Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 1270   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.03   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
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Bottle conditioned.
Old Numbskull is AleSmithís first barley wine offering. You may find the name "Old Numbskull" curious. Barley wine has its origins in England and tradition is to begin the name with "Old": Old Nick, Old Sampson, Old Jock, etc. Tongue-in-cheek is often the spirit in naming a barley wine. After drinking a glass or two, you may agree that Old Numbskull feels like a fitting description. It also reminds us of the Three Stooges, one of the greatest comedy teams of all time, so itís meant to bring a smile even before the first taste. Exotic fruit aromas, along with clean ethanol, caramel, honey and toasty notes are present in the nose. At five months of age, the Numbskull flavor begins malty and the hops become more evident from the middle to the finish and linger nicely in the aftertaste. The aroma notes also show themselves in the flavor.

1999 - waxed cap
2000 - dated as such. Pictured at left
2002 - Silver foil with electric blue design and NO filling in the anvil spaces
2003 - Silver foil with electric blue design and blue filling in the anvil spaces
2004 - same as 2003 but with "Alesmith" below the logo in white lettering.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Dough77 (821) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - FEB 18, 2005
Props to Brock_Landers for landing this beer on my porch. Pour was a darker copper color, with a few white bubbles that couldnt be called a head. Nose was amazing, caramel, heavy malts, some vanilla, a nice alcohol presence. The taste however was not quite up to its aroma, caramel still there as well as some alcohol. Dark fruits came up big, and alot more hop presence than I expected. A very nice beer indeed, but not my favorite barleywine or alesmith brew.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
DocLock (7699) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 10, 2005
Thanks to TChrome for this one. Alesmith beers, to me, are like women with their ankles behind their ears....I just find them irresistable. This one pours slightly turbid ruby, with a big of-white head. Aroma of malt, tons of fruit, hops, cognac, cabernet, black pepper. Tastes malty, very fruity, with a finishing warming sensation at culmination. I noted cherries, berries, scotch, black pepper, jalapenos, cognac, cabernet, oak, vanilla, caramel, and almonds in the mid to late palate. SMooth finish with a slight astringency and a very slight surfactant edge. This one is great, but Iím not sure it beats the complexity of Hair of The Dog Doggie Claws and Heavyweight Old Salty, or the smoothness of Full Sail Barleywine, or the mishmash heavy hitter aspect of Avery the Beast, but itís right up there with all of them. Iíd love to try these side by side with all these. Then again, if you did a "side-by-side" with all those, youíd be passed out in the crotch of Star Jones. This is an awesome barleywine. One of the best. Donít miss it! Thanks again, Tad. You rule! Yeah man!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
MilkmanDan (1943) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - FEB 8, 2005
Sampled immediately prior to trying the BA Numbskull. Woo and all. Reddish, a bit hazy. Great nose, butterschotchy malts, some hops, tart and powdery sugars. Good flavor, quite sweet with toffee and maple syrup. Some definite hops there, but the toffee hangs around beautifully in the mouth. Syrupy. Nice stuff.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
shameusburp (171) - Virginia, USA - FEB 7, 2005
Nice caramel vanilla that is well balanced throughout each glup....Poundable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jasonp (1555) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - FEB 7, 2005
Sampled at jeffc666ís gathering. 2003 bottle. Cloudy amber with some suspended particles and an off white head. Aroma of some alcohol, caramel, vanilla and pineapple. Taste has many of the aroma qualities plus notes of dark fruit, brown sugar, pine, grapefruit/hops, toasty malt and a hint of roastiness. Mouthfeel is full, round and smooth with subtle carbonation. Really good stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BuckNaked (1230) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - FEB 6, 2005
Bottle sampled at jeffc666ís B-day gathering 2/6/05: 2003 bottle. Hazy amber color, almost no head, with many medium particles visable in the glass. Aroma: vanilla, pine, pineapple, sweet caramel, sweet sticky hops, apples, pears. Flavor: salty hops, then more hops, backed up by sweet caramel, grains, honey, apple, and wood. Very smooth and slick.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Suttree (5013) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - FEB 6, 2005
On the back of the bottle it says to age for 6-24 months. I didnít do that. It says "do not refridgerate until ready to drink" Oops. It says to leave the brewers yeast in the bottle. Looks like I was wrong again. So, after apparently messing up in every conceivable way, Did the stuff stand a chance? Oh yeah. Pours a brilliant but cloudy copper with minimal head. Big caramel and toffee aroma, with significant notes of fresh hops, vanilla, and charcoal. The first flavor is peppery, salty, piney citrus hops. Smooth, viscous malt flavors emerge as it warms, as do notes of cognac. The caramel that was prevalent in the aroma emerges slowly in the mouth, much more of a bit player. The palate is nearly perfect - oily, but just the right amount of carbonation. Really impressive beer.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
wnhay (722) - Princeton, New Jersey, USA - FEB 5, 2005
UPDATED: FEB 23, 2005 Where do I begin with this? Really cool looking brown pour with very little head. The head looks like caramel. The aroma has that recognizable Ale Smith sweetness to it. I must say I am quite impressed with the aroma because it is fruity and also has a hard liquor element to it. The taste is very strong in terms of the alcohol. It reminds me more of hard liquor then beer. Itís great though and from the best brewery in the world. Quite good, but a little too strong for me in terms of the alcohol. There is still a smoothness to it despite the strength of the alcohol. This brewery is awesome and I want to get my hands on more of their stuff. This just gets better everytime I have it.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Crash (531) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - FEB 1, 2005
Yet another beer from Great American Beer Festival. Picked another beer because of a weird name. Yellow/orange with a little off-white head. Aroma of pine - another one bottled in a state park.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Fulkrum78 (175) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 29, 2005
One of my favorite Barleywines. Little to no head, little to no lacing. Great taste but you can feel the burn from the alcohol. Fairly strong.

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