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Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series)Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

644 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 644
Reviews: 274
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 16.35%

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Duhast500 on 02-24-2010)
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Ratings: 644 | Reviews: 274 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of superspak


4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 9/25/2012. Pours clear nearly opaque dark brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, brown bread, light smoke, light chocolate, herbal, and toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, chocolate, brown bread, light smoke, herbal, and toasted/yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of raisin, plum, caramel, toast, toffee, molasses, chocolate, brown bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance, robustness, and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy and moderately slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Scotch ale style! All around great balance, robustness, and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 00:44:01 | More by superspak
Photo of Bob_Rhoades


3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really looked forward to this offering and when I finally found it, I purchased a four-pack. I cracked one open that very night and the look and smell were terrific.

The taste however, wasn't what I was expecting in a wee heavy. It had too much of an alcohol burn in the finish and not enough barley taste. I have had a lot of wee heavy's from other brewers and this, unfortunately, doesn't live up to the rest.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 02:04:37 | More by Bob_Rhoades
Photo of dpgoblejr

New Hampshire

4.76/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Samuel Adams' Imperial Series, scotch ale inspired, Wee Heavy is one intriguing brew. I was lucky to stumble across a 4 pack recently and sampled a couple and put the others away to age them to try again later. The beer poured a very dark/amber brown with a modest creamy head with retention and some lacing as well. I found the taste from the dark roasted malts to be smokey and smooth with a very adequate mouthfeel and enjoyed the peat smoked malts as well. I found the high ABV to be hidden very well within this sweet tasting beer. Overall I found the brew to be very intense and complex; one I would recommend and purchase again. Well done Samuel Adams!

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 15:58:28 | More by dpgoblejr
Photo of jmdrpi


3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. a faint bottling code, but no clear date.

appears very dark brown, with garnet colored highlights. nice creamy tan colored head of very fine bubbles. great head retention and lacing. very boozy strong aroma, a little smokey. taste is fairly well balanced. even though malt flavors dominate the taste, it's not too sweet, it finishes dry. not as boozy as the smell. nice smooth mouthfeel, coats the mouth.

overall - decent, but the flavor has room for improvement.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2014 03:34:17 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of Rhf9120

Rhode Island

3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drank this one straight out of the bottle. Smells of smoked malts with hints of sweetness and alcohol. The taste matches with a very smokey flavor with subtle sweetness through out. This was my first of the Sam Adams imperial line of beers and I definitely enjoined it.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2014 01:31:31 | More by Rhf9120
Photo of brurevu


3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From my tasting notes: It poured a dark burnt amber, almost opaque with a thin tan head. It had a sweet malty aroma with a hint of burnt chocolate. The flavor was very bold and intense like a barley wine with a sharper smoky burnt malt flavor with the sweet malt hiding underneath. This was a big complex beer that deserves the Imperial moniker. Tasty.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2013 19:03:12 | More by brurevu


4.7/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Dark Brown with a great creamy foam head if you want one, or as I prefer none so I pour slowly.
Taste: Strong but not over powering, complex and almost perfect for me Regardless if you don't like Scotch Ales, which until now never had any that I really like that much. This is my number one beer, not style. American beer has come a long way and this is a shining example but not the only one in the Imperial series that is not only head and shoulders above any American beer but any foreign made beer also. Also a great example of a beer that is well worth the it's price!

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2013 06:57:41 | More by SQUIDMANXXX
Photo of JamesMN


3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hard to find any date on this one, which is odd for a Samuel Adams product.

Appearance: Dark murky brown with a thin tan head that's left some lacing. Not the prettiest of beers.

Aroma: Raisin, caramel, brown sugar, and liqueur. Robust with dark fruits.

Taste: First sip reveals a malt punch to the palate full of hearty caramelized fruit flavors. The first half continues this trend without getting too sweet and then the hops come out lending moderate bitterness which works well to complement the malt character. The flavor is pretty deep but not overly complex. Finish is smooth with an immediate nail polish remover tinge from the 10% ABV but it's quickly covered up by the signature smoked flavor of peat malt. The flavor goes on for a while in the aftertaste with dark malt contributing hazelnut coffee and toffee to the experience. Decently impressed with this one.

Mouthfeel: Full to almost thick in body with a syrupy nature about it. Good carbonation that keeps things from getting too heavy and an ease of drinkability.

Final Thoughts: I'd heard good things about the Sam Adams Imperial series and it seems I heard right. There's a lot to like about this beer. Well done. Would I drink it again? Yes.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2013 22:16:02 | More by JamesMN
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cola brown color with a modest head that leaves a fair amount of lacing behind

Smell: Burnt brown sugar, raisins and a vague sense of smoky peat

Taste: Sweet, up front, with the burnt brown sugar and raisin flavors dominant; the smoky/briny peat arrives in the middle and lingers in the finish but remains a bit vague; the finish returns to the sweetness

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: While this is not the best Wee Heavy I have come across, it is a very nice example of the style; I would prefer a bit more peat and a bit less sweetness but this is still quite enjoyable

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2013 23:09:40 | More by brentk56
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

4 4 3.75 3.75 3.75
12oz. bottle
Pour is clear but very dark brown. The tan head has decent retention.
Rich flavor despite a nose that is only moderately strong. Some peat and char with a touch of smoke. Dark roasted malts with alcohol esters and a touch of spicy hops.
High ABV is partially hidden but fully evident on the tongue.

O: Certainly competent but not outstanding wee heavy.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2013 21:11:48 | More by chinchill
Photo of Utica_Brew_Review

New York

2.76/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Very dark with heavy head and mild carbonation. Chocolatey, caramel, malty aroma with notes of coffee beans. Burnt toasted coffee and caramel taste with heavy alcohol flavor. It's a 10% abv and you can really taste it. Really burnt taste. This is for people who ask for their hot dogs burnt.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2013 02:05:57 | More by Utica_Brew_Review
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Thus, it began with a 12oz bottle. Poured into a pint, the color a deep amber brown, the head, off white, the lace left rings. Retention was solid, and as a Wee Heavy, this appears to fit the bill.

Aroma of nutty malts. Toast, some caramel and peat smoke as well. The light smokey note plays well with the sweetness of the malt. Faint hops make a floral impression. The alcohol is not apparent in the nose.

In the flavor, malty, with a flash of citrus and bitterness before a smack of booze. Well balanced between sweet and bitter, it allows the finish to be smokey and strong. Fans of scotch would find refuge in this beer, it has that peat smoke flavor and alcohol bite. Brown sugar, chocolate, tobacco and molasses flavors arise as it warms. This beer is growing on me.

Medium bodied feel with a light medium carbonation. A bit thin for the style but makes for an easier drinking 10% abv beer. In the finish is some caramel, toast, toffee and alcohol.

Overall, a pretty decent beer that got better as it warmed. The peat flavor was a welcome strong suit, as it is in any ale of this sort. Not shy with the alcohol content, but works well within the style. An enjoyable drinking experience, big peat smoke in a big beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 21:35:39 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of IchLiebeBier


3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark chestnut; big frothy head, beige

Aroma: Slightly smoky, peat-like; slight roasted grains; malty; sweet

Taste: Very interesting; very creamy malt, almost syrupy; hits with a roasted grain bitterness quickly, followed by thick, warming alcohol; finishes; juicy, sweet and slightly bitter from the grains

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 22:21:07 | More by IchLiebeBier
Photo of godlessape


3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a thistle glass, this brew is stoutishly dark with a creamy tan head.

The aroma gives up boozy vapors with wisps of brown sugar, raisons, and smoky roasted malt.

The flavor and the mouthfeel is so dense with malty sweetness you could chip a tooth on it if your not careful. This is thick stuff, like black quicksand or chilled molasses. There is, thankfully, a trace of hop sizzle at the very end, that makes this whole thing work out nicely.

Overall a great job by the brew wizards at Samuel Adams. With the high ABV one should not serve this beverage to amateurs, children or any small mammals. Do not attempt to subdue complicated algebraic problems , drive long distances, or preform liver transplants on your drinking buddy while consuming Wee Heavy. Just a suggestion.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2013 20:54:42 | More by godlessape
Photo of brewcifix


4.43/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Wee Heavy pours a beautiful clear brown that lies black-brown in the glass. There's a nice off-white fizzy head that quickly dissapates to a thin film that displays moderate lacing. Lacing (along with flavor) increases as the beer warms. Don't be afraid to let this warm up a bit. This is not a beer to enjoy ice cold.

S- Caramel, toffee, molasses, sugar, fill the nose with a touch chocolate and honey. This is the kind of nose that makes me anxious to get it in my mouth!

T- Sweet caramel, sugar, and candy is immediately overpowered by strong roasted malts. The finish is roasted malts and smoke that leaves a lingering after taste of malts, peat and molasses. This beer is bliss going in, and still manages to leave a wonderful impression on the palate. The 10% ABV is righteously masked, and pretty much not perceptible.

M- There is low-medium carbonation and a medium tongue weight. Although, a little silky, this beer goes down pretty easy.

Overall: this is a "kick ass" brew! Be careful, it combines high alcohol with high drinkability! The look, smell, and taste of this concoction is delightful. This has to be my favorite of the Imperial Series.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 15:07:26 | More by brewcifix
Photo of gcamparone

Rhode Island

4.44/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

A- pours a very deep brown, clear body with a gushing white head thy reduces slowly and leaves some medium lacing.

S- quite inviting actually. Heavy vanilla, sugar cookies, caramel, toffee, maybe some bourbon and chocolate.

T- it tasted a lot better as it warmed so I suggest you warm it to at least 55 degrees. Starts off with molasses, toffee,vanilla, caramel, leads into a nice lightly toasted flavor and leaves a subtle roasty flavor on the tongue. Some banana and spice on the finish. Very little alcohol for 10 percent.

M- medium body, low carbonation. Decent drink ability.

I was surprisingly impressed with this beer - it's smooth, tasty, complex, and balanced. On the sweet side, would go good with dessert or for dessert. Underrated.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2013 01:55:09 | More by gcamparone
Photo of bmwats


3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a footed tulip.

A: Dark brown. Pours a half finger, foamy, brown-white head. Dissipates very quickly leaving a beer ring. No real lacing.

S: Roasted coffee, molasses, tea, pumpkin, and nutmeg.

T: Coffee with unsweetened dark chocolate, black licorice, and a smoky character.

M: Heavy, smoky, and bitter. Dry finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Dark hue, decent head, but no real lacing. Nose is full and strong components of coffee, tea, sweet and fall spice. Smoky coffee with some bittersweet licorice and dark chocolate. Overall, this is a good quaff.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2013 04:36:45 | More by bmwats
Photo of SiriusBock


3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: deep maroon, dark head of about three fingers
S: very little hop aroma and grain, hit with big peat aroma
T: a bit sweet but is to be expected with such a high abv. A bit too smoky for me, especially when left to warm up
M: thick like an oatmeal stout, very silky and viscous. Does not feel hot even though we are approaching 10% abv

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2013 18:32:52 | More by SiriusBock
Photo of mdcrouser


3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Swiped from my father-in-law's fridge while we're in town for Easter - grabbed the hightest ABV I could find because it's necessary. Very necessary.

Dark brown, little tan head - not very inspiring. Stout-like lacing.

Heavy, sweet malts, bit of spice, some alcohol on the nose.

Molasses, spice, warming - like a big holiday warmer. Lots of alcohol that rolls around in the mouth, sitting heavy on the tongue.

Lightly carbonated, relatively smooth, a slow burn to close.

Fine to get you through on a cold night, but not enough to make up for its deficiencies.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 03:25:27 | More by mdcrouser
Photo of barczar


3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque deep brown with a foamy one inch tan head that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky sheets of lacing.

Raisins and plum leap from the snifter, with notes of smoky peaty and soy adding complexity to the aroma. There's a big molasses sweetness present, with a hint of licorice and muddled dark fruit.

Flavor is very savory. Soy, leather, and peat dominate initially, drying out the underlying sweet molasses backbone. There's a bit of a dark berry tang, which mellowed the smokiness of the malt. The finish is slightly dry, and nutty notes surface in the aftertaste. Rich notes of plums and figs become evident late.

Body is somewhat full, with light carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

Aroma and flavor were somewhat disjointed. Aroma was far sweeter and dark fruit forward than the flavor, which was much more savory. There may be a bit too much going on here. The smoke and dark berry flavors collide somewhat strangely.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2013 00:34:08 | More by barczar
Photo of MickeyD


3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this from a 12 oz bottle into a clean tulip glass.

Appearance: this brew is black as pitch and looks almost thick when poured. The head is thick and tall and dissipates at a moderate rate. Good lacing was noted.

Smell: dark roasted coffee and caramel. No noticeable hops.

Taste: sweet and smoky caramel and coffee with a bit of hop bite but not much.

Mouth feel: leaves a great velvet smooth feeling in the mouth, and it was carbonated moderately.

Overall: This is the first Scottish ale so I have nothing to compare to except the description and according to that it seems to be spot on. I really like this style however. It was a bit sweet but really liked the roasty caramel taste.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2013 02:40:31 | More by MickeyD
Photo of SometimesIfart


3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours an extremely dark, almost impenetrable reddish-black with a massive mocha head that forces you to stop and continue the pour multiple times. Leaves a good amount of lacing.

S - Starts off fairly sweey, with cherries and dates. A bit of nuttniess comes through along with some caramel malt which smells lightly toasted.

T - This one is sweet. Cherry starts iff the flavor along with a lot of toasted caramel malt. The flavor stays sweet all around and the finish allows a small amount of alcohol to come through

M - Light, slighty watery and creamy bodied with light carbonation.

O - Overall, this was a solid beer. And a soild Scotch Ale. Better than Skull Splitter and Dirty Bastard, But it doesn't compare to Scotty Karate.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2013 06:12:52 | More by SometimesIfart
Photo of ubenumber2


4.11/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into tulip glass , its what was handy

Very dark beer with one finger brown head and no lacing

Malty smell with slight smoke smell in the background , hint of alcohol there also

Kind of a weak mouthfeel for such a big malty beer , not bad but not what I expected

Deep malty taste with a smoked hint and the alcohol is very tasty at the end

Overall this is my first Wee Heavy , I enjoyed it , if this is one of the middle of the roads for this beer I'm excited to try the better ones

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2013 20:57:18 | More by ubenumber2
Photo of kaufmaal


3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber color with a 1/4 in head that held its own for a while. Lots of sugars and maltiness on the nose - brown sugar, dark rum, some chocolate notes. This is a beer that stays with you, as the taste (and smell) lingers for some time, and I'm not too sure that that is a good thing. For me, it is a bit too syrupy and chewy, and the intense sugars and alcohol tend to overpower at times. There's a faint pine and peat taste, and a hint of basil, but these get lost amongst the front-loaded barrage of sugary booze.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2013 03:32:56 | More by kaufmaal
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a snifter glass

Appearance – Pours a deep brown color with highlights of a ruby red shinning through when held up to the light. Upon pouring there is only a fine film on the top of the brew. This fades fast with little lacing. Upon swirling the beer in the glass its thickness can be seen with the brew clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is big and sweet. It consists of a load of caramel and toffee with some sweet smells of a dark fruit nature (mainly cherry and plum). Mixed with these aromas are a light chocolate smell and a decent presence of a scotch aroma.

Taste – The taste is not nearly as sweet then you would expect from the nose. The flavor begins with a big malty and bready taste mixed with a lighter caramel sweetness. Other sweet flavors of a buttery toffee and some cocoa come to the tongue more toward the middle of the flavor. Along with the toffee and cocoa also comes the forefront of the alcohol taste. It begins rather mild and of a more rum like nature. As the taste advances toward the end however the boozy taste gets quite a bit stronger and take on a more whisky like flavor with smoky notes and some woody flavors coming to the tongue. The taste is rather dry and boozy at the end, leaving a very warming and smoky and roasty malt flavor to linger in the mouth.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is on the thicker side, but for a 10% abv wee heavy it may be a little light to average with a carbonation level that is quite light. Quite appropriate for the style and fitting for the whisky and malty flavors of the brew.

Overall – A nice smoky brew that is good to sit back with and sip slowly while being warmed by all the boozy and roasty flavors.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 01:53:33 | More by Darkmagus82
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Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 644 ratings.