Wee Heavy-er Scotch Style Ale | French Broad Brewing Co.

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Wee Heavy-er Scotch Style AleWee Heavy-er Scotch Style Ale

Brewed by:
French Broad Brewing Co.
North Carolina, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by wcudwight on 01-16-2006

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Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 287
Photo of maximum12
1.46/5  rDev -58.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Thanks to gford217 who sent me this as part of a four-French-Broad package within a much larger BIF package this spring. My wife has been on the scotch ale train, so here's the second night in a row with a scotch in hand.

Ummmm...let me say before I start that I've really enjoyed the first two French Broads we've opened. This one, not so much.

Pours a dusty amber, little to no head. The smell sends red-flag-shivers up my spine. It's nothing like a typical and/or good scotch ale, but a wave of buttery badness. Ugh.

This...is...terrible. As if someone took a scotch ale & poured a panful of melted butter into a vat of beer. I haven't been formally introducted, but this could only be a terminal case of diacetyl.

Drain pour. I know these guys make good beer, this was a huge disappointment.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
2.03/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

French Broad Wee-Heavy-Er Scotch Style Ale has a thin, beige head, a red-brown, somewhat bubbly appearance, some ascending bubbles, and minor lacing left behind. The aroma is of an odd sweet-sour, some peat, a touch of smoke, caramel candy, and brown bread crust. Taste is of the same strange sweet & sour sauce, moderate bitterness, lemon, lime, and bread. Mouthfeel is on the light side, and French Broad Wee-Heavy-Er finishes mostly dry and not unlike Bud Light Lime, in some respects.


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Photo of fsvan
2.11/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bomber poured into New Belgium globe.

A- Brown, with only tinges of red. Doesn't look like a wee heavy at all really, thus the 3. Minimal white head.

S- After the first smell I checked the bottle to make sure it is what I thought it was. Lots of roasted malts, but smells like a porter or a stout with a good dose of coffee. None of the peatiness that I expected. To me that peaty smell is a must for the style and it just isn't there. The smell isn't bad, but judging by style, it is not what it should be, and I rated it accordingly.

T- Again not much peat to it. Taste is of light roasted malts, again like a coffee stout. Taste is subdued vs. the nose. No real hop presence, but a slight coffee like bitterness. No alcohol to note, which is the best part of it, and that isn't good.

M- Medium, but light for the style

O- If I was given this beer blindly and asked what style it was by BA listed styles, it'd take at very least double digits to guess wee heavy. It tastes like an average stout. It just isn't what it claims to be (and isn't very good otherwise) and I judged it accordingly.

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Photo of bboven
2.22/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Murky brown body with a crescent moon of extremely thin head. Looks like a dunkle!

Very sweet grape-like malt character in the aroma, not much else.

Very noticeable oxidized right off the bat (wet cardboard) Hot alcohol.

Mouthfeel id moderate/high carbonation.

This is the first thing I've tried from this brewery; and it's not good. Overwhelmingly oxidized to the point of being undrinkable.

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Photo of BeerSox
2.24/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz bomber into pint glass.

Deep brown hue, changing to mahogany toward the bottom. A one finger light tan head that settles to a thin cap.

Light sugary aromas meet an out of place sour cherry aroma (found in other reviews).

The tartness is back in the flavor, with an interesting contrasting sweetness, and a maltiness like dark brown bread. Medium bodied, high carbonation.

Not sure what the deal is with this one. Rather than a smooth malt bomb, this one is a tart and fizzy brown ale.

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Photo of SuperSpy
2.36/5  rDev -33%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

This beer pours up a big beige head and has a very dark bronze color when held to the light. It is very clear before pouring the sediment into the glass and still beautiful once the sediment is stirred up. The aroma has plenty of caramelized malt, a nice toasted aroma and a wonderful earthiness.

The flavor completely threw me for a loop. There is only a hint of the expected caramel flavor and plenty of sour flavor. Not quite puckering but definitely along the lines of many sour Belgian beers I've tried in the past. Nothing at all like a wee heavy and honestly almost undrinkable. The mouthfeel is also off. It's too thin for a big Scottish beer. I think I'll be able to finish this glass but there is no way I'm pouring another. Hopefully this is just a bad batch and all will be well when I try this again in a few months.

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Photo of elgiacomo
2.38/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottled May 11, 2010.

Pours clear dark copper, brown & ruby in the glass with a one finger light tan head that leaves a few drippy spots of lacing and reduces to a foamy cap and ring.

Aroma is...odd and overall unpleasant. Rubber, smoke, leather, wood...quite yeasty, grassy, herbal, maybe some caramel and fruit underneath but the funk generally covers most of that up. As it warms up the dark fruits, cherries and grapes come out a little better.

Flavor is some caramel and dark fruit, smoke, somewhat metallic, spice, toffee, better than the aroma but still not that great.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, sticky, medium to high carbonation.

I can't quite put my finger on it but there is something in the aroma that really turns me off on this one, the flavor and mouthfeel don't do much to save it. Glad it was only a bomber and I didn't get stuck with a 6-pack.

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Photo of evilkalla
2.41/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Serving: Bomber into a tall glass.

A: Poured a clear caramel brown with about half an inch of thick head. A fairly good amount of carbonation is visible.

S: This beer has sort of a sour smell to it in addition to the maltiness. I'm not really a fan of the smell.

T: An immediate, sharp sour note gives way to an earthy, bready flavor. I like the secondary flavors but I do not like the sourness at all. Definitely not what I was expecting.

M: Feels ok in the mouth but the sour gives rise to a pucker factor.

D: I do not like this beer at all and I will not finish or buy it again.

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Photo of joepais
2.42/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle, Early/Mid May 2010 bottling
Yup I think we have problem Huston. The bottle split two ways into Sam Addams glasses the brew had a good two finger tan colored head. The brew had a clear brown colored body.

Now things go down hill the brew defiantly had a sour smell to it as well as a taste it did come of as a sour Brune to me. So I will say it was drinkable but, not as a wee heavy. I will revisit this one if fortune allows .

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Photo of dc55110
2.68/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a 12oz snifter.

Pours a deep amber, almost crimson. A flurry of head quickly rises, but dissipates just as fast. A decent amount of lacing rings the glass.
The smell is some what bright and fruity. There is a bit of the normal caramel maltyness in the background. Sweet is what I smell...
The taste is very similar to the nose, bright tangy sweetness with an underlying amount of the caramel malt I am looking for.

Rather thin, carbonation while looking full, is not very present.

Overall this is OK at best. I think this bottle may have been well past its prime.

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Photo of ordybill
2.73/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 12 OZ can into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a very sweet malt and vanilla aroma.
Appearance- This beer is a light brown color with a small tan colored head.
Taste- Has a mellow malt flavor with a mix of vanilla, i did not care for the aftertaste.
Palate- A heavy bodied beer with mild carbonation and an oily texture.
Overall- I have not jumped on the "Scotch Ale" bandwagon yet. I have tried several and none of them have blown me away yet. I will try this beer again once I have sampled more of this style.

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Photo of busterwhite
2.77/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass. Dark brown with little to no head. No lacing.

Smells of malt, some raisins and spice.

Sweet malt flavor with a little bitterness. Not a very strong flavor, almost watered down.

Mouthfeel is too thin and watery.

A little dissapointed, the taste that comes through is good but there was not much of it. This was too weak and thin.

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Photo of Sabtos
2.89/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Dark copper, no head.

Raisin, toffee, and charred malt aromas.

For a Wee Heavy, especially a kicked up version of one, there's not much flavor here. It's surprisingly light, a little tangy, with nutty caramel.

It basically comes across as an amber.

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Photo of Metalmonk
2.99/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Color is rusty garnet with a half-inch soapy head that thins quickly to a crown, leaving jet-trails of lace here and there.

Aroma is disappointing. It's very faint, and what's there is mostly mineral, steely and lightly roasted. Smells like a not-very-exciting ho-hum brown ale, more so than a wee heavy.

More mineral in the flavor, like sucking on a penny, along with faint traces of peat and smoke, with a gentle roasted flavor coating the mouth. Weird, overripe, unattractive berry flavor mingles with light smoke in the finish. Ultimately a pretty bland scotch ale. Where's the beef?

Decent mouthfeel. Somehow I dig it despite being a tad more carbonated than I like this style to be. It balances a soft smoothness at the same time, so at least in this category it exhibits some depth.

An unfocused scotch ale with very little to recommend it. I'd heard good things about French Broad, and since they're somewhat local, I'd pick their stuff up again in hopes that they usually do better. Jury's out.

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Photo of prototypic
2.99/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Many, many thanks to the legendary kkipple for the bottle.

Wee Heavy-er is a nice looking, dark copper color. It looks slightly hazy, and penetrating light reveals really nice garnet highlights. The head is cream colored and rises to nearly two fingers in height. It takes its time receding, leaving a moderate lacing behind.

The nose is a little below average. It's woefully short on aromatics. There are some malty notes. It's mostly caramel, but there's also a bread-like or cracker scent, as well. Roasted malts seem to be present, but they're very subtle. That's honestly about it. For what it's worth, alcohol isn't noticeable. Needs some work here.

The flavor is easily a notch or two above the nose. It kicks off with a rich, malty flavor. Caramel seems to be the centerpiece, but roasted malts are definitely there. They have a stronger presence here. It's a little cracker-y and yeasty. About mid-way through, a strong acidic flavor emerges. It's not very endearing, and seems out of place. It doesn't completely ruin it, but it does have a negative effect on the flavor. Alcohol is never much of a factor. Finishes malty and acidic.

The body is on the light side of medium. Carbonation seems a little high, but doesn't hurt things too much. It doesn't feel smooth at all, but isn't bad. Drinkability is rather average. The flavor isn't very good, and doesn't leave you pining for more. It definitely grows tiresome quick.

Well, my second experience with French Broad Brewing Co. wasn't anywhere close to the first. Wee Heavy-er pales in comparison to Rye Hopper. This one needs work. The biggest problems are the weak nose and the weird acidic flavor. Remedy those two things and this one might be headed in the right direction. I'd take a pass on this one for the moment. Nonetheless, thanks for the opportunity, Dan!

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Photo of woodychandler
3/5  rDev -14.8%

One of the overlooked CANtributors to The CANQuest ™ is one of my local beer people, soon (eventually) to be a “Character” in my column – Justin C. He does a good job of looking out for new and different CANs for me in his travels and this is one with which he recently returned.
From the CAN: “Wee Heavy-er Scotch Ale is a rich, malty session beer designed for food, friends and fun.”
The thing about these French Broads is that they often show up in (at least) pairs! I like that this one is a Wee Heavy. Er.
The Crack! revealed a well-filled French Broad who was a Wee Heavy. I picked her up and gave her an inverted Glug to kick off our time together. There was a nice pseudo-cascade which settled into three fingers of dense, light-brown head with good retention. Color was Light-Copper to Copper (SRM = 14.5) and the preciseness is due to the brewery including it on the CAN. Thanks! The nose had an earthy sweetness, sort of medicinal, like Geritol or along those lines. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full. Taste was quite vegetal, mostly earthy and not at all pleasant. The BJCP app tells me that this is allowable due to the use of peaty malt, but I was not digging it. We used to be admonished NOT to review based on style due to brewers’ interpretations, but if I rated this just on its merits, it would do very poorly. By taking style into account, it at least gets a fighting chance. Finish was semi-sweet but that vegetal taste was going to linger with me for a while. Ugh.

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Photo of hman43
3.01/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Look: It pours brown with a light brown head.

Smell: It has a sweet, malty fruity aroma. It has a heavy plum and sweet malt aroma. There are also toasty elements.

Taste: The initial flavor is sweet. It has flavors of caramel, sweet grain, and heavy on the plum.

Feel: It has a moderate body and a sweet finish that is highlight by fruit, especially plums.

Overall. It has a sweet flavor from start to finish. The grains are sweet with sweet dark fruit.

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Photo of argock
3.02/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Peabody's Wine and Beer Merchants (Boone, NC) for $4.29.

A: Flat-appearing copper with scant chemical head with no retention and no lacing.

S: Diacetyl is super strong to make a buttery and weak caramel aroma with none of the earthiness you expect from a Scotch Ale. Smokiness is barely present with swirling the brew, but the butterscotch aroma is far too strong.

T: The flavor is predominantly butterscotch as well, which makes me wonder if something is wrong, as the French Broad ESB I had recently also was too much butterscotch as well. There is a tinge of smoky peat and caramel malts, but everything is pretty well blanketed by the diacetyl flavor. Too bad.

M: Medium-bodied with low, low carbonation. Upping the CO2 would help to increase the creaminess I think.

D: Both French Broad beers were diacetyl-laden and characterless otherwise. I would try them again, but will probably wait until I can get to their pub to sample again.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a copper color with a fairly small tannish colored head. Head has pretty much no retention and lacing.

S- Bready, buttery, caramel and very Earthy. A touch of peat and smoke.

T- Bready, grainy, touch of smoke, peat, chocolate and butter. A very light touch of floral hops.

M- Medium in body and carbonation seemed a touch higher than normal for the style.

O- Nothing terrible, but nothing awesome either. I enjoy this style so I guess I was a little disappointed in this one.

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Photo of everetends
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle I picked up a bit back at the good ole Hop City in Atlanta, GA. This continues my exploration of what French Broad has to offer. Served up in my Terrapin pint glass.

A: Foamed up on initial pour?! Wierd and not expected from a Scotch Ale at all. Head was a good three fingers and I was pouring pretty gently. It is a light tan, maybe closer to a cream color. It actually doesn't hand around for long, falling to a quarter finger of foam. The body is a very good looking dark brown. Held to the light it is very dark but lightens iwht nice effect further down to the base. The body is not clear, maybe a bit hazy. Just a nice dark body.

S: Interesting here as well. First thing that hits me is that this smells almost like a Doppelbock. Very much a seemingly German influence on the malt bill. Then comes a ligh touch of peat that is more prevalent when the beer is colder, seems to fade more as it warms. Little bit of caramel and nut aromas coming out. Other than that, there is a light floral or fruity type aroma in the very back. Its nice, but strange . . . if that makes sense.

T: The hits just keep on coming. Yet again, the malt bill is very German in the flavor and really throws me. Just doesn't have that in your face Scotch Ale maltiness. Then it gets a bit wierder. Then you get a pretty prominent cola type flavor. Yeah, cola. Behind that is some peat and spice. Maybe some caramel and a touch of apple hidden in the back. This is not bad, but its off to say the least.

M: Medium bodied with a HUGE carbonation level. I mean big time. This doesn't help the cola flavors because it has a cola feel. Very fizzy. Not really getting any heat from the ABV at all which is a plus, well hidden for the level. Aftertaste is a bit of peat and cola. Weird.

D: Well, I have to say that this beer does suprise. Don't know if that is good or bad. The flavors, look, feel and smells all have suprises that kinda toss you a curve. This does taste more like a German style than a Scotch Ale. Has a bit of an identity crisis if you ask me. That carbonation level is just way too high and needs to be tamed. With all that said, it went down easy and was refreshing. I give it that. What a strange experience.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.05/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours slightly hazy Sugar Daddy color with a large, sufficient white head. Not sure if it is due to infection, but this one was almost a gusher. Loads of lacing.

Aroma is somewhat fruity; green apple and caramel malts.

Good flavor. Fruity and malty. Some slight berries and red delicious apples. Slight bit of chocolate and other roasted malts. Hints of smoke. Pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel kind of ruined this for me. Way too carbonated and pretty thin for the style. Aside from the carbonation, pretty drinkable, but I feel bloated after only 10oz or so :(

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.05/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with a thin, fizzy-looking off-white head.

Smell: The aroma holds some fruit, some peat, and some nuttiness. All of it quite faint, though.

Taste: It's a parade of hints! Mild pale maltiness. Faint, almost imperceptible sweetness. Soft peatiness. One drop of sorghum syrup. Just a bit of fruit. Finishes dry and clean.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Fairly mild and thin for supposedly being so much more heavy-er.

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Photo of gford217
3.06/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep, clear copper with a large creamy off-white head that sticks to the glass well on the way down to a small cap.

The aroma seems a little odd for a scotch ale, and is dominated a fairly nondescript smoky aroma, not really the peat I was expecting, just some smoked grains.

The taste follows the aroma unfortunately and has some smoked grains and hints of caramel, though very faint. Maybe some fruit, though it's tough to get much out of the taste. There's also an unappetizing bitterness in the finish.

The mouithfeel is fairly thin and almost watery.

I'm fairly unimpressed with this one. There just isn't enough flavor or body to make this much more than average...if that.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.06/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A beer from a brewery that I've never heard of, brought over by ryan011235.

A- This is a pretty heady looking beer, at least when I first got my glass. It faded down while I wasn't looking but it left a big trail of lacing in it's wake.

S- Eh, the smell is moderately weak with a sustained grainy quality. Caramel and perhaps chocolate make a concerted effort in the background.

T- Lightly floral hops share equal ground with a toasty and carmelly malting. The middle houses a brief sweetness that is pretty nice. Some butterscotch is there but nothing that goes beyond this style. The finish is florally hoppy

M- The carbonation falls into place soon enough. This beer tries to be dry but a dollop of butteriness gets in the way.

D- In all I can't bash this beer but I can't praise it.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks johnqvegas for the bottle.
Bomber into nonic pint.

Looks like a cream soda... With ginger ale clarity. Reddish brown body-- foamy 1 finger head.
Smells of toasted caramel and just a touch of earthy peat.
The taste is pretty bland too. Really hoping this would be a really amped up version of a scotch ale... But alas, it was not to be.
Some sweet bread notes and peat with and caramel.

Body is light and watery. Low carbonation... Almost too low.

Overall. Meh. This beer isn't terrible, but it leaves a lot to be desired.

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Wee Heavy-er Scotch Style Ale from French Broad Brewing Co.
3.52 out of 5 based on 287 ratings.
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