Old Numbskull | AleSmith Brewing Company

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Old NumbskullOld Numbskull
BA SCORE
4.12/5
Exceptional
1,496 Ratings
Old NumbskullOld Numbskull
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
alesmith.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,049
Reviews:
520
Ratings:
1,496
pDev:
9.47%
Bros Score:
3.93
 
 
Wants:
213
Gots:
367
Trade:
14
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,496 |  Reviews: 520
Photo of rarigney
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of StoneTSR
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to again to ren for this one!

APPEARANCE: Wow! This is an exceptionally good looking beer. An opaque, solid, copper penny red beer poured into a snifter with a strong two-finger head resting on top. The lacing was very strong and covered a good 80% of the back of the glass.

SMELL: A nice strong smell right off the bat, as soon as this thing is cracked. Caramel is dominant, but vanilla and a hint of piney hops are also present.

TASTE: Balance is the key word here. A nice, long, slow transition from brown sugar and caramel sweetness up front to a surprisingly bitter, grassy and slightly anise flavored finish takes the palate on a joy ride through each sip.

MOUTHFEEL: The carbonation is there, but not terribly strong. Otherwise this is a sticky, not not at all mouthcoating beer. The dry finish prevents this sugary, delicious beer from becoming too sticky.

OVERALL: This is an outstanding example of a Barleywine. The big, complex, hoppy and malty flavors come together and provide a prototypical Barleywine experience.

 1,040 characters

Photo of kegger22
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a reddish brown with an enormous head with that slowly faded to a heavy skin. The aroma was hop citrus with a alcohol kicker and malt bring up the rear. The taste was just opposite of the aroma, toffee sweetness in front, but a refreshing bitter aftertaste. The alcohol did not loom large in the flavor. Feel was about medium bodied with modest carbonation. Drinkability was good, but this is an 11.00 ABV, so keep your wits about you.

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Photo of brian44556
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 750ML into a Delirium Tremens snifter. Received this in a trade from MiloHop. 2011 vintage.

Pours a dark amber color that forms a two finger frothy white head. Great lacing left on the sides of the glass and sediment is floating throughout. Smell notes of rich caramel, dark fruits, sweet malt, light hops, and a touch of alcohol. Initial taste was sweet apples with caramel. Also can taste the bitterness from the hops in the backbone. A slight touch of alcohol that warmed the stomach. Great carbonation and nice and crisp finish. Overall this a must try. Glad I had a chance to sip on it and would love to drink more in the future.

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Photo of dgilks
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Hay amber colour with a creamy, off-white head. Good head retention and nice lacing.

Sweet and earthy with some toffee malt. Very nice.

Sweet toffee malt and lots of earthy, resinous bitterness. Nice fruitiness. Touches of citrus. Good.

Medium-full body with moderately-high carbonation. Good.

A really nice Barleywine. Sure, it's not barrel aged but it works well and is well crafted.

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Photo of yamar68
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another winner from Hugonaut13:

Swampy, glowing red body with an oily finger of off-white head that leaves drastic lace with a bit of booze legs.

Interesting. Deep malt aromas with chocolate and orange. Citrus and chocolate don't always work together for me so I can really appreciate the combo when it's a success. Raw, earthy barley sweetness with vanilla and peat.

The citric bitterness is still quite evident... papery malt flavors can't quite compete with the hops and alcohol content (which I like).

This is pretty damn unique. I'd be interested to see how the barrel aged version compares.

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Photo of BilbosNuts
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a cloudy garnet color with a off white, thick, frothy head with great retention. Appears still and leaves some spotted lacing behind.

S: Very strong dark fruits up front with a big kick of alcohol and piney hopes towards the finish.

T: Matches the aroma to perfection. Dark fruits including figs, raisins, and plums come through initially, followed by a slight booziness and a light hoppy finish.

M: Medium bodied and lightly carbonated. The alcohol is hidden dangerously well. Finishes with a slight drying effect

O: A solid barleywine all around. Alesmith continues to impress me. I will seek this one out again including other offerings from this great brewery.

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Photo of JJOVa
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of tmzl
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pours with huge, thick, creamy (bit of big bubbles), yellow (light mocha) head. Good, slow retention, some random sticky lacing left on the way down. Leaves a very thick, mountainy, creamy top layer. Clear, deep amber.

Smell: Oak the most dominant, bourbon. Malt driven center with molasses and caramel, medium intensity. Lightly hop driven freshness, mostly pine. Also very light alcohol notes, they get up when it warms up. Sugary and a bit salty.

Taste: Medium-light honey, molasses start, that goes to medium sweet caramel, molasses middle and finishes with light pine bitterness with medium molasses, honey sweetness with a bit of oak. Oak and bourbon still stand strong. Lots of bitter honey sweetness stays on the lips. Nothing spikes out, everything in line - superb balance.

Mouthfeel: Full body, syrupy, bit of alcohol warming.

Overall: Expected it to be a lot sluttier, but everything stays in good taste. Mostly amber malt and barrel driven, but the hop character is very welcome and lifts this one to a superb level.

 1,041 characters

Photo of Murrhey
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle with me mate on a tasting night. Thanks Kojevergas. Reviewed from notes.

A- Two finger thick foamy head. Offwhite. Auburn colored beer.

S- Wine notes and heavy on the hop oil. This is a wonderful smell. Some farmhouse saison type smells as well.

T- Smooth but boozy. Brandy and burnt sugar. Quite a nice and velvety taste.

M- Medium bodied and very smooth. Like a sipping brandy.

O- Classy sipping beer for sure. Tasty.

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Photo of buzzardman
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma: Citrus, caramel malt, brown sugar.

Appearance: Poured from 750ml bottle. Big light tan head, body is reddish/dark copper and clear.

Flavor: Sweet caramel with a light hoppiness at finish. Clean aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy, slight bitterness and dry. A little sticky at end.

Overall: Good Barley wine, a little too sweet fresh, might be a little smoother with some age. Not a whole lot to the beer that makes it stand out but it is a very nice drinkable beer. $15 for 750ml bottle

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Photo of TCHopCraver
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes on 9-17-10. Props to zoso1967 and TCGoalie for bringing this brew to my mouth.

A: The color is a little strange... its murky, light brown, reddish orange hue reminds me a little of loose feces (not really in a bad way, though). Atop this curious looking body is a one finger, khaki head in my oversized wine glass. The carbonation bubbles are moving very slowly and the lacing is thick and swirly.

S: A very robust smell of musty caramel and brown sugar emanates from this numbskull. There is a slight citrus presence of orange zest along with some white pine coming from the hops. I also smell some thick, creamy butter. The biggest aroma in the batch is that malty, mustiness.

T: A musty caramel and brown sugar sweetness is tempered by a tingly pine hoppiness. The order of that taste on my palate is the brown sugar upfront, with the musty caramel taste in the middle, finished by the drying pine hop bitterness.

M: This numbskull MF has a very creamy, buttery, medium feel on my palate with a lovely, dry hop bitterness at the end.

D: I really could not detect the 11 % a.b.v. at all. This is very smooth drinking beer that is not exceptional, but was quite tasty and will be worth another try in the future.

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Photo of magictrokini
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. A little tricky to pour at first, was hard to keep the yeast in the bottom of the bottle. My fault, I was a little too excited to try this beer. Strong taste; alcoholic, with nice mix of flavor. Enjoyed this beer a lot. Will definitely buy again. I would like to age one for a year and see the difference.

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Photo of pat61
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%

Aged 18 months
Nose: caramel, toffee, plum, dark raisins, some biscuit and hop.
Pours deep hazy amber to chestnut with a clingy 1" light tan tinted foam cap that descends to a thick film but is easily roused. Has legs and is lacy.
Palate: Initial attack of rich malt flavors, dark caramel, a hint of dark chocolate, fruit, dark grapes, plum, prune, and then sherry to port flavor, alcohol, heat and a lingering sweet finish accented by hop bitterness.
Creamy chewy body with soft, medium carbonation.

 501 characters

Photo of samtrillo
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kwgduke
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of drummerdwzp
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ThickNStout
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%

Silver foil capped 750mL bottle from Halftime Beverage. 2012 vintage. Served in a Barrel and Barley teku.

Pours chestnut with orange hued highlights and a two finger cap of dense, pale head. Retention is nice with a thin halo and a huge, lingering island of froth. Lots of splotchy lace.

Malty aromas of cereal, caramel, bread, earthy hops and faint toffee.

Flavors are earthy, sweet and boozey. Lots of grain character. Cereal, caramel malts and an alcohol flavor without the burn. Piney, resinous, herbal hop bitterness. A great mixture of big, sweet malts with earthy hops and an appropriate nip of booze.

Sticky, oily, medium feel with mild yet present carbonation. Resin, cereal and burnt caramel finish.

Two year aged Old Numbskull is tasty for sure but I recall fresh being a touch better for its more vibrant hop character. Time trades the fresher hops and hotter booze for smooth edges, fuller feel and more sweetness. All in all you can't go wrong either way. This is an excellent American barleywine.

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Photo of stortore
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of atigerlife
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a small creamy brown head. Small carbonation rising. Very nice to look at.

Aroma is sweet, malts, overally ripe dark fruits [prunes/figs]. Alcohol in the background.

Taste is sweet, malty, caramel, some hops and hints of slightly old orange and dark fruits. As it warms, the alcohol makes it presence known.

Mouthfeel is syrupy, heavy.

Overall, a wonderful barleywine. Very drinkable given the ABV. Not my favorite style, but I would recommend this [and wish I had another bottle].

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Photo of LittleBreeze
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle came from Tayner. Thank you.

Old Numbskull is pretty on pour and pretty in the glass.

It doesn't strike me as an English Barleywine, but whatever style it is, it is very good.

Caramel and citrus fruit. Smells like candy.

It is smooth and goes down so easy. It almost seems light.

This is one I'd like to always have on hand.

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Photo of Hayes86
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BeerNW
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BEERchitect
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now that's a true American Barley Wine! Big on everything; from hops, to barley, to alcohol, to richness. Full of flavor and intimitating from beginning to end. Big barley, bready, hoppy aromas stare down over a dense, ruby colored brew. Leaving good head retention and lacing, evidence of great proteins. Overwhelming flavors of barley malt, taking on molassas and brown sugar proportions. Intense hop flavor casts a piney, citrus shadow on on the malt base. Well aged and melded into a bitter, earthy, malt sweetened beverage. Alcohols take on caugh syrup intensity and reach a light solvent evaporative sensation. Though thick and heavy on the palate, the beer finishes a balanced sweet / bitter ratio. As great as it is, I often have problems assigning very high marks to the extremely-hopped Barley Wines. Alcohols strength also keeps me from scoring higher.

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Photo of Durge
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought this home from a visit to San Diego last fall and finally got to it last night at the well chronicled Warwick Drinking Society session hosted by Ohoove last night. This one poured a dark amber color with lots of floaties and a decent oatmeal colored head and nice big clumps of lace. The aroma is incredible with butterscotch malt, buttery smooth and vanilla beauty, awesome! The flavor isn't quite as awesome as the aroma but it is still great with a viscous feel. Buttery malt and vanilla. Plenty of herbal hops bouncing around here. Nice body with even carbonation that makes this reasonably drinkable for the style. Not as robust as some but quite enjoyable to my tastes and a very solid barleywine!

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Old Numbskull from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 1,496 ratings