Wee heavy, indeed. At 10% ABV, this is certainly a Wee Heavy Ale that has a very strong bite. I love me some Scottish style ales, so I had to pick this one up. It’s always interesting to compare the American versions to the Scottish ones.
The Pour: A deep red-brown body graced my glass when I poured Alesmith’s brew. There was a stable, off-white head and a finer carbonation than I’m used to when I drink a Wee Heavy. It looked “Wee Heavy” enough in the glass.
The Nose: Rich, sweet malts are the calling card of a Wee Heavy ale, and this one phoned it in for sure. It was heavy with sweetness, which often appeals to the slightly syrupy nature of the style. A touch of alcohol came through on the nose, as well as a very slight scotch (smoked peat) quality. Other than this, there was not a lot going on in the brew. However, this is not detrimental as Scottish ales are usually straight forward and rely heavily on the aforementioned qualities.
The Taste: When I first sipped this beer, it was readily apparent that this was malty, rich, and sweet beer. Of course, this is normal for the style. Some alcohol was present–but not the full 10%. Bits of darker grains came through, which gave Wee Heavy a distinct coffee touch, something I’m not keen on for the style. The finish was semi-dry and a touch bitter. The fruits in the brew were restrained, once again typical of the style.
Overall, I would certainly drink this beer again. It was perhaps a bit pricey for what I thought I got. I’m still a fan of Old Chub, especially for the money. This is not a bad representation of the style. Perhaps nixing some of the darker grains and adding some biscuit malts would do a lot for making this a great beer. Still, it’s not too shabby as is.
Among other Scottish/Scotch Ales: