Old Numbskull
AleSmith Brewing Company

Old NumbskullOld Numbskull
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From:
AleSmith Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Style:
American Barleywine
Ranked #77
ABV:
11%
Score:
92
Ranked #5,354
Avg:
4.12 | pDev: 9.47%
Reviews:
535
Ratings:
1,007
Status:
Active
Rated:
Sep 19, 2022
Added:
Feb 14, 2002
Wants:
  219
Gots:
  366
SCORE
92
Outstanding
Old NumbskullOld Numbskull
Notes: None
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
 
Rated: 5 by doctorgary from New York

Sep 19, 2022
 
Rated: 4 by EMV from Pennsylvania

Jan 13, 2022
 
Rated: 4 by thewimperoo from Illinois

Oct 20, 2021
Photo of micada
Rated by micada from New York

3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Too hoppy for me. Nothing special jumped out.
Aug 17, 2021
 
Rated: 3.75 by BeerRay from Rhode Island

Apr 10, 2021
Photo of DaveMaciolek21
Reviewed by DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Brown amber pour with an off-white, minimal head. Beer starts out impressively, with oak and caramel most prominent. and the alcohol content well-blended. As the beer warms, the bitterness and booze creeps in, giving a bit of a caustic edge. Overall a good barley wine, but sip slowly at your peril.
Mar 29, 2021
Photo of Sigmund
Reviewed by Sigmund from Norway

3.81/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Bottle, ABV 11%, at RBNAG 2009 in Vatlandsvåg. Orange to amber coloured beer, moderate off-white head. Aroma of oak, fortified wine, American caramel malts and American hops. The flavour has strong notes of bitter American hops throughout, also oak and alcohol.
Mar 21, 2021
 
Rated: 3.5 by Argento from Rhode Island

Mar 20, 2021
 
Rated: 3.9 by DOCRW from Washington

Mar 18, 2021
Photo of mothman
Reviewed by mothman from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
2013 bottle.

Khaki tan head with lace. Caramel brown color.

Tastes like an American barleywine but the hops are a bit subdued. They still show in the finish with resin and bitterness. Caramel and toffee. Apples, figs, malts. 8 years could be a bit too old, but no off flavors or oxidation.
Mar 13, 2021
Photo of beergoot
Reviewed by beergoot from Colorado

4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
A beautiful mahogany brown body, clear; lots of lively carbonation rushing to the top; very thick and sculpted head, rocky and bumpy. Strongly sweet malt aroma; dried figs and dates; molasses and brown sugar; hazelnuts. Outstanding flavors accentuating a lot of the aromas; roasted grains; boozy. Heavy body; rich and oily; bold alcohol warmth; some phenolic sharpness and bite; sticky.

I love a huge, malt-forward, high-octane beer, especially one with a deep, rich head despite a high ABV. This is an eye-popping beer, partially due to the alcohol level, and plenty to do with the deep, lustrous malt body. Rich, warm, satisfying...
Oct 08, 2020
 
Rated: 4.17 by DvdP from Netherlands

Sep 22, 2020
Photo of Gatch
Reviewed by Gatch from Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
At the brewery. I’ve been waiting years to try this and somehow missed it, probably since the late 2000s along with Speedway Stout but it was pretty rare back then. A perfect example of the style. Sweet up front, a hoppy backbone, with a properly roasty finish. You really get the malt profile and the hint of hops when you let it warm up and sip. Great stuff.
Jun 07, 2020
Photo of jlindros
Reviewed by jlindros from Massachusetts

4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
This is been in the cellar for a long time, probably from 2010 or 2011 time frame, but no date on the bottle. It's also 10% abv

It pours a bit like molasses or thick oil, inky looking, but no real head, dark mahogany brown hazy color with nice long legs

Nose definitely smells old, some oxidation with a little cardboard but also winey port notes, past that brings sweet malts, lots of caramel and toffee, candy notes, little toasted grain with butterscotch and layers of caramel, then comes dark fruits with some candied raisin, brandy soaked fig, a bit of nutty toffee

Taste layers the mouth, coating everything in a thick layer, lots of sweet malts out front, candy, molasses, brown sugar, etc, but then waves of caramel and toffee, lots of sweet candy flavors with med-high overall sweetness, toasted malts, a little nutty toffee, almost chewy level of caramel, then more dark fruits, brandy soaked raisin fig, candied prune, mild waxy oxidized port wine but no cardboard, that nice soft aged malt character as well, no alcohol presence, but a touch of bitter spicy hop late, mild sticky finish, a bit more bitterness lingering and more oxidation notes

Mouth is lush, fuller bod, thick and chewy, viscous, etc, with almost no carbonation but also no real alcohol either, just a hint of warming alcohol

Overall this aged pretty well, def has that nice aged barleywine characters that I was looking for, pretty tasty and enjoyable
May 10, 2020
Photo of pathman
Rated by pathman from Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
05/01/20 bottle @ home (bottled 01/23/14)
May 02, 2020
Photo of colts9016
Reviewed by colts9016 from Idaho

4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
The date on this bottle of beer is 02/04/2016, and today is Easter 4/12/2020. I have wanted to try this beer for a few years now. Ironically, this beer took me a couple of years to track down. The beer is 50 degrees and served in a tulip glass. Prying off the cap, I got a lovely hiss and a malty aroma. The pour of the beer produced a two-fingered creamy and airy light tan head. The retention of the beer is excellent for having a high ABV. As the head dissipated, it left nice lacing on the glass. The lacing on the glass is thick and chunky. A lovely brown with ruby highlights charts the beer around SRM 20. The beer is cloudy with some clarity. The appearance of the beer is beautiful for being four years old.

The initial aromas in the beer are dry apricots, toasted malts, a hint of molasses, and treacle. Next, I smell caramel, toffee, bready, raisins, figs, a touch of floral, a skosh of roasted malts, alcohol, and some earthiness. The beer is fragrant and bright.

The flavors in the beer are caramel, toffee, orange, floral esters, figs, raisins, dried apricots, toasted malts, alcohol warming, a touch of solvents, toffee, bready, pine, resin, grapefruit, a hint of chocolate, earthiness, treacle, and toasted malts, and burnt sugar.

The mouthfeel is carbonated, astringent, and warming.

The body of the beer is full, medium carbonation, and fuller finish.

The aromas in the beer were fantastic, alas the taste did not match. The age on the beer did not provide any depth or complexity. The beer is an excellent example of American Barleywine. I am not going to award it a perfect score, yet I will give it around A-. I was yearning the complexity aging does bring to beer. I have consumed several beers that were aged over a long period. Those beers, generally have a depth and complexity to them. This beer has excellent flavors, a beautiful appearance, and a bright nose.
Apr 12, 2020
 
Rated: 4.06 by MDDMD from Pennsylvania

Mar 19, 2020
 
Rated: 4.23 by TH28 from Florida

Jan 25, 2020
 
Rated: 4.09 by Mdaniel723 from Missouri

Jan 08, 2020
 
Rated: 3.94 by brandoneast from Texas

Aug 05, 2019
Photo of Dr_C
Reviewed by Dr_C from Colorado

3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
This is a good looking beer, not bad tasting either....but really good looking.

Poured in a pint glass, this brew was a deep reddish brown with a finger of tan head. The was a little sedimentation in the visible in the clear red fluid.

Aroma was malty but very mild, was not what I expected.

Flavor was malty with a bitterness on the back end. Neither crisp nor heavy. Alcohol was well hidden as I didn't detect any and this is 11% ABV.

Feel was nothing special.

Overall, I loved the color of this brew so much I was hoping that it would give me a little more on the nose and pallet. Very easy to drink for an 11% brew.
Jul 27, 2019
 
Rated: 4.09 by VolatileAgent7744 from Kentucky

Jun 21, 2019
 
Rated: 4 by emerge077 from Illinois

Jun 14, 2019
 
Rated: 4.3 by Narkee from Australia

May 31, 2019
 
Rated: 3.84 by swanfungus from California

May 23, 2019
 
Rated: 4.15 by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

Apr 27, 2019
 
Rated: 4.08 by chitownfanatic21 from Wyoming

Apr 12, 2019
 
Rated: 4.03 by Docrock from Illinois

Mar 24, 2019
Photo of AllOfTheCats
Rated by AllOfTheCats from Wisconsin

3.38/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Not a big fan of American barleywines.
Mar 22, 2019
 
Rated: 4.06 by hermit990 from Illinois

Mar 05, 2019
 
Rated: 3.99 by Curt3 from New Jersey

Feb 28, 2019
 
Rated: 4.1 by generallee from Virginia

Feb 24, 2019
Photo of rockaroo
Reviewed by rockaroo from Virginia

3.62/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
(2015) aging these big beers is not paying off in general. This one too hop forward and not approaching sublime. It's very good but doesn't justify the time and cost. Last commenter nailed the profile for sure. I don't ever comment on "smell" but this one comes across at first kind of like a solvent.
Feb 23, 2019
Photo of SHODriver
Reviewed by SHODriver from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Bottled May 2014
A: Poured into a snifter to a deep golden brown topped by a dense and rocky finger of cream colored head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass leaving decent lacing.
S: Smells of faded citrusy and piney hops with some nice caramel and toasted malt notes. Slight fruitiness as well.
T: Taste is faded citrusy and piney hops with some nice caramel. Light earthiness with some toasted malt notes and light fruitiness. Swallow is more oily faded hop notes with caramel and toasted malts on the back end along with a light earthiness and herbal note.
M: This beer is fairly full and creamy in body. Carbonation is effervescent and just a hair under prickly while the beer has a slightly oily but still drying finish.
O: Overall this beer is very well executed. Nothing too outside of the norm and it has held up very well over the years. This one doesn't seem to have any signs of oxidation from what I can gather. It has some really nice complexity and everything has melded together very well after about four and a half years in the bottle. Worth a try aged or fresh.
Feb 21, 2019
 
Rated: 4 by Karibourgeois from Texas

Jan 24, 2019
Photo of LampertLand
Reviewed by LampertLand from Canada (BC)

4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
AleSmith Brewing 'Old Numbskull' @ 11.0% , served from a 750 ml bottle
A-pour is a dirty amber from the bottle to glass with a small beige head leaving a streaky lace along the snifter
S-malty & spicey
T-solid base , good , yet no wow factor
MF-decent carbonation , full bodied
Ov-good beer , time in the cellar could be better
prost LampertLand
Dec 13, 2018
 
Rated: 4.61 by Prind93 from California

Oct 08, 2018
 
Rated: 3.96 by BKotch from Texas

Oct 05, 2018
 
Rated: 4.75 by chrisakavern from California

Sep 26, 2018
 
Rated: 4 by StoutAtTheDevil from Alabama

Sep 16, 2018
Old Numbskull from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 1542 ratings