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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

650 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 650
Reviews: 274
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 16.35%
Wants: 23
Gots: 29 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Duhast500 on 02-24-2010)
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Ratings: 650 | Reviews: 274 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of womencantsail


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 bramsdell


4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to an imperial pint glass. Not my first encounter with this beer, but I have limited exposure to the Wee Heavy style, so bear with me.

A: Dark brown body with amber tint when held up to light. Very dark, very thick. Two-finger head mostly recedes to a thin floater of a head. However, the lacing on this beer is amazing. I'm not sure if this is simply the style, but this beer hung on to the side of my glass for dear life. Thoroughly impressed.

S: An interesting smell. Definitely a roasted and caramel aroma, but there is plenty of peat to be found. Overall, the smell is sweet but has some more behind it.

T: The first time I had this beer, I did not like it. The caramel flavor and the peaty-ness were too much for me. However, when I was ready to sit down again and really try this beer, I found it to be much better. I'm not a hop-head, so the enormous flavor and complexity of the dark malts provide lots of food for thought. The flavor oscillates between caramel-sweet and roasted malt, all with a bit of peat flavor in the background.

M: Very thick, low in carbonation. It feels basically like an imperial stout, with the nearly-syrupy hold. The residual flavors are surprisingly sweet.

O: Not an impulse beer at a bar, but certainly an interesting choice at a reasonable price.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 00:16:00 | More by bramsdell
Photo of thain709


3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a darker shade of copper with some very attractive ruby highlights...the tan head stood two fingers tall and slowly receded to a full, yet thin cap...nice lacing

S - Sweet as expected, but overall the aroma was light...alcohol was really present...some roast, smoke, and caramel lingered

T - The sweetness lingered all around palate...it never went away but was covered up by the other flavors at times...there was a big smoke aspect to the beer as well...I'm guessing that it's from the peat that was added...the alcohol, again, was very detectable and almost gave off an oak flavor...caramel and dark fruits (dates, raisins) kept adding to the sweetness as it would come back through the smoke

M - Medium bodied...a little syrupy at times...roasted malt gave off some chocolate...lots of smoke

O - I've somewhat enjoyed the other beers in the Imperial Series, but I'd have to say this one has been my least favorite...the high ABV really stands out in this smokey, malt bomb

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2011 20:58:50 | More by thain709
Photo of dtivp


3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark mahogany brown, slight ruby hues with a one finger beige head that fades quickly, very little lacing.

Aroma of of sweet molasses, malt and alcohol.

Taste begins sweet with dark fruits, molasses, vanilla which is quickly balanced with earthy malts, oak and some alcohol.

Mouth Feel was full body light carbonation, very syrupy and slick, alcohol was well hidden.

Overall an OK above average beer a little too thick and just a little too sweet and malty. There are better Scotch Ales, not one of Boston Brewery's best.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 20:51:42 | More by dtivp
Photo of scoobybrew


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

A - clear, deep dark ruby color, decent head that persists in a lace

S - alcohol is very present, sweet caramel malt with a hint of smoke, moreso as it warms

T - strong sweet caramel and pale malt flavor with a strong smoke flavor perhaps from peated malt, but more likely from a Scottish yeast strain; hops are altogether absent, perhaps there are a bit for bittering, but the flavor is overwhelmingly sweet

M - fully body, moderate carbonation, slick and viscous

O - This is a strong beer with a strong malt character. It borders cloyingly sweet and you might want to share it with someone else as a full pour is probably a bit too much. That said, a lot of the Scottish beer character is here, but a bit out of balance. The alcohol is also not as subtle as perhaps desired also.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 02:01:20 | More by scoobybrew
Photo of secondtooth


3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep, pretty well black, with a huge head of tan foaminess. Amazing and lively lace. Very frilly! A fine place to start...

Nose is woody, earthy (I guess you'd call that 'peaty'), malty, and boozy.

Taste is heavy on the palate, but nicely balanced. Malty sweet, with hints of peat, molasses, char, and a little booze at the end.

Definitely a strong presence, and in the end, quite tasty.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2011 06:56:53 | More by secondtooth
Photo of Mdog


4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown, small head.

Smell: Fruity, raisins, leather, molasses.

Taste: Nice dark fruits, burnt sugar, raisin, caramel sweetness. A little earthiness keeps it from being too sweet.

Drinkability: The alcohol is well hidden, I thought this wasn't quite this strong. Not too expensive to have again.

I used to follow Sam Adams pretty closely but haven't in the past couple years, so I was surprised to see a new imperial series beer. Eventually I found a single to try of the wee heavy. I like it, it is sweet without going overboard. Not a whole lot of peat to my taste buds, seemed more like an English barleywine to me. As long as it tastes good, it's fine with me.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2011 23:20:17 | More by Mdog
Photo of WoodBrew


3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 00:21:01 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of LadyOfMuchBeer


3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Flying Saucer in downtown Houston. Served in the infamous red wine glass.

dark enough that I can't see through it in the dim bar light, even when held up to said light. very little head, very little retention, lacing does stick around a while.

Smell is so light I really have to suck it in. Molasses, caramel malts.

Tastes scotchy, malty, some dark fruit(very light notes) and a surprising hoppiness.

Feels heavy and sticky. Just what one wants to expect from a wee heavy. Chewy without sediment, leaves a feeling of a little something on the tongue.

Overall, Pretty good, might just nab the attention of some Boston Beer critics. I will say I have had much better wee heavy however.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2011 13:41:58 | More by LadyOfMuchBeer
Photo of obrendano


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

A - very dark in the glass, when held up to the light it's literally blood red. head is foamy but does not last

S - odd musty smell, old ripe fruits, sweet malt, a hint of booze

T - HUGE sweet caramel malt taste, dark smokiness, strawberry jam, rough alcohol edge and more strong malt as it goes on. a little too much on the thick, sweet side for me, a little cloying and lacks bite, but is also complex enough to keep my interests piqued

M - a little syrupy and thick like a really sugary soda. not awful but a little uninviting

O - not a terrible beer, tastes good and gets the job done at 10%, which isn't as detectable as you might think going in. but it's definitely a bit of a malt bomb, and a little more balance could go a long way with this.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2011 02:50:20 | More by obrendano
Photo of shoky01


3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap and the Saucer for the same Sam Adams beer tasting as the Utopias.

A: Very dark, bit surprising for a wee heavy. Bout a half inch of white head with good lacing on the glass.

S: Very light smell, porter or stout like.

T: Tasted like a light smoked porter or stout off hand when it was still cold. The maltiness came out more as it warmed and it eventually showed up as the scotch ale that it is.

MF: a little sticky but very smooth.

overall: I really liked it, i will have it again some time.

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2011 20:30:11 | More by shoky01
Photo of DaveBlack


3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have always been a fan of the wee heavy style, and I was pleasantly pleased by the Sam Adams Double Bock from this series, so I have high hopes.

A: Brown with reddish tints. Maybe a finger's width of off-white head dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: The smell of alcohol is the first thing I notice, closely followed by sweet, syrupy malts and molasses. Not much on the complexity, but it smells good.

T: Huge malty sweetness. It hits like a bulldozer and stays around. Some peppery-ness from the alcohol knocks it back a bit, but it's still pretty overpowering. Slight oaky, vanilla taste comes through as well. The alcohol warms nicely.

M: REALLY heavy. Resembles drinking molasses more than drinking beer. Very light on the carbonation which enhances the syrup-like feel.

O: A disappointment. Not a bad beer, but not very good either. It has some good flavors, but there's just too much: too many malts, too much sweetness and too damn thick.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2011 23:02:09 | More by DaveBlack
Photo of BeerForMuscle

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 02:47:02 | More by BeerForMuscle
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.45/5  rDev -6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2011 01:51:36 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of Dan3279


3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My second beer on tap tonight at the B Spot and I used it as my post dinner drink. The beer was served to me in a stemless snifter glass and had a deep dark brown body with a tan one inch head that left some sticky lacing around the glass.

The aroma was more mellow than I expected and main consisted of roasted malts, coffee and a few hints of sweetness.

The taste was good, I noticed the scotch first and then a bit of smoke and ends on some sweet notes. Three different flavors styled balanced together, though at the same time the taste came off as a tad watered down and really left me wanting more. I'm not sure if my pallet has been ruined by big heavy stouts and I expect too much or if this is more reflective of the style.

The body of the beer was the only bright side for me, it was full and thick with the alcohol well hidden.

Overall a decent beer but it didn't do much for me and is an easy pass if I ever comes across it again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2011 00:48:49 | More by Dan3279
Photo of NeroFiddled


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 jondeelee


4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sam Adams' Wee Heavy--the fourth beer in their Imperial Series--opens with a rich, malty nose reminiscent of deep earth and sugar cane fields. Scads of brown sugar are tempered in their sweetness by a rich, loamy undercurrent, and together they bring forth hints of vanilla, fig, port, and wet wood.

On the tongue, the beer begins by showing its smoky underbelly, the result of peat smoked malts, which adds a campfire smoke earthiness to the brew (think Rauchbier, but nowhere near the smokiness). This is balanced by an overly-healthy dose of sugars--brown, with darker fruit esters such as fig and raisin--toast, fresh wheat bread, and vanilla. Later in the mouthful hops make a small appearance, adding citrusy bitterness to the smoky textures. The aftertaste is mainly smoky sugars, and lingers for a long time. Mouthfeel is a silky medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, and admitting up front that I'm not terribly familiar with the "wee heavy" style, I think this is great beer, and a fantastic addition to what has so far been a stellar Imperial Series from Sam Adams: an immensely flavorful, daring, finely crafted brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 02:15:45 | More by jondeelee
Photo of Bfarr


3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown, almost black with moderate tan foamy head with okay retention. Light peat aroma with some roasted malts. Big peat up front tempered by roasted malt with light chocolate sweetness. Some stickiness with full body and light fuzz.

Alcohol is well blended and peat is strong but not overbearing but rather one dimensional. More and more it becomes very subtly complex. Nicely balanced flavors and easy drinking. I had this with Inglorious Bastards (1970). I should have had a German beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2011 02:22:19 | More by Bfarr
Photo of MrDanno96


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

A: Deep brown/mahogany in color with 1/2 finger of off-white head encircling the glass's circumference. A decent amount of frothy lacing slides down the sides of the glass.

S: A strong dose of roasted malts and coffee mixes with distinct aromas of butterscotch and dark fruit.

T: Very complex - strong notes of roasted malt intermingle with earthy wood notes, burnt coffee, baking chocolate and black currents. Notes of black cheery and butterscotch also come through. Very interesting, but the diverse array of flavors fails to achieve the cohesiveness of an elite brew.

M: Very thick and syrupy, almost chewy.

D: I don't have much experience with Wee Heavies, but this is a decent big beer. Really complex flavors make this an interesting brew to sip and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2011 01:50:02 | More by MrDanno96
Photo of Monkey962


4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours almost inky black, and light that passes through appears cherry red. Produces a tan, bubbly head about two fingers tall, which leaves thick lacing and rings down the glass.

Smell: I don't get any bitterness off this, just the malts that smell like roasted coffee and sweet maraschino cherry.

Taste: One of the most complex beer taste experiences I've had to date. The sweetness of the malts is experienced first, and is represented as a sweet cherry flavor. The smoked aspect peeks in only for a moment before subsiding into a balanced, bitter flavor that I could describe as both bready and earthy. The aftertaste is peppery and bitter.

Feel: Very silky. When the head subsides, it becomes a thick, creamy film that assists the smoothness of the feel.

Overall: Very well balanced with lots of big bold yet complex flavors. I like to think of it as an alternative for an imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 02:19:14 | More by Monkey962
Photo of haddon


3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours a deep mahogany, almost black with a creamy head that hangs around quite awhile. quite a bit of carbonation bubbles released on the pour. lots of lacing down the nonic.

smells are a little muted: malty notes with butterscotch, moss & earth smells, cola & brown sugar.

wow, this really is the tale of two tastes: it starts poorly with really off-putting flavors of metallic & band-aid. I seriously would consider drain pouring but it makes a comeback on the back end... dark fruits, roasted malts, bitter hops and a boozy bomb on the aftertaste (10% abv is really noticeable). if not for the amazing comeback on the end, I would give this beer an F!

feel is probably best part of beer: medium to full body with creamy and smooth finish

this beer really is an enigma! the front-end taste is really too much to overcome. too bad, because the aftertaste is pretty darn good but I wouldn't drink again.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 01:47:41 | More by haddon
Photo of Mitchster


4.53/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed with Two-row Harrington, Metcalfe, and Copeland pale malts, Caramel 60, Roasted malt, and Peated malt. Hopped with Zeus.
OG=24.5° Plato, 10.0% ABV – 7.7%, Calories/12 oz.: 348. $3.00 for a 12oz bottle @ Jacks.

Pours out to a very dark mahogany, forming a thin head which quickly recedes to a scummy little ring around the glass. No retention, no lacing. Moderate carbonation. The aroma is of prune juice, smoke, caramel and burnt marshmallows. The mouthfeel is oily and syrupy with a huge dense body. The taste is very nice...a great balance between the smoke, marshmallow and prunes, with a very light herbal bitterness. Sweet, but not overly so. Much smokier than any traditional scottish ale, but I like this. No perceptable off flavors or aroma.

I really liked this brew. I would buy it again and recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2011 00:17:19 | More by Mitchster
Photo of DannyDan


3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a mahogany with a tan head than has decent carbonation along with nice retention and really good lacing on the glass. The smell consists of apple, caramel, smoke, and oak. The taste starts out with some licorice, followed by some caramel and apple and than finishes off with some sweet maltness, smoke and oak. The mouthfeel is sticky on the lips, tongue and palate and finishes dry. Overall a decent beer that is nice when wanting a beer with an unique taste, but with 10% alcohol might want to be careful with how much you drink at one time.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 08:59:27 | More by DannyDan
Photo of TheHoppiest


3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an oversized snifter glass. Polurs a very dark brown/mahogany color, with a 1/4" ivory colored head that reduces to a thin ring around the glass, and wisps in the center.

Has a thick, peaty aroma, heavy with tangy alcohol, mild malt, and, oddly, slight astringency. The smell is almost smokey. Never had an astringent smelling beer before.

A grape-sweet grips first, clenching the tongue. A thicker, almost oily taste, hits mid-tongue, before ending dry and slightly hopped. Mild peat, even moss, with undertones of oak, vanilla, and maple.

Full bodied, with a thick, syrupy feel and a dry finish.

Tastes better than it smells, and smells better than it looks. Decent brew, though a bit heavy for a wee heavy. This is more like a sweeter old ale, but darker. Still, if you're big into SA, then give it a try, for it is certainly one of the better ones I've had from their brewery.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 02:20:27 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of Knecht


4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a beautiful, thick mahogany color, but almost no head. It smells primarily of smoked oak and malt, with some hints of vanilla.

Dark, rich malt dominates the front end, but then the more complex and interesting characteristics start to emerge. Subtler flavors of vanilla, caramel and even banana appear before peaty smoke takes over and carries out the back end. The mouthfeel rides the comfortable middle-ground it should, carbonated without overwhelming the tastebuds.

This beer wins some major bonus points with me because of my love for peaty scotch. I usually take a "scotch" ale to actually mean a "Scottish" ale, but in this case "scotch" is the more applicable term. My only complaint is the occasional banana presence. I don't get it on every sip, but when I do, it is somewhat off-putting... it's like a little bit of Belgian yeast slipped into the beer during fermentation. It adds a little too much sweetness to the beer. If Sam Adams could dial back the sweetness a bit and escape the banana notes, this beer could achieve the nirvana of the peaty scotch goodness in the drinkable form of beer. In it's current form, however, while it is an interesting, flavorful, enjoyable and powerful beer, its flaws prevent it from achieving true greatness.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2011 06:48:40 | More by Knecht
Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 650 ratings.