1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

AleSmith Old Numbskull - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Old NumbskullAleSmith Old Numbskull

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,142 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,142
Reviews: 452
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 178
Gots: 287 | FT: 20
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 02-14-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of AleSmith Old Numbskull Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,142 | Reviews: 452 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of bamadog
4.67/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been sitting on this bottle for 3 years now, and it's just a hot enough day in Atlanta that included an early morning trip to the DMV, so I feel it's well deserved at this point. Review is from notes taken on 7/7/2012 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a dark mahogany/caramel brown with some ruby highlights; starts with a big 2 finger light tan head that is light and frothy, which also fades to a relatively full skim that is uneven with a thicker ring around the surface; body is murky and clouded; just a couple of strands of lacing left behind.

Smell: The smell is robust and fantastic on this one -- tons of sweet caramel, sticky malt; a fair amount of some very ripe fruit that is of a citric nature (green apple, perhaps?); just a very slight touch of alcoholic vapor wafting in the background, but for being 11%, it's well hidden in the nose.

Taste: This is a great barley wine, perhaps one of the best I've come across; the malts are as mentioned above -- full of caramel, and even a slight touch of chocolate in there; the hops, while a bit subdued from the time in the bottle, are still present in the mouth and are of a very citric nature (grapefruit?) -- I wouldn't expect anything less from a strong Californian brewery; slight spice to it; alcohol is more present in the mouth than in the nose, but it's still well blended and mixes well with other strong flavors. An excellent array of flavors for the palate.

Mouthfeel: Body is between medium and heavy in terms of weight, and the carbonation has really held up well and adds plenty of fizz to the thicker body; a thick and sticky coating is left all over the mouth; gums and belly are left warm and tingly.

Overall: This is a great beer, and I'm kind of sorry that I sat this long on it, but I have to admit that I tend to lean towards the English barley wines and the balance and I thought it would be a good idea to put it down. I think the next chance I get, I'll pick up 2 and put one down and kill the other quickly and see what the difference may be. Plenty of great smell, plenty of great flavors, and a body that lets you know you're drinking a real beer as opposed to some watered down oat soda.

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed in a snifter

A: pours a hazy deep amber to brownish color with a large head which lingers nicely and is tan in color kind of like coffee ice cream, the head is very bubbly with large clear bubbles on top that kind of look like soap bubbles, dissipates after a bit and leaves a ton of lacing on the glass
S: there is a ton going on in the scent of this one, really complex, begins with a bit of coffee malt note, moves into nice woody scotch like notes, slight alcohol note
T: begins with a very finished wood note, then moves into a nice caramel malt note which is backed by a bit of an alcohol bite, leaves the mouth with a nice malty taste, intense, hops are also more perceivable as it warms up
M: no carbonation tingle, thick and viscous through the middle, leaves the mouth with a bit of an alcohol burn and then a feeling on the top and sides of the tongue that is quite oily
O: delicious and incredibly complex and deep, really well balanced, alcohol is definitely present but not in a bad way, it adds to the intensity and makes you realize that it is 11%

Photo of sbricker
3.25/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of Devi0us
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of dmsohyea
3.25/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of BostonHops
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a snifter.

pours a deep copper, almost mahogany tone while yielding a 3/4" beige head. very impressive retention and a fair amount of lacing. nose is hop-forward (floral, citrus) with a significant malt presence evident as well.

flavor imparts more of the aforementioned hops, with notes of caramel, brown sugar, and a hint of dark fruits. very tasty barleywine, though far from mind-blowing. medium-full bodied with adequate carbonation.

overall this is a damn fine american barleywine. i'd stop short of calling it truly outstanding, but no question it's flavorful and enjoyable; i would be very open to a revisit.

originally reviewed: 06-07-2011

Photo of AgentMunky
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. Stamped 78 on the bottle of the bottle? Otherwise, very little markings.

A: A finger of creamy off-white head with good lacing. The beer is a stunning ruby-brown that shimmers in the ground.

S: Hops. Molasses malt base. Alcoholic orange zest bears resemblance to Grand Marnier or Triple Sec. I'll attribute this to the excellent (West Coast?) hops.

T/M: Fascinating. Served around the recommended 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but a mite thin. Astringent, piny hops with loads of citrusy hops that remind one more of a double IPA than a 'barleywine.' Dull, flat malts swirl around the maintaste and leave impressions of brown sugar or toast.

O: It might have been excellent, were it not for the disappointing mouthfeel. A touch of carbonation redeems Numbskull from the tactile dustbin. I would recommend the beer, broadly, though I'd steer you towards the Speedway Stout first. Overall, competent.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: amber brown with fat tan head, lacing

S: malt and hops, some caramel, some pine

T: really diagnostic of an American barleywine's sweetness - not too sweet, but with some sugars; early tastes of raisin, plum, and apricot; this particular brew had more citrus and pine flavors than other barleywines I've had - and they became more pronounced as I drank it; more hoppy, too

M: smooth, medium-bodied, meaty aftertaste

O: Alesmith makes great beer; this reminded me of an American barleywine meets a double IPA meets Stone's Double Bastard: a very complex array of flavors, and a very rewarding drink

Photo of stxSS07
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.61/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: deep reddish orange bodied beer with a massive white head that has great staying power and has thick lacing.

Smell: big malt bill with huge hops as well. The first thing that I notice is that the hops smell stale to me. malts smell of bread, caramel, brown sugar, figs. Hops are pine, grass, and grapefruit.

Taste: This is definately a hops forward barleywine and its too bad that the hops taste stale just like they smell. Beer starts off with pine and grapefruit hops maybe even some oranges. The hops are moderately bitter and do a fair job of balancing the malt profile. Malts taste of caramel, dark fruits, brown sugar, honey and bread.

Mouthfeel: at the high end of a medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. This beer is easy to drink for this beer style. Its not boozey and its well carbonated.

Overall: I think this beer is okay. It sits on the fence between an american barleywine and a DIPA. I think it leans a little bit more toward a DIPA. The whole stale hops taste makes me think that this bottle has sat on the shelf for a long time so take that into consideration when reading this review. But, if this beer was in fact fresh it was a dissapointment. Alesmith...please put a date on your bottles!

Photo of resistdefy
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of rfgetz
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt orange/tawny color with thin cap of off-white froth, good sticky lacing. Scent is of lightly burnt caramel, brown sugar, kiss of orange rind, some dark fruit, dark crusty bread, light hint of pine. Scent components manifest themselves in taste, bready and caramel/brown sugar sweet, orange rind, prune and fig, light char and toast, noticeable alcohol burn, hoppiness at a minimum, light pine. Full side of medium bodied, some heft and slickness, moderate carbonation. A good, solid American Barleywine that straddles the middle and is balanced between hoppy and malty members of the style.

Photo of seeswo
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of funkel81
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of vonnegut21
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of DreaminBeer
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of andrewinski1
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a wine taster. The color is deep amber. There is a full fluffy ecru head that leaves a lot of sticky lacing behind.

The aroma indicates this is very hoppy, with some malt syrupyness to go with it.

The taste has typical barleywine flavors: caramel, some dark fruit. The initial sweetness is offset with a dose of hoppy bitterness in the finish.

This is a big slow sipper, really nice for a hoppy barleywine.

Photo of Bendurgin
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. This one pours a clear amber color with a cap of fluffy beige head that leaves some soapy lace.

The the aroma has a nice bready caramel malt profile with some grassy hops in the background. Nice dark fruity character here with some booze. Sweet caramel on the pallet with a good grassy hop flavor in the finish. Dark fruits in the middle of the pallet. Nice bready malt flavor here.

Nice full bodied beer here with good carbonation. Leaves a bit of a dry finish. Overall this one is pretty solid. A little bit on the hoppier side than other barely wines I have had but that's not bad at all.

Photo of yergermeister
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of ejw127
3/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of ohtheguilt
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of zaphodchak
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent offwhite head, some nice lace, amber-brown body.

Hoppy nose, but that's about it. Kinda sweet.

Some quite honeyed hops, similar to a sweet double IPA (120 anyone?).

Mouthfeel is nice and smooth.

Good, but doesn't scream "barleywine" to me. More of a DIPA.

Photo of jwat
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

AleSmith Old Numbskull from AleSmith Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,142 ratings.