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AleSmith Old Numbskull - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Old NumbskullAleSmith Old Numbskull

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

959 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 959
Reviews: 443
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.17%
Wants: 168
Gots: 266 | FT: 16
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of AleSmith Old Numbskull Alström Bros
Ratings: 959 | Reviews: 443 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jspriest


4.5/5  rDev +9%

11-14-2011 07:11:40 | More by Jspriest
Photo of caninedevotion


5/5  rDev +21.1%

11-14-2011 06:58:22 | More by caninedevotion
Photo of tony223366


4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: First of all... huge head! Three fingers easy. Tan and super fluffy. More red than dark brown. This is a truly gorgeous beer.

S: A bit more subdued. I get some dark fruits. Definitely some caramel malts and citrusy hops towards the end.

T: Good flavors. Rich caramel malts. Great bitter finish. Dark fruits. Surprisingly not nearly as boozy for being 11%.

M: Smooth and creamy. But too thin. Almost watery. I need more substance!

O: I enjoy the flavors. Not quite big enough though. I like my barley wines bigger than this. To be honest I think Alaskan beat this on all marks besides the appearance. This is the clear winner in that category for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 06:42:43 | More by tony223366
Photo of AshleyMiller


3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to srandcarter for including this in a recent trade. poured into my stone snifter

a - pours a royal red amber with a slight haze and a two finger head. tons of tiny little symmetric bubbles in the head with a sticky lacing.

s - picking up some apple, honey, hops, and some yeasty banana bread, faint spice scent. alcohol is much more prevalent in the aroma, especially as it warms.

t - a delicate balance of hops and fruity esters. the alcohol is hidden well. definitely some honey sweetness in there.

m - medium bodied, thicker as it warms. carbonation recedes as it warms.

o - this is a good american barleywine. it starts hoppy and as it warms turns more syrupy and sweeter. the alcohol stays subdued for most of the glass. i'd be curious to see what some barrel-aging would do to this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 01:43:13 | More by AshleyMiller
Photo of BMoney575


3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 11-6-11

Pours a deep red/brown color, with a foamy off white head that sticks to the sides of the glass. Thick and syrupy looking, and menacing.

Smell is more subtle than I expected, lots of hops and sweet malt and a light amount of agedness. The alcohol is at the very end, contributing to the sweetness.

Taste is right where the smell leads you, well balanced malt sweetness and hop bitterness. Not very complex, with some light fruit flavors and lots of piney hops. The finish is smooth and slightly hot, with a dry and tart aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is right for the style, sharp carbonation enhances the bitterness.

Drinkability is good, the flavors are well balanced and the alcohol is surprisingly tame.

Overall, a very well made beer, but nothing special. It's hard to tell if more age would have helped, but the hops are still strong after at least a year.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 22:30:56 | More by BMoney575
Photo of Marty30


3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle,no date that I'm aware of.Served into a Jacke O's snifter at 60 degrees.

A. Clear brown with ruby highlights,no head just large bubbles that stick around for a good while. No lacing.

S. I get plums and fig and brown sugar. Bready notes and cinimmon. Small amount of citrus also.

T. Ripe fruits such as prunes and plums with underlying citrus. Good amounts of brown sugar. Good grainy taste then come the bitter hops in the end.

M. Medium feel ,smooth. Could be carbonated a little more In my opinion. Nice bitter dry aftertaste from the hops.

Overall a solid barlywine for sure. My first Alesmith brew and it didn't dissapoint.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 18:09:18 | More by Marty30
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky dark amber with a 2 inch foamy orange-white head that settles to a small cap. Random chunks of lace stick to the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and lots of citrus fruits and citrus zest. Taste is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, citrus fruit, citrus juice, and citrus zest. A mild bittersweet flavor lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a medium body and is smooth on the drink down. Overall, this is a very good barleywine with a nice balance between sweet and bitter.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 02:36:46 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of prototypic


3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Old Numbskull is an amber to brown color. It has both orange and red highlights when held to light. It’s an interesting color. Unfortunately, the head never fully materialized. A collection of bubbles gather on the surface, but quickly disappeared. Lacing was very spotty and light.

The nose is good. Caramel malts are readily apparent. Smells sweet. It smells a little fruity. There’s a light citric orange scent that must be from hops. Light cherry and raisin are also noted. A few more whiffs reveal a stronger dark fruit presence, including plum. Hops aren’t all that strong. I was expecting more, but this bottle is a little old. Not sure exactly how old. Alcohol is there, but doesn’t really smell like 11% abv.

The flavor is likewise good. The caramel malt base is very flavorful and anchors things down extremely well. It’s sweet, but not overly so. Dark fruit notes of raisin and plum complement the malt base extremely well. There are some hop remnants, but they’re largely swallowed up. There’s a hint of citrus orange and grapefruit, but that’s about it. A little more of that would be good. Alcohol is definitely there, but doesn’t come through all that strong. Perhaps it’s integrated well over time. I wouldn’t guess 11% abv. Finishes malty with a touch of dark fruit.

The body is medium-full. It’s not quite as substantial as it should be. More would definitely be better. Carbonation is also very light. I wouldn’t mind more bubbles. It goes down pretty well for a big beer. I’ll finish off the 750. It’s big though.

Old Numbskull is a pretty impressive American Barleywine. This bottle is a little old, although I’m not sure how old. There really isn’t much in the hop department going on at this point. I’d be interested to see if they are more vibrant in a fresh bottle. My only other complaints are the body and the carbonation. More body and bubbles would be good. Really good stuff in any event. Easy recommendation.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 03:13:36 | More by prototypic
Photo of CuriousMonk


4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber at Brasserie Beck in DC. The pour is a clearish, deep maroon blood ruby with a thick, dense, yellow head with excellent retention and sheety to wispy, sticky lace. Nose is salty, savory, toffee, white chocolate.Taste up front is saltwater toffee, sharp nutty bitter, walnuts, fresh and not cloying maple, milk chocolate, nougat, baked peaches. Palate is rich, buttery, bitter, dryish, non cloying, non syrupy. So fresh, oily, and quick on the palate. Good mouthfeel overall.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2011 16:24:26 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of StoneTSR


4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to again to ren for this one!

APPEARANCE: Wow! This is an exceptionally good looking beer. An opaque, solid, copper penny red beer poured into a snifter with a strong two-finger head resting on top. The lacing was very strong and covered a good 80% of the back of the glass.

SMELL: A nice strong smell right off the bat, as soon as this thing is cracked. Caramel is dominant, but vanilla and a hint of piney hops are also present.

TASTE: Balance is the key word here. A nice, long, slow transition from brown sugar and caramel sweetness up front to a surprisingly bitter, grassy and slightly anise flavored finish takes the palate on a joy ride through each sip.

MOUTHFEEL: The carbonation is there, but not terribly strong. Otherwise this is a sticky, not not at all mouthcoating beer. The dry finish prevents this sugary, delicious beer from becoming too sticky.

OVERALL: This is an outstanding example of a Barleywine. The big, complex, hoppy and malty flavors come together and provide a prototypical Barleywine experience.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2011 08:06:50 | More by StoneTSR
Photo of amidabha


4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

silver wrapper, not sure of the vintage.

a moderate pour into a dogfish head produced a minimal head and a fair amount of lacing and a wonderful deep ruby color. this has a subtle aroma after the pour but it is still slightly too cold to drink just yet, sweet but not overpowering. this opens up quite a bit after it gets closer to room temperature.

this has a spicy, sweet taste that rolls over my tongue with minimal bitterness. there is surprisingly little heat or thickness to the taste and mouthfeel. compared to many this leads me to believe i have an vintage that has aged at least a year but i can't be sure.

this falls in line with what i expect in a barleywine and am sure i will be drinking this one again within the next month.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2011 00:36:50 | More by amidabha
Photo of Yagman3000

New York

4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from s .750 bottle into a fluted pint glass.

Appears on the brown side with a lot of maroon and orange tones to it. There's a small creamy head to it.

Smells a surprise. There's a definite hoppy bite that strikes first and then moves into a sweet molasses-like maltiness.

Tastes pretty strongly of figs with a bit of orange zest too. There's a strong boozy presence.

The mouthfeel has a nice viscosity and finishes off in a nice thin boozy manner.

Overall a pretty good beer but I found it to be a kittle thin for a barley wine. It could have been thicker and deeper in flavor.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2011 02:21:25 | More by Yagman3000
Photo of AgentZero


4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to spycow for this share.

A - Dark orangish colored beer with brown and yellow tints. Small white head that left a little bit of sick on the glass.

S - Burnt caramel malts and some nice fruiy phenolic notes. There is a touch of booze in the aroma and a little bit of hop presense. Very nice.

T - Taste is much like the nose. Nice sweetness with some bright fruits an a little bit of phenolic esters. Some burnt sugar, slight bit of hops on the end. Good stuff.

M - Decent carbonation, heavier side of medium bodied.

O - Nice beer, easy drinker, and fairly easy to get messed up on.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 20:08:56 | More by AgentZero
Photo of jzeilinger


4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very vibrant dark cherry color with an evenly dispersed white foamy layer across the top and very minimal carbonation.

S - Very complex aroma with ALOT of different layers. Brown sugar, vanilla, maple sugar syrup, dark fruit, oak tannins, light molasses, and slightly earthy.

T - Mild bitter chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, touches of maple syrup, roasted toffee, oaky goodness, dark fruit in the form of prunes and figs that sit low and create a nice complement to the many layers of complexity. Roasted caramel sweetness is expertly balanced by the hops.

M - Heavy medium body that's full and velvety, slightly sticky on the lips, and a total joy to sip.

O - A very well brewed barleywine and an incredibly complex sipper.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 09:15:36 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of brian44556


4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 750ML into a Delirium Tremens snifter. Received this in a trade from MiloHop. 2011 vintage.

Pours a dark amber color that forms a two finger frothy white head. Great lacing left on the sides of the glass and sediment is floating throughout. Smell notes of rich caramel, dark fruits, sweet malt, light hops, and a touch of alcohol. Initial taste was sweet apples with caramel. Also can taste the bitterness from the hops in the backbone. A slight touch of alcohol that warmed the stomach. Great carbonation and nice and crisp finish. Overall this a must try. Glad I had a chance to sip on it and would love to drink more in the future.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2011 02:48:35 | More by brian44556
Photo of rowingbrewer


4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy reddish color with 2 fingers of frothy of white head that recedes extremely slowly. the smell is malt s booze and a huge dose of piney hops. the flavor follows suit with a bit of malt sweetness that helps to balance out the bitterness from all the hops and there is a piney spicey hop flavor followed by big booziness. the mouthfeel is well carbed with a medium to full mouth feel and a fairly bitter nifinsh. overall a fairly good american barleywine but could definitely use some age on it.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2011 20:58:54 | More by rowingbrewer
Photo of ADZA


4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With thanks to Mrkennedy and Pours a hazy golden copper hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind a two finger creamy head and sporadic lacing,the smell is golden caramel,honey and piney hops,the mouthfeel is medium bodied and has tastes of toffee soaked bitterhops,caramel,boiled candy,marzipan and honey,overall its very sessionable for its ABV and i could drink this all night with its ABV very well hidden cheers.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2011 13:22:16 | More by ADZA
Photo of sweemzander


4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. Got this in a trade a long time ago but cannot remember for the life of me from whom. . thank you whoever you were!

(A)- Pours a hazy amber hue. Decent retention. Some lace present.

(S)- Rich and sweet. Bits of hoppy citrus and fig notes. Almost has a woody character in the hops.

(T)- Very sweet. Lots of fig fruit. Bits of honey and greenish wood notes from the hops.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. A bit sweet, even for the style, but has a good overall feel to it.

(D)- A good barleywine. Very straightforward and basic for the style, but its a solid one at that.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2011 00:58:42 | More by sweemzander
Photo of cjacobsen


4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to sweemzander for cracking this one!

(A) Deep maroon, almost a dark brown. Nice frothy head that leaves lacing. Some sediment.

(S) Sweet. Light malts and residual sugars. Fruits, plum, and fig.

(T) Fig, sweet sugars and belgian candi sugar. A little boozy but nothing overwhelming. Some toffee in the middle of the taste. Some decent hops towards the end.

(M) Very smooth and extremely great full body.

(O) Great barleywine, awesome that I got a chance to try it. Really good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2011 00:35:01 | More by cjacobsen
Photo of MrKennedy


4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a small wine glass. Purchased from Platinum Liquor, North Strathfield.

Pours a nice inviting ruby red/brown with a nice head of off white foam that hangs around throughout.

Smell is slightly fruity with citrus at the fore. Then turns into warming malt with some alcohol and dark fruits.

Tastes of dark fruits and malt. Nice and warming, not boozy hot. A little one dimensional though.

Mouthfeel is relatively creamy for the style and strength. Warming and full. Nice big body.

Overall a good Barleywine that hits most of the spots. Not amazing, but very good and consistent.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 12:01:08 | More by MrKennedy
Photo of Krakistophales


4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours cherry colored with a fingers worth of white head that recedes into a halo

S: Huge grassy and floral hops up front which then merge with hints of dark fruit and caramel/toffee sweetness. Seems like a heavily malty IPA.

T: Again, lots of grassy and floral hops hit you at first, which then moves into a slightly minty and herbal coolness, followed by a caramel/toffee sweetness, fading into a very hoppy aftertaste.

O: This is almost the hoppiest barleywine I've ever had, behind only avery's hog heaven. What it's missing is some more of that barleywine sweetness, malt and dark fruit backbone. Still, very good.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 06:50:30 | More by Krakistophales
Photo of malvado78

New York

4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A ruby brown. Desent head (esp. At 11%) falls to 1/8 to 1/4 in. Great lacing for a BW. Looks delicious.

S - While cold the hops are inthe forefront. Citrus but more resinous. As it warms the sweet carmel malt emerges. Dark fruits, figs also come through.

T - Follows the nose. As cold, starts very resinous, citrus hops. As the beer warms the sweetness comes through. Not at all overy sweet as many BWs I've had but a good balenced sweetness. Again as warm the nose did not lie sweet carmel malts, figs , finishing with the slightly bitter citrusy, resinous hops. But the hops take a back seat to the sweetness. Well maybe Norma back seat maybe sear but a middle front seat. So well balanced one of the best American Barleywines I've had. Maybe second to Old Ruffian.

M - Fore the mouthfeel is almost perfect if not perfect. The thickness is offset by the fairly high carb. Could just swish this beer back and forth in my mouth forever.

O - Excellent BW. Easy drinker for 11%. Have drank almost a full 22 so far and would gladly drink another 22.

Good thing I have another in the cellar. Thanks to 22crowns!

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2011 01:35:00 | More by malvado78
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 07/30/11 notes. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter. 2010 vintage.

a - Pours a reddish mahogany brown color with two fingers of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Moderate lacing left on the glass and great retention, several minutes worth.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bready malts, sweet dark fruits, raisins, and light alcohol.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toffee, raisins, sweet dark fruits, molasses, bread, and light alcohol. Very nice, lots of fruit and caramel.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth and not much alcohol heat.

o - Overall another great barleywine. Very easy to drink considering the ABV and super smooth, with a lot of nice fruit and caramel in the nose and mouth. Would love to have again.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 18:08:04 | More by mdfb79
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not sure of the vintage but I'm pretty certain its within the past year. Poured from a 750ml foiled and capped bottle into a Darkness snifter.

Pours a 1.25 finger frothy, creamsicle colored head with great retention. Beer is a semi-clear amber orange. Lacing is spotty and stringy with moderate cling. Nice head but overall pretty standard.

Nose is fantastically aromatic. Notes of resiny hops, caramel, cane sugar, and some citrus. Not entirely robust and deep but appetizing nonetheless.

Opens caramel, brown sugar, and resiny hop bitterness. Citrus hops come in to balance the flavor towards the middle. Some residual booziness. End is astringent and more resin with a citrus hop finish and coarse brown sugar in the aftertaste. Interesting and well balanced.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and oily in the mouth and goes down with a touch of graininess and heat. Finish is quite with a messy, lingering aftertaste. Quiet smooth for the ABV.

I'm personally not a fan of hoppy barleywines but this one is very solid. Definitely worth revisiting in the future to see how an aged bottle tastes and whether the robust malt potential develops any further.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2011 19:34:55 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of TheSupremeAJ


4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle... silver foil and blue label. Poured into Duvel tulip.

Appearance - Fair amount of head with a perfect deep ruby brown barleywine color.

Smell - Sweet chewy classic barleywine aroma. Alcohol is muted.

Taste - Flavor is sharp and fairly dry for a sweet barleywine. Some muted bittersweet cocoa notes seem unusual for a barleywine although mix well with the sweet caramel profile.

Mouthfeel - Bubbles are fairly course for the style... carb is a little too high. Would appreciate some finer bubbles. Otherwise the viscosity and all is perfect.

Overall - This is a solid barleywine and certainly worth seeking out. I would enjoy trying a few older bottles to see how it's progressed.

EDIT: There was no cork underneath the cap. Is this typical?

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 02:31:04 | More by TheSupremeAJ
AleSmith Old Numbskull from AleSmith Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 959 ratings.