AleSmith Old Numbskull | AleSmith Brewing Company

505 Reviews
AleSmith Old NumbskullAleSmith Old Numbskull

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 02-14-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 505 | Ratings: 1,439
Photo of ClavisAurea
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from 05/2015

Still a little hoppy, delicious raisins and caramel malts, slight bitterness, raisins, prunes, other dark fruit. Not too intense but it has aged nicely. Highly recommended.

 193 characters

Photo of polloenfuego
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an deep ruby brown with minimal head that moves to become a collar pretty quickly. The aroma is nice caramel malts, hops and dark fruits. Taste follows the nose, and the hops are nicely defined here. The malts and the hops work very well together. Feel is on the heavy side, with a lower amount of carbonation. Finishes creamy with an alcohol warmth. This is a great beer. This one was a 2015, and just pleased my palate to no end. I will seek this out again.

 471 characters

Photo of Buck89
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. A beautiful copper-red color with a frothy tan head. The smell and taste was bright caramel and toffee. There was a sweet nature to the beer, but it was full-bodied with a bitter citrusy backbone. Smooth drinking and a great representation of the style.

 276 characters

Photo of Redrover
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This one was one of 6 large format beers my wife bought me as part of my Valentines present. We split this one while watching Taboo (still can't decide if I like this show or not).

Poured into a snifter, the beer is bronze with a decent cream colored head.

The aroma is of caramel malts, sugars, some dark fruit.

The taste leads with some robust roasted grains, a bit of toffee and some raisins. There is some nice hopping at the start that seemed to fade into the background as I drank the beer. There is also some apple and plum notes with just a hint of alcohol heat. It is sweet but not cloying.

The mouth borders on thick with lower levels of carbonation and a soft feel.

I like this one and the beer gift is off to a good start!

 750 characters

Photo of ZebulonXZogg
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear clean copper with a receding off white head. Nice lacing and film.
Aroma burnt sugars, hops and malts.
Flavors are sweet, happy and some fruit.
Smooth texture, easy to drink, little to no alcohol feel.
I'm relatively new to Barleywines and I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

 284 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark coppery hazed color with off-white head. Caramel, dark fruits, toast, and some leather on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with more caramel and dark fruit sweetness.

 205 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L-Russet head or foam

S-Citrus hop forward...tangerines...malt aroma is toffee like on the aroma...

T-More malt forward on the flavor...a lot of goey caramel...some toffee as well...definitely a sticky sweet BW which I appreciate.....hops only lend a touch of citrus..otherwide it is all high abv malt goodiness.

F-Body is about right...heavy but not immense...carbonation is perfect

O-Excellent BW. This should be a benchmark for the style.

 458 characters

Photo of HoodviewBrew
3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Odd beer in that it is not sweet like a regular barleywine. It is hoppy. In fact I thought I had a drain pour when I smelled it. Way overhopped. But it didn't taste that way. It actually kind of worked. Not enough for me to buy again at $12 but it was worth drinking once.

 276 characters

Photo of TBoneJones
4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Brown pour with some ruby when held to light. Decent head.
Smells robust of malts, and sweet with caramel and milk chocolate hints.
Taste is so well-balanced for a barleywine: it has a steady roasted malt/ sweet caramel, dark fruit and sweet and bitter hop characteristic that makes each mouthful tasty stuff. After s few sips it seems to end on the dry side.
Feel is full with medium carbonation, creamy.
Nice overall beer.

 428 characters

Photo of unclekeith
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

8 month old bomber into a goblet at cellar temp

L: Golden amber with a slight haze, nice head, quick to fade to a collar, pretty lacing
S: Sweet caramel, toffee, old hops
T: Not as sweet as the nose, hop bitterness is more up front than the sweetness, long bitter fade, nice!
F: Full bodied, no trace of alcohol,
O: Impressive balancing act - very well executed

 363 characters

Photo of q33jeff
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle, 25.4 oz, to goblet. Dated 11/15/15

LOOK: hazy brown, thick, shows legs, medium off white head...lasts.

AROMA: malt, spice, toffee, caramel,

TASTE: leather, brandy, toffee, touch of raisin, some late wood or ash.

FEEL: slightly above average body, low carbonation, creamy, alcohol burn is apparent but in a good way.

Another Quality beer from Alesmith.

 387 characters

Photo of REDAMI
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750ml bottle (May 2015) into Chimay goblet.

L-Deep copper brown, thick off-white head. Excellent retention.

S-Citrus/grapefruit hops, sweet malt, toffee and burnt sugars.

T-Roasted grain, bready malts, molasses, apricot brandy, faint bitterness.

F-Alcohol. A thin syrup with oily hops, decent carbonation for it's weight.

A good variety of flavors in a barleywine. Not overly hopped. While the alcohol is noticeable, it's not overpowering. Well done.

 472 characters

Photo of Mitchster
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11% ABV, 96 IBU, OG=1.106, $10.99 for a 750ml bottle at Goodmans in Kenosha.
Pours out to a slightly hazy deep amber, forming a nice poofy yellow head with very good retention and lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Thick layer of debris in the bottom of the bottle. The nose is fruity, apples, tropical fruit, strawberry jam. Mouthfeel is slick, syrupy, dense bodied. The taste is quite good, opening with lots of strawberry jam and piney hops, followed by dates/figs, lots of sticky malts, a firm bitterness, more fruit in the finish. Well balanced bitterness makes it a bit more approachable than some other sickly sweet barleywines. A little warm and peppery in the finish that is hidden behind the hops, but still able to be distinguished as some drying alcohols. No appreciable flaws in nose or flavor.

A really nice barleywine. The last few Alesmiths I've had were oxidized but thankfully this one is not. Goes down nice, well balanced, definitely worth trying.

 978 characters

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.51/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Alesmith tap house 8.27.16

L - Copper, amber, ruby. Clarity. 2 fingers of head. Lots of lace. Impressive

S - Brown sugar and molasses

T - Same as the nose. Lots of sugar! Awesome sipper

F - Medium carb and body

O - An awesome Barleywine. Doesn't get much better

 282 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Beer Belly in Albany, NY.

This one pours a light brown color, with a small head, and no lacing.

Smells like toffee, sweet dark fruits- prunes and plums mainly, with some nice bready malt too.

Like everything Alesmith makes on the dark and malty spectrum, this is wonderful. It's got a toffee and caramel, with bready malt, and lots of dark fruit. It's described as an American barleywine, but I don't get much hop flavor.

This is medium bodied, a little bit creamy, with a lower level of carbonation.

I'd love to try the barrel aged version of this, I could tell it'd be great. As it is now, though- it's an outstanding barleywine.

 651 characters

Photo of ElbowRocker
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep copper with lots of fine white head and delicate lacing. Aroma is strongly malty. Notes of fruit and caramel. Thick mouth with intense malt flavor. Caramel / toffee like flavors, similar to a wee heavy but different; fruitier. Very delicious.

 253 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.4/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Very dark amber, with a faint beige ring of velvet foam.

Big time, heavy caramel and molasses dominates this barleywine all over the nose as well as in flavor. Werther's Original also comes to mind, but with some commingling heavier dark fruits.

 246 characters

Photo of CoreyC
3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice ruby red with a long lasting head
S - Dominated by citrus hops
T - Starts with nice malt favors and some sweetness, but finishes too bitter for me
F - Nice, sticky
O - Good underpinnings, but too hoppy for me fresh. I have another I'll wait on for two years

 267 characters

Photo of anon
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Was hoping for a decent one on my 500th rating and this one was fitting. Excellent appearance on the pour. Billowing tan coloured head measuring close to 3 fingers. Retention is top notch with lace to last a lifetime. Deep Amber/mahogany hue.

Heavy on toffee and dark fruit on the nose. Caramel, plum, fig, faded hop presence. Following through on taste is a heavy toffee and malt layer, very sweet and sugary, with butterscotch, cereal, caramel, plum, raisin, fig and peach being present. A slight dry and bitter hop layer is subdued by the heavy sweetness. Earthy, Oak and soily, grassy flavours add to the light bitterness.

As barleywines go this is an excellent one. High ABV in this brew makes itself known and becomes a bit boozy as it warms so it's best enjoyed as a sipper. Pair with a meaty meal to heighten the flavours. Cheers.

 840 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Type: 8-oz. draft
Glass: Clear snifter glass
From: AleSmith Tasting Room in San Diego, Calif.
Price: $4.25
Purchased: March 7, 2016
Consumed: March 7, 2016
Misc.: Reviewed after picking up Port Wine Barrel Wee Heavy

I had this a few times on tap (tasters) at AleSmith, but this would be my first time reviewing it. Wanted to have this so that I could eventually have Reforged, a blend of this, Wee Heavy and Speedway Stout.

Poured an auburn, amber murky color with 2-to-3 fingers of khaki tan, fizzy head when I got it. Good amount of spotty, foamy lacing on the sides of the glass. Excellent retention. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled sugary caramel, toffee, Citra, orange creamscicle, brown sugar, hints of butterscotch, dark fruits and peppery spices. Smooth for an American Barleywine and not too hoppy. (Smell - 4.00)

Taste follows the nose, but probably served a tad too cold. Toffee, caramel, light butterscotch, boozy hoppiness, honey, orange zest, Citra hops, oakiness, some spicy pepper, hints of dark fruits and some dry leather. (Taste - 3.75)

Medium body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, boozy finish. (Feel - 3.50)

This was pretty good for an American Barleywine. I’d have it again. (Overall - 3.75)

3.80 | 86 | B+

 1,241 characters

Photo of MesaDan
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Opened this baby up after 14 months of aging. Some sediment in bottom of bottle. Poured with a light tan head that turns lacey on edge soon. Nose is a subtle sweet grass. Initial mouth feel a bit sharp but still smooth for the ALC %. Sweet front pallet with some fig taste and a subtle finish of malt with a bit of bitterness.

 326 characters

Photo of ajm5108
2.9/5  rDev -30%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Nice deep amber pour with vigorous foam. Aroma has candied plum, fruit cake, loam with some tannins and citrus hops. Not a bad smell, but oddly, it reminded me of handsoap (but not in an off-putting way). Lots of sweet malt upfront, and there definitely is some juicy hop flavor underneath it (tropical orange flavor). The astringent alcohol / tannins flavor comes out big at the end, and is a bit harsh and not blended well with the rest of the flavors. Gives it a pine sol vibe, at best maybe a stale pale ale, but not what I really look for in a top-flight barleywine. Feel is medium bodied, a little oily. Overall it is just an ok beer.

 640 characters

Photo of the_awesometeer
4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Cloudy, dark caramel coloring with an extremely thick cream colored head. It smells typical of barleywine with the sweetness of caramel and dark fruits The taste follows the nose with the tinniest sense of hops. The alcohol is well hidden.

 242 characters

Photo of GStone899
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

One of my favorite beers of all time is Great Divide Old Ruffian barley wine so I had high hopes coming into this brew. It does not disappoint. Not as great as the Old Ruffian but solid. That 11% alcohol creeps up on you. Very smooth finish.

 241 characters

Photo of cjgiant
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I am sure I prefer the English style of Barleywine, but tried to rate to style.
Beautiful copper-amber ale (that eventually shows itself to have decent clarity) that supports a long-lasting and robust reddish tan head.

Nose initially is all hops, but at the right temps, there is a distinct alcohol presence over a fruity malt base.

Taste is toffee and honey combined with an alcohol tinge. These yield to a woody hop bitterness that may only seem that way when combined with the opening flavors. The beer actually slowly changes throughout a long pour. I got a hint of fruitiness in the mid taste at one point, but that went away. I get a little butterscotch in the malt beginning in some sips. The hops seem to be more subdued at closer to room temps.

Overall the extra hop bitterness still doesn't perk my interest largely. I appreciate the nuances and interesting changing nature of the beer, but can easily live without it.

 945 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
AleSmith Old Numbskull from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.14 out of 5 based on 1,439 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.