AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company
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Ratings: 304 | Reviews: 108 | Display Reviews Only:
3.83/5 rDev -11.1%
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.
01-22-2013 01:38:48 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.38/5 rDev +1.6%
Huge thanks to Brad for sharing this bottle; I'd been wanting to try this for quite some time. 2006 vintage. Bottle 246/254. Served in a snifter.
Pours a moderately-dark brown color with a single-finger tan head and a bit of light lacing and a thin collar. Nose brings quite a bit of caramel, barrel character, dark fruits, and some more bourbon. A bit of booze, though it's quite welcome in the state it's in.
Flavor is really quite exceptional with a really nice barrel character. Really smooth and mellow. Beautiful warmth in the finish coming from the alcohol. Slight sweetness comes alongside the dark fruit character. Medium body and quite complex. Good carbonation. I've been waiting quite a long time to try this one, and it certainly was not a disappointment.
12-19-2010 02:39:10 | More by Thorpe429
3.95/5 rDev -8.4%
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.
09-17-2012 20:39:44 | More by Phyl21ca
4.95/5 rDev +14.8%
Wow, what can I say about this one. Bottle #205/234 from the 2006 edition. Needless to say I am absolutely thrilled to be getting to open this one. I wish I had someone to share it with, unfortunately this one is going to have to be handled on my own, well fortunately for me anyway J I had this sitting in the fridge for a good little bit until I decided to open it up on a whim last night. I let it warm up to around cellar temp before I decided to unwrap the gold foil and pop the cap open on this one, letting loose all the mayhem that ensued. The glass of choice for this one would of course be my brand new and now personal favorite 22oz Terrapin snifter, which I am finding myself use for just about everything now.
Appearance - The pour was nice with a very opaque, deep, dark, mahogany brown color coming out of the bottle. Nothing really spectacular as far as the head goes, with really only the slightest crown of tan coming over the top for a few fleeting moments before vanishing almost as quickly as it came into a thin line around the rim. No side glass lace either as this one was looking more like a motionless abyss.
Smell - The aroma was breathtaking. The rich smell of Bourbon was almost overwhelming at first. I had to really let it breath before I could take in just how good this one actually was. Really full aroma, one of the most complex I have ever come across. The barrel aging has transformed this beer into something that is nowhere close to the way it once was. Huge bourbon smells now mixing with a nice oak like aroma, hints of vanilla and earthy tones, the malt from the original gone. Just breathtaking the transformation that took place on this one.
Taste - The flavor was just a beautiful continuation of the aroma. It started out with a huge rush of bourbon, a touch hot, but endlessly complex. Letting it warm brought out gorgeous notes of vanilla, some dark fruit, perhaps raisins, and a good touch of what almost seemed like peppery spices as well. Really just fantastic. Nice oak flavor, barrel aging really doing a job here now. The old Wee Heavy is long gone, now being replaced by this masterful barrel aged beer. I was enormously impressed here and to be honest have to score it perfectly just based on the transformation.
Mouthfeel - It may have been low on carbonation, but the feel of this one did not suffer at all. It was almost like a perfectly aged old ale by now. This was really just so silky smooth, a full feel on the tongue that just lingered on forever. I don't think it could have gotten much better then this.
Drinkability - What is there really to say that I haven't already. I sipped on this one in my glass for a few hours I think. Never really getting tired of it, and I actually was a touch sullen when the last drop eroded away. It was just the perfect nightcap. There was no way though that it was only 9%, way underrated here. This was easily north of 12% and you could feel it, this one really started to put a hurting on me after a little while, but still, it was tremendously good and really in a class of its own.
Overall I thought this was easily one of the best beers I have ever had. The only thing it lacked was a little bit better initial presentation, but aside from that, it was just sublime. I could have had a dozen bottles and would open one every night. I just think it was amazing the transformation this one undertook. Some Barrel agings just do not go over well, this one on the other hand just went perfectly. I could not have envisioned it being any better. Just perfect I would love to have it again, and can only imagine what the Speedway must be like, if I can ever manager to get a hold of a bottle of that one!
05-29-2008 10:42:59 | More by mikesgroove
4.13/5 rDev -4.2%
Bottle from the 2009 vintage shared by Tim. Thanks!
A: Not the prettiest looking beer. A turbid brown/amber color with a small off-white head.
S: The wonders of barrel aging are immediately on display. Rich bourbon, vanilla, and maple syrup with just a hint of the peat from the base Wee Heavy. A little big of chocolate along with plenty of caramel. Oh, a lot of bourbon, too.
T: Intense maple syrup flavor right away. Very sweet with caramel, vanilla, and toffee being prominent contributors as well. Although there is a lot of bourbon flavor, it's not overly boozy. Mild peat and smoke flavors, but they're sort of overwhelmed.
M: Medium to full in body with a surprisingly ample amount of carbonation for a beer of this nature.
O: Just fantastic stuff. I'd be happy to drink this any day, though after having the previous release last year, I'd say not the best candidate for aging.
04-04-2011 23:30:51 | More by womencantsail
4.38/5 rDev +1.6%
2005 Vintage - Bottle #112 (of 222).
Appearance: Pours a dark reddish-brown body with a small, tight, off-white head.
Smell: Ah, the expressive aroma of oh-so delicious bourbon with its notes of vanilla, oak, and brown sugar. Plus, there's also nuts, fruit (even raspberry), spice, and a truck load of malt.
Taste: Rich, creamy, candylike maltiness with literally tons of toothsome sweetness. Slight praline taste. As much punchy bourbon flavor possible without becoming unpleasant and excessive. Quite fruity, with flavors of the typical dark fruits plus, maybe, those raspberries from the aroma. Smokey peat component. Dash of spice. Warming, drying, vanilla finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel.
Drinkability: Very tasty bourbony boost to what was already an excellent beer. Happiness really is a choice.
05-29-2008 21:59:10 | More by ChainGangGuy
4.47/5 rDev +3.7%
Appearance: 2006 vintage, bottle 63 of 254, drank side by side with the '06 barrel-aged Old Numbskull. Dark ruddy brown in color, opaque except for some slight transparency around the edges. A thin tan head forms from a vigorous pour, settling quickly to a ring. This is slightly more carbonated than the barrel-aged Old Numbskull, but it's by no means bubbly.
Smell: Rich and malty with a big oak barrel presence. Nutty, toasty, semi-sweet. Hints of vanilla and figs. This has a cleaner aroma than the barrel-aged Old Numbskull.
Taste & mouthfeel: Chewy toasted malt, tobacco and earth, chocolate and vanilla, huge oak flavor but not overtly bourbony. Malty, but drier than I was expecting. This is a mellow beer to begin with, but barrel aging has smoothed it out even more. No heat whatsoever despite the high ABV, and the low carbonation makes for a silky mouthfeel. Excellent stuff, not quite as outstanding as BA Speedway, but clearly better than BA Old Numbskull.
10-02-2008 21:46:26 | More by largadeer
3.9/5 rDev -9.5%
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.
10-11-2009 00:33:13 | More by MasterSki
4.25/5 rDev -1.4%
Bottle shared by Brad at a recent tasting, 2006 vintge. About 250 of these were bottled, I'm super honored to get a pour of this. Beer is dark brown and pretty hazy with a thin off white / tan head of small and medium bubbles. Agitation coaxes a decent head out of the beer but it does not have good staying power, minimal lacing.
Aroma is very bourbon filled. It's sweet and has some herbal spice to it but mostly liquor. Smells awesome honestly, exactly what I hoped it would smell like.
Beer is medium bodied and really creamy. There is minimal peat in the mid-palate and rounds out nicely to finish the beer. The lead off is a little sweet and very bourbon-y. It is not very hot, just a nice beer all around. The flavors walk that line between tasting like liquor and being liquor. I would have more of this if that were possible. As it is now I'll just have to lean on my memory.
12-14-2010 16:40:53 | More by drabmuh
4.05/5 rDev -6%
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.
03-21-2011 17:39:41 | More by mdfb79
3.8/5 rDev -11.8%
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.
01-10-2008 03:51:09 | More by Gueuzedude
AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 304 ratings.