Serve in Snifter


on tap

Broad Distribution

Add Distribution Data
RATINGS: 1348   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.03   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
Share this beer with friends!
Bottle conditioned.
Old Numbskull is AleSmith’s 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 it’s 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 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
666seth (229) - California, USA - JUL 23, 2002
I thought the ’old foghorn’ was one of the best barley wines I had until I had this one. Sweety finish slightly fruity with a nice malty touch to it! Try it!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
ZepolK (102) - South Side Montebello, California, USA - DEC 24, 2003
Very aromatic with glorious hop richness. Copper red with large tan head and good lacing. Flavor was smooth and balanced. This has to be the best barley wine I have ever tried! Exceptional in every way.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
revdogboy (1) - USA - JUN 2, 2004 does not count
Old Numbskull is the best I’ve found! A big barley wine with a big hop head. The intensity and complexities of this strong ale are so well balanced... there is not much that can be said other than you gotta try this beer. I’m lucky enough to live close to AleSmith here in San Diego and I’ve just started the growler program. These guys have many fine award winning beers...but I keep my fill of ’the skull’ on hand. May the well never run dry!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
elektrogeist (158) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - AUG 23, 2005
Picked up while I was in california. I can find absolutely nothing objectionable about this barlewine, it would seem to be the most perfect barleywine I have ever tasted-intense in every way. Even the taste lingers in your mouth forever-beautiful. I only wish I could get this in Las Vegas..

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - JAN 19, 2006
UPDATED: AUG 21, 2007 Pours like liquid caramel w/ a full, creamy spattered froth hat just sits there. Suerb head retention never really reducing but leaves a thick and creamy downy canopy. Nice! Aromas of strict, crunchy hops dominate. Full nectar w/ relaxed 501 effers that create a soft cottony texture. This brew is bold yet refined w/ a defined sweetness. A huge hoppy character (Robo Hop)climbs from a deep subterranian chamber and fights it’s way through the malty sludge w/ battle axes whaling. Chopping, slicing, cutting yet in the end losing the battle but leaving it’s mark on the tabel of history. A very generous brew giving and giving again. Citrus rind sweetness w/ nuances of cherry, caramel, peach, leather. The finish is very long and sweet and has a mild bittering w/ a lingering asprin tingle that once was Robo Hop. Highly recommended.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
MPosey (134) - , Georgia, USA - JAN 20, 2012
2002 bottle. I received it as a wedding gift from my brother. Pours a nice ruby red with a bright white head which quickly fades from the top. Strong notes of malt and carmel, as well as rasin skins. Sweet attack which fades to a warm and sweet, mellow, malty finish. A wonderful, wonderful brew.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Ionlyrate5s (103) - New York, USA - SEP 18, 2014
Wonderful fruity estrers. Nice earthy hops. Great balance of the two. The flavor is unreal and thick and plummy. Has a hop presence but the malts came through the most. Such a nice finish that lasted for ever. A+++

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
721Lance (60) - Oceanside Ca, California, USA - MAR 26, 2015
Always thought Bigfoot was litmus test n this style. This one is way over top with complex deliciousness. Dark fruits some fruity esters along with a good hop presence. Flavors of complex toffee malts caramel hops and some biscuit. Finish is as good as flavor lingering on to a great olfactory sense of all stated before!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Volgon (2763) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - AUG 15, 2002
UPDATED: JAN 7, 2004 2000 Edition: Complex aroma that has bits of maple syrup and citrus fruits. Its hazy orange/brown color looks just as good as the gold painted bottle. The head is made of the smallest bubbles that I've seen in a while and they make some of the best lacing that I've ever seen. The palate deserves a 6, due to a unique creaminess that it has. The taste is restrained, perfectly balanced, and is capable of making you want to drink this gem too fast. Gusler, you are The Man and a million thanks to you!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
TheBeerLover (1025) - DC Metro Area, USA - FEB 16, 2006
Barley wines are usually 7-12% abv with some examples going even higher. Old Numbskull clocks in at a mighty 10% abv, and you might indeed be feeling like a numbskull, if you don’t be careful with this one. Know your limitations, and know when to say when with a beer this potent. Old Numbskull is a very traditional British inspired barley wine, and it pays tribute to the British classics, but with American/West Coast flare, is bolder in hop character and alcohol content than most British examples. This beer is brewed with imported Marris Otter and Crystal malts from the UK. It is then hopped with imported British Fuggles, then dry hopped with Mt. Hood and Centennial hops. Old Numbskull Barley Wine Ale pours to a beautiful, ruby red color, with virtually no head, and a soft carbonation. The nose on this beer is very inviting, with fragrant herbal and citrus hop aromas ,paired with aromas of plummy estery fruit, sweet malt, hints of pipe tobacco, and peppery alcohol. The palate is lush and full on the tongue with a multitude of complex flavors. Sweet malt, caramel, toffee, and butter scotch, marry with flavors of plum and peppery alcohol. Old Numbskull finishes with more complex malty and estery fruit flavors, then ends with some citrus hop bite, and a warming alcohol burn that lingers. This is a wonderful, relaxing, sipping brew, perfect as as a cocktail after work, an after dinner drink, or a nice beer to sip and relax with a good book or movie. It would work well with a number of rich deserts as well. Retailing for $10 a bottle, it is a very good value, and as stated, this beer can, and will improve with age.

We Want To Hear From You

Join us! RateBeer is made by beer enthusiasts for the craft beer community. Your basic membership is free and allows you to read all beer ratings. Click here to create your account... and give your opinion!

Join Us »

Page    1  2 3 4 » 135

Tick this beer

for your profile
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Copyright © 2000-2015,
RateBeer LLC. All rights
about us
About RateBeer
New Beers
Advanced Search
Add A Beer
Add A Brewer
Add A Place
Log In
Edit Personal Info
Buy Premium Membership
Your Messages
the best
RateBeer Best
100 Beer Club
The Top 50