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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:
#1,467
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 akttr
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of thebouch01
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of drmcleod10
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of phishbone23
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of beernads
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of kendellmarie
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of StoutSnob40
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of Fettpopps
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of ERlally
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of hawkmage
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of eerbayman
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of vinny21bal
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of scott
3.51/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

 393 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. Pours dark brown with a big creamy light tan head that retains well and laces the glass some.

The aroma is sweet smokey peat malts.

The flavor is sweet caramel and toffee malts with a little dark fruit and some smokey peat in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with light carbonation.

Overall, nice scotch ale - a little too sweet.

 365 characters

Photo of jmalex
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I decided to break this out tonight to celebrate a couple great days of Phillies baseball. This bottle has been aged about 1 year.

2007 vintage

APPEARANCE: Pours brown with reddish-amber highlights into my Delirium tulip. A dense, creamy off-white head forms at a finger and a half's height and gradually shrinks down to a thick full cap of foam. Web-like lacing encircles my glass as I drink it down.

SMELL: Very aromatic and full of flavors. It's caramelly and nutty with strong toffee notes and a decent backing of alcohol. Deeper down, one can get smoke, some figgy fruits, and chocolate. Nicely complex.

TASTE: The flavor doesn't quite hit as hard, but still comes through reasonably nicely. Caramel and smoke are prominent as is a significant alcohol burn that keeps going and going long after I've swallowed it. Toffee and sherry notes lurk in the background and definitely deepen the beer considerably.

MOUTHFEEL: Malty with a lower carbonation, but I can't help but think this beer seems a little thin.

DRINKABILITY: The alcohol heat seems way to intense for this beer. The complexity is incredible, but this is probably a bottle to share.

AleSmith Wee Heavy is a huge beer with so much going on in it. It's quite hot though and doesn't quite have the body worthy of a knife and fork. Definitely give it a try as anything from AleSmith is always worth it.

 1,371 characters

Photo of diomz88
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

aroma: alcoholic with chocolate and coffee hints with raisins.
appearance: dark brown to black, very dark, minimal head, resides quickly
taste: little sweet, more alcoholic than a beer. light bitterness with chocolate and coffee hints smokey at the end.
palate: med to full bodied, average carbonation, smokey finish.
had high expectations, still a good sipper beer.

 366 characters

Photo of groleau
3.54/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jwc215
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to PhxHrn and Solomon420 for each sending me a bottle!

750 ml bottle, poured into tulip glass:

Pours hazed brown(a bit too cloudy, but fine as the darkness covers it enough). A nice light brown creamy head tops it off. Rich, then descends to a cover that holds up. Trailing lace sticks.

The smell is bready with dark (slightly tart) fruit (cherry/raisin), then some bitter chocolate. Not much of the expected peat smoke, if at all. Alcohol does show its strength. I liked the subsequent, and following, a bit more than the initial.

The strong alcohol and bitterish sharpness give way (though still show) to a chocolate sweetness, and earthy fruity bitterness. A hint of smoke comes through in the finish.

Creamy, though carbonation showing a bit more than expected when slowly swirled over the tongue. Sharp alcohol pierced the palate.

It's malty, but with big booze and some light bitterness (and hint of tart), with just a hint of smoke in the finish. A big, "different" (though certainly with enough traditional characteristics), interpretation of a Wee Heavy.

 1,077 characters

Photo of GuitarIPA
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
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 wisrarebeer
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle.

A: pours an incredibly deep, dark copper color, nice frothy head that dissipated to a thin veil
S: medium nose, slightly disconcerting sour plum nose, oxidized?
T: well-balanced deep roasted malt and nice hop finish, might be turning as some sourness is evident in finish, EtOH is very warming in finish
M: very smooth beer
O: I don't know if this is a beer that's slightly turning (I've had it for 2 years) or is how it's supposed to be

 452 characters

Photo of laituegonflable
3.56/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly dark brown with a distinct red tinge. Head is medium-thin, but gorgeous, dense and foamy. Settles to nice bubbles with some great lacing left behind.

Sweet, roasty and nutty on the nose. Almond, hazelnut, buttery toffee. Hint of sunflower seed and honeyed cereal grain. Would have liked a bit more grounding, or oomph to take it to the next level.

Taste is a bit more substantial. Coffee notes on there, with burnt roast character, dark cherry, blood orange and toffee. Slight spice. Still very much on the sweet side which I'm generally not a fan of, but there's depth of flavour here; it's clearly well made.

Lot of texture. Body is not all there though, so it's a bit sharp at times and ends pretty dry. Not bad.

Not quite kismet with me and this beer; in the right person's glass this could be heaven but it makes me craving more spice or something to balance out that sweetness.

 904 characters

Photo of theopholis
3.57/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearence - Body had a deep burgundy/mahogany color. The head was a creamy, tan head that settled into a thin ring. Good retention, nice Belgian lacing. Continually but slowly effervesced through-out

Smell - Lots caramel malt and toffee presence up front. Had a nice but sudued aroma of dark fruits, especially red plumb in the back ground. some earthy tones.

Taste - Sweet and malty overall with hints of dark fruits, especially plum. Finishes with mild earthy bitterness. Nice complexity as it warms.

Mouthfeel - Nice full body with good CO2. The weird thing is, it was very soft. Not really to style, but it works nicely with this beer.

Drinkability - Very well done.

 675 characters

Photo of StephenRich
3.57/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

What is a Wee Heavy? Thats a bit of a strange name for a beer style. Its actually just a very old name for beer. It represented an ale of stronger nature originating in Scotland. The Scotch Ales were anywhere between 7 and 10% abv, and hence were a "wee heavy".

This beautiful bottling by AleSmith fits the bill. It is a Scotch Style Ale brewed in California at weighs in at 10% abv as appropriate for the style. I've had a few AleSmith beers before, and they have all impressed me. This would be my first experience with the Wee Heavy, and I was definitely very excited as scotch ales are among my most favorite beers.

Like many of their beers, this Wee Heavy has been decorated with medals and awards since 2004. I was very glad it came in a 750ml bottle, cause this beer was build to share with friends.

I opened the Wee Heavy up around cellar temperature close to 12C (54F) - I was anticipating big thick malt flavors, so I wanted them to all stand at attention rather than be muted by the cold. Poured into wide based tulip this beer brewed a deep nutty brown color lifting a smoothly dense, creamy tan head. The beer showed deep garnet reds when held into the light, but overall it is a softly transparent close to black beer with a maroon shade of brown growing within it.

The nose is classic with malt sweetness, touches of caramely roast, dried cocoa and hints of floral bitter hops. It has big deep aroma but is not terribly bounding or powerful. It glides easily into the air and penetrates your nose. Make no mistake though, there is much flavor here. Its shows an alcoholic warmth and comes back to big malty sweetness and dark fruits.

Letting the Wee Heavy in was like washing your mouth with roasted candy malts. Big and lush malt candies pour over your palate totally engulfing your senses. It really is malt forward. The first rush of malt is the big sweet round flavor of burnt brown sugar and rich butterscotch. It is quite abrupt at first showing a very aggressive malt character. It all comes across your tongue very intently and falls heavily onto your cheeks bringing roast and toffee with it.

The malt flavors here are truly complex and deep. As the beer warms overall character of the beer smooths out and becomes more gentle allowing greater layers of aroma and flavors to emerge. Now warm figs, dates, plums, banana and vanilla open to your taste buds, and yet more warm toffee, and thick sticky caramel flow with pronounced purpose all over your palate. A soft and slightly earthy hop aroma helps balance this beer a touch, but really, it fails. This is a hugely malt focused beer which is dominated by the warm, mellow, sweet, and potent flavors of malted barley. Really, if you are buying a wee heavy, it is exactly what you are looking for.

It even shows flavors of dark bitter bakers chocolate, lightly toasted bread, and smooth dark espresso. It was quite the treat, but certainly not for everyone. Although I could depict alcohol on the palate, it comes across more as an aged port, really just aiding the beers sweet and direct profile. Touches of spice begin to emerge here to, but are overshadowed by toffee and malt.

The mouthfeel was soft and gently carbonated showing big flavors. This is a full bodied beer, and I do wish it was a bit creamier, but overall, especially as it warmed, it became very smooth and gentle. The finish was sweet and malty with a hint of molasses, as every other moment of the beer was. It does fit the Scotch Ale bill pretty perfectly, and I wish I was enjoying a deep chocolate cake at the time with it. That being said, do look for big rich deserts with it or roasted game. Anything too light will be overpowered by this big beer.

I am also willing to bet that it will cellar very well. I'd give it 2 years upright and it should become even deeper with smooth and mellow flavors of deep buttery figs, and rich sticky malt.

 3,900 characters

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.57/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look: Pours a coca cola brown color with no head at all. When I swirled the beer there was maybe a 1/8 head but I was not at all impressed with the look of the beer

Smell: Upfront the beer carries a rubbing alcohol or nail polish burn and that is backed up by some dark fruits

Taste: Upfront are some figs and raisins that are backed up by a slight chocolate note and finishes with a bit of alcohol this was the best part of the beer

Mouthfeel: Full body and feels thick with very little carbonation

Overall: I had high hopes for this beer because I typically love Alesmith products but this one for me missed the mark

 622 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
3.59/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

 418 characters

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