Wee Heavy
AleSmith Brewing Company

Wee HeavyWee Heavy
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Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #7
Ranked #1,793
4.19 | pDev: 9.07%
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
Wee HeavyWee Heavy
Notes: A classic Scotch Ale. Scotch ales are typically sweet and malty, with a very subdued dose of hops– just enough to provide balance. AleSmith Wee Heavy is a wonderful interpretation of this traditional Scotch style.
Reviews: 479 | Ratings: 1,253 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of drdiesel9483
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Look - dark brown muddy color with a slight film rim
Smell - sweet caramel booze with some fig
Taste - a lot like the scent
Feel - a lot of body light carbonarion
Overall - great tasty beer. A lot like a barley wine

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this when I was visiting the old brewery. Pours a dark mahogany and chestnut brown almost leaning into black territory. We're talking ~ looks similar to an imperial porter at this point. Tan colored head, 3/5". Good retention. Solid looking beer. The aroma is a mixture of earthy malt, toffee bitterness, booziness and mild smoked caramel sweetness.

Taste is chewy but not thick. More of that brown and smoked malt (in a minor way, not rauchbier levels) aspect. Mingles some dark fruit like influence. Mouth feel then gives more nuanced complexity in that you start getting more of a nuttiness angle to compliment all the other stuff. Moderate heat, which means at a double digit abv, it hides the alcohol decently. Thinner body than the appearance and taste would seem to indicate normally. Carbonation on point. This seems like a good candidate for an evening around a fire, especially campfires.

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Photo of BeanBump
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Probably my favorite Wee Heavy. Perfectly balanced, nice and boozy, just the right amount of sweetness and not overly malty. This is one of my go-to's when visiting Alesmith and it remains a menu standard because of its consistently world-class brewing. Good stuff.

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Photo of zeff80
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle. Poured out a semi-opaque, black color with brown highlights and a khaki-colored head of foam. Smelled peaty and smokey with roasted malt. Big, strong roasted malt flavors with smoke and peat.

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Photo of JayQue
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An excellent Wee Heavy. Poured from a 750 ml bottle with silver foil around the neck into a tulip glass. Huge dark cream colored head with great head retention and bands of lacing on the glass. The brown color is dense but there are reddish highlights coming through. A great looking beer!!!! Aroma is sweet, malty with traditional toffee and some oak as well. Taste is more of the same. A delicious rich malty, sweet beer with toffee, oak and warming alcohol presence. Mouthfeel is rich and mostly smooth with a slight alcohol "burn" and a little oak bitterness. This is a bit expensive, but a great beer.

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Photo of maltznhopz
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottled on 10/15/15 poured into a tulip.

A - pours a dark brown opaque color with an off white head.

S - lots of sweet caramel roasted malts, toffee and oak.

T - more caramel sweetness, toffee and nuttiness. Also get some smokiness on the back end.

M - silky smooth and creamy. Finishes clean and smooth with some noticeable alcohol warming.

O - this was a great sipper and definitely one of the top Scottish ales I've had.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Into a thistle, the appearance has a dark brown close to brown colored body with a two finger white foamy head that dies at a nice pace; lacing is extremely light and tries to cling but spider webs and slides; the aroma has a nice assortment of caramels, chocolates, the normal light peat that usually comes in a Scotch ale, slightly boozy; the taste is sweet through the previously mentioned flavors; nice boozy somewhat chocolatey aftertaste; the finish is really interesting actually, I get the sense that it wants to be dry, hmmm....but comes across slightly smooth and sweet, maybe even somewhat sticky; on the palate, this one sits about a medium in body; sessionable - not really, more of a sipper; carbonation comes across slightly smooth; overall wow, I really like this Scotch Ale.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A 22oz bomber with a bottled on date of 10.2015. So 1.5 years old

L - Dark brown, 1/2 a finger of head and no lacing

S - Raisons, brown sugar, dates, and definitely ...booze!

T - Sweet up front and throughout, sweet potato, raisons and dates, brown sugar, and licorice. The brew changes as it warms up. Excellent

F - Thin body and well carbonated

O - A very complex beer. So much goodness going on, and every sip you discover something new. Fantastic job Alesmith

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Growler into pint glass. Pours a cloudy reddish-brown, with a light tan head. Initial impression is smoky roasted malts, dark fruits, and caramel, with some earthiness in there too. Mouthfeel is quite thick and sticky. Carbonation is fairly low. Alcohol is evident but not overwhelmingly so. Finish is dry, sweet, and finally a little bitter. Not the best Wee Heavy I've ever had, but pretty tasty!

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Photo of bwood06
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of this to share with a buddy of mine who, like me, is a huge dark beer fan. We wanted something to go along with the Speedway Stout that I also bought so we figured this would be a good option. I've been wanting to try this one for a while now and finally got the chance to do so.

This beer pours a reddish brown hue, almost a light mahogany color that is clear with light carbonation visible. The head is off-white and frothy, dissipating to a very thin lacing that becomes non-existent rather quickly. 3.75/5 The aroma is quite typical of the style with a bit of caramel and dark stone fruit coming out, providing a nice sweet beginning, and then being backed up by peat moss, musty hay, and an earthy hop character. The balance leans more towards the malt with the peat and hay really coming out strongly. 4/5 The flavor, as with the aroma, is heavily balanced in favor of the malt. Caramel and toasted white bread start things off with a grainy/sweet profile that quickly transitions to a rather heavy does of peat moss, musty hay, tobacco, and leather. This is a rather earthy beer that has a good sweet, malty backbone. There is a bit of dark stone fruit that comes through, balancing out this earthiness. An earthy hop comes through at the very end, providing just a small dose of bitterness that lingers only lightly after swallowing. 4.25/5 This is a fairly heavy beer that is full bodied with a moderate carbonation burn on the front end. Thus burn quickly transitions into a wet and coating nature that is just on the wet side of sticky. There is no drying and no lingering dryness. 4/5 This is a very good Wee Heavy, if not the best Wee Heavy that I have had to date. More often than not the peat really takes over this style and drowns out anything else that the beer has going on, but no so with this beer. Very well crafted. 4/5

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Photo of CaptainHate
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love Scotch ales. Picked this up on a North Carolina trip in September but it is readily available here in Ohio. Served at around 50 degrees being stored in a closet in an unheated room. Poured from a bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip. Gorgeous reddish brown color but not much of a head which dissipated quickly. Nice rich boozy sweet smell. Tasted licorice and other interesting flavors operating under the alcohol burn. Feel has the requisite heft for this style. Would gladly have this again and plan to in the future.

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Photo of KensWorld
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My rating scores are an average of two vintages: 2014 and 2015. I have to say that the 2014 did not age well. It lost its head retention (typical though) but most importantly it lost its warming smooth toffee character. It did however smell much better then the 2015. If only I had a fresh 2016 pour to compare to.

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Photo of Amguerra305
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sits a very dark brown reddish Amber in the glass, opaque in the center and clear around the edges. Smell is heath toffee a touch of caramel and alcohol vapors. Taste follows the smell but there is a hint of vanilla. Sweet on the front end but balanced nicely by just a hint of bitterness. Also a touch of alcohol burn. Feel is a bit heavy. Overall an excellent interpretation of the style with the unique touch of vanilla.

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Photo of REDAMI
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 750 ml bottle into Chimay goblet.

L-Dark golden brown pour, medium off-white head.

S-Treacle, tobacco, peat, roasted grain.

T-Brown bread, treacle, tobacco, peat, mildly sweet.

F-Coating, moderately carbonated with the alcohol well-hidden.

A top notch scotch ale. Well balanced with proper flavor notes for the style. Warming in all the right ways.

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Photo of LAp
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep brown (garnet around the edges) with a half finger mocha head. The nose is bourbon at first (which surprised me, given the lack of barrel aging), but develops as the beer warms to the more anticipated toffee and caramel. The palate opens with deep malt sweetness that takes on a more dominantly toffee note than the caramel-infused nose. These further give way to dark fruits along with the slightest hint of fig. Mouthfeel is appropriately medium-thick, with minimal carbonation.

Overall, very impressed with this beer. A very different take on the style than Wulver, but in a decidedly respectable way. Not quite as impressive as the excellent Gravedigger Billy or Backwards Bastard (the bourbon influence just pairs too well with this style). Nonetheless, this is a meaningful point in the history of the style and an exceptional beer that has no problem standing on its own legs. Truly outstanding.

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Photo of puck1225
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A wee bit on the heavy side, I think. A beautiful beer, with a dark, rich mahogany color. Poured into a pint to give a nice dark beige head but little lacing. Rich sweet smell. The taste is strong and boozy, dark cherries, caramel, toffee. The bomber is best shared!

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Photo of Myotus
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured at 48°F from a 750ml bottle (bottled 10Oct15) into a thistle. Allowed to warm up to 50°F before reviewing. Consumed on 16Aug16.
SMELL: Strong aromas of caramel and sweet bread intertwine with mild aromas of figs, sweet plums, raisins, sweet cherry, alcohol, and bittersweet molasses along with subtle aromas of tree nuts, bitter black tea, sweet chocolate, and campfire.
4.25 out of 5
TASTE: A strong sugary goodness instantly rushes on to the palate with flavors of caramel and sweet bread. The initial sweetness is intensified as mild flavors of figs, sweet plums, bittersweet molasses, raisins, sweet cherries, and sweet chocolate immediately follow. Some balance is presented as subtle flavors of tree nuts and campfire join in while the flavors of cherry, raisin, fig, and plum grows slightly stronger. A successful balance finally forms when mild flavors of alcohol and subtle flavors of bitter black tea enter as campfire and tree nut flavors grow to mild.
4.25 out of 5.
NOTE: This was a wonderful example of the style. It had a strong, yet balanced sweetness that still allowed the other flavors to shine through. The alcohol perception was personally too high for me. I've had stronger beers that have hid their alcoholic heat better.

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Photo of unclekeith
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

9 month after bottling in a Teku

L: Murky amber with deep ruby highlights, 1-finger tan head,
S: Malty, sweet caramel, almost boozey
T: Malt dominates - roast, caramel, some dried fruit, a bit of smoke
F: Creamy, full bodied, some heat evident
O: A great beer that I have wanting to try for a long time - worth the wait - will seek out again

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Photo of StArnoldFan
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Super heavy bourbon on the nose. Almost overwhelming, but a bit muted on the taste which makes it more drinkable. Glad I have someone to share the bottle with and not something I'd come back to regularly, however it's enjoyable at the moment.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Murky brown color with tan head. Aroma has lots of dried dark fruit like raisins and dates. Taste follows with the dried fruits, brown sugar and caramel. Not overly sweet, easy drinking especially for the high ABV. Heavy body with sticky feel and medium carbonation. Really good scotch ale, one of the best I had.

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Photo of Ohiovania
4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding. A notch above almost every Scotch/ Wee Heavy I've ever had. one of my favorite styles. A very underrated beer in a very underrated style.

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Photo of g00ey
3.39/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

L: Pours a beautiful deep mahogany color with a substantial head of tightly packed bubbles.
S: Ripe bananas, although subtle
T: Malty. Slight caramel flavor. Not too sweet. Not a whole lot going on.
F. A bit thin.
O: Was expecting more from this. A good scotch style ale, but nothing exceptional, and, in my opinion, not worth the money. Although It's perhaps as good as Founders Dirty Bastard (significantly cheaper), it's nowhere near as good as Backwoods Bastard.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours an opaque though still clear extremely dark chestnut brown in color (approaching black) with moderate amounts of fine active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and faint amber + dark crimson red highlights. The beer has a two finger tall foamy dark beige head that fairly quickly reduces to a large patch of thin film covering almost the entire surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of caramel + toffee malts with a light to moderate aroma of slightly fruity yeast (fig + cherry) and just a hint of almost spicy alcohol.

T: Upfront there are moderate to strong flavors of toasted, roasted, and caramel malts with moderate amounts of caramel, toffee, and brown sugar sweetness. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of dark fruit (fig + cherry) yeast. There is a light flavor of earthy hops which contribute a light amount of bitterness which fades away almost instantly. There is a hint of smokiness and a hint of almost bourbon-like alcohol in the finish but the lingering flavor is caramel/toffee sweetness.

M: Medium to full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth, almost creamy.

O: Very easy to drink, hiding the alcohol pretty well, and very enjoyable. Not cloying or overly sweet, just enough hops to balance it out. Nice amounts of complexity.

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Photo of dmgallag
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

RICH! Heavy sweet malt backbone to this one. Hints of vanilla, coffee, and butterscotch here. All is in a nice balance. This would be a great nightcap. One and done on this guy, but you will enjoy every moment of it.

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Photo of colts9016
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another Brew from my cellar this beer is 4 yrs old.

The color the beer is jet black the head is off white to a light tan. The head is rocky and has decent retention. The head left some lacing on the glass in a incomplete pattern. Every now and then you see a light tan bubbles traverse from the bottom of the glass. This is just the caliber of what this beer should look like.

A rich roasted malt, with vanilla, coffee, chocolate char, and toast. A subtle yeasty and bready note lurk in the murkiness. The background some caramel and perfume notes dance effortlessly.

A rich roasted malt, caramel, coffee vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, and toast. The yeast, bread, caramel, some perfume, pine and resin.

A rich mouth coating that is chewy.

This is a superb example of a heavy scotch ale. I really enjoy drinking it.

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Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 1253 ratings