AleSmith Old Numbskull | AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith Old NumbskullAleSmith Old Numbskull
BA SCORE
90.1%
Liked This Beer
4.12 w/ 1,465 ratings
AleSmith Old NumbskullAleSmith Old 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:
#1,786
Reviews:
509
Ratings:
1,465
Liked:
1,320
Avg:
4.12/5
pDev:
9.71%
Alströms:
3.93
 
 
Wants:
214
Gots:
363
Trade:
15
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,465 |  Reviews: 509
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].

 502 characters

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.

 342 characters

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.

 863 characters

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!

 711 characters

Photo of Jwale73
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of Mauerhan. 750ml bottle capped with silver foil served at 49 degrees in my Old Guardian glass (also courtesy of Mauerhan). Poured a translucent mahogany with a rocky, two inch beige-colored cap. Head eventually settles into a frothy, solid quarter inch skim with some residual slashes of lacing revealed during the tasting. Complex and intense nose - grapefruit, citrus, caramel, malt, brown sugar and molasses. Consistent with nose, but also a little peppery, some dark fruits (perhaps prunes or figs), with a little residual booziness at the finish. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and quite bright and lively with a mild burn at the back of the throat. Typically not a style I seek out; however, this is delicious. While there is definitely an alcohol presence, I have to say that it is not suggestive of an 11% abv. An exceptional beer I have to say.

 860 characters

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

Photo of Redgoatman
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

This beer pours a hazy reddish color with 2 fingers of frothy of white head that recedes extremely slowly. the smell is malt s booze and a huge dose of piney hops. the flavor follows suit with a bit of malt sweetness that helps to balance out the bitterness from all the hops and there is a piney spicey hop flavor followed by big booziness. the mouthfeel is well carbed with a medium to full mouth feel and a fairly bitter nifinsh. overall a fairly good american barleywine but could definitely use some age on it.

 515 characters

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

This beer when held up to the light is a hazy copper-orange color, otherwise it is a fairly drab amber color. It is topped by a fairly dense tan head. The aroma at first is all hops; grapefruit & flower nectar. As I smell more the malt comes out in the aroma. The malt aroma helps to thicken the aroma of the hops in this beer. The taste is surprising in its restraint from bitterness. The hop flavor is here I full force though The body of this beer is like a beefy giant. I find myself enjoying this beer quite a bit. The interplay of the malt and hop is quite well done. The predominant taste is that of a hoppy nectar, there is a solid malt character & the bitterness is fairly subtle for an over hopped big beer (which I really like here). There seems to be some light oxidation notes here (perhaps a hint of sherry), which helps to further the complexity. Quite enjoyable and I have a full 750 to savor this evening.

 922 characters

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

2007 bottle from a kind BA whose name eluded me.

A: Fairly clear and bright for a barleywine. Amber in color. One quarter of white head with some lacing.

S: Nice clear malt nose. A touch of tea as well. Has that nice aged beer smell.

T: Nice faded hop smell with a good malt backbone. Nice sweetness with a touch of raisin thrown in. All of the booze is gone.

M: Nice full mouthfeel. Spot on carbonation.

D: Super easy drinking. Probably too drinkable for the ABV. So smooth all around. So smooth in fact that nothing really pops out.

 539 characters

Photo of BoozyCollins21
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of smithj4
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

The label says "improves with age... 6-24 months or longer"... HOWEVER, there is NO DATE ANYWHERE ON THE BOTTLE! So, consequently, I have NO IDEA how old this bottle is... Maybe it's already 24 months old?

I poured it from the 750ml brown bottle into a tulip glass to form a 1" light beige/off-white head. The head dissipated to a thick cap leaving pronounced lacing. The beer is copper in color with a trace of cloudiness.

The nose is abundant. Lot's of toasted malt. Some grassy hops. A sweet, fruity aroma is also present.

Taste: Big taste! Good mix between the sweet and the bitter. The sweet somes from the toasted malt and a little bit of raisin. The bitter comes from the grassy hopsand also a little touch of smoked nuttiness.

The mouthfeel is slightly on the thin side... not as smooth and chewey as my favorites in this class. Although I HAVE NO IDEA HOW OLD THIS BOTTLE IS....

Drinkability: Good solid barleywine... I definately prefer Weyerbacher Insanity to this though.

 988 characters

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

Photo of JonnyRebel
4.16/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle.

A: Pours a deep ruby amber color with an inch and a half of frothy off-white head. Retention is solid and leaves behind some nice lacing.

S: Strong aromas of caramelized malts and earthy hops up front. Then notes of brown sugar, toffee, dark fruits, nuts, vanilla, and fig. There is a lot of pleasant aromas colliding at once.

T: Sweet toasted malts, barley, caramel, and brown sugar up front. In the middle you find notes of dark fruits, fig, honey, toffee, nuts, and vanilla. Finishes with some nice earthy hops and pleasant level of noticeable alcohol to really balance the brew.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Slick and smooth with a nice alcohol warmth and perfect level of astringency to balance the sweetness of the malts.

O: A very well balanced and delicious barleywine. I really find myself enjoying this one and wishing I had more to continue drinking it. Another thought is that this would probably age incredibly well. I will be picking up a couple more to decide what to do with and would recommend any fan of barleywines to give this one a shot.

 1,121 characters

Photo of groleau
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ElSid
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The Beers of California

#44

Bottled Date: None

A: Deep mahogany with hues of burgundy with a finger of creamy off white head which dissipates to an island of bubbles and faint lace on the glass.

S: Smooth at first, almost hot cocoa-esque, with wood, wineyness, berries, and an earthy, bready base with hints of grass.

T: Wood, wineyness and tobacco which transitions to strawberry preserves. The malt is subtle but present and bready with a nice caramel thick sweetness. Then comes the bitter hop attack which is mostly earthy, leafy, and faintly citrus peel. The bitterness transitions to spice on the sides of the tongue and the finish is of warming alcohol.

M: Big and smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation and syrupy linger.

O: A solid Barleywine with good complexity and excellent feel. AleSmith produces well crafted brews and never seems to disappoint.

 875 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a foamy head that last longer than expected, considering the style. Color is a rusty-copper with reddish hues. Nice trails of psychedelic lace form as the head minimizes.

Aroma shows another barleywine blurring the line between barleywine and Double IPA. Huge hops, huge malt, with just enough alcohol to enhance but not distract. Amazing.

Even though the hops are not afraid to show themselves in the flavor, this definitely works as an English barleywine, as the malts stay at the forefront. Like dunking a crazy-ass sweet/spicy cinnamon roll in sherry. I'd rate this higher if it weren't for the bad-ass alcohol. It's a bit too hot, overrunning the flavor at times. Feels resiny and creamy in the mouth without being overly thick.

If the alcohol were brought down a notch or two, this would be a more approachable, drinkable barleywine. As is, it's a delicious if unsubtle beast, perfect for sharing. If you're tackling this huge bottle alone, you better have a long, lazy day ahead of you.

 1,006 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Beautiful rustic ice-tea pour produces a dark, beige foam topping, 2 fingers strong. Slow creep of micro-gold beads crawl up the glass walls. Nice thick milky lacing, full coverage on the vessel. Monster head on the second pour, freshly baked bread topping with tons of residual sugars and malts clinging to the glass walls.

S: Nose is sweet toffee, brown sugar, and fresh, wet citrus with a hint of fresh lime. Bit of fresh, wet apple-pear fruitiness sneaks in.

T: Flavor is sweetly toasted vienna and honey malt laced with a citrusy alcohol background. Wet citrus hopping, semi-dry lemon with some stalky grape nut notes. Sweet and worty, dark fruit of plum and figs, dark crystal raisiny character with some apple-plum yeastiness. Warming alcohol, soothing, never overtakes, with a bready-citrus finish.

M: Syrupy mouthful, full bodied, some carbonation texture that turns chewy.

O: Overall sweet, syrupy, sticky with warming citrus-alcohol notes. Strong visual and aroma, solid flavor and a great sipper ovet the long haul that reveals layers of spectrum over warming.

 1,083 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing back a bottle of this from California for me!

Pours deep/dark copper with a thin tan head that leaves some lacing.

The smell is of citrus giving way to pine/resin, then dates/figs. Caramel and warm, spicy alcohol come through strongly, as well.

Heavy in hops, malt and alcohol, this has a nice taste to it. Dark fruitiness - dates/figs and resin do get lost in the alcohol at times, though it is not sharp, nor affecting the smoothness. Finishes with a warming sweetness.

It has a very nice feel - full-bodied and syrupy, but not too sticky.

Given that it rings in at 11% abv, this sure does have quite the drinkability to it. A nice barleywine, to say the least.

Thanks again, John!

 726 characters

Photo of Hatzilla
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a tulip. Bottle purchased August 2010.

A: Pours a cloudy amber with a foamy two finger beige head, leaving some lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Figs, dark fruits, toffee, spices and malts. Also some grapefruit hops are present, but muted.

T: Spicy dark fruits with caramel, malts and toffee. The citrus hops make another welcome appearance. There is a slight taste of alcohol, but not bad considering the strength.

M: A little thick, but pleasant all the same. Nicely carbonated and full bodied.

D: With the strength and bottle size, one is plenty. On the other hand, I found it easy to put away the whole bottle. A great barleywine - pick it up if you see it.

 689 characters

Photo of epyon396
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

AleSmith Old Numbskull from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90.1% out of 100 with 1,465 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.
  • Our Events

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

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