MacPelican's Wee Heavy | Pelican Pub & Brewery

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MacPelican's Wee HeavyMacPelican's Wee Heavy

Brewed by:
Pelican Pub & Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
21.9 degrees Plato
Alcohol: 8.9% by volume
Bitterness: 20 IBU

Added by ccrida on 01-02-2008

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Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 45
Photo of kdahnke123
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter at cellar temperature. Bottled 12.31.12
A - Pours a deep amber color with a negligible amount of head. Clings well to the glass.
S - Bright malty smell with a middle of carmel and a hint of apple.
T - Tart at the beginning with a malty middle and a hint of booze on the finish.
M - Moderately full mouth feel with a nice coating quality and an above average amount of carbonation.
O - A pretty good rendition of a wee heavy.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 12/31/2012. Pours hazy deep ruby red color with a 1 finger fairly dense light khaki head with decent retention, that reduces to a spotty lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, brown sugar, nuttiness, raisin, plum, fig, apple, herbal, light smoke, light leather, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and moderate fruity yeast ester notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, brown sugar, nuttiness, raisin, plum, fig, apple, herbal, light pepper, light smoke, light leather, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, brown sugar, raisin, plum, fig, apple, light smoke, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Dame nice robustness and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and fairly slick/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent scotch ale. All around great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and moderate fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of drpimento
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured at a good temperature with a smallish, tan, fizzy head that soon settled and no lace. Color is a clear deep mahogany. Aroma is heavy malt and dark ripe fruit. Flavor's a lot like nose, lots of tang, bittersweet, hint of brandy. Body is huge, carbonation a bit sharp, and is very warming. Finish is like flavor, alcohol warmth lasts a long time. Not my fav wee heavy.

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Photo of mactrail
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amazingly red color, way beyond coppery; it's a cherry amber color. Handsome head in the Brewery Vivant tulip. Fine-grained spritziness in the mouth. Prickly and sharp mouthfeel, and not so thick on the tongue. Very light on aroma, with a little peaty malt.

Sweet taste with a candy quality. Fortunately the hops add some bitterness, and the surprisingly tart edge provides more drinkability. Just a whiff of smoke in the deep malty richness. Even though this is on the sharp side, I have to give it a higher score for drinkability than the typical treacle bomb in this category.

From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bottlecraft in North Park in San Diego.

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Photo of lighthabit
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

comparison with macpelican scottish style, this has much more going for it. head dies to nothing, clear cherry brown, smell of cherries, plums, leather, tastes mirrors the aromas. mouth feel is a tad thin, but ok. i'd put this in the after dinner category, and would enjoy it. nice work, pelican!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a clear copper with a foamy beige head that fades to nothing. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, fruit, and caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and toffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some solid aromas and flavors.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle from Belmont Station. Split with my wife.

A: Solid brown color with a red tint. A thin line of foams. Sticks to the glass with some decency.

N: Malt,, red grape, caramel sweetness. Cordial cherries and brown sugar. Smells very much like brandy and grappa.

T: Loads of malt and more of the sugar soaked grapes. Lots of candi sugar and some hints of prune. There is a little smoke. This is some fairly sweet stuff.

M: Really light. I don't remember it being this watery at the pub.

O: This was one of my favorite Pelican beers, but maybe it's just the setting in Pacific City that gave it its charm. Ah well.

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Photo of ldobehardcore
2.2/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Served in a chilled bottle 38° Fahrenheit

- Appearance: Leaves some lace in the bottle, not much.
- Slightly smoky scent, notes of caramel and toast/bread. Somewhat yeasty.
- Tastes of fusel alcohols and apple juice, with modest hops. Most scents are overwhelmed by either alcohol or yeast.
- Mouthfeel is very heavy, sticky, with an irritating aftertaste.

Overall I'd say this smells wonderful, and looks good, but the taste is almost exactly the same as Earthquake "High Gravity Lager". It leaves a sticky apple/yeast taste in the mouth and instantly upsets the stomach, which is uncommon for most beers that I come across.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Rich but not too rich, sweet but not too sweet, robust but not too robust- Pelican seems to capture all the taste, complexity, and roundness of the strong Scotch ale even though it is a wee heavy- Just the way we like'em.

Incredible density ensues upon the pour as the beer is deep mohogany and brown in color. it's frothy weight reluctantly allows for its ivory-white head to separate from the malty liquid beneath. Firmly headed with a thick blanket of foam, the beer recedes and leaves well-defined rings of lace behind. It's a handsome looking ale.

Toffee and caramel are moderate as stronger aromas of toast, damp soil, light campfire woods, nuts, and charred dark fruit. A background of malted milk supports all of the wafting aromas and pulls them together.

Malt balanced in its flavor profile, the beer builds a complex malt taste that's not solely reliant on sweetness. Kettle caramelized flavors are deep and toffee-like but not sugary. Lighter tastes of smoky chocolate, charred wood, toasted nuts, burnt toast, and light coffee grounds all swirl in the background. Mild fruit esters of grapes, licorice and cherries rise as the alcohol taste brings a mild brandy taste. Light on hops, only a tinge of woody bitterness stand in the shadows and provide a ghost-like offset to sweetness.

Medium-full in body, the beer's sheer malty textures wants to resonate as being a fuller beer than actually exists. With its low-lying sugary effects, the beer is quick to shed its sweetness although it retains other creamier malty components until late in the taste when the beer closes with a long and semi-savory finish and mild alcohol warmth.

Pelican captures the taste of Wee Heavy reasonably well as you can check off all of the prerequisite tastes that the style prescribes. However, there's something about the depth of taste, richness, and intangible complexity of those time-honored Scottish brewers that make American brewers difficult to accomplish.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Wee Heavy glass. Bottled 102212 (Oct-22-2012?).

A gorgeous cherry red, almost ruby amber body hits with edges of dark orange copper. Clear. A light tan head that billows nicely and settles to a good puck, with some faint ring lacing. Great looking beer.

For a wee heavy, there is a lot of toasty aroma on this. Dried bread. Lots of ripping grain. Not much toffee/caramel sensing sweetness though, but this grain angle is extremely pleasant.

Palate though surprises. Light and toast aromas bring a good lingering toffee sweetness in the mid palate. Body is full and rich, without much syrup sticky qualities which is nice. Hints a little bit of wet, but it's a great light coating feeling. Light bodied finish lingers with lots of husky toasty bread. Easy drinking. Great balance of toffee and malt grain almost biscuity surprisingly.

Overall this is a real solid wee heavy to be consuming. I like the fact this feels very light bodied, but has lots of big character to it also. A big sweet or large oak or big malt toffee bomb this is not, it's subtle and controlled, really beautiful.

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Photo of mltobin
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A few friends and I shared a bottle of this, poured into a snifter.

This scotch ale from Pelican has a brown-auburn tone with a thin, sandy head. Its` nose has brown sugar, malts and caramel. A rich aroma to it. Sipping on this wee heavy and I taste caramel, peat, cherry and fig. It is a particularly sweet beer. Mouthfeel is towards a full body with is smooth and drinks easily. A great example of this style of beer from this small Northwestern brewer.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a MacAndrew's thistle glass. Pours a dark red amber, active carbonation. Nice two finger off-white head; dissipates quickly, leaving lacing. Active carbonation gives a nice presentation. Subdued aroma of sweet malt, brown sugar. Nice scotch ale flavor; sweet caramel malt, brown sugar and a bit of dark fruit. Would like a bit more smoky malt, but this is a tasty and very pleasant wee heavy. Medium bodied with a nice mouth feel from carbonation.

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Photo of loren01
4.01/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice clear red color, not very much head no lacing down the glass
S: Sweet fruity/candylike malts. Also slight toffee scents
T: Same fruity sweetness as in the smell but finished with a slight smoked peat flavor
M: Medium to heavy bodied, thick and sticky going down.
O: Great tasing beer, would buy this one again for sure.

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Photo of billab914
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into my Southern Tier glass. It poured a deep mahogany color with a minimal head clinging to the edges of the glass.

The aroma shows a big malty profile to it. I get caramel and toffee coming through along with an almost candy like sweetness. A little bit of a dark fruit presence is there as well.

The taste starts out with the malty, caramel and toffee flavors along with a little bit of an herbal hop bitterness. Midway it starts to turn into a sweeter, booze soaked dark fruit flavor. The alcohol and dark fruits last through the finish and leave a very nice flavor lingering for a while.

The mouthfeel is about average for the style and carbonation is moderate. Overall it's a pretty nice version of the style. It had some big malty, sweet flavors to it but managed to be pretty drinkable at the same time. Very enjoyable beer overall.

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Photo of GregSVT
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a deep amber with a nice off-white head that fades to a ring and leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is sweet malts in the form of toffee and bread with a very slight smokey aroma.

T: The taste is sweet bread and caramel malts with a bit of toffee on the finish. It's also got that smokey flavor I associate with all good scotch ales.

M: The feel is medium bodied and pretty creamy. Very nice.

O: This was pretty tasty although the nose was a bit muted. I would love to see them barrel age this one.

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Photo of hamilton23
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle from BastionShaw.

A: Pours dark brown/chestnut in color.

S: Nose was smoked malts, some peat and lots of caramel/toffee.
T: Flavor followed the nose. Sweet, malt bomb with just the right amount of smoked peat flavor in there. I really enjoyed this one.

M: Nice carbonation.

Smoked peats, sweetness and malts...this is a great Scotch Ale.

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Photo of vkv822
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into tulip snifter.

Pours a beautiful, deep cherry red with quickly rising carbonation and a foamy light-toffee colored head that dissipates to leave a thin layer of foam across the top.

The nose is of wonderful caramel malts and brown sugar. Also very pleasant bread notes from the malts as well. There is a faint, almost dusty characteristic I am picking up in the finish of the nose.

I am getting sweet caramel, brown sugar and toffee notes upfront, backed by fresh bread and also some faint fruit notes as well.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with slightly light carbonation.

This is one of the more approachable examples I have tried of this style, as it has all of the great, bold flavors of a wee heavy, but doesn't become over-whelming. Though with that said, I would have liked perhaps a bit more complexity and just a tad bit more heft to the flavors.

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Photo of robwestcott
4.19/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

big thanks to Kelton or this one.

poured cold from the bottle to a sun king shaped pint a deep dark, yet translucent mahogany with ruby highlights when held up to natural light. head was a super thin, short lasting tan. minimal lace.

big aroma that hits as soon as the beer slips from the bottle. sourdough bread way up front followed by toffees sweet brown sugars in melted butter.

great big taste sensation - caramel, sweet toffees, yeasty bread.

big bodied, minimal carbonation, near syrupy - but not tongue point of annoyance. super sweet - big malts.

drinkable - hmmm, one bomber's probably good here.

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Photo of oregone
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage poured from a 22 oz Bomber.
Almost no head lifting from the thick mahogany body with hints of crimson. Dark, nearly opaque and beautifully colored with a veeery thin skin of creamy mousse (almost whipped cream) peacefully laying on the surface.
Smells of what it is; a smokey and massive malt bomb. A very true Northwest interpretation of the style. I would kill to see some of this with extended aging in scotch barrels. The massive aromas beg for it.
Tastes as it smells. Sweet, smokey malts and an red apple-y and raisin inflected back palate. Exactly what I expect, to the Nth degree. Carries for a long time on the finish as the flavors evolve and end with a burnt caramel note. Delicious.
Mouthcoating. Thick, viscous, without being cloying. I find a lot more body to it than a 'true' Wee Heavy, but it's a northwest interpretation, and I find that it balances the stronger flavors.
Just can't drink more than a bomber, so less than perfect drinkability, but really, who needs to or craves more than 22oz of this in a sitting? You're not going for Wee Heavies to session, right? Right?

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 22 oz. bottle at Bailey's Taproom on Friday, intended for sharing at a 'Scotch'-themed get-together. Well that didn't happen (too much other good stuff), but cracked it tonight with dinner ~ leftover Shepherd's Pie. Poured to a nonic.

A: Deep ruby-garnet, lighter amber at the fringes. Hazed slightly, decent carbonation. What starts as a 1-finger khaki cream dies in a couple minutes to a thin ring, then vanishes entirely.

S: Sweet nose, spices and caramel. Then something a little floral and vaguely soapy...hmmm.

T: Candied nuts, sweet cereal, cocoa. Underlying dark fruit and a butterscotch/toffee finished amidst some rather zesty spices. What I'm looking for in a wee heavy, strong but non-burdensome flavors.

M: Lip-smacking malt stickiness, luscious feel but lighter than many S/WH versions I've tried. Creamy and smooth, sneaking alcohol warmth.

D: Good taste and aroma, plenty of sweet grain and toast - but ultimately a little's a solid choice but not quite as good as the best of the style I've tried.

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Photo of gford217
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a tulip.

Pours a dark mahogany that shows a deep, clear copper when held up to light. There's a small creamy beige head that recedes fairly quickly and doesn't leave much lacing behind.

The aroma is light and sweet with lots of caramel malts and brown sugar. There's also some fruity sweetness that I can't quite identify though I could swear it smells almost like a cherry lollipop. Crazy, I know.

The taste is just as sweet and I can definitely taste the cherry/grape lollipop flavors again. The underlying caramel malts are present with hints of smoky peat, but the overwhelming flavor is the sugar sweetness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation and sticky sweet on the palate.

This is one of the sweetest wee heavies I've ever tasted but with a sugary character that seems almost artificial. It's a decent beer but certainly not the same caliber as the other Pelican beers I tried.

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Photo of DiabolikDUB
2.76/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On Tap @ Bailey's Taproom on 5/11/09

Fairly Murkey Brown with a slight ruby glow towards the bottom of the glass with a off-white to slightly beige head. The aroma is very malt forward, lots of sweet aromas, caramel, maybe some brown sugar although faint. The flavor is full of strong smokey, sweet malts and thats really all I get. It seems to be full-bodied and syrupy with a slight semi-dry finish. This isn't my kind of beer but I'm definitely trying to warm up to more of this style.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Wee Heavy poured an amber color with a very small head that took off quickly. It seemed to have a massive number of bubbles rising to the surface not only in the center but pretty much everywhere.

The smell was soft to the nose with a sweet maltiness to them as well caramel coming through. It was pretty soft and sweet on the palate and then left with a tiny burn.

Abv didn't really make it presence known as it was an extremely smooth beer. It was jumpy as far a carbonation goes and on the tongue you were left with that scotch like flavor.

Overall I thought it to be a very good example of the style.

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Photo of Bookseeb
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was brought back from the Pelican Brewery by a friend on vaca. Appearance is a dark ruby amber red with very minimal to no head. Smell has a light sweet caramel malt aroma. Taste of malt, raisins, light caramel with a mild hop bite. Mouthfeel has good body and smooth, but it's not as heavy and rich as I thought it should be.
Be it a little light on the style for me, but it's still a damn good ale from Pelican Brewery.

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Photo of ccrida
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on draught in a snifter at the brewery, the Wee Heavy is dark ruby with a real nice glow to is, but only a thin, off-white collar.

Smell is very soft, semi-sweet, dusty malt.

Taste is very smooth and balanced, on the reserved side for sure, not to sweet or thick malt wise, although it's the dominant taste, with hints of caramel, toffee, nuts and raisins. I'd prefer a more robust flavor, although this is very well made.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, with a lighter body.

Drinkability is just above average. Very refined and easy drinking, but a bit on the bland side for my taste in wee heavy's, which favors a more barleywine like richness.

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MacPelican's Wee Heavy from Pelican Pub & Brewery
3.8 out of 5 based on 45 ratings.
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