Wee Heavy - Port Barrel-Aged | AleSmith Brewing Company

Wee Heavy - Port Barrel-AgedWee Heavy - Port Barrel-Aged
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Average: 4.23 | pDev: 5.44%

Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 57

Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy | 10.00% ABV

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AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Notes: This beer is retired; no longer brewed. This aged version of our traditional scotch-style ale is matured in port wine barrels to impart added layers of complexity to its already rich, malty flavor profile. Notes of sherry, dried fruit, vanilla and red wine tannins from the wine-soaked combine with the beer's caramel and toffee character to create a truly unique and splendorous offering. Savor it now or age for years to come.
Wee Heavy - Port Barrel-AgedWee Heavy - Port Barrel-Aged
Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 57
Photo of BeanBump
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite Alesmith beers; wish they'd make it again. Pairing a sweet wine like port with a naturally sweeter beer like a wee heavy seems like it'd be sugar overkill...but its not. The natural caramel tones of the wee heavy pair surprisingly well with the tannins of the red wine and the longer this beauty ages, the more toned down the sugar becomes and thats a beautiful thing.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a tulip

A- pours a murky brown color with a one-finger foamy khaki head that reduces to a ring around the edge

S- huge port aromas on the nose; blackberry, raspberry, black currant & fig. Undertones of caramel, toffee, chocolate & oak

T- huge barrel influence on flavor; big port notes with flavors of blackberry, cherry, raspberry, fig, oaky tannins, sherry and black currant. The finish gives some caramel notes, as well as spicy wood, lingers of more dark fruit

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and slightly warming finish

O- one if the heaviest barrel influences I've had in a beer, luckily I love port

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a dark reddish-brown, glossy looking, with a small head, and no lacing.

Smells really quite heavily of delicious port wine, it transforms the base Wee Heavy, and really seems to bring the delicious dark fruit complexity to the forefront. There's some toffee, and port soaked fruitcake as well.

The tastes run pretty similarly. There is a lot of port sweetness here. It's not quite as boozy as the bourbon barrel aged version of this beer- it's actually quite smooth and hides the booze pretty damn well. The dark fruit, raisin, plum, pune sort of thing is super amplified here, and absolutely delicious. There's a sturdy breadiness to this as well that keeps it from being a syrupy sweet sort of affair- Alesmith barrel-aged beers are always gonna be solidly balanced. There's some slight toffee and caramel flavors, but it's certainly not as strongly defined as the base or the bourbon edition.

This is medium bodied, slightly creamy, and very rich- it's certainly a slow sipper, meant to be drank slowly and enjoyed.

Alesmith can do no wrong in their barrel program- and for that matter- they can't really go wrong with any beer they make.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Type: 750ml-bottle
Glass: AleSmith Barrel-Aged Reserve snifter glass
From: AleSmith Brewing Company in San Diego, Calif.
Price: $28.00
Purchased: March 8, 2016
Consumed: Oct. 7, 2016
Reviewed as: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Misc.: Bottled in Feb. 2016; Black tin foil on top and neck

Had a taster of this when I picked up my bottles in March and thought it was really good (4.25 on Untappd). Will be curious how this has aged in only six months, but had to celebrate Barrel-Aged Day, you know? Their BBA Wee Heavy may have been the best beer I’ve ever had although the last two times I had tasters were not as good (one of them nitro). Either way, I love barrel-aged beers and especially barrel-aged Wee Heavy’s.

Poured a pitch black color with two fingers of khaki tan head. Could not see any bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. World-class spiderweb foamy lacing. Good retention. (Sight - 4.25)

Smelled that big Port Wine whiff right away. Was boozy in the beginning, but smoothed out after a few more sniffs. Also got those smooth Wee Heavy notes though, getting caramel, toffee, a touch of butterscotch and what smelled like bourbon (although it’s Port, so maybe just a wish). Digging deeper got tobacco, prune, dried fruit, red Sherry wine, oaky vanilla, dark black cherry and plum. (Smell - 4.50)

Tasted that Port Wine, dried fruits, prune, plum, raisins, red Sherry wine, red grapes, leathery tobacco, toffee, caramel and vanilla. Want to say bourbon, but not sure how that is possible. Oaky, but not as much as the nose. Maybe some crayon in there as well. Not quite as good as the nose. (Taste - 4.25)

Full body. Creamy-to-sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, earthy finish. (Feel - 3.75)

This was pretty good. I guess about as good when I initially rated it on Untappd. I really think this is a complex brew though. A lot of different elements here. (Overall - 4.25)

4.26 | 95 | A

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark, dark brown color with a toffee colored thick lacing.

S - Vanilla, oak, light bourbon aroma, cream, sweet vinous red grape (very light), toffee.

T - Sweet red grape, heavy oak, light bourbon, delicate roasted toffee. Red grapes permeates through the sinuses

M - Big bodied, slippery silky texture.

O - This is an unusual clash of flavor profiles. I like it.

O -

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Photo of Knapp85
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Millerbuffoon for sharing this one. This poured out as a nice deep brown color with a thin tan head on top. The smell of the beer is very nice, lots of rich caramel notes with some toffee in there along with oak and some dark fruits. The taste of the beer is similar to the nose in just about every way. The feel of the beer has a nice medium body to it. Overall it's a solid brew, was happy I got to try it.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Wicked Weed snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a fully opaque dark brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of sheer surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a solid ring behind.

S- As expected, smells like straight port wine with tons of raisin, fig and caramel. Also a solid dose of booze.

T- Lots of oak characteristic on this plus big nutty notes as well as plenty more raisin. Booze continues to be heavy but not astringently so. Definitely a sipper. Dry pecan aftertaste. Notes of brown sugar, molasses and more caramel.

M- Semi-creamy with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- The port barrel is quite heavy in this and, while I'm a huge fan of port, it will be a bit of a feat getting through this bottle myself as the flavor is so rich and booze-laden. Thank God for bottle stoppers.

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Photo of maximum12
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Many thanks to rawfish for answering the bat-signal & shipping this to the cold heartland. 750ML minimalist Alesmith bottle, black-foil wrapped.

The pour is that murky clay that I associate with a good wee heavy & several ounces of suspended solids. Low carbonation. The nose is big - wood, rich vanilla, & that peculiar fortified wine flavor of port that I enjoy so much. I have a great, expensive bottle in back…soon.

Wee Heavy - Port Barrel Aged is portier than some ports I’ve tasted. Massive port taste rides roughshod over the beer & brings me back to an afternoon spent in Fatima, Portugal sampling the local goods…& I mean good. Heavy, sweet, sweet, Mad Dog 20/20, lightning-infused caramel, sun-dried oak, lighter vanilla than in the nose. Maddeningly sweet. Alcohol is noticeable as it warms, both in the mouth & the belly. Thick & filling, I could drink a bomber of this for dinner two or three nights a week, happily.

This - this is what a wee heavy should taste like, & the port barrels add a heavy, wonderful level to the base beer. What Backwoods Bastard used to be, right here. Excellent beer.

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Photo of mothman
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tan head. Caramel tan brown color.

Flavors are heavy port flavors. Oaky and vanilla. Big scotch flavors. Caramel, toffee, and vanilla. Chocolate.

Full bodied. A tad too much carbonation. Ends sweet.

Nice BA scotch ale.

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Photo of DVMin98
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery. Look is very dark, with deep purple hue. Smell is of dried fruits, wine, etc. Taste is fabulous. Really get the port flavor. Im a sucker for good port and this shines. Perfect amount of carbonation (not too much). Overall, they knocked this out of the park. Can't wait to see how this ages in the bottle. Great job ASBC

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Photo of BeerSamurai34
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was really solid and drank a lot like a barrel aged barleywines. It was really sweet and boozy, so I think some age will do this one some good. I liked it fresh, but I think the port will really level out and add complexity with more time.

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Wee Heavy - Port Barrel-Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 57 ratings