Wee Heavy-est Belgian Scotch Ale | French Broad Brewing Co.

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Wee Heavy-est Belgian Scotch AleWee Heavy-est Belgian Scotch Ale
62 Ratings
Wee Heavy-est Belgian Scotch AleWee Heavy-est Belgian Scotch Ale

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

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mikesgroove on 11-24-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 62 |  Reviews: 54
Reviews by PDXHops:
Photo of PDXHops
1.7/5  rDev -52.4%
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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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.14/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Per label "A kicked up version of our popular Wee Heavier",I had the pleasure of trying that brew a few years back while in Asheville and I have to say I liked that one better.Poured into a 22oz nonic a deep amber/brown with a pillowey 2 finger light beige head atop that settled ever so slowly into a frothy mass leaving broken rings of lace behind,from there down hill.Muted aromas slight brown brown sugar and fruit but it doesnt show thru enough,flavors stay with that theme very light with some malt tilted sweetness like brown sugar and raisin but its really light and watery tasting in my mind.Hmm kind of a clunker here was expecting much more from a pretty good small brewery in western Carolina.

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Photo of merlin48
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle pours a clear, dark mahogany body with a medium sized beige head. Nice retention and some sporadic sheet lacing.

Lovely aroma of toffee and molasses, red apples, blood oranges, and floral hops.

Medium body has a low medium carbonation and some Belgian style yeastiness.

Taste has an assertive floral hop bitterness that is reined in by the toffee and caramel maltiness. Dark fruits and red apple notes keep things interesting. Some yeasty spiciness adds complexity.

Lots of things going on with this one but, surprisingly, it comes off as nicely balanced and quite tasty. Very well done and quuite enjoyable.

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Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
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 whitekiboko
3/5  rDev -16%

Photo of tastybeer
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep red-brown color, slightly red wine-like where light hits it, topped by a massive orange-tined light tan head. The thick foamy textured head eventually shrinks leaving behind big mounds of lace. Aroma has a doughy sweetness, caramel, cocoa, berries, citrus, floral scents and some light spices on top. The flavors are nice as well. Smooth chocolate, citrus, pine, mint + bubblegum, caramel + toffee, and a tad smoky. A large variety of flavors yet this doesn't seem too busy either. Moderately well blended throughout. I like how the bitterness meshes into the creamy velvety mouthfeel. Coating meets slick meets frothy. Good body size verging on full and very drinkable.

I enjoy.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dirtylou
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, marked 12-07, forgot i even had this sitting around. supplied by blackie who is irrationally skipping the GTOTM this weekend

appearance: poured into my hopleaf tulip - dark mahogany body with major garnet hues, creamy beige head with a pretty strong lace

smell: doughy, earthy peat malts, slightly bitter dark chocolate, some nice yeast buried down there as well, a touch smokey, candied brown sugar

taste: kind of train-wrecky...smoky and full of peat malts, earthy, dry bitter chocolate, a touch of bourbon, some light belgian hops, quite doughy, a light lingering hop bitterness. interesting but i'm not really sure what this is supposed to be

mouthfeel: pretty creamy, a dry bitterness left behind, abv hidden fairly well

drinkability: ok

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Photo of russpowell
3.99/5  rDev +11.8%
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 MuenchenerKindl
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bottle to a pint glass the liquid is a very dark, red-brown with good carbonation, The head is light tan about 2 fingers and leaves some lace.

The smell is interesting but does not cry delicious beer. Some lightly roasted malt and an odd sweetness mixed with yeast.

The taste is a bit off as well. A nice smokey roasted malt, with an overdone sweetness, maybe some honey and dark fruit as well, maybe it all just does not mix right for me.

The fouthfeel is good, better then medium and ok carbonation for a bigger brew.

The drinkability is ok worth a try if this is your thing, but I was not overwhelmed.


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Photo of akorsak
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 650 mL bottle brought home from a NC trip by Deuane.

A: The wee heavy has a darker tawny port color, deep brown that often yields to ruby red (especially at the narrow point of the glass). A 3 finger head is lacing nicely as we speak.

S: The aroma is difficult to pinpoint. Some smokiness emerges after a long search, as does a somewhat fruity Belgian yeast strain. An interesting pairing, to say the least.

T: The ale is a malty delight, thick with toffee and caramel and thick peaty smoke. As the ale warms, the maltiness becomes much more appreciable, thicker with a sound sweetness. The Belgian yeast adds a fruity taste to the happening, darker in stature along the lines of dates or figs. The chewiness of the malts lingers long after a sip is gone.

M: The mouthfeel is thick and hearty, a meal in a glass that gets better the wermer it gets.

D: I just checked the abv and there is no way that is one weighs in at 9%. The smoothness of the malts, the touch of peaty smoke and the Belgiam yeast strain conspire to make a great beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.17/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass

A - Poured a very nice dark caramel colored brown with a minimal one finger high head.Very quick fade and no side glass presentation left a little bit to be desired to be honest, but we shall see how it progresses.

S - Huge whiff of caramel and a touch of bourbon were what started this one on. A good amount of dark belgian yeast in the back, not real fruity, moe of an earthy sort of aroma.Gradually got a little grainy as it warmed and had a nice rounded aroma overall.

T - The flavor was very smooth with a good bit of caramel sweetness in the front. There was defitly a boubon-esque quality to it and as it warmed it got sweeter and sweeter with the alcohol just briefly popping through. Good amount of yeast here as well. A nice bite to it, with some earthy fruits and grains taking over. Very intresting blend here, as it constanly bounced back and forth between the styles, ultimatly with a Belgian note dominating.

M - The feel was great. Nice medium body with just the right amount of carbonation sprikled through it to make it really nice. A good amount of creaminess to it as well.

D - Very nice sipper. This went very well over a long dinner or while reading a book by the fire. The alcohol was very nicely mellowed and it made for a good time.

Overall this was a very good brew from french broad and I was quite impressed. If they want to keep putting out things like this they are gonna be in buisness in no time. A great brew.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color with some ruby hues when held up to the light. Thin whispy head and little lacing.
Nice bananna smell not expected of the style to go along with the earthy aroma.
Heavy on caramel. Sweet. Huge malty flavors with a bit of graininess. Nice interplay between the Wee Heavy style and the Belgian yeast.
Full bodied, a wee bit heavy and filling.
This one is a sipper but a beer I'll definately return to. Solid offering from French Broad.

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Photo of rallison
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy dark caramel with a 1 finger off-white head that sticks around for a while.

Very fruity with notes of dates, dried fruits, caramel and similar aromas. Definitely some Belgian yeast esters coming out here. Raisins. Apples.

Lots of fruity caramel in the taste. Apple notes. Brown sugar. Raisin. Pleasant.

Mouthfeel is not cloying, but has a nice richness accentuated by a slightly sticky caramel quality. Nice.

Well done.

Interesting, fruity, Belgian take on a Scotch ale. Not amazing, but I enjoyed it.

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Photo of blackie
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Pours a somewhat unimpressive but not wholly disappointing off-white head that soon recedes to a scant layer on the surface and a decent ring around the glass. The beer is a deep chestnut brown in color.

s: Belgian yeasts bring a doughy aroma to the nose over light notes of peat malt. Smells nice, with very smooth and subtle, if not slightly lacking, malt aromas. Light notes of woody, deep roasted barley and just the right touch of ethanol. Dark baked breads and a light-moderate, tempered sweetness. Light, grassy hop aroma.

m: Low-medium, smooth and delicate carbonation carried on a full-medium body that's exceptionally clean for its weight.

t: The Belgian influence is immediately evident under the subtly flavored malts. It builds after the swallow as a doughy flavor. The malt flavor is very limited, with some notes of peat and warmed, soft whole-grain breads. Quite earthy. Hop flavor is low and grassy, with a gentle bitterness in the clean finish. No ABV evident until it sits in the stomach. More malt flavor would do this beer a great service. Still, an interesting and original concept that nearly warrants a 4.0 for flavor.

d: easy, with the abv well hidden...not a bad bier, either

picked up a couple bottles from Bruisin' Ales

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Photo of rtratzlaff
4.15/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wee-Heaviest pours a clear dark brown body with thin white head. The Belgian quality sticks out pretty well with a good spiciness to accompany the sweet maltiness of the scotch style. The body is much lighter than you would expect for a 9% wee-heavy, but that doesn't hurt this beer too much in the flavor department. A slight alcohol presence in there, but again... Belgian. Worth a try as there aren't too many wee-heavys of this variety.

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Photo of mntlover
4/5  rDev +12%
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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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to mikesgroove for this via trade!
A - Dark reddish brown with a nice inch off white head.
S - Rich caramel swirl around a nice belgian yeast character
T - Rich caramel notes, sweet ripe fruits and a complimentary belgian yeast effect.
M - Medium bodied, nicely carbonated, creamy and smooth finish.
D - very tasty and easy to drink. Rich and slightly warming to let you know this is a sipping brew.

Yes, a belgian styled scotch ale that delivers that rich caramel effect I enjoy! Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of CWiggins
3.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'e been interested in French Broad's brews for some time; mostly because we get very few of them in the Triangle. So far I've only been able to sample their Watershed Bock and the Wee-Heavier. They're both quite tasty! So, while traveling back from Knoxville during Christmas I made a point of stopping in Asheville and picking up whatever I could find. The EarthFare, which has a very nice beer selection, had the Wee Heavy-est in bombers, and I immediately picked one up. Bruisin' Ales also had a few of their brews, but only in growlers (which I didn't want to tote home).

What to make of the style of the Wee Heavy-est. Is it a Wee Heavy? Is it Belgian-style? It tastes a little stoutish; is it a stout? It has characteristics of all three. The color is a deep, dark brown– nearly black–with a tan head that dissipates within a few minutes into a bubbly lacing. An earthy aroma is filled with roasted malts, while a slight banana accent and a bit of piney hops can also be detected. The flavor is sweet and dry on the front. Espresso and dark chocolate consume the middle, and a dark chocolate/bitter hops combination make up the finish. There's more of a hop presence at the finish than I expected, although I'm not sure why; I guess that many Wee Heavies I've tried have tended to be more malty and less hoppy. What really surprised me was the similarity to Irish stout.

It's not bid-bodied, although there's plenty for me. I do wish the Belgian part of this beer were a "wee heavier," but I don't want to diminish what these guys have done. This is a fine beer, and I hope to obtain some more…soon!

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Photo of Enola
3.76/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice head sits atop this mahogany brew. The smell is quite Belgian and there is also plums and a host of other fruit flavors. The Belgian yeast adds a different twist to this brew. The taste is very rich with raisens and the yeast being the first things I notice. The beer is smooth and the abv is well concealed. A nice brew to have on a cold day. I am not a big fan of the Belgian type beers but this was a nice treat to see a blend of styles. I would try this again.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
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 AgentZero
1.97/5  rDev -44.8%
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 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of jadeal
4.15/5  rDev +16.2%
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 objectivemonkey
3.91/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass, pours a dark brown that shows crimson while held to a light, a fluffy half inch head forms and holds a bit while leaving stringy rings of lacing, quite nice. The aroma needs some more umph to it, or some more compexity. There are some nice grains and the yeastiness is nice, but sure as hell this doesn't say 'wee heavy' all the well.

Nor does it taste very wee heavy either, which complely has to do with the Belgian yeast I'd suppose. It doesn't really taste bad, its actually pretty neat, the earthy, musty yeast fiddling around with the earthy, peaty, musty, roasty malts. The mouth is a bit thin I suppose, but its an easy drinker, and the 9 abv is amazingly well hidden. I can't say I'd try to trade for this thing, but if it were added as an extra, I wouldn't be disappointed.

Thanks to MuenchenerKindl for this one.

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Wee Heavy-est Belgian Scotch Ale from French Broad Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.57 out of 5 with 62 ratings