ALESMITH WEE HEAVY - 2013
I generally prefer my Wee Heavy, or Scotch Ale style beers with a bit of time on them. I'd say at least six months to a year. The brewing process actually calls for a longer kettle time which boils off some of the water content and produces a richer concentrate of sugars, much like a caramelization. Because of this, the alcohol content tends to be higher in these beers and the flavors could be doused in the heat of alcohol. Some people really like the booze forward beer, but I've found that over time, these beers can settle down a bit more and become quite enjoyable.
Alesmith's Wee Heavy sits nice and dark, with a smell of licorice and burnt caramel greeting your nose first. The caramelization from the boil remains very evident, but doesn't not really show much of the 10% alcohol that sits behind it. The nose continues to develop into some vanilla and ginger, which kind of gives the beer a root beer smell to it.
The taste is quite alive and has a lot going on. Toasted caramel sticks out the most, followed by vanilla and brown sugar. Some bits of molasses come through and you can almost taste the stickiness that you would get from the inside of the molasses jar. There is a bit of peated malt but it isn't an overly smoky peat, not like you might find in some scotches. This is a little more refined and boiled down. More of a residual flavor.
This beer is one of the better Wee Heavy beers you might be able to find, and completely solidifies my liking of the style with a bit of time on it. Smooth and medium bodied, malt forward and sweet, this beer drinks exceptionally well after a year that I'm not sure how much longer I would really hold on to one. There is a good chance that it could get even better, but at the 13 month mark, it's exceptional.
WHAT IS CELLARED?
Our CELLARED series aims to explore the world of aging beer and sharing the effects of time in the bottle. Bottles have been kept away from light and at temperatures between 44-60 degrees. Individual experiences may vary depending on storage environments.