AleSmith Reforged 20th Anniversary Ale
Brewed by: AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer Classification and Specs
- Style: Strong Ale
- Variation: Blend, Barrel Aged
- Limited: Yes
- ABV: 11%
- IBU: N/A
Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients
Commemorating our 20th Anniversary and the creation of our new brewery, we pay homage to the ol’ days by introducing our first ever barrel-aged blend. Reforged 20th Anniversary Ale is a triple-barrel fusion of our three original high-gravity beers: Wee Heavy (Scotch Ale), Speedway Stout (Imperial Stout w/coffee), and Old Numbskull (Barley wine). This 100% barrel-aged brew which balances the oaky, rich flavors of bourbon with Wee Heavy’s vanilla notes, Speedway’s chocolatey coffee layers, and Old Numbskull’s caramel undertones. Share and celebrate this exclusive specialty with friends and family now or age at a cool temperature to enhance the beer’s numerous complexities. Cheers to twenty years!
More Reforged 20th Anniversary Ale Images
Artwork: All in gold, two roman numeral XX’s, along with small icons for Speedway Stout, Wee Heavy, and Old Numbskull.
Color: Pitch black.
Aroma: Quite boozy, with bakers chocolate and sweet caramel.
Arrived in: 750mL Bottle
Served in: Snifter
As referenced in the notes above, this HUGE ale was brewed to celebrate AleSmith’s 20th anniversary, along with the grand opening of their enormous new facility on AleSmith Ct in Miramar. They might get the most recognition for barrel-aged Speedway Stout, but AleSmith ages two other heavy hitters in bourbon barrels as well — Old Numbskull Barleywine, and Wee Heavy Scotch Ale. Take those three barreled monsters, blend them, and you’ve got Reforged 20th Anniversary Ale.
Knowing how much of a punch each of those powerful ales can pack on their own, we were a little intimidated walking into this one. But we soon learned Reforged wasn’t scary at all, and quite enjoyable in both flavor, and trying to decode its components. Each of the base barrel-aged ales shined through at some point, it was just a matter of identifying the fingerprints, and where they appeared in the final blend.
Reforged 20th Anniversary Ale poured a minimalistic, fast-fading tan colored head that left behind a slight ring of froth around the edge of the snifter. Through its pitch black tone we couldn’t see any carbonation, and the beer drank almost flat. It still featured a creamy body, but surprisingly (slightly) thinner than expected for those three high gravity styles blended together. Then again, barrel aging almost always thins things out…
Reforged’s aroma was quite strong – mostly fumey booze, along with the undertones of bitter bakers chocolate and sweet caramel. Of course the booziness was from the barrel-aging, but traits of Speedway (chocolate) and Old Numbskull (caramel) were complimentary to its edginess.
After a few whiffs we braced for impact, but on the palate the barrel-agedness was not overly done at all. There was a pleasing level of bourbon notes that allowed the other flavors to shine through and reveal different characteristics to each of the blended beers.
Reforged was predominantly sweet throughout, with an undercurrent of vanilla and subtle oaky goodness. Coffee and chocolate emerged, which led to a dark malty bitterness in the finish. Based on those flavors, we felt Speedway was the most dominant element of the three ales used in this special blend.
Reforged really lived up to its billing, and AleSmith was right about one more thing — this was a great beer to share with friends and family, like we did over the Thanksgiving holiday. We are aging another bottle, and cannot wait to revisit this mighty ale in a year from now.
Final Score: 4.5/5
The world needs more monumental strong ale blends like Reforged 20th Anniversary Ale! It was bourbony, but not overdone. As we already mentioned, one of the most enjoyable aspects was trying to pinpoint the influence(s) Speedway, Old Numbskull, and Wee Heavy had on this amazing fusion of an ale.