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AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel AgedAleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged

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

263 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 263
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 8.33%


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: 263 | Reviews: 103 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.83/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2013 01:38:48 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.95/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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!

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2008 10:42:59 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2011 23:30:51 | More by womencantsail
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Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2012 20:39:44 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2010 02:39:10 | More by Thorpe429
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ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2008 21:59:10 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2009 00:33:13 | More by MasterSki
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2010 16:40:53 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.8/5  rDev -12%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 03:51:09 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

25.4 oz. bottle, 2006 Barrel-Aged Vintage, #224/254, procured in the April 1st, 2008 release, drunk 4/4/08

A: Pours a dark brown, with a small white head, good retention, and great thick lacing.

S: Maple syrup, cognac, vanilla, Madeira wine, peat smoke.

T: Definitely a peaty maltiness, huge brown sugar notes, hint of Islay whisky and vanilla. Good amount of lactic acidity, probably from the barrel aging, also has a really good long lasting aftertaste you get from a good whisky, really tasty stuff.

M: Very smooth, has a softness in its character making it very easy to drink, nice prickly carbonation.

D: I definitely think the Barrel Aging has improved the Wee Heavy from Alesmith, which was already a great beer. It gave it more complexity and in the end made it much more interesting, I'll definitely buy another bottle or 2 at the next release, a beer that certainly grows on you as you drink it.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2008 22:31:54 | More by Halcyondays
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mdfb79

New York

4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2011 17:39:41 | More by mdfb79
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kojevergas

Texas

3.49/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

B/B-

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 08:53:29 | More by kojevergas
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BigFish for sending this to me in one of my first trades.

This review is for the 2006 vintage, bottle 150/254.

Pours a very dark chestnut brown color that's completely opaque with dark ruby/mahogany edges when held to a light source and a thin half finger light beige head that quickly fades into a thin lasting ring.

Amazing complex aroma with lots of smokey roasted chocolate malt, caramel, toffee, roasted coffee bean, licorice, earthy oak, vanilla and a very prominent bourbon presence.

Slightly hot medium body with a nice, silky viscous malt presence with lots of chocolate, roasted coffee bean, burnt toast, caramel and licorice. Very roasty with subtle hops and a huge bourbon presence that is slightly hot and somewhat dominates the flavor. It isn't too overpowering however, allowing the other notes to shine. Slight tannis and a heavy oak and vanilla presence. Absolutely delicious! Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2010 02:16:44 | More by corby112
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.88/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle acquired from an SD friend in my time of need. Thanks for the opportunity, Scott. 2004 vintage, #33 of 234, gold foiled cap.

Poured in a Rapscallion glass, poured with a 1/8" tan head over the brownish burgundy brew. Bubbles quickly retreated to the edges, leaving a few bubbles in the center, and a light film elsewhere. Aroma is dark fruits, leathery lightly smoky malts, and soft intensity of rounded edges alcohol. Taste is <wow> super rich maltiness upfront, smoke wisps again floating around, with a dry booziness in the middle that almost takes your breath away with its near evaporation, and closes with a return of the deep malt, warming all the way down, and even leaves the gums a little numb. Mouthfeel is velvet smooth, and retains ample carbonation for a BA brew. Drinkability is high because I want to enjoy this again, but know that I probably won't.

Feels weird to enjoy a brew that people would pay hundreds of dollars for on eBay, since I didn't and couldn't pay that much for it. Just have to bask in my fortunateness and luck.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2007 02:28:35 | More by ppoitras
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2014 00:35:26 | More by weeare138
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml BA version, big thanks to PHawk for hooking me up at a DLD trade, side by side with the regular version, part of return of the DrJay epic weekend tasting.

Pours like the non BA version, lightly hazed dark reddish brown, big thick tan head forms, drops a nice amount of lacing, good retention, forms a solid ring. Smell is great, bourbon, toffee, vanilla and oak, iron, lots of fruit, lots of fig and raisin, brown sugar, bread, real nice and integrated. Taste is figs and bourbon up front, toffee, oak, butterscotch/toffee, alcohol, melons, vanilla, great maltiness, some sour oak character in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, really smooth, slightly dry finish, some oaky tannins going on. Very well integrated, Alesmith certainly know how to barrel age to perfect, great beer. Thanks Parker!

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2009 01:28:49 | More by Viggo
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

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

2008 Biergotter Tasting - Day 3. Big thanks to Viggo for cracking this one. 2006, bottle 56/254.
Dark brown, lightly hazed, with coppery and purple highlights. A fine collar of beige bubbles formed after the pour and produced a fair bit of spotty lacing. Good head retention. Aromas were of caramel and plums, toffee, bourbon and booze, vanilla, wood, and tobacco leaf. Low bitterness with a rich flavour. Sweet plums, chocolate covered raisins, sweet cherries and malt, a bit of woody oak, milder alcohol than expected, and a little tartness in the finish. Leaning towards full bodied with low carbonation, very fine bubbles, alcohol warmth, and a dry finish. This stuff was really good, a nice combination of fruit and barrel notes. Well balanced and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2008 19:51:49 | More by DrJay
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

District of Columbia

4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad!

Vintage 2006
Bottle 246 / 254

A: Dark chestnut brown hued, with an 1/8" of brown head that leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

S: Aromas of smoke, peat, caramels, and a hint of the aging process, but not in any sort of negative way.

T: What a great beer. It's smoky and malty, with a myriad of flavors blending together very gracefully. This Scotch ale has really mellowed with age, as it's so effortless to consume and enjoy. It's slightly sweet and has hints of liquor, but it's not cloying or hot. Kudos to Alesmith - this is an exceptional beer.

M: Buttery, creamy and smooth on the palate. There is still a healthy level of carbonation present, but this beer has a silky smooth consistency about it.

D: A very enjoyable experience. If you are fortunate enough to happen across this brew, you will most certainly enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2010 01:55:20 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2009 01:00:13 | More by HopHead84
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2008 21:46:26 | More by largadeer
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BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2013 01:11:14 | More by BeerFMAndy
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DefenCorps

Oregon

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

Wow wow wow. Thank you so much, Greg, this along with the 06 silk screen BA Speedway was a definite treat this past weekend. This was the 06 release

Gorgeous clear ruby red with red highlights. A thin beige head is present but doesn't stick around too long. The nose is just flat out fabulous. An exceptional combination of oxidation, tobacco, caramel, bourbon, vanilla, oak, charred wood, rum and raisins and sherry. This really is a beer of exceptional depth. The palate doesn't quite live up, though. Opening up with a ton of caramel, cherry there is some toffee, vanilla and bourbon mid palate, and it sticks around until a long and exquisite finish with tobacco, caramel and sherry. Medium in body with mild carbonation, this is extremely smooth and drinkable. Unfortunately, it's going to be a while - if ever - that I get to try this again.

**Edit 16 Sept 2011**

The other night, I split a bottle of the 09 vintage that I received from peteinsd with some friends. Very briefly, this was excellent. Fruity with raisins, port, honey bourbon and vanilla, the balance between the base beer and the barrels is exceptionally done here. Fantastic. 4.5/4.5/4.5/5/4.5

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2009 11:51:52 | More by DefenCorps
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gford217

Georgia

4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Derek for this 750mL bottle, 2005 vintage #181/222.

Pours a deep, clear copper with a very fleeting, bubbly tan head that dissipated immediately and left no lacing.

The aroma is very good with more bourbon than I was expecting. However, even with the big bourbon presence, there are plenty of signs of the underlying beer with caramel, toffee and lots of dark fruits.

The taste has a huge bourbon sting up front and in the finish. In between there is the sweetness of caramel, toffee, raisins and some brown sugar. The bourbon starts to meld much more smoothly with the flavor as this warms and adds plenty of oak and vanilla from the wood as well.

The mouthfeel is very slick with minimal carbonation. The barrel presence is very evident, both with the boozy burn and the dryness of the finish.

This is a very boozy Scotch ale that will be tasty for those folks who really like a bourbon-heavy taste. Another world class brew from Alesmith.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2009 03:06:23 | More by gford217
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TurdFurgison

Ohio

4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle from the most recent release (I think), didn't get the bottle number. Graciously shared by jale (thanks a ton Jim!).

This pours a deep brown color, strongly translucent, with a nice tan cap. The aroma is otherworldly, very very inviting. Toasted and roasted malts, very sweet caramel, smoked malt or peat, and very well integrated yet rich bourbon. Wow, I could (and did) spend a lot of time just sniffing the beer. So good.

It tastes just as it smells, so many flavors and all of them coming in strong. The strongest components are sweet malts and bourbon, and the smoke is more of a complement to the other flavors, just adding a little something rather than defining the overall character. Toffee, dark fruits like plums or raisins, a little alcohol heat, cocoa, bourbon, smoke. Everything is there and it all works.

Somewhat heavy body, as befits a drink this flavorful, and decent carbonation even after its time in the barrel. This is a beer that I will always look for from now on. This and the BA Speedway.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2011 16:34:33 | More by TurdFurgison
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AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.