1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

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

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

295 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 295
Reviews: 105
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 8.1%
Wants: 297
Gots: 116 | FT: 8
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 295 | Reviews: 105 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bierguy5
Bierguy5

Ohio

4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mcallister for sharing this gem. 750 ml, 2005 vintage, bottle 176/222. A murky mahogany color, with very little head. Not a huge shock for this beast.

Wonderful aroma going on here. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, a hint of smoke, and a good amount of caramel malt. Some alcohol is noticable as well, but not overly burning. I took about 5 minutes to do nothing but smell this beauty.

Good amount of sweetness up front. Bursting with malt and booze up front. Heavey amount of caramel, with minimal fruit. Great bourbon, woody oak and vanilla notes. Long lingering warming finish.

Good body, low carbonation. Lots of complex flavors and aromas working here. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2008 00:33:43 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of hoppymeal
hoppymeal

Michigan

4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

05 Vintage, #184 of 222. Pours still, just a few bubbles hanging around the edge of the glass, regardless of how vigorously I pour. Brown and ruddy in color, a decent haze of sediment. Aroma is outstanding bourbon barrel characteristics, sweet vanilla, great woody notes, big and bourbony alcohol, some aged, worn leather, salty grilled meat and dark rich fruity maltiness all combine in the complex aroma. Taste follows with some nice oaky woodiness, strong, sweet vanilla, only hints of the malty wee heavy style that lay beneath. Good alcohol bite and a dry oakiness wind up the taste. Slightly slick feel on top of the tongue, some peppery alcohol before a warming alcohol breaks into the party and thins things out. Somehat drying in the finish. Outstanding beer, alesmith is doing the barrel ageing very well. Would love to see some barrel aged blends some day from this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2008 02:28:28 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of BeerFMAndy
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
Photo of kleffman
kleffman

California

4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hand numbered bottle #161 split with a friend, and poured into the Alesmith tulip glass they sold a couple years ago.

Immediately upon opening the barrel and bourbon aromas attacked me. Poured a dark reddish brown with just a bit of head. Small bubbles rise to the surface just fast enough to hold this thin head. When swirled in the glass I could create an amazing pillow on top and unleash the aromas of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and alcohol.

Where did the Wee Heavy go? Totally a different beer, just like the Barrel Aged Decadence was. Incredible flavors of dark fruits, maybe overripe grapes. Vanilla, bourbon, caramel, raisin. Extremely complex. Let it sit on your tongue and it evolves into different things never before experienced in a beer.

Actually quite a nice mouthfeel. Unlike the previous reviewer this had some carbonation that tingled the mouth a little. Not high carbonation, but just enough to unleash it's aromas.

This is drinkable in the sense that I could keep sipping this all night long. It's really a finely crafted masterpiece. As mentioned below, this is second only to the Decadence old ale that was barrel aged. Glad I waited in line for this gem.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2007 18:42:24 | More by kleffman
Photo of mcallister
mcallister

Ohio

4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 bottle 176 of 222

Pours a very acrid uncarbonated lazy shade of dirty russett. Not much of any head...at all.

This smells amazing. Some may say too much in way of bourbon and oak I say bring it on!! Huge vanillan oak with thick bourbon, cream fresh aroma, more charred wood character, milk chocolate, brandy reduced fig, stale malts, roasted malt, hints of peat and smoke with more dark fruits hidden beneath the thick woody aromatics.

Big beer but sightly thin in the middle of the mouthfeel. Long never ending finish that shows loads of residual sugar, brown sugar brandy reduced dried fruits really shine through on the finish with a slight warming alcohol. Much sweeter than anticipated. Bourbon, huge vanilla toasted oak, charred woods, with much more caramel in the mouth to balance and add complexity. Dates, fig, dried fruit, creamy on the finish. Slight prickle as well. Bit roasty with only hints of peat showing through. An absolutely amazing beer that I look hugely forward to enjoying again in the future. Thanks Peter!!!!

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2008 23:02:08 | More by mcallister
Photo of trxxpaxxs
trxxpaxxs

New York

4.51/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed blind, thanks to Stupac2...

A: This beer pours a dark murky brown with even darker hues throughout. I guess you’d call this cola colored. There is one full finger of khaki colored head that seems to fade in a perfectly reasonable amount of time. Very little lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is excellent. I get tons of caramel, some solid vanilla, a nice helping of bourbon-y booze, and some peat. Mmm. Yup. Excited for this one.

T: Right up front I get a good helping of barrel treatment. The bourbon(?) is all flavor at first sip, as it mixes with caramel. It gets a touch sweeter in the middle with vanilla beginning to round the beer out. As it progresses, I get some peat and burnt caramel. It’s like this beer was sitting in a charred barrel. I dig it. The finish is smooth and sweet and not as hot as I would have expected. Really nice.

M: Full bodied beer. It starts off hot and sweet, coats the palate, and finishes silky smooth. Nothing lingers for too long, making me want to keep taking sips at an escalated pace.

O: Great beer. The barrel treatment on this one is perfect, and it really adds to the flavor profile of the beer. I would drink this beer any day of the week.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2013 13:58:31 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of ionlion
ionlion

California

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

04-03-2014 19:21:59 | More by ionlion
Photo of bpfrush
bpfrush

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

01-06-2013 03:29:21 | More by bpfrush
Photo of innuendobrewskiman63
innuendobrewskiman63

New York

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

02-02-2014 06:30:10 | More by innuendobrewskiman63
Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
HaveUSeenMyCellar

California

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

04-26-2014 06:00:12 | More by HaveUSeenMyCellar
Photo of hoppymcgee
hoppymcgee

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

04-06-2012 01:59:43 | More by hoppymcgee
Photo of sgoro
sgoro

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

04-27-2013 19:04:28 | More by sgoro
Photo of cleonile2000
cleonile2000

Indiana

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

10-07-2012 02:58:03 | More by cleonile2000
Photo of ShanePB
ShanePB

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

02-19-2013 15:13:59 | More by ShanePB
Photo of beerdweeb
beerdweeb

California

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

02-02-2012 06:50:30 | More by beerdweeb
Photo of gkoz
gkoz

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

05-13-2014 00:03:00 | More by gkoz
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

11-15-2011 04:44:18 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of grom111
grom111

California

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

03-10-2014 07:10:04 | More by grom111
Photo of Piddmeista
Piddmeista

California

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

10-21-2013 05:46:53 | More by Piddmeista
Photo of JMRSN
JMRSN

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

05-02-2013 17:58:51 | More by JMRSN
Photo of gshak
gshak

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

04-18-2013 23:54:33 | More by gshak
Photo of ralerwen
ralerwen

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

05-18-2014 01:55:42 | More by ralerwen
Photo of Hallertau
Hallertau

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

04-20-2014 02:46:57 | More by Hallertau
Photo of JRod1969
JRod1969

New York

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

12-02-2013 00:25:02 | More by JRod1969
Photo of DustinSWB
DustinSWB

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

04-03-2014 13:26:57 | More by DustinSWB
AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 295 ratings.