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AleSmith Wee Heavy | AleSmith Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
462 Reviews
AleSmith Wee HeavyAleSmith Wee Heavy
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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
Reviews:
462
Ratings:
1,173
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
9.07%
 
 
Wants:
208
Gots:
254
For Trade:
18
User Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 462 | Ratings: 1,173
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

 343 characters

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.

 242 characters

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.

 313 characters

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.

 150 characters

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.

 480 characters

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.

 1,412 characters

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.

 221 characters

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.

 826 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Blu Wolf Bistro in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a dark ruby brown, with a small head, and basically no lacing.

Smells like rich malty dark fruits, dry cocoa powder, toffee, caramel, and just a hint of tobacco.

This is possibly the best non-BA version of this style that I've ever had. It's so rich and bright with flavor, with concentrated sweet dark fruits, bittersweet caramel, dry cocoa powder, raisin-studded cinnamon bread, tobacco, and toffee. There's just a hint of hop bitterness on the finish. This is absolutely wonderful.

This is medium bodied, pretty rich and surprisingly crisply carbonated.

An absolutely wonderful and stellar rendition of this style which can often be way too sweet. This was perfectly balanced and surprisingly dry.

 764 characters

Photo of Hallu
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The smell is amazing in this beer. It smells like a French flan (not the mexican gooey thing), meaning caramel and custard. Very different from most Scotch Ales which tend to smell too similar to a Belgian Trippel or something. The taste is strong : you feel the 10%. Quite winy, dark fruits, and dry. The smell is better than the taste. But that smell is so amazing it's worth buying the beer just for that.

 408 characters

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

Appearance – The beer poured a dark murky brown color.

Smell – There was a big sweet malt nose with this beer.

Taste – The initial impression is a dry malty backbone. The taste evolves into butterscotch, drier malts and a caramel sweetness. The aftertaste runs very caramelly. The sweetness is not overpowering, but I might use this as a dessert beer.

Mouthfeel – To go with the caramel, the beer is very sticky. The taste has some staying power.

Overall – This is an outstanding example of the style.

 519 characters

Photo of alarmclock314
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

25.4oz bottle, dated 7/1/14, drank on 3/12/16. Pours slightly hazy red with a medium sized off-white head; some lacing on the glass. Smells of caramel, sweet malt, and some dark fruit; very pleasant. The taste is less intense and has lots more dark fruit and some oxidation (paper, sherry); reminded me of a Barleywine. Good amount of dryness in the finish. The age seemed to significantly weaken/change the flavor. Great thick body and below average carbonation. Overall, I'll try to revisit this one again since it seems like a very promising Scotch Ale.

 563 characters

Photo of Bluegrass49
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

1 pint 8.4 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.
Pours a clear dark brown color with an off-white 2 finger head. Decent lacing with good retention.
Very fruity malty taste with a subtle hop bitterness (just right).
Great beer, but a little pricey. Would have to reserve this one for special occasions.

 301 characters

Photo of bigdeuce
4.71/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I wish AleSmith's prices would go down slightly because I'd drunk them all the time. This is an unbelievably great brew. Pours a two finger, creamy head and an orangish to dark brown color. Scents of pears, peet, apricot, come to the nose. Such a smooth and full bodied wee-heavy. Big alcohol but absolutely undetectable. Chewy and thick mouthfeel. Caramel and mild ripe fruit taste with ample hops to balance out the sweetness.

 428 characters

Photo of rand
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This dark, mahogany-colored beer is now a local classic, given its relatively easy availability and standard-setting flavors. The nose is what you'd expect from a 10% scotch ale; boozy and malty, with distinct notes of burnt sugar and oak, along with cherries and generic ripe fruit. Smells a bit like a cherry liqueur at the edges of the bouquet.

The flavors follow, with the ripe fruit aspects at the front of the sip. A little phenolic, with medicinal cherries and earthy notes of leather and smoke. A little more hoppy and bitter at the back of the sip than expected (or not surprising, given it's Alesmith), with a ton of booze at the close. Really long finish with lingering bitter-sweet residuals.

A definitive example of the style. A lot of brews dubbed 'wee heavy' have maybe half the viscosity of this sludgy brew.

 834 characters

Photo of Glanzman
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750 ml bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a beautiful ruby brown color with an off-white, 2 finger head. Nice lacing retention.

Smells of dark roasted malts, caramel and toffee.

Taste quite the same with a subtle hop bitterness.

Great beer. Pricey but taste great!

 271 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Type: 8-oz. draft
Glass: Clear snifter glass
From: AleSmith Brewing Tap Room in San Diego, Calif.
Price: $4.25
Purchased: Jan. 9, 2016
Consumed: Jan. 9, 2016
Misc.: N/A

Poured a dark mahogany color with two fingers of khaki tan, fizzy head when I got it. Good spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. Good retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 4.25)

Smelled boozy scotch caramel, toffee, dark fruits, plum and roasty nuts. (Smell - 3.75)

Tasted roasty malts, caramel, toffee, scotch notes, but not as pronounced as the nose, dark fruits and some dates. (Taste - 4.00)

Medium-to-full body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth finish. (Feel - 4.25)

This was a very good beer for the style. Would have it again for sure. (Overall - 4.00)

3.98 | 89 | B+

 779 characters

Photo of scotorum
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

ALESMITH WEE HEAVY SCOTCH ALE 12/1/15

Poured from the 25.4 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a; Murky dark copper with an inch thick light tan head which receded slowly to thick even surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Caramel malt

t: Sweet caramel malt with full texture. Some bitterness in the background provides balance. Sweetish finish. High ABV phenomenally well covered.

m: Full, great body and carbonation tingle.

o: A top notch Scotch ale, one of the best available. Fine sipper and winter warmer, but excellent anytime.

 549 characters

Photo of craftbeersweden
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark mahogny, dark brown with a two finger, beige head that leaves a lot of lacing.

Nose: A sweet nose of caramel malt, brown sugar, toffee and molasses. Dark fruit, raisin, plum, vanilla, oak and honey.
Taste: Soft, smooth taste of caramel malt, vanilla, candied sugar, honey, molasses, prune, raisin, tobacco and wood. So beatiful!
Mouth: Very smooth, full body with a great texture! Soft, creamy and almoust perfect carbonation! The beer fills my mouth with pleasure and pure happiness! The ABV at 10% is very well hidden and is only there to bring all the flavours to the beer.

This i so fantastic! I have found another favorite beer today. Alesmith (almoust) never dissapoints me despite my high expectations. Wee Heavy is another beer to add to this "must have" list!

Ok. I admit it - I'm a sucker for great Scotch Ale and this IS just that!

 862 characters

Photo of barnzy78
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle, shared
A - brown pour with a foamy tan head
S - sweet and malty nose with brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, peat, and a hint of chocolate
T - sweet and smooth with nice complexity: brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, caramel, toffee, vanilla, oaky peat, pepper, earthy & leafy hops
M - full body, creamy and smooth, moderate carbonation, finishes with some pepperiness
O - very solid brew. This is a heavy wee heavy with loads of flavor and complexity. Glad to finally try this one!

 489 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a copper brown body with a little bit of tan head that died quick. Toffee and figs hit me first in the aroma, and then I get touches of caramel and roasted malts along with hints of other dark fruits. Thick, slightly sticky heavy bodied beer that is rather easy to drink thanks to the sweet malts and dark fruits working well together as well as hidden ABV. There is a toffee nuttiness and caramel sweetness in this beer that works along with notes of raisins and figs as well as a dry malt base to prevent beer from being too sweet.

 543 characters

Photo of Mitzvahman72
4.71/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nicely malt forward with a dark mahogany color, it also contains tastes of dark raisins, malt and toffee. Unfortunately, there isn't much smoke that comes with this beer, although that might be overpowered by the great malts of this beer! If you’re looking for just the right amount of peat smoke for your beer, I recommend Sprecher Brewery’s Piper’s Scotch-style ale and even Belhaven Brewery’s Wee Heavy.

 414 characters

Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L-Almost black with very little light transference through the glass. An aggressive pour leads to a 1 inch fluffy white head recedes to a creamy white film and good lacing.
S-Lots of malt and dark fruits.
T-Much like the smell taste is some smoky malts, alcohol, and hints of dark fruit.
F-Carbonation is light and the mouthfeel is on the higher side of medium.
O-Another good wee heavy. Alcohol presence is still pretty strong and that makes it more of a sipper for me.

 471 characters

Photo of GuitarIPA
3.55/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Some nice qualities - dark brown/black color, foamy head, caramel, vanilla, root beer aroma and taste, mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, but cloyingly sweet.

 159 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. Bottleneck says Bottled on 02/11/14...well, even though Alesmith just entered my local market, I got a vintage bottle. Score? I guess we'll see.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and some wisps of surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Big roasty quality with some sweetness and booze behind it. Almost smells like a malty barleywine. Notes of honey and vanilla

T- Sweet roasty malt brings to mind brown sugar, honey and maybe a hint of molasses. The slight oxidation presence helps to mellow the booze and sweetness. Somewhat of a peppery finish with a charry aftertaste and some vanilla notes that come out more as it warms.

M- Creamy with medium-low carbonation and a full body.

O- Indeed a score. I'll even go so far as to say this is the best Scotch ale I've ever had. Definitely more like a barleywine as guessed in the aroma but there's still that big malt presence that keeps it within the wee heavy realm. In the end, it's damn tasty, and that's all that matters.

 1,162 characters

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AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 462 ratings.
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