AleSmith Old Numbskull - AleSmith Brewing Company
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Ratings: 962 | Reviews: 443 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Pahn:
4.22/5 rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Not sure when this was bottled, but I've had the bottle for about 6 months.
Appearance: Free pour yields a two and a half inch fluffy offwhite head that dissipates very slowly and sticks all over the side of the glass. Pours a translucent, orange-ish dark red and leaves streaks and walls of thick lacing. Looks great.
Smell: Cascade hops and sugary malt reminiscent of other great American barleywines like Great Divide's Old Ruffian or Avery's Hog Heaven. The sugary sweet notes are very deep... they're thick and fruity; decadent. One sniff tells you exactly what style of beer this is, and that it's probably a pretty good representation of the style.
Taste: Up front there's the same sugary, caramely, fruity sweetness infused with Cascade (I think) hops as in the smell, followed by a pleasantly strong bitterness tinged with some emerging chocolate flavor that segues into a slightly roasted tasting finish. Alcohol is felt in the chest but not in the taste.
I seem to be writing "taste follows smell" in a lot of recent reviews, but the degree to which it's true in this beer is particularly notable. I'll go with the most ridiculous analogy that came to mind... it's like the smell is getting a good look at an attractive person, while the taste is making love to that person. You experience all the things that drew you in from the start, only more closely and potently, along with additional surprises.
At first, I considered giving this only a 4.0, because while the tastes are deep and great, they're not really anything I've not had before. I bumped it up to 4.5 because the malt flavor up front really is excellent, and the way it incorporates bitterness, extra notes of roasted flavors and chocolate, without any solvent like alcohol (in an 11% beer) is very impressive.
Mouthfeel: The weakest aspect of this beer, which isn't saying much considering that the beer is quite good. Medium body that's a little on the thin side. Mild carbonation. Approaches creamy but doesn't really get there.
Drinkability: This beer nails the style, so if you like spending a night with slow drinking, solid American barleywine, you'll have nothing to complain about with Old Numbskull. I'm not sure I'd pick it up if I saw it on the shelf next to the other barleywines I've mentioned above, but in a more abstract, generalized way of looking at it, I would definitely have this beer again.
Old Numbskull is a pretty refined take on its style. The flavors are distinct and clean, the bitterness is amped up but used to great effect, and the alcohol is well-hidden (at least as far as the taste is concerned).
Serving type: bottle
12-01-2010 02:16:08 | More by Pahn
More User Reviews:
4.53/5 rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Served in a snifter glass.
Appearance: Cloudy brown ale, with a thin head that is a bit off-white. Has a slight orange tint to it and I have to say very beautiful. Heavy bubbles to the body, looks delish. Serously.
Smell: The aroma that this brew gives off is very f'n addicting. Feels like roasted caramel, with a wave of barley hovering your nostrils. Yes I said it.
Taste: Has a caramel alcohol taste, complex and a tad sweet but feels just right. Honestly It's like a honey carbonated bourbon and I am not complaining at all.
Mouth: It's sticky, but only for a few moments...I am pairing it with pretzels and has an almost dessert feel to it.
Overall: I can honestly say this beer is one of the best American Barleywine beers I have had. I actually had one of my favorite a few hours earlier but this just tops it by a few notches. I have seen and hesitated in buying this and finally bit the bullet because I have been impressed with other Alesmith beers, this one hit nail in the coffin, Kevin approved! Salud.
Serving type: bottle
07-21-2014 05:23:41 | More by BlurryVisi0n
4.09/5 rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Nice mahogany brown color with excellent clarity. There's a quarter inch head of light brown foam on top. Brussels lacing. Strangely on this barleywine I smell more of a piney hop aroma than malt. The taste has a strong pine hop edge but there's plenty of malt to back it up. Plenty of interplay between hops and malt going on. The mouth is somewhat sticky,but the drink ability for this barleywine is quite amazing. I notice hop aroma fades as it sits for awhile.
Serving type: bottle
07-06-2014 21:10:17 | More by Franziskaner
AleSmith Old Numbskull from AleSmith Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 962 ratings.