Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 1343   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
arnold931 (701) - Iowa, USA - NOV 8, 2014
Bottle. Pours clear dark copper with off white head. Nose and taste is strong hops and grain. Dry aftertaste.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Gluepot (93) - Ontario, CANADA - OCT 28, 2014
UPDATED: FEB 26, 2015 Golden amber hue with a soft off-white head with ample lacing. The nose features sweet berries, some caramel malt and a hint of alcohol. This barley wine is the real deal. A nice rich texture features a solid soft roasted malt backbone, caramel richness with rich berry sweetness, rich chocolate, cherries, nuts and a slight booziness, balanced out by an orange tinged hoppiness. Is there a more balanced, complex and rich barley wine on the market? Mmmmmmmm.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Prufrockstar (1270) - Seattle, Washington, USA - OCT 25, 2014
Bottle, thanks to Eric. Beautiful clear amber pour with egg white head, splotchy lacing. Caramel, toffee, spicy hops on the nose. Sweet caramel and toffee start with an assertive (but well balanced) bitterness in the finish. Lasting caramel syrup finish. Alcohol noticeable. Palate: full body, sticky texture, average carbonation. Overall: Iím coming to appreciate this more and more -- like, it could easily hold up as the prototype for an American barleywine. Sort of odd how time works -- 2 years ago if this was my first barleywine it would blow my mind. 10 years ago (I imagine) even if Iíd had a hundred barleywines I expect it would still blow my mind. But now everybody has has a chance to catch up with it -- totally a classic barleywine that is partly responsible for all the great American barleywines that have grown up emulating it, but in a blind tasting I imagine I would say "perfect example of barleywine; doesnít stretch boundaries or push the envelope; safe." Itís all wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Blairgus (2869) - California, USA - OCT 25, 2014
25 oct 2014, tap at Ale Smith. Dark orange/Amber. Nose is resin hops. Ned body and mildly fizzy. Train hops, red fruit, mildly lingering bitterness. Pretty good. Rich, alcohol, yet bitter.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Brentv (441) - Portland, Oregon, USA - OCT 18, 2014
On tap at Orenco Taphouse. Hazy dark brown pour with good head and lots of lacing. Aroma of raisins and plums and dark fruits with caramel and toasted malts. Same taste, some sweetness, little hops. Medium mouthfeel.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
AdiBeer (1674) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - OCT 17, 2014
Aroma: alcohol, prunes, caramel and bread malts. Appearance: clear, dark brown, small, creamy, beige head. Taste: heavy sweet. Palate: heavy grain, prunes, overripe fruit, alcohol again. Overall: nice Barley Wine, great complexity in aroma and palate. Pint at AleSmith Brewing Company, San Diego.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
slowrunner77 (6286) - Reno, Nevada, USA - OCT 14, 2014
"similar to Old Stock but hoppier...reallt toes the line between an english and an american barleywine. i like more of the american varieties, but this is is right there with OS as one of the best of the english. Hoppier aroma than others one this list. Very strong...i wasnít near the bottle when i got my first inviting whiff. flavor was big of carmely malt first, then hops...and lots of both. mouthfeel was full, even a touch syrupy. quite good. the only knock on this beer is that the alcohol was more evident than iíd like. I was expecting sheer greatness, seeing as how Speedway, Wee Heavy, IPA, and the Yulesmith are all at the top of their style...this one is close, but not quite there. Very good, though...and even at $10 + s/h per bottle, Iím glad i got two more. Alesmith rocks!!! ~Has gotten better over the years. Iíve had enough bottles and on tap to beleive this belongs in the uppermost tier of barleywines.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
eduardovl (992) - SWITZERLAND - OCT 14, 2014
750ml bottle served in a snifter glass. A: Pours a dark amber (almost chestnut) cloudy liquid forming a medium creamy, thin bubbled beige head. Medium retention and a lot of lingering and molasses lacings left in the glass S: Delicious combination of caramel and sweet malts. Strong notes of wood and dark fruits. Citrus hops. Notes of orange, brown sugar and nuts. A bit booze in the end T: Sweet upfront. Strong notes of caramel malts and dark dry fruits. Notes of oak, brown sugar and orange. Citrus hops. Good bitterness kick in the end. In overall, a mild sweet beer with a light but significant bitter end. Balanced M: Heavy, creamy and molasses body. Medium to low carbonation. Bittersweet malty aftertaste O: Good drinkability. AleSmith quality. One of the best Barleywines Iíve ever had. Very tasty but not extremely sweet. Molasses but balanced. Recommended [ BA Review @ 2/14/2014 ]

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
crazy_cat_lady (179) - - OCT 13, 2014
Sept. 9, 2014. Bottle from SF. Warm reddish brown with big light brown head. Aromas of bread, sweet honey, malts, caramel. Touch of hop bitterness, ilngering but still nice. Toasted almonds, toffee flavours. Finding Iím not super impressed with AleSmith beers so far.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
NeoHippie2 (1074) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - OCT 11, 2014
Dark ruby/brown pour with an off white head. Aroma of dark fruit, toffee, brown sugar, a d some residual hops. Flavor is nice balance of malty sweetness with the hops peeking through in the finish. This was a 2013 bottle and it was tasty. Another year or two wouldíve probably been ideal for this. Still, very respectable.

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