smell is very boozy, and I suspect the barrel-aging added a few percent above the regular 9.5%.

T - The taste is much smoother, and while it's much more drinkable than I suspected from the smell it smooths out some of the richness and complexity in the aroma. Lots of toffee, tannic finish. I think this might be past its prime.

M - Medium sticky body, low carbonation, mouth-coating film. It's style appropriate, but nothing special.

D - One glass was enough - glad I got to try it, and I'd be interested in trying a new batch, but this seems to be on the decline.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of waltonc
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to urwatuh8 for a great trade involving this brew. Pours a maroon/brown/coke color with tan head. Pretty significant carbonation for a BA brew, is this force carbed? Smell is sweet, bourbony, tangy, slightly sour, shriveled raisins and plums and any other fruit that people dry up. You can definitely tell this is oxidizing. It's a 2006 bottle, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Flavor: more of the above. This is a sweet beverage. Some brown sugar, chocolate, and toffee also present themselves. Body is medium/thick with light/medium carbonation. Tasty brew, but I doubt I'll go out of my way to acquire another bottle of this in the future. Nice to have tried it though.

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Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage. Bottle 98/254. Consumed on 9/27/2009 and then again on 10/10/2009 and poured into a snifter. The beer is dark reddish brown with a frothy one finger off white head.

The nose is prominent caramel malt with subtle sugary notes. Bourbon is noticeable but it's dominant or really even very strong. Some oxidation is present, and it becomes increasingly apparent with warming. A touch of smoke is evident, as well as strong alcohol and subtle dark fruit notes.

The taste is caramel with toffee and a moderate sherry-like oxidation. The malt is rich with a low level of lingering hop bitterness. The beer tastes stronger than the listed 9.5%. I detect raisins, dates, and plums. Booze is strong in the sweet finish. The beer is high medium bodied with an upper level of low carbonation and a thick, smooth mouthfeel.

The first bottle I had was stored in a cupboard so the oxidation was quite pronounced, but the second bottle I drank on 10/10 was my own and had been stored at 55 degrees since the release. Oxidation was still a bit too strong to be complimentary. This beer is past its prime. Drink it now if you have it.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage. Shared by corby112 at ipa247's recent sour tasting. Thanks Craig.

A: Pours a very dark, maroon brown body. Nearly opaque in the glass. It develops a short-lived white head, with a thin collar and scattered film on the top.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, toffee chocolate, oak.

T: It's bourbon-dominant, and you get that right up front, but it is not overwhelmingly bourbon-y. It's quite easy to find the base beer underneath, manifesting as caramel, toffee, chocolate. I pick up hints of smoke that I didn't get in the nose. The finish is nicely tannic with a light spice character, and some vanilla. The astringency of the oak makes me feel the beer is slightly dry.

M: Tannic, slightly dry finish. It's very warm, but not hot.

D: Surprisingly drinkable! It was a little sweet for me, but I'd have no trouble drinking more of it and enjoying it.

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Photo of redsonja
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A; nice dark brown with a little head on top

S; roasted malts,caramel and a hint of cherrys

T; roasted malts, bitter chocolate, coffee

M; the roasted malts stay long in your mouth
and a nice alcohol bitter in the aftertaste

O; nice wee heavy nice roasted malts, chocolate and cherrys in the nose. the wood i did not find in the taste or smell.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage released in 08, bottle 253/254. The first thing I thought when I smelled the open bottle was bourbon. The beer pours a nice brown color and I am pretty sure it looks like the regular wee heavy but I've only had that once. The aromas from the glass seem to be mostly vanilla and bourbon. The taste is pretty good, licorice, vanilla, nutty,fruits different than I remember the regular version but a hint of smoke and peat which I couldn't detect in the regular version. The alcohol is definitely present in this beer. This is a good beer but really only a twist to a beer that was already good to start with. I would definitely purchase this again if I ever had a chance. Damn you Alesmith!!!

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Photo of badboyrsl84
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris Farley I got myself a 5 oz taster of the 09 wee heavy.

Smell - vanilla sweet malty Bourbon oak. I love tge smell of all bourbon aged beers. When it sits I get a little more raisen.

Look - no head cocola colored

Taste - very little carbonation. The Bourbon flavor not as big smell. Lots of Stale malt finish. Bourbon sits around a little with a some malt in the aftertaste.

Overall a good beer not the best aged beer.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2006 vintage

Pours a deep brown color with a half finger of head. At first it looked fairly still, but eventually those bubbles rose up and I breathed a sigh of relief.

The smell is a heavy dose of sweet malts, dark fruit, and barrel complexities. The two most dominating scents seemed to be raisin and toffee. There is some dark bread, vanilla, traces of oak, caramel, and noticeable alcohol. Deeply complex and inviting, this one was a beauty to shove my nostrils into.

The taste is pretty sweet, maybe even more than expected. But it is not cloying in any way. Lots of toffee was picked up from the barrels and not really much alcohol burn. Notes of Coca Cola Classic, vanilla, and prune juice help round out a unique flavor profile that is hard to decipher.

The mouthfeel is the weakest part of this beer. I expect a wee heavy to be full bodied and rich. This is medium bodied and lacks sufficient carbonation giving it a somewhat watery nature. I would never even guess it was a wee heavy if I didn't already know, it comes off as more of a barrel aged English barleywine. I'm sure the time spent in the barrels contributed to the thinning of it.

Drinkability is solid for a beer of this ABV. This could be a world class beer if there was either more body or a better level of carbonation. But as it is, that glaring weakness has a negative effect on the taste and overall enjoyment. Nonetheless, this is still a fine beer and one I'm glad I had the privilege to consume.

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Photo of n2185
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 bottle

A: pours a dark mahogany with barely any trace of khaki head that recedes into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: lots of caramel, vanilla, and bourbon on the nose. There are some light smoky aromas in there as well.

T: similar to the nose, lots of vanilla, caramel, and bourbon. Some slight roasted malt flavors with a light bitterness are mixed in there. Smooth finish with no alcohol burn.

M: medium-thick body with low carbonation, this beer is pretty smooth and creamy, though slighly watery.

O: a good beer, though not extremely complex. Stil, it's quite tasty and still bourbony after nearly 3 years.

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Photo of claspada
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2009 edition courtesy of Ryan from the most recent release.

Pours a typical darker brown with absolutely no head and little lacing around the glass. This is one of the most still beers I have ever seen, usually not my cup of tea, let's see...

Aromas are really boozy and strong initially but not entirely off-putting. Lots of bourbon, sweet caramel and butterscotch. It hard to get any of the base beer as all the aromas are coming straight from the bourbon barrel here.

The tastes begin with sweet dark, caramelized brown sugars. Then you get waves and waves of buttery bourbon and copious amounts of sweet toffee. As it warms the bourbon continues to become increasingly intense. Bourbon bomb, yes indeed. Not hot or alcoholly in the slightest, just tons of bourbon flavors.

The mouthfeel is velvety smooth and slick. Just like silk across the palate. No carbonation; a sipper to say the least.

Overall despite the huge bourbon and booze on the aroma this is surprisingly drinkable. I mean I almost don't consider this beer anymore because the bourbon completely overpowers the Wee Heavy base. I don't think this style of beer lends itself to barrel-aging as well as barleywines and stouts, but that's my two sense. I am torn on this beer because while it was tasty, I could have easily just poured a glass of bourbon and added a dash of the original Wee Heavy with similar results. Probably not worth the time, effort or cost it took to procure and I do not need to revisit anytime soon.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 03/19/11 notes. Big thanks to Lunch for sharing this one; thanks Paul. 2009 vintage, bottle 584 of 972.

a - Pours a dark brown color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of light bourbon, oak, caramel, fruits malts. Good, but much less bourbon than I was expecting, especially considering it's relatively fresh.

t - Tastes of caramel, light bourbon, oak, vanilla, and dark fruits. Again I enjoyed it, but not a lot of bourbon.

m - Light to medium body and low carbonation, pretty smooth body. A bit lighter than I expected.

d - Overall I thought this was a good beer but I was expecting a heavier mouthfeel and more bourbon. I got to try 2 oz.'s or so of an 06 vintage a few months ago and really liked it and remembered it having more bourbon than this newer batch. Still a good beer, but not their best BA beer or vintage.

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Photo of Floydster
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle purchased at the Alesmith brewery several months ago for twenty dollars, 2005 bottle numbered 95 out of 225 I believe but the writing was a bit scratched off so I could be wrong, split amongst my girlfriend's family at her graduation party yesterday, poured into an oversized wine glass

A-Deep brown with some reddish highlights, quite a bit of floaties, absolutely no head, flatter than a board, no lacing or anything

S-Lots of bourbon and oak, whiskey was the dominant aroma by far though, cognac, sweet chocolate, vanilla, pulms, brown sugar, burned malts, fair amount of toffee, caramel, and cake

T-Once I got over the characteristics of the barrel this sat in, malt jumped out at me, sweeter than the regular version with lots of vanilla and caramel, was not as roasty as the standard Wee Heavy, started off with a big boozy whiskey flavor, faded into the malt just mnetioned, then the finish was super spicy with more booze and a burning sensation on the tongue, a little sweet and strong for my palate but a nice flavor overall

M-Spicy, boozy, sweet, and hot mouthfeel, thin to medium body, barrel aging on this just killed all the original carbonation, taste lingered for a long time and got more intense as it warmed

D-Could not drink much more than eight to ten ounces, super heavy on the stomach, alcohol is definitely not hidden, smooth though, and it seems like the ABV would be mucyh higher with the way it tastes

After I was done explaining to various people that this was actually beer and not oaked whiskey like they were all claiming, I was able to do my review, I expected more from this brew but it was still good, bourbon and wood character seemed to just take over the original brew, certainly the strongest tasting scotch ale I have tried next to the Berksire for Julio's, might pay the money for another bottle in the future but I am in no hurry to do so, definitely worth trying if you get the chance though

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AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.