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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

309 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 309
Reviews: 108
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 8.1%
Wants: 294
Gots: 121 | FT: 11
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: 309 | Reviews: 108 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cpmichael
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage; Bottle 185/972

A: Pours a very dark brown, not quite black, but super dark. No foam. Pour looks flat.

S: Vanilla, malts, bourbon, caramel, hints of oak and smoke.

T: Raisins with smooth bourbon and vanilla, oak, hints of smokiness, but much less than I expected. Pretty sweet.

M/D: pour looked flat, but It had good carbonation, pretty thick-body. Feels great. Bourbon adds a nice sweet element to the base. Solid beer.

cpmichael, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of Lothore
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2004 vintage 164/234

A- Pours a deep ruddy brown hue with a very small fizzy head.

S- LOTS of deep bourbon notes with dark fruit sneaking its way through.

T- The most bourbon i've ever tasted in a beer all the way through, earthy tones, undertones of dark fruit.

M- Thick with low carbonation.

D- A huge, bourbony beer that has held up well these years.

Lothore, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of n2185
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 bottle

A: pours a dark mahogany with barely any trace of khaki head that recedes into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: lots of caramel, vanilla, and bourbon on the nose. There are some light smoky aromas in there as well.

T: similar to the nose, lots of vanilla, caramel, and bourbon. Some slight roasted malt flavors with a light bitterness are mixed in there. Smooth finish with no alcohol burn.

M: medium-thick body with low carbonation, this beer is pretty smooth and creamy, though slighly watery.

O: a good beer, though not extremely complex. Stil, it's quite tasty and still bourbony after nearly 3 years.

n2185, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of Sean9689
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!

Sean9689, Apr 04, 2011
Photo of CrellMoset
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage, bottle 152/254. Thanks to a very generous BA who I likely traded a Southampton beer for quite some time ago - damn my poor record keeping.

Appearance: A dark, muddy, turgid brown, rusty and dirty, this one surges out of the bottle quickly, settling in with a half finger of surging, cola-like head, fading in to a nearly imperceptible collar - only a few small clusters of individual bubbles cling to the rim of the tulip, but even they fade in time with successive sips, all the way down to the point where it's a still muddy pool. There's really not too much to say about the appearance, and BAs here know I'm not a man of few words ... it's just a still, muddy, brown mess (perhaps understandable for a barrel aged beer that's seven years old, but, hey, still not the most attractive thing in the world).

Aroma: Probably this beer's best aspect - I can only imagine what it smelled like four years ago. Rusty penny and old wood dominate this one, with flashes of mossy, smoky, notes, hints of sourness, vanilla, and brown paper bag, wet dog, cardboard oxidation. What a robust and varied aroma profile - this one's all over the place, but not in a messy, out of place way. It's balanced and thoughtful showcasing each of its strengths gracefully, and in doing so showcasing its greatest strengths - even-handedness.

Taste: A total caramel bomb, with hints of cinnamon, vanilla, toffee, and only the faintest kiss of bourbon in what is at this point a relatively dilapidated ([adj.] - having fallen into a state of disrepair or deterioration, as through neglect; broken-down and shabby) beer. This one's definitely past its prime - it's oxidized, slightly metallic, but in a way reminiscent of port, aged leather-bound books, and rich mahogany (Anchorman was on TV earlier). Brown sugar, toffee, and a slew of caramel malts - all well-attenuated - make up the backbone of this wee heavy, but this is all complimented by hints of cinnamon from the barrels along with a string of other, nondescript spicy notes, reminiscent of the base beer. Dark fruits are evident, too - raisins (rum raisin, of course, with the interactions), plums, and dates, with hints of sour cherry and fig, though nothing quite approaching domination in that latter category. Barrel notes are fairly restrained - other than the aforementioned cinnamon, only vanilla and hints of toasted caramel and old wood. A little more garbled and messy than the nose, but still a classy, classy broad.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, incredibly smooth, in fact, with very low carbonation in a slick but still crispy (tasting) body. Obviously typical of a beer that's not only spent a lot of time in a barrel but then another significant chunk of time sitting in a bottle. It works well with the flavor profile - I can only imagine how annoying a slew of carbonation would be with the oxidation and sour notes that are creeping in to this one.

Drinkability: It's hard not to both respect this beer but also be a little disappointed in it all at once. I've half a mind to try and get my hand on a 2009 bottle to see what this one's like at the height of its power (should have tried to do a side-by-side!), because the remnants of a great beer are definitely here. As it stands, this one's a shadow of its former self, but in a way that's demanding of appreciation. Crack 'em if you've got 'em folks.

CrellMoset, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of seeswo
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.

seeswo, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of Overlord
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.

Overlord, Oct 22, 2007
Photo of billshmeinke
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.

billshmeinke, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of jwolfie70
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.

jwolfie70, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of womencantsail
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.

womencantsail, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of hopdog
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

hopdog, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of srandycarter
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!

srandycarter, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of levifunk
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.

levifunk, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of McNazz
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%

McNazz, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of Jwale73
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.

Jwale73, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of Pehlman
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!

Pehlman, May 10, 2011
Photo of ChadQuest
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.

ChadQuest, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of badbeer
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!

badbeer, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of yourefragile
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.

yourefragile, Mar 17, 2010
Photo of spinrsx
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.

spinrsx, Sep 14, 2012
Photo of cosmicevan
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.

cosmicevan, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

DanGeo, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

stereosforgeeks, May 23, 2014
Photo of jlieber17
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

jlieber17, Oct 13, 2012
Photo of LakerLeith
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

LakerLeith, Jun 29, 2014
AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 309 ratings.