Wee Heavy | AleSmith Brewing Company

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Wee HeavyWee Heavy
BA SCORE
4.16/5
Exceptional
1,241 Ratings
Wee HeavyWee 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:
#1,564
Reviews:
475
Ratings:
1,241
pDev:
9.13%
Bros Score:
4.15
 
 
Wants:
220
Gots:
251
Trade:
13
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,241 |  Reviews: 475
Photo of jgluck
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Kurt92118
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Grant35
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Prost76
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Damian74
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of 2GOOFY
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of TheBrewo
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We pour a brew of the deepest maroon coloring that appears from the darkness only when held directly to light. It holds a two and a half finger head of cakey, creamy light brown bubbles. Retention is great, leaving sheets and cloudy puffs of lacing down the sides of the glass. The foam never really disappears, with a thick ring left for the remainder of the tasting. There is a light haze to it, especially is some of the yeast from the bottle escapes at the end. Carbonation appears moderate. The nose gives strong caramel and lighter coffee malts. These come with brewer’s yeast and a strong metallic bite. Ethanol fumes waft high off the surface for a nice burn. There are also hints of vanilla rawness, syrupy raisins, milky lactics, buttery diacetyls, and warm woodiness. Our first impression is that the flavoring is nice, with big booziness on the back. As we sip, the flavoring opens with sweet caramel malts, heavy roast, and biting metallics. The booze is apparent right from the start, giving both sweetness and fiery pucker. The malts are sugary sweet, roasty, and buttery, with toffee sweetness and molasses bite and stick. The peak comes with enhanced sweetness of white sugar, deeper caramel malts, light smoke, bitterness of alcohol, and more warmth of melted butter smoothness. We finish with fusel booze and black pepper, more of those relentless caramel sugars, syrupy fig, fermented plums, and more warmth of light woodiness. The aftertaste breathes of metallics, yeast, dark cherries, big alcohols, caramel sugars, sea salt, and black pepper. The body is thick and full, while the carbonation is lighter to medium. There is silky smooth sip, with great froth, slurp, cream, and glug. The mouth is coated with a bubbly sheet of foam, leaving it wet and satiated. There is a bit of astringency on the back, with the booze drying you out. The abv is big, warming, and catches up with you, but the beer sips away nicely.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was the appearance. Honestly, everything about this beer was strong, but the look was exceptional. The coloring was drop dead gorgeous, and the head retained beautifully, contributing in full to the excellence of the mouthfeel. The aroma and taste were nearly as exciting, with a clean, well-blended style. This is fantastic for the style, and certainly the standard to be compared against.

 2,379 characters

Photo of donactive
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of MarioM
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of gshak
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of imbibehour
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a good wee heavy glass, and also a tulip suggested by the brewery.

A real interesting small pour produces little head off the tulip, aggression brings a caramel light fluffy head while drinking. Falls very fast with a lot of snapping sounding carbonation, and leave a pencil thin collar. While consuming the ring of glass gets coated in lots of spider like lacing all the way down. Body color is a deep dark brownish red, with some honey brown chestnut hues along the edges..

Nose is subtle, toffee like malts which are tiny, but a big sense of sweet concord grape juice. Hints of cherries and nutmeg. Pretty unique and interesting, but no strong alcohol, and clean and airy.

Palate hits at first with a tight fizz and a hint of carbon dioxide. Mid palate opens with a light caramel, but this feels and tastes more like a Belgian quad character. Hints of Flanders like cherries, and a very faint charing on the finish. Some small chocolate hiding in the background and cherry coke like sensibility.

Overall this is real interesting, but it seems like the toffee sense on this is downplayed. I normally like a good sense of that, and this reminds me more of a quad which doesn't always grab me when I want a Wee Heavy. It's got a great flavor profile, but it's not what I look for in this style, and they all seem like they are trying to play nice together but have a hard time fitting well with each other nicely. Regardless, it's a very well crafted beer.

 1,489 characters

Photo of chrisxmartin
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of DocJitsu
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark amber with a light taupe head, perpetually fed by carbonation bubbles from the bottom. Chocolate fudge nose, some cinnamon, with a lot of alcohol invading the olfactory. Aroma is reminiscent of FW Double DBA. Viscous mouthfeel that ads to the richness of the beer. There's certainly an Oktoberfest on steroids with this one. Spicy, chocolaty, fudgy, creamy, smooth. Not much to dislike.

 404 characters

Photo of tbone1384
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of laxer8811
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Twal
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Hacksaw34
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of pmarlowe
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler to tulip glass.

A: Pours a clear, light brown with a few cm of bright beige head, largish bubbles. Very good retention and some lattice lacing and swirls.

S: Delicious dark fruit (cherry, plum), spiced rum, dark molasses, and caramel malts.

T: Dark, fleshy fruit, fruity esters, very earthy, some dry molasses, and toasty malt. Finishes fairly dry. Excellent balance here: big, rich flavors but not overly so like you get in Wee Heavys.

M: Quite creamy like milk chocolate, medium-full body and medium-light carbonation. Sticky sticky.

O: Complex, a bit too big to be drinkable, but tasty in small doses. Very enjoyable.

 633 characters

Photo of mkennedy119
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of TwelveOunces
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

 868 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Dope
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear, very dark brown with a bit of red in there. Big and dense light brown head. Fades slowly, leaving really nice solid lacework behind.

S: Toffee, molasses and some peat with hints of smoke. Decent caramel in there as well.

T: Loaded with smoke and peat up front. Toffee, caramel and molasses abound especially in the middle. Some dark fruits fill in the middle as well, fig, grape and maybe raisin? A touch of nuttiness too. Finishes with lots of peat and toffee. Fairly boozy. I get a fair amount of of odd sawdust and leather in there too. Hard to describe.

M: Heavy, thick, boozy.

O: Definitely a very strong, boozy and complex scotch ale. The weird leathery/dusty/woody aspect really detracted I thought. It almost tastes oxidized in a way but this is super fresh (just came into the store last week). Fairly smoky and peaty too which I generally don't like too much. I was kind of torn on the scoring as I didn't like some of the flavors but it also has a lot of good flavors as well as the complexity and balance. The smoke and peat seems in-line with the style so it's hard to take away points for that either. Tough one to score. I did not enjoy this one at all, however.

 1,201 characters

Photo of jlieber17
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of 604growler
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of rinhaak
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a brandy snifter.

Pouring a pretty deep black with a fine foamy head, the beer has aromas of black licorice, sweet plums, dark rum, and ice cream. Very warm and boozy in the mouth, it drinks more like a digestive. There are flavors of dark plum, dark roasted (but never burnt) malts, and dark rum.

A lovely beer to end the day with, AleSmith Wee Heavy is also great beer for the colder months.

Highly recommended.

 443 characters

Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 1,241 ratings