Real Heavy - Real Ale Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Real HeavyReal Heavy

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

73 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 73
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 9.55%
Wants: 4
Gots: 5 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  9.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: chadspivey on 03-23-2008

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (43) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 23
Reviews by elNopalero:
Photo of elNopalero
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draft. Pours a rich, luscious caramel color. Malty aromas and a big malt profile. It’s chewy, with a nice finish that leaves me wanting more. Heavy? Not necessarily, but definitely a big boy of a beer. (Update: it's stronger than I realized--but it hides it's alcohol well. I had no idea it was nearing 10%) A limited release that I wish I saw more of.

12/2011 update: After a year’s aging a vanilla sweetness comes out that wasn’t present before. A nice surprise.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the Freetail-Real Ale barrel-aged festival in San Antonio. This was the 2009 version. I don't believe the regular Real Heavy was brewed in 2010. Only the barrel-aged version, The Highlander, was brewed this year.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is sweet caramel malt with some alcohol. The flavor is caramel, dark cherries, brown sugar and a little of alcohol. I remember this beer being more boozy so I think the year of aging helped mellow the beer out, which is good in my opinion. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Flying Saucer in San Antonio, TX.

Pours a hazy chestnut brown color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of deep caramel malts with good amounts of spiciness and hints of brown sugar and butterscotch. As the beer warms the caramel malt influence increases a bit and the aroma sweetens.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Sweet caramel malts with hints of toastiness kick things off. Quickly joining in are mild amounts of spiciness along with hints of nuts and butterscotch. The nuttiness and butterscotch carry through to a mildly bitter ending that manages to leave a bit of sweetness lingering on the palate.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I continue to find that this is not my favorite style by a decent stretch but I could certainly appreciate one this well done. Worth a shot, especially if a fan of the style.

Photo of lowgear
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is certainly a nice new addition to the Real Ale family of beers. the color is a nice dark brown and the aroma is somewhat twizzler is well balanced between malt and hops,and this one will sneak up on you with it's 9.6% alcohol content. overall a nice example of a wee heavy style.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hickory brown with a very cloudy and hazy consistency to it. Not bad overall, I could see some carbonation, barely making it out through the haze. Very nice looking indeed.

deep malty backbone was starting to push through. Lots of sweet notes taking over on this one, with hints of caramel, vanilla and nice earthy grains starting to come to the front. Definitely, some wood somewhere in its history as the aroma of oak was huge on this one. Lots of caramel and vanilla starting to take shape here, really lightning it up and make it that much sweeter

Photo of IBUnit63
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Rustic praline color; head is rather thin.

Sweet, sweet malt and alcohol with faint tone of hops.

Like drinking dessert - a little creme brulee and bountiful alcohol work well together

Coats the mouth like caramel sauce

Awesome stuff but very heavy - good for sipping

Photo of chadspivey
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Since their's no "wee heavy category", I listed it as an american strong ale.

edit: I sumbitted a request to change the style to scotch ale/wee heavy. Didn't see the style until someone pointed it out to me.

Pours a dark rusty brown color with a tan one finger head.

Smells of dark fruit and alcohol and even a slight yeast character.

Wow the alcohol is quite present. It's still a damn fine beer,though. I taste dates and figs and hints of plums. Caramel malts. Did I mention the alcohol in the taste? Still very nice.

Medium to full body. Fits the style.

I'd be surprised it this beer was under 9%. One pint would do me good.

Photo of obrike
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A tasty Texas brewed Scotch Ale. Malty goodness on the tongue. Nice job Real Ale.

Photo of champ103
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a cloudy brown/amber color. A small beige head forms, and light lace is left behind.
S: Malty with lots of dark fruits (plumbs, raisins, ect). Smoky, earthy, and warm.
T: Follows the nose. Sweet caramel malt and dark fruits. A wonderful peatiness follows. I just love the way wee heavies taste.
M/D: Full-body thick, chewy and rich. Exceptionally smooth and easy to drink. The abv is high, but I drank this without even noticing the alcohol (except in the nose). I know I should not, but I can quaff a few of these no problem.

Another great beer from Real Ale. One of my favorite breweries making one of my favorite styles, this is heaven.

Photo of johnnytfresh245
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice rich amber color with little head that didn't stick around for too long. The smell is really nice with a comforting sweet carmelized sugar thing going on. The taste is a little o. The sweet side and to be ideal it would have a bit more bitterness to balnce it. The mouthfeel was nice and thick which adds to the cold weather appeal for me. I would love to have one of these with footof snow on the ground and no place to be.

Photo of Rootscipio
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

fresh very smokey I will be looking to putting it in the cellar..

Photo of JonathanL7890
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a tulip glass.
Slight head- Dark Amber color.
Aroma is mild hoppiness and some vanilla.

Taste is caramel, brown sugar, sweet, malty, butterscotch toffee, very slight smokiness.

Mouthfeel: very silky, rich.

Drinkability: easy drinking for a high abv, rich beer. The hops were very smooth and just balanced so to minimize the bitterness. I can definitely feel the warming effect of the alcohol but I would not classify this beer as "hot".

I wish they would bottle it so I could enjoy at home.

Photo of thirdeye11
2.25/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Got this at the Dallas Gingerman.

A: Pours a decent looking dark red color, almost no head, and no lacing on the glass. Nothing too special here.

S: Smell is a little molasses, toffee, roastiness, and some other unidentifiable sweet smell. I'm not impressed, but don't hate it either.

T: I really disliked this one. Way too bitter and the sweetness was there to "balance" it but it wasn't balanced at all. It was really just gross. The roast was like burnt toast and I didn't enjoy this one at all. I paid for it, but I drank only about 20% before the waitress took it away at my request.

M: Carbonation was a little light, could use more creaminess, but overall solid.

D: I couldn't finish it so I have to give this the lowest score possible. Too heavy like a syrup, too much roast, too much sweetness, no balance here whatsoever.

Not recommended to anyone. The waitress seemed surprised but I just hated it.

Photo of JDV
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Uncle Billy's. Pours a dark copper color with a medium lasting beige head. Smell is rich and malty with faint hints of peatiness and maybe a slight bit of alcohol. Taste is rich, dark caramelly malt again with subtle flavors of peaty smokiness and just a touch of welcomed alcohol. Some light tartness to the malt as well. Really a rich, decadent beer almost bordering on a super malty barley wine with a small typical "Scotch Ale" influence, yet with a just barely a medium body. Very drinkable and a great new beer.

Photo of Premo88
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into small snifter

L: red, clear ... against late afternoon sunlight, it's brilliantly red, almost Oklahoma Sooner crimson ... amazing; a late-forming but thick head of foam pops up about 1/2-inch, offwhite to beige, dissipates quickly but it does keep a good collar; the beer has the slightest amount of debris in it, just a handful of specks; little to no sticking or lacing

S: sweet grain, toasted malt, caramel ... it adds up to "sweet" -- smells almost like candy at times, it's so sweet; sour grain ... corn but definitely not creamed corn; some kind of bread, maybe raisin ... not pilsener or English pale ale-like bread malt but it's in that arena, maybe fruitcake; brown sugar; a faint peatiness -- it's hard for me to describe but it does have a good Scotch ale/old ale/English strong ale aroma with the malt dominating ... hell, it's like single malt Scotch at times, maybe with a bit of sugar sweetness added to it to throw off the alcohol medicinality

T: English pale ale-like fruitiness first sip, very sweet; caramel/toffee and a bit of medicinal alcohol (possibly dirt/earth hops); as it warms, sweetens back up with the malt taking it way past "fruity", almost to dark chocolate with a bit of stout-like coffee

F: solid weight, good carbonation, at times it does feel pretty thick

O: fantastic beer, it overcomes the slight taste of alcohol medicinality with a huge amount of malt sweetness; the weird trick of looking clear, light and crisp with the heavier mouthfeel is pretty cool -- typically a beer that looks this light feels light, but it's deceiving; a beer I will definitely drink again and one I hope Real Ale keeps around

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Uncle Billy's in Austin

A - Pours a cloudy amber to dark brown in color with just a thin head that dissipates quick and almost no lace.

S - Deep caramel malts, butterscotch, raisins, scotch whiskey, dark cherries and spice.

T - Deep malts, caramelized sugars, molasses, butterscotch, scotch whiskey, bitter hops, spice, and a touch of booze.

M - Well rounded and nicely balanced.

D - I could drink plenty of this and was a little sad it was served in a mini-pint class.

Photo of breity
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Flying Saucer in Houston out of a tulip glass (the only beer they didn't serve me with a piece of fruit pre-wedged into the glass, thank God).

A: As soon as I saw it in its tulip glass in front of me, I knew I was in for something special. Dark brown transluscence with a nice pinky-width of head. Holding it up to the light shows inviting bubbles. A thing of beauty.

S: As well as the malts, there was a fruity scent I couldn't place, which kind of worried me, since fruit isn't usually something I associate with wee heavies.

T: Ooooh yeah... my worry was unfounded. This is malt all the way with some hop on the end so you don't gag. In other words, wee heavy perfection. There's another flavor in there too, maybe toffee (as others have noted) or heather? It's not at all dominant, but instead provides a nice flavor blend to the malt. After my first drink, I looked down at the glass and chuckled deliciously. This earned me some bemused stares, but I couldn't help it -- this was that good.

M: It's a wee heavy. It coats your tongue, sticks around, and lets you get to know it. It exits your palette as politely as it comes.

D: Well, so long as my brain works, I can't drink more than one or two of these and drive away from the bar any time in the next few hours. However, it is one easy-to-drink wee heavy. It also gives you a nice warm glow, which is where you'll first notice the alcohol. So, quite drinkable, but woe unto those who put back several of these and then try to get up.

Summary: Woo hoo! Now bottle it already!

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.32/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 5/23/2009 (Draft at Flying Saucer, Houston,TX):

Pours a darkish brown colored body, amber murky in color. With an average white colored head. Has an alcoholy sweet aroma, fruity like strawberries. Sweet taste, like strawberries. Not a lingering sweetness. Not sickly sweet.

Photo of Hoganlaw
4.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. I wouldn't mind taking a bath in it.

Photo of jwillcourt
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap into a goblet pint glass.

A - Cloudy, golden caramel color. There is a 1/8 inch, fine, white head with good retention. It settles into spotty foam after more than five minutes. There is little to no lacing.

S/T - Smells strongly of sweet malt, toffee, and whiskey. Taste follows the smell. Lots of sweet malt up front. It tastes a bit like salted caramel in the middle. The finish is only slightly bitter and very boozy.

M/D - Medium- to full-bodied with soft carbonation. It feels honeyed and sticky. The alcohol is more prevalent in the nose and taste than the mouthfeel. This is on the sweeter side, and the alcohol is not hidden, so it isn't something you would keep drinking all night. It is a nice sipper, a good dessert beer, and very pleasant on this cold winter night.

Photo of grumpy
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Real Ale Real Heavy is Real Good (sorry, couldn't resist stooping to that level!), but it's not great.
Sampled on tap at the Flying Saucer in Houston. Served in a tulip glass at a bit too cold of a temperature.
Pours dark amber, with a half-inch head of beige foam. Little lacing noted. Aroma is sweet and fruity. The taste is sweet, with caramel, brown sugar, maltiness, very little hop balance, and a fairly big alcohol bite. Mouthfeel is nice with the lower carbonation and a medium-full body.
So what does it need to be great?
Well, in my opinion, a bit of peak-smoked malt, and a slightly higher noble hopping rate. That would give it more complexity and improve the drinkability. Otherwise, as tasty as it is, one is enough for me.
A good beer and a welcome (hopefully permanent) addition to the Real Ale lineup.

Photo of DeathbySexyBT
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Murky brownish leather color capped by a khaki head and very little lacing.

S: Very complex smell that grows as it warms. I caught: raisins, scotch, dark cherries, cedar, and hop spice.

T: In light of the aromatic ballet, the taste comes across as a bit of a let-down. Sure you have the burnt sugars, toffee, and bitter hops. The smell versus the taste reminds me of movies where the previews just build you up to expect so much and then you sit through it only to realize it was just another Michael Bay film. Anyways, the taste is good, but not what you expect given the smell.

M: A bit over-carbonated. Crisp and warming.

D: The alcohol will creep up on you. I like this beer. I do not know how to phrase the 'taste' section in a manner that doesn't sound like I am bashing it. I like the taste. I just...well you read it.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fairly sure this should be listed as a Scotch/Wee Heavy Ale...Poured on-tap at the Whip-In, Austin (I find myself loving this beer store more and more every time I visit!).

Served in a 20oz. Guinness pint, Real Heavy takes on a crisp, burnt russet hue that fades to copper in the light. A lively carbonation level for sure, but the light tan head isn't much to marvel at. The aroma, however, is phenomenal, with a plethora of sweetened dark cherries leading the way, followed by some tart acidity, wood, scotch, and a hint of citric hops.

Sadly, the flavor is nowhere near what the aroma has led me to expect. Starts off with a hint of toasted toffee malts and brown sugar, quickly giving way to a scotch booziness and bitter, almost acerbic hop bite. Finishes dry and highly-carbonated, even after the beer sits for a good twenty minutes. The crisp, medium body is still a treat, and finishes slightly sticky with a good dose of booze. All in all, a solid Scotch Ale from the good folks out of BLANCO (:D), Texas. Looking forward to Real Ale's other seasonal releases.

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Real Heavy from Real Ale Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.