Wee Heavy-est Belgian Scotch Ale
French Broad River Brewing

Wee Heavy-est Belgian Scotch AleWee Heavy-est Belgian Scotch Ale
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Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
3.69 | pDev: 19.51%
French Broad River Brewing
North Carolina, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Wee Heavy-est Belgian Scotch AleWee Heavy-est Belgian Scotch Ale
Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 63 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of portia99
2.74/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Going thru the cellar and unearthed this bottle from '09. 22oz bottle poured into a tumbler.

A - Pours clear with a deep brown color and a frothy finger of pale tan foam with good staying power. Foamy lacing left on the glass.

S - Molasses, brown sugar, tart, oxidation...smells like a 6yr old beer.

T - Rather odd, tastes a bit like it is partially brett fermented, tart, earthy and mildly funky. Brown sugar, caramel, molasses, other random sugary sweetness.

F - Thin in body, fizzy and foamy.

O - Well, time hasn't been kind to this one, and from other reviews it looks like it had flaws from the beginning.

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Photo of PDXHops
1.7/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

2009 (I think) vintage, poured into a La Chouffe tulip. The appearance is the highlight of this brew; deep brown body with mahogany highlights and a creamy light tan head that is impressively tenacious. Not as much lacing as I would have expected given the head construction, though.

Nose is a bit, well, odd. Fruity Belgian yeast, doughy, seawater(?). There's some caramel malt in the background, but even giving some leeway for a hybrid take on a style, this is starting off on the unpleasant side.

Explosive carbonation seems to accentuate the fruity esters of the yeast while nearly completely drowning out what I assume is a base wee heavy beer underneath. Smoke and deep caramel flavors emerge as it warms, but never really have a chance to establish themselves. Sea salt, coffee, lemon; there's a mishmash of flavors that just don't work together. The fizzy finish puts an exclamation point on this unpleasant experience.

French Broad does make some tasty brews, but this particular beer is a bit of a head-scratcher.

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Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle served in a Unibroue snifter. Different label and high ABV in this 2010 or 2011 bottle: 10.1% ABV. Improved with warming.

Appearance: dark mahogany body with some nice red and orange highlights. Creamy beige head that's too short-lived; lacing on glass.

Smell: earthy; yeasty, a bit sweet and fruity, with a touch of smoke. High ABV is well hidden if cold. Aromas blend nicely; more so than the flavors.

Taste: Earthy and yeasty, with a strong dose of dark malt and some spicy hops. Hints of bitter chocolate, coffee, Scotch and a good bit of peat. Mildly bitter. A lightly smoky flavor of dark malt, Belgian yeast and spicy hops lingers on in the aftertaste. High ABV is well hidden. 3.75

Mouthfeel: smooth but not quite creamy; slightly dry and astringent finish; the high ABV is fairly well hidden.

O: Interesting, complex and true to style -- not the Scotch Ale style but rather, as proclaimed, "Belgian Scotch Ale". Both styles are clearly evident in this hybrid ale, and with about equal assertiveness. FBB didn't make them blend together seamlessly, but at times it seemed that they meld more than they clash. Worth trying, although I prefer FBB's lower cost and lower ABV Wee-Heavier.

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Photo of AgentZero
1.97/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Brought by jrallen34 to our Good Beer/Bad Beer birthday tasting. On the label it said "Belgian Scotch Ale." There's no way this is not horrible. Worst collaboration of styles since Metallica and Lou Reed got together for an album.

A - Dark brown beer with an off white head that left some stick on the sides.

S - Well, it is a bit peaty. There's also some belgian yeast, little bit of fruit, and some malts. Smells like brine or black olives. Also, it smells bad.

T - Not a good beer. Some olive notes, yeast, peat, char, burnt gunk, rotten finish. Has some chemical taste to it as well which isn't helping.

M - A little watered down with moderate carbonation.

O - This beer is ass. Don't drink it, don't buy it. Horrible idea for a beer in the first place, and it delivered on it's horrible premise. Not sure what the thought was here, but putting it into bottles was a shame.

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Photo of Sean9689
1.99/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thanks, Jason. Good Beer/Bad Beer tasting. Poured into Bell's tulip.

A - Pours brown, off-white head, thin collar, wisps on top.

S - The Belgian yeast is there, some nuttiness, and slight spice. Not horrid, but not all that great. Not really like any Scotch Ale I've ever had, or expect to.

T - Light fruits, yeast, peat, light sweet malts. Very interesting, and not all that good. It doesn't sound to bad on paper, but there's some time of harsh medicinal/char note and finish that kills this brew for me.

M - Too thin, light body, decent carbonation, alcohol is really hidden well, watery sweet finish.

O - Not good...at all. Jason did a great job picking out this beer for the "bad beer", luckily, he also brought a Bar Fly for his "good beer", which made me forget about how horrible this was. This beer is not a Scotch Ale, no matter what FB says. Can't recommend.

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Photo of MasterSki
2.1/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Big thanks to Jason - this may have been the worst (non-White Birch) offering of the evening. Served in a Captain Lawrence tulip.

A - A finger of tan foam settles to a thin collar, wisps, and spotty lace. Transparent dark brown body.

S - The combination of peaty malts, smoke, and Belgian yeast somehow creates a dead ringer for black olives. There's also some alcohol.

T - The taste is more Belgian and yeasty, with less of the olive flavor. Some medicinal and phenolic notes, as well as a weird caraway note among some crackery and sugary malts.

M - Surprisingly light body for 9%. Low carbonation, a touch watery, and thankfully no alcohol.

D - Not only is this beer nearly unpalatable, it's also a total failure conceptually. Belgian Scotch Ale is about the last hybrid style that I'd guess would be successful, and French Broad has proved my theory correct. Perhaps they'll follow up with a Dubbel Gose or Milk K├Âlsch. Poured much of this out.

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Photo of thain709
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deuane pulled this one out of his fridge and said it was time to drink it. Vintage circa 2009. Thanks Deuane!

A - Poured dark brown with some ruby highlights...some sediment was suspended throughout...three fingers worth of pillowy, beige colored head formed...it never went away as it just slowly receded...nice lacing left

S - This was the only part of the beer that I though suffered from the age...it was light and watery...but it did have a malty richness to it as well as some big time dark fruits

T - Sweet caramel starts things off which the nose did not suggest a big caramel presence...the malts from the nose were very rich and added some depth...I think more caramel was coming out because of the dates and figs that were also present...some brown sugar actually cut back on the sweetness and added a richness to the body...light chocolate notes showed up towards the finish

M - Medium bodied...sometimes came up thin but other than that it finished sweet with some soft carbonation and a syrupy feel that added some depth

O - The two years of age cut down on the Belgian presence of this beer...I think there would have been a higher spice level as well as some brighter fruits...with the age this made a really good Wee Heavy

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Photo of gford217
2.79/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber. The label doesn't look like the one on BA or RB and it's listed as 10.1% ABV on this particular one.

Pours a deep mahogany that shows through as a crystal clear amber underneath a small beige head that recedes to a bubbly collar and leaves only spotty lacing.

Aroma is odd and very nondescript for a wee heavy. it's got a heavily roasted nose with a cardboard character honestly. Not much in the way of the typical scotch ale aromas one would expect.

The taste is maybe a little better but is still very musty and stale overall. There is a hint of caramel malts and smoke but the finish is metallic, bitter and stale.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and fairly watery for a 10% scotch ale. Dry and bitter.

This is not one of the better efforts I've tasted from French Broad. It's a sub-par scotch ale, just tastes very stale overall with little flavor or complexity. Not so good.

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Photo of Spica66
1.16/5  rDev -68.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Got this in trade from thagr81us. Thanks, Calton.

Poured into tulip and shared with gwuilliums.

A: Dark brown color. Way too foamy. Have to "sneak-pour" it down the side of the glass to get anything but foam.

S: Smells like green homebrew. Slightly sour and off. No maltiness, no hops.

T: Tastes like it smells. Slightly rancid, maybe?

M: Completely thin and watery.

D: One drink each and down the drain it went.

There is no date on this. The label art has changed from what is shown here, so I am not sure that this beer is really retired, and I would love to know how old this bottle was.

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Photo of Overlord
1.59/5  rDev -56.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

The mouthfeel is way, way, way too light on this beer. Just very distractingly watery. Light, overly translucent brown pour. Ridiculous head on it.

Smells likely somewhat rancid malt with a bit of caramel to it. Not much aroma.

Taste is also thin and watery. This was a drainpour. Where's the malt base? Where's the ... anything? Also a somewhat rancid, spoiled flavor to it.

Yech. Avoid.

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

Bottle shared by bmanning. I recently had the Terrapin Belgian Scotch ale, this one was considerably better than that.

Beer is brown, dark brown, with a thin off white head of small bubbles that doesn't leave lacing on the glass.

Aroma is mild and caramel, its sweet and good. I like the aroma.

Beer is medium to light in body and mildly sweet. There is some fruitiness in the midpalate region of the beer, overall its quite good. Drinkability is good and the mouthfeel is fine.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bmanning for bringing his to a recent tasting.

Pours dark brown with an off white head. Something in the nose is immediately suspect and I'm uessing this is infected. Nose also brings a bit of roasted.malts along with some dark fruits. Tastes like maybe some Brett got into it, but it isn't terrible. Layers some musk with dark fruits and a roasted edge. Feel is medium and a bit funky. Actually drinks pretty well, all things considered.

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Photo of russpowell
3.99/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent copper/orange with 2 fingers of tan colored head. Nice vicious sheen to this, average lacing traces of head retention

S: Sourness, dark fruittyness, & booze

T: Rich caramel, slight smokeyness, rich cherry flavor as well, then sourness sets in, almost makes me think sour mash, plus figs up front. Slight funkyness permeates this as it warms, along with some wispy booze, more cherry, dryness more booze. Finishes dry, somewhat hot, with much cherry & toffee, plus figs & smokeyness. Almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Medium bodied with minimal carbonation, nice slickness

Drinks fairly easy, but there's enough heft & complexity make this a great one to split with 2 or 3 friends. Sour fans will appreciate this more than I, like my wee heavy less stylized
( shakes fist & tells kids to get of his lawn ...)

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Bobby8405 for the share.

A - Pours a deep chestnut with a nice thin white head and lots of splattered lace.

S - Smells tart, slightly chalky, and clearly infected, but it smells (and tastes) fairly good despite it all.

T - Slightly sour with big oaty-malt flavors, and a tartness that lingers. I don't know what it is supposed to taste like, but this infected beer is accidentally pretty good. Not great, but pretty good.

M - Big and rich.

D - I don't know what to say, it drinks well for an infected brew.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brick red with apricot edges along the bottom of the glass. The toasted marshmallow colored crown is pillowy and doesn't look very sticky. Several small scraps of lace manage to cling in the end.

The aroma is faint, so specifics will be hard to come by. It's toasted bread-like and has a medium-dark fruitiness that is present in most beer of this style. Other than a clove-like spiciness, the Belgian yeast doesn't make much of a splash. Foam melting and warming result in a score increase.

Wee Heavy-est Scotch Ale is essentially a higher gravity version of Wee Heavy-er plus a Belgian yeast strain. That's an odd thing to add to a wee heavy, but Belgian yeast does tend to make all things better. In the right hands, of course.

This is pretty good (and pretty interesting) stuff, but isn't exponentially better than Wee Heavy-er. For obvious reasons, it tastes more like a BSDA than the stated style. Hold on. Warming is beginning work its usual magic and the flavor profile is reaping the rewards.

Flavors include toasted brown bread, steely dark caramel, ripe figs, assorted citrus fruits and a generous dusting of ground clove. The yeast changes everything in an impressively positive direction. 40 IBUs worth of hops isn't exactly typical for a Scotch Ale either.

The mouthfeel is more 7.0% than 9.0%. This big beer lover would usually mark it down for that, but it works fine in this case. The less energetic carbonation of the bottom half of the bomber works much better than the more energetic carbonation of the top half.

Kudos to French Broad for thinking (and brewing) outside the box by adding Belgian yeast to a wee heavy. If you're a fan of American-brewed Belgian-style ales, Wee Heavy-est Belgian Style Scotch Ale has some of what you're looking for.

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Photo of jadeal
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: dark brown with slight reddish tint. Nice one inch head.

s: figs and dried fruit with a tinge of rock candy

t: yeasty with brunt caramel throughout. Alcohol very evident, but not over-powering for a 9% abv

m: nice smooth rounded body...goes down easy

d: good now and would most certainly age...a very big beer

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Photo of beer2day
4.32/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep molasses red. Not much light getting through this one. 1-finger of rich looking head atop my tulip glass. Decent retention for the style. Nice thick lacing.

Nose is all about ripe fruit. Figs, plums, raisin, candy sugar, bread pudding, and a touch of tart apple and apricot round things out. No hint of alcohol.

Hits very thick right up front and progresses to thickest. Fruit dominates the profile, but there is a very nice bitterness in the finish that transcends the tart fruit. Plum, a little raisin, and apple form up front. Maybe a touch of bananas foster as well.

Feel is very thick and should be right for the style.

Hides the abv well. Easy 22oz'er to share.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.32/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle - Thanks to goRideYourBike, who included this in a trade as an extra.

A: dark brown, nice off-white one inch frothy head that leaves some sticky lace

S: caramel, belgian yeast (yum!), chocolate, candied fruits, alcohol

T: I'm impressed. This is a fine beer. I didn't know what to expect. Chewy caramel and mild chocoaltes, but not too sweet. Nice and malty, rich flavors, slight alcohol in the finish. The Belgian yeast smell is terrific, and keeps me coming back for more. What an enticing aroma.

M: mouthfeel is nice, smooth, slightly chewy caramel aftertaste

D: I'd like to get a few bottles of this for the cellar and pull them out every so often. This one would probably age nicely for a year or two, though I'm enjoying this fresh bottle just fine.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.26/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from mikesgroove. The beer is darkly translucent brown with a huge pillowy head, literally 5-7 fingers of head on each pour. The aroma reminds me of St Bernardus ABT 12, dark fruits and esters, almost certainly a Belgian yeast strain introduced into wort from a large malt bill. Same with the taste, this is closer to ABT than anything else, a yeastie and sweet malt bomb, a little alcohol burn too. Good solid mouthfeel with light carbonation providing an almost creamy texture. Really really good.

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Photo of Deuane
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Deep dark blackish copper with a thick off-white head that leaves nice, clumpy lace.

S-Strong spicy blast up front with plenty of sweet caramel malt, some toffee and the most subtle of smoky notes

T-Lots of Belgian yeast spiciness up front with the underlying caramel malt and toffee sweetness.

M-Medium-heavy bodied, very smooth with long lingering spicy notes.

D-Good and combines the best qualities of both styles but it seems to just miss the mark. I enjoyed trying and drinking one but not my favorite.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.85/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I drank this from a 22 oz bomber into a Rochefort chalice.

The pours a dark brown that is very clear with not much of a light tan head.

The aroma is malty with bread, yeast and alcohol.

The taste is light but lots of alcohol and scotch, not very appealing.

The feel is light and drinkability very limited.

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Photo of drunkboxer1
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have no idea what a "Belgian Scotch Ale" is but I like it ok I guess. Smells roasty like a stout, sweet like a wee heavy, and very floral like a lot of Belgian-style beers. A fair amount of sweetness is in it, with hops merely balancing out the massive malt flavors. Alcohol is there, unlike French Broad's "Wee Heavier," but that never bothers me. Pretty decent overall, I think.

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Photo of mikecharley
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to a generous trader for the bottle. Served @ cellar temp.

Pours the darkest brown. Ruby highlites when held up to the light. There is a nice 1cm khaki cap on top, which sticks around for a while.

The nose is smokey and roasty. pretty straightforward. Where's the belgian aspect? I may be missing something here.

The taste is really smokey, some carmel malt, roast, heat, some fruitiness (there it is). It gets more and more smoky and spicy as it warms.

The mouthfeel is medium to full, and makes this beer all that much better. Great example of the style, and would love to get another if given the chance.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Near black, huge near white hea that leaves some chunky lace.

S - Very spicy, almost like a pumpkin ale. Tons of spice and malt.

T - Boozy, malty, a little peat like, lots of spice.

M - Heavy bodied, creamy ,very coating, good balance.

D - Good for the style, but cmon, it is a monster beer.

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

Pours a deep brown hazy silky looking with red highlights around bottom of my goblet. Thumb sized light tan head falls to ringed bubbles that leaves some decent lace on the side.

Aroma is wonderful caramel covered apples a side of toffee, sweet is what u notice first, pinch of candy sugars may be thrown in also. Then the spice, licorice and light floral hops make an appearance.

Taste is thick caramel coated toffee not as sweet as the nose but good. Licorice damn cant think of the word old age setting in. Of well spice and light fruit with touch or floral and earthy hops thrown in the mix. Earthy note might be yeast instead of hops but find this one complex but simple and enjoyable at the same time.

Mouthfeel is approaching full with good lightly more then medium carbonation.

Drinkability is good enjoyable and interesting will be buying this again to try and figure it out. Solid very well done brew from French Broad.

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Wee Heavy-est Belgian Scotch Ale from French Broad River Brewing
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 63 ratings