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AleSmith Old Numbskull - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Old NumbskullAleSmith Old Numbskull

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,174 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 1,174
Reviews: 459
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 183
Gots: 295 | FT: 21
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
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Ratings: 1,174 | Reviews: 459
Photo of amidabha
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of Yagman3000
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of AgentZero
4.12/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of jzeilinger
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Photo of brian44556
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of rowingbrewer
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of ADZA
4/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of sweemzander
4/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of cjacobsen
4.12/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of MrKennedy
4.08/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of Krakistophales
4.12/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of malvado78
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.87/5  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.

Photo of TheSupremeAJ
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
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?

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

A: fairly classic B-wine appearance. Reddish brownish bronze (orange marmalade). Good head and lacing.

S: Caramelised orange. Oxygenated sweet caramel and roast. Citric hops. Nice but I think it would be even better with more complex hop aromas. Slightest bit of alcohol.

T: Orange marmalade. Palate is not sweet or cloying at all. Alcohol is well integrated with its presence being slightly felt at the back but in an appropriate way. Pretty classic B-wine aromas and flavours.

M: Fine for a B-wine.

O: Very drinkable. Still it seems perfunctory and doesn't wow me in any way.

Photo of ffejherb
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Regal Beagle in San Diego, CA on 6/28/11.

A - Auburn/burgundy-toned liquid with ruby highlights and a rocky cap of beige foam on top that reduced to form craggy patches of lace around the tulip.

S - Nose smells of dark fruit, particularly raisins and dried apricots, with a faint dose of alcohol. Subsequent whiffs revealed notes of cocoa, molasses and earthy hops. A hint of floral and perfumy notes developed in the backend as the liquid warmed up a bit.

T - Toffee, caramel and dark fruit, especially raisin, dominates the initial flavor of the barleywine and mingles with earthy hops and bitter molasses, giving Old Numbskull a mild herbal hop bite in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy texture and bittersweet finish.

D - Straddles the line between English and American barleywine. Hop bitterness is fairly restrained overall. A very good barleywine, but not one of my favorites.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cool looking barleywine, almost a rust color. Unique aroma, everything but the kitchen sink. Citrus, raisins, toffee, caramel, brown sugar.

Taste, deliciously smooth. Alesmith always pulls this shit, huge abv, no sign of it on the palate. Way to go. What I really liked about the mouthfeel here was that it wasn't an overly sweet or alcoholic barleywine. Worked well with the low carbonation. Resisted the urge to make this hoppy and bitter, which was a pretty good choice after having drank this. Malt was thick enough to cover the alcohol, but wasn't chewy or challenging, just complimentary.

Props to 'em for bringing this to the SDIBF '11.

Photo of Knapp85
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a brownish amber color. The head is nice then it settles into a bubbly white film of the beer leaving some decent lacing. The smell is hoppy and malty, but there are way mote hops on the nose for sure. The taste is a little citrusy sweet with a good malty finsh. The hops really kick ass on this brew. The mouthfeel is smooth and yet has a great bitter quality. Overall it's a barley for the head head I think. Pretty Impressive brew it think.

Photo of perrymarcus
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. IMO 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.

Photo of lackenhauser
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly deep bronze color. Decent level of CO2 going on. Buttery, malty aroma. Quite sweet and caramel like. Big malty blast of flavor. Again caramel and buttery sweet. Nice raisen like quality-quite the dried fruit and fig like presence. Long lingering toffeeish flavor. Hint of booze in the finish. Nice mouthfeel-somewhat sticky and sweet. Great US barleywine and a real sipper on a cool spring evening.

Photo of MikeyMikee
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 3/3/10. Cellared and served at 55'F.

A- Hazy Copper with a tan head. awesome retention and lacing.

S- Floral and piney hops..with come citrus (orange and lemon zest) to it which is suprising because its over a year old. Slightly bready, caramel and brown sugar notes.

T- Orange oil and lemon zest are definitely upfront followed by a bready and biscuty feel probably from the pale malt..There is a slight hop bite mid-mouth but its not too bitter, you can tell the hops have faded a bit for there is a "hole" in where I feel that there should be hops. This was probably a hop bomb fresh though..There is some sweet caramel in the middle that gets subdued by the grainy pale malt and there is also some molasses and dark fruit in the middle to the end.

M- Soft, medium carbonation with a very smooth mouthfeel. There is a little sting and warmth from the alcohol and a slight bite from the hops.

O- It is a really drinkable great beer. The booziness is a little overpowering in the finish but overall it is a really great beer. This beer covers all the bases and I'm certainly glad that I have more in the cellar. I wish I could have tried it fresh as well.

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

A: Served in a Chimay goblet, the beer pours a murky/cloud dark copper brown. A half to full inch of creamy foam head forms both a consistent ring, and layer of film on top. Great lacing.

S: I pick up on scents of sweet malted barley, sticky toffee, caramel, and some citrus hops for balancing. Smells pretty decadent though.

T: Caramel, rich toffee, sweet malted barley, and citrus hops that add the right bitterness. Great balance, and a nearly perfect mirror to the nose, so much so I find it difficult to add anything I haven’t already described, only that I could easily take large gulps of this, but know better not too.

M: Medium to light, and a light creamy quality.

O: Very nice stuff. Good represenatation of the style, and just in general, a good sipping beer. Alcohol is well hidden, and you get a slow nice warming while sipping. I can only imagine what the bourbon barrel would do to this, hoping to try that version some day.

On a side note, another good beer on tap at Instant Replay, $5 for a goblet of it, pretty great deal.

Photo of drabmuh
3.44/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Is this beer suppose to be flat? Beer is brown and hazy with nearly no head, no carbonation, no lacing. Oh no!

Aroma of the beer is unimpressive, mildly sweet, some fruitiness, overall VERY WEAK.

Beer begins looking up in flavor, seriously. About damn time. Beer is medium in body, thick on the palate, Mildly bitter at the end but entirely from grains, a late residual sweetness, not my favorite but a decent beer overall. Sucks I'm ending my night with such an unremarkable beer.

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

Shared at Dark Lord Day. Poured into a 8 oz. Chimay goblet.

A: Pours a reddish amber with a brownish hues. About a 1 finger foam. Good retention.

S: Citrusy with orange and lemons, caramel/toffee, sugary, hops and raisins.

T: caramel and brown sugar, citrus flavors, raisins, dark chocolate notes, hops and roasted malts.

M/D: medium body, medium carbonation. A good representation of the style, nothing outstanding, but very solid barleywine.

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AleSmith Old Numbskull from AleSmith Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,174 ratings.