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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 Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful Beer in the Glass. Deep mahogany brown colored beer with a light brown colored head.

Smell is malty and fruity with lots of fig aromas to it. Spicy alcohol scent carries the smell of whisky, smoke, vanilla and nuts to my nose. Fairly sweet smelling but more in the whisky is than beer.

Taste is semi sweet and smoky in the first sip. Some sting from the alcohol level here, you can in fact detect it. Quickly this beer becomes smoky and full of the flavor of walnuts with a pleasantly mild bitter after taste. Significantly warming in the chest as you drink it, this would make a great winter beer experience. This is an ale that is nuttier in flavor than fruity, much like a sherry wine.

Mouthfeel is good and thick, almost milky.

A good tasting ale here that is near great but is a little light on the malt for the beer style. This would be an awesome Christmas beer to share with the family at holiday time.

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

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: rich, dark brown hue, almost completely inscrutable. Head poured two thick fingers of frothy tan foam which subsided, over time, leaving a nice layer of lace on the glass. Nearly perfect.

Smell: big, sweet malt aroma with a big caramel character. Nicely crafted and appropriate to the style.

Taste: sweet malt flavor with a little bit of vegetal hops in the mix. Malt character emphasizes the caramel, with little hints of breadiness coming through the sides. Good, and appropriate to the style.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with a huge carbonation and massive creaminess. Great for this or any other style! Wonderful.

Overall: quite a good beer. If you like gargantuan malt bombs, this beer is for you.

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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.

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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 HopHead84
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2/4/2011

On tap at Alesmith.

A: Deep brown with a wicked crimson tinge. The beige head is creamy and leaves scattered lacing.

S: Malt is rich and at the forefront. Notes of baked bread, caramel, a little toffee, plum, fig, date, and prune. Earthy and smoky notes waft from the glass with each swirl. Complex and quite aromatic.

T: Moderately sweet with a low level of bitterness. Malt is rich with a very faint roasted presence. Bready, smoky, and earthy, with restrained alcohol flavor and notes of caramel and prune. Finish exhibits warming.

M: Upper medium body with an upper low level of carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth and silky with notable warming and a stickiness on the palate.

Overall: An excellent Strong Scotch Ale.

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

I was a little taken-aback by the alcohol in this, wondering if it'd be more like a barley wine... but they pulled it off!

A: Deep chestnut with a huge tan head, good retention & lacing.

S: Figs, raisins, roasted nuts, cocao and caramel. Quite nice!

T: Dark raisins, figs, roasted nut, dark toffee, cocoa, burnt caramel, restrained bitterness, hints of wood & smoke, alcohol is extremely well-hidden, but it is warming.

M: Moderately full body with a light residual sweetness; modest carbonation.

D: It's a big one!

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Photo of weeare138
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appears a dark, dense mahogany with a beige head that fades into a small cap and bubbly collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, light smoke, banana flambe, and rum cake.
Taste is of the same aromas with a standout of cocoa.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, warming, & laden with caramel, vanilla, toffee, and a light smokiness running along the palate.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Ledger's Liquors of Berkeley, CA. Shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe in Sydney, Australia.

Pours a lovely clear, deep cabernet red, with a frothy, pancake-bubbled head off bone white. Lacing is fine and speckledy, but solid for that. Body is thick and heavy, and leaves streams of fine carbonation when tilted. Looks pretty damn good.

Nose is brusque and deep, without a lot of sweetness, but with a hint of raw booziness and a heady, slightly spicy and intoxicating character. It has some currants and raisins to it, but also a peppery, dusty age to it. It's pretty good stuff.

Taste is also very good. Here, the currants come out a little more, with a fruity, dark sweetness powering the locomotion of the palate as a whole. Notes of pepper, tannic wine and a boozy richness fill it out. Finish is quite dark, but it feels like it's the tannins rather than a true roasted malt character which makes this happen. There's so much going on in here.

Feel is smooth, but constantly peppered by that lightness and astringency.

Overall, this is really good stuff. I know I shouldn't be surprised that AleSmith gives really good stuff, but this is excellent even by their high standards. This is a Wee Heavy in the rich, thick and juicy variety: not the type created by a slight hint of peat. I feel like this is the better.

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Photo of corby112
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep dark chestnut brown color with ruby/mahogany edges and a frothy two finger beige head with excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Very smokey roasted malt aroma with hints of chocolate, oatmeal, hazelnut, burnt toast and roasted espresso bean. There's also a bit of sweet dark fruit but the nose is dominated by the roasted character.

Chewy full body with a blast of dry roasted malt up front that lingers throughout over the sweeter malt and dark fruit notes into a lingering dry finish. Slightly bitter with some earthy hops and acrid burnt toast flavor as well as hints of chocolate, hazelnut, oatmeal, toffee and coffee bean. I'm picking up some licorice and dark fruit mid-palate, especially plum and raisin that provide some much needed balance to the heavy roast character. There is some slight heat and warmth in the finish but the ABV is well masked. Dry fnish.

Overall, this beer is pretty complex and flavorful but it's a touch too roasted tasting for my liking. It's still a very good beer but I wish there was a bit more sweetness to balance things out.

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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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Not a fan of Wee Heavy or Scottish Ales but this was beyond GOOD. Pured a deep amber color with a dirty white head that was very fluffy. The nose was very compex. I could smell caramel, sugar, dried fruit, vanilla and heavy malts. Taste was superb. Complex and better than any Wee Heavy I have ever had. It really matched the nose. Mouthfeel was malty, brown sugar came out and so did the thick caramel and maybe even molasses.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer has a warm barrel brown body with a matrix of tiny bubbles gliding to the surface. There is a thick tan head that mushrooms above the glass and last for the full beer.

S- This beer has a dark caramel sweetness with a slight prune hint and a soft smoky bourbon hint of alcohol and sweetness at the finish.

T- The taste of sweet malt with a caramel flavor and toasted notes has some cream and smoky hints that increase as the beer warms a bit. The finish has a nice roasted malt bitterness and a soft cola note that supports it. As this beer warms a bit a pleasant faint coffee roasted note and some pine hops come through at the finish. The alcohol taste is a bit like red wine and is a nice compliment to the big malts.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a slight slippery texture and not real alcohol until the beer warms quite a bit.

D- This full flavored and roasted malt notes has a great flavor combined with nice smoky qualities and no band-aid flavor. The hops and alcohol balance each other nicely and let the malt do most of the talking until it warms up a bit.

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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 Bitterbill
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This bottle courtesy of Mauerhan. Thanks Topher!

Big ole 750ml capped bottle, it pours a clear dark brown with ruby highlights and a 2 finger head of off white foam. No refrigeration seen for this puppy....close to room temp when served.

Lots of caramel malt, some grain and bread, and a light roastiness in the smell. This is a *tough* style for me to enjoy as I've had a lot of misses that other folks deemed very highly. That's the reason I traded for this. I *want* another hit!

The taste brings a lot of caramel sweetness, some bready notes, a sense of some dark fruits, toffee, a wee bit of chocolate and quite a bit of alcohol. Very warming but actually nice. There's a light bitterness here as well that I'd say comes from dark chocolate like goodness but it's in its right place and not over bearing. Tasty is what I have here and I'm happy about that.

Very close to being full bodied with a lightish amount of carbonation, this is a very smooth in the mouth Wee Heavy. Head retention...excellent. Lacing...above average.

Drinkability? The taste seem to be just right for me though the alcohol is ever present. I'll split it down the middle and says it has good drinkability. In the next month or so(if that long), the drinkability factor could easily rise but I'm drinking it now with some very late summer like temps so take that as you will. Bottom line, this is a tasty and drinkable example of the style and Alesmith, once again, did not let me down. A great brewery, all around.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Pours a dark brown color with a creamy light tan head that possesses excellent retention and lacing qualities. The aroma is a lot of sweet and lightly roasted malt, caramel, cocoa and dark alcohol soaked fruits. The taste is creamy and smooth with some malt up front with a some spiciness and a touch of smoke, along with a warming finish from the high ABV. Overall, AleSmith Wee Heavy is another solid beer from this great brewery that is highly recommended.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Nose: Not big, fresh baked dark bread crust, plum, raisins and dark sugar.
Very dark but brilliant ruby tinged chestnut under a 2" very finely bubbled foam cap that descends to a thick, clingy film. Rouses easy, lacy and has legs.
Palate: A surprisingly interesting, subtle and balanced flavor profile for a beer so big and bold. Begins with rich malt with dark caramel to toffee, a suggestion of dark fruit such as plums and raisins and a light hop finish. Faint smoke.
Chewy, exceptionally creamy. medium low carbonation but very soft with a very fine bead. Some warming but not a lot for such a big beer.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.82/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle obtained via trade with kmpitz2. Thanks for the opportunity... Capped and foiled.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a wee 1/4" tan head over the dark reddish mahogany brew. Head fades rather quickly to a layer of bubbles, but there wasn't much to begin with, and for the style, that's not particularly shocking, and lacing was good. Aroma is sweet dark malts, with bits of dark fruits and alcohol popping up here and there. Taste is exquisite dark grain sweetness, with a tinge of fruit, and a long warming down the gullet. Mouthfeel and drinkability are stunners for the style. This is one to search out and enjoy, especially after a long day of cleaning up snow.

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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 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.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%

A - Pours dark burgundy mahogany with a creamy, toffee colored layer of foam.

S - Plums, raisons, brown sugar, and toffee.

T - Follows the nose - dark fruit, plums raisons, some brown sugar, toffee malt, light creaminess, and some mild booziness with very mild pine bite at the end.

M - Thick, heavy medium body, velvety smooth in texture.

O - Not a style I prefer but this one is an enjoyable deviation from what I normally drink.

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Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: cloudy, orange/brown in color, 1/2 inch head, high carbonation

Smell: toasted malt, caramel, earth, alcohol--a very malty smell

Taste: caramel, earth, bread, alcohol, and chocolate

Mouthfeel: moderately sweet borderline very sweet with some bittering alcohol tones, medium/heavy body

Drinkability: My first beer from them and wow is this a winner. This is a nice and super complex malt bomb. This is a great beer regardless of style. I like this a lot.

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

thanks to mrandypandy for this brew!

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: brown bodied beer with a mahoganey red hue. Massive tan head that settles down into a thick cap. A gentile swirl really brings head back in a big way. Nice looking Wee Heavy!

Smell: This smells really sweet and malty. Dark fruits and some spiciness. It really reminds me of the nose of a Quadruple.

Taste: Just as expected, this beer has a massive malty profile. Mild to moderate sweetness from the malts. The malts seem are more of a dark fruits mixed soaked in rum type of a flavor. Also some earthy, fruity / estery, and woody qualities found in this beer. Prunes and smoke are found mid palate and are subtle. Finish has a mild bitterness with some astringency, and a little booze with no heat to it. You can just taste the booze a little bit.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. This beer has really nice carbonation that is clean, lively, and smooth.

Overall: This is my second beer by Alesmith. Its an enjoyable good beer. This Alesmith beer impressed me more than Speedway Stout. The downside is it reminds me more of a Quadruple than a Wee Heavy. Thats why i have a lower score on the overall section, not true to style.

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

Reddish brown colour topped by a thin, tan head that produced lots of lace throughout. Great aroma with a nice balance, a combination of rich malt and chocolate, dried fruit, and a bit of smoke. Nothing was overpowering. Plenty of caramel and toffee in the flavour made up a rich malt backbone. Notes of figs, yeast and spice throughout. There's a strong, yet balanced, bitterness. Some alcohol warmth was apparent in the finish. Medium-full bodied with low carbonation. Two of us split the 750mL bottle and I could easily have had more. Excellent interplay of flavours and aromas. Another winner from Alesmith that I'll be picking up again.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. 04/04/2013 bottled date.

(A)- Pours a pretty dark burnt sienna brown with ruby red highlights. Some good tan colored froth.

(S)- Sweet but grainy with a nice raisin malty aroma.

(T)- Ever so slight roast meets nutty raisin and molasses. Ever so slightly grainy and bready on the finish. Tiny bits of cocoa.

(M)- A nice carbonation level meets a really nice balance of grainy malts and raisin.

(O)- An excellently balanced Wee Heavy with great depth and complexity without being too sweet or cloying.

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

750 ml bottle, shared side by side with the Barrel Aged version. Grub contributed the straight version, part of return of the DrJay epic weekend tasting.

Pours a lightly hazed dark reddish brown, huge and thick tan head forms, very sticky, leaves a ton of lacing on the glass, and settles to a medium ring, great retention. Smell is nice, sweet, brown sugar, iron, lots of fruit, strawberries and raisins, vanilla, touch of roast, quite bready, some caramel, nice. Taste is similar, toffee and iron up front, bread, some brown sugar, yeast, strawberries and melons, alcohol, raisins, very malty. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, very smooth. Nicely made wee heavy, not as full bodied as I would like, but quite nice. Thanks Russ!

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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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