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AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

114 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 114
Hads: 379
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 4.19%
Wants: 307
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: 114 | Hads: 379
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (876 characters)

Photo of nickd717
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle via trade, huge thanks to KRAMER17801, who is extremely generous. 2006 vintage.

Pours dark brown, fairly clear, with a small tan head and good lacing.

Great aroma. You can tell this one has some age. Sweet caramel malt and sherry, light peaty smokiness, wood, and old leather. Smells pretty awesome, even if those flavors might sound unappetizing to some.

Flavor is lots of caramel malt along with some toffee notes. Sweet nuttiness, peat, wood, vanilla, and sherry oxidation flavors make this a really interesting and complex beer.

Medium-full bodied and very smooth. Low carbonation, and a little alcohol warming. Long finish.

What an awesome beer. If this wasn't so rare, I'd definitely seek it out again. Easy to drink for what it is. (756 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (857 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage poured into a large wine glass. Pour is a bit cloudy but offers a nice tan cap of foam which reduces to and maintains a light surface carbonation.

Notable barrel and some boozy notes on the aroma. Some vanilla and oak along with a hint of cocoa with a bit of foam after a spin. Pretty well balanced and with no ethanol heat to be found.

Taste follows seamlessly from the nosse with some caramel and bourbony oak on the finish. Finish is long and offers complex fruit and oak nuance. Firmly carbonated for a barrel aged brew, almost spritzy and with a full bodied/rich feel which keeps it away from the vinous side of things.

About three years in the cellar has served this bottle well. Balanced and mellow. And with this year's going on sale tomorrow, it's decision time.

10.0% 2012 Bottle (817 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.33/5  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. (759 characters)

Photo of pwoods
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (560 characters)

Photo of Jredner
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (509 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (382 characters)

Photo of rand
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

From 750 mL bottle to Mikasa tulip glass

A: Deep, murky brown in color, a gentle pour yields a fluffy 2-inch head the dissipates surprisingly quickly, leaving scant lacing.

S: The bourbon notes are at the front of the bouquet, yielding a distinct butterscotch bent. These are pleasantly surrounded by notes of toffee, honeyed multi-grain bread, dried fruits and boozy warmth. Big and bold but singular and pleasant.

T/M: More complex than the nose, the flavors start again with the bold bourbon notes, but these are more candied and buttery than burning. A rich, smooth, almost milky complexion supports the satisfyingly sweet aspects, which are nicely contained by drying wood and alcohol warmth. The flavor profile is big, but never splashy or discordant, and as malty as this is (typical of the style) it's never treacly. Finishes long and sweet, with subtle residue coating the palate.

The beer equivalent of comfort food. It's rich, velvety texture and satisfyingly sweet undertones are nice way to relax with a beer before bed. (1,038 characters)

Photo of pmarlowe
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. (738 characters)

Photo of Urbancaver
4.3/5  rDev 0%
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 (300 characters)

Photo of Sarlacc83
4.3/5  rDev 0%
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. (697 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (742 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (886 characters)

Photo of GarrettB
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

September 12th, 2013 - The Wee Heavy occupies a wee space in my heart. AleSmith sometimes feels like the last tattered bastion for dark brews in San Diego. When I heard they brewed a batch in bourbon barrels, I knew I need to try a sip, or ideally more than just a sip. It's like seeking medicine after weeks and months of IPAs, hoping to slake my thirst for the deep, dark stuff. The bourbon aged version of the Wee Heavy is about on par with the original in appearance. It looks like a cloudy soda, with big, frog-eye bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass near the top. But the aroma makes it clear that this is not the same beer as before. Immediately I recognize (compelled to recognize) that this is punchy brew, strong and heavily laced with bourbon notes. It's tough, redolent, but not too sharp or raw. There's refinement in there, like the $30 plus bottles one buys to impress a father figure. Also in there are notes of old houses, old furniture, wood, and malt. There's beer in there, but it's staring back at me with a heavy, leather and antique mask. The body is sudsy and medium in weight - not too sharp, not too loud. It takes awhile for the booze to settle in, and once it does, those bourbon notes dominate. But then subtler tastes of Scotch and peat mingle with the bourbon, creating a new and intoxicating harmony. When the dark malty notes pike on, this beer turns into a warm, smoothing and relaxing brew, delivering heady and aged alcoholic notes all the way to a low grumbling and murmuring aftertaste. It's a decidedly different beer than the raw Wee Heavy, but well worth the expense. All that's left is finding a cabin in the forest to pair this with. (1,683 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (959 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (796 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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!

Tried again 12.29.14 and more carbed. Tasty and changed ratings to reflect new value. (511 characters)

Photo of levifunk
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
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. (620 characters)

Photo of mabermud
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2009 Bottle

Watered down brown and pink body.
Sweet smell. Vanilla, oak, caramel...
Primarily caramel, bourbon, and vanilla taste.
Short finish. Dry. Very smooth.

Overall - Classy. I think this was past it's prime. (220 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
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. (870 characters)

Photo of Pehlman
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
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! (715 characters)

Photo of badbeer
4.2/5  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! (418 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
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. (683 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade with swingracex. 750 ml bottle into snifter; 2013 vintage, bottled on 2/11/2014. Pours hazy nearly opaque dark brown color with a small foamy khaki head with poor retention, that reduces to a small ring of lace that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining a thin cap. Aromas of big caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, prune, fig, date, licorice, light chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, light butterscotch/coconut/leather, and toast/oaky earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel notes; with good strength. A fair amount of noticeable alcohol, but subsides as it reaches room temperatures. Taste of big caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, raisin, plum, fig, date, licorice, light chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, light butterscotch/coconut/leather, and toast/oaky earthiness. Light amount of tannic oak bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, raisin, plum, licorice, light chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, light butterscotch/coconut/leather and oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great malt/barrel balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth and moderately creamy/slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome barrel aged scotch ale style. All around great complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering. (1,804 characters)

AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.