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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.
BA SCORE
83
good

644 Ratings
THE BROS
73
okay

(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 Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very decent representation. Dark chocolate body, with a little attractive lace and head. Toffee, nutty, mildly smokey aroma. Above average mouthfeel, good drinkability for the style and a 10%. Barleywine complexity, brown sugar, and aging of a few seasons helped.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2012 02:41:22 | More by Sammy
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

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

hazel brown with a nice one inch head that slowly faded lacing up the sides. Much visible carbonation and a noticeable hissing sound. Smell was very nutty, and I mean that literally. Smell was of nuts and caramel with a hint of hops and just a touch of alcohol, smells like its gonna warm you up. The taste was very very sweet, syrupy and lots of dark fruit flavors. Very sugary sweet, no real taste of alcohol, which at 10%abv is a nice touch.

another great beer in the imperial lineup. i am seriously getting impressed with their releases

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 16:00:07 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours a dark copper color with a creamy khaki colored head.

S: Very, very sweet, almost syrupy. Lots of caramel and toffee, some brown sugar. There is a bit of smoke and peat to it, and some miscellaneous dark fruits.

T: Sweet, sweet, and more sweet. Caramel, brown sugar, and table sugar. Some weird dark fruit notes, maybe some figs and prunes. A touch of raisin, light smoke and peat.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Way too sweet and the smoke was just sort of off.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 01:32:14 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56
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 Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 20:41:54 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Took me long enough, but I finally found a single bottle o' this 'round here (I'm always wary of the new stuff, no matter how tempting they may appear). It pours a solid ruby-highlighted brown topped by a lovely finger of glowing off-white foam. The nose comprises toffee, light smoke, candi sugar, light roasted malts, honey, and light cocoa. The taste is a bolder expression of these elements, with the smoke really coming forward, edging the toffee with a nice toasted character. Some mild notes of plum, figs, brown sugar, molasses, and black grapes add some variety to the proceedings. It all works nicely, if borderline cacophonous. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a feel that borders on the lightly chewy. Overall, a very nice brew, possibly the best of SA's Imperial Series.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2011 03:56:42 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There's a whiff of smoke and a hint of brown sugar as you raise Samuel Adams' almost-black but still mahogany brown Wee Heavy to your nose. As you swirl it in the glass, the dark khaki-colored and creamy head spins, releasing additional notes of dark bread and dark-skinned fruit. It's a nice looking glass of beer, and although the head doesn't hold particularly well, it does leave behind tiny spots and craggy splashes of lace.

In the mouth it's medium-full in body with a bit of a dextrinous edge. The carbonation is restrained, as it should be for the style, and it's quite creamy and smooth across the palate.

The flavor is all that you'd wish for and everything that your nose has promised you! The peat-based smokiness comes through clearly over the almost-burnt sugary caramel and "dark bread" maltiness. A combination of red and dark berry-like fruitiness from the yeast steps in, and in combination with the dark malts, it gives the suggestion of dark skinned fruits - or perhaps, simply the skins of some dark fruits without the juicy, sugary fruit attached. I find raisin and prune to be sure, although there's a suggestion of fig as well. Grassy hops also appear, more towards the swallow, and together with the fruitiness and the very firm, but mostly background bitterness, it's nicely balanced. It finishes dry with a puff of light smokiness, some residual grassy hops, and a bit of long-lingering dull bitterness.

Overall it's clearly an American take on the style, but that lends even more charm to it. Where the Scottish might downplay the yeasty fruitiness, Samuel Adams has bumped it up, giving it quite a bit of additional character, and more complexity. Charming, to say the least!

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2011 14:17:00 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head, that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains bourbon, vanilla, some chocolate, some dark fruit, roasted malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a little bit of smokiness that is quickly followed by sweet flavors of vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, caramel and dark fruit. There’s a significant alcohol sting. The malt character is hearty and there’s a mild but complementary hops presence that creates a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly smoky.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, strong kick, good representation of style, although there are other beers in the style that I would chose before this one it’s still a solid beer to drink for a while.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2012 03:29:59 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a garnet tinged mahogany with a finger of tan head. decent lacing & some head retention

S: Faint dark fruittyness & dominant peat scent once warm

T: Smokey caramel, a touch of figs & a bit of herbal hops up front. Peatyness & cakey notes are the main feature as this warms, along booze warmth & some figgy & prunny notes, along with dryness. Finishes slightly boozey, smokey & slight dry, oaky notes

MF: Chewy with fairly firm carbonation

Serviceable enough, but a touch off style & just not as well put together as I hoped.

I remember the old/original (bottled at least) SA Scotch Ale & I believe it was better, but it's been more than a few years...

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 01:46:32 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.53/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a beautiful ruby red color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is epic! This is what a Scotch ale should smell like. It has a wonderful burnt toffee scent along with a HUGE peated malt aroma. The smokey character is really nice. The taste is also quite good. It has a solid malt flavor of burnt toffee and crystal malts as well as a big smoked malt taste. I'm really diggin' the bold smokey character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is one of best beers Sam Adams has ever put out. Why go mainstream? Hit me with the smoke and keep it coming. What a delicious beer!

Serving type: on-tap

02-24-2010 17:53:00 | More by WesWes
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

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

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is that of peat smoke, dark fruit and some toffee. The flavor is more complex than the aroma. I get a lot of peat smoke, cherries, grapes, plums, toffee and some alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A nicely balanced wee heavy where the alcohol is present, but not overpowering. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 03:49:17 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a dark, burgundy color with golden highlights. It had a two-finger, tan head of foam that left sudsy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of sweet maltiness, slightly fruity with some smoke. There was a touch of booziness, too.

T - It tasted of dark fruits and rich bready malt. Some mild smokiness and peat with a boozy sweet taste.

M - It was crisp and fairly smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a nice wee heavy. Another solid entry in Sam Adams Imperial Series.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2011 17:39:38 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a creamy 1 finger head that fades semi slowly, with a bit of lacing, over a very dark chocolate brown color with hints of rosy light coming though.

Nose brings plenty of dark malts, tons of dark crystal, caramel, bit of roast and chocolate, a creamy like essence, light herbal earthy hops, hint of peat smoked malts, a bit of booze, some other bicuity malts, a bit of cocoa and caramelized brown sugar.

Taste starts a bit rich and heavy, creamy malts, plenty of dark malts again, a bit of chocolate and cocoa, hint of roast, some earthy charred malt flavors, a smoked malt with a bit of peat, caramelized brown sugar and caramel, a hint of earthy and light herbal hops, fairly bitter more from the malts at first, but then some bitter hops later, a slight minerality, some boozy flavors and warmth bringing a slight boozy phenolic taste. It finishes with a bit more warming booze, still slightly sweet, some cocoa, and light earthy bitter hops.

Mouth is heavier bodied, some warming booze and decent carbonation.

Overall pretty good, a decent wee heavy, and I'm glad to see a wee heavy that actually is wee heavy, not a measly 6.5% kinda thing, it does get a bit of boozy phenols, and I'm not a huge fan of the herbal hops but that goes with the style, overall pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2011 02:19:45 | More by jlindros
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out as a very dark brown color, the head was a decent size and tan in color. The smell of the beer was loaded with peated malts and some caramel sweetness on the nose. The taste of the beer wan't as good as I was hoping for, It's a little bit on the burnt/smokey side. I feel like the flavor mellows the more I drink it but the taste wasn't my favorite. The mouthfeel was pretty good though. The feel was oily and thick. There was a good level of carbonation in there also. Overall this beer wasn't bad, I had been looking forward to trying it for a really long time and finally had the chance last night. I can't say that it was mind blowing in anyway but I am glad that I finally found a bottle and gave it a shot. I might buy it again if it were on draft or something, but I wouldn't get a case of it.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2012 19:25:51 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2011 15:12:39 | More by jwc215
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The whole imperial series lacks finesse but while this one is the type of bruisin' ale that is going to hit you with the alcohol and peated malts that you should expect in a Wee Heavy, in this case think the heat of a single malt with the peated malt roasted dark caramel notes found in this beer. Pours nicely into an Allagash chalice, deep ruby brown almost black if your sitting in the shade, you really have to hold this one toward the light. Flavor, first off the booze really coats the sides of my cheeks and the backend of the palate, when I'm able to cope with the booze level I come up with dark roasted malts almost coffee astringency, dark roasted peat smoked malts with hints of dark chocolate. Complex for sure even a bit of sherry tartness, full bodied a bit of heat cinges your nose hairs, but overall a complex beer to share with good friends. I'm going to hold on to a couple of these beers and wait for the pearl to form.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2011 03:44:39 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Starts off with the classic Sam Adams two-finger head with some staying power. Leaves streaky lace on the glass. The color is deep ruby brown and appears to be clear.

Mild smell of chocolate ice cream. None of the typical elements of a Wee Heavy is present. Some cocoa, that's it.

The flavor is much improved. Good chocolate notes with a heavy alcohol influence. There's some bitterness that is likely from hop rather than black patent malt as there is no coffee flavors. The alcohol is very present, perhaps on the high side. Rich bodied but not quite syrupy.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2011 23:47:27 | More by smcolw
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2011 02:27:02 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Rich and powerful smoky ale.

Very dark with some red color around the edges of my tall Aventinus glass. Beautiful head to go with it. Nice lacing as you sip. Long malty sweetness but completely balanced by a full and complex hoppiness. Bitterness underlays the malt and takes over for a long aftertase of hops and caramel.

As a highly flavored barley wine, I think it's great. My second time tasting a bottle. It may not be on the style button but it's exremely drink-- I mean sippable.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2011 04:56:12 | More by mactrail
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured dark brown with a light tan head. Overall I thought the beer was tasty and technically on point, but not as deep and complex as the great wee heavys. The aroma was a bit hot, but otherwise the flavor was a tight mix of bready fruit (like jam on dark toast) with caramel and fruit. I appreciated that it wasn't too thick or sweet, but was also surprised that the ABV hit double digits.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2011 04:48:41 | More by tempest
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.19/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2011 04:52:16 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness/bottling date info.

Pours a rich, dark shade of glowing auburn amber, frothy medium khaki head, stays, then a thicker film, collar, with light sheeting and ample blobs and spots of lace.

Nose of caramel, toffee, smoldering peat.

Maltolicious, flavorful and complex. Waves of caramel, with a dry chocolate layer, and a smoked up/spiced up alcohol infused layer all dancing somehow together. Boozyness keeps this one from reaching upper registers of enjoyment.

Quality sipper/night capper.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 03:06:24 | More by Billolick
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger khaki head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Clear dark brown color. Light-medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Dark fruit nose, flavor is dark fruit and hints of caramel, smooth. Higher ABV is hidden. $3.35 for a 12oz bottle from Bert’s Better Beers Hooksett, NH.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2011 23:00:38 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear deeply brown colored beer with a medium sized light brown head.

Sweet and malty scent with a good smoke note. Smells a little like Rauchbier with a strong band-aid medicine scent. Fairly strong molasses scent. Glutamate scent, it smells a little like meat.

Starts out malty and smokey with a bit of bitterness in the aftertaste. Mildly sweet this is nicely malty and thick in texture. Alcohol can't be tasted at all but you can feel it in your chest. Not a lot of subtle flavors here it is quite straightforward, this is a Wee Heavy and nothing else. This is an excellent example of the beer type Wee Heavy.

Mouthfeel is thick, chocolate milk thick.

Drinkability is outstanding for such a big beer. I have been mostly disappointed by most of the Sam Adams "Imperial Series" beers but this one didn't disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2011 00:56:41 | More by Zorro
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle purchased as part of a 4-pack from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into a Harpoon LE tulip, formed a 1/2" orangey tan head over the cloudy burgundy brew. Head isn't going anywhere fast, with thick, slow-falling lace. Aroma is fruity and boozy.

Taste is creamy sweetness upfront, a peek of chocolate int he middle, and closes with the alcohol power and cherry notes. Almost acrid alcohol aftertaste coupled with numbing lingering sensation. Mouthfeel is smooth, but the close just isn't nice, and drinkability is okay. Too harsh for me overall.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2011 01:49:33 | More by ppoitras
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Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 644 ratings.