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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.

941 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 941
Reviews: 442
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.17%
Wants: 170
Gots: 267 | 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: 941 | Reviews: 442 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OlieIPA


3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep amber red...little head with great lacing.

S: Sweet and fruity...maybe some sort apple...but I think I'm crazy.

T: A very distinct taste for a barley wine....sweet. I'm not using that word in the way in describing how good it is...but is has a sweet taste.

M: Light to medium body and carbonation.

D: I'm not a barley wine type of guy, but I have to admit this beer is pretty good.

Overall: Homer Simpson would like this beer...its very, very good. Just make sure you put a "Duff" label on this before you give it to him.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2008 04:37:31 | More by OlieIPA
Photo of Enola

North Carolina

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

This beer is a cloudy mahogony with a lasting head. The smell is a rich blend of hops and alcohol. The taste is smooth at first with a firey finish, mellowed hops are a nice taste. The abv shows but the mellowness makes this brew quite drinkable. An ear warmer for sure. This brew would certainly age well.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2008 16:57:00 | More by Enola
Photo of mentor


3.55/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2003 bottle shared by mmtmatrix, thanks for the opportunity. Pours a cloudy dark copper liquid with a tiny off-tan head. Smells soured caramel, oxidation, piney hops, oranges, and some alcohol sting. Brown malt doesn't quite hit chocolate...more hazelnut.

Tastes sherry-like oxidation with some chocolate. Decent clean alcohol sting that gives me some heartburn. Oranges are still present as a hop flavor, but any piney character has fallen into caramel oxidation flavor. Esters are coconut and apricot. Finish is a fight between carbonation acrid and alcohol sting. Md-thick body and respectible carbonation after being aged such a long time.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2008 07:10:36 | More by mentor
Photo of ncvbc

North Carolina

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

Dark copper brownish, somewhat murky. Great sugared citrus scents up front then deep malts. Grapefruit essence drenched in sweetness. Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and some toasted bread. Taste is pretty good and even though I've had this bottle for a while now the hops show through, almost too much so. Still, pretty well balanced and quite enjoyable without any trouble. Nice, big, and chewy in the mouth. Great feel. Also, drinks quite well despite the big size it boasts. Split this with a friend but could have enjoyed it all to myself, no question.

Thanks to seaoflament for this bottle!

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2008 03:36:42 | More by ncvbc
Photo of JDV


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

Bottle shared by MiguelMandingo. Thanks!
Pours dark caramel maroon colored and opaque. Smell is hoppy, warm caramelly with a touch spicy cinnamon. Taste is similar with warm, toasty, spicy hoppy caramel and cinnamon like malt and balancing hops. Very drinkable for a big barley wine. Great beer all around.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2008 20:57:32 | More by JDV


4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A full four fingers of super thick rocky tan foam head erupts with a strong pour. Leaves lots of lace as it fades. Body is an attractive deep brown with ruby accents throughout. Nose i huge with invigorating doughy malts and zesty spice along with pie like fruit tones. Bold rich dark fruit tones. Bold rich dark fruit tones enter the mouth on first sip with a peppery backround. Burnt pie crust teams with piney hops show up on the back of the tongue. Dry powdery spices stay long on the tongue after the sip. Alchol is very well hidden except for a nice warm belly. Sweetness is there but short and dry. Leaves an almost glittering spicey bitter feel for the mouthfeel. This is a big hearty barleywine that will last you all night.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2008 23:36:58 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of wcudwight

North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received in a trade.
I think this is the 2006 version.
Beautiful polished brass color with a thick vanilla colored head. Head falls and forms a tight cap on top of the beer. Crystal clear.
Lot's of caramel in the nose. Hints of vanilla and honey. Big brandy like aroma.
Flavors are pretty identical to the nose. Big caramel malts. Vanilla, honey, apricots. Boozy finish. The finish is a bit to boozy for this lightweight.
Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. It fits the style very well. A very filling beer.
A nice beer to have as a night cap once in awhile.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2008 17:12:15 | More by wcudwight
Photo of Beerbuddha


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

Appearance- dark, golden amber color

Smell- syrup, citrus and a nice hoppy bitterness

Taste- Hops, syrup

Mouthfeel- thick and syrupy. ver little carbonation

Overall- Not bad overall, this beer is not a hot weather brew in my opinion but rather is something nice to drink during the cold weather months.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2008 12:44:28 | More by Beerbuddha
Photo of barefootbrewer


4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a clear brown with a small head...to be expected.

S - Strong of malt and caramel. Deep aroma.

T - Once again malty and caramel dominates. There is some slight hop bitterness and the alcohol is noticeable.

M - Full and creamy.

D - I love English Barleywines and this one is no exception!

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2008 14:08:05 | More by barefootbrewer
Photo of paulthebeerguru


4.68/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Alesmith Old Numbskull
750mL brown bottle (capped)
Silver wrapper, Blue printing

A: poured into a snifter and allowed to warm a little. The barleywine pours a clear, mahogany color with some small flaky sediment floating around. small halo of off-white head clings to the glass.

S: very resiny and hoppy aroma. nice thick and warming scent of wonderful citrus hops mostly overly ripe oranges. Some black pepper, some big pine aromas. This is what a barleywine should smell like.

T: such a smooth, well-balanced flavor. Tons of citrus hops right off the bat, with perfect malt flavors to balance it out. Strong citrus flavors are still lingering. Some big pine flavors, along with some of that black pepper from the aroma.

M: Very smooth and clean, as well as being rich and thick. perfect low carbonation level.

D: for 11% this is extremely drinkable. I am not sure why this isn't the standard for barleywines, since it is absolutely amazing. I always like BWs, but this just made me love them.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2008 05:40:55 | More by paulthebeerguru
Photo of ChainGangGuy


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

Appearance: Pours a clear, mahogany-hued body with a small, though creamy-looking, off-white head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, sugary pine resin scent followed by dried orange peel and then a bright aroma of tropical fruit medley. Some notes of brown sugar sprinkled on toast as it warms a bit.

Taste: Sweet caramel maltiness with a hot, clean booziness on its tail. A touch of pine. A taste of brown sugar blended with simple syrup and a variety of fruit juices. Strong, earthy hop bitterness, though it allows the malts to do most of the work. Everpresent, underlying yeastiness. Bittersweet, warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Slightly above medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A delightful barleywine fresh (you certainly can't say that about all of them) and one that I suspect ages quite wonderfully.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2008 18:38:13 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of nickfl


4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One finger of off white head, settles relatively quickly, leaves spotty lace. The body is amber-brown and clear.

S - Spicy, citrusy hops. Notes of pepper and lemon backed by sweet caramel malt and a hint of coffee.

T - A big, spicy wallop of hops up front, tempered by thick malt. Spicy notes in the middle; mustard, pepper, cumin, and basil. Toasty notes of toffee and caramel continue into the finish, where they balance the pungent bitterness and fade into a mildly carbonized roast quality.

M - Heavy, oily body, medium carbonation, and a sweet finish with lingering alcoholic warmth.

D - Fairly drinkable for such a big beer. The alcohol is readily apparent, but not unpleasant. The hop character is the dominant flavor here, but it is kept in check by the huge malt presence. An interesting, and distinctly American, take on a classic English style.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2008 03:50:13 | More by nickfl
Photo of Trueant1


4.72/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

No date on bottle. Bought it in 2007 and am drinking it in May 2008.

Pours a medium orange and sits in the glass hazy with lots of yiesties. Leaves a great coating of lacing. A thin head at best.

Smells of sweet malts. Very "bready". Citrus hops and alcohol also on the nose. Perfect smell!

Tastes sweet and thick up front. An asprin and alcohol burn on the way down...a good thing.
Many darker fig flavors in here, pineapple, alcohol, cream, and vanilla. WOWWEEE~!

My favorite thing about this delectible brew is the rich and thick overly malted mouthfeel. A meal in a bottle. WHat a great brew! Memorable.

note: need to purchase a case for aging!

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2008 04:57:07 | More by Trueant1
Photo of Wasatch


4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Silver Wrapped

I've been sitting on this one for about 1.5 years.

Pours a nice brownish color, not much carbonation, not much of a head/sticky lacing either. The nose is big and malty, nice tones of dark fruit/spices, with some caramel notes. The taste is slightly sweet at first then the malts come into plan. The alcohol is pretty present on this one. Medium body. Very drinkable tough. Worth a seek.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2008 00:48:43 | More by Wasatch
Photo of gford217


4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle courtesy of tayner. Thanks Dana! Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a deep coppery brown with an impressive 2-finger fluffy off-white head. Retention was surprisingly good leaving some serious lacing.

S: Aroma starts off with a blast of sugary malts with strong caramel and toffee notes. Hops were there as well but more on the resiny side than than the fruity. Probably the best aroma of any BW I've had.

T: Toffee and caramel are the most dominant flavors with the strong malt backbone. Aftertaste was actually a little bitter with the hops sneaking in at the end.

M: Fairly heavy, syrupy mouthfeel with decent carbonation and the aforementioned piny hop aftertaste.

D: A very solid (and slightly hopped up) representation of an English BW. I would certainly seek this out again.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2008 01:23:26 | More by gford217
Photo of MiScusi


3.48/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's Pasadena for their Strong Beer Fest.

Poured a nice dark orange color with an off-white thin head. Smell was a malt soup for me with some earthy hops thrown in. The taste was a soup of big sticky sweetness, alcohol, and then cleaned out with some earthy hops. I thought this was ok, but probably wouldn't get it again. I prefer the barleywine style that Bigfoot and Old Guardian hit. This was a little to soupy, syrupy for me, but wasn't undrinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

04-16-2008 14:52:53 | More by MiScusi
Photo of jmacdaddy2008


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

I really enjoy ale smith beers.

Appearance is hazy and golden with light brown head that hangs around.
The smells are well intrigated throughout. Hard to pick out distinct smells. Alcohol well hidden and as the beer warms in my snifter it gets better.
Overall,I really enjoyed this. I recommend aging it just for fun but doesn't really need to change.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2008 01:20:19 | More by jmacdaddy2008
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a foamy head that last longer than expected, considering the style. Color is a rusty-copper with reddish hues. Nice trails of psychedelic lace form as the head minimizes.

Aroma shows another barleywine blurring the line between barleywine and Double IPA. Huge hops, huge malt, with just enough alcohol to enhance but not distract. Amazing.

Even though the hops are not afraid to show themselves in the flavor, this definitely works as an English barleywine, as the malts stay at the forefront. Like dunking a crazy-ass sweet/spicy cinnamon roll in sherry. I'd rate this higher if it weren't for the bad-ass alcohol. It's a bit too hot, overrunning the flavor at times. Feels resiny and creamy in the mouth without being overly thick.

If the alcohol were brought down a notch or two, this would be a more approachable, drinkable barleywine. As is, it's a delicious if unsubtle beast, perfect for sharing. If you're tackling this huge bottle alone, you better have a long, lazy day ahead of you.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 18:19:24 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of Atron67


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

Thanks to olibeer22 for this in a trade

A- poured what was actually surprizingly light for a barleywine almost clear amber golden with some red tones. off white tan head that didnt build up too high and fell down pretty quickly to a thin lace, but it left some pretty decent lace where it was at too

S- huge malt kick first in the nose, strong fruity tones that go along with it, some sweetness with it, there is also a pretty strong hops character as well.

T- huge delicious malt kick that starts it off, some strong fruit tastes underneath as well. after the really strong malt burst it slowly fades down into a lighter finish. slowly lingers on the tongue but isnt really sticky on the tongue

M- thick full body, medium carbonation,

D- pretty solid beer

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2008 02:16:02 | More by Atron67
Photo of cjgator3


4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle with a silver decorative foil wrap. Pours into a Duvel tulip glass. Pours a beautiful brownish amber color with a nice off-white head. The aroma is absolutely mouthwatering! The aroma features a huge malty aroma with lots of caramel, toffee and hops. The taste starts out unbelievably smooth and malty with the hops making their presence in the finish alongside a warming sensation from the high ABV. Despite the high ABV, this beer is dangerously drinkable, a sipper for sure. Overall, I am completely blown away with this beer. It is the best barleywine I have tried. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2008 05:43:55 | More by cjgator3
Photo of tpd975


3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one comes from Joey at Southbay. Thanks for sending the good shit.

A: Pours a wonderful amber brown, kinda reminds me of nice cherry wood. The head was nice and thick and the lacing is ample.

S: There is no doubt this is an English Barelywine. The aroma is big on caramel and candied cherries. Rum and toffee come next with an alcohol note that brings the burn.

T: English in taste as well. The flavor is big and bold with lots of sweetness upfront. Caramel and toffee come first with hints of rum. Spicy hops come next with tons of malty sweetness. To be honest though you really have to concentrate to bring out the hops as this one; as it is all about the malt. The finish is big and boozy with lots of alcohol to burn. This is a big beer no doubt about it, maybe the biggest English style Barleywine I have ever tasted.

M: Rich, smooth, and creamy.

D: This is a big beer in character and size. 750 ml is a bit too big for me so I knocked it down a half point here.

Overall: A wonderful English style Barleywine, though I think I like the hoppiness in the American style a bit better. I do really like this one though, and in my opinion Alesmith at this point can do no wrong. Try it, you will be glad you did!

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2008 20:28:41 | More by tpd975
Photo of SkinnyElvis


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

Purchased during my SoCal beercation about nine months ago. Dark amber in color with a thin head. Smells sweet and of fruits and carmel. Taste is sweet with a majority of the flavor coming from piney hops and fruits. Mouthfeel is smooth and I can detect only some of the ABV so it is drinkable despite the 11%. I have had this fairly fresh before and I think it benefits from some time to mellow. Recommended & very reasonably priced.


Serving type: bottle

03-16-2008 18:25:52 | More by SkinnyElvis
Photo of Bitterbill


4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours from 750ml foil wrapped bottle a deep copper with a 2 finger head of foam that shrinks to about a 1/2" solid layer and there's some decent lacing.

The smell at first is all hops...both citrus and pine. A few more whiffs reveal some caramel malt in the background.

The taste is strongly flavoured both with the hops and the malt. Caramel malt is nice and sweet and the hops impart some citrus and some pine that cuts into the sweetness but I think the malt is ruling it here. I'm also getting some notes of some dark fruit and a bit of molasses..pretty darned nice and the alcohol is hidden pretty well too. Just some warming after the swallow.

The mouthfeel is medium full to full, the carbonation is medium-light, and it finishes on the bitter side with a fairly long aftertaste.

I like this BWSA and I can see why it's listed as an English style because of how the malt character plays center stage. I'd drink it again, no problem.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2008 00:05:00 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a dark amber color with a 1/2" offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a rich and warm burnt toffee scent that's out of this world. It's a beautiful thing. The taste is excellent. It has a very complex taste that boasts of warm malty flavors and powerful hoppy notes. It goes down slow and smooth with a warm, dry finish. This is a very tastey brew. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This beer certainly lived up to my expectations. It's one of the better barleywines on the market. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2008 02:00:04 | More by WesWes
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this bottle in December in Portland. Pours a nice reddish dark amber with a very nice head that fades to a thick cap and leaves some clumpy lacing. Good head for such a strong non-Belgian beer. Somewhat sweet and malty, but not overly so in the aroma. This is well balanced with some nice citrusy hops and some spicebox scents. Very nice. English in aroma with a tad more hops than usual- without straying over into DIPA terrritory at all. The taste is also wonderful with more of that sweet maltiness restrained in its sugariness, some more citrusy hops, and faint spiceiness that complements rather than dominates. A beautiful example of the style, perhaps a bit less sweet, slightly more hoppy, and slightly more robust than English examples. Mellow mouthfeel, waxy and a bit creamy, and full without being harsh. Astonishing that this is 11% abv- it doesn't taste like it. How pleasant. I'm always a fan of Alesmith's stuff.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2008 00:57:51 | More by Georgiabeer
AleSmith Old Numbskull from AleSmith Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 941 ratings.