Wee Heavy - Barrel-Aged
AleSmith Brewing Company

Wee Heavy - Barrel-AgedWee Heavy - Barrel-Aged
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AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #3
Ranked #1,257
4.31 | pDev: 7.66%
Dec 22, 2021
Apr 08, 2006
Wee Heavy - Barrel-AgedWee Heavy - Barrel-Aged
Notes: None
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Photo of Gatch
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Gatch from Massachusetts

Like the port barrel-aged version I had recently, my inclination is that this is a 2016 bottle based on the mixed case that this was included in. A sweet, syrupy wee heavy kicked up a notch with that smoky, buttery, bourbon flavor. Seems a bit past it’s prime as it is quite mellow, but delicious nonetheless.

Dec 22, 2021
4.42 by Budlum from Maryland on Nov 27, 2021
Photo of ryan1788a5
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

750ml bottle poured into a snifter. 2017 vintage.

A: Deep mahogany brown color. Thin beige head settles out rather quickly and leaves no lacing. Not unusual for barrel aged beers.

S: Sweet corny bourbon up front, though there is no alcohol kick. Soft oak. Loads of malt depth. Brown bread and crust, fig, raisin, caramel, candied nuts. Touch of black cocoa. Subtle undertones of sherry and paper are beginning to develop, but aren't yet too noticeable.

T: As in the nose, the bourbon is up front on the attack, but not hot whatsoever. Corny-sweet, with an oaky vanilla backing (which is augmented as the beer warms) and kiss of barrel char. From there, deeply complex malt flavors blossom. Rich caramel, toffee, and treacle syrup. Cola. Faint smoke. Brown bread and toasty bread crust. Fig and golden raisin. Somewhat of a tootsie roll/fudgey note. Evidence of oxidation is super subtle, but there is a bit of sherry. Faint whisper of alcohol. Drying crusty finish with some lingering chocolate covered raisin and a bit of oak tannin.

M: Very heavy, thick, and rich. Full-bodied with a sense of pressing weight. Rife with residual sugars, but it stops barely short of being syrupy. Carbonation is moderate, and pricks a little at the tip of the tongue. Wonderful coating, silky, and pressing malt texture.

O: I live for beer like this. The malt complexity is so deep, layered, and nuanced, and the barrel flavor profile fits like a glove. Everyone loves to chuck an imperial stout into a bourbon barrel -and that's great- but I've always thought that scotch ales were sneakily the best beer to bourbon barrel age. Case in point right here. This beer is an all-time great as far as I'm concerned.

Jan 08, 2021
Photo of draheim
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by draheim from Washington

750mL (vintage 2013 based on my notes) into a tulip. Pours a deep dark mahogany brown w/ a 1/2-finger head that settles to a narrow beige collar. Looks dense and chewy in my glass.

Aroma is rich and complex. Bourbon, vanilla, rum-soaked pipe tobacco, toffee, dates and figs. Pretty much what one would expect from a bourbon barrel aged scotch ale/wee heavy, old ale, or English barleywine (all of which are pretty close together in my mind). Surprising how many notes are readily apparent while this is still fridge-cold, and I look forward to observing some changes as it warms.

Taste is likewise complex, rich, and exceedingly well balanced. Very malt forward but not syrupy or cloying. Molasses, brown sugar, caramel, sweet stone fruits, and a nice chest-warming booziness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is chewy and and the heavy side of medium. Lingers on the palate.

Overall a really outstanding scotch ale/wee heavy. Better than I'd expected for some reason.

Sep 07, 2020
4.24 by mdaschaf from Indiana on Feb 09, 2020
4.55 by RochefortChris from North Carolina on Nov 14, 2019
4.68 by JamieDuncan from Maryland on Oct 06, 2019
4.23 by QuakeAttack from California on Jul 08, 2019
Photo of darktronica
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by darktronica from Indiana

My reference point for a bourbon barrel-aged wee heavy or scotch ale is Central Waters' annual release, which I've had a couple cases of over the past few years. This is better in every way but the price. Rich, decadent, bursting with barrel oak and whisky booze, but without overwhelming the malt, vanilla, and floral hop character of the base beer. Fabulous, likely my new favorite for the style, but not one I can find readily or indulge in regularly.

Mar 24, 2019
4.25 by Docrock from Illinois on Oct 13, 2018
4.31 by Wisconsin_IPA_Lover from Wisconsin on May 13, 2018
4.24 by spark3148857 from Ohio on Feb 24, 2018
Photo of BeanBump
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by BeanBump from California

This right here is awesome in a bottle, folks. Perfectly malty, and roasty with caramel notes and the beautiful barrel flavor that adds another layer of richness. This one is a sipper; its rich and boozy and will cot your stomach in warmth while simultaneously putting a smile on your face. Everything a BA Scotch Ale should be

Oct 04, 2017
4.47 by BergBeer from Hawaii on Aug 09, 2017
4.02 by Sk8sean86 from Massachusetts on Jun 05, 2017
Photo of Jeffo
3.98/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
by Jeffo from Netherlands

Doops broke these out on a rainy Tuesday evening. Thanks to The Man for forgetting these at his house and never asking about them again about a year ago.

From a 750 into a snifter
Vintage: 2009
FG: 1.022
Note: Drunk the ’09 and ’05 back to back.

APPEARANCE: Pours out flat. Some bubbly stuff, but basically flat. Hazy maroon red with no carbonation evident. Ends flat with no ring or lacing. Oddly enough the ’05 had a small hint of carbonation in there somewhere.

SMELL: Still piles of bourbon on this one. Oak, caramel, toffee, vanilla and butterscotch round off a very barrel heavy, sweet malt nose. The ’05 was identical.

TASTE: Oak, bourbon, red fruits and caramel sweetness up front. More sweet candy and booze at the swallow with a bold and lingering finish of caramel and toffee sweetness, bourbon, oak, vanilla and alcohol. No oxidization here, and the ’05, luckily followed suit.

PALATE: Fuller body, silky and slick, with no carbonation. Goes down slick with a bit of a scratch at the swallow and finishes mouth-coating.

OVERALL: Good stuff all around. Both of these have held up nicely, and while I’d prefer to see at least some carbonation in there, the lack thereof isn’t really an issue. Lots of sweet malt character and a bold, enjoyable barrel component to go along with it. Really glad to have tried these oldies. Thanks again, gents!

May 05, 2017
3.25 by eldoctorador from Chile on Mar 06, 2017
4.31 by boogerisu from Iowa on Mar 03, 2017
4.18 by StoutSnob40 from California on Mar 01, 2017
4.4 by shoegueuze from California on Feb 20, 2017
4.33 by NJB145 from Michigan on Feb 06, 2017
4.3 by SadMachine from New Jersey on Feb 06, 2017
4 by ross84 from California on Jan 11, 2017
4 by wiescins from Illinois on Nov 09, 2016
Photo of unclekeith
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by unclekeith from Alaska

750 into a Teku

L: A deep mahogany with a billowing tan head, quick to settle to a collar
S: Bourbon, caramel, vanilla, oak
T: Bourbon, sweetness, low bitterness, cocoa, dark fruits
M: Thick, creamy, and velvety
O: Fantastic, still hot, alcohol is front and center,

Nov 05, 2016
4.5 by mythaeus from Pennsylvania on Oct 25, 2016
4.16 by caverog from California on Sep 17, 2016
4.46 by PugsandBeer from Florida on Sep 15, 2016
4.17 by Biggiekrock627 from Maryland on Sep 11, 2016
3.5 by newbeeraday from Pennsylvania on Sep 05, 2016
4.35 by Kurmaraja from California on Aug 17, 2016
4.5 by jschott75 from Illinois on Jul 30, 2016
4.24 by EB1 from California on Jul 20, 2016
4.46 by ArsMoriendiOU818 from Virginia on Jul 12, 2016
4.25 by DeadeyeOTDO from Arizona on May 17, 2016
4.25 by t2grogan from Arizona on May 14, 2016
4 by fthegiants from California on May 12, 2016
4.25 by ItsYourBoyBlue from Washington on May 04, 2016
4 by fosters9 from New York on May 03, 2016
4.25 by calcnerd from Pennsylvania on Apr 14, 2016
Wee Heavy - Barrel-Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 449 ratings