1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

659 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 659
Reviews: 274
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 16.35%
Wants: 27
Gots: 31 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) Alström Bros
Ratings: 659 | Reviews: 274 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerbully

New Jersey

3.23/5  rDev -12%

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

05-15-2011 18:46:38 | More by beerbully
Photo of JayS2629


3.58/5  rDev -2.5%

Big, robust, rude, and aggressive beer. Black with red hints, thin tan head with little lace.

The aroma is full of dark fruit, raisins and plum with hints of caramel and notes of chocolate. Subtle vanilla notes with a smoke tinge. Whiffs of spiced rum.

The taste is upfront on the black raisins and ripe plums, rum like tones. Sweet toffee dominates. The taste is a malt bomb up front with tons of toffee and caramel, dark fruits, raisins and plum, hints of chocolate and hints of roasted malt. Smoke on the back end with a definite aggressive rum burn. Earthy hops with some herbal notes of black pepper reflecting off a harsh alcohol burn in the back of the throat that makes itself known. Complex.

The body is creamy and full bodied, thick, cloying and syrupy. Woody tones in the finish. Heavy indeed. Quite cloying. A tssty overboard sweet malt bomb burning sipper. If you can ride this bull keep your tounge in check for the burn. Probably more enjoyable before drinking too many others. It can easily put you on your ass.

05-14-2011 04:18:36 | More by JayS2629
Photo of keeganfrank


3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Deep, dark red-brown beer with caramel-colored head. Almost the color of cola, but even darker. Smells earthy and of caramel and florals. Smoky caramel and peat flavor, sweet sassafras and fruit as well. Very thick and creamy, no harshness from the high alcohol content.

05-11-2011 15:00:57 | More by keeganfrank
Photo of mactrail


4.13/5  rDev +12.5%

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.

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


3.6/5  rDev -1.9%

Poured into a squat snifter, this is a very dark, almost black beer, with a substantial, dense head atop it. The nose has features a nice peatiness. However, there's not much malt complexity in the aroma, and it's a tad "hot" as well. The flavor is a bit better. Alcohol is present, but not as as warm as I had feared. However, it lacks the malty complexity of a good wee heavy. It's drinkable, but rather one-dimensional.

05-11-2011 04:46:07 | More by allengarvin
Photo of jwinship83


4.08/5  rDev +11.2%

12oz bottle drank out of my samuel adams perfect pint glass. i tried this the first time out at EBF and enjoyed it.

A- this one pours out a deep mahogany colored body body with a modest khaki colored head on top. the head lasts for a while before falling, and leaves behind small rings of lacing.

S- the first thing i pick out of the nose is toffee and caramel malts. a familiar smoked peat smell is also in here. a little bit of the alcohol shines through.

T- the taste starts out with some sweet caramel and toffee flavors (heavier on the toffee) before moving into the smoky pet that i could smell. earthy hops at the end. a modest amount of alcohol is tasted for such a big beer.

M- the body is a solid medium, and the carbonation is nice and subdued. a little warming from the alcohol.

O- a solid american example of the style. something im glad is made year round and available in four packs. ill be having this again.

05-11-2011 03:30:27 | More by jwinship83
Photo of bamadog


3.9/5  rDev +6.3%

Always happy to pick up a new bottle of Sam Adams. Review is from notes taken on 5/10/2011 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a deep and dark cola brown with some rich, dark ruby highlights when held up to the lamp; starts with a short 1/2 finger tan head that fades immediately to nothing other than a scant, thin and uneven skim on the surface; only two small spots of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Quite nice and robust -- lots of big maltiness with aspects of caramel, and I'd swear a touch of butterscotch; bit of a wet, mulchy and bready scent to it; very slight touch of alcohol to it, but it's pretty well masked in the nose for something that clocks in at 10%.

Taste: It's good, and I like it -- I see it doesn't get a whole lot of love, and I can kind of see why due to the name associated with it and the sweetness, which is a tad much, but overall, I think it's a pretty solid interpretation of the style. Lots of big and sweet malts up front that match the nose to a "T," and the hearty, wheaty and mulchy breadiness; alcohol comes through clearly in the mouth, but I feel it blends pretty well with the sweetness and earthy malty overtones; bit of a cola-like sweetness lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Body is of medium weight, and comes with a thick and sticky coating all over the mouth, and I feel it's even creeping down the back of the throat; carbonation is present, but soft, kind of like a cola that's been sitting out for a little while; alcohol is warming to the belly and the gums are left a little tingly.

Overall: I like it, but the sweetness becomes a bit much and the alcohol would definitely limit too much in any one sitting, and I probably wouldn't put one away to age due to the already massive sweetness.

05-11-2011 01:38:42 | More by bamadog
Photo of far333


3.68/5  rDev +0.3%

Dark mahogany brown and opaque with a low light brown head. Aroma of dark malt, some fruity esters and subtle peated malt.

Rich flavors of dark malt, hints of root beer, smoke and leather, subtle peat smoked malt, mild bitterness. Moderate mouthfeel, a bit watery, slight warming from the ABV, could use more body. Tasty overall, but lacking a bit i complexity and body.

05-09-2011 11:47:33 | More by far333
Photo of vandemonian


4.38/5  rDev +19.3%

Sam Adams Wee Heavy is an excellent scotch ale and a great sipping beer.

A: Dark brown color... like coke. Small head that fades to crappy lacing. 4

S: The smell is sweet and malty with a little bitterness 4.5

T: The taste is charcoal with smoke and sweet maltiness. Super nice. Aftertaste is Malty with some bitterness. 4.5

M: Frothy. Delicious. 4.5

O: Great for sipping. 4

05-04-2011 01:41:54 | More by vandemonian
Photo of philbe311


3.95/5  rDev +7.6%

A - A fingers worth of slightly dense moderately creamy light tan colored froth... Slight retention gives way to thick collar and mostly full lacing... A medium-to-dark brown color with a slight chilled haze... Some sluggish carbonation can be seen climbing towards to the top of the glass...

S - Malt forward, but still rather subdued... Toffee... Caramel... Peat... Some dark fruits... Slightly muddled, yet very nice... Just wish this one had a little more umph to it... It should be noted that the booze rises to the forefront as this one warms slightly...

T - Dark fruits... Toffee... Caramel... Peat... A hint of smoke... Some very subtle coffee undertones...

M - Ultra dense... Medium to full bodied... Nicely carbonation... Slightly creamy... Slightly velvety... A bit a of chalky burnt texture... A touch of a dry finish... Very nice...

D - A definite sipper of a Wee Heavy... The 10% ABV packs a pretty good punch... Slightly above average with a stellar mouthfeel...

05-03-2011 01:57:33 | More by philbe311
Photo of russpowell


3.55/5  rDev -3.3%

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...

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


3.2/5  rDev -12.8%

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.

05-01-2011 23:36:31 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of fank2788


3.85/5  rDev +4.9%

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
Very deep mahogany in the glass that goes ruby red when held up to a light. The head is a khaki tan full of fine bubbles that settle relatively quickly and then lace a bit. Smell is of caramelized sugar smoky and deep. Peated malt is there as well as a bit of chocolate and black malts. The taste is of black coffee and dark malts. The alcohol is very upfront in this beer and maybe a bit too much so. I'm not getting as much of the caramel that I would expect from a Wee Heavy as this beer tends towards the dry end of the spectrum. This beer is pretty lively in the mouth the finish is a bit prickly as a combination of higher carbonation than I'm used to for this style and the alcoholic hotness leave a lasting tingle. This is a good beer but maybe not great. I guess I'm just partial to the wee heavy that I make which tends to be a bit less alcoholic and a touch sweeter with a higher caramel focus and as I'm missing those characteristics I can't rate this example very highly.

05-01-2011 01:11:04 | More by fank2788
Photo of trappistlover


3.9/5  rDev +6.3%

(12oz bottle). Pours a dark mahogany-almost burnt caramel. Khaki colored head. Aroma has caramel, peat, and with a hint of chocolate. Taste is sweet with some light hop bitterness and great peaty smoke. Medium bodied with slick texture. Smooth finish. This is a very nice beer.

04-30-2011 17:18:53 | More by trappistlover
Photo of tempest


3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

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.

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

New York

4/5  rDev +9%

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.

04-29-2011 03:06:24 | More by Billolick
Photo of oriolesfan4


3.93/5  rDev +7.1%

Love me some Sam Adams, had to give this one a try. One of my favorite styles to boot so here it goes.

Pours a dark, almost blood-like color, nice little head to it. Aroma is of figs or dark fruit. Taste is medium to heavy bodied, nice creamy mouthfeel. This beer is 10% ABV and the alcohol can definitely be detected. The dark fruit really comes through, doesn't really strike me as a 'wee heavy' though. There isn't the usual smokiness in it, I would relate it to more of a Belgian or strong ale almost. A little bit of a rough finish, but for the most part a nice beer to sip and savor. Not my favorite Sam Adams by any means and they missed the style a little bit, but glad I gave it a try.

04-28-2011 01:48:50 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of nickthetick


3.93/5  rDev +7.1%

A: pours a black to dark brown that has some lighter brown highlights to it when the light hits it. A finger of tan head leaves a lot of lacing and dissipates slowly.

S: figs, a bit leathery and a lot of dark roasted malts.

T: surprisingly fruity, in a dark sort of way. Figs, dates and prunes make the first appearance in the mouth followed in shortly by an earthy tone that mellows things out. The hops are pine like and have a resin quality to them. There is a nice leather quality that is left on the tongue.

MF: heavy, chewy and warm. Little carbonation with good astringency. A tad dry on the back which is actually nice.

O: a good beer that I would buy again if the mood for a good wee heavy struck, but not one I'll be getting everyday.

04-27-2011 00:57:53 | More by nickthetick
Photo of tapman


3.73/5  rDev +1.6%

Dark plum color with a tawny head of spongy foam. Very carbonated. I'm used to the style from the hand pump a little more still than this.

Soft, floral character in the nose. Dates, brown sugar and fresh rubber are also present.

Smokey, peaty, a little roasty and has a moderate-high bitterness. Very sweet for the style.

Thick and heavy, though bitingly carbonated. I'm used to a silkier mouth for this style.

Pretty good. I like that it has that peat-like quality, but if you are going to do it, it should be all out and this one plays it a little safe.

04-25-2011 21:59:19 | More by tapman
Photo of Arithmeticus


4.08/5  rDev +11.2%

Poured at basement temp in snifter

A: solid black, ok head, not much carb., very nice lacing
S: malty with molasses
T: true to its advertisement: great, classic imperial series; smoked peat is very strong, dominant over the roasted malt; scotch character subdued

Fantastic beer, and I suspect it ages well. I'll check back after a couple of years

04-25-2011 20:57:42 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of silentjay


3.58/5  rDev -2.5%

deep brown, almost black, with a smallish khaki head that quickly settles, but leaves some lacing.

kind of a faint aroma with some smoke, herbs, and sweet sweet malts bringing some molasses, brown sugar, and a touch of soy sauce.

light smoke hits first with a bit of meatiness, some herbs come through a bit, but then it quickly goes sweet and oily. molasses dark caramel, brown sugar, sweet, sweet, sweet. not too boozy, though.

smooth and pretty full bodied with subtle carbonation works well for the style with a syrupy feel left on the back of the tongue after the swallow.

not bad. not great. I've been kind of disappointed in the Sam Adams Imperial Series, it almost seems like they shouldn't even bother if they are going to play their "imperial" beers safely.

04-24-2011 05:25:13 | More by silentjay
Photo of Rizalini


2.73/5  rDev -25.6%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Deschutes tulip...

A - Pours a very dark mahogany color, with a foamy 2 finger off-white head. Leaves a little spotty lacing.

S - The smell is very lacking. I'm struggling to get anything. I get some dark fruits, and I can smell the hops, but that's about it.

T - Slight plum, and rum raisin flavor is there, but the alcohol taste is definately present. There are some sweet notes as well.

M - Medium mouthfeel, good carbonation.

O - I should know better than to expect great beers from Sam Adams, and this one confirmed my expectations. Unfortunately, this beer lacks character, and flavor profile. Maybe cellar-aging this one might do it some good.

04-24-2011 05:16:57 | More by Rizalini
Photo of dahlen22

New Jersey

3.05/5  rDev -16.9%

Appearace: Dark with a small lacy head that faded.

Aroma: Malt and some breadiness.

Taste: Eh...well I LOVE Scotch Ales, but this version of this style failed to meet expectations. In fact, I believe that most beers from Sam Adams are average at best (sans a few styles). The beer had huge amounts of malts and sweetness, but lacked in the smokiness and peat moss that is standard for a wee heavy. The finish had (to quote the Bros.) a tart oilyness, syrup, and almost a sour after taste.

Overall: Skip this and the $10 for this 6-pack. In fact, Samuel Adam's Scotch Ale is WAY better than this, but they no longer offer that in 6 packs. My rule of thumb...pass over Samuel Adams beers because they are average at best. Cheers!!

04-23-2011 14:37:21 | More by dahlen22
Photo of Mora2000


3.9/5  rDev +6.3%

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.

04-23-2011 03:49:17 | More by Mora2000
Photo of budgood1


3.65/5  rDev -0.5%

pours out a nearly opaque brownish red colour. crimson highlights. thick luxurious head with good retention. deep malty aroma...burnt sugar, brown sugar, smoke and some yeast. taste is a depth of dark maltiness accentuated by the peat smoked malt...adding layers of that are wine like on one hand and sharply smokey on the other. it makes for a nice combination. there is some vanilla and blackberries, chocolate and nougat, peppery alcohol spice mingled well with rum soaked raisins. it doesn't drink hot, but there is a good deal of underlying booziness to be wary of. a small dab of floral hoppiness adds a touch of class and a hint of bitterness for good measure. massive body is a given but the surprisingly gentle and smooth mouthfeel makes this supposed sipping scotch ale dangerously drinkable.

overall this imperial wee heavy lacks in refinement, but makes up for it in depth of character and being approachable, despite it's massive ABV. it's warm, snuggly and feels good.

04-22-2011 22:58:59 | More by budgood1
Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 659 ratings.