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.

1,142 Ratings
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 TCHopCraver
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes on 9-17-10. Props to zoso1967 and TCGoalie for bringing this brew to my mouth.

A: The color is a little strange... its murky, light brown, reddish orange hue reminds me a little of loose feces (not really in a bad way, though). Atop this curious looking body is a one finger, khaki head in my oversized wine glass. The carbonation bubbles are moving very slowly and the lacing is thick and swirly.

S: A very robust smell of musty caramel and brown sugar emanates from this numbskull. There is a slight citrus presence of orange zest along with some white pine coming from the hops. I also smell some thick, creamy butter. The biggest aroma in the batch is that malty, mustiness.

T: A musty caramel and brown sugar sweetness is tempered by a tingly pine hoppiness. The order of that taste on my palate is the brown sugar upfront, with the musty caramel taste in the middle, finished by the drying pine hop bitterness.

M: This numbskull MF has a very creamy, buttery, medium feel on my palate with a lovely, dry hop bitterness at the end.

D: I really could not detect the 11 % a.b.v. at all. This is very smooth drinking beer that is not exceptional, but was quite tasty and will be worth another try in the future.

Photo of TCgoalie
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 9/17/10

All hail zoso1967 for relinquishing his grasp on this bottle for TCHopCraver and I to enjoy.

Pours a murky brown with hues of gold. If you put a couple of ice cubes in it, I may have mistaken it for iced tea brewed with dirty river water.

The smell is typical barleywine, brown sugar, caramel malts, funk but has some added citrus, lemon and orange. I really enjoy the smell of a barleywine.

There is a lot of brown sugar up front in the taste leading to a malt funk which reminds me of how my basement smells(in a good way). There is a substantial pine hop bitterness at the end which drives the aftertaste. The flavor profile is smaller than I thought it might be given the smell.

The feel in the mouth is of a medium bodied nature. There is also a touch of drying in the end.

This is very drinkable and a solid barleywine. I would be happy to have it again.

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

750 ml bottle in snifter.

A: deep amber, frothy tan head, laces the glass well

S: malts, rich fruit,

T: rich malts, well balanced, alcohol is well hidden.

M: on point carbonation, sticky mouth feel, creamy

D: smooth drinker, solid beer, I always enjoy drinking beers from Alesmith, they have yet to have let me down.

Photo of zimmerbloke
3.89/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From Blind Bomber BIF (Thanks to Hophead101!):

A: Pours mildly transluscent brown. Looks dense and full bodied, but the density isn't really apparent when swirling the beer. Quite foamy, light khaki head fades into a thick, sticky lacing.

S: Dark fruit sweetness and heavy oxidation. Some brown sugar and caramel. Very sweet, with some biscuity malt. Pleasantly mild, not at all boozy.

T: Very strong oxidation. No alcohol heat, but I can definitely taste some on the end of each sip. Floral and citrus hops are definitely present, if faded. Only mild hop bitterness is present. Drinks very sweet, but almost like processed sugar. Not entirely balanced flavor profile, but interesting nevertheless.

M: The carbonation is weaker than I would like, even for a barleywine/old ale. Still a very smooth drink, but not quite there.

D: At first, the oxidation was a bit too strong for me to want to drink much of it, but as the beer warmed, I really enjoyed it more and more. Not perfect, but I definitely was happy to drink the bomber.

Still trying to work out my feelings for this beer, but I think I like it. At the very least, I think it's well made and I'd like to know how old the bottle I had was. I'll certainly be seeking out more to investigate further.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Schlafly tulip from a 750ml bottle.

A - Pours a very nice dark and muddy amber color with some reddish hues and some nice orange hues as well. This beer looks gorgeous. The head is enormous, about 2 inches tall and nice and light tan color with some medium sized bubbles. The head takes forever and a day to recede. Nice sticky lacing all over the glass.

S - Strong citrusy and grassy hop notes come through with a furry. Rich malt aromas have some nice hints on the back end of the nose. Pretty resiny just on the nose alone. If this is any indication of the flavor then I should be in for a nice hoppy bomb.

T & M - Starts off with a rush of citrus hops that coat the mouth in a matter of mili-seconds. There is a slight grainy and malty sweetness in the middle that is very delicious and quasi-balancing. Still the intense resin and hop flavors are so powerful. On the back end there is some slight toasty malt flavors that give some slight coffee hints. There are some caramel and brown sugar hints in the sweetness as well as toffee but like i said before the hop is king in this beer. Great oily and viscous mouthfeel with still good CO2 crispness. The alcohol is present as it warms up and definitely leaves a boozy aftertaste. Would go well with something spicy.

D - Very good Barleywine. Delicious and intense. Might be a bit dangerous on the 11%.

Photo of atigerlife
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a small creamy brown head. Small carbonation rising. Very nice to look at.

Aroma is sweet, malts, overally ripe dark fruits [prunes/figs]. Alcohol in the background.

Taste is sweet, malty, caramel, some hops and hints of slightly old orange and dark fruits. As it warms, the alcohol makes it presence known.

Mouthfeel is syrupy, heavy.

Overall, a wonderful barleywine. Very drinkable given the ABV. Not my favorite style, but I would recommend this [and wish I had another bottle].

Photo of younger35
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this brew from Gibby in a trade not too long back. This is one of those beers that is fairly readily available and I've always wanted to try it but never got around to trading for one. Drank from my Bear Republic pint glass while grilling.

Appearance- Pours a murky copper orange with a beautifully creamy one fingered sandy white head. A beautiful cap and collar is maintained the entire beer along with loads of ringed lacing down my glass.
Smell- Full bouquet of Barleywine goodness here. Big hoppy aspect with hints of grass, dandelion, grapefruit and a touch of orange peel. As it warms and melds with the malt that great candy scent arrives. It reminds me of cotton candy or red licorice. Love that. Plenty of toffee and French toast from the malt along with a light whiff of alcohol.
Taste- Starts with a surprisingly subtle mix of hoppy deliciousness and malty brilliance. A mixture of lightly citric hops including lemon zest, grapefruit, and crab apple all invade the taste buds. The malt is no slouch though as the light caramel sweetness counteracts the bitterness beautifully. I get a small dash of toasted malt in the finish along with a bit of booze. The aftertaste lingers with a bit of fruit and caramel.
Mouthfeel- Big and thick and rich with a nice fine carbonation that aids in the super creamy feel.
Drinkability- Easily one of the tastiest Barleywines I've had the luxury of tasting in quite some time. It's super drinkable and has definitely hit the sweet spot in terms of malt/hop balance. Alesmith is a great brewery and between this beer and Speedway Stout, I'm in love. Thanks much Jeff!

Photo of CrellMoset
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A 750 mL silver-foiled and capped bottle. This one was courtesy of BrewerB, and was shipped to me back in December of 2007, if I recall, back when I first began trading. I sat on this one forever, and it's the only regular AleSmith I've yet to try, largely because I shortly thereafter traded for a -bal version of the same, and have been waiting for the perfect moment to crack both one after the other. Ergo, this one has a good nearly three years of age on it. This one was poured in to a 22 oz. snifter that my brother gave me last Christmas.

Appearance: Pours a ruddy, rusty, burnt umber, transparent around the periphery but hazed an inch or two beneath the surface, even with exposure to direct light. I imagine that's partly due to a lack of filtering, but also due to a good few years for the yeast to propagate and whatever and whatever amen to fall out of suspension. The hue is nice, perhaps a little dirty, but the head is a bit of a step up - a foamy, whipped mass of vanilla cream stays atop this beer for an impressive amount of time, given the abv% and style, though it ultimately retreats to the safety of a thin, spotty collar and a few spotty blotches of fluff floating haphazardly on the surface of this brew. The lacing is fascinating, looking almost smeared along the sides of the glass, with some great stick but not a lot of what I would readily or easily identify as "lace." It's reminiscent of other aged barleywines, however, and gives this one that classic aged look I've come to appreciate.

Aroma: Wholesome malts and estery fruits intermingle with spicy, astringent hop remnants. The aroma here is a little muddled at times, but always pleasant, in a far-off, unidentifiable sort of way. There are hints of toffee, maple syrup, and brown sugar, refined, not syrupy, accompanied by a slew of tobacco and thick, musty grass notes. A few peat-like woody notes, faintly sweet and sour, honey-glazed steak-esque.

Taste: Amazingly smooth and complex. There's a well-faded, persistent amount of bitter hop "white noise," if you will, that slightly astringent (in a good way), faintly bitter and acidic background note that permeates everything without overpowering anything. It augments, amplifies, and compliments nearly everything else in the beer, as well. The malt base here is heavily roasted, slightly toasted, and right past the equally dry/sweet line, showcasing tons of toffee, caramel, toast, brown sugar, and molasses. The fruity additions from what I imagine have been a very content yeast strain over the past two-odd years intermingle well with both of the aforementioned, with tons of fruit sugar-y esque notes (from glassy raisins to black cherries to mildly tart figs) interacting with both the aforementioned maltiness and the leafy herbal notes of the hops - themselves dominated by tobacco and muddled mint, though with flashes of citrus at points. Nothing is too biting or intense, and there's no sign of anything approaching an 11% abv except a long-since-faded memory.

Mouthfeel: You don't feel the carbonation, but you do feel the lift, which is a feeling I love. That is, there's no independent prickle, no individually identifiable bubbles or streams of effervescence ... but the slightly thick though not-quite-sweet-enough-to-be-considered-syrupy body does rise up fairly quickly, evenly, smoothly in the mouth for a creamy, nearly velvety mouth. Sublime.

Drinkability: This one's probably around or perhaps just past its peak - I don't really see it getting too much more spectacular with age, as the hops have definitely hit their stride and seem to be on a downward trajectory, even though the alcohol bite has completely faded. After finishing the 750, I'm fearful of tackling the -bal 750 (but I'll soldier on somehow, right?), so you definitely can feel the 11% here, even if you can't taste it. However, as it stands, this is a remarkably well-aged, complex, mature, easy-drinking beer. Crack 'em if you got 'em, and crack 'em alongside a -bal version of the same if you got 'em - who knows when the next time AleSmith will grace us with -bal versions of this or any of their other brews may be! Highly recommended, and cheers.

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

Old Numbskull has a very clear, light brown appearance. There is a moderate amount of head and lacing. Sweet malts with hints of caramels, toffee, and alcohol are the basic make up of the scents and tastes. Alcohol is pretty evident throughout the smell, taste, and finish of the beer. The feel is decent, with a prominent butterscotch candy note in the back, which I find to be rather enjoyable.

Photo of jwinship83
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml capped bottle drank from my duvel glass. bottle says sit on it for 6 to 24 months but has no bottling date. this bottle was picked up in san diego in late march.

A- this one pours out dark reddish brown colored body with a rather large head of beige colored foam. excellent retention, plenty of lacing left behind. nice.

S- my initial thought is that this is going to be pretty sweet. plenty of caramel and fruits in the nose. cherries, plums, figs, dates, raisins, and maybe a little bit of orange. this is also surprisingly piny smelling for an english barleywine. a moderate aroma of alcohol.

T- sweet is right. lots of the caramel and fruity malts i could smell come through strong. very heavy on the cherry, fig, and raisin. the other fruits are less noticeable. the citric and piny hops are also stronger than i was expecting given the style. theres a decent amount of detectable booze in this one.

M- thick and syrupy. palate coating. a nice low level of carbonation which is good. ive found several alesmith beers to have incredibly high levels of CO2.

D- easy enough to finish my share of this bottle. this is still a brewery i wish i had access to here in illinois. pretty hoppy for an english barleywine. too strong to reach for another.

Photo of irishkyle21
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finnally starting to catch up on my reviews. This was the last beer we had at the Freakin Frog in Las Vegas. Has a nice thick foamy head that fades away but it does leave some nice brussels behind. Has a deep copper color.

Smells great! Lots of sweet caramel malts, raisins and other dark fruits, a little molasses and a good dose of citric and floral hops.

Tastes just as good as I was hoping. Sweet caramel, toffee, warming alcohol and a good dose of hop bitterness. A great beer to sip on if only I could get a few if these for the cold winters up here I would be very happy.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.69/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - A hazy copper to auburn color. A substantial head that is long lived. Only isolated flecks lace the glass.

S - Mmmm, pineapple, caramel, grapefruit, spruce, lemon, lime and toffee. The smell is incredible! As it warms the high alcohol is slightly evident.

T - Caramel, warming alcohol, pine, grapefruit pith and a touch of lemon. Aftertaste is of lightly bitter grapefruit pith and caramel, while breathing out reveals a nutty, lemon-touched malt flavor.

M - Smooth, thick, a little tingle on the tongue. Surprisingly refreshing.

D - $13 for the bottle, but I think I'd rather drink this than a $40 bottle of fantastic wine. The depth of flavors is endless. I finished the bottle too easily. A wonderful brew that has been masterfully crafted.

Photo of snaotheus
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into big goblet

Pours fairly dark ruby-amber, big beige head that leaves big fat bubbles clanging in a ring around the glass and a thin film of very fine bubbles. Smells strongly astringent, some toffee, lots of smoke and balsa. A little spicy smell.

Taste has cherry in it, slightly sweet with a muted fruity sour. Surprisingly smooth for the strength. Alcohol comes out in the aftertaste with smoke for a strong bitterness.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and smooth, surprisingly drinkable for such a strong beer.

Photo of ChrisPro
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle (2009?) tasted around 12/28/09. Pours a hazy dark orange with little bubbly tan head and beautiful lacing. Caramel, pine, perfume and some tropical fruit in the aroma. Typical bitterness of a west coast barley wine followed by a little sweet caramel finish. Pretty thin bodied, decent carbonation. ABV hidden extremely well, especially if this was a fresh bottle. Solid west coast barley wine, but didn't seem too much like an english. Would've liked it to be a little more malt forward.

Photo of mdagnew
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle bought online from Beermerchants.com

Poured a deep coppery red colour. Mocha tan head poured tight, thick and foamy with a meringue like top then faded slowly to wispy covering... barely any carbonation... some sticky lacing lines...

Aroma - Lots of toasted toffee and caramel maltiness, strong citrusy and peppery hop notes, dark fruits (strong raisins, figs), some booziness, toasted nuts, piney resin, earthy, light liquorice, some orange, malt loaf, burnt sugar sweetness, light oakiness...

Taste - Strong toasted bready and toffee malts, lots of sweet caramel, noticeable alcohol - hints of rum, piney hop resin, fruit cake notes, light treacle sweetness, ripe fruits (raisins, spicy apples, bitter oranges), butterscotch and vanilla...

Feel - Smoothand syrupy initially then a little sharpness comes through... full bodied... a bit boozy to be very drinkable..

Overall - An excellent barleywine... rich and warming... recommended...

Photo of alleykatking
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle.

A- Poured a coppery red color. One finger off white head that died to a cap actually pretty quickly. Some streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Big hints of caramel malts and light toffee notes as well. Darker fruits with some candi sugar in the middle with a touch of light cirus. The alcohol is balanced with the a light oxidated aroma.

T- Like the aroma the caramel comes out kicking first. Light toffee notes throughout the entire beer. Some darker fruits come through in the middle but comes out more in the ending. Hops are faded (this bottle is 3 years old) but still give a little bitterness to balance out the sugary sweet malts. Alcohol in the backend has mellowed out (very hot when fresh from what I remember) but still has a quick kick in the tail end of the beer.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation was light for the style I thought. Sweet caramel malts left on the palate with some sugary alcohol in the aftertaste. Clean overall with a light drying on the palate after each sip. Everything blended well overall in the beer even after the age.

D- This beer was very well made and holding up as it did with age just proved it. Perfect bottle for the cellar. I personally loved the fact that it was so drinkable with the ABV so high. Do yourself a favor and get a bottle to try and a to cellar. Alesmith you have done it yet again!

Photo of weeare138
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From an aged, 4 year old bottle...
Appears a hazy dark amber with a light beige head that slowly fades into a mild cap and hearty collar. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, light oxidation, light nougat, cracked grain, vanilla, and creme brûlée.
Taste is of the aromas with a wallop of cinnamon sugar with caramel dueling it out. Delcious stuff.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, sticky, syrupy, and chewy.

Photo of bonkers
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured from a 25 ounce bottle into a snifter. It pours a tawny port amber with a massive, sticky white head. It leaves nice lacing all along the glass. There are big piney hop aromas on the nose. The beer is thick and full of piney resin. The high abv is well hidden, making this a bit dangerous. It finishes with a lingering bitter pine. The beer is well carbonated and very smooth. IMO this is more of an American than English barleywine, and I graded it as such. It is a very enjoyable brew.

Photo of Sean9689
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. 2007 vintage bottle shared with a couple of the Chicago crew. Poured from bottle into snifter tasting glass.

A - Pours a reddish/copper color, a bit of off-white head, some decent lacing and a ultra-thin cap on top with some bubbles around the edge of the glass.

S - Perfectly balanced blend of sweet candies, malt, burnt sugars, and some dark fruit notes.

T - Again, the age on this has done wonders. Candies, burnt sugars, malts, dark fruit, vanilla. Maybe a touch of alcohol, but it's very well hidden and is perfectly balanced. Sweet finish.

M - Medium body, oily and sticky, rich, syrupy finish.

D - At 11%, I'm amazed how easy this was to put down. One of the best English BW's I've had the pleasure to taste. If you have a bottle from or around 2007, it's on.

Photo of Derek
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Copper-amber with a light tan head, thin ring of retention, excellent lacing. Impressive for its weight.

S: Piny grass & rind with some underlying toffee sweetness. Definitely an 'American' aroma.

T: Piny resin, grass, rind, toffee, good bitterness, warming alcohol. Nicely balanced for its strength.

M: Well-attenuated moderate body has a drying alcohol finish.

D: Pretty incredible for its weight.

Photo of Bung
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml. A nice hazy, but glowing orange/amber pour. A thin layer of off white head that surprisingly stays. Does lace the glass nicely.

Aroma is quite nice, malt, caramel, brown sugar, candied fruit, yellow raisin.

Taste has much more hop presence than the aroma would lead one to believe. Malt, toffee heavily accented by citrus and pine hops. Unfortunately there is a booziness to it that is not helped by this hop presence. Finishes a bit harsh, with some burnt bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium, not real sticky or coating. Alcohol is rather present, even after over a year in the cellar.

Drinking this by myself and I can see it is going to be a challenge. The hoppiness makes this one a little sharper, thus less drinkable for me. This definetely belongs in the American BW category.
Hate to think what this one was like fresh, more like a barrel aged IIPA.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.62/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to hoppymcgee for this one. No sure what vintage this is.

3.5 A: Really dark amber color. Aggressive pour yielded slightly less than one finger of beige head. Average retention, but lots of lacing.

4.0 S: Lots of caramel sweetness and breadiness from the top. Plum fruitiness with a touch of orange citrus. Alcohol is pretty well hidden.

3.5 T: Like the nose caramel stands out, but the breadiness is at most slight. There's some citrusy remnants of hops in the taste as well and the bitterness does well to balance out the malty sweetness. Not all that complex, but decent. The alcohol that was hidden in the nose comes out now in a big way.

3.5 M: Lighter heavy body, but sticky like a very heavy body. Carbonation is fine. Somewhat creamy. Finish gives a long lasting alcoholic bite and also a slight bitterness.

3.5 D: Not a bad brew, but the alcohol is a bit too apparent in the taste and it then becomes downright militant in the aftertaste. I wonder if aging this a few years to calm that down.

Photo of bobsy
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Derek.

Pours a rich, deep amber with a puffy off-white head that soon settled to a film, but left lots of lace behind. Sweet aroma, with a big caramel and vanilla component, but hoppier than expected for the style (I suspect this is more of an American barleywine). Some good sweet grapefruit leaps out at me. Flavour is pretty damn good - caramel dominates, but the c-hops adequately balance it. Quite sweet at first, but finishing good and bitter. Alcohol seems well-hidden. Full, slick mouthfeel with a hop stickiness to it.

Not as much complexity as I thought there would be, but there's no denying the craftsmanship of this barleywine.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.94/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Lightly chilled bottle into a glass. Purchased for $16 (!) in April 2009 at Perry's in Livermore. God, I hate that guy's prices.

A: Pours a very dark, but clear, maroon-amber body that passes glowing red light at the edges. Two fingers of light tan head fill the snifter and recede over a minute or so into a light collar and tons of scattered bubbles on top of the brew. Thick, sticky sheets of lacing left behind as the head vanishes, and more sticky lace during a sip. Great appearance.

S: Caramel, toffee, grapefruit hops (surprisingly still hoppy for a beer that I purchased over a year ago). I'm surprised this is intended to be an English barleywine.

T: Wow, this is really pretty hoppy. Lots of citrus up front, lending both flavors and an oily bitterness that pulls through into the finish. Malt backbone is supplied by caramel, toffee, and nuts. There's a peppery, boozy bite at the end. I'm not sure I could identify this out of a lineup of other American barleywines, and there are several I'd pick ahead of this one on flavor.

M: Medium-full bodied. Not as chewy as the Old Ruffian I had yesterday, although it's still pretty impressive. Carbonation is prickly. It finishes just a tad dry.

D: I'm liking it, not loving it. Horribly overpriced to me: I'd rather buy 3 Old Guardians instead.

Photo of kbeals
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clear dark amber color with two fingers of fizzy off white head. Head retention and lacing is very good.

S- Vanilla, caramel and some citrusy hops. Rarely do I pick up hops this well in an English Barelywine, but these come through quite well.

T- Very complex. Vanilla and caramel come through nicely. A touch of booziness and once again the hops come through. The only thing that hurts it here is that it is a bit cloying.

M- Nice heavy body, slightly prickly mouthfeel.

D- The sweetness of this brew really hurts it, also the booze shows up in it as well so that detracts from its drinkability also. Still a fantastic brew however.

Better thank gn0sis for sending this bottle to me in an awesome trade!

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