AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged | AleSmith Brewing Company

BA SCORE
95
world-class
432 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:
432
Reviews:
120
Avg:
4.3
pDev:
7.91%
 
 
Wants:
315
Gots:
133
For Trade:
12
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 432 |  Reviews: 120
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Barry last night, thanks dude.

This one pours a slightly murky dark brown, with a few fizzy bubbles that could kind of be considered a head, and no lacing.

Smells like rich, deep bourbon, with some boozy aromas, caramel, vanilla, and oak. Smells like it's gonna be good.

This is pretty boozy, but in a fairly solid way. It's hot, but in a warming way, with tons of caramel, oak, vanilla, and some toffee, and a fairly significant, in your face bourbon character.

This is medium bodied, but still pretty full in the mouthfeel, with a fairly creamy mouthfeel, as a lot of Alesmith's barrel program is. There's a lower level of carbonation, and a kick of booze on the end of each sip.

I think this could continue to age well with time, but now, this '14 vintage (I believe) is drinking really well, and is a super decadent treat.

 848 characters

Photo of aasher
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of IrishColonial
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of drabmuh
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Brad at a recent tasting, 2006 vintge. About 250 of these were bottled, I'm super honored to get a pour of this. Beer is dark brown and pretty hazy with a thin off white / tan head of small and medium bubbles. Agitation coaxes a decent head out of the beer but it does not have good staying power, minimal lacing.

Aroma is very bourbon filled. It's sweet and has some herbal spice to it but mostly liquor. Smells awesome honestly, exactly what I hoped it would smell like.

Beer is medium bodied and really creamy. There is minimal peat in the mid-palate and rounds out nicely to finish the beer. The lead off is a little sweet and very bourbon-y. It is not very hot, just a nice beer all around. The flavors walk that line between tasting like liquor and being liquor. I would have more of this if that were possible. As it is now I'll just have to lean on my memory.

 886 characters

Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of ShanePB
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Gobzilla
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sweffin
4.71/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of outoffocus
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of DoubleJ
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of enelson
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of eawolff99
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

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

Photo of yourefragile
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL gold foil topped bottle, 2006 vintage, #70/254, poured into a tulip and splith with 321Jeff, thanks to whoever traded us this gem.

Appearance is a murky maroon and brown color. Very still, obviously low carbonation, and a very thin off white head that quickly fades to absolutely nothing and no lacing. Aroma is very rich and port like. Strong notes from the barrel of vanilla and bourbon and occasionally raisins, oak, chocolate, etc also assert themselves. Body is lighter side of medium with fine, soft carbonation with a long lasting slightly dry raisin and bourbon finish. Flavor begins with pleasant bourbon sweetness before the base beer with rich malt, toffee, raisin, etc enters and lingers into the finish. Slightly astringent but very little alcohol presence or burn. A very pleasant sipper, mildly complex and delightfully balanced, however maybe a little past it's prime as its lost the robustness and complexity of the regular Wee Heavy.

 959 characters

Photo of dwagner003
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Halcyondays
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

25.4 oz. bottle, 2006 Barrel-Aged Vintage, #224/254, procured in the April 1st, 2008 release, drunk 4/4/08

A: Pours a dark brown, with a small white head, good retention, and great thick lacing.

S: Maple syrup, cognac, vanilla, Madeira wine, peat smoke.

T: Definitely a peaty maltiness, huge brown sugar notes, hint of Islay whisky and vanilla. Good amount of lactic acidity, probably from the barrel aging, also has a really good long lasting aftertaste you get from a good whisky, really tasty stuff.

M: Very smooth, has a softness in its character making it very easy to drink, nice prickly carbonation.

D: I definitely think the Barrel Aging has improved the Wee Heavy from Alesmith, which was already a great beer. It gave it more complexity and in the end made it much more interesting, I'll definitely buy another bottle or 2 at the next release, a beer that certainly grows on you as you drink it.

 910 characters

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Butterscotch, fig jam, brown sugar, Crème brûlée, vanilla, cherries, oak and bourbon. Has a rich earthiness. Smells heavy, but drinks light. Good English Barleywine flavors. Medium mouthfeel and carb. Short finish. Damn fine beer.

 233 characters

Photo of mrn1ceguy
4/5  rDev -7%

AleSmith Wee Heavy - Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.3 out of 5 based on 432 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

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

    Learn More