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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

267 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 267
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: 267 | Reviews: 103 | Show All Ratings:
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 n2185
n2185

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 22:30:55 | More by n2185
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 brew3crew
brew3crew

Ohio

4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to the random guy at jackie o's for the pour!

A-carmel brown with no head whatsoever

S-very well melded bourbon and carmel. Very inviting

T-follows the nose. Vanilla bourbon and awesome. Simply splendid

M-medium body and oh so smooth

O-wow. Unexpected treat. Almost perfect

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2011 14:42:40 | More by brew3crew
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 claspada
claspada

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2009 edition courtesy of Ryan from the most recent release.

Pours a typical darker brown with absolutely no head and little lacing around the glass. This is one of the most still beers I have ever seen, usually not my cup of tea, let's see...

Aromas are really boozy and strong initially but not entirely off-putting. Lots of bourbon, sweet caramel and butterscotch. It hard to get any of the base beer as all the aromas are coming straight from the bourbon barrel here.

The tastes begin with sweet dark, caramelized brown sugars. Then you get waves and waves of buttery bourbon and copious amounts of sweet toffee. As it warms the bourbon continues to become increasingly intense. Bourbon bomb, yes indeed. Not hot or alcoholly in the slightest, just tons of bourbon flavors.

The mouthfeel is velvety smooth and slick. Just like silk across the palate. No carbonation; a sipper to say the least.

Overall despite the huge bourbon and booze on the aroma this is surprisingly drinkable. I mean I almost don't consider this beer anymore because the bourbon completely overpowers the Wee Heavy base. I don't think this style of beer lends itself to barrel-aging as well as barleywines and stouts, but that's my two sense. I am torn on this beer because while it was tasty, I could have easily just poured a glass of bourbon and added a dash of the original Wee Heavy with similar results. Probably not worth the time, effort or cost it took to procure and I do not need to revisit anytime soon.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2011 14:54:48 | More by claspada
Photo of mulder1010
mulder1010

Australia

4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ML poured into a Bruery Tulip 865/972

Thanks to Paytoplay for the bottle

A-- Poured a deep, dark ruby brown color. Very little head with this and not a lot of carbonation. No lacing and some visible ABV to this as quite syrupy.

S-- Insane! Buttered vanilla, buttered Toffee and bourbon. Just a very warming smell. Bourbon was pretty reserved though. Still best aspect of this was the nose.

T-- Really buttery taste to this. Thick vanilla toffee taste.

M-- Barrel really disappeared in the mouth. Really more about toffee and vanilla. Was a little sweet and syrupy. Very little carbonation and some noticeable alcohol to this.

O-- Might be at its peak. Very well done for the style but seems to get forgotten because it is a Wee Heavy and not a Stout. Look and nose were excellent but the mouth dropped off a lot.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2011 03:57:43 | More by mulder1010
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 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 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 BOLTZ7555
BOLTZ7555

Arizona

4.97/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle 96/222 of the 2005 batch sampled courtesy of Sparky27 @ Hellbilly’s Hellraiser 3.0...THANKS ERIC!!! This one has to take the top honors of the night (and Rodenbach Alexander, Southampton RIS, and Toronado 20th were in the Hiz-Ous)...rusty penny/maple syrup pour with a razor-thin caramel head. Aroma has strong barrel-notes; oak, bourbon, toffee, and molasses. Flavor is sweet malt, candied sugar, dark fruit, brown sugar, and freshly spliced vanilla bean. Quite thick and sticky...WOW!!!

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2011 06:25:46 | More by BOLTZ7555
Photo of OlieIPA
OlieIPA

California

4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured and shared with my good friend Pehlman on my 25th birthday! A perfect beer for the occassion...now onto the review!

A: Poured into a very large tulip glass, the body displayed a dark brown hue that only got darker as the beer filled the glass. Shortly after, a light cream colored head developed momentarily. Soon it vanished to the outer edges of the glassware.

S: Tons of vanilla and oak that overpowers the original aroma this beer typically exhibits. The sweet malt comes through faintly as the beer warms up, but again, the barrel characteristics reign supreme with the nose.

T: Sweet bourbon, brown sugar, oak and vanilla create an extremely soft, delecate, and complex flavor profile. They do a wonderful job of "melding" together, but my only complaint is the how much the barrel characteristics mask the original flavors.

M: Full, creamy...with a touch of carbonation; surperb!

O: An extremely well crafted brew, but like I mentioned a million times...I wish there were more traces of the original beer. A must try! Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 21:07:30 | More by OlieIPA
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 nlmartin
nlmartin

Ohio

3.83/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was the 2009 vintage. The beer was served in a Snifter.

Appearance: The body of the beer is a dirty brown coloration. Very thin whisp of foam at the top quickly resolves.

Smell: Bourbon, vanilla oak very boozy smelling. A dash of maple a whiff of peat earthyness, caramel, a bit more bourbon.

Taste: The flavor delivers a major vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, bit of peat, and a flash of smoke. The bourbon flavors are present and accounted for in the flavor but not over
powering.

Mouthfeel: The body of the beer is a bit thinner than I would have liked. The carbonation is low but not flat. The alcohol is hot to my mouth.

Overall: The beer is very tasty and smells very nice. Normally I dont have a problem with a beer being a bit hot. The beer seems to be not substantial enough to stand up to the barrel. In many ways I think that this beer was diminished by being barrel aged.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 14:41:11 | More by nlmartin
Photo of redsonja
redsonja

Netherlands

4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A; nice dark brown with a little head on top

S; roasted malts,caramel and a hint of cherrys

T; roasted malts, bitter chocolate, coffee

M; the roasted malts stay long in your mouth
and a nice alcohol bitter in the aftertaste

O; nice wee heavy nice roasted malts, chocolate and cherrys in the nose. the wood i did not find in the taste or smell.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2011 16:27:37 | More by redsonja
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 cpmichael
cpmichael

Indiana

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2011 21:40:18 | More by cpmichael
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 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 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 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
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 mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 03/19/11 notes. Big thanks to Lunch for sharing this one; thanks Paul. 2009 vintage, bottle 584 of 972.

a - Pours a dark brown color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of light bourbon, oak, caramel, fruits malts. Good, but much less bourbon than I was expecting, especially considering it's relatively fresh.

t - Tastes of caramel, light bourbon, oak, vanilla, and dark fruits. Again I enjoyed it, but not a lot of bourbon.

m - Light to medium body and low carbonation, pretty smooth body. A bit lighter than I expected.

d - Overall I thought this was a good beer but I was expecting a heavier mouthfeel and more bourbon. I got to try 2 oz.'s or so of an 06 vintage a few months ago and really liked it and remembered it having more bourbon than this newer batch. Still a good beer, but not their best BA beer or vintage.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2011 17:39:41 | More by mdfb79
Photo of jale
jale

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared this bottle with an awesome friend(turdfergison).

A: Pours a dark brown with tan head.

S: Bourbon, roasted malt, caramel and some smoke.

T: Sweet roasted malt up front. Nice mild bourbon flavor that is not overdone. Alcohol is well hidden. Just a hint of chocolate in the finish.

M: Medium-heavy body with good carbonation.

D: The fact this is not a RIS really adds to its drinkability. I could drink many more of these.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 20:35:09 | More by jale
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2011 16:34:33 | More by TurdFurgison
AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 267 ratings.