J.P. Gray’s Wee Heavy Scotch AleJuly 1, 2000 San Diego, CA
AleSmith Brewing Co.
San Diego, CA
Available: Southern CA
J.P. Gray’s Wee Heavy, named after the brewmaster’s Scottish grandfather, is a bottled conditioned Scotch ale, packaged in a 750 ml. corked bottle.
Color: deep mahogany
Original gravity: 1085
There's both a cap AND a cork! The creamy head pours nicely. The beer is very smooth and malty with a surprisingly dry finish, especially considering the alcohol strength here. Truly inviting: the color and aromatics are especially nice, and one's first taste begs for more. Although this is a fine after-dinner beer, please don't spoil it with a cigar. It demands, rather, a bittersweet dark chocolate truffle for company. This beer is a grand reason to visit San Diego!
- Fred Eckhardt
The carbonation seems quite restrained as the russet-brown beer pours from its handsome cork-stoppered bottle. The aroma is biscuity-malty with a hint of fruit and hops. On the palate, the beer is very full-bodied and malty, with moderate bitterness up front, supporting a juicy sweet center. The flavor structure is port-like; the finish is flinty and clean. A well-brewed beer of considerable finesse and dangerous drinkability. Very nice with good Stilton after a meal. Impressive.
- Garrett Oliver
Lovely tawny, reddish-brown color. Very appropriate for the style. Dense, creamy head. Aromatic malt and subtle hop in the aroma. Subtle balance of dryness and sweetness in the palate. Creamy body. Delicious, sustaining, soothing. More malt and hop flavors emerging in a dryish, liqueur-ish (passion-fruit?), warming finish. A very good Scotch ale, with its own personality. I think this is the first time I have tasted this beer, but I liked the same brewery’s Alesmith ESB at the Real Ale Festival in Chicago a couple of years ago.
- Michael Jackson
Fred Eckhardt lives, writes about and drinks beer in Portland, OR. He is the author of The Essentials of Beer Style and Saké.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
Author of Ultimate Beer, the Simon & Schuster Guide to Beer and numerous other works on drinks, Jackson has created legions of converts to fine beer.