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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

265 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 265
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: 265 | Reviews: 103 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Jredner
Jredner

Florida

4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is dominated by bourbon, but I can detect ample caramel malt, dark fruits, toasted toffee and mild notes of licorice. Body is dark brown, not muddy, and holds a diminishing, frothy tan head. Holds flavors of raisin, stewed prunes, licorice, oak, caramel, vanilla, bourbon and a massive and sustained malt backbone that can more than stand up to the many different flavor components. It’s a joy to drink and feels very nice on the mouth. It only has the faintest suggestion of smoked malt in the finish.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2006 18:48:39 | More by Jredner
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wetherel for this great bottle.

750ml capped green bottle poured into a little snifter.

A: Pours a deep murky brown completely opaque. Moderate head on the pour without much retention. Some spotty lacing.

S: Deep woody and earthy aromas. Bourbon is there but not huge, adding some heat and alcohol depth.

T/M: Lots of rich, deep malts. Very earthy, fiberous wood. Bourbon is very tasty with light heat. No smoke or peat which is good here. Carbonation is pretty low and I think it could use a bit more.

D: Definitely a slow sipper, tasty though.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2009 21:18:31 | More by pwoods
Photo of wethorseblanket
wethorseblanket

California

4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Shared by Henry - thanks.

A: Pours a blackish dark brown with a fine light tan head and not much lace.

S: Nose is old wood with traces of smoke, bourbon, and vinous.

T: Big maple notes up front followed closely by boozy bourbon and layers of grainy malt.

M: Creamy, rich and chewy. A little sweet maple syrup.

O: Decadent and a slow sipper. Enjoyed by all.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 03:25:50 | More by wethorseblanket
Photo of pmarlowe
pmarlowe

District of Columbia

4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. On tap at the tasting room during the 2013 BA Grand Cru release.

A: Pours a deep black with a ring of tan head. No lacing, pretty extensive retention.

S: Light to moderate bourbon, dark toasted oak, and a touch of vanilla, very dark fruit (blackcurrant, dark grape), and lots of rich caramel.

T: Tasty oak and malt, fruit is pretty faint under the barrel notes, sweet toffee. The light sweetness really enhances the flavor.

M: Medium-full body and very light carbonation. Super smooth and a little sticky. Alcohol is very well hidden.

O: Very well balanced and tasty, although the base beer does not show through very much in the flavor. That being said, this is nowhere near the bourbon bomb that the last vintage was.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 14:42:47 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big ups to Jason for busting this out at the Thai appreciation week tasting.

A - Dark brown beer that's pretty opaque. Tan head, no real stick left on the sides.

S - Great smelling beer with a lot of caramel, vanilla, and nice bourbon. I really don't care for the smell of Scotch Ale, but this pretty good.

T - Well, Scotch Ale, Wee Heavy, whatever it is, this is much better than what I was expecting. Great caramel, bourbon, little butterscotch and some roast. Bourbon is mild and adds flavor, not hot at all.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, quite smooth.

O - Really like this one a lot. Flavorful, smooth, easy to drink. Shocked, as this is one of my least favorite styles, guess the barrel-aging really paid off in this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 04:08:34 | More by AgentZero
Photo of writerLJBerg
writerLJBerg

Oregon

4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Courtesy of Shane. Many thanks. Reviewed from notes.

A: Very dark mahogany that swallows the light and makes this seem still and serene. Fluffy, bubbly head fades to a drifting pond. Good legs.

N: Wow. Caramel and vanilla, oak and coconut hit me from a few feet away. Bourbon soaked cherries. Some brown sugar and clover. Coriander.

T: Smoked sweetness and tons of toffee. Lots of it. Bitterness seems nonexistent, but this never risks becoming cloying.

M: Lots of alcohol. Stick and medium bodied.

O: This is one of my favorite beers, because this is always what I hope a BA Barleywine is going to taste like, even though it's not one. Gotta hand it to Alesmith, they do barrel aging right.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2011 19:34:19 | More by writerLJBerg
Photo of Urbancaver
Urbancaver

Ohio

4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at Jackie os. Thanks!
2009 vintage

Pours a gorgeous yellowed brown. Brown with a nice tint. Not really any head. Smells bourbon heavy and a bit boozy. Really nice nose. Tastes boozy and malty. The bourbon is fairly subtle on the tongue compared to the nose. Smooth and rich. Quite good

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2011 14:37:26 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #500! Thanks to blatantdream for busting out this surprise.

Brownish pour, notably lacking head of any sort. Decidedly darker than most Scotch ales. Aroma starts off muted with bourbon and malts at center stage but opens up as the brew warms. Rich, complex bouquet of scotch, spices, butter, and toffee at room temperature.

Sweet malts and bourbon dance on my tongue as the beer's other flavors arrive and add exceptional depth. Butterscotch, vanilla, brown sugar, more bourbon, maple, and a touch of smoke make their presence known. Booze complements the flavor profile and soothes my throat as everything descends. Creamy body delivers the goods.

Another great BA beer from AleSmith. With the exception of BA Speedway, I have yet to taste one of their BA brews that isn't outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2012 19:50:07 | More by brystmar
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 cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks mike! consumed on 8/8.
2009 vintage

a - dark maroon with no head, some bubbles.

s - pretty hot. wee heavy/old ale-ish. booze tickles my nose. woody caramel toffee.

t - big booze. classic wee heavy beneath. caramel, nutmeg, bourbon and some vanilla. maple.

m - extremely smooth. chewy. bourbony. lots of sediment.

o - overall, pretty good, but nothing mind blowing.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2012 01:56:28 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle from 2009 - Thanks to pushkinwow

Appearance - Hazy brown colour with a below average size fizzy/frothy off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for only a short while.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, butterscotch/caramel, chocolate

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts mixed with some caramel/butterscotch. There is also a bit of a dark fruit taste and a slight woodiness with hints of chocolate. It ends with a malty dark fruit aftertaste.

Overall - Very smooth and extremely easy to drink. The best beer I've had from Alesmith hands down.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2012 15:48:32 | More by spinrsx
Photo of badbeer
badbeer

Iowa

4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 Bottle:

Very dark amber color with an off-white head. Head quickly disappeared and left very little retention. Smell is boozy, caramel, toffee, and butterscotch. Taste has caramel, butterscotch, bourbon, smoke, dark fruits, and vanilla. Carbonation was light, body was medium. A very nice barrel aged beer. I'd love to drink this more regularly, but obviously it isn't possible. Thanks to doubleo for the bottle!

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2009 04:06:18 | More by badbeer
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2010 23:46:57 | More by yourefragile
Photo of Pehlman
Pehlman

California

4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to my best pal, OlieIPA for opening this gem on his 25th birthday!

Pours a thick black body with a light golden copper head. Good foamy lacing clings to the side of the glass.

The nose is thick with vanilla, oak, sugar, and alcohol. I feel like I could take a big bite out of it.

The malt hits first and slowly fades into a flurry of sweet, soft vanilla. Light hints of fruit and some complexity along with a touch of spice.

The mouth-feel is perfect. Soft yet structured.

I've been waiting for this beer for a long time and it sure doesn't
dissapoint. The barrel may be a little overwhelming here but it's still a delicious beer that I am lucky to try.

Thanks Olie! And happy birthday, dude!

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2011 23:15:50 | More by Pehlman
Photo of ChadQuest
ChadQuest

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at the Alewatcher/Oreo Extravaganza.
Was rather hazy much like the other Alesmith BA beers tasted, the color was like the outside of an almond is the best way i can describe it, it was that shade of brown.
The aroma and flavors had elements of spices incorperated with nuts and toffee that were cut into by alcohol, take all those and let them meld and bottle it. The heat was my personal favorite aspect of this bottle as it was enough to be noticibly warming physically, something you felt in the back of your throat after a sip. not hot like a bourbon but warming, and enought to cut and meld all the flavors together, i personally really like that heat, especially when it is this smooth.
The mouthfeel was full bodied and allowed for the pour to be savored for a good amount of time, robustly compacted.
Really good beer, i like what the barrels did.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 07:43:38 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of levifunk
levifunk

Wisconsin

4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage.

Had this fresh and then brought it to Alewatcher's Bday.

Fresh it was a bit of a let down as it was sooo boozy. Then a few months later having it again, the booze had subsided enough that it was quite enjoyable. Definitely going to let my other bottle site for a few years.

a - carbonation is on the lower side, but not out of range.
s/t - bourbon dominates....even with booze subsided. Oak, vanilla, and toffee. Caramel and general scotch ale flavor is all thats picked up from the base beer...which ironically i've never had!
m - medium-heavy body. carbonation keeps it from being too cloyingly thick.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2011 20:16:01 | More by levifunk
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Thirstybird for sharing this brew. 750ml capped and foiled bottle. 2009 vintage, bottle #678/972. Pours a deep mahogany, almost brown, with no head and no lacing. Nose expresses bourbon, light smoke, and a buttery character; all on malty backbone. Taste consistent with nose. Some vinous notes and a light acidity are also revealed, as well as a trace of maple syrup. The buttery character present in the nose also manifests itself in the flavor profile. There's also more of a barrel presence. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a still carbonation and a slightly oily texture - this beer could use just a bit of carbonation in my opinion. What a great brew that's both easy drinking and complex. That said, I can't say that the BA version is better than the standard (which I also really enjoy); however, it's quite different although nonetheless enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2011 01:25:31 | More by Jwale73
Photo of hopdog
hopdog

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. 2005, bottle # 79/222.

Poured a deep brown color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of vanilla, oak, earthy, bourbon, chocolate, some peat, and caramel. Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, woody, earthy, toffee, nutty, and chocolate. Thanks for bringing this Jason!

Notes from 12/17/07

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2008 21:30:41 | More by hopdog
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage

A - Mahogany, near ebony brown, not much head, mostly a ring, lots of cascading bubbles when tilting the glass.

S - Vanilla, wood, booze and sweet malt barely coming through it.

T - Taste pretty much emulates smell. Almost perfectly. Would have scored higher if carb was more.

M - Good balance considering the big flavors, just wish a little more carbonation.

D - For being so big, it is pretty drinkable!

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2011 02:17:11 | More by srandycarter
Photo of jwolfie70
jwolfie70

California

4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This beer tastes completely different than the non-barrel aged version. This beer poured a dark brown with little to no head (and by the end of the bottle, no carbonation). Taste and smell had a lot of vanilla, bourbon, caramel, and prunes/figs. As it warmed the beer took on more and more of prune flavors and was completely flat by the time we finished. A great sipping beer, but you will be hard pressed to finish a bottle by yourself.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2008 19:18:39 | More by jwolfie70
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
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened up one of these puppies today. Poured a dark brown with little to no head.

Big flavor/smell. The "wee heavy" base is almost entirely eclipsed by the flavors added by the aging process. Vanilla, huge, huge bourbon and caramel, and prunes/figs really round out this brew. Almost no head, and by the end of the bottle no carbonation either. Gigantic flavor: one of the strongest tasting beers I've ever enjoyed. Not the most drinkable of beers, I must admit, but a rare treat. A bit too much bourbon, though, it is a bourbon bomb.

**I'm sorry, but there is no way this beer is only 10%ish alcohol. It's three ... maybe four percentage points above that, at least.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2007 03:13:12 | More by Overlord
Photo of seeswo
seeswo

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage. Pours with pretty low carbonation, looks an even brown color with a touch of tan head. Looks fine. The smell is big bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar and wood with just a touch of smoked malts. Bourbon, oak and smoked/roasted malt blend nicely. Finishes a bit boozy in flavor (not heat) and with some oak. Seems like it could use some time to round out the finish. Lower carbonation and medium body. Enjoyable BA scotch ale. Not as good as I thought it was going to be, but still quite good.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2011 22:59:59 | More by seeswo
Photo of billshmeinke
billshmeinke

California

4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My 400th review. Poured into a Duvel tulip. 2009 vintage. #848/972

Pours a deep dark brown hue. So dark it's impenetrable to light. Some mahogany hues at the very outer edges. Almost no head. Just bubbles at first, but with some swirling the bubbles turn into whispy foam on top.

Smells of vanilla oak, ripe dark fruits, vinous notes as well. Also, some booze on the nose. The nose is surprisingly and disappointingly mellow.

Tastes of dark fruits, oak, light tannins, dusty cocoa, port wine, chocolate fudge, some bourbon and booze as well as suggestions of vanilla via the oak.

Almost no carbonation. Pretty full bodied. Mellow and well integrated. Warming booze on the tongue.

A sipper, as the booze is pretty noticeable. Surprisingly mellow at the same time. The extremely low carbonation also works really well in this.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2011 01:49:59 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jason for sharing. 2009 vintage. 750ml bottle poured into wine glass (not sure of the # on the bottle).

A - Pours a mirky/muddy brown, small amount of off-white head, some bubbles here and there on top.

S - Sweet dark fruits, bourbon, oak, caramel, vanilla.

T - Sweet caramels, oak, smooth bourbon note. The bourbon is really nice and smooth, which is nice considering this is a recent release.

M - Medium, light carbonation, smooth and creamy.

D - Really enjoyed this one and was glad to try it. I would still like to try an older vintage, but I hear they're becoming oxidized. Def would try this one again!

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2011 17:49:12 | More by Sean9689
AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 265 ratings.