AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged | AleSmith Brewing Company

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
431 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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:
431
Reviews:
120
Avg:
4.3
pDev:
7.91%
 
 
Wants:
314
Gots:
134
For Trade:
12
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 431 |  Reviews: 120
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour for New Brew Thursday's 3rd Anniversary event held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

2005 vintage. Bottle # 160/222.

Pours a hazy dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and bourbon. Taste is much the same with a brown sugar flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a great smell but the taste isn't matching up.

 677 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

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 brentk56
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 bottling

Appearance: Pours with a frothy khaki head that thickens as it settles atop the coffee colored liquid; stringy lacing patterns abound

Smell: Bourbon tones co-mingle with vanilla, toffee and caramel

Taste: Bourbon and toffee, with caramel and vanilla building, somewhat, through the middle; the finish lacks complexity and is dominated by the Bourbon, however

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; would have expected a bigger, creamier mouthfeel

Overall: A nice beer but I was expecting something with greater complexity

Thanks, mabermud, for the opportunity

 604 characters

Photo of oline73
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2009 vintage): Poured a clear medium brown color ale with a medium size off-white foamy head with some retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with light toffee notes and light butterscotch and some wood with a light whiskey finish. Taste is also a good mix between balanced notes of butterscotch and caramel with some notes of wood and whiskey and light residuals sugar notes. I though the body was a bit thin for the style with medium carbonation.

 464 characters

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

Appearance: 2006 vintage, bottle 63 of 254, drank side by side with the '06 barrel-aged Old Numbskull. Dark ruddy brown in color, opaque except for some slight transparency around the edges. A thin tan head forms from a vigorous pour, settling quickly to a ring. This is slightly more carbonated than the barrel-aged Old Numbskull, but it's by no means bubbly.

Smell: Rich and malty with a big oak barrel presence. Nutty, toasty, semi-sweet. Hints of vanilla and figs. This has a cleaner aroma than the barrel-aged Old Numbskull.

Taste & mouthfeel: Chewy toasted malt, tobacco and earth, chocolate and vanilla, huge oak flavor but not overtly bourbony. Malty, but drier than I was expecting. This is a mellow beer to begin with, but barrel aging has smoothed it out even more. No heat whatsoever despite the high ABV, and the low carbonation makes for a silky mouthfeel. Excellent stuff, not quite as outstanding as BA Speedway, but clearly better than BA Old Numbskull.

 972 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade with swingracex. 750 ml bottle into snifter; 2013 vintage, bottled on 2/11/2014. Pours hazy nearly opaque dark brown color with a small foamy khaki head with poor retention, that reduces to a small ring of lace that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining a thin cap. Aromas of big caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, prune, fig, date, licorice, light chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, light butterscotch/coconut/leather, and toast/oaky earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel notes; with good strength. A fair amount of noticeable alcohol, but subsides as it reaches room temperatures. Taste of big caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, raisin, plum, fig, date, licorice, light chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, light butterscotch/coconut/leather, and toast/oaky earthiness. Light amount of tannic oak bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, raisin, plum, licorice, light chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, light butterscotch/coconut/leather and oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great malt/barrel balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth and moderately creamy/slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome barrel aged scotch ale style. All around great complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,804 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Brad for sharing this bottle; I'd been wanting to try this for quite some time. 2006 vintage. Bottle 246/254. Served in a snifter.

Pours a moderately-dark brown color with a single-finger tan head and a bit of light lacing and a thin collar. Nose brings quite a bit of caramel, barrel character, dark fruits, and some more bourbon. A bit of booze, though it's quite welcome in the state it's in.

Flavor is really quite exceptional with a really nice barrel character. Really smooth and mellow. Beautiful warmth in the finish coming from the alcohol. Slight sweetness comes alongside the dark fruit character. Medium body and quite complex. Good carbonation. I've been waiting quite a long time to try this one, and it certainly was not a disappointment.

 771 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Shared by Henry - thanks.

A: Pours a blackish dark brown with a fine light tan head and not much lace.

S: Nose is old wood with traces of smoke, bourbon, and vinous.

T: Big maple notes up front followed closely by boozy bourbon and layers of grainy malt.

M: Creamy, rich and chewy. A little sweet maple syrup.

O: Decadent and a slow sipper. Enjoyed by all.

 382 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.3 out of 5 based on 431 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe