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AleSmith Wee Heavy | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy
BA SCORE
4.16/5
Exceptional
1,232 Ratings
AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
alesmith.com

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Jason on 04-19-2002

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,468
Reviews:
472
Ratings:
1,232
pDev:
9.13%
Bros Score:
4.15
 
 
Wants:
212
Gots:
251
Trade:
13
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,232 |  Reviews: 472
Photo of samtrillo
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is what a scotch ale/wee heavy is supposed to be. None of that Cistomane crap from my last review. I literally went out and bought this because I poured out Cistomane's smokin Santiago. The appearance, smell, taste and mouthfeel are all top notch and spot on for the style. A lot of charred character in the after taste. Creamy and big mouthfeel you expect from a wee heavy. Great beer to cover up the shame that was Cisttomanes or whatever they called.

 458 characters

Photo of augustgarage
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle aged for about a year - poured from a 750mL bottle into my Gordon's Highland thistle.

Nearly opaque bistre body and a full light-khaki head with superior retention. Nearly hidden ruby highlights. Creamy lacing fans out across the glass, while micro-bubbles run down rivulets of tears like silt in a gold-pan.

Brown sugar, fine tobacco, faint peat, caramelized barley malt, and light port barrel notes in the nose. Very inviting.

Deep roast malt, rye bread crust, a hint of smoke and caramel on the palate. Slightly reedy hops, I think have been tamed by time making this less obviously a domestic take on a Scotch Ale. Dry yet somewhat fruity finish with hints of leather and loam. Excellent and spot-on to style.

Medium-bodied, silky, moderately carbonated, gently astringent, and slowly warming mouthfeel.

Very well balanced, potently malty - well worth a try.

 877 characters

Photo of Uconnelmo
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of aracauna
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks like a good brown porter with the black appearance but far from blocking all light. Nice malt character. Chocolate with some coffee and it seems that there's some peat in the flavor. The alcohol is prominant in the finish. Head sticks around for the long haul.

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Photo of DocD
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of OlieIPA
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark-brown with hints of red. Great head retention along with okay lacing. Just about perfect.

S: Nothing special...dark fruits that are still really enticing.

T: Great!!! Darks fruits...figs, with prune/grape finish.

M: Perfect!!! Light but not...light-medium carbonation...awesome is the perfect word.

D: One of those Lionel Richie drinks... "ALL NIGHT LONG"

Overall: An incredible beer...I was suprised by the goodness of this beer...you should definitely try this if you like good beer.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was one of the first Alesmith's I was able to find here in PA. With much excitement I opened the bottle shortly after getting it and split it with a friend. This beer pours out as a very deep reddish brown color. Much darker than I thought it'd be. The head on it was a very light tan color with a pretty decent lacing. The smell of the beer had some really nice earthy aromas mixed with some dark sugary fruit aromas too. The taste was good, it's had a really nice malt backbone to it, it's on the sweeter side but it's subtle not overwhelming. The mouthfeel is very smooth and had a pretty good thickness to it. Overall if I come across it again one day it's worth picking up again, possibly for aging purposes.

 718 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours really dark copper with a small bubbly tan head, quick to a thick lacing.
Smells accordingly, with sweet caramelised malts, mild toast, walnut, peanut, raisin, light dark cherry, faint herbal hop, spices, alcohol.
Sweet caramel and spices right at the start, backed by nice dried dark fruit (date, fig, raisin) and some "pulpy" dark cherry. Bits of baking chocolate, pepper, brown sugar, cookie dough. Not too earthy, but there's a really nice sweet nut flavor, sugared toast too. Warm booze in the finish.
Aftertaste has nice dried fig and date, some cocoa powder and nut peel, light toasted malts. Medium body and carbonation. Just sweet enough, and the alcohol is hidden enough, tho it tends to pile up.
Great stuff, perfectly in-style, and then some. Big surprise.

 774 characters

Photo of mig100
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Claydoe4
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of claspada
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased over a year ago. Let's see how it's aged...

Pours a dark, chestnut brown with a small head reminiscent of frothed milk. I hoped to agitate some head by swirling but got only a small soapy cap which quickly dissipated.

Aromas begin with a nice sweet caramel maltiness with a decent amount of dark fruits, freshly picked figs and raisins. Maybe that has developed with age. Peat it light and comes across more as earthiness than smoke; good I hate smoked beers. Some light maple syrup and toffee emerge as it warms.

The tastes begin with a clean sweet caramel maltiness which blends effortlessly with the dark fruit flavors. Again, a bit of earthiness enters into the equation. A bit like a nice tawny port fruitiness; I am really digging the fruitiness here. The peat flavors and minimal hops, though present, are restrained and unobtrusive, allowing for the dark, wine-like fruits and sweetness to dominate (though, at no point is this beer overly sweet). As it warms I get some additional flavors of cocoa and toasted vanilla beans. Not a drop of alcohol, anywhere which is stupid for a 10% beer.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation; wish there was a tad bit more but the flavors hold strong enough that I don't really care. Finish is middle of the row, not too sweet or dry or anything really just balanced and so very smooth. Not a drop of alcohol

Overall, this beer is a real treat and by far the best overall Scotch Ale or Wee Heavy I have ever sampled. Prefect balance of dark caramel, dark fruit and light earth/peat flavors. Drinkability is stupidly off the charts as I could easily down this 750ml in short time if necessary, although I will choose to enjoy it here.

 1,724 characters

Photo of Jason_cs
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Viperman1316
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zekeman17
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rarigney
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of LADaveBN
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Caramel, toffee, butterscotch. Malty goodness. Little boozy. Notice the alcohol on the finish. Overall very good.

113 characters

Photo of tbone1384
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of OtisCampbell007
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of guitarcec
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of NeedHops
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750 mL capped bottle shared with Phatz, weeare138 and Beerbeing.

A: The wee heavy is a thick mess of a beer, pouring a milk chocolate brown with a moderate-sized head.

S: The aroma is a big malty cereal blend with a strong smokey body.

T: The wee heavy is just that, thick and heavy. The malts are sweetly delicious with caramel and toffee notes. They are supported nicely by a strong smokey flavor that reminds of a nice cured bacon or ham. The malts, as the bottle was consumed, became more expressive, showing a sweeter grain element.

M: The big malts and smoke are a well-paired combination. One could almost chew this beer.

D: This is easily one of the best American wee heavies, providing a big punch in a well-packaged bottle.

 750 characters

Photo of dln646
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mahogany brown with a stunning looking tan head, heightens three inches and subsequently cascades fairly promptly. Presently at the gazing outset the beer is very nice-looking.

Tidy and medium odorous, however malty nose, brings my thoughts to slightly burned and roasted malts – chocolate malt, caramel malt and various teeny bits of yeast. It is a grand complexity that amuses my nostrils with chocolate, dark caramel, molasses, extremely nuanced smoke aroma and to some extent stony graphite. The depth is remarkable and as with other AleSmith beers I've tasted, this doesn’t make me the least bit dissatisfied.

On the palate the beer is sweet soft with a tight concentration. There's this particular attractive balance between chocolate malt and caramel malt. Very appetizing, it's much more subtle and delicate then over-the-top, even though the body is great. The beer is passing from beginning to end with an parallel flavor intensity and brings very chewy fruit characters alongside a middling carbonation. The finish is well thought-out and marked with bittering hops and that delicate lingering mineral-like tang.

What electrifies me with this beer is the great malt complexity together with the overall well-focused structure, flavor intensity and well thought hopping. It isn't awe-inspiring, but it’s pretty darn good – so far the best I've quaffed in it style (Scotch Ale). Unique and well-made with high drinkability even though it’s overall weight. Merry Christmas! http://quaffable.org/?p=138

 1,522 characters

Photo of scottoale
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh from the source, another big-brown growler of an AleSmith gem. It pours a beautiful deep, darkish burgundy red with a half inch of a creamy tan head. Nice delicate lacing, trailing behind each sip.

The smell is sweet and of ripe dark fruits...malty and strong in alcohol. Hops don't come into play in the smell here.

The flavor is a thick and chewy, caramel rich toffee roasted malt. Again, dark ripened fruits set the stage with a healthy dose of alcohol, running away with the act. Finishes a bit thick and earthy with a potent kick to be reckoned with.

Not a style that's a crowd pleaser, but a damn good sort of ale that I truly enjoy...even more-so in the barrel aged version.

 696 characters

Photo of xhcadamx
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark mahogany with a light tan head. The head settles to a ring around the edges of the beer and leaves little notes of lacing.

S - Alcohol and sweet malt

T - this Wee Heavy has it all. Dates, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, and a bit of smoke. Very little hops but perfect for the style.

M - Thick and chewy

D - The alcohol is present but doesn't have the 10% burn I would expect. very tasty for cold nights.

 417 characters

Photo of mdwalsh
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle when I drove back from LA.

A: Pours a very large, maybe four finger head that takes it's time settling, and leaves a lot of lacing on the way down. The beer is opaque, maybe translucent with hints of reddish brown showing through. Can't tell if there's haze or active carbonation, it's too dark.

S: It fills the area pretty well with a malty beery aroma. In depth there are lots of dark, bready, fruity aromas. Not really caramel, much darker, almost like chocolate bread. I'd like some more vanilla.

T: Ah, there it is. I get tastes of baked vanilla and fruits, like apples or something, all in a pastry. Maybe a little more roast than I detected in the aroma. Not terrible sweet, which is both a nice change of pace but also a lack of something I look for in a scotch ale. Perhaps some more caramel and herbalness would be nice.

M: Smooth, not overly heavy but in no way light. Perfect carbonation.

D: Very very good, a good "I don't like beer" beer.

 979 characters

AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 1,232 ratings
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