AleSmith Wee Heavy | AleSmith Brewing Company

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
1,227 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
Ratings:
1,227
Reviews:
472
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
9.07%
 
 
Wants:
211
Gots:
251
For Trade:
13
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,227 |  Reviews: 472
Photo of brureview
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Micasa tulip. This beer is best with a meal- vegetables, chicken, fish, or a lighter meat such as lamb, and enjoyed with friends. An excellent quiet winter night beer.

There is very little head. The color is a dark black plum, which is dominant in the smell. The finish is a bourbon chocolate- which is more pronounced as the beer gets warmer. The mouthfeel is slightly malty.

After drinking the first pour, the beer is better appreciated in 2-3 ounces at a time when its true character stands out.

I will buy another bottle and age it for 6- 12 months. Highly recommended.

Cons: in the Boston area it's pricey and difficult to find. I could only find it at Martys( $17) and Ball square wines( $?) in Somerville.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 poured into a snifter

A- Pours hazy dark brown but turns pitch black in the glass. A nice one finger of a off khaki colored head. Good retention and slight alcohol legs.

S- Dark fruits, raisins figs, spicy plums. Some roasty and caramel malts> Slight heat but really brings this to life.

T- Big roasted dark fruits hit the palate. There is a ton of rum soaked raisin, plums and spiced figs, Somewhat reminiscent to a quad. A roasted caramel flavor is throughout the entire beer which really rounds it out. I can almost taste the alcohol but the heat really brings this beer to life. The flavors are strong and intense. Well balanced and lively.

M- Thick and syrupy but balanced quite well by the alcohol presence. Aftertaste isn't too dry. Leaves a slight roasted flavor.

O- One of the best Wee Heavy's out there. Would kill to try the barrel aged version.

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

Mahogany with copper head that rises quickly and leaves a nice lacing

smells of caramel, butterscotch and prunes

Sweet tasty malt , fruit and candy , hint of alcohol but not bad for 10%

Sticky but not thick

Would like to see this in 12oz bottles/cans

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Photo of CDCNAM
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of hypnotoad1
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy (chill haze?) Ruby Red/dark brown color with decent white head that goes fast and doesnt leave any tremendous lace but there is some there. The nose is very much dark fruit and some malt sugar. Taste follows the nose, malty as hell early, but dark fruits and spice come out. Not a ton of scotch ale flavors here, but they are present. I think they are just overshadowed by the abv. As it warms they come out more, but so do the malts. Kind of chocolatey almost malt flavor. maybe roasted. Sugary finish with a little nice hop bite. This is a heavy-ass wee heavy. Mouthfeel is very good. On the thin side, which I like in this particular style, however you can defenitely feel this beer in your mouth. Drinkability is good for a beer of this strength, but i have had better, albeit few. A great beer, and defenitely one that will improve with age IMO. Good work alesmith.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear blood red mahogony with a large foamy tan head. Very nice lacing and a long lasting head make this beer a good looking brew. The smell is strong with " bisquity" aromas along with alcohol,dark fruit, and sweet malt. The taste is like a barleywine, dark fruit, bready flavors, and sweet malt. This is kind of mellow,but it would be better if I aged this. The m/f is heavy with all flavors mixing well. A very good beer that could be great if cellared properly.

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Photo of PaBeerLover
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Pahn
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Don't know when it was bottled, but it had silver foil over the cap. Can't remember if I bought it this Winter or last.

Appearance: Free pour yields a half inch frothy tan head that dissipates steadily. Pours an almost opaque dark ruby with lots of visible, shadowy sediment. Leaves leggy streaks of lacing after each sip.

Smell: Slight cherry-like dark fruit note, with some underlying cake. Smells a little oxidized. The aromas work, but they're too muted; don't contribute much to the experience.

Halfway through the first glass, the aroma really opens up. The growing booziness seems to uncover a sweet malt complexity that greatly enhances the flavor.

Taste: One of those "sold on the first sip," beers. Big hit of caramel and cake, working beautifully with the creamy feel. Second sip brings out some dark fruit to highlight the caramel and toffee. The finish has a strong boozy heat, and is semi-dry. Can't tell if there's a touch of smoked malt, or if that's expectation plus the dry heat.

Love the balance here. There's a strong hop bitterness working with the heat and low (for a thick, 10% ABV beer) final gravity to keep the beer from even approaching "too rich" or "too sweet". Raisiny sherry-like oxidation note becomes prominent in each sip, but works beautifully with the dark fruit and caramel (the latter always the most prominent).

My only complaint is that the beer is maybe too straightforward. It's so finely balanced and delicious that I don't mind the relative simplicity.

Mouthfeel: Light side of full bodied. Very creamy. Low but adequate carbonation. Dryish finish that contributes monumentally to drinkability.

Overall: The 5 I'm giving here harkens back to the old "Drinkability" category to some degree. Unbelievable for such a thick, caramely, boozy beer as this to go down so easily. The levels of bitterness, sweetness, heat, etc are just perfect. Great vehicle for bold malt flavor, which is my favorite thing to find in a beer.

In my last review of an Alesmith beer--2010 Decadence, the last Alesmith beer I've had before this one--I mentioned that the beer fell short, particularly in regards to the potential of the brewers. Alesmith Wee Heavy is the kind of beer I'm talking about there; only a world class brewer could make a beer like this.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL brown glass pry-top bottle. Thanks to Otey!

Pours a deep brown mahogany with thin off-white head. Nose is super dark and brooding. There's some aroma there that reminds me of the "band-aid" thing, but I don' think it's off. Maybe heather?

Palate is slick and sweet and a little prickly from booze. Flavors of dried dates, figs, burnt caramel, heather and top soil. Long long finish. Sweet but not cloying.

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Photo of wulfie85
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of ethanmc12
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of MJSFS
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tillmac62
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

BOD 2/11/14. Pours a clear rich mahogany. Normal head volume, lacing and retention.

Outstanding, but of moderate intensity, complex nose of caramel, dark fruit (fig, date, raisin, prune) and molasses with a touch of alcohol.

Light full body with an almost creamy texture. World class carbonation with a nice effervescent burst in the middle and a robust finely bubbled burst in the finish.

The outstanding flavor profile is reasonably intense, complex and well balanced. It doesn't quite cover the alcohol and lacks the robust flavor of the world class Scottish Ales. It begins with a wave of dark fruit - mostly prune, but raisin and fig are evident. Towards the middle tobacco is present as the malts begin to assert themselves. A moderate sweetness constitutes the middle as caramel and molasses. The heavy prune notes are always present, but are somewhat balanced in the middle. The finish is a slow fade of prune and molasses coupled with a bit of an alcohol bite. Dial the alcohol back a point or so and this could challenge for world class. The alcohol tends to overwhelm the rich flavors this ale has and results in the prune flavor dominance noted.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tulip. Pours dark brown with a three finger foamy beige head. Nice retention and good sticky lace.

Raisins and chocolate are Most noticeable in the aroma. A little bit of bourbon in the aroma too. Very rich and a sweet and just a little boozey. Grapish flavor with a little bit of bitter cocoa. The taste is somewhat metallic to finish.

Medium body with soft carbonation. A little bit of a tannic finish. Pretty solid flavors here. A little dry and I am not fond of the metallic finsh. Otherwise pretty solid brew.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opaque brown, looks delicious but it's not going to win a beauty contest. I say 3.5/5 horseshoes.

Smell: Alcohol, dark fruits, scotch duh right?, maybe some caramel and cherry's playing tricks on my mind. 3.5 out of 5 four leaf clovers, the alcohol is kinda overwhelming.

Taste: Taste exactly like a less alcoholic version of Old Stock Ale. I mean exactly. Strong bourbon, cherries (claims a wiseman), malts, and alcohol, and alcohol. EDIT: "other wiseman" now tastes chocolate.

Burp: Chinese food? We didn't have Chinese food tonight...

Mouthfeel: Thick creamy and delicious. If you swish a lot it gets frothy. 4.0 magical bunny rabbits out of 5. (You know the kind that come out of a hat)

Drinkability: It's delicious, nutritious, and taste like alcohol. This will get you all sorts of fudged up. High alcohol. Enjoy if your team is losing a game

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Photo of harryhops
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of TXhomebrewer
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 2001 vintage in a 750ml capped bottle that was poured into a tulip glass as recommended per the label. Had a dark mahogany color, a modest creamy beige head and lots of fine carbonation seen crawling up the sides of the glass.
A rich, malty aroma dominated the nose. Also present in abundance were notes of dark fruit, scorched caramel, and smoldering peat. Heady alcohol vapors also made their presence known quite readily.
The taste was varied and complex. Up front were flavors of candy sugar and dark fruit, toffee, and grains. Mid-palate yielded a nutty flavor and the tastes of charred wood and peat. Lastly, there was a mild herbal bitterness and the warming parting shot of alcohol that heated up the throat and stomach. The feel was full, rich and creamy with a dry finish.
Wow, kudos to BrewMaster for finding this great brew and for putting the word out. The only downside I had with this beer from a drinkability standpoint was the potent ABV which had me getting loopy by the end of my second glass. A rich, hearty and complex ale that was worth the trip.

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Photo of Stigs
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

big old 750, shared. served in various tulips and snifters

A - pours with about half an inch of creamy off-white foam. as it falls, leaves behind a thick, sticky wall of lacing around the glass. the beer appears black, yet yields some magnificent dark ruby colors when help up to light.

S - rich maltiness all around, picking up some dark fruits: plums and figs, as well as peat, caramel, and toffee. very sweet all around yet alcohol makes its way through with relative ease.

T - begins with a mix of sweet caramel and toffee that just wont die, and hints of plums and figs. halfway through, a more robust sweetness via toffee and caramel chimes through, bringing along a hefty dose of alcohol burn. has that sort of distinct booze/soury sweetness of bourbon.

M - medium bodied with moderate, tight and controlled carbonation. sweet and sticky from sip through the finish. lingering sweetness is cut through easily by a hearty alcohol burn.

D - well-done, all around. a superb example of the style, complex, reasonably drinkable, and plenty dangerous. 8oz of this would be plenty, shame it has to come in such a large format. one of the better Alesmith beers out there.

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Photo of sjones5045
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Benesi88
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of neonbrown82
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Once again, AleSmith has managed to impress me. Thanks to dogfooddog for the bottle. This beer pours to a very dark nutty brown with amber hues. Almost opaque. Has a beautiful cascading tan head with excellent retention and decent lacing.

The smell is like butterscotch. Loads of caramel malt with a light peatsmoke aroma. Smells like a strong, formidable brew. Some earthy berry esters also show through. The taste is just as good, and follows along with the nose. The alcohol is fairly well hidden, though it is definitely there.

Very smooth, creamy body. Nice lingering coffee, chocolate, and butterscotch flavor. Quite drinkable despite the strength. I will probably drink this alongside a glass of Scotch after I wrap this review up. Still tastes a bit green, but thankfully dogfooddog was generous enough to send doubles of everything. Cheers.

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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 meathookjones
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from a 2003 750ml bottle with no dates of any kind on it. This appears a black color till held up to the light and dark cherry highlights could be seen. A fluffy beige head sits atop the dark body that leaves minimal lace as this was consumed. Fruits scents will the aroma along with slight caramel malt sweetness. There is also a slight smoky note I am picking up from time to time. The flavor has a strong molasses taste with malty sweetness and the alcohol is definitely present. There were notes of chocolate and caramel and it ended with a slight alcohol after taste. Body was almost full with a sticky coating mouthfeel. I had no trouble finishing this big bottle and I would have had more if it were available. A very good example of the style that is worth a shot for sure.

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AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,227 ratings.
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