AleSmith Old Numbskull - Barrel Aged | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Old Numbskull - Barrel AgedAleSmith Old Numbskull - Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
alesmith.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kmcnair on 12-13-2004

BEER STATS
Ratings:
426
Reviews:
96
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
7.69%
 
 
Wants:
378
Gots:
109
For Trade:
16
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 426 |  Reviews: 96
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at AleSmith Brewing Company in San Diego, CA.

Pours a murky dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and wood. Taste is much the same with a woody flavor and an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp but medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great aroma and some tasty barrel aged flavors.

 612 characters

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of nmann08
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of kojevergas
3.74/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with black foil-ed over unbranded pry-off pressure cap purchased at the brewery in 2012 or 2013 and served cold into a goblet at low altitude in Austin, TX. Reviewed live as a bourbon barrel barleywine. Allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

Expectations are high given the brewery and bourbon barrel aging.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide. Whie colour. Creamy and smooth. Retention is subpar - about 1 minute - though that's understandable given its age and 11% ABV. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Dark auburn-brown. Translucent. Not real vibrant. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears aptly carbonated. Not unique or special looking, but apt for a barleywine. Looks good overall.

AROMA: Smells sweet. Vanilla-forward; the oak has receded. Marshmallow, toffee, English dark malts, crystal malts, treacle, cream, white oak barrel sugars, and caramel.

Aromatic intensity is high. It's on the sweeter side, but it's certainly appealing.

No yeast character, overt booze, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: Subtle refined bourbon barrel character replete with vanilla and slightly toasty oak. Ample barrel sugars. Marshmallow. Treacle. English dark malts, sweet amber malts. It's sweet, yeah, but the barrel just melts into the base seamlessly. Great overall balance. Good depth of flavour. Average flavour duration and intensity.

Some might find this too sweet, but I think it really works - especially with the soft marshmallow. I've had more complex and intricate beers in the style (e.g. King Henry), but when you're forced to compare a barleywine to beers in the ilk of King Henry you know they're doing it right. Tasty stuff from Alesmith.

The marshmallow steals the show. This isn't the most subtly executed brew, but boy is it balanced.

TEXTURE: Soft and creamy, with a shockingly sleek silky feel and a great overall presence on the palate. Comforting without being boozy or syrupy. Complements the taste really nicely. It definitely elevates the beer.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or rough.

OVERALL: Highly drinkable for its 11% ABV. This is a definite improvement on the base beer, and the bourbon barrel - while not the most intricate in character - seamlessly melts into the beer. Really tasty stuff. I'm glad I cellared it as long as I did, and I'll plan on cellaring my other bottles a bit longer; she's only getting better. More proof Alesmith is one of San Diego's best breweries. A very good barleywine.

High B

 2,556 characters

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep copper color ale with a light foamy head with minimal retention and minimal lacing. Aroma consists of sweet toffee and caramel notes with light cardboard notes and light bourbon notes. Taste is also dominated by sweet toffee notes with some caramel malt with some bourbon notes though not as much as expected. Light cardboard notes a re revealing that this bottle might be past its prime. Bourbon notes are not as dominant as I would have expected. Body is a little bit thin for style with medium carbonation and no apparent alcohol notes. Fell a bit short of my expectation but good nonetheless. It would be interesting to try a fresher bottle next time.

 677 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: '06 vintage, bottle 92 of 208, enjoyed side by side with barrel-aged Wee Heavy. Turbid dark amber, semi-clear as it thins. No head, just a thin sheet of bubbles and a hint of carbonation. Not exactly what I'd call a good looking beer, but it's appropriate for the style.

Smell: Lots of musty barrel aroma upon first smell. After letting it breathe and warm up a bit the complexities start to come out: rich toffee and vanilla, bourbon barrel, iron, dates and a lingering hint of musty barrel. Very complex and interesting, but somewhat boozy, especially once it reaches room temperature.

Taste & mouthfeel: The taste closely mirrors the aroma. Dried fruit, toffee sweetness and boozy bourbon are most prevalent. Rich, but not actually extremely sweet - the oaky tannins do a lot to balance the flavor. The hoppiness of the regular Numbskull has completely subsided, though the barrel-aged version is both more mellow and complex. The mouthfeel is full and coating with little noticeable carbonation. A friend compared the texture to vintage port, and I think that's accurate. Alesmith did a good job minimizing oxidation, as there's barely a trace of it. The finish is long and semi-drying with a slight heat that's both fitting and pleasant.

A great beer overall, and I'm very glad I had the chance to try it. It's not something I'd reach for often, however.

 1,374 characters

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Photekut for busting this out at the Jackie O's release. Served in a SAVOR snifter. 2006 vintage -- 48/208.

Pour yields a caramel-colored brew with a thin off-white head. Nose is filled with aromas of sweet bourbon, caramel, and a bit of brown sugar. Mild booze there as well. Flavor is not as integrated as the nose, but the bourbon is nice. Not terribly bourbon-forward, however. Also some caramel, sweet bread, and some brown sugar intermingling. Mouthfeel is medium with low carbonation and a bit of booze in the finish. A very excellent brew that I had wanted to try for some time. Thanks again, JR.

 615 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2012 thanks to rudzud

No head, hazy reddish murky color.

Taste big sweet malts, toffee caramel, syrup, juicy, big sweet candy malts, little oxidation, light vanilla barrel and faint bourbon.

Taste brings sweet candy, smooth caramel, nice toffee, velvety smooth soft malts, complex, nutty, chewy, little nougat, nice vanilla barrel faint bourbon, touch of oxidation.

 369 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of billab914
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

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AleSmith Old Numbskull - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.29 out of 5 based on 426 ratings.
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