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.
BA SCORE
83
good

677 Ratings
THE BROS
73
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 677
Reviews: 275
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 16.35%
Wants: 27
Gots: 32 | 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)
View: Beers (117) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) Alström Bros
Ratings: 677 | Reviews: 275 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of far333
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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

Photo of philbe311
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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...

Photo of russpowell
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...

Photo of KarlHungus
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of fank2788
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

(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.

Photo of tempest
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.

Photo of Billolick
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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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!!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 677 ratings.