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AleSmith Wee Heavy | AleSmith Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
468 Reviews
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
Reviews:
468
Ratings:
1,201
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
14.56%
 
 
Wants:
205
Gots:
250
For Trade:
15
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 468 | Ratings: 1,201
Photo of Pegasus
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep mahogony brown, with a small, persistent tan head, and thin, fine lacing.

Aroma: Peat, smoke, molasses, and sweet alcohol, classic for the style.

Taste:Rich, malty aroma at the open, beneath which there is an earthy, peat note, which carries throughout the taste. The alcohol note is quite whiskey-like - or should I say whisky - and is prominent from start to finish. The taste closes with a lingering smoked peat note.

Mouth feel: Smooth and full, with slightly zesty carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A really nice example of a superb style, very, very well done.

Many thanks to Bill for generously sharing this wonderful Scotch Ale.

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

Into the elongated tulip.

A - Pours like cola, 3/4 head that clears mostly within 5 minutes. Lacing sticky and thick.

S - Raisins, cola, dark fruits- big malty nose.

T - Taste mimics smell really well. Carbonation perfect and alcohol is present but not overly so.

M - Creamy as all get out. As noted, good carbonation. Very coating and each drink stays in the mouth for a LONG time. Good stuff. FInishes with a nice smaller bitter note.

D - This would exhaust me after one. Very easy to get the one down, though!

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

Pours a rich dark brown with ruby accents with some backlight. Tan head comes on nice but doesn't have much retention and just a slight bit of lacing.

The nose is full of sweet malts, roasted malts, dark fruits, and hints of alcohol. The nose gives away most of the wonderful tastes of this beer. Sweet malts with hints of black molasses, middle is malts again, finishes deceptively dry with a hint of smoke with increasing alcohol warmth. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. What a great sipping beer!

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

Black body with mahogany feet. Ample head with fine retention. Smell is of massive malt, and a bit leathery. Taste is explosive, if not complex. Sweet malt, and alcohol dominate, with a dark chocolate acidity on the finish, and a bit more hops than I expected. Mouthfeel is rich and airy, downright poofy actually. Predictably viscuous, sticky head.

This is a huge beer, and a pleasure to drink. The lack of complexity makes the 22 oz. bottle a bit laborious, but the balance is astounding.

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Photo of flexabull
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I have been anxious to try this beer for some time now. I was happy to hear that a local liquor store was now carrying it, along with a few other of the Alesmith beers.

So I grabbed a few bottles, and here we go...

Beer pours a nice tawny brown color with a decent white head.

Aromas are great. Dark fruits, booze, smoke, and a bit of pine.

Beer is HUGE tasting. Very thick and full mouthfeel. Wonderfully coats the mouth and the tongue. Sweet malts, fruity, and with some smokey oak flavors. Finish is bitter, hoppy, and with a warm alcohol finish.

Drinkability is good. This is a very nice sipping Wee Heavy. It's really big, and probably would benefit from some aging. But it's still excellent right now. One of the best Wee Heavy brews I have ever had. The beer formally known as Fat Bastard from Silver City might be just a touch better IMHO since it's a little easier to drink, but this is still top notch.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Fruity esters come on strong and ripe. Dark fruit, plums and overripe purple grapes.

Appearance: Deep brown that showed clarity only with strong backlight. A tan head lasted about half glass and left some lace.

Flavor: Deep toffee malt with a grape jam heavy fruit. The grape and plum flavors are really strong.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium low carbonation.

Overall Impression: A fruity malty monster of a beer! Really clean overall taste for such a big beer. Just hints of peat and smoke deep in the malt. Good stuff.
Big thanks to Bill and Kim for breaking out the 750ml!

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Photo of nickfl
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Brown with hints of red and decent clarity. Large tan head that settles down quickly and doesn't leave much lace.

S - Malty sweetness, roasty notes, and a bit of alcohol. Some dark, rasiny fruitiness and maby a hint of smoke.

T - Smooth coffee and caramel flavors with smokey roast malt and significant hop flavors. Notes of rasins, dark caramel syrup, and roasted nuts. The finish is reminicent of chocolate covered coffee beans.

M - Medium carbonation with some astringency. The body is fairly heavy but the finish is dry.

D - This is a very full flavored and bold ale. It is well balanced and satisfying, though the aroma does not match the complexity of the flavor.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with a half inch tan head. It smells like caramel, peat, toffee and molasses, overall the aroma is very sweet and malty. The beer tastes like caramel, raisins, toffee, figs, burnt coffee and a bit of licorice. Mouthfeel is full, but with a good bit of carbonation that I think is too much for this beer. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and creamy, but as the beer warms the alcohol heat is very noticable in the finish. It's definitely a sipper. Still, I think this is a good wee heavy. I would buy this one again.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Dark brown, with a medium tan, off-white head.

S: Smells of caramel malt, molasses and peat.

T: Big malt notes, some whiskey and bourbon, peaty, went great with BBQ, a great tasting beer.

M: Thick, creamy, smooth, and robust, you know you're drinkin' a beer.

D: A great Wee Heavy, smooth and tasty, robust but easy to drink, I really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of bradford
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bought a couple bottles at the BevMo in San Luis Obispo, CA on 8/10/07
Appearance was very dark red with a small white head that remains for the duration of the glass
Smelled very much like a stout but with a slight smokiness that is the all-to farmiliar Scotch ale malts. perhaps some Pete malt?
Tasted fantastic. Tons of malt. More than expected in a brew renound for maltiness. Also lots of alcohol on the tongue which can either work brilliantly for a beer, or be it's ultimate downfall. I like the alcohol in Rochefort 10, but not so much in the Kentucky Breakfast Stout. It works very well for this offering.
Mouthfeel was a winner again. Very thich mouthfeel, that is helped in the throat with the alcohol. This beer feels on the palate like a 10+% abv beer, not the advertised 9.5%.
Drinkability was good on this one. It will be savored though and not drank like a weiss on this warm evening. I am already looking forward to my next glass. Great stuff. Highly reommended.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a 1/2" tan head that fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a rich, malty scent that boasts of caramel and peated malts. It screams of burnt toffee with a sweet malt scent and a warm elevated abv element. The taste is good. It has a warm, malty flavor that goes down smooth and finishes dry and a bit bitter. There is an earthy element here that compliments the caramel malts. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking Scotch ale. It's a warmer for sure, but I love the malt character.

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

Fantastic brew. Pours a dark, deep, cola-like bubbling brown.

No real hop taste, the flavor is sweet but not overpowering, and the taste is more complex and rich than one would suspect from this style. Carbonation created a nice two to three inch head, color was a rich chocolately amber.

Quite drinkable, perfect for those who want a nice, complex malt profile.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.76/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Downtown Wines in Boston for $14.20.

Pours dark brown with cherry red hints. The head is smallish but never dissapears and coats the glass in creamy lace. The aroma shows brown sugar, vanilla, mollases and a good amount of booze. The taste is more complex. Fresh bread, licorice, stewed pears dusted in cocoa powder, toasted oak, rum soaked christmas cake, raspberry jam and English hops all pack into the flavor. The mouthfeel is thinner than I expected with a wonderfully textured carbonation. The finish is too boozey.

This beer is probably better with age. Its nicely complex and nuanced, but too sweet and boozey for my tastes.

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Photo of walshclimb
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark brown with a thin, fine, tan head that leaves a slight lace. Rich smell of malt with strong carmel and nice coffee and chocolate notes. Initially tastes very malty with gentle sweetness and light smoke and chocolate with a hint of licorice. Aftertaste is nicely balanced with a nice hop bitterness and malty flavor that is medium lived and clean. Full bodied mouthfeel with slightly alcoholic finish - less alcoholic than you might expect for a 10% beer. Syruppy, heavy, dense, and smooth. This is a very tasty beer. It stands up well on its own or try it with something rich like beef wellington or a rich chocolate dessert.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was aged for about a year and 1/2 before drinking. Poured a hazy, muddy brown with an orange tint. Little head, some lacing. The smell is very malty, but the alcohol burn in this one is gone after aging. Despite the fairly low level of carbonation, there is something fairly spritzy on the nose, as well as plentiful dark fruits and a touch of molasses. The taste is very smooth and geentle at the start with no noticeable alcohol but lots of restrained sweet malt, followed by a growing malt explosion that culminates in bursts of chocolate, bitters, spice, rum soaked fruitcake, and a late cocoa finish. Very smootth and creamy, this is eeven a little undercarbonated for me by this point. Quite interesting and delicious and worth drinking. I should have aged it for about 6 months less to optimize the balance of elements and retain a little more spritz. Delicious.

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

Picked this one up not knowing quite what to expect, as this is my first stab at a scotch style ale that I know of. And what a pleasent surprise. Pours a beautiful dark rich amber, and forms to a frothy one finger head that's creamy and smooth. Sweet smells of apple and raisins and a bit of smoke.

Taste is very complex, the apple and raisin that I experienced in the brews smell shine through a smoky caramel backbone. There are also strong hints of cherry. There is some hoppy bitterness towards the finish that quickly smoothes itself out in the end. This is a thick, warm, full bodied beer that sticks to the inside of your mouth for a good while after you swallow. Feels great to take in and going down as well. Very warming.

I definitely plan on trying this beer again, but next time I will be sure to pick up more for cellaring...It seems like it would age quite well and I'm anxious to experience the results! Great brew!

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

Pours a dark cola brown to black in color with reddish hues and a small light tan colored head. Aroma is sweet and smoky, molasses and chocolate with some nice smokiness, not a roastiness as much as smoke alone. First sip shows a rich and fairly full body with flavors of caramel and buttery toffee, rich sugary malts have their way for a good long time on the tongue before a slightly acidic, slightly dry finish that leaves a pleasing smoky aftertaste. There is a hint of a peppery spiciness that helps to balance the richness. A nice enjoyable beer, it feels like it would be a great accompaniment to a nice cigar to cut through the big sweet body and blend with the already smoky flavors.

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Photo of mcallister
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep mahagony, red highlights, with a great head of off tan that holds up nicely then fades into sporadic sticky thin lacing around the glass. With good retention overall.

Raisin, mollasses, mission fig, black curran, black berry, smoked peat, caramel malt, and hints of woody earth round out the nicely balanced nose.

This is a damn good beer. Full and rich mouthfeel leaves a layer of sweet malt on your tongue for the minute long or loner finish. Ripe mission fig, black currant, slight anise, malt is of sweet burnt caramel and is a mid palate wonder. A floral slightly earthy hop is introduced to balance and complete the long finish. Hints of peat smokey-ness are subdued but integrated nicely. Raisin, cured meat, and craft round this one out. A great, very easy too sip on beer.

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Photo of Phatz
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I loved this beer so much (though I am happy to have shared it with my friends) I could easily have consumed the bottle by myself. This one I will pay the $20 price tag if I can get my hands on it again.

Appearance: Pours an opaque ruddy crimson brown with a creamy tan head and notable lacing.

Smell: Spectacular aroma of dark malts, caramel, molasses, hints of chocolate, peety smoky Scotch scents, and burnt toffee.

Taste: Suggestions of cocoa, sweet malt, toffee, caramel, and burnt brown sugars start a complex path doth the adventure that is Alesmith Wee Heavy. WOW! Exceptional. I love a good wee heavy and that it is. Ripe fruit and alcohol round out the mouth and it leaves you with a hint of smoke still on the palate. A bit of alcohol compliments the flavors but does not flex to strongly.

Mouthfeel: Unbelievable smooth and silky.

Drinkability: I love this beer. Next one is going to be paired with a Padron 1926 cigar. MMM. It is a perfect night cap!

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

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Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml

A - Pours a deep brown/light black that is a magnificent mahogany when held up to the light. A 2 finger tan head remains as a light skim on top of the beer.

S - Caramel, toffee, spices, molasses and maple syrup.

T - Sweet caramel and toffee, raisins, molasses or maple syrup, slightly nutty, reminds me of the nuttiness I find in Jim Beam.

M - Medium to thick bodied and creamy with very light carbonation. It has a slight syrupy characteristic.

D - One of the best Wee Heavy's I have had. I only notice the alcohol by its warming effect.

M -

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.59/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky, ruddy orange color. Very little carbonation-almsot seems flat. Nice heavy aroma. Quite vinuous and winey. Sharp tang to it-slight alcohol tinge to it. Fruity and slight sourness in the flavor. Some oak and vanilla. Plenty of bitterness. Moderate mouthfeel. Lacks some of sweetness I have seen in other scotch ales. An ok beer overall. Enoyable-better as it warms. Thanks to callenak for the Secret Santa sample.

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Photo of scott
3.51/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

V.06
Grade "b" molasses, with a root beer float head. Nice lacing.
Aroma was of caramel malt, with a little bite in the back of your nose.
A little too sweet for my liking - too mellow and mouth coating to make me want to ever finish this expensive bottle. But I will. It has to be terrible for drain pour consideration. This offering is so boring, I really don't have much to say about it.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Part of a recent trade from nflmvp. Many thanks, Steve! This poured approximately the same shade of brown as a chocolate bar and was a bit cloudier than I was expecting. This may be due to the fact that my DBF is down stairs and I roughly grabbed up the bottle and ran it upstairs. Perhaps I disturbed some sediment. I see others who have reviewed this say it's clear. Very thin khaki colour head vanished within seconds, leaving a sand coloured webbing of frost over the surface of the liquid; a notch, at best, better than your average wee heavy.
Smell was quite lovely. Plenty of roasted grains, caramelised sugar, stewed dark fruits, and some smokey, earthy notes such as rich, dark soil and mushrooms. (Very imaginative, aren't I?) Plenty going on here in the smell, to be sure.
Taste wasn't quite as complex as the smell, I felt, though I still enjoyed it. Huge sweetness immediately noticeable. It wasn't offensive, but I certainly couldn't handle much of this with great frequency. One of these a month would be fine. Once you get past the sweetness, the second thing you notice is its weight; very solid, and very full bodied. The taste itself is comprised almost exclusively of sweetmalts with a very faintly noticeable alcohol presence which vanishes as quickly as it became noticeable, and an even more subtle smokey peat, which you'll overlook if you don't know to search for it.
Mouthfeel, as I stated earlier, is very full and heavy. We'll see how I feel after consuming this 750mL. It is quite smooth and very light on the CO2, though.
Overall, I rather enjoyed this. In fact, I think it's better than a handful of real Scottish Wee Heavies I've had. It was still very sweet though, and a 750mL would perhaps be best split between two friends rather than consumed by one person. I am extremely glad that I was able to have such a rare beer for the East Coast. Thanks again nflmvp!

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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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AleSmith Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,201 ratings.
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