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Wee Heavy | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

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29 Ratings

Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Minnesota, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by feloniousmonk on 01-20-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 29 |  Reviews: 20
Photo of italianstallion
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of MooseBoose
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of p-wagz
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of mattmarka1
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of pathman
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of mhaugo
3/5  rDev -27%

Photo of millelacsmark
5/5  rDev +21.7%

Photo of mothman
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Town Hall had a vintage keg from 2008 last night.

Pours a beige head. Decent retention. Color is a dark cooper.

Aroma: Very peaty and smokey. It is pretty malty with notes of caramel and bready. Some oak shows.

Taste: Very similar to the nose. Very peaty and smokey. It has a bacon flavor that I find in Rauchbiers. I also get some oak notes. I was surprised with this one. I guess this was a more traditional version of the beer. Pretty malty. Not very hoppy.

Mouthfeel: Smokey and smooth. A bit warming. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall, this was a good beer, but it just wasn't what I was expecting. It was much more traditional than any other wee heavy I have had. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of MPLS
3.53/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Went to Town Hall expecting to down a few pints. Mission accomplished!

A: A dark burnt umber colored body with a head that quickly dissipates to the familiar salivary pool that beckons you to drink it. Lacing was present, not spectacular, spotty at best. The reddish hue makes this beer warm on a cold January day.

S: When I think Wee Heavy I think of big caramel and smoke notes, but this was a little underwhelming. I was greeted with molasses, caramel, touch of smoke, alcohol, low hop profile. Decent aroma, just doesn't want make me want to drown my nose in it.

T: This beer is pretty malt forward with a layered sweetness that produces some caramel, molasses, and cherries. The smoke is pretty subdued in this beer and the finish at first slightly bitter possesses some vinous qualities.

M: Notable carbonation, but the body could use more viscosity to it. Syrupy feeling on the tongue in coordination with the malt profile.

D: If it weren't winter in Minnesota I'd be hesitant to order a 10 oz pour of this again. Decent offering from Town Hall.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark mahogany color. The head is small, but a nice cap of lacing sticks around until the beer is gone. The aroma is of nuts, caramel, vanilla, and toffee. The taste is like the aroma with a mellow, long lasting finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied with lively carbonation, and a silky texture. Overall, this is a nice wee heavy. I would certainly drink this again.

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Photo of biegaman
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz hand bottled sample lifted from a growler filled at the Brewpub. Thanks Harry!
Some active carbonation, a greyish head was quick to form off a slow pour. Most only lasted as a thin blanket but it was always quick to re-assemble on swirling. Spotty lacing. Dark, deep burgundy colour, only transparency comes when held directly to the light. Great aroma - sticky malts, hop resin, great molasses, large dose of peet. A coating of burnt, ashy coating. Mouthfeel lightly syropy. No alcohol noticeable. Taste is very impressive! A great malt bill with all the character of the aroma. A little thin in the mouthfeel but quite robust in the taste. A little metallic, result of the water? Bitterness only on the finish. Nice resonance of molasses and peet. Not only true, but fantastic representation of the style.

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Photo of Jredner
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Handbottled 12 oz courtesy of Footbalm. Thank you, Eric. The aroma is sweet malt, hard candy with cherry notes, caramel and a touch of smoke that gets a little plastic smelling. Still a decent smelling brew all in all. The body is a very dark dull brown and it holds a thumb thick tan head that is fairly diminishing.

Smokey, malty sweet with caramel notes int he fore. Some bitterness in the middle and then a lot of fruit sweetness on the back end before finishing smokey again. It has a very creamy mouthfeel. The smokiness gets to be too much for me, but there are a lot of very positives elements here.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on 1/17/07. On tap at the brewpub. Light crisp malt aroma, with some edges of pan-seared carmelization. Ruby brown pour, very clear, with a rim of ivory. Flavor is a surprisingly dry, smokey preserved fruit, with a lot of aromatic malt character. There’s a certain smokiness that jumps out at me right off the bat, but it’s ethereal and clean, as if from a luxury cigarette or something. A little woodsy and touch of peat. At first, I’m really down about this beer. It seems too dry, too one dimensional. But, as I drink it grows on me. I’m used the the coarse grainy sugars of the style, with a lot of residual caramelly sweetness. Instead, I have this really drinkable, refined beverage with all the subtle, yet unique and definable characters, that take time to grow on me. Gentle vinous notes ebb from the tide and leave a grapeskin and strawberry residue. Faint chocolate-mint character grows. It took me a while to realize what a good beer this is. A lilting song of gentle warming smoke, dispersive sweet caramels and light husky phenols carol along in the night, with phenomenal drinkability and true uniqueness. Towards the end, the number closes with a cusp of minty dryness, for that longing hop balance. Nicely attenuated and any aging really melds this beer into a beauty.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad I got a growler of this one. I hadn't made it a priority to get a Wee Heavy, but quickly noticed my mistake on Saturday. A dark brown ale with garnet highlights around the edges make a clear impression early--light brown head is thin and disappears but the smell attacks the nose: alcohol, plums, raisins, smokey peat, and tones of malt. Dive in and more of the same, though it is sticky sweat, probably too sweet for some. I can see from the range of reviews that it is very much a matter of taste on this one. If you're into big barleywines, and don't mind the syrupy base to your beer, this is a good one--don't have a sweet tooth, move along.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another fine growler from my Town Hall hookup BA JeffKrenner.

A: What I imagine chocolate cola would look like. The body is very still and the carbonation on the low end. I fine film tops the ceiling of the brewing with a dark beige ring surrounding the glass.

S: Cherries, oak sap, Hershey's syrup, smoked peat and molasses. This is quite intriguing.

T: Begins very peated and smoky like a nice scotch. Deep chocolate saturates ripe red berries, dark plums and fermented raisins. Next comes cold smoked caramel with more abundant and striking dark red fruits. The theme here is peat though and it shines through after every sip. Some smoked beers the palate adjusts to the smokiness but not this one. Finishes sweet and slick with more oily cold smoked fruits and warm, inviting alcohol esters.

M: Medium mouthfeel, really smooth with a delicate carbonation.

D: I'm enjoying this quite a bit. I'll kill this growler tonight.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a tulip glass, was poured a deep russet brown approaching almost black with a nice white fluffy head, some reddish color, some nice lacing as the brew receded. Aroma is yummy, heavy fruits, syrupy molasses, sweet malts, lovely. Taste is even better, a malty beast, warm alcohol and smooth mouth inviting flavors of sweet sugars and dark fruits, syrupy, sweetly, lovingly malty. I'm entering a short wee heavy phase, and I'm liking it! This is a tasty brew, and if I hadn't already had so much to drink, I'd have another.

1/8/08: Upon further review, the mouth is a bit better than before, and more drinkable, both up .5 from before.

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Photo of Chaz
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Murky, ruddy-amber and quite dark in color. Clear but not brilliant. Nose is all about the malts . . . pretty hard to fathom as it'spoured cold, but there's a nice subtle tang in there too. Quite sweet, yet there's a nice lightly cleansing carbonation that makes this seem lighter on the first sip than it actually is. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, and a bit slick/oily and yet coating the tongue in a dense, treacly way (and it's best if you like that, or this is a long sip!) A light touch of that iodine quality that you either love, hate, or don't notice in this style. Personally I dig it, but it's understated enough here (at least seeing as this is fresh at the moment) to where it won't be too funky for the newbies to the style. An ever so slight lactic tang here, but it's more of a Granny Smith sourness. Syrupy in a good way, and with whiskey, molasses, and vanilla notes. Rather full-bodied, but on-style and with very good drinkability for the style as well.A toutch of boubon in here also . . . but I'd hate to see this put into a boubon cask to enhance a natural and fairly distinct light touch. Great stuff!

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I am sampling from a 1/2 gallon growler from feloniousmonk. Thanks man!
I am drinking a chilled sample in a 10 oz snifter.
The beer pours a deep clear mahogany with heavy garnet hues tinting the brew when held up to the lite.
A small tightly packed beige head of 1 cm foams up and fades fairly quickly. Leaves only a minimal edge layer after only a minute or so.
Aroma is all malt and then some! I get caramel and brown sugar lightly covering a faint raisin scent that only adds to the generally sweet smell. No hops to be found and I didnt expect to find them here either.
First sip reveals a thick syrupy body with very fine tingling carbonation. Flavor is just as the nose suggests. Malt. I am hit by a gust of sweet caramel and toffee mixing with a molasses flavor rushing into my mouth. Very smooth and sweet. Not really super sugary but more of a brown sugar/molasses taste. I actually ponder how this would taste with pancakes. I really enjoy this but I dont think this is a beer for everyone. If you like hops look elsewhere. The sweetness could definitley be a little overwhelming and I wonder if I can finish this jug on the counter in a sitting. I enjoy the beer but dont think I could drink a lot of it.

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Photo of ZAP
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I nice tasting brew small hint of smokiness.and peat on the nose and buds...very sweet and rich and satisfying...full bodied...sticky sweet...smoked cashews dipped in caramel and nougat...hints of brown sugar...also some sweeter fruits...

I am really enjoying this beer....wish I had more of it...thanks to Big Hugey for tapping me off a bottle from his growler...welll worth it...I would call this a substantial brew...if you like sweet big beers you would like this one..

I did not expect much from this one and figured I'd rate it in the high 3's but the proof is in the product and I like this a lot..

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/2 gallon growler courtesy of the "larcenous brother."

Pours deep very clear garnet, ruby and auburn shades. Small bubbled, light ecru head that dissipates to leave a small ring of lace around the pint.
Aroma is an enormous waft of carmelized malt and sticky toffee with just a hint of smokey charcoaled peat and some hexnut in the background.
Flavors of caramel and toffee and brown sugar predominant to start but as the flavor progresses and nuttiness and some tiwnges of smokey peat emerge, very muted but just there, subtle.
Mouthfeel is intially lighter than others of the style but the sweetness builds into a crescendo that is just barely muted by a charcoal and slightly resined bitter and faint hint of grain alcohol.
Nougat like aftertaste as well as a warming hint of alcohol spice. Very warming.
Drinkability is enormously high. Sweeter than average of style but it carries it off very nicely with complex malt profile and just damn good taste. Another winner from the folks at Town Hall

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Photo of tavernjef
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-cask at the brewpub: 10oz snifter - Wow, what a difference from the tapped version...yum!

Color is about the same with a darker chestnut hue and amber-esk highlights instead of the darker hues of crimson I saw in the tapped version. Head is a nicely fluffed cream of sandy brown about a pinky high and remained for a good while. Lacing inclined to stick more as well.

Aroma is a heavenly whiskey soaked chocolate cherry cheesecake and we'll leave it at that. Boozy, but in check.

Taste is a great boubon, smokey peat, dark cherry thing laced with a favorable caramel malt. The malts are not such a mess this time, much more order has taken place and the striking bourbon flavors and heat more then help make it all come to together, but just sets it apart from many other Scotch ales. Lovely layers underneath the bourbon, with chocolate, caramel, dark cherry, prune, tobacco, pine, and Scotch itself. Borderline rum-like alcohol, but I get mostly a twist of bourbon and Scotch together over all the other good stuff going on here. It's quite a melange of goodness. The tapped version perhaps was a bit to messy and was tougher to distinguish what was really going on. But this, this is magnificent. As I continued drinking it, it became more and more remarkable. The heat and smokey/earthy peat that it has is perfect. It shadows a bit of J.W. Lee's Harvest Ale with the way it plays out. Perhaps not as thick or chewy as a J.W., but the flavors are pretty darn close.
Again, 10oz was not enough.
A warm and wintery thanks goes to the Felonious one for sharing a brief luncheon with me and picking up the tab for this one.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler filled and provided in trade by StuBob. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured somewhat hard into an imperial pint glass, a frothy 3/4" tan head formed over the barely translucent dark reddish mahogany brew. Head hangs around after losing half its height, and leaves layers of thick, foamy lace along the entire height of the glass. Aroma is sweet malts, coupled with slightly fruity alcohol essence. Taste is also sweet malts, sharing time with alcohol. Seems a bit strong in that department for me, but maybe this ain't so wee a heavy. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, although losing some ground when the abv kicks in, and drinkability boths benefits and suffers from the same. A nice brew, which with a few tweaks for my personal palate, could be a great one. Try it if you can.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've yet to have a beer that appeals to me this much more on cask than it did pushed. I had the pleasure of trying one of these on cask today and found it very much more to my liking than the growler I reviewed a couple weeks ago.

The mouthfeel is very nice. Supple and unassuming. Glides over the tongue effortlessly. I was surprised at how quickly this was gone. And in different circumstances, I'd easily have put back a few more (and a LOT more if transportation was set up for me). The taste was quite chocolatey. Less boozy than my growler and more malty. A little rummy. And just a bit of vanilla. Just a very enjoyable beer.

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Wee Heavy from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 29 ratings
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