A classic Scotch Ale. Scotch ales are typically sweet and malty, with a very subdued dose of hops– just enough to provide balance. AleSmith Wee Heavy is a wonderful interpretation of this traditional Scotch style. A year spent in bourbon barrels adds another layer of rich sweetness.
12 years ago
Added to database
17 years ago
Pours opaque chocolate with a decent buff head. Aroma delivers bourbon, roast malt and caramel tones. Flavor nicely echoes the aroma, fairly sweet but not cloying. Mouthfeel features good body and jazzy fizz. More than wee!
A little worried that the bourbon barreling would overpower (that was kind of the case with Speedway). Out of the bottle, mostly bourbon aroma, but oh, did it smell great after pouring. The vanilla and oak go sooo well with the chocolate and dark fruit aspects of the beer. Similar flavor, near perfection. This would be one of the best ever if it didn't look and feel a little flat - but DAMN was it good!
Pours a deep purple brown, light spotty lacing .. . figs, barrel, molasses, light tar .. . amazingly smooth, but not quite at its peak- could go for a few more years.. . happy to have tried another barreled alesmith, .. sex? no thanks i'm dead..
Fortunate to sample the 2005, 2006, 2009 in one setting. Awesome malt explosion, rich and layered. Thick and chewy with a subtle rounded out smoothness from the barrel. The '06 stuck out as the clear winner, while the '09 still seemed it needed some more time in the bottle.
2005 Bottle 80 / 222, Sampled January 2008
This is the barrel aged beer of Alesmith's that I have wanted to try most. As I pop the cap only a touch of gas escapes. A vigorous pour can't do much but summon a thin, very large bubbled, bit of froth that doesn't completely cover the top of the beer. The beer itself is a dark, brownish-amber color and shows an opaque, hazy, dark ruby / deep red color when held up to the light. Aromas of Bourbon are quite apparent as I pour this brew; upon further inspection the Bourbon is still the most noticed part of the aroma. Aromatic notes of vanillin, butterscotch, spicy oak and alcohol, almost a cola like barrel / malt note and a rich, deeply caramelized character that is contributed by both the bourbon barrel char and the malt are all evident in the nose. Underneath these notes is a deep, if subtle, dark, caramelized fruit character that just sort of melts into the buttery oak and vanillin notes. Despite being so Bourbon barrel dominated the aroma is actually quite smooth and seemingly well integrated; it does not come off as boozy in the least.
Very lightly carbonated, but not flat, the beer is fairly sweet up front. This rich, sweetness makes me think of a vanilla infused dark fruit compote made up of raisins, prunes, figs, berries and a light cherry note. Through the middle the beer starts to pick up a bit more of the Bourbon and barrel notes, which, by the time the beer has left my mouth, have become a dominating, spicy mix of warm Bourbon, piquantly spicy oak, a touch of salty peat, lightly phenolic smoke and alcohol. This lingering flavor doesn't quite disappear until one takes another sip and lets the beer rest on the tongue to soak in the concentrated, rich, sweet malt and caramelized notes. Rich caramel malts, flavors of melted brown sugar and dark toffee add to the complexity here. Thick and chewy, the beer rests on the palate with a slightly sticky heft that is just barely offset by the minimal carbonation; the beer has about the same level of carbonation of a draught real ale, which actually sort of works with this beer as much of the chewy, rich malt notes are offset by the spicy oak / bourbon notes. Sometimes with the minimal carbonation it can even seem a bit thin, but ultimately the texture of this beer is just quite nice.
I must admit that I like the regular version of this beer a bit better, but that is typically the case for me. I just think that this one is holding up a bit better than most do as the base beer really is such a malty, monster of a beer (though you lose that with the bourbon barrel character layered on top of it). My biggest complaint is the lack of substantial carbonation, a light-medium level of carbonation would be perfect, though it does still do well with the low level that it does have. I really like how complex & integrated the barrel character is here, somehow, though it is the dominant note, it does not overwhelm my palate, and it is not too hot and one dimensional.
2004. Pours with a reddish-brown body topped by a medium thick head with some lacing. It’s sweet and malty with lots of vanilla and oak notes...great bourbon notes. Can’t wait to try this with some age on it. Full bodied, surprisingly smooth and a bit warming.
A huge big old thanks to Bert for sharing this baby! Bottle ? out of 234, wow! Poured a reddish dark brown color with a thin head that gave ok lacing. Aroma was of some peat, strong vinous and raisins, and plentiful oak qualities. Flavor was sherry, vinous, light chocolate (particularly as it warmed), strong raisins, light peat, and oak. Mouthfeel was really smooth, thinner than the non BA-aged, moderate overall mouthfeel. Warming effect in the swallow.
This scotch ale pours a deep mahogany color from a 750ml bottle. Small sized white foamy head. Aroma is bourbon and oak, malty and smoky. A medium to full bodied scotch ale. Malts are dark fruits and sweet, Lots of subtle oak and bourbon flavors. Hints of caramel and sweet. There was some butterscotch but it disappeared after a little while. There is some peat and smoke as well Very full, creamy, and smooth mouthfeel. Nice beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet with a touch of bourbon.
A brown appearance with virtualy no head. The aroma is filled with chocolate and whiskey. The flavor was somewhat sour and nutty with some chocoate, raisins, vanilla, and of course a lot of whiskey showing up. Pretty awesome, thanks JohnC for the chance to sample this rare beer.
Poured a hazy copper color with a small, light tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of strong bourbon, some vanilla, peat smoked malts, with caramel and a fair amount of alcohol. Taste was also strong and really bourbony. More nuts and roast, with vanilla, and light caramel... still quite hot in the finish.