AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company
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Ratings: 305 | Reviews: 108 | Display Reviews Only:
4.43/5 rDev +2.5%
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.
04-04-2008 22:31:54 | More by Halcyondays
3.49/5 rDev -19.2%
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.
01-01-2014 08:53:29 | More by kojevergas
4.45/5 rDev +3%
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.
01-11-2010 02:16:44 | More by corby112
4.59/5 rDev +6.2%
Much thanks to egajdzis for this...
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.
01-31-2014 00:35:26 | More by weeare138
District of Columbia
4.22/5 rDev -2.3%
750 mL gold foil topped bottle, 2006 vintage, #70/254, poured into a tulip and splith with 321Jeff, thanks to whoever traded us this gem.
Appearance is a murky maroon and brown color. Very still, obviously low carbonation, and a very thin off white head that quickly fades to absolutely nothing and no lacing. Aroma is very rich and port like. Strong notes from the barrel of vanilla and bourbon and occasionally raisins, oak, chocolate, etc also assert themselves. Body is lighter side of medium with fine, soft carbonation with a long lasting slightly dry raisin and bourbon finish. Flavor begins with pleasant bourbon sweetness before the base beer with rich malt, toffee, raisin, etc enters and lingers into the finish. Slightly astringent but very little alcohol presence or burn. A very pleasant sipper, mildly complex and delightfully balanced, however maybe a little past it's prime as its lost the robustness and complexity of the regular Wee Heavy.
03-17-2010 23:46:57 | More by yourefragile
4.88/5 rDev +13%
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.
02-27-2007 02:28:35 | More by ppoitras
District of Columbia
4.38/5 rDev +1.4%
Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad!
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.
12-15-2010 01:55:20 | More by Huhzubendah
4.38/5 rDev +1.4%
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!
01-05-2009 01:28:49 | More by Viggo
4.35/5 rDev +0.7%
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.
12-26-2008 19:51:49 | More by DrJay
4.47/5 rDev +3.5%
Bottle shared by Grant - thanks! From the 2009 release, I failed to record the bottle number.
Pours a slightly hazy golden-brown color with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.
Smells of robust caramel malts with large amounts of vanilla and hints of spicy bourbon. Also present are large amounts of sticky toffee and hints of earthy hops that balance it all.
Tastes very similar to how it smells. Thick caramel malt flavors with large amounts of toffee kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are large amounts of vanilla flavors with hints of boozy coconut. Midway through the sip the sweetness from the malts subsides a bit and light earthy hops make an appearance. The hops, vanilla, and caramel malt flavors carry through to a mildly bitter ending.
Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a heavy thickness with smooth carbonation.
Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.
Overall, if there's one thing I know about AleSmith, besides the fact that they don't make a bad beer, it's that they know their way around a barrel. A very well done beer and one that's well worth a shot.
03-05-2011 01:03:01 | More by glid02
4/5 rDev -7.4%
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.
10-17-2009 01:00:13 | More by HopHead84
4.43/5 rDev +2.5%
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.
03-12-2011 16:34:33 | More by TurdFurgison
AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 305 ratings.