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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.

668 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 668
Reviews: 274
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 16.35%
Wants: 28
Gots: 33 | 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
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Ratings: 668 | Reviews: 274 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

oriolesfan4, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of nickthetick
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

nickthetick, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of tapman
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

tapman, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of Arithmeticus
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Arithmeticus, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of silentjay
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

silentjay, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of Rizalini
2.73/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

Rizalini, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of dahlen22
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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!!

dahlen22, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
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.

Mora2000, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of budgood1
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

budgood1, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of StevenBilodeau
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

StevenBilodeau, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of beergod1
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid dark brown with deep ruby highlights when held to light. Small tan head dissipates slowly. Smell is very malty and sweet, I swear I smell Leather, Hints of burnt sugar & Smoke. Taste is sweet with all of the aromas accounted for in the taste. Starts off sweet with the syrupy malt and smoke, then leaves a long lingering mild 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. Pretty good Scotch Ale, there are others better, but Sam usually has "Good" not "Great" Brews.

beergod1, Apr 20, 2011
Photo of Lerxst
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a SA Perfect Pint glass

A-Pours a very dark chestnut color with a rich and creamy looking two finger khaki head that has good retention and leaves lace all the way down. Great looking beer.

S-Roasted malt, dark fruit, sort of sweet cookie type aroma, earthy.

T-Big doses of roasted malt, hints of coffee (?), dark fruit, brown sugar, maybe some earthy hops too.

M-Medium body, slick and creamy. Coats the palate well.

O-A nice Scotch ale from BBC. I'd buy this again.

Lerxst, Apr 20, 2011
Photo of jlindros
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.

jlindros, Apr 20, 2011
Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep espresso-color with a thin beige head that dissipates to a ring. Minimal lacing.

Aromas of dark fruit, roasted malts, smoked peat (as advertised), and molasses sweetness.

Taste follows suit with flavors of currants, dried cranberries, black cherries, roasted malts, a hint of dark chocolate and an even fainter hint of pine hops at the finish.

Full mouthfeel, sticky, almost syrupy. Tiny bubble carbonation creates a nice balance. Alcohol warmth is present.

ThreeDimesDown, Apr 20, 2011
Photo of JamesS
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

JamesS, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of dinomite
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Careful pour yielded a small but dense, creamy colored head that dissipated slowly. The color below is certainly dark, but slightly red in tint against light. Smell isn't very significant, just a subdued earthiness that jives well with the flavor. The taste itself is quintessential of a basic wee heavy—earthy peatiness, a bit of spice, and an overall full-bodied flavor. The mouthfeel is quite thick, between the strong flavors and high alcohol it is exactly what is expected.

dinomite, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of Dubbledown
4.45/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 14.9 nonic. Nice cream colored half-inch head. Color almost black with a ruby hue. Malt and strong peat smell. Big rich, silky mouth feel. Excellent evaporation in the palate, strong aftertaste of peat and caramel. Hints of dried fruits, particularly cherries. Long warm finish. A really superb example of the style and, in my experience, unique at 10 percent alcohol and the peat flavor. Highly recommended. Serving temperature 52 degrees.

Grade A Purchased at Stoney's -- $11.99 per 4-pack

Dubbledown, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of 619BeerLuvr
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

at first I could not place the taste, then the scotch ale flavor came through very strong. not as strong as the other SA Imperial Series have been, but a very good, very drinkable beer. got mine (4-pack) for $10.99 at the 'Mo. a complex brew, with lots of malty and barley notes.

619BeerLuvr, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of Pahn
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one and a half inch, frothy off-white head that dissipates slowly, leaving a large amount of lacing. Pours a very dark reddish brown. Leaves thin but long-lasting lacing.

Smell: Sugary, sweet, trademark American-made Scotch ale malt (my first thought was, "Yes, that smells right..."). Some cola and mild smoke underneath. Lively effervescence. As it warms, various sweet cookie / pastry aromas emerge. Not too complex, not even that well balanced, but always very enticing, and never faint.

Taste: A lot smokier than the smell. The peat-smoked malt is the star here, but it's well-restrained and works with the rest of the beer. Sadly, the malt never really reaches any of those beautiful pastry-like notes from the aroma. It's sweet, cut by great flavors of slight barbecue and smoke, with some unexpected spiciness as well... but not as malty as I want a good wee heavy to be.

This flavor is very good, and exceptionally well balanced (the finish is just dry enough, the smoke is just strong enough, etc). However, the smell promises something that I know I can get even from lesser Scotch ales like Old Chub, then the taste doesn't deliver it. If those deep, powerful malt flavors were balanced in with all the other excellent things going on, this would be a very memorable beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Very carbonated--a little too much, leaving some mild but unpleasant stings now and then. Great semi-dry finish. Sugary without being chalky or distracting.

Overall: I love the balance, the integration of peat-smoked malt, and maybe even the overall flavor, but I can't get past that I want this beer to have more (and that what I want it to have is so common among beers of this style). I'll probably even buy this again, but I imagine that I'll still think the beer isn't quite reaching its potential.

Pahn, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep darkness of a color with a thin, but creamy tan head that delivers some sticky lace.

The nose is pretty light, but what is detected is a blend of smokey peat malt and sticky sweetness with fruit notes.

Big sweetness from the malt, some deep roasted malt, smoked peat and some hot fusel alcohol to round it out. A big beer with some well integrated big flavors.

Full bodied, creamy carbonation and a sticky finish.

A nice, nice beer here. A few months of age would help mellow the alcohol and improve the overall beer in my opinion. Right now though, this is a beer that is right on for the style and a good all around beer.

jera1350, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of Jwale73
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Jwale73, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of stephens101
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark brown core is surrounded by ruby red hues and topped with a prolific tan head that is, in-turn, topped by big bubbles which pop to and fro as the froth slowly settles, leaving a fine sheet of lace that covers then entire glass.

Not a lot going on aroma wise. I'm getting some caramel malts and a little sugar. Creamy mouth-feel with big sweet malts, a faint oakiness, milk chocolate and a slight peaty earthiness. Fresh stream water too? Hmmm. A slight nuttiness works its way in after a bit. Alcohol is well-hidden to the point that I couldn't tell you whether this was 6% or 10% abv.

Nice and sweet without going overboard and dangerously drinkable.

stephens101, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of perrymarcus
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

perrymarcus, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of Thanby
3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours super-dark mahogany with only a tinge of light through the edges. A good bit of tan head settles somewhat quickly into a thin cap with a bit of lacing.

The nose is strong on dark caramel malt and molasses, full of body, hints of black cherry and raisin, and the peat smokiness lies over everything.

The first taste is powerful, the peat dominates the experience bringing the smoke up front. There's sort of a mesquite quality to it, which is unusual but interesting. Very earthy, a bit sweet through the body and has a really meaty texture. Finishes a bit astringent and dry.

Thick and rich body, chewy, lots of potent sweetness that finishes dry and has a very boozy taste through the whole thing. It's not bad and definitely worth trying, but honestly I was expecting something more refined and complex. Some of the flavors are so overpowering that it's hard to discern much beyond them.

Thanby, Apr 08, 2011
Photo of neophilus
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. The head is thick and creamy with a light tan color. The foam clings to the sides of the glass and hangs around for a while. The color is dark brown, almost black, and impenetrable to the gaze.

Sweet malt hits the nose right up front, gently offset by a hint of smoke. As it warms the aromas come out more, behind the sweetness the scents of old leather and tobacco emerge.

A rich malty taste greets me but the peat smoke soon kicks in and dominates the back of my mouth. It leaves a mildly astringent feel. The peat smoke balances the malt sweetness but in a way that leaves the taste a little flat. I go back looking for more complex malt tones but the smoke always rears its head, cutting my expedition short. The aftertaste hints at leather and tobacco again and does not leave much smoke behind.

Mouthfeel is thick and viscous - great for sipping slowly. The body of this beer makes its presence known. Small amount of bubbles greet the tongue but quickly die down and let the thick body take over.

Overall I do like this beer, but I was hoping to find more complexity in the malt. The peat smoke is both a blessing and a curse - it gives the beer a distinctive flavor and character but perhaps dulls the richer flavors of the beer. I really do enjoy the smoke as something out of the ordinary but it tends to make this beer more about its smoke flavor than its malt. Maybe if they dial back the smoke just a little bit it will let more complex flavors come through.

Highly enjoyable drinking experience regardless - this is definitely a brew to warm up a bit, pour into a goblet and then sit back and enjoy. The mouthfeel doesn't disappoint and the peat smoke is interesting enough to keep your attention for at least one beer, maybe two.

neophilus, Apr 07, 2011
Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 668 ratings.