AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel AgedAleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

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

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This was barrel aged and limited to 234 hand numbered bottles from the 2004 batch of Wee Heavy and released in 2005.

Added by scottoale on 04-08-2006

BEER STATS
Ratings:
433
Reviews:
120
Avg:
4.3
pDev:
7.67%
 
 
Wants:
314
Gots:
132
For Trade:
12
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 433 |  Reviews: 120
Photo of BGsWo22
3/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of brewman1993
3.12/5  rDev -27.4%

Photo of JAXSON
3.23/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep burgundy / black with a thin head. Nose is largely burnt sugar, wood, some dark fruits, a smatter of cooked vegetables. Faint chocolate, and salty. Really oxidized flavor, savory and butter oak, weird clinging bitterness. A lot of off savory flavors here. Earthy, muddy, bitter, and astringent.

I don't think this style is really for me but in my opinion this is heavily oxidized and is way past its prime, regardless of my own tastes.

 450 characters

Photo of mwbrady12
3.25/5  rDev -24.4%

Photo of eldoctorador
3.25/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of cpetrone84
3.26/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this one!

A-pours a dark brown color with red edges and a lighter tan head.

S-the nose brings some cooked greens, notes of bourbon, lots of malt body, very sugary with toffee and caramel. Light malt sweetness with notes of oxidation in the back.

T-lots more cooked green vegatables, very sugary, toffee and caramel, diry burnt brown sugar, creamy oak with notes of bourbon. there is some more malt sweetness, hints of dried plums and slightly bitter.

M-full bodied and thick, very viscous but still smooth and creamy. lighter carabonation with an easy finish.

D-this is very sugary and rather thick and creamy. hints of oxidation and nothing subtle to it. seems to be to style but the flavors seem slightly jumbled together but not bad.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.47/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

10% ABV confirmed. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass (black glass?) 2012 vintage bottle with fancy gold label and black foil-ed over unbranded pry-off pressure cap acquired at Alesmith and served into an Odell stem-tulip in me friend's gaff in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are very high given the brewery and style - "Scotch-style ale aged in bourbon barrels."

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Fairly even consistency. Little albeit even lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is above average - about 3-4 minutes.

Body colour is a solid opaque dark black. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

It's about what I'd expect for a bourbon barrel wee heavy. It's not unique or special, but I'm optimistic given the brewery.

Sm: Nice bourbon notes - mainly vanilla, with some oak as well. It's not the rich toasty oak I love, but it's passable. Dark malts. Toffee. Caramel.

I'm surprised at its simplicity given the brewery. There just isn't much complexity in the aroma. I'm optimistic the taste will be better.

No hop character or alcohol is detectable.

A pretty standard wee heavy aroma of mild to moderate strength.

T: Dark malts, toffee, caramel, and bourbon notes - vanilla and some oak, but no toasty character. I don't find any roasted barley notes. It's a bit too boozy, even aged.

Decent complexity. Not real subtle, intricate, or nuanced. Depth of flavour is disappointingly average. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

It's balanced, I guess. Certainly not a gestalt build.

A great wee heavy - especially a bourbon barrel aged wee heavy - offers so much more than this. There just isn't enough going on, nor is there enough subtlety.

Mf: Too heavy on the palate. Too thick and full-bodied. It's got too much weight. The presence on the palate is a bit overbearing. Smooth and wet. Could be creamier, and certainly softer. It's imposing, but suits the flavour profile decently well. The texture certainly doesn't feel custom-tailored to the taste.

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

Dr: Something of a sipper. I'm glad I have a friend to help me finish the bottle, as quality as it is. The 10% does hit you. I wouldn't buy this again at its high price point, but it's nice enough. I'd much sooner stick with Backwoods Bastard, or even plain ole Old Chub for my wee heavy fix. This is an unreasonably priced beer from Alesmith that is worth trying once, but won't impress the discerning drinker. The heaviness is its biggest flaws.

I was ready to love this, but it just didn't meet my expectations. I'm glad I only bought one bottle.

B/B-

 2,920 characters

Photo of aasher
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of dfillius
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of champ103
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of Azrael
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of newbeeraday
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of deapokid
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of mmulebarn
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of Melman
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of gaesori
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of starrdogg
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of kscaldef
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of vbiliyar
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2005 Bottle 80 / 222, Sampled January 2008
This is the barrel aged beer of Alesmith's that I have wanted to try most. As I pop the cap only a touch of gas escapes. A vigorous pour can't do much but summon a thin, very large bubbled, bit of froth that doesn't completely cover the top of the beer. The beer itself is a dark, brownish-amber color and shows an opaque, hazy, dark ruby / deep red color when held up to the light. Aromas of Bourbon are quite apparent as I pour this brew; upon further inspection the Bourbon is still the most noticed part of the aroma. Aromatic notes of vanillin, butterscotch, spicy oak and alcohol, almost a cola like barrel / malt note and a rich, deeply caramelized character that is contributed by both the bourbon barrel char and the malt are all evident in the nose. Underneath these notes is a deep, if subtle, dark, caramelized fruit character that just sort of melts into the buttery oak and vanillin notes. Despite being so Bourbon barrel dominated the aroma is actually quite smooth and seemingly well integrated; it does not come off as boozy in the least.

Very lightly carbonated, but not flat, the beer is fairly sweet up front. This rich, sweetness makes me think of a vanilla infused dark fruit compote made up of raisins, prunes, figs, berries and a light cherry note. Through the middle the beer starts to pick up a bit more of the Bourbon and barrel notes, which, by the time the beer has left my mouth, have become a dominating, spicy mix of warm Bourbon, piquantly spicy oak, a touch of salty peat, lightly phenolic smoke and alcohol. This lingering flavor doesn't quite disappear until one takes another sip and lets the beer rest on the tongue to soak in the concentrated, rich, sweet malt and caramelized notes. Rich caramel malts, flavors of melted brown sugar and dark toffee add to the complexity here. Thick and chewy, the beer rests on the palate with a slightly sticky heft that is just barely offset by the minimal carbonation; the beer has about the same level of carbonation of a draught real ale, which actually sort of works with this beer as much of the chewy, rich malt notes are offset by the spicy oak / bourbon notes. Sometimes with the minimal carbonation it can even seem a bit thin, but ultimately the texture of this beer is just quite nice.

I must admit that I like the regular version of this beer a bit better, but that is typically the case for me. I just think that this one is holding up a bit better than most do as the base beer really is such a malty, monster of a beer (though you lose that with the bourbon barrel character layered on top of it). My biggest complaint is the lack of substantial carbonation, a light-medium level of carbonation would be perfect, though it does still do well with the low level that it does have. I really like how complex & integrated the barrel character is here, somehow, though it is the dominant note, it does not overwhelm my palate, and it is not too hot and one dimensional.

 3,001 characters

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AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.3 out of 5 based on 433 ratings.
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