1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

AleSmith Old Numbskull - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Old NumbskullAleSmith Old Numbskull

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,023 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,023
Reviews: 444
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 176
Gots: 275 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 02-14-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of AleSmith Old Numbskull Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,023 | Reviews: 444 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bsuedekum
3.75/5  rDev -9%

bsuedekum, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of Drinkerofales
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My 100th review, so I went with a bigger beer on this one.

Pours a clear dark copper/amber with reddish purple highlights. A huge fluffy tan head forms, that almost overtook the tulip three different times. Tons of beautiful lacing coat the glass from start to finish.

Smell is citrus and fruity hops, caramel maltiness, booze, and and dark fruit. Complexity in the smell fun.

Taste is big and bold. Roasted malts and dark fruit hold sway. There is some booze in the flavor, but that's expected, some nuttiness is mixed in too. A toffee and tart finish round out the flavor. Nicely complex and a great taste.

Feel is creamy and smooth. The booze is there, but it's on par with the style. Though I liked the beer, I feel one is enough, so it's overall not as drinkable as I like.

A huge and powerful bomb of a beer. My foil was silver, so it's the 2011 vintage, but drinks great. While I would love to have this all the time, it's just too huge for regularity.

DOA

Drinkerofales, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of dudeabides76
4/5  rDev -2.9%

dudeabides76, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

750 ml capped bottle poured into a snifter.
11% ABV, Bottled 05/07/13, Serve in a goblet at 50-55°F

A - Deep bronzed amber is hazed and crowned by a thick cap of ivory foam that rests with length on the beer. Heavy lace coats the snifter as the foam subsides.

S - Tooth enamel-stripping resiny hop bitterness tears through the olfactory and plunges sticky, sap-laded pine needle and earthy wood chips into gooey caramel and honey drizzled toasted wheat bread.

T - Bold and assertive, this American Barleywine is rich with toasted, dry bread notes, sweet caramel and toffee sliver, and warm pretzel twist for a thick base and overlaid by mounds of American hops. Earthy bark and pine needle resemble the nose quite closely, overcoming the malts in the end.

M - The initial feeling of this beer is crisp and lighter but that quickly turns to sweet heftiness, finishing with an incredibly amount of bitterness from the hops on the finish. Dry lingering, Old Numbskull warms the stomach up quite nicely while avoiding alcohol heat beyond the thin feel it brings to the body.

O - Layers of complexity run through this bold and somewhat flagrant beer. Deep maltiness provides a base for heavy handed hopping but expresses wonderful sweetness while American hops are bold and brazen. The end result is a fairly balanced, though hop-leaning barleywine that's sure to sneak by you with it's strength.

BeerFMAndy, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of ChadQuest
3.03/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Opened up a 750ml for myself tonight, spent 4 hours riding my bike in our 10 degree snowy winter for training. relax time.

The color is a dark amber with more red accents, some white collar.
The aroma in this bottle is filled with dark fruit, there is normally this note in barleywines but i would say it is more prevalent here.
Other notes are the caramel that you normally associate with, and some cascade style hops giving a citrus note.
The flavors of this bottle seem different then the many others i have had, i remembered more maple/toffee, but this bottle seems to follow the citrus,caramel,cherry, and pine notes and leave a lot out. It is probably the age of the bottle i would have to assume.

This bottle was average, but i seem to remember drinking another bottle or two and liking them a good deal.

ChadQuest, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of djaeon
3/5  rDev -27.2%

djaeon, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak Tulip. Pours a medium to dark red-mahogany amber. Nice one finger fine light tan head with good retention and lacing. Nice barley wine aroma of caramel malt, vanilla, honey, dark fruit with a hint of oak. Complex flavor of dark and light fruit, caramel malt, hint of citrus. Finishes just slightly dry and oaky. A bit of booziness in the finish. Creamy medium to heavy mouth feel. Very nice and well made. A year old bottle with mostly refrigerator storage. An obvious candidate for further aging.

LiquidAmber, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of crashoveride
4/5  rDev -2.9%

crashoveride, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of AGDMainer
4/5  rDev -2.9%

AGDMainer, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of ineva
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

ineva, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of drewone
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

drewone, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of kevgod
5/5  rDev +21.4%

kevgod, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of kojevergas
3.13/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Weizen glass in low altitude Orange, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are very high given the brewery and the style.

A: Pours a two finger head of very appealing smooth glossy cream, great thickness, and very impressive retention (especially considering the 11.00% ABV). Colour is a dark auburn.

Sm: Surprisingly, it's a floral hoppy aroma. Cream and pleasant malts. A pretty strong aroma, and certainly an enticing one.

T: Nicely hoppy and balanced, with undertones of the nice malts. The hops cut out near the finish leaving the bare malts, which isn't particularly enjoyable. Other than that naked finish, I quite fancy the build. There's not too much bitterness from the hops, and no alcohol comes through in the flavours. There's not even any alcohol warmth in the stomach. It's nicely creamy up front, but this might be a touch overdone. The citrusy notes don't really fit into the flavour profile well, but they're tolerable.

Tastes nothing like any barleywine I've ever had.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with a fair amount of cream as well. It suits the flavours generally. The thickness is awkward; it's too heavy for the citrusy vibe but too thin for the malts of a barleywine.

Dr: Very drinkable - especially for the high ABV. It'd definitely be better aged, which is a strange thing to say considering how hop-centric it tastes. I don't know that they've fully resolved the battle between malts and hops for control of the focus, but this remains an experimental and bold brew that seems to challenge the conventions of the style.

kojevergas, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Burnt orange with a white head.
S - Citrus fruits, caramel, and alcohol.
T - Citrus, caramel, coffee, floral notes, alcohol, and a nice hop bitterness at the end.
M - Heavy body with medium carbonation.
O - A lot of flavor and aroma in this beer. Also, the pleasant mouthfeel makes this a really enjoyable beer to drink.

3HovsepiansBrews, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of Gushue3
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Creamy looking white head that's about 2 fingers big. The body is a deep dark ruby red almost mahogany color that looks like the background of a grade school picture. As the head comes down lacing is left all over and there is still 1/4" foam above the body.

S Sweet malts in the nose and some fruit as well. Caramel and green apple come to mind.

T Big sweetness upfront like caramel and sweet malt. Light hop bitterness toward the finish but mostly sweet in the taste. Some leather and candied sugar flavors come out as it warms. Sweeter than I imagined it would be.

M Medium-ish mouthfeel that would be nicer if it were a little thicker. A lighter carbonation feel on the tongue

O Not a bad barleywine but it felt like something was missing. Maybe a fresher bottle is what I'd be interested in but there are some nice flavors.

Gushue3, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of Turbodog666
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Turbodog666, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of Gosox8787
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Bomber bottle covered in silver foil. Poured into a Portsmouth Brewery tulip glass at around cellar temperature.

Appearance: Medium to dark brown with nice ruby highlights. Light beige head creates a nice lacing around. The lacing sticks nicely to the glass.

Aroma: Right after opening the bottle, big hop notes appear and create nice pine and citrus. A good balance of caramel and breadiness from the malt. Really nice balance.

Taste: Nice fresh pine and citrus hop notes upfront. Background caramel and vanilla notes complement the hops. Really smooth alcohol, but very warming.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with lower than average carbonation. Very smooth though.

Overall, a really nice barleywine with a nice hop bite. Really smooth, balanced, and fresh tasting. I would be interested to see how this evolves over time. I would definitely get this again.

Gosox8787, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of kevfujii
3.5/5  rDev -15%

kevfujii, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of silentnoiz
3/5  rDev -27.2%

silentnoiz, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of rrryanc
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

rrryanc, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of IrishColonial
4/5  rDev -2.9%

IrishColonial, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of IdrinkGas
4/5  rDev -2.9%

IdrinkGas, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a crystal red wine glass- pours a dark orange/brown color with a solid head; good retention and a good amount of lacing. Foam is a sort of vanilla chai color. The smell is a homogenous combination of hops and specialty grains (I say that because it smells like my kitchen does while I'm steeping the specialty grains for my homebrew). The taste is fantastic- I'm not sure exactly what a barleywine is supposed to taste like because the only other that I've had is Stone's "Old Guardian". This is quite different than that because of its hoppy characteristics. It has a good strong dose of barley throughout the sip and long afterwords while hops punctuate the beginning and middle of the sip. The 11 percent abv is expertly hidden with medium-light carbonation perfectly suited to it.

As I mentioned before, I'm no expert when it comes to barleywine but I am thoroughly enjoying this one and much prefer it to Stone's (although that is solid and cheaper).

Hopdaemon39, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of PeterIngemi
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a 750 w/ my girl, this is one of my favs! From quality Liquors Salem ma

A- dark amber/mahogany w/ off white fluffy head, steady lacing

S- rich caramel, citrus, sticky pine, brown sugar, light figs/raisins

T- sweet, resiny hop juice, hops contribute citrus and pine, balanced by a sweet, but not overly sweet malts, which give me caramel and fig flavors, a touch of alcohol on the end, but very well hidden.

M- very smooth, almost creamy, with a very dry finish, not syrupy.

O- I love this brew, it's like hop juice, my favorite barleywine to date.

PeterIngemi, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of drummermattie02
3.5/5  rDev -15%

drummermattie02, Jan 03, 2012
AleSmith Old Numbskull from AleSmith Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,023 ratings.