Old Numbskull
AleSmith Brewing Company

Old NumbskullOld Numbskull
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AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
Barleywine - American
Ranked #70
Ranked #5,284
4.12 | pDev: 9.47%
Jan 13, 2022
Feb 14, 2002
Old NumbskullOld Numbskull
Notes: None
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by swanfungus:
Photo of swanfungus
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by swanfungus from California

May 23, 2019
More User Ratings:
4 by EMV from Pennsylvania on Jan 13, 2022
4 by thewimperoo from Illinois on Oct 20, 2021
Photo of micada
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by micada from New York

Too hoppy for me. Nothing special jumped out.

Aug 17, 2021
3.75 by BeerRay from Rhode Island on Apr 10, 2021
Photo of DaveMaciolek21
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

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
3.81/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Sigmund from Norway

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
3.5 by Argento from Rhode Island on Mar 20, 2021
3.9 by DOCRW from Washington on Mar 18, 2021
Photo of mothman
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by mothman from Minnesota

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
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by beergoot from Colorado

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
4.17 by DvdP from Netherlands on Sep 22, 2020
Photo of Gatch
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by Gatch from Massachusetts

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
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by jlindros from Massachusetts

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
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by pathman from Ohio

05/01/20 bottle @ home (bottled 01/23/14)

May 02, 2020
Photo of colts9016
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by colts9016 from Idaho

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
4.06 by MDDMD from Pennsylvania on Mar 19, 2020
4.23 by TH28 from Florida on Jan 25, 2020
4.09 by Mdaniel723 from Missouri on Jan 08, 2020
3.94 by brandoneast from Texas on Aug 05, 2019
Photo of Dr_C
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by Dr_C from Colorado

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
4.09 by VolatileAgent7744 from Kentucky on Jun 21, 2019
4 by emerge077 from Illinois on Jun 14, 2019
4.3 by Narkee from Australia on May 31, 2019
4.15 by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington on Apr 27, 2019
4.08 by chitownfanatic21 from Wyoming on Apr 12, 2019
4.03 by Docrock from Illinois on Mar 24, 2019
Photo of AllOfTheCats
3.38/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
by AllOfTheCats from Wisconsin

Not a big fan of American barleywines.

Mar 22, 2019
4.06 by hermit990 from Illinois on Mar 05, 2019
3.99 by Curt3 from New Jersey on Feb 28, 2019
4.1 by generallee from Virginia on Feb 24, 2019
Photo of rockaroo
3.62/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by rockaroo from Virginia

(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
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by SHODriver from North Carolina

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
4 by Karibourgeois from Texas on Jan 24, 2019
Photo of LampertLand
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by LampertLand from Canada (BC)

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
4.61 by Prind93 from California on Oct 08, 2018
3.96 by BKotch from Texas on Oct 05, 2018
4.75 by chrisakavern from California on Sep 26, 2018
4 by StoutAtTheDevil from Alabama on Sep 16, 2018
Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.69/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by JohnnyHopps from Indiana

Appearance - The beer was murky brown in color with a white head crowning the glass.

Smell - The nose was that if a grass forward barleywine.

Taste - Bitter piney malts are the dominant characteristic. Even though this is a 2013 edition, there is very little sweetness. The bitterness is unyielding.

Mouthfeel - The feel is full bodied as a barleywine should be.

Overall - Aside from the body, there is little to like about this barleywine.

Sep 08, 2018
Old Numbskull from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 1541 ratings