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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

277 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 277
Hads: 689
Avg: 3.73
pDev: 25.2%
Wants: 29
Gots: 38 | 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.
View: Beers (120) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) Alström Bros
Reviews: 277 | Hads: 689
Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid dark brown with deep ruby highlights when held to light. Smallish khaki head dissipates like the bubbles atop a diet soda. Smell is very malty and sweet. Hints of burnt sugar, melanoids, and peat smoke dominate my nostrils. Taste is sweet with all of the aromas accounted for in the taste. Starts off sweet hits with the peat and smoke, then leaves a long lingering alcohol burn at the end. Seems typical of the Sam Adams imperial series to be a bit hot with alcohol. Very little hop presence to be found. I fear that if one were to wait for the alcohol to die down you would be left with a sweet cloying mess of a beer. Sweet syrupy mouthfeel, full body, light level of carbonation. This one is only ok, I could take it or leave it.

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Photo of tempest
3.73/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark mahogany with good clarity but little head. Smells sweet and richly malty with a note of smoke. The taste is even more pronouncedly smokey with lots more sweet, dark malt on the back end. A bit slick in the mouth, and a bit brooding, really, without really delivering the goods. Just decent.

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Photo of Zorro
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Samuel Adams Wee Heavy is exactly what the name describes...A wee heavy and full bodied. The appearance a very dark opaque amber with thin to no head, which was slightly ecru in color. The scent carried a heavy peat malt. The taste was very complex started very light with good hop character and then turned malty with strong earth/peat tones. The mouthfeel is heavy and downgraded due to the strong peat flavor and full body due to higher ABV. Overall it is a decent beer and worth trying.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown with a creamy thin beige head.

S - Dark molasses, sweet syrup, brown sugar. Touch of alcohol, and some faint smoke.

T - A big blast of malt sweetness, very sweet. The sweetness warms on the palate in the end with smokey spiced alcohol. A lot of sweet sugars here, almost like raw brown sugar. This reminds me of a malt monster like a high abv doppelbock but sweeter and with a smokey kick.

M - Sticky, slick mouth. Viscous and hangs around.

O - A very sweet beer. Not like other wee heavies, with a lot more malt syrup and body here.

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Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a MacAndrew's thistle glass. Pours a dark mahogany brown with a fine one finger light brown head with good retentiona and lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, vanilla and light toasted malt. Flavor of sweet and caramel malt, dark dried fruit, light peat smoke, hint of chocolate. A hint of diacetyl. Hits all the wee heavy flavor notes, perhaps a bit on the sweet side, but complex and flavorful. The alcohol shows through a bit in the flavor, but defininately warming. Medium to heavy bodied with decent creaminess. A nice take on a wee heavy.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: extremely dark brown hue with plenty of haze. Head poured a rather inconvenient four (!) fingers of rich tan foam. Nice.

Smell: big malt with a huge smoky, medicinal character. Is this an Islay Scotch ale? I like it a lot, if it is a bit one-dimensional.

Taste: big malt flavor with some Imperial Stout-like roasty and alcoholic fruit flavors. The smoke remains heavily evident -- a bit much, I would say, even for the style. Still, quite tasty -- I don't see enough real smoke in big beers; I like it.

Mouthfeel: big body with a good carbonation and a silky smooth creaminess. It works well for me.

Overall: this is a huge beer with a giant smokiness which is really too much for the style. That said, it's a smooth, smoky, malty monstrosity which, style be damned, I personally really like. Kudos to Boston Beer Co!

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pitch black in the glass shows deep ruby highlights when backlighted. A bready medium-dark khaki colored head retains nicely ontop but is minimal in terms of lace coverage. Visible carbonation was medium and moderately paced on the rise.

S: Boozy nose, peat, but mostly booze, dark fruit (dates, prunes) and a caramelized dark roast of medium strength.

T: The flavor is boozy dark fruit and dark crystal malt providing signs of dried raisins and a burnt sweetness. Malty with smoky peat and a dry caramelized roastiness. There is a bit of dry earthy hops that move in, a bit more so then usual. Sweet black licorice with roasted barley come on the close. Overall a wee-heavy that is a bit wee-heavy on alcohol (10%) with a healthy helping of black malt roast and a kettle caramelized body.

M: Surprising this was a fairly light affair on the tongue considering style and the heavy flavor and alcohol. Boozy with a medium body and a warming of alcohol, dark fruit and roast left behind.

D/O: At 10% you probably wont be enjoying to many of these at one time. Smoky roast that is a bit wee-heavy on the alcohol (10%) even per style but thankfully is wee-heavy on flavor making this an enjoyable treat in limited fashion and overall a experience worthy of its imperial standard labeling.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on July 9, 2011. It shows a semi-opaque mahogany-brown, ruby red hued tone. Loads of Scottish malts up front with a but of smokiness tickling the nostrils on second whiff.The body is heavier in texture than some but also pretty smooth. The 10% ABV is noticeable more in the taste than in the aroma so it makes me think of an English Strong Ale more than anything else.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant chestnut crowned by a 2” tan foam collar that grips the side of the glass.
S: Fruit and malt aromas.
T: A malt driven beer featuring rich malt flavors with plum to prune, a dash of fig, some kettle sugars, caramel, a hint of port. Mild hop presence.
F: Medium full to full body, medium to medium low carbonation.
O: A flavorful, well balanced wee heavy.

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Photo of Brad007
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red color with a two-finger head into my glass. Beautiful color that couldn't get any better for the style.

Sweet, smoky malt with a hint of raisin upfront. Menacing and full of alcohol heat.

Packs a wallop as it lays down the law with thick, chewy malt. At first, you think you're getting another BBC beer but towards the middle? All-out assault on the taste buds.

So strong, it makes me cough. Lingering warmth fills the stomach, leaving a good amount of raisin in its' wake. Fierce and yet, loyal to the order.

Enough of the semantics here. This is a strong, highly drinkable example of the style. Some people will poo-poo it due to the fact that it came from the hands of Jim Koch. Let them do so, for they cannot appreciate a decent attempt at this style.

You may want to stash it away for 3 months or so and try it again. It will only reveal the true character within.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mixed and Matched this one in the Oakmont Carnivores.

A - Darkest rep of the style I ever seen. Almost pitch black with a slight ruby hue in the base. A very impressive half inch of creamy tan colored head atop.

S - Smells not too boozy. Caramel, touch of toffee, vanilla, and a touch of bourbon.

T - Kind of impressed I expected it to be a booze bomb but I mostly get slight bourbon, then sweetness of caramel and toffee, touch of hops, and clean finish.

M - medium bodied a bit thin but I am not complaining.

Overall I believe this might be one of the best Wee Heavy's I have had to date. Nice beer Boston Brewing!

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Photo of barczar
3.88/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in my Maudite tulip. Pours slightly darker than cola with a creamy, half inch, khaki-colored head that dissipates in the center and disperses towards the shoulders. Head eventually settles into a thin band and some strands of lacing are evident during the tasting, but no legs. Nose suggests dark fruit and a slightly earthy character, as well as some malty sweetness. Taste is much bolder and robust than suggested by the nose - a smokey/earthy/peaty character intersperses itself in throughout the malty backbone and the dark fruit peaks through towards the front and middle. Mouthfeel is medium-light (but closer to medium), with a lively, almost prickly carbonation that lightly burns the sides of the cheeks and the back of the throat. This is a really nice wee heavy, probably my favorite from the SA Imperial series so far. I'd love to see what a couple years does for this brew.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Strong, malty flavor has notes of caramel, molasses and miso. It pours a barely translucent dark brown with a fairly thick light tan head that doesn’t stick around too long but leaves some lacing. Strong flavor has an overtone that mixes molasses with caramel but is only slightly sweet. There is a touch of hoppy bitterness and a hint of toffee. Thick, full-bodied texture has a little fizz and leaves a malty, molasses, slightly woody finish.

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Photo of Durge
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A dark, somewhat cloudy mahogany colored brew with a fair light tan head that dissipates to a ring pretty quickly. Lacing is decent. The smell offers blackberry currant malt and alcohol with a subtle smoked peat that I find to be pretty pleasing overall. The flavor is a tad elusive upon first sip, malty licorice settles in after a moment and gives way to a warming prune brandy idea at the finish. Second sip brings a little bit of chocolate and perhaps more of a dark cherry hint to the fruits that come through here. The smoke and peat I detected in the aroma seems to disappear in the flavor of this heavy bodied, thick but drinkable wee heavy. There's a fizzy contribution of carbonation that almost seems in contrast the velvety feel of this 10% ABV brew. Borders on a resinous feel. Looking at the history of this brew here on BA I was expecting something more of a train wreck here, but I can say I liked it for a try. Probably could have done without the entire 4-pack for my money though. I can see where the potential here just doesn't balance out. While you can detect a few nice ideas, it just doesn't blend and I seem to come out with a mere sharp malty thing that just doesn't quite hit the spot other than a little alcohol burn. Would have profited from a goodly hunk of cheddar.

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Photo of champ103
4.37/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark reddish/brown color. A two finger beige head forms with good retention. Some sticky lace is left behind.
S: A big malt bomb in the nose. First off the peat malt, light smoke, and wood aromas. Dark fruits, sweet toffee, and chocolate. I love it.
T: Follows the nose with tons of malt. Toasted malts, chocolate, toffee that are great. Plenty of peat, smoke, and wood as well. Dark fruits of cherries and raisins brings everything together. Excellent.
M/D: A full body with lower carbonation. So smooth and velvety. Easy to drink. A great beer to sip on.

I love this. Pretty much everything I want in the style, which is my favorite. Plenty of peat, smoke, malt, and not over the top sweet. Which is a big problem with American version. I don't understand the lower scores here. Something I would highly recommend.

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Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. One of the darker brown pours I've seen in a while from a wee heavy. Just a thin layer of very light tan head.

Aroma, large amount of toffee and peaty barrel like qualities. A little one sided.

Taste has a little more balance with some fruity tones. But mostly dominated by the toffee and smokey peat. The smoke whisky barrel quality is pretty strong in the finish.

Certainly not a light drinker on a warm night. Thick and coating, but just enough carbonation to keep it in check. Really not all that much alcohol presence for the size.

Almost like a barrel aged wee heavy. I like it, but can see how some will not.

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Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 277 ratings.