Alesmith Wee Heavy

According to the collective wisdom of a bunch of (probably inexperienced, disinterested, hype-driven, haters-gonna-hate hipster1) strangers, this is the second-best Scotch Ale2 in the world. Score one for the home team. I’m sure no one in Scotland knows how to make these things. Incidentally, the number one beer is… a barrel aged version of Alesmith Wee Heavy. Of course it is!3</sup

So it seems that Alesmith's got the style all locked up… though it's not like this is one of them trendy styles that every brewer is pouncing on. Or drinkers for that matter. I mean, I get a nice vibe from the style, but I’ve only reviewed 3 of them in the past two years (and one of those was a barrel aged version of another), though I will say that Dieu Du Ciel’s Équinoxe Du Printemps was a superb beer, even if I probably wouldn’t have pegged it as a Wee Heavy in a blind tasting. So let’s see how Alesmith fares:

Alesmith Wee Heavy

Alesmith Wee Heavy – Pours a deep, dark brown color with a finger of tan head. Smells of rich, sweet caramel along with some malty fruitiness. Taste is very sweet, less caramel and more toast than in the nose (but both are present here), maybe a hint of smoke (perhaps even peat?), and some booze in the finish. Less of that dark fruit than the nose as well, though it’s still peeking through. It’s not bitter, but it’s got enough oomph to balance out the big malt character. Mouthfeel is tightly carbonated, creamy, full bodied, a bit boozy (nice warming sensation in my belly from that alcohol), very slight stickiness. Overall, this is a very nice, well balanced, traditional Scotch ale, on the upper end of a B+

Beer Nerd Details: 10% ABV bottled (750 ml capped). Drank out of a tulip glass on 11/3/12.

So Dieu Du Ciel remains my standard bearer, but this one comes in a close second. Alesmith continues to impress, and while this doesn’t make me want to explore every Wee Heavy I can get my hands on, it does make me want to explore more Alesmith beer. Go me.

1 – I am, of course, just kidding, but sometimes it’s hard to take reviewers on these sites seriously. On the other hand, who am I kidding? I have a blog with hundreds of reviews of varying quality and I’d still consider myself inexperienced. So fiddlesticks. Wait, what? Am I still typing? Dammit, stop.

2 – Also known as Wee Heavy, a phrase I pedantically dissected a while back. You’re welcome.

3 – This might sound sarcastic or snarky, but I’m so in the bag for barrel aged stuff that I wrote this with the utmost sincerity and didn’t realize that the tone might be interpreted in another way until I reread the post, hence this footnote. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that if you have one of these things, we should set up a trade or something.

3 thoughts on “Alesmith Wee Heavy”

  1. I have a 2009 Barrel Aged Wee Heavy. Funny enough.

    And this is one I’ve looked at trying for a while but I think it costs a similar amount to their Speedway Stout so I’m always like, why?

    I will also say that comparing normal Wee Heavy / Scotch Ales to Equinox du Printemps really isn’t fair since that has maple syrup and some other stuff in it, making it kind of a bastardization of the style. Tasty though.

  2. Lucky you! Did you trade for it? What did it take to get some? BA Speedway just came out and seems to be pulling some heavy weight on trading boards, but I suspect something like the BA Wee Heavy (or BA Numskull) would be slightly easier to nab.

    But I’m getting ahead of myself. Speedway Stout is next up on the Alesmith train for me. Looking forward to it. I’m a little baffled as to how I’ve gone this long without trying it. What’s wrong with me!?

    And yeah, like I said, I wouldn’t have been able to pick out Equinox du Printemps as a Wee Heavy in a blind tasting… but damn, it’s good!

  3. The funny thing about the BA Wee Heavy was that it sort of just fell in my lap. I did trade for it, but it was more of a gentleman’s trade than for anything specific. I still send boxes back and forth with the guy I got it from so it’s worked out for both of us.


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