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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series)Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series)

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BA SCORE
83
good

685 Ratings
THE BROS
73
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 685
Reviews: 276
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 16.08%
Wants: 29
Gots: 34 | FT: 2
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:
Beer added by: Duhast500 on 02-24-2010

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 685 | Reviews: 276
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.17/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #48 (Jan 2011):

Extremely dark mahogany color, small-sized head dissolves to an even thinner lacing. Lots of malt sweetness and a peppery alcohol. Syrup-like mouthfeel; the palate is grazed by some gritty crispness. Massive malt sweetness is almost cloying, and the hint of peat smoke nearly pushes it over the edge. Bitterness from the modest hopping can't even break through, yet there's some oily herbal flavor in the middle. Sweetness sticks even when the warming spicy alcohol hits the palate. A decent stab at the style, but the excessive sweetness throws it off balance a bit--still worth a try.

Photo of kojevergas
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

33cl brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of nice tan colour, good cream, good thickness, and decent retention for the high ABV. Colour is a solid black. It's quite appealing indeed.

Sm: Nice light milk notes, caramel, chocolate, and malt. Aroma is mild in strength.

T: Some alcohol comes through, but it's an excusable amount. A problem I have is that the notes are vague and indistinct: chocolate, caramel, and a sweet milky light cream finish are all present, but they feel scattered and tentative. In any case it's well balanced; I just wish the build were more bold and confident.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but also very thick. I don't think it should be this thick when the flavours are so light. The smoothness is right on the money, though.

Dr: It's drinkable for the ABV, but the flavours just aren't present with enough temerity to justify another purchase.

Photo of beerbully
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

A-An aggresive pour yields a two inch slightly off colored head that last for a while giving way to thick lacing Beer is the color of coca-cola Looks like an ice cream soda

S-not very aromatic faint malty smell

T-Malty, scotch, caramel, sweet, syrupy, mild alcohol for the ABV, brown sugar, molasses

M-mild carbonation, fills the mouth up with the beer flavor. after taste lasts for awhile

O-not a very attractive beer nor is it very aromatic. The tsate is fine but a bit on the sweet side. Not bad. This is not a style that I drink often so I have few scotch ales to compare

Photo of KarlHungus
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark brown color. The head is a half inch in height, and recedes slowly into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is of burnt caramel and toffee, but it is quite weak. The taste is similar to the aroma, but with a harsh alcohol burn in the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a silky texture, and appropriately low carbonation. Overall, this is a beer I will probably not drink again. It is one dimensional, and the alcohol is poorly integrated.

Photo of Docer
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: (3.5)
- Super dark filtered rootbeer brown brew.. subtle finger of light tan head which has quickly fizzed down to a medium ring, and a thin island over the brew.

Smell: (3.0)
- Nice roasty caramel, earthy, woody and chocolatey grainy malt.. bit of strong alcohol aromas, a little like rubbing alcohol. Overall smells like a Wee Heavy blended with a little stout or porter.

Taste: (3.5)
- Smokey caramel, smokey chocolate, and overall quite smokey in the flavor. The smoked malt doesn't quite show like this in the aroma. Sweet esters, little fig, and some alcohol. Not too bad but seems to be outside of what I feel the style is.

Mouth Feel: (3.0)
- Medium bodied, bit syrupy, slightly dry, regular ale yeast-like carbonation. Bit cloying as well.. not too bad.

Overall: (3.0)
- Can't say this is really that great of a beer, but it is a nice strengthy offering from Samuel Adams. I was hoping it would turn out better than my opinion of their other beers.. but it really hasn't. It seems to be unique for sure, but doesn't touch what I think the style should be. Wouldn't really buy this again I think.

Photo of jwc215
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted at the beginning of this summer - reviewed from notes:

Pours dark brown with a thin head that doesn't hold up long before becoming wispy. Dotted lacing sticks.

The smell is of cola and cocoa with the slightest nod towards peat.

The that is sweet with an earthy touch and slight peat. Alcohol is noticeable though not overpowering. It has a rooty, sweet-ish finish.

Initially it is slightly spritzy but soon mellows to soft-to-medium carbonation. The alcohol gives a slightly raw burn in the aftertaste.

I had been impressed with their Scotch ale, but this one barely compares. It's slightly too sweet and not very complex.

Photo of DavidST
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a goblet. This pours a thick dark brown which doesn't much light through with a short lived tan head. The smells are very malts, some caramel, molasses and other malts. The feel is medium to thick. The taste seems a little off, I'm not sure how to describe it, the other reviews say peat, there is also some alcohol present along with lots of excessive malts caramel and molasses. I definitely like the old chub more than this.

Photo of JamesS
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a nice thick copper color with a bit of initial decent head and a bit of initial decent lacing. Some nice thick malty scents, with a hint of caramel and a little toffee, but not near as much aroma as one would expect from a thick wee heavy. Decent taste, nice thickness in the malt, some caramel and toffee, just a hint of peat, a bit of nice earthy hops at the end, but overall nothing very upfront; mostly just a thick beer with quite a bit of alcohol heat. It goes down alright, but doesn't hide the 10% ABV at all. I'd drink another if given one, but there are much better Scotch/Scotch-style ales out there that aren't any more expensive.

Photo of mithrascruor
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: A very dark pour, but dark ruby through the light. Nice light tan head with a bit of retention and some lacing.

Smell: Good roasted aroma with some noticeable sweetness and smoke coming through. A bit subdued from a rauchbier, though.

Taste: Again, roast malts and sweetness. Still, it maintains a sort of dank earthiness. The smokey flavors come in towards the finish, and linger, along with a hint of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Fairly heavy-bodied for this style, but still smooth. Very mild carbonation.

Drinkability: ABV is a lot stronger than I imagined while drinking it, so I suppose the alcohol is hidden pretty well. The sweetness can get to be a tad much, though.

For a beer, this is pretty decent, although perhaps a bit too sweet. But, I believe it is a pretty poor interpretation of the style. If I was given this with no introduction, I'd have to say it was trying to be a rauchbier. Honestly, a bit of a disappointment.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a deep mahogany with a firm light tan head, solid retention and lace.

S: Campfire, teriyaki sauce, and brown sugar reduction.

T: Lots of sugar and malt, not really that smoky, but there is a hint of peat on the back end which I liked. Not very balanced though, and there's still a lot of soy and teriyaki sauce.

M: Full-bodied, creaming, cloying at times, robust for sure.

O: Not a terrible effort, but doesn't have the elegance or balance of something like Traquair or Skullsplitter which are malty beers for sure, but remain immensely drinkable, and the sugar does not go over the tops.

Photo of Trueant1
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a Drak brown/black color. Off white creamy head.
smells like sugar boiling with some dark fruits. Some kind of offsmell of described as a little "dank". Tastes of smoky coal mixed with extremely over-sweet malts. Some alcoholic flavors. I bit wee-heavy on the sugars! Almost as if the sugars could have fermented much much longer.
But, overall a decent flavor. Very thick, chewy, and mouth coating feel. Nicely carbonated! A sipper for sure. Not bad, not great.

Photo of prototypic
3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wee Heavy pours a very dark, mahogany brown color. Looks very dark for the style. Backlighting reveals some crimson and burgundy highlights. A tan head caps it, and rises to roughly a finger in depth. It recedes fairly quickly. A nice, sticky web of lace clung to the glass.

The nose is way too weak, and is actually below average. It does feature some sweet, caramel and toffee notes. There is a distinct smoky scent, but it isn't very strong. I'm definitely getting some alcohol, but that isn't too surprising given its 10% stature. That's about it. Definitely needs some work here.

The flavor is easily a notch or two above the nose. Initially, it's very sweet and chock full of caramel and toffee. It's very brown sugary. It does have a pretty nice peat smoke flavor. It complements the malty flavors nicely. It's a little bread-like and yeasty. There's a slightly, acidic, maybe even tangy dark fruit flavor. Tastes a little like raisin. Alcohol is definitely there in flavor. It's not quite warm, but it's not far away. Overall, this is pretty good. A little sweet for my taste, but definitely not bad.

Wee Heavy has a body that's on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation is mid-range. It's not quite smooth, but it's okay. A 12 ounce is doable, but this is a sipper due to its size and sweetness. One's enough for me.

To date, I haven't been blown away by and of the Sam Adams Imperial Series. Wee Heavy doesn't change that. Having said that, it's not bad beer. It could easily be improved with a stronger nose and less of a sweet, sugary flavor. Maybe a little less alcohol, too. It holds up pretty well otherwise. Not a bad beer, not a great beer. Fits in well with the rest of the Imperial Series.

Photo of srhoadsy
3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A decent attempt at the style. As others have stated a welcome additon to an otherwise overpriced, underwhelming series of beers. Pours a very dark brown with some amber hues. 1/2" head with very little hold or lacing. Smells of malt, smoke and dried fruits. Taste reflects the aroma, with a little mineral background as well. Alcohol is not overpowering, but I felt the mouthfeel to be a bit on the weak side. Not a bad beer, but couldn't help but feel with a little tweeking could be an excellent beer.

Photo of BostonHops
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a nice chestnut tone with ruby hightlights, yields a foamy, tan head with decent retention and good lacing. nice presentation. nose is lead by caramel malts, a discernible smokiness with a touch of peat, and some light woodiness; also a bit of a metallic note in the background.

wow, flavor is extremely assertive, really packs a smoky, malt-forward punch; the metallic element that was a secondary note in the aroma is more pronounced here. the first sip is a bit abrasive, but as the beer warms it definitely improves, with the caramel malt, peat, and woodiness opening up. still, the beer never really finds its way, and in the end winds up as a middle of the road wee heavy. definitely a good dose of booze, primarily in the finish. mouthfeel is a strong point: medium-bodied and creamy... average carbonation.

overall i think this is an OK brew. (E for effort?) some elements about it are worthwhile while others i could do without, but ultimately it just doesn't rise to challenge some of the better scotch ales/wee heavies out there.

originally reviewed: 04-10-2011

Photo of perrymarcus
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a nice chestnut tone with ruby hightlights, yields a foamy, tan head with decent retention and good lacing. nice presentation.

nose is lead by caramel malts, a discernible smokiness with a touch of peat, and some light woodiness; also a bit of a metallic note in the background.

wow, flavor is extremely assertive, really packs a smoky, malt-forward punch; the metallic element that was a secondary note in the aroma is more pronounced here. the first sip is a bit abrasive, but as the beer warms it definitely improves, with the caramel malt, peat, and woodiness opening up. still, the beer never really finds its way, and in the end winds up as a middle of the road wee heavy. definitely a good dose of booze, primarily in the finish.

mouthfeel is a strong point: medium-bodied and creamy... average carbonation.

overall i think this is an OK brew. (E for effort?) some elements about it are worthwhile while others i could do without, but ultimately it just doesn't rise to challenge some of the better scotch ales/wee heavies out there.

Photo of ruckus232
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 Ounce brown bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Dark brown with a good amount of tan head leaving a little lacing.

Smell: There is a roasted smell but it seems a little off from what I would expect.

Taste: There is a slight roasted bitterness but not much. It is fairly sweet with an almost nutty flavor. I pick up a little on the smokiness but it is not too pronounced.

Photo of airheadmtrcycle
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark, heavy looking beer with a finger of khaki head in a pint glass. The head looks like espresso crema, very inviting.

The aroma and taste is peaty with a smokey flavor just like the label says. There is also a spice that probably comes from the high alcohol content. This is no "whoosy" brew. I haven't had lunch and I probably need to have a bite to eat with this brew.

(pause to make a sandwich)

Honestly, this beer just doesn't agree with me. I find it's a little "hot and spicy" on my throat as it goes down. This makes it difficult to write too much more about this effort from Sam Adams. I've three left, so I'll come back after I give it another go, as they say.

Photo of rKunda
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I edited this review on a further sampling. I might have been a little harsher than was deserved and on some subsequent tastings, I've come around a bit.

This is not like any Wee Heavy I've had. It's hard to tell if it's less sweet than some of them are because the very strong smoky flavor somewhat masks the normally carmel like sugars in the Scotch ales. I don't know if I was wasn't partial to this the first time because it wasn't what I was expecting or what.

However, I tasted it after drinking another really decent scotch ale and noticed immediately the differences, especially that smoky flavor. It's a very unique take on Scotch ales and definitely worth a try.

The mouthfeel is a little odd. It has almost a light syrupy like effect, I think from the more mild carbonation combined with the sugars. It's not the best SA I've had, but it's very unique. And it's not the priciest beer in the craft brews section, so if this sticks around, it's not as painful getting a decent Scotch ale in my neck of the woods for a fair price!

Photo of StevenBilodeau
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok, so I had this one right out of the bottle... and it was rich, roast and the taste and smell of alcohol was pretty strong.

I like strong, but this was a little much... lacking in taste or 'good flavor' balance with the abv...

I like the roast, I like the burnt flavor...

but it's a little much.

I will drink this one again, but it won't be my first choice.

Photo of Nerudamann
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at a beer fest (I know I know, I shouldn't review beers at a beer fest, but I took steps to make sure I concentrated and kept my palate fresh) in 3oz size.

Look - dark, but clear. About one and a half finger's worth of khaki-colored foam that dissipates somewhat quickly.

Smell - malty, somewhat chocolaty.

Taste and Mouthfeel - Very strong..you can taste the alcohol. Good but strong mix of malts and hops. Syrupy in taste, but the texture is a good balance, but mostly creamy.

Drinkability - it's a bit strong for repeated drinking, and not very complex, but not bad tasting either.

Photo of pzrhsau
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice burgundy color with a slight head that doesn't last very long.
S: Nice fruity leathery burnt malt scotch flavor with a great undertone of alcohol.
T: Slightly smokey but not overly smokey. Not too overpowering considering the alcohol content. Has a little feeling of a scotch to it.
D/O: Very strong but doesn't overpower. I feel like they didn't do enough for the style. I could have used it having more smoke. Still a very good strong beer.

Photo of jacobseyb
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my snifter a deep, very dark ruby black color, clear, with ample dark tan head. Some lacing, the head dissipated slowly and remained relatively strong throughout. Initial smell was malty, biscuity, with some smoke noticable. The aroma that stood out to me was a slight floral note after the other aromas faded. Some alcohol smell as well. Taste is malty, with smoke and some alcohol present. Feels good very smooth, almost creamy, and full bodied. Warming sensation from alcohol present. Oiliness present as well. Overall while I enjoyed the beer it was a less aggressive Wee Heavy than I have had in the past.

Photo of Bob_Rhoades
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark caramel color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of caramel malt with light toffee notes. Taste is a mix between some caramel malt notes with some toffee notes also noticeable. I can’t say that peat notes were really noticeable or played a big role in the flavour profile. Body is slightly fuller then average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not bad overall but lacking complexity.

Photo of SpasticKoala
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark mahogany with minimal head that reduces to thin lacing.
Smell: Malty with a spicy background.
Taste: Lots of malty sweetness. A touch of peaty smoke. Minimal amount of hops that provides a small herbal back note. Warm spicy alcohol.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a touch of syrup thickness.

Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 685 ratings.